I 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.
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.
own pattern – fabric Trago Mills Falmouth
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.
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.
Thread theory 1902
threadtheory 1902 back
1902 t shirt
1902 tee back packet
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.
#for5yearold #jalie3137 #needsironing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Well life so far goes on dear IBFs. From your comments or lack of them I can see my recent life changing news has just not touched you at all…ah well let’s keep it simple and just sew. My alliterative title would have been brilliant if I’d made the Shannon shorts but no I had to ruin it by making the wide legged sailor trousers. Saw people wearing them out and about…..( possibly Seasalt bought ones?) and just had to try and make some! I duly cut out the pattern after studying the garment finished measurements on the packet and rather than trace the pattern I went straight to it and cut the size 12 but I did photocopy the smaller pieces (cut out but with all the sizes intact) just in case. I also kept the bits I cut off the main pattern pieces as I have been known to stick them back on to the pattern if needed (with okay results). I had some calico ( bought from BST fabrics ltd) so made a toile in the size 12 which came together quickly and immediately I could se that the size 10 would fit much better.
So this is the finished article. They are slightly large but as I’m going through radiotherapy at the moment my appetite is decreased due to the the mouth ulcers and taste changes and I’m a bit smaller than I hope to be post radiotherapy. Also I expect although I washed the linen pre sewing it there may still be a bit of shrinkage. I’m hoping to wear them later in the year. The buttons I struggled with stylistically as hubby thinks bigger statement buttons should be used. I quite like the smaller understated look but feel free to disagree ibfs.
So this is hubby in simplicity. He wanted some lounge around in trousers. These came up a bit large to the size chart but I sliced a couple of inches off the large size in the upper thigh and around the hip area and took out some fullness in the crotch area. He was pleased with them and wears them in the evenings. They were very easy to make, just two legs with grown on waist which is turned down to form the casing for the elastic to thread through as the waistband. He is really fussy about not having a tight waistband so this always has to be tried on then off and adjusted a couple of times at least. No outer leg seams just inner leg seams for this pattern which makes it a very quick sew. The hems have been left long and at some point he will let me know how long he wants the legs left. In the meantime all raw edges have been overlocked with my Lidl bought Singer overlocker. I keep threatening to upgrade to a more plush model but holding off in view of my recent health issues. The fabric is a soft cotton with a brushed cotton feel on the underside, it washes beautifully and was nice to sew. I bought it ages ago from myfabrics.co.uk when they had some reduced prices.
Well that’s all for now IBFs. Fingers crossed that I can make it through radiotherapy. If anyone needs some advice on how to cope with radiotherapy post parotidectomy and facial nerve sacrifice just ask. It’s tough so be ready for it. You never know I might be around to blog some more soon. Happy sewing.