Hello Sewists,

Always a little late to the party, I’ve started a YouTube channel to accompany this blog! It’s something I’ve wanted (and not wanted) to do for a while and put off for various reasons (some legit, some stalling-tactics!) – but finally (… tentatively) I’ve done it! I guess, if a picture says a thousand words, then a video can say a million…?

There’s only a couple of posts so far- This first one is for a ‘simple’ zip up pouch, with French seams – I was making a few pouches to fill out some Christmas stockings I’d made and thought I should document how I did it. As sewing tutorials go, It’s a humble start, but I do believe that whether you’re a novice or experienced sewist, it’s a fine and do-able gift bag. So why not give it a go. The french seams and offset zip mean it comes out really neatly.

(Click here if the embedded video isn’t working!)

My second post put into place the skills I honed HERE when I re installed a new neckline (in a t-shirt) to fit better. The process is the same whether you’re replacing a neckband or fitting one from scratch, so I figured it was worth documenting. The important thing is the Neckband Maths … which hasn’t failed me so far!

(Click here if that one doesn’t work either!)

Moving forward, I’m not sure how I will choose which projects warrant a blog post and which a video… maybe a version of each for both, if it’s not too time consuming… I’m sure it’ll work itself out in the long run. Also I plan to pluck up the courage to put myself in front of the video camera, if and when the need arises; I’ve filmed a few tap dance tutorials this year which have helped me gain a bit of confidence in front of the camera, but I’m not a natural (which is interesting when you consider my theatre background! – I was always a dancer you see, and a terrible actor!) but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

For the meantime I plan on sticking with short tutorials showing specific projects or techniques, so please subscribe to the mailing list not only to keep up to date, but also to boost my profile and let YouTube know that they should take me seriously! … I’ve got a lot of catching up to do in the world of vlogging! And let me know if there are any techniques or processes you’d like to see videoed. I’m aware that many of you are accomplished sewists yourselves, and as such don’t need a (relative) upstart like me telling you how it is! But I’m just saying I’m open to suggestions.

In the mean time, if you fancy learning to tap dance, check out my recent tutorial videos on youtube Here!

I’m heading back to work in a few days (after a month long ‘Lockdown 2.0’) and have to admit to being a little disappointed (again!) with my lockdown sewing output. It’s been a pretty lazy one this time. TV has featured heavily…

  • The Crown
  • The Queens Gambit
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • Star Trek Discovery
  • Mandalorian
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Cursed
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • The Witcher (again – it made sense this time!)

Have you seen any of those…?

… and of course I designed and made a few Lego sewing machines!

I should include them here incase you haven’t seen them on instagram, I’m so happy with how they came out.

Can you recognise the model…?

As a complete Lego-novice, it actually took quite a while to put them together. The first one I did with my nieces’ Lego, so had quite a stash to choose from. But home-alone, I ended up finding a website (MecaBricks) where I slowly had to not only learn to use the software, but also learn all the names for all the different bricks/ tiles/ plates etc in the world of Lego! (Knowledge is never wasted though, It’s all good training for the Uncle Olympics!!)

Inspiration… design… conception. My favourite model, Brother 1034D.

With that done, next came the issue of sourcing the individual pieces needed to build the machines. The best resource I found was BrickOwl, and if you’re planning on making a Lego sewing machine yourself, I have a few pieces of advice…

  • Use Mecabricks to write a physical list of pieces needed. Tick them off as you go, it can get very confusing (especially if you’ve been drinking!)
  • It is unlikely that one seller will have all the pieces you need in the right colours.
  • Find the two sellers in your area with the highest stock count, open two windows on your pc (or whatever) to shop simultaneously.
  • Most sellers have a minimum spend, consider buying more than one model at a time.
  • If you need to top-up to reach the minimum spend limit, consider purchasing a mini-figure (I’ve accidentally started a small collection!)

Not one to leave a stone unturned, next of course came the desire to create stopmotion videos of the machines… building themselves! A quick app search came up with this one (iMotion – App store) and here are the results…

Janome DKS30
Pfaff Creative 1.5
Singer 201
Brother 1934D Overlocker
Elna Grasshopper

As you can see, I was missing a piece for the Grasshopper- annoyingly they don’t make a ‘37352 1×2 Outside Half Bow in Lego Green’ (Humph) but just when all hope is lost and you think you’ve turned every stone… there’s always Instagram! You see I was contacted by a very kind follower who’s husband had suggested a tweak to the design, replacing the impossible piece with a much more probable piece! And I’m thrilled to say it worked… (and added another member to my mini-figure gallery!)

Old Grasshopper/ New Grasshopper!

Really though, that’s enough of them now! As I said, It’s back to work soon and there’s no time for playing with Lego! Although, if the end of the last lockdown is anything to go by, my sewing output is about to take an upsurge! I’m one of those ‘ask a busy person’ people… that’s what I’ve learnt this month.

Take care, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Happy sewing,

Andrew x

Notes to self:

  • Get a ring light and tripod. It can’t hurt.
  • Shave that stupid lockdown-moustache off before you start videoing yourself!