A PW to share

Hello all, hope you are enjoying the bank holiday weekend.

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As a runner I got very used to talking about and striving for a PB (personal best) – by co-incidence I got my marathon PB eight years ago this weekend in Edinburgh. As well as the successes there were bad runs and I spent a lot of time discussing my PWs (personal worst). Well, today I have a sewing PW to share.

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Of late, I have been going for quick fix tops – I had decided to halt this trend and ordered some fabric from Fabric Godmother to make up a Pretty Woman style dress but that won’t arrive until next week. So, in order to fit in a bit of sewing before the family descended, I decided to sew up the Sew Over It cami. I bought the kit complete with silk fabric with foxes at the knitting and stitching show. However, in the morning I saw a blog post from Saturday Night Stitch who had just used her precious Nani Iro so I decided to use mine.

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Last year it seemed everyone was talking about this beautiful fabric so I bought an off cut from Guthrie and Ghani – just under a metre. This was the first of my bad decisions and bad sewing. I didn’t have quite enough so had to patch a sliver at the back – super sloppy. Then, as my overlocker is still sans needle, I decided to pink the facing – this fabric frays like crazy – I fully expect the top to disintegrate by the end of the summer.

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Finally, there must be some trick to sewing the curved hem – of which I am unaware – so it sits neatly. And on the fit front it stands proud,  i.e. away fron my chest!

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I’ve got no excuse. I was just rushing and being slovenly and frankly both Nani Iro and SOI deserve better. I did wear it out yesterday for a lovely walk with the family – think I will definitely be hand washing it rather than risk the machine.

Anyway, hope you are all having a lovely BH weekend,

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Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

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A little lull between two Susies

Hello dear sewing chums,

Well, it’s been a while …  When I started my blog I did say I would write about other things but as it is only fellow sewists who read I won’t force other stuff on you! But, just in case you’re interested, I have started my mountain leader training which means doing lots of long walks at the weekend and less time for sewing. I was actually thinking about starting up a blog linked to my walking. Anyway, just before I started walking, I made a lovely Susie blouse by Sew Over It.

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My word – what an absolutely gorgeous pattern – I am surprised I have not seen more Susies on the blogosphere. It just goes over the head – very handy for someone who can’t use her buttonholer! The collar makes it really quite smart enough to wear with a suit for work but its lose tunic style also goes well with jeans.

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I made this up in a straight 12 in gorgeous Liberty tana lawn which I bought in Cloth Kits – beautiful flowers are arranged whimsically in an old fashioned milk bottle. However, to be honest, it’s quite big on me.

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There are three sleeve lengths – I went for short.  I have worn it for work a few times – it is light and airy and looks good with both trousers and skirts.

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I immediately cut out another and then the lull ensued. This was at Easter and I haven’t sewn anything since. However, with all the excitement surrounding the Great British Sewing Bee I have found my inspiration to get sewing again AND I managed to complete my blouse today.

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I decide to make up a size 10 but grade out to 12 around the middle for my mumtum. I also kept the neck opening as a size 12 as I didn’t want to be having to wriggle in and out of it and I think I’ve got it right. I cut out the three quarter sleeve length but then used the length to make little cuffs; I thought that with such a nice collar a straight forward hemmed sleeved looked a little unbalanced.

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I am really chuffed with the fabric.  It is called Vinyl Vacation by Alexander Henry and I bought it at the Knitting and Stitching Show in March.  I also bought another AH fabric whilst I was there which is completely bonkers.  I am now thinking that perhaps I should make that up into another Susie – what do you think?

Don't even ask me what I am going to do with this - I also bought some fine black wool to "tone it down" a bit

It felt really good to be sewing again – I was rushing to try and get it finished so that I could wear it out this afternoon for a walk – a rather fun 5 mile charity event for the Snowdrop Trust. The sun came out and at the end we had tea and cake – of course we did. The ice cream was before we started – just to give sustenance you understand.

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Well, I am so looking forward to the 4th series of GBSB – hope you are too!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

New sunnies - I thought a bit Marilyn Munroe but Mr CK thinks more Miss Marple

New sunnies – I thought a bit Marilyn Munroe but Mr CK thinks more Miss Marple

Workshops galore – the Sewcation continues

Hi all, hope you are well and happy?

Well this is the third week of my Sewcation and I’m learning lots but still haven’t actually completed anything to show you! So here is a round up of this week’s activities.

Pattern Cutting Workshop at ClothKits

Dear Lord, there are only two of us on this course – such a privilege – and we are behind!  It was the third session on Monday and we were supposed to be drafting our sleeves – which we did do BUT there were so many niggles with our bodices – we both had to do further alterations on our second toiles.

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Just look at this odd adjustment on my bodice – a bizarre pleat going horizontally over the top of my right boob.  The tutor said it was because I was “hollow” – I think this is more to do with my massively padded bra rather than my inherent body shape. Having seen all of the miniscule alterations needed to get something to fit, I am surprised that we ever mange to get anything to fit rtw  – what with my size 20 shoulders and hollow chest it’s a wonder I don’t live in saris – actually I love saris – so elegant. You can read here a very early post of mine about this beautiful sari.

Thought I'd brighten up my post with a pop of colour

Thought I’d brighten up my post with a pop of colour

Anyway, I digress. The sleeve drafting had less mathematical calculations than the bodice but I still made a couple of errors. Next week we are going to put our patterns onto card – the Block. Then it’s onto the skirt drafting and finally to designing our own dress – exciting!

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After the class I met up with Jane from Jane Makes  and we had lunch in Carluccios and chatted about sewing and life.  It’s really lovely to meet up with people who I have met through the on-line community. Next week I am having lunch with Debbie, my fellow student on the course – so  I have become, temporarily,  a lady wot lunches with other ladies wot sew!

Francine Jacket Workshop at Sew Over It, Clapham

Last Wednesday I started the Francine Jacket workshop – it has been so incredibly popular it has taken me  months to get a place. The workshop runs over three consecutive Wednesdays.  Having done a number of workshops now I know that there is a lot you have to do at home.  With just three weeks for this jacket there was a huge amount of homework to do.  I left the class only having cut out my pattern – I am SUCH a slowcoach.  To be honest, if I hadn’t been on sewcation I would never have been able to get the work done – I must have spent about ten hours on it.  A lot of this was because I couldn’t squeeze the pattern out of the 1.5m I had earmarked for the project and spent ages faffing about with my jigsaw.

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I resolved this by using some of the check fabric I am going to make a Gabriola out of – I plan to make a maxi skirt suit. There are six of us in the class. I love Julie’s super calm manner. It must be really stressful trying to fit six different people  – each of us needed a number of alterations – but you would never guess it from her demeanor.

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To account for my super shoulders we went up to a size 16 on the arms (the rest of the pattern was a 12) and added some extra in at the centre back seam but look – now that I’ve made it up, I think it’s too much.  The photo doesn’t really show it properly but the back is so rounded I could squeeze a small hunchback in there – to balance out my hollow chest obviously.

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The second class is tonight – I was supposed to have finished the under collar but I can’t work out where it finishes.  It will be really interesting to see how the others have got on.  One of the other girls bought her fabric from Linton Tweeds and it is beautiful – I’ll try and get a photo tonight.

Guthrie and Ghani – Sewing a Sequin Party Top

Finally, a friend and I have booked a little jaunt together to go up to Guthrie and Ghani for a one day workshop to make a top in sequins.  I am really looking forward to visiting the haberdashery – it always looks SO beautiful and welcoming in the photos and Lauren has an amazing fabric selection.

And just before I close, I have some news.  I went for a job interview last week and was offered the position.  It is only a mat leave cover but a huge relief for me. The school seems lovely and although I am still applying for permanent roles from September 2016, at least I can relax a little bit for now.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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