Friday, 21 August 2015

Sewing Plans

I don't usually make sewing plans, I'm more see pretty fabric, see pretty pattern, buy, sew, or all too frequently buy add to stash.  That's not to say I don't make lists, I just don't usually do very much with them. 
I don't know about anybody else, but I was very tempted by the Sewing Indie Month Pattern Bundle 1, ten lovely patterns at a nock down price, plus the bonus of to donating to charity, all very tempting.  But on this occasion I did not succumb to temptation (probably because I know I'm going to be more tempted by Pattern Bundle 2).  There are ten great patterns here, but would I actually make and wear them?  For the majority of them, the answer is actually no, and that's not to say they are not fine patterns, just not for me.

I am tempted to buy the Saltbox Top from Blueprints for Sewing, and I already own the Melissa Dress from Muse patterns, but the other pattern would have sat on my hard drive, not being sewn, and that shouldn't be the fate for any pattern.  I currently have 25 Indie patterns that I already own, but have yet to sew, go check your own hard drive and see how many impulse pdf purchases you have, I can't be the only one to give into temptation, can I?
Another example of giving into temptation is this selection of lovely fabric below.  This is a remnant bundle from the Organic Textile Company.  £39.50 for 10 metres of lovely surprise fabric.
These fabrics have jumped to the head of the sewing queue (I know it's not fare, but it happens).  Most are 1 metre lengths, but as I am a consummate Tetris player, I can squeeze quite a lot out of 1m 

There is actually 1.5m of the navy, so it's will be a pair of trousers.  The colour of the fabric on the right hasn't come out very well, it's more of a shot beige/burgundy and has a bit of weight to it, so will be a skirt.

Both of these are much brighter in reality and I can definitely see an Onyx top in the orange.

The stripy fabric on the left is quite bright, so I think it will be a pair of pyjama shorts, and then I only have to scare my husband with them.  I know the other two do look disturbingly like table cloths, but the yellow one has a lovely drape and will become an Onyx top highlighted with red bias trim.  The blue and shit check, will be a skirt, pattern to be determined.

The biggest piece of fabric in the bunch is this red/blue/beige/green check, as I have about 2 metres.  I was tempted to make some kind on pinafore dress, but then realised that I am 45 not 5 years old and I'm going to try and adapt the Onyx top into a dress.  The green and pink retro print I think may become a Brumby skirt, so that it can be toned down with plain tops. 
Will any of these things get made?  Some of them probably, all of them, probably not.  Come back to find out.

The Sky Skirt

So we actually took these photos on August the 5th, but life has a habit it getting in the way of the best laid plans.  As I set myself this sewing challenge to tie in with the Tour de France, I felt I should finally do this post as the next big cycling grand tour la Vuelta Espana starts tomorrow.  I did say at the start that I wasn't going to put any unreasonable deadline on myself, but this may be cutting it a little fine.
So here is my Sky Skirt, because of course Chris Froome of Team Sky won the Tour de France this year for the second time.  If you don't know, the Team Sky strip is black with a turquoise stripe down it, but as I don't wear a lot of black (because of a very blonde dog who likes cuddles), I made the skirt turquoise with a black stripe.
The pattern is used is Fatale Sister by Vanessa Pouzet, a lovely French designer and it is teamed here with my refashioned Deer and Doe Plantain t-shirt, also a French designer.

Undeniably the most interesting feature of this skirt is the back zipper.  It uses an open ended zipper, so you can make the back slit as high a you dare.  As you can see I don't really dare.
This is the second time I have made this skirt, the first was for the New to Me challenge during Indie Sew Month, over at The Monthly Stitch.  Blogged about here.  After the oh so clingy nature of my first version, I decided to line this one.  I don't think I completely followed the instructions, as my comprehension of French is still rather poor, but I think it turned out fine.

Once again I added pockets, I've got to have pockets.  The turquoise fabric is from Direct Fabric Warehouse and was £5.99 a metre.  The fabric is 100% Linen, hence all the wrinkles. I didn't really need a whole metre, but they only sell fabric in 50cm increments and 50cm was not quite enough.  I also bought some black polyester lining there.  So I now have a 40cm remnant of turquoise linen and black polyester, needing to be used. The zip was from a haul of haberdashery a got at a charity shop in Buxton several years ago.  The black fabric was salvaged from a pair of trousers, purchased at a charity shop, that I obviously used one leg for another project many moons ago.  It is a Linen/Ramine mix, so washing these fabric together for the first time could be fun.  I'm a rebel, I very seldom prewash my fabric.
I really like this skirt, but I don't know who often it will get worn, as I just don't have many tops that go with it.  Maybe I will get around to finally changing the buttons on the black linen blouse I made over a decade ago and I can wear them together and be all kind of wrinkly.
I do seem to have an addiction to making skirts, the way some bloggers are addicted to making dresses.  Maybe I need to focus more on making tops, so that I have something to wear with my many many handmade skirts?

Monday, 20 July 2015

K.O.M Lou Lou Dress

So le Tour has made it's from the high mountains of the Pyrenees and is heading for the Alps, so I have made a polka dot K.O.M. dress. 
The hem is straight, it's just I'm not!

Yes I know, the polka dot jersey is supposed to be red and white, but I worried about looking like Minnie Mouse.  And I could find any red and white polka dot fabric that I liked.  The fabric is a wonderfully drapey viscose from Direct Fabric Warehouse, for £5.99 a metre and I bought 1.5m of fabric.

The pattern is the Lou Lou Dress by Charlotte at English Girl at Home.  Doesn't it have a lovely pattern illustration?

I was one of Charlotte's pattern testers last year, so I was excited to make the pattern up again now that it has been released.  The new and improved version has a new option, version C, which is what I choose to make.  I tried very hard to find some nice drapey co-ordinating fabrics, but was seduced by the green and blue polka dot, but sadly could not find another fabric to go with it.  I choose version C because of it's waist seam, it was perfect for inserting little pockets (I have got to have pockets and felt that inseam pockets would effect the drape of the dress).

I drafted a simple pocket pattern piece and inserted them into the waist seam, added a little fabric loop and buttons from my stash.  I also borrowed  the short sleeve pattern piece from New Look 6069, to add little (maybe overly) puff sleeves.  Becasue I was adding sleeves I didn't line the dress, but finished the neck with bias binding.  

I do feel like go off piste completely and making up a knit this space.  Until then, here is my original test version that got a lot of wear in Autumn and Spring (when the heating was working in my office).

My original pattern testing version
This is an easy to wear and easy to make dress, and these will definately not be my only versions.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Compagnie M Julia Sweater

So my Mellow Yellow Challenge was meant to be a gentle easy going, not challenging challenge.  However, as le Tour de France leaves Belgium today, I did give myself a rather short self imposed deadline of posting my Belgian inspired creation today.

Here it is, the Compagnie M. Julia Sweater.

I'm not often a tucked in sort of person, by due to my self imposed short deadline, I am not 100% happy with the bottom hem band, hence the tucking in.  I think the problem lies with my not very stretchy jersey, making the bottom band a bit tighter than it has to be.  It's not uncomfortable, but I'm just not sure of the look of it.

Here I am demonstrating the dolman sleeves (they are not Batwing, I lived through the trauma of Batwing in the '80s).  The dogs really did wonder what I was up to.

I don't know why I have this look on my face.  We were trying to get a better shot of the colour, it looks like a tomato red, but it's really a lovely burnt orange.  I am glad the weather had cooled down when we took these photos as this long sleeve version is definitely a more Winter top than Summer.  The bottom half of the sleeves and cuffs are close fitting, which will help to keep the drafts out in Winter.

I had intended to make the top two tone, but inadvertently didn't buy enough of the lighter orange fabric (I see another colour block Coco or Plantain in my future).  I did make the split front version, to help mitigate the lack of stretch in my jersey, a contract piping would have helped show off this design feature, maybe next time.

It's nice to find a new Indie Pattern maker to go to, I definately have my eye on the Lotta skirt, but a need another skirt pattern like a hole in the head - didn't I say that when I bought the Vanessa Pouzet Fatale Sister Skirt.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

It may be an excess of Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch, but the start of le Tour de France today, got me thinking.  I am a huge cycling fan, I have to admit I'm not quite as excited about this years tour as last years, but then they're not riding through my home town this year.  Having driven (not walked or ridden) up le Cote de Jenkin Road, I can tell you it is an absolute bugger.  Anyway that's beside the point, but it did get me thinking about how I could combine my love of sewing and cycling.  Last year I made a skirt specifically to go and watch le Tour de France come through Sheffield, but what to do this year?

It helps that I'm currently obsessed with the Onyx Top by Paprika Patterns from the Netherlands, where le Tour has it's Grande Depart this year.

I bought this fabric last week in the John Lewis sale, half price at £8 per metre and the pattern only takes one metre.  I cut a straight size 5, but lengthen it by about 3cm and the fit is perfect.  I cut the lower neckline and bound it with bias binding made from the same fabric.

Hagrid like it, even if he doesn't like the heat.  This is him post paddle, in the very sunny Meersbrook Park.

The Jeans I'm wearing are also of Dutch origin, as they are my Knipmode Jeans, which if you don't know is a Dutch sewing magazine.

But this is a challenge, not just one outfit for one day, what else can I do.  Well the race is in France, so I can sew my french (currently I own 3) patterns, that's fine.  But then I looked at the route of le Tour and it starts in the Netherlands, then goes through Belgium before getting to France.  Belgium, what can I do for Belgium???

Thank you Google.  After a little searching I found out that Compagnie M. is a Belgium Indie Sewing Pattern maker.  So the Julia Sweater is now in my inbox.  A long sleeve t-shirt is perfect for this atypical British weather we are having.

So I can make up a Indie pattern from all the countries visited by le Tour this year.  I have some other ideas percolating, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself, this is meant to be a fun challenge.  Which is why I'm calling it Mellow Yellow.  For those of you not familiar with le Tour de France the leader of the race wears a Yellow Jersey (or Yellow Jumper as Ned Boulting would call it).

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Do I look like I'm wearing a tablecloth?

The photos for this post are not the best.  My photo shoot (or as the dogs like to call it their walk) was curtailed when the dogs decided to do a runner, squirrels are more interesting that watching me have my picture taken apparently.

This is the Brumby Skirt by Megan Nielsen.  I need another skirt pattern like a hole in the head, but I succumbed to the pockets.  They are HUGE.

I made View 1, but cut the front on the fold rather than adding a seam and top stitching.  I also added some extra length, but I can't quite decide if I added too much.  However, as the fabric has an embroidered border, if I wanted to shorten it now it would mean taking off the waistband, removing the zip and re-doing the whole lot again.  I think I can live with the length. I've had this fabric for a couple of years, I got it from the bargain section at my local independent fabric shop Fine Fabrics, I think I paid about £1.50 for it.

I cut a size L and the fit is perfect.  The main pattern piece for this view is just a large rectangle, but the pattern does have a lovely curved waistband.  I have a number of skirts with straight waistbands and I don't wear because of gaping issues, but this waistband I love.  The pattern does feature an exposed zipper at the back, but I just put in a regular zip, just for ease (and because it was what I had to hand).

I've made this Summer skirt at just the right time, because the weather has just got stupid hot.  I can hear the rumble of thunder as I type this.  I definitely have plans to make this skirt again, probably a straight up View 1, but maybe lined to wear in the Winter.

Now tell me truthfully do I look like I'm wearing a tablecloth?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Does anybody else think Jean Jacket when they see a tablecloth, or is it just me?

We just had Netto open a branch down the road, so I went to have a look round on Friday, I do love my budget supermarkets.  And look what I found...

Sadly Netto have not started selling fabric, but they do sell table linens.  This is a denim weight cotton, 140cm wide by 220cm long, for the princely sum of £8.  I saw this and just thought Jean Jacket.  I have a denim jacket that I got from Gap many years ago, but it has a distinct lack of usable pockets, no where to put keys or poo bags (one of the many joys of dog parentage).  I think I will have enough fabric to make a skirt as well, but NOT to be worn together.

So what pattern to use?  I did make a Jean Jacket before in my late teens out of a green drill fabric with an Aztec accent fabric.  Fortunately I don't think there is any photographic evidence of this garment and it had been gifted to charity long ago.  But the pattern may still be somewhere in the house - but do I want to waste a week of my life searching for it only to find pieces missing (I have never been good at putting my pattern pieces back in the envelope).

Fortuitously Burda pattern are half price at the moment, so I have opted for Burda 7018, even though it is a Young pattern and I am definately not.

So as I have declared here, my sewing intentions, I had better well make this jacket and not just add to my fabric and pattern stash.

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