Sewing Plans

Do you ever get a bit overwhelmed with your sewing projects?  By which I mean, there are so many nice things to sew, and not enough time to get them all done?  I have a nice big pile of gorgeous fabric I bought this year, and some very nice patterns I’m desperate to try, but my list just keeps getting longer.  And then there’s the problem of the fabric which initially was quite clear in what it wanted to be, changing its mind and now wanting to be something else.  For which there isn’t enough fabric.  Or I don’t have  a pattern, don’t have the time to draft one and so now trawl the internet looking for something suitable.

That’s what has happened this week.  While in Cornwall, I bought 2.5m of the most beautiful cotton fabric with a chrysanthemum print.  It has a slightly Japanese feel to it, the flowers are crisp, colours definite, and I fell head over heals for it.  Why didn’t I get a nice round number, like 3m?  Because it wasn’t (for me) cheap and I didn’t want to be greedy.  But what I initially thought I could turn into a pair of culottes now wants to be a jumpsuit, or a dress, or a wider, longer pair of culottes that I originally pictured, or a jumpsuit.  So 2.5m is not enough.

collage culottes or dress
Burda culottes or Sew House 7 Tea House Dress??

I thought of making the culottes #126 from March 2015 Burdastyle, they’re wide enough to look like a skirt, which is what I had in mind.  But now it wants to be a dress (for someone who doesn’t wear dresses).  I could give in to that demand, but only for the right dress!  I spent lots of precious sewing time on Friday looking for just that right pattern/shape/look.  Eventually I emerged form the deep dark pit that is a combination of Instagram and Pinterest with the Sew House 7 Tea House Dress.  It’s the bodice part that I really like – and it has pockets!  But of course, nothing is ever that easy, have fabric, bought pattern, make dress, right?  Nope – that dress needs more fabric than I have.

So now what?  Do I email the fabric shop and see if they have more?  Or dig through the stash and find a fabric that will work with the print and have contrasting pieces?  Or be realistic and just make the damn culottes I wanted in the first place?!  Let’s face it, even if I like the dress, I have a very good feeling culottes would get worn way more often than a dress.  But I now like the idea of the dress…  AAARRRGGGHHHH

dsc_0262.jpg
The top fabric that now wants to be bottoms…

The same conversation happened with another piece of fabric I got from the NEC in March from Rosenberg & Son.  It was only ever going to be a top of some sort.  I traced the pattern, toiled and adjusted, but now it doesn’t want to be a top.  I’d seen Clare’s fabulous print culottes on Instagram earlier and couldn’t get that image out of my head.  That is why my “top fabric” now wants to be “culottes fabric”.

One piece that is behaving is the most gorgeous deep dark inky coloured linen and rayon mix fabric I got from Fabworks back in May (I think).  I had expected a soft, drapy linen to arrive, instead it’s really crisp and full of body, but it will still look good as pants/trousers, and now I know what pattern to use too!  I made the cropped flared trousers from this month’s Burdastyle in turquoise washed linen and love them, so I think a “posh” pair is on the cards with that rayon/linen blend.  Just need somewhere equally “posh” to wear them…

I also made a jumpsuit last month (!) in one of the border printed viscose pieces I brought back from South Africa back in 2016 – only one more 3m piece of that left now!  It was from a German magazine Chris brought over for me last summer, the August issue of Fashion Style.  I’d liked it from the start and bought 3m of black herringbone linen from Croft Mill Fabric for the project, then Autumn came and I left it.  Then I got reminded of it when I watched the new Star Wars movie, Solo.  The female lead, Qi’ra wears a black jumpsuit that I totally needed!

the-art-of-solo-a-star-wars-story-concept-art-no-17
Image from https://milnersblog.com/

So I went about tracing, toiling and adjusting, but when it came to the making, I realised the black linen was too stiff.  So in the mean time, I used the print viscose, to “road-test” the pattern before buying a more suitable black fabric.  But that jumpsuit would be great with that floral print fabric….  My jumpsuit doesn’t have the wrap front, or the fluttery sleeves, but I was at least inspired by this to get on with mine – finally!  So I now have black viscose from Croft Mill Fabrics, and will get to it, hopefully before the summer is over – again!!  It also means I now have 3m of black herringbone linen that can be used for something else….

collage jumpsuit
Black viscose lined up and ready for this!

When I was tracing the culottes from March 2015, I remembered there was a wrap over dress that I’d drooled over, #127.  It comes in two lengths and when I first saw it I fell heavily and bought a couple of metres of Ikat fabric from Fabric Godmother.  Then doubt (as usual) set it and I didn’t make it.  But I still have that fabric, and I still like the dress!  This is the weekend when I said “sod it”, and I’ve finally traced that pattern.  It will need to be graded out a size on the sides (I have no waist) and will need a decent FBA, but it’s do-able, right?  I just don’t want to mess up my lovely fabric.

collage dress top
Burda wrap dress in the Ikat, blouse in Seasalt gull print cotton voile crepe

Then a horrible thing happened.  Everyone – and I mean everyone, was chatting online about the fabric sale at Seasalt, a Cornish clothing company.  Their fabrics are nice, cute even, and I’d never thought of buying any.  But when we were in said county at the beginning of July I happened to pop into their St Ives store to investigate the fabrics “in the flesh”.  A couple I recognised from seeing them online, some I liked, some I didn’t.  So when we got back to our holiday flat, I bought 6m of Seasalt fabric. WHY?!?!  Because I have absolutely no will power and I was enabled.  It’s wasn’t my fault…

July’s Burdastyle has come to the rescue of some of the gull print cotton voile crepe.  The boxy blouse, #117 will look very nice in that fabric, and it will just happen to work with the trousers I’ve made this summer, because the colour is perfect!  It will also be less boxy because of the floatyness of the fabric.  The other piece I bought will be destined for something yummy for my Mum.

Aah, I bet you think you’re nearing the end now, right.  Nope.  Just because I haven’t taken any more photos doesn’t mean my list is done.  I have charcoal twill that’s begging to be made in the fabulous jacket #101 from May 2018, black & white gingham desperate to be used in a top from Kana’s Standard, natural coloured washed linen crying out to be made into a pair of trousers from the same book, navy viscose with a white feather print that’s been asking very nicely for about 2-3 years to be removed from the stash and is now getting loudly demanding.  Then there’s the navy oilskin I bought from Merchant & Mills last summer to make a Waffle Pattern’s Tosti, and the summer coat I said I would definitely be making this year.  Summer coat!  Not requred this summer, what I need is a paddling pool and a nice new cozzy!  And let’s not even mention the lovely fabric set aside for daughter no2’s list(s).

And I’ve spent all day writing this post.  That’s the problem when there are so many lovely things to make, and you want them all today, but you cannot decide which to start with, or which fabric to use with which pattern because you don’t want to stuff it up, and you  cannot or don’t want to buy more fabric.

I think I’ll make a cuppa and go for a walk.  Maybe when I get back I’ll have an idea, or maybe you can add your 2 cents worth!  And please tell me I’m not alone in my madness.

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!

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

DSC02659-1

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!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

One Cool Thing, One Strange Thing Swap

You know when you have a clearout, or a chance to re-organise your little stash of fabrics, there is aways something lurking that you just haven’t got round to using yet.  And propably won’t.  It’s not the colour you like anymore, not the right pattern, or often, not enough to really do something with.  The Perfect Nose has the answer, a swap.

But this is not just any swap.  The idea is to swap one cool thing from your stash, with a wierd thing.  I have found a couple of items I just know I am not going to use anymore.  I haven’t the occasion, or time for them anymore, so I have made a little pile.

These are the rules for the swap from the Perfect Nose:

  • Crappy things not allowed.
  • Entries will be accepted until March 31st, 2012 and a list of interested swap contributors drawn up.
  • Each swap contributor will send one cool thing and one strange thing to their nominated swap partner within a month.
  • I will send an extra cool/strange thing combo to three extra people (randomly drawn) from the list (pretty much immediately).
  • If you have more than one cool/strange thing you’d like to send let me know and I’ll see what I can do about pairing you with others interested in doing the same.
  • You’re free to add other (nice) things to your contribution if you like.

If you are interested, I suggest you get on over to her site pretty sharp, as the closing date is tomorrow!!  If you are in Oz, get cracking!!  US readers have a little breathing space…

So I have put together a little inspiration board, so as to make sure I get swapped the right sort of stuff.

One Cool thing, One Strange thing Swap inspiration board

I used Gimmebar to put this together.  If you have used Pinterest in the past, this is similar, but there is the option to have private boards – which is not currently in the pipeline for Pinterest.  Also, instead of pinning just images, you can “grab” whole pages, so this includes text.  Quite good for bookmarking pages on the internet, and of course, there is always a link to the original source.  Check it out.

So I hope the person who gets my contribution makes something really cool, and I hope I get something fab in return!

Have a great sewing weekend, I am not going to get any sewing done.  I have an 18th birthday for Daughter no 1 and a Sewing Sunday class.  But I have been stashbusting – if I am allowed to call it that if the fabric I’ve been using is what I bought last week at the NEC…

Hello, my name is Anne, and I am a fabric addict

So there I was, waiting for the sewing repair man to open, and I thought I’d check out a little fabric shop in Kenilworth.  Linda Harper’s is on the High St (opposite Sainsbury’s), nothing to shout about from the outside.  I hadn’t been there in years, and wasn’t even sure if it was still there.  Once inside I realised I had made a terrible mistake!  There was no way I was getting out without buying something!!  They have their cotton fabrics all grouped in colour order, then the linens, then the silks, you get where I am going…  Wool and fleeces are in a different room.  The temptation was ENORMOUS!!

So this is what I absolutely had to have before leaving.  I was still looking for something for the Knot Dress, wouldn’t you know it, but nothing in my stash was right.  I am not going to use any of these for the dress either, but I know they will come in handy one day!  I figure they will make perfect vintage garments, they have that vibe.

Vintage feel cotton fabrics

Fixed sewing machine and overlocker in the boot, I head home, via Stratford.  I have run out of calico, so headed to Fred Winter.  Once again, a very dangerous maneuver!  I added to the calico some vibrant red batik, which will be perfect for a 60’s dress pattern I got from Etsy last month, and a rather interesting Liberty print – which I think is the fabric for the Knot Dress.

Liberty Tana Lawn and Red Cotton Batik

What do you think??