Monday, 27 September 2010

Red Skirt - Done. Vogue Dress still underway....

I'm having a lovely holiday!  So far I have finished my red needlecord skirt; here's the pattern I used, late 1960's used umpteen times.  But everytime I use it I over allow on seam allowances so had to take the sides in another inch this morning.... I'll get Ian to take a photo of me wearing it when he's back (Germany again!)

I decided to re-do the Vogue dress bands today - I just didn't like them.  The issue really was the fabric so I re cut the pieces - top sections in satin, bottom sections in white 100% cotton.  They are fiddly to do rather than difficult and having 100% polyester satin didn't make the pressing very crisp.  Also, I didn't like the way the instructions would have you put them together so I used the same technique as you would for the shoulders of a lined, sleeveless shift dress and that was much better:

I managed to squeeze in some sewcation shopping early this morning and bought the wincyette and cotton for the PJs.  Whilst I was there I also got some jersey to make another pair - plain lilac marl for the top and lilac stripe for the bottoms, plus some fleece to make a cardi (I don't want another dressing gown) all on affer at £3.69/m  The photo's don't do the colours any justice, but you get the idea.  I also got a small amount of white muslin to make some lavender bags and some pink netting to finish a petticoat that will go into the window display when I do them in a couple of weeks.

When I got back from shopping a package was waiting for me.  I put a bid in on e-bay for these books and won at £4.99!  All I can say is it's a good job I'm on holiday this week...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The sad news today

Catherine Walker
I was very saddened to hear the news this morning that Catherine Walker has passed away following her battle with cancer.  What an incredible, strong and talented woman she was.  I've long followed her career with great interest and find her designs to be simply stunning, beautifully cut and extremely feminine.  One of the trips I have planned for next month is a visit to the Bath Costume Museum as they have a display of (some) Lady Diana's gowns and I understand a lot of them are Catherine Walkers.

She will be greatly missed.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Sewcation, sew far.....

Right, the Vogue vintage dress is cut out and started.  It's a lovely pattern and going together really well.  The top section is made, but has the most peculiar way of attaching the top bands.  Next time I make this (because there will be a next time with this pattern) I'll do things a bit different.  The duchesse satin is quite light and sewing together well - a new needle and sharp pins were a must to stop any snagging and I am glad I've interlined the skirt section because the hem won't show through.   Pictures to follow I promise; I've let the battery run down on my camera....bad, bad girl.

As I was wide awake at 5 this morning (?! I don't know why either) I came downstairs and cut out the red needlecord and lining so that's ready to go.  It's just a simple A-line skirt but I think I may finish the hem and waist with red and white spot bias strips.  Pin Queen doesn't do waistbands!

Just as I was getting into the swing of things, this came through the letter box.  So I haven't got much further.  Plus I'm waiting for Ian to get organized so we can get over to Hereford to see his Mum and Dad.  There are a couple of fabric shops in Hereford so a "quick look" will be in order.  I don't think I'll get any more sewing done today....

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Countdown to my Sewcation

Well, one more day at work and then I'm off for a glorious 11 days.  I can hardly wait!  I should be thinking about decorating really, but I'll be having a selfish seamstress few days.  Here's the plan:
I've already made the toile and am delighted that it fits so well however I think I may lengthen the bodice a little - even if it's just 1cm as the waist does sit quite high. I'm half way through the petticoat already so will post pictures when it's all finished.

Sadly age is catching up with Pin Queen and this week I've had to buy glasses, plus I'm thinking of wincyette pjs - now that's a sure sign of ageing!  Well, to be truthful Ian's going to be away a lot and as the nights are drawing in I though they may be a nice "comforter" (honest!).  I was thinking to use this New Look pattern for the top - the one in the middle with the contrasting bands.

I though I might make them in white (just a simple elasticated, drawstring, waisted trouser) with a pretty cotton print for the contrasts. Now, just need to source the wincyette?

I have some red needlecord which has patiently been waiting to be made up into a winter A-Line skirt so that's on the list as a "quick fix".  I don't know how all you other sewers feel about your projects, but I have to have a few items that I know fit and can be made quickly - ie "quick fixes".  Plus I do like to go out to the shop for missing things - ie a red concealed zip and lining.  Red's not a colour I use a lot! I'll use my trusty self-drafted skirt pattern for this one.

I also need to finish my Chanel Jacket.  It's a beautiful Linton Tweed loosely woven cotton in pale lemon.  It was supposed to be made up for Spring/Summer but never quite got finished - because I didn't purchase enough "Glamour" lining.  It was 115cm wide and not 150cm as the last lot purchased had been.  It's a pattern I've had for years and I love making Chanel jackets - quilting and all that hand sewing.  No wonder I'm having to wear specs these days!

Do you think I'll get all of this done in between dog walking, cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing etc, etc?!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Bra Making - again

I wanted to make this bra for a long time and started it last night and just finished it this morning.  I'm in danger of becoming obsessed with bra making so won't make another for a little while!  This one is a good quality black cotton with little wild strawberries and is so pretty.  It's taking me about 3 hours to make a bra at the moment which isn't too bad.  Here's a couple of photo's - note the school-girl error with the back band - yep, I forgot to take the closure size into consideration so had to add a "design feature" by way of a little pleat - I was thinking about the next project at the time!
Note the "design feature"!
I need a shopping trip into town to purchase some little bows or roses to finish the middle section and will probably add them to the top of the cup at the strap too.  Red ones might be nice?
Right, must go and do some tidying up!

Planning what to do with time off...

Our holiday to Ireland is off - which means I have 11 days at home to fill.  I'm sure it won't be a problem! Ian's busy between the UK and Germany at the moment so I will have to keep myself and Jack entertained (sigh). 
I'm planning a sewcation which will include a trip to Bath and Bristol, sewing pieces for classes, lingerie and a couple of dresses I have at the back of my mind.
Last night I stumbled across accross a lovely vintage pattern site based in the States and saw this dress.  It's something that can be replicated quite easily with a modern pattern - it's added to my "to do" list, but probably unlikely to get done during the sewcation.
I'm also thinking ahead to the party season and have a white satin dress (no honestly, bear with me!) styled with fitted bodice and a fullish skirt in mind.  Not sure my huge behind would look too good in a FULL white satin skirt so it may end up more A-line (ho,hum).   I'll embelish it with black chiffon circles, black grosgrain ribbon belt and black varying sized crystals - it's funny what you think up at 4 in the morning.
Anyhoo ... on with the day.  Must finish new bra and tidy up (again)!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Bra Making...

I've been busy over the last couple of days, grabbing an hour where I could, to perfect my bra pattern so it fits me properly.  In total I've made around 5 bras and have finally cracked it!!!  To state the bleedin' obvious - the fit is crucial, but the UNDERWIRES are the biggest key to getting the cups to fit nicely.  Anyhoo - here's a couple of photos.  You will notice that Vivienne (My tailors dummy) has a much smaller cup size than me so she's been padded out a bit!
Everything came from my stash.  The brown lace undercup is lined with flesh coloured 20 denier.  I get most of my notations from Fabulous Fabrics, Ashby de la Zouch.  The lace typically comes from the wholesaler who lets me have a rummage when I visit!
I will be making a slip from the animal print at a later date.

Parting Note
If you have been out walking recently you will have noticed all the brambles and elderberries this year. I went picking on Friday as the brambles are just about to go past their best and got a bag full!  Crumbles all round for the neighbours.  Also. we have loads of sloes to so I'll be making some sloe gin too .  Think I've turned into a domesticated diva - I made coconut cake yesterday too?!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sewing School back up and running!

I'm delighted that the Sewing School begins its workshops and classes in October. Following a few changes at the shop we are now back on track and I'm really looking forward to it. All classes are aimed at complete beginners through to the more experienced - and everyone inbetween. From January 2011 we will be running a monthly patchwork class and aim to make a quilt by the end of the year - a new venture for me.

Timetable is availble from the shop, Cloth of Gold, Wootton Bassett or from (by the end of the weekend - I have to type it up again!)

I'll be decorating the windows on a bi-monthly basis too so will post pictures of my efforts.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The "C" Word

As it's September I thought I would plan ahead for Ch*!$&%as. I know it's not a word to be mentioned until about 10th December in our house, but every year I get into a pickle about gifts I want to make, so I've made a plan. Of course I can't tell you what my plan is because then everyone will know what the man in the red suit will be popping down their chimney.

But I can share my plan for a wall decoration: Based on "The 12 Days of Ch*!$&%as" I've embroidered 12 panels in green and red, and one day gold (er - that would be the 5th day then...). My intention is to piece them together into a mini quilt and have a go at freehand embroidery. I've attached a picture of my plan, and one of the pieces in progress.

For Ian

Made a waistcoat for Ian. It's blue/black wool, interlined with a soft woven interfacting, Ivory silk dupion back - and two, yes two(!) welt pockets. The pockets were the biggest challenge as I haven't done any for years - come to think of it, I haven't done any tailoring for a l o n g time..... Tried it on this morning and yes, it's too big (sigh). I need to take in the sides by about 5cms - a job for later in the week. Then it's just a case of buttonholes (haven't done them for an age either!) and buttons. Pic to follow once complete, in the meantime here's one showing work in progress...

Customer's Dress

Hi, sorry it's been a week (or so!). I finished my customers dress and she collected it last Sunday. It's a one-shouldered shift dress, princess seams, with 2.5 circular frills. She had seen Amanda Holden in a similar dress when Britain's Got Talent was on and that gave her the idea. The photo doesn't do the dress any justice; it's a lovely coral colour and a good quality matt satin. The lining was finished with french seams and because I didn't want any hand stitches to show through on the right side, I used a 10cm wide bias strip of lining and made a false hem - which means the dress lining was hand stitched to that, rather than the dress.