Claudia the Calf? Where’s Gogglebox when you need it? Welcome back Great British Sewing Bee!

 

 

There was a real sense of excitement and anticipation at home last night – for me at least.  My menfolk were quietly resigned but they watched The Great British Sewing Bee and the endless comments proved that they were clearly engaged.  As our roast chicken supper was cooking, I snatched an hour or so to make another couple of Trixie Lixie knickers in some lovely Liberty Lawn I had ordered from Guthrie and Ghani.  I was SO impatient AND determined to have a sewing filled extravaganza of an evening that I sewed them up without matching thread – Shocking behaviour.

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I credit GBSB 100% for getting me into sewing and how funny a year on to see how much more I know about it all.  Was it a BHL Kim bodice I saw (two possibly?) in the summer frock category? The trousers for the first challenge – surely Sew Over It’s Ultimate Trouser with a tweak at the waist to swap facing for bias. Both currently in my stash!

imageThe Kim pattern is because I am taking part in the Kim sewalong – not that I am up to date with that of course.  The Ultimate trousers I made at a workshop a couple of months ago and immediately rushed out to buy some Black twill (?) to make super boring work trousers.  It is because of the super boring bit that the fabric has sat in my stash but I think I will make them up this weekend.  If the Sewing Bees managed it in three hours then I’m going to try and match that.  Regular readers will know that we have had a Sewing Bee at my work.  One of the Bees asked on Wednesday if we were going to follow along with the series – we all looked at her as if she were bonkers. But here I am, actually considering doing one of the challenges for this week.

imageWas one of the dresses made of this fabric?  I thought so but we didn’t get a close up.  It is a gorgeous Liberty lawn with lots of little seaside related illustrations on it. It’s waiting to be made up into a blouse/summer top of some description – hopefully with enough left over to make another pair of pants – they are VERY addcitive!

Finally, onto the contestants and the challenges. Why oh Why is Gogglebox not on tonight?  I LOVE Gogglebox – a glorious celebration of family and what it is to be British in our wonderful,l multi-cultural society.  I would love to know what Steve and Chris, Steph and Dom and Sandy and Sandra think of the garments, characters, challenges.  It is sad when someone has to leave – especially when you have barely been introduced but what a travesty to lose Annie so soon. Did you catch that glorious retort to Claudia when she told she had to leave: Don’t worry – I’ll still name a calf after you!

Have a great weekend sewing,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

Outerwear, Underwear – it’s all happening here!

Yesterday was the first of my four coat making workshops at Sew Over It Clapham with super patient Julie who has already guided me through a lace dress and a pair of trousers.  The workshops were a Christmas present (obviously lots of careful hints) to my other half.

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This is my fabric – a beautiful (reversible) daisy wool and the polka dot is for the lining; both from Guthrie and Ghani. I got the gorgeous buttons from Ditto fabrics.

There are just three of us in the class – just as well as the class is labelled as Advanced and at the very best I would describe myself as Intermediate Beginner.  The others have chosen wonderful fabric/lining combinations so I am hopeful we will have a trio of quite dramatic coats to show off mid February.

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The style is 1960s.  Here is a rather unflattering photo of me wearing the sample.  It will be quite interesting to compare my final version with this beauty!

imageThere is a lot to do.  The session lasted for three hours and in that time all I managed to do was cut out the wool and pin the interfacing.  The construction process is carefully broken down into four weeks and there are detailed instructions for what needs to be covered each week during the lesson and separate instructions for what needs to be done for homework.  The homework is substantial – I would say at least a further three hours but I will let you know in my next progress report. Most of the pieces need to be cut out three times: fabric, lining, interfacing. New things I learned: there is a different type of interfacing (not the Vilene type stuff I have used previously) which is used for coats – it is actually woven and you have to cut it on the grain. This I have to cut and iron on for my homework so I cannot comment on if it is easier/trickier etc.  The other interesting thing is that a man in Soho is recommended to do our button holes.  I had commented that they looked great on the sample and despaired of ever being able to do anything like that and then we were given the recommendation.  I did wonder if it was sort of cheating to get someone else to do the final finishing touches but it would be a total bummer to have made your coat, invested hours and hours and then bugger up the buttonholes – which I would almost certainly do.  If you read my blog about the silk top you will know that button holes are my nemesis.

imageI DO love the studio.  It is such a calming (although I was anything but calm and that is going to be the subject of a future, navel-gazing style post), twee, girly space – all shocking pink staircases, pretty jars of notions and tea cup pin cushions.  Always there is lovely cake and tea on tap.  That was something else I learned – when you are sewing, your bladder ceases to function! I have a lovely little routine – established when I did the lace dress workshops –  I leave work and arrive an hour or so before the class starts (I am always a super punctual person and would rather arrive an hour early than with just two minutes to spare) and then sit in a little independent coffee house and use the wifi to catch up on blogs whilst having a couple of lattes. Then, at the studios, there were further mugs of tea and it was only when I got home I realised I hadn’t been to the loo once!  Anyone else get so engrossed they forget such things?!

So, I have made a start – there is much to do this weekend but I hope you found my first progress report interesting.

Just a quick thing to finish with – a pair of pants!

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I saw on IG that JustSewtherapeutic had had a snow day (no sign of any here) and had productively made three pairs of Trixie Lixie pants.  I am a shameless copycat and immediately bought a kit (bargain as it includes the pattern, elastic, fabric etc).  It really is the first time I can say “it came together easily”.  I knocked them out Sunday night – we were watching a box set of Spiral series one (on a colleague’s recommendation) but I found it too distressing so gave up and took refuge in my Janome.  I wore them on Monday and they were comfy too – hoorah!  I plan to make many more in Liberty lawn – specifically the new Alice in Wonderland designs.

Hope you are having a good week!,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x