Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Graduation day!

What a great day last Wednesday was.  My lovely Dan graduated at the Lowry in Salford Keys on a beautiful sunny day.

 Dan looked dapper in his suit

... and Gemma and I went for a vintage vibe.

... and very handsome in his cap and gown.  Dan achieved a 2:1 in bio medicine .... very proud

Vogue 4260 is progressing - top tacked to skirt for first fitting.  The fit seems quite good!

It's been quite complicated and I have been really grateful for Jan's help at another workshop in Ulverston at Unique Image - it is such good value as well, only £10.50 for 3 hour workshop!!!  Hopefully next Monday will make some real progress.

No progress, however, on my fair isle.  You know how I said I wouldn't be doing another fair isle any time soon, well .....

I've just started this sweater.

It is the identical basic pattern to ....
which I liked but which knitted up too large as many of my sweaters do, so I have gone for the smallest size 32" bust and I will see how it goes.  I have been reading about negative ease which makes some sense i.e. you knit smaller than the size you want so that it needs to stretch to fit you, however, it may not work where you are stranding a colour across it as it cuts down on the ability to stretch.  Fingers crossed that this time to jumper will be a nice fit.
I have been enjoying reading
The book has original knitting patterns
and a new updated  version. 
There are quite a few I would like to knit

Watch this space!  So many projects and so little time! 

Monday, 15 July 2013

sun and sewing

Thanks for your suggestions about my dress.  What a lovely weekend!  Lots of sunshine .... tick ..... good lie-in ..... tick ...... happy reading ......tick and a whole Saturday spent sewing!  Yes, on Saturday I went to my first workshop at Unique Fabrics in Ulverston.  I had a lovely day all for the cost of £24.  There were about 10 of us and we were working on our own projects with help from the lovely Jan.  I had already started on my Vogue cocktail dress.  I nervously traced the vintage pattern (I have to say I have found using a real vintage pattern a bit nerve-wracking in case I spoil it).

Look at the fantastic condition for tissue which is 60+ years old!  Then I made an initial muslin - bigger than the first pattern.  The original is size 34" bust so I thought it was going to be far too small but it wasn't and I only had to increase the centre seam by about 1".  A second muslin was made (I'm pretty rough and ready in making muslins!).

I like the shape!  Although you felt the taffeta was the best choice apparently it would be too stiff for the gathers ... so I've had a go in the crepe.  Even that seems too thick for the bust gathers and you can see below its a bit blousy there. 

Hopefully it will look better with some more done.  I have discovered I'm not the shape of my model at all because my underbust measurement, shoulder and back are much smaller than I can make the model.    I tried a bound button-hole which Jan taught me at the workshop and though I really liked it it was going to make it too lumpy on this top.

I also had my first go on  an overlocker ...... I want one!!  It's great so much faster than trying to neaten on my machine! 

I took my flamingo dress as well and neatened all the awful fraying lining edges.  Apart from the heat and discovering how difficult it is to use tissue patterns when you are all hot and sweaty I had a great day.  Although as you can see not much progress for 6 hours work!  Because I may need help at my next workshop in August progress on this dress may be a little slow.

Believe it or not I am still weaving ends in on my fair-isle and I am just so bored with it!!!  There are over 1000 ends so this isn't an experience I will be repeating any time new.

I also watched a great Italian film "A Beautiful Life" over the weekend.  Well worth a watch if you can.  It started as a comedy, but I think you know a film about a Jewish person in Italy in 1944 is going to have a down side and it certainly did.  The main character is just wonderful and the sense of historic styling and filming excellent.

For some reason I'm struggling to upload any more photos ... I hope this isn't another problem like last time!!  So I will stop for now and try later.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Pink Flamingo Cambie Dress

It's been a really hard two weeks and I just couldn't put a blog together ... but things are much better now!

I can't believe I am still weaving ends in my jumper, it is just so boring!  And to make matters worse I also noticed I had used white (on the left)  instead of pink (on the right) on one of my sleeves.  It might not have been really noticeable but I would have known, so back it came ....

I was really pleased to find a vintage knitting pattern for £2 in a local shop must be at least 70 years old.

I've made a dress!  Yes the flamingo fabric has now become my very first dress.  I used Sewaholic's Cambie dress pattern.  This is a very popular pattern and I was inspired by Roisin's great versions to have a go myself. The pattern was straightforward and using the Sewaholic website for some extra tips it went together reasonable easily.    I made a muslin and finally settled on a size 10 (American size) with a little reduction.

This is a fully lined dress, so you have to make a second full dress out of lining and then put the two together.

The hardest part was lining the zip, but when I worked out you had to stretch the zip and material out again and stitch the lining to it, it all made sense. 
... and the effect is really neat!

Overall I'm really pleased.  The fit is great, most things went well (including the zip), the only disappointment is that the lining fabric is really fraying and so now it looks like I'm going to have to try and finish off all the lining seams which seems excessive when you have lined a dress.  Does anyone have any advice about suitable lining fabrics which won't do this?


I will definitely wear it, though I'm just a little worried that it might be a little young for a fifty-something. 

Next project is probably having a go at a dress for Dan and Gemma's wedding.  I have finally settled on a pattern

1950s Evening Dress Vintage Sewing Pattern Vogue S 4260 Full Skirt Cocktail Dress Shaped Neckline Bust 34 Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern

I found this on etsy in America.  What I didn't know is that when you buy something in America you have to pay customs - so having bought two patterns they ended up costing me and extra £18 in customs.  Real shame as there are so many more patterns and vintage crafty items available in the USA than here.  I'm thinking of the 3/4 sleeve version and I have 2 possible lots of fabric.  Delphinium satin backed crepe which was a good price at £5.99.

Delphinium Satin Back Crepe (Col 16)
or red shot taffeta which was only £3.99 a metre, a bargain! 
You can see it has a black sheen.  Which do you think would look the best! I had hoped to get a dressmaker to do this for me - but she may be too busy, so I may have to have a go!!  Watch this space!
Meanwhile the weather is great and the wild flowers spectacular
So there have been some lovely walks .... with a rest or two along the way.
And of course a fantastic end to Wimbledon!  Hope you are enjoying the sunshine wherever you are.