30 January 2012

Clarks and Liberty

I love Clarks shoes (there, I've said it). And it's no secret that I love (nay, LURVE) Liberty. And now they've had some love children:
these make me very excited for summer, even though it's months away!
lovely, but would make me about 6'2"!

On a separate subject, thanks for your lovely comments on my elephant-print Tova. I feel less silly about the elephant print, and much encouraged (as always), by your wonderful enthusiasm and support. Cyber hugs all around.

speak soon

27 January 2012

FO: Wiksten Tova shirt

It wasn't long after I discovered sewing blogland and started learning to sew that I came across Wiksten patterns, designed by Jenny Gordy (she also has her own lovely clothing line). Unfortunately the patterns (hand drawn!) are often in limited supply, but I finally managed to get my hands on both the Tank and Tova sewing patterns.

So here's my wearable muslin:
Wiksten Tova shirt
Fabric choice aside (we'll come to that later), I just love this shirt. It's a great casual style, and I think it's universally flattering. The pattern comes in a shirt and dress length, but I made the former (adding 2" length at the hem). I cut a small, but next time I'll merge to a medium at hip level, and may only add 1" at the hem.

The pattern itself is wonderful. There are lots of detailed instructions, with photos and drawings, and the shirt comes together wonderfully and very quickly. And best of all... no closures! Whoop!
Wiksten Tova shirt
I'm definitely going to make up some more of these - I can see myself living in these at weekends! (It will make a welcome change from the usual uniform of jeans and stripey T).

And yes, the fabric choice. Those are indeed elephants. I just love elephants. I met a baby  elephant once. I was about 8 years old at the time and it was an orphan living at the Sheldrick elephant orphanage. It stuck its trunk down my shirt (true story - it was looking for treats). And since then, I've been a big fan. I have a small collection of ornamental elephants, and friends/relatives often bring back an elephant souvenir from their travels. But I'm not sure it's a good enough excuse for this fabric. I don't own or wear animal prints, so I can only put this purchase down to momentary "ah-elephants" madness. And I'm not sure what the fibre content is (I did a burn test, which suggests that it's some kind of plant fibre, but it doesn't feel much like cotton).

Anyhoo, I expect I'll get loads of wear from this shirt if I ever go on safari. Until then, it will do nicely for working-from-home days.

As this was my wearable muslin, I'm planning to whip up another version very soon in a cosy cotton flannel.

But there's just so much on my "what to sew next" pile - I don't know where to start! What about you? What's on your sewing table?

have a lovely weekend & speak soon!

24 January 2012

Liberty Art Fabric SS12: too too lovely

*great big sigh*

Liberty of London announced their new season of fabrics, and they are all so delicious (and of course ludicrously expensive... still, a gal can dream). There are several collections - my favourites from each are on my Pinterest Liberty love board. But my absolute favourites are below (click on the pictures for more details/colourways).

Look away now if you fear temptation!

August Rose
TV Ted
Melanie Atai (also nice in the blue colourway)

Dr Tulloch
The last one is my absolute favourite - I love it in every colourway! It's created from a watercolour painting of a chaotic bookcase in the writing room tucked away in the gardens of Glencot House in Somerset. Too too lovely.

Ah well... I'll just have to drop lots of hints and leave swatches lying about in the weeks leading up to my birthday.

Back soon with a FO!

speak soon x

15 January 2012

First of 2012: Ginger

hurrah! my first FO of 2012:
Colette Ginger - oooh, I love it!
My first attempt at this pattern was not a success. I'm quite high-waisted, and I tend not to wear skirts at my natural waist - but I made the first Ginger using that measurement. So it was a fail. But in the past months I've been tempted to revisit this pattern, after Roobeedoo, Scruffy Badger and Marie's lovely versions.

So this time around, I cut a 10 in the skirt, and cut an 8-10 waistband (following Winnie's tips on the fitting - thanks Winnie!). If I make it again for the summer (which I think I will!), I'll perhaps make the waistband a bit tighter as there's definitely room for woolly tights and multiple layers in this make.

The fabric is a lovely moleskin-like, brushed cotton twill from Croft Mill (£6.50/m and I only bought and used 1m). I also lined it in some standard lining fabric:
For the lining, I made a skirt in the lining material and attached it to the waistband facing pieces. Then I just followed the instructions for attaching the facing, sewing the lining centre back seam after the waistband was completely finished. I then hand-sewed the lining to the zipper tape. I'm not sure if that's the most correct or sensible way of attaching a lining, but it worked for me.

I also used my overlocker to finish all the seams (whoohoo):
As you can see, I haven't gotten around to changing the white thread that the overlocker came pre-threaded with. This isn't (entirely) due to re-threading fears, but because I haven't yet got around to buying some overlocker thread (any recommendations?).

I hand finished the hem - a machine-sewed hem wouldn't have worked with this fabric.

This also marks the first collaboration with Mr P&N, who took all the photos (and patiently assisted with the hem - does it look even? how about now? now?). I must say, Mr P&N might complain when I watch America's Next Top Model, but he certainly picked up a few things and went all Mr J on me at one point ("You're killing the A-line in that pose").

Up next, a top to go with my nice new skirt.

speak soon!

2 January 2012

Xmas round-up

My Christmas round-up is somewhat belated, but Xmas with my family usually takes place around the New Year, as I spend Christmas with my in-laws in Cambridge. So now that all presents have been received, I can share my makes without spoiling any surprises.

Handmade Xmas
Woolly hat and cowl for Dad (using Rowan Big Wool - just too snuggly)
Cowl for little sister (also in Rowan Big Wool)
Wiksten Tank for little sister in a fine cotton voile
I just love the Wiksten patterns and am so glad I (over-)indulged and bought both the Tank and Tova Shirt patterns when they were re-released a couple of months ago. The fit of the tank is perfect (I made my sister try it on as soon as she'd unwrapped it), and I am especially pleased with how I managed to match up the pocket and seams on the pattern repeat. My little sister (not so little at 26) is thrilled with it too!

I must try to be more organised re Xmas makes this year. I didn't start any makes until well into December!

Gifts received
I was very fortunate to receive some very lovely gifts this Xmas. Amongst them were some sewing/craft-related goodies:
The Colette Sewing Handbook; a roll of Liberty fabrics for quilting
A fantastic quilting book; 1.5m of gorgeous cotton voile
What a treat!

I've got a few days of holiday this week, which I hope to dedicate to sewing (and tidying - yawn), so may have another project to report on before too long!

speak soon x