Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

SWAP-ish sewing so far

My two entries for the sewing bee were a diversion and don't fit with my SWAP plan. The rules this year are different, so I want to make top and trouser outfits and then have a choice of layering pieces which can work over any of the outfits.
Some of the tops and bottoms won't work well together, but others will and this is OK.
First up is the black quilted coat, this will work over any of the outfits.
For the second layering piece I am planning a long red cardigan. (not yet sewn).
The animal print knit top, needs a plainer bottom, so some black bengaline trousers are in order there.
A plain black knit top with some interesting details would work well with the tartan trousers.
And I'm planning a knit top in red jersey with a splash print on it.

After that if something can work with either a plain black top or plain black trousers and go under the coat or cardigan it can be in the collection.
I want to use the silk which inspired the whole collection. This will be another top.
Maybe some grey bengaline trousers would be another good piece as there is grey in the animal print and the silk.
And then leave things open for piece 11 as there are lots of ways that could go - red dress, red top, red skirt, black dress, black pinstripe tailored trousers....

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Musical Shirt - Prima magazine March 2020

The Sewing Place has a contest called "It’s all about shirts".

I wasn't sure to start with if I were going to enter, then several things came together.

- choir were having social event
- Prima magazine arrived and had a shirt dress pattern in it
- I came across some fabric I had bought with musical notes on it.

End result was a musical shirt!

Here's the finished shirt, looks at a distance like it might be a paisley or floral design.

But get up close and you can see the musical notes.

The collar came out nicely and you can see the silver rose buttons I used.

Here's the cuff. I cut it extra wide and put 2 buttonholes in the cuff, then folded it back and used only one button through both buttonholes (sort of gives a cufflink effect).

Here's the pattern from March 2020 Prima Magazine. I measured a RTW shirt and cut a curved hem.

It's a simple pattern with no bust darts, the cuff opening in the side seam and a cut on placket, so quite a relaxed fit. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed sewing this, even the collar and buttonholes. I would use it again though probably for another shirt not the dress.

If you are in the UK you can order this pattern through their chargeable phone line (or wait a bit until it turns up on ebay). I've never tried this method as I am a subscriber and have the pattern come with the magazine in the post.
It looks like it would work out at £3.00 for the pattern and you still have to trace some of it off....

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

PR 2020 Sewing Bee Round 2 - Pockets:

2020 Sewing Bee Round 2 - Pockets:

Design Process:
I read in the rules that the garment should be made of woven fabric, which triggered the idea of learning to weave! I wanted to highlight the pockets using fabric I had woven myself. So I went to the craft shop and bought a tablet loom, watched some online videos, made a few samples and decided that some pewter ribbon would be ideal. I’ve used the resulting pieces as extra large pocket flaps. (This was my first time weaving and I enjoyed it)

Construction Approach
For the main fabric I chose a grey plaid shot with silver threads which highlights the woven nature of the fabric, and gave me an opportunity to cut the bands and pockets on the bias. I adapted New Look 6397 as I liked the angled component of the hem in View A. However knowing I wanted large visible pockets on the lower part of the garment I made some alterations to the pattern.
- Cut out a size M as the pattern is very oversized.
- Changed the armhole and sleeve head to be more set in (though still relaxed)
- Lengthened the front and back to give more ‘skirt’ for the pockets
- Added a lining

The lining fabric is a silvery colour, deliberately chosen to express my journey through depression. At a distance the jacket reads as grey, but close up the textured pocket flaps, silver threads in the fabric, angles of the hem show that it’s not ‘just grey’. The silver lining represents hope!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Jungle January - Red and grey rayon blouse - Prima Magazine May 2010

I wanted to participate in Jungle January.
I bought this red and grey animal print fabric from the fabric stall on the local outdoor market on a Monday. Its a very drapey viscose/rayon with no stretch.
I used the sewing pattern from Prima Magazine May 2010 as my starting point. I chose the top length but the dress sleeves. I used fold over elastic on the neckband instead of bias binding. I constructed in a different order and pleated the sleeves into the cuffs (which I made wider) rather than gathering them. I omitted the back waist darts, but cut the back with a centre seam.
Its a lovely soft blouse, which although I've sewn it in January should be great to wear to work on hot days in the summer.

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.



Happily I got through to PR Sewing Bee round two (Results, though the next challenge doesn't get announced until tomorrow.

I didn't get past round 2 last time and I think it was because I sewn something fairly conventional and more creativity was desired. Anyway we'll have to see how it goes.

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.