Monday, 26 September 2011

SSS'11 Days 19 to 25

I can't believe it's day 25 already! This month has gone so fast!

Day 19
My new sparkly sorbetto. I finished this last weekend, so I decided to give it an outing straight away!

TopSparkly Sorbetto
Skirt:  from La Redoute
Belt:  M&S

The top has worked really well, I'm pleased with how the sleeves went in, even if they weren't made for this pattern!

Day 20
This makes me look important (I wish!) One of my favourite skirts.

Cardigan:  Monsoon
Skirt:  My bright pink flowery skirt made in June

Day 21
It felt cold this morning, so out came the thick tights and a warmer dress.

Dress:  Made about four years ago from a Prima magazine pattern, a longer version of the green blouse worn on Day 8. It's the one and only item I've made from jersey. Although I made a couple of modifications from the pattern, it's actually had lots of wear and is really warm and comfortable and a staple for my winter wardrobe.
Cardigan:  Macy's (yep, the NYC department store!)

Day 22
My geometric sorbetto. Another chilly day, it must have been, I had trousers on and I never wear trousers!

Cardigan:  La Redoute (a nicer orange than it looks)
TopSorbetto, made at the beginning of the month!
Trousers:  M&S

Day 23
Day off work to spend quality time with my sewing machine! This was taken in the evening after a busy day of sewing, going out to lunch with Mr N, etc. Determined to be comfy I wore...

Skirt:  Pink flowery skirt, worn day 20 (above)
Cardigan:  Wallis

Day 24
This has become a favourite. I had to wear this again with the nice weather back again. I even got a comment at work with a colleague saying I always wear lovely dresses!

DressSimplicity 2588, made August

Day 25
We went for walk today round a local park. There's a nice house too, but Mr N decided my photo needed to be taken in front of a golf green! Typical!

Cardigan:  Monsoon
T-shirt:  Wallis
Skirt:  Self-stitched made Friday (on my day off!)

I'm really enjoying this month. Only five days left, I can't believe it!!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

From an old dress...

I found this blue flowery fabric in my stash when I had a sort through in August. It's viscose and I bought it to make a dress for a friend's wedding about eight years ago.


I'm not sure what happened to the dress, I've a feeling it might have gone to a charity shop when I was going through a strange not liking home made clothes faze! Seeing the remants in my stash bought back lovely memories. The dress was lovely, fitted really well and hung beautifully. (Viscose does have it's merits.)

To cut a long story short, there just wasn't enough to do lots with, so I've been hunting around since to find a plain navy viscose to team with it to make a skirt. I finally found this plain navy on Online Fabrics (I reckon the best online fabric store in the UK).

A skirt on a basque is really flattering, so I used the basque I used for my bright pink flowery skirt made here. The flowery fabric is actually cut sideways, so the selvedge is at the top/bottom, to give a fuller skirt. I've pleated the skirt again, I prefer pleats on me, although with the lack of fullness, the pleats have ended up very much in the centre of the back/front. The basque has also got interfacing to give it a bit more shape. I've also doubled up the long hem at the bottom of the skirt. for some reason I doubled the fabric hem and machine stitched it to the skirt at the beginning. The side seams I stitched afterwards. In hindsight, this may not have been the best thing to do.

I should have used French seams, but was feeling lazy, so with the lack of overlocker, I've zig-zagged the edges. They're not as tidy as I'd like and I've feeling there'll be some shedding of fabric from the seams before long!

Oops! Not the tidiest!

I also bought the wrong zip! I was intending to put in a concealed zip, but having bought the wrong one, I decided to put in a centred zip. Possibly a bit strange for a side seam zip, but I know I can put these in easily, almost without having to think. I'm pleased how the zip has gone in. And I don't need to put a hook and eye at the top.


So where's the finished article? Well here it is. Not worn yet, most likely this week at some point, it's something new for Self-Stitched September! I'm hoping it'll get quite a bit of wear. With tights I can wear this in the winter, although I may have to break a habit of a lifetime and make a slip or perhaps I may line it. I'll see how we go.

Monday, 19 September 2011

A Sparkly Sorbetto

This is my second Sorbetto from Colette Patterns. At the beginning of the month, I wrote that this was cut out and ready to go. Well, it too considerably longer to make than it ever should have done.

I didn't have enough fabric to make the front or back in the same material. It's a bit of a mixture of fabrics, fingers crossed it'll be OK. There's a seam at about waist height on the front, but this doesn't show when it's tucked in. There's also a seam on the back to give the back length I needed. There's also a seam down the centre of the back since I didn't have enough white material to place it on the fold.

I used some white cotton fabric which is left over from a gored skirt I made about three or four years ago, which has a silver thread running through it. This was used for the front. I then teamed it up with some plain white cotton to make the back, which was also left over from the skirt.

I'm pleased with the binding on this Sorbetto, it's so much better than the last one. I decided to use Miss P's idea of using drafting tape to cut the right width. It worked like a dream. I was possibly more careful with the sewing this time too!

I was determined that this Sorbetto would have sleeves, since I would get a lot more use out of it. So I tried to use the sleeve pattern from Sew Weekly. I had enough of the sparkly fabric to make the sleeves, but they just didn't work. I'm not a pattern drafter, so couldn't really check if they were the right size... I made them, stitched them in and tried it on. Within ten minutes there I was unpicking them and chucking the sleeves in the bin!

In the end, I decided I'd try a sleeve from another pattern. This sleeve comes from a Burda blouse that I made in May time. These weren't without problems... I cut out two sleeves, then sewed the hems and elastic casing the same way on each sleeve! So I had to cut yet another sleeve. The sleeves are now from plain white cotton since there wasn't enough of the other fabric! This Sorbetto just didn't want to be made. It's taken me weeks to sort out - well it feels like weeks!

Here at last is the finished top! The seam half way down the front looks quite obvious, but it doesn't show when I'm wearing it!


I found these buttons which were sent through free from JosyRose, which I decided to sew on the front to match up with the silver thread and detract from the seam on the front.


I also decided to make the most of the seam in the centre back and made a false buttonhole with some remaining bias-binding and sewed the last of the sparkly buttons at the top of the back. It doesn't hang brilliantly well, so I may decide to change this. I had in my mind's eye a brilliantly tidy buttonhole with binding going right down into the cut out section too, but it didn't quite come out as I hoped. I'm hoping the button hides most of the problems!


It's made and it's getting it's first outing on Day 19 of Self-Stitched September!

SSS'11 Days 12 to 18

Another week bites the dust!! I've done very little sewing and so have ended up repeating clothes now.

Day 12
My own version of Simplicity 2360, blogged here in June, worn with a skirt from La Redoute. I love this top. It's so comfy and it makes me feel good wearing it. I'm pleased how it turned out. As you can see like most of my photos it was taken at work. I'd been sorting out the maps in the map cabinet and my colleagues decided I needed to be photographed beside it!

Day 13
Simplicity 2588, worn on day 1. The first repeat! I couldn't wait for some nice weather to wear this dress again. I love it, the fit is brilliant and I love the colours. A bit of a frantic day, organising events at work, planning a training session for the next day, busy, busy, wondering if the world was going to stop spinning so I could get off!

Day 14
My turn to deliver the training with a colleague. Comfortable clothes needed and layers too, since the training room can get hot and cold, depending on how well the air-con is working! I also wore this on day 2. I decided to wear this today with a chocolate coloured t-shirt.

Day 15
I had loads of lovely comments on Flickr about this dress when I wore it on day 10, I was quite chuffed. It's an age old dress, but it's not lost it's colour and more importantly, it still fits me! It was a bit chilly at work, so I wore this with a burgundy fluffy cardigan from Next.

Day 16
We thought you might like the spiral staircase in this library. It goes up to the attic (stack) and also down to the crypt (basement local studies store). Since I'd spent loads of time downstairs today, they decided I needed to have the photo by the stairs. I'm wearing my pink top from day 11 and a navy blue skirt from Next, not to mention the white cardigan which has also had new buttons sewn on it.

Day 17
I was at a loss with what to wear today. In the end I grabbed my sorbetto and went for it. I've spent the day doing housework and finally getting down to some sewing this afternoon. I had got a bit chilly by the time I had this taken, so hence the cardigan from Macy's. What was I sewing - well that will have to wait...

Day 18
Not sure what's happened with this. It's overexposed and I can't get rid of the red-eye! I've cheated today and possibly failed the task... All I've worn today is a cardigan I replaced the buttons on. Sourcing the buttons for this was a labour of love, since they are very small buttonholes (about 1/4 inch). They came from As Cute as a Button in the US, blogged about here.

For those who are interested, here are before and after photos of the buttons.

 Not so nice shell buttons

Nice new sparkly buttons

Monday, 12 September 2011

SSS'11 Days 5 to 11

Well I'm still managing to wear something different each day. Don't think it'll last much longer, I'm running out of outfits!

Day 5

My self-drafted skirt, blogged about here. I love this skirt and wear it a lot. It's warm and it's so cheerful that I think it'll be going into the autumn to keep me happy when the grotty weather comes. Oh and this is why we don't have date-stamps at work - we have these self-issue units which the public use to issue their books and DVDs, etc out.

Day 6

It started getting chilly this week and I ended up digging out cardigans and tights! Tights in September, generally unheard of in my book. I made this wrap dress about four/five years ago using a lovely silk fabric. The fabric wasn't cheap, but I loved it so much, I had to have it. Unfortunately I've put a bit on since I bought it and had to put a vest top underneath (it was cold too!) The pattern is another Prima pattern. The pumps I bought in Edinburgh. They're fab, they came in so many different colours, but decided to go with a sensible shade when I could only afford one pair!

Day 7

Oh I had a bad day today. I was full of cold and felt awful. I'm surprised I managed to smile for this. I'm wearing my new Sorbetto, I'm quite chuffed with the comments I've had. It's a real 80's pattern, but it's so cheerful and colourful that loads said how nice it looked. Perhaps it might stay in the wardrobe yet!!

Day 8

OK, so it had got cold, so out come the warmer clothes. This green top (yes it is green) was also made about four years ago from another Prima pattern. It's a lovely bottle green satin. It actually has 3/4 sleeves, but the air-con made the library freezing and so the cardigan stayed on all day! For those interested, the bottom half was a pair of black trousers.

Day 9

Who says libraries are glamorous? This is the workroom in one of our libraries. Not that pretty really and cold too! This blouse was made in May 2011, before my blog started. It's Burda Style pattern 7831, not that you can see it very well. It's made in a sort of cheesecloth type fabric with a fine stripe. However, because it was cold, I ended up with the navy skirt and cardigan, both RTW.

Day 10

I planned ages ago to go up to London today. So this was my shopping outfit! I went off to Goldhawk Road and bought loads (some described yesterday). This dress is years old. I made it about eleven years ago (yes 11!) for a friends' wedding. The colour has hardly faded and it's so comfy. It was hidden away for years as I lived with someone who hated it, but I never had the heart to throw it out. I'm so glad I didn't. It's getting a new lease of life and adding a belt to it really works. I still have the pattern upstairs, so I'll write a post about it one day (with one of the original photos!!)

Day 11

Phew! The end of another week. This is the top I blogged about here. We had family round today for Sunday lunch and I'm full with roast beef and trimmings, followed by blackberry and apple crumble with custard - yummy! It's also possibly why I look quite fat!! :-) Fortunately the weather has got a bit warmer and again I can wear some summery clothes!

Here's to the next week, we'll soon be over half way through! It's gone so fast and it's really lovely seeing others creations.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

My Goldhawk Rd haul!

I've spent possibly the last day of summer wandering around West London, in particular Goldhawk Road and Shepherd's Bush Market. Following the bloggers trip to Goldhawk in June (blogged here and here, to mention just a couple of blogs), I've always wanted to get over there, but not made it, until today.

The weather was lovely, but I forgot my camera to take some happy snaps :-( I wore my old faithful dress, made for a friend's wedding about 11 years ago. No you can't see the photo here, it'll be on my weekly update for SSS'11! Patience please!

What I want to show you is my fabric haul and this isn't all of it... The rest is quite boring to photograph, so you'll have to wait for the finished pieces to see it!


First selection, a brown linen with a patterned linen to go with it. The patterned one has sequins on too. I was intending to make a skirt, but I've got a metre of each and they're 60" wide, so methinks there may be a bit more than just a skirt there!


I fell in love with this. It's a burgundy red with cream. The plan was to get enough just to make a Sorbetto, but I was coerced into buying the remainder of the roll, so I've two metres! OK, so what to make now? It might actually make a top using the Simplicity peasant pattern I managed to thrift. It's a lovely soft cotton, I can't wait to use it!


Finally this lovely teal green and black tweed type fabric... It's got silver thread running through it too. It's going to make a lovely straight skirt. I found this brilliant lining to go with it too! This will cheer up the winter days. Straight skirt or A-line? Which do you think??

I could have spent a fortune and didn't get all I hoped to get. I've got two patterns I want to make, but didn't get fabric for those (more a case of not making my mind up, rather than the lack of choice!) Not sure I'll get back to London for a while. I think they may be an online purchase. In the meantime, I've enough to keep me out of mischief I think!

Goldhawk Road is to be recommended though. Leave time to browse, don't forget the basements and secondly, just treat the staff as they treat you. You'll get sweet-talked in some shops, saying viewing is free for today only and hello lovely lady, etc. In others, they are so polite and quiet and will only talk when asked. I even got asked if I wanted a massage today, as the assistant did them in his spare time!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Geometric sorbetto

Well this is my first Sorbetto top from Colette patterns. I've used a really old fabric I found in my stash at home. I think the rest was a dress when I left school (help, that's over 20 years ago)!

How's this for a real 80's geometric pattern? 

There wasn't enough to cut out the full width front, so I decided to make the front pleat smaller. I didn't lengthen the pattern like some, the idea with this one was really to see how the pattern came out and go from there.


I found some plain white fabric at home with which to make the bias binding and used my new bias making gadget. I don't think I cut it particularly well, as it didn't work brilliantly. Although thanks to Miss P, I think I shall be well away now, as well as getting through lots of drafting tape!

The bias binding didn't go on particularly well, possibly for a number of reasons... I didn't make it very well, the top had been sitting around for ages because I was busy and I was getting fed up with it not being finished and I probably had the TV on at the same time and was watching that too much!!

Well here's the finished item...


It's getting it's first outing for SSS'11, since I've decided it doesn't look too bad and might be fun to wear!! So watch this space!

Thanks Colette Patterns!

In the meantime, the next Sorbetto has already been cut out and is on it's way! The fabric I've used for the next has a silver thread running through it (on white), I'd love to find a silvery grey fabric to make the bias strips. Any suggestions??

Monday, 5 September 2011

SSS '11 Days 1 to 4

Here's my first posting for Self-Stitched September '11, my first challenge. I've a feeling that Widow Twanky (aka the washing machine) will be working overtime this month, unless I get sewing fast!

Day 1

Dress:  Simplicity 2588, which I blogged about here. I got some really nice comments at work. I'm really pleased with how the dress turned out. I imagine it'll get another outing before the end of the month.

Not my normal day at work, we were doing training, learning how to be administrators for our Herts Memories websites.

Day 2

Blouse:  This came from Monsoon a couple of years ago.
Skirt:  A Prima magazine pattern I made about four years ago, long before I had a blog. This was really easy to make. It's basically lots of panels which are sewn onto a basque. I practically live in this skirt in the summer, even though it is white! I'll try to put a bit more description up in the future.

Day 3

I had to work again on Saturday, one of my one in three, and also one of the many different libraries I end up working in, hence the pink lanyard again.
Dress:  Simplicity 2444, which I made summer 2010. This is the same make and pattern fabric as Day 1, just a different colourway. Another dress I love to wear and was just right for a hot day in a library with no air-con!

Day 4

This photo did not come out well, but it's still me!! Mr N took this, the first one was blurred and this I look demented! I think I was just worn out from the gym (I'd not been for a while!)
Dress:  New Look 6557, blogged about here. It's a sun dress, hence the cardigan on top. I ended up doing housework and all sorts in this, but it didn't show any marks at all. I spent the rest of the afternoon yesterday cutting out fabric bought on holiday and looking through the stash to see if I could get a skirt or sorbetto from the leftovers. More of which later...

So here's to another week of self-stitched clothes. Another update to come next Sunday.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Sew much to do, sew little time...

I've been trying to put together my first Sorbetto, but it's taking me ages. I got it all cut out and the main pieces sewn together. The bias strips made and pinned to the neck and armholes and there it's sat for the past week! So more of this in a future post...

We went to Mum's for the bank holiday weekend, so that put paid to any sewing I planned then. We had a lovely time and in preparation for Self-stitched September, I wore lots of RTW clothes. Mum was happy to see us though and the weather wasn't bad for a bank holiday!

Mum and I at Eastnor castle
Tuesday Mr N and I both had the day off and went into London. The idea was to use some theatre tokens we'd had lying around for ages. So we went to see The Mousetrap. If you haven't seen it, go, it's brilliant! A typical "who done it", but brilliantly staged.

Lots of people in the way, not to mention the lampost!

Before the show, we managed to get a two course lunch for about £40 for the two of us (including drinks). Yes this was in central London! Plus Mr N let me stray over towards Berwick Road! If you ever have cash to spare, this is one place to buy fabric in central London! I was like a child in a sweet shop and if I'd have had some money there could have been some serious spending going on!! I was very good, I allowed myself to touch and dream. We don't have fabric shops like that where I live in Hertfordshire, so you can imagine what I was like!!

Anyway, since then, it's been back to work and it's been a bit busy too, so little time for sewing. Choir rehearsals have started too, so Wednesdays are out. Perhaps the weekend I'll find some time...

Anyway, I've still been thinking and buying... (not spending a fortune buying though!)

I've scoured the charity (thrift) shops in five different towns (I get around in my work!) and only one had any dress patterns in. :-( Knitting patterns aplenty, but my knitting is not good and I don't like things once I've made them. This was my one single pattern purchase.


I'm assuming this is from the 80's. It's even got the transfer pattern inside!! I just like this sort of top and have only had RTW peasant things before now, at last I've found a pattern. They are so comfy and at work, they are great, because I can move around and shift things easily.

I also found this...


The plan is to turn this into a pencil skirt. It's not lined, but I've got some lovely bright red lining which I could use, or maybe just plain black?? Which do you think? The fabric is stretchy, so I'm hoping it'll be really comfy to wear and warm too. Each square is about half inch. Here's the fabric close up.


Last but not least, a lovely parcel arrived from Kym at As Cute as a Button. I've a couple of cardigans which have, quite frankly, lousy buttons on them. They're horrible. So I'm going to change them. Just a bit of refashioning, but one has 13 on it! Anyway, these were my purchases, aren't they lovely??


So, to cut a long story short, I've lots to keep me out of mischief! I've also got Colette patterns Voilet blouse to make, as well as Vogue 1178. I'm hoping I can get some made before the end of September so I can wear them for SSS'11. Watch this space!