Sunday, 2 November 2014

it's good to give giveaway

Poor neglected dusty blog.  Life takes over sometimes. Plus I feel full doubt and so very tired,I keep going to sleep rather than sit and type up a post.  I am surprised to still have readers.  Thank you sincerely for popping in and for commenting.  I love reading comments.

I have a lovely friend who keeps giving me stuff.  Recently she gave me a bag and some sewing notions.  I am grateful but I feel the walls closing in on me as we have so much stuff in this house.

I thought I'd offer it up here.  It's a little bag filled with notions, some sewing  beads and a bit of fabric.  I have added in some stash fabric. This is a giveaway for  you if you like slightly tarnished and faded packaging, hodgepodge potluck, small pieces of fabric and shiny beads.  Oh and vaguely ethnic, animal print quilted bags.

If you are interested just leave a comment, with obvious contact details if I can't just click on your name.  I will leave the post open till November 10th, 8am GMT.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Anti UFO project

A colourful dress for Little I, needs a zip and finishing off
I finished off my Salme Patterns Minna blouse, details in a future post
I have learnt through experience that signing up to online challenges is not a good thing for me as I rarely manage to complete them.  However I did decide to join in with Adrienne at
 All Style All Substance in her Anti UFO project.  I was hoping it will give me impetus to clear the backlog of UFOs cluttering up  my house.  The deadline is the 31st October and realistically I know I won't make it (partly as it is holidays from school from 23rd - 31st)  but I hope to get at least part of my UFOs out of the way.  

So far I have realised I have more UFOs than I first thought.  I have included two make that need mending.  Here's the list created three weeks ago: 
  1. Blue fish dress for Little I - needs zip, facing stitching down, sleeves hemming and hem.
  2. Salme Patterns Minna blouse - needs facing stiching down.
  3. Grey jersey dress for Little I - needs hemming
  4. Denim jacket - needs topstiching, collar finishing, cuffs, sleeve insertion
  5. Tova Blouse needs mending on the yoke seam
  6. Traveller dress - needs unpicking at waist, reinserting straighter!Buttonholes and buttons
  7. Vogue skirt needs new zip and buttonhole plus buttons
  8. Ottobre tweed shorts - half made
Having this list has really helped me to focus and concentrate.  I included a couple of already mades that needed altering or mending.  You can already see from the strike-throughs that I have accomplished some of the list.  This also shows how long I have been writing this post for! 

Tova blouse needed stitching up on the yoke 

A jersey dress for Little I, needs hemming and a neck band
A traveller dress, started for summer 2014, maybe it will be done for next summer
Taking part in this project reminded me to order a new twin needle and yesterday I sat down and did lots of topstitching on my denim jacket.  Phew...I am determined not to start any new sewing till this jacket is done!  Even though I am browsing patterns and thinking of plans in my head.  Is anyone else joining in the Anti UFO project?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

FO: Simplicity 2246/ Traveller tunic for autumn

Dress #1 - thrifted duvet cover used as fabric
Hah hah...regular readers may fall of their chair at this actual completed sewn garment.  Whatever next eh?
It is the Sew Lisette/ Simplicity Traveller pattern 2246.
I made it as a dress (View A) twice.
Dress #2 in dark blue cotton

   This time I opted for view B, more of a long shirt or do you call it a tunic?  What ever it is an ideal length to go over jeans or leggings.
 I used some cotton fabric I bought on sale at the start of the year.  I think it is Robert Kaufman chambray but I cannot quite remember. A lot has happened since I bought it.  I am not even sure where I bought it from or why. This is weird as I rarely buy fabric.  It was some kind of impulse purchase.   But it was hanging around in my stash, taking up too much space. I am glad to have used it up.  It looks brownish but in fact is orange and purple threads woven together.  This gives it an iridescent quality in some lights.
I cut a straight size 12.  I didn't do any adjustments except shorten the sleeve length.
View B has a shorter length and a curved hem, it has a standup collar and button plackets.  It is really straightforward to sew.  Just two bust darts and then seams, a tiny bit of gathering to ease in the sleeve.  I think it could be a good pattern if you wanted to conquer a button hole making fear as you have to sew eight but there is nothing else in the pattern that is tricky.

That's not a tail, just a cardigan hanging up behind me
For buttons I used these painted wooden ones given to me by Katy in last year's Spring Sewing Swap.   I hesitated over using them as I wasn't sure if novelty buttons scream HANDMADE.  But then I decided they gave the shirt a bit of a lift.

 I also made the matching tie belt.  I have been wearing the tunic a lot as I have found it to be a great transitional autumnal top.  It has a bit of ease throughout but I like that as I am so uncomfortable in anything clingy.  Plus it covers up a multitude of chocolate eating.   I am thinking about making another one. I 'd quite like a plaid one for winter.

I have seen other similar styles of pattern out there and was tempted by a few, but I just don't have spare money now to buy patterns so I am determined to sew with what I have.  I am still, as ever, fascinated by how much mileage and variation I can get from one pattern.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Two and a half.

Rearranging pictures
Opening drawers
Emptying drawers
The list goes on....
Free will

All this means not so much sewing is happening and even less blogging. Miraculously I have made a shirt/tunic/thing recently and will photo it soon. When I am less drowning and more waving :) In the meantime please send me more patience and a sense of humour?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Adoration of prym pliers

Not much sewing happening here with school holidays but last week I added buttons to my denim jacket.  I was expecting an hour of huffing and puffing, cursing with a hammer and hammering my fingers, but then in a lightning flash I remembered I had some prym pliers.  

Bought about three years ago on eeeeeebay, they held the adaptors and the buttons
Then they pushed the buttons in.

They made the job so quick and painless.
Sometimes the right tool really does help get the job done.   Though I confess to breaking my twin needles about three weeks ago on all the topstitching.  I still have to buy a new one to restart.  At first the topstitching was fun, now it is dragging on, it's not quite so fun.  There is just so much topstitching!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

reading: the pink suit

I don't get much time to browse in the library, going with Rocket Girl prevents leisurely looking. But last week I snatched The Pink Suit from the shelf before chasing after my runaway child, who can open the main doors and run to the lift. A hilarious adventure for her, a stressful race for me.

I have only just started reading the book but am delighted by the unexpected writing about sewing, couture, fabrics, toiles....Yes, that's right, a novel with detailed descriptions of the process of making a muslin!  That got your attention didn't it?  The central character is a young Irish immigrant working for the fashion house who dressed Jackie Kennedy. It is partly love story, also a tale of worshipping a hero and the reality versus the illusion.  In this case the hero being worshipped is Jackie Kennedy and the central character travels from starry eyed adoration to..well, to something more cynical but I don't want to spoil the plot.  Interesting though to see how Jackie Kennedy was such a popular role model for style and dressing in the early '60s.  I know we often still refer to her now, but then she was massive (at least according to this book) However, when reading this book my interest has been captivated by the sewing descriptions, the beautiful fabrics and the intricacies of the
making process.

Here is a description of the central character's apartment:
 "There were dozens of boxes filled with zippers that were grouped according to color- and the same was true of rickrack and lace.  Kate prided herself on having thread of nearly every single shade ever made, she had eight variations of violet alone.  Buttons were kept in old mason jars that lined the windowsills.  Patterns were filed in a battered four-drawer cabinet that she'd found on the street.  Fabric was piled everywhere"

Wouldn't you like to visit?? I would.  So, has anyone else read anything good recently?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A fast breezy skirt

I had avoided the maxi skirt for a long time.  But last summer started enviously noticing them on other people.  I have the skin type that should be covered up from the sun, freckly and fair and so the idea of a skirt that covers my legs but allows me to stay cool is very appealing in our current hot spell.  Other days I just slather on the children's factor fifty.  
I used a length of light cotton sent in Alessa's parcel.  I had been mulling over a maxi skirt but thought I had no fabric till it dawned on me last friday to use this fabric.    I simply seed up a rectangle adding a side pocket on one side and a casing at the waist for elastic.  Then I tried it on and decided it was too wide so I sliced about four inches off one side and resewed the seam.  I hemmed it and the whole process took about an hour.
Since completing it I have worn it three times in six days as it is so practical for hot days.  BUT I have to confess around the house I keep hitching it up and even hoisted it into my knicker elastic!  So maybe I am not a natural ong skirt wearer.  I am not 100% certain if the maxi looks good or bad on me, and as I am quite short I am not sure if I look  even shorter in a maxi.  But I think it is partly getting used to wearing a different silhouette and length.  My goto, default skirt is a low waisted A line hitting the knees and I must have made about 5 of these plus I have a couple of old RTW ones too.  Do you have a default style skirt? And have you stepped out of your skirt comfort zone with success?