Thursday, 23 June 2011

I'm back, loaded with vintage fabric finds!

Hi friends! I've sure missed you all, even though I did do my best to catch up with blog posts on a daily basis. I had a chaotic week visiting my mad family and loved every second, but acclimatising to this weather and to work really does suck! However, I've been able to cheer myself up by photographing and caressing my vintage fabric finds, that added about 2kg to my suitcase on the way back!!!

I was told they all date from the late 50s to the early 60s, but do please correct me if you know otherwise.

These brocades are about 1.5 metres each, but they are so difficult to photograph as the colours never seem to translate well:

This is actually a really lovely minky pink on cream with silver thread running through it



If you squint or click on this one you should be able to see the subtle flower print


My absolute favourite finds were these stunning silk blends, possibly silk-rayon, but more silk than anything else:

Mustard, white and wine coloured polka dots - the white one reminds me of Jane's Violet in Polka Dots




I wasn't sure about this flowery, paisley number, but I'm beginning to think it would make a great blouse


These two are stunning aren't they - very Betty Draper don't you think?



This one's really interesting with the odd scatter of colourful octagons 


I am now itching to get stitching and before I went away, I feel I was on quite a productive streak that I hope I can keep up! We're away this weekend though, so I have to wait until next week, which is incredibly frustrating! Are any of you unable to sew at the moment and are you finding it as frustrating as I am?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A parting gift!

Dear friends, the time has sadly come to say 'farewell'! Don't worry though, I'm only leaving you for just over a week so I can pay my family a visit in Cyprus. And to make up for my abandonment, I'm sharing some delightful extracts from the 1943 Spring/Summer Leach-Way Catalogue of Fashions – just click on the images to see them larger!


I love these handy wartime tips on using remnants and spending less tokens on economical designs:




Beautiful dresses for work and play:


My favourite...summer fashions! I love the checked coat and the blue polka dot dress:


There's nothing 'economical' about this luscious-looking lingerie and nightwear:


The catalogue was kindly gifted to me by a generous colleague, after she discovered my love for sewing vintage...thanks Chris!

Hope you all have a productive week ahead...I'm sure I'll be checking in for my daily dose of your creations!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Self-imposed challenge: an update and a confession

I am sad to announce that for the time being I have had to leave Vogue 7648 unfinished! I had a great vision for this gorgeous pattern that is looking less chic and more tacky 70s kaftan...is it possible for a person's creations to appear TWICE on Karen's Ugly Amnesty?!? 

So what went wrong eh? I wholeheartedly blame my fabric choice – what was I thinking regarding the colour/print and why didn't I go for something heavier for better drape!?! The only positive thing I can take away from this project is that I got to try out making my own bias binding, which I used around the armholes instead of the suggested facings – the process was easy enough, but seriously time consuming! 

Anyway, to round up my rather grumpy rant, here are a couple of pictures to chuckle about:



Of course I didn't want unfinished Vogue 7648 to cost me my self-imposed challenge of sewing three things in time for and suitable for my upcoming visit to Cyprus. Oh no, I don't give up that easily! With my Crescent skirt and Sorbetto Top already done, there was only one thing that could right this wrong...

...I made another Sorbetto of course...and then one more for good luck! Yep, that's three in total and I can't guarantee that there won't be more! Obsessed, one-trick pony, me? Never!




Apologies for the decapitated images, but my face and hair really weren't up to much today.



The three amigos!


As you can see, I'm really digging the contrast bias binding look! If I ever make a silky monochrome Sorbetto though, I think I'd go for the sleeker option of using matching bias binding. I also love  Sarai's suggestions of embellishing the centre pleat panel with lace, or buttons, or ribbon, or bias binding bows. I think for the ample-bosomed lady, like myself, simpler is better.

Anyway, enough of my rambling for one post! Has anyone else tried this pattern yet? What did you think?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Jersey-licious

Ever since Casey unveiled her Lily of the Valley Dress this week, which is breathtaking by the way, I've had nothing but jersey fabrics on my mind. I've never sewn with jersey before nor do I have a clue about basics like how best to finish jersey seams, but this is an itch I just have to scratch. 

The obvious place to start of course, is with the pattern Casey used, the Vintage Vogue 8728 reprint:


In the name of saving some cash though, I had a look through my pattern stash and boy I wasn't disappointed! I think all of the below would look good made up in jersey...can anyone more knowledgeable let me know if they foresee any flaws with my thinking?




Of course my research wouldn't be complete without locating the perfect fabric...the trouble is though, which one to choose?!?

Ditto Fabrics has the most delectable jersey selection in a single location that I've ever seen:







And I love this luscious colour from Croft Mill:


Have any of you sewn with jersey before? I'd appreciate any tips you may have!

Monday, 6 June 2011

One summery Sorbetto Top!

Friends, like so many of you fell in love with Sewaholic's Pendrell Blouse (which I've yet to try by the way), I've fallen hard for the Sorbetto Top! Not only do I find its simplicity really classy, it's also  a generous free download by Colette Patterns. It's definitely going to become a summer staple for me as it's so versatile!

Here's my first version, with many more to come I suspect:


A couple closer up:



And one demonstrating how lovely and sheer my voile is:


I wore my Sorbetto Top to work today and my friend Jenny made my day by commenting that it looked like something from Topshop. That's how cool this pattern is!

A word of warning though, despite being pretty busty myself, I found that this pattern came up quite big. I originally cut out a US 10 (UK 12) and it was huge, so I actually scaled down to a US 6 (UK 8)...so you may actually want to make a quick muslin first.

Anyway, this means two garments down and one to go of my self-imposed challenge

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Self-imposed challenge

I'm wholeheartedly enjoying following all the Me-Made-June posts out there, even though admittedly, there's a part of me that is sad not to be joining in. Fingers crossed though that I'll have enough me-made clothes for September eh!?! To counteract this sad feeling and to take me one step closer to joining taking part in the future, I mentally set myself a self-imposed challenge last week. It's only on a tiny scale, but it's been very motivating, so I thought that sharing it with you all will keep me going.

On 15 June I'm heading to Cyprus to visit my family and for the first time ever, I'd like to take some of my self-made clothes with me. Due to the limited time frame I settled on three me-made garments - secretly because three is my favourite number and of course 'the magic number'. The  first one was my Crescent Skirt which I managed to complete this weekend. So one down, two to go!!!

The two remaining garments that I'm working on are:

The gorgeous and generously free Sorbetto Top by Colette Patterns, in a sheer cotton voile that I picked up at the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandago.



Vogue 7648 from the 1950s, which I think has such a summery vibe. I'm not sure about my fabric choice though! It could be a massive fail with the fluorescent pink and orange flowers, but at only   £3.99 p/m I haven't got a lot to lose...and it is incredibly soft!



So, what's on your cutting table?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Crescent Sew-Along #3: all done!

Finally! I've finished my Crescent Skirt and thanks to Tasia's brilliant tutorial, it's the neatest garment I've ever made on the inside. Whoop! Following really helpful feedback from you lovely people, I made the hem knee length and I lowered the waistband a little – the latter has annoyingly made the skirt a touch too big on the waist so if there's a next time I may have to make some tweaks or cut a size down.

It's definitely not the most flattering shape on me, but I love the fabric print and I think I can make it work...do you?


Giving it a bit of a swishing swivel.



I also did some subtle topstitching in red, suggested to me by the lovely Portia of Miss P.


And I just couldn't resist a photo showing off the neat inside!