Friday, 26 August 2011

The best dressed nappy shelf in town.

No, this is not the first sign of madness. Really. When I first saw this:

I thought yes, yes, very pretty, but we have only three score years and ten, so I don't have time to crochet a trimming for a shelf.

Turns out I was wrong. Damn that beautiful Japanese styling.

I got a voucher from a dear friend for this lovely place for my birthday. So I bought some wool. And the wool seemed to ask me to make it into this. My new found Japanese skills made it all possible and really quite simple.

Unusually for me, I did not even change the colour combination, I was so smitten.

The cream and blue wool is made from milk fibre and it feels so soft, light and lovely. A real pleasure to hook with.

I blocked it out on a towel wrapped round a board for about three days. Enough time for quite a lot of comments of the questioning my sanity variety. But I don't care, I am used to those.

I used a lot of pins for the blocking and it worked a treat:

There are three other shelves in this room. I hope they are patient.

Very patient.

Monday, 15 August 2011

One piece blouse no.2

This is the second go at the One Piece Kimono Tee. The link from burdastyle is here. It's free! It's easy! Click on it and make a blouse really quickly! The internet is amazing!

This one did take longer than an hour though. I did a bit of fancy footwork, namely using my overlocker to do a bit of gathering on the sleeves. Mmm, that was fun. 

I also added a little button detail at the back of the neck. 

I had planned for this fabric (Liberty Tana lawn, bought as a remnant in the January sale) and these buttons to get together ages ago. I think the black birds (swallows?) cut through the pink nightie vibe a little. 

I again made binding and added it to the sleeves and neck. For these blouses I have been  cutting the binding correctly: actually on the bias. It works beautifully. I have also been sewing them in properly and again, revelation! If you follow instructions, things often turn out well.

Very pleased. Two new cotton blouses and no credit card abuse. I reckon it cost £12 for the pair. 

Perfect wear for this sticky, rainy and dramatic summer.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Dressmaking, after a fashion

I don't really enjoy dressmaking. I find it a bit too dry, endless and technical, and I have never been happy with the end result. I did a pattern-cutting course recently which confirmed all my fears.

I think I have also been scarred by some early precocious attempts at very complicated blouses, a sort of running-before-you-can walk enterprise that always backfires, like reading 'Lolita' aged thirteen and never understanding what the fuss was all about. I did that.

But, but. The temptation is always there: that you can choose a beautiful piece of fabric and make exactly what you want. Easy, right?

This temptation had me earmarking a couple of pieces of fabric for tops, but I still felt uninspired at the thought of the actual making. Searching for patterns did not help, so many or them seem stuck in the eighties - and not even the good, back again eighties - in a really odd way. The only nice ones I could find were in the US and very expensive when imported.! You get to pore through pages of garments people have made and make them yourself. And, most of them are free. And, and, they are really nice! Not all of them of course, but a lot of them.

My eye fell on the One Piece Kimono Tee, yes, One Piece. Perfect for a very lazy seamstress. 

And this is the result.

It is supposed to be in cotton jersey but I made it in cotton to give it a bit more shape and structure.

And it was a doddle. You could make this in an hour, honestly truly. This one was supposed to be the experimental attempt but I liked it so much I decided to keep it. I made some bias binding in the gingham and put it round the neck and sleeves, just to give it a bit more.

I just overlocked the raw edges - non-essential - and then sewed from underarm to waist. Amazing. It didn't even hurt. I am going to make a few more and am already thinking of how I could adapt it.

a year above the shop

a year above the shop