Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Where Art Thou Sewjo?

My sewjo went AWOL for a couple of months. I looked everywhere for it, under the bed, in my spare room, at a neighbours house in my corner shop even -  nowhere to be found.

After giving my craft room a well overdue tidy and sort, my sewjo has returned. So in a few days I am hoping to, at the very least, cut out the Emery pattern I mentioned in my last post. Need to make a few amendments to the pattern then I will be away.

So annoying when your sewjo decides to get up and go, taking your get up and go with it. I am dying to get my first dress out of the way but life sometimes rears its ugly head, and I am back playing hide and seek with sewjo.

I'm determined to get something done on my first dress this week whilst I'm off work so will keep you posted.

Here's hoping that I'm not thinking the same as the gal above when I glance in the mirror wearing my first dress.

Until Next Time



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Emery - Work in Progress

Don't faint but I'm working on my first dress.  The Christine Haines,  Emery Dress, will be my entree into dress making - literally. When I first clapped eyes on this pattern, I decided almost immediately, it wasn't for me. Loved it on others but thought it too cutesy for my urban sensibilities.

Image Source: Christine Haines

Accordingly, it didn't reach my "pattern hitlist.But I had a change of heart.  More on that in my next Emery post. I'm in the process of muslin-ing the bodice, y darts, broad back and lengthening alterations - all fun and games.  

Making this dress will be an education, and am raring to go. Can't be fussed preparing a skirt muslin. Did intend to muslin the skirt, and cut it out in some nasty fabric, I unwittingly purchased online. Decided against completing the process. Can't see too much going wrong with that, and if it does, no biggie, I'm not using my best fabric. So it's all good. 

Have about four fabrics destined to be an Emery, think they were earmarked before I had purchased the pattern. 

This fabric will be my first victim. 

Purchased this because I thought the elephants were cute. Would have preferred another colour-way as am not overly keen on black and white prints. May be due to wearing a lot of black to work, but beggars can't be choosers when rooting through  Abakhan's bargain bins. 

Anyway, wish me luck.

Until Next Time



Sunday, 12 June 2016

African Dirndl & Paul Newman

When I chanced across this African fabric in Abakhan's African fabric bargain bin, my hands, fast as lightening reached out, and in the basket it went. No ifs or butts! It's not waxed which is what appealed to me. I have not taken to the African waxed fabric yet, it feels too stiff for my tastes. I know it will yield a little in the wash but am not feeling the wax craze at the minute. I won't say never though. The image doesn't do the fabric justice, the orange is much more vibrant.  I will try and get a photo wearing it one day.  

I did intend to use Tilly and The Buttons Clemence sewing pattern included in her Love at First Stitch book - a fave of mine - but decided since I was going to have an exposed elasticated waistband, I would just draft my own. Using the width of the fabric, I basically cut two rectangles. Took me back to one of my learning to sew projects. A far cry from this one. This one worked out exactly how I wanted it to, and is as comfy as an old pair of slippers. Want to have a big meal? No sweat in this skirt.

Had quite a few compliments wearing this skirt. I wore it an an African textiles exhibition, and felt like one of the cool kids, since quite a few others were wearing African garments. A tad more elaborate than my offering, but I still enjoyed sashaying around.

The beauty of this skirt is, it only costs approx £6 including the elastic.  BARGAIN!

And to end this post with a little eye-candy. The gorgeous Paul Newman with a needle and thread. Poetry in motion.

Until Next Time



Thursday, 12 May 2016

Pussy Galore Wide Legged PJ's

Remember Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman in Goldfinger? Well, cos of all them kitties in my fabric, I couldn't resist calling my latest project after the Bond character.

The fabric is drape heaven, akin to a viscose. Procured . . . surprise, surprise from Abakhan's bargain bins. Love rooting in those fabric bins. Although, I didn't fare well looking for pyjama fabric, so when I seen this kitten fabric, I just grabbed it as I wasn't seeking anything special just something suitable to kick-start my project.  I don't wear PJ's for bed so it's no biggie that the fabric was not cotton or any other breathable fabric. Thought I would add that in case there were any pyjama purists reading this. Ok, I know there is no such thing but ya never know. 

I used the Margot Pyjama's, Sewing pattern from Tilly and The Buttons, Love At First Stitch Book. Fab book this one if you're on the lookout for a sewing book.  Like with most remnants I found I had insufficient fabric for a full length pair of pyjamas, but I wasn't losing any sleep over it. All I needed to do was shorten the pattern and I was good to go. Oh and I I opted for an elastic waistband rather than a drawstring.

Being in a can't be a**ed mood, I didn't follow the usual rules of modifying the length of a sewing pattern in order to keep the design, I merely folded the lower end of the pattern enough to accommodate my pattern. Naughty, naughty, I know.  I knew this would affect the width, yada, yada, but I wasn't fussed. After all, I was only wearing these at my modest abode, not at the Ritz.

Boy am I glad I went with my sew-flow, and played the rebel. Cos the result was a pair of wide legged, 3/4 length, bad a**  PJ's.  I love them! They looked fab on! I felt fab in them! What more does a gal want from her PJ's?  Plus they reminded me so much of  a pair of wide legged summer 3/4 length trousers, I loved about a decade ago. I had forgotten all about them. They were the type of easy breezy trou. you wished you would have bought in every colour. Great if like me you have a lot of days where you feel as though you are chasing your tail.

The beauty of hindsight in this scenario, is I can goddamn make them now rather than shelling out cash.  I am going to trace this version of the Margot PJ to make several pairs of wide legged light summer trousers. My sewing pulse is beating ten to a dozen, just thinking of it. I will obviously change it up somewhat so they have a cool urban appeal.

I added one of my sewing related charms to the back waist. Cute eh?  Sorry but I can't hold it in any longer I'm going to have to burst into song .

♫ The hills are alive with the sound of music.

Until Next Time



Sunday, 1 May 2016

Cute DIY's . . .

Well hello.

Trying hard to keep my sewjo in check.  When I feel it waning I find an easy project to keep the sewjo engine running, until my next garment project. My sewjo can go AWOL for almost a year, so I have to do something to keep my hand in. As we all appreciate, life can go as fast as a steam train, blink and you're a year older.  Unless you're counting backwards like moi.

Enough about the trials and tribulations of my sewjo, I shall now bore you with the nuances of the following easy projects.

1. Draught Excluder

My former beige draught excluder had seen better days, since it had slept next to my lounge door for six years plus. it could even have had the seven year itch. Who knows, and frankly who cares. In a nutshell, it was looking worse for wear and probably wanted to check out.

With this in mind, I set about sorting its retirement plans. In my stash I had a pretty floral, home furnishing weight fabric. Purchased the remnant with a draught excluder in mind, since it wouldn't suffice for any other of my projects. To cut to the chase, I drafted a new draught excluder and said adios to the old.

2. Travel Pillow & Eye Mask

It has been approximately three years ago when I last was abroad, maybe more. I long to go somewhere, I miss being on holiday. My last break was in Barcelona.  Oh Barcelona how  I miss thee. Decided, next time I go away, I will take along a travel pillow and sleep mask for ultimate comfort on the thing with the big wings. Obviously, being a sewer, I wasn't going to shell out for one. No sirree.

I searched the web and found scores of tutorials. Selected one, and the rest is history. Bought the fabric -  referred to as Halloween fabric - when I first started to sew, approx five years ago. It was languishing in a storage box. No idea why, but I think it tickled me that it said Boo, something silly like that.

 I stuffed the pillow with some silky cloud-like polyester filling gifted to me by one of my friends.  Stuffing the pillow was the highlight of the project, I could not get over how silky soft and light the stuffing was. I was like a little girl oooing and ahhhing. Okay not quite, since that would be a little sad, but I did love touching it. Found it therapeutic.

I have a shop bought eye-mask, and find them quite handy for shutting out the light and putting you in that relaxation mode. Thought it would be fun to make my own. One of my sewing books included an eye mask pattern with exposed elastic. I followed the tutorial but wanted a covered fabric band like my shop bought one.  I happened across Tilly and The Buttons Tute for this. May even try her sleep mask pattern and instructions next time for a change.

Courtesy of Tilly and The Buttons

Well that's it, cute DIY's to keep my sewjo ticking. Next time I will be showing some garment sewing, as am raring to go. A couple, I have already sewn but not had an opportunity to photograph yet.

Until Next Time



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