Tag Archives: aspirations

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pattern fitting

 

My first try of a silhouette pattern, the #3009 Capri pant.  I love Peggy Sagers YouTube videos and thought I would give one of her patterns a try.  Great instructions and lovely pattern but I’ve got a funny crease/weird bit on the front crotch area on my right side.  Not sure if it’s bad sewing or a fitting issue.  If anyone can help please feel free to comment.  It’s a damn shame you are IBFs or there might be some help forthcoming!

However the Capri trousers are so comfy to wear.  The material is a linen mix and I could see myself wearing these a lot in the summer and if I fix the crease/wrinkle thingy I shall make more and change the leg width and length etc for a few style options.  The recommended size to sew is taken from a sitting hip measurement and the waist adjusted by darts and the four piece waistband.  The pockets are lovely and there are some great fitting tips in the instructions.  I would highly recommend the pattern and am encouraged to buy more Silhouette patterns.  The pattern packet photo is not greatly inspiring but the end result is very pleasing.  This was the easiest fly zip instruction and insertion I have ever done.  The postage and pattern cost approx £15.00 in all and it took about 5 days to arrive.  It was very easy to trace and huge amount of sizes to choose.   Sorry about the photos but I rolled my TATB Agnes top up so the waistband of the Capris could be viewed, I am never properly ready for photos.  Be grateful I try to hide my weird grimacing face which tends to be my normal photo look!

My other make which I am a bit cross about is a Nina Lee Carnaby dress

Now I love this pattern and used my seasalt needlecord to make this version but I must have done something weird as the fit is off.  It bunches at the neckline and shoulders so I think it must be tight and I must have sewn or cut badly at the pocket side seams as it pulls into an odd shape there rather than falling straight.  Anyway I shall still be wearing it.  I’m always optimistic that if I wear and wash anything enough it will miraculously mold itself to my shape.  Ever hopeful.

My last make I havent even photographed, a farfar cardigan by Wardrobe by Me.  It’s hubbies and he wanted it large.  It’s a better attempt than last time but not sure I want to share it yet!  Okay I relent……

It’s not going to win the cosy cardi challenge that’s for sure!  Love you all IBFs, happy sewing!

update ****

advice from the lovely Peggy Sagers

81A29099-35C4-4550-B7F9-E66334CF51B7

 

The pant crotch is too wide for you as I suspect the whole pant is a bit
large…but you can have it that way…however, to fix the crotch, scoop
it as shown in this drawing and that will fix the center wrinkles, only
take enough out to get rid of the wrinkles…too much will cause other
issues…the depth of the scoop should be about 1/2 inch…let me
know…thanks, Peggy

Thanks Peggy not perfect but improved.

Getting more and more fed up

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well it hasn’t stopped raining and I am seriously fed up.  Sat in the lounge last night unpicking my overlarge coco top I spied a small scurrying creature emerge from behind the tv and make it’s way across the room and under the sofa.  A bloody field mouse.  Hubby having let the cat in some hours earlier had neglected to do do the very necessary ‘eyeball the mouth check’ that is required whenever the cat returns home for food and warmth top up.  She must have brought it in to terrorise and forgotten her plaything when confronted by the delights of home. It must have waited, frozen in fear for several hours for its bid for freedom.  Anyway all hell lets loose as we come together (I call very loudly for back up) for the urgent room dismantle to hunt down rogue mouse 🐁 .  The upside is a super clean lounge and a mouse freed intact from the confines of a 🐈 cat’s playpen, the downside….this could easily happen again so vigilance required at all times and strict eyeballing of  afore mentioned cat’s mouth to be performed on re-entry to human habitat.

Back to sewing…..really happy with pink striped TATB Agnes top and blue camouflage jersey Vogue V9244 Marcy Tilton hooded Sharks fin hem jacket but totally sad that TATB coco top is a right mess.  Issues with size and neckline and also tension with sewing machine.  I’m quite fed up that a pattern I had so much problem acquiring and so wanted is causing so much grief in the sewing.  Fed up with PDF downloads….never seem to be able to stick them together properly, although Angela Kane does brilliant PDFs where they just butt together with no trimming.  I know you can get AO format and get it printed but I may as well have bought the printed pattern, I was trying to save money.  Anyway saving money has not worked as my fabric so lovely and soft and snuggly in a lovely muted orange and brown stripe is now chewed and distorted and in the wash pile awaiting a miracle to transform it into something wearable.  Am I the only person to think a good wash with a warm tumble dry will reshape and save a totally wrecked sewing project?

On the subject of saving money which always makes me think of Minerva fabrics, latest discount codes and calico from BST fabrics ltd, along with avoid Indie and buy the big four only when discounted  (high degree of organisation required), I broke my own rules as I was struck by the stylish lines of the Style Arc Ziggy Biker Jacket and just had to have.   No doubt I shall live to regret this choice as my skills are not great and I  will now have to devote time and dedication to tracing the pattern before wrecking my fabric (Minerva crafts again) and then moaning about it here to you my lovely IBFs but still excited for the chance to produce a fabulous garment that will look just like the other lovelies I have seen (pattern review.com and pinterest etc).   Well signing off now….watch this space for the demise of some lovely fabric in the misshapen form of a Style Arc Ziggy…..