Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Crafty Happenings - Week 7


Good grief, this is late ... I don't even have time to make excuses to myself!

Right, I have one Finished Object:

Another tote bag using the free Craftsy pattern
 This is for my wonderful friend H - it is her birthday on Friday
She's always wanted to have a sweet shop - a proper old fashioned one with jars
This fabric, picked up in Goldhawk Road a couple of weeks ago, is perfect
And another quick turn around on the stash fabric

Then there was some Planning:

I signed up to this Craftsy class forever ago
Finally got round to watch the class all the way through - I knew I needed to do that rather than rush in
And picked out my size - OK I know that's little progress but it is progress!

And printed off all the pdfs I've downloaded recently
I know that, technically, this is a terrible photo but I used it because it proves that the sun shone here last weekend :)

And then I made a start on a Project:

This is the start of a blanket for my friends' new baby

And this will be a laundry bag and taggy blanket
I bought this fabric in San Francisco (Stone Mountain & Daughters actually - all very exciting!), I had exactly this project in mind because I found out on this very day that my friends were expecting their second baby.

And, last but not least, an award:

One Small Stitch

Dani, who blogs over here, very kindly nominated me for the Leibster Award.
I've been fortunate enough to be nominated before, I did answer the questions the first time and then totally bottled it when Kathryn nominated me.
But there are 2 aspects to these awards that I love:
1.  You get to find blogs that are new to you - so please link to the posts above if you want to find some great new bloggers and
2.  I'm nosey and love to read the answers people give to their questions.  So, I'm going to answer Dani's here - it's not fascinating, don't say I didn't warn you!
What was your best holiday ever?
Oh without a doubt my honeymoon in Portugal - Paul and I got married in 2005, second marriage for both of us.  We wanted to do something different, not the 3-ring circus of stress we'd seen often.  We got married in the UK so that immediate family and friends could be with us and then we went on honeymoon with 14 of the people closest to us. Straight from the ceremony, in a coach to the airport, in our wedding finery (tiaras, bouquets, the lot).  It was my birthday - the other passengers on the plane congratulated us and sang Happy Birthday to me!  We had a ball.  In fact, next April we're doing it all again for our 10th anniversary - except there will be more of us this time as babies have been born, people have got married, life has moved on.  I am so excited I can't express it adequately, a great group of people I love with all my heart on holiday together again :)
What is something that comes easily to you?
Communicating!  I'm a talker, and if I'm passionate about something then prepare to hear all about it.  There's a standing joke at work about my invisible soap box - don't get me started! I love helping other people understand stuff, training and teaching new things.  And I'm absolutely not an aural learner so I am really enthusiastic about working to different learning styles.  I probably should have had a different career in all honesty.
What is your favourite thing about your home?
Our bedroom - we extended the house a few years ago and I love the room, it's really light and bright and we have a great big sleigh bed and I've wanted one of those since I was a little girl.  I love, love, love my bed - I'm a bit of a dormouse.
Of course, my craft room is a close second :)
Early bird or night owl?
Probably night owl by inclination but I have to be an early bird!
Who was your first crush?
David Cassidy - The Partridge Family - loved it!
What two things do you want to do before you die?
I don't have a list - there are loads of things I'd love to do and I'm totally open to ideas I might not have had yet.
What makes you laugh?
Oh goodness, loads of things - my family, our cats, The Big Bang Theory, Fawlty Towers, Billy Connolly.  I'm not a fan of slapstick - I think I'm most amused by the ridiculous.
What was the best decision you ever made?
To have my children - they've taught me all the important stuff I needed to learn.
What are you most afraid of?
I can't even type that - can't tempt fate and put it into words.
On a very superficial level - mice and rats - yuck!
What three wishes would you request from a genie?
Funnily enough this isn't the first time I've been asked this question recently and so I've really thought about it and the answer is I wouldn't wish for anything.  I am very fortunate and have more love and security in my life than I ever imagined would be possible.  I'd give the wishes to someone who needed them.
What is the most essential thing you've learned so far?
On a practical level - learning to drive, totally broadened my opportunities.
On an emotional level - that you can't do it all, and it won't all be perfect, that good enough is absolutely fine. I need to remind myself of this pretty often!
Thanks Dani - remember to go and check out the blogs that she recommended :)


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Vintage Pattern Bingo or Fabric Match?

OK, my Final 21

Now to be clear, these are not necessarily all my favourites, some of those didn't make the Final Cut because I'm focusing on patterns I think I might make multiples of, that don't need massively grading, that have a definite place in my daily wardrobe right this very minute.

I'll go back for those in the future, when I've got to grips with vintage patterns a bit more and think I've got a fighting chance of doing them justice.

That said, I want to make all of these, I love all of these and I think they've
got a place in my life, right here, right now :)

Dressing Gowns/Robes:

Here's the thing - I desperately need a new dressing gown - I'm envisaging a crisp cotton for spring/summer.
My instinct is to make the Simplicity one but I've included the Butterick in this final selection because I'm determined to use fabric already in my stash and that may work better - basically I'm keeping my options open.
The Simplicity men's robe was purchased for my brother Qui Gon Jinn - I've owed him this for months, we even went to Goldhawk Road to buy the fabric together
If I'm honest it's the steaming of 5 metres of wool that's putting me off!
Anyway, I also bought fabric to make one for P so I have 10 metres of fabric in my stash to make 2 men's robes - that's a lot of steaming! 
When I made my Harry Potter cape it took me the whole of 'Hello Dolly' stood in front of the TV.  I might get through a box set of dvds prepping fabric for my brother and husband!
I should get on with it.  My brother definitely wants the double-breasted version, P not so much I don't think.  Having the Butterick pattern in this Final 21 gives P other options.


I love blouses - I can't make a decision between any of these, I
love them all for different reasons
I didn't realise until I put the photos together that they are all,
each and every one of them, Style patterns



These skirts look pretty similar but there are differences and I love a classic skirt
I think the New Look/Maudella pattern could be super for work - kind of a
more casual suit.  I really like View 1 with the different fabrics

I'm determined to make a knit top, it's on my 'to do'
 - I do love the batwing shape, if I make it with a vintage pattern
I can cross off 2 for the price of 1 garment!



I love the Style pattern for work, I think it would be a really
useful addition to my work wardrobe.  I'd be brave enough to tackle this
now I have a machine that doesn't chew buttonholes!
And the Simplicity pattern is so lovely, both styles, but I'd probably make the
shirtdress (View 2), I do not have the figure for the nipped in waist/full skirt sadly

I was lucky enough to get both of the patterns above in last year's Sew Weekly Reunion Swap
Barbara sent them to me with lots of other goodies.
I wanted to make both but I didn't have the right fabrics in my stash to fit in with the Pantone theme
I think I would make the lilac version (View A, short) of the Fit & Flare dress and
the long-sleeved, short version (View B) of the McCalls pattern 

I think View 3 (yellow) of the Style pattern is gorgeous for the summer
I'm actually torn about the Butterick.  My instinct is A, probably because the picture is polka dots!
My Girlie wants me to make her View B, she loves the sleeves - I'm not sure if I'm
feeling unselfish enough to sew it for her!

I have both of these in mind for work wear - gorgeous
I love the neckline of the Style pattern and the whole ensemble of the Butterick

These are more casual - I'm be aiming for the maxi version of the News of the World pattern, I really like that it's a zip front
I plan to make the short sleeved version of the Woman's Weekly pattern, I'm thinking
about fabric combinations.

And frankly I have absolutely no idea where I would wear this but I think
it is absolutely beautiful, View 1 I think for me
So now I need to decide how to proceed with my limited selection:
I don't know whether to play Vintage Pattern Bingo.  Basically this is a bit like exactly copied from Sarah Liz's Lucky Pattern Game, I would give them all a number and select at random.
Or I can go through my stash and figure out which of these I already have suitable fabric for - thus removing the need to do any more fabric shopping!
I'm really not sure which approach to take - think I'll sleep on it :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Final Cut - So Brutal

Goodness me this is tough, I'm being proper hard core.
These are my semi-finalists - I am having to be really, really strict. 

I love Marie's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge - it's really made me focus.

More rejects ...

Not a priority but I love it, I want to be wafting
around in a girlie nightie, not lolling about in my pjs!

I definitely need this car coat in my life but I don't
have anything even vaguely suitable in my stash -
it's reversible so I need to buy very specifically

I'm ruling it out because of the neckline but I need this
scalloped hemline in my wardrobe

Love it but do I need a sleeveless jacket? 
Not terribly practical - I've got another pattern that
will work better for me

I suspect this might not be flattering on me - I'm not exactly willowy!
But I love the sleeveless/with collar version so much and
I would stand exactly like the illustration - all the time!

Very similar silhouette to the vintage pattern I've made 4 times before
so I'm ruling it out but at some point I need to make this long sleeved version with the
fur collar
I am definitely not 'junior' - one that's perhaps a bit young for me
Perhaps my daughter would like them

Perhaps I'm pushing it with a 'junior & teen' pattern when I'm
rapidly approaching 50 although I do love the
red version with the obi style belt

I have another sundress I want to make more than this one
so it's on the back-burner

I want to save this until I'm more experienced with vintage patterns because
it's a beauty

This stunning Valentino pattern deserves to be made on it's own,
the focus, the star - not part of a bigger plan
I think I'm actually in love with this pattern :)

So I'm down to the final 21 - I can manage with that number

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Crafty Happenings - Week 6

Happy Sunday - I hope wherever you are the weather isn't too awful.  We've had terrible rain and high winds but the flooding is only in the centre of town and few properties are effected.  We've been really lucky.
OK, weekly, crafty round-up:

Finished Objects:


I saw some embroidered napkins here
I actually found the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial here for a self-binding baby blanket
made much more sense for me when it came to figuring out the corners. 

 I had a little bit of a play with the embroidery stitches on my machine
Inner fabric was from Britex when we were in SF in November
Outer fabric was part of last week's haul
 This is a total result - getting stuff in and out of the stash in a week :)

Tote Bag:

For me - exactly the same as I made for my Mother at Christmas
- this has been 85% done since the second week of December, nice
to have it finished


P and I went here on Monday - it was even his idea!
We were looking for fabric for our bedroom curtains -
no joy so far but I didn't come home empty handed
9 metres of blackout curtain lining in cream
- £3.50 per metre I think

White polka dot print cotton for a quilt I'm planning
- £5 per metre
Would you believe it, more dots!
£1.50 per metre, practice knit

A ponte knit for my Kitschy Coo Lady Skater dress
- £4.50 per metre

Oh good grief would you look at that - more polka dots
 - a bargain knit to practice with, I want a batwing sleeved top
£1.50 per metre

I loved this floral - 3 metres of the print & the lining fabric
£10.50 in total

A fun cotton - this is for a gift for my friend,
she always wanted to have an old-fashioned sweet shop!

Some bits and bobs from the shops in Goldhawk Road
and the stalls in Shepherds Bush market
Terrible photo but the only one I remembered to take!
I won a bunch of vintage baby crochet patterns on ebay,
they're delightful
No, you're not seeing things - 25p each

A bunch of zips I picked up in The Fabric Warehouse yesterday
- yep, we're still looking for curtain fabric
- no, we still don't have any!

Sew Along:


I decided to join in with Marie's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge this week.
I think this is a fabulous idea.

I've spent a lot of time photographing and sorting patterns to have a manageable choice.
I've saved them all on their own blog page - this is actually really helpful so I'll do it with my other patterns at some point.

My commitment is 4.

I'm nearly at the final stage of weeding out.

That's it for me this week