Saturday, 26 February 2011

Further blogging around

I'm aware that I have been blogging a lot this week, I hope you are not sick of all my ramblings. Incase you are not, I have been rambling on in a couple of other places this week.

Firstly I wrote a review of the lovely Proper Attire Skirt pattern for Sew Hip this month. Look - they actually published it. I felt a strange combination of fear and pride when my copy arrived, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I made the skirt using Innocent Crush velveteen (really sorry but still no word on when I will be able to stock it) it's lovely stuff but I won't go on about it.

I tried really hard on this skirt. It is a beautiful pattern and I was using equally beautiful fabric to make it. But part way through this pattern I have managed to incorporate a number of interesting adaptations (read: careless mistakes) that I realised really quite late on. AND I was trying so hard to concentrate. At one point when I was trying to figure out how to put the pockets in the kids appeared and started to swarm around me giving the illusion of many more kids than I actually have. I just put my sewing down and admitted that it just wasn't going to happen.

Right towards the end (and I made a toile the same too) I realised that I had sewn the front pleat the wrong way round, it was meant to be inverted. I quite like the way it looks but it annoyed me that I had managed to get it totally wrong. 

I think I also made a size too big and spent a while taking bits of the side seams, it was worth it though for a great fit.

It's a really versatile skirt, just above the knee, but has a lengthen line, if like me, you don't want your knobbly knees on show in the summer. It has pockets, perfect for storing tissues, shells and children's hair bands. This is what I usually have in my pockets.

The second place you can find me this week is on my latest blog post for Boden. I recommend that you read this, not because I think I am terribly interesting, but to enjoy the frank honesty of some of the comments, one of which made me laugh out loud late yestersday, see if you can spot it. It appears that outside the cozy world of my blog where everyone is lovely and kind, different rules apply.

 Boden denim bunting photo from no more disco

I was asked to write something on the theme of recycling and having just made some bunting at home and thinking about the cool bunting that Amy and I saw at the Boden preview made of old jeans, well I wrote about bunting.

I asked Boden to send me some scraps of fabric to make it with and was very excited when a Boden bag arrived with all sorts of different bits of half garments, I particularly liked the mustard apple print.

Together with my recent bunting making for this blog I know have loads of the stuff and am considering starting a party decoration service. I'll let you know when I am taking bookings.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Join the Japanese pattern book sew along!

As promised, I will be hosting a Japanese pattern book sew along shortly. The idea is to give a bit more help to those of you that are new to sewing from these books and hopefully create a brilliant resource to come back to in the future. I really hope that any of my more experienced followers can chip in with help and advice as we go along.

I am trying to be organised after seeing a few comments about the pace of other sew alongs, and get ahead of myself. The first thing I need to do it choose a pattern, so it's time to vote!

Should I make ...

time to party?

This lovely 'party blouse' for myself from the popular Feminine Wardrobe or ...

I would even make a massive matching bow

One of these cute dresses for the little'un from the very funny Children's Style Book.

You can vote using the gadget on the right and votes will close on Monday 21st 9pm GMT.

It won't be quite the same as a traditional sew along, as we may not all be making the same thing but I am hoping that I will cover the essentials in enough detail that you can figure out your own pattern. Or ask questions that hopefully I, or other sew-alongers can help with.

I have made some badges incase you would like to show your love and/or support for the sew along on your blog. There are 3 colours to chose from. If you use Blogger, all you need to do is choose one, right click and save it, go to the design tab, page elements, add a gadget, choose add picture, upload your chosen badge, and as a link, I'd suggest using... book sew along

Phew, got it? Any problems do let me know. I may or may not be able to help. I am certain there are people cleverer than me reading this blog who can if I can't.

I am roughly thinking of starting at the beginning of March, with perhaps a weekly post. Any suggestions, requests, jokes or, favourite colours, do let me know.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Breaking news: quilting is fun

I made an unexpected discovery these last few weeks. Quilting is fun. And I think it may just catch on, pretty soon you will all be blogging about this new quilting craze. You already are? fair enough, I suppose it has been around for centuries after all.

I have been making my first few tentative steps into quilt making starting with the gathering flowers pattern that I mentioned a while back after I was inspired by this picture.

Image from

So far I have just been cutting out the pieces and deciding which fabrics to use. The block in the pattern uses 2 sets of colours but looking at the one that Anna Maria Horner made, she used all sorts of different colours. And I like that less structured approach, also it means I get to choose a lot more combinations which is F.U.N.

So instead of 2 sets, I am using 4. Reading the post about this particular quilt, Anna Maria said that she had used a dark, medium and light tone fabric in each section and wished that she had switched the lightest to the petal rather than the centre. So I thought I would give that a go. Because really, I haven't got a clue what I am doing. I have almost entirely used Innocent Crush fabrics but also used a couple of precious Little Folks dobby voiles that have been sat in my stash waiting for something really special to come along.

The joy of discovering fabric that coordinates with my nails  

I have also encountered the term 'fussy cutting' for the first time. It sounds like the way my kids like to have their sandwiches served, but is actually about using the pattern on the fabric and deciding where to cut your shape based on this. I love doing this and it's something I have always done in smaller craft projects. Now I have a special term to describe it.

I kept the sections of the flower half from the charmed palette and half from the swept away palette. And then got cutting, old school style with scissors.

It's been a hectic few weeks around my place but I have found myself itching to get back to it and I suspect this will only grow as I begin sewing it all together. I'm only making the cot sized version as it is a good size and gives me a better chance of actually finishing the project.

So here is block 1 of 8. It's not perfect, and being a perfectionist it did annoy me a little that that it didn't all line up perfectly. But it's close enough. The next block I shall cut really carefully, especially the voile which seemed the most determined to cause me problems. I love the variation in texture it brings though, so I shall forgive it.