Thursday, 20 September 2012

Polka dot Pants!

Ok, so I hope that I am not the last to show what fun we had last weekend! 

Winnie issued the invitation to come for a meet-up and knicker workshop sometime in the early summer and I was keen to sign up.  After much discussion at home, Husband and I decided that we would use the weekend to visit family in Cheltenham and have a day trip to Bath to show our girls the sights.  We used to live in Bath for a short period when Eldest and Middlest were little (too little to remember it) so it was a lovely trip down memory lane, and I got to see some bits that I hadn't been to before. 

I meet up with everyone eventually after much, probably unnecessary, stressing.  Note of advice - Do not drive into the centre of Bath on a Saturday unless you want to spend alot of time sitting in traffic!
Whilst on my brisk walk to meet everyone, Husband texted to tell me he had seen 5 Mr Darcy's! I, on the other hand, had seen a hen party clutching inflatable unmentionables - talk about one extreme to another!

The reason for the Mr Darcy's was that it was the 12th Jane Austen festival that weekend, which I have to say was an added bonus. I'm not really into dressing up, but it did look great fun and we spent a while admiring people's costumes.
Regency ladies waiting at a pedestrian crossing

We had a great time wandering around the City taking in the sights,
Having fun with cameras and timers
 then it was on to lunch at the Tramshed. Here we all are en route from The Royal Crescent to lunch:
Photo by ScruffyBadger

We were joined at lunch by Sheena from Tottieweeminiatures.

Lunch was delicious and over coffees and sticky toffee pudding, we got down to the serious business of swapping.
just before the swap...
I had taken some material that I had had for years, that I have never thought of using, even for the girls (I had got a bit scissor happy in Ikea!) and about a metre of some flowery lawn that I had left over from making my Portfolio tunic.  I am pleased to say that I came home without the material, but I did bring home a very sweet shirt dress pattern from Kerry.

The Makery was just round the corner from the Tramshed, so we finished up our swapping and went to make knickers.  Our workshop was run by Jane, supported by Cerys, who were both very patient with us all as we got to grips with our fabric, elastic, lace and 'driving' unfamiliar sewing machines.

Our pants had been precut for us, and our first instruction once we had got our selves settled was 'to grab a gusset and pass them on' which, I have to say, set the tone for the rest of the class! Much discussion was had over the size of the cut pieces and how much they would shrink in the construction process.
fabric, instructions and gusset


frillies under construction

construction phase 2

I was surprised at how quickly the knickers went together, the most time consuming part was at the beginning trying to decide on the trims and embellishments.  I have not worn my finished frillies yet and to be honest I'm not sure I will, but the class itself was as much fun as I hoped it would be.  It was lovely to meet up with people that I had met before, and just as lovely to meet the likes of Shivani, Kerry, Laura, Mimi & Roisin.
here most of us are, standing under/behind our knickers!
 Many thanks to Winnie for such a fun day.  It was great to spend the day with people who enjoy the same thing as you... My school gate friends admire what I've made, but most are not that interested in the process, so to have a day with like minded people was lovely - thank you ladies!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

FO: A skirt for twirling

Last term I had to take Youngest to hospital for a check up.  We ended up having plenty of time before the appointment and popped into a travelling fabric sale on the way. The sale is run by M.Rosenberg & Sons and they appear about every 4 weeks. We had a quick look round and Youngest chose some material for a skirt.

I showed her a pattern that I have had for some time, for a mid length, gathered, tiered skirt (OOP McCalls 4816).  That was deemed suitable, with the stipulation that it had the bows, please!
spot the bow!
 Making this skirt was straight-forward, but as ever seemed to take ages.  I did it in small time increments which possibley made it feel like it took a long time.  It did, however, remind me that I really dislike making gathered garments! It took ages to get all the gathers evenly distributed. The instructions for the bows appeared to tell you to cut a rectangle, tie a knot in it, then sew it to the skirt without out appearing to finish any of the raw edges. I did not do this. I cut bigger rectangles, folded each rectangle right sides together, sewed 2 of the 3 raw edges together, turned it right side out, slip- stitched the remaining raw edge, then knotted and sewed to skirt.

Whilst I was plodding along with this, my mother-in-law knocked up a very similar style skirt for Eldest in an afternoon, using a much easier method. My pattern had me cut 2 pieces each for the top two tiers, and three for the bottom layer, sew each layer into a loop then gather and attach.  My M-i-L copied a RTW skirt that had 2 pieces for all three layers. She gathered and attached the front pieces to each other, did the same for the back, then sewed up the sides, which seemed much more sensible!

Youngest is very please with the skirt, and has t-shirts of many clours to go with it!

Friday, 7 September 2012

FO: A Jasmine for Tamsin

This blouse was finished just before the end of last term, but I haven't got round to posting much recently.
I have been admiring the many Colette Jasmines that are out there and and it took me a while to decide that I *did* like it more than the Violet blouse.  This was one of my favourites as was this one and this one.

The fabric was bought at the end of last summer's holidays.  For some reason I took the girls down to Lakeside Ikea (we must have been running out of things to do!) We didn't get much, but whilst checking out the bedlinens, there was a huge basket of duvet/pillow case sets on sale.  I had a look, the pattern was pretty, checked the price - £2.99 for a double duvet set! Into the trolley it went! The girls were all up for me getting the King size set for £3.99, but I felt there was probably a limit to the number of things I could make out of the same pattern. Don't want to end up looking like the von Trapps!

The blouse was pretty straight foward. I could have done french seams, but I seem to take forever to make things, so went for the easy, serged/overlocked option. I think the sizing is pretty good, I can't remember what size I cut out.  However when I was making the sleeves, I suddenly looked at the cuffs and thought 'there is no way that is going to get over my elbow'. I don't think I have abnormally big elbows, but sure enough, when I tried to slide the cuff over my elbow it wouldn't go. 
I took a short cut and just sewed much narrower seams, but having worn it quite a lot over the summer (with no decent photo's), there is still not enough room for comfortable movement. Every time I move my arms, the sleeve moves upwards and then gets stuck, so I then have to try and wriggle it down again.
You can see that the sleeves are a bit tight still
 This is pretty irritating, so I will definately need to do something about it - either cut new, larger, cuffs, or make a new one. (Eldest had her eye on this one before it was finished).   Another thing I noticed is that the neckline is a bit wide for my shoulders and tends to slide a little to one side, showing my bra strap. Something to remember for another make.

tucked in

 One of my favourite bits is the little loop that the ties go through:

And for something totally unrelated, but one of the reasons I haven't done much sewing/blogging over the summer; gardening and the frog I found the other day!