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Black Lives Matter

Sunday, 5 July 2020

2nd pair of 'Use what you have' PJs

For this pair I used a remnant of semi sheer shirting in aqua and white stripes, some different aqua lace and a white shoelace for the tie. I sewed two rectangular mother of pearl buttons over the stitching where the straps attach to the front.
This was a shorter length of fabric which had been used already for something else (not by me that I can recall). So on this version the trousers are much more cropped and the top has lots of extra seams and the straps have the stripes in the 'wrong' direction.
For the top I used the simplest camisole from this pattern (a blend of D and E).
And the trousers are old favourite New Look 6216 with the pockets and with the drawstring converted to an elasticised PJ drawstring coming through working buttonholes. This is not on the pattern.

(I have elastic for approx 3/4 of the waist and then stitch 2 lengths of cord, ribbon, shoelace etc, one to each end of the elastic. I make two buttonholes before constructing the waistband, sew the waistband on then thread the whole cord-elastic-cord piece through the waistband casing via the buttonholes. This makes for something which is adjustable, but once adjusted can be easily pulled on. This is my preference for PJs and allows for comfort during tummy fluctuations).

I was very pleased with this pair as it really didn't look like enough fabric but I've managed to get a lovely pair of light summer PJs.
P.S. There is no join in the PJ leg, they are just not ironed!

Saturday, 4 July 2020

'Use what you have' PJs

During lockdown I really relished being able to create from my existing resources so although fabric shops have now opened I plan to continue with that approach.

So these are 'use what you have' PJs.

The fabric is a length of shirting fabric, pale aqua with a raised white pinstripe. I have no recollection where I got this but it has been in the fabric stash for more than 10 years. The pale aqua lace I've used as trim was similarly in a box of notions as were the ribbon used for the waist tie on the trousers and the buttons down the front of the top.

The trousers are based on New Look 6216. cropped slightly due to fabric limitations and with the pockets omitted. The top is traced off a RTW top, with lace at the neck and hem and bias bound armholes.

I'm pleased with these as they will be good as summer PJs and used some bits and pieces which have been kicking about for ages.


Monday, 29 June 2020

Dark Grey Bengaline Trousers

I've made a few pairs of bengaline (or similar stretch woven) trousers and they are often worn, so here's a dark grey pair. For these I interfaced the front waistband between the pockets to give a more flat front.
You can probably guess what pattern I used - yes its New Look 6216
As always I leave off the front tie and on this version I've extended the pockets slightly and lengthened the leg. A 4cm hem finish with blind hem stitching works with the stretch of the garment.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

July - Think Pink

The Sewing Place has a Think Pink contest in July.
https://thesewingplace.org.uk/index.php/topic,10372.0.html
I didn't think I had a lot of pink in my fabric cupboard but actually I've found a few, several are overdye results of things which were too orange for me, others were bought as they are.

Hmm would I wear some dusty pink linen trousers? Maybe, but perhaps a bit of a waste of something which is a good colour near my face!

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

SWAP colourway garments (with new tops)

OK so here's a quick view of the things sewn so far.

If we look back at the rules
Your Perfect Vision - SWAP 2020
11 pieces, in two groups:
  • 9 or 10 that may coordinate (be worn together) to form outfits
  • 1 or 2 that MUST coordinate (be able to be worn with all of the others)  (1 if you make 10 other pieces, 2 if you make 9)
So I have chosen that the coat MUST be able to be worn with everything else
And that the remaining 10 garments MUST be able to make wearable outfits.

Additionally I want to include the silk top as that fabric was the original inspiration.
And I need to make sure any jackets or cardigans fit under the coat OK, and I won't have both of the animal print tops.

Here's what I have decided to include

1. Coat

2. Red cardigan
3. Black cardigan
4. Black zip front jacket

5. Silk print top
6. Animal print top
7. Grey top
8. Floral shirt

9. Black bengaline trousers
10. Black pinstripe trousers
11. Tartan trousers





Monday, 22 June 2020

Viscose and jersey T top

Viscose and jersey T top - New Look 6216 
This is the long sleeved top that is part of my favourite New Look 6216 pattern (I use the trousers all the time). I cut the front from a viscose woven fabric and the back and neckband from grey jersey.


Compared to the New Look 6420 top it is shorter, and a lot less batwing in shape, but the longer sleeved version has a bateau neckline which I would change in future. The short sleeved version is a different pattern piece and has more of a scooped neckline.
So I think any future versions are likely to take elements from both views.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Silk and jersey dolman sleeve top

New Look 6420 - Silk and jersey dolman sleeve top
I bought this silk fabric on a sewing weekend in London in July 2010. It is the inspiration for my SWAP colourway so I wanted to include it, but in a simple easy wear garment that suits the new normal.
The jersey was in my stash but bought before lockdown from the local fabric shop.

I picked New Look 6420, and initially made it up as the pattern. I then reshaped it so it came in closer under the arms and in the bust/waist area, flaring back out at the hem.

I also folded the neckband over and stitched it down for a clean finish and narrower neckband.
I finished the hems with a baby hem, as a coverhem hem would be prone to fraying on the woven.
I find the neckband on this is too wide and the overall shape rather too boxy, especially at this tunic length. I may shorten it in future, but reshaped it is much better.

SWAP colourway garments sewn and planned


Here are all the garments I've sewn (or cut out) in the SWAP colourway. I will need to narrow it down for the final selection.

The line drawings are placeholders for

- silk/ jersey top - New Look 6420 top  - sewn but needs tweaking
- viscose / jersey top - New Look 6216 top- sewn but needs tweaking

- charcoal bengaline trousers - New Look 6216 trs- cut out only

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Style Arc Molly in grey knit

Style Arc Molly in grey knit
 

As I had used this grey knit as the backs of the two woven tops (not yet shared), I only had limited yardage, so have cuffs for the bottom of the sleeves. I've also split the tuck into multiple tucks, and have it on the other side, otherwise as per pattern.

This is another items for my SWAP colour palette, and makes a fun outfit with the red cardigan and tartan trousers.


Friday, 19 June 2020

Cutting out marathon

Yesterday I had a cutting out session for about 3 hours, mostly TnTs

Refreshing the summer nightwear

- mint green PJ trousers - New Look 6216 trs
- mint green PJ top - copied from RTW.
- pale mint cropped PJ trousers - New Look 6216 trs

More for the SWAP colourway

- silk/ jersey top - New Look 6420 top
- viscose / jersey top - New Look 6216 top
- grey jersey top - Style Arc Molly
- charcoal bengaline trousers - New Look 6216 trs

Then I sewed up both
- silk/ jersey top - New Look 6420 top
- viscose / jersey top - New Look 6216 top
but I think some tweaking is required so not ready to share just yet.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Navy basic trousers and culottes

These two pieces are useful but boring, both cut from the same fabric a dark navy with a little stretch.
I have 1.7 metres of the fabric left so may end up with some capris as well.

First up plain trousers from New Look 6216, my current TNT.



Then culottes adapted from the culottes in Butterick 6947. I used my adapted crotch curve and added a full waistband to give a better fit for me.

These have come out quite skirt like which should be comfortable in warmer weather.

I like culottes but they are sometimes hard to style, so here's some ideas I found online.
This one keeps it simple with trainers a tee and casual jacket.

Here in a print dressed up with heels.

And with block heeled sandals in fiery red.



Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Black Lives Matter


The recent Black Lives Matter protests have made me more aware of whether I see variety of skin tones in the things I read, watch, follow etc. 

I'm definitely not overtly racist, but I am a product of my white upbringing and culture, where white is normal/standard. I want to break this programming and be different.

(87% of people in the UK are White, and 13% belong to a Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic group, according to the combined 2011 censuses for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.)

I need to change my choices and perceptions, so I'm starting with small things:-

I actively look at the level of diversity when watching TV programmes and adverts.

I've added some new to me You Tube channels to my feed as I seemed to be following a lot of women a bit like me.

I emailed Burda magazine to say I won't be buying their magazine until they stop only having white models. (I've bought it every month since 2010, but no more).

I think this probably needs to extend to the Big Four as well. So I need to be more aware with any sewing magazines and patterns that I buy.

DBF and I have been reading and had a few conversations. We are not there yet, but we're thinking and challenging ourselves.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/equality/resources/how-to-be-a-white-ally/

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Moody Blooms Part 1

I have (temporarily?) abandoned the black/red colour scheme for SWAP and gone for a new inspiration for summer - Moody Blooms.

The idea of this is florals with a dark background, in this case navy blue.

I bought the floral fabrics on holiday in Madeira in February (we luckily had a holiday pre lockdown).
Floral trousers using New Look 6216, my current TNT.
I cropped the length slightly on these as I'll be mostly wearing during some with sandals. I also never both with the front tie.
And a floral cardigan jacket (using the cardigan pattern from Wendy Ward's sewing with knits book)
Here's my inspiration, a floral suit!
(Though I will probably wear the pieces individually, with navy and colours picked out of the print)
There may yet be other pieces in the print.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Room Refresh during lockdown

There is a conservatory off the back of my house. It is made of glass windows and a plastic roof and is quite tired now.
At some point I hope to replace it with a proper extension useable all year, but during lockdown I decided to make it as nice as I could with what I had available.

The blue striped blinds (panels really as they don't roll up) were made from an old King Size duvet cover (same pattern on both sides), the small cushions on the storage box were made from the matching pillowcases and the large cushion at the back from the foot of the cover (reusing the popper closing).

The blinds give some privacy from and to my neighbours - their washing line is only a few feet away behind the blinds!

I already had the white storage units, which are from Ikea and house my various craft materials, one has leather scraps, another calligraphy, silk painting, candle making, general craft etc.

The blue box with white stars is intended for a kids room and I picked it up in the supermarket, this houses all of my beading and jewellery supplies. It fitted perfectly in the gap between the storage units. Although both of my storage units are Ikea Kallax, they were purchased many years apart and are not quite the same, so look odd directly next to each other, but OK with something in the middle.

On the other side of the conservatory I don't have any blinds as this looks out into my own patio/garden. I have an old sofa on this other wall and its great to sit and chill out (or warm up) in here.

I've definitely used this room a lot more since I did this, and the very fresh feeling from the blue and white feels a bit like the seaside even though I'm 90 miles from the coast.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

What to sew?

The bunting was split between me and 2 neighbours and helped make our section of the street look a bit more celebratory for VE Day. I was glad to have the skills and materials to make the bunting as its was handy in the current climate as people were not able to just go out and buy decorations. People had used what they had kept from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, sewed bunting like me, or printed out and/or coloured in designs found on the internet.
I wore my tee from Sewing Bee Round 1 back in January which got lots of positive comments.
I have various sewing plans in my head, contests I am part of and etc. But quite a lot of it feels rather irrelevant at the moment.

I am working full time from home which involves 8+ hours staring at several computer screens. I am grateful I am employed and healthy but it isn't a lot of fun sometimes.

Yesterday and today are nice warm weather, which highlighted the paucity of my hot weather wardrobe. But the forecast is for a cold front to descend from the north tonight, so hot weather clothing is not really an urgent issue.

I might do a small home dec project.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

VE Day Bunting

I made some Bunting to remember 75 years since VE day, which is a holiday here on Friday.
Altogether I made 75 pennants. 25 each in red, white and blue and stitch them onto woven tape.
It seems a bit too much for the front of my narrow house, but maybe some of the neighbours will adopt a strand (its made as 3 x 25 pennant strands).

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Style Arc Marni Jacket from Scraps

I made this jacket from the scraps left over from three other makes.


I used the Style Arc Marni Jacket
And these scraps

which were leftover from sewing these jackets/cardigans
Unfortunately the plain red drapes very differently and looks a little odd on the dummy. I try doing a shot of me wearing it at some point.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Red cardigan with pockets

After all that black I wanted a change to something a bit more colourful so I have switched over to red.
This cardigan is made from another double layer knit, but a much drapier one. The right side has a textured effect and the back is smooth.
I used the cardigan pattern from Wendy Ward's sewing with knits book again. As with the black cardigan its a little longer than the mid length version in the book, and the pockets ae partially stitched at the top leaving a 6" opening.

This replaces a RTW red cardigan of a similar style but lacking pockets and now a bit worn so I know there is a space in my wardrobe for a red cardigan.

Frankly red is a bit bright for me though it is in my Sophisticated palette from Imogen Lamport. I've found I can wear it but it needs a red lipstick for best effect.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Black 6 piece collection

Here's my latest collection in slightly uncharacteristic black.

It all started off with the musical notes shirt. I'm in a choir and we had a social event, so I thought a musical notes shirt would be ideal. Its not particularly good quality cotton fabric, and I'd originally bought it to make a bag for my choir music, but it was a bit lightweight.

I then made some black bengaline trousers which I finished and immediately took away on holiday to Madeira (more about that in another post). They were great for the flights but a bit too heavy to wear whilst we were there. However I've worn them a lot since we came back as they are just so practical.
They had just come through the laundry in this photo -  always a good sign!

Next I went back to the shirt pattern again and did another version in a proper shirting. I even found some lovely black backed pearl shank buttons in the button box which worked perfectly (when does that happen?).

After that I thought I'd try a new trouser pattern, so worked with Butterick 6947. They needed quite a few alterations to work but I'm pleased with the final outcome. The pinstripe has no stretch but works well after the alterations.

Next I decided to use the leftovers from the black quilted coat I made in January and found a suitable pattern in my stash of Prima patterns. The inseam pockets are made from the black bengaline, and the fronts and collar are cut in a single piece to reduce seaming.

And then I went back to an old favourite and made an open fronted cardigan from Wendy Ward's book. (I have worn out several cardigans made from this pattern).

Although the pieces can all be worn together I will probably wear with colour as all black and white is not my best look.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Black Jaquard cardigan

I think this is going to be the last black piece, as I've done a full 6 PAC now and I think sewing colours would feel more cheery.

The fabric is a double layer Jacquard knit. I cut with nap so the knitted pattern goes the same direction on all the pieces. 
I like to have some texture in my fabrics so this is great because its a plain colour but has the texture I like.
This is the front and back together, you can see the pattern better on the back.

I used the cardigan from Wendy Ward's book 'Sewing with Knits'. I made the middle length, lengthened slightly.
I find the giant pockets bag out a bit, so I stitch the edges of the top closed, leaving a 6" gap in the middle to get your hand in.