Minoru progress report #2

I haven’t got on quite as well as I had hoped with my jacket – it is only as far as it is because I have imposed a deadline! Working on it over the weekend was a good idea as I have had no time to work on it through the week. Unfortunately I got distracted on Saturday by Bewdleys Wassail. Yes, I thought that too.

Dancers in Jubilee Gardens

Dancers in Jubilee Gardens

Dancing despite flood threat

Dancing despite flood threat

Bewdley was full (or so it seemed) of dancers in remarkable costumes giving their all before the Wassail ceremony on Saturday afternoon to bring luck and a good harvest to the fruit trees in the community orchard inn Jubilee Garden. All great fun and terribly pagan. Mr Styles, who sells my favourite apple juice  was there so I stocked up on my favourite Bramley and Cox juice. Someone else was selling fabulous sausage rolls so I added them to my home made Celery soup and lunch was sorted.

I really fell in love with the willow chicken that Bewdley Willow had brought along as part of their display – if anyone sees The Management suggest one for my birthday!Isn’t it fabulous. They had photographs of some of their other work which was wonderful. Anyway, you can see how anyone would have been distracted. And also what a bizarre town I live in!

Bewdley Willow statues - I love that chicken!

Bewdley Willow statues – I love that chicken!

 

Looking good so far -the back view.

Looking good so far -the back view.

Raglan seams sealed

Raglan seams sealed

Back to the jacket. I sewed the body together and sealed the raglan seams with some waterproof tape from Pennine Outdoor to try and make it a little more rain resistant. The tape was fairly easy to use – simply iron into place and leave to allow the glue to set again. I hope it will help, but as it is something I haven’t used before I will have to report back after wearing. I also used the tape on the seam in the hood. It seemed like a no brainer to have it at the very top of the garment that would be hit be rain first. Lets hope it works!

I made the welt pockets in the front pieces before I stitched the body together. Nothing really to report on the basic welt pocket – however the actual flaps/welts are a little different. I used a method I first saw in Threads magazine many years ago from an article called ‘No-bulk Envelope Welts’ (pause whilst everyone charges off to check their magazine stash – you have to go to February/March 1998 ladies!) . This looks complicated but isn’t, and whilst it wasn’t essential in this fabric you can imagine the difference it makes to a thick wool pocket.

Pocket support

Pocket support

Bulk Free welt flap patterns and samples.

Bulk Free welt flap patterns and samples.

If you click on the pattern/sample picture you can enlarge it to see the principal involved. By making the seam at the end of the flap (which would normally end up four layers of fabric deep when turned) into a mitered corner in moves the bulk from the seam away from the very end. This makes the pocket much neater, and also easier to sew in place as you aren’t quite so likely to be falling off the end.

Inside the pocket I attached a strip of scrap to the top of the pocket bag and attached it to the front of the jacket so that the pocket will be supported by the seam when it is all finished.

I’m pretty pleased with the jacket so far, it is fitting pretty well although the sleeves are too long at present. Once I have the zip sewn in I will start on the lining/Thinsulate interlining. I think that should take less time than the main body as there are less details to be sewn so I really want to finish it next week.

All I have to do is keep up with customer deadlines. So far so good, but more are ringing now. Aaargh.

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Coverstitcher truce

I haven’t mentioned the Janome Coverstitcher for a while but we have been making slow progress together, not perfect, but a truce none-the-less. I had been avoiding the whole ‘sports fabric’ area and just concentrated on the sort of things that enabled me to learn more about this strange machine without completely freaking me out. Then this arrived.

They both need to be the small size

They both need to be the small size

My darling daughter has secured a place in next Aprils London Marathon and is going to have to really ramp up the training through the winter.Just the time that laundry becomes more difficult. So, she needs more sports gear. As many runners out there know some events give away a t-shirt on completion of your run. Rarely are they the right size – hence the need to adapt the orange monster above.

My first attempt at remodeling a ‘too large’ sports top ended in disaster. I really shouldn’t have tried that sort of a project as one of my first experiences of coverstitching. I had skipped stitches, terribly wobbly seams, and in all it was just awful.

One of the problems last time was that I was ‘working in the dark’ with no real idea of what was needed. This time I had a top I knew fitted and was comfortable for her to run in to copy. Using pattern paper and pins/tracing wheel I was able to make a pattern I was pretty confident in – and with the experience I had in general pattern cutting I was able to iron out a few snags before I got to the top ready to start cutting it up.

Thankfully having used the machine more now the second attempt went really well! I didn’t change to another needle, didn’t fiddle with any of the tensions, or any other voodoo and it worked just fine. Maybe it was just because I had relaxed? Anyway, the seams weren’t precisely straight – but were straight enough. They were stitched flat so they wont rub, and didn’t have skipped stitches. I was veryhappy.

Happy with the job this time!

Happy with the job this time!

When she comes to stay for Christmas my daughter can take these away – and hopefully one of the other two outsized tops that are waiting for attention. She has been advised that in future if she can’t get a top that actually fits to go for the largest available so I have lots of room to adjust!

Matching sizes - hurrah!

Matching sizes – hurrah!

Whilst I do run/jog I don’t go anything like as fast or as far as her so I enjoy taking in my surroundings (yes, I go that slow!). I was surprised to find penguins in Bewdley the other day on my little circuit from home. More bombing!

The one in the middle has been fishing!

The one in the middle has been fishing!

They really cheered me up – although the local anglers will probably not take kindly to them fishing! We have a seal in the river at the moment (whom I have looked out for and not seen – boo!) and there is a campaign to have her relocated to the sea as she is reducing the fish stocks. How long before they want to relocate the swans?


Bewdley has been yarn bombed!

The Management has a bad cough at the moment. Like a walrus who smokes (it has to be said that The Management doesn’t smoke). It is disturbing us both at night, so neither of us is getting much sleep. I was really fuggy headed this morning and decided to have a walk to try and shine up my brain before I did any work. I have spotted some of these items before but thought I ought to give you a little view of my (very beautiful) town.

A lovely hat on the post box

A lovely hat on the post box

My first stop was to post a letter – and found that the post box had grown a very natty hat. You can’t really see the detail from my phone picture but it has little ‘Postman Pat’ motifs around the edge. And a lovely bobble on top.

Look out for the fisherman!

Look out for the fisherman!

I continued to the river (Severn, since you ask. It used to be called the Sabrina – I wish it still was) and took the picture of the fish in a net. If you look very carefully you might be able to find the fisherman who was in waders in the middle of the river. I suspect he will be buying fish and chips for tea.

Warm tree?

Warm tree?

This was the first piece of ‘yarn bombing’ I spotted in Bewdley. It is a lovely warm tree in Jubilee Gardens, just behind our wonderful Museum. You can see the open air theater in the background. Aren’t we lucky in our little town. I will have to watch this tree over the coming weeks to see if the warm coat makes it’s leaves stay longer.

Lady Tree?

Lady Tree?

After walking through the museum back to head for home there is only one more thing to show you.  Just opposite the wonderful Farm Shop there is a tree dressed as a lady. Complete with handbag. And hat. Lovely.

I have no idea who is putting these wonderful pieces of art around town, that is possibly the idea, but I love them. And finding a new one on a walk is a real delight. I hope you enjoyed them too.

I feel just about ready to cut out my dress and do battle with the coverstitcher now. Or at least after a cup of tea and something to eat.

 

 

 


An important visitor to Bewdley…

Not a person. But (pause for drumroll) THE OLYMPIC TORCH! Unless you have been living under a rock you will know that the games are to be held in London this summer but I truly never expected the torch to pass through a little town like mine. Not that I don’t think it deserves it – we are just a bit …. small.

Bewdley knows how to celebrate – we have an annual Festival which attracts some very impressive people (my daughter is still impressed with how fabulous Honor Blackman looked even in a dressing gown and curlers at her sound check) … but I digress.

Olympic Torch day

Theres a bridge under there somewhere…

 Today Bewdley was heaving with not only the great and good, but the everybody. And we had all come to see this.

Olympic Torch day

The ACTUAL Olympic torch!

This is the real Olympic flame which is being taken in relay around Britain – carried through

Olympic Torch day

Torch makers mum

Olympic Torch day

I get to hold the torch!

Bewdley by Samuel Loveitt (Age 12) Well done that man!

 For a while it didn’t seem as though we would see anything through the crowd and I was very kindly offered the chance to hold ‘a torch’ (though not THE torch) by a lady whose son had made it at school. Brilliant! Not everyone was so convinced that it had been

Olympic Torch day

Monty remains unimpressed – though well dressed.

worthwhile – but was still happy to be dressed for the occasion. Meet Monty – it took three attempts to get this photograph (I have one with just his butt and tail!) but it was worth it as he is so handsome! Jubilee Celebrations next!  After leaving the town the flame was to go on a steam train , stopping at the West Midlands Safari park where the elephants had been practicing their wave too. Check this out!


Continued sunshine – and some sewing

I had to check the calendar but, yes, it is still only March but the sun has shone here in Bewdley for days! The grass has been cut, borders tidied, and general outdoor jobs picked off.

Beautiful Bittern

Beautiful Bittern

We have a wonderful preserved railway here in Bewdley (The Severn Valley Railway) which had a very elegant guest engine for a special weekend. I spent some time daydreaming, thinking of the wonderful 1930’s fashions it would have seen. All very glamorous. The management tells me it is an A4 Pacific Class engine called Bittern (The same sort as the more famous ‘Mallard’). We went walking on sunday hoping to get a nice photograph of the engine but failed miserably. The wonderful photograph above of Bittern on Victoria bridge (which you may recognise if you have see the film’The 39 steps’ with Robert Powell) is by HennersJames. If you like lovely photographs, not all of engines but there are a few more, check out his Flickr site. I think I may need to look for a nice anorak pattern!

Alice+Olivia top - again!

Alice+Olivia top - again!

Triple zigzag on neckline

Despite all the walking and outdoor activities I did finish the top I started. I used a triple zigzag to finish the ‘raw edge’ detail, and also on the hems at the sleeve (which I shortened and tightened to make slightly shorter than ‘bracelet’ length) and body. Whilst the top looked fine when I put it on I can see a tuck at bust level in the photograph so if I make this again I will do a full bust adjustment. Now that this is in the right size (almost!) I am very happy with it and can confirm it is very comfortable. I had thought it may be just a little transparent as the fabric is quite a fine knit but there is no show through at all.

 While we were taking these photographs (at the end of a long day – can you tell!) I slipped the shirtdress (SAM2)on to get a picture. I love it but will probably make the next incarnation – which is intended more as a dress- the back length all round.SAM 2 - Shirtdress (self drafted)

I have accepted some alterations to four bridesmaids dresses for a wedding this saturday so I will be concentrating on those this week. They have been beautifully made – but sadly not as the bride wished. A reminder to all professional dressmakers that what the paying customer wants is what should be made – not what we want to make! I will be able to do more sewing for me when I have sorted these out. 

 Happy sewing everyone – and  I hope the sun is shining on you too.