Patterned Skirt

I’m in the process of updating my work wardrobe ready for the start of term. I’ve been buying a few pieces but also making some myself. I’ve almost finished the ‘Anderson Blouse’, I just need to redo the bottom hem as I’m not happy with the way it turned out.

I’ve had a pattern from Burda for a panelled stretchy skirt for a while, so I thought it about time to start making it.

I had this textured black jersey in my stash. I thought it would work well with the panels.

Annoyingly Burda patterns that you print yourself require all the seam and hem allowances to be added. Fortunately, I had a little sewing gauge that makes this so much easier.

I also had to get out my other sewing machine (which I got at a car boot sale for £6). It does a lovely zigzag stitch, but it is a little fiddly to set up. These are the controls for setting the zigzag.

It was really easy to refurbish and now works like a dream. I keep thinking I should get a more modern machine, so I have a choice of straight or zigzag (without having to change machines!).

After cutting out all the pieces for the skirt, I did a test sew to check the zigzag worked ok on the fabric. Fortunately, I had lots of spare fabric.

It worked perfectly, so now I need to start sewing together the numerous panels.

My daughter’s 15th birthday is rapidly approaching, so I needed to work out what to get her. It just so happens that she has recently been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum (which has answered so many questions!).

She has used heavy things (like sofa cushions) for years to help calm herself when she gets upset, so when she found out about weighted blankets it seemed like an ideal potential present. The only problem is they are expensive!

So after lots of research into sites like Sharing the Weight, I figured I could make one myself.

So here is the first stage of making a weighted blanket:

I bought fabric.

My daughter loves Sharks, and I managed to find this printed quilting fabric called Yikes!

I also picked up some red fleece for the back and plain black polio to line the fleece (as I had read that the fleece can make it difficult to get plastic pellets in).

I stitched together a large rectangle inside out so that when I turned it the right way round I would get a Shark, Poplin, Fleece sandwich.

Approximate size after sewing is 40″ across and more than 50″ high. I’m going to trim the height once I work out how many rows I want. But I’m aiming for 10 x 4″ columns.

I then topstitched around the sides and base. Next weekend I am going to see the columns and start filling them with poly beads. I have already purchased 4kg of poly beads from a shop called Tinkerbell Creations (as they were the most cost-effective I found in the UK).

I’m a little worried about sewing the beads into the blanket as it is already quite unwieldy when sewing, but that is mainly because I’m sewing on a hand crank machines. So I only have 1 hand to support and steer the fabric. I already have some spectacular scratches on my arms from the pins, so let’s see how mangled I get next weekend!

While looking around the car boot sale that happens every Sunday near me, I came across this beautiful sewing machine.

You can see that I’ve already bought it and taken it home! I was astounded when the lady on the stall sold it to me for just £6! It even came in its case.

I’ve been scouring the Internet all week trying to find out what kind of machine it is. I’m pretty sure its a Brother 651 (originally by the company Jones, who were taken over by Brother in 1968). I haven’t managed to date it, but I reckon it’s 1950s or 1960s.

It needs some work doing to it, for example, it’s missing its feed dog cover.

But I found one on eBay, so that’s on its way. It does need a lot of cleaning! And I will be replacing the motor on the back. But as there seem to be quite a few YDK rear mount motors available in various online shops, this shouldn’t be too hard.

Annoyingly the top section catch is broken, so the flap won’t stay down. But I have a workshop and a 3D printer, so I think I’ll be able to sort something out!

I’m quite excited to see how this progresses.

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