Sunday, 29 January 2012

You know it's time to tidy your sewing room...

...when you buy a basic jersey tube skirt that needs the elastic adjusting because it's easier than clearing a space to make one (which would take about 10 minutes if my sewing room wasn't quite so messy).

I know what my project is for the next week...

Friday, 6 January 2012

Alphabet quilt - finished at last

So, about 18 months after starting it, I've finally finished the alphabet quilt for my nephew - I gave it to my sister as part of her Christmas present.

Not much to say about the finished item, apart from that I'm really rather pleased with it. Although I might make the next one slightly smaller...


And back:

My sister loves it - although she's going to put it on the wall rather than the floor or bed until he's a little older.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Fabric goodies from London

I actually bought these at the beginning of November but hadn't got round to showing them here, so I thought I would put up a quick post for your enjoyment! These were all purchased from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road - and surprisingly it was the first time I'd actually been upstairs to the wools floor.

Actually, thinking about Classic Textiles, the last I heard I think there was a going to be a judicial review of the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market. Does anyone have any updates on what's happening?

L-R: Missoni(-style?) sweater knit, very lightweight wool jersey, wool/cashmere/mink blend coating, lightweight wool woven (I don't know what this type of fabric is called!)

These were all purchased with projects in mind (apart from the Missoni sweater knit, which I just couldn't pass up). The lightweight wool jersey is for a sweater dress, or possibly this top from BWOF:

The coating is for, surprisingly, a coat - although I think this will wait for later on this year for next winter, as I don't think I'll be able to get it done for this year. I also want to mull on what style of coat I want.

The plaid woven is to make a dress inspired by this dress from Monsoon:

I loved the use of the plaid on the bias, and the interesting seaming and volume added by the godet. Unfortunately when I tried it on, the cut was just bizarre and unflattering (on me at least). Then I saw this fabric, and realised it was meant to be!

Stay tuned to see if and when I get round to making all these...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Merry Christmas, review of 2011, Happy New Year

Just a warning, this will be another text- and list-heavy post...

Well, the last few months have been manic, to say the least. In the last three and a half months, I have been to Cornwall, New York, London, Liverpool, Reading, London again, and Liechtenstein. Whilst this has been super fun (and I've seen several good friends getting married in various places), it hasn't left much time for sewing and/or blogging. Well, I say not much time, but I think it's more that I have been lacking the energy and focus when I do have a chunk of time. It also hasn't helped that the entire flat looks like a bomb's hit it after several months of rapid-fire packing and unpacking, which isn't very conducive to creativity. The annoying thing is that I have vast quantities of ideas for what I want to sew, so it's been very frustrating!

Anyway, enough whinging...! I hope you all had lovely and relaxing Christmases? My husband and I spent Christmas in Liechtenstein with friends who moved there recently. It was lovely spending time with them, and it felt especially Christmassy as it was very snowy there! We spent the time eating, drinking, watching films, and we also did a bit of snow-shoeing, which was brilliant and took us through a very beautiful area.

I also made a lot of mince pies and Christmas biscuits to take with us...

Despite the last few months, I did a lot better in making things this year:

Seeing it all written down in a list like that is pretty satisfying, and helps me stop focussing on all the things I didn't do. I think the most disappointing thing was that despite having the opportunity to make many party dresses (several weddings and a ball - terrible film), I didn't finish any. I did wear a dress I made to one of the weddings, but it was one made earlier in the year. The doubleknit low-back frankendress and the wool ruffle-front dress were both intended to be wedding guest dresses, but didn't get finished. The doubleknit one is nearly done, but I didn't allow for the weight of the fabric stretching it, so when I sewed it together and put it on, it needed a vast number of alterations, which I couldn't face at the time (all the seams were serged...). As for the ruffly wool dress, I simply ran out of time to get it finished, but it does fit well and will be finished up to be worn in the new year.

So how did I do on my sewing resolutions?

  • Sew at least one item once a fortnight. In terms of numbers I did better than this: including unfinished and wadders, I think I sewed/knitted about 33 items this year! Of these, maybe 1/2 - 2/3 were successful and/or worn a lot, so that's not bad going.
  • Set myself sewing projects each month. Meh, this didn't really happen, it was more, "Quick, I have a couple of weeks to sew, let's make something - anything!"
  • Blog at least once a week. Blogging was spottier than I had hoped for, I often just found I didn't have the time to write the posts or take pictures. I'm planning to do a few catch up posts in the next few weeks.

In other sewing related activities, I took two courses at the London College of Fashion, saw an exhibition of vintage couture dresses, joined in with Me-Made-June '11 and Self-Stitched-September '11, visited the Garment District in New York, and joined a sewing group.

So, plans for this year...

  • Tidy and organise my sewing room - the lack of sewing time and rapid-fire switching between projects over the last few months means my supposedly calm "me-space" looks like a fabric and notions bomb has exploded all over the place.
  • Sew more coordinated garments (in a wardrobe sense, not matchy-matchy!), and more basic wardrobe fillers to give my outfits more versatility
  • Blog once a week
  • Sew one item a fortnight
  • Sew at least one item from each new issue of BWOF - I don't think I'm really making the most of my subscription at the moment
  • Finish up each item before starting the next!
  • Do some non-garment sewing - I have some household and accessory sewing that needs doing, which I've been putting off for a while
  • Sew a garment for someone else
I'm not making a list of "must-sew" items (at least not here), as it always seems to change according to how productive I've been, the weather, events coming up, my current mood... Maybe I'll do this at the beginning of each month.

So how has everyone else's year been? Hopefully happy and productive? Here's to a happy and productive 2012 too!