Tuesday, 8 April 2014

How to use a snap setter


I saw this Prym Vario Poppa Pliers tool on the great British sewing bee (dungarees task) but I've always used the freebie tool and hammer to set my snaps in the past so it intrigued me. When Minerva crafts offered me the chance to review this setter myself I jumped on them!

Firstly, let me say this, whenever I've used the freebie tool & a hammer I always end up with puckers in my fabric, it's never very secure and it's a whole lot of hassle. I had high hopes for this tool and it didn't disappoint!

I thought I'd photograph the steps so you could see how easy it is to use.

The tool comes with the relevant 'bits' to fit snaps, but if you buy a pack of Prym snaps it will come with size specific fitting 'bits' which you can use in your Prym snap setter.


You'll need four snap parts, I've put the male parts and their 'bits' together at the back and female at the front.


 The setting 'bits' (anyone know what they're called?) fit into the holes in the snap setter like so. They're inter-changeable so you can choose which way is easiest for you. I found it easiest to put the smooth snap side down and the prong-y bit on the top. The only downside to this setter was that the bits do tend to fall out if you're not careful. I suspect it would be the same for all setters but it can be a bit tricky to not let them fall out just as you're trying to use it!

 I used an awl to pierce a hole in my fabrics. I wanted to experiment so I used my outer fabric, a lining fabric and some soft & stable on my female snap and omitted the soft & stable on my male snap.

 I found the easiest way to line the female snap part up was to thread on the lining side snap piece, then each piece of fabric and finally pop the awl spike into the female snap piece. (Easier shown in the following photos)


 Once I had them lined up I popped them into my snap setter and pressed down until I felt a sort of 'click'.


Watching the great British sewing bee contestants use these snap setters and struggling away to close the handles, I assumed it would be really quite hard and take quite a lot of strength. However, in my poor weak, hyperemesis state, I found it really quite easy. I'm not sure what all their fuss was about!

As you can see I did get some wrinkling on my lining fabric, but I suspect that's the extra bulk of the soft & stable coupled with the fact that none of my fabrics were joined together before using the snap.


Next I put the male snap part 'bits' into the setter and then put the rounded nobbly snap into place on the bottom.


 I used my awl again with the back male snap part threaded on to line up this male snap. I lined up the point with the piece already in the tool and then slid the fabrics and snap part off the awl into place.


Once again a gentle press down until I felt the 'click' and the snap was securely in place.

As you can see, the fabric sits a lot smoother without the soft & stable but is still very secure. I look forwards to trying the setter on a real bag so that I can let you know if there's any lining wrinkling on that.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Prym Vario Poppa Plier snap setter from Minerva crafts and found it easy to use. I was impressed at how little strength was needed to set these snaps and will definitely be looking for more excuses to use snaps on my future bags! Thanks Minerva!

Bag of the month club - Prizes

What started out as a fun monthly pattern club has now extended into something infinitely more awesome, a chance to win an amazing prize, just for making a bag from the club!

We're now in month 4 of the Bag of the month club and some of the designers have contacted various sponsors to ask for some prizes, and you won't believe the value of these prize pots! 

If you want to join the Bag of the month club you still have time, you can pop over to sign up now to receive all the previous patterns and then you'll receive May & June's patterns when they're released. 

There are two prizes for each month's patterns and the closing date is 15th July. Make sure you upload your photos to the Flickr group by then to be entered into the competition for these prizes. 




January Pattern:
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Castle Fabrics
£20 Gift Certificate from Minerva Crafts
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Sew Sweetness
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics




February Pattern
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Castle Fabrics
£20 Gift Certificate from Minerva Crafts
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Emmaline Bags
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics




March Pattern:
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Southern Fabrics
£20 Gift Certificate from Minerva Crafts
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H.
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics




April Pattern:
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Online Fabric Store
£20 Gift Certificate from Village Haberdashery
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Betz White
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics



May Pattern:
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Online Fabric Store
£20 Gift Certificate from Village Haberdashery
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Noodlehead
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics

 June Pattern:
1st Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Crimson Tate Fabrics
£20 Gift Certificate from Village Haberdashery
3 PDF Sewing Patterns of the Winners choice from Chris W. Designs
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$25 Gift Certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics

Better than that though, there are also two prizes available just for entering, so it's always worth uploading your photos to enter this prize draw!


Random prizes:
1st Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate Fat Quarter Shop
12 Spools of Aurifil Thread

2nd Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate from Fat Quarter Shop
4 Spools of Aurifil Thread


$50 gift certificate, just for entering a couple of photos of the bag of the month club bags you've made, you'd be daft not to!

I can't wait to see everyone's bags filling up the group, good luck everyone!

Minerva's gone mad

Great British Sewing Bee mad I should clarify!

I hope that if you're in the UK (or you can get British tv) you've been following this year's series of the great British sewing bee. Some of these later weeks make me glad I didn't make it through the audition process, some of the tasks have been HARD!

One of the sponsors for the bag of the month club (phew-ee there's a great prize package!) is Minerva crafts who are based in the UK and are possibly the most helpful company I've had the pleasure of working with.

They've set up a special section on their website to collate items from each week of this year's series of Great British Sewing Bee. You can even sort it by week!

With tonight being the final I'll be glad I've got it on record (to rewatch over and over and marvel at the skills those contestants have!) and it's a great time to pop over to Minerva and check out their GBSB section and their fancy sorting tools.

You want the week the contestants made dungarees? Minerva's got snaps, setters and hard wearing fabrics. You want the week the contestants made party dresses? Minerva's got suitable fabrics. It really does make it incredibly easy!

For a full list of the Bag of the month club's sponsors stay tuned as that'll be out shortly along with a tutorial on how to use a snap setter, kindly provided by Minerva crafts.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tester's bags - Convertible

March is well on it's way to becoming a little bit of spring so it's time to share with you the bags my testers made when checking my March bag of the month club pattern for me.


Once again they've proved themselves some of the best testers in the world and although I could only have a few, they made up for their small number by being very pernickity!

Let's start with the ever reliable Maria from Mia Creates.







She chose to quilt her outer fabric, doesn't it look great!

Next up is Sally from Life in Sally's world, isn't her fabric perfect for spring!


The 'convertible' part on the back
Next up is Susie from Susie's Sunroom who very helpfully made a very beautiful bag!




Finally, the last of my few testers on this pattern is Terri from A creative Princess.




I tried to blackmail Liz from Moments blog into testing for me too, but she just wasn't able to fit me in but a very special thank you to her for not punching me in the throat. :)

If you want the convertible bag pattern NOW! (well, as in the next couple of days) you can still sign up
to the Bag of the month club. The pattern will be available to buy once the club is over.

If you're still on the hunt for the hardware kit, they're back in stock now.

I'm loving seeing the versions popping up in the Flickr group!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Surprise!!



The eagle eye'd among you knew something was up when I wasn't posting very regularly, I've been on bed rest the last couple of weeks and very, very, very sick! (p.s. yes, I have been taking ginger....)
p.s. Please be patient, I should be back to 'normal' within a couple of weeks!
p.p.s. 20th September if anyone's wondering!