Tag Archives: in the sewing room

DIY Dressform Cover – The Reveal

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for….Maud’s new custom cover is fitted and stuffed.

This has been such an adventure. Both because this was the sewing of something completely alien to me, which stretched (pun intended) my sewing skill set, but also in terms of body confidence and acceptance. I think I need to ponder on that a bit more and revisit it in a separate post.

But for today I’m going to talk about the final stage – stuffing Maud’s cover to look like me.

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DIY Dressform Cover – Part Two

If you’re of a nervous disposition I suggest you go and find photos of kittens and cake on Instagram, and come back when I’ve finished this series. Closeup photos of my embonpoint* to follow!

Ok…I got to try on the Maud cover just before Dave and Summer headed out for karate last night, and my first thought was that the fit was really, really wrong. I know that I’m 52 and gravity it working its magic, but the bust line on this was way out!

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DIY Dressform Cover – Part One

Hello! I do hope you’re all keeping warm. Unless you’re in Australia, then keeping cool! As I’m typing this there is snow drifting past the window and actually starting to stick. The small peeps will be beside themselves.

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New Year sewing

We made it to Boxing Day before we started falling, like Christmas tree needles, with the flu.  Dave and I tag-teamed it, and, thankfully, Nana and Grandad whisked children away once they’d recovered.  We’re all on the mend now and trying to keep Dylan healthy before his biggest dance competition to date on Friday!

I haven’t knitted for over a week so it was lovely to do a few rows on Dave’s blue cardigan last night.  Mindless stockinette is perfect for when you’re off colour.  And a clear sign you’re on the mend!

But…lying in bed, scrolling blogs and instagram full of reviews and resolutions got me thinking about where I want to go with my sewing over the next year. (more…)


Stash stories – not stashing!

A couple of weeks ago I scored a complimentary ticket from the kindly folks at Linton Tweeds (swoon) to attend the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate.  I cannot tell you how much I was looking forward to a day off of mummy duties; petting yarn and getting elbow deep in the fabrics at Linton and Rosenbergs. (more…)


Sew Me Something Imogen Top – wearable toile

The Sew Me Something Imogen Top has been on my sewing list for what seems like forever.  And as I’ve a few lengths of pretty prints in my stash that are perfect for this top, I decided to make a quick toile to see what it looks like and fits like.

Fit is still a massive challenge to me, but for this top I decided to compare the measurements to a RTW blouse that gets heavy rotation.  Although the fit on the RTW blouse isn’t perfect, it’s still good enough, and it’s one of my favourite wears.

Taking some measurements from the RTW blouse, I decided to cut a straight size 20 and added 4″ to the length.  I’ve made no other adjustments to the pattern.

As you can see, it’s come up a bit long.  I will go back at some point and chop probably a couple of inches off the length.  That’s an easy enough fix and due to me being overly cautious – you can always shorten but it’s tough to add length once you’ve cut.

The bust is the problem area.  You can see drag lines pointing clearly to the bust, indicating that although, theoretically, this top fits around the circumference, it does need a full bust adjustment (FBA) to make it hang nicely.

I like the gathered neckline and elasticated cuff.

All in all, I really like this top.  It’s an easy wear and, although it’s been very shoddily sewn, as it was intended only to be a toile, it’s had several outings and a compliment every time it’s worn.

Construction wise, it’s simple enough, apart from the placket.  I couldn’t get my head around the instructions, but that could just be user error.  I’ll let you know the next time I make it.

For the next iteration, I’ll go do an FBA and the shorter length, and see what I end up with.  If it’s half as wearable as this toile version, then I’ll be a happy sewist!

Project notes

Pattern: Sew Me Something Imogen
Pattern cost: £16.00 (£9.00)
Fabric:    Blue print poly
Purchased at: Birmingham Market
Fabric Cost: £3.00 ish.  Not very much at all.
Photographs by Miss S. Jones iPhone 8


Stash Stories – October 2017

Back in June I catalogued my ridiculous stash, and then discussed how it was actively blocking my sewing mojo. This isn’t a new topic on the blog.  Back in 2015 I chatted about why a fabric stash doesn’t work for me.

But, as you know, thanks to the generosity of friends, and fabric shopping but not sewing, my stash had grown again.  And, I’ll be honest, it was making me uncomfortable.  I know that having a fabric stash is a bit of a contentious issue, and that many people would feel bereft without theirs, but I find it, quite frankly, oppressive.

When I started sewing, back in the days before the internet, I didn’t stash fabric or patterns, but simply decided what I wanted to sew, and then bought the fabric and pattern needed for that garment.

My goal at the moment is to pretty much get back to that state of affairs.  There are a couple of pieces of beautiful wool coating that will be the last things I sew, and some summer weight dress lengths that I’m not sewing till spring.  But everything else is going to be sewn as quickly as possible, just to get them out of a crate and into the wardrobe.

I even have a list!

So, October has been a bit of a crunch month for me, stash wise.  Not only have I been tweaking Newlook 6217 to perfection, I also decided to bite the bullet and go through the fabric book with a more critical eye.

I revisited each and every single piece of fabric, in a Marie Kondo fashion, and anything that didn’t “spark joy” was put to one side.  I filled two of the large blue Ikea sacks with fabric that I couldn’t see what I would make, or how it would fit into my wardrobe.  The friends who originally gifted it to me were happy for me to pass it on to a good home…so I did.  Another friend, who is learning to sew, was the overjoyed recipient of 71.9 metres of fabric that was weighing me down, but which has buoyed her up.  The gifting of this fabric sparked much more joy than the stashing of it ever did.  I highly recommend it.

I used another 5.4 metres for toiles, wearable or otherwise, and binned 2.5 more when I completely ruined version 3 of the Newlook top by completely not paying attention to cutting out!

So at the end of October I had 99.7 metres left in the stash, and I’ve pulled out about 8 or 9 pieces that have been pre-washed and pressed and are ready to go.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already have seen that November is shaping up to be a productive sewing month.

Stash Stories, then, is a monthly roundup of all things stash, where I’ll tally how much fabric I’ve used, what, if any I’ve purchased, and how much is left.  Hopefully, I’ll get to the bottom of the crates sooner rather than later.

By the way, if you’ve not already listened to the Love To Sew podcast “How big is your stash” then I highly recommend that you do.  In fact, I highly recommend you listen to all episodes…they are great!

 


Stash

As the hoard of boxes were unpacked into the sewing room, it became more and more apparent that I had much more fabric in reality than in my head.

Much, much more.

There are 3 x 80 litre boxes and a Harrods hamper.

That’s too much fabric for my comfort.  Quite a bit of it has been very kindly gifted to me, and there are some beautiful vintage wools that will force me soon to overcome my trepidation about coat making.

There are some bits and bobs for making things for the kids, which they’ve mostly grown out of as this stash has mouldered unloved, so will be used for cute pyjama bottoms for the winter.

But, lets be brutally honest here, most of it is stuff that I’ve bought on a whim over the past few years and has been scattered around the old loft and forgotten.

I was astonished at what I uncovered, so I took some time to catalogue and sort it all out.

I know there are several electronic options for curating your fabric collection, but I decided to go old skool.

A notebook and swatches.

I measured each piece of fabric and took a tiny snippet for the book.  I’ve recorded what width the fabric is and how much of it I have

The beauty of this “system” though, is that as I leaf through the notebook, there is the tactile swatch that I can feel to remind me of the thickness and hand.  Without the colour distortion that can occur with a screen.

At the back of the book is a total of the fabric I have at today’s date.  It doesn’t include the 3 metres that are in the post to me.  There’s currently 179.5m.  I am mortified.

I’m going to track what goes in and what goes out. There needs to be more going out than in, for sure.  I need to get the curtains and blinds sewn and then really dive into this stash and make some pretty things.

I’m off to sew curtains!