Monthly Archives: April 2014

Things 99 & 100

It’s a Milestone Day. 100 Things! Who thought I’d make it this far? I’m celebrating by taking tomorrow off. Happy Easter, all!

But first the milestone Things. For the last day of Liberty Week I have nothing terribly original, just another tissue pouch and business card holder. I used more of the The Atrium fabric to go along with yesterday’s zipper bag.


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It’s makes a pretty gift set:


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Now I have two gift sets in my stash.





They’ll come in handy. At some point, I’ll meet someone who says, “If only I had a Liberty set, with zipper bag, tissue pouch and business card holder, then I’d be truly happy.” And I’ll have the perfect gift.

Anyone have any ideas for small scrappy sewing projects? (Besides quilting. Way too much commitment.) Over the next weeks I want to make lots of free Things to get this budget back under control. So any suggestions for cute, small gifts are welcome.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €163.12


Thing 98

Liberty Week is winding down, and I’m using up scraps for the last two days.

Today’s Thing features The Atrium again, this time in the form of a flat zipped bag. I left this bag flat, without any gussets to widen the base. It gives it a sleek pocketbook feel that I think suits the fabric design.


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The inside of the bag is cream-coloured polyester lining salvaged from an old pair of dress pants and the zipper is from my Haagse Markt stash.


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Tomorrow I’ll finish this set and that’ll be the end of Liberty Week, but not the end of my Liberty Things. I hope to have many more of those in the future.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €163.12



Thing 97

The Eliza D Tana Lawn with the blue flowers is mostly used up (a few small scraps may pop up in future Things), but fear not, Liberty Week can continue. I came back from London with a couple of souvenirs… 





The top one is called The Atrium D Tana Lawn. From their website: “Based on an illustrative design from 1972 with a 1920s feel, The Atrium fabric print represents Liberty’s iconic Central Atrium space on the Ground Floor.” The pink one with cherry blossoms is Mitsi B Tana Lawn.

I set the Mitsi aside for now and pulled out The Atrium.

I love the design but couldn’t imagine wearing it as a blouse. Instead, I bought half a metre, enough to make a scarf. The Liberty cottons are so soft and silky against the skin so a scarf had extra appeal.


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I cut it in half, making two long strips of a quarter metre, and sewed them to make one long strip. Then, with wrong sides together, I serged one end and the long side, turned it right side out and hand stitched it closed.

It’s pretty and artsy and a pleasure to wear.


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Here’s my sister modelling for me again. She’s having a much better hair day than I am and is thus far more blog-worthy.


Cost of this Thing: €13.36
Cost of all Things to date: €163.12






Thing 97

Liberty Week continues and today I present to you the very first Liberty Thing I made. (The others have all been made with the scraps left over after this Thing.)




I pulled out the Sorbetto pattern, and based on my last version, made a couple of changes. I added a good inch to the bottom to give it some more length. I also decided to add sleeves using this tutorial. And finally, in order to squeeze a blouse out of the fabric I had, I narrowed the front pleat.

All went swimmingly well. The extra length didn’t throw off the fit, the pleat looked fine in its narrowed width, and the sleeves went in without a hitch.

And then.


I was admiring how well the sleeves went in, all on the serger, no puckering, no problems, when I accidentally pushed the serger foot pedal. That machine is a hungry beast. In a split second it devoured my precious Liberty blouse. I almost cried.

I extracted the blouse from the machine to survey the damage and it wasn’t pretty: a three-inch gash across the front.




I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another front (and since the whole blouse, sleeves included, was already assembled with the serger, that ship had sailed anyway).

But ultimately I’m an optimist, and I found two silver linings. First, the blade of the serger sliced the fabric but did not remove any, so I wasn’t dealing with missing fabric. Second, the design of the fabric is a busy one, so any patchwork, if done neatly enough, could be nearly invisible.

I ironed a strip of interfacing along the back side of the gash and then dapped Fray Check all along the front side of the gash.




The result was good. My only fear is how it will hold up in the wash. I’ll need to wash it in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle, and keep a good eye on how the interfacing is holding up.




I’ve worn this blouse in London — in Liberty, no less! — and it’s been comfortable and wrinkle-free. I think the front of the gash needs another dose of Fray-Check and I may end up hand stitching a more permanent repair.

For now, though, I love my Liberty.





Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €149.76







Thing 96

Liberty Week, Day 3: The Zipper Pouch


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I had a zipper in my stash that perfectly matched the blue of the flowers, and a scrap of Ikea curtains (I’ve used this in so many Things…) was a bright clean lining. I’m getting better at zippers — this one went in reasonably straight.


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Sweet Liberty Set:


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I’d be tempted to keep it all for myself, but I bought some more Liberty fabric this week and I’m thinking I’m going to be living in an episode of Hoarders: Liberty Edition if I’m not careful.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €149.76


Things 94 & 95

For Day 2 of Liberty Week I present you with two more scrappy Things: Business Card Holders.


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Just like the Thing 93 tissue pouch, these are lined with the linen left over from the Sorbetto, and all the pieces are interfaced to give them structure.



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I fixed the problems I had the first time I tried this pattern. The pockets are right side up, and I used a couple of hair elastics, which are much stretchier than the other elastic I used, so the button could stay in the middle.



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I’m going to keep one of these for myself and the other one will go into the gift stash. I don’t know what I’ll do with the original one I made. Anyone want an upside down business card holder?


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €149.76

Thing 93

I hereby declare this to be Liberty week.

The last time I was in London I bought a metre of a beautiful Tana Lawn at Liberty. For a couple of months I just took it out and looked at it. Several times a day. But I didn’t yet have the courage to use it. What if I got it wrong?

Last week, with another trip to London on the agenda, I took the plunge. Worst case scenario I would just buy myself another metre of the same.

I had a Liberty marathon and made 5 Things in one day. I will dole these out over four posts, starting with the last one made.

Thing 93 was a product of the leftover scraps. Can anyone guess what I made with leftover scraps? No? Then you haven’t been reading my blog.

Thing 93 is a tissue pouch. A fancy schmancy Liberty tissue pouch.


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I lined it a small scrap of the linen leftover from my Sorbetto.

It’s my prettiest tissue pouch yet.


Cost of this Thing: €26.57 (1 metre of Liberty fabric. Most expensive tissue pouch ever.)
Cost of all Things to date: €149.76

Thing 92

It has come to this: I am posting pictures of underwear. My daughter’s, no less. She is thrilled. *cough* 

I was a bit behind on laundry and Martina was looking for underwear. I suggested that I could sew her a pair. She was not exactly enamoured with the idea. “Can’t you just buy some?” I made her a pair anyway. Ha! Take that, teenager.

I had seen this tutorial a couple of weeks ago and was itching to try it. My laundry procrastination provided the opportunity.

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It’s the same pink micro jersey/lycra used for the princess dress. I bought some lavender fold over elastic for the trim. They took about an hour to make but that included drafting a pattern based on an old pair.

I don’t think Victoria’s Secret is going to be knocking on my door anytime soon, but for a first try it’s not horrible. I haven’t heard from Martina how comfortable they are. I’ll let you know. I’m sure she wants to share the status of her underpants with the internet. Doesn’t every 13-year-old?


Cost of this Thing: €2.50 (fold over elastic, enough for 2 pairs)
Cost of all Things to date: €123.19


Thing 91

The more I sew, the more I discover the wealth of clever independent designers out there. Colette is one such designer, and happily for the budget-restricted among us she offers a freebie pattern on her website. The Sorbetto is a sleeveless blouse with no zippers or buttons to fiddle with. The front pleat is chic and easy to sew. It’s the perfect beginner pattern.

Using one of my husband’s old shirts, I made one late last year to try out the pattern. The fit wasn’t great, but it had potential. I moved the darts down and added another dart at the arm scye. I pulled out another old shirt, this time in linen, and gave the revised pattern a whirl.

Much better!


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I made bias binding from the old sleeves to finish the neckline and armholes and hemmed the bottom. The front of the old shirt is the back of the new, and you can see where the pocket used to be.


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Doesn’t matter. I only wear this with a sweater.


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I wear this shirt all the time. It’s comfortable and it goes with everything. Bonus feature: it didn’t cost me a cent.


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I predict a summer wardrobe full of Sorbettos.



Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €120.69



Thing 90

Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.

– Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride


Today’s thing is not a cop-out. Okay, maybe just a little. I have almost no time today. It’s Esther’s birthday and we’re going to Martina’s school play tonight. I’m swamped.



This tissue pouch is not part of the other pile, and that’s why it counts as its own Thing. My sister picked out the fabric squares and I made it up just for her. Totally legit Thing. 


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €120.69