Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Saw it, "pinned it", did it!

Just a quickie fun post before I reveal my peacock dress!  My eldest boy Rowan's trousers are completely ripped at the knee. He looks like a child with a rather neglectful mother allowing him to wear these out in public.

I've been putting off mending them, mainly due to laziness, admittedly. I was wondering whether to turn them into shorts or allow him to look like an urchin, as he doesn't mind wearing them like this.

But then this monster patch appeared on my pinterest feed...

... and it was a done deal!

Cream felt becomes monster teeth (monsters do not have white teeth!), and Viola...

A bit of fun! But Rowan thinks they are great now, and it took less than 10 minutes, wahoo!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Peacock prettiness!

I was shopping in Brighton recently with the boys when I saw this beauty in the window of a boutique in the North Laine area.  A beautiful bright green peacock fabric, with a cinched in waist and lightly gathered at the bust.

Having the brats lovelies with me meant I couldn't try it on without fear of them trashing the expensive-looking shop whilst I was in my undies!  But I did go in and have a look.  It was handmade with simple serged seams and unlined.  I thought the peacock fabric was beautiful, but not quite beautiful enough to deserve its £95.00 price tag. I still wanted it though!

Afterwards, I created a peacock inspiration board on pinterest here - a little obsessive, but whatever!

Next up, I found my own peacock fabric from fabricland. A snip at £3.69 pm.

It has a much darker overall colour than the dress that inspired me, but is still very pretty. The pattern I'm going to follow is from The Stylish Dress Book volume 1.  It doesn't have the cinched in waist but I hope this will make it easier to wear.

The instructions suggest sewing it up in silk, which I guess would hang differently; however, I'm hoping the cotton print will hold up well to the task.

There are lots of techniques in this pattern that I'm going to have to deal with: a 22" zip, lots of gathering and beautiful cuffs.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Second Time Lucky

It's Simplicity 5776 again. After my wearable muslin I knew the fit was right, and having made it before it was easy to whip up.

The fabric is a light wool tartan.  It's great quality, but there was only a little of it; so, I shortened the length to 17 inches and could just about fit the pattern pieces on. The fabric was from my Nan's stash and I think (I hope, anyway) that there is more of it up in the loft where I squirrelled away most of the precious stuff.  Storage is a bit of an issue here at SeamsOdd Towers so I try not to have too much fabric out and about, otherwise it encroaches on our life, and the kids use it for all kinds of dubious practices!

I much prefer the skirt extra short anyway as it feels so much more me.

I really love this skirt and I feel good in it.  It's a great fit and the wool feels soft.  I did worry that I'd need to line it for fear of "clinging", but it's been great.  It has held its a-line shape well too.

The pattern matching is not great, but to make up for it, this is the neatest zip I've ever put in.  I'm rather proud of myself.

Due to the limited amount of fabric, I couldn't afford to lose any of it to a hem, so I've used bias binding like a facing and it's a rather smart effect.

Having said it wasn't well pattern-matched - take a look at the match of the centre front of the waistband.  Wahoo!!

I'm hoping to make at least one more of this pattern as it is so comfortable.  Maybe I'll be even quicker on the next one.  But first I'll do something different I feel, or I might get bored. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Simplicity 5776

I am a bit of a skinny Minny ... normally!  But sadly, my tummy has lately expanded to the extent that I don't fit my old skirts very well.  Time to bite the bullet and make something larger!  I found this pattern in my Mum's sewing box, which is odd considering she is slimmer than me.

This is Simplicity 5776 - looks rather smart. 60s/70s?

With only two main pattern pieces, the pattern promises and delivers on being easy cut, easy sew. Here's the close up:

Seeing as I don't know how long I'll be keeping the wine- and chocolate-induced bulge, I thought I'd use up remnants of old fabric rather than buying new.

Great posing, Lou!  It looks like I've just been goosed!  Anyway, this is my rather wearable muslin.  The fabric is a nice thick double-knit jersey, and because it has some stretch, it is so comfy I could wear it all the time.

The shape and the size are flattering and comfortable; though it isn't quite as short as I thought it would be.  I see a few more of these being sewn up very soon, as I think these will be my entry for "Sewing Double" (this month's category for the The Monthly Stitch).   That way, I'll complete a challenge and have skirts I can breathe in - everyone's a winner!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Award Time

Wow, I have now been nominated for a Liebster Award - twice! So it's time to pass on the love.

Firstly the two lovely bloggers who nominated me are:
One Small Stitch 
http://Yellow Submarine Time.

A huge thanks to both of them; to say I was thrilled is an absolute understatement.

The nature of the award is the nominators ask you questions, you answer, then nominate 5 blogs you love and set them questions in turn.  Here goes...  (I've chosen to answer a few questions from each of my nominators as otherwise it would go on forever!)

1. What is your favourite make so far?   It would have to be my my blue jacket.

I wear this all the time, I love how it makes me feel really confident.

2. What is your favourite thing about your home?  This is easy, it is my garden.  I LOVE it, full of colour, light and joy.

3. Who was your first crush?  Okay, a bit embarrassing, looking back, but it was Kenneth Branagh.

He was my hero. He's still a great actor, but not my pash any more - went off him when he married someone roughly my own age and it was not me! I'd got my hopes up when he divorced from Emma Thompson and his relationship with Helena Bonham Carter didn't work out!

4. Early bird or night owl?  Definitely night owl, I don't function at all well in the morning until I've eaten and had my morning cup of tea.  My children know not to annoy me in the morning as my tolerance levels are very low.

5. What is your favourite tool/gadget in your sewing box? Actually my favourite thing is my little sewing box.

It is beautiful: a Japanese wooden lacquered box with inlaid mother-of-pearl flowers. It makes me smile every time I open it.  It's very small, but even so I can fit machine needles, bobbins and spare feet inside it.

Here are the five new blogs I am nominating for their own award. The idea is that hopefully there will be some blogs here you don't know yet, but which I am sure you will enjoy.

1. Nightingale and Dolittle  I love Ruth's blog, her dressmaking and her knitting are lovely. Oh how I wish I could knit.
2. Grosgrain Green  Now technically Helen's already had one of these awards but I don't care she deserves another one.  She's on fire, eight months pregnant, and sewing up a storm.
3. Ladystitcher Sue is a prolific sewer, vintage and the very on-trend Cocos. I love her style.
4. KitchenTable Sewing relatively new to me, this mum of four teaches sewing and offers her advice.  A good read.
5. Seams right to me I found this blog as it had a similar name to mine! I've been blown away by what this young sewer can achieve.  When I was 18, I doubt I could have sewn on a button, much less have knocked up a stylish wardobe.

My five questions for them are:
1. What is your biggest, most ambitious make to date?
2. What do you get out of blogging?
3. What's next on your sewing to-do list?
4. What advice would you give a new blogger?
5. Where would you most like to go on holiday and why?

Well, I've waffled on for far too long now, so I'll finish before they start the music!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sewn greetings cards - a quick sewing fix

The other night, I had lots of fun doing something new with my sewing machine. It started out of necessity, as I had to send a birthday card to a friend urgently, and had nothing in the house that was at all suitable. So, I thought I'll make one. I used scraps of fabric, shoved the darning foot on my machine, et voila!

I only needed to make one card, but it was such fun, and rather addictive. With each card, I got a little bit better - I just couldn't stop.

The original card that inspired my play isn't pictured as I had to send it off asap.  But I'm rather glad now that I had nothing suitable to send. I won't be buying cards for a while at least, till the novelty wears off!

I had such a lovely time playing with sewn cards. They do take a little thought and care, though: my tip would be to sew onto a backing fabric or card, and then attach that to the card-stock; that way you hide the wrong side of the stitches inside your card. I didn't at first, so I got around this by gluing tissue paper on the inside of the cards to hide stitching.  Also, the paper/card will ruin your needles so use old worn-out ones.

Have you tried machine embroidery?  One day I'd like to try it on some clothing, when I have a little more control over my machine!