Posted on: January 20, 2013

After thinking and heart searching and planning, I have finally got my sewing project off the ground. I have volunteered to teach sewing to local women through the Women’s Centre, every Friday afternoon. We have four sewing machines and a lovely light room. ‘My ‘ ladies vary from experienced to little knowledge and am looking forward to meeting them again this week. Woop Woop!!!


Bed canopies

in fact, not canapes – totally different thing. We go away to sunnier climes each summer, where my son and I get mithered by moquitoes. I get a bad reaction…swelling and the urge to scratch myself raw. So Ebay offered the opportunity to buy a bed canopy pattern and relief from those pesky varmints…   and so to work.

Having replaced the nets for blinds in my craft room, and given up trying to keep the nets clean in the conservatory, I already had the makings of a start on this project. I also visited Abakhan – well known in the UK for fabrics, both remnants and seconds. My daughter chose a printed net for the opening, and my son opted for a green top to his. I also had a lemon sheet which wouldn’t stay on any bed (!) and so decided to use that too. Next stop kitchen table as hubby  is redecorating my craft room, albeit rather slowly!

Bed canopy

The pattern description makes me think that the

curtains will be long enough to completely cover the

bed,thus keeping out the flying fiends.

First of all the top triangular pieces had to be sewn together. I added the hanging loop when I stitched the final piece in. I also used embroidery thread so that the inside of the canopy was as nice as the outside. In the following photograph to can see the first past finished, ready for the decorative part (bottom of pic.) to be added.

I used some old parts of a lampshade for the support to keep the top part in a circle, which is hidden by the decorative flaps, and sewed it in by hand.  I then measured and cut the net as per the pattern, and sewed the pieces together into one curtain. I also finished off each seam by tucking it under itself and sewing down. Known as a French seam.  This looks much neater when done and helps prevent fraying.

The hardest part – pleating and pinning all the net into place ready for sewing. Yes I know you can do it by drawing a thread through to gather it, but I prefer to do it this way – bit of a control freak!

Once pinned, I had to manoeuvre the canopy through the machine, ensuring I didn’t catch any other parts at the same time! Almost done…

I finished the canopy off by double checking the length and turning up a narrow hem before turning again a 1.5 inch hem. This helps give it weight. There. Done. And now for the next one.

I finished up with three nets, each individual to it’s owner, ready to hang.


fabric close up

Hello there! I have been busy these last few days. Apart from the usual house work stuff, and getting ready for visitors this Easter weekend that is. I decided to go ahead and make a skirt and jacket with some gorgeous checked fabric I had in my stash. Black, white and cerise pink, with a hint of sparkle – which just so goes with some glazed cotton I have. I can see the cotton evolving into several tops…

Being rather apple shaped, I had the challenge of adapting the pattern to fit me.

  1. I laid it out, and used a ruler to take the cutting line for my hip size, to the cutting line for my waist, then drew a new line  in between the two. Dead easy! I also remembered to extend the waistband by the same amount.
  2. I started making up by sewing up the back seam to the notch marking the bottom of the zip, then stopped. I restarted using a longer stitch to just baste the seam where the zip would go.
  3. I laid the zip on the seam, and pinned. Using the zipper foot, I sewed it in from the right side so I could ensure it looked neat, going down from the top on each side, finishing the second side by taking the stitches across the bottom of the zip.
  4. Removed the basting stitches for a perfect finish!
  5. I sewed up the side seams, pressing after each one (such a must – much better fit and finish for doing this), then attached the waistband with pins. And stopped. To find a jacket pattern. Eventually settled on a raglan sleeved pattern – just a little different to contrast the plain skirt.

Ready to sew the waistband on

After shortening the pattern above the waist – I’m a very short person – vertically challenged to be polite about it, I cut out the jacket, lining and interfacing, fixing the interfacing with the iron.

Now I must get back to cleaning ready for my sister in law and two little girls to stay. Am so looking forward to seeing them! Will probably have to restart the knitting lessons I started at Christmas though…


G has made her first attempt at sewing – a cushion. Good place to start you may think, but she chose a difficult fabric – fake fur. Having said that, ensuring that she pinned carefully and stitched slowly, it came together very well indeed. This is how we she did it:

  1. ~ Measured the cushion foam and added 1.5 inches to each side to allow for seams, the cut two pieces
  2. ~ Pinned the zip to one piece, right sides together
  3. ~ Sewed the zip using the zipper foot, with the foot hard up against the zip, and the needle moved over so as not to stitch too near it

Trying to sew the other piece to the zip proved to be too difficult due to the bulk of the fabric, so after opening the zip…

  1. ~ Pinned and sewed the other cushion side to the other side of the zip.
  2. ~ Pinned and sewed the three other sides of the cushion right sides together.
  3. ~ Cut the corners of the cushion off just outside the stitching to reduce bulk

~ Voila! one funky fur fabric cushion!

G then used a bodkin, to gently teased the fur out of the seams to create a better finish. I’m very proud of her efforts.

Where has the week flown to? I know I’ve been kept busy, but  I think Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday just popped in to say hello then disappeared again!

My leisure time was used by finishing a loose top and cross stitching for a friend. Well, a friend of of a friend, well, a friend’s daughter in fact. I have designed a capital letter ‘V’ in fuschia, and added some scrollwork in Black. I love the contrast of the two colours and seeing the ‘picture’ grow. Had a bit of bother with it – guess I needed an eye test.

So, I took myself (and my daughter Georgia for fashion guidance) to the optician. Yup, new bins for close work needed… Oh the joys of trying on frames when you can’t see without peering into the mirror from 2 cms away. To cut to the chase, G and I found a funky but not daft pair to suit me – ordered varifocals – no more changing glasses for surfing the net or driving. Now all I need is a complete makeover to match the new specs!


My new bins

My Boys

My Boys

Hi! I am Lesley, often known as Les but will answer to most things. I want to share my love of home making crafts such as sewing, cooking, crafting, cross stitch and… well, you get the idea. I share my home in the UK with gorgeous hubby and two teenagers, two dogs and a cat. I love making things and saving money and resources into the bargain, so welcome to my blog!


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