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Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category


So, for today, here’s the rest of that haul!  Two more patterns and some more fabric.

So, that fabric – this was a purchase of love:

Again, I couldn’t get the colour quite right in the photo, but it’s a soft mauve-grey – this tiny picture shows the colours a bit better:

Those flowers – it’s like some sort of sea-urchin blossom tree!  So cute.

I have a metre of this fabric, but I can’t decide what to make with it – I could go for another blouse from that Maudella pattern I mentioned in Part 1 or I could go for something in Sew a Metre (AKA One Yard Wonders), which I bought the other day:

I just can’t decide!  I really want to show off this pretty fabric, but I’m not sure what the best way would be – any thoughts?

As for the patterns – here’s one:

Another Ebay bargain (£4!).  It is missing the trouser pattern pieces, but that length and width of leg does nothing for me, so no great loss!  I mostly got it for that hooded top – it’s too cute!  Perfect for a breezy spring day or a summer’s evening.  Lush!

And the final pattern, which I instantly fell in love with – there’s something just so pretty and simple about it:

Luckily, I only had to pay £6.70 to win the auction (wewt!) – another bargain pattern!  I love the two envelope pictures – that cerulean blue is just gorgeous and I love the idea of the contrasting fabric in the inverted pleats.  I think I’ll need to do a little re-sizing as it’s a teen pattern, but it should be quite close – plus I now have Dolly to help out.

And thus concludes that haul – I also got some other bits and pieces, like curved needles, stick-on Thimble Pads (which just seem to fall off my finger after a little while – is that just me??) and large cover buttons to make a cushion like this one from Marks & Spencer (with that velvet that I mentioned the other day):

(One of the main reasons I bought Sew a Metre is because it has a pattern for a smocked cushion in the round very much like this!  Huzzah!)

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Woot-woot-woot!  Free patterns!  All month!  I know!  The very kind Kathleen of Grosgrain is hosting a whole month of free patterns with tutorials from their creators – that’s a new pattern each day.  It’s like it’s your birthday every day!  Here are the patterns so far – I can’t wait for the rest.

As for me – I’ve just welcomed a new addition to the family …

Her name’s Dolly and I’m very proud of her (hahaha!).  She’s already been measured up and adjusted, though she needs a bra full of padding and a little re-shaping on the hips, but I’m very happy with her so far.  I’ve been watching what I eat (not a diet, just being more healthy – lots of fruit and veg!) and I should have time to go back to the gym soon, so over the next few months, I’m hoping I’ll be able to start narrowing that big gap in the hips (can you tell that’s where I put on all my weight?).

In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting some calico and having a go at draping (with hilarious consequences, I don’t doubt!).  If you’re in the UK and looking to get a dress form or a sewing machine, I really recommend Hobkirk: they were really helpful and nice on the phone, they had the best price I could find for this model (Dolly’s a Diana by Adjustoform and she was £104, including P&P) and I ordered her at 9pm on Wednesday, she was dispatched on Thursday and she arrived this morning by courier.  This is how online shopping should always be!  Well done and thank you, Hobkirk!

(And no, I don’t work for them or have any affiliation, I just happened to have found them and bought from them online – and I’m glad I did!)

And finally, it was craft class today – yay!  In the free fabric bins I found this fabric, which is very similar to a Marks & Spencer cushion I like:

It’s actually a little more green than it looks in the picture – more like the folded over part in the top left.  Here’s that cushion:

But I didn’t just spend the lesson rummaging in fabric bins (honest!): I started making a cushion cover – sorry, that is an owl cushion cover!

I got my inspiration from this little fella:

I need to do some more sewing and I think I’m going to try some confetti applique on his chest to get a ruffly-feather effect (hopefully!), then it all gets stitched together into an envelope-style cushion cover.

Oh, and his name’s Horace.  🙂

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Well, this might not quite qualify as a haul, as these things were bought a bit at a time over the past week or two, but I thought I’d share them with you all together.

I’ve had my beady little eye on Ebay lately, specifically on bargain vintage patterns.  I have a couple of simple rules for myself when buying vintage patterns:

  1. Only buy it if you love it.
  2. Only buy it if it’s cheaper than or the same price as a modern pattern.  (Unless it’s super, super special.)
  3. Only buy it if you’ll wear what you make with it!

And I only tend to look at 50s and 60s patterns, since I just love the styles of that era (I don’t watch Mad Men, but I would happily raid their early 60s wardrobes!).

I’ve mentioned my baking a few times recently and the other week I made a batch of cupcakes for my friend’s birthday (lightly spiced cakes with lime and coconut icing – NOM!), which invariably ends with me wearing as much flour and icing sugar as the recipe contains.  I’m also a fan of chilli and various tomato-based pasta sauces.  There’s no escaping it, these things require an apron!  Which brings me to my first pattern:

It’s Marian Martin 9091, which the seller said was from the 40s or 50s.  More importantly, it’s just so pretty.  As soon as I saw it, I had instant pattern lust.  But, according to my rules above, I wouldn’t day any more than £10, including postage.  It was lucky I got it for £9 including P&P, then!  Phew!

Remember my teaser from the other day?  Yep, that’s the full-length version made up already.  I’m feeling too ill to pose in it, so pictures soon, I promise!  It’s a simple pattern, so it came together really easily.  Look how simple the pattern pieces are:

The only down side of the pattern was all the bias binding.  I had a bit of a brain malfunction when cutting bias strips, so they were too narrow to use in my bias binding maker, so I had to hand-fold something stupid like 7 yards of the stuff (meh!).  Then came the attaching.  Those scallops!  They’re pretty, but a pain to stitch bias binding to, especially as I basically made up how to join the ends of the bias – I’m sure there’s an easier way, but for some reason I thought I’d make it up instead of looking it up!  Still, it looks OK:

Do you have any suggestions for a different way to finish the edges?  I was considering just hemming them instead, but then I’d have to ease the curves in and I’m not sure that would look very neat.  I’d really like to make these as gifts for people, but the bias is a massive pain in the arse and I’m really not sure what to try next time!  I’m also planning to make the half-apron version for sewing (maybe I’ll add some extra pockets, too).

Anyway, on to the next pattern:

Maudella 4378 – a super-simple blouse.  This was an uber-bargain – £1.84 including postage!  Wewt and huzzah, I say!  The thing I love about this pattern is that it looks really versatile – I can picture it made up in so many different ways – and I can picture it tucked into any of my high-waisted skirts.  Very wearable!  Here’s a bit more detail:

And I’ve already got some plans for this blouse using this super-cute cotton print (sorry, I’ve washed it, but haven’t ironed it yet!):

I couldn’t get very good light for a great photo, I’m afraid, but the background is off white and the spots are dark blue.  And I’m hoping that the red anchors will be set off nicely by these buttons:

I have to admit, I have a real soft spot for sailor style, so I can’t wait to make this one!  There were some gorgeous little anchor buttons in white, blue or red as well, but they were £1 each.  £1 each!!  They would have looked fabulous, but I really can’t justify paying £1 per button rather than 10p per button, however pretty the buttons (and especially on a pattern than appears to use 10 of them!).

The other pattern I got was for this fun dress, which again looks pretty simple:

I’m not usually into later 60s styles, but the A-line skirt with that inverted box pleat just called to me (perhaps becauses of how flattering A-line skirts are).  And considering I got it for £3.25, it was a good deal!  I’m also thinking that I could make this up as a skirt, too, and those long sleeves have me thinking about nice woolen winter dresses – all my dresses seem to be summery, so they would be a great addition to my wardrobe!  Actually, another possibility would be lowering the neckline slightly and making a sleeveless woolen version to wear over sleeved shirts.  In a dream world, something like these (very expensive!) wool pinstripes from MacCullock and Wallis would be great:

Hmm, so many ideas for this one!

There’s one more pattern and a couple more fabrics, but as this post is pretty long, I’ll be back with them in part 2!

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More Flowers


Last week when I blogged about summer and the gorgeous roses my mum gave me, I recalled another bunch of flowers she bought me that I took photos of and forgot to post about on here.

Just check out those chrysanthemums –  they’re like giant pom poms!!!!!!!

I got them just before Christmas, so huzzah for autumn/winter flowers!  And they definitely added to my Yule-tide cheer: every time I saw them, I kept giggling to myself at how big and funny and cute they were.

This has begun a bit of a love affair with fancy chrysamthemums for me, and I’ve since found out that they’re the flower for those born in November (according to certain lists), which includes me!  How have I only just found a love for them?!

Hee hee - more pom-pom-esque flowers! From The National Chrysanthemum Society.

And now I’ve begun a search for chrysanthemum fabric.  I did find these two pieces of reclaimed kimono silk on ebay, but couldn’t afford them:

I’ll keep looking for more chrysanthemum pretties.

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Yay-ness – I just won this lovely early 60s pattern on Ebay (it’s not the right size, but just needs a little bit adding here and there and it’ll be fine):

And for just £7.50!  I saw the same pattern go for £15+ a couple of weeks ago.

Just check out that cute jacket!  I love the dress, but there’s something about the jacket that makes me smile – I think it’s the combination of the buttons and cropped-ness.

With narrow- and full-skirted options and the jacket, this pattern gives three different items – I definitely consider that a bit of a bargain!

Together with my other 60s pattern, I’m starting a very small collection of vintage patterns:

I was originally planning to use the pattern to work out how to make an early 60s pleat-skirted dress, after seeing one in the window of a vintage shop in town (I love those bell-shaped skirts with inverted box pleats!) but the separates have grown on me and now I have Simplicity 2444, I’ve got an appropriately 60s-esque pattern:

Aaaand, the other week, my lovely Mum bought me this silk crepe to use to make the blouse in The People pattern:

It was on sale in John Lewis (£10/metre rather than £20!) – huzzah for that!  I’ve also handwashed it in cold water ready to go/sew.  Dry clean only?  HA!

Also, I’m currently working on the cat from this book:

It’s my first go at crochet and I’m enjoying it – photos when the kitty is complete!

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What a weekend!

Friday – I got home from work to this yumminess:

(They’re a bit creased as I’ve hand-washed them, but haven’t ironed yet.)

The photos really don’t do these fabrics justice.  I’ll confess, I’ve been too busy to do a burn test, but from the feel of the fraying threads on the cut ends and the way they hold colour (so luminous), I am sure they’re silk.  If not, they’re bloody good synthetics.  To call the darker one navy is to do it a great disservice: it’s far richer in colour than navy normally is – it’s more of an indigo.

And I was right about the lighter blue – it’s not electric blue, instead it’s an absolutely amazing cerulean blue shot with a lighter violet, which makes it seem almost ultra-violet when it shimmers and catches the light.  Even better, the two sides of the fabric are quite different – one seems a mid almost-turquoise shot with purple and the other is a light greyish-blue with the violet sheen.  I seem to recall that the edges of the polonaise-style jacket (up to the trim line) are a green facing, which is making me think of using the opposite side of the fabric for the edges and using a purple trim (perhaps purple velvet ribbon).  I suspect I’ve not explained that very well – I’ll put together a diagram at some point!

Polonaise style jacket from the Cut of Women's Clothes

Which leaves the question – mostly light with the darker side on the edges, or mostly dark with the lighter?  Decisions, decisions!

Saturday – went to the library, got the Beginners Crewel Embroidery book, another introductory embroidery book and this little haul:

I’m thinking calico pockets embroidered with green leaves and twisty stems and blue and purple flowers with yellow stamens.  Unfortunately they didn’t have crewel thread, so I had to get regular stranded cotton, but I figure this will be good to practice with and when I have a bit more money I can order some (probably from Sewandso.co.uk as recommended by Rosel).  Oh, and the ribbons are for cockades (as per the good Duchess’s tutorial plus a couple of other (less good) tutorials I’ve found in old books) – I’ve got some blue and white buttons as well as some brassy anchor ones, so I thought I’d go for a nautical theme.

I also had an eye test on Saturday and for the first time ever, I was prescribed glasses.  I got a great deal (two pairs, including scratch-resistant coated lenses for £99 – one pair of those lenses is usually around £70) and picked up one pair yesterday (the other is on order).  I always wanted glasses as a kid and now I’ve got them, it’s really weird – I think I’m glad they’re only for me to use when I feel I need them (when my eyes feel tired or I feel a headache coming on and I’m using a computer).

Saturday evening (I said it was a packed weekend, didn’t I?) I worked on the stays and I’ve finished sewing the boning channels on the front panel:

They’re not perfect, but not bad considering my newness to sewing and still-developing machine skills.  In the end I decided to sew straight through the ridgeline that forms the two horizontal bones as it would have been a massive headache to sew around them by machine (if I were hand-sewing I would have done that, though – I do like the look of the horizontal stitches) plus the ridgeline is a different width to the cable-ties, so it might have looked odd.

And as for the rest of Sunday – well, I read those embroidery books and did a little bit of stitch practice with some spare embroidery thread I had in my stash.  Unfortunately it’s off-white and pretty much matches the calico perfectly, so it wouldn’t show up very well in a photo, but this week I’ll get started on the pockets and will post pictures then.

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Oops


So, it turns out I should be supervised when on eBay in my lunch break.  I kinda accidentally bought two pieces of gorgeous silk taffeta for a bit of a bargain price.  One’s navy (ear-marked for my eventual pierrot) and the other is called ‘electric blue’ but doesn’t look anything like what I class as electric blue, it’s more of a mid-light cerulean that’s been slightly desaturated.  That might just be a trick of the light/camera, but either way, I don’t mind as I love both colours.  In fact, I like most shades of blue, so I figured I was pretty safe!

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