Flamingo with a very long gestation

Hello all,

Unusual sightings of some Flamingos on the riverbank today

Unusual sightings of some Flamingos on the riverbank today

Hope you have had a FAB half term, if that is something which features in your life. I walked the last forty miles of the South Downs Way which was really enjoyable and when I came back I was determined to FINALLY finish this flamingo shirt which has had the longest gestation period ever!

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Way back in September I wrote this blog post about my first session at the Sew Over It Ultimate Shirt workshop. That was the first week of term, by the second week I was so stressed I only stayed an hour to look at how to do the cuffs. I never even made it to the third workshop.  Although I had taken photos of the cuff openings, I didn’t feel confident about tackling them by myself so I left my poor flamingos skulking in the corner.

The wonderful sewing teacher Julie who has steered me through many projects with endless patience

The wonderful sewing teacher Julie who has steered me through many projects with endless patience

I did not feel kindly towards the shirt from the start – although I loved the fabric I was annoyed the flamingos were the wrong way round i.e. to have cut on the grain the flamingos would have had their legs waving in the air – generally not a good look. Plus I was annoyed with myself that I had not been able to cope with work and an evening workshop.

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Anyway, after a couple of months I picked up the shirt again and tackled the cuffs – they went reasonably well – and then I finished the shirt. Regular readers may recall that I have never been able to get the buttonhole function to work on my Janome yet when I got the engineer round, they worked perfectly for him. So, I tried again and guess what? No worky for me – SO infuriating. I decided that the only way to finish the shirt was to use a different machine. Cloth Kits kindly let me hire one of theirs for half an hour and I whizzed through buttonholes.

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Excitedly, I came home, sewed on my buttons and guess what … I had forgotten to do buttonholes for the cuffs. I was nearly in tears. So, the Flamingos were back in the naughty corner where I thought they might remain for another couple of months.

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But, this morning at about 4.30am I was wide awake thinking about the bloody buttonholes and thought, sod it, I am just going to have to do them by hand. Neither Alison Smith’s The Sewing Book or Colette’s Sewing Handbook had any wisdom to share on how to tackle such an issue. Thank goodness for this very helpful tutorial from By Gum By Golly which I followed and included this great line: Be prepared that your first ones will suck.

My first attempt at a handmade button - they will get better!

My first attempt at a handmade button – they will get better!

Well it’s true they do, but it did enable me to finally finish the Flamingo shirt of doom … and I’m pleased. It fits well (bust 10, waist 12, shoulders 16/18) and I think it will be an interesting addition to my wardrobe. I especially love the sparkly buttons. It’s the first time I have made a collar with a stand and that came out ok.

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After all the quick fix tops I’m relieved to have a more complex make to show you!

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Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

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