Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

PR Sewing Bee 2020 Round 1: Sew a T-Shirt inspired by childhood

Here I am wearing the tee, in a self timer shot.
Inside shot showing the coverhem and overlocking on knit fabrics.
Inspiration: Childhood

It is 1977, I’m 6 years old and my mum has sewn me a red white and blue dress for the street party for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The street was closed and we had tables down the centre of the tarmac, sandwiches, cake and jelly. I don’t have a photo, only a memory.

Mum sewed many clothes for me and my younger brother when we were children. Before my brother was born I would sit in her lap whilst she sewed at the machine. She told me I could stay if I kept my fingers away from the needle and just watched! When I was older she sewed in the evenings and I remember falling asleep to the sound of the sewing machine.

For my t shirt I’ve used my favourite T pattern New Look 6735. I’ve incorporated the red, white and blue of the original childhood dress and used a thrifty approach of using up small fabric remnants, which mum often did for children’s clothes.
The front was cut from a man’s teeshirt and then overpainted with fabric paints – I had a lovely time doing this, something very therapeutic (and childlike) about painting.
I’ve added a silver painted ‘77’ to indicate the year and 25 silver buttons for the Silver Jubilee (25 years).

(As a child I was completely unaware of punk which was also happening at the time, but note with interest that the distressed union jack with silver studs has a slightly punkish look)

The back is plain dark blue jersey and the sleeves are a rose on denim print jersey.

I constructed the tee on my sewing machine, overlocker and coverhem, using navy and white threads in different places as I didn't want a blue hem on the front or a white hem on the back.



Sunday, 12 January 2020

SWAP 2020 Tartan Trews Completed

Tartan trousers with black side stripe and waistband
Tartan matched across the pockets/front.
And across the back where I could.

These are based on New Look 6216 with the side stripe added.

I cut the fabric single layer to get the tartan to match. It's a fine fabric with high polyester content and it moved about a lot and frayed a great deal. The side stripe/waistband are from plain black bengaline.

Planning to wear these for a Burns Night event at the local pub!

Sunday, 5 January 2020

SWAP 2020 Black Quilted coat completed

My first SWAP 2020 piece is complete.

 DBF calls it the Darth Vader coat when the hood is up.
It has patch pockets with a front curved edge.

The coat uses Simplicity 8467. I've made it 12 inches longer, and placed the fold line on the edge of the fabric and then bound it.
I also added some buttons/buttonholes to close it.

Friday, 27 December 2019

SWAP 2020 black quilted coat

SWAP 2020 has started, and although I didn't manage anything in the gap between the rules being announced and Christmas (where one garment can be sewn), I have now cut out my first project.

I'm using Simplicity 8467, though I don't have the corresponding issue of Threads. I'm using the pattern more as a starting point for my own thing so that's not a big concern.
 The front, collar and hood are all one piece.
I've cut my version out of this pre-quilted fabric (without the fold backs) and will bind the edges.
I've also cut mine 12" longer so it falls more to a midi length.
I've not decided on closures yet, but like the idea of toggles, frog closures etc.
My quilted fabric is quite slippery so without closures I think it may tend to slip off.

There's some fabric left so I'm now thinking about another item from the rest of the fabric, perhaps a Gilet or Kimono.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Trousers / Pants from Burda 12 / 2019

I recently noticed that all 3 of the trouser patterns in Burda Dec 2019 cover a size 46, which really made my day.
Burda 2019-12-124.
Plus wide leg trousers in sizes 44-52

Burda 2019-12-105.
Tapered joggers in sizes 36-46

Burda 2019-12-120.
Ponte side stripe 'Trend Style' in 36-46

(Standard sizes only usually go up to a 44, so not sure why these have the extra size).

All very different styles and all in the same issue. I generally have a reasonably good outcome with Burda trousers (due to the long bias back crotch) though I need to watch the width of the legs particularly at knee and calf. The two tapered styles therefore may need to be a bit straighter in the leg to work for me.

I really love the side stripe detail on #120, could be a great approach to use when trousers are too tight or fabric amounts are short.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

No sewing but more fabric

I've not managed any sewing (other than a bit of mending) as I've been busy in the run up to Christmas.
However amongst the other errands I did manage to pop into the local roll end shop and pick up some more fabrics in the SWAP colourway.
Now obviously I won't use all of these but it gives scope for changing plans and wadders!

Left - lovely soft tartan fabric, will be skirt or trousers.
Centre - black denim
Right - lots of black bengaline, so useful in the wardrobe.

Left - Black with grey spots, beautifully soft.
Top - red crinkle knit with smooth back
Bottom - Black textured knit
Right - thick polyester ponte (the sort that kills needles)

Now these colours are in my palette though not my signature colours.
So I can wear them especially with a bright red lipstick

Monday, 16 December 2019

Fabrics for SWAP 2020

I've been gathering black and red fabrics for SWAP 2020 and here are some of the options.
I've moved roles at work, and its a lot less trousers suits, more comfortable separates.

This is some beautiful silk I bought in Goldhawk Road in July 2010. I plan for it to be the front of a top, with the grey jersey as the back. 
This fabric is the inspiration for the whole of my SWAP 2020 both in colourway and in the garment style - a relaxed vibe with touches of oriental luxe.

Next up are some plain black fabrics.
Top Left is charcoal quilted fabric, which will hopefully become a simple unlined coat.
Lower Left is black baby cord.
The two central fabrics are woven wool mix suitable for jackets, and the two right fabrics are plain trouser fabric. I have a number of other plain black fabrics e.g. ponte, jersey and some pinstripe trouser fabrics too, so these selections may change.

Now onto the red. Top left and centre are red ponte fabrics, one a brighter red than the other. Top right is a red and black print jersey.
Bottom left is a small remnant of sweater knit, which would probably need combining with another fabric to make a garment. Bottom centre is a jersey printed with bright splashes of white. Bottom right is some red stretch lace.

More reds. Top left is a woven suiting fabric, used for the body of my moto jacket. Upper and lower right fabrics are jacquard knits used for the sleeves of the moto jacket.  I'm not quite sure what I'd make from these as yet. Lower right is a drapey fabric which could be a blouse or skirt.

Finally a poly jacquard border print and a mesh print.

I won't be using all the these fabrics for the SWAP, but a few have me particularly excited.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

DIY Snowflake or star (for purchased jumper)

Here's a simple way to make a normal plain jumper or cardigan (sweater) into something suitable for those 'Christmas Jumper' events.

Old plain navy purchased sweater.
A ball of sparkle yarn from an inexpensive shop.
A yarn needle.

I did a simple running stitch in the shape of my (slightly wonky) star/snowflake and then threaded the yarn through the running stitch tying off at the back.
It took  about half and hour to do.

I can always remove the yarn if I want a plain jumper again.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Next project: La Maison Victor Linna Coat

So it seemed like a good idea to make the Linna Coat from La Maison Victor. Although I have a few magazines I've not actually sewn anything from them, just enjoyed reading them.

But I really liked the Linna coat and thought it would be a good pre SWAP challenge, and handy for choir and other serious occasions.

So a bit like Burda pattern sheets the pattern pieces are overlapping on pattern sheets in the centre of the magazine. The LMV sheets are quite small so each piece is in several parts. Seam allowances are not included. (So I need to remember to add them).

The annotations are a bit different to Burda, so it took a little while for me to work out actually where the pattern pieces were on the sheet and how three bits (all in different directions) came together to make piece A (the front). I'm hoping it's going to be a little faster now I've got my eye in and I will carry on another day with the tracing.
There was one point where I was so baffled I considered abandoning it, so glad I persevered even if its made my head hurt a bit.

My coat is going to be black, so I expect it'll be quite a frustrating project all along the way. Let's see how it goes.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Mixed prints Style Arc Ivy finished

Now its finished I love the Ivy knit top from Style Arc in mixed print fabrics.

Its an oversized fit with dropped shoulders, so if you like a neater fit (or like to wear the new wider bottoms I'd suggest sizing down).

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Style Arc Ivy top

I'm going to sew up the Style Arc Ivy top in two different prints for the combining prints contest on The Sewing Place.

It has been cut out a while but I've not had time/energy to sew it up.
Here's the two fabrics I chose

I've picked the floral stripe for the front and sleeves, with the leopard print for the back, cuffs and neckband. I will get sewing this week and share on Doris the Dummy once done.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Wardrobe Musings

Wardrobe Musings

I love sewing co-ordinated collections, and I like to sew multiple garments with the same colour thread on the machines (sewing machine, overlocker and coverhem). If you read the blog much, you can see that from the sidebar.
However this approach can mean that when something wears out and its not the colour I'm currently sewing I don't sew a replacement garment and suddenly a colourway is trickier to wear as I have odd wardrobe holes.
I also have items for 'mending' or alterations which sit about in the sewing room for long periods of time.
In practical terms this annoys me as I'm not using the garments I have nor replacing the worn out ones. So maybe a bit more discipline is in order.

But sewing is a fun activity and too many rules make it less of a hobby and more like work.

It actually only takes a few minutes to rethread all the machines, so no idea why that's such a big deal for me.
I suppose the fact that my long navy cardigan (above) wore out and isn't available makes me more likely to pick an alternative, but sometimes I just want a navy cardigan (and this time with pockets please!)

Who knows what I will share next on the blog, because I don't think I do!!

Monday, 4 November 2019

Woven and knit top

Burgundy woven front, jersey back top.

I was inspired by this style of top which has a woven front but a stretchy jersey back.
I used New Look 6420 as my starting point. I cut up a size and flared out the hem. In the end I kept the extra size in the sleeves, but removed most of the extra added in the body as it was very loose.
I would definitely sew this again, its a great way of using woven fabrics in a dressy t-shirt. And I know it will get a lot more wear in my lifestyle than a blouse, plus the comfort of the jersey back is wonderful.