Sunday, 22 April 2018

April Work in Progress


I haven't got anything finished to share with you this week, but I have got two works in progress.
The first project is my Jenny Haynes river quilt in Marimekko fabric which I started in April 2017 (I can't believe I started it a year ago!).

I attended a class at the Village Haberdashery on Friday called 'Finish that quilt' with Jenny and a lovely bunch of ladies. We all had quilts at various stages of completion (mine was the least finished!) and Jenny skillfully helped us all with what we needed to do for the next stage be it sandwiching the wadding, binding or hand-quilting. 

Here is where I got to on the quilt top on Friday (only the top four rows are sewn together).


I spent a few hours on the quilt this morning and got to this stage by lunchtime. I have changed the layout of the 'river' to a more asymmetrical set of curves compared to the original design which meant a little more thinking time to work out which seams to sew first.






The only section I need to sew now is the grey Essex linen on the left-hand side of the quilt top. I will then have to figure out how I would like to quilt the whole thing. There a few options; hand-quilting, machine quilting or pay to have it quilted for me.
I haven't decided yet. Have you any suggestions?

The second item I'm working on is the New Look 6446 jumpsuit and dress. I saw this via the Foldline's new patterns feature and it so happened to be on 50% sale at WeaverDee.com  so for £3.00 I thought I would try it out as I'm not even sure if this will suit me. I am half-way through a (hopefully) wearable toile in one of my remaining tropical H&M tablecloths to check the fit.




 I fear that by the time I finish the jumpsuit the gorgeous weather in the UK will have passed!

I did some internet searching and found some lovely versions of the New Look 6446 by other sewing bloggers so you can get an idea of what it will look like when I eventually finish it.

I love the feature piping on this version by Evolution of a Sewing Goddess
Erica has made this gorgeous striped version with a lightweight cotton lawn
Jane has sewn a summery dress version of the 6446

Abi from a Crafty Pin-up has made a striking black floral version
Have you got any unfinished projects you are working on at the moment?

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Liberty Moneta Dress


The Colette Moneta dress is a sewing blogger / insta classic. I have only made one version before with a scant one metre of grey stretch knit here. For my second version, I bust out some good stuff that has been in my stash for over 18 months (purchased in the Liberty 50% off sale). The Liberty jersey print is very pretty with a navy background and soft coral, dark coral, white and blue abstract paint 'splats'.


There isn't much to say about the construction other than this time I decided to line the bodice (as instructed) and add sleeves. The feel of the Liberty jersey is so soft and it has a fabulous drape. The only niggle was I noticed that when stretching the Liberty jersey when attaching the elastic for the skirt there are some 'strain' marks where the colour of the print is a little faded. It is a fault that is very minor so I am not going to worry about it!


Another garment made from my stash fabric #makeyourstash. I am on a roll at the moment!
I wore my new dress to see the Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern with my friend Charlotte. I would highly recommend a visit if you get a chance to go.

Modelling my Moneta with my new Monroe Turtleneck!


The artwork I am standing in front of is by the feminist artist Jenny Holzer, entitled the Inflammatory Essays, 1979 - 82. They are a series of political, social, moral, feminist, radical and powerful short essays each 100 words long.





Have you seen any thought provoking art / music / theatre / dance recently?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Monroe Turtleneck & Marimekko magic!


The free PDF Tessuti Fabrics Monroe Turtleneck is a quick make. I used a piece of £3 knit fabric that has been in my stash since October 2017 which I bought from a little fabric store in Fitzrovia. Norman Lyons & Co are a wholesale fabric company who also sell to the public on Cleveland Street. It is a quirky place full of polyester prints, wild dress fabrics and lots of other vintage treasures and bargains. The black cotton knit fabric I bought is a lovely quality and is a good weight too. When I spotted the free PDF Monroe Turtleneck pattern I knew it would make a perfect partnership!

The treasure trove of Norman Lyons & Co fabric shop on Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia

Below are photos of the Monroe turtleneck in progress (I will get some photos of me wearing it on Tuesday). I cut out the size One based on my bust size but overall is is a VERY generous and loose fit. I normally have to lengthen any sleeve but this pattern was the perfect length, although I ended up creating a simple cuff for the sleeve by folding over a length of the fabric and re-attaching.

I also modified the hem by adding two bands of folded fabric to create a split high-low hem. I used my regular machine to sew it up using a 2.5 wide zig-zag with a 2.5 stitch length. The turtle neck on my version sits quite high because the fabric has quite a bit of body, I suspect I will wear it folded over. Something to consider if you have a short neck (and I would say I have a longer than average neck). Overall, the fabric behaved beautifully and it was genuinely fun to sew a whole garment in an afternoon and for only £3.00. I am also linking this to the #makeyourstash hashtag too!







How much do you love this free Monroe Turtleneck? Thiiiiiis muuuucccchh.....




Onto the second part of my post. For any long-time followers of my blog you will know I have BIG LOVE for the Finnish design company Marimekko.  I have made MANY, MANY cushions for my house with their iconic prints (examples here and here). Earlier in the year I attended my first Craft Swish and scored this small piece of black and white Unikko print for free! It would have been rude not to sew another cushion!



And here it is in all it's cushion-ary glory snuggling alongside previously me-made Marimekko cushions.



The Marimekko story does not end there. Fabulous Finnish fortune came my way again on Friday when I dropped off a few items of clothing to Oxfam in Fitzrovia and just as I was leaving I spotted a pretty black and white scarf. The print Gods were looking down on me when I discovered it was a Marimekko scarf for only £5 (usual retail price is between £80 - £120). Yes! I snapped it up and I am looking forward to wearing it this Spring.



Have you had any good sewing / fashion fortune come your way recently?


Saturday, 31 March 2018

Up-Cycled Shirt


I bought this windowpane check shirt from a charity shop in Highgate last summer. It has been on weekly rotation in my work wardrobe but has recently started to show signs of wear and tear. The viscose fabric has begun to shred at the collar as you can see below.




I un-picked the collar and used it as a guide to make a new one. I used the Deer and Doe Melilot collar stand pattern piece using a piece of black and white spotty cotton from the stash.



I sewed the collar first and then attached the collar stand to the main shirt body by the inside collar. I then ironed the seam upwards into the collar, folded the seam allowance of the outer collar stand and top-stitched in place. Finally, I top-stitched the whole collar stand and collar to finish. I always use a pin in the corner of the collar to pivot with so you have something to hold onto and avoid the point of the collar dipping into the throat plate hole.


What do you think? I am really happy with my up-cycle to extend the life of one of my favourite shirts and using some stash fabric too #makeyourstash.