Thursday, 31 March 2011

Customer Service at Gorgeous Fabrics

Follwing my hiccup of a day yesterday I was delighted to receive an email from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics late yesterday evening regarding the green print fabric.  I received an apology, an explanation and the additional yard I ordered is being sent to me free of charge - how brilliant is that?  Ann refunded the monies immediately to my account.

Thank you Ann - one very happy customer!

Onward and upward ladies - I feel some sewing / toiles coming on today!

Have a good day.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Blast, a stupid mistake... And how wide did you say it was?.

I can't believe what I have done; a lapse in concentration and one skirt written off in the space of 30 seconds.....

I started the black and red print skirt this morning, re-threaded the overlocker with black and tested the tension.  Can you guess what I did?  Yup, I tested the tension on a "scrap" of  fabric, except it wasn't scrap was it?  Oh no, it was the front section - so that's that...  I only bought the skirt length so there's no spare, not a little sliver...  Bye bye lovely print, I imagined us shopping for shoes and spending Spring together, but it just wasn't meant to be....  Here's one last look:

Oddly enough, AllisonC's just done the exact same thing to her lovely dress....

So, I threw a mini wobble and moved on.  Next up, green and black print skirt.  I bought this from Gorgeous Fabrics and as it's 150cm wide, I bought 1 yard (America still use imperial measurements).  BUT  it's not 150cm wide is it?  No, its around 120cms so I can't get my straight skirt with seam allowances out of it!   Excuse me - aaarrrggghhhhh!!!!  So I've had to place another order for 1 yard.  What with the bloomin' expensive postage this is going to be a skirt I will have to wear - a lot!  I added some cotton voile and silk lining to the order to make it worth the postage. 

Its been an unsuccessful day - and to cap it all, I've just burnt microwave popcorn - I ask you?!  Roll on tomorrow!

Sleep well

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sewing for Pleasure - A Review.

"Sewing for Pleasure" is an annual get-together for anyone interested in sewing and shows a large exhibiton of works, along with retailers selling fabrics, trimings - you name it you will find it there!  It is held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham alongside "Hobbycrafts" and runs for 4 days, Thursday to Sunday.

I have to apologise in advance because I forgot my camera and the pictures taken on my phone are complete rubbish....

I typically go on the second day, but this year I went on the Saturday and goodness me it was busy!  In fact it was so busy I couldn't get to some of the stalls. I know a few of the exhibitors and they confirmed that this year was definately the busiest for around 4 years; isn't that great news?  That means there are more people showing an interest in sewing and I noticed so many younger girls looking at fabrics and buttons which was so nice to see aged from around 11 to 20 and very excited about the size of the show

My main objective was to purchase fabrics for my wardrobe so I went with a list and stayed as focused as possible.  My first visit was to see my friend Alison who runs Alison Victoria School of Sewing and Fabulous Fabrics.  She had a fabric stand and was also running workshops.  It was lovely to see her and the girls as I hadn't seen them for such a long time.  I then went to Linton Tweed, but was a little disappointed as to what they had this year - perhaps they had been so busy they didn't have so much left!

Anyway, here's a summary:

Sewing with a Plan!! 
Linton Tweed green jacket, white and pale gree shift dress,
black, green and white straight skirt (last fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics)

Paul Smith cotton shirting, brown linen for a skirt and soft knit for a top

Mish-mash.  Black pattern for skirt, grey wool for blanket (you will not believe the
quality of this fabric) and pretty curtaining to make a new sewing machine cover

Tailoring tape, on-line catalogue, Gill Arnold course schedule and a
kit to make a fascinator (note the green theme!)
There was a fantastic exhibiton showing underwear from the corset through the ages, including a 1950's petticoat in lemon (which reminded me very much of one Gertie has made) and the most BEAUTIFUL costumes exhibition - think 15th century.
I always wanted to tackle Tailoring properly and like the idea of a combination between speed and tradional styles for my personal taste.  Gill Arnold runs classes in the Birmingham area so I thought it would try one out - it's booked for June so I may not tackle the Linton Tween until I've taken the class!

So, first on my list will be the straight skirt made with the red/black/cream print.  I'll need to buy a black t-shirt to so with it, and already have a red jacket to see me through the Spring.  All other fabrics are going through the washing maching (not the Linton Tweed!) over the next few days so it will be a case of slowly, slowly with these projects.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Wardrobe worries & get on with some sewing!

How come I do so much sewing but have nothing to wear?!  Because I don't Sew With A Plan.

This morning I got up early and decided to sort through my wardrobe, weed out the things I just don't wear, clothes that are old, or unloved and see what I'm left with.  This is the ENTIRE contents of my wardrobe now left:

1 red trench coat - bought
1 camel winter coat - bought
1 black walking coat - bought
1 Navy Acquascutum raincoat
1 brown/cream print dress - made
1 brown cardigan - bought
1 white satin dress - made
1 blue roses dress - made
1 denim skirt - made
2 pairs of smart jeans - bought
1 blue shirt - bought
1 blue/white linen shirt - bought
1 green tweed skirt - made
3 long sleeved t-shirts, white, blue, grey - bought
1 black linen tailored pencil skirt - made
1 black jacket - bought
1 white sequined t-shirt - bought
3 vests tops, brown, navy and white - bought
2 pairs of joggers brown and black - bought
2 sweatshirts to match - bought
1 navy/white knit dress - made

When you open the door, there is definitely a theme - blue/white/black hits you in the eyes!

What the h*ll have I been doing?!?!  I think I am SO fussy with the things I make, if they don't fit 100% as they should (and they don't because I've put on weight) then I just won't wear them....

Before I moved I had a really good job where I had to be super smart on a daily basis and sewed skirts, jackets, dresses and tops. Now I work part-time (and have a supplied uniform) I just don't get what to wear anymore.  It's either the joggers and sweatshirt OR a smart shift dress and heels.  I just can't get in between dressing right at all.

SO - the wardrobe is bare and I need to pull my finger out asap or I will be wearing pjs all Spring.  I MUST make the following as a matter of urgency:

1 Smart white fitted t-shirt
1 Casual Jacket
1 White fitted long sleeved shirt
1 casual jersey dress
1 casual spring skirt

I have so many patterns I will not allow myself to purchase any more!  I have seen some lovely fabric over at Gorgeous Fabrics for the jersey dress (sewing with knit is new to me so I don't have anything in the stash)and will be visiting Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC next week and know Linton Tweed will be there, along with another company (Sorry I cannot for the life of me remember its name) who sell excellent quality shirtings and suitings at show prices. BUT what about that TONNE of fabric in the stash?!  Why is it still there and why isn't it being used?  Should I have a clear out of that as well and sell/give away anything that has been lingering for a while - actually, some of it years?!

I'm definitely having one of those weeks where I hate everything but I know I need some help on the wardrobe front.  Maybe I should buy one of those "what to wear after 40" books and think about having my colours done?

Have any of you been through this wardrobe worry?  I have never been one for a huge wardrobe but I have most definitely reached that point where I am struggling to know what to wear and genuinely panic whenever we go out.  I wish I were as co-ordinated as AllisonC or Amanda's Adventures in Sewing - they have wonderful colour combinations (and figures!) that work every time, and don't even get me started on the wonderful use of colour and shape that Erica B uses.....

Okay, so I'm going to have a cup of tea, step away from the wardrobe and laptop and concentrate on customers sewing.  But will place my order with Gorgeous fabrics first

Have a good Thursday - It's St Patricks day in Eire today so Ian will be having a couple of pints of Guinness this evening and we will be watching the Eire vs England Rugby match on Saturday.  In typical Irish fashion I'll sign off with GOOD LUCK, GOOD LUCK..

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Built by Wendy - new book to be released in the UK early April

I have this book that my sister bought me for Christmas
We thought it may be too simple, but having read a few reviews it got a positive thumbs up by most.  Although it is very basic for me, I do like the shape of the dresses (the shift dress is the same shape as my navy and white Butterick dress) and the versatility of the 3 patterns.

So when this caught my eye on Amazon this morning I decided to pre-order it. Fingers crossed it will be as good!

I think it is already released in the States - anyone got on thoughts on it they want to share?

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend - it is a beautiful day here in Wiltshire.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New Look 6023 + bad photography

I'm struggling to get going this morning so picked up a project I started late last month and vowed to finish it by end of day tomorrow.  It's New Look 6023 which is a new pattern (I think).  I like its clean lines and simplicity.

I decided to tissue fit first and cut a size 12 top and 16 (sigh) bottom, grading the waist section somewhere in between.  It worked out just fine but I would tweek the fit slightly for the next one (I will definately make this again).  I will lower the bust point by about 2cms and will make a narrow back alteration as I had to take in about 5cms each side at the nape of the neck.  This is how it looks so far:

My tummy looks very round in this photo, but not as much in true life -
oh well, nothing a pair of magic knickers or 7ibs weight loss won't cure.....

Look how much I had to take in at the neck!

The length is good on me and as this is a white matt duchess satin I interlined it with 200 thread count cotton for extra modesty.  I'm not sure if it's come out too well on the photos but the neck and waist sections are overlayed with a beautiful silver "cobweb" tulle that shimmers very slightly. 

When cutting out the pattern I did cut the short sleeves also to be in the tulle, but I think I'm going to leave it sleeveless.

Now, anyone got a summer party/wedding they can invite me to?  I think this one may be a little posh for the weekly shop at Asda.....

Enjoy the rest of your day (I MUST crack on with the new project tomorrow - more later)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Anyone interested in a corset sew a-long?

I've been thinking about this for sometime and know a few ladies are keen to try it for themselves.  I'm an experienced corset maker and am sure I can help some of you who are itching to give it a go!

I was thinking of starting Sunday 27th March which is officially the start of British Summer Time.  If you are anything like me, this is the time of year where I start to get a little more creative and shake off those winter blues!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if there are a few of us, it'll be a go'er!

PS I have no idea how to create one of those lovely buttons to attach to your blogs....

Happy Tuesday all xx