Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christmas Stockings

This time using a cute cat print fleece and co-ordinating plain fleece.
They are fun.
Have also made more hats but not much else.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Amazing new scissors on Kickstarter

Someone shared a link to these amazing new scizzors on Kickstarter, they look incredible, after reading and watching I'm deciding which offer to go for.

I am not affiliated with this company at all, however they are not far from me as they are in Sheffield which definitely got me interested.


Now which ones to pick - gold with my name engraved?

Monday, 6 November 2017

Fleece hats

These are intended for the charity craft stall and maybe Christmas presents for friends/family.
I really enjoyed making them.
I am part way making some aubergine (eggplant) trousers which is taking multiple sessions, so these little quick items have been a real joy.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Claret Cardigan

Claret Cardigan using my old favourite New Look 6082 with a purchased belt (looks crisper than the tie belts I find).

Trousers from Burda 02-2010 #135 are in progress and will be shared later in the week :-)

The fabric is a fairly hefty knit, perhaps cotton interlock, its not a ponte. It's perhaps not the right fabric for this garment so we'll see how it works in wear.

Burgundy Print Top

This time a textured print with burgundy, pink, purple and darker brown tones in it.
Same pattern as before traced off my RTW sweater.

I like that it is a print of stylised butterfly wings (but not obviously cute butterflies).

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Possible Sewing With A Plan Storyboard

Here's my (initial) plan. we'll have to see how closely I can stick to it!

First column is the brown pieces
Brown cardigan jacket
Brown tee/top
Brown trousers

Second column is the teal pieces
Teal cardigan jacket
Teal tee/top
Teal trousers

The centre column is the tweed cardigan jacket, and something else from the scraps, a skirt if it works out but maybe a bag or waistcoat if it doesn't!

The fourth column is burgundy
a burgundy top which I already made
and a burgundy cardigan which I'll probably make next as the machines are all threaded so it sort of makes sense to!

The fifth column currently only contains one turquoise top, which adds the second accent colour.

As much as possible the plan is to make all the things from the existing fabric resources (of which there are plenty) but there may well be a few extra pieces too :-)

Possible SWAP timeframe

SWAP project timeframe:

Sewing begins on 26 December 2017 and ends 30 April 2018
One garment may be started on 1 November 2017 and completed prior to 26 December 2017
One garment may be completed prior to 1 November 2017
One RTW garment may be included

Here's how I could break it down:-

Oct 2017 - already completed burgundy top which can be included as the previously made item
Nov/Dec 2017- sew the burgundy cardigan, and a test pair of Burda Feb 2010 Plus Section #135 B trousers (probably also in burgundy why not!)
Jan 2018 sew the teal items - trousers, top and cardigan
Feb 2018 sew the brown items - trousers, top and cardigan
Mar 2018 sew tweed items - tweed cardigan jacket and poss skirt (fabric permitting) or alternative bottom piece.
Apr 2018 sew the turquoise top and an accessory, and any extras needed due to 'wadders'
May 2018 finalise photos and share

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Trousers for SWAP

These are from Burda Feb 2010 Plus Section #135 B.
They make them from trouser fabrics with a bit of stretch, so I  might size up slightly and make a test pair in non stretch woven fabric to see if that matters or not. I'll do the version without the buttons and turnups.

If you haven't got a Burda mag from 2010 and want to make them, they are up on Burda style for purchase for £3.99.

For SWAP I plan to make these in brown and teal.

According to the Burda size chart I need size 48 trousers, I thought the 42 were only slightly too small and it should be something more like 44 or maybe 46 but hey!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Early SWAP thoughts

I really like the fabrics I chose last year but never sewed up, so my thoughts are:-

Adapt what I planned last year to a simple plan for this using many of the same colours and fabrics (drop the black as I dislike it).

Have 3 main styles - trousers with slant pockets, a cardigan jacket and knit tops - which are sewn multiple times.

So it could look something like

Choose two neutral colours

I could choose Brown and Teal

Make at least three garments from each neutral colour

1              Brown trousers

2              Brown top

3              Brown cardigan

4              Teal trousers

5              Teal top

6              Teal cardigan

two accent colors and one print , make at least one garment from each print – woven jacket

I could choose Burgundy and Turquoise

7              Woven jacket of Burgundy and Turquoise (uses great tweedy fabric)

8              Burgundy top

9              Turquoise Top

10           Other choices from this colourway

11           Other choices from this colourway

The last two items could be free rein in my four colours and one 'print' (actually a textured tweed) depending on what else I want at that stage, could be brown skirt and teal skirt to make two core 4s, it could be a teal dress, or another brown top or a skirt in the tweed if there was enough left over.

Planning wise.  

I just finished a burgundy top which could go in at number 8. I don't want Burgundy as a neutral as I already have loads of burgundy pieces, so I'm treating it as an accent here.

The tweed cardigan jacket is going to be my print/multiple colours item, so I fancy making that between now and December 26th.

I don't want to use a purchased piece if I can avoid it, but I'll reserve the option!

I need to make a trouser pattern fit me well. So I can spend some time on test garments before sewing starts. I know exactly the style I want to make so that should be just fitting work. Once it fits I plan on sewing a brown one and a teal one (and maybe more but let's not get too excited).

I plan mostly simple knit tops and knit cardigan jackets. I'll sew by colour as I like to work like that.

I will share as I go.

SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) rules announced on Stitchers Guild Reloaded

The SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) ruls for next year on SG have been announced:-

From Mudcat the SWAP Co-ordinator this year
2018 Seasonal Designer Collection SWAP Rules

You are the Designer. Create a cohesive seasonal collection of eleven garments of your choice.

Consider designer collections like Eileen Fisher, Karen Kane, Kaliyana, Bryn Walker,  Eskandar, etc  and how they work with a few neutrals, add an accent color or two and some prints.  Multiple styles of pants, tops, jacket/cardigan, dresses, accessories, etc are made from the limited color/print palette. New seasons bring new items that work with some of the garments from prior seasons. Your goal is to create a collection that looks like it belongs together and that you can easily add new pieces to in the future.

This plan will work quite well with 3 pack or 4 core concepts but provides more flexibility. If you primarily make separates you could plan out your outfits using the Sudoku grid by including extra accessories and/or shoes to fill the gaps.  If you prefer mostly dresses or pinafores you’ll need some pieces to layer them with even if you are able to wear the garment as a stand alone.

Choose two neutral colors
Add one accent color and two prints OR two accent colors and one print
Make at least three garments from each neutral color
Make at least one garment from each accent color
Make at least one garment from each print
Create multiple outfits of at least two garments that work for your personal style
Each garment must work with a minimum of two outfits

Optional Accessory: add one self-made accessory as a signature piece that works with at least two of  your outfits

Sewing begins on 26 December 2017 and ends 30 April 2018
One garment may be started on 1 November 2017 and completed prior to 26 December 2017
One garment may be completed prior to 1 November 2017
One RTW garment may be included
Garments knitted, crocheted or woven by you may be included (limit of two since we are a sewing site)
Garments such as poncho, cape or wrap must include at least two pattern pieces, be one of your knitted, crocheted or woven items or have stitch work done by you to be considered a garment (otherwise it’s an accessory)
Neutrals do not need to be the same fabric, however, they do need to work together  **

I will award a $25 gift certificate to EOS or another online fabric store to the winner

Guidelines (not required but recommended)
Use TNT patterns as much as possible
Limit the number of patterns used since Designer Collections include the same garments made in different colors/prints
Consider using some textured neutrals to add more interest especially if you are a print person
Consider including one trend item based on your chosen season


garment: an article of clothing: pants/trousers, skirt, dress, pinafore, cardigan, camisole, tunic, leggings, jacket, shorts, poncho, vest, cape, etc
accessory: an object that is not essential in itself but adds to the beauty, convenience or effectiveness of something else: scarf, jewelry, footwear, wrap, bag, belt, etc
print: a non-solid color such as geometric, novelty, floral, plaid, check, stripes, multi-colored hand dyed/batik, multi-colored brocade, polka dots, etc
neutral color: typically black, gray, navy, brown, cream/white/oatmeal but you are the designer so it’s your choice (denim blue, plum, teal, etc)
accent color:  a color that pops but still works with your neutrals such as golden yellow, safety orange, bright red, lime green, etc
stitch work: for the purpose of SWAP this means beading, adding trim, hand embroidery and/or Alabama Chanin type techniques

** Regarding neutrals:
Using 2-3 different fabrics in the same neutral color is fine however they do need to be roughly the same shade and work together.  While this is easy to do with typical neutrals such as black, navy or white it may be more difficult with other colors so plan carefully.

Fall 2017/Winter 2018 Trends

checks, neutral plaids
florals/garden prints
silver/metallic, sparkles/glitter
red, gold
americana: folklore, patchwork
trench with a twist
feathers or fringe
black leather
polka dots

Spring 2018 Trends
yellow, lavender, orange
bold graphic prints
geometric cutouts
more denim
tassels, sequins
sheer fabric
matching or coordinating fanny pack/bum bag

I suggest photographing outfits as items are completed.  Judging/photo rules will be the posted at a later date but they will be similar to what has been done in the past.  Muslins, pattern fitting, cutting, interfacing, and other preparatory work may begin right away. As usual, individual threads are optional but all comments should go to the main thread.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Burgundy cotton tee

Same pattern as before but in a cotton t shirt fabric with not much stretch so feels different again.
This was originally orange but overdyed with cerise pink became this lovely even burgundy colour. I really love it.
Here's all three tops together.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Jersey knit top

Traced off a drop shouldered scoop neck sweater.
A nice print, should be good for work
And I didn't have to change the thread colour from the last top!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Christmas stockings for charity event

A colleague and I are hoping to do a charity event in mid to late November and so I wanted to sew some Christmas stockings for sale.
Here they are, quite simple, with contrast cuff (and two with linings, which I prefer). They are about 15" tall and 10" across the foot. I didn't have any more of the dark burgundy fabric.
I'm hoping to do several other colour ways fabric permitting, doing a few every week until the event.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Voilà and muslin or toile

I see these two mistakes quite a bit on blogs, posts on sewing sites etc, so thought I would set them straight as they make me pull a little face every time I see them.
The first is the many misspellings of voilà. As variously Vwa-lah, Wa-lah, Wa-la, Wal-lah

This word is from the French From vois (see!, look!), second-person singular imperative of voir (to see, to look) and (there), literally meaning "look there!".
It is used to call attention to or express satisfaction with something that is presented or something that has been accomplished: 

Choose the pattern and fabric, sew up the project, and—voilà!—a lovely new garment to wear.

Completely appropriate for presenting a new sewing project on your blog but it would be lovely to see the french spelling!
When sewing clothing, a dressmaker may test the fit of a garment, using an inexpensive muslin fabric before cutting pieces from expensive fabric, thereby avoiding potential costly mistakes. This garment is often called a "muslin," and the process is called "making a muslin." In this context, "muslin" has become the generic term for a test or fitting garment, regardless of what it is made from.

Please do not use muslim which is an alternative spelling of moslem and means a person who is a follower and believer of Islam. 

Back to the fabric used for checking the fit of a new style - but which additionally confusingly means different things in the UK and the US.
In the UK, Australia and New Zealand:
  • Calico – simple, cheap equal weft and warp plain weave fabric in white, cream or unbleached cotton.
  • Muslin – a very fine, light plain weave cotton fabric.
  • Muslin gauze – muslin.
  • Gauze – extremely soft and fine cotton fabric with a very open plain weave.
  • Cheesecloth – gauze.
In the US:
  • Calico – cotton fabric with a small, all-over floral print
  • Muslin – simple, cheap equal weft and warp plain weave fabric in white, cream or unbleached cotton and/or a very fine, light plain weave cotton fabric.
  • Muslin gauze – the very lightest, most open weave of muslin.
  • Gauze – any very light fabric, generally with a plain weave
  • Cheesecloth – extremely soft and fine cotton fabric with a very open plain weave.
Printed calico was imported into the United States from Lancashire in the 1780s, and here a linguistic separation occurred, while Europe maintained the word calico for the fabric, in the States it was used to refer to the printed design.

In the UK in sewing classes I have heard more the word toile used for a test garment rather than muslin which I've read more online.

In Australian and British terminology, a "toile" is a version of a garment made by a fashion designer or dressmaker to test a pattern. They are usually made in cheap material, as multiple toiles may be made in the process of perfecting a design. Toiles are sometimes referred to as "muslins" in the United States, named for the cheap, unbleached cotton fabric available in different weights.

Toile is a fabric, from the French word meaning "linen cloth" or "canvas". The word "toile" can refer to the fabric itself, a test garment (generally) sewn from the same material, or a type of repeated surface decoration (traditionally) printed on the same fabric. The term entered the English language around the 12th century.

So there you have it, and I promise I will be back to sharing projects I've sewn in my next post!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Burgundy Sweater Knit Top

I traced a pattern from a favourite purchased jumper (sweater), then lengthened the sleeves slightly and added a neckband and cut from a remnant of sweater knit fabric bought from the Monday Market Man for £1.00!
I still need to decide on the hem treatment but I like the shaped hem a lot.
Probably not going to get back into the sewing room until Tuesday evening, so thought I would share it now.
I cleared off the table around the coverhem machine, bought some more burgundy thread, measured and pinned a 1/2" hem on the sleeves and bottom of the top and hemmed it on the machine. Photos another day.
I will now want to sew lots of things which use all that lovely burgundy thread.