Monday, 21 July 2014

On my sewing table

Except I don't really have a sewing table.  More accurately, on my ironing board and on my dining table....
Burda 7018.  I decided to make a jacket using the remaining denim left over from my V1246 skirt.  
I browsed my patterns and hesitated for weeks over what jacket to make but finally opted for this one as I wanted to try a jeans jacket.  I bought it in the half price Burda sale last month at Jaycotts. For some reason Blogger keeps rotating the photo below, so please excuse this.  I am making view A, shortish with a waistband.

So far, sewing this jacket has been fun.  It is the kind of step by step construction that I like and making it has made me think about the construction of RTW jackets.  I have sewn the curved front seams, the fake pocket tabs, the side and shoulder seams and the waistband.  Plus I have added side pockets as I know I won't get much wear out of a pocketless jacket.  

And then there's the topstitching!  Twin needle time. (A new twin needle was among my birthday presents from my lovely friend Emma, **Hello Emma**) I spent about three weeks thinking about what colour to do my topstitching.  I kept checking out any denim jackets I saw.  Finally I decided last week to do the top stitching in red. 
The frustrating part is I have to sew the construction in blue threads, then changes needles and threads for topstitching.  To have two machines like Sonja would be brilliant for a project like this!  If you haven't tried twin needles for top stitching I recommend you do - it is fab.
I am expecting this project to take quite a while to finish as it is now school holidays.  But for the first time in ages I am really enjoying the sewing journey rather than rushing to the end product.  What is on your sewing table?  And is it really a dedicated sewing table?  Or does it share functions with other people, eating, other crafts....?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Lovely things from lovely peeps

Oh, sweep away the cobwebs from this blog. I didn't intend to stay away from this place for so long.  Real life just got in the way, various minor illnesses and too many other events.  I kept wondering if I will lose all my readers by being so neglectful. Maybe?  I hope not.  This post has been languishing half written for at last a month.  So I pulled myself together, left the dirty dishes in the sink and got typing.



I was very lucky and won some great sewing goodies.  Firstly this pattern, Butterick 5612 from Philippa.  She didn't tell me in advance so it was a lovely surprise when it dropped through the letterbox.  I have already sewn up view A and still have to blog about it.  


Then I received a handknitted cardigan from Jessica that she had offered as part of
Spring Cleaning Swap Meet.  I still have to photograph the cardigan.  She was generous enough to include some fabrics.  There is a black knit fabric, some stripey jersey and this cute cotton.  Hmmmm......my mind is whirring with ideas.  There is enough of the black for a pair of jersey trousers - and I have several pattern choices.  I just have to choose either a drapey flowey (is that  a real word?) pair or a more fitted style.  The stripes I have earmarked for a top if I can figure out cutting and pattern placement.  I was thinking of using the japanese doll cotton for a skirt for Little I.


Next I won the "white bundle" in Alessa's giveaway.  There is a large piece of the grey/pink floral striped cotton.  It is a really nice light weight and I was thinking of a dress.
The other pieces are smaller and I am planning to use them for my little girls.
This black and white cotton was also in Alessa's bundle and I have used it already.  Do you want a peek of what I made?  Well, here it is...


...it is  the Butterick top from Philippa's pattern.  I will witter on write a constructive review soon about it.  I have doubts as to whether it suits me greatly but I have worn it lots anyway as it is so light and ideal for summer days when I don't want to have arms out.  Oh and please feel free to laugh at my unfortunate bad haircut. Happily it is now grown out a bit.  It was cheap and sometimes you gets what you pays for.  A lesson learnt. I have to say a big thank you to Jessica, Alessa and Philippa.  
So a big thank y

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

FO: V1247 skirt in denim

Ha, Sonja and Tamsin...you were right!  It was Vogue 1247 shown in the previous post.  It's that binding, isn't it?  A true clue.
I don't often buy patterns but I did buy this after seeing Solvi's red version here.  Also check out Winnie's skirt here.  I made my first version just over a year ago in thrifted green cord and I like it but always had it in mind I would like to make it in denim.  So those sewing deities aligned when I went to visit a scrapstore.  Imagine my glee when I found they sell end of roll fabrics.  I bought 3.75 metres of denim for £9.  It was literally the end of the roll.   Tee hee.  Sadly the people I was with had no idea of the price of denim fabric, but I hope you can be happy with me!


When cutting out, I added a couple of inches in length as this skirt sews up short and there is only so much middle aged leg I am willing to flash.
The pattern calls for a lot of binding of seams.  I used gingham binding that the lovely Jessica sent me in a parcel.   I love the simplicity of this skirt, it provides a basic that I can  wear with lots of different things and is robust enough for the toils and turmoils of daily life.  

 Plus, regular readers know of my pocket love, and this skirt has two great pockets.  Ideal for hiding keys, phone and choking hazards from RG.
 I made the pocket inners from some John Kaldor fabric from my mum's house.  I only have about a fat quarter of this so I am using it for linings and facings.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Ow! Work in progress

This week I have cut out and been sewing a denim skirt.  Two out of three children were asleep so I thought I could get it finished,  I sewed the waistband in place and trimmed the bias binding.

 Trimmed it with my big orange sewing scissors...and, yes, did you guess?  I also trimmed my thumb!  Ouch, ouch, ouch.  
Maybe night time sewing after a 4.30am wake up and non stop day is not such a great idea.  Too  much rushing.  I was just so keen to finish something and blog about it, not to mention wear it!  I am off to watch Wallander instead.

Anyone else have a sewing related injury?  And can you guess my pattern?  I think the bias binding gives it away if you know this pattern.
y

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Me Made May - 9th - 20th May

 Oh my, May just goes on and on.  I have worn me mades every day but have missed several photos.  I have also been dogged by the strange lack of focus when using the timer on my camera.  I have taken so many bad photos this month that I resorted to a collage to try and hide my crappy skills.  So, clockwise from the biggest image:
Amy Butler Anna Tunic in grey with grey Nora tee underneath
Sew U corduroy skirt
Pink Lola dress
Floral Simplicity 2246/ Sew Lisette Traveller dress
Gather Patterns Mortmain dress (unblogged)
April Rhodes Staple Dress in spotty black and white
And today - 20th May:  Simplicity 3969 BBW dress

Conclusions and thoughts so far?
I cringe at seeing myself in photos some days.  Why persist in tak?ing crappy pics?  Why not apply some make up first?  Um... um.....I am not sure why I keep doing this but I am keeping on doing it.  Smiles.  How is your May going

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Me Made May 14 - the first week

I wrote this post  and inserted pictures, labelled them, and then accidentally deleted the lot last night!  Needless to say, I went to bed in a very bad mood.  So I am beginning all over again.  

Day 1 Portfolio dress 
I wasn't sure whether to take part in Me Made May.  I participated each time and always enjoyed myself, loving the comunity and I have met some blogger friends through Zoe's me-made months.  But recently life has thrown a few wobblers my way and I am very very tired.  And ver very low on free time.  So I have done my own Minnado thing:
Day 3 - April Rhodes Staple Dress

Day 4 - Simplicity/ Sew Lisette Portfolio top and Sew Liberated Skinny jeans
 I decided to do weekly round up posts and see how my month of photos looks at the end.  



 Eagle eyed readers will notice no Day 2 picture.  I just didn't get to take one.  But promise I wore my grey lola dress.
Day 6 - Simplicity 3835 top and Sew liberated jeans
So far, I have realised: May in the UK can mean many different weathers.
And taking a photo a day highlights the varying levels of energy and mood swings!  
Day 7 - Amy Butler Anna tunic.  I have worn this for four years now and
never saw how unflattering it is till now :)




Wednesday, 30 April 2014

FO: Lola in Clashing Pink

 I wear my dark grey Lola dress a lot.  But it is dark, dark grey and soon will be too warm to comfortably worn.  I had wanted to make a more summery Lola for warm weather.  At the start of March I was visiting family and went into a fabric shop in Exeter that I always drive past and never have time to go into.  On impulse I went in and there was a selection of cotton jerseys.  I opted for bright pink, thinking I would like a bright colour.


Ever since buying it I have worried it was too bright, too barbie pink.  And I have worried I am too old to wear such a bright colour.   I was distracted in choosing by Little Rocket Girl who ran round the shop shouting MUMBLE!  at every roll of spotted fabric she saw and then rolling round the floor.  (This is a reference to this fella probably known to UK based parents of small children, and with whom RG is obssessed).



Then life events rolled on and it was only about two weeks ago that I finally cut out and sewed the dress.  RG went to bed (dreaming of Tumble no doubt).
This gave me time to keep on and on sewing.  I sewed on and blithely sewed one upper side panel in the wrong way, meaning the fabric hunched and bunched up and only one sleeve would fit.  I was so pleased to have made so much progress that I didn't see my mistake till the next day!  
Luckily I had enough pink fabric to recut the panel and one sleeve.  The jersey doesn't take kindly to unpicking so new pieces were needed.
I shortened the lower pieces by about half an inch and also shorted the sleeve by about half an inch.  I decided to embrace the hot pinkness by adding clashing red ribbing.  I like a colour clash.  I think you can see that I like a colour clash in this photo of the Lola in my living room, those are my thrifted clashing sofa cushions!
It may be hard to believe but I had tidied this space up prior to photos












I am still not certain if this is too bright.  I just am not sure.  It is a happy colour though and a great dress for spring days.  It is still not THAT warm here so yesterday I wore it over my jeans.  I asked Little I aged 7 and she said that was an okay look, so obviously I just went with what the seven year old said.  I went out in public and no one pointed their finger and laughed, so I guess that's a success criterion?