More travel, and a decision made.

I know. I should have reported back and told you what I have been doing (or not doing more importantly).I got back from a week (yes- another week) in Northumberland visiting family. I’m sure everyone will agree that you never take the opportunity to enjoy your own patch while you live there so we spent time visiting places as well as relatives. I can’t believe I never visited Housesteads on Hadrians Wall before. I have to say how sorry I feel for any poor centurion who was looking for a nice warm billet and ended up there – lovely though the view is!

Hadrians Wall - Housesteads

How it would have looked – allegedly

Hadrians Wall - Housesteads

Nice view – but COLD!

 Just imagine coming from Rome. To Northumberland. Ouch. No amount of under floor heating would take the sting out of that! And you only got the heating if you were important enough. Poor cold foot soldiers. I worked out that I would have been born north of the wall had it stayed in place so would have been one of the ‘wild men’ (or women) of the North! Nuff said.

After we had spent a bit of cultural time visiting National Trust properties with both mothers we ran away by boat to Amsterdam. For the day. I know – we took longer getting there and back than we spent in the city – but it was well worth it and we will certainly be going back. I might even get to visit Kantje Boord for bra making supplies if I have enough time! (Since the management wasn’t even able to visit ‘The Night Watch’ I didn’t feel I could push the point). We did visit the Ann Frank house which was very moving. It’s ages since I read the book so I will have to get it and re-read.


Lots of tall, thin houses


A bicycle built for …4!?!


Pretty huh?

‘Now, what about sewing?’ I hear you ask.

I have been sewing. Honest, M’Lud.

I have spent what feels like weeks making three adorable bridesmaid dresses for a client so I can’t show you the results. All I can say is that they were cuter than should be allowed. And took far longer than I had expected –  even taking into account all of the flounces. They were all like the view on the left.

B4967 Anyway, they have now left the premises and I am left with just the client work that has log jammed behind them. There is a wedding dress to be altered but nothing else has quite such an important deadline so I think I can get back to my ’30 minutes for me’ in the day which has been sadly neglected. I have decided to make the Vogue pattern 1214 in this lovely pin striped cotton with elastane I had in stash. I have already had the belt made by Harlequin – so I feel as though I have already made a little start! I’m still not sure whether I want to add sleeves to the pattern or just wear a  T under it if I am a bit cool. Any opinions? I hope to get this cut out over the weekend and start sewing it next week.

P.S. I renewed my Threads magazine subscription a couple of weeks ago and have been sent two duplicate magazines. After a ‘Live Chat’ with a lovely lady called Debra I have been given permission to offer them here to anyone who would like to see issues 162 and 163. Let me know if you are new to Threads and I will send them to you.

Could be yours!

More News from the Trenches

After a week of catching up on everyone elses work I have spent the weekend doing more of my trenchcoat. I have now finished the pockets, front and back flaps,collar and stand, belt loops and have made the belt and straps ready to have the eyelets put in by Harlequin. Photos below.

It now feels almost finished, although there is still a fair bit to do. I wont do any more until the belt/straps are back and I get the buttons which are now ordered. I managed to get buckles from a friend who is a harness maker. I will have to remember her as a source for the future – Thanks Madge!


I am getting to the point where I really want to make something else now but I have to be disciplined and finish this first. Boo hoo.

News from the Trenches

Life seems to have got in the way of this project. It’s not that I haven’t been sewing – just not for me (again). Progress has been very slow although I have now tried the body on and am fairly happy with the fit.It looks better on me than Bessie. I have used fine sheer fuzing to interline the cotton – it is giving just enough support as I didn’t want to have a ‘stiff’ coat. 

 I have used a technique from an old issue of ‘Threads’ magazine. In issue 75 there was an article on ‘No Bulk Envelope Welts’. I remembered thinking it looked like a good idea but had never got round to putting it in a garment (although I had sampled it). As you can see it relies on mitres to move the seam away from the sides of the flap so there is much less bulk under the needle when you sew the pockets to the garment. I have done things in slightly the wrong order so that I could get the placement where I wanted which means that I am going to have to work the pockets with the garment almost together.

I would have had to make a major ‘full bust adjustment’ in any commercial pattern but since this pattern was cut from my own jacket block/sloper (Made from the instructions in the Winifred Aldrich pattern Cutting for Womenswear book) I just had to make the darts I needed look reasonably attractive. I divided the volume between three darts in the side/front seam which I am fairly happy with. All the seams are to be topstitched (in classic denim fashion) so I stitched the darts down too.

The other slight irritation at the moment is that I found a couple of buttons in my stock that were just perfect. Except there aren’t enough for this garment. I have searched locally and not found anything I am as happy with so I am going to have to go to Birmingham where the choice is larger. It is my plan to send the belts to Harlequin to have the eyelets put in – they do such a good job I don’t think it’s worth me messing up the work I have put in trying to do them myself. If I can’t find suitable buttons I may have them do edged covered buttons which will look fine.

I am hoping to find some time tomorrow to continue this. Perhaps I was a bit optimistic to think I could finish this in February! (And the curtains…… don’t ask.)

P.S.  Me-Made March is going well but it has highlighted how many ‘tops’ I make rather than skirts/trousers. Will have to address that.