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

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Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

Back in January I went shopping to Ditto Fabrics for the first time and bought four fabrics for my stash (who am I kidding – I didn’t really have a stash and I wanted one) which I write about here.   About one of the fabrics I wrote “as for the bird fabric – who knows? It just looked so sweet I couldn’t resist it. Any suggestions for one metre?”  Well, there were no suggestions at all until April’s challenge was announced for the Monthly Stitch Collective and I knew my inspiration had come to use my rather lovely watercolour garden birds.

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As I only had one metre I went for my old faithful the Sorbetto but having had a look at some other Sorbettos on Pinterest I decided to follow others and do a variation.  I am not sure I would go so far as to say I braved “a hack”; I merely inverted the pleat.  Some stitchers had let the pleat flow directly from the neckline whereas others had sewn down a little way – I went for the second option.

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It’s super sweet.  It’s funny but I hadn’t really thought of the Sorbetto as being structured but it is rather stiff/formal when you compare it to the inverted pleat version which falls in a very feminine way. I really like it! Surely Collette’s Sorbetto must be the most frequently downloaded free pattern?

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There’s not much more to report. I generally add three inches to the bottom of a Sorbetto but I didn’t have enough fabric available. I’ve now used up three of the four fabrics I bought on that shopping day.  The one remaining is the doggie pattern.  I had ear-marked that for a shirt but over Easter we had a little family sewing day and I “supervised” the cutting out of a cute summer dress – which was immediately abandoned as interest was lost (not by me!). So it’s good to see that the next challenge for the collective is some children’s sewing so I will resurrect it at some point during May – probably the half term week.

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Hope you are all having a good weekend,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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Kim, Flamingos and a (Copy) Cat

Hello all,

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I finished my Kim Sewalong a little bit behind schedule but still on time for my niece’s wedding on the 11th April.  She is having a very colourful wedding in Peckham and I thought this fabric would be perfect for a fun dress – here I must confess – the inspiration came from Dolly Clackett whose dress I have completely copied – please forgive me and thanks SO much for being such a huge source of inspiration to me during my first year of sewing.  There, I’ve got that out of the way right at the beginning of the post so now I can give you the deets.

I am writing this post as my contribution to the Monthly Stitch Collective and the theme for March is Inside Out.  Well, the insides of this frock will probably make you sigh with disbelief.  So far, every dress I have made has had shedloads of surplus fabric so instead of the three metres I should have got, I went for two.  Big mistake.  The skirt is supposed to have all three metres in it so mine is nowhere near as swishy as it should be.

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The bodice is lined and as I didn’t have the full amount of fabric (Grrrr), I couldn’t get the lining out of the same fabric. As I had already started cutting out and just wanted to get on to sewing I searched my stash – which is nowhere near as abundant as some I  have seen.  The only fabric I had which was not printed or not cotton was some gorgeous broderie anglaise I had bought from Sew Over it and cost half as much again as the dress fabric itself.

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It looks very pretty anyway.  If you are a regular reader you will know I have a fear of my overlocker, which came threaded with black.  I decided I would be bold and use it to finish my seams …. can you see where this is going?

imageI promise I won’t do this again.  I have now had a private lesson and been shown how to change my threads – although I haven’t yet done it by myself. If you look very carefully at the picture of the bodice you can see just see the darkness of the thread peeping through – Oh I am a wally. Luckily it’s on the inside so only I know.  The bodice top was a challenge for me – I have never done that thread the fabric through the shoulders thing before – I didn’t think it would ever go through and when it did, the fabric was so creased it looked like a rag.  Here is a picture mid procedure – looks rude doesn’t it?

imageI also learned a new technique for gathering and I have to say, it has produced the best results so far; you prepare the gathers by hand-sewing two rows of running stitch at the same time.

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Although I am please with the overall outcome, there are a few things I regret – of course, there are. The black overlocking and the fact that I didn’t handstitch the hem.  On the plus side my invisible zip insertion is improving and if I can get my waist seams to line up it would be moving towards perfect.

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So all in all a reasonable outcome. The fabric is called Flaming Boarder and I got it from Fancy Moon; the dress pattern (which I would highly recommend) is By Hand London’s Kim – but don’t skimp on the fabric.

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imageI thought you might like a little close up of my shoes.  I have become obsessed with Swedish clogs – I bought two pairs at the end of the summer in the sale which I hadn’t had chance to wear but now that I have and know exactly how comfortable they are, I have bought another …. sssshhhh, don’t tell Mr CK this ….. three pairs.

So, the clocks have gone back, Spring is officially here and it is the first day of my two week Easter break – Happy Days!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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