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.
Well here we all are together again. This dress from Nina Lee is lovely. I’ve seen so many lovely versions of the Carnaby dress and have made this as wearable toile. The fabric is a glitter linen from Minerva crafts and unfortunately It was a little sheer when made up so I had to line it with some lightweight cotton also from Minerva crafts. I posted a review on patternreview.com For inspiration as this (my) version doesn’t do the pattern justice try #carnaby dress (instagram) or see Like Sew Amazing vlog or Daffodiledger vlog on YouTube. Di is closer to my age and Sarah is a younger vlogger (late 30 to early 40s). The only reason I say this is because of the way they both look fantastic in their versions and sometimes there is a bit of a niggle about how the over 50 sewing community are possibly ignored by the Indie pattern companies but this pattern works on younger and over 50s. I hoped that Di might post on the pattern review website but to date she hasn’t.
Sew over it Carrie trousers and RTW (Asda) top
I have had this pattern for a while as I bought the online trouser class from sew over it and both the ultimate trouser and Carrie patterns were included. Personally I found the class expensive and not brilliant but my expectations were probably far too high. Others have mentioned what good tips were included. Making these trousers just happened to coincide with the pattern being released as one of the pdf club patterns. I was simply trying to use up some fabric from the stash as I had bought this rayon type fabric for a kimono or similar from Minerva crafts a while ago and having made one Kimono couldn’t see myself needing another. They are okay and I slop around the house, watch YouTube, read sewing blogs and generally laze around wearing these. Can’t get over excited, they have elastic in the back, a flat front band and pockets, loose fit and I think pretty comfortable.
Mimi G simplicity 1167 trousers and McCalls 6729 top
Love the MimiG sew-a-long videos and buy those patterns whenever the half price deals come up. Only problem is knowing which size pattern to buy as I straddle the middle sizes and if there is a top and trouser option I have to have the larger size for the top and smaller for the waist hips. I know I could grade which is what I had to do here as the pattern had a blazer and a trouser option and I chose the pattern based on my bust size. I had to grade the pattern down several inches and lost pocket opening size especially on one side as I wasn’t incredibly accurate or symmetrical and made the changes when the pattern was made up. I know some clever souls measure the pattern and make adjustments before cutting but guess what…… nope not able to do that yet as I tend to forget seam allowance etc. Also the ease needed I find is difficult to assess unless it’s a previously tried pattern. Having made up the trousers and adjusted them I have now traced the original pattern pieces and made the changes to the traced pattern so that next time I should have proper sized pockets and the symmetry on both sides. I have still left some wiggle room for less stretch in the fabric but I needed to take two inches off each side and 2.5 inches out of the centre back with this pair when using size 16 so it was not really surprising that the pockets suffered. I expect I will find, if I ever make up the blazer, that I could have got away with the smaller sized pattern but that’s a live and learn thing. The pictures I have taken are not brilliant but they give a flavour of what it all looks like. The fabric is a stretch denim from myfabrics.co.uk
The top is a nice simple one with keyhole opening at the back and a thread loop and button closure. I think I could skim the sides in a bit to make it a bit more fitted but it’s nice and airy as it is. I used some seasalt cotton voile, which was in the sale.
Well that’s all lovely IBFs. I have plans to make some more Nina Lee Carnaby dresses with a couple of tweaks to fit and a few other things but I like to keep it fluid. Decided to do less indie and more from the standard big four or whatever people term them. I have loads of patterns, some free with sewing mags and some bought when the patterns were on sale and a few Indie ones which I normally buy as PDFs to save on cost(?!!!). Might even try and finish the Style Arc ziggi which is languishing on the mannequin currently. It sits on top of the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress which I made a wearable toile of. Not keen on the VSD for me but a huge fan of the Ziggi however not so much the really sparse instructions……..grrrrr! Keep on sewing.