Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sewing related injuries and my Macaron UFO completed.

P1220232Last week I actually got some time to sew. I had to shift the cat off my sewing desk and untangle some cables before I could get started. The pedal cable had somehow managed to wind itself around the power cable, and the overlocker wires had also got tangled so I unplugged it all and crawled under the desk to sort it out.  I did think I was being careful but obviously not careful enough. In my efforts to separate the cables I must have I pulled something a little too hard and my forehead hit the floor as nine kilograms of overlocker dropped off the desk and slammed on to the back of my head.

I think I might have been out for a few seconds but I picked myself up, rubbed the egg sized lump that was growing on my head, swore a bit then inspected the damage to the machine. It looked okay, obviously my head took most of the impact, but wouldn’t switch on.  I was not going to be able to use it to make the knit dress I was planning and to be honest I wasn’t feeling much like sewing by now. However I have had so little time recently I was determined not to waste it so I turned to my UFO box.

I started this Colette Macaron last year, but it stalled when I realised that there was no way I was going to get the different fabrics along the left side to match up.  In my possibly concussed state I decided that didn’t really matter, I needed a dress for work and I would just have to remember not to raise my arms.

It didn’t need much work, just sewing up the side and hemming. The black cotton is left over from my other macaron, and the plaid is cream, black, and grey with fine threads of brown and silver. It was a remnant from my local fabric shop in Whitstable but I can’t remember how much it cost or how much I got, and I definitely can’t remember much about the construction.

P1220246As you can see I didn’t quite manage to match things up down this side.


IMG_2727Excuse the out of focus picture, I wanted to show you that I did actually manage to get the curve on the bodice piece, but in most of these photos it looks a bit pointy.


The fit is not great. I’m not sure whether that is down to my shape changing since I started it or just because I was crap at fitting back then. I suspect it’s a bit of both. I can dance in it though:

P1220259P1220236P1220262I am not in love with this dress but it is okay for work, probably with a cardi over. What I did enjoy about this project was seeing how far I’ve come in the last year.  The stuff I was making was wearable, but I now know enough to be able to see where I cut corners and how it could be improved. It remains to be seen whether it will stop me cutting corners, but at least I can see a difference and know better what I can and can’t get away with.

After I finished this dress I was feeling a bit ropey so I decided I had the perfect excuse to go back to bed with a large coffee and series one of Dexter, which I missed the first time round and have been saving until I could watch uninterrupted. And there is good news about my overlocker. My husband had a look at it when he got in and it worked perfectly. As he pointed out, these things generally work better when you plug them in ….

Pattern Pyramid Winner, and another one of those Autumn/ Fall sewing plans posts

First up, because it would be cruel to make you wait, I would like to announce that the winner of the Wellington Pattern Pyramid , chosen by the incredibly scientific method of counting from one to seventeen over and over until my daughter yells ‘Stop’, is number ten, Anneke of Annette Tirette.  She has made the most gorgeous Saltspring dress recently and her Walk in the Park dress is amazing, so I can’t wait to see what she chooses.

Congratulations Anneke!  Email me your address and I’ll stick it in the post for you.

Right, plans.

Fall Esssentials Sew Along 2013

Before I get started I reserve the right to make all, some or none of the ideas below. I will also allow myself to ignore all plans if inspiration strikes or anyone releases new gorgeous patterns that I have to make immediately.

I will try to sew from my stash because I am skint, saving for Christmas and running out of storage space. This means that sticking to any particular colour scheme will be tricky.  And I am going to try and sew along with Rhinestones and Telephones Fall Essentials Sew Along. So here goes:

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
For me this is mostly skirts. Preferably skirts I can wear over leggings with my biker boots.  I am very tempted by the pleated version of Zinnia, or should I just go for Deer and Doe’s Chardon? I also have the Kelly skirt and the Grainline Moss on my list.  I have some bright red gaberdine that I bought at the London Meet Up that would be perfect for one of them, and would give the added bonus of being my Red October make.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
In my ‘to make queue’ already are the Scout Woven tee and after seeing Wanett and Lizzy’s versions the Dandelion top.  As the knits box is by far the heaviest one in my stash I may also try and use this tutorial to adapt the Scout for knits. 

Fabulous Frocks
Pheww!  I was starting to bore myself with all those sensible ideas above. I have already made my first FESA dress, Disparate Disciplines Dandelion in a very sensible fabric. I couldn’t resist pre-ordering the Emery dress by Christina Haynes, because… well look at it:

Emery Dress Sewing Pattern

I have also got the Pauline Alice Cami dress in my queue because I have the perfect buttons courtesy of Fiona Diary of a Chain Stitcher, I just need to decide on the fabric.  I also need cold weather Annas, (have you seen Jo’s – it’s gorgeous!) a Hawthorn and probably another Laurel in neutral-ish colours.  And I have the fabric for another Tiramisu and a Miz Mozelle.

Underneath It All

I have the Merckwaerdigh Bra and Pants/knickers pattern .

Sewing pattern MIX30 with Bra Pantie & French knickers by Merckwaerdigh

Okay, the illustration is not very convincing so do check out a Very Purple Person’s gorgeous versions.   Before buying it I was planning on making a decent fitting bra from my bodice block. However I haven’t got round to making a single garment or blogging about it since I made it, and looking at all those dresses I want to make it may not get done. Likewise pants (knickers). I want to make some but they are not exactly a priority. Maybe if I get struck down with a contagious but non-painful or dangerous illness that means I can’t go to work for the next eight weeks…

Those Cozy Nights
I have pyjama fabric. It has pandas on. I have the one hour pants pattern. One Hour Panda Pyjama Pants?

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Last year I got Gertie’s coat pattern and fabric to make it, but never got round to it. I may do it this year but I am a little worried that it will swamp me – there is a lot of fabric there. I also did a muslin of Colette’s Anise last year, so I may make it up. What I really want is something like the Jamie Christina Abbey Coat in leopard print, but that would involve fabric shopping….

Abbey Coat sewing pattern

As an antidote to all that sensible sewing that may or may not get done I also want to take part in Red October. I have a UFO that will probably fit the bill. Actually I still have a lot of UFOs so I am going to try and alternate new makes with finishing stuff that I have already started.

So how does that sound? Over ambitious, I know, particularly as work has gone ballistic and I haven’t managed any actual sewing for a couple of weeks now. Things should start to calm down soon though, and then I will get cracking.

The Wellington Pattern Pyramid – who wants it next?

IMG_2720I was super excited to be picked by the wonderful Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher as the next recipient of the Wellington Pattern Pyramid. I owe her a big Thank You and an apology for not posting this sooner.  The parcel arrived just over a week ago and not only did it contain all the lovely patterns, but also a really sweet card from Fiona and some gorgeous bits and pieces that she had picked out for me. I don’t know how she could bear to part with them and I am definitely going to try and incorporate some into my next makes.


I absolutely love those buttons, and the lace, all of it actually.

Anyway, the patterns – there really is something for everyone in this selection.

Some nice basics:IMG_2850

The five easy pieces are a dress, top, trousers, skirt and a jacket with a hood. All in the same pattern! Then there are some retro pieces with very ‘interesting’ styling:

IMG_2857Please somebody make up that eighties number with the ruffle.

And don’t these skirts remind you of the Miette?

IMG_2810Then there’s something for the man in your life.  I was tempted but  my husband has made me promise never ever to make him anything as he said he wouldn’t be able to pretend to like it. Suits me, I’d much rather sew for myself anyway. Sadly the haircut is not included. And what about the furry hat and scarf wearer in you life?IMG_2865The ones below are two of my favourites – the gorgeous dress that Fiona added, and this coat that I wish I had the time and skill to make:

IMG_2844So what did I choose?  The rules say that I can only pick one pattern and it was a tough decision. I love the dress below, despite the styling. It reminds me a bit of Simplicity 1801 which I have been lusting over ever since I saw Tilly’s amazing bird print version.

IMG_2797Then there was this skirt. It’s a really interesting design and I can picture a denim version using some of the trimmings that Fiona sent me.

IMG_2773In the end I couldn’t resist this one:

IMG_2889Three reasons. One – I need some new pyjamas and already have the perfect fabric in my stash. I reckon this pattern will do the job. Two – I have never made trousers, so this will be a slightly less scarey introduction with (hopefully) minimal fitting. And three -one hour pants! I love a challenge and I have very little time at the moment so I am going to put this claim to the test.

I have added a couple of patterns to the pyramid – a vintage shirt dress with really cool side panels that I wish I could figure out how to grade down to my size, and a really pretty dress, Butterick 5384. IMG_2758If you fancy being the next recipient of the Pattern Pyramid leave me a comment and I will do the random person selector thing next Friday. Good Luck!