Sewing With Jersey

So, I’ve never actually tried to sew something with jersey, and don’t actually know how to go about it, but the sewing pattern that I’ve been doing would be perfect in jersey. So I thought I would give it a go!

To start, I decided to look up anything I needed to know about jersey. I found all kinds of tips and tricks about needles, fabric, and techniques to get the most out of it.

The then made some little sample of sewing to see what worked best and what I liked. I read that the best stitch to use on jersey is a zigzag, that way the jersey keeps it stretch and the stitching won’t break. I also read that twin needle stitching was a good way of stitching hems and it has more stretch than a a line of single needle stitching. After reading this I actually found out that my sewing machine did twin needle stitching, and actually came with a twin needle! I would say that these samples helped with my jersey stitching, but after sewing a few seams I just revered back to doing a straight stitch in the widest setting. img_2803.jpg

To give the jersey sewing a go, I decided to go for a pattern that I had already sewn so I knew how it would end up. I chose the full-skirted dress in the Great British Sewing Bee book my mum bought me. I originally made this pattern out of cotton, but felt the sizing was a bit off as the top half was too small, but it gaped at the back (big boob problems…). So I thought that making it out of stretch fabric might make it fit a bit better.

I originally made the cotton dress out of a size 18 (!!!), I followed the measuring guide in the book and went by what I measured myself, rather than my usual dress (if I did that with the cotton dress I would never be getting that on!). So for a jersey dress I decided to go a few sizes down to factor in the stretch. For my first jersey dress I went for a size 14 hoping it would be a nice fit.

I sewing up the dress pretty much the same as the as I did the cotton one. The only thing I thought about cahnging was the neckline, I wanted to give a bias binding neckline a go but I tried it on a tester bodice I had earlier and it actually turned out awful! I didn’t know how to end the binding without it standing out too much, and I kept stretching out the neckline. I even looked up all kinds of blog posts and videos on how to do it but it just didn’t want to cooperate. In the end I decided to do the neck facing that was on the original pattern, that way I was less likely to stretch the neckline and it would make the seam look a lot cleaner.

The only other process I changed about the jersey dress process is to constantly steam each seam after every time I stitched it. I thought this would be the best way to combat the jersey stretching too much, and I definitly thought it helped.

After finishing the dress I was super happy! I didn’t stretch it out and the fit wasn’t too bad! However I still felt like I could do with a smaller size. So after I had this one I decided to make one in a size 12 aswell. (It’s a good thing I bought more jersey to sew with!)


For the size 12 one I basically did it the same as the size 14 one, but made the size a bit smaller. I also look in the skirt a little a little bit on the outside seam so it fitted better on the fabric when cutting out as I somehow messed something up. But it came out really well in the end and I definitly thought it fitted better than the original size 14 dress.



Christmas Crafting

So, this christmas I decided to make more things. As I now have more time to do it I thought it would be the perfect time to do it.

After the heat embossing working I kind of became obssessed with it! I have literally been stamping and embossing everything I possibly could. After I embossed some cards, I then thought it would be a cool idea to do some wrapping paper. At the beginning I thought this was a really great idea, and I loved the idea of having unique wrapping paper to give to everyone. However, after doing quite a few sheets of paper I found it really fustrating and the embossing powder kept going everywhere! I also made gift tags to match the wrapping paper.


Heat Embossing Workshop

I always love learning new skills, and one I have always wanted to give a try is heat embossing. I signed up for this workshop literally as soon as it was released in the workshop booklet, I was just so excited to do it!

To start the workshop, Katie talked through different the different products she had, and the different samples she had made and how they were done.

We started by simply giving heat embossing a go. We started by using a watermark stamp, then using coloured emboss powder over it and heating it up with a heat gun. The two owls didn’t turn out too well, but they were only my first go so I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. We then used coloured pigment stamp ink then a clear emboss powder over the top. This meant that the colour of the stamp would shine through and make the embossing looked coloured.


After that, we gave the coloured ink and clear embossing a go. However, this time we used watercolour over the top of them. I used my favourite pens for this, ecoline pens. Because the embossing created a cover over the ink, the watercolour just washed over it and creates a nice background.


Katie then showed us an even cooler technique. We used a black dye stamp pad to stamp a design down, then we used alcohol based markers, like promarkers or copics, to colour in the design. We then used an embossing pen over the top and sprinkled clear embossing powder over to cover it. I loved this technique and loved using the ecolines over the top to create lots of colour.


After we had learned all the differnt techniques, we had a go at creating cards and embellishing them with our embossing ideas. I started out a bit slow, but once I finished my first I started to get into it a bit more. My favourite is the crown card, I used my favourite technique on this one and it came out really well.

I loved this workshop, and definitly bought lots of bits from work to give it a go at home.



Mixed Media Sculpture Workshop

On Friday, I went on a sculpture workshop at work run by Lois Cordelia. I had singed up for this workshop ages ago, literally right after she did her first one at work. I saw what the students were doing last time and how much fun they were having and just thought about how much I would love to do it!

To start off, Lois talked through all her sculptures she had brought with her, and how she had made them. She also taked through the different bits and bots she had with her they she puts in her sculptures.

To start, we each had a pack of wire that’s to be used as the base of our models. This wire was super flexible so was perfect to make kinds of shapes. Lois suggested that we start trying to make a stick man. Here are the start of the legs on my stick man.


I continued with the rest of the wire until I got my little man. It was suggested to twist the wire to make it stronger, so I wrapped the wire all around the model to keep its shape. The second picture is my finished stick man.

As I finished my stick man early, I started on another model. I thought I would try and go for something different so I tried to make a mermaid. I found it a little tricky to get the tail shape right, but I just tried to experiment and see what I liked. I liked this shape because looked like she was sitting down.


After both the models were done, I moved on to creating a hook for the back of my stickman. I used a pipecleaner to wrap it around the body and create a loop at the back so she could be hung up.


I then moved onto the mod rock part of it. We cut up lots of strips of the plaster then had a tub of what to dip the plaster in, then wrapped in around the wire to get the desired shape. My original idea of this model was going to be a girl ina dress. However, the more I worked on this one, the more the idea changed. After I covered the whole of it in plaster, I started to make a skirt shape out of tin foil. I used shorter pieces of tin foil, then made it longer the more it was reinforced. I wanted the skirt to stand out so tin foil then plaster over the top was the best to use.


I let my stickman dry and moved onto my mermaid. I did the same thing as the stickman and started to build up the plaster to get the shape I wanted. I wanted to give this one more of a rough texture so I added in some pipecleaners and some pompoms. I wrapped some more plaster over some of the pipecleaners and pompoms to make it look like bits are growing on her. I then started to add in some paint with the plaster. I liked how Lois did this because gives it a more natural look.


I moved back onto the stickman again. I reinforced the skirt again, then realised that it would look perfect with some wings. I twisted some pipecleaners together then plastered them onto the back. I loved these wings and thought they made my model look like a fairy. This is how I had to leave her because I had to leave her as we ran out of time.


September Product of the Month – Fimo Clay

For my September PotM, I decided to do Fimo. I did a workshop on fimo at the end of august, so fimo was fresh on my mind at the time. As my workshop was all about making fuit canes, I thought this could be my example was the board. I had to think of a way of displaying the fruits so they could be on show, and came up with the idea to stick them on drawing pins, that way they have a use too! However, I did get carried away and make way too many pins because they are so much fun to make.


Fimo Fruit How-to

For my fimo workshop, I made a print out on how to make fruit canes. As They thought it was quite helpful, I post it here incase anyone else wants to give it a go.

  1. Start by selecting colours for your fruit –
  2. For the oranges I used: tangerine, translucent orange, and white. For the limes I used: apple green, green lime, and white.


2. Choose the lighter orange colour for the orange segments. Roll it out into a circle shape.


3. Roll out a thin piece of white fimo.


4. Cut the circle shape in half, being carefully not to lose the shape of the circle too much.


5. Place the flat edge of the orange segment onto  the white, cut round the white to fit the shape of the orange piece. Do the same with the other orange segment.


6. After both pieces have been done, cut the segments in half again and repeat step 5 with the white fimo.

7. Repeat step 4 and half again until you have 8 segments with white surrounding all but the outer edge.


8. Push all the segments together to create the orange shape.


9. Roll out another long piece of white fimo.


10. Place the orange on its side and roll it up over the white fimo, cut it to fit at the same time.


11. Keep doing this until the whole outer edge is surrounded by white fimo.


12. Roll out a long strip of the colour of the outer edge of the fruit.


13. Do the same as the white fimo in step 10, and roll up the fimo to fit the outer edge of the fruit.


14. Now your fimo is starting to look like a fruit!


15. Start to roll out your fruit into a cane. Start out  very slow and gentle to get in into the right shape. Don’t worry about the ends of the fruit as they will be cut off.


16. Keep rolling out the cane to make it longer and smaller.


  17. Once your happy with the size, carefully cut it in half to see your end result. when cutting, do it very slowly, and roll the cane at the same time of cutting it to make sure it doesn’t lose it’s shape too much.


18. And you now have your fruit cane ready to be cut! The best way to cut the cane is to bake it in the oven first, then cut it when it comes out to have the perfect fruit shape.


Cutting and Baking

19. You can either cut your fruit before you bake it, then bake it in lots of little slices. Or you can bake the bake the cane as it is, then cut it up afterwards.

20. If cutting before you bake, you need to harden up the cane to make sure you don’t squish it or lose it’s shape. I put mine in the fridge for a little bit for it to harden up, then I cut it into slices ready for the oven.

21. Put it in the oven at 110 degrees and for 30  minutes for it to harden up nicely.

22. When I bake mine, I covered up the clay with clingfilm, to protect the clay from the heat. I also made a little zigzag tray to put canes in so that they would keep their shape when baking.

Fimo Fruit Workshop

On Wednesday, I held a workshop to at Tindalls on how to make fimo fruit canes. I used to make canes when I was younger, but I haven’t done it in years so I had to have a little practice on how to do it.

To prepare for the workshop, I made a little selection of fruits to show in the workshop. I also picked out a nice range of fimo colours for the workshop, I thought that if people wanted to make proper fruit then they could, or they could use whatever colours they want.

To start, I demonstrated how to make a fruit cane, and the students followed along with me. I also made a how-to sheet so if they got lost they could read it, or they could take it at the end of the workshop so they can make them at home. We started by making a simple fruit cane, so they could get the idea of how to do it. Then once they got the hang of it, they could experiment with colours and pattens to make what they like. The first cane started out slow, but it was just because they were just getting the hang of it. The hardest part was probably the rolling and cutting. It takes a bit of practice to work out how to get the rolling motion, but everyone did really well and ended up with some really good fimo pieces.

So my fimo fruits, I started by making a blood orange style fruit. I did a pink and yellow inside then a red rind. And for my second cane, I wanted to experiment with something different. I did an alternating yellow and orange segments, a green inside seperating them, and a red rind again. I was really happy with the bright colours of these and couldn’t wait to bake them. I also put some of these on some drawing pins so I can use them like the other fruits.