Just a quickie from me, is there anything in the world more annoying than this?
Putting together PDF patterns – GRRRR
I’ve always hated jigsaws and this is basically a big old puzzle. But I am a cheapskate and I do hate waiting for things to arrive in the post!
I’ve treated myself to some new PDF’s so my evening is filled with sellotaping bits of paper together while sat on a cold hard floor and trying to discourage my dogs from having a pee on this giant inviting piece of paper I’ve put on the floor ( and it is raining outside)
A group of us from Bristol Sewing Club whizzed up the M5 yesterday for a fabric buying extravaganza!
If you’ve never experienced the 50p a meter stalls at the Market I can’t brag it up enough to you.
There’s tonnes of stalls there selling fabric ranging in price from 50p a meter to £10 a meter. Haberdashery ( 60p Moon Thread) all kinds of notions a world of furnishing fabric, basically tonnes – too much to mention.
There was a lot of people there and if you do find yourself getting lost maybe you could indulge yourself in the fun little game Laura brought to the table, in a nutshell, if anyone’s lost you yell out SHAAAARK, and then pop your hand on your head like a shark’s fin – everyone is soon found! We (I) decided to call the group who came in the other car the Jets, I don’t know if they had a rocket-based method of finding each other – if they didn’t they should have, that was fun!
Anyway back to fabric,
One of my favourite stalls there, Prestige Fabrics – who claim on their sign their fabric is so good it sells itself, even sells online ( although it is more expensive) have a look Here.
I got these these beauties at their stall in the Market and they are obviously destined to be dresses, for Superman I’m feeling a possible Emery bodice with a circle skirt and for my 50’s movie stars I’m thinking Elisalex – again, I only have 2 meters and I know I can squeeze her out of that. I can’t resist houndstooth and this will be some kind of work dress, maybe the Sew Over It shirt dress.
Other Market highlights included the haberdashery man by the door who sells 60p Moon thread and the elastic lady who kept yelling ‘ come on ladies, clear it all out now’ in a broad midlands accent – almost as if she was stuck on a loop. I said it a lot that day too!.
After the market we went to Wagamama for lunch and then onto a shop called Fancy Silk Which has 4 floors of fabric! I was so tired by this point I had to have a little sit down on the floor! but before my little sit down I found some really snazzy denim with gold woven through it which Laura convinced me to buy and which I’ve whipped into some capri pants today.
Finally, laden with shopping, we trundled along to Barry’s, who were kind enough to organise a little discount for us all and I bought another whole tonne of stuff including some lovely wool for my new Watson Jacket
This fun telephone cotton which is definitely going to become a shirt dress and some Really nice woolly stuff to make a sweater out of because I’m curious as to how that will work.
We had a lot of laughs and nearly managed to make it back to the car before the thunder kicked in big style and stopped in Gloucester services on the way back for pick n mix artisanal fudge ( that’s the poshest thing I’ve ever typed).
I’ll leave you with this image of Rachel’s poor old boot with about 100 meters of fabric weighing it down ( I wish I was exaggerating here)
Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your mojo for sewing? Or maybe I should call it a sew-jo.
Well this past week or so I did, I lost my sewjo.
Picture the scene, I’m sat in my lovely little room, I’ve cut out a dress and I’ve started to put it together and .. I’m bored. Have I sewn all the Princess seams I had in me?
I was so bored that I couldn’t even be bothered to sew up the lining so it’s just sat there on my mannequin, all sad and half made. What had become of me?
I think it might be time to make a new pattern. Something without princess seams is where my brains going because if I stitch another boob shape in the upcoming future I might cry.
Maybe I’ve got enough fancy frocks now ….
No that was a lie, I take it back I’m an idiot, I lied of course I don’t have enough, but I do have a new pattern
Now, the immediate problem I have here is that this pattern isn’t going to fit me. This is mainly due to the fact that I lost my waist somewhere a few years ago and also I have boobs of a gigantic nature.
I think this is what puts me off trying something different as I know there’s going to be tonnes of work involved…
Anyway, turns out it wasn’t a tonne of work, just a little cut and spread and Bob’s my uncle, it’s actually a pretty nice fit, it’s nearly finished – along with my Elisalex but everything’s gone on hold because of my current favourite thing – Scrundlewear – it’s a thing.
Hmm just pants I hear you say – well these aren’t ‘just pants’ they are pants that feel like you’re wearing a marshmallow cloud that can be on your bum in about 45 minutes of your time!
I whipped these up on my overlocker, which I thought didn’t work properly, turns out the tension was just wrong and now it works
To make it a little less scary I did this to it – who could be scared of this
They’re the first thing I’ve ever made on my overlocker – also known as The Evil Overlord so do forgive me if they look a bit rough, and to be honest I really don’t care if they do because the fit is so amazing!
They have unicorns and sailor deers on them ! – basically my pants are better than yours ( unless you also have cool pants)
I don’t know about you but I have a problem with pants, they’re either in my bum cheeks, rolling down my belly or falling down my legs- not these bad lads, they’re basically granny pants, but again I don’t care because they’re SO COMFY.
I’ve whipped up three pairs this weekend, I’m never going to buy normal pants again – this is it for me – Scrundlewear for the win, I may sound delerious, that maybe because I can’t be bothered to type because my bum is so bloody comfy!
But, what I’ve learned is, if I’m feeling sewed out, mix things up a bit, these pants are so satisfying because it’s something I can make in 45 minutes – basically instant sewing gratification – The Sew-jo has returned!
Fancy seeing you here having a little read of my blog, well I’ve been a busy bee again this last week and I’ve got one or two things to show you!
On the weekend I went to London, mainly for a visit to the infamous Goldhawk Road. I’m sorry to say it, I was dissapointed. It was fabric heaven, don’t get me wrong, I think there was 14 fabric shops on one stretch of road, however, cheap it wasn’t.
I may have had my hopes too high after going to the rag market in Birmingham and coming home with a huge haul but I only managed to pick up three meters of Printed cotton in Goldhawk Road. My poor trusty tote was nearly empty!
I did however see some lovely things, I was mainly shopping for wool for a coat I’ve got planned but didn’t want to stretch to the £25 a meter it was being sold at!, I also saw some lovely hand embroidered lace which was beautiful, but also eye poppingly expensive at £49 per meter!
A lot of the printed cottons I came accross I had already seen at Fabric Land for at least £1 a meter cheaper.
The rest of the day was much less dissapointing, I went to Harrods, because you have to when you go to London and got some super cute dolls from the Disney Store and then hopped on the tube to the Tower Of London where we saw an actual joust and then had a womble around inside where we saw the real life crown jewels. I didn’t manage to snaffle any though as they were all in a glass case.
Anyway, Sewing. For my trip to the capital I obviously needed a new dress. I picked up this fabric from Frumble
Predicatably it’s a By Hand London Elisalex bodice with shortened sleeves and a pleated skirt. It was going to be a gathered skirt but I decided that it was too much of a faff and therefore I worked out how to make a pleated skirt. It was ridiculously easy, I just made one pleat, pinned it and then used that as a template for all the rest, ran a line of basting stitches along the top of the skirt and then attached it to the bodice – and Bobs your uncle! What do you think?
Today’s the day we go shopping for our Ruby Supplies.
Now there’s a couple of things you will need to pick up
– Sewing Machine
If you haven’t already got one of these, today’s going to be an expensive day for you, I’m not going to go into which machine you should or shouldn’t buy here, because I’m not an expert! But this is mine
– Sewing Machine Feet
You’re going to need a couple of feet for your machine to make this dress Essential ones are a straight stitch foot and a zip foot, but a blind hem foot might come in handy as well if you’re not a fan of hand sewing, you’ll find LOADS of information on feet Here
– A quick unpick
you might call this a seam ripper, either way, we’re going to make mistakes, and this little fella is essential.
You’re going to need a good sharp pair of scissors, don’t be tempted to hack away at your lovely fabric with a random pair from the kitchen draw, that’s not going to work out well for you, trust me, You can get special super sharp dressmaking scissors from most fabric or haberdashery shops, I use these ones.
Tonnes of em! you’ll need pins for cutting out, and holding your fabric together to sew it, I use glass headed pins because you can iron over them without them melting into your fabric, a pin cushion would be handy at this point too, or your’re going to end up stabbing yourself, using your boobs as a pin cushion or even worse, you might be this woman, definately use a pin cushion – this is now the law – I’ve decreed it.
Or any other kind of fabric marker, chalk is great because you can just brush it off, you can also buy special markers and pencils, or if you can’t find anything, and you’re using dark fabric, use a bit of soap, does the same job!
Make sure you get a good quality thread, or you’re going to be spending your sewing time picking out knots from your machine and re-threading it, not my idea of fun, I use Moon Thread or Gutterman.
– Iron on Medium weight interfacing
This is the stuff that makes some parts of your fabric stiff, you’ll need this for a professional finish, you can pick it up in your fabric shop, get a metre, you wont need it all but it’s handy to keep at home
– 16″ dress zip
You can get zips in a rainbow of colours, there are two kinds, regular or invisible, I’m going to use the regular zip for this tutorial, but go wild, get an invisible one, I’m not the boss of you, except when it comes to putting pins in your mouth, then I’m in charge.
The best part! the pattern calls for 2.14 meters of fabric which is 55 – 60″ wide. I’m a renegade so I’m going to get three meters because I want to make the skirt longer, if you’re happy getting your gams out feel free to get 2.14m, but the world does not need to see mine. This kind of dress is going to work with lots of different fabrics, Cottons and satins will probably be best though, pop along to your fabric shop and pull out the rolls to see how the fabric falls, your going to want something with the right amount of drape so hold it up and see what it’s like.
Drape is the term used to describe the way a fabric hangs under its own weight. It has an important bearing on how good a garment looks in use. The draping qualities required from a fabric will differ completely depending on its end use, therefore a given value for drape cannot be classified as either good or bad. Knitted fabrics are relatively floppy and garments made from them will tend to follow the body contours. Woven fabrics are relatively stiff when compared with knitted fabrics and they are generally used in tailored clothing where the fabric hangs away from the body and disguises its contours.
I’m probably going to use a quilting cotton because I like the crazy prints and also the way the fabric handles, if you make a mistake with cotton you can generally unpick it without too much bother as well.
Music and a cup of coffee
Last thing of all get a decent album on, I’m feeling something by Fleetwood Mac today with a decent cup of coffee but y’know whatever you like.
Right I’m off to visit my natural habitat, Fabricland, I’ll see you when I’m back.
Thought I’d take a minute away from Ruby week to catch you up on what I’ve been up to.
Life’s been ridiculous recently, I’ve had a horrendous cold all week and to top it off I had my 12-month review in work.
I don’t know about you, but I hate reviews, even if I think I’ve done everything 100% right, I still hate the idea of reviews and all the extra admin that goes with them.
But, on the flip side, it’s done now and I don’t have to think about it for at least another five and a half months – hoorah!
I’ve not really had a lot of time for fun this week but, I have watched a tonne of Damages, I’m basically an expert on any legal matters now though so do give me a call if you’ve had any trips, slips or falls …
I did find a minute today though to sew up this little treat – I think I’ll call it my Big Bang Theory dress
I know it’s another Elisalex, but I only had two meters of this fabric and knew I could get an Elisalex from that so here it is
I’d found a pattern that I could make in a day and fitted me pretty well – the holy grail! – I forgot about every other pattern I owned and started a little Ruby factory.
Also, it was a really easy make, no linings to faff around with and a big swooshy skirt.
Then I just stopped making them, I got fed up of churning out the same pattern, Ruby after Ruby after Ruby ( I’ve got the song stuck in my head now – have you?) and moved on, but there’s still a big place in my heart for this little dress and I’ve decided it’s time to get my trusty pattern back out of the envelope and whip up another.
That’s right – this week’s Ruby week.
Throughout the week I’ll share with you some of my favourite Ruby’s from the World Wide Web, we’ll talk about Fabric Choices, make a trip to the shops to make sure we have everything we need and finally, we’re going to make this bad boy up!
This may sound really simple stuff to some of you guys who have been sewing for a while, but I found this kind of information pretty useful when I made my first Ruby. If you’ve had the pattern in your stash for a while why not Ruby with me?
Go dig out your pattern and I’ll meet you back here,