Happy Happy Joy Joy – Northern Hemisphere Style

OK, I’m on catch up mode with stuff I made last year and beginning of this year.  There isn’t going to be any choronological order to these posts, it’s more going to depend on when I get a chance to photograph things and sit at the computer to write.  But on to the pretty skirt!

Do you remember the skirt Sew Busy Lizzy made for the Minerva Blogger Network using Vogue 8882?  Well, Lizzy told me I’d love it and boy did I love it.  That kit was bought with birthday money pretty much instantaneously.  It was also made PDQ as well and I wore it for our Christmas meal in early December, Christmas Day and a few other Christmas shindigs.  Did I get any photographs?  Did I heck!  So, I grabbed these photos at the same time I was photographing Anna Tron on a bleak, rain swept January morning.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

This entire outfit actually started out life in one of my Fashionary Mini sketch books (I have a set of three as well as a Silver Zebra print A5 book) and whilst I am not as tall and willowy as the outline in the book I’m pleased as punch with the finished outfit!

Vicki at Minerva Crafts was so helpful when I bought the bits I needed to make this skirt, swapping out the pattern size to one in my size range, double checking with me that I was happy and sending it all so quickly!  The fabric is lovely, it has a two tone effect that gives the colour real depth and it drapes beautifully whilst still having some body.  I really should have taken photos with a petticoat underneath because it looks fabulous (oops!).  You also get that beautiful swish sound as you walk in it.

Happy Happy Joy Joy 2

I did the same as lizzy and blew out the facings for the hem and just turned and stitched a narrow one instead.  This meant I have about 1.5m of the fabric left that is now a superhero cape. I wore the cape for Boy’s birthday at the beginning of January!  In short, that kit was an absolute bargain and I love this skirt!

Elisa-ish Dress

I’m slowly catching up with all the things I’ve made over the summer!  This dress has earned the status of being ‘precious’ for a number of reasons.

First up, it’s responsible for starting my love affair with By Hand London patterns.  This was my first pattern from those incredibly talented girls and what can I say, that bodice is a dream, a dream I tell you!  I love the scooped neckline and the plunging back and the princess seams.

The second reason is that I wore this dress (having hemmed it the night before using a head torch in bed) to the Goldhawk Road meetup in August.  So this dress was made for a much anticipated event and has a lot of very happy memories attached to it.


The fabric is Michael Miller and is called Rigging from his Ahoy Matey collection.  It’s a gorgeous fabric that just behaves really well and presses beautifully.  Rosin who blogs at Dolly Clackett is also a fan of this range of fabrics and has used this print here and using Ship Shape in the orange colour way here as well Stay the Course here (which I also have in the stash and is destined to be a Belladone, probably next spring now.)

The dress is an Elisa-ish as I chickened out on the tulip skirt.  I’ve got curves as is and I didn’t know if that was a step too far so for this version I created a pleated skirt using the full width of the fabric.  Nice and simple and doesn’t add too much bulk at the waist.  I also used a ‘Tango’ orange invisible zip.  I have no idea how I cam to have such a blazing orange zip in my collection but it matches the orange accents beautifully.

Elisalish Detail

I’ve been wearing this dress a lot and will be wearing it with tights and a cardigan as the weather is now so autumnal (well it is at the moment as I’m catching up on blog posts and scheduling like mad!) although if we do have an Indian Summer and late September gives us one last burst of sunshine I wont complain!  In short, I wish I’d bought this pattern a year ago when it was released rather than waiting a good twelve months to get on the By Hand London band wagon!

Put it this way, I felt so good in this dress and received so many compliments on that sunny day in London I ordered the Victoria pattern on the train on my way home!

PS.  I haven’t forgotten about the Simplicity Pattern giveaway, I’ll be posting the winners soon!

Burda Style 8/2012

The August issue of Burda Style dropped through the letter box this morning, and I have to say there are some patterns in this issue that I love!

Look at the cover!  I looked at this and just went WOW! The yellow outfit, that I thought was a dress, is actually a skirt and top!  It’s separate potential is beautifully illustrated by this image:

I love the addition of a lace collar, paired with the dark floral straight skirt.  I love this classic style with a twist/edge.

There’s lots of work suitable items too!  I love this skirt with the godet in the front

And this blouse with the tie at the back is a lovely twist on a shell top

And this flowing top from the plus size section is a lovely classic piece

And isn’t this top and trouser combo just fabulous?!  I love the graphic orange print with the nautical twist on the wide legged trousers.

Even the kids section has (finally!) got some decent patterns for boys in it!  Two good solid shirt patterns and a nice slim fitting style trouser.  There’s even a jacket/cardigan thing.  For once it’s about a 50/50 split between the boys and girls!  And the boy’s pieces are classics, so whilst patterns for the boys may not come along too often, at least these can be used for a few years!

So, that’s at least 6 patterns I like just for me, with the bonus of three that I can see myself making for boy!

And I’m also featured on Elena’s Seamless Blog today!  Happy Happy!

Some Progress

Last weekend I didn’t achieve a lot of what I wanted to achieve sewing wise.  And this week it’s been a bit hectic, what with one thing and another.  But the weekend has been a little calmer, and a little more productive!

Just in case the weekend was busy (when aren’t they?!) I planned my tasks in stages.  So rather than saying that I wanted to hem my circle skirt I broke it down.  It means that I’ve actually crossed off some of my ‘to do’ list!

So, for my reference (and probably to bore you!) here’s what my list looked like on Sunday night:

Trace pattern
Grade waist by slash and spread
Cut muslin pieces
Sew muslin
Fit muslin

Pin mark hem
Baste lining to shell along hem line
Trim hem to 1/2″ below hem line
Attach horse hair braid (HHB) following Gertie’s tutorial
Bind ends of HHB
Press and shape hem
Hand stitch HHB to lining fabric

Prepare purse pattern pieces
Order lining fabric
Interface shell fabric
Cut shell fabric
Cut fleece padding 

Hem my sister’s shorts

Sew Pendrell started last weekend

Once again, now that I’ve looked at it properly that is an insanely ambitious list!  But I got a reasonable amount of it done, which is brilliant!  My priorities were the circle skirt, but that has stalled as I need someone to help me pin mark the hem and Husband refuses point blank to help in that regard.  So I need to wait until I get to see my sister to get that stage done.  We were going to do it Friday evening but Boy was violently ill (I’ll leave it at that – it was spectacular!) so it immediately fell to the bottom of the priorities list.  I was also supposed to do her shorts for her trip to Cornwall that evening, and they weren’t done either!  Hopefully it’ll all be done for Friday so I can email Casey with the details as she’s planning a round up post!

Plum Sakura Fabric
Turquoise Bird Fabric
Tiny Anchor Fabric

The other priority was the purse pattern and fabric cutting etc.  The first three fabrics above have been cut.  Each fat quarter is enough to make two of these purses, although as yet I’ve only cut one of each.  A bit of production line sewing will be coming up once I’ve finished my circle skirt and Pendrell.  I may tackle these before I launch into my Beignet proper.  Please click on the photos of the fabric to visit the shops of the lovely Etsy seller’s who I bought the fabric from.

The Beignet was progressed whilst Merlin was on the telly on Saturday night.  It also meant I was with Husband as well.  He’s always bemused that I trace a pattern.  I’ve got as far as grading the flat pattern and cutting the muslin, but I’ve yet to sew any of it.

So all in, quite a productive weekend whilst still being able to enjoy time as a family and the beautiful but very unseasonable weather.  And if you have any thoughts you could share on this post, I’d be really grateful!

Vintage Notion Want-it-isis

A while back I posted about Sunni’s fabulous hem marking gadget made by Singer, and my quest to find one.  Well, it’s here!!!!

My pin-type skirt marker

This is my very own Singer pin-type skirt marker, and it’s lovely.  The pin cushion doesn’t even look like it’s been used.  I am one very happy stitcher, and it’s plenty tall enough for skirts that strike my mid-knee which it’s set up for in the photo.  Funny how the oddest things can make you so happy, isn’t it!

Nearly pristine pin cushion

Ginger Catch Up

Rutland Water on a Very Windy Day

We had a pretty good break in Rutland with cycling and exploring.  Plus a few mishaps!  I lost a contact lens so my sight wasn’t great as I’d forgotten to pack my glasses, even though I’d put them out and it was a tad windy.  OK, very windy and there were concerns about the awning blowing away or getting ripped.  It was so windy that it ripped the door of the Land Rover out of my husband’s hand so that now needs repairing and means it doesn’t shut easily.  Plus some family drama that kicked off at about 8pm last night, and is still rumbling…  But it was good to get away, honest!

Now that we’re home, apart from unpacking and the usual washing and sorting that goes on, I’ve been playing catch up with all of Sunni’s Ginger sewalong posts.  I thought there’d be three or four as I’d only miss two days of the sewalong.  How wrong am I?!  Sunni has been providing so much information it’s un-real.  So catch-up has been a bit of an undertaking.  And I’m not fully caught up yet.

So, following Sunni’s posts, here’s what’s on the to-do list:

Picking the size of the Ginger that I’m going to sew.  This isn’t as straight forward as I’d like it to be.  My hip measurement falls within the size chart.  My waist measurement definitely doesn’t, in part because I’m overweight (although working  on it) and in part because my stomach will never be the same post baby.  Sounds like an excuse, but also a fact of life.  In full disclosure, my waist (which is somewhere between my ribs and hips, but pretty indeterminable) is 46″ and my hips are a whole 1″ bigger at 47″.  From the back of the pattern you can see that my hips are an 18 which is 48″ and my waist aint even on the chart.  The 18 waist is 38″.  One day it will be though.

So once I’d had a mope and felt sorry for myself then hacked off about it, I traced the pattern so that I can keep the original intact.  I then slashed and spread all the pieces as I’m going to need to add 2 1/2″ to each of the 4 skirt panels to equal 10″.  I did the same to the waist band pieces.  This makes the waist OK, but has blown the hip by the same amount.  So I’ll need to cut the waist at the size 18 lines and grade to the hip of a size 6 on my new slashed pieces.

This is probably making absolutely no sense at the  moment!

Then there is the whole what length to make the skirt issue.  I want it to hit mid-knee, so I might have to shorten it.  I think about 21″ will be about right which is the size 0 cutting line…  Anyway, my height isn’t going to change, but when the rest of me does I can just dismantle the skirt and re-cut the pieces to make it fit.  See, I have a plan…

Sunni then did a really helpful post about the colour of the zip and thread and how important that choice is.  I had to go for a lighter coloured invisible zip as the next shade was brown.  Having looked at her examples though I’m really not sure and think I may be getting another zip that’s a better match…  Or at least darker!

So, now I’ve actually cut the traced and altered pattern out it’s time to make up a muslin to see if these changes actually work out!  That’s my plan for tomorrow evening as it’s getting late already.

Sunni’s done a post on cutting bias stripes (something for later down the line I think, I can’t find a stripe I like at the moment…)  Then it’ll be on to cutting out my fabric for the real deal skirt!

Tomorrow, according to the time-table, it’s invisible zipper time!  I’ll be able to practice on my muslin which is good.  Using the zip that’s the wrong colour!  Thursday is Gertie’s guest post (I am so so excited to read that one!) and finishing the waist band then Friday is hemming and final finishing!  We have a bank holiday here next weekend too so if (who am I kidding?!) I’m still playing catch up I should be all done by the end of the weekend!