Monday, 10 February 2014

Frilly pinny...go retro!

I have no idea why, but I had an urge to make a frilly pinny. My daughter moved out to student digs while she is at uni and my son quickly moved into her newly vacated and still warm bedroom. Down came the home made gingham curtains and up went denim style. The fabric for her curtains came from IKEA a few years ago (well six actually, but it feels like last week) and I still like it. At the time I made the curtains, there was enough fabric over to make a table cloth and napkins too. This time I thought I could up-cycle to frilly pinny. Here is how it went....

The gingham fabric are the curtains and the black and white large daisy fabric is the duvet cover from my daughters old bedroom.

I did a quick sketch of how I want the pinny to look.

Then made a paper pattern for it. I like to draw the design of the pattern onto a large brown envelope, then use the envelope to store the pattern.

Carefully lay out the pattern onto the fabric and cut out the pieces.

 The design is reversible so I cut out one of everything in each of the fabrics.

The large daisy design had different coloured centres for the daisies. As the curtains are black, white and yellow, I was careful to cut out a large daisy with a yellow centre to stay in the colour theme.

Once all the pieces are cut out, arrange them in a way that pleases you. I wanted to have elements of both fabrics on each side of the apron.

Press the seam allowance under for the pockets.
 After sewing the hem on the upper part of the pocket, place the pocket on to the apron having first marked the placement of the pocket with tailor tacks, then sew around the sides and bottom of the pocket being sure to sew a little triangle on each upper corner of the pockets to add a little extra strength.

Press each piece you have sewn to give a professional finish.

This next step is very straight forward. Sew the waist ties (wrong sides together, pull through to the right side and press) then sew on to the apron according to the markings on your pattern.

This is a fiddly bit - the neck loop. Press the frill for the neck loop in half and sew two rows of gathering stitch along the raw edges. Next, gather the frill by pulling the two rows of stitch at the same time having first secured one end of the stitches with a pin, then pin the frill to one of the neck loops.

You can just see in the picture above how I have wound the ends of the gathering threads around a pin to stop the gathers falling out.

Sew the frill onto one side of the neck loop. The trick here is to make sure you sew in between the rows of gathering stitches. This gives an even gather when you have finished and avoids pleats being created as opposed to gathers. 

After you have stitched the frill, carefully pull out the gathering stitches. Pull out from the thread that is face up. If you try to pull both the spool thread and the bobbin thread (the thread on the underside of the fabric) the threads will knot and you won't be able to pull them out in one easy step. Do ensure you pull them out though. Gathering threads that have been left in look scruffy and give the finished item an amateur finish. 
Pin the other half of the neck loop, right sides together to the frill and corresponding neck loop. Sew together.

With right sides out and pressed, pull the bottom loop raw edge over the top neck loop raw edge and pin to give a bound look.

Carefully sew along the inside edge.

This picture is not clear to see, but I have now pinned the neck loop to the top of the apron and sewn in place.

The two pictures above show the construction of the apron frill. As the pieces are quite long (twice the length of the edge of the apron going down one side, along the bottom and up the other side) I cut each length in two pieces then sewed them together. The top picture shows the corner trimmed after sewing. This gives a nice sharp corner when the fabric is turned the right way out.

Gather the frill using two rows of gathering stitches and pin to the bottom part of the apron.

Sew in place, remove the gathering stitches and press.

Now push the frill in towards the centre of the apron.

Take the reverse piece of apron which will have it's pocket already sewn on, and place it over the piece of apron you have just been working on. Make sure all the frills, loops and belt pieces are all tucked in well towards the centre so that there is no chance of accidentally pinning or sewing them in any place other than where you want them to be. Pin both apron pieces together. Take your time doing this.

Sew all the way round, but, make sure you leave an opening down one side of the bib part of the pinny for bagging out. At this stage that is exactly what it looks like...a bag!

Trim the edges and clip the corners.

Pull it all the right way through. This bit always feels very satisfying.

Take your time carefully pressing the seams to give it a nice crisp finish.

 Not easy to see in this picture, but I have machine stitched close to the open edge.

And there you have it! A reversible, frilly pinny.

Have a go at making one. If you want a copy of the pattern, I will happily make one for you and send it to you (for a small and very reasonable fee), also, please leave comments and feed back.
Thanks for looking, come back soon x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Holly and The Ivy....

  • Christmas stockings made (tick)
  • Christmas tree up (tick)
  • Cards sent (tick)
  • Door decorations ...(to do)

Being broke but still wanting to make the effort to make the house look festive and inviting, I had a rummage to see what I had in the way of decorations, foraged for greenery, checked out what bits and pieces I had in the garage, and this is what I found...
By the way, I have never made these things before, so I made it up as I went along. I guessed that the coat hangers could do with loosing their hooks, so off they came.

Then a sort of frame work would be needed to support the holly and ivy.
A few twists of garden wire did the trick.
What do I do next? Weave the ivy in and out of the wire frame like so,
Build it up and tie it in with more garden wire,

Add some pretty decorations,

Thread some more garden wire across the back for hanging on a screw or something similar, take it out side, hang it up and admire.

Not bad!
That's the back of the house done, now for the front.
Only having an old wooden coat hanger to work with, I started in much the same way as for the wire coat hanger. 
Loosely twist garden wire around the hanger.
Start weaving and tying in what bits of foliage you have,
Build it up.
Add the pretty stuff. Just stick it in, weave it in between the wire and stalks of the foliage, or tie in with garden wire.
Tie in a hanging wire across the back.
Hang on the door, stand back and admire.
I actually tied mine to the door knocker in an attempt to make it theft proof.
As always, have a go, have fun, and Merry Christmas everyone xxxx