24 February 2012

Spring tops inspiration

Isn't this lovely?
And look: buttons down the back:
As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one of my own! I could use the Colette Violet pattern, but I want buttons down the back (even if only decorative). So I'm thinking: Sorbetto with mods + self-drafted Peter Pan collar + sleeves + polka dots:

polka dots in my stash (L from ebay; R from Fabrics Galore)

If all that self-drafting gets too complicated, I might just try the Violet anyway. Or I could try this new pull-on blouse from Megan Nielsen (though the neckline isn't quite right):

 Or maybe I'll do both! Or all three!

oh for the time! (I should concentrate on finishing off my ongoing projects (Morley college shirtdress... ahem).)

Have a lovely weekend and speak soon!

20 February 2012

The one that got away

The crocuses are beginning to pop up, the sun is a little warmer and the shops are full of pastels and spring collections - it finally feels like winter is drawing to a close (though I shouldn't speak to soon - it's been know to snow in March). So it's odd that I can't stop thinking about woolly coats. One coat in particular ...

The one that got away: the one I found while on a trip to New York, brought home to London; loved and wore everywhere all the time; dry-cleaned and safely stored away for the summer. Fast-forward to autumn, and imagine the horror of opening my not-so-moth-proof storage case to find that the coat of dreams had been reduced to nothing - it was literally disintegrating in front of me. The moths had taken nibbles out of everything else in the case, but seemed to have focused their attention on my coat.

Behold the coat of dreams:
Gap Parisian coat
Look past the suburban styling. Observe instead the 40s vibe, the raglan 3/4 sleeves, the removeable collar (I preferred to wear it without the collar) and the tidy silhouette.

in Charcoal
I have been stalking eBay in the hopes of finding a replacement, but with no luck. Recently I FINALLY found it, but was outbid in the final seconds. I hate when that happens.

But lately I've been thinking, maybe I could make one - not now, of course, but perhaps later this year, for A/W 2012. (Maybe this is an insane idea, based on my skill level!)

So tonight I'll be searching through Etsy for some options. If you have any suggestions for a pattern, please do let me know. And if you happen across this Gap coat while out thrifting, I take a small, and will give you pick of my Liberty stash in exchange (that's how much I love and miss this coat).

have a lovely week and speak soon!

12 February 2012

Cold-weather quilting

In this cold weather, all I can think of is burrowing away under warm blankets, drinking endless cups of tea and re-reading my favourite novels. I did a fair bit of that this weekend. But I also got into the making spirit, by whipping up a quick watching-tv/sitting-in-the-car quilt for my little niece who came to visit on Saturday.

Valori Wells' Flannel - Roses in Pink and Orange
I used one yard of each colour (at a brilliant $5/yard sale on Etsy), and loosely followed Red Pepper Quilt's quilt-without-binding tutorial.

I machine quilted some rows 2" apart, using my new walking foot. And then I sustained a sewing machine related injury due entirely to my own carelessness (my right index finger now has a nasty little hole in it, bleaurgh!). So I decided to hand quilt the remaining rows, using a variegated pink embroidery floss that I already had in my stash. I think I much prefer hand quilting, both look and process - there's something so relaxing about hand quilting.

I finished it off by sewing around the edges and hand-sewing in a little tag.

The little quilt was a very quick make, and the little madam really loved it. And I loved working with the flannel so much, that I'm going to make myself a flannel quilt! (I can't express just how cosy it is!) I'm going to use the flannel I won at a giveaway: 5 half-yards of Anna Maria Horner Folksy flannels, which I've supplemented with some fat quarters from her recent line:

I am also working on another quilt, which I mentioned last week - so perhaps I should finish that off before I take my rotary cutter to the flannels. hmmm... too much to sew, too little time!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend!

speak soon x

7 February 2012

Brrrrighton meet-and-swap

Much fun was had on Saturday in a v chilly Brighton. New friends were made, new blogs discovered, and many handmade outfits admired.
Photo from Sew, Incidentally (click for details of who's who!)
And much stash was swapped. See that large floral wheelie to the left of the picture? That was Claire's and it was full of stash for the swap!

I came away with these goodies:
L-R: Liberty lawn (1.25m); lavender American D-kripp (whatever that is!) (2m); red dye; patterns
I think that Liberty will make a fun summery Sorbetto, with cap sleeves. I'm not sure what the D-kripp is intended for (and even Google doesn't come up with any answers), but it's quite soft and not too slippery. I might see if I can get a Vogue 1247 blouse out of it. The red dye will come in really handy when I'm finally brave enough to dye my far-too-white trench coat. And I'm v excited about the patterns. I've had my eye on that Vogue dress for a while, and many of the ladies at the swap had much praise for it. The 1977 Simplicity skirt pattern is actually just what I was after for a winter skirt (and I have some navy wool blend crepe that will be just perfect for it). And on the far right is a little goody bag from our hosts, filled with zips, piping and buttons (aren't they wonderful?!).

Many thanks to Claire and Zoe, who organised a wonderful day (and were v generous with cakes and gifts). I'd never attended a swap before, but it was a thoroughly civilised affair and was basically free shopping, with plenty of sewing talk thrown in.

Snowy sewing
The rest of my weekend was spent burrowed away indoors, away from the cold and snow. But I didn't spend all day eating cake and watching telly (well, I spent some of it doing that) - I made a quilt top:
 That's all I'm going to show you for now - you'll have to wait till it's complete for the big reveal.

Looking ahead ...
Is anyone planning to go (or interested in going) to the Sewing for pleasure show at the Birmingham NEC (22-25 March)? Has anyone been before - and if so, is it worth the trip?

Speak soon!