Thursday, 28 February 2013

Completed: Grainline Moss Skirt...

Another finished object that is part of my SWAP! This was not all plain sailing but I really love the result. This is my Grainline Moss Skirt in Grey needlecord I picked up in my local fabric shop. 
My wearable muslin for this really depressed me but I'm glad I did it. It was way too tight so I cut two sizes up this time. But the waistband is a bit roomy. Its a really ingenious pattern and after the first go it only took me a couple of hours to whip up.
 (Not sure why my eyes are shut,) I lengthened the skirt by 4 inches as suggested by a couple of other bloggers but I hemmed it around two. I'm only 5ft4 so next time I'll just lengthen it by 2inch.
The creases are from sitting down but they don't appear when Its first worn. I really loved the back and no gaping! The yoke confused me the first time but I don't think I transferred the markings.
I lined it with some fabric from a 1960's pillowcase I had in the stash. Its the same colours as I'm using for the SWAP so I thought it complimented nicely. I also decided to add a metal jeans button and jeans zipper.
 I thought it would be more utilitarian and hardwearing than a normal one.
 I've decided to start roughly costing my projects this year. Everything in the stash before January counts as free fabric.

Fabric : £20 of Grey Needlecord
Notions: Metal Jean Zipper, Thread and Button £4
Total: £24 Which I think is perfectly acceptable as I would have bought something similar from GAP for a lot more money and would probably have had to compromise on fit.
Wearability: I would give this a really high score on the wearability scale. Grey is a fab neutral and it goes with almost every colour in my wardrobe!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sew Grateful Giveaway Winners!

Sorry it took me so long guys! Here are the winners for the two Built By Wendy Books.
If the lucky ladies could email me. I'll try to contact you asap.
I decided to go traditional so we went with a posh box and paper.
First for Sew U Home Stretch... 
 Congratulations Alessa! Now for Sew U....
Congratulations to both of you. I will get the books off to you pronto! Thanks everyone for playing and commenting! 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Leibster Award...

I have been nominated for another blogger award Yay!
I'm sorry I'm usually rubbish at reposting these. I think i've missed three so apologies!
This is the Leibster given by Hazel.
She wanted to know:

1. What is your favourite project that you've made?  (sewing, knitting etc.)
That is a tough one, I think i'd go for my Storybook Skirt as its the most worn item. I always feel happy when i'm wearing it.
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I think New York has always been on my list. I went there as a teenager and have been desperate to get back!
3. Online fabric shopping: yes or no?
Yes, but carefully. I have had a couple of disasters but I take it as a calculated risk. Not to mention its hard to get what you want outside of London.
4. What essentials could you not leave your house without?
Phone, iPod, Mac Lipstick in Twig
5. Who are your fantasy dinner party guests?
Kirstie Allsopp, Darius Rucker, Alys Fowler, Sarai Mitnick and Tasia Pona
6. What inspires you to craft?
I'm not sure exactly, it was never a natural thing for me. I really loved the how empowering it became when I could make my own clothes and I really enjoyed created my own identity not to mention sharing it with the world!
7. What is your most visited website?  (Facebook/Twitter not allowed!)
Probably Jstor for Uni it is a place that journal articles are held online, so a lot of my dress history is based around stuff from there.
8. What are the top 5 most played songs in your iTunes/Music library?
At the moment... My brother Ashton Tucker's first E.P. came out yesterday so his song "In Michigan" (get the E.P for £2.50 here or search him on Itunes)
Daughter - Youth
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
Standing Right in Front of You - Keith Urban
If I didn't Know Better - Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen

9. What is the background on your desktop/phone home screen?
A vase of Peony Sarah Bernhardt (my favourite flower) Then screensaver is me and piemaker 
10. What is your favourite TV programme?
Thats difficult. I LOVE Miranda, but I watch Downton Abbey, Heart of Dixie, depends on the day really!
11. Do you prefer working stretch or woven fabrics? 
I wear more jersey but I'm not that keen working with anything too lightweight. I would say i'm most happy with a ponte or a stretch woven. Is that cheating?

I'm nominating only a few people rather than 11 as so many people have picked it up already...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

SWAP... The Fabrics!

I think I cracked it! These are the fabrics i'm going to be using for the SWAP as you can see one of them is already an Airelle blouse. So from the left there is:
  • Grey wool elastane for Juniper Trousers and Salme Blazer - This will hopefully look like a semi casual suit when worn together but then worn separately be two good solid pieces.
  • Purple ponte for cardigan, may not be Lekala pattern because of the drape
  • Turquoise cotton jersey also for a cardigan
  • Airelle already made in purple stretch cotton
  • Turquoise swiss dot for jasmine 
  • Grey lawn stretch cotton could be another Airelle or Tilly's Mathilde
  • Stretch dark denim for Clover pants
  • Charcoal grey needlecord (Funny light its more the colour of the stretch cotton) For Grainine moss skirt.
  • purple jersey with white and pink stripe - got in the Walthamstow swap might make a renfrew but could be too thin.
I started on a muslin for the grainline skirt but frustratingly it was way too small so I'm going to cut two sizes up and reprint the pattern. (See there is an upside to digital download patterns!) Then I'll lengthen it as the extra band on the bottom isn't my cup of tea. 

Here it was all cut out and ready to go.
I'm also in the process of prewashing all my lovely fabrics from Walthamstow. 
I'm going to do my best at costing projects out this year.
If its been in my stash before the start of the year its going to be counted as free fabric, 
It would be impossible to remember otherwise! Hopefully there will be a lot of "free" projects this year. I could do with a bit of a stashbust!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sewing Room Musings...

Hi People!
Its time to talk about my new sewing room!
I've been sufferering with a crappy dust allergy a lot in the new house, I have just mopped some of the floors (we have no carpet yet) and its no wonder! 80 year old floorboards carry a LOT of dust before you've even decorated. I've been taking lots of meds as its been giving me an asthma like cough making working in the house, pretty miserable. But the max strength Benadryl is helping!
Most of our rooms are finished now apart from flooring. The Sewing room is the last room to be done, simply because of funds and there is so much we need to do!
This is a wardrobe I got off of freecycle (all our shelving and wardrobes got mouldy in storage)
Its currently holding pretty much all of my stash!
I know its pretty shaming, Everything is pretty much stuffed in just because its the safest place for it at the moment.
I'm hoping for an Expedit for my Birthday in May so that I can organise it properly. That is the point where I will count just how much fabric I have. I love my stash and I think after such a long absence of being able so sew regularly I should be able to get some good pieces out of it.
Here is what it looks like after an afternoon of sorting and with the desk and bed sorted...


Ok so still not perfect but workable now. The old fire has to come out and we have laminate for the floors. Other than that everything else is there to plan! One of the best bits of unpacking was re-discovering things unfinished or forgotten. Like my lovely soft quilt. This is so almost done, but it makes my arms ache pulling it through the machine as of course I don't have a long arm machine. This is one of the things i'm determined to finish just because I know how awesomely squidgy and comfy it will be when its finished.
I'll leave you with a pretty jar of trimmings I'm thinking of storing my sewing bits in big and small jars like this on a shelf above the desk. What do you think? Do you have any sewing room plans? I'd love to hear any tips!  If you fancy looking at my Sewing room Pinterest board its right here I also have one devoted to Expedit's from Ikea... Oh the Possibilities!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sew Grateful: Reflections...

Ok, heres my reflections. I am so happy I started this blog in 2009. I'd just started University and was living in a new city. I liked to sew but had no idea there were so many like minded people in the world! Since then the blog has grown and so have my friendships with bloggers from all over. Some I see regularly, some i'd still like to meet in person. Nevertheless I am so happy to know all of you and am so grateful for every single follower I get. Piemaker still has to roll his eyes when I dance around the kitchen because of a new follower. :) I hope that people enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing, and organising meetups. I love reading your comments and questions and I hope that i've made it as easy as  possible for you guys to get in touch!
I'm also grateful for my family being so supportive and still reading and sharing on facebook when something new comes up!

Here are a few snaps of some of the meetups i've been on and all the fab people i've met!

Finally I want to say how grateful I am for Piemaker and his patience with me and all the stuff we've been through these two years. He is the kindest, most generous (not to mention gorgeous!) man on the planet. He has pretty much rebuilt this house with very little help and I love him so much for it!
So that is what i'm Sew Grateful for! How about you guys?

                                                             Piemaker and I at Download Festival in the Summer!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sew Grateful Giveaway!... CLOSED Winner Announced Soon!

Just one day late, Here is my Sew Grateful Giveaway!
I've had these for a little while but wanted to pass them on. 
One Built by Wendy Sew U Book and One Build By Wendy Sew U Homestretch
These have been buzzing around the blogosphere for quite a while and there have been some fabulous makes from both books. Both still have patterns in factory folds and are pretty much new!

Ok so all you've gotta do is:

  • Be a follower of my blog
  • Leave a comment.
  • If you would like two entries you can follow the Facebook or Twitter page 
  • THREE entries, repost about the giveaway and link it back to me.

I will post anywhere in the world and two people will be winners of one book each so make sure you let me know which you want or if you'd like to be entered for both!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Tidying the Blog a Little...

Just wanted to say thanks for being patient with me today. Me and Piemaker have been tweaking the blog. (Did I mention Piemaker is actually a web builder?) 
I'm sure we have clogged your blogroll up a little, Apologies!
Heres whats changed.
  • We have a few new fonts and the colours are more harmonious and co-ordinated,
  • I have a little hub for all social media. If you want my Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, just click to the right on the snazzy new buttons,
  • The post layout is neater! (This was driving me nuts!)
  • Anyone who wants to sign up to get posts from email now can. Sorry it took me so long!
  • All my oddities are up to date, such as Things i'm Participating In and Blog Awards,
I also wanted to say thank you for all of you that read regularly and that comment as well as come to meetups. It really amazes me how many lovely sewists there are in the world!
I hope you enjoy the new look as much as we will!

Walthamstow, The Spoils!...

Afternoon all!
Now I know your dying to know what I got at the swap and shop!
Apologies for the quality of the pics but I was so excited I snapped them late last night.
Up top is a Missoni style cotton interlock knit (£2 per m, I got two)

I got some really great goodies From Claire, Miss Hyper Organised! I only see her every few months but she's pretty much my sewing secretary! She came with a shopper and swatch sheets of all her fabric. Such a genius. These were things I got from her in the Swap.
  • (Above) Turquoise knit with stripe in the weave,
  • Tulip Polycotton,
  • Lovely Autumnal floral Jersey
  • Funky mixed colour Polycotton

I also got one thing from Julia and one from Tania
  • Striped purple jersey with white and pink stripe was from Julia
  • Burgundy bottom weight, possibly drill from Tania

Then as if that wasn't enough, I got these two beauties from Tilly!
  • This fabulous border print cotton in three greens and a black
  • The most amazing silk chiffon in a mermaid turquoise. Its so Divine. Tilly bought it to make her beautiful new Matilde blouse but said it was too slippery. I intend to make something beautiful out of it to do it justice!

I actually gave away more than I received in the swap which was my aim. I had plenty of stuff pent up for swapping and it felt great giving it to friends who will use and treasure it.
I also made some purchases. I've never been on a fabric ban but I should be more mindful of what I put into my stash. (post coming up on that later.) However I spend under £20 on the fabrics I got and with spring coming around I only got light summery fabrics and only 2m of each. So I got
  • This lovely fine lawn in zig zag print. I think this would make a funky light coverup
  • very fine linen in a great hot pink! I have a chiffon blouse similar to Tilly's mathilde in this colour and I love it. Maybe something similar?
  • Jane got this fabric also. Its a lovely fine cotton with a nice drape, finer than quilting cotton but with more heft than a lawn. I think this will make something fab. Its in a charcoal grey which I'm using as a neutral for my SWAP. I'm working on a similar colour needlecord at the moment. Yay for Co-ordination!
  • Finally this pretty 30's esque jersey. There was just over a metre so I think i'll squeeze a tiny pocket tank out of this one!

So 13 fabrics. But I think I got rid of well over 30 items of sewing stuff including magazines, patterns and some 6 fabrics. So I  don't think thats too bad.
I think its time to sign up to that stashbusting challenge!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Walthamstow Meetup and The Fabric Malaise...

Tilly, Jane, Karen and Zoe perusing the fabric offerings!

*Fabric Malaise is a term I coined for the dreamlike euphoria everyone was in when in contact with any sort of fiber or cloth

Friends! We did it. Walthamstow happened! no less than 15?! Eager sewists met me at Walthamstow Central yesterday for a day of fabric swapping, sewing chat and of course a spot of fabric shopping.
For those not familiar Walthamstow Market has a good variety of small fabric shops and market stalls selling all kinds of fabrics, generally around £2 per metre.
First we squeezed ourselves into a little cafe called Marrakech and started swapping.

 We started out using a civilised system, but soon realised we would never get through the sheer number of fabrics, notions and patterns on the table so it became a game of, "Please may I, if no one has claimed it."
                                                                   Tania, Ally and Julia 
Jane, Karen and Zoe
After Claire's super organization we were ready for fabric shopping, already laden with swapping haul.
Everyone proceeded straight to "The man outside Sainsbury's" and some of the small shops! 
                                         Julia, Karen, Tania, Jane and Ally (Picture borrowed from Tilly)
 Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and I was so happy to see so many sewists in one place!
Its great to catch up with people I've met before such as Tilly, Jane, Karen, Claire, Dibs, Zoe, Ally, Shivani and Julia. But also meeting new friends such as Tania, Zora(no blog as yet) and Helen (who came all the way from Merseyside!)
Tilly checking out this lovely floral jersey (picture borrowed from Karen)

Thankyou to everyone that came and I'm sorry I couldn't see more of you! I know not everyone could make it but I promise there will be another meetup soon! Can't go too long without contact with other likeminded sewists now can we?
 I'll leave you with the best photo of the day snapped by Tilly. Claire, Myself and Dibs all sporting our old lady-esque but none the less very useful trollies!