Sewvember Catch-up

I’ve not exactly been on the ball with this, yes, I’ve taken some photos on my phone & others on my camera, but I’ve failed miserably to post anything in ages!  So for those who’re even remotely interested in my “behind the scenes” sewing, here’s a recap from day 7!

Days 7-11. Insides, Next Project, Signature Style, Inspiration & Early Make
Days 7-11. Insides, Next Project, Signature Style, Inspiration & Early Make

Day 7 was Insides.  At the time I was making a vintage Butterick jacket for Daughter No2 & this shop shows all the interfacing to support the fabric.  Day 8 shows the plaid fabric & potential patterns for the skirt for Daughter no2 (again!).  Day 9 – signature style…  Well, I do like spots.  For the inspiration pic I was a little stuck, until I realised I am more inspired by looking through and patting my fabrics than just about anything else, so my inspiration has to be a bag of fabric just begging to be made up!  Day 10 – my earliest makes are not photographed, at least, not that I know of!  I started sewing at 18, so 24 years later there are few, if no survivors.  But I managed to find this Vogue blouse pattern in my stash, one I made 2-3 times in the early 90s, so it will have to do!

Days 12-16   Favourite Finish, View, UFO, Library & Organisation
Days 12-16 Favourite Finish, View, UFO, Library & Organisation

For day 12’s prompt, favourite finish, I knew exactly what to photograph!  Hong Kong finish on the inside of an unlined vintage jacket, the coolest finish!  Day 13 was a bit less exciting, it’s been dull and cloudy here for days, so the view from my window has been less than inspiring.  Luckily for me, at the moment I have no UFOs apart from the project I’m working on at the moment!  Last week I tackled a few projects I’ve been putting off for ages, so now the only unfinished projects are those I’ve yet to start, all those pieces of fabric lurking in the boxes in my cupboard.  Day 16 brought out the book collectors amongst us!  Here’s my little library of sewing related books.  It’s missing a few, daughter No1 has some in her room at Uni and I’ve loaned a couple out, but these are the core.  Organisation was next – I decided to show you my boxes that live under my sewing desk.  In them are some goodies you’ll see in another photo.  The brown cardboard boxes ont he left contain a good few years worth of BurdaStyle magazines, 2 years to a box, 4 boxes there…  The older ones are in plastic boxes in the loft.

Days 17-20.  Planning, Fun, Fit, Notions
Days 17-20. Planning, Fun, Fit, Notions

On the home stretch!  I really don’t do much planning when it comes to sewing.  I know what I want to make from my fabrics, to a certain extent, so I don’t feel the need to make a sketch detailing the fabric & garment.  My sketches are for my pattern cutting, and if I keep them on my noticeboard, there is a hope I’ll get round to making the pattern in the right season.  I have a little pile of fabrics & patterns on my sewing table, those are the ones I want to make first, but every now and then something will come along & jump the queue.  I’m not all that fussed, it all needs to be made up at  some point!  🙂

Day 18 was to be fun – well, Daughter No1 & I had fun nosing around the charity shops in town, & I found this book detailing the years 1915-1975 in British Vogue for £2.50!  I couldn’t pay for it fast enough!  For Fit on day 19 you get to see my vintage dress form.  I’m not sure how old she is, but she’s adjustable from a 32 bust to a 39, so she’s perfect for testing the fit of the clothes I make for the girls.

Then we have notions, day 20.  It looks like someone’s birthday presents erupted on my table!  These are my boxes of zips, buttons, buckles,elastics, threads, ribbons, braids & bindings.  I haven’t opened the embroidery threads boxes, nor the handbag findings & overlocker threads box.  Sometimes it’s all just too much.

Day 21 - craziest fabric
Day 21 – craziest fabric

You may have guessed by now that I’m not massively into novelty fabrics and mad stuff.  But I do have this.  “This” is a piece of black silk from India, block printed by hand with these cute elephants.  There is a border of elephants with drivers & passengers on the selvage edges and individual ellies alternating with little squares over the rest of the fabric.  A student brought this from India for me about 6 or 7 years ago – or maybe more, I’ve completely lost track.  I love it to bits and every year decide “this is the year I make this up”!  But I have yet to find the perfect garment to make to really take advantage of the print and the border.  One day.

Now I need to get back to some sewing, there’s a pair of trousers missing a waistband and a blouse all cut out & ready to be made up by the end of the weekend!  But first we are off to Buxton on Saturday, one last Uni Open Day for Daughter No2, so Sunday is now officially a Sewing Day.  Have a good one!

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Chasing my Tail

Well I certainly didn’t expect a whole month to go by before I got back here!  And what a month it has been.  I had a trip to hospital (won’t go into details), we found our dream home, we put our current home on the market in order to get said dream home, only to have it snatched from underneath our feet days after putting our house out there.  So now my days are filled with making sure everything is neat and clean and tidy and there is no sewing lying around.  It’s not exactly conducive to being creative.

I have managed to sew up two dresses from a vintage Vogue (unprinted) pattern for daughter no 2’s 6th form wardrobe.

Vintage Vogue 9971
Vintage Vogue 9971 isn’t it just devine??

I have to say I am really happy with the results, she looks amazing in these dresses!

Vogue 9971 in black cotton
Vogue 9971 in black cotton

The fabric is a black cotton I bought about 5 years ago, intending to make a skirt.  The organza ribbon flowers run parallel to the selvage edge.  It was fun cutting this out, to make sure the repeat of the flowers was correct, being sure there was enough for the bodice, as I’d only bought just over a metre!

I just didn't get it right on this side with the flowers.
I just didn’t get it right on this side with the flowers.

She liked the fit so much we made another….

Vogue 9971 in cotton batik
Vogue 9971 in cotton batik

This is no stash fabric…  I bought it from Fred Winter’s in Stratford at Easter time, funnily enough, with this dress in mind!  After digging through the stash at the beginning of the year I had earmarked the black embroidered fabric for this pattern, and before I’d made that up I found this batik, perfect!  So it was just as well Daughter No2 liked the pattern enough to have two!  Phew.

Vogue 9971 - the back
Vogue 9971 – the back

I have managed to use up another stash piece.  I had bought this particular linen easily 5 years ago, if not more.

Kohn Kaldor print linen
Kohn Kaldor print linen

I loved the colours, and again thought I’d end up with a skirt.  But I never got round to it, and now I know not to bother with skirts, so what to do?  I couldn’t part with it.  In April Kat & the Curious Kiwi came up with a Burda Sew-along idea.

burda-sew-along

I figured I’d join in, it’s not like I’m short on Burdas, afterall.  I decided to use this linen to make Blouse 107 from Burdastyle  January 2011. It’s a pattern I’ve used 3 times before so I know it works, and it suits me.  I have suffered from lack of ooomphf on this project, not helped at all by the whole house thing.  And the weather.  Spring started, then it went away again, what’s with that?

All cut out & ready to sew
All cut out & ready to sew – apologies for the grainy quality, phone photo.

I was doing well until I put the collar together.  In my blissfully un-concentrating state I did the collar the “normal” way for a shirt, completely forgetting that this one does not go together like that. grrrr.  It took 2 days for me to go back to it and cut another.  Then it came together quite quickly.  I had wanted pretty buttons but the shop only had 2 of the ones I liked, so I raided the button box & found enough Jasper Conran ones that came off one of Husband’s discards.  Win win..

I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting th two together??
I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting the two together??

I’m in two minds.  It feels right when it’s on, but I am not sure I was in the right place when I married this fabric with this pattern.  Is it too busy?

I love the sleeves on this pattern.
I love the sleeves on this pattern.

Excuse the wrinkly bits, I’d been wearing this all day waiting to take photos!  In addition to the sleeves, I love the darts.  There are 4 across the back, and another 4 on the front.  The pattern calls for them to be sewn on the outside which makes for an interesting textural contrast, and means you get to play with a contrasting or matching thread.  Of the 4 blouses I’ve made, 3 have the darts on the outside.  There is also this cool pleat down the centre back, stitched in at the waistline.  This means there is still shape at the waist, but extra movement for flingin’ your arms around & reachin’ for stuff.

The back with cool central pleat.
The back with cool central pleat.

We have had a little lull in the demand for viewings for the house this week, so I might just take advantage and get the pattern cutting paper out.  I really want to get cracking on some skirts for Daughter No 2, not forgetting the Sewlutions!!  I do hope Karen isn’t going to be doing a round up anytime soon, because I have no idea where the pattern I cut for Husbands shirt is.  Nor do I know where the fabric went…..  On making the house presentable all the exploded stuff had to be stuffed back into the cupboard.  Heaven help the person who yanks the doors open ’cause there’s an avalanche in there, just waiting for an opportunity to strike…

Here are some of the sketches for skirt (& shirt) ideas I’ve had for daughter no 2.

Skirt ideas
Skirt ideas

img023She has a thing for pencil skirts at the moment.  So that’s me then, I just need to get on with it!  😀