Archive for category Arts and Crafts
Remember I made a tunic for Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger recently? (If not it’s here). Well, I fancied making one for myself and it just so happened I had the perfect fabric already in my stash which doesn’t happen very often.
Not last time, but the time before that when Ali over at Thimberlina organised the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up, she ran a competition for people who couldn’t attend to guess the total mileage undertaken by all the people who did. By some amazing stroke of luck I hit upon the nearest mileage (in the international entry category) and Ali sent me some goodies. I had said I wanted to make an Agnes top but she was very generous and sent me more than enough of this black and white stretch fabric so I thought I’d save it for something a bit more substantial than a t-shirt.
So I did and here’s what I made with it.
I made the same view tunic as before but with the straight hem instead of the pointy one.
In other tunic news, I’m currently having a rocky relationship with scuba fabric. I thought I’d give it a whirl for a different style of tunic I wanted to make for Mlle T. and she chose the fabric (so don’t blame me!).
I bought this pattern which seemed simple enough but the Mademoiselle had other ideas.
She wanted bell sleeves so following Ali over at Thimberlina’s example ,although using a slightly different method, I adapted it as requested.
I had a bit of a struggle with the neckline, back and front, as it came out too gapey which might be due to the scuba fabric although the pattern does list ‘novelty knits’ as one of the suggested fabrics. I’ve improved the neck problem a little by taking off the facing which I wasn’t keen on using anyway, reducing the back seam allowance and cutting the facing slightly smaller than it was before so I could stretch it round the neckline a little more which brought it in a bit though it’s still not perfect. The sleeves and the bottom require hemming and I’m not sure how to tackle that yet – I’ll do some research. I know I could leave it as it won’t fray and the hem of the tunic would probably be O.K. but the sleeves don’t look right unhemmed in my opinion as you can see the plain white reverse of the fabric which just looks odd. (The trailing thread will be cut off though – I didn’t leave that as a design feature).
My conclusions about scuba fabric are that I don’t much like it. I don’t like the slightly spongy feel and the vaguely ‘cheap’ look and feel of it – although there might be different qualities I suppose. The designs are a bit ‘urgent’ too if you ask me. I don’t like the floral one Mademoiselle chose – I think it looks frumpy but there you go.
I must try and get over my dislike though as she also chose this one 😮
I know what I’d like to do with it but I think the only way to get away with actually wearing it would be as a very fitted t-shirt with 3/4 length sleeves perhaps. Any ideas or would you accidentally on purpose lose it at the bottom of your
bin fabric stash? How do you feel about scuba fabric if indeed you have ever encountered it? Is it just me?
Back in the misty mists of time when I was a teenager, I used to commute to school as my parents decided to move out of London and I wanted to keep going to the same school so I took a train every day. As a result, all my friends were up in London and I also had a Saturday job so every weekend I would again take the train to London to work in the Kings Road in a trendy perfume and cosmetics shop and then, after work, I’d pitch up at my friends house (smelling amazing) and we would start getting ready for the night life. Sunday morning we would lie in and then, more often than not, we’d take ourselves off to Petticoat Lane market to spend our Saturday job money on new clothes. Sunday afternoon we would lounge about watching old black and white films on the T.V. being horrible about the actors before getting ready to go out on Sunday evening, arrive home at all hours and then be almost impossible to turf out of bed on Monday morning for school . Her parents must have had the patience of saints. God bless you June and Harold. I always sat at the back in French class on Monday so the teacher wouldn’t see that I was asleep. If only I’d known where I’d end up living. All this was done with my belongings packed in a carrier bag – usually a Sainsbury’s one although I must have purloined that from somewhere else as my Mum was more of a Tesco shopper then – and I can’t think now why I never had a proper overnight bag at any time during this period. Still, at least nobody could say I didn’t re-purpose before it was even fashionable.
Which brings me, in an extremely roundabout, rambling and not even really relevant way, to this mini suitcase I’ve just made.
Another pattern I bought from Jodie at ricac Sews when she had a sale recently. It’s called the ‘Small World Suitcase’ and I’m still trying to forgive her for planting that Disneyland ride song in my head again. A particular form of torture inflicted on many parents and children over the years
Anyway, this is a pattern with slightly more to it than those little dogs, whales and stars that I bought – a doggy further down to jog your memory about that.
It was fun to make but does involve a lot of interfacing. Each exterior piece has two layers of mediumweight interfacing plus a layer of fusible fleece. While the interior pieces have two layers of interfacing. The cutting out of all those is a bit of a chore but worth it for the strength and solid feel it gives the resulting case.
The lining is hand stitched in and, after I’d treated myself to an unexpected acupuncture session, I resolved to use those little pegs (aka wonder clips) next time instead of pins.
It turned out much bigger than I was expecting and I think this would take a couple of sets of undies, some cosmetics, a toothbrush, a nightie and a (smaller) teddy very nicely.
Much better than a carrier bag be it Sainsbury’s or Tescos.
It would make a project bag with a bit of a difference or a very cute bag for a little girl (or a big girl) – which is why I have another on the cutting table as we speak. I have a Liberty fabric one in mind too which will come as no surprise to regular readers.
I’ve also made another ‘rabbit’ sewing box for my bunny loving client who commissioned another two for Christmas gifts. I’ve finished the first one and have the second one in production.
The wildlife enthusiasts amongst you will notice that these are actually hares but I love this fabric so much and I thought she wouldn’t mind a bit of artistic license. I have promised to revert to bona fide rabbits for the second box.
Here’s the inside
Talking of Christmas gifts – which I sort of was – don’t forget that Sheila over at Sewchet is obviously
bonkers very kind and has decided to organise us again in another exciting Stitching Santa event this year. Whoopee! I don’t know what I like best – sending a parcel full of sewing related goodies (or knitting/crochet related if you prefer) to the recipient Sheila pairs me with or receiving a parcel myself. If you haven’t signed up yet and want to participate this year, there’s still time – just click on the image below and it will take you to where you can sign up. I sign up for the sewing and the knitting one because I like both and can’t choose – so I don’t.
Sorry for the pun but, after my last post where I painstakingly made a man’s shirt – albeit only a wearable muslin so far – I fancied a bit of an easier project before I embark upon the ‘real’ shirt.
I bought this pattern in Minerva Crafts’ sale a little while ago as I thought it would be an ideal style for Mlle Tialys the younger to wear for work.
This is a close up of the fabric which is a sort of teal blue although, in all the other photos it looks more grey. Birds seem to be everywhere on fabric and clothes at the moment – have you noticed?
I made view D with a sort of handkerchief hem (or whatever this sort of hem is called) but with 3/4 length sleeves. All done on the overlocker/serger apart from the zig zag round the neckline and the twin needle stitch around the hem and sleeves.
Perfect with leggings although it’s a thankless task making clothes for the younger as she’s not that interested and would stay in pyjamas all day if she could.
Ooh, hang on, she looks a bit happier here. Maybe I’ll make another then.
I’m not sure about making the leggings on the pattern. It seems like an awful lot of fabric and faff to make something that won’t look any different to something you can pick up for a reasonable price almost anywhere. Unless, of course, I made them in some unusual fabric but then she probably wouldn’t wear them. What do you think? Would you/have you made leggings? Is it worth it?
Remember I told you I was making my first ever man’s shirt and, as that represented quite a challenge for me, I was going to take it slowly, make a muslin* which, in the best case scenario, would be wearable and follow a sew along by somebody much more adept than me in the shirt making field? Well, I didn’t lie.
(* for the non-dressmakers amongst you, a muslin or toile is a sort of try out of the pattern to test fit etc.)
This is the Walden (or Negroni) by Colette and was recommended by many so I thought I’d give it a go. I thought I’d go with the short sleeved version first as it will hopefully still be warm around here for a couple of months yet and used a locally bought, reasonably priced fabric for the muslin rather than cut into the Liberty tana lawn I’d bought specifically for the purpose shown below.
The man in question – aka Mr. Tialys – didn’t want any pockets which was fine by me so, with those out of the equation, plus no plackets on cuffs which the long sleeved version has, it was a little less daunting than it could have been.
So, some of the ‘challenges’ –
This is the back yoke and you can see that there are a couple of pleats incorporated in the body of the shirt.
This is one of the felled seams of which I am quite proud as it goes right round the armscye (or ‘armhole’ when I’m not speaking ‘dressmaker’).
Not too many buttonholes which I did on the machine anyway and, for the first time, I used my machine to sew the buttons on – which was fun.
The kind of collar on the short sleeved version is called a camp collar It’s a bit weird – having a button loop right up on that left hand side of the shirt front which would, if somebody wanted to throttle themselves, loop over a tiny button just under the right hand side of the collar. As if. However, I was being an obedient pattern follower so I did the loop but drew the line at a tiny button.
Reader – it fit!
Next time I will be sensible and make an XL which is what Mr. T. is in RTW stuff as he is very tall but the measurements on the pattern sounded enormous so I thought a large would do which it sort of does but with not much wriggle (or pretend pointing into the distance) room.
Anyway, I have decided that much as I love the idea of it when somebody tells me they ran up a dress in a couple of hours, I get much better results when I find something a bit of a challenge because when I concentrate, I slow down and don’t make as many mistakes. I have ‘run up’ so many ‘easy’ tops and dresses on my overlocker and ended up throwing them away that I’m determined to treat every new thing I make as if I’ve never made it before and concentrate!
Having said that, I did make a tunic top in a knit fabric for Mlle. Tialys the Younger yesterday which I did fairly quickly but definitely not in two hours. Photos to follow soon if I can persuade her to
get out of bed allow me to take some photos.
Meanwhile, another shirt shot, another antique mannequin neck.
You are not going mad, these are the same doors as in the first photo but I was playing around with my photo editing and thought the turquoise colour in the first shot showed the fabric of the shirt up better. The doors are actually red.
How about you? Do you find you sometimes mess things up when you think it’s going to be easy or you’ve made something so many times already you make silly mistakes through being over confident? Or is it just me?
You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter than usual but that’s because I had a friend visiting for a week and then I went back to the U.K. with her to spend a long weekend with my Mum.
My friend and I go back more years than I care to remember but, despite keeping in contact with Christmas and Birthday cards we’ve only recently started to see eachother again so I was really pleased when she said she’d come over to France for a visit.
Here we are on holiday in Tenerife back in the day looking bronzed but blurry on the balcony of our hotel room.
I blame the cheap camera – or it might have been the cheap alcohol 😉
Another balcony, another country, another era.
I knew that the weekend spent with my Mum would be of the quiet variety as she is getting very tired lately and, once we’d been out in the morning for a bit of shopping or a brunch somewhere, she’d had enough of the outdoors for the day so I went prepared with fabric and pattern and used her sewing machine to make another couple of dogs for my eventual doggy garland while she had a snooze.
I’m going to make another three and figure out how to make a craft stall enhancing garland out of them but I’ve got until the end of November so something will come to me before then I’m sure.
Since I’ve been back and trying to catch up on emails, Etsy shop goings ons, reading blogs and dog and cat related problems, I haven’t got much done.
The Colette Negroni shirt I’m making for Mr. T. is still at the muslin stage – just needs the buttons and buttonholes and final hemming and then I can confirm what I’ve suspected for a while – it will be too small for him. I know it’s a muslin but I was hoping it would be a wearable one. We won’t know for sure until I finish it though will we!
I rush quilted a couple of my hatbox blocks which was easy because the machine quilting I’m doing couldn’t be plainer or simpler unlike the lovely hand quilting Kate’s doing on her version. Mine’s a wall hanging so nothing too fancy is called for – well, that’s my excuse anyway.
Here’s something I haven’t caught up on – the perennial ironing basket which I took from my laundry room up to my workroom as that seems to be the only place I brandish an iron these days. As you can see, my scheme didn’t work.
I did catch up with Mlle. Tialys the elder when I was in the U.K. as she came up to see me when I was at my Mum’s thereby killing two old birds with one stone. Oh to be young enough to dress up as a bloody (in the covered in blood sense) rabbit thingy and hug a dinosaur as she did last weekend.
The details of the whys and wherefores shouldn’t bother you – I certainly don’t like to delve too deep.
Off to look at the ironing basket again before doing something completely different.
I used to think life was too short to stuff a toy – or was that a mushroom? – but I’ve been persuaded to change my mind.
I took a fancy to this pattern for a whale partly because he’s so cute and partly because it’s a pattern by Jodie over at RicRac and she is an amazing pattern designer. Plus, did I mention she was having a sale at the time? I may have bought three or four patterns
Anyway, I made him from scraps of some lovely canvassy fabric in seaside colours and put into use the tin of sardines I bought just because I love the illustration on the tin. I can’t stand sardines.
This is another of Jodie’s patterns which I thought I might be able to do something with to decorate my stand at the Christmas Fair in November to raise funds for the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs.
The dogs aren’t free-standing so I’m wondering about making a garland to hang in front of the stall – or over it even if I can figure out a good way to do that. Anybody made a garland with ‘softies’ before? Tips and hints would be appreciated and possibly followed slavishly.
Nothing to do with whales or dogs but my reasoning will become apparent – my daughter is an ‘aerialist’ – that is she does classes using an aerial hoop which sounds scary but is very good for upper body strength apparently. It was her birthday so I made her a card using (mostly) freehand machine embroidery – although I did use a machined feather stitch around the outside of the constellation fabric (which was a scrap – so there’s my ‘reasoning’ if you read on)
I don’t know what this particular pose is called but they all look so elegant.
I couldn’t resist another whale photo and a better look at the sardine tin.
I might even use that design for a future freehand embroidery project.
The whale is actually supposed to be a pincushion but, when I stuck some pins in him for the photos, they looked like harpoons and I felt so bad I took them out again 😦
All made with scraps so I’m joining in with Kate’s Scraphappy Day here where you can click to see what the other participants have been doing with their scraps this month – see I told you there was ‘reasoning’ involved.
I have been spending quality time with visitors (this was a scheduled post) and being a visitor myself over the next couple of weeks so don’t worry if you don’t see me around as much as usual – I haven’t disappeared under a pile of unlaundered dog blankets and left to suffocate. Although if I’m not back after a couple of weeks feel free to check.
In keeping with my pledge to add to my Liberty Hatbox wall hanging project at the end of each month I’m afraid I have failed miserably as I still can’t decide on the final block.
So, I made another one.
I won’t bore you rigid with the choices I face again but I’m still not sure and now I think I’ve made it worse by having three to choose from instead of two. Kate, on the other hand, is making great progress and has started hand quilting (yes hand quilting) her full size quilt and putting me to shame. See and admire here.
So that’s the hatbox pledge dealt with which would make for a very short post indeed .
Your hopes, however, are dashed!
Did I mention Liberty of London fabric? I think I told you they had a sale and I think I told you I indulged. I’m not sure I realised there were actual skyscrapers on this fabric when I ordered it but, now I know, I like it even more. The simple shell top on this New Look pattern that had come free with a magazine seemed just the thing….
and so it was.
I’ve decided I have a back problem in that nearly everything I make gapes a little at the back of the neck. I think I have narrow shoulders in comparison to my bust so, next time, I’m going to cut a wedge out of the centre top of the back bodice and see if that fixes it – a tip I found on By Hand, London. Unless anybody has any better ideas.
Also, I bought this astrology themed tana lawn in the Liberty sale to make a shirt for Mr. Tialys who had a hand in choosing the fabric.
I’ve never made a man’s shirt before but thought it was time I gave it a go as my wardrobe is full, one daughter makes her own clothes, the other doesn’t much care about clothes so that leaves the husband (or the pets and don’t think I might not go there!).
I chose the Negroni by Colette as it’s a nice, casual style but with some interesting features, it has good reviews and there is a very detailed sew along (from about six years ago!) on the Male Pattern Boldness blog so what could go wrong? Actually, so far, very little. I’m working on a muslin using fabric that was more expensive than the tana lawn due to the fact that there was 60% off in the Liberty sale but I always hope my muslins (when I actually bother to make one) will be wearable otherwise I get upset if all the work comes to nought – apart from ensuring you’re making the right size of course which is the main purpose of them after all.
Anyway – how’s this for a flat felled seam?
An inside view of course – the fabric is dark on the outside and I certainly wasn’t confident enough to use contrasting thread so you wouldn’t be able to make it out. This is the first time I’ve tackled a real flat felled seam, although I did mock ones on Tilly and the Buttons’ Rosa dress, and I’m pleased with the way this one turned out. I say ‘this one’ because the other one didn’t turn out quite as neat but I’m not going to show you that now am I?
Did somebody mention a sale by the way?
Fifty six 50g balls of cotton double knitting yarn in all the shades in the range and no, I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, thank you for asking.
Mr. Tialys is still creating awesome leather things in his ‘spare’ time which is strange because I didn’t think he had any of that or that’s what he tells me if I ask him to do anything in the house or garden 😉
This is a laptop bag he designed himself and is in the kind of leather that already looks as if it’s been ‘lived in’ which is the kind I like.
I decided to have a clear out in the cupboard in the conservatory and threw some stuff in a box ready to go to the charity shop.
I know I sometimes get fed up with having so many animals but I haven’t quite resorted to this yet.
What is it with cats and cardboard boxes anyway?
All the blocks are now finished for my Liberty Hatbox Wallhanging and I have the fabric for the backing, the sashing and the quilting can begin.
This bright one was a bone of contention as I didn’t feel it went with the rest of the blocks although lots of you did.
I made another one to try it out. The hatbox fabric is a Liberty of London tana lawn which has a musical ‘Hello Kitty’ theme and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it.
I don’t actually prefer this block to the other one but I think it fits in with the others better.
Here’s the first trial layout which includes the bright one.
and here’s the second that includes the Hello Kitty one.
What do you think? The jury’s still out and I haven’t joined anything together yet.
I chose this fabric from a local shop for the backing. I was going to do it using scraps or just any old thing but, in the end, I wanted something I liked because even if you won’t be able to see it I will know it’s there.
You can just make out the simple machine quilting I’ve done – it has to be simple machine quilting otherwise I can’t do it 🙂 .
Here’s a front view of the one and half blocks I’ve quilted so far – well I’ve quilted two blocks really but couldn’t get two complete ones in the photo and still show the quilting. Still, you get my drift.
I’ve just echoed the lines of the hatbox and done some widely spaced horizontal lines across the background.
Now for the sashing. It just so happened that Liberty of London had a sale on and they had what I think might be the perfect tana lawn to use to represent something that looks like the grain of wooden shelving or some sort of compartments separating the hatboxes. It was reduced to £9 per metre from £22.50 which is cheap enough for any old fabric, let alone Liberty tana lawn. I think it would make a really nice man’s shirt too. (I think they’ve still got some fabrics in the sale at that price here.)
What do you reckon?
I might have added the Liberty shop money box to my basket at the same time. Oops!
Ooh, and a tea-towel.
I might make it into a cushion – or a beach bag.
Only ten hatboxes left to quilt for my wallhanging and now Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia has completed all the hatbox blocks she needs for the quilt she’s making with hers so she can begin thinking about quilting and assembly now too.
Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts.