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!

 

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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!

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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!

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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

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!!!

 

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!!!

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Sorry about the photos! Posted this from my phone 😏

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!!

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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!

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And this was the outcome!

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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!!!

Finding McCall’s 6466!

I love mooching about on pinterest……as I have mentioned before! Sometimes there is an aim, sometimes and generally the best times are when I stumble across an ‘ooooooo I love it!!!!’

 

I want to make this dress! and already have the perfect material!

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I have had quite a few inspirational dresses pinned into my sewing board. They are generally big skirted and involve the overlay of lace….really loving this style at the mo! I have even included wedding dresses which I think are beautiful and in a colour other than white and toned down slightly will make a wearable dress, without people thinking your on the way to your own wedding (no plans to get married people- just love a pretty dress!). Browsing through my pins I linked 3 together and thought hold on! all 3 of those dresses can be made using this pattern….McCall’s 6466! Now I’m on it and want this pattern, I even have the material lined up in my stash from the Birmingham swap to use!

Now I just need to get my hands on a McCall’s 6466!! Bring it on!!!

My First Colette!…..Sorbetto love!

In anticipation for the Anise jacket….yes the one I’ve been putting off for months as I am so scared, yes folks, scared!!As there are sooo many layers to it, I know it’s going to be a mammoth project!!! I thought I would have ago at another Colette pattern and got on the Sorbetto loving after seeing Hannah from MadewithHugsandKisses sporting one so prettily the other week! Yippeeee for free patterns!

Wearing the Sorbetto

I’m getting much better at measuring myself and took the time to do this properly and cut out the correct size, after cover the house with cellotape sticking the print outs together! I love this top and will definitely be making more! Love the material too, perfect for it as it is slinky cotton! I will be making a few adaptations to the pattern though! I found the straps too long so the got shortened, easy peasy! and I would make it 2 inches longer! It’s slightly too short and flashes my belly when I stretch, not nice, so generally I will be wearing a vest underneath! I also did not have any binding which matched and it hemmed around the neck and sleeves absolutely fine. But a very cute top and am deciding at the moment what material to make the next one with!…I do have a lovely ditsy flower print I gained at the swap…. hmmmm!?!

Well done you handy Mums!!!

When on the sewing meet up another blogger asked me, do I make clothes for my son? My response was a dead end no! I didn’t want my son to be one of those kids who the other kids take the mick out of….for whatever reason and I do believe this is one area when they can be given ammunition! Sorry to all you very creative Mums out there….but as you will see I ate my words on a silver platter!!!!
I like making play and crafty things for my son. There’s been a tepee, a toybox, 3D letters of his name and tote bags (plus more no doubt) and I have repeatedly reflected on my response to the question I was asked and thought…..why the heck not make him clothes, he’s 3, he doesn’t care what I dress him, though he does get a little more excited when Spiderman t-shirts and jumpers come out! And the other kids at nursery, come on they are 3 not like the hugely judgemental teenage boys I teach! I got scoffed at for mentioning my shoes were from Tesco…nothing wrong with that! But apparently the only place to buy your footwear is JD sport……hmmmmmm???? can’t imagine turning up to school in my running trainers! (Big roll of the eyes to afore mentioned teenager!).

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So, here’s what happened. While partaking in one of my ‘should be doing something but procrastinating’ by mooching about on pinterest! Love it, can do it for hours! I found MADE, again. I’ve used this site for tutorials before, and looking through the kids clothing tutorials found some fab trouser ideas and noticed a free pattern which it turns out is exactly the right size for Fin! Woohoo! Adapted the pattern to be flat fronted, as I think this style looks less bulky and more shop bought et voila, I’m never buying pj bums again!
My next mission is to get down to the fabric shop and get material for summer trousers and racer shorts!!

So to all you Mums who make their kids clothes…. I praise you! I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to do more! And even just to see the look on Fin’s face when he has something made FOR HIM!! …….especially with dinosaurs on!!!

Can you crochet…….in public?

It has taken me over a year to figure out how to crochet! I have picked up and put down little bits; circles, stars and now squares and it’s only just clicked! I have knit for a few years and just got it straight away! But crocheting to me was like a foreign language!
I find knitting quite relaxing, unless I’m on a mission to finish something, but have quite dodgy wrists after 7 years ago injuring myself kitesurfing……yes kitesurfing – the fewer questions about that one the better, and yes 7 years ago, which I got told off for by the physio I eventually went to see last week….apparently I should have gone straight to A&E when it happened, but carried on kitesurfing instead! So knitting is a bit of a no no, but I have so many random balls of wool it’s depressing! So let’s give crocheting a granny blanket a go! Inspired by The Make-For-Anyone Blanket MollieMakes article from issue 24. Now if you look closely I haven’t gone through the exact part of the stitch to pick up another stitch! And I’m not quite up on the terminology yet either! It is a really easy pattern, just using treble crochet and chain stitches and easy to pick up after a few squares! Don’t even need to look at the pattern now! I’m aiming for 54 squares, and they are big squares! Only 38 to go!IMG_2141 IMG_2142

I could be making a lot faster if I didn’t feel the eyes glaring at me in a ‘what on Earth is she doing???’ when I even debate crocheting in public! Sat in the jungle gym yesterday for 2 hours, there’s 3 more done for example…. but I’m too much of a scaredy cat! Anyone else feel like this? Or do us crafters stick together and not care how the world of non crafters stare at us in a non understanding disbelief!!!