Sureau Sunday Special

Hello, I hope your return to work has been good? Mine has been busy and the kids are exhausted (having had two weeks of not getting up until midday, the shock of having to get up at 7am has clearly taken its toll – them not me, I am an early riser).

I had said in a previous post that I thought denim was a little beyond my capabilities at this stage but look … I surprised myself!

imageI made my second Sureau and I absolutely love it – it is very much me.  I bought the fabric just before the return to school in Ditto fabrics along with top stitch thread and denim needles – all a first for me.  I had made a SBA first time around but looking at these photos, I think I needed to actually make a smaller size and then do a SBA on top.  I have no idea which size I cut before because I traced the pattern and then did not mark on it the size but I am sure I would have graduated out at the hips because, well, I am that sort of girl.

imageThe gathers on the skirt were OK but I have been reading on other blogs there are myriad ways of doing them so perhaps I will experiment more next time – I do have a big gathering project coming up with the BHL Kim dress I bought this week for my niece’s wedding – get me – this fledgling seamstress who would immediately have run out to buy a whole new outfit upon receipt of a wedding invitation now goes on line to buy a pattern and fabric instead.

imageI was actually very inventive for me – I have rarely gone “off piste” before. I chose a contrast facing (I had so much fabric left over from my dreaded Dahlia, I have already made a Sorbetto, used it for this and still have some left) and used it for the bias binding on the sleeves.  Also, because I made the sleeveless version I thought that the shoulders looked too wide  – well they were because it was literally the dress without putting the sleeves in – so I hacked an inch and half off from the shoulder graduating to nothing underneath the arm.

imageI love, love, LOVE topstitching – I think it is my favourite technique.  I was quite fascinated to see how the thicker thread worked with the ordinary thread and was anticipating (in my usual panic panic way) that it would all go horribly wrong; it turned out fine.  I think having the right tools for the job really helped.

imageI guess this photo is technically an out-take – it’s me trying to flatten out the gathers over my boobs – just look at that bamboo in the garden – it is taking over.

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Well that’s my first make of 2015 done and I am really pleased – I don’t often say that.  I know that there are SO many things which could be better but I do feel more confident.  I have also been busying on the planning front having bought four new patterns this week: BHL Kim; Sewaholic Oakbridge Blouse and the Granville Shirt and, inexplicably, the Katie and Laney Tap Shorts – this is what comes from being an avid follower of Elizabeth who lives in far sunnier climes.

Other things that have occupied me this week in my little kaleidoscope world are job-hunting and Broadchurch.  I have re-watched the whole of series one this weekend as, annoyingly, at the start of series two on Monday, I couldn’t remember the intricacies of all the various character relationships.  It lost nothing by being a second viewing and the fact that I knew who did it.

Broadchurch 3Have a good week,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

 

 

 

 

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Round up of the year – My five top hits of 2014

I really enjoy the community events, most recently Bimble and Pimble’s Sewvember which introduced me not only to Instgram but to some wonderful, inspirational ideas. Now it’s approaching the end of the year and I see that Crafting a a Rainbow is again promoting a Top 5 of the year. As I only bought my Janome at Easter, my round ups will be from the last eight months and here is my first one: The Top Five Hits of 2014

Moneta and Marilyn
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This was my first ever knit and I was particularly proud of myself when I had completed the bodice.  I followed instructions from The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits having bought myself a walking foot and a twin needle.   This post could have made it into the Misses of the year due to my failure with the twin needle and the clear elastic – both of which have still eluded me and will be goals for 2015.  However, the sheer fun to be had from the fabric  and the pleasure of completing my first knit puts in firmly in the Top Five Hits post.
Sorbetto and One Week One Pattern

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Having only been sewing since Easter I did not really have much of a choice for my One Week One Pattern – it had to be the Sorbetto – which I love.  The skill I most enjoyed learning from this make was bias binding.  It was through this that I discovered The Little Tailoress and her super helpful tutorials.  Here are three of my five Sorbettos from that week, including a running top I made from some of the leftover Marilyn knit – as you can see I take my race preparation very seriously.  My participation in this event was a HIT for another reason.  I entered a giveaway competition by Handmade Jane who organised this year’s OWOP and won my choice of three patterns. Having this announced on her blog gave me by biggest number of hits in one day – 99 – the likes of which have never been seen since so as a new blogger this was very exciting for me in addition to the delight of wining three patterns – which will feature in a future post.

Sureau

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How I love my Sureau.  I adore the button placket at the front and the easy comfortable styling.  I would say this is the make I wear the most.  It is super comfortable and always gets favourable comments.  I plan to make more, many more.  This could be the garment for OWOP15.

Lacy beanie

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I do enjoy knitting – I was a knitter long before I could sew but like many other hobbies of the past it was long forgotten but my interest has been reawakened and I now knit regularly on my commute.  This little beanie was my first time of using both circular and double ended needles.  I really enjoyed making it up and knitting is such a useful thing to have in your handbag  for a spare ten minutes – imminently more portable than a sewing machine.

Bees shirt

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This shirt is a favourite because I have worn it a lot and I love the funky fabric.  It teams well with a grey skirt for work and looks equally at home with denin for a more casual look.  I also have fond memories of making this shirt.  Six colleagues and I held our own sewing bee at work and afterwards we decided to take a workshop at Sew Pretty together to further improve our skills.  Only three of us actually made it to the workshop but we all made a version of this shirt and none of us finished it during the three weeks worth of classes because we were laughing and chatting so much. By the way, as we’re getting to know each other a little more through this series of posts, I’d like to point out that these two photos were taken at the end of my garden

So, four more posts to come.  I am looking forward to pondering about what to include and then writing them; I hope you are looking forward to reading about my Misses, Highlights, Reflections and Goals!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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Sureau kicks off the new season

I am ridiculously proud of this dress – a colleague actually asked me “Is your dress from White Stuff?” However, looking at the photos (courtesy of one of my Y10 – I really am going to have to investigate the decent camera and tripod option) it does appear to be a little bit baggy across the top.

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This is my first Deer and Doe pattern and the Sureau was really lovely to sew. I particularly like the false placket (five months ago I didn’t even know what a placket was). By the way, do you like my necklace? It is a treasured possession of mine. It belonged to my mum – there is a matching bracelet. It was given to her in the early 1950s and apparently came from Austria.

image  I followed the really helpful Sew-a-long on :: paunnet :: including clear instructions for a SBA – it’s apparent from the photos that I could have taken off even more but I was obviously in denial about quite how small my bust is!

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I was also pleased to have learned how to insert a side zip. It is incredibly satisfying to learn new things and whilst I haven’t been sewing for long I can see that there are so many techniques to learn and the perfect that I am going to be happily ensconced at my machine for hours.

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The obligatory back shot – the dress is quite rumpled because I had been perched atop my desk for most of the morning. Sorry about the uninspiring background i.e. the flats which overlook the school – we do have lovely grounds but both I and my willing photographer felt a little self-conscious so snuck around the back of a teaching block to take these shots.

Well, I love this dress and plan to make a couple more.  It is wonderfully comfortable and will lend itself to layering as the season rolls on.  I am going to try and find some needle cord for the next one – any fabric suggestions for me? Enjoy the day – hopefully another one of those gorgeous late summer days that make you feel you have to savour every moment.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x