Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Getting Back to Normal

* Hello *

What a long time to be away from my blog!

Shoulder pain has prevented me from doing anything really,
started with tendon/muscle injury, went in to an inflammed rotator cuff
which then progressed into a frozen shoulder!
One cortisone injection later I am left with a very gammy shoulder/arm.
I've been unable to move or concentrate at all.
But I DO don't want to moan!!!
I have started physio for my frozen shoulder
 and thankfully my enthusiasm has now returned!

With the nights drawing in and the autumnal chill in the air
I can feel myself being drawn to cosy woollen projects
and maybe some home made *C* family gifts and projects!
(not quite ready to say the *C* word in full yet!)

In the meantime I will mostly be over at Smittin Treasures
hope to see you there!

Will be back soon!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Just One Sorbetto - Make One For Me!


As it was my sister's birthday at the end of last week I decided I wanted to make her something to wear as a birthday present but as my sewing repertory is a bit limited at the moment I thought the best option would be to make her a Colette Sorbetto Tank Top.
It's quick and easy to sew up as I made my first one at the end of last month.

I decided I wanted to look for a fabric that had turquoise as it's main colour and luckily Melanie at The Fabric Shop in Melrose had the perfect fabric in her shop.  I also used some blue dotty bias binding that I bought a few weeks ago (just because I liked it) and I just had enough.

This is my sister's finished top made last Wednesday and I think she was quite touched when she opened it!  She also has a fabulous tan at the moment so the colours are great to show it off!

When I was pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric I realised the fabric was pretty wide and if I jiggled things about a bit I could maybe make another one in the same fabric!  So that's what I did on Sunday!

I've tried various methods of marking my fabric for pleats etc but I am finding this fabric pen really easy to use and it was starting to disappear a bit while I was sewing.

The top comes together so quickly as you can see - side darts, pleat down the front and sew up shoulders and sides.  It is a fabulous top for the hot weather we have been enjoying recently in the UK.

I must admit I'm still following the instructions just to make sure!

Of course I need a wee break when I am sewing and as it was a fabulous sunny day on Sunday I couldn't resist a wee refreshment.
White wine spritzer with elderflower cordial and a few strawberries bobbing away in it.
I also enjoyed vegetable crisps, my favourites are beetroot and parsnip - lovely!
Just one glass of course(!) and I was ready to carry on sewing!

I chose a white satin bias binding for my top.

And finishing off.

This is my finished top and I am really pleased with how both tops turned out.
I'm sure my sister won't mind us having the same but slightly different tops.  
We'll just have to coordinate when and whose wearing what!

This top is so easy I would really encourage you to have a go if you haven't already and it is just perfect for the heatwave we have been enjoying here in the UK.

Eek I just had to shut everything down an hour ago as we had quite a thunder and lightening storm!  Long time since we had a storm like that, quite amazing!  
Rain easing now so can publish my post - phew!

Will have new post for Smittin Treasures tomorrow (been slightly neglected recently!) - something that has been right under my nose and I just discovered it on Friday night!

Thanks for dropping by!
Happy sewing!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Simplicity Lisette K2246 and Getting Shorty!


Hope you have had a good weekend!
What a scorching weekend it has been here in the Scottish Borders as it has in most of the UK - and it's supposed to stay for another wee while yet - yippee!

I have used some of my bag making fabric stash to make a
Simplicity Lisette Traveler Dress (K2246) another free pattern with Sew Magazine earlier this year if I remember rightly.
What I am beginning to learn is that the fabric choice is so important!
This fabric is ok (actually curtain fabric) but I don't love it.
It is too beige(!) 
I bought some buttons (love these!) from the Fabric Shop in Melrose to finish the dress off.
I'm going to reserve judgement until late summer I think but I enjoyed making the dress, it was my first attempt at a collar and short puff sleeves!
The instructions were really straightforward and easy to follow, with bust darts, waist darts front and back on the bodice and a gathered skirt. The puff sleeves came together pretty quickly and the collar surprisingly straightforward.

Due to being absolutely sweltered today, all my skirts being in the wash and not having a pair of shorts to my name I decided to rectify the situation.
I have had these wide legged linen trousers in my wardrobe and haven't worn them for at least two years SO they are going to become my new shorts!

Here we have the first cut
12 inches from the crotch!

No, not short enough, took about another 4 inches off!
Might take some more off later!
I need to wear a pair of shorts this afternoon!

I then stood and looked at my new shorts
wanting to do an amazing upcycling job with them.
I got out my bias binding, ribbon, looked through my thread box and generally made a bit of a mess deciding what to do next.
Of course as usual I decided to just keep it pretty plain and machine hemmed and then added a decorative stitch on the hem.
It is so subtle that you can't see it!

Here's my first effort with taking my own photo with the timer thing on the camera.
I seem to have found my pose (it is the same on my Miette Skirt post!).
This is me in the garden.

I'm quite liking my new shorts!

Notes to Self:
Stop slouching when you are at the sewing machine and you won't get sore shoulders.
Try to stop clenching your teeth when unpicking buttonholes that go wrong.

P.S.  My Kindle died on me last night just when I was about to press publish, so this is what happened yesterday!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

What's Next!


I've collected some fabric from my bag making stash for my next makes.

They're not very exciting but hopefully I can do something with them.
They're all washed and ready to go!

I do like the odd magazine and when I saw the mag below with a pattern included
I couldn't pass it by!

Being a beginner it was a great find as it features a whole load of patterns, sewing techniques and interesting articles - this is the June issue.

This is the free pattern that came with the mag but I'm not that keen on the frilly bits.
I'm sure I could just leave the frilly bits out
and I think there are a few pretty classic/easy looking dresses there!

I also picked this pattern up at The Fabric Shop in Melrose from the discount box.
Not that keen on the blouses but I like the skirts with the patch pockets.
I liked the bottom right view with the front pleat and patch pockets and thought it would be a good pattern to have waiting/looking for the right fabric!
Have you come across these patterns?

I'm looking forward to getting stuck in now and hopefully I'll have a few things made up for my next post soon!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Colette Sorbetto Tank Top


My next sewing project decision was a pretty easy one!
I have decided to try the Sorbetto Tank Top by Colette Patterns.

This is a free (thank you!) downloadable pattern and is described as follows:
"This simple tank is quick to make, with no closures to sew ..."
Decision made!

Downloaded the pattern.

Stuck it together

Fabric find in charity shop today - £4.99 for duvet and base valance

Bias binding (gold!) in my stash, my mum brought it back from Majorca (4.50 Euros) and 
I have had it a few years waiting for the right project - this is it!

Have already sewn bust darts, made a single box pleat down the front,
 joined shoulder and side seams, finished off edges, ironed all the seams
and have just learned how to use bias binding on the neck seam.

Getting a bit excited - have just completed bias binding around the neck.

Had to stop for a cup cake bought by the Hub at Kelso Farmer's Market this morning 
and a cup of tea - lovely! - now back to work!

Bias binding on arm holes - getting a bit more excited!

Very excited about the finished top!

Here's a wee close up - very very excited!

I absolutely loved making this top - definitely going to make more (got fabric in mind!).
The instructions were great - simple enough for a beginner like me to get to grips with,
and I was able to make it in an afternoon!

I also loved using the gold bias binding, i've got a good bit left but I'll need to try and find some more,
if you know of a source I would love to hear from you! 

Summing Up:
Fabulous free pattern with easy to follow instructions - tick.
Can make it in an afternoon - tick.
Very wearable with a bit of sparkle - tick.
Will definitely be making more from the Colette Patterns range - tick.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Tilly's Miette Skirt Finished!


After a shaky start I have completed my first Miette skirt! 
(yes I am going to make another one!)

A couple of wee blunders were made ... but I think I have a wearable skirt.
  1. Download pattern from Tilly's blog - tick that.
  2. Check the size box to make sure you are printing the pattern at the right size - tick that.
  3. Make sure you have enough paper in printer - tick that.
  4. Print pattern - tick that.
This is where the first problem started as you can see below.

Not enough paper in the printer - doh!
I thought it would start up again at the right spot and I thought I was fine 
until I started to stick the pattern together and there was one completely blank piece of paper
and as you can see a big hole in the middle. 
(page 15 to be precise)
I debated with myself whether I would need the missing page
but as I have just started sewing I thought it might be important!

This is page 15!
The line in the corner is a grain line.
I don't think I really needed it (!) and I hadn't reset the printer to print the page again properly, so as I didn't want a big hole in the pattern the sheet was just stuck down as it was!

I found the instructions on Tilly's blog really easy to follow (thank you Tilly!)
I got a bit confused when I got to the waistband (not reading instructions properly probably).
I was pinning things back to front and wrong side round but once I realised I had to get the two gaps in the waistband to match up (and had stopped for my dinner) I started to roll!

The second wee problem was with the waistband - one of the seams folded over (tried to keep them all open) and of course it was on the tie that needs to go through the gap in the waistband, so a wee bit lumpy going through the hole (does that make sense?)
All part of the learning curve and I am now pretty pleased with the results!

The skirt is so comfy and easy to wear.
I had worn the skirt to work the day the photos were taken
and I now have it hanging on the outside of my wardrobe so that I can gaze at it!!

Thank you again Tilly you have inspired me to go forth and sew!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Something Lovely Has Just Happened!

A lovely bit of news, 
my brand new, haven't made a mess of it (yet!) sewing blog 
has been nominated for a Leibster Blog Award by the lovely Amy at sylkotwist.

Thank you so much Amy for the kind gesture.  It's lovely to get a wee mention on your blog and it is a great way of finding other bloggers.

As Amy said in her post - it is a way for discovering blogs with under 200 followers where the nominated blogger answers 11 questions and gives 11 random facts about themselves they then nominate a further 11 bloggers setting new questions to help promote their blogs.  I would just like to say that being new to everything I am not sure how everyone follows everyone else (it's a bit confusing!) and if my nominated blogs actually have over 200 followers I apologise but I wanted to mention your lovely blogs any way!

Thankfully for me and my fellow nominated bloggers Amy only did half of everything (thank you, I couldn't have managed 11 either!) and she gave me 5.5 questions to answer, so I presume that means I can do the same?

My very good excuse is that I am extremely new to blogging and what with working full-time and cooking and washing and cleaning, never mind the garden and seeing to the family !☺!
I don't actually know that many bloggers yet!

Well I think I've sorted that out so I'll carry on with answering the questions Amy kindly set:

1.  If The National Gallery offered you a painting free of charge for your lounge, which one would you take?  I love going to art exhibitions and especially seeing the paintings close up so that you can see the brush strokes but I think it would have to be something bright for the living room so "Sunflowers" by Vincent Van Gogh would be lovely thanks!

2.  If you could have a me made fashion show, which fashion designer would you take to share the cat walk with?  My me made clothes at this precise moment are a blouse and a skirt (skirt just finished tonight, so will be here pretty soon!) and as they are both Tilly's designs I would choose Tilly!

3.  You have discovered a time machine under your sewing machine (just behind the scrap bag).  With clothes in mind, which year would you go back to and why?  I would definitely go back to a year in the 1920's.  Modern fashion really started in this era and I love all the gowns, cloche hats, lots of feathers, sequins and flowing fabrics.  I find it fascinating to look at the gowns and accessories of the 20's.  (I've got a few(!) pinboards on Pinterest where I can indulge myself!)

4.  You have been given a bolt of your dream fabric and with the help of Patrick Grant to make a dress.  What pattern would you choose?  Mmm, this is a hard one - at the moment the only patterns I am aware of are Tilly and the Buttons patterns (!).  I think I would have to let Patrick take full control of the proceedings!

5.  If you had a free flight to anywhere in the world, where would you go? and a half - if you could bring back one item of clothing ....  I would love to visit the USA.  I've seen it on the TV so many times and it would be lovely to experience it for real.  I would love to bring back a proper pair of cowboy boots.

Five random facts about me:

1.  Like Amy I also like to name my cars, my current car is called Flavia.
2.  I like to eat my corn on the cob one row at a time.
3.  I LOVE After Eight Dinner Mints and can't stop eating them when I start a box (I love the wee envelopes).
4.  I can't get to sleep unless I have socks on.
5.  I have started carrying random bits of material and a measuring tape in my handbag to match up colours (everyone does that, don't they?).

The five inspiring and lovely blogs I would like to nominate are:

1.  forgetmenots blue - FB has a lovely blog full of crochet, flowers and handmade lovelies.  I am very jealous of her new typewriter!!

2.  Curious Pip - I just love Sarah's blog.  She makes amazing handmade dolls inspired by vintage loveliness, showgirls and old Hollywood.  I am always amazed at the detail she puts in to the costumes and of course the flappers are my favourites.

3.  Seams so easy - Aliza's blog is very interesting she sews, she fabric prints and I'm looking forward to her unveiling her new project - soon please Aliza!

4.  The Little Things - Ali's lovely blog is very creative.  Her blog is full of crafty loveliness.  I love her crochet slippers and her textile course looks very interesting.

5.  Recyclara - I discovered Eva's lovely blog through Pinterest.  She has excellent tutorials for recycling, upcycling and restyling of used clothes and other materials.  Again a very inspiring blog.

Here are my five questions for the bloggers I have nominated:

1.  If you had 3 wishes what would you wish for?
2.  What jobs have you been procrastinating?
3.  What is your favourite flower?
4.  What is your dream job?
5.  What is the best blogging tip you could ever give?

I would like to thank Amy at sylkotwist again for this wee chance to link up with other bloggers and I hope my nominated bloggers enjoy doing it too!  I look forward to seeing what happens!