Pyjama Party!!

Here we are, “P-Day”!!  I got all garments finished last night, and all have been well received!  So here they are, in no particular order…

Daughter No 2:

Blue and white cotton shorts and baby-doll top

I used a turquoise and white floral print cotton and some vintage white lace with a heart design for the shorts, pattern cut from the trouser block.  I used Ann Hagar this time, as I hadn’t used a block form her book yet.  It was interesting…  I have drafted so many trouser blocks from Winnifred Aldrich, and Ms Hagar does hers so completely differently!  The top is drafted from the close-fitting bodice block, fullness added at the centre front and back and darts left un-sewn, naturally.  The fabric is white cotton poplin, again with the vintage lace.  To identify the fronts and back, I sewed on a small length of white ribbon to the front of the shorts to tie in a little bow.  The top has a grouping of sequins and beads.

Sequin and bead detail to mark the front of the babydoll top

Daughter no 2 is presently re-re-re-reading the Twilight series, and is halfway through Breaking Dawn.  The whole series has been very popular with her and her sister.

Nighty-night all!!

Daughter no 1:

Black jersey top with crochet trim & print cotton shorts

For these pyjamas I used black cotton jersey for the top, with a length of black crochet trim from my ribbon box.  The pattern was drafted from the close fitting bodice block again, with pleats added to the front neckline at 2cm intervals to add fullness.  On reflection, I could make these wider than the 2cm I used, bit for now they’re fine.  This top took a while to get right, as the trim needed much manipulation to take the various curves!!  She is so pleased with it she’d like more – to wear out!  In public!  😀

Neckline and strap using crochet trim

The shorts are made from a black, white and red cotton print left over from lining a handbag…  The black lace with little circles matched the print quite nicely, and is also from my stash, and is a piece of vintage stuff I got from the Ironbridge Victorian Village a few years ago.  Leave it to me to find the teeny tiny sewing shop!!

Daughter isn’t reading fiction at the moment.  It’s crunch time for finishing A-level coursework and projects, so her reading material is for her Art coursework and her Extended Project Qualification.

Daughter no 2's reading material

And me….  I used a black and white paisley print cotton I liberated from a student at a fabric swap we had at our Sewing Sunday at the beginning of April for the trousers, and black cotton jersey for the top.  I haven’t added any lace or other trims.  The trousers were adapted from the trouser block from Winnie Aldrich, but for the top I had to use a Burda pattern.  Just not enough time!  I used Style no 113/4 from Burda 12/2008.

Black jersey and paisley print trousers
Picot edge to jersey hems

The top has pleats on the curved front neckline and raglan sleeves.  Because I had no trim I used the overlock stitch on my sewing machine to make a little “picot” edge on all the jersey hems.

Pleats on the top. It's so hard to capture detail on black jersey!

The pleats on the top make it really comfortable, and not too full.  10/10!  Thanks Burda!

My reading list is Natalie Bray’s “More Dress Pattern Designing” and “Paper, Metal & Stitch” by Maggie Grey & Jane Wild.  I picked it up for just £7 at a 2nd hand booksale.

My reading at the moment

Natalie Bray is on the list because I want a new jacket pattern and I fancy a Kimono sleeve.  She has the best instructions!  Paper, Metal & Stitch is just to get some creative juices flowing..  I never have any time to actually play with this stuff!  Hope you all have a fabulous pyjama party, and thanks to Karen for being such a great hostess!!

More goodness in the post!

A large parcel awaited me today when I returned from the hairdressers… TJ from The Perfect Nose who had initiated the” one cool thing / one strange thing swap” had sent me more stuff!! So that’s two extra piles of fabric for me to play with! YAY! So what was in it?? Some blue stretch silk satin.. drooooool, some John Kaldor print in shades of blue and green and a blue and white chiffon print. That was just the fabric. Then there is a Burda pattern, a Patrones magazine, a cute book mark, a cool button and a lovely card with a looong letter. Thank you TJ, they are all lovely, and I cannot wait to make something from the silk. I’m feeling a cowl top…. 😀

The pile of fabulous-ness from The Perfect Nose

Sneak Pyjama Peek

I am on the finishing straight for the Pyjama Party!  Only 2 tops still to make….  I thought I’d let you in on a sneak peek to see how it’s going so far.  I have been able to resist popping into the shops so far on this project, all the fabric has come out of my stash, as has the elastic and all the trimmings.

Aren't friends great? This is a fab selection of vintage lace my best buddy sent me from the States for my birthday. Some of these will find their way onto the pyjamas.

This is what I had in mind for Daughters 1&2:

Pyjama Party sketches

Daughter no 2 is having these:

Blue and white print cotton shorts with lace trim

I’m keeping the top secret for now, but here is a peek of the shorts for Daughter no 1:

Red & black print cotton shorts with black lace trim

I haven’t put lace or anything on my pj’s, so they will wait for tomorrow’s reveal!  True to the ethos of this blog, I have pattern cut all the pyjama patterns, but as I am running out of time, I am going to cheat with the top for my pj’s and use a commercial pattern.  Today I need to finish the top for Daughter no 1 and for me, then I’m all done!  How is everyone else getting on?

Post Excitement

Isn’t it fab when sewing goodies arrive in the post?  It’s exciting when something you’ve ordered appears in the posite’s hand, but when it’s something you’ve been waiting for, and don’t even know what’s in there, it’s even better!  I participated in TJ‘s One cool thing / One strange thing swap this month and my randomly selected sender of fabric goodness was Jeyco, although I didn’t know who’d I’d got until the stuff arrived!  So the parcel with Japanese stamps on was squealed over – big time!!

Here’s what was inside:

Liberty print cottons from Jeyco   Blue paisley print Liberty cotton, 0.6m;  Beige and turquoise Liberty print cotton, 2m;
Gingham silk and Japanese Pattern  Lime green silk gingham, 1.2m;    
Madly colourful print: Orange, green and yellow print fabric, 2m.

This is what Jeyco thought was the coolest item in the package, and I have to agree with her, although I thought the sewing pattern was a pretty close second and the silk, and the cottons….  So what to do with all this stuff???  That green gingham is going to find its way into a jacket, I was thinking of a grey linen jacket, and to have that silk to line it would be loverly!

The Libertys, I thought the blue would line a cropped navy linen jacket I have on the go at the moment, and the turquoise and beige is going to be a blouse/top.  It’s so pretty!  I stood no chance with this mad print, the moment Daughter No 2 saw it she wanted it!!  I’m feeling a 60’s dress….  Such excitement over the post!

Now to find the time..  there wasn’t any of that in the parcel!  Thank you so much TJ for organising this little swap, and Jeyco for sending me all cool stuff!

ME-Made-May 2012

Looking for trouble again, I have barely started the Pyjama Party challenge, and here I am again, signing up for another!  It is time to get more of my own creations out of the cupboard and out in the open.  Also time to get more made, but that’s another story all together.

I, Anne W, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12.  I will endeavour to wear as many handmade items (barring underwear and shoes!) each day as proves feasible on the day, for the duration of May 2012.

So, what exactly does that entail??  Well…  I cannot guarantee that everything I will wear will be made by me.  I do love my jeans, so there is no way I can remeve them from my wardrobe for a whole month, but apart from that, as long as the weather plays ball, I should have enough to last a month without substituting shop-bought stuff.  This challenge will hopefully make me think about how I wear things, what I combine and how I accessorise.  I might even figure out my “style”, something we all have problems with, as mentioned by Karen.

With only a week and a bit to go until May, who else has signed up?

Feeling Guilty

Forgive me dear bloggers, for I have neglected to post for two weeks now.  I have given myself over to the pleasures of sewing bags, embroidering sheep, quilting crowns, playing with clay and stamps and sneezing over lavender bags.  I have not thanked Jeyco at I’m liking it! for sending me the most fantastic stuff via the One cool thing / One strange thing swap initiated by TJ at the Perfect Nose.  I didn’t send out my parcel to the fabulous (and to me, slightly intimidating) Oonaballoona until this Monday.  Forgive me, for I have been distracted.

Embroidered sheep cushions, French Knot heaven... or was it Hell?
Quilted, appliqued crown pincushions

For my penance I promise to refocus.  I will make a proper start on the pj’s for Karen’s Pyjama Party (only one and a bit weeks left).  Has anyone seen the fab board she has put together on Pinterest??  I will photograph the lovely fabrics sent by Jeyco and maybe propose what will become of them.  I will show you what daughter no 2 and I have been working on. Yes, a bit of pattern cutting has made its way onto the table over the Easter Hols.  Just a bit.  And I will get making the bra I have promised to make for the past year!  There is also a little pile of lovely stretch lace on the corner of my sewing table – inspired by Mary Portas’ Bottom Line, I bought some goodies from Gypsy Lace in Derby – online only.

Lovely stretch lace from Gypsy Lace, Teal, Black, Grey and Silver, and Beige

Like I needed to buy any more fabric???  *sigh*

Derby Day

No, don’t panic!  It wasn’t the ponies!

Derby – Iron Gate with the Cathedral at the end of the road

Husband is working on a job in Derby, and as it’s the Easter holidays this week I thought it would be a good time for a little road-trip.  Husband went off for his meetings and Daughters 1,2 and I did some sightseeing and shopping.  Catherine Daze had been to Derby a few weeks ago, and had kindly posted the whereabouts of some fabric stores, so I made a list and planned the attack while having a quick “wake-me-up” cuppa at the cafe at The Quad, opposite the Assembly Rooms.

Derby town map

First stop for me was going to be Ink & Thread.  Husband had found the shop a few weeks back.  They stock only British-made stuff, quirky and with a retro twist.  They are to be found at no 28 The Strand.  They are well worth a look, they stock cards, gift wrap, quirky gifts and home furnishings.

The Old Bell Hotel

So to get there we needed to walk down Sadler Gate.  We saw a fabulous old inn, such a shame it is so neglected!  Looking through the old doors you wouldn’t have been wrong to expect to see the Harry Potter cast in there!

A Harry Potter location??

Down near the bottom of Sadler Gate is The Strand Arcade, a covered Victorian Arcade.  Naturally I’m pretty nosey, so we wandered through to see what delights awaited us.  Unfortunately most of the shops are empty, a victim of the economy and the rather large shopping centre, Westfields, that was built in Derby a few years ago.  Just as we’re about to give up and return, I spotted this….

It was 10am and they had just opened – serendipity!!  So in we went, ooing and aaahing!  then I noticed the notice – no credit or debit cards, only cash or cheque.  Dang!!  So we left, with the promise to return!  From there we found Ink & Thread, they were just at the end of the arcade, on the left.

Ink & Thread

Everything in Ink & Thread is British made.  The designers are British and the manufacturing processes are done in Britain too.  They have an independent style that is really cool.  Check out their Facebook page, and Twitter too.

We popped into the Art Museum and Gallery to take in the Joseph Wright exhibition and some of the history of Derby, then wandered off to find Hook & Eye on Albert St.  Catherine had mentioned it had a pretty good stock of haberdashery, and she wasn’t far wrong!  They had stacks of buttons, buckles, all sorts of elastics and miles of ribbons.  We also found some peacock feathers for Daughter no 2 for her prom dress – success!

Daughters 1&2 in Primani

Time for lunch, but on the way to Nando’s the girls spotted Primark….  The death knell to properly made clothes!!  It was the busiest shop I’d seen all morning – how sad is that!  Look at that basket – loaded with cheap t-shirts and shoes for £3 a pair.

Husband joined us for lunch and had the rest of the afternoon off, so we headed back to the arcade, and Tatler’s Fabrics!  Pam Austin is the owner, and the store has been there for 20 years!  They haven’t got a website, don’t seem to do email either, but she says she’s happy to send out samples if you phone.  The shop itself is pretty small, but there are lots of quality fabrics on the shelves, and at pretty good prices too.  Upstairs is a small workshop, where Pam runs sewing classes.  She limits the class to 5, and they are usually fully booked.  If you are interested in a class, pop in or call to leave your details.

Inside Tatler’s Fabrics, 2 The Strand Arcade, Derby
You can sit and browse the pattern catalogues, Tatler’s stock Burda and New Look patterns, so you can go home with fabric and pattern.
Cottons, viscose jerseys, linens and wools, colour co-ordinated and very well priced
Husband was very patient…

And so this is what I escaped with:

from left to right: 1.5m cotton and elastene grey twill, 1.2m red and white cotton sateen, 1.5m grey striped viscose jersey, 1.5m green and cream spot cotton, 3m cobalt blue and ecru floral print viscose. Heaven in a bag!

Now I just need to make it all up!  As I type, the twill, jersey, spots and blue florals are drying, the red is being washed on its own!  What to make??  The grey stripe twill will either be a pair of skinnies or a jacket for Daughter no 1, the red cotton is earmarked for a skirt or dress for Daughter no 2, the jersey is mine – I feel another Renfrew coming.  The green is for a top with Peter Pan collar for Daughter no 2 and the blue viscose will make a maxi-dress for Daughter no 1 and a blouse for me!

ps. That viscose is BEAUTIFUL!!  The colour is superb and the handling is fantastic. At first I thought it was a silk, until I checked the label.  An absolute steal at £7.95/m.  Yup, thats all!!  :O  Happy drooling folks, and get yourself off to Derby!

Tatler’s Fabric is at 2 The Strand Arcade, Derby, DE1 1BQ.  Phone 01332 293 853.