Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pretty infinity scarf tutorial

So it's been a little chilly up here in North Qld over winter, which never happens! Winter in north qld is normally still warm with some cool weather for approx 2 weeks (it's true I know we shouldn't actually call it winter it's really cool summer weather). BUT! This winter has had some really chilly mornings. I never thought I'd ever get back into my flanny pjs living up here but I was wrong!

I decided to make a nice light scarf to wear on the mornings I was going to freeze. I have a lovely stash of Mercer and Tule fabric that I'm in love with at the moment. I also chose to use some lovely peach chevron fabric from Dear Stella and I just happened to score the last of the bolt for free too so that was an added bonus!

To make the scarf, I followed Katy's tutorial over at Sweet Verbena. Her tutorial is so simple and easy to follow! She made her scarf out of lace with a backing fabric.  I had a hunt around on Pinterest for other tutes and loved Katy's explanation of what to do.

I made one scarf exactly according to Katy's measurements (18 x 45 inches) using the Tule by Leah Duncan fabric. I used two fabrics either side to make the scarf and by following the instructions just chose one side of the fabric as the 'backing' as per Katy's tute.

I used the chevron spot as the backing for one side and the
triangle fabric for the other. 

Whala! The finished product! I love this fabric combo!
Copyright 2014. Pink Tulip Designs all rights reserved.

For my second scarf I wanted to use my gorgeous dear stella chevron fabric. One problem I had though is that I only had one yard.  In Katy's tute she says to use a 45 inch x 18 inch rectangle. So for the length I didn't have enough fabric. I wanted my chevrons to go across the body yet they would only fit if I had 45 inches of fabric in length. So I decided to make the scarf shorter and see how it went.
I used my one yard to make up the scarf length (36 inches instead of 45) and kept the width the same.  I thought the scarf would turn out too short but it was the perfect length!  I actually like the shorter length on me as I'm tall and the scarf sits perfectly.

Copyright Pink Tulip Designs 2014. Do not reproduce without permission. 

If you wanted to make a scarf to double around your neck you could try doubling the length and seeing how you go. A good way to measure is with your measuring tape wrapped around your neck like the scarf. You could even make a 1.5 times length scarf so you could wear it with one bigger loop at the bottom and a shorter one at the top.

And don't worry, if you can't sew, we'll be releasing some of these gorgeous scarves for next winter. I should have them in our store by April '15 for our grand reopening! ♥

Happy sewing!

Kate x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

One great love..."Burda"

I haven't spent much time in my sewing studio lately. I miss immersing myself in my sewing books and Burda Style sewing magazines and it's obvious they've been gathering dust! It's been a long time since I've sewn anything for myself (we're talking 6 months!) so I thought I'd share with you a dress I made a while ago. I still haven't got the time to sew as yet, there are too many things going on around me, including a house renovation - eeek!

I have been a longtime lover of Burda patterns. I love their european style and the patterns are easy to follow. I have a few of the Burda magazines and early in 2012 I joined their Burda Style website and must admit, I didn't use it all that often (too much PTD sewing going on!). It wasn't until my holidays that I realised how fabulous this site really is! It has to be the one site that now takes up most of my down time!

So what is Burda Style? It's a website that delves into the world of the Burda Style sewing magazine. You can peruse and purchase the latest patterns, browse through the sewing resources and tips and see what other seamstresses around the world have made! There are crafty projects on there too and you can share other creations you've made from other patterns and even add your own pattern. The best section I have found is the projects section - basically when you find a Burda pattern you're thinking about purchasing, you can see the other 'projects' aka items other seamstresses have made from the same pattern. It's good to see what the patterns look like on people too and not just a model.

I love that the patterns are only $5.40AUD approx and are an instant download too! If you sign up for a free account, the patterns you purchase will save to your account so you can access them again and it's easy to remember which patterns you already have. I did find some of the instructions, depending on the pattern, a little vague with not enough detail at times, however Burda are going through the patterns and updating/adjusting their instructions to make the patterns easier to follow.

Burda Style magazine is available in Australia from selected newsagents for around $15 and the magazines include the latest patterns. The patterns come as a paper insert and you just copy the pieces you need from the sheet. To make the process of copying easier, there are Burda tracing kits available from Spotlight stores too.
If you love it as much as I do you can apply directly through Burda for a subscription which is much cheaper than subscribing through one of the Aussie companies offering the subscriptions. You just send an email to Burda and ask that you'd like the english version (otherwise you may end up with the German version which is printed in German).

So what have I made from Burda so far? I made this has an elastic waist and slips over your head. There are no zips and is a great beginner pattern. Here's the link to the pattern:

Image courtesy Burda Style

Image from Burda Style
Here is my version:

copyright PTD 2014

I loved this pattern and will definately be using it again! I made the dress out of cotton sateen fabric and made a couple of changes to the pattern: I didn't add the arm band cuffs as I was happy with the length of the sleeves so I just hemmed them and I didn't add the elastic waist as I love my tanned belt and thought it suited the dress. I did add the button holes to the waist just in case I want to add the elastic later. This dress was very easy to make and took me around 2 hours to cut the fabric and sew the dress together. I have a couple of other fabrics to try with this dress. It's such a relaxed fit too. I think next time I will make a slightly smaller one as it's a little on the big side.

Other projects I am currently working on is a shift dress made from eyelet. I bought some gorgeous fabric from Tessuti fabrics on a trip to Melbourne. They have gorgeous dress fabrics perfect for that extra special project. They also have sewing classes and gorgeous lace from France!

Happy Sewing!

Kate x

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Seamless Seamstress ♥

What makes a good seamstress? I'm sure if we asked the seamstresses of the world there would be a million different answers! I think there are lots of things which make for a talented seamstress. For one there's experience, it's the time that you've been sewing for and honing your craft. It's like driving a car, you get your learners permit and then your provisional licence and then after some years your skills improve (although some people are bad drivers after many years too!). Sewing is the same really and I think no matter how experienced you are, you will always continue to learn ♥. I also think it comes down to the 'tools of the trade'; those items in your sewing room or little kit which make the process of sewing so much easier!

So here I'm sharing with you the items (some of them sacred like the sewing scissors) I have in my sewing kit - I won't include everything otherwise the post would be soooo long, but here's the top things I am always using out of my kit. ♥

A good pair of sewing shears - I love Mundial scissors, they make great knives and sewing scissors! I love these scissors as they cut beautifully and are a great fit for your hands. They come in both left and right hand versions which is even better. They also come with a plastic blade cover to keep little hands away. When I was little my brother cut up the loungeroom curtains and my mother was horrified. She'd spent hours making these velvet curtains (it was the 80's) only to find the light coming through when she pulled them closed; the lesson was learnt!

Snips - I love these, they are my favourite tool. Get a great pair as you will use them all the time and cheaper versions tend not to be as sharp. Snippers are great to trim threads and are quick and easy to handle rather than picking up chunky scissors. I have multiple pairs as I always forget where I put them.

Pins - sharp berry head pins are a must for pinning patterns and garments.
the more expensive the pins the better they are. To keep them nice and sharp use a pin cushion filled with sand to sharpen the heads when not in use.

Cutting mat, rotary cutter and sewing ruler - these are great to cut nice straight sleeves for some of my patterns. If you're cutting multiple pieces of fabric they're great too. Patchwork and quilting folk use the cutters constantly to cut all those nice geo shapes out. Remember that you pay for what you get.

The iron - washing and ironing fabric before it's used is a must! Ironing your pattern pieces, fabric and pressing your seams as you go results in a better garment being made. It takes extra time but you can definitely see the difference in your finished pieces.

Bias binding tool - if you ever need to make your own binding this is a great tool and it's cheap! There are bias binding machines out there now but I like this version as I buy most of my binding and make it if I need binding to match my dress fabrics. This tool allows you to thread the binding through and will turn the edges so all you have to do is press the fabric - no more burnt fingers!

Good quality thread - I can't stress this one enough! Good thread means beautifully finished garments that will last. Cheap thread will break and can cause problems with your machine. Gutermann makes lovely thread.

Bodkin - a great tool to thread elastic or ribbon through casings and nice and cheap to buy. Or use a safety pin but thread the pin the opposite way in, that way the pin won't prick you as you thread the elastic through the casing and it won't get caught in the casing either.

Sewing presser foot for zippers - I use my Pfaff zipper foot to no end - it's one presser foot I couldn't live without. Zips are so easy to put in, once you have a little practice you'll be zipping zips in no time! Generally all sewing machines come with the foot, it's the foot that is half the size of the general foot.

And that's about the list of my favourite things.  There's lots of other items out there to make the process easier. What's your 'favourite' tool you use all the time? Feel free to leave us a tip or trick that you like to use!

Happy sewing,

Kate x

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Two thousand and thirteen

I do love a new year. It's a time for reflection, even if we're not the overly reflecting type!
For Pink Tulip, we've had such a big 2012 and thank you all for being part of it.  We're very proud of the work and effort we have put in to our little pink tulip over the past year and couldn't have done it without you all. You've made it extra special for us and we've met so many of you, it feels like we have a new bunch of friends. A couple of you have let us into your lives and shown us how lovely our pink tulip pretties look on your little ones too so thankyou!! We love seeing piccies of your little one's, they grow up so fast!

 2012 has been great for us and it has also been a challenge, that's for sure. But if it wasn't challenging would we learn anything? Would we grow? I don't think so. Change is not facilitated by walking down 'easy' street.  Adversity makes us stronger and a better individual for it. It enables us to grow, learn, ignore the bad and to stop sweating the small stuff.  This year we have definitely grown and we are emerging into the 'fresh handmade' business we are and love!
Image Copyright pink tulip designs 2012

We have also had time to reflect and we've decided to make a couple of small changes coming into the new year. Myself and my seamstress assistant Marilyn (love you mum!), will continue to sew and I'll sew when I can. So for the first half of this year we will no longer take custom orders. We do love our custom orders too, we love seeing how creative you guys are with fabric combinations and styles, but for myself, I can't put as much time as I'd like to into them for the first half of this year. Sometimes they take away the creativity we'd like to unleash on the world. It also means less time to sew for our market nights and online store. So for the first half of the year, we'll make you some gorgeous outfits and they'll be available on either our facebook page or our online store. We'll keep you updated with new releases and new fabrics. Yes you know that Heather Bailey lives here and the lovely Jennifer Paganelli also makes an appearance (we love gorgeous fabrics). We have some new styles in the works too.

Image courtesy Heather
We have an abundance of fabric too so there will be no shortage of gorgeous things that's for sure, so we'll have more one of a kind pretties. We'll also look into having a market night or two over the first half of the year so that there's more of a chance to get a hold of our goodies. Our homewares range is expanding too, we'll still be stocking gorgeous brands including My Wooden Heart, Bush to Beach candles and Robert Gordon homewares. These will be available in our online store.

So why is it we're changing the way things are? The reason is this...I need to finish my study - it's my master's actually. I have been studying whilst sewing and working full time and the time has come to write the last of my masters, a research project.  If only the project could be about sewing, I'd pass with flying colours (they'd probably tell me I'm way over the word count too!) However, it's not about sewing, it's about forensic science actually (yep science lover here) so I need to devote some much needed time to accomplish this.

We're also in the process of unleashing our new website later in the new year too. It's been in the works for sometime now but we haven't had the time to finish the final tweaks ♥

So here's to 2013 and a more unique and fresh pink tulip. We have thoroughly enjoyed our break over Christmas and feel refreshed to start the new year. Hopefully our custom orders will be back in the second half of the year, we know how much you love a custom order! Thanks for being here and here's to a wonderful 2013 to you all! x

Happy 2013!! (Image copyright pink tulip designs 2012).