25 June 2012

Liberty Art Fabrics: AW 2012

I get more excited about the Liberty's new season of fabrics than I do Xmas or birthdays.

In it's AW 2012 collection, Liberty "celebrates the innovation of the textile process through an exploration of the broad spectrum of textile technique. The prints are inspired by historical and current textile design including block printing, weave, embroidery and needlepoint, as well as the latest digital printing techniques."

I must admit that I'm not blown away by the collection as a whole (SS 2011 is my all time favourite - I wanted one of everything!). But here are some lovelies:
Haberdashery (in A)
This looks like it's been decorated in embroidery and applique. V cute. If I had a little girl, she would soon be wearing a dress made of this.

Childhood (in A)
This one is my favourite of the collection. See the little elephant? I might treat myself to this, for a Tova (what else?!).

This one reminds me a lot of Melly, which I used for a Wiksten tank. I love it in all the colourways.

Ciara (A)
This would make a lovely tea-dress. Or Sewaholic Cambie dress!

Alice Alinka (in D)
Pick and Mix (in B)
Strike (in C)
At first I thought this was a basket weave pattern, but it's matches (the name kind of gives that away!). I love the textures in the above three prints.

Mawston Meadow (B and C)
I'd be interested to see what this last one looks like in other colourways. I love the pops of colour in the wild flowers. But I can't wear those brown base colours... no good for my complexion!

The whole collection is online now. What do you think? Any favourites? Or not quite your cup of tea?

speak soon!

24 June 2012

Marking tools: the Hera marker

I've had a pretty sewtastic weekend! I've been working away (at a leisurely pace) on my Simplicity 2444. It must be ready for next Saturday, and as I type, I only have the zip and hem to do. yay!

But I tore myself away from my machine to share my excitement over the Clover Hera Marker. Do you already know about this? Am I again late to the party?
I originally picked this up to use for marking quilting lines - I didn't dare risk water/air soluble pens or chalk, and was intrigued by this tool.

And today, faced again with the issue of marking pleats on the front of my dress pieces, I thought I'd give it a go. I can report that it works really well!
It leaves a sharp, clear crease in the fabric, which is pretty easy to see in good lighting. And the sharp, pointy tip is great for dots and dart tips. No more need to worry about chalk, carbon or pens. hurrah!

And in other news, I sliced open a pepper this week to be greeted with a big smile:
yay for happy peppers!
speak soon!

15 June 2012

MMM'12: finally some final thoughts

My MMM'12 outfits, in the order I wore them
Over the course of the month, I've discovered that:
  • I actually really love wearing my me-mades. And since MMM'12, I instinctively reach for me-mades when I get dressed. yay!
  • I might as well accept that, much as I love dresses, I just don't really wear them on a daily basis. Separates are more my style (and easier to mix and match), so I should stick to that. My pattern collection, however, doesn't at all reflect my actual wardrobe choices, and is mostly dresses (something I need to remember when pattern sales are on!). That said, I do want to make a couple of work-appropriate dresses this year.
  • I should experiment with somewhere different to take pictures! But I have no outdoor space at the moment, and that little area of my flat has the nicest light (and worst view).
  • I like a bit of demin, me.
Certain me-mades didn't get an outing this month:
refashion Sorbetto; mossy Ginger
The refashion Sorbetto is just a bit dull. I don't hate it, but I have no real desire to wear it either. The Ginger skirt is just a bit too Autumn/Winter, so didn't get to join in MMM'12 fun.
V8511; V8232
Neither dress looks particularly good with a cardigan, and it never really got quite warm enough to wear them without in May. There's a lesson for me in there somewhere.
Sorbetto; Pendrell (unblogged)
My first Sorbetto is far too snug in the armholes. I got as far as undoing the binding, increasing the armhole size and making new binding, and I'm embarrassed to say it's just been lying on the back of my sewing chair for nearly a year, waiting for the last stage: sewing on the binding (*hangs head in shame*).  Isn't the Pendrell pretty? Too bad the lovely sleeve-things don't really work under a cardy, so it couldn't join in MMM, but if ever does get warmer, it will certainly get worn.

I started sewing my own clothes because I felt the shops never really sold what I wanted to wear, or it didn't fit right. (Like Kathryn, I'm 5'10", so find most skirts and dresses in the shops are obscenely short in the leg, and uncomfortably short in the waist.) But when I started, I only really intended to make the odd thing here or there. Somewhere along the line, I subconsciously decided that I was going to make as much of my clothing as I could (within reason). I don't know when I decided that, but I don't think I'd have come to that decision if it hadn't been for all the very inspirational and supportive bloggers out there.

So, to show my thanks to all my readers, and to the online sewing community, I reckon it's high time we had a little giveaway around here. More details soon!

have a lovely weekend and speak soon!

(ps, I'm totally addicted to making photo collages! I'm usually the last to find out about these things, but in case anyone else doesn't know about it, PicMonkey is a free and amazing photo-editing website.)

11 June 2012

FO Simplicity 2245: the most original Portfolio top. Ever.

I know I said I was concentrating my sewing energies on Simplicity 2444, but somehow I couldn't get stuck into it until I'd decided on my fashion fabric. So instead I went over the top with my creativity and made this:

Portfolio top
from the pattern envelope
Original much?

I like this. A lot. I bought this pattern last year, after seeing Roobeedoo's lovely swiss dot version. I promptly forgot all about it until MMM'12, when I spotted it (ugh, pun not intended) in Roobeedoo's outfit photos. (MMM'12 reminded me of some fab patterns. oh for the time...)
quite a nice fit in the back

I made a straight 8, and (shocker) NO muslin. I made no mods except adding some length and I didn't bother interfacing the cuffs. It fits almost perfectly but it does come up pretty short: I added 1.5" at the hem, but if I make it again, I'll add maybe another inch - my hem is minuscule:
I serged the raw edge and then folded it up once. It will work fine, but I'll probably need to wear a longer camisole underneath if I decide to pair it with low-slung shorts - though there's not much chance of that given this damp squib of a summer (*shakes fist at overcast skies*).

The sums:
Simplicity 2245 pattern: £4.50 (at 50% off)
2m cotton polka dot from Favourite Fabrics (eBay): £13 (they've got a lot of polka dot!)
Buttons and thread: stash
Total: £17.50 

But yes, now I really will focus on my Simplicity 2444. I bought the fashion fabric this weekend from Fabrics Galore, who do indeed have fabrics galore in stock at the moment - if you're in the London area, definitely check it out. (If you're not in the London area, the good news is that they're opening an online shop later this summer.) This is what I decided on (I spent nearly 2 hours in there, and I might have accidentally bought some Liberty lawn too):
looks less like curtains in person
This dress needs to be ready for 30 June. Eeks! Best get cracking ...

speak soon (or maybe not til 1 July!)

2 June 2012

Tova tova tova!

Another Wiksten Tova!

Oh, how I love thee Tova - my perfect weekend shirt, which also scrubs up well for the office.

I used some buttery soft cotton voile for this one. It's from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush range - I bought it at RayStitch last summer (where I met the v lovely Melizza for the first time too!). AMH voile is just wonderful stuff: it feels a bit like Liberty lawn, only a bit butterier (if that makes sense).

Nothing new to say about the pattern. Part of me thinks I should stop at three, but I don't think that's going to happen. I will, however, take a break from it - I have to concentrate my sewing energies on a dress to wear to a wedding at the end of this month. I'm thinking Simplicity 2444 (did you see Roisin's wonderful version?!) - fabric decision is yet to be made, but I strongly suspect it will be Liberty.

speak soon!