Sunday, 27 January 2013

Burda 126/7 dress and Vogue 7937 skirt.

I managed to catch up on my sewing this weekend, however if I took a leaf out of the Selfish Seamstress book, I wouldn't have repaired my D Mike's jeans, 3 sofa cushions that had split, and a large cushion too that was damaged by over enthusiastic, very large boys jumping on the sofa, and I probably would have got a lot more done.

Ho hum, having completed my repairs, I first finished my Vogue 7937 skirt which I cut out 2 weeks ago made from the same fabric that I made my grey trousers for my birthday suit.

Vogue 7937 is a Misses Semi-fitting, straight skirt, below mid-knee and has front princess seams and side zipper.  A and B: back vents, B: tab with button trim.  C: back pleats.  D: gored back and shaped hem.  I selected view D, gored back and shaped hem.

This is a really easy pattern to sew and I like the different effect of the gored hem, but I warn you there is quite a bit of hem to sew.

I used the same pattern pieces to make a lining too.  I don't like unlined skirts.

I highly recommend this pattern, its easy, and quick to sew.

Yesterday I posted that I had traced off BurdaStyle 02/2013-127 top, however I made a bit of a mistake.

I traced off the pattern pieces, added my 5/8" seam allowance using my clover tool (no I am not on any commission from this - I was just delighted how much easier it made the job), Decided that it was probably going to be ok size wise, and proceeded to lay out the 3 pattern pieces on my scant piece of blue cotton jersey fabric.  While cutting out the pieces I thought to myself " this is really rather long for a top", and then the penny dropped. The same pattern pieces are used for another 2 patterns in this magazine, one of which is a dress lol (I did the same with the sleeveless blouse I made) duhhhhhh.

I decided to continue with the full length version and see how it looked, and if I really hated it, I could chop off the skirt and use the fabric for something else.

This is a simple 3 piece pattern with gathered raglan sleeves.  Let me warn you - I ran out of fabric, because I cut out a dress instead of a top hmmmmm I know I am stupid, and had to shorten the sleeve length by about 4" however, they are still full-length on me (they are pushed up my arm too).  In the pattern, the sleeves are deliberately long, hence why they have used a lovely silk jersey in their photo so there isn't too much bulk when pushing them up the arm.

I have to say I love love the black version, and will find some appropriate fabric and try to recreate this whole look with the pearls soon - I even have exactly the same ribbon to make a belt they way they have.  In the meantime, my baby blue version, will be worn under a skirt (needn't have bothered with the lining) until I have lost some more weight.  Check out my DGD's pose - I said to her, do the pose and she copied me ha ha - she is so adorable (even if I do say so myself).

I will decide if I am going to wear this new ensemble next weekend when my D Mike and I go away with his parents for the weekend.

I highly recommend this Burda pattern - it is quick - just spend a little time on the gathers and you will be delighted with the results.  I did my own thing on the neck binding just using my overlocker and coverstitch machine.

Will I make it again - oh heck yes, and definitely in a nice black but as a top.  The gathers on the sleeves make this just a little different.  The dress version actually has a frill running down the front, which might be worth trying too.

I am really starting to love my BurdaStyle patterns- and as you saw from my last post, there are lots in this February issue that I want to make.

I hope you have had a good sewing weekend.  Catch you later.........

BurdaStyle & my Clover Tracing Wheel

Today I managed to complete my grey skirt I cut out nearly 2 weeks ago, but I will post that tomorrow with some pictures.

My last post showed a number of items from the BurdaStyle Magazine for February that I loved, and I wanted to cut out something quick that I could run up tomorrow before lunch so decided on
this simple little top 02/2013/127.

A few weeks back I told you about my new little tool, the Clover Double Tracing Wheel, and this was the first chance that I had to try it out.  I thought I would do a quick little video clip for you to see how easy it is.  

Someone, somewhere in a blog mentioned using the sewing machine to stitch around the pattern piece and then tearing away the extra paper where the machine had perforated it, but I actually found the double tracing wheel easier (I tried both ways).

Tomorrow I need an early start to finish my top which I have cut out in a nice baby blue cotton jersey,  before the kids turn up for lunch, but I hope to show you the completed top with my skirt.

Hope you have had a good weekend.  Catch you later.............

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

BurdaStyle Magazine 02/2013

I arrived home today to be greeted by my Burda Style magazine, and boy there are some lovely pieces in there.

They are clearly embracing the Twenties styles which they quote as being the epitome of sophistication, and having decided on a Art Deco theme wedding, I have to agree.  Here is a selection of my pick of the day so to speak, and you can see they have come up with some lovely B&W outfits.

There are quite a few nice pieces in this issue, but these are the ones that particularly float my boat and I have just the right fabric for most of these:-

I hope you are doing lots of sewing, I hope to get going tomorrow evening.

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

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A day with Valentino - a review of the exhibition

The only tickets available for the Valentino exhibition today were the 10-12:00hrs slot, so we went for it and boy I was glad I did.

The snow meant that Somerset House wasn't heaving with people today, so we were able to mooch around the expo admiring the workmanship of the beautiful clothes without being pushed and shoved from piller to post, which it was like when I went to see the Grace Kelly exhibition.

For those of you who are not able to get to see this fabulous exhibition, I recommend that you go on the Valentino Garavani website and download the free 3D software to get a 360 view of what we saw today.  There is also a great video of behind the scenes access to the Valentino atelier (workshop or studio often used by a designer), which I stood and watched for ages, as they demonstrated various hand sewing techniques to create some of the effects in these ornate garments.

Anyone who sews will be in awe of the painstaking detail of these  couture dresses, two dresses in particular highlighted was the black and white dress worn by Julia Roberts as she collected her Oscar in 2001 and Jackie Onassis’s wedding dress from 1968Its amazing that these intricate gowns/costumes are diligently sewn by hand, apparently taking hours and sometimes days to complete.

There was a great display case with a number of drawings and sketches of his designs,  some with colour swatches attached to them. In another area, were many letters including one from Jackie Onassis, members of the Royal family, along with many other famous names.  FYI the sketches are also shown on the website I gave the link to above.

Our guidebook handed to us as we entered the first chamber had details about each dress, together with little glossary of terms so people would know what they were referring to.

My D Mike bought me a copy of the book you see above, on sale in the ubiquitous gift shop, which of course you have walk through in order to exit the exhibition.  This is a lovely memento of a lovely day together.

My head is spinning with ideas now, and I want to do it all!!!!!!

If you are in London, and you have an hour or so to spare, then book your tickets, its well worth the £12.50 entrance fee.

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

Friday, 18 January 2013

Wedding Dresses & Bridesmaid shoes

Ok, so I still have to lose some more weight to reach my target, but I took the opportunity to try on a wedding dress today.

There is a shop, close to the flat in London that sell wedding dresses by the designer I like, and who I am taking my inspiration from, so thought  I would try one on.  I am glad I did, because I made a few mental changes to my original plan (but still in keeping with the Art Deco theme).

What I can say, is the dress is beaded, and I have now ordered some bugle beads and small round beads, so that I can try out some beading using a tambour hook.  Sadly I couldn't find a tambour hook for sale on the internet, so the nearest thing I could find, that is very similar, is one that is used to weave real hair extensions (lets hope it works), however I am worried that the hook may be too large for the tiny bugle beads.  If any of you know where to get a tambour hook, please let me know, but I have ordered 6mm beads.

I have found some shoes that two of my bridesmaid like, so have ordered them - the third adult bridesmaid (the others being young children) is very tall, and said that they were far too high for her, so will go for a flat pair.

I also found some Art Deco inspired earrings, so have also ordered those.  I am inching my way forward, but there is still so much to do.

My Friend cancelled her trip to come and stay with me this weekend because of the snow, so I will have to drag my D Mike out with me if we decide to go tomorrow.

Hope you are all doing something wonderful this weekend.

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

Valentino: Master of Couture

Hi everyone, we are all still bracing ourselves for the weather to get worse here in the UK, and this issue may thwart plans for my friend to travel up to London from the country and spend the weekend with me, so we could go to some exhibitions.

There are two at the moment that I would love to see, the first is the Valentino: Master of Couture Expo currently at Somerset House in London running from Thursday, 29th November 2012 - Sunday 3rd March 2013, and as I look at the booking site, there are tickets available for tomorrow - yippee.

The second expo that interests me is the Hollywood Costumes expo at the Victoria and Albert museum.

 Sadly all the advance tickets are sold out, and you just have to queue on the day in the hope to buy tickets.  The downside of this is that, (a) you many not be able to buy tickets for the day, and (b) if you can buy tickets, your tickets are for a time slot, which could be any time during the day.  This means if all the morning tickets have sold out, you would need to find something else to do in the area until your time-slot comes round.

I am waiting for my friend to confirm her plans, but listening to the weather forecasts as I type this, it is unlikely she will come, so I have already told my D Mike he may be required to come the expo with me, thankfully he is a darling and said he was happy to go with me (that's true love) ha ha.

Watch this space and you will know the results.

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

Monday, 14 January 2013

Alana taking Bentley for a walk

I couldn't resist sharing this picture with you of Alana my 2.5 year old granddaughter taking Bentley, my daughter's Great Dane (who was 1 year old on 1st January 2013) for a walk in the woods over Christmas.  Not sure why he has the demonic eyes - probably due to bad photography.

When Bentley first became a member of the family, Alana was taller than him lol.  Alana adores Bentley, however has learnt to duck at the appropriate times when he dashes around with his tail wagging, which is a weapon in its own right.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My birthday suit

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to complete an ensemble to wear for my birthday dinner last night, and as promised here are the pictures taken in the hotel that we stayed at, and its also the same hotel we will be married in May. Check out that mirror that was in our bedroom , and the chairs in the hotel lounge, just love them.

I am wearing my McCalls 6441 jacket, blogged about here together with my silk BurdaStyle blouse blogged about here,  grey trousers, blogged about here, what you can't see is my bra blogged about here, self-made panties (not blogged about).  The only things I didn't make were my shoes, belt and bag :-)

We had a lovely evening, at our favourite restaurant, and for that I have thank my D-Mike.

I have cut out the pieces for my next picture which I have brought to work on in the flat, and I have also cut out a skirt from the same grey fabric as my trousers, but I really didn't have enough time to do any more than that this weekend, so that will have to wait a couple of weeks before I get a chance to do any more clothes sewing.

I hope you have had a good weekend.  It has turned very cold here in London, and cycling through the city on our bikes this evening proved rather chilly brrrrrrrrrr.  Snow is forecast, and I know some of you guys have already had the snow for quite a few weeks now, but I am really really not looking forward to it.

That's all from me, catch you later.................

Friday, 11 January 2013

Another birthday for me and my twin

Well another year has passed and today I celebrate my birthday with my twin sister. So what plans for me today.

Well work unfortunately and then my twin is cooking dinner for us all tonight.  Tomorrow we are off to stay in the same hotel we are to be married in in May, which includes dinner at their wonderful restaurant, always a great treat.  If I am lucky I may even be able to squeeze in a treatment in their spa.

I need to hem my grey trousers in the morning ready to take away my ensemble made especially for my birthday.

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

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Pictures now framed

Hi everyone

I picked up my pictures from the framer today and here they are.  Sorry about the glass reflecting with the flash, but I think its clear enough for you to see.  The frames are a pewter colour, the photo is suggesting they are gold, but I'll take some more pictures once they are in their final hanging destination.

I am thrilled with them, and am seriously thinking of doing a 3rd one.

These will be hung in the flat in London on a white wall, so should create quite an impact.

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

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My new toy - double tracing wheel

Hi everyone I hope you have been having a good week.  Its only Wednesday and already I have been to The Netherlands and back again, and driven a 120 mile round trip to get into the office today so I am pleased to be sitting on my sofa.

When I got home I had a very small package waiting for me, and I am so pleased that I found this available in the UK from a vendor on Amazon.

I had never heard about this particular tool before - I have a single tracing wheel which I use to mark my fabrics, but this tool was highlighted by Pam Howard in her Craftsy class on the "Classic Tailored Shirt" and I thought it would be the ideal companion to my Burda magazines when adding in my seam allowances, because the patterns you trace off don't include them.

If you haven't already realised, and I am sure you have, the two wheels are adjustable, and you can move them into the appropriate hole that represents the seam allowance you want to add.  This allows you to follow the outline of the pattern with one wheel while the 2nd wheel follows alongside, but 5/8" or whatever seam allowance you want away from the first.

I'll let you know how I get on with it when I trace off my next pattern.

Thats all from me, and I'll catch you later........

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Grey Trousers finished (nearly)

I am pleased to say that I have finished (nearly) my trousers to make up my ensemble for the weekend, and I think the grey works really well with the green jacket.  Excuse the "50 shades of grey" title - its a book that is currently a big hit in the UK and I guess I just couldn't resist using it here - for those of you who don't know this book - just google it.

Sadly my photographer took himself off to London so I didn't have him here to take some picture of the complete outfit, but I did what I could using my cutting table and a mirror photograph of me wearing the trousers.

This is my normal TNT trouser/pant pattern,  McCalls 5239 which I am pleased to say I have gradually adjusted to compensate for my weight loss. 

The fabric seems to be a wool blend which I purchased from Walthamstow market, and hangs beautifully. 

I decided to add a splash of colour for the inside of the waistband which brightens the whole thing up.

I only need to sew the hem, and add a button and I am done, and I have the rest of the week to do that.

Thank you for your comments on my birthday cards, and birthday wishes to my daughter who really enjoyed her roast beef, as did we all.

Thats all from me I am off to bed.  Catch you later.........................

Birthday's, cards and sewing plans

First I have to start this post my wishing my baby happy birthday - I can't believe my she is 26 years old today - my where does the time go.  She is now expecting her first baby in May, adding to our ever growing brood.

This morning was dedicated to cooking a roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for Lauren's birthday lunch, so it was difficult for me to start any sewing.

I wanted to make birthday cards (another hobby of mine) for both her and my twin sister for next week so I decided to dig out my card making equipment and sit at the kitchen table and make some cards.  For these particular cards I used decoupage kits, which is somewhat quicker than cutting out all of the layers with a very sharp knife, so they were just an assembly job.  I want to clear some of the space in the cabinet where these are stored so decided to make up two whole kits, resulting in about 20+ cards that are ready to go as and when I need them.

Here is a snapshot of some of the cards I made, sadly you can't see the 3D effect, but these should keep me stocked up for the ladies who need cards for a little while.

As mentioned yesterday I wanted to complete an outfit to wear for my birthday next weekend so I have cut out some grey fabric to make a pair of trousers/pants.  This fabric (probably purchased in Walthamstow) has a sort of knit texture to it and I thought it would also lend itself well to the Kwik Sew 2948 cardigan, in one of its longer versions to create a softer looking suit that I could wear for work.

So its cut out, and I just need to thread my sewing machine and serger with grey thread.

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

Saturday, 5 January 2013

BurdaStyle 09/2011 Sleeveless blouse #128

I managed to get my blouse finished today, but I confess that it took me longer to decide on the right pattern than it did to make the blouse.

My biggest problem was the amount of fabric I had to work with.  I purchased the beautiful silk at the same time I bought my lime-green wool cashmere blend, but it was only 1.5 yards at 45" wide which restricted what I could get out of the scant amount of fabric.

After a great deal of deliberation, and searching through my BurdaStyle magazines I finally selected the 2nd garment I have now made from the September 2011 issue in this sleeveless blouse #128.

I traced off the pattern, added my seam allowances, did a fair amount of head-scratching over the collar section but basted everything and tried it on Edna before feeling comfortable enough to sew and after all my efforts this is what I have produced.

You can just make out a small oval green dot that runs through the fabric, matching the green of the jacket perfectly.

You can use the same pattern to extend this and make a dress in the same style which I may do some time in the future.

This is a lovely light blouse, the pure silk feels quit sumptuous, and while I would have liked to have added sleeves as we are in our winter months here, sadly I didn't have enough fabric.  This will be fine wearing the jacket, but also ideal for warmer weather too.

there are no darts to worry about as the pleats create enough fullness to cover the bust area.

Now on to the pants or skirt to complete the outfit.

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

Friday, 4 January 2013

Teacakes that turned into a fruit loaf

I may have mentioned before that I make my own bread, and today I needed to make a loaf.

I made my dough for the bread and put it on to rise, and after the first rise, I decided to make some tea cakes (as per Paul Hollywood's recipe).  I had the recipe book open and weighed out the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and then looked at the recipe and saw it needed 3 eggs, warm milk, butter etc., so proceeded to add the rest of the ingredients.  I was looking at the mixture thinking that it looked a little wet and then realised the error!!!!!  My page had flipped over and I had made a hybrid of the two recipes.

The Fruit loaf required other fruits and dried peel which I didn't have, so invention being the mother of necessity, I added the mixed spices, extra sultanas and some more flour to make it less wet.

Here are some pictures of the what I intended making and what I did make.

I have tried one of the smaller teacakes (which are still large) topped with some lemon icing and it was yummy - I hope they last until tomorrow/Sunday because no good for my diet, but well worth making.

Below is a picture of a plaited loaf I made earlier in the week.  I wanted to try an 8 plait loaf, but sadly I just gave up and turned it into a 3 plait loaf - perhaps next time.  This is a combination of white and wholewheat flour with mixed seeds that I just throw into the mix and onto to the top before baking.

Now on to finding a pattern to sew my birthday blouse.

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

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Embroidered pictures sent for framing and thoughts for a birthday outfit

Today was the first day back at work and it sort of came as a bit of a shock to the system after having a few days off.

While I beavered working away on my trusty laptop, my No.1 son came to the house to lay down a new floor in my bedroom and study.  I took advantage of the New Year sales and purchased the new flooring at a 40% reduction (as you know I always like a bargain).  Of course new flooring involved moving beds, furniture etc etc which is a bit of a pain.  The bedroom floor is finished and the study will be completed tomorrow (a nice new year present for me) but very much needed as the old carpets had seen better days over the past 10 years or so.

Lunchtime my D Mike and I popped out to the picture framer to get my embroidered pictures framed.  I am still trying to get over the cost of the new frames £64 for the two, but from what I could see when we laid the mount and sample frame over the pictures, it will make the pictures look good.  I have to wait until the 11th until they will be ready, but I hope it will be worth the money.

My thoughts are now heading towards a birthday outfit for the weekend after next.  My D Mike is taking me to our favorite hotel and I would like something new to wear.  I am trying to be a little practical in my thoughts and make something that goes with an item I made recently.

You may recall my green jacket  McCalls 6441,  when I purchased this fabric, I also bought some beautiful silk fabric that complimented this fabric perfectly from the same vendor.  I am thinking about making perhaps a blouse and either navy, black or grey trousers or a skirt to make up the outfit.

No sewing for me tonight, but perhaps I can get going tomorrow.

Catch you later.....

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

First sewing of 2013

Brace yourself,  my first sewing session of 2013 is not going to have the wow factor, but sew I did.  Yep more underpants.  These are quick to sew, I think I made two pairs for my D Mike and a pair of panties for me in about 1.5 hours.

As you can see from the close-up of the stitching I used the reverse side of my cover-stitch on all the seams giving a good external finish, the same as the RTW pair that I copied to make these pants.

So these two make a set of 6, I have now used up all my wide elastic, and need to get some more ordered, but they are easy to make and a fraction of the designer pair I copied.

I hope you all had a wonderful evening last night - ours was spent cuddled up on the sofa watching TV - sounds boring to some, but it was perfect for us.

Back to work tomorrow boo hoo..... Catch you later......