Well, yet again, it’s been a while!
I’ve been busy, though. My focus has changed quite dramatically, so I’ve been doing a lot of dress-making. I’m posting this at work (gasp!), so pictures of my actual creations will follow later, although I’ll put the official pattern pictures in for now. Edited: added my pictures in!
Largely prompted by the Great British Sewing Bee series 2, which I must have watched at least 20 times now, I decided I felt like dress-making.
I completed a dress I’ve had cut out for about 4 years – but I’ve lost a lot of weight, so I had to re-cut all the pieces. I had sewn the bodice darts, so I had to unpick those, and discovered that my fabric, a cotton batik, had marked badly along the stitch lines, so had a panic when I thought I didn’t have enough fabric. Fortunately, I found the bag and juuuust had enough to re-cut. It did mean that the pattern matching wasn’t quite as good as I wanted, but that was contributed to by the print not being as even as it actually looked on the roll. The cotton came from John Lewis, and the bodice is fully lined, lining fabric also from John Lewis. The pattern is Vogue 8633 ‘Easy’, although it was anything but! I made view F, which is the full skirt with sleeves. I found that I had to shorten the shoulder line (not sure if that’s the right term) by about 2 inches, as it projected enough that if I’d set the sleeves in as it was, they would have been about halfway down my upper arm! I also need to close up the neckline a little – it’s fine standing up, but when I sit down there’s a bit more cleavage on view than I like. I even embroidered washing instructions inside!
Since I had some fabric left over (those unused bodice pieces), I made a little clutch bag, using the instructions in Love Sewing magazine, issue 1.
Then I started and finished a jacket made from a groovy wool blend with lines needlefelted onto it, which I got at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in March, and lined it with a painted nylon kimono lining from ebay. The pattern is a Simplicity New Look pattern that seems to be out of print now, for a waterfall front jacket. The pattern, though, is for a much lighter fabric, and unlined, so I had to figure that out as I went along. It’s very cosy. The pattern also didn’t at any point specify that the long sleeve seams had to be sewn. In one instruction diagram they were unsewn, and in the next they were magically sewn, without any written step inbetween!
I made a pair of trousers from Vogue 1366 in a grey lightweight suiting, which I got from The Sewing Cafe, in Hinckley. I added purple piping around the waistline and across the rear welt pockets. And my god, the pockets! The instructions were slightly less than useless, and after my fifth attempt, ruining one whole cut-out leg of good fabric, I youtubed the whole thing, ignored the Vogue instructions, and got on much better. Without doubt, the most comfortable pair of trousers I have EVER owned, and the right length too. I’m tall, so I struggle to find ready to wear trousers long enough. But the rear pockets were not simple.
I completed a pair of shoe clips from a Mollie Makes magazine cover kit – fun!
I bought a new overlocker, because mine died, utterly.
A Brother 1034D. My boss gave me a bonus, the day after my overlocker died, so that was a complete no-brainer!
I took apart a handbag which I had from Accessorize several years ago, which was in a pink corduroy. The corduroy had gone bald, as corduroy does when it rubs, but I really like the shape and size of the bag, so I unpicked it and used the pieces as patterns to cut out and assemble a new bag. The new one is made up in a cotton canvas from a shop in London, with the old lining from the handbag and the zip and strap re-used, and interlined with a waterproof fabric from the same shop. (The Cloth Shop, in Soho.) First time of making my own bias binding using a bias maker, too.
The original was similar to this one.
I just made up a top from a Vogue Very Easy 8963, in a print cotton from ebay. I didn’t cut the top on the bias, because of the pattern on the fabric, and added an invisible zip in the back. My first one, so I’m really pleased with that, I think it turned out really well. The pattern envelope shows it as a dress, but it can be made up as a top too. The only other change I made to this was to add bias binding around the bottom of the armholes, which isn’t specified in the pattern instructions.
I finally finished Hill Hay Farm, thank goodness! I still think it’s not very good as a photo chart, but hopefully the cousin who asked me for it will be happy.
I also made a couple of flowery hair clips, and decorated some white espadrille type pumps (£7.99 from New Look) to match the dress.
So next, the OH wants me to make up some cushions for the living room using some patchwork printed pieces we got from the USA last time we were there; I want to make up a couple of blouses and a jacket, and I’m back sewing the Dark Knight again.
Tilly and the Buttons – Mathilde
By Hand London – Victoria Blazer (long length)
Oh, and I’m also knitting a bolero cardigan to go with the cotton dress.
We went up to Yorkshire for the Tour de France, and found a lovely little shop in Ilkley, called Eme,
where I got a bobble hat kit (a ball of chunky wool with a pre-made fluffy bobble), a pattern for an anorak affair,
and some cute dotty canvas to make it up in. It’s a really great little shop, and the proprietress was absolutely lovely. We came upon it purely by chance, but I thoroughly recommend a visit.
So I guess I’m going to be busy.
I’ve also signed up for a sewing course at Guthrie & Ghani in August – making a Belcarra blouse. I seem to struggle with hems, and I’m not sure if it’s me or my sewing machine that’s the problem. So hopefully I might get a couple of pointers.
Plus I’ll be going to SewBrum in October for a day of shopping and swapping. I can’t wait!