31 August 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I know I bang on a lot about Liberty fabrics, but they really are delicious: dreamy to sew and wonderful to wear. (And I haven't dared yet explore their new range of craft fabrics!)

Liberty makes in the ironing pile
I came across this video on the Liberty blog, in which the Liberty fabric designers talk through some of the AW12 prints - it's fascinating to hear about the processes and inspiration behind the collection, and it's also great to get an idea of the scale of the prints:

I especially loved hearing about the story behind my favourite print (Childhood) - the hidden elephant is what drew me to the print in the first place. I've already treated myself to a tiny bit of this print in blue, but now that I've seen the video, I want it in all the other colourways!

Anyhoo, in other news... it's coming up to the end August, and there's already a certain crispness to the air (I'm still holding out for a September heatwave). I continue to battle on with the Darling Ranges bodice (muslin #3) - at what point do you give up? I've finished my Sewaholic Alma muslin so now just need to decide on what fabric to use! And I've been knitting away on a shawl-scarf-type-thing during my lunch break at work.
Big red 'kerchief (more on Ravelry)
Hopefully I'll be back next week with an actual finished make!

Have a lovely weekend & speak soon!

23 August 2012

A very unseasonal FO: Cadence sweater

Well hello there!

Things have been very quiet around these parts. There has been a little bit of sewing, but not much at all.

But there has been some knitting! Yes, on the warmest weekend of the year so far, I finished off my Cadence sweater. Finally! This is my first ever sweater, and I'm very pleased with the very fact of it.
my first sweater
I started it way back in October last year (oops), when KristenMakes hosted the Cadence KAL for newbie knitters. But I kept stalling: I stopped when I wanted to make some knitted Xmas pressies, then I started up again in February, and made really good progress until I stopped for no particular reason in mid-March. And I sort of forgot about it until last week, when I was rooting around for something to do while watching TV. I only had a sleeve to finish off (I can't believe I left it so long!).
First sweater!
I'm very pleased with it. It grew slightly in length during the blocking stage, but that's no bad thing. The only negative point is the yarn: I used Wendy Aran, which comes in the most ginormous ball - it's warm, but it's so incredibly scratchy. Perhaps it will soften with time, but until that happens, I'll be wearing sturdy knitted tops underneath.

I'm so encouraged by having completed this, that I've already planned my next sweater: the Ladies Classic Raglan by Jane Richmond, using a lovely wine coloured yarn. I'll be casting on this weekend.

Finally, I must thank Kristen of KristenMakes for being so amazing and helpful. I'm so grateful for the detailed emails when I got stuck - and for the amazingly helpful blogposts, which I'm sure I'll refer to again and again in the future.
my first sweater

The sums:
1 x Wendy Aran (500g) in Petrol: £14
Cadence pattern: free!

Total: £14

I hope to be back soon with some more sewing stuff. I'm working on my second Darling Ranges muslin (I'm already wondering whether this dress is worth all the effort - how very defeatist of me).

Have a lovely weekend and speak soon!

10 August 2012

Giveaway winners!

Thank you to all who entered my little giveaway!

The winners are.... (*drum roll*)

If you haven't heard from me by email personally, it's because I couldn't find your email address, so please get in touch (best to leave your email address as a comment here).

I hope you enjoy your goodies!
On another note, I'm spending this weekend making this:
1940s Tea Dress Workshop at Sew Over It
I've been in a bit of a sewing funk, leaving a trail of half-traced patterns scattered around the flat. So I'm really looking forward to getting down to some serious sewing this weekend! hooray! But what fabric to use!!

speak soon x

4 August 2012

A little giveaway

It's about time for a little giveaway, for no reason other than to say thanks to everyone who reads my blog, and for your support through your comments and e-mails. (group hug!).

These are things from my stash that I love, but know that I won't ever sew. They should go to a new home. (Unless otherwise stated, it's all as new.)

And here's the loot:
(L) Vintage Simplicity 4947: Size 12, bust 32. Cut and complete. (R) Simplicity 2154: 1960s retro reissue. Size 6-14.

(L) New look 6723: Size 8-18. (R) Simplicity 2588: Project Runway. Size 4-12.

(L) McCall's 2401: Size 10-14. Cut but complete. (R) Butterick 5314: Size 6-12.

(L) 3m cotton lawn in a lovely retro floral print, on a sort of sage green background. (R) 1m cotton in an electric blue and black leopard print, on a white background.  

The rules
The giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere! All you need do is leave a little comment saying what it is you'd like. If more than one person wants any one item, I'll draw names from a hat.

The giveaway ends at midnight (GMT) on 8 August.

You can ask for as many of the items as takes your fancy.

speak soon

3 August 2012

the what now?

Remember how I thought that Burda coat looked like it might be easy. Well, I spent an age last night reading and re-reading the instructions and I still have literally no idea what they mean.

I've heard that Burda magazine is notorious for it's poor instructions, but really - these were just random words on a page as far as I'm concerned!

But I will not be defeated. I will do this. I feel like Batman, and this coat is my Bane!

Plus, I found this lovely coating:
Wool blend in Dahlia (Truro Fabrics)

Burda... bring it!

speak soon!

1 August 2012

An autumn wardrobe

Since my post on Wardrobe essentials, I've been giving quite a bit of thought to what I wear on a daily basis and what it is I'd like to sew. 

This morning, my inbox greeted me with some really lovely patterns, which I instantly ear-marked for AW sewing (there is absolutely no point in thinking about sewing anything remotely summery at this stage).

So, here are some of the things that I'd like to sew (I haven't time for it all, but let's see).

I'll be applying my WWW test - let's see how it works in practice!
Sewaholic: Alma blouse

First up, the latest Sewaholic pattern: Alma. Just swoon. Tasia has done it again!

Why? I've been thinking I really need to look up some more top patterns (a gal cannot live in Sorbettos and Tovas alone), and this might be just the ticket. I'm a big fan of prints (Liberty especially), and I think this pattern (in all it's variations) will be perfect.
Will it suit me? Yes, I think so. I'm not sure I'll do the belt, but seriously, what's not to like about this pattern?
What will I wear it with? What won't I wear it with, more like? Tops like this can slip into my existing  wardrobe pretty easily. I think they'll work well with boring work trousers, jeans, winter pencil skirts, or my denim Butterick 2779 skirt. Also, I already have quite a bit in my stash that would be suitable. Especially this, which I was wondering what to do with over the weekend:

A coat (eeks!)
Burda Wool Coat 08/2012 #101B
I must say, Burda came up trumps in August's edition. So many of the patterns are just my style. It's one of the rare occasions when I've actually bought the magazine!

Why? I've been thinking of trying my hand at a coat this year. I know, I know... am I really ready for it? I'd originally thought I'd try Sewaholic's Minoru, having drooled over many lovely versions. But this one by Burda has turned my head. And it doesn't look too complicated (though I will carefully inspect the pattern/instructions before committing). Will I go for a bright colour like this? You know, I think I just might (though it does depend what I can find).
Will it suit me? I think so. It's quite a mannish style, but I like the simple lines. What do you think?
What will I wear it with? Hmmm... looks like it's mostly a trousers coat. And I mostly wear trousers, so I think I'll wear it with most of my wardrobe!

Burda "Retro feeling" dress 08/12
This dress, I love. It isn't terribly clear in the photos, but there's some lovely pleating at the shoulders, and I really like the waistband detail too. The model version is in a crepe de chine. It's a bit Duchess of Cambridge, non? No bad thing, in my books.

Why? Ok, so this is not a practical make for me. I'm envisaging it as an occasion dress. Do I have an occasion in mind? Well a friend is getting married at St Paul's Cathedral at the end of October. (Yes, THE St Paul's Cathedral! Exciting stuff.). Dress code is formal. In all seriousness, I really don't have anything appropriate for a formal, cathedral wedding, in autumn. But this dress fits the bill. Plus, I like to dress up every now and then, and step out with my fella, so the dress will get worn more than once. 
Will it suit me? Hmmm... I just don't know. I'm worried that the skirt might be a bit too straight, but I could always make it a bit more A-line. What do you think?
What will I wear it with? Ah, now this is the question! I suppose it depends what fabric I use. I've got some lovely patent black heels, so I just need to pick the right fabric colour/print.

Should I do it?

Burda Swing dress (L) and Long-sleeved Seamed dress (R)

Alternatively, either of these patterns could work too. Both are from Burda 08/2012. Made in a nice (bright) wool, they would be appropriate I think (plus I could jazz them up with some glitzy jewellery.

Why? Above-mentioned formal wedding. And both dresses are just so lovely! Though, thinking about it rationally, how much more wear will I get from them? Not a lot, I don't think. I doubt I'd wear them often for work, if at all. And while the Swing dress in a more casual, fabric (cotton or stable knit?), would make it more wearable (though not for the wedding), I just don't think the seamed dress would get worn much at all. sigh
Will it suit me? The Swing dress, I think so... the seamed dress, I'm not sure - I don't own any dresses in that silhouette, which perhaps says something.
What will I wear it with? I have a couple of pairs of sensible court shoes/wedges that would work with both. Also, the Swing dress looks cardigan friendly.

Burda Tie skirt (L) and Pencil skirt with Peplum top (R)

Why? There is absolutely nothing new or exciting about the pencil skirt (though the co-ordinated peplum top is v cute!), but I would like to make a nice basic wool pencil skirt. The Tie skirt I like a lot, but I'd want to lengthen it for work. I like the shape, and the panels. I do need winter weight skirts.
Will it suit me? I think so. Since neither have a waistband, I expect they'll also be a bit easier to fit.
What will I wear it with? I suppose it depends on the colour. I'm likely to be terribly dull and stick to dark grey or navy, in which case they'd fit into my wardrobe with no problem.

Colette Beignet

Why? Have you seen all the lovely Beignets out there? I think that says it all. I already own this pattern, and even bought some fabric (navy needlecord), so I think this is a definite for the autumn.
Will it suit me? I think so - it seems to be universally flattering. I'm a bit worried about fitting it; according to Colette sizing, my waist is a 2, and my hips a 10! So let's just see, shall we.
What will I wear it with? A navy needlcord skirt should go with pretty much everything, I reckon!

Trousers (double eeks!)
Simplicity 3688
I'm more intimidated by sewing trousers than I'm at the thought of a coat. But I've seen some wonderful versions of this pattern, and by all accounts, they aren't too difficult.

Why? I have real trouble finding trousers that fit (I have a 34" inseam, and a waist that's almost two dress sizes smaller than my hips). If I can make myself just one pair of trousers that fit me well, I will be over the moon.  
Will they suit me? I think so - these trousers seem to suit everyone who has made them. 
What will I wear them with? They're a classic shape, and I'd like them for my work wardrobe. I think they'd look just as good with my brogues as they would with my Chucks. I'd need to pick the right fabric, however, and that's where I might struggle.

So, that's what I'm thinking. As I said, I doubt I'll have time for it all. But I would really like to try the coat and trousers, and the Alma blouse is a no-brainer. The Beignet is also a high priority. The rest, we'll see.

Has anyone else made the trousers or beignet? Any tips?

How about the coat - any suggestions on where to look for the right kind of fabric?

I'll be back v soon with a giveaway!

speak soon