Monday, 14 April 2014

GBSB - it's couture week! Vogue 7975

So the final is over and I was sorry that Chinelo didn't win, I think that was down to the tie!   I've been making a Chanel-style jacket (no, not in one day!).  I bought the fabric as a end of roll and it seemed destined to be a Chanel jacket, so enter Vogue 7975.

Now I'm not suggesting this is couture, but I'm pretty pleased and there were a lot of details which the GBSB might have called couture.  The fabric was extremely open weaved, so I had it interline the whole thing with polycotton.

I made matching shoulder pads.  I much prefer the hand-made to shop-bought ones as they are softer and more natural.

I was pretty pleased with the pattern matching-up, which I really did spend time on.  The princes seams match and the most important lines on the sleeve.

..... and on the back ....

My favourite bit is probably the lining!  I've one from thinking that lining should be as cheap as chips to a convert for something gorgeous.  My lining is silk (albeit the wrong side, the right was a very bright acid green).  The sleeve heads were sewn by hand.

I just love the contrast with the fabric!

The hem is slip stitched and you leave a sort of overhang to give ease.

I discovered how to use the right foot for overstitching .... with a guide ... what a revelation.

... and pretty even top-stitching.

It didn't all go well.  I struggled with the pockets and in the end decided to leave them off.  I've never actually managed to make pockets on anything!

Vogue 7975 was a good pattern.  I hardly made any changes cutting my usual size 14.   Apart from fitting the sleeve with a bigger allowance because the shoulder was a little wide I didn't make any other changes.  The instructions were clear  and logical. I also had plenty of help from Bronte who checked the measurements frequently.

I've been enjoying a few days off and the weather today was fabulous and its the first time this year I've been in the garden.

You can see by Jessie's smile what she thought.

Meg prefers the shade.

I'm turning into a bit of a serial project starter.  Last week I showed you two jumpers I have started and this week, I'm afraid there is another.  This will be a lovely light weight sweater and that's my excuse for starting it.  I can see it with View C Zinnia skirt made from chiffon, either pale lilac or light grey.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

I'm just mad about saffron

(in case any of you are of an age to remember Donovan!).

This is my latest knit from Rowan Winter Blooms book by  Kim Hargreaves, the saffron jumper.  I have finished this a little late as it is very warm and cosy and a bit warm for spring.   I love the peplum and it definitely has the vintage vibe I like.

Its a very simple knit.  If you can cast on and knit and purl you could certainly have a go at this one.  Because I like a fitted look and I knit a little on the loose side I went for negative ease and knit the size small, 34" bust  (while I measure a 37" bust).

The wool is Rowan Lima and really quite strange, it is very soft and fluffy but odd to knit with.  It can't be frogged (pulled back) as it completely looses its shape, and you block it by using the steam method.  I think if may pull or pill quite easily, but it is gorgous to wear. I love the colour, but the wool is variegated and you can just about see that it striped rather strangely in some spots and I broke the wool quite a lot to try and match the two sides of the front and at the seams.

... and a strange, eyes closed, pickie!

I had a lovely mothers' day.  Dan and I went to Dunham Massey which is a stately home.  The gardens were fabulous.


Especially this himalayan cherry, the bark was like copper.

The great hall had been transformed to a copy of the hospital which it housed in World War 1.  There were actors who walked around reliving lives which had been recorded and in an exhibition you got to find out more about the patients and staff, really interesting.

Our favourite room, the library.

I'd certainly recommend this for a day out (it was very busy and you need to be prepared to wait for a ticket on a similar day).  And a picture of the two of us ..... must remember not to wear such bright socks!

A few days off coming up and I have loads of making plans!  Sometimes I think I enjoy the planning more than the making.  I have two sweater from the lovely PomPom quarterly.  Love this little book which was beautifully wrapped in tissue.  First another warm sweater, which probably won't be worn until Autumn (if we are lucky).

Then a little tee - in the silkiest of yarns

This is my favourite fabric of the moment, Golden Garden by Alexander Henry which took a lot of finding (eventually it came from Vietnam), with a couple of the dresses I am considering.

A new retro pattern from Butterick, to make in Duck egg crepe

Then I found some real bargains at Standfast and Barracks in  Lancaster.  This is liberty Tana Lawn, ok it isn't the current collection but it was only £5 a metre!  So two blouses please.

More Tana Lawn, this time for a Vogue repro dress.

.. and I'm just taking part in Gertie's underwear sew-along.

... and fabric for 2 other dresses planned.  This is my project shelf all ready to get started.

So that all looks very tidy and under control, not!  I'm afraid this is the less organised other fabric sitting and waiting for me to do something with, much more messy!


So tune in for lots of makes to come.  Now I'm off to watch the final of the Great British Sewing Bee, I really wanted Linda to win.  By the way did you know you can download the patterns used for free at, so maybe I could just make the 1930s blouse as well!!  What plans do you have?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Madmen Challenge 3, a bit of Joan!

Well I have just managed to finish my dress for Julia Bobbins Madmen challenge which finishes tonight.  I decided to channel my inner Joan which means a 60s wiggle dress (without her figure of course).

I didn't want to try and copy a dress exactly but come up with a version I thought I could actually wear, and was rather attracted to the idea of a large collar as in the left hand image above.  Burda 7178 looked pretty original to the 60s. 

This was my first Burda pattern and you have to get used to the rather minimal instructions.  I decided to use a  ponte knit fabric for comfort.  I had a few problems with the sizing (though I really liked the very full measurements Burda give).  I made a lining which proved to be a bit tight, so I decided not to use it and couldn't be bothered to make another.    (I should have noticed from this that the shoulders are far too wide but I didn't and even with using a 3/4" allowance on the sleeves didn't completely solve it).

So  I went back to facings.  The dress itself is too big (it would look great on someone with more curves). 

The collar plus facings was a challenge and particularly difficult to fit at the top of the zip, but I love the collar at the back!  You may be able to see that I had a bit of difficulty with the zip and facing at the back.  So overall not my favourite make, but an interesting challenge.  I hope I do get to wear it sometime, when I'm not sure.

I think I've had enough jersey for a while, as I just find that I can't get a really nice finish inside!  I've got lots of plans though for a slip, emery dress, swing dress, more trousers, a blouse and I've two jumpers on the go and a Chanel style jacket, busy, busy! 
I've was away for 3 nights last week.  I spent two nights with my oldest friends Katie and Bob on the South Coast.  As always when I visit them I had a great time.  Katie has the most gorgeous garden.

We caught the bus to Brighton and felt smug to get upstairs front seats where the views were fabulous

We visited the Brighton pavilion

which was really interesting and rather crazy.  The interior was absolutely over the top but very interesting.

Then I spent a night in London, here is my hotel
Only kidding!  This was taken from the bus, couldn't possibly afford this and my own hotel was a bit of a dump!  I was there to attend a conference but also managed to fit in my first trip to the V & A.  The Coffee shop was suitably grand.

The main purpose of my visit was the Fashion exhibition which was wonderful.  The condition of the gowns were fabulous and you couldn't believe the age!

You can never have enough knitted swimwear!

And my favourite a Dior New Look Suit (which was red rather than orange).

I can fully recommend the collection (and you can take photos!).  Just wish I could catch the Italian fashion exhibition about the start.
So its been a busy couple of weeks.  If you are a mum hope you had a lovely day yesterday, I did, be more of this next week.  Must get off to bed now especially as the clock change is catching up with me.  Have a great week.