Saturday, 23 August 2014

Vogue 1353 and holiday time

I've just had two weeks holiday, not very good weather I'm afraid, but I've got a lot done!  With new carpets coming on Wednesday I've repainted three rooms (not my favourite job and my poor right hand feels very weak).    I'm not going away this year; I'm at a bit of a crossroads holiday wise.  Now Dan is grown and married, I'm need to start going on my own, which is quite a step!  So I plumped for new carpets instead. 

I have managed quite a bit of sewing too.  I finished Vogue 1353, a Kay Unger pattern  and I've already worn it three times.   I would love it in the fabric choice on the pattern, but I couldn't find it anywhere, it looks like silk.
Anyway mine is a great dress for work.

Quite a good shape, although different for me.  I really don't wear sleeveless dresses, but I ended up with this pattern because a friend at my sewing class had accidentally ordered two.  I'm afraid I also copied her fabric choice and I absolutely love this fabric (more in future posts).  It's a linen  look but without the crumpling problem.

The fabric was probably a bit heavy for the pattern and it was really thick at the facings.  I ended up both understitching ......  (would May approve?)

..... and topstitching to keep the pleats acceptably neat.

Top stitching round the armholes has made them feel a bit sharp, so that's probably not something I will do again.  The skirt is pleated and quite nice, though I could have done with an inch or so less around the waist (hence the belt).

The other tricky bit was the shoulders,  you attach the lining before joining the shoulders and I found it very fiddly and thick, I don't think I'd attach shoulders like that again.  But the worst mistake was made after the dress was finished, in my final press I managed to melt the lining, properly melt it and my only option was to cut the melted bit out and patch it!  What an idiot!

Have you been enjoying The Great British Bake Off.  I have.  I haven't done any baking for ages ... but feeling inspired I'm going to try and choose a dish each week and have a go.  For week 1, cake 1 I went for a Swiss Roll.  I've never made one before, but armed with my Mary Berry Recipe I've had a go.  Its a whisked sponge  which definitely rose (n.b. remember to grease the sides of the baking parchment too, hence a bit of sticking!). 

I rolled it when hot ......

.... and I have a really good roll.

Then some whipped cream, strawberries and icing sugar.    I went a bit overboard with the strawberries and had to remove a few to reroll!

What's not to like.  I can almost hear Mary and Paul .... "It's a little overbaked which has made it a little dry, a good roll though!"  Next week Florentines.

Finally, a little celebration.  I have 50 followers on Bloglovin and I am really touched that anyone can be bothered to read my little offerings.  So thank you very much and especially to those of you who leave a comment.  Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday.

Friday, 8 August 2014

I belong to Glasgow in Simplicity 1803

Last week Dan, Gemma and I had a day out in Glasgow.

There was a vintage fair...

.... and of course it was the Commonwealth Games, so the city was buzzing!

We booked afternoon tea at the famous Willow Tea Rooms, designed by MacIntosh

It was a real treat ...

Glasgow is a great place and there was lots to see that we just hadn't time for, so another visit is definitely called for.

On to the dress I was wearing. I've been taking part in Lauren and Andi's Outfit-a-long (OAL) and I have just made it as it finished on the end date, even had to blow dry my cardigan as I blocked it !  The idea was to make a dress and matching cardi.

The dress is Simplicity 1803 and it was quite a different style for me to make as the bodice is a little quirky.
I love the bodice, a really flattering fit and cute capped sleeves which just cover my arms a bit (don't like exposing my arms too much).  The pattern has a gathered skirt, but Lauren demonstrated how to make a pleated skirt and I thought that would be more flattering.  The inside isn't lined but it still looks nice, and with this thicker quilting cotton I thought a lining would be too much. 
 I used Lauren's excellent tutorials to help with the slightly complicated bodice construction.   The shoulders and facings are attached in quite an unusal manner (you may get the idea from the inside shot).

I was really pleased with how the facing went on, the understitching worked and the resultant neck shape is really neat.

Overall I like the dress, though I'm going to need to make bra strap holders (or use a safety pin) and the waist could do definitely do with about one inch taking out.  Generally the dress went together well until I got to the zip!  Then I managed to melt the first one, and had to unpick the next one 3 times!

The sleeve has a little pleat which is cute.

Just a word about this fabric.  I love it!  It's Amy Butler Tumble Roses which I bought at my local quilting shop.  It has a slight stretch and sews like a dream.  Unfortunately I don't think you can get it in this country any more or I would by some more for a wiggle style dress.  I do worry sometimes though that I am dressing too young for my age!  Hopefully someone would tell me, as you get older the "mutton dressed as lamb" label becomes a real worry.

The cardie is my third Andi Satterlund  pattern, Myrna.  I love the shape she designs with a tight little waist.  I love the duck egg blue colour.  Unfortunately I'm not in love with the wool which is  Rowan worsted in duck egg blue. It is really itchy and so I'm just not sure I'm going to get any real wear from it.  Also I think it does look homemade.  The stitches are pretty uneven, and there is a lot of picking up stitches (for the sleeves and button bands) which I'm not great at.  You can also see the button band pulling when its buttoned up.

Well all for now.  I don't know about you but I have also thoroughly enjoyed watching the Commonwealth Games and the Home Countries were superb!  The first time England has beaten Australia to lead the medal table in ages.  There were too many highlights to mention!  I'm enjoying a 2 week holiday at home at the moment, a fair bit of painting is going on in anticipation of a new carpet in a couple of weeks.  Shame the sun seems to have disappeared at the moment.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lottie Blouse and a bit of a bargain!

This was a bargain make.  The pattern is the Lottie blouse which came free with Simple Sew magazine (this is a new mag which I am enjoying).   Sorry I did mean to blog about this blouse while the magazine was still available but I think it disappeared last week!

I liked the look of the blouse and then at the Minerva meet-up Lisa (the designer) was demonstrating making the blouse.  Lisa's red version was gorgeous and it looked really easy.

So I bought the fabric at the Minerva craft meet-up.  It is 100% viscose but it has a lovely drape for this blouse and feels really comfy.  At £5.95 a metre I needed 1.2 metres, so again a bargain (you can buy it on-line here) .  It definitely has a 60s vibe in the bright paisley pattern and the jade colour goes really well with other items in my wardrobe. I'm getting a bit fonder of 60s fashions (the problem is I was there for the first time - and I'm enjoying This Old Thing on a Wed evening which is looking at Vintage (mostly 60s) clothes.  I really like the finished blouse, not my usual style as it is not really fitted, but I do like a bow-neck!

The neck was the fiddly bit.  You have to cover the key hole shape with bias binding (I made my own; first time for this, and with this really soft fabric it was a bit difficult). 

So the bias round the neck was a bit tricky but otherwise construction was straightforward.  You fit the sleeves in flat and then just sew right from the cuff to the hem. 

We are having a lovely heatwave here in Cumbria and I'm enjoying the sunshine as well as lovely bunches of stocks and roses!  Thanks so much for your comments which I love reading.  Enjoy the rest of the wekk.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Butterick 6018 and happy July

Things got pretty much out of kilter in June.  It is the worst month of the year for me, Dan and Gemma moved out and I am getting reused to living alone, my hard drive packed up etc. etc., so that's why the posts have been few and far between.  However, things are getting back to normal.  A new 50s style dress is finished; Butterick 6018.

This has a definite 50s feel with its high, fitted bodice and wide skirt made from 8 panels.

There is a sweetheart neckline which was a little challenging to make it sit nicely, but I just about managed.   You can imagine how difficult it was to turn all that thickness of material into a neat little point.

The pattern had facings, but I decided to do a full lining (love the mint colour!).

The fabric was incredibly cheap, enough for two dresses and it only cost £15, and because of this it was a bit rough, it is a type of crepe but with a high synthetic content, and it was difficult to cut and sew, shifting everywhere, weighs a ton, but I just love this colour, duck egg blue is my absolute favourite.  I think this pattern would make a lovely evening dress, perhaps in a black silk, so I do hope to make it again. maybe a little more fitted around the waist.

I am working on lots of other projects; another dress, a slip, another dress cut out,  two sweaters to block and sew up and a new cardi on the go.  Actually I don't think I like having so many on the go, I really prefer having one sewing and one knitting project on the go until they are finished.  Why so many then?  Its the result of lots of sew and knit-alongs which I wanted to join in and then have found tricky to keep up with!  In future I won't do more than one at once.

The best part of June was an enjoyable day at the Minerva meet-up.  Starting with some bucks fizz it was heaving.  It was odd seeing people whose blogs I follow and feeling a bit like a stalker as you stared and thought that's "Scruffy Badger!"

I did pluck up the nerve to actually speak to Karen of "Did you Make That"  who gave a great talk.  I'm wearing my Cambie dress which could do with some adjustments since I've lost a bit of weight.  The rather oddly placed circles on my chest are where people were voting for my dress!  Very flattering, it was definitely the bright pink flamingos.

My favourite dress of the day was this one, doesn't she look lovely, it's the Betty dress, which I rather fancy in some caramel polkadot fabric.

So I had a great day, and of course didn't manage to leave without spending rather a lot of money!  As you can see there is a definitely duck egg and teal thing going on here.


Other good bits have been a working lunch at Lakeside Hotel!  How lovely is this, and how lucky am I to live in such a beautiful part of the world?

Last night I went to the annual village dance and I had a great time; danced for ages and did not feel my age at all ... I was back in the 70s and I won the raffle, a bottle of Glenfiddich.  The band included some amazing facial hair and a great guest appearance by a very young drummer.

... today was glorious and what a gorgeous sight this old railway signal covered with roses was.

Finally I leave you with this very cute pic of my lovely cats, being very sweet with each other, that's certainly not always the case.