It’s been a while……long enough to reflect on vintage!

So there goes my new year resolutions…….!!!! I can’t even remember the last time I blogged it’s been so long!

But there have been many reasons: I was working a second teaching job, increasing my days to 4… so what! I hear you cry, most people work five! I have also got as new job which I start…. oooooo…. on Tuesday….exciting and nervous! Which is 5 days a week and a promotion! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! What will probably interest the crafty folk out there is job number 3 I have been participating in! Working for the Stylefactory in Runcorn actually teaching sewing! EEEEK!! The main feature of the classes was updating clothes, turning two shirts into a shirt dress and old jeans into a skirt! It was very fun!

Right lets bypass all the exclamation marks and I hope you can forgive the 3 jobs and imminent job with a lot more work involved!

 

Image

And back to sewing…… I have been doing lots of crafting since Christmas, not much clothes making though and not been blogging about it! Sorry!

Image

I went to my favorite car boot last week and saw my fave haberdashery lady! She rocks selling patterns she finds in house clearance for £1! (I’m not telling you where it is…….! She’s mine!) This week I whittled it down to a select 4 patterns…..including a brand spanking new new look 6736 pattern! But what caught my eye was three v. glamorous vintage (old fashioned as my Dad put it……he knows nothing!) patterns all of which have never been pinned. I have already cut the fabric for the ‘classic beauty’ and reading the patterns have learnt a few tricks! I did find it confusing reading the very limited pattern instructions. My confusion began with putting bias on the neck overlapping the front interfacing….k? But on closer inspection it is using bias binding instead of interfacing  and on the sleeve, something I have flukily done before but seeing it used the way they have it’s very clever!

IMG_2355

Now for the vintage giggle…..what they used to get away with! ‘Sailor’s Delight’, ‘Button Cute’ and ….my favourite…..’Gay Charmer’ ……I’m such a child!

So, hopefully the dress will get finished over the next few weeks and pictures to see if my skills are still up to task x yay x

 

Advertisements

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!!!!

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!

Because I love a little colour in my dress- Simplicity 6144

Another of the bundle buy patterns from the Simplicity New Look sale, the dress 6144.

I love this fabric and wanted to be very definite about which pattern I made! I knew I wanted a raglan top and thought a top to wear over leggings, so more floaty and abit Joules-esque! So I made a fitted dress instead….I baffle myself sometimes! I love the dress though so changed my mind…as is! I was quite partial to the neckline aswell…I think that bit swung it for me!

IMG_2259

The neckline did actually turn out to be the most awkward part and involved me unpicking and rearranging a little to flatten the chest of the dress….this still isn’t 100% and too be quite honest I think I would leave it till after putting the front, back and sleeves of the dress together so the neckline can be arranged while the dress is worn, ensuring the fabric to be as flat as possible, we’re all different shapes after all.

IMG_2261

As the fabric is quite a sheer cotton it needed lining! But there was no pattern for lining and as the neckline changed shape I had to draft a pattern for lining the front of the dress. I did this by copying the bottom half of the dress up to the top of the darts and then laying the front section of the dress over and tracing around the neckline and sleeves! Plus the lining is a petty pink which always help!

IMG_2265 IMG_2263 IMG_2264

I originally had the dress with the sleeves the longest version, but thought it was a bit too much with the big print and much prefer it with short sleeves.

IMG_2266

I chose the smaller size than I should pick, if following the sizes, as this seems to work for me and I reduce the seam size around, well, waistline down shall we say as the size up is always to baggy around the bust for me. I’m finding this with all patterns at the moment and really should attempt to shrink my assets, but blah to that …..bring on the warbies toast!

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

Lovely Little Maple Leaf – Simplicity 6128

I am shocked at myself, absolutely shocked, it’s been nearly a month since I last posted!!! Gobsmacked face!

So back too it before the holidays take hold and Christmas is upon us…already is in my world! Very happy face!

Even though I have not been blogging I have been sewing….and plotting (more about that another day).

I ordered 3 patterns when simplicity new look had their patterns on sale and have already completed 2 of the patterns! Woohoo! So I shall begin with the lovely little skirt new look 6128. I had been looking for a skirt pattern for a while (and acquired two in that one shopping session) and thought this one was cute having the pleats at the front to create a slight tulip effect, the pockets- I hadn’t tried this style of pockets before and wide waist band to flatten the stomach – hurrah!

IMG_2269 6128 pockets

Also it was squeezed out of just under a meter of fabric. This was a scrap of material found in the dress pile and must have cost pennies, and more than worth it it was. I love the maple leaves and thought it was very autumnal, now it’s past autumn and looks cute with boots, tights and a woolly jumper (with a diamante reindeer on obviously!….you think I’m kidding he he he!!) It was very simple to put together and by doing the shorter version (oooo cheeky) didn’t need to faff with the slit at the back, not that they are too much hassle. What a match the zip is too!

6128

There are two issues which spring to mind. The first being the pleats are too close together at the centre front of the skirt and it poofed out toooo much! I moved them closer to the pockets, just the same width of the pleat again and it worked a treat flattening out the front of the skirt!

IMG_2271 IMG_2272

The other would be to try this pattern using a more flowing type of fabric to see how it falls!! And if using a stiffer piece of cotton like my lovely maple leaves, lining the fabric prevents the skirt sticking to tights at front when walking! I cannot stand this! This was a really quick skirt to put together and so easy! I’m made up with the outcome and  I shall be wearing my new skirt with woolly tights and loving it!

Discovering Burda Mag

As a relative newbie to sewing (under a year), I had heard of, but never seen a copy of Burda magazine until I intentionally went into town (doesn’t happen often) and into WH Smith (again doesn’t happen often) with the belief that it would be the only place I could probably find it! And I was right!

IMG_3124[1]

And a big oooooooo….. when I opened it to discover 15 patterns all with the paper pattern and instructions! I started scanning the pages and reflecting on my fabric stash….. until I opened up the pattern sheet and got a little daunted! I picked  what I consider to be simple piece….at this stage I have not started stitching… with only two pieces to cut out from the pattern sheet I wouldn’t scare myself off!

IMG_3153[1]

A few things to bear in mind…..

You must be focussed to follow the lines, I even had the idea of highlighting the lines for a little extra focus! And I did it first thing in the morning to avoid distractions.

Use weights to hold tracing paper onto the pattern paper….pots of playdough very useful!

IMG_3156[1]

Don’t forget to add seams!!!! Oooops to me for getting which way was up and not adding enough for the hem, so, erm, may end up with a slightly shorter skirt than intended!

I then wrote all instructions on each cut out including whether seam allowance was included, which way was up and the grainline (just like you would get on a paper pattern!) the size, incase like me you scoff too much at certain times of year (….holidays are coming, holidays are coming!) and then when I sandwich bagged it up I wrote the mag issue on the front of the bag and pattern name/ number in permanent marker……blimey I feel very organised!!!!

IMG_3159[1]

Wish me luck on the make!!!

 

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!!!

A work in progress!

First of all let me apologise for being so slack in posting over the past few weeks but life has been a little crazy with school starting again, swimming lessons starting and ooooo twitter (fun!!! Yes I know I should have got on it ages ago!).

But even though it has been somewhat busy there has been progress on the Robson coat! I will be honest I have only been attacking it whilst at sewing bee and to be honest I’m glad as I have had a few helping hands with fitting! I pulled the bust in slightly and so it threw off the lay of the flaps! (sounds a bit funny…..) so was really grateful to have a spare pair of hands to pin me!

Fingers crossed….I have a pretty quiet Saturday so am aiming to get it …..nearly ……finished!

And here’s the buttons I chose, so very excited to get cracking and wearing my fabulous purple Robson mac!

20130919-214227.jpg

20130919-214237.jpg

20130920-050532.jpg

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 😏