Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

New Home

All the paperwork got finally sorted for the four house chain whilst we were on holiday and less than one week after we came back I got the keys for my own little house. I had removal guys move the furniture and things I had managed to box up, and then have brought the other bits over by car (I've only moved round the corner and slightly down the hill as I like the area). I've spent what seems a lot of time back at the old place cleaning and sorting the garden out, and hopefully it will have been enough to ensure the return of the deposit when I have the exit inspection tomorrow as I had less than two weeks overlap in the end.

The basics are unpacked at the new place but its going to need some work on the bath/shower/boiler so waiting to see if I have to dismantle the shelving in my tiny new sewing room so part of the floor can come up for pipework or not. As such I don't really want to actually unpack any of the fabric until I know which way this is going.

In 4 weeks time I am sharing a stall at the local Christmas Market which raises funds for the village church. My fellow stall holder knits so we thought my sewn things would complement her knitted items well. It will also give us both a chance to wander round the other stalls  - I shall make a beeline for the homemade jam and cakes - and also take comfort breaks when required.

I'm not sure if I will have much time, space or unpacked resources to sew anything more for our stall, but happily I have some items I already made which I packed in with the books, so have put them into an Ikea zippy bag as I went through unpacking the boxes of books and can just produce them when required.
These include various cushions - floral hearts, union jacks and some other larger floral ones, one string of bunting, some bookmarks maybe an apron or two. The main area I can see being useful would be fabric bags. I have sold out of the stock twice now, so they are definitely worth making if only I can recall which 'Sewing' box has the webbing for handles in it.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Feira Dos Tecidos, Funchal, Madeira

We took a holiday in the Portuguese island of Madeira recently, and I was pleased to find the fabric shop Feira Dos Tecidos open (I had seen it in Lisbon at Easter but it was closed).
When the shop is open they pull large remant bins out onto the street to tempt shoppers. The remnants are sold by the piece or by weight. The store also has lots of rolls of fabric and a home dec section.
Whilst I had a good look at everything, I actually bought 3 pieces of printed sweater knit from the Euro 3.95 a piece remnant boxes.
This abstract print is black, dark brown, taupe, teal and ivory. 1.25m x 150cm wide.3.95E

This floral has black, dark grey, light grey, dark brown, rusty brown, camel and ivory. Also 1.25m x 150cm wide. 3.95E

This wonderful animal print has black, grey, brown, camel and ivory but is only 0.9m x 150cm. I loved it so much that I bought it anyway and will be creative when cutting out.

All 3 fabrics work well with existing pairs of purchased wool trousers - one camel, one dark brown. The second two also work with black basics and some wool mix charcoal trousers.
DBF was not impressed by how long I was gone (45 mins) as he couldn't imagine I could be in the shop all that time and was worried I'd got lost. He also didn't seem too wowed with brown based sweater knit fabric, so I have promised its Autumn/Winter wear for work!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Lovely tweed for an Autumn jacket

I bought the last 1.5metres of this beautiful fabric from the Monday Market Man at lunchtime today.
 I've been looking for something for a while to make a simple smart jacket to wear with these purchased tan wool trousers.
 This has exactly the right colour woven into the ivory and pale aqua background along with lots of other beautiful colours. Hopefully I will be able to tackle this project once I have moved to the new house.
I have absolutely no idea what the fabric content is, but it is so very pretty and quite an open weave. It was £4 a metre which is the upper end :-)
This Autumn I want to sew a very simple jacket in this beautiful fabric, which I will then wear with my existing purchased mint green classic pintucked blouse and tan wool lined trousers.
And in even happier news it also blends beautifully with my lovely (but hard to wear) silk scarf!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

How to use scraps for other garments: some ideas

Here are some ideas of how you can use leftover fabric from one project to make another garment.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ottobre Design Woman Autumn/Winter 5/2014

I saw Ottobre Design Woman Autumn/Winter 5/2014 was in my local WHSmith's today so I bought it, though I did hesitate slightly when I saw the £8.50 price sticker.
I think that probably works out as slightly more expensive than buying it in Euros since 2 issues is Euro 17.95 incl postage, but you'd have to wait a few days for it to arrive.

The item I like the most and could see me sewing is Number 9 which they call Everyday Luxe wool jersey hoodie, though I am imagining it in a printed fleece that's been in the stash for a long time.
I'd need to work out my base size and alterations though since I can see a few alterations for the forward head/high round back issues will be needed to get a good fit.

I have one or two Ottobre magazines but have not sewn anything from them, so am not really sure of the sizing, so I shall go with honest measurements and see how I get on.
I seem to be a size 46, which is a slight ouch, but better to have the clothes fit correctl. How do others find the sizing?

On the Ottobre Blog they show an amzing bodyshaper slip, which looks brilliant, and definitely something to use that skintone jersey for.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Fabric for Vogue 2989 Jacket

I have a plan to make all of the items from Vogue 2989 in fabrics and colours similar to the envelope.
So far I have an ivory top, grey skirt and black dress. I bought this to make the jacket.
The back shows the black stretch mesh which the boucle grey is knitted into somehow. There are little gaps between the stitches but I'm not going to line it.
The jacket on the model looks like this
And here's the line drawing
 You need to imagine it stretched out to a size 16 :-)

Friday, 29 August 2014

Red Silky Loop Scarf

A good proportion of my stuff is packed into stacks of cardboard boxes, but the house purchase is part of a four house chain, with the almost inevitable delays due to paperwork and holidays, so I haven't moved yet.
Most of my sewing room is packed but I left the main machines out (with their boxes waiting nearby) in the hope that I might manage a few small projects.
One of these small projects was a piece of tomato red silky fabric, which I thought would work well as a loop scarf. These have all the edges enclosed so are great for fabrics which are prone to fraying.
The piece of fabric was 45" wide (selvedge to selvedge) but only 20" long, so limited the size of the finished scarf.

To wear this style
  • pop over head as per hanger and wear loose as a plain loop
  • double and wear as a very full scarf around the throat (looks good in a shirt neckline)
  • knot the end of the loop so it finishes higher up
  • secure the end with a sarong buckle or brooch

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Update: moving soon

No sewing posts because I have not been sewing. However I have been packing.
I am due to move house fairly soon (date not fixed for the 4 house chain) and am packing my way round the rented bungalow, ready to move into my own little house.

There may be one or two interim posts of my actual boxes, but you get the idea.
I have not yet actually packed any sewing machines but it is imminent!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday Market Man

There is a lovely man who runs a fabric-for-clothing stall on the local market, but only on a Monday.
About a 1/4 of his double sized stall is knit fabrics, which is quite a lot of choice.
The knits are all £2.99 a metre, so its always worth a look. Today I managed to get out at lunchtime on a Monday and go to see him. All the wonderful leopard print jersey was gone but I did manage to get two nice fabrics.
On the left is 3.2m of black ponte, with only a little stretch, and on the right is 1.2m of a linen mix knit, with pretty coloured stripes, which will hopefully make a nice top. The background is a heathered ivory, so I think as a weekend top to wear with jeans it will be really great.
I have been wearing quite a few of my new knit tops, though the turquoise angled top and the crazy flag print are still waiting for an outing, I think all the others have been worn at least once, with the swirly print one playing out twice, once with jeans and the other time with the white trousers.

I had better do a bit more packing for when the move date gets confirmed.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

9 tees to go with white trousers

I've now made 9 tees, so lots of options to go with those white trousers.
There's a part of my brain saying.... so make a 10th one for a nice round number. What do you think?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Union Jack Tee shirt

I bought this fabric from a lovely chap on the Monday market, only a few weeks ago, and it was my destressor after a tough week at work.
The Union Jack flags are printed diagonally on the fabric, making it pretty wild. I decided to make no attempt at all to try and match the pattern, and just made sure everything was on grain.
Its come out pretty funky I have to say and it will have to be the right occasion to wear it!
Perhaps with dark denim jeans and my rather lovely red leather jacket for a relaxed evening out.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Red and white print tee

The knit scraps box had enough of this fun print, that with careful cutting I was able to get a whole tee out of the same fabric.
I also made a sunglasses case (protects from scratches in your bag) and a hair scrunchie, from some of the scraps leftover form the turquoise tee.
I will try and think of some more uses for knit scraps. Anything smaller than this probably should just get thrown away, so I've been doing that as I go along.

Making a tee from knit scraps

For any of you who want to have a go at this, you need to find your best fitting tnt tee shirt pattern, and then start tracing bits off the original pattern - make a whole front - slash it about to make pieces, have a half back which you split to have panels, same for a front, have several different lengths of sleeves you can fit into the same armhole. Keep all these in a zip lock bag, labelled so you know what all the pieces are (it can be hard to tell once they are all cut up).

Then get the scraps and have a look at the shape of the pieces, are any large enough for a whole back or a whole front. If you have long thin pieces (I often seem to have these left from cutting a previous garment) would a panel fit there?
Look at the balance of the different scraps against each other, I like a print as the starting point and then to pull that out in a co-ordinating solid. If things have a white background, I like the whites to match, not an ivory with a pure white for example. Also the fabric weights need to be reasonably similar - no heavy sweatshirting sleeves on a thin fabric body. Once you've cut all the pieces, lay them out as the tshirt and check you like the overall feel.

I construct in the following order.
(I sew each seam, turn over to check there are no bumps, wiggles, gathers etc, then serge the same seam)
If back is in panels, assemble one side and then the other, press the seams flat, sew and serge the centre back seam and press again.
Assemble the front if it is in sections. Press the seams flat. For the one with 5 panels, you may need to press several times as you sew the front together.
Sew the shoulder seams, adding a bit of ribbon or woven selvedge to avoid them stretching out.
Cover hem the sleeves flat. Insert one sleeve and sew up one side seam.
Cover hem the main hem flat, clipping serged seams at the hem and folding to the other side to avoid a big bump for the coverhem.
Insert the other sleeve, sew up the side seam. Use a large needle to tuck the serger ends into the seam allowance.
Take photo and share with sewing friends.Wear your new top the very next day.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Three fabric turquoise tee

Using the same cutabout front I've used before and the same panelled back also used before (but not together before) I managed to get a new tee out of the scraps left in three different toning fabrics.
It is all based on my favourite New Look 6735, but doesn't resemble it much anymore.
That's the front
and here's the back.
Especially good with jeans I should think.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pucci-style splash print tee

This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the short sleeve option from New Look 6735.
The print fabric has a certain Pucci inspired vibe, as though Pucci had a trip to the seaside one day and translated that into fabric. The colours are two shades of lime, two shades of turquoise, white and blue, and the whole thing has a joyous summery feel.
I wore this to work today with some bootcut stretch denim trousers I made several years ago and lime/silver necklace and earrings and got two compliments :-)