Hello! How is your week starting out? I hope you are all well. I start working at a new school tomorrow. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. So many changes are happening at once right now! But I won't bore you guys with all of that. 

If you saw my last post you will know that I am really, REALLY, into DIY right now. Well, I've always been into DIY, but since I invested in a sewing machine, and discovered that I'm not too bad at sewing this summer, I have taken to sewing almost all the time these days (during the summer holidays), and am getting practise to start making my own clothes. It sounds like such a hard thing to do, but trust me, IT'S EASY-PEASY!!! 

I have been on quite a fabric haul lately, 
and here are some of the fabrics I have bought!

(PS: I know a lot of these fabric need ironing)

I've been daydreaming about making some african inspired clothes, with african print fabrics. This was the closest I found to that. 

I plan to make a pleated (or gathered) mini skirt out of this fabric.  

I am planning to make a 50s style dress out of this white and brown floral fabric. 
The only thing is, the colours might make me looked a bit washed out, so I plan to add details on a different colour. If that doesn't make any sense to anyone other than myself, you will see what I mean if it works out fine and I'm not embarrassed to share it on here!

I am thinking of making another 50s style dress out of this other floral fabric as well. It's a fabric that isn't gorgeous on it's own, and can be ideal or a huge fail depending on what you do with it. It almost looks like it should be on an old ladies kitchen table (as a table cloth, of course), but it's from what I call the 'scrap pile' at a random fabric shop, and it was really cheap. So if the dress doesn't work out, I won't shed many tears! 

I was thinking of making a 60's style shift dress with this blue fabric, but adding details in black. 

If I am 100% honest, I am not sure what I should do with this bird-frog-flower fabric. 
I think it is really cute, and I have been thinking of making a skirt out of it, but... I don't know. It's from IKEA, and I think it might have been designed to make curtains or something, which is what is holding me back. I don't want little children pointing at me in public, and screaming loudly about how I am wearing their curtains or something! We'll see, we'll see! 
I've noticed a few cute bird print fabrics on their website today actually. I must pop-in to see what they feel like in person one of these days. 

Ok. So THIS is my all time favourite fabric. It was one if the first fabrics which I bought weeks ago with my friend Carol (who is my inspiration behind all of this, as she sews brilliantly!!!), and I am petrified to cut it. I had planned to make a midi length dress out of it, but there's not enough fabric to make it a midi, and I just can't imagine it looking fabulous as anything other than a dress! I love the look of this fabric, and it's so wonderfully soft to the touch, with a beautiful fall to it. I bought it from what I call the 'scrap pile' at El Corte Inglés, (a department store, similar to John Lewis in London, but with lots of branches all over Spain), meaning I bought the very last remaining piece. The chances of finding this exact same fabric somewhere else seems very unlikely, so I thought of buying the exact same type of fabric in black to add length without making the dress I have in mind look frumpy, but even that seems impossible! Apparently this is really expensive fabric and shops are reluctant to buy it because they will have a hard time selling it. Hmm. I need to find out who else sells fabulous quality fabrics in Madrid, or hang on till I go to London again and do some exploring there too! 

I was thinking of making a kimono out of this white fabric...

And then there's lots of plain fabrics in really pretty colours (which unfortunately don't show true to colour in the photos...)

I'm planning to make my mum a blouse for her birthday in that khaki-green fabric above

You can have a look at my PhotoBucket to see the plain fabrics I haven't included here - if you like. 

And these next fabrics are to make things for my friend Sarah...

I plan to make her a shift dress using the fabric above, by the following pattern below...

Fingers crossed that will work out and she can wear it to go on a dinner date with her boyfriend or something! 

I also bought the exact same fabric in grey and cream, to make Sarah a skirt. As she is blonde with blue eyes, I think these colours might make her look washed out. So I'll be making a skirt for her out of this fabric, instead of a dress... 

And finally, I'll be making her a mini skirt out of the fabric below.

Another thing I want to experiment with, is painting on fabrics. I have so many ideas of what to paint on fabrics that I have to control my imagination some times! LOL 

If you are wondering about how I sew, and how I use my pattern pieces, here are a few tips I have figured out this summer: 



 I don't cut out the patterns I purchase. I trace them using large, thick, tracing paper. I also trace all the markings and arrows, and I label each pattern piece stating clearly which pattern it has been traced from, and which part of the garment the pattern piece is destined to be. This way I won't loose an actual pattern, and I can make different size garments for different people. 

Overlock. I zig-zag and then go over it with a straight stitch on the edges of my fabrics before joining the pieces together. I recently make a bag for a friend where I took step by step photos of how I made it. Partly for my own reference, as I had no guide to go by and made it using common sense and hoping for the best, but also because I wanted to do a tutorial on it. I clearly show what I mean by overlocking with zig-zag and straight stitching. If you look at the insides of your clothes closely, you will see that edged of the fabrics are overlocked. 

I dare not touch expensive fabrics until I feel more confident, which means practising a lot and learning from my mistakes. I buy cheap fabrics to experiment with for now, but I try to make sure I buy colours and prints I actually like. That way, if what I put together works out, I can wear it, and if it doesn't work out, then I won't have wasted too much money and I have an experience to learn from. 

I look at the insides of clothes I like, and then in my head, I think of each piece of fabric as the piece of a puzzle. What is the shape, and how does it fit with the rest of the pieces? You'll find that a large part of sewing is about common sense and being patient. 

 Measure. Measure, measure, measure! This seems boring and tedious, but it's fundamental. If the measurements are off, the garment will be off too, and it'll have been a waste of your time (and money) to have bothered at all. Think of it as you would cooking. You have to get the amount of ingredients right for the food to taste right. It's the same with sewing. Also - (and I knew about this before this summer, but just incase anyone out there doesn't know this), always remember to cut the fabric an inch or so bigger than the body measurements where you will join the pieces together, so the clothes fit when you try to wear them. An inch might not seem like much, but something that is an inch too small, will not fit you. 

And finally...

Remember that practice makes perfect. Nobody is born knowing how to do anything. We all have to learn how to do stuff. 

Until next time, take care x 

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