Sunday, 19 October 2014

Boing Boing -It's A Blog Hop

Well howdy folks - how's you all been?
Once again the cloak of radio silence has fallen over me, 
what a mad time of late, but loving it!
(I also need to get my camera fixed asap) 

Well, I am very humbled to have had the blog hoppin baton passed to me from the amazingly wonderful Annie  from the Enantiomer Project- seriously this woman is  like "super" cool... a sewing scientist! she's totally witty, and sews a wardrobe out like a blinkin rocket! I really don't know how she manages to produce so many items that are so god darn beautiful at lightening speed.  So Annie, I salute you. xx 

Why do I write? 
To be honest....I have no idea!  Initially I set my blog up to be able to follow others that had/did/and still do inspire me, pick their sewing brains by showing my wares and gain insight tips that I struggle with.
After having a number of sews under the proverbial belt, like most I wanted to document and record my journey of makes. I'd also found that the back of an my diary was filling up on the useful things I'd found out, learnt or just flippin useful. This led me to thinking that it'd be kinda neat to locate all of this info and more all in one place, and a blog seemed to be the perfect solution. 
The whole "it's my personal space, a place to log events is oneside...... but lets be honest there is that secret hope that someone out there might read it! as for comments well woooo I still get a giddy thrill if that happens. Finally, one additional reason is the old connective rambles of yardi sew yar with like minded peeps. As hubby works late evenings and young peeps that really couldn't give a bobbin, it does allow the sewing world to partake in your obsession interest and offer support and vice versa. Love it!  

What am I working on at the moment?
Technically - I'm not working on this "now" but have just completed this week this here Irish dance dress for little girl who dances at little Wyatt's class. I'd been asked to make her a dress ready for the Grerat Britain Championships... and long story short somehow I mixed the dates up! what would normally take 3-4 weeks I had in days!!! my machine needle was moving up n down a fast as Michael Flatley's feet!
A couple of 3am's were called for but got there in the end phew!!  I've not ever done a post on an Irish dress - not sure if there would be much interest ?

Up on the oche table next ...well that will be a scramble, there really are too many to name, so many pieces of fabric ready washed and poised to be matched with a pattern. I am pretty determined to move away from tops though after making a fare amount lately and not posted at least three of them! Aha - nearly forgot I am working on this lovely cardi - its in Alpakka wool which is so super soft, I only do a little at a time so its taking for ever  

How does my blog differ form other sewing blogs?
errrmm... probably the biggest difference is that its pretty boring! I'm feel really very inexperienced at this blogging malarkey and would love to be able to post whimsical notions full of enlightening sewing stuff !
Having interesting photo locations would be another plus! 

I would love to put some tutorially bits together in the future, after covering/teaching a sewing class in the  summer,  I totally loved engaging with the ladies, they gave me such wonderful feedback, I'm now looking to develop new ventures that incorporate sewing!! eekkk watch this space! 

How does my writing process work
This is quite a hard one! lots of ways I suppose; sometimes a title will pop into my head, a bit like fabric/print/pattern association! My last couple of posts have been linked musically, which can be quite annoying as the song keeps going over n over in my head!
I love to run and find it's a great opportunity to focus and departmentalise areas of my life or projects, which I can then formulate key areas that I want to chat about on a project- More often than not though, by the time I get to sit down a write I've forgotten most of it!  
The writing itself can be painfully long winded, jumping from one incomplete sentence to another...enter the cut 'n' paste tab, swiftly followed by the delete button to put the regurgitated waffle in its place- Awwww and that one hurts! 
Pics are very much the latter import to a post, I am acutely aware that I really should take more pics along the assembly way and have numerous Bridget Jones talks of "note to self"  when posting. 

There we have it, my blog-hop post- My nomination for a hop, is to the lovely Jennifer and her sewing space    another Sewing Scientist(y) bod with aeroplanes no-less!!! 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Getting my Kicks on Route 66

A quick little post; 1) because this is the third post in less than two weeks (unbelievable) and 2) there's not that much to say about this make!
I ran this Butterick 5354 up about three weeks ago on a selfish sew evening - I seem to be doing lots of other sewing to do with either craft projects or for others lately and quite frankly I was feeling neglected and deprived. all together now awwwww. 
The remedy- a speedy stretch jersey top to satisfy the cravings. The fabric is from Barry's in Birmingham- it's super soft and I loved the American vibe going on in the pattern. 

If My memory serves me correct,  I cut a straight size 10 as this is classed as a loose fit top and I prefer a slightly more fitted style, especially with the "wearing ease" this fabric gives you. 
Check me out ...I can say that now, I went on a course a couple of weeks ago ( info to blog about later) but as a small point I learnt about considering pattern design wearing ease and fabric ease! - pretty obvious now but huzzar its certainly helped on the sizing side of things.

Any how with just four pattern pieces, this was soon thrown together. 
The pleats are slightly lost in the print of the fabric but who cares! 
I know they're there :) 

If I make this again- which I'm pretty sure I will, I may lengthen the body and sleeves by 1/2 inch. There're kinda fine as they are, but being a lazy bum I left the sleeves and hip line as an over-locked finish. I quite like the casual finish and after wearing a few times now I think if they had of been hemmed up they potentially could be border line short (my excuse and sticking to it!)
  Well there we go short 'n' sweet -

Posting this it has made me conscious that tops have played a prominent part of late; with one other to post and one on the sewing table that's been finished off! May-be it's because they are quick fixes, fulfil the gratification mood and work the wardrobe well- do you have an item that you hone into, for a quick fix?
I have plenty of patterns and fabric lined up, raring to get they're stitches into skirts, dress', trousers and a jacket  even- so note to self - must get more focused!

Bye for now, thanks for stopping by- Amanda X


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Didn't we have a lovely day, the day we went to #SewBrum

Blimey O'Riley, what an amazing day out yesterday! 
The lovely Charlotte  from English girl at home, only went and organised a sew meet-up and it was one heck of an awesome day. Thank you!

Still classing my self as a newbie, I've never had the proverbial's to go to a meet up but when I saw it was on familiar stomping ground and in my regular fabric haunts of Barry's and Silk Store it seemed the perfect opportunity to loose my sewing meet-up virginity! Plus the double whammy to go to Guthrie & Ghani 
Not sure if my heart was beating so hard after legging it over town to meet at the train station or excited nerves! On my dash, thoughts went through my mind; would I spot them easily, would I recognise many from their blogs, what is the collective for a gathering/group of sewists? a bolt of, a ruffle of, ....It wasn't difficult to find everyone cus we're all dress in amazing original outfits!
We snaked our way to Barry's in the rain, but no spirits were dampened;  the chatter of introductions and sewing tails filled the air.   

Apologies for the total lack of pics from the day- think I was so in-awe of the whole event I totally forgot! It was lovely to chat to everyone (well a fair few, near-on impossibility getting round everyone)  clutching a bolt or two, three even four at times and discussing their plans for said fabric, it was such a treat to see how other minds interpreted fabric, shared advise and generally exchanged "fab-ric" tips. 

Some did managed to restrain themselves on the amount of fabric purchased, not me though- here's what was purchased - top left- tapestry type cotton print for a tunic, along with a gorgeous crepe de chine that was deliberated over with one delightful sewer who's name totally escapes me - a stretch animal print jersey, a circle print chiffon at £2.00 a mtr (rude not too) an adorable peacock feather cotton sateen that will probably end up as some sort of top and a great faux leather for what I'm hoping will work as a circular skirt. 

What do you reckon - will it work okay?

Some Christmas fabric- hoping to do a craft fayre  beginning of Dec 

The afternoons proceedings were spent out in Moseley at the divine HQ of Guthrie & Ghani-Not only is Lauren the dearest sweetest individual but her fabric cutting ladies are super enthusiastic and attentive. 
Drool time - think I fell in love with practically every piece of fabric,to the point I nearly didn't buy anything! ... however, sense prevailed and the credit card came out again! ouch- I went for this gorgeous pink fleck wool mix for a fitted panelled pencil skirt and a flouncy speckled purple blouse that's not quite been confirmed yet.     
Line Art

Upstairs  in the workshop room we gathered to chat some more, drink tea, lemonade and eat cake...adorned with enable button no less!!!. The high-light of the afternoon was to partake in what only can be described as the best ever raffle, books, notions, patterns and a whopper of a sewing machine! - never have I seen such amazing raffle prizes, each and everyone you  would just die for....ticket clutched in clammy palm but alas I never won, however warm fuzziness knowing all the proceeds are going to the great cause of Parkinson's UK. A pattern and fabric swapsie completed the day's ensemble, lots to oooing and arrrrring (and that was just me!) I picked up a couple of patterns and a piece of fabric (yes more fabric) I finally bid my farewells and left feeling very chuffed that I had decided to attend- A massive thank-you has to go out again to Charlotte for organising such a superb event and a huge wave to all those that I had the immense pleasure in meeting and conversing with.  Many of which I will be tracking down to follow, if not already,  through the powers and linkage of social media's.

Have a great week  Amanda XX 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cynthia, I wonder do you understand this strange thing you give..... Well baby is it your style!

Okay - First up- Question. How the jigery do we ever find time to go to work, raise a family sew and blog?!!! Think I had some hair brain idea that without the work thingy, life would be a breeze and posting my makes would be "a doddle" errrr wrong!! (having a broken camera doesn't ease the situation either, so apologies now for some dodgy phone photograpghy!).     
Cynthia Rowley, just gotta love her patterns, she manages to to have an edge, twist or quirk within her designs, so my tribute to her is in the title to this post; Anybody familiar with the track "Cynthia"? by the Boss-akay Bruce Springsteen phwaaaa. Anyhow, on with the musings.
I was first drawn to this skirt of Cynthia's (Simplicity 2512) by the lovely Karen of Willowwears on good old Facebook and ended up doing a bit of an impromptu pattern swapsie with her. 
I eagerly picked out some fabric way back at Easter; a fabulous silk dupion check and a grey silky satin lining to complete view A/B, only for it to take a whole five moths for it to reach the table never alone the blog-spot (I even have fabric for the other view,  but lordy knows how long that will ever take to morph into a wearable item!)  
Now, there were some initial concerns, that the sizing for this would be a little "snug" never alone pretty darn short, given the finished garment measurement is a mere 19 inches long! WHAA (at 5ft 10 and a little maturer, hmmm the days of a 19 inch skirt are definitely long gone), modifications then included a graded up from a 12 to 14 and a whooping 5 inch lengthening. 
Construction on this pattern is easy enough, albeit some of the instructions aren't perhaps the clearest- the trickiest part was ensuring the self-binding edging was good and even on that gorgeous high waist, a good hot(ish) iron to press the stretch out of the bias, soon tamed that bad boy.  
                                                                      Mid disaster point of first make-up!                                                   
So basically it's, pop in the all important pockets, whip up the side seams and gather between circles back and front- fine and dandy right....hmmm that gathering, quite considerable due to the amount of fabric, and all concentrated slap bang in the tummy area...alarm bells! yet ploughing on, on went the waist band. 
Fitting time, Holy Mo, disappointment overload, I really should of taken some pics but trust me when I say, I looked like an over puffed-up hippo in a tutu! and that is an understatement and an injustice towards the hippo!. 
What did I have - extra length that totally threw the whole shape out and all the tummy gather YUK! Taking to the blog world for reviews, the consensus confirmed that the fullness was..well full. The various pics of fellow bloggers indicated that most distributed the gathers evenly all round.
Loving the fabric and not one to be defeated, Plan B needed to be formulated; out-came the trusty seam ripper and fabric shears. Once de-constructed, 4 inches were sliced off the length and the panel sections reduced to a size 8! 
The gathers switched to pleats, for a more flattering, smoother appearance hopefully and the result.... I really like it, no really really like it. It still has a fair amount of puufff but definitely with more control.  
I think (well I know)the lining gives a lovely finish- it feels lovely and the fact the pockets are so soft mmmmm 
I also backed the waist tie in the same grey for contrast and drape.   
Over-all I think it's a pretty striking item with all of Cynthia's detailing, OO for high waists, OOO for deep pockets and a double OOOO for the self-binding. 
Well, cheerio then sorry, for the long delay in posting - hopefully the next wont take quite so long , but don't hold your breath. 
Till then my fellow sewists' happy construction. XX