Monday, 28 September 2015

Fabric Shopping 4 - Unselfish Shopping


So as a quick follow up to my previous post my Christmas sewing has gone forward!

I have finished the bow ties - this makes 1/13 makes finished - SCARY!

These actually used a fair bit of fabric but I managed to salvage some material from the failed Clemence skirt and two pieces from my crafty cotton stash. The rest of the flamingo fabric (1m bought in an eBay offer, the flamingo print is running widthways so I can't use it for a top as planned) will be made into skirts for my nieces, depending on how much can get out of it!

So I went to Walthamstow on Saturday and was sooooo hard not to buy more fabric for myself but so silly to as I need to just sew Christmas presents for a while!

I got 5 metres of this - seems so much! To make dressing gowns for the 3 little men in my life, looks too much, if there is a lot I may try to knock up some pajama bottoms if I have time and enough fabric. It is so soft for a polycotton, £1.50 a metre - £7.50 for 3 Christmas presents!

This is a gorgeous soft viscose, I fell in love when I saw it - got 3metres at £2 a metre - hoping to get 3 dresses out of it for the triplets (they're identical and fight if don't have same clothes, which makes it easier for me!)

Another lovely viscose for my eldest niece a dressing gown - Richard has said he may want this for his mums dressing gown though - 2.5 meters for £5

This is for Richards sister - its a lovely floaty cotton, quite thin but feels lovely! 2.5m for £5 again.

I still need to buy fabric for my aunties dressing gown and for Richards mum/my eldest niece depending on what Richard decides to go for!

I have made a start on cutting for my quilts - 3 in total, one for my nan and one each for my two pregnant friends. It is going to be much more work than i anticipated I think - all the cutting! It is my own fault though, I can never do anything simple once I have an idea in my head. I have designed the quilt blocks myself and now I have this in my head I can't think of anything else!

Very technical drawing on Excel! but it's easy to follow and I think will give good results.

I said before I am very aware I do not want this blog to be a crafty blog and I promise it won't be but I really enjoy shlopping all my thoughts down on here, please 'mark as read' on your blog feed if you don't want to listen to my rambling! Clothes sewing will resume as soon as possible! Promise!

I did make a muslin for some holiday shorts (much quicker than I thought!) so when the quilts are finished cutting I may need a break for some shorts!

Anyway, enjoy the last few days of September and enjoy the last few hours of sunshine before winter sets in!
I am off to try stop thinking of a lovely viscose print I saw in Walthamstow and talk myself out of going to buy it on payday....

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Unselfish Sewing - Christmas Planning

So sorry to mention the dreaded 'C' word in September but in order to get myself out of the sewing lull my last task has thrown me into I have been planning my Christmas sewing!

Unfortunately my Mr (Richard) lost his job just over a week ago due to no fault of his own and we have a holiday booked and for 27th December so it is just my wage until he finds something. Unfortunately my wage only just covers bills (silly London rental prices) so we are on a VERY strict budget until after Christmas now. And what is the cheapest way of doing Christmas? HANDMADE!

So plans are now queuing up in my head, meaning I am going to have to get a move on in order to make everything in time. Luckily I cannot afford to leave the house so at least I will have the time! (This is me making light of a situation that really makes me feel quite sick if think about it too long - I do not want to get into debt for a holiday, but also do not want to lose the money already spent on said holiday! Aargh)

Between us we have 17 people to buy gifts for: 2 Mums, 2 Dads, 1 Nan, 2 Grandads, 1 Sister, 1 Auntie, 5 Nieces (ages 13, 6 and triplets aged 5) and 3 Nephews (ages 3 and two 2 year olds). Oh and two friends are due to give birth the week after basically A LOT of presents and therefore a long post ahead...

The Plan:

Richard's parents came to visit London in July and his dad was perusing a lot of bow ties in various markets we visited (for some unknown reason as never even seen him in a tie!), so I am making him some bow ties from here.

See Kate Sew free bow tie pattern and tutorial

The tutorial and pattern is really simple, I have sewn up 4 using stash material and interfacing, they aren't quite finished yet but is a really simple pattern to follow and is showing some really good results.

Richards Mum and Sister, my Auntie and eldest Niece are getting the same gift - a cotton dressing gown made from the Simple Sew Kimono Dress Pattern #010 that was free within my Love Sewing Magazine subscription. This pattern is strange because I cannot find any reference to it actually existing through either company OR anywhere else on the internet other than this Ebay seller.

Photo taken from above seller.
This is strictly a dress pattern but the outline drawing makes it look simple enough as a dressing gown. I have not bought the fabric yet but it will be a trip to Walthamstow I think for 3m each of something pretty. To keep costs down I think it will be a polycotton (so easy to sew with) or a nice drapey viscose and to keep sewing time down they will ideally be in similar colour ways so I can mass produce each robe and make it quicker. 

Youngest 4 nieces - 3 of them are identical triplets and wear similar clothes, not exactly the same as they are getting older but definitely on the same theme. I have a few patterns I already own but it will be one of these three each

Twirl Skirt  / A-Line dress / Twirl Skirt
guessing Etsy sellers are not too creative with their pattern names haha
But I have just found this pattern and LOVE I will decide when fabric shopping whether I want to try something new or go back to a pattern I know is easy to sew. All these patterns take about 1m fabric each (probably much less for the skirts). Again will pick similar colour fabrics to try a production line of makes for all four. 

Sweet Pea Pajamas from Blank Slate Patterns

Through the same Melly Sews blog I have found this adorable free pattern (Pinterest is amazing for finding free patterns for kids)

My three nephews will look amazing in this, so cute! This blog has lots of amazing patterns but no fabric requirements for this, I am estimating (from looking at the comments) will need 1.5-2m of each. Again will pick similar fabrics to be able to sew as quickly as possible!

My nan really appreciates handmade presents, I have made her aprons before (she is so cute, she can't sit in the house without her 'pinny' on) and cushion covers so I am going to make her a lap quilt and have ordered this gorgeous polycotton bundle

Polycotton from eBay seller

I have a lot of blues, pinks and whites already in my craft fabric stash to bulk this out if need be but unsure of what pattern to use yet.

Two very good friends are having babies due the same week after christmas, one is having a boy, and I really hope the other is having a girl for total selfish reasons as I should have enough fabric for both then! I will need to buy batting, backing fabric and bias tape for each though (unless I am lazy and back in fleece) but will wait until finished the tops for that. 

So minimum fabric I need to buy is 21m - 4x 3m, 4x 1m and 3x 1.5m.

Wow I have a LOT of sewing to do, I can't see me being able to do much personal sewing for a while which is actually pretty sad as I want to keep up with this blog but really don't want to make it a crafty blog. We shall see how it goes but please bear with me while I am plowing through this lot! 

Do you have any unselfish sewing planned? Started to think of Christmas yet?

Hope you have a great rest of the week, and apologies for the super long post!

Kristy xx

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Made Up Initiative - Simplicity 8523 - FAIL!


Hope you are having a glorious weekend!

So this has been a journey that I was hoping to finish by the deadline of 10th September as pledged but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be!

I used fabric bought here (top one) which has a fair amount of stretch in you can see by the picture below my top is stretched out at all angles so I am guessing it doesn't have good recovery from the stretch

The stretched out armholes are just beyond saving.  I don't know what I have done- I stay stitched and tried my best not to be too rigorous when using the bias tape to edge. I'm gutted and totally lost my sewing mojo!

I am determined not to give up on this clothes making lark as I love it just too much but I really need a satisfying make up my (non-stretched) sleeve! I am actually hitting the Xmas present sewing hard today to try make something easy and lovely then I may have another go at this bloody top! Aaaargh I just want to scream at it!!!!

How do you get out of a sewing lull?

Thanks for reading
Kristy xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Simplicity 8523 Muslin - Round 2

Hello Everyone,

Wednesday again! Every weekend should be a three day weekend, definitely makes for an easier working week that is for sure!

My morning has been pretty chaotic, worked from home due to a doctors appointment and let the plumbers in to check on the small leak I had reported to the landlord, by the time I had to leave my kitchen flooring was all up and a massive hole in the foyer (sounds grander than it is but I cannot think of a better word) ceiling had a massive hole in it. Turns out to be a leak coming from the boiler which means the heating hasn't been working - we moved in end of April and not had the heating on yet so didn't know that but the ceiling/my floor (we are upstairs flat) is all rotten and needs replacing. Dreading the mess when I get home!

Anyway, Simplicity 8523 has not got the better of me! Yay!


This is what I did to the pattern...

  • Retraced the pattern from scratch
  • lowered the neckline by 4cm
  • brought in the shoulders on the front and back (at the correct place this time) by 4.5cm
  • Lengthened by 5cm
  • I decided against the FBA and to just stop being overly cautious

And this is how muslin number 4 turned out

Muslin 4

Still not happy with the depth of the V - I do not want the lady lumps out but I also don't want to look frumpy.  The arm holes gaped, but was expecting that after last time but was happy with where the shoulders hit, will be happier when turned under into binding when in real fabric. So I followed the same gaping armhole tutorial as last time and lowered the V by another 1.5cm and sewed up muslin number 5

Not great pictures...but LOOK - IT FITS!!!!
No gaping armhole (but a strange fat armpit?!)...V perfect depth

So does the back! I can move my arms around freely, and its a good length.

After all these alterations my pattern looked a bit strange but I managed to round off the armhole perfectly fine (I bought a french curve - a really cheap one - and helped A LOT)

So, my fabric is cut for my first attempt at this in something other than sheeting fabric, I have redrawn facings for the front, cut out bias binding for the armholes and cut the back facing and have washed and ironed fabric for a second attempt - I am hoping I am not being too confident and this actually works! Also managed to easily fit it into 1m of fabric - bonus!

I am hoping to make good progress on this tonight as I have 8 days left of the Made Up Initiative - if you haven't already  made a pledge and donated why don't you give it a go? It is for an amazing charity! I am at a hen do this weekend and when I get home sunday I am not confident I will be wanting to sew so need to get lots done tonight!

Happy sewing and thanks for reading!

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