Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Pattern Review Competition - Mini-Wardrobe contest - 1st September

My dear friend Ashford is running the Mini-Wardrobe contest over on Pattern Review and I am thinking seriously about entering.

Start date: 1st September 2013
Duration : 4 weeks
Goal: create a 4-piece wardrobe in 4 weeks.  The 4 garments must combine (without adding additional garments) to create at least 4 looks.

You are probably thinking this woman is really showing signs of madness, and trying to be an over-achiever, and in some ways you are right, however 4 garments in 4 weeks is doable if I put my mind to it, and I am in need of a few mix and match items that will extend my wardrobe, because you know readers, I really have nothing to wear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll have some strong competition, I think my sewing pals Sigrid, Viv and Clare are all entering so we will be competing against each other, however I am sure it will be a clean fair fight ha ha.

Now off to think about what combination of outfits I am going to make ....... got to beat those girls (only joking).

Catch you later.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Essential sewing - PJ's & twinset

Ok, this is nothing new - I have used my Kwik Sew 2948 pattern before to make up PJ sets and I love them and needed some more.

I purchased this rather bright soft cotton knit jersey from Walthamstow market for £1 a metre, and £5's worth was enough to make two 3 piece PJ sets, and I might even have enough left over to make a little camisole.  If you are thinking why on earth would she buy something that could potentially illuminate the whole room, it was because it was light and soft to the touch, and for bed I can live with this.

The pair on the left has been trimmed with white bows and using my cover-stitch machine I turned it up the other way so the zig-zag part created a decorative trim to the outside seams.

For the pair on the right, I used some black narrow ribbon, and then trimmed them with black bows.

I think they look quite cute and I am sure they will be really comfy to wear, and if we have a black-out in London I'll be able to lead the way ha ha.

While I had the pattern out I used the mint green heavier weight jersey to make another twinset.  Originally I was going to use this for PJ's again, but it was slightly heavier than the yellow, and lent itself perfectly to day wear and I do love my twinsets.

This is my last day of an extra long weekend for me, so after I make myself something for supper I'll think about what I can start tonight  - I am thinking something new I haven't made before.

Catch you later..................

Sunday, 25 August 2013

McCalls 5818 - Dress

As promised here are some pictures of my sewing this weekend.

McCalls 5818 is a favourite pattern of mine, sewn once before (never blogged about) in a nice linen mix and it has been on my to-do list for quite some time.

The beige fabric is was leftover after making Butterick 5180 , which I made last weekend.

This is a nice wool crepe and I found some grey fabric in a similar weight in my stash and made my first colour block dress.  Yes I know, I am very slow out of the gate on this one, but again its been on my list, and I am very pleased with the result.

This is a brilliant pattern if you have never used it before - wait for it, there are a total of 2, yes 2 pattern pieces - cut 1 front on the fold and cut 2 back pieces.  Repeat for the lining.

There are front and back darts and a nice collection of pleats in the front and one on the shoulder of each back piece.

To get the split between the bodice colour and the skirt colour I located the waist mark on the pattern and added 5/8" to the bodice and the same to the top of the skirt and then simply stitched them together.  I then laid the pattern pieces back onto the fabric and marked up the darts and pleat markers.

Sewing this up is relatively easy.  Once the pleats and darts have been sewn, sew the back to the front at the shoulders.  Repeat for the lining and then right-sides together sew the neck edge and the armscyes and understich as far as possible.

Turn inside out pulling the back piece through the tube of the shoulder strap.  Insert zip and then sew side seams and hem.

Couldn't be easier.

I made the self-fabric belt using some of my roller blind fabric again - I cut  3"x 34" piece of the roller blind fabric, folded it in half and stitched it together.  I then cut 3"x 34" in the grey fabric, folded it in half, stitched, turned right-side out.  Press and then insert the roller blind fabric (to stiffen the belt).  I found the cream buckle in my stash.

I purchased the little grey cardigan from Marks and Spencer especially to wear with this dress, but I also made the same dress in the cream too and the grey cardigan and belt work with that too.

All fabric and notions were purchased from Walthamstow market at £1 per metre so I think I can say the dress cost me less than £5.00.

We have a bank holiday this weekend so more sewing opportunity tomorrow and I have also booked Tuesday as a day's holiday so if possible I'll get some more done.  At the moment I am thinking a jacket in the grey to complete the two-piece suit.

Hope you have had a good weekend.  Catch you later..........................

A reminder from the past and crashing trees

My daughter sent me this link via facebook and it did make me laugh because I actually had the exact same tin that I used to keep sewing equipment in when the kids were younger - have no idea where she found this.

We have had the most torrential rain the past few days, enough to bring this old damson tree, that was covered in ivy crashing down.  The picture below is after I spent 3 hours sawing off branches and I guess I still have another 3 hours work there today.  Thankfully the rain stopped about an hour ago - it kept me awake most of the night and our local area has been flooded in ways we have never experienced before.

I have been on vacation since Thursday, and have been sewing and have a few things I'll post about later.  Until then over and out..............................

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Butterick 5180 and stuff

Hi guys I hope you have had a good week.

Things are still a little hectic to say the least, but here is my weakly round-up.

Butterick 5180 - business dress.

First things first - I have two special appointments this week and I wanted to look smart for them.  Somehow it seems more difficult to dress business smart in the summer than in the spring, autumn or winter,  when it is cool enough to wear a jacket, so this is what I have come up with.

I used Butterick 5180 and chose the sleeveless version you see in yellow on the pattern cover.  I cut a size 14, however I can slip the dress over my head (needn't of bothered with the zip) and I think I could have got away with the size 12 - (oh well - next time).

This is quite an easy dress to make and had mixed reviews on PR - one person loved it another hated it - I like it (which is in between loving it and hating it I guess). There are no darts (which makes it easy) but also makes it pretty shapeless but just think how many goodies I can eat before bursting out of my dress lol.

I wanted to create a different look to the dress, so purchased a necklace discounted by 50% in the sale, and then cut off the chain part and attached it to the dress between the two points.  There were two sort of end cups which tidied up the raw ends of the chain. It's exactly what I wanted, and I still have lots of bits left over from the necklace to make something out of the spare parts.  In case you are wondering, I will deal with the cleaning issue later - not sure if the chain will rust or not, but it is only sewn in using invisible nylon thread, so easy to snip off, and re-sew back on.

The dress is fully lined.  I didn't add the interfacing as instructed, but cut out the lining in full, and then attached the self fabric interfacing to the top of the dress, essentially using the lining as an interlining.  It worked fine.

This is a nice wool crepe and I finished the raw edges with my serger (and boy did it shred), and then stitched the hem using my hemming foot/stitch.  It worked brilliantly and I even used a white thread that doesn't show through at all because there is a white thread running through the weave of the fabric - quickest hem I have done in a long time.

I found a nice black, oatmeal and cream cardigan to wear with the dress and teamed it with black shoes and handbag.

I am debating whether or not to reduce the fullness in the dress.  I achieved this in part by adding a belt, and I think it makes me look slimmer (what do you think, belt or no belt?).

Still, changes or not - I think it looks respectable enough.

Meeting up with blogging friends

Last week I got an email from Merche who writes the fabulous blog Aventuras de costuras, who informed me that she was in London this week and asked if I had time to meet up.  Of course I had time.

We only had a couple of hours together but Merche together with her mother and daughter and I all enjoyed a traditional pub lunch of fish and chips - yummy.  

We had a lovely time, albeit short, and Merche kindly bought me some pretty fabric to make my D Alana a little outfit, and two of the Spanish Patrones magazine, which have some fabulous patterns in.

Thanks Merche for meeting up and I love my presents - it was a pleasure to meet you all.

House Sale

Well folks, a couple came back to view my house today and have given me an offer, which I have accepted.  We shook hands and I confess to having a large lump in my throat because I have lots of memories here, but it feels good to know I have a buyer. 

They have two houses to sell, like Mike and I, and its also a 2nd marriage for them.  One of the houses has sold and should complete next week, and the lady has put her house up for a very cheap price so that she can sell quickly, so fingers crossed.   Watch this space because things should be moving in the next 3-4 weeks on the house front, even if its just moving into the new house.

Last but not least, I had enough fabric to make a 2nd striped top and even managed to find some cute navy and white canvas shoes to complete the nautical look.

If I get time, I plan on doing some more sewing tomorrow before heading up to London.

Have a wonderful weekend, and as usual I'll catch you all later..............

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Simplicity 1694 - remodelled and McCalls 6571

Thank you all for your kind comments on my candy striped top yesterday, but you know I just wasn't happy with it, so today I got the scissors out and did a little remodelling.

As you can see below I cut away a lot of the armscye exposing more shoulder.  I also took in approximately 2" from each side seam, and last but not least I removed approximate 2" off the bottom of the front pieces choosing to cut it with a curve rather than straight across.  I took the curved front inspiration from Viv's lovely green fleece which I tried on and loved.

I am far happier with the new look, and don't feel so matronly (even if that is the case).  I now have a top that I will happily wear.

Between all our activities this weekend I did manage to make a nice little top from one of the fabrics I purchased when I was with Viv last weekend.

I have been looking for some nice navy and white stripe jersey for quite some time, and found just the ticket when we were looking at all the lovely fabrics.

Yes I know I seem to be having a bit of nautical theme, perhaps it was inspiration from all the navy and white tops I saw ladies wearing yesterday, but there is something lovely about navy and white that I just love.  Ideally I would like to make/buy some crop trousers to wear with this top and a nice pair to white canvas shoes.....note to self, add this to my to-do list.

I am afraid the camera didn't seem to like the stripes and have pushed all my pictures slightly out of focus, but you can still see the top enough (I think).

I used McCalls 6571, which is now a TNT and I just love this top.  The whole thing was made on my serger/overlocker and took around 1.5 hours to make and highly recommend this pattern.

Last but not least, I did add a few additional pockets to my Brompton bike bag, one to hold a water bottle, and a double pocket to hold bits and bob, and my mobile phone. while I wanted a bag that I couldn't overload, the recent hot weather found me needing some water to drink but nowhere to store it in the bag - but I do now.

In two weeks time I have two job interviews.  I wasn't actively looking for a new job, but was contacted by two separate recruitment consultants, and well lets just say that I am not terribly impressed with the changes our new CEO has made to company policy.

I am not as young as I used to be, and hope that they are not put off by my age (even though they don't know how old I am yet), but I figure I have nothing to lose by going along and just seeing what they say.  The big bonus for both these companies they are exactly 1 mile from our London flat,  they are actually next door to one an other, a funny coincidence, which would mean if I was offered either of the jobs,  my journey to work would be approximately 10 minutes v 1.5 hours + on the train...........makes it quite tempting to move.  Still I am getting beyond myself here, first I have to see if I can impress the interviewer, and this leads me to thinking about what I should wear.............Guess what I'll be doing next weekend.

I hope you have had a great weekend, and I'll catch you later................

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Simplicity 1694 - better late than never

Well I can't believe how long its taken me to finish this little blouse, but as I say better late than never here it is.

Pattern description:
Misses' loose-fitting high-low blouse has button front, stand or pointed collar, back yoke and can be made sleeveless or with short or 3/4 length sleeves.

I chose view B but didn't like the way it bellowed out at the sides, so took about half an inch off the side seams.  To be honest I think I could almost get away with the size "S".

The blouse is easy to sew up, and despite the fact its taken me weeks to get this far, you could probably sew it up in an evening.

Changes I made was to use a purchased bias tape to finish off the armholes and to take in the side seams a little.

We are off to the sailing club for a birthday lunch today, and I thought it would be suitable to wear for that today, despite the fact I feel that I look a little like sugary sweet.

Hopefully more later....................

Sunday, 4 August 2013

catching up with sewing buddies

Hi all, hope you are having a good week.  There was no sewing for me this weekend, however I did catch up with my sewing buddy Viv.

My D Mike and I drove down to the coast to see her, and we had a lovely time, chatting about our current sewing projects,  wait until she finishes her Linten Tweed jacket ooooooh lovely.  We looked at Viv's stash of fabric, older projects etc etc etc.

Saturday afternoon we all went for a cycle ride - and this is us when we arrive at the beach, just before sitting down to eat an ice cream.

We had a lovely time - can't wait until next time we all meet up.

Catch you later................