Monday, 28 October 2013

Spotty refashion

I had last week off and was planning to conquer my total ignorance of jersey!  I had this pile of fabric to play around with and was all set to go.

And then I got sick!  Really, really sick and so this pile of jersey has rested in tact and I have made no progress in my jersey skills.  So that update is for another day. 

However, I do have a little refashion to share.  I went to a People Tree sample sale recently and picked u this spotty dress for a fiver.  However, the zip in the back was broken and it was a really odd length.  One new zip (at 56cm this was the longest zip I have ever seen!) and a little hemming and I had one new dress. 

I'm attempting to get to grips with the timer on my camera and also how to set up the camera so here are some better shots taken by my lovely sister on a visit to the natural history museum to see the wildlife photography exhibition. 

I recommend anyone in London to go see the exhibition, its really beautiful and definitely these guys know their way round a camera much better than I do.

As its almost Halloween, I thought I'd share one of the first selfie shots that I took:

Apparently I've joined the ranks of the undead!!!

Hopefully I'll be back with some slightly more exciting makes soon.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

You've got mail

Does anyone else feel like they're getting a present when you get a parcel in the post, even when it's something you've ordered for yourself? I didn't quite blow my budget at the knitting and stitching show so I ordered these from sewbox:

Which arrived today. I'm very excited! The buttons underneath the patterns were a free gift with the order, how nice is that?

Monday, 14 October 2013

Knitting and stitching weekend

This weekend was very craft orientated.  Saturday I went to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra palace.  This amazing show hosts all kinds of producers and retailers of knitting and stitching materials from around the UK.  Its lovely to discover all kinds of products that you've never heard of before, also I loved the ability to touch and properly examine products before buying.  I bought some amazing fabrics, like this fabulous tweed from Fabric Affair

These tweeds are just gorgeous and on their stall they have some lovely finished products made from their fabrics.  They also had a gorgeous range of linens as well.  Check out their website, it's a really great resource as they have some great free and available to purchase patterns as well as the fabrics.

Another tweed stall was Magee fabrics from Donegal, they had some lovely stuff but all I allowed myself to buy was this offcut of a blue herrigbone tweed.

Yay for the Irish producers, I knew there was a reason we had so many sheep!  I will definitely make a fabulous quilt from these fabrics at some point.

I also purchased some fabulous moss green, polyester jersey.

This stuff is so soft and wonderful and I have big plans for it, watch this space.  The photo totally does not do its fabulous colour or texture justice.

My final purchase was this amazing Paris to London postcard fabric:

How great is it?  So many plans, I need to get sewing (I feel this is a phrase I use a lot but there are always more projects to do.)

How brilliant is this knitted/crocheted taxi cab cover?  So fun, it was advertising the launch of childrens book but I just thought it was fun for me to look at too, and as a bonus in the background there is a view of London!

There were also so many fabulous wools and yarns at this show, which I wanted to wrap myself up in but I resisted buying because a) I can show self restraint, and b) I don't currently knit.  However, Sunday was spent at a knitting class!!!  Where I used these lovely yarns:

to produce these:

These do not look like much but I am proud of them, despite the mistakes (which happily you can't see in my lousy photos).  The course is going to last 3 weeks and at the end I should be able to do a variety of stitches and follow a pattern and various other amazing things which means that I can start knitting myself some fabulous if basic things and next year I can go crazy in the knitting section of the Knitting and stitching show!

Just to balance out all the crafting, Friday night cocktails came with this view:

I love London!

Sorry about the awful quality of these photos, my iphone photography skills are even worse than my regular photography skills.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Nicola, Alexa and Letty have tea in the park!

I can tick one thing off my stash busting list!  I have finished my Nicola blouse, yay!

I love this pattern, it's flattering and really not difficult to put together.  It's my first Victory pattern and I found the instructions really easy and clear to follow (right up until the bit where they told me to 'sausage the waistband' at which point I just had to go my own way).  It all came together really easily and I'm really pleased with it.  I made a couple of adjustments, I added 5cm in length.  I've come to the conclusion that I need to do this for pretty much all patterns.  The pattern says it is made for someone 5'7"-5'9" which should make it exactly right for me but clearly my long body issue strikes again, even with the 5cm, this is just sitting at my waist.  I also had to add some press studs along the cross over as otherwise my bra would have been on show to the whole world, which kind of defeats the purpose of clothes really!  Even with the press studs, I need to wear a vest top under this blouse.  I know a couple of other bloggers said that they had had this issue too but I'm now a little concerned about how it will sit as a dress.  Wearing 2 tops is not a problem but I like to be able to wear my dresses without tops underneath.

It was such a lovely sunny day yesterday that I went to show off my Nicola blouse in the park! Thanks to Letty for the photos!


And some general silliness because it was such a lovely day!

Letty is super clever and has just passed some important doctor exams so we had prosecco and cake to round off the photography session. Well done Letty!

This blouse is lovely and although I'm not sure its a winter essential, it should see me through autumn with a cardigan:

This photo is arty, its not that we couldn't work out how to sort out the camera!

I'm in love, a Nicola dress is certainly on the cards soon!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The accidental muslin

In setting up my blog I wanted to challenge myself to make more items and document my progression.  However, my natural impatience means that I want results now.  In impatient mode I have not been taking the care that I should over garments and this has resulted in some temper tantrums on my part and some makes that I can't wear. 

I found this polyester/viscose blend on a recent trip to Paris.

I snapped up 6 metres of it for an absolute steal.  I was planning to make the Collette Hawthorne dress out of it.  However, when I pulled out the pattern I thought that a whole tartan full-skirted Hawthorne might be a bit much, but a peplum blouse seemed like a good idea and so off I went.  I have never made a proper muslin, I always feel that its going to be a waste of my precious sewing time, so I matched my measurements to the pattern and measured my body length against the pattern and away I went.  Mistake!  The first time I tried it on it was too tight round the waist.  I had to let out the side seams, once that was achieved and the blouse finished, I tried it on again only to realise it is also too short, the waist seam sits a lot higher than I would like and there is something about the pattern that appears to be exacerbating this problem.  Very sad face.

However, this is not a badly made item, its just badly made for me.  Enter my lovely sister who loves getting clothes donated to her and as she is stunning and can pull off pretty much anything, this blouse is being modelled by her.

I do really like this and am planning another version for me, just a touch better thought through this time.  The version I made for my sister has these fabulous vintage, swirly, gold buttons on it:

I don't remember where I got them and am truely in love with them but there is no way I'm going to cut them all off and sew others on so she gets to keep them.  We're going to pretend that this is because I'm a lovely sister and not because I'm lazy!

So if I consider this shirt a muslin, what changes do I need to make for my real version?
I need to add a few cm round the waist.
I need to add a lot cm length to the bodice.
Green Tartan in this blouse may not be ideal for me, I should probably pick a better fabric