Friday, 3 February 2017

What I did on my Winter Holiday

Fluffrick and I (and the two dogs of course) have just spent the last week on the lovely Isle of Arran, at the Auchrannie resort.

The weather has not been this good all week, so I've got a lot of sewing done.  I am the crazy lady that takes her sewing machine on holiday with her.  This is not quite a crazy as it sounds, first of all we drive here and then we stay in a lovely self catering house, with lots of room for me to spread out my sewing stuff.

So I brought nine projects with me (maybe a little over the top) and I have managed to finish seven of them, not bad going.

So first of all I completed my second Grainline Moss Mini (I got this pattern in the Indie Pattern Swap last year in IPM on The Monthly Stitch).  I have no idea what the fabric it, it has been in my stash a long time, but I thought it was a good neutral colour that would go with lots of things (and it goes with my stripey tights).
I'm wearing it with my next make a Navy Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top.  This top is so quick to make and I don't even have an overlocker.


I took about 5cm of the length of the top and the sleeves, because I had only bought 75cm of fabric.  I bought the Gable Dress expansion pack last week, so I definitely see a Gable dress in my future.

Next is another Compagnie M Susanne Cardigan.  This is my forth time making this pattern (first time blogging about) and I just love it.  I also have it in a purple marl ponte, a teal boiled wool and a cycles jersey.  As with most Compagnie M patterns there are wonderful feature pockets.

I am really happy with this cardigan despite the look on my face!


Hagrid always seems to think two heads are better than one.



I did do a little unselfish sewing, I made a wallet for my goodie bag swap for the next Yorkshire Spoolettes meet-up - so no photo yet.  And I made another pair of Thread Theory Jedediah Pants for Fluffrick from a lovely soft corduroy.  Fluffrick says these are the most comfortable trousers he owns, this is the third pair I have made for him, a forth will be on the way soon.


And my final two makes are Blueprints for Sewing Saltbox Top and a third pair of Itch to Stitch Liana Jeans.  The Saltbox Top has been on my to make list for over a year now and I'm glad I finally got round to making it.  It's quite a loose fitting top, so I may go down a size next time.  The Liana Jeans are definitely my go to jeans pattern and I made this pair out of only 1m of fabric (the fabric was 1.6m wide).  These jeans aren't quite finish, they only have one back pocket at the moment.  These jeans were already half made before the holiday and when I was trying to get all my supplies together last Saturday morning I couldn't find the second rear pocket.  I'll put it on when we get back home, as it does look a little weird with only one pocket.



Home tomorrow, hopefully it won't be too wet a drive.  It would be nice if Arran wasn't a 55 minute ferry ride and five hour drive away from home, but it's worth the effort.



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

This is not a New Year's Resolution

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions; you are just setting yourself up to fail (me cynical, no).  Many a diary has been started on January 1st, only to be discarded before the month is out.  So this is in no way shape for form a New Year’s Resolution; but I do need to get control of my stash.  I sew therefore I stash.  It’s not so much my fabric stash that disturbs me (although it is considerable and has been slowly multiplying over 30 years), but my pattern stash, especially the PDF patterns.  Most are printed off, stuck together and cut to my size, that’s a lot of work for me then not to be using them.

For me most PDF sewing patterns (or the Big 4 printed patterns for that matter) are impulse buys.  See pretty thing, buy pretty thing, all too often do not make pretty thing.  Last November Sew Over It released the Heather Dress, a snugly ponte winter dress with all important integrated pockets and it was only £7.  However, for once I resisted the temptation, I thought those design lines look not dissimilar to the Muse Philippa Dress, I already have the pattern for the Muse Philippa Dress, I have had it for months and not made it up, I know I will make a snugly ponte Philippa winter dress.  Of course I had to buy new fabric to make it, but that’s a different story.  So here it is

Whatever am I saying?


It’s a little longer and a little looser fitting than the Heather dress, but really comfy and very snugly.  I used the Narrow sleeves from the Muse Sleeve Pattern pack, I self drafted a neck band (85% of the neck circumference), also I didn’t insert a zip, I can get it on and off without one.  I stabilised the pocket opening with some elastic, but it was maybe a little too bulky and in hindsight unnecessary, I don’t think the pockets will stretch out.  The only other change and the reason for the dress being looser fitting, is I cut the side back and centre back out together to eliminate the curved seam, which probably added a few centimetres of ease at the waist, I did contemplate removing the ease with a fisheye dart, bit I’m ok with it being on the loose side.

And it's loose enough to give Bonnie Hugs




So that’s one PDF pattern used and likely to be used again, many more to go.  Top of the list are two Blueprints for Sewing Patterns, the Saltbox Top and the A-Frame Skirt, the Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice and the Tahi Skirt by Muse Patterns.  Not to mention, The Jutland Pants by Thread Theory, the Jasper Top by Paprika Patterns and the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  That should keep my busy for a little while.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Age Appropriate Sewing

So today is the 29th anniversary of me passing my driving test, I passed when I was 17, so you can do the maths.  So what should someone of my advancing years, sew and wear - answer, what ever the hell they want.

I do have a fondness for novelty prints and as I'm not much of a dress wearer, skirts it is.

I made this skirt at the end of 2015 (I may be a little behind on my blogging) to wear to a screening of Star Wars - The Force Awakens.

Here is a close up of the fabric.

I used the ever trusty New Look 6106.  I can now make this skirt out of only 1 metre (or in this case 1 yard) of fabric and add a bit of fullness to the front, just by setting the front as far away from the fold as the fabric will allow.  I need to do the waist and pocket facings in a co-ordinating fabric, but as they are not seen, I don't have a problem with that.


 Next up is a wonderful Foxy skirt.  I have a love of orange, so was very happy to find a fabric to make another skirt to go with this cardigan.  I made it again using New Look 6106.


And last but not least another Cycle skirt (and two lovely doggies - note to self I must find some lovely doggy fabric).

Here is a close up.

This time I used Megan Nielsen's Brumby Skirt, slightly modified to fit into 1.25 metres of 115cm wide fabric.  I had to reduce the width of the skirt slightly and make the pockets a tad less vast, but it's still swooshy enough.

All the skirts are suitable for dog walking (very important) and suitable for work (I maybe work in a more laid back office than most) and entirely age appropriate I feel. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Seamstress Tag

So here are my answers to "The Seamstress Tag" as initiated by Hollie of Hollie Sews.  I know I’m a little late to the game, but I thought I’d join in as my answers may be a little different and I like being different.

1 Who are you?
Katrina, I’m 46 and live in lovely green Sheffield, with my husband Fluffrick our two rescue dogs Hagrid and Bonnie and my Mum.


2 When and why did you start sewing?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t sew.  I know I already knew my way around a sewing machine when I started sewing lesson at Secondary school when I was 12.  My Mum used to sew clothes (often Clothkits) for me and my brother when we were little, so there was always sewing in our house.  I then took an ‘O’ level in Sewing (I’m that old I did ‘O’ levels not GCSE’s), but I kept on sewing as a teenager and into my twenties to save money.  Comparatively clothes were not that cheap in the late Eighties, early Nineties, so I could make clothes much more cheaply than buying RTW.

3 What is your favourite or proudest make?
My proudest make if definitely my Wedding dress, I made it using Vintage Vogue V2401 in Scarlet Dupion Silk.
My favourite make is probably my ‘Star Wars’ skirt, I mean who wouldn’t want to wear a skirt with a Wookie on it.

4 What is you most disastrous make?
I can’t really think of any truly disastrous makes.  I tried to make my brother a suit for his eighteenth birthday, grey trousers and a tweedy jacket and my first time every using a Vogue pattern.  He had already worn out the trousers by the time I got around the finishing the jacket, sometime around his twenty first birthday.  I don’t know if he ever really wore the jacket.  I do have about 20 items in my wardrobe that I have made that just need a tweak to make them more wearable, but I wouldn’t call any of them disastrous.

5 What is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?
I try my hardest not to go fabric shopping.  When you have been sewing for over 30 years you accumulate a lot of stuff - Fabric, more fabric, even more fabric, zips, buttons, thread, patterns, pattern magazines, sewing books.  I do like John Lewis, but these days only buy fabric in the sale and there is Fine Fabrics in Hillsborough that is good for a rummage.  Where possible I like to re-purpose fabric from existing RTW garments, so charity shops are great for that. I do love Fabworks in Dewsbury, I just really glas it is in Dewsbury and not just round the corner.

6 What is your most used pattern?
That would probably be Paprika Patterns Onyx Top I have made at least 12 different iterations (as seen in OWOP 2016).  I have also used New Look 6106 many, many times (as seen in OWOP 2014) and I have 8 different versions of the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress and Top.  When I find a pattern I like I tend to make it over and over again.


7 What is your most dreaded sewing task?
Pressing; because I hate ironing, which is why I choose to make the vast majority of my clothes in natural fibres, I must be a masochist.

8 And your favourite sewing task?
My favourite sewing task is related to my biggest sewing bug bear, which are ridiculous pattern layouts and excessive fabric requirements.  I love playing a life sized game of Tetris to try and fit the pattern pieces onto the smallest amount of fabric, whilst maintaining grainline or choosing to place pattern pieces on the cross grain, or occasionally on the bias.  I am also not averse to adding a centre back seams in order to reduce the fabric requirement.  A simple pencil skirt should never need more than 1m of 150cm wide fabric!



9 What is your favourite sewing entertainment?
Cycling.  Road races, Track Cycling, Grand tours, one day classics, I love to watch cycling, but a race can last over six hours, so there is a lot of time to sew and if something exciting happens there is always an action replay.  Tonight I will be watching the second day of Six Days of London, whilst finish my Melissa Dress and possibly starting a Brumby skirt.  I also love a good box set and feel the need to watch all seven seasons of "Gilmore Girls" before the new episodes arrive on Netflix on November 25th.

10 Printed or PDF?
PDF, for Indie patterns PDFs as they are cheaper than printed patterns.  Also when I forget to put pattern pieces back in their envelope and loose them, I can always print them out again.

11 What sewing machine do you use?
John Lewis JL300C, it does everything I need, in 35 years of sewing I have not been able to justify getting an overlocker.

12 Do you have any other hobbies?
I enjoy knitting, but I’m very slow at it.  I have tried crochet, but me and don’t get on.  I enjoy cooking and find new and wonderful vegetarian recipes to inflict on the Mum and husband.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

One Week One Pattern - Onyx Shirt

I took part in OWOP 2014 hosted by the lovely Handmade Jane and foolishly chose the skirt New Look 6106, I had a bit of a chilly week.  So when I read that Hannah of Cinderellis Sews was hosting this year I decided to select and easily layer-able pattern.  I chose the Paprika Patterns Onyx Shirt, it was an easy choice as I have 11 different versions of it already and plan on having more. 

Saturday 10th
Although Onyx is designed for woven's this is my sweatshirt version and a warning to check the scale of a print before buying fabric online.
Sunday 11th
This is my very first version of the Onyx Shirt, that I made from recycling a man's shirt. However, it was my least worn, as it was a little tight and looked like scrubs.  OWOP made me try and resolve these issues, so I added a bit of width to the back and made the cuffs in a contract colour.  I will now wear it a lot.


Monday 12th
I love this red version, it's a lovely quality cotton (I also have it in a blue colour ways) and is definitely a dressier iteration.  This may not be the best picture, but it had added Bonnie in it.

Tuesday 13th
The weather decided to be changeable today, so the leggings out and my check tunic version went on (I always worry that this looks like an Australian school uniform and I am no schoolgirl).


Wednesday 14th
Better weather today, so the top that looks like I made it from a tablecloth came out.  In person the green cardigan didn't look out of place as there is a green check next to the red check, the photo just doesn't pick it up very well.  This photo with added Hagrid.

Thursday 15th
My subtle stripe dress version today.  I liked the split hem on the Inari Tee, so I copied it. What you can't see are my matching purple Vans.

Friday 16th - Day
This is a t-shirt version of the Onyx and it's only really the cuffs that don't like the softer stretchier fabric.  I'm wearing it here with my Grainline Moss Mini, and a surprisingly still Bonnie and I didn't even have any biscuits.

Friday 16th - Evening
A colour-blocked dress version, inspired by the Christine Haynes Lottie dress.  This was made with fabric that has been sitting in my stash for well over a year and I'm really happy how the dress came out, especially the hidden pockets.

One week, eight different looks, one very versatile pattern 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Noa - all grown up


I didn't think I would be able to post anything during Hack It week on the Monthly Stitch, hacking patterns is not something I generally do.  I might add the odd pocket or turn a top into a dress, but nothing really big.

Then Marte at Compangie M. released the Noa Pant pattern for kids for 1-10 years and I just loved the pocket detail and I really wanted a pair.

So how do you change a kids pattern into an adult pattern.  A printer, a photocopier and a lot of sticky tape.  I also used an existing pattern that I knew fitted to compare and contrast.  I enlarged the pocket and top half of the trouser pattern by 120% and extended the crotch at the front and the back.  

I then did something I never do, made a muslin and it's a good job I did because I needed to add a 3cm insert if I wanted to get the trousers over my hips.  

Here's the pocket details I love so much.



I think I may need to move the button down a little.  The dark blue is a lovely bamboo cotton mix and the light blue is linen (I hope they wash well together), both crease like it is going out of fashion.  I did think about changing they from elasticated to a fitted waistband, but that was just going to be too complicated in the timescale given.  And finally a sympathy shot, Hagrid got an ouchie last week chasing after Bonnie, who was chasing after a squirrel.

.



Tuesday, 14 June 2016

How many tops, it too many?




My love of the Paprika Patterns Onyx Top continues, these two version are actually the ninth and tenth time I have made this pattern (those ten versions weren’t all for me, one was for my Mum), it is my go to pattern for a woven top.

Let me gush talk about the pattern first, it’s only available as a pdf, but I’m one of those strange people who actually finds cutting and taping pdf patterns together therapeutic.  For me the added bonus of a pdf pattern is I can print it out again if I misplace my pattern (between cutting out the top version on Friday and the dress version on Monday I had misplaced the pattern and had to print it out again).  The pdf is layered so you only have to print out the size you want and the size range is generous from an 80cm to 124cm bust.  And the largest size only used 15 sheets of paper, with the instructions only using 7 sheets.  Lisa’s instructions are clear and concise, with additional tutorials on the website, if needed.


For both versions I made a size 6 at the shoulders and bust, grading down to a size 5 at the hips.  In previous versions I have lengthened the bodice by 5cm (I have a strangely long back), but for the blue version I left it at the original length because I had only bought 1 metre of fabric, 112cm wide.  Anyway let me tell you about the fabric, it’s from Faberwood, who I found through the Paprika Pattern website, but who are actually based here in Sheffield about ten minutes from where I live.  I emailed the lovely Fiona who runs Faberwood and asked if I could collect my order rather than have it posted, she said yes, and I got to meet her and chat about sewing and fabric, whilst my patient husband and not so patient dog waited in the car.  It is a dangerous thing having such lovely fabric right on my doorstep.  Check them out, but bear in mind Fiona is an enabler, she included swatches of all their lovely fabrics with my order.  The fabric I choose was a blue Indian block print that is kind of the soft lightweight cotton I have been looking for for ages.  It has a border print, but only on one edge, which I tried to use to its best advantage.  I would have loved to feature it on the front hem, but as the hem on the Onyx top if slightly curved, I don’t think it would have looked right.  I could say the pattern on the cuffs going in the opposite direction was a design feature, but that was the only way I could fit all the pattern pieces in 1 metre of fabric.




On to the dress, this fabric doesn’t have an interesting back story; it was from The Textile Centre on ebay and is a lovely viscose.  All I did to change to top into a dress was extend the pattern by approximately 35cm, I just eyeballed it when I was cutting it out.  I liked the idea of the split hem as seen on the Named Clothing Inari Tee Dress, which was very easy to do, especially with the broad stripe to follow on the fabric.  I just have to say how happy I am with the stripes matching on the side seams.

So those are my two makes, which will hopefully get a lot of wear this summer, it the rain ever goes away and the sun comes back. 
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