Quilting a hug

25 Aug IMG_5007

I’m not much of a quilter. It doesn’t excite me like making clothes. But sometimes I have a reason: a friend has a baby or there is a need  for a small quilt somewhere. I have however been really enjoying my recent quilting attempts: I’ve been  quilting a hug.

That perhaps needs an explanation. See my BFF has just moved to Edinburgh which is all very exciting (and gives me a wonderful new holiday destination) but she is sooooo far away. I decided to make her a throw from the scraps of the flannel pajamas I’ve made in the last year: her Christmas pajamas, her sister’s  pajamas, mine and G.’s pajamas (and my ma’s too) plus the scraps from the matching piping. That way when she’s all wrapped up in it, it’ll be like a giant hug from the people that love her.

I cut as many 6 inch squares from my scraps as possible. Once I had an rough idea of how many squares I actually had, I was then able to work out how i wanted to arrange them. I sewed them together with a 1/4 inch seam so each square is 5 1/2 inches. Size wise its12 squares long and 10 squares wide. Plus I put one long panel down each of the ends.

I got a plush blue fleece for the back and bound the edges with the last remnants of the scraps.  The binding isn’t done well and the corners are just atrocious – but hopefully no one will look to closely. I’m really pleased that I ‘ve managed to use up the scraps from six projects! Plus the quilt look amazing. Now my BFF and her BF and two dogs will be snug as bugs in a rug, when they curl up on the couch, wrapped in one giant big hug.

Wardrobe planing AKA dream on

23 Aug Dream on

I know August isn’t even over, but the last few weeks the air has been changing and it smells different. I’ve started day dreaming about  autumn clothes and colors. So I thought I’d start a little list of my daydreams so that perhaps I could plan a little (versus my helter skelter approach to sewing).

I have visions of the Luffa shawl collar jacket from Waffle patterns or the Scooter Jacket from Hot Patterns in a maroon/burgundy (like this beautiful brushed wool twill from Turo fabric) with black pleather trim. The only think that makes me hesitate is I’d really much rather have a paper copy of the pattern and not have to fuss about with the PDF.

I’m really liking the shape of the Pleated pencil skirt  from Delia Creates and am imagining it in a burnt orange, some brilliant print like this Liberty cord. or this soft looking Chambray from ditto fabrics.

 

Comfortable yet nice looking cotton tops – I’m thinking of Vogue V8597 which I haven’t made in years – out of some of these lovely printed organic knits or these solid jerseys from Bizzy&Boo.

As you never know what you’re going to get weather wise, I love the idea of the Biscayne Blouse in these two new prints from  MonaLuna. If its warm arms out, if not, cardigan on.

And of course as you never know what you’re going to get I’ll need to be prepared with some long sleeve blouses too like Natalie Top from Liola patterns out of one of the new MonaLuna prints or this fantastic floral.

And then there the everyday comfort need for the Bonnie top from Blueginderdoll in some of these amazing  stripe knits.

Oh me oh my – I need to win the lottery I think! I’m not sure where to even start.  Breath.

Airelle Blouse

20 Aug Airelle Blouse (2)

1-07-13-airielle-blouse-pattern4Before summer disappears entirely I thought I’d get in one last summer blouse to com: the Airelle Blouse from Deer&Doe. I last made this blouse a few years ago – a sleeveless version and a 3/4 sleeve version. I never was 100% happy with either of them however- the fit was off and they’ve been long since taken to the charity shop. But after having made so many Datura blouses in the last year I thought I’d revisit Airelle.

Straight way I saw that previously I’d made size 40/42 (bust/tummy)- while my current measurements fit a 38/40 (bust/tummy). But knowing that I made the 38 for  the Datura regardless of what size the waist measurements indicate I should make, I thought I’d have a go at a straight up 38. I knew that I wanted a sleeveless version without a collar, so began picking through my fabric collection.

I pulled out some embroidery anglaise I used for the yoke of my Ruby dress last summer and knew that it would be perfect for the back yoke. So then proceeded to try and find something to pair with it. In the end I chose to use this pretty floral I picked up for a screaming £1 a meter (down from £15) in the Boxing Day sales at John Lewis. I thought they’d look quite dainty together. I’m not overly fond of neck facings at the moment so opted to use self made bias binding on the neck and armholes.

I’m really pleased with the results – size 38 was definitely the right choice and I love the fabrics together. You’ll have to excuse the selfies however – my resident photographer seems to have a paid job which is more important that fanning my sewing/modeling ego.

Datura (again)

19 Aug Datura (8)

This is the second of my three summer tops to celebrate the Monthly Stitch’s 3rd birthday. Seeing as I had the Datura blouse pattern out recently for Ms M’s belated birthday present, I thought I’d whip one up for myself.

While in New York last month, I managed to make a quick trip to Mood and OH MY GOD. It was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. I nearly left without anything because I was so overwhelmed. But I got over it. And bought this beautiful shirting fabric.

I’d initially planned to make a Sorbetto top out of it, but having Datura  there on the table, I couldn’t resist. I made the simple version – plain yoke with no Peter pan collar. But I think it works really well with the print. I spent ages cutting out so that I could pattern match and I’m really pleased with the results! The pattern matching where the yoke joins the body on both front and back is spot on, as is across the center back where the buttons go. I was a little less successful at the side seams, but who looks there anyway. I used a sateen bias binding for the hem and found some perfectly matching buttons (which are just sewn on – why sew button holes if you dont need them?).

Sorbetto

18 Aug Sorbetto (3)

To celebrate the Monthly Stitch’s third birthday I decided to make three lovely summer tops. The first up is the  Sorbetto top. I really love the simplicity of it and I think it’s both professional yet refreshing. For summer I’ve made myself a  new one which I think will fit in both the ‘work’ and ‘play’ wardrobe. The body and bust is size 4 and the neck and upper armholes size 2. I also extended the length by a few inches. And rearrange the darts. I  think I have ‘slopey’ boobs  (if there is a correct term for this please feel free to tell me!) so the apex of Colette patterns are often much too high for me.

I’ve made it with a bright and sunny  lovely silk/cotton blend I bought at the Walthamstow market last year. I’ve been sitting on this fabric waiting for the right top and so happy to put it to good use. I used store bought bias binding for the neck and armholes  which is a surprisingly perfect color match. I’m very pleased with the final look but as I forgot to stay stitch the neckline, the neck line and shoulders perhaps sit a little further out than planned.

I’ll be posting my others over the next two days.

Oh sew professional

6 Aug New Look

new-look-69681At the beginning of July I was New York bound for work.  It was my second trip in as many months and I was really excited but also pretty nervous truth be told. And what do I do when I’m nervous? I fixate on my clothes.

My wardrobe, I feared, lacked that certain something. So over the last few weeks of June I set about to rectify the situation to ensure I would be properly attired: new shoes, new hand bag, new blazer (I’ve yet to find the right pattern to make my own) and of course new dresses.

I decided to go for the tried and tested New Look 6968. I think this is the first dress pattern I sewed as an adult and I’ve done countless versions over the years.

First up was version A in a beautiful  chambray poka-dot print I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching show earlier this year.  It’s a color I’ve found myself really drawn to this last year. And second was version B (minus the welts) out of a  cotton I picked up at the Cloth House.  I love how it looks like  the weave of herringbone tweed but is really a lightweight cotton. I think both fabrics look really smart, yet are light weight so good for NY summer heat!

I made version A first. As I haven’t made the dress since 2014 I thought I’d recheck my measurements which are a perfect match for the size 12 on the bust and size 14 on the hips and waist. But when I pulled out the pattern I realised I’ve only ever made it in size 8 and it goes a long way in explaining why I’ve never been too happy with the fit of my last version. I must have been lazy and not checked my measurements and fit. This go-round I tried the dress on at various points along the way and all seemed well. But when all was said and done I realized that I need to use a size 10 for the upper chest and neck, and a 12 for the hips down. After a few tweaks the fit was perfect.

As the bodice has a lining I deciding to slightly change it up and not bother with the neck facing. Instead I applied some fusible interfacing to the inside around the neck of the lining. When I was sewing the right sides together at the arm hole, I went ahead and sewed the neck together too. I then pulled it inside out through the shoulders. I realized after I did this the first time, that I should have understitched the neck lining, before doing the sleeve holes.

On my second dress, version B Learned from my mistakes. I made the neckline size 10, bust  and hips 12,  and waist 14 – and the fit was just perfect. I also understitched the neck lining before doing the sleeve holes this time.

Both dress dresses came out really well have been sewn in five days and I felt really comfortable and ohh sew professional while wearing them to my meetings.

 

 

A very late birthday present

2 Aug IMG_4845

I started this top about 7 or so months ago for my friends birthday but then I got side tracked, life went into over drive, and the cut out pieces were pushed to the side. Having a few days to myself,  while rooting round my fabric stash I found them. Ooops.

The pattern is of course Deer & Doe’s Datura blouse – which I love, love, love. The fabrics are left overs from previous projects which pleases me no end. Because I live in fear of not having enough fabric for any given project, or because I buy fabric for an unknown garment, I often end up with lots of leftovers. Finished with some store bought cotton bias binding and buttons from by button collection.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and think its the best one I’ve done yet.

 

 

 

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