Monday, 15 April 2013

This weekend

It's been an interesting few days. We had lots of exciting plans for the weekend that unfortunately had to be cancelled as a result of waking up last Thursday to discover Little Boy was covered in chicken pox! We're nearly over the worst of it now and thankfully he's been really good with it. Although we're now waiting for Littlest Boy to come out in spots too.....obviously, it would have been waaaaaayyyy to convenient for them both to have it at the same time. Much better to drag it out for a few weeks!

The weather was generally quite wet and miserable over the weekend which helped with the needing to stay in bit, and with some careful planning I was able to get quite a bit of sewing done.
Woven Star for Skill Builder BOM by fabricandflowersuk
First up was biting the bullet and making the woven star.  I have to confess that even after having chosen my fabrics I spent a couple of days just looking at it (I took a picture on my phone and every now and then would just pull it out for a quick peruse.....I know, I'm mad!): it was the coral background/big flower print that I was unsure about. So bold in colour and design in comparison to the others. It actually came with seven of the fabrics I'm using in a FQ bundle but just seems so different to the others. I decided to pair it with the architecture print and then two blender fabrics. And do you know what? It's really growing on me! I kind of like how it stands out and adds a bit of pizzazz. I'm not sure how many more blocks I'll be able to use it in as we're starting to get some quite fussy ones coming up (I've got to EPP around sixty hexagons for one of the blocks next month - eek!) but I'll fit it in where I can!

Woven Chevron for Skill Builder BOM by fabricandflowersuk

Next up was the Woven Chevron block: boy this took a lot of chopping and cutting and with all those quarter and half square triangles it was quite nerve racking sewing it all together....taking a deep breath before turning it over and hoping against hope that all of my points met. It's by no means perfect but I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.

And here's all the blocks's going to be a huge quilt when it's finished!!! I'm waiting on some wadding to be delivered and then I'll be able to start quilting each of the blocks
Skill Builder BOMs so far by fabricandflowersuk

I also spent a lot of time chopping up lots of background fabric - more brown, not really sure how that happened! It's for another quilt I want to start working on using the William Morris charms that I got  last September. I thought I'd try chopping everything to size before starting the sewing just to see how effective I can be!!!!

So there we go - a weekend of sewing preparation and relaxing. I hope you all had a lovely weekend,

See you soon,

S x

Todays sky ● blue sky with some clouds. Lovely!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The last few days have been mostly about....

.....getting excited that spring might just be on it's way!!!!! I have started to see blossom on trees and at the weekend we planted an apple tree in our garden. It looked quite big when we got it but now I'm starting to think it could be a little while until we get any apples (not helped by the fact that the Littlies are now fascinated by it and seem to gravitate to it at every opportunity. I fear it may not last the year!)

....knitting away on my Mara shawl. I'm on the border now, which is over 400+ stitches a row. I'm not a fast knitter so I'm doing a little bit every now and then and it's slowly getting there...

....pulling fabric for the next Skill Builder BOMs. I have to confess, that I'm struggling with chosing fabrics for this months blocks and have started questioning the fabrics that I've chosen. Some of the patterns are quite big/bold and I'm starting to worry a little about they're going to work with some of the more fiddly blocks. Still, I'm taking my time to choose and hoping I make the right decisions!!!

....playing with some threads and fabric for an idea I'm toying with......hopefully more on this soon!

See you all soon,

S x

Todays sky ● mostly overcast but there was some glorious blue sky in the afternoon!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Groovy, baby!

Have you seen the new Colette Laurel top that came out a couple of weeks back? It's a simple shift, with different options for dress/top and sleeve lengths. Sarai's even been kind enough to put together a booklet with lots of different ideas in for other alterations that could be made.

I was debating the pattern, then after seeing Sarah had bought the pattern and also that they're running an awesome competition I decided to jump right in too (not that I'm a sheep or anything!). The perfect Easter Weekend project.

I'd bought this fabric back last year with the idea of making another Tova shirt. It's such a bold and busy pattern - which always puts me in mind of Austin Powers! - that I wasn't sure it it would really work as a shirt. The Laurel seemed the perfect alternative!

I cut out a size 2, and from my experience of making the Sorbetto, made a few alterations straight away:
I graded the shoulder seam from 2 on the outside edge to 0 on the neckline, as it seemed quite a steep slope. I also added extra length to the body and sleeve which I tend to do as a matter of course so that I can adjust as necessary.

On a whim, I decided to add the keyhole from the extra's book, I tried it on once I'd done the seams and the keyhole seemed a bit more of a well.....peep hole! I just felt like it drew all the attention to the centre of my cleavage (not that there's much there, but I don't necessarily want people to notice that, right?!). So I decided that cutting out a scoop neck would be a waaaaay better choice. Obviously!

Once I'd sorted out the neckline, I hand finished the binding around the collar and cuffs with a ready-made light-grey binding which echoes the grey in the fabric, and I'm hoping adds a bit of calm to the pattern. I've not previously hand-sewn my clothes and found it a relaxing way to finish the top and made it slightly more sociable as I could sit with Mr f&f and watch a movie, rather than work away at the machine!

For anyone that's thinking of making this, you definitely should - it's a lovely pattern to sew and the top comes together really quickly.

Would you like to see it?! Ta-dahhh!
Colette Laurel v4 by fabricandflowersuk

Colette Laurel v4 by fabricandflowersuk
I did french seams throughout and have to say I feel rather proud of just how neat it is on the inside!
Inside of Colette Laurel v4 by fabricandflowersuk

I'm really pleased with how the neckline came out in the end*. Although it's lower than I probably would have gone with naturally, it's not so low that it's indecent (I don't think!). I think it also works really well with the fabric as it gives a bit of space between the top and my face, if that makes any sense?! The fit is brilliant....probably the closest fit around the arms that I've ever had on any of the tops that I've made, and yet it still feels comfortable to wear! That's not to say that when I make it again, I may well grade the armstyce down to the next size just to give a bit of wiggle room. In retrospect I wonder if I should have added a scoop front and back hem, but maybe next time!

* having watched The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday I'm not sure how my top would be judged......has the scoop made my neckline unstable? Are my sleeves evenly set? Are the seams even or dragged? Or maybe that's my own paranoia?!

So, back to my original post, and all the details...

Pattern::: Colette Laurel V4, PDF
Fabric::: I think I probably used just a metre of this fabric
Size::: 0/2 for shoulders, armstyce and back darts, 2 for the bust darts and side seams, 4 for length
Mods::: graded the shoulder seam from 0 to 2 so that they weren't quite so 'sharp', added 3/4" to sleeve length, and a scoop neckline.

So there we go, my first Spring Top of 2013! Are you tempted to try the Laurel? If so, Sarah and I might be doing a mini-sew along soon as we both fancy making a dress - let us know if you'd like to join in. The more the merrier!

See you soon,

S x

Todays sky - grey, miserable and freezing. Managed some blue skies just before bedtime though!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

April already?!

I had a moment on Monday where I was browsing on my computer and suddenly exclaimed to Mr f&f "It's the first of April?! Really?!" March seems to have passed by in a blur, and my blogging seems to have suffered for which I apologise.

So, where has March gone? Some was a blur of poorly children and sleepless nights and the rest was all about getting ready for Easter and the Easter holidays.

A friend had ordered a Slouchy Tote Bag (which seems to be becoming my trade-mark make!) using a black and white fabric of the New York City skyline. And did I mention the glitter?! I think it's just sooo cool!
Slouchy Tote bag by fabricandflowersuk

I've also managed to catch up with my February blocks for the Skill Builder BOM - the Em Dash caused me some problems: I ended up with very wonky seams when trying to do finish them off quickly one night as I'd obviously stretched the seams whilst sewing. After a bit of ripping and re-cutting I managed to do a better job. Its still not entirely perfect but I'm hopeful that the slightly mis-matched points won't show once quilted!
Skill Builder BOMs by fabricandflowersuk

I need to make a start on my March blocks now but have run out of starch - I'm quite amused by this as prior to starting the Skill Builder I never used starch and I think I'd owned that can for years!!!

A lot of my spare time though was spent on sorting out my craft space (aka the spare room!). The dresser unit is all painted and decopatched now and I'm just trying to sort out the last few remaining bits & bobs (please tell me that every sewer/knitter/crafter has lots of bits and bobs?!) and it will be done. I can't wait! Here are some sneak peaks from my IG feed......

Over the Easter Weekend I even managed a bit of selfish sewing using the new Colette Laurel pattern.....more on that tomorrow!

See you soon,


Today's sky • glorious blue with some clouds

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