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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Urrrghg sleeves

Right now a sleeveless blouse seems like a great idea.
For one its boiling hot and two I am having great trouble getting a huge sleeve into a tiny armhole.
I gathered the excess and it just looked crazy.

Its a shame as the sleeves are made up complete with beautifully top stitched cuffs and everything.
Maybe its time for a coffee and then I'll come back and look at it again.

I put the blouse on and put the sleeve on separately, pushed the sleeve up so the armhole is in the right place, and the sleeve cap is way too tall for some reason I can't work out. Think it would ruin it to cut some off the top?

10:30pm Updated to add
Sleeves are in, I decided a slight gathered look is OK and echoes the bust gathering.
Have also made all the buttonholes, so just handsewing the buttons now and I'm done.

Latest update
Here's the shirt with all the buttons sewn on. Each cuff also has 2 buttons though they don't show in this photo.

Monday, 29 June 2009

JCC deadline

Elizabeth (the organiser of the JCC) has told us that we can sew until the end of June 30. By July 7th (one week later) she needs to receive photos. She will then leave two weeks for voting. So that's very exciting, and means I should be able to finish the sewing on Tuesday evening.

Just realised I have only cut out one cuff for the shirt. Hmm which sleeve shall it go on?
(Don't worry I have extra fabric, just lacking common sense!)

The shirt now has a collar stand plus collar, and looks quite good. Each sleeve is constructed (sans cuff) and has a continuous lap placket thingy which came out quite well and some basted pleats.

Tomorrow I will cut some more cuff pieces, construct and attach the cuffs, attach the sleeves, make the buttonholes and sew on the buttons.
P.S. sandwiches for tea and sewing until midnight I think!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Lime blouse in progress

Here is the McCall's 5522 blouse in progress. Apologies for the hanger shot, but the fit of the bodice is good both front and back.
Quite a bit more to do to finish, hopefully will make the deadline OK.

(edited to add that Monday is our wedding anniversary, and we're planning to go see a film so I don't think I'll manage a lot of sewing then, so Tuesday will be the last day plus any last chance for sewing. That may not add up to shirt + photos so we'll have to see how it goes.)

Saturday, 27 June 2009

June Capsule Contest - may not manage it

I've been doing other stuff in my life, work (a lot of work), spending time with DH, household stuff and church stuff. And I guess the sewing projects have just not been my top priority so I don't know whether I will get done for the end of the month.
As you know I sewed 4 items already but the print top and stripe skirt don't really work together too well.

I have a woven lime blouse in progress but I think that may be quite a few sewing sessions from being finished, so may not make the deadline for the JCC.

I had a lovely time today on the church quiet day - a contemplative day with no talking which is very restful if you are a busy, chatty person (like me). So I found that very restoring and a good way to reconnect with God.

Monday, 22 June 2009

JCC so far

As you can see the stripe skirt and the green/white print top will be a bit much together!

Had hair trimmed tonight and tried to tidy up a bit, and a teeny bit of work, so not managed anything more on the shirt.

Bedtime shortly - bye bye evening.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Next project

Today we had a family party/BBQ with my parents to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. It was lovely to see them and other family members.

I think I will have go at cutting out a blouse in lime green cotton tomorrow as its too late to start tonight. I am going to go for McCall's 5522 pattern (see pic) as Jenni (YorkshireLass - http://sewyld.blogspot.com/) helped me to fit this on a muslin and it should therefore be fairly simple to get a good fit in it.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Stripe Skirt finished

The stripe skirt made from my TNT Loes Hinse pattern (modified) is finished and I am pleased with it. It does not work with the green and white wave print top though so I need to sew either another top or another bottom to complete the JCC.

This is my only Loes Hinse pattern and I have definitely got good use from it. I have shortened it by 4 inches and also drafted my own smaller/shorter gores which I use instead of the original. There is a 4 gore version too but I don't like that as much and have only made it once.

I have heard good things about other Loes Hinse patterns, though not used any myself. The shapes seem quite simple, so they seem to work for many body types, and are things which can be made up in different fabrics for different looks. It is a softer style of dressing which doesn't suit everyone, but the patterns are quick to sew, so I could see that having several could be a great way to get a custom wardrobe quickly and simply.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Lime and Black Boucle Fabric

I bought this Lime and Black Bouclé Fabric from Abakhan online. It was the last piece though, so sorry you can't buy it yourself.

The back looks nice as well and the lime is less strong, so I might use the reverse for pants/skirt and the right side for a co-ordinating jacket.

Boucle is not a very summer fabric though so this may move more into the cooler weather, but I think would make a nice suit for the office.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Gore skirt in progress

The gore skirt is cut out and mostly sewn up and I will finish it off and do a photo on Wednesday evening. Its a good fabric for the pattern.

My Abakhan online order of 5m of black and lime bouclé arrived today as well. Not quite sure what I shall use it for but I love it and am very pleased with it - am hoping to make a little jacket with contrast lime lining.

Can you make pants in boucle or is that OTT?

Monday, 15 June 2009

Third June Capsule Contest Garment

Here is my third June Capsule Contest garment, a pair of wide leg Burda WOF pants in a suiting fabric - black with a textured weave - though that does not show in the garment photo. The second photo is lightened a bit to show the weave of the fabric.

'Loud' stripe fabric

Here's the 'loud' stripe fabric which is going to become a Loes Hinse gore skirt with godets. The reason I am saying it is loud is because the effect with the stripes is stronger than subtle pinstripes.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Second June Capsule Contest Garment

Here is the second item in my June Capsule for the contest on Stitcher's Guild. It is a lime knit top with knot front detail. Apologies for the wavy hem, I think that will go once it has been through the wash. This is a beautifully soft and stretchy cotton mix knit - should be lovely to wear.

I'm going to go and raid the stash in the garage now for bottom in black and black/white to go with the louder tops. As a pear shape (heavy thighs) I try to keep bottoms darker and simpler and have all the print/interest/colour going on at the top.

Stash raided successfully. I have two fabrics for bottoms. A black poly with white stripes which will be the Loes Hinse 6 gore skirt with godets (and pretty loud it will be) and a very nice piece of suiting weight fabric in black with a very subtle self stripe in the weave which will be some Burda WOF wide leg trousers. I have cut the trousers out and threaded up the serger and sewing machine in black thread ready to start to sew tomorrow evening - energy permitting :-) I reckon I can at least manage 30 mins a night which should make good progress by the end of the week!

First June Capsule Contest garment completed

Here's the first of my JCC garments completed! Its using my tried and true Jalie crossover top pattern.

JCC is the June Capsule contest over on Stitcher's Guild and is organised by Elizabeth (ejvc) - http://ejvc.livejournal.com.

Its another mini wardrobe type contest with variations. This year I am doing lime/black/white as my colours.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Curtains done

I hemmed the second study curtain today.
They don't look very level, for some reason which is not entirely clear to me.
Maybe they need a press and some nice tiebacks. Anyway they will be OK for now and I can get on with some garment sewing. I must admit that I only see garment sewing for me as FUN, and all the rest is work, so curtains, PJs for DH, alterations etc are not fun for me at all.

Anyway now I can move on to something in my new summer colour of lime - probably not the wild lime/turq/black/white print as I am still deciding what is the best course on that - I think it will be a mock wrap knit top from the lime/white print. I think that will be a smart work look for me.

Updated to add. Its been a successful evening. I cut out the Jalie crossover top in the white and lime print poly knit and have it completed except for the hems. I am very pleased with it and love TNTs.

Me 'wearing' print fabric

Here I am with the print fabric draped around me to give an idea of the scale of the print on me. Yes I know its a crazy print but I do love it. I am 'wearing' it with a white cami and black jeans in this photo. I fancy making it with long sleeves to get more wear from it. Its fun :-)

This afternoon I picked up some fine white knit for a lining and some lime satin bias trim both of which I could use on this project depending on which pattern I choose and how I decide to finish the garment.

(Apologies for the door handle apparently growing out of my head, I had to kneel on the floor to be in frame for the camera on self timer. I feel tired and I must admit I look it too!)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Possible patterns for blouse

Butterick 6768 (on left) and Butterick B4735 (on right) are my current favourites. I want a simple wrap shape with minimal detailing as the fabric is so strong alone.

I sewed a version of 6768 for the SWAP in 2007 where I merged the longer version with the wider ties. I got in a tangle with the front pleating though. I reviewed it on PR at the time, but haven't worn the blouse much, I think becuase its too dark/muted a print, although the fit is good.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Another piece of fabric

Jenni sent me some directions to find fabric shops in Leeds, because I go quite often on business and get a chance to shop a little at lunchtime. I was there today and picked up this piece of fabric on the indoor market - planning a blouse.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Curtain progress

Second curtain was assembled but not hemmed last night.
This evening I have hemmed the first curtain. I have run out of steam for the second one tonight though - just running on empty at the moment I think, so time for an early night as there is plenty more work to do tomorrow.

I enjoy my job but am finding it a bit draining right now. But I am thankful I have an interesting job, nice colleagues and hey in the current climate we should all be thankful for our work.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

Study Curtains

I started sewing the sheer fabric with green leaves today into the study curtains. As the fabric is so fine and semi-sheer I decided to have two widths of fabric per curtain, which does make them very full, but they would have been very mean otherwise.

The first (unhemmed) curtain is hung at the window, and is way too long. I planned on a big hem, but think I might have overdone it as they overhang the radiator by 16 inches!
And I only need about 6" for a nice deep hem. I cannot imagine what I might do with 4 x 10" widths of semi sheer curtain fabric (maybe lightweight shopping bags?) so that's a bit of a waste. The fabric is no good for covering the cat's cushion or my office chair as its sheer.

I shall do the other one tomorrow and then decide what length to hem them to. I am happy I used this fabric as it does give the fresh outdoorsy feel I wanted. The study overlooks the road and is a tiny room, but as I sometimes work from home that fresh green feel is going to be nice.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Sewing Magazines

I went to collect my new glasses from the Opticians, and there's a WHSmith (newsagents/stationery/books shop for non UK people) in the nearby shopping centre that stocks the UK sewing magazines.
So I went in and bought 2 magazines.
Sew Hip Issue 8 for the next instalment of the quilt instructions) .
And also the first issue of 'Sew' magazine which is new out. Its geared to people who don't really know how to sew, like Sew Hip, but it has a nice fresh slick style and comes with a free pattern in sizes 8-16 called 'Sew Couture'. This one has a baby doll dress/top with empire waist and optional puff sleeves/straps. I would not wear the dress unless it was way longer, but the top only with sleeves could be nice.

I might subscribe because at £5.99 an issue in the shop that's pretty expensive, but its a bit cheaper if you subscribe.

Updated to add that I did subscribe but I shall keep my beady eye on the magazine and see what it turns out like.

Fabric Shopping for JCC

I went fabric shopping for the JCC (and the rest of my summer wardrobe) and I did find mostly what I was looking for. I was disciplined and just stuck to the lime with black/white theme, though I did buy quite a lot of knits. They are easy to sew and I wear them a lot so I thought that was OK.

I bought
lime teeshirting with a black graffiti style print
remnant of lime teeshirting with apple floral print
white and apple printed poly knit
plain lime knit (soft)
Poly knit print in black/white/apple green - enough for a knit dress
so that will be four knit tops, 2 casual and 2 smarter plus a knit dress.

then in wovens
lime upholstery piece for a jacket with toning lining and a huge chunky button.
plain lime cotton for a shirt
lime/white print seersucker for a shirt.

Also got a very cheap piece in antique gold knit with holes (not shown) to try making a shrug style cardigan - the type which tie at the front to see if I like the look.
Some header tape to make my study curtains.
Lime thread (5 spools, 4 for the serger and one for the sewing machine)
Also some of the lucky dip trims bags - one of ribbon and the other of chunky lace. (Lime lace shown)

I didn't buy any bottoms fabrics as nothing really spoke to me and I have loads of black, black with white, black with pinstripe stuff in the stash which I shall use.

In fact I have enough that I could now do a black/lime/white Summer SWAP, that starts with the JCC but continues into July as well.

The lime tops which don't have black in will also work with other bottoms, e.g last years JCC olive bottoms, also navy, white etc.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Sew Hip Mystery Quilt Block 1

Here is Block 1 of the Sew Hip Mystery Quilt. My colour for this block is cream/neutral. My other blocks will be gold and blue.
Cutting this out was my first project using a rotary cutter, self healing board and quilting ruler. I also used a quilting foot to sew the pieces together.
As this is my first every quilt block I am quite pleased with how the pieces joined together. However I did not think about how the colours/prints would work together, and although it is OK I think it could have been better. I can see why the quilting ladies have design walls to put the pieces up to see how they go together. My decisions were made more on the size of some of my scraps!

The Mystery quilt is really called the 'Lazy Summer Days Quilt' and the Mystery part is that the instructions are provided monthly a few blocks at a time in Sew Hip magazine, and you don't know what it is going to look like at the end. Part 1 gave yardages and thoughts on choosing fabrics in 3 colourways, they use green, pink and yellow but I am using cream, gold and blue. Part 2 has the first 4 blocks (this is just the first one I am sharing). Part 3 has another 4 blocks and I am sure the new magazine will be out soon with Part 4 in it (more blocks as they've only used 2 of the 3 colours so far).
I have photocopied my pages which has been very helpful as you then don't 'see' the colours they used and can imagine that grey is in fact cream and not yellow etc.

You should be able to see pictures of the blocks others have made at