Catching Up

It’s been a while…..  There are times when I wish there were two of me, and I think I can safely say I’m not the only one who wishes they could clone themselves, just to get more done.  So what’s been happening??  We’ve had some changes here.

Daughter No1 has started University and has moved into accomodation in Birmingham.  It’s not far, but far enough for her to start an independent life.  Of course, when she comes down with “Fresher’s Flu” it’s also close enough to hop on a train and come home!  It’s different here at home without her, Daughter No2 really misses her company.

I haven’t done much pattern cutting, and that’s why I haven’t been posting.  I am hoping that with the arrival now of Autumn and routines back in place that I can get going again.  Here is a little peek at what I have been doing instead…

Granny Square Sampler Afgan

Back in June I started this project, following Blair Stocker’s crochet-along on her blog, Wisecraft.  I though it would be a nice gift for Daughter No1 to take to Uni, and at the same time I could use up my scraps of various Rowan cotton yarns.  Little did I realise what a monster project it was going to become!  (And that it was going to require much, much more than the left-overs I had.)  I finally finished this blanket after doubling the amount of squares originally made so I could get the size I wanted.  There are many photos of other afgans on the Flickr group.

Not content with doing all that, I spotted some brilliant, coloured twine in a local garden centre, made in Scotland!  So here is what I thought I’d do with that…

Crotchet with twine – this will be a striped basket

Not finished yet, in fact, barely started, but I hope to make some baskets.  You know the type, little baskets for junk to accumulate in, and for your car keys to mysteriously disappear into the bottom of.  Or to pop a plant pot into…

So – sewing.  I cut out the most beautiful silk satin devore fabric waaaay back in May to make another version of my Silver Lining blouse.  I have to hang my head and admit right now that that was as far as I got, as other projects stampeded ahead of it.  So as part of my “Autumn cleaning” I have determined to make it up.  It is going to be fabulous!!  Here’s a glimpse at the sleeve so far.  I hope to finish it by the weekend, and if the weather’s good there will be some lovely photos.

Sleeve from “Silver Lining” pattern in navy & black silk satin devore

So that’s it for now.  I’m off to make 1/4 scale patterns for the Pattern Magic weekend!  What fun..  😉  Happy Autumn everyone!

Can sewing be an Olympic sport?

Wow, what an amazing week it has been at the Olympics!  Everyone is doing well, and I have to say I am blown away by the dedication and commitment of these athletes!  Best personality of the games so far has to be Bert le Clos, father of South African Chad le Clos who had the US Olympic swimming legend, Michael Phelps on the back foot.  Not much sewing has been done, I must be honest, and the fabric piles are not going quietly.  I dug these two pieces out of the cupboard over the weekend, and they are my next task.

A sturdy cotton/linen blend with leaf print

This stuff is quite cool.  I got it in Derby in May, intending to make cushions or something, but I just couldn’t cut it up into little squares.  I’ve sort of decided to make a jacket with it for the Autumn.  I’m picturing a hip-length jacket with jetted pockets and maybe a pleat detail at the back.  One thing that is definitely going to happen is the crater sleeve from Pattern Magic 1!  I have been waiting a while to do that sleeve, and I’m feeling it for this fabric.  I will get cracking on some sketches first, to get a better feel for what I have in my mind.  I also think I might use a sidebody this time, to see how different the fit is.

Leaf print – perfect for Autumn!

The other fabric is this gorgeous Liberty tana lawn.  One of my students had some from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon a couple of months ago and taunted me with a picture of it on twitter.  Did I have the commitment to resist?  Did I, like hell!  The first opportunity I got I was off to Freds for my own little bit.  They only had 2m left, so naturally I got the lot!

Big “blousey” flowers, love it!

Now, I didn’t think this was really me, until I brought it home.  I love it!  Carolyn made a blouse from several patterns that has turned out pretty great, I love her collar and the roll-up sleeve with tab.  I tend to roll my long sleeve shirts, even in the winter, or wear 3/4 length.  Problem with 3/4 length is that they end up under your armpit when you put on jumpers and jackets!  I won’t be making this as billowy as Carolyn’s, I’d prefer it to be a bit more fitted.

So that’s the fabric sorted, now to make the patterns!  Watch this space, but don’t hold your breath too long, we still have another week of amazing sport to watch!  Maybe if sewing was included, I might get more done!!!

Birthday presents!

Thanks for all your well wishes, and comments.  Who’s been watching the great Games??  I have been blown away by the crowds, they’ve been so loud!  Especially when Team GB are participating!  😀  I have my giveaway winners…..  Daughter No2 picked numbers out of her favourite summer hat this morning, and this is what we have:

The Winnifred Aldrich book goes to……..  Prttynpnk

The Burdastyle magazines go to……. Pendle Stitches

and the suprise bundle goes to…………..  Vicki Kate!!!!

All wrapped up and ready for their new homes!

Congratulations guys, I hope you have hours of fun with your stuff!  😀  Now all you need to do is email me with your postal addresses, and these will be winging their way to you.  Email me on handmade-1 at live dot co dot uk.

Now for more sewing while I try to watch the Olympics at the same time….  At least my fix-it-and-finish-it pile has shrunk a bit!

Belated Birthday Celebrations

“It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday, I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday…”

Birthday treats

Well, only like it’s my birthday, because it’s not actually.  I missed the blog-anniversary here last month, so I figured I’d wait a bit and do it properly…  So a year and a month since my very first post, today is such a great day!  The sun is shining here in soggy England, the Olympics kick off tonight, and I am hosting my first ever giveaway!!!!!!!!!  😀

It’s been a fabulous year, and is only just over halfway through!  We’ve had the 60th Jubilee, the wettest summer, now the best week of sun, and of course, the Olympics.  I’m looking forward to seeing some great sport and thoroughly committed athletes show us their stuff!  What about you?  Are you going to be hiding from the TV for the next 16 days, or will you be watching your favourite sport?

Back to the giveaway, birthdays mean presents!!  😀    I have a copy of Winnifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting; two un-used Burdastyle magazines, March and July 2011; and a little surprise bundle.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below stating which birthday present you’d like, and which if any, event you’ll be looking out for over the next couple of weeks.  All comments to be received by Midnight GMT on Monday 30 July.

March and July 2011 Burdastyle magazines and Metric Pattern Cutting. I’m not showing the suprise bundle, ’cause then it’s not a suprise!

I’m going to be on the lookout for a team of skippers (jump ropers??) called Get Tricky who will be part of the Sports Presentation at the basketball events.   They consist of members of 4 Jump Rope teams from the UK, Belgium and the USA.  See if you can spot them on the TV coverage!

I’ve had a great first year, met loads of other bloggers doing loads of different things, and I’ve learnt a few computer tricks too!  Still have far to go, but I’m loving it!  Here’s to the next year!  Ching ching!  😀

Twenty Six Dresses

Daughter No2 cleaned out her wardrobe yesterday, and found she has 26 dresses, one more and she could have her own movie….  This is Dress no 26, using the multi-panelled bodice from the Simply Red dress and the 4-gored skirt from the True Blue dress, but this time not cut on the bias.

Dress #26!

The fabric is a black and turquoise print that was sent to me by a friend in America, one of her bargain buys from an estate sale.  Why don’t we have those in the UK??  The print has a real Eighties feel, so I’m calling this dress her “Footloose Dress”!

I love the way the skirt is so different from the Simply Red dress, just by changing the grainline and cutting the skirt in panels.

Another success!  The bodice on this and the previous two dresses is essentially the same, only the True Blue Dress has no panels, but it is in the skirts that all the difference really appears.  The Simply Red dress skirt was cut with the grainline parallel to the centre front and back, the True Blue Dress has a 4 panel skirt, the grain is on the bias.  For this dress I used the same pattern pieces for the skirt, but the grainline runs down the centre of each skirt panel, making it much more fluid.

Magic!

Do you play with grainlines too??

True Blue

Sky-blue summer dress

Another day, another dress!

As the Olympics draw nearer, I think we have a winner!

This dress uses the basic shape of the pattern used for the Simply Red dress, but I have eliminated all the panels and cut on the bias to take full advantage of the stripes.

The fabric is a fine cotton sent to me as part of an estate sale haul by a friend who has abandoned me moved to the States.  (Her busband blogs here – an online diary of his aclimatisation) I had to line the dress, this fabric was a trifle too transparent in the light – ok for a shirt, not so good for anything with a skirt!

Plain cotton lining with a blue broiderie anglaise trim

To give it a little more interest I added some blue broiderie anglaise to the hem of the cotton lining, just enough to peek out at the bottom.

A happy Daughter No2 showing off her handywork – a totebag embroidered, beaded and sequined by her own fair hand as a birthday present for a friend

I will be making another panelled dress, I dug out another piece of fabric sent by the same friend, this time a black and blue print that will look just stunning!!

Simply Red

After a 24 mile round trip I have a red invisible zip, and now a completed dress!  I am also definitely ordering a stock of zips from Jaycotts.  I paid £3.90 for a 52cm long invisible zip!  That’s madness!!  Anyway, rant over, here’s the completed dress, and a happy Daughter No2 in the sunshine to show it off.

We love a little contrast, this turquoise belt is great with the red.

The panels work really well, tailoring the bodice to her shape.  The stretch cotton has a tendence to, well, stretch.  So the lining is a stretch cotton poplin, with much less movement to keep the whole thing together.

Why can’t we have more sun? Everything is so much better for it, including these pretty poppies.

The back was kept simple.  There is just one seam, I really don’t think it needed any more than that.

The back is simple, just two panels!

For some extra info, this dress was cut from the 2-piece dress block (from Winnifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting) and adapted to the sleeveless block.

Posing!

Next time we’ll have more fabric to play with, and will make a fuller skirt.  For now though, Daughter No2 is very happy with her new dress.  Will the weather gods please let us have some sun so she can wear it??