Monday, 30 April 2012

Goodbye to a dear friend.

Today is a sad day because we have the funeral of the man who employed me in the company I work for, and who also became my mentor and a dear friend too.

After a 5 year battle, Neil lost his life just under two weeks ago.   Today I believe there will be almost 200 people attending a service to send him on his way and help celebrate his life.

Neil, you will be missed................. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Blue dress to go with Chanel Jacket

I have been busy today, making the lining for the yellow Burda dress and cutting out and sewing my Linton Tweed version of the dress and you can see my progress below.

I raised the line of the V-shape in the centre of the bodice because the other one revealed my bra.  I am trying to decide if I go for a short sleeve, or the 3/4 length again, just like the Burda picture below.

My only disappointment is that you can't see the beautiful neckline of the dress with the jacket on, so I guess it will have to be the wow factor (I hope) when I take the jacket off.

I have pinned out the pattern pieces on the lining and they are ready to cut out, but I think that's all for tonight folks.

Catch you Later...................

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Changed my mind - new dress design to go with the jacket

Ok so I was looking at my Burda Style magazines and I found the perfect dress in their Sept 2011 issue and its more or less in the same colour as my Linton Tweed fabric too, and I love it.

I haven't really made anything up from the magazines I have purchased, so it seemed to take me ages to trace out the pattern, and then I realised that they didn't include seam allowance,so I had to add them in.

For my wearable muslin, I selected this mustard yellow crepe because I thought I would go with my brown Chanel jacket, and this is as far as I have got today and I love it.

The instruction are dismal - and I must have re-read them 100 times to work out how the wings sit on the dress, but I got there in the end.

The dress is only partially lined, however I prefer my dresses to be fully lined, which is what I am going to do.  One other alteration will be to extend the V-shape in the middle of the bodice because it is quite low and shows my bra.

I hope to get my blue fabric cut out later................

I have updated this page to show the dress on Edna with the sleeves and the zip done.  Tomorrow's job is to cut out the lining, sew and finish the dress and then repeat everything for the blue one.  This is a really slimming dress and I can definitely see a few more being made with different variations.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Now for the dress to go with the jacket

So I don't have time to let the grass grow beneath my feet so I took the chance to look through my pattern stash for a simple sheath dress to go with my Linton Tweed jacket and starter for ten is Butterick 5407.

As the pattern cover says, its a semi fitted lined dress with matching belt, and I think it fits the bill nicely.

I have made a couple of sheath dresses in the past, but they had higher necklines and I wanted something a little lower.  The down side of this pattern is that it is a size 12 and I really need a 14 for the hip so I came up with a really quick pattern alteration technique.  I had previously made up a McCalls shift dress with a pleated top and altered the pattern to fit, so I just matched the waist line marks, using the old pattern for the hip measurements, and folded the top half of the old pattern down, but revealed the top of the new pattern and then cut out the fabric.

The proof as they say is in the cooking, but I am pretty sure it will work ok.  I have cut this out in a pretty mint coloured crepe that I bought on my last trip to Wathamstow market.  If the first part sews up ok, and looks fine, I will line it and create the first of the 2012 summer dresses.

This dress has 4 pieces, front, back and two sleeve pieces - what a dream.  I know I am shooting myself in the foot by saying that, because sometimes you can have more problems with a simple outfit than a more complicated one.

Wish me luck, hopefully some pic's for you to see tomorrow.

Catch you later..........................

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Chanel Jacket No.2 - Completed

Yippeeee I've done it - completed my second Chanel style jacket using the wonderful Linton Tweed fabric and here it is complete with my own label (embroidered on my Janome 350e), and the Linton Tweed label given at the time of purchase....

I am sorry there isn't a photo of me modelling this at the moment, but my photographer is in Germany so this will have to be a job for the weekend, hopefully with my dress.

So what did I do different on this jacket?

  • Quilting was sewn 1.5" apart instead of 1".
  • I sewed the body seams and then blind stitched the lining before sewing the shoulder seams and blind stitching the lining.
  • I made the sleeve vent slightly longer than the first.
  • I put 4 smaller buttons on the sleeve vents
  • Didn't use a self trim
  • Put 4 pockets on instead of two smaller ones
  • I used silver chain and buttons instead of gold
  • Didn't have to dye my trim in tea.
The photos don't really do this jacket justice, I am taking a quick peek at it while typing this blog entry, and it truly does look as nice on the inside as it does on the outside.

These two jackets are the first garments I have made in quite a while where I haven't used my serger.  In fact it is fair to say that if you have a basic straight stitch sewing machine you could make one of these jackets, and the addition of a walking foot would assist with the quilting (but not 100% necessary).

If you are shy of hand sewing then this may not be the jacket for you.  Here is the list of hand sewn components:-
  • all internal lining seams
  • external trim
  • jacket edge to lining
  • buttons
  • pockets
  • chain weight
  • labels
In sewing/blog/forum land there are quite a few Chanel, or French style jackets being posted, so there must be something in the water at the moment.

Now I just need to get my dress made to go with the jacket for the wedding.  I think I will make a test one again - it can be used to be worn with the brown jacket but will give me an idea of the style I want to achieve.

I have also summarised the jacket construction techniques on Pattern Review here.

I confess here and now I have been surfing the net for Chanel jackets inspiration and have a few that I love and would like to make my own knock-off so watch this space......................

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

non sewing post - squirrel

Hi everyone

As you know I can't finish my jacket because I am in London but I just had to post this for you to see - a crazy squirrel 10 floors up sitting on the edge of our balcony!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My D Mike's mother and father said they had seen it and I never believed them, but I have since seen it a few times.  Here he/she is:-

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chanel Jacket No.2 - Part 3 - nearly there.

Hi there,

Well I got carried away last night and sewed until 12:30 in the morning, and due to an unreliable ebay purchaser, I have had to stay at the cottage tonight and this means I can continue with the jacket.

First I have a confession to make.  I sewed my two piece sleeves together, creating my sleeve vent - but you know when you keep looking at something and think that is definitely not right, you swap sides, still doesn't look right - in the end I thought I was going mad.  The position of the sleeve vent was on the wrong seam.  Now these were part of the jacket piece so I had to cut them off, sew up the seam, unpick the other seam, and attach them.  I think I was holding my breath the whole time I was doing this and hoping that Ruth's gremlins hadn't made their way into my room.

I think my dear old mum was looking down on me and helping me to deal with my problem and thank goodness I managed to recreate the vent on the opposite side and I don't think anyone but you lovely readers will know shush........ don't tell anyone.

I think I am set to go with a domed shaped silver button, but I only had 3 of one type in my stash and 3 of another type in my stash - all very similar but not identical, so I have just popped them on with a loose thread to get the idea.  Of course anything can happen when I go to the shops to purchase some more buttons - I want 4 each for the sleeves and possibly 4  (one for each pocket).

So while we are talking pockets I can't make up my mind.  I want this jacket to look different to the other jacket which only had one pocket.  What do you guys think?? These pockets are just pinned on for now.

Last but not least, you can see the coordinating fabric I purchased to go with this, its a beautiful wool crepe, also from Linton Tweed.  I intend making a dress out of this - if there is any spare, maybe a skirt we will see.

So thats me for tonight - no more sewing until Thursday night now so let me know what you think because I want to finish this by Friday at the latest.

Last but not least, thanks to all of you for your encouragement, its been great and motivated me to take extra care over this jacket.  I know some of you have said how fast I sew, but the honest truth is I go up and do a 4-5 hour sessions, sometimes longer if I get carried away, so not that fast really.

Catch you later..................

Chanel Jacket No.2 - Part 2

Hi there

Just to update you on my progress with Chanel Jacket No. 2

Body pieces sewn and lined.  Bias tape on, and outer lining edges stitched to bias binding.  Trim attached and sleeves ready to go in.

You can see what I am planning on doing with the sleeve vents.  I was going send off for covered buttons but have decided on these little dome shaped silver ones (more shiny in real life).

Remaining jobs:-

  • Insert sleeves
  • Attach sleeve lining with blind stitch
  • Sew trim to sleeve vent 
  • Sew on buttons
  • Make pockets, trim and blind stich to jacket
  • Sew on chain.
  • Sigh with relief another one finished :-)

Thats all for now folks - work day tomorrow and I got carried away again lol.

Catch ou later................

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Chanel Jacket No.2 - Part 1

Ok my lovely Readers,

My test jacket is done and dusted and no sooner had I sewn the last stitch yesterday, I cut into my lovely Linton Tweed before I lost the courage to do so.

This time round I saved quite a few steps.  I didn't have to cut out the paper pattern, tissue fit,  make a muslin and only then cut out my fashion fabric, I could take my modified paper pattern and get it cut out.

I cut out the jacket in the fashion fabric, the exact same pieces in the lining fabric and just for body of the jacket the interfacing.  I found my rotary cutter much quicker to use than scissors on both the lining and the interfacing.

Next step was to fuse the interfacing to each of the body pieces, and then picking up one of the techniques from my quilting course, I pinned each of the lining pieces to the corresponding body piece, marking one inch from the top and two inches from the bottom.  I used quite a few pins to keep the lining with the fabric so that it didn't move too much when quilting them with the walking foot.

Using the threads technique, I pulled both thread ends (bobbin thread and spool thread) to sandwich between the fabric and the lining, and knotted them off - top and bottom of the row of stitching.

Once that was done, I stitched all the side panels together leaving the shoulder seams free.

After pressing the seam I then trimmed the seam back to 1/4" ready to blind stich the lining seams together (this was a TV job tonight).

I have interfaced the sleeve head, and sewed the sleeve seams together - I have decided not to quilt the sleeves again.

And here are the results of my work today:

As you all know time is at a premium, so I need to try and finish this jacket by tomorrow.

  • Next job will be to sew shoulder seams, followed by blind stitching the lining in place.
  • Sew sleeve lining pieces together.
  • Finish sleeve vents and insert lining.
  • Attach sleeves to jacket, and blind stich lining pieces together.
  • Sew trim (to fringe or not to fringe), braid and bias tape to front of jacket, blind stitch lining to bias tape.
  • Make and add 4 pockets.

I am thinking of getting some covered buttons made so will send off the fabric on Monday, so I hope to have the buttons back before next weekend.

I feel like I am making progress - I am going to select my dress pattern tomorrow and will take that to the flat with me to tissue fit and make a muslin ready for next weekend's work.

Catch you later.................

Friday, 20 April 2012

Chanel Jacket - COMPLETED

Hi  I am delighted to say I managed to meet my target for completing my test jacket today.

Looking back over my journey, I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned from this project.

  1. If you don't try, you will not know if you can do it or not.
  2. Expect to do approximately 4- 5 hours of hand sewing for a Chanel jacket.
  3. I actually enjoyed the hand sewing more than I thought I would - good TV multi-tasking work.
  4. Making the test jacket before I cut into my Linton Tweed was a good investment of time because I hope to avoid some of the mistakes I made with this one.
  5. Remember not to quilt completely to the bottom of the fabric or the top of the fabric - I spent approximately 3 hours unpicking stitches to allow me to turn under the lining fabric and then rethread each loose thread and take it through to the right side (more texture so didn't show) and knot the two threads together to secure them.  However saying this, it wouldn't be good to backstitch on the quilting, so you probably still need to leave enough thread to take the lining thread through to the other side.
    1. Read the instructions on other sites for the quilting - Threads say:-
      1. cut the lining roughly in the same shape as each fabric piece, mark the quilting lines with pins spaced one inch apart.  Machine quilt along the pinned lines using a walking foot on 3mm stitch length - hold fabric taut as you sew.  Quilt lines in the same direction - stat and stop one inch from seamlines and 2" from hem lines.
      2. Tie off the thread ends between the layers.  As you quilt, don't back-tack at either end; this looks messy, and can distort the fabrics.  Pull up each pair of threads between the wool and the lining layers and knot with a jeweler's knot (tied around a pin) clip thread ends down to 1/2".  
  6. Buy extra trim - cheaper than the fuel to drive to the market and buy some more.
  7. 2 teabags gives a lighter colour than 5.
  8. I think 1 1/2" between the quilting rows would be better than 1" I used here (as suggested in the Threads article).  If using fabric with a square design on it, think about doing a grid quilting design on your jacket.
  9. Adding the soft interfacing helped to stabilise the fabric and prevent the dratted fabric from fraying too much - and boy did it fray.
Here is the finished jacket on Edna - I will probably make a camisole top to go under this for the summer, but looks nice with the beige sweater underneath.

Here is the jacket on me - I am wearing it with black jeans, black polo/turtle neck sweater, my brand new Carvella shoes (check out those 4" heels"), Mulberry handbag, and some flesh coloured pearls.  In the photo below (top right) you can see a picture of a genuine Chanel jacket.

I am going to enter this into the RTW contest on PR so if you like it and think it looks like a genuine Chanel jacket please vote for me.

So to recap:-

Pattern used: Burda 7934

Pattern Description:  Shaped jacket with section seams comes in three versions.

Pattern Sizing: Women's sizes: 10-24 (36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50) I cut out a size 14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No not really, because I was trying to make mine like a Chanel jacket.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really look at them much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The fit.

Fabric Used:Woven wool blend.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I did my normal FBA, I also added sleeve vents.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I am sewing this again in some lovely Linton Tweed, and yes I would recommend it.


This was a test jacket before I cut into some Linton Tweed that I purchased to make an outfit for my sister's wedding on the 18th May.  I have wanted to make a Chanel jacket, complete with quilted lining, chain weight, and of course the trim which was originally white and I dyed it in tea to change the colour.

I am also going to enter this in the RTW contest too.

Right, Catch you later, I have cut out the blue Linton Tweed, now need to start all over again.........

Chanel Jacket progress - 90% finished - Part 8

Oh its getting exciting now because I have attached my fringe trim and tea dyed trim to the jacket edges.

As predicted the dye process was not an exact science.  Basically the first batch was made with one or two previously used teabags (well I have to keep to some of my thrifty roots) and the 2nd one with about 5.  As you can see we have two completely different colours.  It came out darker than you can see here, but when I sprayed it with some liquid soda it then turned the colour you see now.  Amazing what can happen.

For the fringe trim, I cut a 2" strip and machined down the middle with a zig zag stitch and then pulled out enough threads to create the fringe.

I laid the fringe trim to the jacket with the fringe towards the jacket and the cut edge along the edges of the jacket.  I then placed a purchased bias binding on the top and stitched it all the way round.

Trim back the excess fabric and then turn and press.  Next was a lot of hand sewing - I now needed to turn all the lining raw edges under and stitch them to the bias trim

Once all the hand sewing had been done you get this - I like the glimpse of gold running around the edge.

I decided to stitch the braided trim to the jacket before the sleeves were inserted, mainly because I was hand sewing last night.

Now it was time for the sleeves.  I added some interfacing to the sleep cap. and then used the old tie technique for gathering the sleeve cap.  I cut off a 12" strip and stretched this woven strip while stitching it to the sleeve cap, and then sewed the sleeve to the jacket making sure that I kept all the lining pieces clear.

More hand stitching was required to stich the sleeve lining pieces in.  I didn't bother quilting the sleeve lining - I really didn't see the point. To insert, I slipped the lining into the sleeve, and with the help of my ham, turned under 5/8" on the sleeve and pinned it to the body lining to get the above look.

The hem of the sleeve lining was turned up and then hand stitched into place.

With the sleeves in lining sewn this is where I have got to.

Below it is on Edna - the colours above are closer to the true colours my phone isn't too good in the dark.

I just have to sort out the loose threads that are floating around (where I unpicked), sew my chain on to the hem, but I have a question for you all. 

 Pockets or no pockets - I really want to get this as close to a Chanel jacket as I can.  The buttons may or may not be changed.......however don't forget this is my test jacket.  It 12:45am and far too late for me to concentrate now, but let me know what you think.

Catch you later............................

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tea Towel wallet - instructions

I found this free project download on Embroiderylibrary and wanted to share it with you all.

Its for a tea towel wallet and they describe it as:-

A lightweight and beautiful way to carry all the essentials! With a zippered pocket for cash, and five smaller pockets for credit cards and IDs, you can take everything you need with you, securely and in style. Take two pretty tea towels, add beautiful embroidery designs on the outer and inner sections, and you have a lovely and useful wallet unlike anyone else's.

This would be great for making nice little Christmas gifts - they have put one of their own designs on but I guess you could put a name on etc etc.  I intend adding this to my ever increasing list.

I have recently been wearing a wallet with a thin strap attached to it for my credit cards and cash, for when I don't want to take a larger bag with me - I think you could even adapt this to have a strap and an extra flap to come all the way round the front.

Download the document here if you want to make it.  You will be able to find this post in the useful tutorial tab too.

Catch you later..............

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Chanel Jacket progress - quilted lining complete - Part 7

Well I have managed to finish the quilting and all the seams and this is what the inside of the jacket looks like right now.

When I sewed the quilting I used a long stitch and left the long threads top and bottom so if I needed to unpick any of the stitches I could.  This was the case as I need to access the outer edges of the jacket, to attach a bias strip to the outer edges, hem the jacket and turn the lining under too, so I have been unpicking some of quilting stitches to take the finish line about 2" from the bottom.

Next stage will be to sew on some bias tape all around the  outer edge of the jacket.  The burda pattern provides for facings for the front and hem.  However here is my conundrum.   If you take a look at the Chanel jacket on the front of the threads magazine there are no facings.  The jacket below looks like the fringed trim has been caught between the lining and the jacket fashion fabric.  The other thing to bear in mind with these jackets is that they are meant to be fairly soft, rather like a cardigan than a hard tailored jacket.

I guess I can either insert a similar trim in between the bias trim, turn it, press it lightly and then turn under the lining and stitch by hand.  Alternatively I can just add it to the front of the jacket and then place my braided trim over the top.   Hmmmmmmmm glad this is my test jacket because this is a learning curve that I wouldn't want to be doing on my lovely Linton Tweed.

I keep googling to find other people's experiences with their Chanel jacket.  Everyone does it differently. One lady sewed the shoulder seams together, and then quilted starting at the bottom of the front continuously to the bottom back, however I can see a few problems with this method.

While the Threads magazine talks about most aspects of creating the jacket, there is also quite a bit of information that is missing - no good to man or beast (as they say).

Still I will work it out, and hopefully some of you will benefit from my mistakes.

If any of you can see a flaw in my plan, please let me know (I am in a little bit of a panic now).  I need to finish this jacket by Friday night/Saturday morning and be in a position to cut out my Linton Tweed - I only have about 3 weeks to make my 2nd jacket, a shift dress to wear with it and a two tier wedding cake complete with decorations to take to Scotland with me.  Oh and did I mention a full time job that is keeping me extremely busy too.  No pressure you understand this is just a day in the life of Pauline!!!!!! 

Catch you later..............

Log Cabin - Catherine Wheel Quilt tutorial - Part 1.

A couple of people asked for a tutorial on the simple log cabin blocks that convert into the Catherine Wheel lap quilt.

I will do this tutorial in a few parts as there is quite a bit of information, so here is part 1 to get you going.

The following should produce a lap quilt 44" square.

In addition to the list below, you will need backing fabric for your quilt and 2oz cotton wadding.

If you translate the above to my quilt, it would be as follows:-

White = my beige background colour
Dark blue = the large Blue floral print
Red = the turquoise
Gray = the small blue floral print

You can select your own colours and then just mark them up accordingly.

The main centre is made of 16 large blocks in 4 combinations measuring 8" when finished.  Each block should be worked separately to avoid getting confused.  Its helpful to colour code your blocks on paper before you start so you know which colours you should be using.

All seams should be an accurate 1/4" (6mm) along the 6" strips.  To avoid using up lots of thread when you finish sewing each section, use a thread saver.  This is a small 1/2 - 1" fabric scrap, when you reach the end of your seam, do not pull the threads out to cut in the normal way, but continue stitching on to the thread saver fabric and clip the threads close to the end of the seam. (you can reuse these when you cut them off later as you sew on subsequent strips).  You will save so much thread.

For the first few strips you can finger press the seams (do not press them open) but as the block gets bigger you may want to iron the seams (wrong and right sides) before moving on.

As you finish each piece, stack them - wrong side up, with the last piece you sewed facing you - I am right handed and find it easier to keep everything on my right.  so using the blocks above, number 2 would be the last piece you sewed and that is what would be facing you ready to position on to piece 3.

OK, lunchtime over I need to get back to work.  I will post subsequent parts as soon as possible.

Catch you later....................

Monday, 16 April 2012

Weight Loss Monday

Oh dear I don't really want to talk about it.  So what did I do between Thursday and today.

Thursday - Indian supper before Theatre - sitting
Friday - Start of quilting weekend - sewing, eating & sitting
Saturday - 2nd Day of quilting weekend - sewing, eating & sitting
Sunday - 3rd day of quilting weekend - sewing, eating & sitting
Monday - weigh in - depression sets in.......................

I'll say no more.  Catch you later.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

My Quilting Weekend - East Sussex Part 2 - finished quilt

Ok, as promised here is my finished quilt.

Hope you like it.

Catch you later..........................

My Quilting Weekend - East Sussex

Hi All, I am just back from a fantastic quilting weekend in East Sussex ran by my local sewing machine shop Superstitch in Leigh on Sea.

There were 12 participants, none of whom I had met before other than Christine who owns the shop, and I had a fantastic weekend.

The venue was at Abingworth Hall in Abingworth, East Sussex, a beautiful venue overlooking the South downs and we had 13 students in the class.

The project was to make a Catherine Wheel quilt, and boy did we work hard and here are some pictures of all our hard work.

And here is my one.

This pattern is created using the log cabin design, and it took me a couple of minutes to get my head around it at first, but once I got going I was fine (only unpicked a couple of pieces).

What did I learn from going on this course?  I realised why the backing on my previous quilts were not as good as the one I made here.  Basically its all about gripping the fabric to the table making sure its very flat.  Adding the wadding, then laying the quilt on top.  Smoothing, smoothing again and pinning.  Lots, of pins.  Did I say lots, well I mean LOTS.  If you can run your hand over the quilt and not feel any pins then you haven't used enough.  Oh and don't do what I did, I didn't make sure that the tips of the pins where inside the fabric and not exposed. Mine were, I was told after the event when I was helping someone else pin their quilt and at times it was like working with a hedgehog.  

I learned how to mitre the corners in that first blue band you can see using a new method, and then how to do the mitres for the binding.  I will work on a tutorial for this when I get time.

I did my first bit of quilting design (see the middle).  I need to do just a little bit more quilting around the centre, and intend doing that a little later tonight so will write a separate post to show you the finished article.  There will be some hand sewing to finish the quilt, and I can do that watching TV tonight.

What else did I take away from this weekend.  Meeting local people with the same passion for sewing and making things that I have (who all live locally to me, some only 10 minutes walk away).  Having fun after dinner while partaking in the quiz.  Chatting, exchanging stories.  Last but not least learning new skills.  I want to do another course as soon as I can, even if its just a day course.

Jobs for tonight - finish the binding on the quilt and hand stitch.  If I have time do a little more on my Chanel jacket.

I hope you all had a good weekend too.  Catch you later..............

Friday, 13 April 2012

Chanel jacket - progress quilting and side seams

Well I have good news and bad news......

First I am off on a sewing retreat weekend in about an hours time (more about that when I get back), so as today was booked off as a vacation I decided to take the opportunity to do a little bit of work on my Chanel jacket.

I have now managed to finish quilting the lining pieces to the fashion fabric front pieces - yippeee, and I am now blind stitching the lining seams together.  Basically once you have sewn the jacket seams and press open in the normal way, you need to trim back the seam allowance to a scant 1/4" to reduce the bulk.

As you can see from the bottom picture, you fold the lining edges inwards and then blind stitch the two pieces together by hand - this is work in progress but you can see what the final look will be.  This is quite nice relaxing work.

Now to the bad news - I guessed the amount of trim I needed, and while I have more than enough to go all the way around the jacket, I will not have enough for the sleeves and the pocket trims, drat and blast @!@!@!@

Well just go and buy some more I hear you say.  Well not a problem, however I can only buy this from my local market on a Saturday morning and I am away tomorrow, and will not be able to go back until the following weekend. The other problem is the tea dye.  I may not make the tea as strong or as weak as the first, and therefore come up with a completely different colour, so I think I will have to buy another 4-5 yards extra because I will have to dye it again.

I do have one question for you lovely readers - do you like the lighter colour (which almost looks like a gold tinge in real life) or do you think I should try and dye it a little darker - perhaps coffee rather than tea.  Bunny if you are reading this - I know you are the queen of dying so am sure will have some tips.

Yes yes, its my own fault, less haste, more speed as they say, or a stitch in time saves nine.....  or in this case if I have bought more, or measured better, I wouldn't have to go back again deep sigh.

Of course I only bought the same amount for my wedding version of this jacket, so I will have to buy some more of that trim too but thankfully, dying wasn't necessary for that, so I can get away with buying an additional 2 yards.

Last night I went to see The War Horse - fantastic - if you get the chance to go, you will be utterly amazed at the ability of the puppeteers, they made those horses and the great goose, come to life.

Ok, I need to get packed and sorted ready to go.  Have a great weekend whatever you are doing, catch you later.....................

Thursday, 12 April 2012

ebay & the Theatre - The War Horse

I have been a little distracted lately because having decorated my lounge last Easter, and replaced the mattress on my bed with with a memory foam mattress I had a few very large items being stored in my outbuilding that I wasn't going to use.

Over Easter ebay were doing a free listing, so I decided to give it a whirl and pleased to say that I sold my mattress and very large coffee table last night, and have my old hearth fire waiting for bids this morning.  The problem with ebay selling or buying is that you are constantly looking at the site to see progress - its like looking at your blog for comments ha ha.  This is also partially the reason for a lack of sewing last night because I wanted to watch the count-down.  Still I am sure I can find something useful to put the funds too..................

Tonight we are off to the Theatre to see the much acclaimed War Horse at the New London Theatre.

We booked this months ago, and this is the length of time we had to wait to get these tickets because its a complete sell out.  Everyone who has seen this play told me that within minutes you forget that these are puppets on stage, and to take a big box of tissues with you too.

I hope you all have a good day, catch you later.........................

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Chanel Jacket journey - part 5

Do you get days where you want to go and sew, but for some reason you just can't get to the machine and do it.  I was like that Monday and Tuesday this week, which was really annoying as I wanted to get on, but just couldn't get motivated - I think all the weekend's activities wiped me out.

I had to do my 120 mile round trip to the office today (yuck) but forced myself upstairs to do just a little more work on the jacket, and quilted one front piece and one side front piece.  I looked at my copy of the Threads magazine issue 121 which gives quite a good article on "Inside Secrets of a Chanel Jacket", just to check that I was doing it right.  I think I am, well sort of.

Once the remaining pieces are quilted, I need to trim back the seams ready to hand stitch the lining pieces together - but that will be another day.

Progress on my quilting

My lining hasn't got a green tinge in the middle - its something weird with the lighting!!!

Catch you later....................

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Weight Loss Monday's - grim

Oh dear, well I guess Easter weekend, chocolate and parties do not = weight loss, I have gained a pound boo hoo but it could have been worse.

I currently have my running machine in an external building outside, but I want to bring it into the house, in fact into my office, so that when I am working at home I can take my breaks on the treadmill.

If I can do 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes mid morning, 10 minutes lunchtime, 10 minutes in the afternoon and 20 minutes after work, that will equate to 1 hours running a day, and will certainly help me shift the weight - I will only do the running on Monday and Friday when I work from home, and try and do some at the weekend too, other days I will be either walking or on my bike.

My D Mike and I tried to move this machine on Saturday, but despite the fact that I am not meant to be lifting heavy things, we got to the door and it was clearly too large to get through the door, and I couldn't remember how we did it before (I suspect the control panel came off somehow).  We left it until we could get some strong boys to help, but that didn't materialise either, so will have to give it another thought.

This is now serious - I have 6 weeks to lose 12lbs which is now 2lbs a week so this is putting the pressure on me somewhat.  Think this needs to be a week of cutting out the carbs.

Wish me luck.

Hope you all had a good Easter break and didn't fall off the wagon like me.

Catch you later.................

Sunday, 8 April 2012

PR Vintage pattern Contest

I haven't really entered many contests, but I quite fancy entering the PR Vintage contest.  Click here for the rules and then click on button next to vintage contest.

Unlike some of my fellow bloggers I just CANT throw my old patterns away, and this Butterick pattern was no exception.

Pattern description:  Loose fitting blouse with or without self or lace neckline ruffle has self drawstring neckline and full-length raglan sleeves elasticised at wrist.

I first made this pattern in the 70's when I was around 19 years old, yes I know I am getting old.  I made up view D in the white with some lovely white lace and I LOVED that top and think I wore it on my first holiday abroad to Greece.

I had a couple of evenings spare last week and cut out this little shirt again to double up - first to wear to my D Mike's sister's birthday party and second to enter it into the PR Vintage contest and here is the result.

I made a minor change to the original pattern by adding a cuff to the sleeve so I could add some vintage buttons my sister picked up at a boot fair.  Other than that, I just followed the old instructions.

This is a really easy top to make - When I can find some deep lace similar to that in view D,  I will make this up again and really re-live my past ha ha - perhaps it will make me feel younger too - No, oh well only dreaming.

For the body part of this top I used a two tone soft black satin which has a gold shimmer going through it.  and a plain black chiffon for the sleeves and frill.

I am wearing this with my TNT pants made from McCalls 5239.  I added some double welt pockets to these using a faux leather.  I made the pocket bags extra long so I could pop my mobile phone in them but it sits lower down on my leg and doesn't great too much bulk around my tummy area (which doesn't need any extra help).

The top can be worn on or off the shoulders.

If you like my top, please vote for me on PR - thanks a lot.

Catch you later....................

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Chanel Jacket - P's journey (test jacket continued) - 4

Today I managed to get some more work done on my Chanel jacket.

I looked in my stash and couldn't find any trim that would match the fabric well enough so dashed to my local market to see what I could find.  The only colour was white, which I thought was too harsh against the autumn colours of the jacket so decided to dye it in some tea.

The picture above is just my test sample, but I was pleased enough with it to pop all of the trim in the tea for an hour or so.  I rinsed the trim out in some hot water a couple of times and then hung it on the line to dry.

Meanwhile I got on with interfacing each jacket piece.  I used some interfacing similar to the perfect fuse lite to give enough support to the jacket to stop it getting pushed out of shape.

I found some nice beige lining which I cut out to line the jacket, for the back piece I decided to omit the back seam and then stitched the first row of quilting stitches down the back seam.

Using my guide that came with the Bernina walking foot, I worked from the centre out stitching 1" apart.

Here you can take a preview of what the jacket back will look like after the quilting.

And here is the jacket from the front.

This is probably as far as I will get with the jacket today because we have my D Mike's  sister's 50th birthday party to go today, but I feel I have made good progress.

While I was out this morning I found some trim that goes with my Linton Tweed perfectly, so that was a real result.

I hope you are getting on with some of your own projects.

Catch you later.......................... 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Chanel Jacket - P's journey (test jacket) - 3

I feel like I have a ticking time bomb hanging over my head because I need to finish my test Chanel jacket so I can be brave enough to put scissors to cloth and make up some of my beautiful Linton Tweed fabric.

Before I continue please ignore some of the lay-out of this posting I am experimenting with Adobe and its too late for me to concentrate.  I hope to improve, so apologies.

Back to my post.  In my first Chanel jacket post I had cut my calico muslin, made a couple of adjustments for a FBA, and made the same adjustment on my pattern pieces (front piece only).

I looked in my stash for some fabric that would be similar to the Linton Tweed fabric, with a fairly open tweed and found this nice multi-coloured tweed.

I am using  Burda 7934 pattern for my jacket but this pattern doesn't have a sleeve vent, so using the instructions from "Jackets for Real People" I made my own vents as follows:-

Sew the two sleeve pieces together and then get ready to create your mitred sleeve vent.

Unfold and draw a line connecting the snips and the corner intersection of the hem and the vent fold lines as follows:-

Now turn to the right side, pinching the points between your forefinger and thumb and push corners out gently (use a point turner if necessary) and press again.

You should now have the perfect mitred corner - this works really well.

The only thing I would differently when I make my blue wedding jacket will be to make a deeper hem for the sleeve, thus giving a longer vent, but this is fine for this jacket.

I am not sure what trim I will use - I love this vintage trim that I have had for about 30 years or so, and may even use it for my blue Linton Fabric (not sure yet) - I just placed these here to give you an idea.

I am sure there are some of you out there thinking why start with the sleeve?  Well to be honest I made the adjustment on the pattern, cut out the sleeves in the fashion fabric and sort of got carried away.

Tomorrow I want to sew the back, side and front pieces together and the 2nd sleeve.  If I get a chance I may quickly run to the shops and see if I can find some trim - If I get going on this I want to try and finish it by Monday and all the shops will be shut.

We have had the most beautiful day here today, not as predicted, I hope you are all having fun if today was a bank holiday for you too.

Catch you later................

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Meeting Sewing Friends - The Netherlands

I had a planned business trip to The Hague this week so I dropped Sigrid an email and the lovely Sigrid and I met up to chat over dinner, exchange ideas, and of course for me to show her my bra making kit and pattern for her full appraisal.

If you haven't come across Sigrid - sewing projects blog I can't recommend it enough - she is a very talented sewer and makes bras that would be sitting comfortably in any high end lingerie shop and is equally talented in all other aspects of sewing - (jealous moi, no, well just a little) .

Sewing a bra is on my "to-do" list this year along with my Chanel jacket, jeans and now a shirt for my D Mike too (fabric and patterns purchased for all these projects).  I have to finish my Chanel jacket complete with a shift dress to wear for my sister's wedding on the 18th May, so I really only have around 4 weeks to complete that project.  You never know I may be able to wear the jacket, dress and underwear all made by moi for this wedding.

I don't get back from this trip until Wednesday night, so there will be no sewing for me now, probably  until the weekend, Friday and Monday - Saturday we have a party, and Sunday the family around which are both lovely events, but means I can't sew.

Just in case I don't get a chance over the weekend, I wish you all a fantastic Easter whatever you may be doing - don't eat too many chocolate eggs.

Right hotel food just turned up so Catch you later........................................

Monday, 2 April 2012

This and That

I feel like my feet haven't touched the floor since Friday morning.

I left the flat early Friday morning and got back to the cottage by 9:30am ready to log on to work.  Lunchtime I had to dash to the shops and purchase all the ingredients for my chocolate orange birthday cakes.

Friday evening was a massive cooking, cake decorating session creating my birthday cakes that were required for the party on Saturday - see earlier posts.

Saturday we drove to to London for Mike's brother-in-law's 50th birthday party, but we needed to go shopping first, and after the party, we drove to the flat to drop off our shopping (all too heavy to carry up on our bikes).

Sunday another manic day - at 10:30 am we had to drive 65 miles to collect Mike's youngest son and girlfriend (Harry's not Mikes) drive back about 20 miles to the restaurant that we had booked for his other son's 30th birthday lunch, this also happens to be at the venue we will be holding our wedding at next year.   While there we took a quick tour of the marquee they had in the grounds (we have booked a marquee for our reception) - another 6 mile trip to see Mike's other son, take Harry and his girlfriend home (another 30 miles) then back down the motorway towards the cottage, stopping briefly at my dear friends house to partake in the celebrations for her mother's 80th birthday.  Next stop was to my daughter's house, quick visit with the puppy, then on to my son's home to see them and my DGD - drop my daughter back to her house (she wanted to come too) and eventually I arrived home at 8:30pm..............Phew what a long day.

I was hoping to cut out my pattern for the bra that I am making because I am flying to Amsterdam this afternoon, and meeting up with the lovely Sigrid for dinner tonight, and it would have been great to show her my progress - sadly it may just be a paper pattern and the lace lol.  I am very excited about sitting down and having a lovely long chat again.

Well lots to do before I go.  Catch you all later..........................

Weight-loss Monday

Boo hoo, not a good week for me because my weight rose up by 1 pound.  Despite my efforts to walk a lot more, and last week I did loads enough to give me the biggest blister on my foot, I clearly ate too much cake (not really) and it has resulted in a one pound rise.

Not the end of the world you might say, but I want to lose 11lbs for my sister's wedding on the 18th May and we are now into April giving me less time to achieve this.

I need to get my "serious" diet head on.

Catch you later............