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January Sewing 🧵

So begins 2020 with a stinking cold! Ah well just adds to the whole misery but sewing still beckons.

Simplicity 4149. Decided to use Minerva crafts viscose for this top and fancied statement long sleeves with flounce! Did a toile first and discovered that I needed to put darts at the back neck edge or the collar portion would stand away from my back neck in a very gapey way. Didn’t think all those clever techniques for forward shoulder or narrow/broad back/shoulder adjustment would work. The big wrinkle at the back is just my usual poor picture taking and posture! If anyone knows a better way of correcting a gape at the back of neck please enlighten me. The fabric was very soft and drapey.

Had summer in mind for this very floaty tunic but will need to tidy up my seams. The pattern advises French seams but I was happy that my overlocker would save me time. Couldn’t get it to do a rolled hem finish on the sleeves. Might benefit from reading the manual…..🤔. Struggled generally with the overlocker finish, think threading had gone awry but as usual I ploughed on regardless.

Simplicity 4149
Been in the pattern stash for forever

Simplicity 4149. Elastic waistband and material used from stash…great. My favourite sew over it round the house Carrie trousers are nearly through so succession planning led me to these. Really quick sew and so easy to wear. Took out some crotch length and needed to shorten them but easy to fit with that elastic waist. Made sure I put a small tab at the back band to ensure they were worn correctly. Wish I’d put some pockets in but next time maybe, have made notes!

Claire Louise Hardie (Great British Sewing Bee fame… series 2, 3 and 4 I think) kindly gave a new year discount on her patterns and I bought the Dawson Coatigan as I have lusted after it for a while. It was a toss up between the sew over it Cocoon Coat or this one and in the end given my lack of consistent success with the sew over it patterns I went for what I hoped would be the better drafted pattern and therefore more versatile for me. Plus Tracey Symonds from series 4 of GBSB did a shortish demo as did CL on the Sewing quarter (all still on You Tube https://youtu.be/1OtGLWPkpr8?t=12153) which got my interest in the pattern originally. As usual you can # instagram for all the inspo.

Dawson Coatigan (The Thrifty Stitcher). My picture again does it no justice. Fabric soft shell outerwear fabric from 1st for Fabrics. Pattern is unlined and needs decent seam finishing if you care about that sort of thing. Sorry about the picture, after I washed the fabric the pressing marks completely disappeared and I should have updated the picture. Excited to share it with you instead of taking a better picture.

Lovely pattern with feature darts at back neck, front shoulders and sleeves that can be stitched down if made on the right side or recede into classic styling if sewn in the normal way. I think I should have sized down on this pattern but first time of making I didn’t want it too tight to wear a layer or two underneath it if needed. The shape is lovely but I needed to shorten it on overall length and unfortunately discovered late on that the sleeves were about 1 inch too short so had to add on to the bottom of each sleeve by turning the sleeve facing into a cuff. I also added a couple of poppers to the front of the coat as my Coatigan was large enough to overlap and fasten. I didn’t dare do buttonholes but feature buttons would have looked nice. I took these pictures before washing the fabric. Prior to sewing I had washed and dried a 10x10cm square of the fabric ( I bought 2.5m of this fabric for the 2.5 metre requirement stated) therefore didn’t have much leeway to trial wash a bigger portion. The square remained 10x10cm post laundering but I still remained sceptical re washing the fabric. Knowing it was likely to be a bit big I waited for completion of the garment before thrill seeking the nail biting laundry test of the garment. During the sewing process I duly pressed the fabric with a press cloth, steam iron and used a wooden clapper. I lengthened the stitch and used a matching thread colour and a sturdy needle as the double layers of this heavyishweight viscose/wool mix was quite thick at times. It sewed well and was easy to mark with tailors chalk which brushed away easily. When I eventually washed this coat for 20mins at 30 degrees and tumble dried it ……it looked so much better…. no loss of colour…. no shrinkage but beautifully plumped up and gorgeous…still a little big tho!

Probably a size too big but plenty of jumper wearing room! This picture was taken pre washing and looking at this you wouldn’t think the arms were in any way too short but I think that’s just sleeve width and fabric weight making the sleeves look humungeous plus of course my lack of photo taking skill 🤨

Made two of these for my gkids 6 yrs and 2.5 years old. One was cars main body with plain sleeves and the other car sleeves and plain body. Pattern Made by Jacks Mum hot chocolate pattern. Stof of Denmark car fabric from first for fabrics and plain blue fabric (also stof of Denmark) from Sew and Fabric as was the navy rib cuffing.

Health wise I remain still here….anxious with every ache and pain or cough and sneeze. Life is not always easy but you get to live the one you’ve got so …..onward, stop bellyaching and get sewing. So IBFs hope you are enjoying your sewing too no matter what your circumstances. Overlocker manual here I come!

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December Sews and The Sewing Quarter closes

4D06EE30-065E-4C2B-BF94-C763112BFB35.JPGI don’t know if I can make a December deadline for one last blog of 2019.  I tend to post on instagram (grangoesteckie) these days as I don’t have a bloggers’ following.  Having seen the Tilly and the Buttons blog about how she set up her blogger network and started sewing generally I’m not really surprised that I don’t get many views.  Incredible what she (Tilly Walnes) has achieved.  I remember the first Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) in 2013 and although I was interested in sewing prior to that it really ignited a fire.  Lauren from Guthrie & Ghani was also on the show (many tears) and Stuart Hillard.  We don’t see much of the others but no doubt they are still sewing strong as once it grabs you it doesn’t tend to lose it’s grip easily.   For the longest while I had all the early GBSB series recorded including the Children in need series and the Christmas special but they have gone with the kaput box that recorded them.  I watch the later series 3, 4, & 5 still!  I did manage to catch the repeats of series 1 that was repeated before the latest GBSB series.  Luckily I also managed to view the 2nd (and best) series via another platform a few times as well.

Of course the big news is that The Sewing Quarter has finished, big disappointment and a hole (waiting to be mended) left in my sewing viewing.  Hopefully Hochanda and create and craft will step up their sewing shows with a little more than bargain Brother sewing machines although even that is better than nothing.  I found SQ frustrating and irritating in equal measure with fantastic and inspiring and it opened up a new world of Indie sewing designers I didn’t know much about.  I also realised the Big Four actually produce loads of great patterns which are just as easy to use as the Indie ones and are more frequently on sale.  Of course YouTube remains a wonderful resource although some of the old favourites have disappeared and there’s been some sad news from some of the current vloggers.  It’s probably pretty obvious that quilts don’t really fill me with passion in the same way that dressmaking does and I do like a bit of craft sewing but not to the extent that I adore making garments.  Goodness knows why as I still flounder terribly with mistake upon mistake.  The adage you only make the mistake once really doesn’t apply to me….I seem to be able to repeat mistakes very easily.

5A20C4C0-B4D9-4FE1-816E-5E4140FB1B98

Simplicity 8613

 

Heres a cuddly fleecy top I made for the mister in my life.  He loves soft fabrics and oversized items, the bigger the better as far as he’s concerned.  The fabric was so affordable that I bought several metres of it but its mostly all been used.  Trying to make a cat blanket with the remnants but cutting straight lines seems to be another challenge for me.  The pieces are getting smaller and smaller.

 

The above bolster cushions from Dunelm Mill are covered in a fabric from Trago Mills, Falmouth and were made as poor Mister has a bad back and finds the shape of these cushions really help support him when sitting.  We’ve done a lot of sitting since I got ill….not something we really thought would happen but then who does?  Hits you out of the blue.    I made the pattern for the cushions by simply measuring length and girth (adding seam allowance of course) and sewing a round piece (drawn around a plate) in each end.  A zip means I can take the covers off and wash when needed, essential in my book.  I tried to follow a tutorial from the talented Debbie Shore but bodged it terribly so just did what I thought would work instead.  Not perfect but he likes them.

The earlier pictures are Mccalls cowl neck that I’ve made before a few times in a fabric from 1st for Fabrics (online), A Heidi Dress from a sew over it pattern (one of the magazines) in some sea salt fabric and a Mccalls Coatigan thing in the fleecy fabric which I believe I got from Tia Knight fabrics online.  The Heidi dress will never be worn, the Coatigan is soft and snuggly but doesn’t look wonderful ( may be due to poor picture taking) but I like it and the cowl neck is okay with its yoga poses design.    Happy 2020 IBFs …..hope I may be around to blog some more.

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October and November – sew sew sew

Well here I am again IBFs and still sewing.  I’ve even had an overlocker as a pre birthday present- super dooper new one.  Seems extravagant but YOLO so going to use it when I can.  On the health front, The Marsden disagree with my local hospital on the scan results.  I can’t take much from that as its not just the current scan that counts but each appointment brings a fresh anxiety and I have to learn to get on with it and do what I can to enjoy whatever life I have.    So having bought some lovely Stenzo jersey fabric from the Sewcial Studio online I decided it should be made into a McCalls 7432 with a slightly modified neckline and pockets.  I had earmarked the fabric for a top so didn’t have quite enough to do full length sleeves in one piece so  I cut cuffs and added them on to the sleeves I could make.  I added a neckband, inserting it with the lt shoulder open rather than as a circle and dividing it into quarters etc.  I prefer it as you can just chop any excess off and you get the join at the left side of the neck rather than at the centre back (or centre front if you get it wrong…..) as you finish the left shoulder and neck together.  I’m not sure the pockets really work as they hit the hips at the flare of the skirt but I wanted them so in they went and I used form band at the seams where they are joined (under stitching the seams to keep them inside) as well as on the shoulder seams. I inserted the sleeves on the flat and completed the side seams, pocket bag seams and arm seams in one continuous sew.

 

 

 

I had made another M7432 as well as I used some Poppy EU ltd jersey fabric bought in a shop approx 10-14 miles away from me.  I fell in love with the feel and look of it and normally only use this shop as a reference point as they have been rude personally to me on more than one occasion and I’ve witnessed rude behaviour toward another client in the shop in front of several shoppers.  I try not to buy anything from them but every so often as I can’t help going in and schmoozing around the shop loveliness I find something  I can’t be without and have to buy it there and then.  This M7432 was made with a high neckline and no pockets and the drape of the skirt is better without the pockets.  I really like wearing it, surprising as its not really my style.  Its simple to make and quick to come together.  I really want to try a v neckline next but will have to wait to use the fabric bought at 1st for Fabrics online for my birthday (not for a few days grrr and it will have to be washed first!). The lovely package arrived but its been hidden away with my overlocker cones and grandchild friendly fabric……its going to be awesome!   Karina from lifting pins and needles has posted a YouTube tutorial on how to do V neckbands so thanks to her I’m determined to give it a go and either use this pattern or the one she uses Simplicity 8548 which I think is the same as New Look 6298.  Thanks for the inspiration Karina.

 

 

 

Well I did some other sewing as well:  Love Sewing magazine had a threadcount 1902 pattern not too long ago so I gave that a bash.  I’ve got a few t shirt patterns and have been fixated on the Coco recently (TATB) after hating it initially when I tried it a while ago.  Although Im not the best sewist around I think I have improved a bit over the few years I’ve been sewing and found the coco neckline less of an obstacle recently.  Time to try another pattern I thought so gave this one an outing…..well its massive.  I went by the finished garment size and found that I needed to reduce the armscye, shoulder length, side seams ……ooooh annoying.  I used Stuart Hilliard jersey bought from my new favourites….Ist for Fabrics who always package the fabric beautifully and send a lovely message with thread and just general loveliness.  I don’t know why it took me so long to find them.

 

 

 

I can’t leave it there, hubby needed a warm fleece quickly and we couldn’t be bothered to drive to the shops or even online shop so having a bit of techno fleece in the cupboard from several moons ago I quickly ran up a jacket for him with instructions to wear it in garden and home as it was less than brilliant.  I didn’t have a long enough separating zipper and there wasn’t really enough fleece in one colour way plus the arms were going to be too short ….oh my goodness…. no end of worries over this one but it got sewn and ‘ere tiz’as we say.

 

 

 

 

You can’t see the pictures well you complain —ah sorry, rubbish photographer.  I also made two Jalie 3137 polo shirts.  – one for a 5 year old and one for the hubby.  These went down better than expected and the bigger boy wears his a lot.  His was made from Girl Charlee fabric (online purchase) and little uns was made from free gift jersey from 1st for Fabrics also from online order.  I won’t post a picture of the little chap but his had a pocket on the front and it was an easier sew than I expected but not without some difficulties.  I found YouTube videos that were helpful and haven’t linked them but they are easily found.

 

So I think thats your lot lovely IBFs.  Another blog is done, not sure how many more there will be but just for now ….Keep Sewing.

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September Sews

Well poor news on the health front, not the scan results I wanted at all. Time to use up the stash

So let’s start with the Tilly and the Buttons Coco top- all size 4 grading to 3 at the waist and hips.

TATB Coco
TATB Coco
TATB Coco

Wanted to try out the Jules Fallon Sew Me Something Hero trousers with double welt/jetted pockets. Not incredibly good but I learnt a lot.

SMS Hero Trousers
SMS Hero Trousers
SMS Hero Trousers

Then I wanted to ring the changes with a sew over it Molly top from the City Break e book capsule wardrobe.

Sew over it Mollytop

Well that’s it for September, October makes coming if I’m still able dear IBFs.

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End of July sewing

Burda 6527

Burda 40% off pattern purchase! Made view C size 14/15. What can I say….it’s a blouse 👚. Won’t be making it again. I thought it would be nice to wear in hot weather but by the time I made it the weather had changed. It’s a funny pattern with a sort of cap to the sleeve which I tried valiantly to make work but the instructions didn’t help and I couldn’t see the point of them anyway in the view I made. I can’t see on the pattern envelope that the view C has them in the picture on the model. I think the shoulders are too narrow so I probably should have made an adjustment but I was just glad to finish this one. For the buttons I stitched them on through the button band placket and put the shirt on over my head…..just couldn’t face buttonholes. Oh dear…hope I’m not falling out of love with sewing. It’s Seasalt fabric by the way…I knew you’d want to know😀.

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Sewing in June💕

Okay here we go with the vogue V9244 – made this before in blue camo jersey. This one is double faced jersey with stripes on one side and dots and crosses on the other. Bought from the sewing quarter when there was free postage or some such deal. You all watch the sewing quarter and wonder why they don’t do dressmaking programmes back to back…right? For some reason quilting seems to be popular ha ha! Would love to give it a go but not sure if I will ever manage that first small step! In my current ill health situation I’m not really looking to build up yet another addictive hobby.

V9244 size 16 view B I challenge you to spot the difference between A&B on the line drawings of the packer
V9244

I thought it fitted better in the lighter weight jersey and perhaps should have added length in body and sleeves with the thicker jersey. It’s a nice pattern and comes together quickly. My button holes worked first time for a change which I was really surprised about but I used the stabiliser plate on my janome buttonhole foot and this seemed to make a difference. I think I used it correctly by placing the fabric (sandwiched) in between the white plastic foot and the silver metal plate. Well anyway it worked. I find the machine overestimates the size of the hole when you place the button in the back of the foot so I tried to size it down a bit. I used a button hole chisel to make the hole (instead of a pin at the end and the seam ripper ) and fray stop adhesive stuff to neaten & finish the buttonhole edges. For attaching the actual buttons I used the button foot, dropped the feed dogs and selected the button attachment stitch …tested it by hand cranking the first full stitch (so you don’t break your needle) and getting the stitch width adjusted, then zoom with the machine to whizz through several nice secure buttons. Have used zig zag stitch the same way in the past with a normal foot which also works well for secure buttons and none of that hand needle threading malarkey. Eyesight never good enough and can never find the needle threader when I need it.


Okay so next up, a Mcalls cowl neck top, also one I’ve made before but although it’s meant to be really easy, guess what, I struggled with the neck cowl bit last time so I looked back at the sewing quarter YouTube archives and found the hour where Amanda Wyatt from The Sewcial studio (thesewcialstudio.co.uk) made up this little number (20/10/2017). She alluded to how easy it was and I note on patternreview.com they all agree….grrrr. Well anyway it’s easy once you do the neck bit so give it a go! I bought the John Kaldor polyester jersey coincidentally from The Sewcial Studio online. She does lovely fabrics and a great instagram/FB post of her makes. All really wearable stuff.

M6963 size 14 view D
M6963 size 14 view D

Now of course if I were a proper sewing blogger I would show you pictures of the line drawings on the back of the packet so you could um and aww my ibfs over what style you would choose….nope if you want it go and look for yourselves. I’m way too busy trying to find a sewalong for my next project:

Let’s see what I can do with this one!

In the meantime I must make a couple of key fobs for the various keys we have. Have fun IBFs and see you soon…I hope.


Claysue

June 4, 2019

Nothing as yet! Radiotherapy dominated. I did make an NCW (Emmaline bags) following Sian from Kittenish Behaviour sewalongs (otherwise it would never have been bought or made) to match the city backpack (?simply sewing free pattern and a few videos on sewing quarter). I made for carrying my necessary bits and bobs to and from radiotherapy for 30 gruelling sessions.

City back pack and necessary clutch wallet

The first few days after radiotherapy were hell but I had been warned. The consultant that I saw said good days and bad days…..there were few good moments in the first 5 days then more good bits over the next few days before feeling quite a bit more positive by day 14 post DXT. Day 17 today and after a horrendous sobbing day yesterday I feel okayish. I am in the middle of making: da dah

But it’s slow progress. The bag fabrics are from BST fabrics ltd for the cork and Sew and Fabric (I think) which have been in my stash forever!

Well that’s me for me made may…..I have worn me made things such as a deer&doe melilot shirt and SOI Carrie trousers virtually non stop whilst coping with the burns etc. Been watching Karina from lifting pins and needles on YouTube. So generous with her sewing skills and some lovely makes. There doesn’t seem to be a hidden agenda with her either. Getting a bit fed up with promotional product placement vlogs and sorry Lisa you’ve gone too far from your core business for me. Happy sewing IBFs.

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Sewing and another journey

img_20190126_142255-1-e1553636723124.jpg

 

It’s been a bit of a difficult time as I was diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas.  Of course I needed to keep it quiet over the Christmas and New Year to minimise the impact on other people but it was tough.  I’ve had an op and now have radiotherapy to contend with over the coming weeks.  It’s one of those that they can’t necessarily eradicate but you have to hope for the best and wonder if something else will get you first…..  The operation severed my facial nerve so you definitely won’t be seeing mug shots but I’m grateful I can eat, drink and communicate.  I can’t blink or close one eye completely so that makes life difficult for sewing, reading etc so that’s not cheering me up any.  The gel I apply makes vision difficult and I worry about damage to my eye but there are so many things to angst over they have to take their turn in coming to the fore.  A moan, a cry, various swear words and on again.

I went to The Royal Marsden for pre op assessment and had a chance to look around at fabric shops….Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush market, Sew-over-it, Williams Gee (don’t go there to browse… fantastic online to order and collect or deliver or if you know what you want but gave me a laugh getting there and realising my mistake….glad I saw it just the same).  Maculloch and Wallis ….fantastic, Liberty…all good.  Would have liked to enjoy it more but a bit of a cloud over me.  So glad I did look around though, would do a lot more if I went again but life is difficult now I can’t smile.

So anyway I’ve tried to keep sewing.  A fake fur jacket…… never again, furry stuff everywhere and what a pain getting stuck in the presser foot!  2 A Line skirts with pockets, a city back pack and sew-over-it Carrie trousers.  I’ve also made a necessary clutch wallet but quite sure I wouldn’t have managed it without Sian – kittenish behaviour sew-a-long videos.  I made it with various scraps so if I tackle it again I will be a little more stylish!

And of course, The Great British Sewing Bee…… 😁 Hooray…. something great to watch.  My winner is still there for now.

 

Fake Fur Simplicity 8218 unlined jacket – could have gone down a size methinks.

 

 

New Look 6106 A Line skirts with pockets.

 

Simply Sew City Back Pack (pas demo’d on sewing quarter several times since July 2018)

 

Sew over it Carrie Trousers

 

Emmaline bags – necessary Clutch Wallet

Well what’s next…..sew me something Kate dress with frill hack.  The last one was a disaster with my choice of fabric so…..lighter weight drapier fabric and size it down a bit.

Keep sewing IBFs and be glad of what you’ve got …you never know when it might change. Oh and don’t I take simply the best most flattering photo views😀.

Mid July sewing

Okay, some more to share with my delightful IBFs.

Burda 6525 in Seasalt sale fabric
Burda 6525

Couldn’t resist the print and colour of this lovely Seasalt fabric that was in the sale. Had to buy two separate metres for best value. Burda had a sale, my local fabric shop Sew and fabric run by the everso nice Rachael…. who must wonder what happened to me and my half paralysed face…. had the patterns, I needed summer tops… a match made in heaven. So dear IBFs I decided to sew the size 14 which allows for the pattern to have enough ease to match my measurements and a bit more. Being windy on this though, as in reality a 16 was closer to my actual measurements, I decided to cut a 14 with an ince wincey bit more… maybe a 15. I wanted the sleeveless flounce version but knew the sleeved flounceless version would suit my older lady arms better. I had enough fabric to make the top with some over so cut some sleeves just in case the flounces looked dreadful but although I dislike my arms I like the sleeveless top. What to do with these sleeves? No doubt I will put them in another top if I can……well they’re cut out now 😁😁. The top was easy to sew and the fit is okay. Think I could have cut a straight 14 okay but I do like a bit of ease.

Okay next up….the shirt dress… now have been waiting to sew one of these for a very long time. Prompted by fabric purchased from The Sewcial Studio online. Amanda Wyatt of Sewing quarter fame (see Youtube if for some reason you like sewing but haven’t watched The Sewing Quarter) runs and co owns this shop. She posts on Instagram and Facebook and looks gorgeous in her makes. I had the Simplicity 8014 pattern for ages but thought the max size of the pattern I had might not be big enough so had put off sewing this.

Simplicity 8014
Simplicity 8014

As you all follow me so closely, you know due to illness I am less meaty so I thought you know what….I’m going to take a chance. I had 2 metres of this cotton twill and could only make view D but with view C hemline. It was a great pattern. I used a couple of tutorials to do inseam pockets and a different collar construction for the collar and stand.

All the above tutorials give some excellent other tutorials as well. Gotta love the sewing community for the love and help. Couldn’t do it without you.