Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sewing roundup!!

Still working to finish up this book - it will be done by the middle of next week, and then onto new things! Partly trying to get some more stuff together to sell at Hifest...

In the meantime, I've been carrying on the sewing. First up is the Miette blouse from Tilly and the Buttons. I made this for my mum, but in the end a blue shirt I'd made was a better match for her.

Front view

Back, with buttons from Mum's button box!

Copied from old Jaeger charity shop shirt - let's pretend those buttons aren't sewn down sans buttonholes.

Shirt outside Mum!

I also had a go with some cotton jersey, and with some flammable horrorfabric from Goldhawk Road. But I love the white dress even so, I feel like a powerful 80s lady in it - a feeling I enjoy very much. 

Sewing stretch cotton - pretty forgiving.

Powerful. Channelling Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Washi Dress!

I sewed up this dress last night - it's the Washi Dress pattern by Rae Hoekstra. It was really fun to make, and I got to attempt two new things - shirring and using bias binding. Both seemed to work fine for me this time. My sister was with me and commented while I was reading the pattern aloud (excellent chat by me) that it was another language, which I guess is a big part of what I'm enjoying so much (despite being a bit of a stinker at learning languages). Already, things that were utterly baffling four months ago are starting to take shape, slowly, in the ole bean. 

I haven't hemmed this yet, but couldn't wait to wear it! Naughty. The fabric is from The Cloth House, and was actually bought for a costume which hasn't yet had an outing... but I think this dress can still be part of it! 

My first PDF pattern experience - and it was a good one! Satisfied the impatient "but I want it now!" part of me.

Wistful in Washi.

What's happening down here? in Washi.

Shirring? Sure thing!

You can even read excellent comics while in Washi!

I loved making this, and think I'll enjoy wearing it - it's a great pattern for all the blissful quilting weight cottons you see... 

**VERDICT: The Washi Dress was better than "a wash" for me! Ha! Ha! Ha!**

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beautiful moth!

Karen Wall, who wrote that her sons like my book Ambrose Goes for Gold, shared these photos of the completely beautiful, brilliant moth that she sewed for them to play with. Isn't he incredibly great? I'm really inspired to have a go at making a character myself, although I'm not in this league of sewing! 

Also on her list is the caterpillar, the butterfly and the ladybird - if she does manage them too I can't wait to see! As a mega novice, I'm filled with admiration for Karen's sewing skills.

Thank you so much for sharing Karen, your moth RULES!

Check him OUT!

Lovely stained glass window wings.

Moth cuddles!

Original moth. Who could do with taking some sprucing-up tips from Karen's moth. Also, its nose is like that because it's a super cool hummingbird-hawk moth:

(Not because, as some may have suggested, I get confused between moths and elephants...!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Mathilde Blouse!

I had a lot of fun sewing the Mathilde Blouse by Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons. The buttonhole setting on my machine isn't great, but it did the job and the buttonholes actually work this time! And it was my first go at French seams, which means the inside looks pretty okay too. 

I think the fabric I chose was a little flimsy, and that something stiffer and more shape-holding would be better for next time. I'm going to have another go at this pattern soon, and I have some weightier gingham brown cotton for the attempt.

Brown and green, what a team!

I wore my Mathilde out to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace - what lovely views from the top of the hill looking over London... which I am here obscuring with my posing.

Back view - check OUT those green bad boys!!

The show was a lot of fun, and we drooled over all the fabrics and notions... I bought some linen, and next on my list is the Anna Dress from By Hand London. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dare you play...


I'm enjoying colouring this spread, now that the BITTERNESS of last week's Photoshop meltdown has been healed by sweet sweet time! I was rushing, so probably not saving as often as I ought, and had an "end of file name" error message, which corrupted the whole file... much colouring lost! But I guess it's useful to have a wake up call about my saving and organising habits.

And still keeping up with the sewing! This is a top in progress, carrying on with the bright buttons look.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Saturday Sewing!

I spent Saturday sewing up a shirt with some lovely cotton shirting fabric from The Cloth House on Berwick Street (dangerously close by...) The pattern was made up from an old Jaeger shirt, using the technique which Alice Prier teaches at Ray Stitch

It wasn't 100% successful - a bit massive and baggy, but that was sort of the look I was going for...! And it was my first go at buttonholes which were not nearly as scary as I'd feared. (Although, because they turned out too small, I mostly sewed the buttons into the back bit... but I'm still going to consider that part a success!)

I'm really into this blue/grey with bright red buttons look!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finished dress!

My keenness on sewing continues, and this was my latest project! A couple of weeks ago I went to a one-day class at Ray Stitch, taught by the very talented Alice Prier. The class was called Recreate Your Favourite Garment, and I brought along a dress I love, and a midi skirt in case the dress was too difficult.

Alice taught us a great technique for making a pattern from our old clothes, and I took away a dress pattern at the end of that day. I wondered if it was a little ambitious for me to sew, but it's been great! I've definitely learned a ton doing this, and bits that I thought would be very hard were easier, and vice versa. The buttons for example, which looked like a nightmare, were easy peasy, whereas the darts were trickier.

It's not a perfect fit on me, but then neither was the original. I managed to lose some neck space, so it bunches up a bit there, and is a bit billowy around the middle. But apart from that, I'm pretty thrilled!

Bonjour. Je suis le original dress. I found it in a Paris frip store, and it had massive holes in the arms from day one. Plus I'm not much of a red-wearer - quelle domage!

I think it was the buttons and the neckline shape that I liked the most, and wanted to copy.

Pattern made in Alice's class, then I added a seam allowance and cut it out at home. Pretty stripy fabric from Ray Stitch.

Pocket pride.

Almost there - just need some arms...

Arms! And I made a belt too, to solve the billowy middle problem. I ordered the plastic buckle off Ebay, about £3 I think.

Just look at those bad boys!

With belt...

Without! As the French frip shop intended.

What next what next what next??? 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some sewing good times

For the last six weeks I've been doing an weekly evening sewing course at Ray Stitch in Islington, taught by Moyna. I've enjoyed it like mad. I haven't really settled on a hobby that's kept me entertained over the last few years. After a burst of guitar enthusiasm, that's now languishing... pottery classes petered out... I WILL take up running again (ahem), but that's a bit different. 

Anyway sewing seems to be scratching the (st)itch, for now at least. Plus there's such a lovely and interesting community of sewers out there, writing super blogs and posting pictures of their projects. And all the fabrics and bits to covet!

 My friend Susannah did a wonderful blog a few years ago, Fashion on the Ration, and I've been admiring her application and skill ever since.

Here are some pics of my guys!

Our first project was a Simplicity pattern 8523 top. I used cotton print fabric from The Cloth Shop on Portobello Road.

I think this was my favourite pattern. Really easy but looks much harder than it was. Fabric was from Ray Stitch, and the pattern is the Chardon Skirt by Doe and Deer.

And last was this pattern by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons - her Miette skirt. I love the pattern, but sadly chose rather a rubbishy wrinkly fabric from one of the Goldhawk Road shops.

I want to sew and sew! Anyone know any brilliant patterns that they've used and would recommend??