Friday, 11 July 2014

Little Things To Sew: Cover to Cover Challenge - seeing double...

or maybe triple, or more...

It's time for the July PDF scoreboard update and also to introduce you to the amazing Heidi (with love, heidi). My tally from the Flickr pool has Heidi having completed 18 of the 21 projects and there is no doubt that she has sewn more things from this book than any of the rest of us.

You see, Heidi almost never sews just one of something

I'm so happy to be able to introduce Heidi to you and show you some of her incredible sewing. Without further ado, let's hand the blogpost over to Heidi, and let her explain how and why she sews so many projects!:

Why I sew multiples

I sew to relax and create.  I have no children of my own but have 7 "nieces and nephews" over two families.  Growing up, my parents and grandfather were very conscientious with fairness. This meant that if something was given to one child, even an adult child, then all the children got something equivalent.  I appreciated this, especially as I got older, and realised that in many families this was not the case. One of the reasons I will often sew multiples is because I want to be fair to all the children within a family and sometimes between families.  One of my best examples of this is the 7 Hogwarts robes I made by modifying the Oliver + S Nature Walk pullover.  I made one for each nieces and nephews as a Christmas gift

Multiples from Little Things To Sew

I have sewn approximately 60 projects (told you she was awesome! -Ed) from 18 of the 21 projects I have completed from the book. Nine of those projects I have made more than 3 times, in fact I have made the Explorer Vest 10 times!  The Explorer Vest was the pattern that introduced me to Oliver + S.  I had been sewing a few skirts and dresses but I wanted something to make for my nephews. I had come up with the idea of an adventure type vest but I was having trouble finding a pattern. Eventually I came across an image for an Oliver + S Explorer Vest and found the book. I was wary about buying the book as I have a  number of sewing books I have made one or no items from. However, I found the Oliver + S website and downloaded the popover dress to try. Once I had made the first one I was confident that the book was worth it, even if I only used the vest pattern. I ordered the book,  from overseas, as I could not find it easily where I live.  By the time it got here I had  made 3 Popover dresses and 2 of the doll dresses! I went on to make 2 of the vests immediately for Christmas gifts. I then got a request from an older sibling for one,  so I made another one.  Eventually I decided to make 7 vests for my friends' boys when I returned to my home state on a visit.  The Explorer Vest is my go to sewn gift for boys.  It is lovely to sew, has amazing detail and all of them have been very well received!
Flickr: with love, heidi

I like to sew things in  2s and 3s

flickr: with love, heidi
The first time sewing a pattern I sew it through, reading throughly, putting it together just so and generally seeing how it comes together.  By the time I finish the first one I am often very inspired by the finished product and proceed to straight away make another one!  Often I will make small changes in the construction order or have a new fabric combination that I want to try out while the pattern is fresh in my head. Sometimes I'm ready to move on after two but other times I want to make just one more! Although I have realised that by the end of the third I will often be very ready to sew something else. Sometimes I sew more than just the 2 or 3 items because I have set myself a goal, usually to have presents done, it was definitely like this for the Hogwarts Robes!   So two to three items are my ideal number of consecutive repeats.

Sew one item at a time

I sew one item at a time,  even if I'm making 5 or 7 of them. Some people prefer to sew multiple items as a production line,  doing the same step on two or more items at the same time.  I prefer to sew up one whole garment at a time and then move on to the next one, even if the next one is the same as the one before. I get a lot of satisfaction from a finished garment and sometimes want to make small changes in my process. Making one garment at a time gives me double the positive feedback  at the end of each garment/item. If I sew three individual things to completion I get three lots of positive feedback :) Where as if I sew production line style I only get one episode of positive feedback for 3 garments! (how clever of you! -Ed)

Sew each project from start to the finish

A while ago I realised I had a number of unfinished projects hanging around.  They often only needed a zip,  buttons or a hem before they were finished and usable. From that moment I decided I needed to work on one garment/item at a time and fully complete it before starting another.  I have found this system works very well for me. Even if I am planning on sewing multiple versions of the same item/pattern I can finish one, then take a detour onto something else and then come back to the pattern I've decided to make again.  I found this worked extremely well for the Elsa bolero/shrugs I recently made.  I made the first to see if it would work, stopped and made a skirt for a gift,  made 3 more boleros, stopped and made two pairs of baby carrier strap covers for another gift and then finally made the 5th bolero.  I think stopping and breaking the multiple sewing up has left me with continued enthusiasm for the pattern as I wouldn't mind making another,  would A like one? (Oh my goodness! She would adore anything princess-y but is blissfully ignorant of Frozen. It's my 6 year old son who's seen the Let It Go song clip and is infatuated with all things Elsa!! -Ed)

  I only have 3 items to go in the LTTS challenge! The Bento Box Carrier, the Puppet theater and the Quilt. (Can I suggest no more than two puppet theatres (1 for each side of the family), one quilt for a new baby outside the family, and Bento Box carriers for everyone! That's only 10 projects in total! -Ed)

....and she's got about six weeks to get them finished to complete the sew along challenge. I'm sure she can do it!

I hope you enjoyed that interview. I found it fascinating as in my imagination, she had 3 or more machines set up: one for sewing, one for topstitching, one for finishing seam allowances, and in the background was a husband at the ironing board making metres and metres of bias binding! Turns out it's just Heidi, doing it neatly, one step at a time. Best "aunty" ever!!!

Heidi has also kindly put together a Flickr set showing the construction of the No Tie Scarf, which I found to be one of the most baffling things so far in the Little Things To Sew Book. Click here for No Tie Scarf photo tutorial. Thanks Heidi.

Here's the July updated PDF scoreboard.


  1. Wow!! Most impressive sewing ever!! Everything that you looks wonderful. : )

  2. Incredible. That's dedication!! What lucky nieces and nephews Heidi has.

  3. So I actually laughed out loud at the image of the dutiful bias-making husband toiling away!

  4. What an interesting interview. Amazing multiple creations!

  5. Heidi, I take my hat off to you! And thank you for the No Tie Scarf tutorial, I was going to skip making that project because I just didn't understand the instructions.


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