GBSB, MMMay16 and I ❤️ Liberty event

Hello all,

Hope you’ve had a good week? I certainly have on sewing related things.

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Me May Made has seen the rise of the boob selfie!  I have an IPAD but not a smart phone so taking selfies is tricky because I can’t easily hold the IPAD steady and press the button. Anyway, the desire to get a quick, no-nonsense pic each day without the embarrassment of having to ask someone to take it has resulted in my new technique whereby I can take a photo easily by balancing the IPAD on my desk – the only slight problem with this is that it only offers a close-up of my chest!

The boob selfie from a gal who clearly likes prints and buttons

The boob selfie from a gal who clearly likes prints and buttons

Me Made May has crystalised what I knew already: I have a plethora of tops (being the Queen of the Quick Fix) and far fewer separates to wear them with. During the week this is fine because all the tops brighten up my work suits but I definitely need to do more separates sewing – bottom half. I always enjoy these challenges because I find other people so inspiring and enjoy finding new blogs/IGers to follow.

Well, what did we all think of the GBSB?  I was delighted to discover that one of the contestants is a young lady from Sussex who also shops at the wonderful Ditto fabrics. I met up with one of my sewing buddies, Jane, yesterday to do a post mortem over lunch. I had previously spotted an Instagram pic of Jane wearing a dress in an unusual fabric covered in mini Brighton Pavillions.  I told her how much I loved it and she generously said I could have the offcut.  I thought I was going to use it for some sleeves or a border trim but when Jane gave it to me, it was a substantial piece and I knew I could get a Grainline Scout Tee out of it.

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I was really chuffed – sewing friends are the best. When I posted a pic of my WIP on IG, one lady sympathised with how tricky it would be to pattern match! I’ll leave you to ponder with how that went! Anyway, because I can really whizz through a Scout tee these days, I was able to wear it today on a walk around and above Chichester and Goodwood.

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Goodwood in the background – I am at the trig point on the Trundle

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Before we went for our lunch, we met in Cloth Kits – I love Cloth Kits.  Two years ago this Easter I attended a workshop there, Make Your Mother Proud – in fact, my banner photo comes from that day, and I was immediately hooked. I left that workshop and went straight to John Lewis and bought my machine. Anyway, yesterday they were having an I Love Liberty Event – there were all sorts of bargains to be had and even a pop up Liberty shop out the back which sold an array of goodies. The yard behind Cloth Kits – the aptly named Drapers Yard, has opened up an area with pop up shops  (prettily painted garden sheds) which you can rent for the day from £10 apparently.

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What a good idea – perhaps some of you who sell your crafts could go there?

Obviously I couldn’t resist buying some fabric. There was a good deal – spend X and you get 20% off (sorry can’t say what X is – you never know, one of my family might actually read my blog for once) and dithered for ages over what to get. In the end I bought some lovely, fleecy backed sweatshirt fabric.  I did buy it with the thought of another Grainline Linden (ignoring the fact that my overlocker still has broken needles from my last foray into trying to tame it) but I wondered…. those of you who have made Cocos – would it work in a heavy sweatshirt fabric do you think? My other purchase was some lovely Lantana Wool. I have never heard of this before but it is SO soft. I think it is destined to become my first Laurel. It’s funny isn’t it now that summer is on its way, I have been buying winter fabrics.

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Well, that’s it I think. I just want to leave you with a photo taken today by lovely Mr CK – we have been together 30 years and I am so blessed to have someone in my life who can make me laugh this much.  I am currently preparing for various stages of the Mountain Leader training and you have to have an emergency shelter as part of your personal kit.  This is us trying it out on a very sunny day at the top of the Trundle – a passer by asked me if the airport had been notified!

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Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

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Purchases, plans and pals

Hello to all,

As you may guess from the title of my post I have been busy with sewing related activities but there has been little on the actual sewing front – I have a busy week ahead so anticipate the same but next week …..

This morning I have the last of my six sessions on the introductory pattern drafting workshop at Cloth Kits. It has been a really interesting course, taken at a leisurely pace with an amazing tutor, Maria Pulley. The final outcome should be that we will have made blocks for bodice, sleeve and skirt and have a toile made up for a dress of our own design. Here is my princess seamed bodice which I constructed over the weekend and hopfully today I will decide what I want to do with the skirt – currently thinking seven gored.

Very pleased with the fit across the shoulders and underarm which can be problematical for me

Very pleased with the fit across the shoulders and underarm which can be problematical for me

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In terms of fabric I am going for this which was bought last week during the inaugural SEWBESS meet-up at Ditto Fabrics. The plan is to make the dress in the MOD green wool with sleeve cuffs and belt in the check. I also rather extravagantly bough the floral viscose to use as a lining (more on that later).  The rest of the check is to make a “consolidation” Francine jacket – once I finish the one which is currently still sans lining. The idea is to make a new dress/jacket suit for my new job in January.

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I had planned to write about my meet up with these lovely ladies who are all fellow bloggers and met originally at one of the two Open Days at Fabric Godmother. However Jane has written such a good post on the event I would only be repeating it so if you are interested, please read here. I would just like to add that although we are all based on the South Coast we live in three counties between us so please feel free to join in too.

SewBees at Ditto Fabrics

SewBees at Ditto Fabrics

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At the Brighton Sewing Centre I managed to get the perfect buttons for my yet to be made check Francine jacket and some sparkly zips caught my eye although initially I had no idea what I was going to do with them, I do now!

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Perfect buttons for my jacket – small ones for the cuffs on the contrasting dress

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I only bought one thing in the Black Friday sales and that was the Orla pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I have decided to make it up in black jacquard (I hope I have enough left over after making my maxi Anna) and use one of the sparkly zips.

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Finally back to that viscose. I had been thinking and thinking about this fabric.  Whilst I think it is wonderful to have a funky lining, I kept thinking it was just too pretty to be hidden away. I then noticed the party dress pattern with the December issue of SEW Style and Home and thought that it might be perfect to make up my Christmas Day dress.

View A - three quarter sleeves destined to become my Christmas Day Dress

View A – three quarter sleeves destined to become my Christmas Day Dress

So that is the plan.  Although as you can see, I have a lot of plans and quite a few WIPs. Presumably others have that problem – so busy buying fabric and making plans and seeing friends that your rate of output is insufficient to keep up?

Well it’s time for me to scurry off and get ready for my final workshop – lunch afterwards with my fellow student Debbie who I have struck up a lovely friendship with – us sewing peeps are such a lovely bunch! I will leave you with a final photo of the fabric because it really is beautiful and the colours are more like they are in real life. Have a FAB, Festive week.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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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