Saturday, 31 January 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge 2015!

I must confess that I have a substantial collection of vintage patterns and most of them bought in the last year. However I have shamefully not made up any of them into finished garments! I am seduced into buying each one by the lovely ladies in the stunning illustrations. How can any sewist resist such sassy, glamorous artwork?
Vintage patterns are expensive, well most of the time and sellers have cottoned on to the demand so prices are on the rise. I have spent a pretty penny on some of these patterns and it is about time they earned their keep!

And so I Pledge "I Christina Snellgrove will sew 10 Vintage Patterns in 2015" and furthermore I will not buy any more until I make use of the ones I have stashed away!!!*

*Unless I come across something completely fabulous and uniquely un-missable that is close to my size and therefore meant to be mine (though in that case I cannot be held liable for the universe wanting me to care for another unloved pattern)
Most of these patterns require tracing off, grading up, then alterations made to the pattern, followed by a toile to check fitting issues and further alterations all before I even cut into my fabric choice. But I want a meaty challenge that I can push myself to achieve and so I am jumping in at the deep end with 10!!! I will also be sharing with you all the adjustments I make to these patterns for those of you who may not have the experience of altering vintage patterns and want some help.

This pattern is super adorable and I might have to make up both options! One fun, full skirted option in a cute floral and another super chic option that is figure hugging and glamorous, definitely teamed with a Marilyn wiggle I think!!! 
And that is all for now Folks!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How NOT to Poison Your self with an Rusty Old Tin Lunchbox!!!

I have designed these lunch box liners to avoid any potential rust poisoning disasters (ha ha!!) and also they just look super cool!!

This is my lunch box in action! You can also check out a little more about my lunch tin in my previous post Evil Under The Sun.

Here is the finished liner laid out for you to see. I will show you a step by step of how to make one yourself.

Make a net of your box by drawing around all the edges on to paper.

It should look similar to mine. Don't worry that the lines aren't quite straight, we will sort that out later.

Straighten your edges using a ruler and extend the height of the sides as shown. You should add 1.5 inches to your front three sides and 3.5 inches to the back side. This extra will become the overlap to enclose the contents.

Add 1/2inch of seam allowance around the entire pattern and cut out your liner in the fabric of your choice. Cotton works best in my opinion as it is washable, breathable and the choice of interesting prints is endless. You must cut out 2 for the main body.

Draw a rectangle 2inches high and 16 inches wide. This will be the ties for your liner.(alternatively you could use ribbon)

(Before you cut out your liner I advise prewashing your fabric to avoid shrinking in the wash after its made up.) You must cut out 2 strips and 2x main body of your liner in the fabric of your choice.

Stitch around the edges of the main body as shown above, leaving the shorter edge open, this will be the front of your liner when finished.

Clip the inner corners and notch the outer corners.

Turn right side out and press flat.

Turn 1/2 inch seam allowance inside the open side.

Press closed. Make sure both edges are straight.

To make the ties, use your 2 cut strips of fabric and fold the edges of your strip to the centre and press.

Then fold in half to enclose the raw edges and press well.

Your ends are finished by folding 1/2 inch inside and pressing down. Then fold closed and press once more.

Press, Press, Press! Very important to make for easy sewing. If you don't press you will kick yourself later!

You should end up with 4 strips as above. Your long strips are cut in half after pressing to leave you with the 4 needed. Notice the top 2 have both edges enclosed whereas the bottom 2 have only one end enclosed. This is important as the 2 raw edges are enclosed into your liner whilst the others are visible.

Slip your ties into the opening left at the edge 1 1/2 inches away from the sides. They should line up with your seam allowance, that's 1/2 inch pushed inside.

Pin into place along the entire edge.

Now topstitch to enclose the ties and go all the way around until all edges are top stitched. (please use matching thread, I have only used contrasting for you to see)

The remaining 2 ties are placed again 1 1/2 inches away from the sides and should be 1inch away from the fold line as shown above and top stitched with a square of stitching to secure.

And there you have it!

You are now ready to prepare a delicious healthy lunch for yourself or the ones you love.

Bon Appetite

x o x o


Friday, 9 January 2015

Evil Under The Sun

My New Years resolution this year is to bring my lunch to work in an attempt to eat a bit better and save a few pennies. I have found the perfect lunchbox that is AMAZING but alas has spent the last year safely hidden away awaiting its useful debut.

Here it is in all it's glory. Battered and bruised to perfection. Isn't she a beaut!!!

I made a useful cotton liner to avoid any potential rust/metal contamination (better to be safe than sorry). And though I don't usually write sweet little notes for myself to find at lunchtime, I thought it would be a nice idea if you make lunch for your little ones (big ones would be grateful too I bet!) for them to find in the middle of the day.

I have already taken my lunch to work with me every day since the end of December, and find I look forward to my little food parcels inside my fantastic lunch tin. Perhaps because I always include a nice slice of cake and a sweet treat on the top.
Now you may not think that this little tin looks like much, BUT WAIT... I have yet to share with you the best bit about this tin, and that is - that it is a FAMOUS tin. It starred in the Hercule Poirot episode "Evil Under The Sun" in which it was used for drug trafficking heroin onto an English island by some super spiffy-looking crooks!

Here is Chief Inspector Japp having just tracked down the smugglers stash.

"I don't think these are sandwiches!"

And here is Hercule Poirot himself peering into the suspicious sandwich tin only to discover an obscene amount of heroine inside!
To anyone who is not familiar with Hercule Poirot, you must immediately go and watch it! It is 1930s fantastic, and the moustache in the picture above says it all. He is an absurd character whom instead of laughing at you laugh with him and love his ridiculous ways.
I'm working on a tutorial for my sandwich box liners and it will be available soon.
Fingers crossed that all of your New Years resolutions have made it past the first few days and are still holding fast!


Friday, 2 January 2015

Crochet Crazy

I have been working on my other half's (Jason) birthday present now since September. I wanted to learn how to crochet and found this video online How to Crochet a Granny Square. It took some serious dedication to get enough squares made for a quilt, but it is now done.
Happy birthday Jason, hope you like your quilt!

The great thing about granny squares is that once you have been doing them for a while they build up pretty quickly into a lovely pile of usable patches. And you don't have to make up a quilt, there are sooo many other uses for you to go wild!!!

I seriously crocheted non stop in December. Here I am going at it on Christmas day. I tried to get a patch done every day but it didn't always happen and I seemed to always be playing catch up. I was getting some weird looks on the London underground whilst I crocheted up a storm.

 I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I washed it before I wrapped it up and put it in the machine on a cold delicate cycle, and it came out perfect. I air dried it laid out on dry towels, which takes up a lot of space but I didn't dare put wool in the tumble dryer, smells like a disaster to me!! I'm not one for dry cleaning (I'm a great believer in the cleansing qualities of water) so this quilt seriously needed to be washable.

I hope you like my quilt!!!