Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Friday, 3 October 2014
I'm co-hosting this month's sewalong on the Sewcialists blog, and it's a theme very close to my heart - Grease!
Click here to read the post - and there's a competition too!
Will you be joining in?
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
I may not have been blogging too much due to work and general life busy-ness, but I have been sewing and planning quite a bit!
The big project I am working on is a winter coat.
I was looking for a fairly simple shape with a collar and some waist shaping and I picked up this great 1960s pattern on Etsy:
It has lovely princess seams running to the waist with welt pockets at the bottom, bound buttonholes and is fully lined.
I knew I was going to have to buy fabric online for it as my local fabric shop just doesn't stock great quality coating. The fabric I used for my Anise really hasn't held up well which is frustrating when you think of all the work that goes into a coat (especially one with welt pockets and bound buttonholes!). After much perusing of online fabric shops (it's a dirty job...) I ordered a stack of swatches from Stone Fabrics. They have a great selection of coatings and I have read good things about their quality. You have to call up and order but they were very helpful and got my order out really quickly - they're not paying me to recommend them BTW, I just like to give praise where it's due!
I ordered this wool mix coating (90% wool but not scratchy - 100% wool rarely works on my skin). A good tip I found was to keep rubbing the swatches together over a few days to see how they might hold up to wear. I actually rejected my original choice after it went a bit fluffy when I did this so hopefully I have chosen one that will wear well!
The lining is also from Stone Fabrics and it's viscose acetate in a beautiful peacock blue - the picture really does not do the colour justice.
As ever, I asked for advice on twitter for interfacing and the ever helpful Anne from Mercury Handmade recommended Speed Tailoring from Gill Arnold as she uses it in all her coats. This stuff is ideal for stabilising an open weave and is beautifully soft.
I think you'll be getting quite a lot of in progress posts on this as coats take such a long time. Wish me luck!
Monday, 22 September 2014
There seemed to be a lot of relatively similar knit dress patterns released by the indies this summer, and although I probably could have hacked this myself, I decided to go the convenience route. I also love this neckline - it's perfect for me, and the downloadable collar options sealed the deal! Annoyingly I don't have a pic of the cute crossover collar at the back so you'll need to imagine.
|An arty shot from my husband - he loved that the writing on the wall matched the dress!|
I've been thinking a lot about what items I need to make for winter to fill some wardrobe gaps and I realised I really needed a dark denim skirt.
I ordered this dark denim from Minerva with the intention of making (another) Kelly skirt, but I spotted the Blue Ginger Doll Peggy skirt pattern in my stash (which I won from the lovely Roobeedoo in a giveaway). The denim is quite weighty so it definitely good for something that needs a bit of structure.
I decided to make view A with a straight waistband and tabs, as I had ordered some silver jeans buttons as part of my kit.
I must admit this was not the most straightforward project I have ever made. The pattern was pretty hard to trace as the lines for each size were the same (although this has apparently been changed due to feedback so if you like the pattern, don’t let that stop you ordering it!). The fitting was very easy – it’s an a-line skirt, so using my waist measurement worked perfectly. I shaved a tiny amount out of the hips once it was completed but that was all. It’s really long – 27” from waist to hem, so I didn't even need to lengthen it!
The rest of the problems I had were machine related. I struggled to get my topstitching looking neat. I used topstitching thread in a pale grey (also included in the kit) with a topstitching needle, and played with the tension a lot on the advice of the ever helpful twitter and instagrammers. The inside doesn’t look pretty but I decided to call it good and move on – from the outside it looks fine.
|'Scuse creases - I had just got out of the car after a morning of rushing around!|
For the lapped zip, I used a silver metal zip from John Lewis as I didn't have one in my stash and wanted to match with the buttons and topstitching.
My machine did not want to play ball when it came to making buttonholes. It took many many tries to produce the 5 I needed for the tabs and waistband. But I got there in the end. In contrast, the jeans buttons were really easy to attach – I used the tool provided in the pack, made a hole in the fabric with an awl (a slim skewer would work just as well) and bashed it a few times with a hammer.
It wasn't the easiest project but I am happy with the end result – I know I’ll wear it a lot all year round, with flats in the summer and tights and boots in winter.
If you want to make your own Peggy (or the kit would work for a Kelly too) you can buy a kit which includes 2m of dark denim, a pack of 8 silver jeans buttons and a spool of pale grey topstitching thread from Minerva here:
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
I love polkadots but realised recently I have hardly any polkadot items that are in regular rotation! When I saw this lovely navy polkadot stretch cotton on the Minerva site, I decided to rectify the situation.