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Thursday 26 March 2009

McCall's M5818 arrived today

McCall's M5818 arrived today. I really like everything in this pattern, though I bought it for the jacket.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Black trouser jeans

Have cut out the black trouser jeans - well the legs anyway, as the sewing room as eaten the facing pieces. I've sewn the darts, serged the edges ready..... but not sewn anything together yet.
Not sure if I want more embroidery in other places, and if so where. If I am going to embroider I reckon it'll be lowish down on one leg (knee to ankle), but maybe the jeans would be more wearable if I just stick to the pockets having embroidery and teal topstitching.

Wearing SWAP clothes

I've not finished my SWAP yet but lots of the clothes have migrated into the wardrobe and are being worn. Hopefully I won't have any accidents that mess the clothes up.

Today I am wearing the 3/4 sleeve print knit top. I think it might be a little long, but its very nice and I even got a compliment on it which always gives a buzz.

I stayed the same at weight watchers which is better than gaining I suppose but still not great.
Not done much sewing though so will go and cut out those black denim trouser jeans which are going to have the embroidered pockets.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Trying to felt wool

I found a piece of wool in a box when unpacking from my house move - bright teal in colour 150cm wide and 3.3m long.
I decided I'd like to felt the fabric a little to be more a coat weight rather than the medium weight it was. I sewed the ends together to stop it tangling and decided to use my standard front loading washing machine.
First up I put it in the washer on a delicate cycle but with the temp at 60 degrees Celsius. The cycle finished I took the wool out - it didn't seem a lot different, I hung it up to dry.
I decided it wasn't different enough, so later I put it back in the washer, this time on 70 degrees and on the cotton cycle, I also added a little bit of detergent for delicates.
This time it came out a bit wrinkled (the cotton spin I think) and did perhaps feel a little thicker (definitely softer).
It now measures exactly the same as it did before!! Which I guess makes it magic wool - or maybe washable wool?
I'm not quite sure what to do with it now, but at least I know whatever I make from it won't shrink in the wash!

Saturday 21 March 2009

Butterfly Embroideries

The embroideries came out really nice, and even better - exactly the same as each other.
I used different colours than they suggested, but marked the spools 1-5 as I used them, to make sure I used them in the same order the second time.

Here's a link to the machine - selling for under £400 pounds at the moment, though I think the very weak pound will mean that prices will be going up shortly.

Here are the embroideries - now just need to decide on what garment to use them on. I am thinking about the Burda wide legs pants I already made several times, done in black denim with teal top stitching and the embroidered back pockets. I am probably too old to have embroideries anywhere else :-)

Janome MemoryCraft 200E

Today I took my saved up Christmas/Birthday/Hobby money and went and bought myself a Janome Memory Craft 200E, and entry level embroidery machine.
I just embroidered a butterfly in shades of teal on black denim. I am going to try and do another one just the same, and then try and make some wide leg jeans with the embroideries used on the back pockets.

DH was very impressed with the quality, and because I already have a Janome Memory Craft 6000 (an older sewing machine that does mini embroideries the width of the zig zag stitch) which has the same thread paths, bobbin winding, similar needle threader etc etc I found it easy to pick up how to use it.
I got the dealer ([url]http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/[/url]) to demo for me, and it also comes with a 1/2 hr CD which I watched before sewing anything.

So its been a good experience so far.

I know I have to be careful to not become one of those sewing ladies with twee embroideries on everything, but the shades of teal on black does seem quite elegant.

Thursday 19 March 2009


Today I picked up both Sewing World and Sew Hip. Sewing World has the pattern supplement this month so that's interesting - a few nice jacket patterns I can order before they go out of print. It does feel as though its aimed at older ladies rather than myself, but I still buy it sometimes.

Sew Hip has a much younger fresher feel, and even has a free pattern for a jacket and a skirt - both of which I like. Some of the projects are a little mad - I have no need in my life for a stuffed toy raccoon or a corgi cushion, but the whole vibe is young and funky.

I am so wiped from the studying that reading a few sewing magazines is about as far as I manage to get at the moment but hopefully the tiredness will pass by the weekend and I can start to get some stuff done.

Back to sewing

I've had a little pause in my sewing activities whilst I revised like a mad person for my exam which was yesterday. I was relieved more than any other emotion when I passed as I had been slogging away on this since before I moved.
For those who are interested I am now a member of the Project Management Institute, and am a Certified Associate in Project Management.

Quite glad that's over for a year or two and I can get on with sewing, decorating and gardening which are my top items for the next few months.

Sewing wise, I need to be focussed and make tops for the SWAP before I get into another jacket, wool trousers, a panelled skirt etc. I am going to try the McCall's blouse Jenni helped me fit. It would be soo great to have a fitting blouse.

The next item on my decorating list is to paint the red wall in what should be my guest room a nice soothing shade of blue, construct the bed, and move the boxes out into the garage to be tackled later. Then I can have friends come to stay.

Gardening wise I need to do a bit of weeding and tidying. The garden is quite low maintenance in the new house and DH and I have decided not to put any new plants in this year, but allow the garden to show us what it has already, and get an idea of shady spots and sunny spots, to be ready to plant next year (or maybe Autumn for bulbs).

Sisterhood Award

Jenni (aka Yorkshire Lass) very kindly nominated me for a Sisterhood Award which is a great honour.

You can check out her work at SEWLYD - http://sewyld.blogspot.com/

Nominations have been underway for a while, so most everyone I know and read is already nominated. However if I spot a lovely blog without, I shall nominate away.

Sunday 8 March 2009

Waterfall jacket - layout

Here's what the pieces on the waterfall jacket look like if you want to make your own but don't have the original Prima pattern.

Waterfall jacket pictures

Waterfall jacket pictures as promised.

Friday 6 March 2009

Waterfall jacket

Currently in progress a quick project of a waterfall jacket. It is from Prima Magazine Feb 2006 and is basically a rectangle with sleeves inserted into oval armholes. There are no facings, closures etc so super simple to sew.
It has a very different silhouette than I am used to having but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Mine is made in soft black wool fabric (woven) which drapes nicely.
I will do some photos at some point over the weekend.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

McCall's half price

McCall's patterns are half price at http://www.sewdirect.com/. And having had fewer fitting issues with the McCall's blouse on Sunday than the others I am looking with interest at these two patterns - one a classic darted shirt and the other a wardrobe pattern where the jacket is a lot like some favourite RTW ones. Also like the trouser jeans though I have no idea if McCall's pants are a good fit for me.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Weekend report

I've just got back from a weekend in Harrogate (North Yorkshire). I was in Harrogate for a church women's conference on Saturday, and then arranged to meet up with Yorkshire Lass since she lives locally.
I had a great time with both YorkshireLass (Jenni) and YorkshireRock (Jenni's mum) who are participating in the SWAP 2009 on Stitcher's Guild. I was able to see the things they have sewn so far - very, very nice, and they are both almost done and hang out in their very tidy sewing rooms. As well as meeting the canine members of the family.

Today Jenni spent most of the day helping me fit some muslins I had made. (thank you so much!!)
We had really good success with McCall's 5522, which also has a large number of rave reviews on Patternreview and was relatively straightforward to alter for me. Jenni also drafted up a sleeve to fit my arm, as I always have terrible trouble with sleeves being too tight on the upper arm.
The HotPatterns great white shirt muslin fits well in the back, but despite being the A/B cup version the front has a huge dart more suitable for a much larger cup size. We have mothballed that muslin as we could not get far with it.
The last one to try was New Look 6513 which is getting closer but is not quite there yet. We ran out of time but had nearly cracked it, but I needed to set off home (2hr drive) so we had to call it a day.

I had a fabulous time seeing the SWAP garments and hanging out with lovely sewing ladies.
I've got to get my head down now and work for my exam for a couple of weeks but once that's done I'll be back sewing in earnest.

And I will do a version of the McCall's shirt for the SWAP.
I am so excited at the idea of having a shirt which might fit me :-)