Posts Tagged little black dress
My husband thinks I have too many handbags. I haven’t of course but that seems to be his perception. Bless him, he once bought me a very expensive handbag for Christmas and actually thought that I would never need to buy another. It doesn’t work like that though does it? Actually I have many, many more shoes than handbags and what with my lifestyle these days, wear hardly any of them, certainly not on a regular basis, as the ones I prefer have heels and, for practical purposes, I wear flats, boots and wellies more than anything else.
A quilt with a handbag design seemed appropriate and I finally finished hand quilting this one the other day, found a suitable binding locally and, voila.
This is a design from a book called More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott which aims to help you use the pre-cut fabric packs that look so tempting but you are not quite sure what to do with after buying. Or is that just me? This quilt is made using a Layer Cake which consists of 42 x 10 inch squares of fabric. The pack I used here is from Basic Grey for Moda and the design is ‘Little Black Dress’. Here is a single block and it consists of four pieces of fabric cut to different sizes plus an appliquéd bag ‘handle’ to complete the handbag shape.
I used ‘big stitch’ quilting for this as it seemed to suit the design and, if I’m honest, all my hand quilting appears to come out as a big stitch anyway 🙂 I echo quilted the inner seams of each bag and around the handle. It works on the front but not so well on the back as I’ve used a plain fabric and all my stitches are very obvious which is not necessarily a good thing. Hence the lack of rear view photography. Also, it probably isn’t quilted heavily enough but it will only be used as a throw, or even a wall hanging in my workroom, so it won’t get enough rough treatment to shift the batting. Unless the dogs take a fancy to it of course. I used a variegated perle cotton for the quilting which is why, if you zoomed in and wondered, the colour of the stitches varies between white, grey and black.
Here it is , in its entirety with, not a plain black border – that’s just the dark wood of the cupboard I’ve hung it up against – but a black and off- white binding with musical notes on it. It was the only fabric I could find locally which would do for the binding but, even though there is nothing to do with music anywhere else on the quilt, I think it works anyway.
Here’s the obligatory ‘sofa shot’ and, this time, I waited until the dogs were out in the garden although, actually, Flo would have coordinated with this very well being black and white.
Having made two ‘greyish’ quilts my next project is much brighter. It is from the same book and is called ‘Friendship Braids’. I’m using a Moda Jelly Roll this time in a design called ‘Gypsy Girl’. Again, I will be going great guns until I get to the quilting part and then I will be in a quandary again. Still, that won’t be quite yet.
to be continued…………
I am very disappointed with the weather up to now this year. It is the middle of May and yet the sun seems reluctant to show its face and we keep having rain and the occasional hailstorm. I haven’t even taken the winter tyres off my car yet. The first few vide greniers (aka boot sale/yard sale) have been rained off or, because there has been the threat of rain, nobody has bothered to turn up. Although I did manage to find this fetching Madamoiselle yesterday morning. I must say, she gave the dog a nasty turn.
Thank goodness then, that I have got back into my dressmaking mode as it has whiled away a few wet and windy hours. I was rather taken with the New Look 6873 skirt I made but obviously had to hand it over to Mlle Tialys the Younger as it is a little on the short side for a woman of my life experience, not to mention it is covered in grinning death’s heads. Still, it’s an easy pattern and I like the style so I plundered my fabric stash to see what I could find. I’m one of those people that has to do something IMMEDIATELY when I make my mind up and it was a sunday so I couldn’t go shopping (no, not in France!). Anyway, I found some Kaffe Fasset fabric I had bought at one time but there wasn’t quite enough so I made the pocket linings and yoke facings with plain chocolate brown material and, because I didn’t have enough fabric to hem it at a decent length, I used bias ribbon to hem it. Can you bear it? I’ve only just got back into dressmaking and am already doing tricksy things like that . Here it is hanging on a hanger as it was too cold today to model it with bare legs and it would look hideous with tights.
My next project – which I have already cut out – is from a French magazine. Impressed aren’t you? Well, I will take it slowly and, if I get stuck, take it to my mini sewing bee on Thursday so my friend can help me translate the more complicated bits.
I like the panelled skirt and the neckline which is a little bit different. Also, as soon as I saw it I could imagine it in the Liberty of London Carline design, some of which I just happen to have in purple.
I have now received my pattern for the Elisalex Dress, which alone is a little work of art, and I have been contemplating fabric. It is supposed to be made in quite heavy weight fabric – even upholstery weight – in order to hold the shape of the tulip skirt which, I am assured, is flattering to all but I am not totally convinced and may reserve the right to draft the beautfiul, fitted top onto a different shaped skirt. Also, I don’t like exposed zips so I will have to adapt that. Whoaa! There I am again going all tricksy. Anyway, I haven’t quite gone ‘upholstery’ but I have gone ‘home décor’ and bought these fabrics with which to give the lovely Elisalex dress a go.
I actually bought the white patterned one – which is called ‘Marie Antoinette’ – for another pattern I bought – Simplicity Project Runway 1803 – so I might make the spotted one up in the Elisalex in a short sleeved version and, if I like it, I’ll use the ‘Marie Antoinette’ to make a sleeveless version. If I’m not keen I’ll go with the Project Runway dress.
Where, I hear you ask, am I going to wear all these pretty, feminine dresses and skirts when regular readers know that, not only do I live in a beautiful yet cultural backwater with very few opportunities to wear a posh frock, but I have the sort of lifestyle that mostly requires jeans in the winter and shorts in the summer. Well, once I have a small but versatile stock I am hoping to start making more things for my Madamoiselles. The Elder is very into fashion and would probably throw herself into choosing patterns and fabrics and might even have a go herself. Unfortunately, she is in the U.K. at university most of the time so, when she comes back for the summer, I will tie her down, take her measurements, ban her from eating the usual student’s diet of crisps, chocolate bars and vodka so that she stays the same and then I can make clothes for her ‘in absentia’ . Didn’t know I speak Latin too did you? The Younger (as we have seen) is more into black, red, skulls, wolves, etc., hasn’t got much interest in fashion and certainly not frocks, so she might prove a bit more difficult.
I haven’t been completely idle on the craft front and here is another cartonnage box I completed recently. No sewing involved – lots of glue and different thicknesses of card. I was making this at my friend’s house and, as the glue was still drying, left it there weighted down with some of her antique flat irons. Ooops! When I returned the following week, she was all upset because some rust had transferred itself onto the fabric. Ho hum. Another lesson learned. I still like it though.
On the quilting front, I bought a Moda Layer Cake in ‘Little Black Dress’ design and I am having a go at this ‘handbag’ quilt from the book by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I was drawn to it as it is a little bit different, fun to make and not too huge. I think, when it is all joined together, I might quilt it again simply using cotton perlé maybe around the handles and outline of the bag. What do you think about that idea and what sort of colour thread do you think? I cannot get the hang of free motion quilting and, after all the hard work of piecing, I would rather do something by hand not least because it is much easier to unpick if it goes wrong.
So that should keep me busy. However, bowing to pressure, I agreed to add to our little flock of chickens today as the chicken man was at the market. We only have 2 ageing hens left now (thanks for that Stan the dog) and a cockerel so I have had to start buying eggs again. Whaaaat? There is no comparison. Even if you buy the most organic, free range, pampered eggs in the shop, they cannot compare to your own chickens’ eggs. So we have another 3 now, some Light Sussex. Here is Mlle T the Younger with Isis (don’t ask). I wanted to call them Milly, Molly and Mandy but she had other ideas so I might just have to be content with Milly and Molly although it doesn’t have the same ring to it.
So, chicken wrangling – and everybody knows you need plenty of posh frocks for that.