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

 

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!

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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!

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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!!

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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).

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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!

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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

Button envy x

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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!

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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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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

Going all Grecain….attempting to be a Goddess!

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What a fun holiday dress…though the fabric is probably more Caribbean than Skeggy (yes folks….I’ve been at Butlins!).

I have seen a few of these dresses floating around on pinterest and had every intention of making a maxi dress with this material…so it just worked out! I have adapted the very easy four rectangles and stitch up to where the neckline, back and sleeves are going to go…so easy! Well it would have been if this knit material was not so lycra filled- oh my- was it hard work getting it to go through the sewing machine in a straight line! As it was quite difficult cutting and stitching in straight lines :-/ the rectangles were slightly off shall we say…but the joy of jersey and this particular material being quite heavy, it falls lovely! I then ruched the shoulders by putting a long stitch through the shoulder seam and stitched the ends in after I made them about the same width. Again, there is nothing really precise, pattern wise. It was a couple of hours, with child in tow….so a lot less really, but who knows!

As for the holiday….. there can be a certain stigma towards Butlins, this was my first time…..but wow! What a fab place! Loads to do, activities going on all day and Fin loved it! But don’t go there unless you have a child in tow and are willing to act like a 3 year old! Need another holiday now though….jam packed days starting as early as 8.30 and not finishing till late…. so glad not at work this week!

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!!!