Sunday, 21 September 2014

New Look 6095; a bit of the sixties

So in my last post I mentioned how much I loved the linen look fabric in the dress I made, I loved it so much that I bought some more. 

When I was at the Miverva meet-up I saw this colour version of the fabric, and I love it.  It is great to wear, wash and sew and the good news is they still have it in and in another colour-way.  I although I  now have 2 dresses already I am still tempted to buy more.  I knew I wanted to colour-block it with some duck-egg blue linen which I found on ebay.  New Look       had a separate band at the bottom and I just needed to draft my own separate yoke.

I had to drop the back darts about 1" to work around a yoke.  The pattern was an easy make, it was only trying to get the yoke and bottom band really even which took a fair bit of fiddling.  I was pleased with how the invisible zip went in even over the colour block seams

I'm also pretty pleased with the top-stitching.

 I also lined the dress in poly-cotton which is very comfortable and which gave the linen a bit more substance and made the zip nice and tidy inside.

 The only thing I don't really like is that the mini-cap sleeves mean that the inside of the sleeve is rather visible from the outside, and you can see the overlocking if you look closely.

This is a shift dress though with some shaping at the waist, which  is a very different style of dress to the waist-cinching ones I usually like making.   I'm channelling  a bit of a sixties vibe here (a bit of disco maybe!)

I didn't know if I would like it, but I really do, and I've probably had more complements over this dress than any others I've made.  I just love the colour combination and I've worn it 10 times already!  Its quite smart for work with a jacket, or more casual with a cardie and flat shoes. 

I would recommend this pattern.  I cut a size 14, and the only changes made were to take an inch from the waist length (my usual adjustment) and to length by about 4". 

My Great British Bake Off challenge continues: for biscuit week I made Florentines (judges comments would probably have been "rather big and irregular, but good flavour"

....for bread week cinnamon and raisin bread "underproved but good flavour"

and for pie week plum and custard flan "crème pat. has held well, nice flavours, the pastry is overworked ..... but NO SOGGY BOTTOM"

I've missed dessert week as I can't really take the results round to friends and I'm not particularly fancying any of the European cake ideas.   I've been enjoying a bit of baking, but I certainly wouldn't have been a star baker, though the product has been enjoyed at work.  I just love Nancy referring to the "male judge"!

According to the forecast the temperature has dropped now, and so I enjoyed possibly the last of the really warm summer walks on Friday after work.  This is my favourite walk just a few minutes from where I live, how lucky am I?  Views of the fells,  the sea and Sizergh castle, it doesn't get much better.

happy dogs ....

 and the cows walking slowly to be milked with their calves trotting after their mums

By the way, my lack of posting has been somewhat due to losing my photographer now Dan is no longer here.  These photos are my attempts at self-timing so not great, but hopefully practice will make perfect (or better at least) so posting will become more regular.

Jessie has also been enjoying the sun, but in the house, making herself comfy against my favourite cross stich cushion which I made ages ago.

I've had a lovely weekend and looking forward to next weekend and Yarndale.  If any one is going, there is going to be a bloggers' meet-up at 1.00 on Saturday.  Let me know if you are going.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A dotty Moneta and birthday theatre

I'll start with a bit of sewing news.  This is my dotty Collette Monetta. 

I made this as a wearable muslin before cutting my next one from some favourite fabric.  From the photos you probably think the dress looks fine, but the fabric is really cheap knit which I bought from ebay ages ago before I realised that really cheap fabric usually looks like it!   The white shows through when the fabric is stretched.

I really like the fit of the dress.  I cut a medium and it fits well.  I found the waist really fiddly, where you are supposed to stretch clear elastic to gather the waist, and I haven't got it very even.  In my next version I might trim a little off the width so it is a little less gathered.

I made the version with the collar, but as you can see it doesn't lie very flat, and so I won't make this version next time.  I think the collar does give the dress a more vintage vibe though.

I'm wearing the dress at Morecambe Vintage by the Sea where Dan and I had a lovely time.  There were some fantastic outfits.

Gorgeous vintage cars.

... and I picked up a fantastic bargain with a lovely 1912 portrait of a lady and dog to match my recent purchase from Glasgow Vintage Fair.  I love both these portraits.
 August 29th was Dan's 23rd birthday and we had a meal at Wagamama,

followed by a great evening at the Lowry Theatre

We saw WarHorse and the staging was fantastic.  The horses are amazing and actually get ridden!  Although some of the acting seemed a little over the top, it is still well worth seeing. 

So it's been a busy couple of weeks, and lots of fun!  Hope you have had some fun times too.

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.