Tuesday, 24 September 2013

FESA -Bubbles Top

This is my first contribution to the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA). This is one of the items I listed in my FESA plan under the Chic Chemises category. This is the second item I have made from Lisette 1879. Earlier this year I made a pair of shorts using view C. They turned out to be a bit of a disaster. As they were one of the first things that I had ever made I had not yet worked out that there is such a difference between ready made sizing and pattern sizing. In the end the shorts were way so small and I had to add extra material to make them wearable. I'm glad to say that this time I had learnt my lesson so I knew which size to cut. The only problem that I had was that the pattern I own only goes to the size below the one I need. As the top is a fairly loose fit I decided that I would be fine to just cut the pattern larger using the smaller sizes as a guide.

Thankfully this pattern actually fits first time. I loved the way this sewed together. When I make something I like to try it on to check the fit, style and progress at every single stage. However, as this has raglan sleeves there is just no point in trying it on until it is basically finished as you cant tell how it is going to sit until the sleeves are sewn in place. It sort of keeps you in suspense in a way.

Fit wise it is ok. I think it is perhaps a bit baggy for my personal style but I can work with that and maybe use a thin belt in a contrasting color. I do however think that the sleeves are really wide particularly at the shoulders. It might be something that I will get used to or I might try to alter them a little. Having said that it actually look fine in the photo so it might just be in my head.

I have started sewing these little labels into the garments that I make. They are just cut out of a bit of ribbon that I bought as a craft fair last year but I think they work sewn in like a little label. Ideally I would love to have some personalised labels like these from Wovenlabelsuk or perhaps I should just make my own like Lauren from Lladybird. Also, I am calling this my bubbles top because that is what the fabric print reminds me of.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Borders Scraps Store - Musselburgh

I have officially fallen in love with the Aladdin's cave that is Borders Scraps Store!! 
I had a couple of days off work at the end of August and per chance whilst walking past Lush on Princes Street I noticed a strangely wonderful amount of fabric and trims among the typical bath bombs and smelly soap cakes. Obviously further investigation was required and I hastily did an about turn on the street and headed in to the shop. There amongst a sea of tweed and shampoo I met a couple of lovely ladies how informed me all about this fantastic place called Borders Scraps Store in Musselburgh.

I mentioned a few thing that I picked up on my visit to the store in my Fall Essentials Sew Along plans post but I thought that my little collection of goodies deserved a post of its own.

So, going clockwise this is what I bought -
Peacock Blue light weight knit fabric
Khaki green lining
Red polyester with big blue and purple flowers
Blue (unidentified type)
Green 100% wool 
Grey spot/bubble cotton
Neospun jersey beige skirt kit
plus 4 random zips (10p each!)
All for a little over £15!

This is a strange fabric. I don’t have a clue what it is but it’s quite light weight and cosy and has a nice movement to it. Frankly, I bought it because of the price tag and for 75p I am sure I can make something lovely. Currently I am thinking of some sort of loose fit jumper such as DixieDIY's Cocoa Sweater (free pattern). 

One of my favourite finds was this Courtelle Neospun Jersey “make your own skirt” kit complete with thick jersey fabric, matching zip and a label with all of the washing instructions. It was the most expensive item that I bought from the store but it was still a bargain and is going to make a great skirt. I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do with it yet but I am thinking it will involve some pleats and perhaps some chocolate brown ribbon to break up all that beige.

The only downside of this store is that it is only open during the week and therefore is very difficult to get to unless they are having an open day or you take a holiday :-(. As it is a registered charity the store must be run by volunteers and understandably they can’t staff it all of the time. They also ask for you to sign up to an annual membership to the store. At £7 a year it is not a huge amount but, considering how difficult it is to get to the shop when you work full time it seems a bit of a shame you have to pay for an annual membership. From what I understand the shop opens anytime the community centre (which it is based in) has an open day or is involved in a car boot sale. Personally, I hope for more car boot sales and will be checking facebook for any change in opening times so I can enjoy this treasure trove some more.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Fall Essentials Sew Along

I was just in the middle of putting a to do list together when I came across the Fall (Autumn) Essentials Sew Along from Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones. There has been a very noticeable change in the temperature in the past week or so and the need for a more cozy wardrobe is becoming apparent. Also, over the past few months I have found myself starting to hoard a lot of wool, fabric and notions. The other day I undertook somewhat of a stock check in order to work out what on earth I was going to do with it all. In the end I established that I have enough patterns and fabric to tick off almost all of the categories for the FESA. Now I know that I have the patterns and fabric to make all of these lovely things, I just need to find some more time in the day and buy some matching thread. 

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
My ever favorite Edinburgh Fabrics (EF) scraps bin was to blame for me collecting the fabric on the left here. This is a lovey 100% wool gray pinstripe with a pink stripe running through it. My aim is to turn this into a pink lined skirt for work using view D.
On the right is a green gaberdine that I picked up in the Borders Scraps Store (BSS) in Musselburgh , this place is like an Aladdin's cave of second hand haberdashery, well worth a visit. I am planning to make this in to the midi version of this 70's wrap skirt. I'm just struggling to make a decision on which buttons (all charity shop finds) to use. At the moment I am leaning towards the gold basket weave ones but I'll probably wait until the skirt is underway before deciding. 

                                   New Look 6035                                                                         Simplicity 6789

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
A have a few potentials for the top half. The two in the right are cottons which I feel reasonably confident working with. The top is a light grey with random white dots from BSS and will be the loose square neck top from this pattern. The bottom is from a navy with little pink flowers from a fabric store in Glasgow and will be the peplum top in view B. I have also purchased a lace collar to replace the one in the pattern as I think it will look more me.
On the left had side are two knits. I have never worked with knit before and really don't know much about them. My plan of attack is to make the red spot (EF) t-shirt first as I don't have to deal with fitting any sleeves in that one. If that is a success I will move on to the more complex view D with the peacock (ESS) fabric. Wish me luck!  

New Look 6078                            Lisette 1879

 Simplicity 1916                        Simplicity 1699

Fabulous Frocks
This is an interesting category as despite having many wonderful dress patterns I don't have much fabric assigned to dresses. However, I did purchase a couple of meters of this lovely chocolate brown silky material with big pink abstract roses in a in a huge Mandors sale a while ago. Again, this is another unfamiliar and potentially quite slippery material. I do think it would look great as one of the shorter versions of this dress though and if I could have it finished in time for the office Christmas night out that would be even better.

Underneath It All
So basically everyone needs at least a few pairs of nice knickers. I think these would have me in fits of giggles if I could actually make them. Not sure about fabric but I'm sure I could pull something together.

amerson Amerson: Technical Details + Pattern

Tender Tootsies
My mum taught me to knit ages ago when I was maybe 10 or 12 however I never really took to it, I think I was was a bit to young and couldn't see the potential in it. Last year on a holiday to Skye my mum and I visited a fantastic wool shop called Shilasdair. I bought a kit to make a triangular shawl when we were there and in the evening my very patient mum taught me to knit again. This time is stuck and now I thoroughly enjoy knitting up cosy accessories. These slippers from Purl Bee have been on the to do list for a very long time. The i-cord around the edges scares me a little but I'm sure there will be more than a couple of tutorials and youtube vids out there than will teach me how to do it.


Those Cozy Nights
My boyfriend caught me looking at these lovely PJ bottoms the other day, after much hilarity I told him that I would make him a wonderful pair for December. So it would appears that this element of FESA may have turned into a his and hers. At the moment I don't have any plans for the his side of this but I am hoping it will involve some amount of reindeer or snowman novelty fabric. Myself on the other hand, I have some large blue gingham fabric that I discovered after planning to make one of Tilly's Picnic Blanket Skirts, I never made the skirt as sadly I just don't think I would wear it but, on the plus side I would definitely wear it as PJ bottoms. 

Baby It's Cold Outside
I would love to make an Anise from Colette but I just don't think I will have the time this side of new year. Plus it would also need some nice warm, quality probably wool fabric that I just don't have in my pile at the moment  and with quite a few upcoming financial commitments I don't see myself forking out for it.  

So in case of Anise failure I am thinking of knitting up my fourth version of iKNITS Kim K Beanie hat  I have made 2 for myself and 1 for my aunt previously and I just love the pattern. I have one in turquoise and one in mustard so now I am feeling a red, fuchsia or plum version in the pipeline.
I also have a load of purple and black fleece left over from some hat that I made for a ski trip at the start of the year. I'm hoping to have enough time to squeeze in a couple of fleecy neck tubes too. 

So, there you have it a huge list with not nearly enough time. I think I will be working my way through these project until summer next year but I'm sure I will have fun along the way. I am also sure that I will probably scrap a couple of items and add a few random things along the way but so what its just a list of ideas.

Wish me luck, and happy sewing to everyone else taking part in the sew-along.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The "Rustic" Sandwich

Check that bread out!! Can you believe that from very start to the end that was made in less than an hour. The last time I made bread it was the middle of winter and it took all day. I haven't bothered again since. Until now!

I am by no means saying I have any talent in the bread making department but I did love making this loaf. It is the super simple Soda Bread recipe from BBC Food. No yeast therefore no need to prove or test your patience. In my case this bake was made even quicker by the use of my Andrew James food mixer and dough hook (which I used for the first time).

As you can see however the end result was a little more "rustic" than I was originally aiming for. I think my hand shaping skills could do with some refining and I have been reliably informed that the dough needs to be flattened a little to make it in to a more traditional soda bread shape. 

Having said that it was a very enjoyable bread and my boyfriend and I made some wonderful Stilton and Apple on Soda Bread sandwiches which tasted brilliant. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Kelly Skirt for Work

Basically, I made another Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen.

This is a little more subdued than my last flowery Kelly, as I made it to wear around the office. It was basically made exactly the same way as before but this time I only put one button on the waist band. I thought with the size of buttons it just looked a bit more balanced plus I'm not sure if two would have fit anyway. The fabric I used was much heavier than last time and I think it holds the shape of the skirt much better. I scooped it out of the Edinburgh Fabrics scraps bin a couple on months ago. It is a lovely warm grey 100% wool gaberdine (I think, as all it said on the tag was 100% wool). 

I have two favorite things about this skirt. Firstly, check out that ric-rac, is that great or what! When I first bought it I thought it was just a huge wavy mess but once I sewed it in I totally changed my mind. I bought the largest size in the store as I wanted it to stand out and look almost scalloped. I got the original ideas for this from Lauren (GBSB) of Guthrie and Ghani's skirt here.
My other favorite feature is the buttons. Pretty simple really I bought two sets of buttons from the charity shop around the corner from my flat, unfortunately I only had 3 of one and 4 of the other. So instead of buying a matching set I just alternated them. Its not really that exciting and to be honest because both sets are the same size and color so, they basically all look the same. However, I know that they are different and I like it. :-)

Also, I have decided that if I make another Kelly or anything else that involves a lot of top-stitching I am going to invest in some proper top-stitching thread. Normal thread just doesn't cut the mustard!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The FlutterBy Sorbetto Top

Since signing up for IPM a little while ago I have been doing a lot of snooping about blogs and browsing way too many online patterns shops. I began to see a common thread running through many peoples me made wardrobe a.k.a. the Sorbetto Tank Top by Colette. With the popularity of the pattern I decided I really had to check it out and I immediately went on to the Colette website. The popularity of this pattern began to make sense when I discovered that it is actually a FREE download offered by Colette patterns.  Obviously I printed it instantly and with the use of the guillotine at work promptly had it stuck together and cut out to my required size. I think the jury is still out on the PDF pattern format. With only two pattern pieces it was super easy to tape together but I would hate to imagine what it would be like trying to sticky tape an entire dress pattern or such like.

As you can see I also chose to add sleeves to my top. I found the pattern for them at Sew Incidentally. It was really easy to include the sleeves I just added a little extra seam allowance around the arm holes.
I actually made this top over a month ago but I was rather unsure about the fit, style and material. Fit wise from the very start this pattern was WAY TOO SHORT! like at least a good 3 or 4 inches. I was also worried about the style I thought it was quite high necked when I first put it on but I have since got over that and there is nothing wrong with it. Also when I first put it on I thought the fabric was was really stiff however I do really live the print so I just persevered with it, after a few washes I think it has softened right up and is now pretty good although it does crease pretty badly still. All in all I'm not totally sold on this particular top but I think the pattern has a lot of potential and I will definitely try it again.

Also,I wore this top to work the other day and one of my colleagues, Ashleigh (who is also pretty handy in the dress making department) asked where I had got the pattern from. After giving her my little Sorbetto story she jumped straight on to her computer and printed one out. Today she turned up to work wearing her lovely light blue with multi colored polka dot version. I don't think she has posted about it yet but if she does you will find it here Made in Morningside.