Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas cardi and hat combo

More it's not sewing it's knitting news....

Mia is a lucky girl. My friend Louise's thoughtful and talented mummy Lynda has knitted her a cardigan and hat set to be worn at Christmas. The cuffs and pattern around the bottom of the cardi and hat make me think of a snowflake. Thanks Lynda xxx

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The first mince pies of the festive season

Off topic loveliness: Mia and I whipped up the first festive treats of the season today, yummy. Pebbles one of our cats looked on.

Still off topic but if you don't mind different sorts of needles I have been knitting with monster sized needles, very easy indeed. I was inspired by Sarah who has started a Christmas Crafty Club for people crafting their Christmas gifts. I thought I'd left it a bit late really but I found some frothy white yarn with a frosty sparkle and I am making a scarf for my sister-in-law to be.

While I was looking for needles I found a couple of items I had crocheted a couple of months ago to give as Chritams gifts, I rather like this skinny scarf.

So if you are on my Christmas list, scarves it is then!

One more thing, you may have noticed my new button:

I, Charlotte Tilley, am taking the #seamlesspledge until end of 2012.

The rules are (directly quoted from Elana's seamless website):

The rules

  1. No buying new clothes for the duration of your pledge. By new, I mean any new mass-manufactured clothes.
  2. You can buy second-hand manufactured clothes – so be prepared to get to know your local charity shops awfully well.
  3. Vintage clothing is a-ok!
  4. Anything you’ve made by hand is definitely allowed. Get your sewing machines and your kntting needles out, because handmade is definitely in!
  5. Get involved! Join in on the Flickr group and like our Facebook page. I’ll be looking to feature pledgers on the blog in the future. I’d love to see your second-hand finds, refashions and hand-made creations!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

I made bias tape! And I didn't have adult supervision....

I want to make a rouleau pocket to go on a skirt I am making. I saw the idea here on the Colette Patterns website and fell in lust immediately. But it requires bias tape which I normally just buy but because I want to match the pocket to the lining I decided to make it.

I used a tutorial in the Colette Sewing Pattern book. Here's my square of fabric, in this case Amy Butler quilting cotton:

And here's the bias tape pinned into the shape I want the pocket to be:

I heart the Colette Sewing Handbook

Do you know the saying "stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea"? On the one hand I hate reviews that are just big sucky up love fests and on the other hand I cannot find one thing I dislike about the Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick.

You only have to take one look at her website to know you are in for a whole world of loveliness.

So this is not a review. It is a simple statement: I LOVE this book. Here are some things I already love:

1. The patterns are printed separately not all on top of each other in a big jumble.
2. The sizes go up to US size 18, really very generous.
3. The book including 5 patterns cost £16 and some change from (no P and P). Normally Colette patterns are £12.50 EACH plus P and P. This book is a bargain.

My first make from the book has been started. This book is a feast for the eyes. Buy it now!

PS I got so excited about the patterns being printed in a sensible manner that I took a dreadful photo of a pattern sheet. Mental.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Design Studio

I go to a lovely evening class every Tuesday in the interestingly named village of Anton's Gowt, Lincolnshire. Lovely Joanne has The Design Studio there and Kate is the very talented sewing teacher.

Joanne has updated her website, she is very proud of it. See it here.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Shhhhh! I'm reading....

......and planning and plotting and getting excited again. First some lovely sewing friends responded to yesterday's blog post in such a supportive and kind way with great suggestions.

Then guess what the postie brought me today?

Yep - another sewing book! And one I have been waiting for with enormous anticipation:

I am thrilled. So excuse me, I have reading to do.......

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's not you it's me

OK, I have a confession. I'll say it quietly: I'm not that inspired by the new Burdastyle Sewing Handbook. It's lovely, well set out, lots of ideas, pretty things and beautiful pictures. But I can't think what I would make out of it.

More confession: I am having a bit of a dry sewing spell. I have also not managed to join in a couple of themes: orange (I did look through my entire stash and I discovered that I have no orange fabric. Maybe I have an aversion.) and pin-up. I didn't join in pin-up on the grounds I thought I'd look like a big wally.

So Burdastyle Sewing Handbook the conclusion is: it's not you it's me.

Sewing classes continue and I think I know why I am having difficulty committing to new projects. My sewing teacher Kate, the most patient and optimistic woman alive, convinced me I could handle a Vogue AVERAGE pattern. Just by the iron on a pin-board there was a pic of a jacket I really liked. After weeks of looking at it I bought the pattern and some rather nice fabric (note: FESA colours):

Only now I have pattern fear. Since I started the jacket I have wasted one two hour session of sewing class copying the pattern. The following week I continued dithering and basically spent the whole time drinking coffee and looking through pattern books. Tonight I have actually started a muslin (Kate calls it a toile) so we do have progress! I am feeling alot more positive and feel like I might be able to handle it after all.

The next challenges are up on sewweekly and I can feel my brain getting back in sewing mode..... maybe I'll flick through that Burdastyle book one more time.....

Sunday, 6 November 2011

An entirely British production: Debi made my pattern!

This week on sewweekly, Debi made a gorgeous 1950s shirtwaister dress. See it here.

She made it from a pattern that I took to the sewweekly meet up and pattern swap in London. The pattern was one that I acquired last year as I embarked on my recent vintage sewing journey. A lovely older lady on freecycle called Marjorie was giving away what she described as a shoebox full of vilene interfacing. When I collected it we talked about my vintage sewing ambitions and she gave me a whole box of her own patterns from the fifties onwards - she said she had given up sewing now and just wanted to see them used.

How generous.

However they were too small for me, as I am a larger sort of person. Mostly they were 34 inch bust. So when it came to the swap, even though I was reluctant to part with any of Marjorie's patterns, I took a couple along because she wanted to see them used and I though it was the right thing to pass them onto proper sewing people.

So you can imagine how pleased I am to see Debi has made the pattern! And, in the true spirit of Marjorie's gift, she is giving it away on her blog.

Debi also says she loves Style Print patterns, of which this is one. I have been through my stash, and as a sort of thank you to Debi, here are the Style Print patterns I have:

Two from the sixties, one of Marjorie's on the left (look at the great skirt) and one I bought from ebay (I think) on the right.

Two earlier ones, both from ebay (I think, my memory is pants), the one on the right might be slightly earlier, even though it is not my bust size I have taken to rescuing patterns that are not really selling on ebay that I just love, pretty isn't it?

My final pattern is one from my original Marjorie stash that is far too small for me, but really pretty. 

It is another shirtwaister, the envelope is tatty but it seems to be all there.

Thanks Debi for making the dress. If you want this last pattern it is yours!