Posts Tagged great british sewing bee

The Wrath of the Tartans

Why make a simple Colette Sorbetto top  in just an hour when you can spread it out over several?

This is how you do it.

  1.  Take a failed skirt project  – a Zinnia since you’re asking – ignore the beautifully done, probably never to be repeated, invisible zip insertion and attempt to cut out a new pattern from the salvaged fabric.
  2. Remember the reason the original skirt failed was your inability to match the plaid but continue regardless, confident you will not make the same mistake twice.
  3. Cut out two fronts by mistake.
  4. Manage to salvage a back but in two pieces instead of one and about 3 inches too short
  5. Find some toning fabric to make the back pieces long enough and try to make it look like a design feature.
  6. Wrath of the Tartans (2)Fail to match the plaid on the back and one side but it’s either carry on or bin it.
  7. Wrath of the Tartans (1)Make your own bias tape.
  8. Wrath of the Tartans (4)Attach the bias tape to one armhole, do it wrong and unpick it.
  9. Realise you didn’t do it wrong after all and re-attach it.
  10. Wonder if you could enter it in Sew2Pro’s homage to Vivienne Westwood competition as it is tartan and non-conformist.Sew2ProVivienneWestwoodChallenge
  11. Wonder if you should enter the next Great British Sewing Bee.
  12. Resign yourself to wearing it only with a cardi or jacket over the top.Colette Sorbetto Top

  13.   Come to the awful realisation that, despite the front being cut on a fold and therefore must surely match, the pleat throws the pattern out again.  Definitely one for wearing out in the garden with a pair of shorts and chalking up to experience.

    At least it’s Easter so I can console myself with chocolate.

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Get In The Queue

I am getting to the state where I have so many projects in mind that I can’t remember what yarn or fabric I bought for which project.  Partly, that is due to a bit of a spend up at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia a week or so ago where I was as tempted by the stands selling wool as by those selling  fabric and divided myself, and my money,  between the two – well, it was only fair.  I found the Olympia venue much more manageable than the Alexandra Palace show I went to in October last year which was almost too huge and overwhelming and, as a result, I didn’t spend quite so much there as I did here.

London Olympia

Anyway, I sort of had projects in mind for fabrics as I want to make another Coco dress not for my daughter this time, but for me.  Having already made one in a finer jersey, I chose a double knit jersey this time in a shade of blue I have heard referred to as ‘airforce blue’  – so it is sort of bluey, grey –  which I found at the expo for £7.99 a metre which I didn’t think was bad.  At the risk of looking like one of the crew on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise, I am doing the funnel neck version with 3/4 length sleeves and I need to hurry up because, when the sun comes out here now, it’s quite hot so I won’t have long to wear it.  I would have finished it by now but my Mum came back from the U.K. with me for a week and I went on a knitting fest with her as it is more sociable than disappearing to the sewing room – although I did manage a couple of trips up there when she dozed off watching her soaps.

On the same stand where I found the double knit jersey they were selling loads of lovely Liberty tana lawn for £14 per metre and I haven’t seen so many different designs available in one place for ages so I had to indulge.

This will be sweet for a little girl’s outfit  –  bless all those little musical kitties –

hellokittyliberty

and this one is Liberty’s Matilda Tulip design in a mustard and charcoal colourway which I fancy for a summery blouse or something.  If I make just a simple one it would go well with jeans I think.  (Just realised I have shown the mustard and navy together as if to prove my point.)

tana_lawn_matilda_tulip_03633162d_s13_lrg

I’ve had an antique Singer sewing machine for a while now and keep meaning to do something with it in terms of renovating it a bit and perhaps actually using it.  Mr. Tialys had taken it all to pieces for me and I had the sewing machine on a shelf in my workroom but I kept brushing past the stand in the shed on my way out to the garden and decided to do something with it.  The wooden table part was a bit yukky so I thought I’d give it a couple of coats of chalk paint and decorate it with an image of a pair of antique scissors.  I might do a bit more distressing but this is as far as I’ve got at the moment.  A lot of the decals on the machine are worn but I don’t think my fine painting skills are up to restoring those.  After a bit of research, I discovered this machine was made in Scotland in 1906.  The belt is missing from the treadle mechanism so I will have to search for a replacement online but, apart from that, I think it should work O.K.  There is also a large wooden cover for the machine – you can see the fittings for it on the top – and also a drawer – but I can’t decide whether to leave those in the original wood or paint them to match the top.  I don’t normally like painting over lovely wood but this isn’t that great quality so I will give it some thought.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine 1906

After a bit of research, I discovered this machine was made in Scotland in 1906.  The belt is missing from the treadle mechanism so I will have to search for a replacement online but, apart from that, I think it should work O.K.  There is also a large wooden cover for the machine – you can see the fittings for it on the top – and also a drawer – but I can’t decide whether to leave those in the original wood or paint them to match the stand.  I don’t normally like painting over lovely wood but this isn’t that great quality so I will give it some thought.

vintage sewing machine

The ‘spooky’ thing was that, after I had had a little play with this yesterday, I looked in the T.V. Listings mag I get Mr. T. to bring over from the U.K. with him, and noticed that tonight’s Great British Sewing Bee episode will feature some of these vintage machines.  Apparently the contestants will be presented with a 1930s pattern and they will be making a coat.  I’ve never made a coat – let alone from a vintage pattern – so it will be really interesting to see what they do although I don’t think they will be cruel enough to make them sew the coat on a treadle machine.  Will they?

Have you got an antique or vintage sewing machine?  Do you use it or is it décor only?  If you use it, what do you use it for?  Just asking as I’m interested.

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Between Socks

I have more time now of an evening since the powers that be in telly land decided to move their satellites a little further away so that we can’t get terrestrial U.K. T.V.  here in my bit of France  unless we do techy things with laptops, VPNs and HDMI cables or replace our modest satellite dishes with humungous ones which we aren’t allowed to put on the roof and must install in the garden, having first applied for planning permission.   Yeah, right!   I know I could watch French T.V. but, when I get that desperate, I’ll probably be watching in a home somewhere being looked after by kindly nurses with no access to the remote control.

Anyway, I have paused between socks to finish my mustard coloured, Miette cardi that I started when Mum was here at Christmas.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (2)

I like the way mustard goes with navy – I’m not sure what other colours it goes with though.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (3)

A fun knit though maybe not quite as easy as some other, cleverer, knitters would have you believe  –  or so my Mum maintains as her effort lies abandoned in her knitting bag.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (4)

I got the mannequin to model the one with the buttons closed as her chest is more manageable than mine.  The cropped style, in my opinion, adds many inches and, unless you desire this effect, best wear it open as I plan to do.  However, the style was designed to wear with a sort of fifties style, waisted cotton dress and, should I ever feel frisky enough to put one of those on, I will do up those buttons and see what happens.

Should you be interested (or you can’t get the telly either) you can see my project notes on my Ravelry page here.

I am finding my new exposed stone wall very useful both for posing in front of and for taking product photos for my Etsy shops.  It was perhaps a little drastic to destroy half a room and employ a builder for 3 weeks but I think it was worth it.

I have started another knitting project so a new pair of socks will have to wait but, as a new addict, I have to tell you that I have invested in two balls of proper sock yarn and a little pouch full of different sized circular needle tips along with different sized cables from HiyaHiya (love that brand name) as I have started and will continue using the Magic Loop method and will not be tempted by DPNs.

Talking of the telly – I did manage to get The Great British Sewing Bee last night (after juggling with cables, etc.) and I was pleased to see they don’t seem to have changed the format too much as it is a welcome relief from other ‘reality’ shows with people being foul to each other and the endless, artificial ‘suspense’  for the announcement of the person going home each week.   It is genteel, kind, calm and informative – like the G.B. Bake Off – and, if I got a bit of a smug feeling when I knew how to make a handmade button loop and some of the contestants didn’t, well I didn’t gloat as it’s not that kind of a programme.

However……..

Liberty dress

…….just saying

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