Daydreaming my way Through March & into April

Hello?  Anyone still out there? I feel as if I am coming out from hibernation!  Spring in the UK this year has been so slow to arrive, and Winter so reluctant to leave, but there is rain and sun outside, so it’s time to get on.  I must admit that apart from the appaling weather keeping me from felling like blogging, I haven’t actually done any pattern cutting, which afterall, is what this blog is really supposed to be about.  That and fabric hoarding!  The Swap your Stash project co-hosted with Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes has gone really well, we had some amazing interviews, and it was great to see into other sewist’s hidey-holes.  I have to confess that it rather made me want to go fabric shopping, soo not the right thing to do!  So what has been going on in the last 2 months?

Well, I have still been sewing, and am currently working on project no 34 for this year.  Not all projects are clothing, but I have been keeping track of everything I make this year, just for interest sake. When I last blogged back in february, I was working on project no 15!  So here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been upto.

In the Stash Swap, I exchanged 2 pieces of silk for 2m of pink habutai from Becky from Sew and So.  It went into this dress from the March issue of BurdaStyle as the lining.  Thanks Becky, the colour is perfect!  For more details about this make, pop over to the BurdaStyle page.

The 1m dress, or, you never know until you try!
The 1m dress, or, you never know until you try!

Then I made some stuff for daughter No1, who came home for Mother’s Day weekend.  It was a nice suprise, but she had a problem, the standard university student diet of booze & pasta had had an unpleasant effect on her fitting some of her clothes!  So Mother’s Day weekend was spent making theseshorts & tees, again, more info is on Burdastyle.  All the fabric for these was from my stash, I’m doing well on the stash-busting front!

Earning my Mother's Day presents
Earning my Mother’s Day presents

Inbetween the clothes, I also ran some of these up, not-so-little grey wool pincushions, free machine embroidered with an image of Hall’s Croft, one of the 5 Shakespeare properties in Stratford on Avon.

Hall's Croft pincushions
Hall’s Croft pincushions

And I played with fonts and twirly bits and fabric paint to make these linen cushions…

"Love" cushions
“Love” cushions

And a few more…

Love Tea & Cake at Home!
Love Tea & Cake at Home!

Then, to use up some of my stash of bits of silk, ribbons & braid, I made some lavender cushions & piled them up:

Vintage ribbons & brooches bind silk lavender cushions into fabulous scented bundles
Vintage ribbons & brooches bind silk lavender cushions into fabulous scented bundles

Through all of this, Kat’s swap parcel arrived…  I got a fab printed cotton that Daughter no2 wanted for a skirt, some stretch black lace that I will use for Daughter no1 & some rather scrummy New Zealand chocolate for me!  😀  I made the new blue t-shirt too.

Print cotton skirt & swap stuff from Kat
Print cotton skirt & swap stuff from Kat

Phew, what next..? Using the pattern for the above t-shirt (see the Mother’s day project for pattern details) I ran up another in a Liberty Print cotton jersey, but I don’t seem to have a photo of that anywhere… I also used up some stash fabric & made some PJ shorts for Daughter no2, in anticipation of summer.  Yeah.  Give us a while.

Using some black linen from my stash I made pants 123 from June 2011 BurdaStyle for Daughter no2.  As it was a petite pattern I had to lengthen it a bit, but the result was worth it.  She really likes them, & we are still going to make another pair in the spotty twill I got from Ditto fabrics back in January!  Details of the adjustments etc can be found on BurdaStyle.

Black linen vintage look trousers
Black linen vintage look trousers

The Sew for Victory project was a great hit with Daughter no2, and although I have made her a couple of 60’s patterns before, she hasn’t been hugely into the whole thing.  Until now.  She has added a fair few pins to my Vintage Pinterest board, and we’ve made a pile of the vintage patterns from my stash that she wants this summer.  One of these is a little seventies shirt-dress.  I made the first from a cotton viscose, and it’s ok, but I way prefer the second which I made with a John Kaldor print cotton Daughter No2 picked out at the Stitching show in Birmingham at the end of March.  Details as ever are on my BurdaStyle page.

Moonshadow
Moonshadow

Something more for Daughter No1.  She chose some black cotton with red roses at the Stitching Show for a pair of cropped trousers for the summer.  We settled on a pattern I’ve made for her before, Burda 7533.  It needed copious amounts of shortening and taking in, but the result is a fab pair of pants!

A pretty funky pair of pants!
A pretty funky pair of pants!

Two shirts follow, one vintage, one not!  I had cut out some stretch poplin with a small spot design last summer, and for some reason put it away.  Or it just got mixed up with the stuff that went back into the cottons box, but whatever happened, I found the cut pieces this month & decided to get it finished.  Thankfully it still fits!  The pattern is a Burda favourite that has been made many times now.

The second is a pattern from 1975.  I found the pattern in a charity shop last week for just 20p, and I pounced!  I found some ex Paul Smith stretch cotton with a multi-coloured stripe in my stash, leftovers from a previous project.  It proved to be just enough to get the short sleeved version out, & I can tell I will be using this pattern again!

Two shirts
Two shirts

Then another vintage make.  From the stash I had rescued a small piece of stretch navy & ecru twill, and some fucshia pink linen.  The linen went into the washing machine with some navy Dylon and we were in business!  I made a little 60’s dress with a contrast upper bodice, details on BurdaStyle.

Blue 60's dress
Blue 60’s dress

Right, last, but by no means least was a pattern cutting project!  Like I said, Sew for Victory was a hit, and Daughter No2 picked out another piece of fabric for another version of the 1944 pattern I made in February.  Initially I did think this fabric was going to be too much, and i definitely left the ruffles off the front.  It would have been waay too Victorian, nevermind 40’s with this particular fabric.  It was finished off on Friday last week, and we took advantage fo the little bits of sunlight coming into the garden to take photos.

Sew for victory, take 2
Sew for victory, take 2

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Ruffles at the sleeve only!
Ruffles at the sleeve only!
Happy customer!
Happy customer!

So I am steadily working my way through my stash, and trying very hard not to buy anything new unless I have used 2 pieces from the stash first.  So far so good, but this is what I bought (with a fair bit of help from daughters 1 & 2) in Birmingham in March.

The little pile of fabric that had to come home with us from the Stitching show in Birmingham.
The little pile of fabric that had to come home with us from the Stitching show in Birmingham.

Now 3 of those pieces have already been cut up, and they all have patterns allocated, except for the jersey in the middle on the right, but I’ve no doubt something will come up!  So I’m off to plan the next item to be sewn, and in the meantime, if you have been watching the Great British Sewing Bee & think you have a chance, they are apparently going to make another series and are taking applications now!  Rules and forms etc are available here.  Have fun!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

A Septuagenarian Updated

I don’t blame you if you have difficulty pronouncing that!

Rochelle from Lucky Lucille has been hosting a 1940’s sewalong this month.  The vintage look has been around for a while, but not something I have really embraced for myself.  I have a large box with a number of vintage patterns (no, I haven’t counted them) and some have been sewn up for Daughter No2, who seems to be able to carry the look.  But although they have been 60’s or 70’s patterns, the look is still modern, contemporary.

Now some people have no problem pulling off a vintage look, and I mean the whole look.  Have you seen Katie’s wardrobe?  It is stunning!  And Rochelle‘s?  And Casey’s?  Now these ladies obviously lead a very different and far more elegant life than mine!  I don’t think even Daughter No2 would go that far!

So if I wanted to join the sewalong, one of my resolutions for this year, I had to think quick.  I mooched around on Pinterest and various other sites for ideas, and then Rochelle posted a link to some vintage pattern sources on Etsy.  I hit gold!  I found this on Retro Monkeys‘ site…

Advance 1944 blouse pattern
Advance 1944 blouse pattern

Cute, right?  Daughter No2 thought so too.  She even liked the ruffles down the front!  We thought this would work with jeans and smarter “bottoms” too.  I’m trying to think ahead here, she starts 6th Form in September and the dress code is “Business wear”.  I didn’t buy the pattern in the end, postage and all that.  I figured I’d be good and let someone else have the original, but in the “make do and mend” spirit of the 40’s, I was going to pattern cut this baby myself.  Luckily for me the owner of the shop had scanned in the reverse of the pattern, allowing me to see the shapes of the pattern pieces.

Advance 1944 pattern reverse envelope
Advance 1944 pattern reverse envelope

This was fab, as I could see from the sketch that the longer sleeve actually has two little darts at the elbow, a detail common at the time.  I could also see that the neckline is raised, and that the blouse was actually quite short.  With skirts that actually sat on or just above the waist, they could get away with a shorter blouse.

sleeve detail  + goosebumps!
sleeve detail + goosebumps!

Changes I made were first, to lengthen it!  I approximated where the blouse in the sketch actually ended and pinned the paper pattern to Daughter No2.  We checked it against her low-rise jeans, and decided it left waaay too much tummy exposed!  The addition of 7cm and a change of style line at the back meant we were in business.

The back
The back

We raided the stash and found a fair few fabrics that would be suitable, but the green spotty cotton was begging to be made up in this pattern!  I had a matching thread in the cottons box, and found the cutest little wooden buttons in the button box.  My mum had sent the buttons last year, she knows what makes me tick!  The fabric was bought from Tatler’s in Derby last year, so thankfully it hadn’t been around too long!  We did loose the ruffles down the front, but not because we didn’t want them!  Unfortunately there was just not enough fabric for the long ruffles.  Next time maybe!

So here it is!  She cannot believe she is wearing a top made from a pattern that is essentially 69/70 years old, and it doesn’t look it at all!

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By the way, I am entering this blouse as my contribution to the polkadot February frock fest, even though it’s not a frock!  😀

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Still a little bit of tummy showing, but these are the lowest cut jeans, so with her smart trousers and pencil skirts it should be fine!

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One down!  A couple more to come, I think.  I had spotted this very pretty pattern on Cynical Girl on Etsy…

Advance 1940's Blouse
Advance 1940’s Blouse

How cool is that collar?  And those sleeves and the double dart tucks??  I’m going to start the pattern for this tomorrow!  How is everyone else doing in their “Sewing for Victory”?