Inspiration, schminspiration

Where you do draw sewing inspiration from? I’m almost out of fabric at the moment, and won’t be buying any more before payday, so am spending some time gathering ideas for future projects. And there are so much brilliant stuff out there!

Blogs: Yesterday I tripped over Oh, She Dabbles and was blown away by all her Scout tees, including this dress version: Continue reading

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Coco and the curse of the sewing needle

So, yesterday was the #sewingcoco party. Missing that boat, I’d like to imagine myself arriving with a load of bloody Mary’s, and brunch to all the party hard’ers…

I was so cocky. I had my fabric pieces cut out, and thought it would be a simple exercise of sewing them together last night and then write a smug blog post about it. Man was I wrong. The pattern was perfect, but I ended up in needle hell after my Prym stretch needles wreaked havoc with my Janome. I spent a good hour sewing and ripping, sewing and ripping.. I won’t repeat them here, but I do think I invented some pretty good swear words in the process.

These are not acceptable stitches:

Needle-hell Continue reading

Sorbetto silk top

I didn’t have a lot of time to sew this weekend, in-between a choir workshop and car buying (!), but I did manage to finish off my first Sorbetto last night.

I used the vintage silk I bought the other weekend, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The colours are very cheerful, and perfect for spring. I originally planned  to use the silk for the front panel on a slightly more loosely fitted top, and use a different fabric for the back, since I didn’t have that much of the fabric. But after asking for  advise on Twitter, both Rachel and  and Anna kindly suggested it might be a little bit tricky combining silk with heavier fabrics. Being new at this, I decided to heed their warning! I didn’t want to ruin the pretty fabric… Continue reading

Sewing: Time and money

The problem with becoming obsessed with sewing, it that it takes tiiiime. I’ve recently had a few nights where I’ve been at it until 1am, only noticing the time when I’ve ripped up the same seam 5 times and my boyfriend starts suggesting  that ‘it might be time to go to bed….’.

It’s also pretty darn expensive. I’ll write another time about all the stuff I have…. erm… ‘had’ to to buy for my newfound hobby. I’m dreading adding up the numbers, but I think it would be interesting to see how much the essentials , and also how much all the ‘nice to have’ extras cost.

Earlier this week, I posted a photo of my Madeleine skirt on Facebook and got a few comments from friends along the lines of ‘can you make one for me’? I would absolutely love to make clothes for people – and to charge for it. But my potential customers would have to consider the following: Continue reading

Madeleine skirt from Victory Patterns

I am so incredibly happy with this Madeleine skirt from Victory Patterns. I think this length is very hit and miss for someone who is 6ft tall, and of a ‘powerful’ build (my friends don’t call me Hagrid for nothing..) but thankfully it works. I was tooing and froing over what material to use, and finally settled on a really soft and lovely dark blue cotton twill that won’t be too hot to wear in the summer. I bought this together with some pretty golden buttons from Dalston Mill Fabrics.

I know I haven’t exactly been very creative my choice of colours for this pattern, but blue fabric with a dark yellow thread for the top stitch just felt like the obvious choice. I used some lovely vintage cotton fabric that I bought this weekend as pocket lining.

I really enjoyed sewing this skirt. The instructions were incredibly clear, and the only thing I struggled with was the waistband button hole, which was being a bit of a arsehole. Anyway, I got there in the end (at 1am last night…)! This is definitely a pattern I can recommend to other newbies like myself.

We the sewing - Madeleine skirt 1 Continue reading

Fabric shopping

That’s it. No more fabric this month. It’s either that or live off porridge…

Shopping clothes used to be my monthly guilty spend, but now that’s been replaced with buying fabric and haberdashery instead. I actually think being fabricoholic (yeah that word doesn’t really work…) is worse – you just have way more options than you have on the highstreet.

Today all my money went to Dalston Mill Fabrics and The Shop on Cheshire Street. It was my first time visiting both after reading about them on yes i like that. I was slightly overwhelmed by Dalston Mill Fabrics. It’s the kind of place where you need a LOT of time to look through the floor to ceiling high stacks, and a reasonable budget. I wanted to buy some wool fabric for my Madeleine skirt, but thanks to £17/m I quickly changed my mind and bought some really lovely cotton twill instead (£7.70/m).

I also got some knit fabric and lace for my Coco. I bought the pattern yesterday and am hoping to have time to get it done for the big Coco Party! I think it will have to be a top for me. A Coco dress would look near indecent on someone my height…

My favourite purchases of the day, however, is without a doubt from The Shop. I found some beautiful patterned silk (1.45 x 0.92 m) for just £6.50 which I think I will use to make the front piece of a top.

Silk fabric from The Shop on Cheshire street

Silk fabric from The Shop on Cheshire street

Continue reading

Claudia Winkleman

Yes I watch the Great British Sewing Bee. I completely missed out last year as I don’t own a TV, and generally don’t watch anything other than series I get hooked on, movies on Netflix etc. Also I hadn’t actually started sewing last year when the show was airing. But this year I am on it like a dog on a bone.

I am without a doubt on team Chinelo. I love how she drafts her own patterns and her use of bold colours and fabric patterns (I wish I was as brave…). And in addition she’s promoting an African tradition brought down to her from her aunt, which is refreshingly counter to our wester obsession with printed patterns and rules.

But, back to the topic of this blog post. Has anyone else noticed the amazingly tailored coats that Claudia’s been wearing? I’ve been scouring the web for a  picture of my favourite, a very masculine black coat jacket, which she wears with the collar turned up, but unfortunately I can’t find a photo of it. Below is another good example…

Claudia Winkelman Continue reading