Knitting…… but no sewing

I haven’t done any sewing since my last post – I had every intention of starting to sew my coat for this winter but I got diverted. I’m blaming the lovely Sheila from Sewchet who I follow on Instagram

More explanation needed. Sheila posted a beautiful book that she had made. Yes – made. She gave the link to the LearnBookbinding site where she bought the materials and instructions. I love a new challenge, and this looked intriguing.

Well with a solo day coming up that I knew I could use to concentrate on this I made my order and settled back to wait for delivery. And wait. Sadly the kit didn’t arrive until after my intended day but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once I got another free day after its arrival. Check these out! (Sorry if you’ve already seem them on Instagram)

IMG_20191002_161255

I was thrilled with the results and have every intention of making more. They are fairly time consuming but I wouldn’t describe them as particularly difficult. Addictive perhaps.

I also finished a jumper I had been knitting for what seemed like … ever. It is the Sunray Ribbing Jumper by Susan Crawford which I found on Ravelry and is something of a departure from my style but I liked it so……

This is a vintage style, and as such it is a fairly close fit. I don’t really wear close fit so though I’m pleased with the results it feels a bit strange. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but for the minute you get flat lay photos. One of the things I loved was the points round the neckline. I didn’t change anything much though I did omit the short back buttoned opening.  Very much of its time so perfect in the design but I was sure I could get this over my head without and thought this colour might prove a challenge to get buttons I liked.

 

The yarn was bought in that massive haul I brought back from WRE which was a while ago so it felt good to use almost all of it. There’s more yarn to be used  from that day but we’ll gloss over that. This was a cashmere mix that is a discontinued Rowan yarn and is lovely directly against my skin – just as well since that’s how this is designed to be worn. The design looks very impressive and wasn’t anything like as difficult to knit as it appears.

Hopefully I will get that coat started now and have some sewing to show you next time.

Until then keep sewing/knitting/or whatever floats your boat 😁

 


Leopard Stacie scores!

In my last post I said I thought that a Style Arc Stacie in my leopard fabric, inspired by the wonderful Tan France, would be a winner. Judge for yourselves….

IMG_20190917_155932

I was reduced to a Kindle selfie so apologies for the photo quality. I might not look it but I’m outstandingly happy with this version. This is my third Style Arc Stacie – the others are here  – so there’s not a great deal to say about the pattern other than it really is an exceptionally good pattern. All the markers line up, the instructions are Style Arc sketchy but easy enough to follow, and the design is classic enough to wear forever. The pockets are mock pockets but I don’t mind that as it prevents me adding any unnecessary bulk over the bust.

I made the jacket up straight from the pattern – no adjustments needed. The fabric was from stash – booty from a Birmingham shopping trip that has waited patiently for the opportunity to shine. This time I decided to finish all the seams nicely as they are in show in this unlined jacket. I covered the yokes in the same lining fabric and used the burrito method to ensure everything looked tidy inside. I’m really glad I took the time on these finishes as it’s turned a good jacket into something a bit special.

The buttons were the standard hammer on jeans buttons which are barely visible on this fabric but I love them.

Check out Bessie wearing it.

I wore this out to lunch with friends today and was very, very happy with it. I think we do indeed have a winner 🏆

 


A Posh Wearable Muslin

Some time ago I saw an Instagram post by the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial which had a picture to promote the new series of Queer Eye. I was totally taken by the leopard print jacket that Tan France was wearing and decided I HAD TO HAVE THAT JACKET!!!

th

The decision to be made after locating the fabric was which pattern to use. I really love my Style Arc Stacie jeans jackets but wondered if it might be time to try a different option – and I had a pattern that had been waiting patiently for a very long time. I checked with The Management to see what he thought. Try the new pattern was the outcome.

I have to confess immediately that this jacket was to be made as a wearable muslin. You know, one of those thrown together projects just to test the style and fit of a new pattern. Clearly I didn’t get that memo.

The pattern is Vogue 1293, an Anne Klein design with jacket and trousers. I can’t remember when I bought this pattern but I know I have brought it to the top of the heap multiple times before it sunk without trace again. Not this time 😁.

IMG_20190901_152022

I really liked the details in this jacket but decided that this time it would have to do without the in seam decoration. After all this is just a wearable muslin……   . The fabric I decided to use was a creamy, putty, bleurgh coloured cotton twill that came from deep stash. I didn’t like it and kept delaying the start. What to do? So I bought dye  on a Birmingham trip with the Demented Fairy, threw everything into the washing machine as instructed and turned the fabric colour to ‘Rosewood’. Much better.

I measured the actual pattern pieces to ensure I cut the right size and got going. I didn’t take too long to discover I needed to go down a size. It would seem I need to redo my measurements after all of my gym visits and running club gossipy runs. I also decided at this point that I wanted to spend a bit more time on the finish and bound all the seams (am I forgiven now for taking so long to post?).

In between general life, and just enjoying the unexpectedly lovely summer weather, I staggered to a completion this week. Check it out (on Bessie who is still my old size).

 

 

I was strangely happy spending time hand sewing the top stitch detail round the fronts and collar, and whilst I like the concealed packet I’m not sure it was actually worth the effort involved (although I might change my mind about that). I’m very happy with the seam bindings and would take more time to actually make a good job of it next time!

Even though you can’t see this on me I can say that I was very happy with it. I decided to show The Management and remind him what it was going to be made in. He liked it. He just thought that the leopard print would look better in the Style Arc pattern. He was asked his opinion before I started but hey….

IMG_20190901_152634

Style Arc Stacie it is then. I think it’s going to be fabulous 😍

 


Hay you!

 

IMG_2384

Last weekend I had a lovely visit from my sister and a couple of her friends who wanted to visit Hay on Wye – a book town. We all love books and reading so it was the obvious place for them to visit but they hadn’t been before. It was many years since I was last there so was overdue a visit.

We had a fabulous day, and I wasn’t too nutty and only bought five books.  The trousers I’m wearing in the photo are from my ‘missing time’. They are a rough approximation of a Uniqlo pair I bought and loved. They’re made in an ancient viscose from very, very deep stash and have been worn lots this summer as they are cool and very comfortable (secret pyjamas).

Anyway, conversations recently with my fabulous little sister have turned to exercise. She’s back at the gym, and is also running, so I thought I would get her to try on the bits I had made in the fabric I showed in my last post with the intention of making some for her …. sometime. Well she looked so good I sent her home with them all. Don’t you agree? Please take note that she has my 12kg kettlebell rather than the 8kg. She wanted that to be known 😂.

The deets.

The leggings are my self drafted pattern. Thank goodness we aren’t too far apart in size and that the stretch can accommodate her extra height.

The shorts are the Greenstyle Moxi again. I put the pocket into the back this time – I needed to make it a bit wider to take a longer zipper and enable my phone to fit. I have an iPhone 5 so if you want to use this pattern pocket for similar phones check the fit before you seal it up.

The top is Melissa Fehrs VNA  top. I made it before (ages ago) and thought it worth repeating as I often wear it for yoga and thought another would be useful. Guess I’m making another nother.

I’ve had another day out this week – Birmingham again with the lovely Demented Fairy and Glenda. We were all astoundingly well behaved, well Glenda and I were, and only bought what was on our lists. HONEST!

I had checked in advance what I wanted for upcoming projects and stuck faithfully to what I needed. (In all honesty had there been anything I really loved I may not have been so good). One item was a Dylon Rosewood  dye to transform some dismally boring beige cotton twill to use as a wearable muslin for a project I really want to start.

The fabric is now dyed and cut out. I’m going to save more information for next time. It’s from the long list of things I wanted to make, made from stash fabric too. Sorry for teasing! (Not sorry 😂)

Back soon!

 


Next!

Well not too long this time!

I’m not entirely convinced I should be wearing these but that’s tough. I finally got round to making a pair of Greenstyle Moxi shorts and I love them. They might not be considered correct attire for a lady of my vintage but they will be great gardening attire – and if I’m feeling particularly brave I may even wear them to run.

I’ve had the pattern for ages so I’m happy to have finally made use of it. These were a trial pair made in scrap leftovers from a dress made in my gap (if I get a photo I’ll share it) and binding made from cotton scrap. All in all a completely scrappy project. I slightly regret not taking more time and putting the pocket into the back yoke as they have turned out so well.

Pictures taken on my Kindle with a timer I’ve just discovered. Tell me what you think.

 

I have already found more fabric to make another pair and a pair of leggings too. Too much orIMG_20190709_150515 a brilliant pattern? One thing is sure  ….. I will be easy to spot 😂


How long does it take to make a Shirtdress?

Before I go any further may I just say how moved I was to receive so many supportive comments. This sort of response is probably why I even thought of continuing blogging. You are all officially amazing 😘.

Anyway, the shirtdress. It’s  been in bits and under construction for ever – or it feels like it. It had been cut out and started when the lovely Sue, the Fadanista, came to visit at the end of May. I was a bit fed up with not having a set of buttons I liked in my multitude of tins which worked so I let it fester. It began to have the smell of a UFO about it so I decided last week that it had to be done!

IMG_20190702_155856

The details. The pattern was from Burda 5/2010 (yes, it’s been on the mental list for quit a while) and the fabric was a Barry’s bargain table delight. At first sight it looks like any old chambray but it has an undercurrent of orange. The back and front of the fabric are very similar but not the same. That led to some fruity language during construction. I added shaping to the waist, back darts, and side seam pockets.

I’m reasonably happy with the final result, although it is a little bit big. The Management says it doesn’t have the drag lines on the back generally “you must have been standing funny”. What can I say? I have lost a little bulk and changed shape a bit with the work in the gym and the running I do to try to keep my bones strong so none of my old patterns for any more. Now that this pattern has been adjusted I think I may make another quite soon – but I need to let the memory of this one fade a little first!

Check this out – I even marked the pattern pieces and put them away properly before I move on! I’m hoping not to find too many more orphan pattern pieces where I have no idea where they belong. Let’s see how long that lasts…..

I already have plans for another project. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long to make as this dress 😂.


I’m back ….. I think

Yup, I know it’s been a while. I’m not even going to try to apologise because I know it’s been far too long. I have been trying to decide whether to even continue blogging – this is what happens when you leave things too long.

Anyway, updates. In the gap I became sixty years old, and my mum died. I’m an elderly orphan. She was really unhappy in her final months so I think it was the right time for her – maybe we all get to know when we’ve had enough. Her dying has reminded me that I need to make the most of my time. That sometimes means opting out of doing anything at all and I’m ok with that.

I have been sewing (a very little – mainly repairs),  knitting – always relaxing since it was never a job, and joined an art class. WHAT!?!?!  YES. An art class. After not being allowed to study art at school after I was 13 years old I’m doing it just for me. I’m not convinced I have any talent but that’s not the point.

After spending so much time sewing for others I’m still not entirely enthusiastic about sewing for me but I think that may be coming back. Maybe. I’m reading pattern cutting books again, and I’m shuffling the stash and remembering what I wanted to make with it. I’m still slightly horrified at how much fabric I have so maybe that alone will make me sew again!

So what might I be able to share here? Maybe some of the clothes I’ve had planned but not executed for years. Maybe some of the pattern cutting howlers there are bound to be as I get back to that. Hopefully one or two successes. I used to be good at this and I need to remind myself of that.

Why am I even thinking of blogging again? I have had contact with some fabulous people via blogging over the years and really appreciate that. Some I have even been lucky enough to meet in person. None have disappointed. You are wonderful people out there in blogland. I have been made aware of new patterns, new companies, and new techniques from the blogs I have been reading. If I ever pass on anything useful that would make me happy.

If you’re still reading this ….. thank you. If you’re still following me after not posting for ages …… a bigger thank you. And I promise it won’t be so long until I post again.