It Looks Like Babycham!

Sorry for the silence, I haven’t blogged for ages due to computer failure!  It has been very frustrating to say the least but FINALLY we are back up and running, hooray!!

20151218_193010

This is the Blouse Cézembre by Anne K Courture which has been  in my list of makes for quite a while but I only made it a month ago.  It has ended up being my Christmas top for a couple of “dos” and I really like it.  Initially I thought it might be too big but I think I like the slightly oversized look and it is great for eating too much Christmas fare!

20151218_193157

These are the flowers the lovely Mr bought me for our anniversary on December 18th.

20151218_193052

Back to the sewing!  I made a size 44 as I wanted it to be very loose fitting but I think next time I will go down to a size 42.  I took the size according to my bust measurement but it is very generously sized.  It’s quite a quick, easy sew, the trickiest bit being the curved hemline which has a facing.  You can see the high/low look:

20151218_193032

I got the fabric online and it is really one of my best buys from ebay.  Karen wrote a post, Putting the fun back into black from Did You Make That made a shift dress in the same fabric.

babi

My youngest took the photos on my phone and he’s not bad but can get a bit fed up after a few minutes!

All in all, I’m quite pleased with it!  Let me know what you think in the comments box.

And for those of you too young to remember what Babycham is,

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year! x

“It looks like a £70 Top!”

I’ve been away a while, but all back to normal now!  I have been doing bits of sewing here and there but nothing major – life gets in the way sometimes …

I have been on a bit of a sweatshirt mission for some reason, maybe it’s the change to  autumnal weather!  I’ve made a Jasper sweatshirt from Paprika Patterns, two Fielders from Merchant and Mills, and 2 Lindens from Grainline Studio!  I made all of them on my fabulous overlocker which made them really quick sews, I only used my sewing machine for some top stitching round the neck of the Lindens and Fielders. Here’s the Jasper …

sweat full

I used some great quality fabric I bought in Stockholm which is so soft it’s like stroking a cat! I really like the fit of this, it has princess seams which makes the bust fit and on the drafting, from size 8-12 it’s a B cup and size 14 onwards is drafted for a C cup which makes perfect sense as not many size 14+ would be a B cup.  You’d think more designers would cop on to that fact!

Sweat neck

The neckline is very flattering, it’s supposed to have a tab thing that buttons down at the side of the neck but I left that off and I think it looks better like this.  It also can be made in a tunic/dress length and have welt pockets into the front princess seams.  There’s also the option of a hem band and cuffs.  I love sweatshirts and the cosy comfort of them but don’t like the bulky, blokey look that some RTW have.

I think I will be making another of these and maybe one for my Mum!

sweat side

 

Ercol! A New Stash Storer

I follow several sewing blogs and it has been interesting to see other people’s sewing spaces and how they organise it.  The spaces have been very varied from a small secret space on a boat by Melissa Fehr, cleverly designed and hidden away.  To a massive “sewing cave” by Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, to a lovely bright sewing area by Scruffy Badger.

Whilst my sewing has been very sporadic lately, I have organised my sewing space a bit more and it is now much easier to find things!  Previously I have had fabric shoved into various boxes and cupboard spaces which meant that I often forgot what I had as I couldn’t see it all in one go.  I have wanted a dedicated fabric space for ages but I’m fussy and I wanted my beautiful fabric to be kept in a beautiful place!  Luckily, on a local “sell and swap it” website, I found this lovely Ercol sideboard dating from the 1960s.

Side board

I know its not everyone’s cup of tea but I love it!

fabric stash

The bottom shelf is for jersey and knits, the top shelf for lining fabric.

fabric wovens

Woven fabric on the bottom shelf and facing and elastic on the top.

Pattern drawer

The bottom drawer holds patterns that are too big to fit in my pattern boxes, mostly Style Arc patterns and PDF print outs. I also store carbon and tracing paper there along with tailor’s ham etc.

It feels so great to have all my fabric in one place at last!  Now just to get on and do some sewing …

 

From Old to New!

My sewing has come to a juddering halt over the school holidays as I can’t cope with being constantly interrupted whilst trying to focus on making something!  (Although I have made a muslin of some trousers and have now improved the fit – I hope!  Will blog about it later).

On the first day back from holiday, I had three mountains of washing piled on the kitchen floor and no food in the fridge …. , so I made a necklace!

necklace start

The beads are Chinese glass beads, I think antique, that my father-in-law gave me.  He was an avid antique collector, although never spent a lot, (these beads were about 50p – £1 each).  He had them in a cabinet in a glass bowl and I happened to comment one day that they would make a nice necklace, so he generously gave them to me!

big bead

They are quite unusual and as they are glass, they cannot be touching each other as they will break easily.  I used some suede that I bought in Sweden and knotted each bead into place either side of it.  I left about a 1/2″ length between each bead.

bead detail

beads

As you can see, most beads were in pairs and my FIL had labelled each pair saying where he bought them and how much he paid.  Sadly, I could not use all of them as the hole through the centre was too narrow.  I used a needle and thread at each end and threaded the beads on.

Threading necklace

I am quite pleased with how it turned out but I don’t think this is an every day necklace as I would be worried about knocking it and shattering the glass – maybe just for going out in the evening!finished necklace

A New Favourite – Cloudy!

I have made another Fay Skirt from Style Arc and I absolutely love it!  I am a big fan of Style Arc and the Fay Skirt is an excellent pattern but I think the fabric really makes this one great.

cloud fabric

It’s a scuba fabric that I got from Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road and its thick enough to avoid exposing any cellulite or knicker line, heaven forbid!

cloud skirt

My youngest took this and my eyes are shut but it shows the skirt off well.  A quick and easy sew, just the sides and an elastic waist band, easy peasy!

side cloud skirt

‘Nuff said!

Have you got any makes you love, or fabric you are drooling over?  Let me know by clicking the “comments” link above, would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlocker, You Mean Another Sewing Machine? No, An Overlocker!

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend a class at The Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington.  For those who don’t know, The Thrifty Stitcher, aka Claire-Louise Hardie, is the Sewing Producer for The Great British Sewing Bee.  I did the “Overlocking Basics De-Mystified” taught by the lovely Layla Totah.class group

For most people, the fear of the overlocker is the threading, and yes, it is a bit tricky.  I’m so glad that I did the course before purchasing my Janome 6234XL, as Layla came by with her trusty scissors and snipped the threads a few times, which was very alarming!  However, making us thread the machine a few times really gave me confidence and I had less fear when my machine arrived at home.  class overlocker

We made a t-shirt in the class and it is amazing how quickly it came together!  When researching overlockers, people always said how much quicker, easier and professional it made your sewing but I didn’t really get it until now!  If you have ever considered getting one and you are dithering – do it now!  You will never regret it, the expense is totally worth it and my thinking is that I will never have to buy one again, or at least not for about 20 years!

me in class
The T-shirt I made in class, over the top of my dress, so not that flattering!
theresa top
Theresa’s t-shirt

And this is my new Janome 6234XL sitting next to my beloved Pfaff, I think they will become the best of friends!Machines

Once it arrived, I threaded it straight away, it worked first time and I made a “test” skirt in under half an hour!  Job done I reckon.overlock skirt

Not my favourite fabric, but bought on Ebay for 99p and a wearable muslin, and the t-shirt is the one I made in class, I may add a band to the bottom of it so it sits better on my hips. The skirt is the Fay by Style Arc, it’s supposed to be a double layered skirt with a bagged out hem but I didn’t have enough fabric and it’s a thick Ponte so I just made a single layer and stitched a hem.  My youngest took this photo and said “it makes you look skinny, you should make more of these”!  I’m sure I will!

So, what sewing extravagances have you indulged in?  Click the “comments” box at the top of the page and let me know!

A Holiday and a Summer Wardrobe

sun set

We have had 3 wonderful weeks away and it has been an amazing trip. (If you just want to get to the sewing, scroll down!)  Firstly, we flew to Stockholm, which is a beautiful city, loads of things to see and do, if you have kids I would recommend the Viking Museum and the Abba Museum, both are very interactive and great fun! It also has a great fabric shop, Tygverket, where I bought a few meters.

Then we went to Lake Vattern for 4 days – very tranquil and peaceful but if you are a city person like me, 4 days is probably enough!  On to Gothenburg, which was also fabulous.  We then drove to Copenhagen and had 3 days there, unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but on a sunny afternoon we did a boat trip round the city which was fun, some very interesting buildings.

Finally, we went to Croatia for the last week and it was gloriously sunny and such a beautiful, cultured and sophisticated country, I would definitely recommend it.  I found some great jewellery shops that sold pieces made by local designers.  I particularly liked the design of Midzo, and bought a couple of pieces.

Jewellery Croatia

On to the sewing!  Obviously, whilst away I didn’t do any sewing but I did wear all the things I made, so here they are …

20150805_110239_6
My “hurry up and take the photo” look

Trees dress

This is a dress I haven’t blogged about, I love the fabric, it has trees with colours coming through like a sunset, bought from Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road.  Its a mash up between a Scout Tee, Grainline Studio, and the Coco Dress, Tilly and the Buttons.

20150802_111702
Aeolian Dress, I said to the Mr “its about the dress, not me”, so he cut my head off!
20150802_193323
Penelope Dress and another “hurry up and take the photo” look
Trousers and top
Scout Tee and Trousers from Sewing Bee Book

I can’t tell you how much I love these trousers, I wore them so much on holiday and they are so comfy and cool (as in temperature, I don’t kid myself I look “cool”!)

Well, that’s it, it’s good to be home and back on the blog! (And “Bake Off” is back on TV yay!!) Please leave a comment by clicking the “comments” box at the top of the page, I would love to hear from you.  What have you been up to this summer, or winter, depending where you are?

 

A Holiday Wardrobe!

front trousers

 

I have made several things for our up coming holiday – only 1 week to go!!  First of all these Hawaiian print trousers.  I made these using the jumpsuit pattern from the Sewing Bee book (a fantastic purchase – so many patterns from one book – and great information about fabric choice etc). This is the pattern hack of the jumpsuit which you can make into trousers by tracing off the lower waist line.  I LOVE this pattern, for lots of reasons.  A) It fit me right from the pattern with no adjustment at all (I usually do a FBA (I know this stands for Full Bust Adjustment but for me its a Full Bum Adjustment ha!).  B) It has no zips or pockets so is quick to sew up. C) It has an elastic waist so no fitting issues there and the design is loose and roomy so no worries with fitting at the hip either!

side of hawaii trousers

I love the fabric too, which was a cheap find on ebay, about £2 per meter I think, and I used it as a toile to check the fit but they are totally wearable! I tried to take a back view myself in the mirror which was not easy! full length back trousersI wanted to show the back as I think the fit is really good.  I’m a RTW size 14/16 and I cut out a 14 which was perfect, the waist band was a bit loose so I just cut off 2″ of elastic and redid it and it’s fine.

The top I’m wearing is yet another Scout Tee!  Made from a white cotton/poly mix with some stretch.  I wanted a couple of basic tops for the holiday that I can just wash and wear easily.

white scout

 

Not the best photo but I had no photographer that day!

I also made a pattern hack of the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons with a flutter sleeve pattern that I got from Muse Patterns – they sell a Knit Sleeve Pack that can be used in knit garments, its excellent value at $3.

 

 

 

 

Pink flutter sleeveI look a bit odd in this photo but it was about 34 degrees and I was feeling hot and bothered!

Flutter sleeve

 

The flutter sleeve!  I also made a Coco Dress in a fabric with trees and sunsets but don’t have any photos.  Hopefully I can get some pictures of all my outfits in action when I’m on holiday!

hawaii fabric closeup

 

Just love this fabric!

If you’re going away, have a great time, if you want to comment, click on “comments” at the top of the page, it would be great to hear from you!

Bunting Extravaganza!

coloured bunting   My youngest son’s school is having its Summer Fete next week end and I have been busy making LOADS of bunting …  over 130 meters!  I hung some of it round the “my sewing room”/”the study” to see how the spacing between the flags was, looks ok to me. I used up a lot of my sewing scraps from over a very long period of time and it was interesting looking at the colours and what fabrics I have chosen to sew with over the years.  I think I have quite eclectic taste and use a bit of everything but it also seems I like a lot of red, orange, green and denim!  It quite surprised me to see those choices but it is true that they are probably my favourite colours/fabrics. denim bunting   And quite a bit of African print fabric too, a few with wacky designs like stilettos or handbags, (two other things I love, ha!), given to me by my fabulous friend Louise.  As I went through the pieces of fabric I could remember each garment I had made with it and it was a lovely trip down memory lane.  I found some fabric from a skirt I made for my honeymoon and some Mini Cooper print and horses print that I used to make pillow covers for each of my boys. They still both sleep with them every night …. ahhhh!   boxed bunting 2   Here it is all boxed and ready to go!  Back to “selfish sewing” hooray!

What to Sew…?

shop fabric

 

What to sew next?  I was given this selection of fabric as a birthday present when I was at my parents’ house, it’s from Fabric Land in Sailsbury.

I used the blue and white stripe for my Aeolian dress, which I have yet to shorten (see previous blog).  I want to make a Scout Tee dress with the pink leopard print – I know NEON PINK LEOPARD PRINT!!  What was I thinking, my Mum looked at me sideways and said “What are you going to make with that?!”

I will use the green polka dot for some wide leg summer trousers, it is a poly cotton mix light suit weight and has some stretch, just trying to find the right pattern.  Maybe the Colette Juniper or the trousers from the Holly Jumpsuit By Hand London.

Image from Colette Patterns website

The plain blue fabric is a scuba stretch that I want to use to make the Morris Blazer from Grainline Studio.  Both sides of the fabric are the same and it doesn’t fray so I thought I would try making it without the front facing and just leaving a raw edge, we’ll see!

Morris Blazer
Image from Grainline Studio website

The white is for a Plantain Tee from Deer and Doe I think, not very exciting but it will get a lot of wear. It’s a FREE downloadable pattern and it fits through the shoulders and bust then widens out to an A-line, very flattering.

Shirt Plantain
Image from Deer and Doe Website