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!

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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!

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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!

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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!!!!

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Wish me luck on the make!!!

 

I Need Buttons!!

I’ve done it! Started the Robson coat from Sewaholic! And blimey it’s time consuming…took me long enough to cut the fabric, getting on for 3 hours!!! And the material shreds so there did (and still does abit) look like a purple massacre had happened on the living room floor!

To get to the point…… I’m in need of buttons for it! Buying them at abakhan was going to cost me nearly as much as the material! This is the first time I’ve needed to buy buttons for something particular so am wondering where is a good place to buy buttons (specifically for my very purple mac!) any advice from the sewing and crafters of the world would be very gratefully accepted xx

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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!

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And watch out for those knitted socks folks!!!

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!

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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

A fallen crochet hook and the uprising of earrings!

Doing a little crocheting on the decking and…woops… the crochet hook has fallen between the planks! Supersize doh!!! and no amount of faffing with tweezers will get it out! QUick! Jump in the car and get to the closest place I can think of for a crochet hook, the local garden centre which has a craft store….awesome! I think the only thing I have bought from there before is….surprisingly a crochet hook…..but me oh my am I glad we went! 50% OFF EVERYTHING!!!!! So zippedy doo dah! I got very excited, maybe a little too excited! I have been wanting to get my son letters of his name for some name recognition and letter practise, plus a little fun painting activity on a sunny afternoon! So…check!

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The best bit was finding the beads and earring making notions! Awesome! Didn’t have a clue what I was doing so picked up some pliers and wire and then discovered what I actually needed by watching a tutorial on youtube and returned the next day! So here is my new collection and some of my early creations! I got some big crystal effect hearts, which I want to make earrings with but am unsure of how to rig up, any ideas????

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

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Sewing Meet Up!

I know it’s a little late in the day but what an amazing time was had by all at the sewing meet-up in Birmingham on Saturday! Lovely ladies to chat sewing and fabric with, lovely lunch, amazing shopping and a cute little flower brooch (which was very handy knowing who to talk to in the fabric shop…..which was busy!).

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Marie, Kat and Claire did an amazing job organising everyone, especially the awkward person who order their lunch wrong (ooops…. yes that was me!). They kept everyone together and made everyone welcome and sorted a fab swap! Well done ladies!

I was lucky enough to have met Hannah from Madewithhugsandkisses before the swap and headed down to Brum on the train with the lovely lady! But to anybody who possibly put off turning out for the event, there would be no need to be daunted, everybody spoke to everybody else and was really friendly! Everyone was really happy to talk fabric and we were all discussing which patterns we were planning…..I got some great tips about doing the Colette Anise jacket – Thanks Claire and Charlotte!

The day was great and very exciting, but the excitement is still there, every time I walk past my new stash of fabric! I get a little giddy feeling in my tummy! Especially when I remember how much some of them cost! The Market was amazing and we got some amazing materials! One of which (the lemon) was £1 a meter!!!! What…… £1??????!!!!!!!!! Mental!

So here is the new stash and yes, all jackets are covered!!!

I got so excited about this turquoise gabardine (yes I discovered fabric with gabardine on the label! I know what it is now!) and I cannot wait to get started for my summer Anise. Talking of Anise I discovered this gorgeous green tweed to make a winter Anise jacket! And yes I do have a green flat cap I can wear with it!

Anise fabric

Anise fabric

I had given up the ghost on material for the Robson coat! Until……this little beauty turned up and for £2 a meter! (on the market obviously) I was made up, especially as I needed 5m! Check out the weave! Love it waffley!!!!!

Robson fabric

Robson fabric

The swap was great….put your unwanted items in and take out what you like the look of! One woman’s unwanted sewing items…. are another woman’s treasure! So I put in a few fabrics and a pattern and took a few fabrics and a pattern and stood back from the table but there were so many fab items left people just weren’t into and so I picked up the amazing orange with shiny pink…love it! definitely being made into a skirt and a bag! The ditsy floral I had my eye on as soon as the materials were laid out and the black lace…..well….I had been telling some ladies earlier I wanted to try making a lace shift dress! so the plan came together perfectly…and thank you Lara for not wanting the lace!

Swaps!

Swaps!

A better shot of the lace!

A better shot of the lace!

Now here are a number of dresses for our not so fabulous summer but still, so excited by all the material and some ideas! And yes it was a bit of a shopping spree and I won’t be going fabric shopping again in a long time – but it will be back in Birmingham!

From the market!

From the market!

From the shop!

From the shop!

This is going to keep me very busy……..

Cannot wait for the next meet up ladies! XX

A gift? ……….For Me?

Hello Robson!!!

Hello Robson!!!

Well not really a gift, but I did win a giveaway! Woohoo! My first! Thanks sooooo much to Veanna from sosewlovely. The fabulous Robson Coat from Sewaholic arrived on my doorstep earlier today! Thanks Postie……who I did actually nearly run over, well, you don’t expect to turn the corner into your road and find the postman crouched over all his mail in the middle of the road! Poor bloke!

Anyway back to the pattern. I have seen numerous Robson coats on various blogs and it’s a great shape and versatile for personalising! This coat to me seems so adaptable, as a rain mac or a lighter summer mac. Especially as the English summer is not what it used to be, this week excepted, let us expect rain…… too pessimistic for me! It’s going to be 22 degrees plus until October 31st (in my mind…..and inside my Robson coat!).

Ooooo, I love a crispy pattern!

Ooooo, I love a crispy pattern!

When I posted on sosewlovely in response to the giveaway I was ‘living on a hope and a dream’, I never win things (especially the lottery!) and the many other sewing enthusiasts made it stiff competition! But luckily my intention of funky lining and contrast cuffs, pockets must have struck a cord. As for material I’m looking forward to this one! Especially as I will be fabric shopping with 40 other sewing bloggers next weekend at the Birmingham meet up, including my new blogging buddy…….and yes we have met in REAL LIFE, actual face to face conversation at a workshop Hannah from madewithhugsandkisses was running at the StyleFactory in Runcorn. Hi Hannah!! See you Thursday at sewing club! (which was a riot this week-great group of women!)!! So I am expecting to be able to pick people’s brains and get some hints and tips on the pattern, also for the Colette Anise which I have been umming and ahhing about for months now!

Colette Anise! Ready and WAITING!

Colette Anise! Ready and WAITING!

I want the Robson coat to be in one colour with the pockets, cuffs, belt and lining to be in a contrast colour. I could keep with a summer nautical theme with navy blue and white contrast, but whenever I flick my eyes towards the pattern I see a turquoise coat with bright pink pockets….eeeek a bit bright , but how fab with the right shades (no I don’t mean sunglasses!). Yet, who knows what I’ll end up with after an all day fabric shopping trip, swoon!!!!

So another watch this space……yeah I know there has been no progress with the Anise…….but I will hopefully be blogging next Saturday in sheer joy and excitement at the material I have selected for the Robson!

Supersize EEEEEEEEEEKKK!!!!! in excitement!

And another huge thank-you to Veanna (cool name!) at sosewlovely! And Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!

Happy Sewing!

Vintage Wonders!

I have discovered vintage patterns on ebay….and eventually had to stop mooching as it was going to end up costing me a fortune! But over the past couple of weeks I’ve bought some lovely patterns at incredible prices…..and have already made up two patterns, slightly adapted to modernise (they are from the 70’s and 80’s).

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I chose these 3 patterns as they look similar to more modern patterns I had seen and I thought I would suit them and they would suit my ability level.

Vogue 8347 – Not even cut…..amazing!

The Vogue pattern has a very similar dress shape to what is in a lot of the shops but have elastic running across the waist (I’m planning on adding this to the dress in the near future). I took the shoulders in nearly half way across and didn’t want the button up neckline feature, so just stitch the front yoke to the back. I also reinforced the yoke with interfacing, which I’m now debating the decision as it would be nice even slinkier round the neckline. Following the pattern measurement there was a lot of material and so I cut the material in about 2 inches from my size to make it a closer fit. The material has been hanging around my fabric stash since early March and I kept debating making a circle skirt with it, glad I didn’t as this dress gave me achance to practice my french seams (getting much neater and smaller) and I think it falls lovely and shows off the pattern, if the material was stiffer it would be much more sticky out, though I do want to try it with a thin flowery cotton. I really like the outcome and can’t wait to wear  it out, maybe even with black tights and boots as the weather  will not warm up!!!

Cinched waist, looks lovely with a belt.

Cinched waist, looks lovely with a belt.

Pattern on show.

Pattern on show.

Simplicity 9205- Cut and ready to go, in great condition and I actually did more damage to it the first time I used it than it had in over 30 years! Ooops!

I was looking for a button down dress, which I’m being really fussy about, and though the buttons on this dress are decorative, they achieved a look similar to what I wanted and I liked the idea of making a four panelled skirt, as I’ve seen a few of these around on other sewers blogs. The picture of this dress does not do it justice, as it is nicely fitted around the waist and the skirt then flares out. You may have been able to see this better if I hadn’t altered the neckline by widening and lowering the v. This was the first time I had made a v neck with bias binding though and I was made up with the outcome. I love the contrast of the red and navy (and i’m a big fan of buttons which look like sweets) and wore this with patent red pumps! I am also in the process of making a skirt from the pattern. I need to lower the waistband, as I cut to high up the waist from the pattern, reinsert the zip and hem it!

Wearing my dress to the theatre to see the truly amazing Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty! I also need to learn how to pose!

Wearing my dress to the theatre to see the truly amazing Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty! I also need to learn how to pose!

Butterick 3929 – In incredible condition, cut and the paper is thinner than when fresh, but in great condition.

This pattern I love as the panel across the stomach looks like it will be really flattering. It did only turn up this morning though, so I’m afraid I have not had time to attack it yet.

I love that people have used and loved patterns and are passing them on (for a small cost – but who wouldn’t!). These patterns have history and with slight adaptations they can be brought back to life and loved again!

Back in the knit.

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I did alot of knitting before Christmas as I ran a stall at a few craftfairs through December. It made my wrists ache…..I have pretty dodgy wrists and arthritic pain according to the doc! So gave the knitting a rest after Crimbo – which has been great as I have discovered the love of dressmaking (which doesn’t hurt so much!).
Yet there was a £30 moneyback for my fave wool shop (what do they call it those refund slips…?) burning a hole in my purse and have frequently thought I’d better hurry and use it before I lose it!
So yesterday I headed to the best wool shop ‘Black Sheep’ and if you’ve ever ventured there you will know it is a haven for knitters…..Piles and piles of wool in multicolours, sizes, all reduced and there’s now a cafe too! I went with a few ideas for what I would like to do, the thing with ‘Black Sheep’ is the offers are so good, if oyu go with a pattern and an exact type of wool you want you may be sad it’s not priced as well as other wools, because my oh my are there some bargains. Due to my dodgy wrists I didn’t want a big project (once I start I find it really difficult to stop until I have finished, which is one of the reasons I love sewing, projects are finished so much quicker) so as there are a few babies on the way in the not too distant future (not mine) I got a Sublime babies cardi, hats and booties and red and purple baby dk wool, which are on the go for my brother and sister-in-laws imminent arrival. (One bootie down and my wrist is aching already!).
I did also buy 3 balls of the most gorgeous coral coloured baby double knit wool, which I plan on using for myself……dont know what for….. will have a rummage through my patterns once the baby boom has subsided!

What to make?

What to make?

Retail Therapy! A pick me up on one of those days…..

Yesterday was ‘one of those days’ at work yesterday….. more so than usual! So on the way home from work, only a teeny detour 😉 I headed off for a little retail therapy in my favourite fabric haven….. abakhan!  I did need a few things for my various projects I seem to have on the go , but also love a rummage and found some fab materials for the two dress patterns I recently acquired!

I love this brown and pink spot. It has a slight sheen to the material and I think its going to make up the Simplicity K2444 pattern free from sew magazine this month! Watch this space for that project!

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Simplicity K2444 pattern

Simplicity K2444 pattern

Also got a concealed zipper foot……oooo exciting,  ever see a zipper again (the eternal optimist) though to be honest it just looks like a little piece of plastic!

Love this material.IMG_1594 A quite fine cotton with a gorgeous delicate blue flower on it. Thinking I’m going to make a circle skirt layered over the grey material (too thin for one layer) though it would be lovely as a summer dress!

It was a happy shopping trip!!! x