Dreams of summer garden

A little bit of an unusual premise for this blog- fabrics & garment inspo that remind me of the gardens of Piet Oudolf (see more here and also here).

Piet Oudolf designed the high line garden/park in NYC, and all of the fabrics suggested here are from nz fabric stores.

Designer End – Fun Spring Colour Viscose Lawn $22 pm from The Fine Cloth Company

Oval Shank Button etched vine floral design from Drapers Fabrics

Wintergarden Sateen Double Georgette – Night $26.00 per metre from The Fabric Store

Abstracty fabrics

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Gifts for makers

It’s that time of year when you’re maybe thinking about stocking-stuffers to buy for yourself.. But maybe you can just send the link to this page to your nearest and dearest and hope they take the hint?

Here’s a roundup of things which are mostly from NZ (with a few Aussie shops thrown in), which concentrates on small businesses. What’s a great makers gift that I’ve forgotten to include? Let me know in the comments!

Hand cream in a tube is perfect for leaving next to your machine!

Wicking fabrics like tencel really dry out your hands, so it’s great to moisturise during your sewing breaks!

Inside Voices Labels (NZ)

Designed right here in Christchurch! There’s an Inside Voices label for everyone.

Any of the gorgeous fabric remnants from McLean & Co who weave fabric from NZ wool down in Oamaru (pictured above)

Seam ripper and awl, double-ended from Miss Maude (NZ)

Hand turned and crafted from reclaimed native timbers of Aotearoa!

Repair kit in tin from Hawes & Freer (NZ)
Iron on patch from NZ
New Zealand Paua Shell Buttons from Wild and Wooly Yarns (NZ)
Sewist pin from Grandmother’s Garden (NZ)
You crafty bitch socks from Bolt of Cloth (NZ)
Wrist Pin Cushion from Miss Maude (NZ)
These are my dressy socks socks from Bolt of Cloth (NZ)
Rainbow 9″ scissors from Sew It (NZ)

Is it possible to feel sadness when you’re snipping threads with rainbow snips or scissors?

Hancock’s fabric marker starter set from Sewing Time (NZ)

A few strange additions:

Seersucker Searching

It’s official, I’m a sucker for seersucker! That delicious texture, that purposeful scrunch- I can see much more of it in my future now that the weather is warming up.

You know I love to shop local when I can, and that I’m also forever keeping up with what’s-in-stock locally, so I thought I’d round up a few of the seersuckers that I’ve spotted recently!

Fabric Box in Auckland added some seersuckers and I’ve never purchased so fast!

I love this pink one where the seersucker pattern is floral. They also have quite a few ‘self stripe’ fabrics which end up having a similar texture to seersucker.

The Fine Cloth Company have their finger on the pulse and have continued updating their seersuckers

Miss Maude has seersucker options– don’t be fooled by the seersucker category on her website being empty!

The Fabric Store currently has seersucker options, including this rainbow gingham!

Drapers Fabrics currently has quite a few seersucker options at the moment- lots of stripes!

If you’re after textured fabrics but searching for ‘seersucker’ brings no joy, you can try searching webstores with phrases like crinkle, self stripe, textured to see if you get fabrics with similar qualities.

Fab Fabrics in Auckland has 2 seersucker options, including the rich red to the left!

Valley Threads has this lovely cotton lawn seersucker among their shirting-weight fabric offerings.

Spotlight has some seersucker options in stock, including the fabric that I used for my hack of the M&B Melba Dress that I added a gathered skirt to.

I used the large gingham seersucker but there’s also a smaller gingham option.

Definitely not in NZ, Fabric Godmother in the UK has a lovely little selection of seersuckers (including some great colours).

What to sew with seersucker?

Seersucker is a woven fabric that’s generally made from cotton, linen, or a blend of the two. Here’s a few roundups of patterns, many of which would be perfect for using with seersucker!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Quilted outers inspo

Hello and welcome to my quilted coat overthinkings! You might have seen the recent roundup of quilted outer patterns?

Well, I’ve been thinking more and more about them because it’s the perfect spot where quilters and garment makers collide! A quilted coat can be a great way to scrap bust, or a great motivation for sewing a quilt top. I’m thinking that it could be great to use up some of my linen scraps, but could also be a great way to test the waters of quilting with quilting cottons without signing myself up for a whole Queen Size bedspread.

I’ve decided that there are 3 basic ways of approaching a quilted coat!

1) Improv piecing

There’s 2 basic ways you can approach improv piecing for a quilted coat: by making a large piece of fabric, or by improv piecing fabric into the shape of your pattern pieces.

Emily improv-pieced her Muna and Broad Grainger Coat, using leftovers from her quilting and piecing them until they were the right size for the pattern pieces! Check out her process here.

Above, you can see how Emily Improv-pieced until they were large enough that she could cut out the pocket pattern piece. I like the idea of this method because it’s doing only as much work as necessary, and it’s not going to leave me with more scraps that I then have to find a use for!

SewDIY improv pieced the fabric to make this quilted coat!

The pattern is the Ayora which was included in the recent roundup of quilted outer patterns here.

The quilted coats below are made by sewing fabric together to make large fabric bolts, which the pattern pieces are then cut from. This can be an easy way to ‘get in the groove’ and just keep going, but if your motivations are scrap-busting, then cutting out your pattern pieces will be creating more scraps!

2) Purposeful Piecing

You could use a quilt top that you’re sewn to cut out your pattern pieces or you could use the pattern pieces to plan quilt pieces!

If your chosen quilted coat pattern has straight edges, that can be handy to align your purposeful quilt pattern with!

3) Fabric which looks scrappy

The jacket below is made with fabric that has different patterns on the same fabric, so the finished jacket looks patchworked but requires none of the effort (also makes sure that the points on your squares align perfectly with each other)!

Over on the Spoonflower Blog, MegMade shows how she made 2 super easy quilted jackets!

This pink jacket is made using the Spoonflower Fill-A-Yard® which lets you print multiple designs together, and an be a quick way to give a patchwork look.

RTW quilted coat inspo

Of course, I had to include a little image dump of inspiration from ready-to wear quilted coats- I’m particularly partial to the abstract and the scrappy ones myself, but maybe you’re a secret traditionalist and you’re smitten with the flying geese or log cabin (the only 2 quilt blocks I can recognise)!

The quilt coats above are all from Haptic Lab, and I love how they’ve kept the quilt look with the square hem and bias bound edges.

Below the quilt from Vacilando Studios bring applique and large-scale patterns to the quilt coat, which look like the designs were made for the coat shape, rather than looking ‘quilt becomes jacket’. The scrappy one is particularly excellent.

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Shopping Denim in NZ

If you spotted the Jeans Sewing Pattern Roundup Blog and then thought ‘fine Jess, but where do I get fabric from in NZ?!?’
…. well this blog is for you.

What kind of denim do you want? Your project will inform the weight of the fabric, the stretch (or lack of stretch) of the fabric and also whether or not you can buy narrower selvedge denim.

Shops to start your search

Miss Maude
Always a good place to start your search, Miss Maude always has a lovely curated selection of fabrics, and the denim situation is no different!

Backstreet Bargains
Often the first place I look, especially when I’m hunting for toile fabrics. Backstreet separates their denim offerings into stretch denim and non-stretch denim categories

Fab Fabrics
The Auckland-based Fab Fabrics has frequent sales, with the codes heading out through their email newsletter. At the time of writing they had 40% off denim!

Fabric Box
Want coloured denim? Fabric Box in Auckland have you covered with a large range of 9oz coloured denims (and the usual indigo denim too)

Shops with less selection

The Fabric Store has a small selection of denim fabrics (including Liberty denim), as does Moreland Fabrics. The Fabric Shop in Otara has some excellently cheap selvedge denim, and Nick’s Fabrics has an interesting stretch denim that’s a different colour on each side. Drapers Fabric always stocks selvedge denim, and Revology has 2 lovely Merchant & Mills denims which have a great texture.

Across the ditch?

A+R Fabrics near Melbourne has a great selection of rigid and stretch denims, Maai Designs often has denim and currently has a great range of heavy drill in nice colours. Potter & Co is based in Perth and has a decent selection of denims to choose from.

2021 Calendars for large-scale organising!

I’ve been looking for the perfect year-at-a-glance wall planner, when it struck me that I can now print my own!

I searched for ‘printable wall calendar A2’ on Etsy, knowing that I could scale it up to the size of an entire A0 sheet.

Below, I’ve rounded up some options in price order. Black & white A0 printing with a comparable amount of lines to a sewing pattern will be $6 per page.

This calendar is $2.60 on Etsy
$3.32NZD on Etsy
$5.49 on Etsy
$9.98 on Etsy
$14.97 on Etsy

$10.37 on Etsy

Other printing ideas

In addition to calendars, my A0 printer can easily print black&white line drawing art for the same price as printing a sewing pattern!

$4.97 on Etsy
$14.97 on Etsy
$13.31 on Etsy
$14.12 on Etsy

If you’d like to print colour, or something with bolder lines or more ink, get in touch to ask for a quote first as my printer might not be the best choice for your print job!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to Chchsews@gmail.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page