Friday 26 October 2018

Another Barcelona Skirt

Lying in bed one night, I had a thought that I needed a longish flowing chambray type skirt.  I could picture myself wafting around a farmers market in it, with the classic white shirt and wedge type shoes. Preferable in France or somewhere exotic.

So over the long weekend just gone, I made myself a skirt.  Using the Barcelona skirt pattern from Amy Butler Designs, I made the A-line version, and I lengthened the pattern by 2".   I have previously made this  pattern, but was never happy with how the skirt fell, which was probably due to using quilting fabric rather than a fabric intended for garments.  This version I made out of a chambray coloured tencel, which I found at Spotlight.  Added bonus it was also 40% off dressmaking fabrics too.  I had hoped that my lovely dressmaker neighbour would have an invisible zipper foot I could borrow, however she just uses a normal zipper foot, which is what I ended up doing too. So while it's not quite perfect, it definitely worked.

Because I didn't want to lose too much length when I hemmed it or make the hem to heavy with double folding it, I used the bias binding method to hem it.  I am really happy with how this turned out. Currently I feel that hemming has made it lose it's gentle flowiness (is that a word). but I think with a little wear and probably a couple ofwashes, the fabric will soften and have a nicer drape.

I'm thinking that it will be an easy piece to wear in summer. I love how it feels, tencel is such a soft fabric. Overall I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out, any issues are more to do with fit in certain places on me rather than the pattern.

**Photos by Mr J**

Thursday 11 October 2018

Sewing Small & Scrappy

Lately I've been working on some small pick up and put down pieces.

  • Now that it's nearing Christmas, it's time for my sister and I to make our latest decorations from mmmcrafts, 12 Days of Christmas series.  We have been doing this for the last three years, and make one of each for ourselves and each other. I'm doing the odd numbers and my sister does the even numbers.  This means I get  miniature people to make this round -  drummers drumming and ladies dancing.  They're a little fiddly, and face painting is definitely not my forte, but the finished result is pretty cool.
  • I've also been making 1" hexis.  My sister and I have sent each other lots of 2.5" scraps of fabrics we have used throughout the years on our own quilts.  I keep a pile of fabrics and templates at work, which I make in my lunch break on the Saturdays I'm working, and I have some in a project bag at home for when I want some mindless stitching to do.  No glue basting on these ones.  I'm not sure what they will all end up as, maybe lots of scrappy hexi pillows, or perhaps I'll save them for that scrappy hexi quilt, I contemplated making two years ago.  It's quite interesting to see the similar but differing tastes we have in colour and designers.

What small projects are you making at present?

Friday 5 October 2018

Sylvia Robe

Well the Sylvia Robe is finished.

After yesterday's little hissy fit, I sat down today and sewed the neckband on,  pressed it well, then after much measuring, I carefully trimmed the bottom of the kimono to even it up.  To make it the correct finished length,  I made a band the same width as the neck band and attached it to the bottom of the jacket.  It is definitely not perfect, but it is infinitely wearable and will be a perfect layering piece for my summer work wardrobe.

The Sylvia Robe Pattern is from Sew Over It (I was by the time I had finished it), and is easy to follow and to make,  other versions I have seen on Instagram and blogs look as though they have turned out well, so I'll put this one down to a maker's mistake somewhere.  I may make this pattern again one day, and Sew Over It have lots of other blouse patterns I'd like to try one day also. I might need an overlocker first though.

Anyway I'm off to celebrate the arrival of the weekend and the fact I finished another garment with a glass of wine now.

Happy weekend to you all.

**Photos taken by Miss B on a slightly breezy afternoon**

Thursday 4 October 2018

Things Here Lately

  • A new sewing project 
Yes, I'm obviously a sucker for punishment, cos I am sewing with rayon again. The sewing hasn't been too bad actually, I find cutting out out harder because it seems to slip and slide.  I'm at the point though, where I'm not sure whether to continue or try and turn it into something else.  For some reason, once I attached the neckband,  the bottom of the sides and back, aren't really hanging evenly  I've tried trimming it, but if I take any more off, I think it will end up too short.  I don't really want to throw it out, cos I love the fabric.  Anyway, I'll persevere for a little longer, luckily the fabric wasn't expensive.

  • Recent good reads.
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah is set predominantly in modern day France, but takes you back to life in German occupied Vichy during WWII.

A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski is set in the Blue Mountains of Australia, about 4 woman from an online book club that meet for the first time, sharing a love of books and their life and histories.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland.  I think this might be one of my favourite reads for 2018.  Set in Australia, it is a hard read at times describing abusive relationships, combined with family dynamics and histories, and strong female characters.  It's not all bad though, with lovely descriptions of Australian native flowers and their meanings.  In a way I found this a similar read to another favourite novel The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

  • Spring in my Garden
No spring bulbs or blossoms in my garden, but my Manuka shrubs are flowering, and I love the splash of colour they bring at this time of year.

Kalanchoe pumilla - this lovely potted succulent was a cutting I purloined one day while walking - luckily it seems to thrive on neglect.

Chinese Ground orchid (Bletilla) for a bright splash of mauve.  This seems to survive light frosts, lots of rain and summer drought.