Saturday, 14 March 2015

A new bag for a trip to Paris!

From the title of this post you might be fooled into thinking that I had made luggage, I haven't!  However, I do have a new satchel which I am very pleased with, perfect for carting all my junk around on a weekend in Paris.

I used the Kennedy satchel pattern which is a free pattern from Sew Sweetness.  It was made entirely from materials I had in my stash. The exterior is made from a polyester pleather (is this a thing?  It's what it said on the label) that I bought at the coupons de St Pierre in Montmartre a while ago.  The interior is a furnishing fabric which came from my granny's house, I think it was a leftover from some curtains, (upcycling win!). The trim is some genuine leather scraps that I had in my stash.  The real leather is so lovely and buttery feeling that I kinda want to make myself a leather blanket to wrap myself in but I don't have enough of it, boo! God, I'm such a bad vegetarian!  Unusually even the the notions were from my stash. I don't really stockpile notion in the same way I do fabric, they're just not as exciting to me. 

I have made this satchel before, documented here. But this one was for me! The construction was really simple and the instructions are great. The only part I have difficulty following is the dividing pocket which I didn't want in this version anyway. Instead I wanted a large section for carting my knitting around maximum storage.
 With a daffodil in my garden, just to prove that it is Spring!

I did create myself a little Oyster card pocket, for speedy access (much needed on London transport). I used the last of the fabric for this pocket and used the selvedge as the top edge, I love that I can still see the name of the fabric creator, it's like a little signature inside my bag. This fabric was made by Sanderson who a quick google search reveal to be fabric makers/designers since 1919.  I have no idea when my fabric dates from but safe to say it isn't that old.  However, another little google of Sanderson fabrics makes me glad I didn't know the prices of this stuff before I chopped it up to make into a bag!  
I deviated from the construction details in some other areas too because of the materials I was using. The pattern asks you to sew double layers of the accents together so that the raw edges are enclosed, since my accents were made of leather which didn't fray so I didn't bother sewing multiple layers together, I simply top stitched them to my main fabric. I had to stitch the strap to the lobster clasp by hand as the the layers of fabric were too thick. 

My new satchel holds lots of stuff, an essential in my book.  Perfect for a site seeing trip on the first weekend when it really felt like spring might be in the air!  I used to live in Paris so it's been a while since I did the tourist tour but it was really fun to see them in new company and to wander the Paris streets. As ever I'm terrible at remembering to take photos but here are a few for your enjoyment.

Sacre Coeur in the first properly sunny and vaguely warm day of the year.
 Pont Alexandre.  Remember this from that final scene in 'Sex and the city'?

 Musee d'Orsay

Notre Dame

 Cheesy photo with the Eiffel tower and a sunset in the background.  Selfie win!

So pretty but in my book London still wins!  I really must do a similar tour of London and take some pictures to let you guys compare for yourselves, however I should warn you I've found myself in the minority with this opinion so many times that I'm used to staunchly defending it!  Now I'm off to have a much less fun weekend of working on assignments.  Hope your weekends are more fun filled.   

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A day out with Nettie

When the Nettie dress and bodysuit pattern was released I really loved it however, I was on a pattern diet and resisted buying it.  I'm always on a pattern diet, like most diets it usually fails, however, this time I didn't need to buy it.  I won it as a prize in the repurpose, reuse, refashion challenge!  Winning a prize itself was very exciting but winning a pattern I'd been lusting after was even more amazing.

I made a muslin of this back in November, in a gorgeous deep red. the remnants of which made the ruffle for my refashioned skirt. It was a 'wearable muslin', in that I wore it as part of a fancy dress costume for a 7 deadly sins party, and then never again!
I seem to remember there being more to this costume but by this stage it was probably fairly late and several glasses of wine down. Also it's now months on so my memory isn't as reliable as it might be.  I was meant to be wrath.  I really recommend 7 deadly sins as a theme, it was a lot of fun and people came in some really epic costumes!

However, I made my Nettie muslin up in a very non-stretchy ponte so it was much too tight, and made me look like all my body fat was trying to escape, not a good look.  So this time I used a slightly stretchier knit (although still a fairly stable ponte) and went up a size.

I'm happy enough with the result and I love the colour but a stretchier knit would be a lot more forgiving, I guess I should really pay a bit more attention to the recommended fabric guidelines!  However, I do really like the shape of this dress and am sure that I will make more.  Also I love sewing with knits, they're so fast.  I'm all about the instant gratification at the moment!  I've just purchased the Sew over it cowl neck dress so watch this space for some more instant gratification knit dresses!

I wore my lovely blue Nettie on a day out to Highgate with my mother and sister.
Highgate cemetery has lots of famous people (and non famous people) buried there, including Karl Marx.
 To be honest I'm not sure Karl would approve of the frivolity of this photo, I'm not sure useless, pretty dresses had a place in his manifesto!  By the way, we have not had a heatwave in London, these photos were totally staged, I had my coat firmly on for the rest of the day.  Although it's nice to have sun even if it isn't warm yet.

 I really love old English cemeterys and this one is really beautiful.  It's a non-religiously affiliated graveyard and there are a mix of graves from all religions and non-religions which I find really lovely as it feels really inclusive and it is great to see what people of different backgrounds do to remember their dead.

Anyone else a massive fan of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?  

As well as a visit to the cemetery, we also had lunch and hit the charity shops.  While I wouldn't say that the Highgate charity shops are the cheapest, they have some real quality stuff, I got some great finds:
This has been on my amazon wish list for a while but at £25 I was holding off on buying it.  I got this in the Oxfam bookshop for £15.  While this isn't super cheap, it's still a saving on £10 on the original.   I have just checked and actually this is currently selling on Amazon for £20.40, however, a) i've still saved money and b) my money has gone to a really good cause.  I might do a snapshot or review of this at some point in the future.

I got this lovely fitted Hawes and Curtis cotton shirt.  You should have heard the comments from my family in relation to this shirt, they are not fans of crazy florals. However, I don't care, I'm a bit excited about this very floral shirt and it will definitely fit into my wardrobe.  This was £8.00 from the Cancer research shop.

More florals!  This is an amazing boat necked jumper.  It's made from silk and cashmere which I'm very excited about.  It's lovely and soft and I think it's going to be super warm.  I'm not a fan of the bow, however that will be a super easy job to unpick, maybe my task for in front of the Great British Sewing Bee this week.  This was £14.99 from the Oxfam shop.

This photo is very rubbish I'm afraid!  This is actually a really cute olive cardigan, from White Stuff, which also came from the Oxfam store for £8.99.

All in all a lovely day out, with photo posing, fun company, some charity support and wardrobe renewal, what more could you ask from a Sunday really?