A fight just before Christmas

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a good evening saying goodbye to 2013 and welcoming 2014. We had a lovely relaxed evening in Derby with some friends, just what was needed after a pretty busy year. I wanted to share the other two Christmas presents that I made. I hope you don't mind seeing late makes from last year - there are a couple of posts still to come!

Kiwi Sew 3644 2.jpg

First is a dressing gown that my Mum asked for. It came with a few requests - must be made out of cotton (this is a summer dressing gown), long and lilac. Lilac was very important. I chose Kiwi Sew 3644 for the pattern. It is a classic dressing gown with a few options for customising. After a few hours of looking online for the perfect fabric I decided to make most of the gown in Kona solid lilac and Petite Flowers by Petite Street, which is light grey and has different coloured flowers. 

Kiwi Sew 3644.jpg

There isn't much to say about the construction, it was rather simple to complete. I made an minor alteration to the front as the sizes were slightly off - either too big or too small. Cutting out took a while as the pieces are sooooo long! Once I got past that the whole thing came together without a hitch in less than hour as it mostly just long single lines for the seams. The most involved part was adding the cuffs and the pockets. Mum was very happy with the fabric choices and tried it on Christmas Eve - it fitted perfectly. Now we just need the warmer weather so it can come out of the wardrobe. 

Kiwi Sew 3644 3.JPG

Dad travels a lot and I decided to make him this fabric garment bag that I spotted on Pinterest. The tale of this make is in stark contrast to the dressing gown!

First, there are a lot of pieces. You need to cut almost the same number in the outer fabric, inner fabric and batting. You also need to measure out every piece. I wanted this bag to be waterproof and found some great waterproof backed PU fabric from Remnant House. To give it added interest (and because I don't do plain linings) I chose a white cotton with blue circles for the inner fabric.  

Handmade travel bag.JPG

If you are planning to make something like this, I recommend that you read the tutorial thoroughly before starting. I did but still got a little lost midway through as it calls for you to place all the pieces together so you can neaten the edges to the same size. What it didn't say was to then separate them. I got completely confused! I would also think very carefully about your fabric choice. I knew this bag would be thick in places but I didn't anticipate it becoming a monster! It was an absolutely nightmare to sew the entire thing together. It took about 30 minutes for one side and the same again for the other. I had to use a slow speed to prevent skipped stitches and there were moments where I was worried my poor little machine wouldn't be able to cope. Luckily we both survived without any broken needles but my hands still have the many scratch marks from all of the pins needed. This is the reason why my corners aren't as neat as they should be but the thought of unpicking and then pushing my machine to sew that lot again just wasn't an option. 

Handmade travel bag 2.jpg

The tutorial states for batting to be included in the handles. I skipped this part. I tried to make them but I just couldn't get them to turn out right and as I was literally burning the midnight oil I thought it was best for everyone if I left out the batting. The handles seem very sturdy without it. You also need separating zips, which took a while to track down. I'm pleased I used them but I think you can use other heavy weight zips if you can't find them. 

Handmade travel bag 4.jpg

As with my brother's bag I was a little worried about how this would be received. I don't know why as Dad absolutely loved it and showed it to everyone who came round to visit over Christmas. 

Handmade travel bag 3.jpg

I was lucky enough to get sewing related gifts - the Robson coat and Bellatrix blazer patterns, Fit for Real People and a couple of Craftsy courses. I was very excited about all of them and then my brother gave me a belated present. Meet Jessica! I can't wait to test a few items on her. 

Dress form.jpeg