31 October 2011

Wool crepe - help!

I finally selected some fabric for the shirtdress I'm working on in my clothes-making classes. I opted for a lovely navy wool crepe. yummy, but it's so difficult to photograph this fabric in a way that shows off it's yumminess. So this post will be short and photoless.

My plea for help is regarding how best to pre-wash the fabric. I bought it at one of the Goldhawk Road shops, where the shop assistant just grinned enthusiastically when I asked about care instructions. I don't think smiling at my length of fabric will help much, but perhaps you lovely bloggers can!

How does one prewash wool crepe? A quick search online has suggested hand washing, but then someone else said this might cause felting. Any thoughts?

Also, I only paid £8/m for it, so I am a bit skeptical about its 100% wool credentials (despite the sales assistant's borderline maniacal knodding when I asked if it was pure wool).

Any suggestions are as usual very gratefully received.

speak soon x

29 October 2011

On the needles

So while half the blogs I read are casting off their woollies and looking forward to sewing their spring and summer wardrobes, the other half have a decidedly woolly feel. And this is no exception.

I've been knitting along with KristenMakes' Newbie and the Knitter knit along. Thanks for all the suggestions re yarn. I'm using Wendy's Traditional Aran, in Petrol. It's one big ball of wool!
here it is in front of my sewing machine - it's the same size almost!
So far, I've knit the neck opening, and am about to commence on the lace chart. Kristen put together a very clever spreadsheet, to help with this. Having never followed a chart, or done any knitting for some months, I decided to take a small break to focus on some easier projects to get my hands used to knitting again.

So my first project is a pair of arm warmers, following the Toasty pattern on Ravelry. I love arm warmers! And I love the gorgeous yarn I selected:

Malabrigo worsted in Sunset - too delicious. It's a lovely sunny, yolky, intense yellow. and it's SO soft. I ordered it from Tangled Yarn, and it arrived the very next day - they have a lovely selection of yummy yarns. This is my first time using DPNs, which took a bit of getting used to:

the first few rows

I won a giveaway!
Some time ago, House of Marmalade hosted a giveaway for Dragonfly Fabrics, a new online fabric store. And I won first prize! Too too exciting! The very generous prize consisted of 5 half-yards of Anna Maria Horner flannels, a Colette pattern and 3m of ribbon.

I'm a huge fan of Anna Maria Horner's prints, so I was so excited to receive this haul. I'm carefully considering how best to use the flannels - probably small, simply pieced quilt, to show off the beautiful prints.

For the Colette Pattern, I chose the Beignet, which I've been eyeing up for some time now, having been wowed by the beautiful versions I've seen on blogland. I even treated myself to some fine needlecord in navy blue - now I just need to find the time to start it!

In sewing news this week
I've started working on a muslin for my McCall's 2401, view E - more on this soon!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend, and speak soon!

20 October 2011

Time flies

Goodness! Where did all that time go? Since my last post, nearly two months have passed; summer has turned to autumn; and I completed half a term of my clothes-making course at Morley College.
Ah, the much-anticipated clothes-making course. I must admit that in all, it's been a disappointing experience. The class size is up 50% on last year, which means that the very excellent tutor hardly has any time with any one student. I spent a third of my class last week sitting around waiting for her to have a spare five minutes to help me with my fitting, and as she was so distracted, it was all rather rushed and I learned nothing from it. A couple of weeks ago, five students were absent and the lesson was so much more relaxed and enjoyable, with everyone able to have a good amount of tutor time. I know that colleges are suffering with their funding cuts, but I don't think increasing class sizes works from the students' perspective.

Sorry about the grumble, but I thought it was worth saying it, in case anyone else is considering enrolling. So far as my shirtdress is progressing, I'm in the process of making my second toile. I still haven't decided what my final fabric will be, and have a little trip to Goldhawk Road this Saturday afternoon to look for something suitable.

Speaking of Goldhawk Road, if you haven't yet objected to the plans to smash down the shops and redevelop the area (more flats!), you can still do so here (closes 21 Oct).

Despite my lack of blogging, I do have a few makes to share (and as usual, quite a few WiPs!). So I'll be back in a few days!

Have a lovely weekend and speak soon! x