Things I have discovered during Me Made May 15 Week 1

Hello all, I hope you are set for a FAB weekend?  It is a bit windy here but I have shedloads of marking to do so the weather is fairly irrelevant.  So, my first time of joining in with MMM15 – as I only started sewing in April 2014 it is quite exciting for me to be able to join in.

Day 1 Wearing my Colette patterns Dahlia – this dress was such a struggle to make (details here) – I had so many problems with the neckline.  There is an inverted pleat at the back scooping up four inches of surplus fabric (which is why I am wearing a cardigan).  The first thing I’ve realised during MMM15 is that it is quite tricky finding someone to take photos for you/of you without feeling deeply embarrassed.  Friday was the last day for our Y11s so we were outside having a class photo and I got one of the students to take this – I hadn’t realised at all that I was being photo-bombed till the girls all started shrieking with laughter. I do like the Dahlia but have yet to brave making another.

Being photo-bombed

Being photo-bombed

Day 2 – this is part of my Saturday routine.  I do the shopping (you can see it on the floor next to me) then I finish up by popping into a local coffee shop for a latte – it is here I usually catch up on blogs.  This is another thing I have discovered – MMY15 is an absolute time thief.  I am only doing Instagram (I did think about Flickr and Pinterest but thank goodness I abandoned those) but it is taking all my time to keep up with everyone – I actually feel anxious that I might miss something!  I have seen some lovely makes over the past week and found some new blogs to follow which is really good.  Here I a wearing one of my early Sorbettos  – made with leftovers from the dress I made for the work sewing bee.

At GROUNDS our local, independent coffee shop

At GROUNDS our local, independent coffee shop

Day 3 – I was pottering about at home trying to finish my Gabriola and popped down to my friend Ali’s for her help with fitting.  She was busily adding the finishing touches to her FAB Map Dress (a collar which was apparently later discarded). I am wearing my Tilly and the Buttons Francoise which was my Christmas Day dress (another neckline problem for me). What is so odd about this dress is that it looks as if it should be fairly formal/uncomfortable being made in wool but it’s not at all – I am wearing it as a comfy, slob about in, sweater dress.  And here is another thing I have discovered – all my garments are too big for me.  I clearly do not measure myself properly.

Map dress credit to my friend Ali

Map dress credit to my friend Ali

Day 4 – Bank Holiday Monday and a glorious day for a walk.  We went off in search of bluebells as I had just finished my Gabriola and thought it would make a great location shot – it was quite fun lurking behind a tree to whip off my Sew Over it Ultimate trousers and change into skirt and heels. Before we came to the bluebells we passed these gorgeous fields of Rapeseed  – I saw three other MMM15 participants on Instagram similarly photographed.

Gorgeous fields of Rape

Gorgeous fields of Rape

Day 5 – back to work and here I am in one of my Y13 lessons.  You can hardly see it in the photo but I made the shirt at a workshop at Sew Pretty and it is covered in little bumble bees.  I would say this is my most frequently worn garment – not sure why I haven’t tacked another shirt yet – I certainly have bought patterns.  I think it is to do with a fear of  buttonholes.

This is how I spend my days

This is how I spend my days

Day 6 – I look a bit of a mess here.  The skirt is new from Seasalt and even when I bought it I was thinking I could easily make that but I was really drawn to the fabric and then struggled to team it with anything.  My Me Made item here is the cardigan which has a cable edge and a single button.  I was a knitter before I was a sewer but not a very advanced one and I had never heard of blocking until I started reading blogs.  I have really enjoyed seeing all of the sophisticated knits being proudly worn for MMM15.

back to the tree shot

back to the tree shot

Day 7 – Election day.  I was waiting outside before the Polling Station opened and asked the guy next to me in the queue if he would take my photo.  I explained it was for my blog and he asked what I blogged about – he certainly was not anticipating my answer! I am wearing another Sorbetto made in a fabric with beautiful garden birds on it.  One of my students said I looked very “FatFace” which I take as a compliment.  I posted this pic on my Facebook and a number of people asked if I was standing – I guess it does look like it.  Anyway, not so smiley the next day as my team didn’t win.

Election Day!

Election Day!

Day 8 – I realise now that the scarf doesn’t go! This is my Tilly and the Buttons Delphine.  I have made two now and I have to say – very functional work wear.

At the Juniors

At the Juniors

Day 9  – and so to today!  I am home alone which led me to take my first ever mirror selfie.  I am wearing my Deer and Doe Sureau which is clearly far too big for me: a shame because I love the denim and antique brassy buttons. I’ve taken far longer over this blog post than I intended – clearly operating as a displacement activity for what is waiting for me!

First ever mirror shot

First ever mirror shot

Bonus  – here is the Gabriola I wore on BH Monday (but only briefly to get blog photos)

blog photo shoot!

blog photo shoot!

Thank you for reading, if you managed to get this far! I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying MMM15 if you are playing along.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

The reason why I will not be sewing this weekend

The reason why I will not be sewing this weekend

 

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Reflections and Goals – the last of the Top Fives

It has been a fabulous year all round and for that I am truly thankful. In terms of sewing, 2014 was the year I bought a machine, discovered that there is such a thing as an online sewing community and even wrote my first blog post.  I attended workshops, participated in a sewing bee and became aware of lots of Indie designers. In terms of reflection, I guess the most incredible thing is that my year ends with my head full of exciting plans linked to an interest/passion I hadn’t even discovered at the start of the year. I even wore my Francoise on Christmas Day! So, not really five reflections there but a general ponder on my sewing year. image In terms of goals, here they are: 1. Make a coat – whilst this is an incredible challenge at least I am confident I will accomplish it because my Christmas present from my other half was a place on Sew Over It’s coat making workshop which means I will have lots of help and guidance from the wonderful Julie. I have already chosen my fabric too. I am going for the black and white – although probably the reverse of the view shown on this swatch. image 2. Complete my Craftsy course on Beginner Serging – I did lessons 1&2 yesterday. This course was the only thing I bought on Black Friday – a rather odd purchase I guess but if it gets me more comfortable with my overlocker (which I am sort of scared of) then it will have been worth every penny. 3. An important goal for me this year is to be a little more organised. I was given a pretty pink diary as a present so I am going to use this as a sewing journal. Having been reading other people’s round ups I’ve realised that some fellow sewing bloggers are very organised and have produced pie charts by garment, fabric etc – Yes, I am looking at you Elizabeth. so my objective is to jot down my ideas, note what fabric I have in my little stash and record what fabric I need for various patterns I intend to make so that I am prepared should a fabric buying opportunity present itself. image 4. The Monthly Stitch Collective is something I would like to join – I am going to sign up and try and commit to at least six of the challenges. The January one is for denim which I don’t feel very confident about tackling so maybe a February start for me. 5. OWOP14 was the first challenge I participated in.  During that week I won three patterns as part of a giveaway and at that time I pledged to make my three patterns; to date that hasn’t happened so I am adding those on my goals for 2015: By Hand London Anna, Colette Hawthorn and Sewaholic Gabriola I am coming to get you. image Whilst mentioning OWOP14, for which I used Sorbetto, I just want to sneak in a quick pic of my last make of the year – surprise surprise it’s a …Sorbetto.  I do realise now that comfort sewing exists and this is it for me.  I used the leftover fabric from my Dahlia and added some buttons from the Button jar my running/sewing friend Ali gave me for my birthday. top 5 Thanks again to Crafting a Rainbow for the hosting the Top Five and as my Nana used to say, I will close now but send you my very best wishes for a Happy New Year! Toodle pip, Clarinda

Merry Christmas from Francoise and Clarinda

I made it – literally and metaphorically!

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I rushed to buy Francoise by Tilly and the Buttons as soon as it came out and initially planned to take part in the competition. However, the end of term is so mad that I just never finished in time.  However, I loved looking at everyone else’s dresses and it gave me lots of ideas. I decide to add contrast cuffs to match my collar – now this might not seem very adventurous to you but this was my first time off piste so to speak and I have to say how chuffed I am with how it turned out.

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I bought the fabric from Clothkits – it is some sort of wool blend, gorgeously soft to the touch.  It is a delicate herringbone pattern and I still can’t quite decide if the contrast if black or dark brown.  Bits of fluff were coming off all over the place and I am sure I will regret not having made friends with my overlocker yet.  I bought one a couple of months ago and am still waiting for a chuck of time to devote to us getting better acquainted. So edges which would really benefit from being overlocked are just pinked – however, I do sort of like pinking – it somehow seems very 1960s.

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Having missed the deadline for the competition I decided I would have Francoise as my Christmas Day dress – even this looked in doubt but after a final push yesterday and some last minute hand sewing this morning I finally finished it on Christmas Eve.  Although, you could well be forgiven for not realising it was 24th December from these photos – it is gloriously sunny here in Arundel – the tide is very high (the river always looks prettier) and I thought that the cathedral would make a festive backdrop to my photos in the absence of snow –  although I am sure the neighbours thought I was bonkers traipsing up the garden in a pair of high heeled patent shoes.  On reflection I think the dress will look better with my suede boots.

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In terms of fitting, I cut a size three on the top and graduated out to a four at the hips – I probably didn’t need to do this as there seems to be lots of spare fabric at the back. I’d be really happy to hear from anyone else who has made a Francoise as to how their collar went.  I THINK I have messed mine up – it doesn’t go the whole way round the back – I wasn’t sure if it was a design feature but  suspect not. You can just see where it ends in my back view shot.

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I am super pleased with my dress – it’s my most adventurous make to date (by myself – no workshop hand-holding) and so I feel fairly confident about tackling more challenging projects in 2015: it has been a great first year of sewing. So, from sunny Arundel, very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

Workshop junkie and my first attempt at manly sewing

Oh I do love a workshop – I love having an expert on hand to help and give guidance; I love the seemingly endless supply of drink, cake/biscuits and I love meeting other people who sew. Rather last minute I decided to book myself onto Saturday morning’s workshop at Clothkits, Chichester to make a tie.

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There were four others on the course. The first task was to choose the Liberty Lawn fabric which we were to use.  I had already brought my fabric with me; a gorgeous wool mix I brought from Ghani and Guthrie and for the lining I wanted to use some Liberty Tana Lawn, Queue for the Zoo , which I had bought ages ago to make a blouse and remains untouched. The tutor, Maria Pulley thought that my fabric may be a little too thick but I had my recipient in mind and knew that the grey/blue floral combo was perfect and was not to be swayed!

A tie has lots of funny little fiddly bits associated with attaching the lining and getting a good point.  I was really pleased to have someone there to show me precisely how to do it but apart from that, I found it relatively straight forward.  The most interesting thing for me was the ….silence!  Once you have the fiddly bits out of the way, the tie has to be hand sewn.  There was a period of about forty five minutes where you literally could hear a pin drop, no-one said a single word whilst we concentrated intently on trying to sew invisible stitches.  So, not quite as social as other classes.

Here is my sewing concentration face.

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Here are the finished ties – quite impressive for a morning don’t you think.  I do love the Liberty prints so will be making more I am sure.

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In the afternoon I cut out my fabric for Tilly and the Buttons Francoise – there is a contest and photos have to be uploaded by midnight tonight.  I don’t think I’ll manage that as today is ear-marked as Christmas card writing day etc but I will give it a go.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x