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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Parkinson's, Sewing and Me.


With thanks to Jaycott.co.uk.


I have been asked many times to write this blog post and I kept putting it off. It is not easy to write but if it helps anybody then that makes me very happy.
The tools and equipment featured are all from jaycotts and I will give you the links as we go along. Please note that the products featured are suitable for use no matter what your disability, be it arthritis or poor eyesight.
Well, Christmas is here and it's a nightmare! The shops are busy, my town centre is being " updated" and half the parking is gone so I can't shop here until the roads reopen, it means a 15 mile drive to the next big town.
And the crowds, shopping is stressful enough at the best of times but add to that busy stores and car parks, queuing it becomes an impossibility.
Food and medication have to be carefully timed, I mean meticulously timed, it's no good eating or taking meds an hour long of sync, that just makes my symptoms worse. Yes I can enjoy a drink, but not too much because of the medication.
I haven't sent Christmas cards because I can't write them. Life is so very different. If you know anybody with Parkinson's do look for ways to make things easier for them. If they are eating with you ask what time would be best for them and they will give you a window. Food and medication often have to be taken an hour or so apart, and some foods cannot be eaten at all. A discreet conversation would prevent embarrassing moments on the day. Cut your guests turkey very thinly and add lots of gravy as swallowing is affected by the disease. Provide a steak knife too, they do help.
I might make light of my condition, but it isn't easy to live with.



Parkinson's is not what I want for myself or anybody else for that matter,quite frankly it stinks. One day I may feel well (ish) there is always an ish! Other days I cannot even get out of bed.

Currently around 127,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, an incurable, degenerative neurological condition which leaves people struggling to walk, talk and sleep

It's made harder by the fact that I live alone, people with disabilities become somehow undateable, I mean it's not the best chat up line in the world is it? " Hi, I'm Angela, I suffer from Parkinson's, I have chronic fatigue, I drop things constantly, I can't always find the word I want and I might fall over and appear drunk" come on! Yes I know I am positive and I am a fighter but sometimes I don't want to be, you know? I want to be " normal" I don't want to have to collect two carrier bags of medication every month and spend two hours every week sorting it out.



And I am really not complaining because I am grateful, but I would love to be able to earn my own money and not be means tested. Hey I'd love new carpets! Correction I NEED new carpets but I don't have that sort of money! I cannot just go out on a whim if I am feeling low or buy myself a treat - like those carpets, or anything really.
I lost a 30K + salary when I was diagnosed, now I have to prove to people that I really do qualify for the little I get, just like millions of others.
I didn't want to give up work. Early " retirement" was not an option. It was tough giving up a career I loved.



Thursday, 24 August 2017

How to alter Simplicity 8391 to make Palazzo pants and a darted printed top

A short blog post following on from before.

This is a continuation of my previous blog post Sew yourself Cropped pants and a matching top

The last post was an embroidered pair of crop trousers with a top featuring the same embroidery. I appreciate that some of you have no desire to embroider by machine or hand so this is another idea - Block Printing. 

I wish to thank the delightful Fiona from Hobbycraft in Preston who advised me on what I needed to purchase and how to use them! I have never done block printing before so her advice was invaluable. Hobbycraft Thank you Fiona.



 Everything is the same as in the previous post
All of the machines, zip, thread and habberdashery etc are from Jaycotts.co.uk Contact Jaycotts

The Simplicity pattern is also from Jaycotts Simplicity 8391

The fabric is from MinervaCrafts I am just going to direct you to their section on cotton/linen fabrics as there is an enormous choice of colours, designs and prices Cotton Linen blend fabrics



The first step was to lengthen the sleeves slightly, I just added four inches to the length but some of this was taken up with the hem as I didn't add the sleeve band as previous. Then I did some simple printing around the edge.



Instead of embroidery I thought that I would attempt some block printing. I have never printed on fabric before so I was a bit nervous! The fabric paints have to be ironed with a high temperature to fix them, so make sure that your fabric can stand the heat, and do use a pressing cloth.


These are the blocks I bought from Hobbycraft and some Dylon fabric paints. They are easy to use but do practise first.
I had a comment recently from somebody who doesn't like my placement of embelishments. That's fine, the whole point of sewing your own clothes is that they can be as individual as you are and if you want to embroider yellow flowers all over your red skirt go ahead! We are making things to please ourselves, and so be creative, it's how we learn.
Another point is that I always try to keep my blog posts as simple as possible so that even a total beginner can make something to be proud of. I am a novice as far as machine embroidery goes too, so hopefully we will learn and progress together.




I made an alteration to the neckline of the blouse. Instead of the gathers I measured tiny darts all the way across the front, manipulating them slightly so that they still fit the neckband. I am quite happy with the effect.


The block printing on my trousers was done after I had stitched the side seams and I was careful to make sure that the design aligned on both legs.
My design is rather amateurish, but I am not an artist, you I am certain can do much better! This is the beauty of holiday clothes, they are an opportunity to try something different, new colours, new styles. Things always look different in the sun!


All in all I am delighted with the way this outfit has turned out. Yes, it's in Navy Blue again, but I did have rather a lot of it which needed using!

Thinks just a very short blog post, I hope that it inspires you to have a go at doing some different embelishments on your clothes.

Thank you for reading this

Angela



I made a short video explaining more about what I did to alter the pattern
The link to the YouTube video is here in case it does not open automatically My YouTube Video



Thanks to Jaycotts for the fabulous machinery and sewing equipment and a special Thank you to the delightful Fiona from Hobbycraft.

Angela  x


#palazzo #trousers #sewangelicthreads #sewing #sew #cottonlinen #blockprinting #printingfabric #sewingblog

Friday, 18 August 2017

Sew yourself some Croppped Pants and a matching Top

This is a Jaycotts.co.uk post using Simplicity 8391

This is such an easy outfit to make, with or without embroidery. It is suitable for beginners upwards.

Skills learned

Centred Zip
Pintucks
Pressing
Positioning of embroidery/applique 



When I first saw this pattern I wasn't sure if it would suit me or not. Wrong! I decided as soon as I tried it on that I love this outfit.It is perfect for holidays, flattering and easy to sew. I like the 3/4 length wide trousers, they are cool to wear in the sun - I like to cover up mostly and I want garments which are easy to wear and light to pack.
I have paired the outfit with a pair of navy wedges.



The pattern is by Simplicity and is available to purchase from Jaycotts Simplicity 8391  In the envelope are patterns for a top, skirt, pants and shorts, everything you need for your holiday in fact.
The fabric is from Minerva Crafts and is a linen look Cotton, Linen look Cotton fabric This fabric is cool to wear and very easy to sew.
The pattern shows the garments made up in cotton trimmed with eyelet fabric or lace, but I wanted to use embroidery on mine - of course!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Pattern Hacking Simplicity 8376

This is my interpretation of Simplicity 8376, and how I turned the pattern from an ordinary top into something unique and special. A Jaycotts.co.uk post 

Watch my YouTube video on this link here:- My YouTube video




  DEFINITION – Pattern Hack [pat-ern hack]: to modify or write a sewing pattern in a skillful or clever way.



I read a lot of blogs and some people think that if they have merely taken the hem up by  two inches they have created their own pattern hack. In my opinion a good pattern hack totally changes the appearance of the original design to make it individual and very different . It could be anything from creating a different sleeve or adding a lace overlay but  it has to significantly change the appearance of the original garment, so with that in mind I decided to have a go myself.



Saturday, 5 August 2017

Appliqué made on my Brother Innov-is NV 800E Embroidery machine

It's so easy to use your embroidery machine from Jaycotts to applique garments, bags and household items.




My Brother Innov-is NV 800E     Brother Innov-is 800E from Jaycotts.co.uk not only does beautiful embroidery and makes free standing lace but it also creates applique easily and quickly. In other words this one machine does everything you need to embelish your sewing project. Or indeed a ready made item!
I am currently making a red jersey top ( watch out for it in my next blog post)  and wanted a simple embelishment to add to it. A small appliqué flower was the answer.




My review of the Brother Innov-is NV800E Embroidery Machine from Jaycotts.co.uk

A review of My Fabulous embroidery machine plus a tour of my sewing room

I have been longing to tell you about my fantastic new embroidery machine but I am (annoyingly some say) very good at keeping secrets!
The week before last I drove down to Chester to visit Jaycotts and to look at this  machine. I have to be honest I have never in my life used an embroidery machine before so I was doubly excited and keen to see how it would work.

Do have a look at my embroidery machine on this link Brother Innov-is NV 800E


This is the machine. It is an embroidery only machine. There are some which do "normal" sewing as well as embroidery, but well, this one is perfect for my needs, and is exactly what I wanted. I prefer things which have a specific function rather than something which tries to do everything.
There are some things to consider when purchasing any machine, including an embroidery machine and I would strongly advise you going to Jaycotts to try a few out.  If you can't do that then do give them a call on 01244 394099 because they will discuss the different options with you before you make your decision.
Of course you should be looking at a machine which YOU find easy to use, is reliable and value for money. It makes good sense therefore to buy your machine from somewhere reputable like Jaycotts.
Other things to consider are
The embroidery area needs to be large because as you become more proficient you are in danger of outgrowing the machine inside of a year if you limit yourself to a small embroidery area.
This machine comes with built in designs but I would definitely chose a machine with  a USB port so that you can download additional designs - and there are plenty of free ones in the internet. I have just found lots on Pinterest.
You need a machine which is easy to thread, how many times have people told me that they hate their machine because it is hard to thread! Choose one which is easy to thread and which comes with a good quality needle threader, it will save hours of frustration and time. You may be changing thread several times for each design so this is important. I have a preference for all Brother machines in this respect.
You need to see if the machine has a colour touch screen which is clear and easy to use.
And finally you need to choose a machine which has on screen editing so that you can build up a picture using more than one design and add lettering and so on so that your embroidery becomes personal to you.

I highly recommend Jaycotts for all your sewing needs but in this respect they display and demonstrate a wide variety of embroidery machines which means that you can see them in action before you make your purchase You are also welcome to return for advice and demonstrations anytime. Plus a great bonus is that they offer regular in- depth tuition sessions with the lovely Melanie who is  Brother UK's sewing guru.
In case you need any further incentive to purchase your machine from Jaycotts they have been selling Embroidery machines since they were first released in the UK over 20 years ago. They are therefore very experienced not just in sales, but the aftercare, service and maintenance is terrific. They will keep your beautiful new machine performing perfectly for many years to come. I can testify to that because a Brother Machine I purchased  from Jaycotts over 15 years ago is still in constant use by one of my pupils and she loves it just as much as I did.
So, having been a customer  of Jaycotts for many years, well before I became their blogger,  I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to you.




Friday, 4 August 2017

My first steps on my fabulous Brother Embroidery Machine

The Brother Innov-is NV 800E from Jaycotts.co.uk







In my previous blog post I told you about the functions of this wonderful machine and discussed what to look for when choosing a new machine.
Since then so many of you have asked me how I am getting on with it  so I thought I would update you.



This Embroidery only machine is from Jaycotts.co.uk and you can view it here Brother Innov-is NV 800E  Do read my previous blog post for more information about the machine
I do suggest that you speak with them before ordering if you are not sure which machine is right for your needs. They have years of experience behind them and can talk you through the benefits of each machine enabling you to make the correct choice.





Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Sewing Workshop ZONA Jacket . A MCBN post


This is the Zona Jacket, a pattern by The Sewing Workshop with fabric from MinervaCrafts. A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network Post



Once in a while something unexpected and magical happens, and that’s how I feel about this pattern. On first glance the pattern envelope shows a drawing of a rather ordinary looking jacket, but once sewing commences it quickly becomes apparent how complex and interesting this pattern is. I would say that if you have some sewing experience and if you are prepared to follow the pattern instructions and not go “off piste” then fantastic results are very achievable.  Do include the pleated back and resist the plain back as it is mainly the back view which adds magic to this garment.........

To read the rest of the post go to:-The Zona Jacket by The Sewing Workshop






#jacket #linen #MCBN #TheSewingWorkshop #Zona #topstitching #BiasBinding #elephants #patterncutting