Monday, 14 April 2014

Playing Hooky


Having a relaxing break in a beautiful part of Cornwall by the sea.
Back soon. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Spring is springing.

6.4.14 006
 
These two pots of tulips are brightening up the back door.


 
The first pink magnolia flower is opening.



 
The Magnolia Stellata is in full flower.
 

Narcissi
 
The daffs and narcissi are all out. 

WIP
 
And there is a bit of sewing going on but it rained all weekend so no pictures yet.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The four tops..


 
Ok so here goes....my top making journey so far. 
 

 
Spurred on by The Sewing Bee like lots of us it seems,
 and having mastered the basic A line skirts that I make for work,
I decided that I would have a go at a shirt.
Many weeks and four shirts later I have one that I think I might wear!
 
I will try and take you through my shirt journey and would also be very interested to hear if anyone has a favourite shirt pattern they use too.
 
Attempt number one...
 



This was a trial at copying a tunic styled top that I have had for years and using some old fabric that I had in the cupboard.
I basically cut around the original top but I didn't get the shoulders and arm holes right at all, so decided to head back to a pattern..

Attempt number two...
 


 
This was made using a Burda pattern 7198 and the fabric was some linen/cotton mix that was left over from a Washi dress.
 
Unfortunately the material was a bit thick for this pattern.
So then I tried removing the godet pieces
(the little extra side venty bits at the bottom of each side seam!)
but then the shirt was too tight around the hips and at this point ended up in the bin!!
 
Attempt number three..


 
This was a man's shirt revamp.
I used New Look pattern 6104 but kept the front fastening from the original shirt.
 

 
 
It was looking fairly promising until I tried it on,
and realised that I hadn't made an allowance for the different width of the front band.
This meant that it was about an inch too tight
and made breathing difficult without popping the buttons off!



 
To give you some idea.. but breathing in - a lot.
 
And finally, attempt number four..


 
I used the same pattern, New Look 6104, view A but without the ruffle.


 
It was fairly straight forward and the instructions were good.


 
I'm a size 12 and made the pattern size 12 and it fits well with room to breath this time.
 
Happy sewing.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Brown Paper Packages..



This lovely little package arrived in the post last week.
 
I have been experimenting with shirts recently
and as yet haven't got anything successful to show you.  
When I have, I will show you some of the failures too!
 
One of my main problems seems to be picking the wrong fabric so I sent off for these samples for some inspiration.
 




They come from the Organic Textile Company
 (and no, I'm not sponsored in any way, this is just my own opinion)
 and I ordered 3 sample packs:
 
1.Fair trade and organic coloured, patterned and plain
2. Speakeasy 
3. Artists Valley.
 
Here are some of my favourites..




 
Ann's Flowers - black on green


 
Blue Gingham small check (stones to stop them blowing away!)


 
Rosefinch and Heather- bamboo and cotton mix


 
Gabrielle's collection - Bikes on white, natural..


 
and red cotton (maybe not for a shirt but so cute!).

The scrappy triangles are still expanding..
 

 
 And on the flower front, this blue beauty is giving off the most amazing scent..
 

   
And finally, I have been attempting gluten free blueberry muffins (below right).. 
 

 
and they were actually edible.
Not quite as tasty as the ones with gluten but not bad.
Evidenced by the fact that they are all gone!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Grey skies and bright flags


 
There are grey skies outside here today,
 but sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to stay inside and sew,
not that I really need an excuse!
 
I've been experimenting with a shirt but more of that later.
The current version has ended up in the recycling pile but I am determined not to give up.
 
And I have also been completing a few more flags...  
 
 

 
Even on a grey day they are bright and cheerful
and the tutorial by Ashley can be found here if you fancy a go.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Shirt deconstruction

As any of you who have been reading the blog a while will know, I like to use recycled shirts in my sewing.
I use them both for lining and quilting and you can see some of them here, here, here, and here.

I am lucky enough to have a good supply from my husband and brothers as well as various other kind donators to the cause,
 and they have been stacking up recently in an unruly heap in the corner of my sewing space.
So this weekend I sat and did some deconstruction.
I cut off the collars, cuffs and yoke and then cut down the side seams and shoulder seams so that I am left with a square from the back, two front panels and two sleeves.
These can them be folded and stacked...


 
 
The possibilities are endless and I love that they are recycled.
 
Every so often I wonder if it would be possible to put recycle bins (like those for bottles) in some of the city firms where hundreds of shirts must be thrown away by employees on a regular basis.
 

 
I have a plan for the cut off scraps as well as other bits of fabric waste which I am planning to share when I get around to it.
 

 
And these little beauties will be going in the button box.
They are from the cuffs and collars because I leave the shirt fronts with button on until I know whether they are destined to be a cushion back,
in which case the buttons are perfect for the fastening.
 


There are seven sails now and I will hopefully be doing some more this week.
 
The shirts have made me wonder if I could do some sort of 'sails on the ocean' along the same lines as the 'leaves in the breeze' I did with shirts some time ago.
I've got plenty of blue shirts!

I've got so many ideas in my head at the moment and not enough time to do them all.



 
 
I did make time for a bit of this today though.
Not all of them, just a few.
Leeks, toms, sweet peas and broad beans.
 
Have a good weekend.
x
 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Three Sails so far...


 
I am having fun with these little things at the moment.
They are scrappy triangles made using the tutorial by Ashley
over at Film in the Fridge which can be found here.
 
I absolutely love her Nautical Quilt so I thought that I would have a go.
They come together pretty quickly and are a brilliant way to use up scraps. 
 
 

 
 
Also found these yummy bits of fabric while shopping at the weekend.
They are by a designer called Beth Studley and they are new to me.
I really like the patterns and am pondering what to make with them.
 
 

 
And finally, Wild Flower pin cushion number 3,
I just can't stop making them! 
 


 This one has a linen/cotton base and to be honest
 was a bit trickier to assemble than the cotton ones.
 


 
It goes well with the cyclamen
 which is lucky as they are about all that's out at the moment,
apart from the snow drops of course.