Thursday, 30 January 2014

Other ways to be creative

When I first stated this blog, way back when we were living in New Zealand, I used to include the odd bit of non-sewing. I thought That I might start doing that again as and when the mood takes me. 

Husband has been bitten by the breadmaking bug.  He was gifted a copy of the Dan Leopard book 'Short and Sweet' recently. So far he has made two or three different types of white bread and some bagels, all of which have been very tasty. He made some wheaten bread the other day -Youngest declared that she loved it, so a second batch was made today:

I have been making marmalade today. The house is very steamy and smells wonderful:
I was hoping to get it done before the girls get home from school, but I forget (every year!) how much faff is involved. I can add my sugar when I've collected Youngest and do the bottling whilst cooking dinner. Not ideal, but it will be worth it for a bit of sunshine on my toast in the morning!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Queen of Procrastination

I am the Queen of Procrastination at the moment.  I have lots of lovely fabric, most of it bought with a plan in mind. The trouble is I really like the original plan, then think up new plans (usually plural) and end up being so paralyzed by indecision that I don't do anything.

Some of my fabric:
a very soft corduroy bought from the local market for £3.00 a metre:

Wool jersey bought from Geoff Rosenberg at Trumpington village hall:

patterned silk from the remnant bin at John Lewis:

Teal wool blend bought from Geoff Rosenberg just because I liked it. The current plan is a Sewaholic Minoru, or a skirt from my pattern cutting class:
middle fabric (need to do something with the other two as well)

Teal linen/cotton blend, bought in New Zealand 4 years ago bought to make a Hot Pattern shirt dress that I muslined and lost heart with. Could also be a Simplicity 2451 with lots left over:

Very drapey jersey, again from Geoff Rosenberg, bought to recreate a Boden Tunic that has been worn to death (could also be wrap dress or renfrew/burda raglan:

Corduroy bought in Goldhawk Road 18months ago to make a Beignet:
top fabric (bottom one already used)

Knobbly blue/grey fabric from one of the ladies at my pattern cutting class - for a sloppy top/Laurel style dress (from my dress block):

Numerous jerseys for renfrews, burda raglan tops and other t-shirt type tops:

Linen for summer skirts or trousers:

Quite large ponti remnants from other makes:

Am I the only one this happens to?! Maybe I will continue the procrastination by rearranging fabric by type, rather than colour...

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Giveaway winner...

Without further do, Eldest delved into the hat....

and the winner of the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook is...

So flossieft, email me your details and I will send this off to you.Well done!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Unblogged makes from 2013

Here is the catch-up of all of my un-blogged makes from 2013. Here's to getting things up here a bit more promptly! 

Bridesmaid dress(es)

it was very cold and windy!
I used Newlook 6749 to make this. I realise writing this that I had started to draft a blog post about this but I ran out of steam half way through! Initially I said that I didn't want to make the bridesmaid dresses as well as the brides dress. Fortunately my mother-in-law is a very good seamstress and had offered to any sewing that my sister wanted doing. Seems an odd arrangement but my m-i-l actually met my brother-in-law sometime before I did! My sister and I had decided that the 2 older girls would wear the same style dress as me and Youngest would wear a sparkly number from a shop to match with the other little dot who was the last bridesmaid. 

I traced off a size 6 for Eldest thinking I would do a tissue fit.  Which I duly did.... and it was too small.  I ended up doing the tissue fit again on Middlest which worked out fine, if a little long and a bit big in the chest department. I ended up tracing off a size 10 for Eldest. Having done all this, and having quite a lot of floor space, I offered to cut out all the dresses and mark them up for my m-i-l.  Having reached a hiatus in the Wedding Dress, I then decided to make my dress, so that m-i-l only had 2 to make. 

At a fitting session!
The dress was silk dupioni with a nice slubby texture and was great to sew. It was also great at fraying and instead of following my own advice to overlock all the edges before I started sewing (which m-i-l did) I carried on regardless. This meant that a couple of pieces were a little smaller than they should have been, but it wasn't too disastrous. I think I made a couple of small adjustments to the bodice around the sleeve and neckline. The dress would have fallen off my shoulders due to the extremely wide neckline, otherwise. M-i-l had to do the same for the girls.

Easily my favourite of 2013, not to mention many of the sewing blogosphere.  I have had the pattern for well over a year, and I bought the fabric this time last year, going by my photo records. The material is from Ikea and I bought it with the plan to make a Sewaholic Cambi (which I did...) I cut both out at the back end of the summer and finished the skirt in mid to late October.  I wanted it to be wearable for as much of the year as possible so winged lining it. Only one major mistake - can you spot it? I have, as I hoped, worn this a lot, but failed to get a photo of me wearing it. It goes with many of my tops which makes a seemingly garish skirt quite versatile. I often wear it on miserable days just to have something jolly to look at!

working out cutting layout for skirt and dress
Made from the same material as the above skirt. I was very patient with this make - I even made a muslin which seemed to fit fine. The construction took for ever. I made it in fits and starts, had to wait for a zip to arrive (I ordered 3 as I couldn't find a proper match just going on the computer screen colour).
waiting for Husband to pin hem..
I have only worn this once so far, out to dinner at Launceston Place, for my wedding anniversary.  
Unfortunately it is just fractionally too big. Enough to be noticeable and slightly distracting when wearing it. It is too cold and inclement to wear it at the moment, and I may get round to tweaking the fit. It is too big under the arms and in the bodice, which means it shifts around slightly and gapes at the bust.  I also feel slightly twee in it. I'll see how I get on in the summer.

An exact remake of the top I made for Eldest for Christmas2012. As predicted, she grew out of it almost immediately. I bought the same material and promised to make at some during the year. It ended up as a Christmas present for 2013 and the same size as I would make for myself. No picture of the current version.

Husband's Christmas shirt #3
In the run up to Christmas, I made Husband a Stratconna Henley blogged here, which looks good but is a bit too snug for his liking.  We already have fabric another that is washed and waiting to go, but I wanted to make him another shirt. I read something the other day that said if you do something 3 years in a row it becomes a tradition, so I think this might be my tradition. I bought the fabric at the traveling Geoff Rosenberg fabric sale that comes to Trumpington village hall every month. It is 100% cotton, very fine and I think it might be lawn. Husband says that it almost feels like he is not wearing it.
I used the McCalls 6044 again with the adjustments from last year (smaller size and 5cm longer). The fabric was a dream to sew. I had hoped to follow Carolyn's flat fell tutorial for the sleeve this time round.  I found the tutorial, had it open on the tablet next to me, read it through and thought I knew what I was doing, then promptly trimmed the wrong side of the seam allowance - duh.  I also got completely confused when doing the cuffs and got the buttonhole on the wrong side.  Husband came up with the solution to put another buttonhole in the RIGHT place so that he could wear it with cuff links, which he doesn't get the chance wear very often.

Little girls's outfit

One of my friends has a very sweet daughter who is rising 4, and reminds me very much of Middlest when she was a similar age. For some reason I decided to make her a little outfit as a Christmas present. I made a denim skirt with a patch pocket, and a little long sleeved top using Simplicity 9603 (which is no longer available) as the basis, all from scraps from previous projects. the top was not what I had when I started at all, but was the best way to use the fabric I had.

Sewing Kit x 2

Sewing bag, needle case, pin cushion & scissor case using denim and and scraps from stash.  This set was for  Eldest as a Christmas present. I made another for my friends elder daughter.

Don't forget I will be giving away the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook very soon. To enter the giveaway please comment on the original post here and I will put names in a hat on Friday 24th January.  Good luck!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Happy 2014 and a giveaway

I had thought I would do a round up post along the lines of  Gillian's Top 5 of 2013, however I don't feel I have done enough sewing this year to warrant a round up like that.

I do think I made the most impressive thing I have ever sewn, this year - my sisters wedding dress. I used some new techniques and fabrics I haven't used before. I also made my bridesmaid dress - see below - and cut and prepped the bridesmaid dresses for for my two eldest girls.  The dresses themselves were made by my mother-in-law.

My sewing and blog have suffered through 2013 due to other responsibilities, the biggest of which was being chair of our local PTA. I had no idea how all consuming it would be and was pretty stressed towards the end of the summer.  Having handed over responsibility in the autumn term, my sewing has picked up, but the old blogging mojo hasn't. I have much rather got on and done the sewing than sitting around writing about it, but have also done my fair share of sitting around reading about other peoples sewing!

I still have a number of items to blog about, which I was going do put in this post, but having drafted it, it seem too long so I'll post that in the next day or so.

And on to the giveaway:
Christmas 2012, Husband bought me a a copy of the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook, not realising that I already had a copy.  We both kind of forgot about it and I found it again last autumn. I thought I would be good for a giveaway and after blogging sporadically for coming up to four years, I realised that I was nearing 100 posts.

This is my 100th post so my giveaway is... my untouched, still in the original packaging from Amazon, copy of the above book. I will post anywhere and the closing date will be 2 weeks from today. Just comment below, say hello,  and I will pick a name out of a hat - good luck!