Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Finally, my Spring Palette Challenge Moodboard!

So I am grabbing the button, as I am definitely in the Spring/ Summer palette challenge!

I have chosen my colour palette:

and completed my moodboard, thanks to a recommendation from Tanit-Isis for Picasa - really easy to use for this sort of photo collage.

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I am heavily indebted to Modcloth for images - I love their styles!  Also Sew Weekly, Colette and Gertie.

I think there's a bit of a nautical thing going on, but i have steered clear of stripy tops in case it becomes to "theme-y".  I do have quite a few in my wardrobe which will no doubt make an appearance!

I also realised when doing this that it's definitely the frosting rather than the cake that i want to make (thanks Tasia!).  Perhaps it's because I'm not that quick at sewing yet and don't want to slave for hours over a t-shirt?  Also as I'm tall, it's dresses and skirts that I find hardest to buy off the rack.  I've got a couple of additions to this from the May issue of BurdaStyle - a broderie anglaise shell style top (which I may dye red - they did theirs orange), and a drapey cowl neck t-shirt - but there are no pictures on their site yet.

I've actually found this a really useful exercise.  In fabric shops I tend to be attracted to all the lovely printed cottons, but it's really made me think about smaller prints and plain fabrics too.  Also, in terms of accessories, I can go mad on red and navy and know I will have lots to wear them with!

I'm easing myself in gently with Gertie's full gathered skirt in navy spot fabric.  As it's such a simple style, it will allow me to pracise seam finishes etc before moving onto the more complicated ones!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My blog obsession

Since starting to seriously think about sewing my own clothes, I have
become obsessed by blogs! There are so many talented and creative people
out there making clothes that really inspire me to have a go. And many of
them are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge - putting up
free tutorials for newbies like me to learn from!

The first blog I followed regularly was KitschyCoo, on recommendation of a
friend. Amanda makes and sells lovely kids clothes, patterns and fabric.
She also inspired me to start this blog!

As I love retro and vintage style, I really enjoy Gertie's posts. She has
fantastic style. Also on a vintage tip, Tilly and the Buttons is great - I
can't believe how productive she is in her sewing! Lladybird also seems to
produce a constant stream of lovely things.

It's also great to have some people in the UK who don't know what freezer
paper is or have a local JoAnn's to head to for a seemingly endless supply
of cheap patterns and great fabric - Tilly mentioned above, Miss P, Didyoumakethat?,  and A Sewing Odyssey

And then there's the mummy bloggers who are squeezing in sewing around
their families and jobs - Rae, M is for Make, Kitschy Coo, Made, crafterhours and skirt as top

The thing I like best about blogs is the sense of community - a lot of them
have their own pattern ranges and other bloggers support these independent
pattern makers over the Big 4 (Vogue, Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity). My
favourites are Colette (of course!), KitschyCoo, Victory Patterns, Sewaholic, Salme.

I also really love the events that spread across a number of blogs - One
Week One Pattern, Me Made May etc. I thought I was too much of a newbie
without enough sewn garments behind me to take part, but I have decided to
attempt Colette's Spring Palette Challenge! I'm sure it will take me the
spring and quite a bit of the summer to get many things made, but hopefully
it will inspire me to get on with things and learn lots of new techniques!
Now I just need to get started on that moodboard...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Burda burden

I was wondering why Burda sold the patterns from the magazine as standalone
patterns on their website. Surely it would just be cheaper to buy the
magazine since it's less than £5 and get loads of patterns including the
ones you want!

This was before I had tried to use a patterns from the magazine. When
unfolded, this is one page of the pattern sheet.

I have to find the right green line in all of this to trace (and of course the
colours don't show through tracing paper!). And mark all the notches etc.
So clearly people who buy their patterns are people who value their
eyesight and sanity!

Still I have persevered and got the pattern I wanted traced off and cut
out. I will blog about how it turns out - also my first attempt at sewing
with knit fabric - eek!

And of course I have my eye on some lovely patterns from the May issue but
I'll see how this one goes first. Initial tissue fit seemed fine but I have
added extra length and moved the dart down slightly (just like I know what
I'm doing!). Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I think I need some focus

To stop me going off and buying loads of new patterns and fabrics, I need a list of the ones I already have to do first.

Am totally loving all of the retro patterns available and so the first 2 on my list are Butterick Retro (B5032):

(pictured in yellow) in this cute bird print:

and B5748:

in this lovely cherry print:

Gertie's fabulous easy full gathered skirt is next in navy spot print.

Then 2 tops from Burdastyle magazine - one with gathered sleeves in a pale lilac jersey, and a drapey one in navy.  These will be my first foray into knits which I am quite nervous about!

I also have some gorgeous pale vintagey florals for another couple of Sorbettos:

There are so many lovely variations on the original pattern that I really want to try some more (and work on my fitting using this great simple design).

For N, I love this pattern (McCalls 6022) for the number of different styles and looks it has:

I'm planning the dress in this russian dolls print:

and possibly in this cute floral:

and a top in this Michael Miller Tweet Tweet cotton:

Will definitely be doing some capris or shorts to match.

I think that's all I have definite plans for but my pinterest board is full of future projects to tackle!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Colette love!

Colette Patterns launched their new designs today and I really love the new dresses Lily and Hazel  i think i might just have to buy all of their patterns - they are so pretty and good for novices!  I'm still obsessed with Peony, Rooibos and Macaron and am planning to buy Sarai's book


A lovely day out!

A bank holiday weekend and where better to go than Brighton with hubby and N. 

Is it sad that the highlight of my day was a trip to Ditto Fabrics?  Lovely shop with really helpful staff.  Picked up a few lovely fabrics for summer dresses for N - Michael Miller's Tweet Tweet in white and a a gorgeous bright floral print which N picked for herself.  I also found a great daisy print remnant which will look lovely and fresh.

I was also eyeing up the dresses in Dolly Dagger.  Saw this one in the window which is really like one I bought on Friday to make quite a similar style of dress, so I'm happy that it's going to look great!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The disastrous t-shirt

With summer fast approaching, N needs some new t-shirts, so I thought I'd
do some applique ones.

I found a cute retro apple design in All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens - I love
her designs and the way she works with prints. It's a lovely book!

Having never appliqued onto stretch fabric before, I jumped in with both
feet! I ironed on some lightweight interfacing to the back to stabilise it
and used fusible web to bond the design on before stitching.

All was going well until I got to the stalk and pips which I had planning
to machine embroider - not a good idea on knit fabric as I discovered! So I used
some brown needlecord to applique them instead.  But
this was not the disaster (altho a broken needle wasn't ideal!) Stalk and pips 1 and 2
went fine. Pip 3 seemed fine, until I realised that I had caught the back
of the t-shirt in the stitching, and even careful work with the seam ripper
left a hole in the back!

So I took the design of an apple with a bite out of it from the Alexander Henry Tutti Frutti fabric I used for the tunic dress and sewed it over the hole.  So what do you think?  Did I fix it or should I bin and start again?

Moral of this story - don't just try to finish off the last bit when you
are tired. Leave it for tomorrow or you'll wreck it!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My first item for me finished!

I always seem to manage to make lots of things for N, but never anything
for myself (probably all of those pesky darts and shaping needed in women's
clothes that put me off!). But I have finally done one for me!

I really love Colette Patterns (I think these will be featuring quite a bit
in this blog!) And so I decided to try the Sorbetto top which is a free
pattern download. I'm very late on the Sorbetto bandwagon as it seems like
everyone with a sewing machine has done their own version!

I used a light cotton print and decided to make the bias binding to match
(this was nearly my undoing - more later!).

As this was the first PDF pattern I had used, N "helped" me put it
together. I pinned it all up and checked the fit. As per the instructions,
I was between sizes so went for the bigger, but there seemed plenty of
ease, so I could have cut the smaller size. I took it in quite a bit at the
sides, and luckily left a few inches of extra fabric at the bottom. As I'm
tall, I needed some extra length and the bust darts were a bit high so I
minimised the shoulder seams as best I could.  Looking at these pics, I can see I could do with a sway back adjustment and possibly armhole darts - I have been reading Fit for Real People!

And for the first time ever, I finished the seams on the inside and I love the way it looks!  Clean seam finishes (OK, they could be straighter!):

It all went together very easily and I was happy with the fit. Now came the
bias binding! I bought a bias binding maker which seemed easy to use, and
decided to try the continuous tape tutorial from the Colette blog. It took
me 3 goes to get it in one piece and the right width (it also helps if you
read the instructions properly - oops!). But it's another sewing technique
Once I had cut the strips, it was easy to make it into tape and attach it
and it makes it look really well finished. I am very pleased with the
results! I can definitely see myself making a couple more for the summer in
different fabrics (especially now I've seen the no pleat and scalloped hem versions!), and I know I'll be buying some more Colette patterns.
Maybe the Macaron dress next...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Burgeoning fabric addiction

This week has been bad for the bank account, but I do love a bargain!

Some turquoise batik fabric remnants - I think these will be a flouncy skirt for N:

2 Amy Butler cottons which I am saving for a reversible coat for N:

A Tanya Whelan cotton which I don't know what to do with yet, but I love:

A pale blue cotton print with birds which I am going to make a Sorbetto top from:

And a navy cotton with white spots that I am planning for a full 50s style skirt:

The projects are stacking up!