A sewing story!

When we hear a story about sewing, one thinks of sewing beas and summer days and all niceties which come with the calm and tranquility of going to your space to create…..well I did until I read chapter forty-six of ‘The Silence of The Lambs’. Yep, that’s right! If you have seen the film you will have clocked onto the fact the nasty man could sew, but as ever the book is always better than the film and the little sections….chapter forty-six….. which are left out from the film show more significance to the mentality of the characters….not that I’m saying all seamstresses are nutters! A little quirky, but not to the extent Thomas Harris is making out! Even though, the story really caught my attention at chapter forty-six and I was really happy to be reading about darts, muslins, plackets, velcro and lycra and then….. remembering what the chap is actually constructing and the ‘fabric’ he was working with became a little disturbed with myself I was enjoying ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ so much!!!!

Does anybody know of any books which use sewing as a basis? Preferably without the murders!!!!

Advertisements

Here’s to 2014!

2013 was a year of development for me. I learned to sew! And it has surprisingly opened a number of doors, including making some great friends……you know who you are! Yet as the new year has arrived its time to pass over the reflections of the year, though just to mention which is my proudest moment….the sewaholic Robson coat! Took me a good while and the sense of achievement when it was completed is indescribable. ….Literally dont know how to say it!

IMG_2234

As for 2014 I have many personal goals which reflect on other areas of my life than the crafting, but I shall not bore you with the politics of the workplace or my hopes to do another, longer distance triathlon…..though no doubt I shall end up blogging about it at some point! Here are my plans for sewing and creating- a few projects to develop my skills and test my patience, no doubt! I have decided to choose 6 projects, I would have done 12 – 1 per month – but I do get distracted by other pretty dresses and time is short as it is! so,

1- make a quilt! I have seen a fab stag template I want to use to make a double quilt for all the reindeers- getting excited for next Christmas already! There will be a few firsts eg freezer paper and most importantly cutting to exact measurements and straight lines – I’m worried already!

DanStagQuilt

2- make a pair of trousers! I don’t really wear trousers, other than my jeans very often…..but as I will be soooo skinny from all this exercise I plan to do….ahem!…… I think I shall be enjoying my new waistline! Ok…. I’m nearly choking lol!!

478699_9770_f

3 – Complete the Anise jacket! I have had the pattern since may and two lots of fabric with buttons for nearly as long!

4- Make a couture type gown! Mwa ha ha ha! My evil master plan!

I've seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

I’ve seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

5 – Restyle something AWESOME! I’m going charity shop hunting!! And possibly drop on a leather Chanel handbag….you never know (or keep on dreaming).

Best-Discount-Chanel-SPRING-SUMMER-2009-Flap-Bag-Sale11351

6- create my own pattern, perfect for me! Check out my stash of Sewing Christmas presents and it will make sense!

And a few other ‘resolutions’:

Blog once a week

And one nearly all seamstresses must make every year….use the patterns and fabric in the stash before buying anymore! How many uncut patterns do you have in your stash?

I hope everybody enjoyed the New Year and are looking forward to the year ahead!

The Finished Robson Coat!

My first post on this topic was 8th June…much earlier this year! I was so excited when I won my first blog giveaway and was very grateful to Veanna at sosewlovely for getting the pattern to me so quick so I could ooober drool over it! ….and plan! Reflecting back on my initial idea of a turquoise coat with pink trims I still have a little smile, but when it came to shopping for the fabric I forgot how expensive fabric can be, especially something thick and sturdy enough to make a coat and was extremely happy to drop on this purple waffle fabric for £2 a meter!!! Can you believe it???? And again this was back in June! Eventually I decided on using pink binding for the seam covers and bought the cutest buttons off etsy…now the buttons was the most difficult decision to be honest…soooooo many to choose from! And I must have drooled over Etsy for a whole (very unproductive) Sunday morning!….well it was productive in the end!

I knew this was going to be the most mammoth sewing project I had taken on …..ever! But I naively thought I could get it made in a weekend with my son away! How wrong I was! There are many factors now, which hindsight suggests, would have made the processes quicker and so much easier, I do like to test myself!

IMG_2245

I was very impressed by the instructions from Sewaholic they were broken down step by step…and little steps they were too! The diagrams and descriptions worked well together to give you an idea of how to do the many and varied skills which need to be incorporated into the coat – definitely not a beginners project!  Patience is a virtue I found! I spread the Robson out over about 6 weeks, the reason being binding the seams is time consuming, but leaves a wonderful effect and some very trying issues with my fabric and choice of binding which if I make this coat again I will take careful consideration over!

So, here goes….what I would do different if I did it again!

Choose a fabric which does not fray as if it were disintegrating to human touch! If you saw my post on ‘And so it has begun…’ then you will have seen the mess it made of my carpet when I was cutting the fabric……grrrrrr lots of hoovering! There were many occasions I wanted to throw the coat out of the window. At these points I stepped away from the coat! Hence it took 6 weeks, there were lots of these occasions!  A more sturdy fabric…..medium to heavier weight gabardine for example would have been a better choice!

The binding I chose was not wide enough as in some places I was stitching through five or six layers of the main fabric… I didn’t break any needles though…..:) Wider binding please!!!!

The sizing of the pattern to me seemed big and I ended up taking the bust seams in on the top half of the dress to the waist, which then threw off the pattern for the lapels and sleeves, so some fiddling and adapting of the pattern was involved, including resetting 1 sleeve…..I hate resetting sleeves, sleeves ain’t ever going to be my BFF! I’m well too fussy over what is a gather and when it turns into a pleat and I then can’t even look at it!!!! FUSSY!!!!! So to avoid this I would make the coat one size smaller! (I’ve actually noticed this with simplicity and McCall pattern….oh and the Burda skirt….so pretty much every type of pattern I’ve used now!) The other issue I had with the pattern was, not really with the pattern but my crummy buttonhole marking….by the time 6 weeks later turned up, they had disappeared, but it gave me great focus when it came to remarking the buttons, and put my math skills to work! The measuring, holes and attaching the buttons was then done in a few hours- awesome!

Press, press, press the hind legs out of it AT EVERY STEP! It makes it much easier to handle and looks great with the overstitching being so flat! PRESS PRESS PRESS!!! Cannot say it enough… and I HATE ironing!

Here’s what I love! ……..The outcome! It’s gorgeous! And the details, the location of the buttons, even the ones hid under the collar, I know they are there and are so pretty, the pocket lapels cover the pockets and add that extra touch, and as for the overstitching it definitely has the desired effect! Well done sewaholic!

Now here it is!

IMG_2234

IMG_2235 IMG_2238 IMG_2239 IMG_2237

IMG_2252 IMG_2255

IMG_2247 IMG_2248 IMG_2245 IMG_2244 IMG_2246 IMG_2242

Though there is a bit of ‘oh me oh my it was hard work! that was from aspects which could be changed easily and the process would have been a lot smoother and painless and would have moved a lot faster! But… I absolutely adore the coat and have been wearing it loads! And when I can coax someone into taking some nice photos I hope to show you what a gorgeous well fitting coat it is….and I’ll do lots of crummy and cheesy posing – promise! x

A snuggly shawl!

When you can’t take your sewing on your hols, what’s the only other option….. grab your knitting bag and take your crocheting to a new level! I’ve spread my wings and completed my first shawl!

IMG_3105[1]

I’ve wanted to do a lacy shawl for aaaagggges but have struggled finding a pattern I had a) the patience for b) used chunkier wool so it would not take forevvvvvver! c) the pattern was not too complex…. I get lost very easily when there are hundreds of stitches and I have to count them all the way through the pattern – blah! So hurrah for mooching around on ravelry and finding ‘I promise you pineapples!‘ by Justyna Kacprzak. I had a look at the pattern and discovered there was a repetition in each row which was very easy to follow and due to the type of wool used would build up quickly ( I have too many projects on the go I did not want to bring something home half finished…cos it would have stayed that way till after Christmas). I headed up to my stash of wool and rooted out four balls of ecowool chunky in grey….very warm snuggly real wool left over from a HUGE cardi I started a few Christmases ago (and finished the following Christmas….are you catching on?????) and decided it should be enough – how wrong I was! As you can see from the pics it made the main body of the shawl and there was only a little left over, at which point I was on Anglesey and debating how to get my hands on more chunky wool to finish it off! I did think aswell that it looked somewhat drab just being grey…..very wintery and a girl needs cheering up on a winter’s day, so thought some hot pink would be great for the pineapples round the edge – I also love pink and think it’s a great contrast with grey! On a sneaky trip to the poundshop for a chocolate stash….what did I spot but a huge stash of hot pink double knit, 3 balls for £2 ….. how could I not!!!! But as it was DK and not chunky I did briefly debate the matter till, come on, at that price double up the wool! Et voila!!!!! So working with two threads next to each other my pineapples appeared and I could not be happier with the outcome!IMG_3100[1]IMG_3106[1]

Love the colours, the main body is so warm with the real wool and I got to practice my crochet skills! A fab rainy holiday project! xx

OOdles of bOOdles

Over the summer I discovered a new type of yarn….well new to me! Boodles a jersey yarn and needs a huge crochet hook, which I thought would be great for practicing my newly acquired skills, I know it’s been a while, but still getting the hang of it! It was great! Knit up really quick! And went really far!! 3 bobbins (they look really fun like a bobbin ) created 2 tablet cases, a pair of slippers for my son, which started off as a phone cover till the not so little one anymore put it over his foot and I figured ooooo let’s try making a heal piece! Et voila….. A pair for myself and a while Im knitting yarn holder with the leftovers. All the patterns I made up myself so for example I just adapted the slippers by lengthening the foot piece and enlarging the heal! Quite proud of my imaginative crochet pattern creating skills…… For a newbie!!!

20131004-084257.jpg

20131004-084326.jpg

20131004-084350.jpg

Button envy x

20130921-092038.jpg

I have seen these around on Pinterest and wanted to make one and what better excuse than when a friend has a baby! And I love giving a handmade gift!
I thought I had it sussed, but then things always crop up! I knew the colour theme of the babies room and had this material leftover from a dress- lovely I thought for a baby! And I now it’s a pain, creases so easily but figured if I glue the fabric to a more substantial piece underneath. The first attempt really discoloured the fabric and so I sprayed glue around the outside of the fabric just to hold in place as I stitched the buttons on. I have noticed people just glue them on but I wanted to stitch them as I think it looks neater, next time I would use an embroidery hoop for this!
The main problem I had was when I came to remove the fabric ink I used to outline the letter! I should have just dabbed with a wet sponge on a small area but sprayed water over the material and this made the pain in the backside material crease to high heaven! Which was fine to iron out around the edge of the letter but you maybe noticed, it’s not creased but wrinkly in the middle….where the iron would not fit!

I understand why people create button monogram on readily stretched material…,, a canvas or in an embroidery hoop! So I know it’s not perfect and I’m sure I will get better but really like the frame and the girly outcome to go in Gabriella’s room…., if her mum n dad like it!!!

Buttons!

After spending about 2 hours on etsy I eventually decided on the buttons I wanted for my many coats!
The stars for khaki anise and trees….these were the most expensive but I luuuuuurve them!!!!!! For what I consider teal material anise! And pretty little flowers for my girly purple Robson mac! Love it!!!

Very happy with my choices and the lady I bought them from Lyanwood and the fact they turned up in around a week from Hong Kong! I have now ordered some jewellery from etsy for a present ( not to myself unfortunately) I have a feeling the sellers are more conscientious and bothered about their customers!!!

20130919-181357.jpg

20130919-181452.jpg

20130919-181516.jpg

Sorry about the photos! Posted this from my phone 😏

And so this is Christmas……But it’s still August!!!!!!!!

I am a big pinterest fan and can’t think of a better way to waste (!!?!) an hour than having a mooch….especially in the DIY and craft sections! Seeing the general boards – what’s going around at the moment! But at the moment I seem to be tripping over Christmas pins! And it’s giving me some inspiration……but, I hear you cry, IT IS AUGUST!!!! I know, I know!

But here’s the plan! And if you are one of the people that’s one my Christmas shopping list…..beware! The plan is a totally hand made Christmas! Give or take the odd present for kids! And things I already own are allowed – heads up – I ain’t making a Christmas tree!

Inspiration for Christmas!

fb6bf733d8b31d2570c7a98afcd00bac[1] e1472369fcad4fe8255d65a0876e0cba[2] c64018631ba5d359507d8e36b99f31ca[1] a2bc17e9f6b1d09faae3538504739c29[1] 9ccbb7bf923764273f5ef82b93d5e5c7[1] 45be792957c4c93e94bc18dde5b92adc[1] 92e6bed9a8bfb7b19e84ca06cdfe9a10[1] 659810582a130646a3b019c32a4847b9[1]

And watch out for those knitted socks folks!!!

Making for babies!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of a new born than to start making! Especially when the baby in question is my new niece. Freya was born in April and she’s had a few things made for her since then. It’s been a good chance for me to make a few novelty items and to make baby clothes…….yes, including bloomers! love it!

I love an excuse to make a bit of bunting and after making some single sided with my sons name on I decided to make it more of a keepsake for Freya and put her date of birth on the other side. If you ever get to making bunting remember to put the letters and then the reflection on the back in the opposite direction, first letter with last on the back! I did first with first on the back so when it flipped over the date of birth was the wrong way round! Doh!!! Bit of unpicking….sorted!!

IMG_2229[1]

IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1967 IMG_1968  IMG_1969

I do like making a dress, or two! So I jumped at the chance to make a summery girly dress! As you do when you have a boy and you can only get so creative with their clothes (poor Fin, or lucky Fin – whichever way you look at it!). There are so many cute patterns out there, but when I went to mooch through the catalogues at Abakhan nothing really stood out to me, especially for the price of one pattern! Then while nosing around Amazon to get my Mccalls 6466 pattern I discovered books with kids patterns – boys and girls age 0 to 5! Awesome Fin can get on this one too! There is some lovely stuff in it and all the patterns are included and since they are so small it makes easy tracing!

IMG_2587[1]

And this was the outcome!

IMG_2592[1]

Obviously the bloomers did not have the elastic in at this point. I took them with the elastic loose and measured them on Freya and then hand stitched them and closed the gaps in the fold over of material so the elastic would not rub on her skin! The dress is double layered as its very thin material, but this could be done with two different fabrics and a reversible dress made! It did seem very plain so I made a small flower with a little leaf behind and stitched it to the front of the dress. It’s quite a good style too as the shoulders untie, making it easier to get in and out of (as any parent will no doubt is essential in baby clothing!). This was such a quick little project – loved it! Freya! You’ll be getting many more dresses my dear!!!

Lurrrrvley fabrics!

I have been very good recently….well since the Birmingham meet up and not been fabric shopping, even walking into a fabric shop for something a simple as some binding generally spills over to  3 dresses and something to do with the many jackets I have lined up. This fabric trip started off with the very sincere intention of buying binding to crack on with  the Robson coat this weekend……Yes folks! I have started cutting, but can only do it when my son is out of the house as I need to lay out the huge volume of material and only have a small house, it takes up the whole living room, and in the 6 weeks summer hols he has been at home all but one weekend! Plus with such a good summer it’s been all about the dresses! More posts on those in the near future!

And here’s what I got!

IMG_2583[1] IMG_2581[1]

And this was restraining myself…..

The very light blue with brown stars I thought would make a lovely little sun dress for my niece ( this shop did take place two weeks ago…..apologies for the delay as there has been a few hols taking place! The joys of teaching! But I ended up with 2.5 meters it was so light I would have been silly not too (it was measured by weight) so I’m planning on using the rest for either jacket lining, a dress or my niece will be having a summer dress in it for the next 4 years!

I love butterflies and this material shouted ‘buy me, buy me!’. I’ve been after some butterflies since ….I started sewing in March but it’s usually expensive and by the meter, so I didn’t care there was only a meter of this hanging around as I had read and was feeling inspired by Dreaming of Avonlea’s blog on AMetreCanGoALongWay and again (as all this material was) bought by weight. It is dress material so figured I could bind the neckline and get away with not lining it making it in time for a holiday!

This maple leaf just caught my eye and again only a meter of dress material……so pretty, just debating what to do with it now! Any ideas folks? It’s too stiff to make a Sorbetto top and is quite an apt pattern as we move into autumn, just struggling to decide…..

Now this was my fave……..pale minty green with tiny white birds and reeaally floaty and fine! Though it creases to high heaven!!! So I shall be researching ways to treat material to help this out! Any advice would be great, THANKS!!!

So with all this material, there’s going to be a few blogposts on the go! Happy hols folks and hope the prep for back to school is going well xx