Posts Tagged Liberty of London tana lawn

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

Now my hatbox wallhanging is complete and in situ, I realised that my sewing mojo has returned – woohoo! – and so I thought I’d start with a pair of pyjamas and why not?

This is the pattern I used and this is a vintage sheet I unearthed from my ‘vintage sheet stash’  – hasn’t everybody got one of those?  I wanted to make a pair of these (the shorts version) for both myself and for Mlle Tialys the Younger but we are different sizes so I thought I’d trace off the size I thought she’d be and make a muslin we could both try  on and then go from there.  I’m trying to be good about tracing off patterns – especially those I might use more than once and for different people.

This is an easy make but it re-acquainted me with basic collars, cuffs, elastic casing, buttonholes and top stitching after the knitting and crochet fests that have been my crafting activities of choice lately – the wall hanging doesn’t count as I really only had the assembly to do.

I wasn’t going to do the contrast bits but I decided to go with it in the end and used some fabric sent to me by my Susanna over at Pins, Needles and Threads who was my sewing Stitching Santa for Christmas 2015 (was it really that long ago?).  I think it makes a difference.

The shorts have an elasticated back and then you make ties from the fabric which are joined to the elastic at the sides and emerge through buttonholes on the front so very adjustable and handy if you decide you want to make room for a midnight feast.   I had lots of fun turning a narrow tube of fabric the right way out again – I might use ribbon next time!

I did all the seams on my overlocker which is very underused at the moment and, considering I paid a small fortune for it, deserves to be used much more and for more varied tasks than it is now.  I need to get online and do some ‘different ways of using your hideously expensive overlocker that you are currently only using to do stuff you could do on a very basic one’ tutorials.  Anybody know of any good ones 🙂

Mlle Tialys wouldn’t pose in her P.J.s but I’m not so proud – at least the photo is relatively blurry and you can only just make out the unmade bed behind me 😮

This is a very wearable muslin for Mlle T and has shown me that, when I make mine, I need to go down one size for the top and two for the bottom (as I no longer have one 😦 )

It’s sometimes a nuisance that dress forms only have one leg but you get the idea.

You may remember that I bought some rather striking Liberty tana lawn with which to make my p.j.s.

This was the seller’s photo I showed you before and the pears looked enormous.

However, when it eventually arrived in France in Mr. T’s cabin bag, they were a much more discreet size as I have tried to show by artfully placing a spool of cotton on top.

So I’ll get on with them while the mood is upon me but I might have another rummage through my vintage sheets too – I need the space.

Have you ever used vintage sheets to make anything wearable?



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Les Boîtes à Chapeau (for a change)

It’s the hat box quilt of course but it sounds so lovely in French and makes a change in my list of blog post titles.

So, it’s done!  Kate and I have been furiously fairly calmly making  hat boxes over the past year or so from a book we both happened to have – ‘Passionate Patchwork’ by Kaffe Fassett.  Kate is making a full size quilt while I decided to make a wall hanging – which is why I’ve finished first.  Well, that and she is hand quilting and I took the easy way out and used a machine.  I have lots of Liberty of London fabric and decided this would be a good way to showcase some of them.

‘Perfection is the enemy of progress’ I’ve heard it said and that is certainly the case as far as this project went because, had I decided to go back and fix some of the mistakes I spotted after the event, I would still be putting it together now and getting fed up with it.    Instead of that, it is assembled, hung up and, apart from one thing which will bug me forever because I thought about it beforehand and then forgot to do it, I’m quite pleased with it.  So, you can zoom in on it if you are the Quilt Police and have fun finding all the faults but I know they are there and I can live with them.

I wasn’t sure how to hang it – I’ve got no other wall hangings in the house – but knew I didn’t want any hanging mechanism to show.  I searched around a bit and found a tutorial based on the method used by a Museum of Quilts in the United States to hang the quilts they have on display – you can find the method here.

So now I’ve shown you the big picture, here are some of the quilt in action.




Astonishingly – you know what men are often like about such things – Mr. Tialys is quite approving of this and has even asked if perhaps we could have something in a discreet corner of the lounge (I did note the word ‘discreet’ by the way).

Now to go and put the books, tissues, glasses, alarm clocks, hand cream and all the other usual paraphernalia back on those bedside cabinets.  Get me and my staged photos  (otherwise known as ‘tidying up’).  I’ll be applying filters, drawing faces in my cappuccino froth and using my Instagram account next!!






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Two Reasons I’m Looking Forward to the End of January

I can feel myself getting back into the swing of sewing and, to that end, have bought a couple of new dressmaking patterns and the fabric to go with them,  I know, I know,  I already have plenty of patterns and fabric but I needed to be newly inspired.  That’s my excuse and I feel it’s a good one.

But first!  I really need to get my hatbox quilt wall hanging off my WIP list and up on the wall so that I don’t feel guilty about starting a new project.  ‘What?’ I hear you ask -‘ since when did she care about such things?’  Well, since recently and I don’t know how long it will last so I’m making the most of it.

A sneak preview for you – the clips will not be part of the finished project I promise you.

This should actually be finished today or tomorrow but Kate – with whom I am supposed to be ‘doing’ this hatbox project – likes to see progress reports and so I thought I’d make her happy.  Kate is making a full size quilt and hand quilting the whole thing so is obviously not so far advanced but we started off by saying we would post our progress on the last day of each month.  In the last quarter of 2017 this wasn’t possible for me so I’m a bit behind but, no matter, I thought I’d post the progress today and then the finished project on the 31st and all will be right with my World – especially as it will also be the end of Dry January 🙂

You may remember I have elicited your opinions on several occasions about whether a certain block would fit in with the rest of them or not, which layout of several options you preferred, etc. etc.  All opinions duly considered and mostly ignored of course but that’s what makes it fun.

Well, when it came to adding the sashing in between the blocks I couldn’t be bothered to dig out my old posts and photos to see what had been decided so flung them down on the floor any which way and thought ‘Aha, that looks good, how wonderful a random flinging can be’.  So I took a photo.

Then,  I looked at the photo and immediately saw that I had placed some of the hatboxes higher on their backgrounds than others so things weren’t lining up.  Disaster!  If I ever make this quilt again that is just one of the many things I would look out for which I should have done the first time of course but you live and learn – though sometimes I think I just live.  A couple of the other things I would do differently are to make the ‘wallpapers’  all the same and hand quilt them – I’ve no excuse as I made them as quilt- as -you -go blocks so it wouldn’t have been too difficult.

Still,  moving on……

I was forced to put all the ‘lower’ boxes on the top row so that they would (more or less) line up with each other so, in the end, my layout was decided for me albeit not by you.  Thank you for your help and opinions anyway.

You can see above that I put vertical strips of sashing on the blocks and joined each of the two sections of six blocks with two horizontal strips.  This meant there was only one long (ish) vertical strip to grapple with  down the centre.

My troubles then started as I wanted to put wider sashing – some might call them borders – around the edges.  My sashing fabric is another Liberty tana lawn which has a sort of wood grain effect that I hope will reinforce the impression of shelving – an impression  helped by having wider woodgrain top and sides I feel.   I experimented several times with top, bottom and batting layers until I found a method that worked for me.  I can’t tell you how much unpicking was indulged in and how many anglo saxon words were retrieved from my memory and bandied about the place.  Luckily, I only had one helper and she doesn’t mind a bit of cursing just so long as it isn’t directed at her.

 Here she is watching me hand stitch the back sashing down – I suppose she is giving me a bit of an ‘old fashioned’ look.  Perhaps I’ll mind my Ps and Qs in future.  I won’t go into the mechanics of quilt-as-you-go here because if you are not a quilter you will be bored to tears and, if you are, you probably already know about it.  Basically, it avoids having to wrestle a large quilt (or medium sized wall hanging in this case) under a domestic sewing machine but it can also make hand quilting a more manageable and portable project.

So, here’s the back which I almost like as much as the front but the photo was taken before I attached a hanging sleeve or binding.

Mr. Tialys was sought out – he was in his ‘shed’ – to root through his wood stash and find something suitable for a hanger and I made him asked whether he would kindly put the fitting up on the bedroom wall before disappearing to work in the U.K. for the week.  He also retrieved some anglo saxon from his vocabulary  (which definitely was directed at me) but did the deed and that means I will be able to take a nice photo or two and post the finished article on the 31st January, perhaps with a glass of wine to hand 😉

But first I have to hand stitch that binding down on the back – where’s my pain relieving crafting glove?

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Almost Completely Headless

Since my last post was about the demise of my lovely old German Shepherd, I thought I’d better do another one so that anybody coming to my blog for the first time isn’t instantly depressed by the opening page so I will ramble on about my sewing exploits instead which may well depress some of you even more.

Back in the mists of time – well, let’s call it May – I showed you a dress from a French craft magazine that I had started on and – tadaa – here it finally is.  I know I am headless but it’s the best way and, anyway, it was Bastille Day here in France yesterday so I thought it somewhat appropriate.  I am vaguely pleased with it – it was my first stab at an invisible zip and, guess what? – it actually is almost invisible.  However, the dress is a bit big for me so I can pull it on over my head without undoing the zip so I could have done away with it altogether and then it would really have been invisible.  So, a bit big, I wish I’d done the top stitching in purple rather than white and the fabric could have been a bit ‘drapier’ in order to make the cowl neckline softer but, apart from that, fine for floating round the garden this summer.

ModellingsessionJune2013This next dress was made some time ago.  It is Amy Butler’s Lotus tunic dress.  I rediscovered it in my wardrobe as a fellow blogger, Sew2Pro,  had made one and wasn’t pleased as she said it made her look heavier than she really is and I said I though it was very slimming so I’d put it on my blog to show her.  I made this, probably 3 or 4 years ago and, when I dug it out of the wardrobe, thought it was a bit long so took it up a little.  The shoulder yoke thingies and sleeve edgings are in contrast fabric although it is from the same range of fabric from FreeSpirit so the contrast is fairly subtle.  I must have been going through a very ‘pernickity’ phase at the time as this is all nicely lined in muslin so very cool to wear.  The little corsage was made by a friend of mine and, by coincidence, matched the colours of the dress exactly so I pinned it on immediately.  It is certainly not to cover up a less than perfect neck shaping – no not at all.

ModellingSessionJune2013 (2)Eeek! Got the head back in this next one but I have taken the precaution of wearing sunglasses the size of dinner plates in order to shield you from the worst of it.  This gypsy blouse is made from Butterick B4685 which I first saw on Ooobop’s blog and, like her, I made view D but without the central lace panel and the underbust elastic as lord alone knows what that would have done to my shape.  Anyway, it is indeed a very easy pattern and I have since made another two.

ModellingSessionJune2013 (3)One for Madamoiselle Tialys the younger – quite an achievement as she is normally in black and adorned in skulls, etc. and one in yellow for Mlle T. the elder but I haven’t had chance to photograph it yet.  I promise we will not all go out ‘en famille’ wearing the same blouse and, in any case, Mr. Tialys has declined my offer to make him one.

DSC_0028Now that I am back into dressmaking – can you tell? – I have started following more of those types of blogs and now I know all the hot topics and favourite patterns.  I fancied a go at t-shirts and Sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern seems to be the choice of those in the know at the moment so I ordered a copy.  You may remember, if you have been here before, that I was going to have a go at making my own knickers but, so far, the attaching of stretchy elastic to stretchy fabric, has proved an elusive skill and, being one of those people that buy all the stuff necessary for something before actually knowing if they are going to actually like it, I have lots of stretch fabric in my stash with nowhere to go.  The fabric I used is possibly a little silky and fine for what I would normally describe as a t-shirt but it was only 3.99 a metre so I thought I’d have a play with it and sort of use it to make a toile.  Anyway, my first mistake was to forget the pattern was sized in U.S. sizes so I made it about 3 sizes too big but, as the sleeve seams and side seams are all sewn in one, it was easy to take it in.  I had followed Lladybird‘s advice and cut an inch off the neck band so that you have to stretch it slightly to fit but I think another inch could have come off.    I’m not 100% certain I like the band around the bottom even though it does make for a neat edge so, next time – and there is already another version on the cutting board – I might do something a little different.

1stRenfrewTopI don’t know whether I mentioned that my god-daughter is expecting a baby in October so my thoughts have turned to baby clothes which, more than babies themselves, making me go all wibbly.  I am going to make her a quilt – better get started soon knowing my record with having a quilt ready for an actual date – but, in the meantime,I ran up some of these gorgeous little bibs which you put on your baby like a little bandana – how cute are they?  Not having a baby to hand – and I say that without regret – I used a couple of rather fetching bears to model them for me.  Note that these are very posh baby bibs as they are made from Liberty of London tana lawn and, normally, I wouldn’t condone drooling or vomiting on such beauteous fabric.
babybandanasonbearsThese can also look quite cute on dogs though, with that type, you need to put a channel through the top for the collar to go through and, of course, I do happen to have a dog to hand for posing purposes.  Note that there is an absence of Liberty of London here as drooling and vomiting are only two of the many perils where my dogs are concerned, another being fox poo.

bandanastanI am going over to the U.K. for one of my rare visits later this month so, if I don’t get chance to post again before then, I will be back to tell you all about my trip which will definitely involve fish and chips, Brighton, fabric shopping and, possibly, a visit to my parents.


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