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

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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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One Week One Pattern: I have joined the sewing community – Yay!

Since I first saw the details of OWOP I have been excited.  Having bought my sewing machine at Easter and having started to follow blogs soon after I have wanted to join in and be part of something friendly, exciting and it must be said ….. sassy.  Having seen all the amazing clothes which featured in Me-Made-May I was eagerly looking forward to next May and then, ta dah, along comes news about OWOP14.  I knew straight away it would have to be the Sorbetto so here is my round-up.

Day 1

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A sunny Saturday at home and I wore my first ever Sorbetto.  I made this with fabric left over from a dress.  In fact, most of my Sorbettos have come from left over fabric – that is one thing I have discovered, pattern instructions appear to be very generous in terms of fabric requirements.  This fabric is supposed to be retro funky – it looks OK as a top but as a dress, it just looked too frumpy.  The skill I learned making this top was how to make my own bias binding and how to attach it  – I have The Little Tailoress to thank for this.  Her instructions are so clear and her blog just oozes with gorgeous quintesentional English Rose beauty. I wore the top with jeans for a relaxed weekend feel.

Day 2

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A fantastic late summer day and a 10K race along the seafront for me.  I wore a sorbetto, minus the front pleat and with three inches additional length, as a running top. This was leftover fabric from my first Moneta (and my first jersey knit).  I think this could be my favourite Sorbetto – it certainly gets some glances.

Day 3

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At work today so I had to look a little more formal.  I made this Sorbetto to wear when I sang WW1 songs with a pop-up choir.  Whilst I love red to look at, it’s not a colour I regularly wear so I had to rootle around for something to match it with. To be honest, I am not really happy with this look – it isn’t quite my style.  I have started to realise the depths of pleasure experienced when someone says they like what you are wearing. It happened today when I was in the bank.  To be honest, I’m not really keen on this one so was doubly surprised. Photo credit to one of my Y9 students who took the picture for me  – very bemused.

Day 4

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Used ready made bias binding for this Sorbetto made with leftover fabric from a Lilou dress. As previously I added three inches to the bottom and a couple of lemon buttons.

I really like  this top – it feels summery and has had a lot of wear.

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This Sorbetto is made with lovely Liberty Lawn. The clever design means that it works equally well with the browns/creams and with the blues.  Looking rather formal today as we had a meet the parents evening – this was taken just beforehand in Pizza Express.  I am really enjoying looking at everyone’s makes during OWOP and have also explored Instagram and Pinterest.

Day 6

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My first repeat during OWOP14.  I am SO pleased I added an extra three inched to my later Sorbettos! Meet Tambo – 15 months old and incredibly handsome.

Day 7

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Today my Sorbetto is looking a bit more informal teamed with a pair or lightweight trousers.  Here I am at Cowes, Isle of Wight for three days sailing with the new Y7  – the sun has shone on us all day and I am pleased to have participated in OWOP. The Sorbetto didn’t stay for long as I had to put on a wetsuit.

And finally . . . . .

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The one that got away!  Just look at this gorgeous silk I bought in China this summer –  I had every intention of making one further Sorbetto for OWOP 14 but once the term started time just ran away.  Maybe for next year . . .

How was your week? Find any patterns you are going to try as a result of being inspired by others?

Toodle pip,

Clarinda

Great British Sewing Bee – the teachers version

Today has been the first day of One Week One Pattern 14 and I am really looking forward to being involved in an event with the on-line sewing community.

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As I was putting on my Sorbetto and thinking about what I would say in my round up blog, I remembered  that the fabric was left over from my Great British Sewing Bee – the work version so thought that I should do a catch up blog about that.

Break time in my school is the only time of the day when we get ten minutes to sit and chat with our colleagues.  We are a funny bunch and tend to sit with the same group of people. My particular chums were all huge fans of The Great British Sewing Bee and decided to run our own version.  We chose the same pattern, asked the textiles teacher to be our judge and gave ourselves the May Half Term to complete our task.  It was SO much fun. I had only bought my sewing machine at Easter, another Bee literally bought hers to take part in the sewing bee.  We wore them all on the same day the first week back.  Our judge had really thrown herself into the spirit of things making her own dress, devising a mark sheet with judging criteria. There was an overall winner and individual categories – which surprisingly each of us won one of.

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The report of our successes and short-comings were written up and appeared in the week’s school newsletter.  We were each given a prize – a pin wheel in  a handsewn case made by our generous judge Heather in the material she had used for her own dress.

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We enjoyed it so much it could become an annual event – what about you?  Could you run a sewing bee in your place of work?