Whilst I was sorting photographs after Christmas I found a batch from a visit we made to Hughenden, a National Trust house that was once lived in by Benjamin Disraeli, way back in September. It was a lovely place to visit but on the way round I found a copy of a scrap book made by Mrs Disraeli in which she plans her wardrobe. Clearly the idea that ladies in the public eye have to make a particular effort is not a new one!
Because this book was a copy I was able to spend quite some time looking through it. I enjoyed being able to read the notes (presumably copied from an original) which gave an insight on how it must have been to have lived then, and also to have been a person of note. Or at very least a person of notes wife.
I have just joined Pinterest and am intending to make much use of the facility this year. Just imagine how useful it would have been to Mary Anne Disraeli!
Yes, it is still causing trouble. So I am out on safari in Bewdley (in the freezing cold it has to be said) looking for legal wi-fi I can hook in to. See how dedicated I am? It has to be said that buying a coffee and sitting in a local pub aint too bad.
The pictures of the Patrones coat. Awful self portrait but the management is out to work, and back in the dark at the moment
You may remember that I intended to make hand-worked buttonholes on this coat but after peppering the very few pieces I had left to sample on with test buttonholes I decided to go with a round ended machine buttonhole. I wanted the finished buttonhole to look a little more ‘there’ than my machine was offering so I carefully zig-zagged another pass, slightly wider than the original and falling into the cut area to encase the raw fabric. Looks fine to me.
The buttons were bought a couple of weeks ago (yes, I thought I would need them earlier than I did) and I am very happy with them. I wanted nice, but inconspicuous buttons for this. I would have been even happier had I been able to find a set I liked in one of my four, yes FOUR button tins. My father used to suggest that my mother and I checked the buttons before deciding what to make – he may have had a point. However, everything else for this coat came from stash so I am happy with that.
I wore it out to a Christmas concert in Birmingham on Tuesday night , hot of the ironing board, and declare it both warm and comfortable. I have already decided on my next project and will post soon – or when EE get me back up to speed so that I can access files and post pictures without everything ‘timing out’ before I am done!
I have already chosen my next project so I will be working on that around customer job next. More information soon.
I have spent some time over the weekend, and a bit more this morning determined to get to the end of this project. For a garment that was declared not to be an ‘epic’ project this has taken an unreasonable amount of time (and all my fault – I am sure that this could have been made in a fraction of the time by someone with their head in gear!) . And if I wasn’t having problems with my internet connection and strange things going on with the WordPress site I would show you pictures.
I will try again tomorrow. (Thanks EE – used to be Orange and have presumably ‘improved’ things such that they are now impenetrable for non-geeks like me). It seems I can’t even add tags to this post. AAaaaargh!
I have been surprised to realise that today is my blogs 1st anniversary. It is still a shock to me to find how many people have visited the site in the past year – and some have even been kind enough to comment on what they have seen! I love hearing from people so please feel free to say something when you call by.
The main intention of blogging was to encourage me to sew more for myself, and whilst my output has not been magnificent it is certainly more than I achieved in the previous year (and I feel is likely to increase as I have started to enjoy making things for myself again). I still feel a bit reluctant to show my methods of doing things – I feel I may be accused of trying to ‘teach my granny to suck eggs’ – so if you see something I am doing and want more detail please ask (I would be thrilled!). I also spent time last year doing a computer course which has been put to good use on occasion on here (did anyone notice that the misplaced post in the sidebar has been sorted out now? – and I did it all by myself!). I still have lots to learn but I think I’m getting better.
Another very happy accident of blogging is that I have connected with others through their blogs and gained lots of inspiration. It was from one of these blogs that I saw the skirt I made. Carolyn showed this skirt in her round-up from last year and I apologised in her comments – but had to have one.
I can remember making granny squares like this as a child – and never considered them as possible clothing components. The management was a bit nonplussed at the pile of squares growing on the table before they were all sewn together (I really hadn’t considered that part!), but he is now very impressed and declared it ‘very smart’. I think I should be pleased. I took this skirt away over the weekend and really enjoyed wearing it (warm butt in the cold, snowy conditions!). I had to adapt the yoke section from Carolyns instructions as I am somewhat thicker around the middle than she is but I think it has turned out very well – and I think it will be worn lots. Thank you Carolyn!
Yesterday I showed a picture of a fabulous hat I saw in the V&A and it was identified as belonging to the wonderful Dame Edna Everage.I found a link to a picture of Dame Edna wearing the hat to ‘Ladies Day’ (!?!) at Royal Ascot races. I hope you can access the picture – s/he looks ‘goooooorrgeous’ (Best Dame Edna voices please!) Check it out.
Again, thanks to everyone for stopping by my blog. Please comment – it makes me very happy! I hope to improve the content even more next year as my IT skills improve.
… ate too much, drank too much, did no sewing at all. As planned. I am now feeling a bit guilty for all the non activity and feel like planning the next move. But I haven’t shown you the Christmas prezzys I made yet! (Don’ t get too excited – it was a last minute thing – as usual).
Looking back on 2011 I haven’t done as much sewing for myself as I would have liked but I have made some real steps in other areas. I took over ‘Material Matters’ fabric sales from Pamela in April and hope I have been able to serve my customers as well as she did. I am still on a very steep learning curve but hope to find next year easier now that I have some things set up on computer to ease the process. That was next, I have completed a computer course this year (and now have a Nationally recognised qualification to show for it!) which I did not find easy. All the knowledge gained is being put into use and I hope that I will continue to improve (watch the website – I am working on another tutorial online which may show some benefits soon!). I have failed miserably to complete 12 jackets in the Jacket a Month challenge – but I have 3 more jackets than before so I win anyway!
Yet again I am the lucky recipient of not one but 2 Patrones magazines! My dear friends came back from Spain with these issues last week and I have spent hours poring over them.
I absolutely love the neck detail on the cover picture of issue 308, and the grey dress on page 11 (2nd down, first column on the middle picture) is simple but lovely. I am also looking at several pairs of trousers to try a pair in a wool tweed to go with my next planned jacket – but more if that later!
The other issue was a ‘Patrones Extra Tallas Grandes’ Issue 8. Not quite so much in this issue that I really liked until I got towards the back. Pages 42-45 looked appealing – but also strangely familiar. I trawled my past issues and, sure enough, found these designs in Issue 274 (Especial Fiesta).
Same model, same garments – actually same photographs. Did they think we wouldn’t notice? I love Patrones magazine but this does rather cheat its buyers don’t you think? I still like the first and last tops in the pictures and may make them at some point – but I still have the patterns from Issue 274.
Enough of that – I have finally got to the end of my computer course and passed the exam (Hurrah! I hear you say – perhaps the quality of the blog will improve! – don’t hold your breath) so I have a bit more time to sew for myself. I have long planned to make McCalls 5860 – which I first saw on Gigi Sews site. Gigi made a lovely version of this jacket and I lusted quietly after it – silly really since the pattern was available and I could make my own (not quite as good as Gigi’s) jacket. I thought this would be a very useful ‘anytime’ jacket – the sort you can throw on to go shopping or dress up to go out. The fabric I am intending to use is the stretch velvet I have in the winter collection. Now all I have to do is decide if I want blue or almond…….
This last week has been strange – hot and sunny in september/october in England? Almost unknown. However, as the conditions were so fabulous I have spent all available time ‘putting the garden to bed’ (though in truth I would prefer to put it to sleep – I am no gardener!)
Between client sewing, gardening, and trying to crack on with my IT qualification (slightly more than 50% done now!) I have not made any progress on the birthday jacket (that is scheduled for tomorrow – I am itching to get on now!).
But what of these innocent hats I hear you ask? Well, my husband (a non-knitter) is in an office that has decided to join in the request from the ‘Innocent’ drinks company for knitted hats for their smoothie bottles. You may have seen them in previous years – they are put on the bottles for sale and each bottle with a hat sold generates a small sum for a charity (This years charity is Age UK). They are so cute and quick to knit (I made the 2 stripy ones whilst watching ‘Merlin’ last night) that I thought I would help too.
If you want the details on how to help knit ‘hats for bottles’ check out the details at www.innocentdrinks.com/thebigknit .