Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The happy birds dress! Sew Dolly Clackett

Hope you had a lovely Easter. I enjoyed some sewing.  Here is my latest finished project, may I present the happy birds dress. 

You may or not know Roisin's blog   Roisin is an incredibly talented, profilic and funny blogger who makes the most fantastic fun dresses.  You should visit her blog  She is getting married and Sarah at Rhinestones and telephones has run a competition to celebrate the wedding.  I thought I would make a dress in Roisin style, so a well fitted bodice (you'll have to take my word as I haven't got a photo of the fit yet) with some quirky fun fabric.  I used Christine Haynes Emery dress pattern, which I suppose you would describe as sixties (a la madmen perhaps) style.  The pattern is pretty straight forward.  Many of the reviews say the fit is perfect straight from the packet.  I cut a 12 bust grading to a 10 waist (although the waist is not so fitted and I could have gone for even snugger).  I made some small adjustments; a little off the shoulders and a sway back adjustment.

Believe it or not these are actually the first pockets I have made and pretty straightforward.

The skirt is gathered, and I forgot that you shouldn't gather to the end because it would get in the way of the zip, so I had to unpick the end and then trim a little of the skirt.  Worked out in the end.

The bodice is lined.

... and a neat edge to the invisible zip.

The zip went in well.  Although I struggle to know exactly where to begin the top of the zip, should it be a little lower so that it lies really flat, but you then need an hook and eye?  As you can see mine is a little crooked.

Except I was a little out at the waist.  I don't think it shows too much and I may well wear the dress with a belt.

I still like the dress, its comfortable and fun, what's not to like with clouds and birds (definitely not angry!)

The weather here has been lovely!  We had another visit to a national trust property Town End near Ambleside, which was an interesting cottage with parts from the 16th century.

... lots of carved furniture

... and we loved the stag pie (original recipe) , where the pastry was not intended to eat but as packaging to transport the pie around, broken into and the filling eaten.

A visit to my favourite cinema Fellinis in Ambleside, so civilized, really comfortable chairs and you are even allowed to take a pot of tea in on a tray!  We saw the Grand Budapest Hotel which we enjoyed, very quirky.

And some lovely woody walks filled with bluebells, wood anenomies, violets and primroses, bliss.  So a pretty good Easter though not enough chocolate, what did you get up to?

Monday, 14 April 2014

GBSB - it's couture week! Vogue 7975

So the final is over and I was sorry that Chinelo didn't win, I think that was down to the tie!   I've been making a Chanel-style jacket (no, not in one day!).  I bought the fabric as a end of roll and it seemed destined to be a Chanel jacket, so enter Vogue 7975.

Now I'm not suggesting this is couture, but I'm pretty pleased and there were a lot of details which the GBSB might have called couture.  The fabric was extremely open weaved, so I had it interline the whole thing with polycotton.

I made matching shoulder pads.  I much prefer the hand-made to shop-bought ones as they are softer and more natural.

I was pretty pleased with the pattern matching-up, which I really did spend time on.  The princes seams match and the most important lines on the sleeve.

..... and on the back ....

My favourite bit is probably the lining!  I've one from thinking that lining should be as cheap as chips to a convert for something gorgeous.  My lining is silk (albeit the wrong side, the right was a very bright acid green).  The sleeve heads were sewn by hand.

I just love the contrast with the fabric!

The hem is slip stitched and you leave a sort of overhang to give ease.

I discovered how to use the right foot for overstitching .... with a guide ... what a revelation.

... and pretty even top-stitching.

It didn't all go well.  I struggled with the pockets and in the end decided to leave them off.  I've never actually managed to make pockets on anything!

Vogue 7975 was a good pattern.  I hardly made any changes cutting my usual size 14.   Apart from fitting the sleeve with a bigger allowance because the shoulder was a little wide I didn't make any other changes.  The instructions were clear  and logical. I also had plenty of help from Bronte who checked the measurements frequently.

I've been enjoying a few days off and the weather today was fabulous and its the first time this year I've been in the garden.

You can see by Jessie's smile what she thought.

Meg prefers the shade.

I'm turning into a bit of a serial project starter.  Last week I showed you two jumpers I have started and this week, I'm afraid there is another.  This will be a lovely light weight sweater and that's my excuse for starting it.  I can see it with View C Zinnia skirt made from chiffon, either pale lilac or light grey.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

I'm just mad about saffron

(in case any of you are of an age to remember Donovan!).

This is my latest knit from Rowan Winter Blooms book by  Kim Hargreaves, the saffron jumper.  I have finished this a little late as it is very warm and cosy and a bit warm for spring.   I love the peplum and it definitely has the vintage vibe I like.

Its a very simple knit.  If you can cast on and knit and purl you could certainly have a go at this one.  Because I like a fitted look and I knit a little on the loose side I went for negative ease and knit the size small, 34" bust  (while I measure a 37" bust).

The wool is Rowan Lima and really quite strange, it is very soft and fluffy but odd to knit with.  It can't be frogged (pulled back) as it completely looses its shape, and you block it by using the steam method.  I think if may pull or pill quite easily, but it is gorgous to wear. I love the colour, but the wool is variegated and you can just about see that it striped rather strangely in some spots and I broke the wool quite a lot to try and match the two sides of the front and at the seams.

... and a strange, eyes closed, pickie!

I had a lovely mothers' day.  Dan and I went to Dunham Massey which is a stately home.  The gardens were fabulous.


Especially this himalayan cherry, the bark was like copper.

The great hall had been transformed to a copy of the hospital which it housed in World War 1.  There were actors who walked around reliving lives which had been recorded and in an exhibition you got to find out more about the patients and staff, really interesting.

Our favourite room, the library.

I'd certainly recommend this for a day out (it was very busy and you need to be prepared to wait for a ticket on a similar day).  And a picture of the two of us ..... must remember not to wear such bright socks!

A few days off coming up and I have loads of making plans!  Sometimes I think I enjoy the planning more than the making.  I have two sweater from the lovely PomPom quarterly.  Love this little book which was beautifully wrapped in tissue.  First another warm sweater, which probably won't be worn until Autumn (if we are lucky).

Then a little tee - in the silkiest of yarns

This is my favourite fabric of the moment, Golden Garden by Alexander Henry which took a lot of finding (eventually it came from Vietnam), with a couple of the dresses I am considering.

A new retro pattern from Butterick, to make in Duck egg crepe

Then I found some real bargains at Standfast and Barracks in  Lancaster.  This is liberty Tana Lawn, ok it isn't the current collection but it was only £5 a metre!  So two blouses please.

More Tana Lawn, this time for a Vogue repro dress.

.. and I'm just taking part in Gertie's underwear sew-along.

... and fabric for 2 other dresses planned.  This is my project shelf all ready to get started.

So that all looks very tidy and under control, not!  I'm afraid this is the less organised other fabric sitting and waiting for me to do something with, much more messy!


So tune in for lots of makes to come.  Now I'm off to watch the final of the Great British Sewing Bee, I really wanted Linda to win.  By the way did you know you can download the patterns used for free at quadrille.co.uk, so maybe I could just make the 1930s blouse as well!!  What plans do you have?