Strawberry Dresses

I read on one of my feeds that Pam over at Threading My Way had made the Good Deed Dress.  I liked the style, so I thought I would try the pattern out too. The 'Good Deed Dress' pattern can be found here.

The dresses are finished but not hemmed.
The dresses were a really tight fit to get on,
so I had a wee problem to solve..
After a problem free sewing time (don't you love those). I couldn't believe it... the dresses were rather hard to get on the girls. Pushing and pulling them about like dolls was not going to be any good for any future wear. I could see that I would need to alter them otherwise they would not want to wear them.

Obviously I made the wrong size and lining the top part of the dress would not have helped (it made it smaller). I'm not one for using a tape measure too much, I like to guess....Though I must admit it is hard to sew for someone else when they are not here for the fittings...and I usually rely on fittings as my measurements.

The problem:
The smaller dress when fitted was too tight over the head.
The larger dress fitted over the head, but was a bit tight when fitting the arms through the armholes.

Fixing the problem:
It took a bit of thought because I wanted the same alteration for both dresses. I thought about opening up the back. But I decided against that idea as the dress would be smaller still with a back seam. I decided to open up the side seam instead.

My intention was to sew a zip into the side seam opening. This was not a good idea as the side seams were too small, so I  had to made a false seam for the turn over. When I sewed the seam with the zip in it, it looked awful...It looked so tacky I had to unrip it all out.

The problem was finally solved by keeping the side seam partly open, making some buttonhole loops, and then attaching a facing to neaten off the opening. Next I then sewed two heart shaped buttons on the opposite side to the button hole loops. I also sewed on some Ric-Rac to the waist seam for decoration.

Would I make the dress again?
Yes I would and I'd use my tape measure instead of guessing :) I think I need to go to a 'how to use your tape measure tutorial'. I'm just joking...

Alteration: buttons and buttonhole loops
Fabric: Cotton Seersucker
The finished strawberry dress for eating
strawberries in!

The Wonderful World of the Tutu...

They loved their tutus!

Toot Toot it's a Little Tutu

This is Andy and he's modelling one of the no-sew tutus I have been making (his waist is just the perfect size). Yes that lavender and purple netting was in my stash too. I really don't know why I bought it I had no plans for it...It was on special at Spotlight years ago and like the 'moth to a flame' I  bought it!

There are lots of tutorials on the Internet for no sew tutus. Pinterest is a good place to look too...The tutorial I chose and really liked was on the Paige and Brooke blog. The tutu blog post can be found here. My knots are not as good as they have done on their tutu (they look so dainty). I think my netting is too stiff.  On the second tutu my knots where a lot better...

Do you want to know about Andy?...poor thing he has felt pen on his head, and his embroidery cotton is all thready, and there is a water mark on his head. Someones stolen his hat!  He's been dragged about that 'Andy Pandy'. He's a 90's boy rag a muffin man. We won't talk about 'Raggedy Anne' she's stuffed in the linen cupboard with half her hair pulled out. She was never as popular as Andy.

The Sewing Pattern I used to make Andy was McCall's 5567. If you ever find one it makes a good sized 36"Andy Pandy and Raggedy Anne.

The two on Andy and the other
on the bush in the right of the photo
 Andy Pandy in his rather crumpled hat.
Raggedy Anne  with her  8ply wool hair.
What a big mistake that was it fell out
when she was played with...
McCall's Crafts 5567

Bernina 801: Removing the Needle Holder Screw

To remove the needle holder screw you need to unscrew it with a screwdriver. It's a very easy way to change your sewing machine needle. The Bernina 801 Sewing Machine came with a little black screw driver with a wee prong in the middle especially for this purpose.

Don't worry if you have lost yours or have not got one, you can still get your sewing machine needle out. Just use a small screwdriver that fits into the top of the screw, a ordinary flat sided screwdriver will do the trick. I am unsure if you can replace or even buy the black screwdriver. It really is a real gem if you have one keep it!

If you've lost your screw (needle clamp screw) for the Bernina 801 needle holder it might be possible to replace it with one similar....A sewing repair shop may have something or hardware store. Because it is just the thread on the screw that is holding the needle in place when you tighten it. You just need something that fits..

Ready to remove the sewing machine
The original  black metal screwdriver  you
use to remove the needle holder screw
Very easy to unscrew, I really like this
 type of needle holder...I can  see it!
Nearly there....
Having the prong on the screw driver
 makes it easier to remove and still
hold onto the screw
This is what the needle clamp screw
looks like....
The front view of the needle
holder screw
Now you are ready to pull the needle out
and replace it. Next you then place the
screw back into the needle holder and
re-screw tightly

Bernina 801: Removing the Frame Cover

How do you open the top (the frame cover) of your Bernina 801 sewing machine....Even I forget and I guess I haven't done this for awhile because my button was really stuck! My poor machine is getting tired and old. I must look under there more often (perhaps it need a little oil).

The release knob...
Press the release knob...
The frame cover can now be removed..
Now you can look inside

Beach Bag Number Two

There goes another piece of fabric gone out of my stash. It has been there since about 2001 when I made school cushions out of it. The only problem I had sewing this fabric was my straight stitching went wonky when using both my Juki and Bernina 801. The sewing machines didn't like it.

Probably though I needed new needles or a much better thread for both machines (I used overlocking). In the end after unpicking my wonky stitches I persevered and sewed the bag with my old Bernina 801.

For this bag I bought the strapping, the canvas
fabric was too thick to make straps with
Because I sewed with yellow thread
I had to unpick the wonky stitches..

Granny was a Dressmaker

I've been having a tidy up and I found my Granny's sewing machine photo. This was her new Singer machine and the last one she used. It was then passed down to my Aunt. I don't know where it is now (wished I had it). It's a Singer Fashion Mate 237 it's supposed to have a really good satin stitch.
Close-up....(source Google)
We are such lucky sewers these days with all our fancy sewing machines. In my Gran's day you only had a plain basic mechanical sewing machine...Oh how I would have loved to see how Granny sewed everything and what finishes she used to tidy up her seams. Here is a pic showing some of the dresses she made for her girls, she dressed them all alike...

The sewing machine at my Aunties house in the
  late 90's. I think the Singer Fashion Mate 237
 is from the 1960's

Big Beach Bag

I've just finished sewing my white cherry oil cloth fabric. It's been in my stash for ages. I didn't have enough to make the bag all in white so I used scraps left over from the cushion cover I made.

The tutorial I referred to was the Oil Cloth Beach Bag
Also here is another similar Beach Bag tutorial
found here.

Was the tutorial easy to follow?
It was very easy to follow I just printed it out and followed the instructions. My bag didn't have as high pockets on one side as in the tutorial, I ran out of fabric. I also made my straps thinner because I ran out of white fabric as well.

When the beach bag was finished it was a perfect size for the beach. Though my pockets were not perfect I accidentally cut one side of the pockets too short (I think I was half asleep!).  But I sewed the two pieces of fabric together to make do.

Would I make this again?
Yes I would and what I really like is my bag is waterproof and it does makes the hassle of sewing oil cloth worthwhile.
What I'd Change:
Next time I will make the pockets a bit deeper.
Changes I did Make:
I put a zipped pouch, attached by a strap to the side seams for make-up etc. I also attached a ring to a strap inside so you can clip your keys onto it.

The  oil cloth and tutorial print-out
Joining the straps together....
Just like making bias
Making the thin straps...clips to hold
I'm totally getting the evil eye...
Placing the straps ready to sew...
A bit tricky as I was trying not to
use pins
Sewing the straps on using
the Bernina 801
The make-up pouch it's actually
 square but doesn't look it in the pic
Some hard core sewing today...
Finally finished
Now  it's all ready to fill with towels...

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