Saturday, 25 June 2011

Sometimes you just have to stop

We are home safely from Ireland and had a lovely time.  I think Jack enjoyed it the most.  He chased cows, cats, mice and pheasant, ate cow food and drank their fresh milk.  Ian and I also had a great time.  How couldn't you with these views around you all day long?

View near Kanturk Co Cork

View from farm lane

Looking up the lane to the farm

The dairy farm

The lake at Kilarney

Mucross Abbey

Ladies View - ring of Kerry

MMJ at Ladies View.  It was windy!
I managed to tissue fit the two jackets and make a toile for the one I want to take to class next week.  Other than that, I read a great book (The Red Queen), made lots of cups of tea, visited Cork, Fermoy, Kilarney and Ian's family.  It was a lovely break and I'm already looking forward to going back in September.

MMJ's gone out the window.  I know I'm wearing and using something I have made every day, but have no real photographic evidence to back it up...

On the sewing front I'm making another shirt as the one pictured above, in pink and have the Speed Tailoring class on Monday and Tuesday next week and will do a review on it later.

That's it from me for today, enjoy your weekend and "c'mon Murray!"

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

New Look 6922 - I must be MAD!

Also entitled - "are you mad?  Trousers AND knit in one go?!?!"

I REALLY won't be beaten.  Do I win a medal for persistence?  Okay, so I'm almost there with knit, thanks to Betty, so I though I should tackle trousers next.

I have made plenty of trousers in my time but as my body shape has changed, they give me the jitters.  I have mentioned by huge generous thighs in the past and that's where I struggle, that and a big bottom., a sway back and a round tummy.

So I found the most simple pattern I could and made sure they were styled with wide legs (no skinnies for this girl!).  New Look 6922 looked just the job and anyway, I like the cardigan too.

I won't reveal what size I cut, lets just say I had to sit down once I referred to the pattern sizing chart!   I tissue fit it and noted where there were problems.  I used "Fast Fit" again and made the following adjustments:

added 2cm to back inner leg (to enlarge the bottom area)
added 2cm to the enlarge the bottom (did I mention I have a big bottom?)
reduced the tummy by 2cm - ha, ha, a tummy tuck!!
I forgot to do a sway back in my haste
I didn't need to adjust the length as I knew I would be wearing these with my summer wedges which are around 3" high.

I wasn't quite sure where they would end up sitting around the hip/waist area because there is no waist noted on the paper pattern so I decided to cut out a waistband.  I quite like the idea of an elasticated waistband rather than a turned over top with elastic threaded through - not sure why, just one of those personal things.
When I was making them up I ended up taking in around 1" from the waist grading down to the hip.

I used the same grey double knit as Simplicity 2424.  They took me about an hour and a half from start to finish and do you know what?  do you?  THEY FIT!! 

Here are a couple of rubbish photos to prove it!

I know they are high waisted, but that's where I wanted them to be.  I want to be able to bend over and not show anything I shouldn't!  Not too shabby are they?

I have worn them for a couple of afternoons at home and have noticed that the front crotch is a little too low.  Does that mean I have to shorten the front crotch length again - a bigger tummy tuck for the next pair?  I also  need to tighten the elastic by around an inch, but that's not a big job.

I now have a lovely outfit with Simplicity 2424 and Butterick 5147 - It'll come up in MMJ!

No time for sewing this week before we set sail for the emerald isle - too much to organise and extra shifts at work.  So if I don't post before we go, I'll catch up with you all when I get back.

Have a good week.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Simplicity 2424 - another go at knit!

I can't let it beat me, I just can't!  So here we go again...  This time with a double knit, which I find easier to work with. 

I made the red cardigan

Before Betty came to the rescue, I used Jennifer to make this, and boy did we struggle.  She really does not like knit.  Skipped stitches, blah, blah, blah.  Thank goodness this was a simple cardigan to make so we got through it in the end!

I cut a size 14, made a small sway back adjustment and added my usual 1" to the sleeve upper arm.  I didn't worry about doing any other alterations - it's a cardigan for goodness sake!  I did use some stay tape at the shoulder, but other than that it's just front, back, band and sleeves. 

It was super easy to make and looks great with Butterick 5147!

Watch this space - there's more to come.  I set myself a goal yesterday, and have almost succeeded!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Burda 05/11 101A

I fell in love with the May edition of Burda and read it cover to cover on the train to London when Esther and I went to see the Wizard of Oz at the end of May.

I knew our plans included Liberty of London so a great edition of Burda and Liberty = fabric buying.  I know, I know, I'm working through the stash, but you can't pass up an opportunity like that!

We hit the scarf dept first and then topped for afternoon tea.  It was delicious and included teeny tiny macaroons - here is Esther tucking in and you can see just one chocolate macaroon left (I was very gracious and let her have it!) SO elegant!

Once we were completely refreshed (and a tad full) we visited the fabric department.  My sister is such a star, she can't thread a needle but ooo'd and aahh'd in all the right places.  In fact she got quite enthusiastic about some of the (ahem, childrens') sewing kits so I bought her one which will be saved for Christmas.  Anyhoo, this is what I purchased.  Tana Lawn 137cm wide so I bought 1.6 meters.  It's nearly £20 per meter so I wanted to get exactly what I needed!

So here is the line drawing of 101A.  It's a tunic top, with a BIG neck opening, one button closure and grandad collar.

 My neck opening ended up being quite wide, so I used two loop/button closures.  I know it's to be worn with a vest/Cami so am not worried that it is very long/low.

I cut a 40 and decided to shorten the length by approx 1" and of course I shortened the sleeves by 1" too.  I cut out VERY carefully placing the pattern pieces so that I had some symmetry with the fabric pattern and made sure the two sleeves had identical pattern layout.  The fabric was an absolute dream to work with.  It presses beautifully and my overlocker liked it too.  I mitered the ends of the sleeves for neatness.  Although I did overlock and turn up a single hem, you could quite easily utilise a rolled hem with this soft fabric.

I boobed with the collar in that I sewed the bottom edge, thinking it was the top, and pressed and trimmed before I realised what I had done.  To be honest I just couldn't be bothered to cut another one so I trimmed 1cm off the neck edge and finished it with a strip of fabric cut on the bias.  I may change my mind about that once I've worn it!

It will be lovely and cool, easy to wear and look fab with jeans or white linen trousers.  As ever, here it is on Vivienne for now.  Watch out for it in MMJ!

Why does this look so tiny?!  It does fit, but it looks as though it's a size 8?!

Enjoy the rest of your Weekend.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Holiday count down and sewing preparation

We're off to Ireland next week.  We will be visiting Ian's family who farm near Cork - well, approx an hours drive from Cork.  We are going on the ferry and taking the old car (trust me it is VERY old!) which means we can pack it to the rafters with "stuff" we may need, including Jack and all his paraphernalia!

It's time to lift the hay so Ian will spend the week farming and helping his Uncle David.  No doubt my holiday will consist of cooking and feeding the men.....  I'll be taking Betty with me!  I'm hoping to get some sightseeing done as I haven't spent much time in this area of Ireland, and perhaps some horse riding, but I haven't been for years so not 100% convinced I should go out on my own...

Anyhoo, Betty will be coming with me, along with some calico, a large spool of black thread and the following patterns.  Now I really am not expecting/hoping to get much sewing done, but could do to get the jacket made up as I have a Speed Tailoring class when I get back and hope to take the opportunity to have my toile "tweeked" by a professional.

Here's what I'm taking with me:

McCalls classic Jeans
Ha, I live in hope!!

New Look 6617 I will make View B or C

Butterick 5147
This is the jacket I need for class
Simplicity 3690 
A simple pair of trousers before I try the Jeans!

As I said, I have no idea how busy or quiet this holiday will be so I'm not hanging my hopes on achieving a lot.  Even if Ian's up to his eyes I can walk the fields with Jack and catch the bus into Cork, soaking up all that beautiful countryside. 

I will be keeping MMJ up as best I can whilst away too.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Spa Slippers, the easiest things in the world to sew

Well, I've been wearing mine for a couple of days and they are SO comfortable.  Great for summer, but not so sure they would keep your feet cosy and toasty in the winter months.....

The hardest thing about making them is finding the gripper stop for the soles.  I managed to find some on ebay earlier this year so bought a full meter - I like making and giving slippers!

You will need:
Outer fabric.  I used Clarke and Clarke 100% curtain weight cotton (ie washable!)
Inner fabric.  Fleece
Sole fabric.  Jiffy Grip.  Please don't try to use anything else.  You'll end up slipping and could seriously hurt yourself
Bias binding.  2cm wide and a full board.  Or if you are making it yourself, approx 2.5meters
Matching Thread
Any decoration you want to add - bows, bling, flowers etc, etc.

I used an old 1960s lingerie book for my pattern, but basically you draw around your foot for the sole and use a shaped rectangle for the top. Don't forget to add 1cm seam allowance

Cut out rectangles of your fabric as follows:  one left foot and one right foot (doh!) from sole fabric, outer fabric and inner fabric. 
Cut out slipper tops from outer fabric twice for each foot and fleece once for each foot.

Layer each piece and you will end up with something like this:

Next you stitch all the layers together within your 1cm seam allowance.  If you have a walking foot use it as the layers can shift - look they did on my top piece.  You can see it is only small (top right) and will be hidden later.

Next you need to add bias binding to the upper and lower edges of the top pieces

Had to include a picture of Betty as she has been such a trooper for these last two projects!

Adding the bias binding

Once the binding pieces are added, turn to the wrong side and stitch in the ditch to secure.

Stitch in the ditch

Once you have done that, pin the upper pieces to the soles.  I don't tack them in place but you can if you want to ensure they don't move once you get to the next step.

The final stage (yes we are there already!) is to pin bias binding around the outer edge.  It's a good idea to start and finish the binding on the inside edge and I fold over a little bit for extra neatness.

Stitch it in place and fold over to the bottom.  You may need to trim back your seam allowances at this stage as you have 6 layers of fabric at the sides.  You can either stitch in the ditch, or hand sew the binding to the bottom edge.  I like to hand sew mine - horses for courses.....

And you're done.  Just add any embellishment.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! 

Butterick 5497

Also entitled:  "My eyes, my eyes".....  Please someone remind me that small stripes make your eyes go funny.

A super easy knit top.  Easy to make and easy to wear.  I made the long sleeved version.  I cut a size 12, shortened the sleeves by 1" and shortened the length by 1.5".  I also had to grade out the hip area to a 14 at the hem.

Do you remember I have already commented "I don't do knits", well I was determined to crack it and after lots of trial and error with needles, tension, overlocker differential feed etc, I think I finally have - yey!

It's not me, it's Jennifer.  She really does not like knit fabrics.  But Betty has come to the rescue, good old Betty.  Oh, perhaps I should point out that Jennifer is my Janome 1660P and Betty is my lovely old Bernina 730.  I don't have two ladies hidden away doing all the sewing for me!

Trust me, Jennifer and I tried everything we could think of, ballpoint needles, blue tipped ballpoint needles, stretch needle, normal needles all to no avail. Ollie (the overlocker) tried and he did much better than I expected.  Bearing in mind Ollie only has 1 needle (shamefully the same one since I have purchased him over 20 years ago) and squeeks when helping me, He was a winner with this project.  BUT  you can't use the overlocker too much on this one because of the casings for the elastic at the arm and underbust points.

Anyhoo, Betty saved the day.  Here it is modeled on Vivienne for now.  I'll be wearing it over the next week so you will see it in the MMJ page shortly.

It looks much better on a real body!

Elasticated shoulders
Enjoy the rest of your day and hope the weather is as good for you as it is for us today. Bye from a sunny, warm Wiltshire....

It's a dogs' life!