Gifts: Given and Received

Hello all,

Commiserations to you if today is the first day back to work; bigger commiserations if you have already been back for days/was never really off. As I’m in the post Christmas tidying everything away phase I thought I would share with you some of the lovely gifts I received and show you what I made.

First up – some ties.

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I have made ties before using a pattern I got at a Cloth Kits tie making workshop a year ago.  The pattern is for a structured tie that has a separate piece of fabric in the middle – I thought it was called chad but I might be wrong. Anyway, although I really like that pattern I noticed that in Love Sewing magazine they had a pattern to make a Liberty tie which was actually much slimmer and used interfacing rather than a separate piece of fabric. This style seemed a bit younger/more trendy. I bought some lovely Liberty fabric (from Cloth Kits); .70m is enough to make two ties. The paisley I made for my husband and brother-in-law and the speckled one for my son and a friend. I really like using a fun fabric for a surprise lining – Queue for the Zoo anyone?

My sister-in-law came to spend the day with us on the 27th. She is the one who made my Shetland Tam which I am so happy with. We had a lovely time together which included a walk around the Wetlands. She had knitted for me some beautiful mittens with the flip back top to reveal fingerless gloves – very useful when you need to get things out of your purse. It was her husband who I had made the tie for. He was really chuffed and put it on immediately and wore it for the rest of the day. Surprisingly it goes well with his checked shirt!

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For my sister-in-law I made a little tote bag out of the wool fabric I used to make my daisy coat; I lined it with bird fabric. It was my intention that it be used as an on-the-go knitting bag so I included four lovely balls of Rowan Merino Alpaca so that she can do a little bit of selfish knitting for herself.

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By coincidence I also received a bag as a present from my friend and neighbour who is also a talented seamstress. It is made from a lovely thick tapestry style fabric and it is the perfect size for my (almost daily) trips to the Co-op.

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Sorry this picture is a little dark – we haven’t had decent light for what seems like days

Another neighbour doesn’t sew but she cooks! We share a side entrance and I found a whole pile of food goodies which she had pushed through the cat flap! Over a period of a few days I received cranberry sauce – gorgeous with sausages; mincemeat; rough puff pastry; a Christmas pud.  Can you see the little rabbit decoration on my mince pies? I bought crackers from Joules last year and this pasty cutter was one of the gifts – incredibly I didn’t lose it and was able to use it this year. I love food gifts – did you receive any?

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Finally to show you is a gold sequinned Grainline Scouttee I made for my daughter – she has promised me a photo WHEN she wears it so you might be waiting quite a while for an addendum to this post! I do really love the ease of this pattern. A couple of days ago I used it to make one for myself for my walking holiday – I go on Friday and am getting rather excited about it.

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I also received a new camera – a wifi camera no less. I haven’t yet used it to take any photos (as you have probably guessed from the rather dreadful quality of today’s pictures – sorry about that) or worked out how to use the wifi but it is on my list of Things to Do… soon.

Well that’s it for now my lovelies,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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The Birthday Tie

Hello all on this rainy Sunday,

I made a tie for my husband’s birthday which is …..today! I completed this as part of the May’s Menswear and Childrenswear Challenge for The Monthly Stitch Collective. So whilst it was made in good time, I held on until today in order to try and get a photo of him wearing it but before that ….. Childrenswear.

I have not had a lot of success with this.  Sometime last year in my early sewing enthusiasm I made the little people matching dresses in fabric which I thought was gorgeously nostalgic (for me) called Making Paper Planes.  I really messed up the yokes and ended up having to get the textiles teacher at school to give me a hand.

My brief foray into kids wear enabled me to use this wonderfully nostalgic fabric called Making Paper Planes

My brief foray into kids wear enabled me to use this wonderfully nostalgic fabric called Making Paper Planes

Making Paper Planes

Making Paper Planes

Would you like to guess how many times these dresses have been worn? Twice and one of those times was to take the photos. So I was dubious about attempting another childrenswear pattern but I do like to attempt the challenge so I bought what I thought was a funky Oliver and S pattern for the Seashore Sundress and decide to make it a joint enterprise.

My enthusiastic assistant

My enthusiastic assistant

Annoying I decided not to cut out the pieces for the pockets but when I went to sew it up realised that without the pockets there would be a big gap in the ruffle skirt- Grrrr. At that point we both lost enthusiasm and sadly this is the current state of the dress.

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I will come back to it but not sure when!

Anyway, the menswear part of the challenge was more successful. I had already made a tie at a Clothkits workshop in December so had a pattern. I really like tie making.  I used some glorious Liberty Tana Lawn from this season’s Alice in Wonderland collection.

Liberty Alice in Wonderland collection

Liberty Alice in Wonderland collection

I decided to use some little offcuts from another design in the collection and am very pleased with my placement.

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I think ties make lovely gifts and I find them very calming to make. There is a fair bit of hand-sewing with a tie and I even did some on my morning commute!

Beats reading The Metro

Beats reading The Metro

So here is the finished tie …

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…. and here is the Birthday Boy wearing it – not happy that it’s raining or that he has had to put on a shirt on a Sunday for me to take a photo!image

 

Next month’s challenge is Indie Patterns – the Big Four would be more of a challenge for me because so far I have only sewn Indie.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

A little displacement activity – man sewing

Hi to all, hope you are having a FAB time enjoying the sunshine, especially if you are back to work tomorrow or saying goodbye to your littlies as they return to school.   image I have had a lovely break – really relaxing.  I didn’t get quite as much sewing as I expected as I have been distracted by other activities and fussing over the family – which I love to do. I am currently supposed to be doing coursework marking which I should have done earlier in the holidays but I have hopped onto the laptap to write this blog post – naughty naughty.

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Worn here with an un-ironed, non-matching shirt just because I was impatient to get a photo

Yesterday it was my niece’s wedding – she is the first of my thirteen nieces and nephews to get married and I had made a Flamingo Kim for the occasion. However, during the holidays when my sewing plans seemed to revolve endlessly around dresses I decided to do a little man sew as a displacement activity – I was  inspired to do this by Lazy Daisy Jones who has pledged to do a man sew a month. With the wedding fast approaching, I decided to make a tie using the leftovers from my Mortmain. imageA tie does take a surprising amount of fabric.  Mr CK kept looking at it doubtfully asking “exactly how big is it going to be”?  I have made a tie once before, at a ClothKits workshop.  I used the same pattern as I was pleased at how that one turned out. I used a little bit of lilac polka dot which I have got in my stash which I think is wanting to be made up into a Gabriola – which would certainly go well with my shoes.  I have read a couple of blogs this week where people have been reviewing the goals they set themselves for 2015 – mine are not going terribly well. Making the Gabriola was one of my pledges so I think I should crack on with that now that the summer is on its way.  However, I have just cut out another Mortmain and have bought the fabric to make my Davie – so much sewing and so little time. imageAnyway, there is not too much more  to say about the tie.  I enjoyed the construction and particularly like the hand sewing elements. It was a pleasant afternoon’s distraction from my selfish sewing.  I was really pleased that Mr CK was quite happy to wear it to the wedding and told everyone that I had made it. So to close today, here are a few pics of the wedding to show you the Kim and tie actually in use for an “occasion” – a glorious London affair which saw us traipsing around on London Transport in all our finery. Toodle pip, Clarinda x

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With my beautiful niece Sarah

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With some of the family menfolk; Summer Rose pretending she is the bride.

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There did seem to be a bit of a lemon theme going on (which I like) but the lilac looks nice too

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Outside our local waiting for the bus to take us to Clapham Junction – classy!

PS – If you did scroll down this far … I’ve got another couple of weddings to go to this summer.  What do you think about the idea of my Mortmain and the matching tie? Utterly dreadful or fun cheese?

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