Monday 28 February 2022

Old Habits Die Hard

My sewing adventures of late have been varied - a mix of new habits and the old ones I can't let go of. I make online media content for Minerva which they are going to release later in the year so parcels of wonderful fabric and patterns arrive at my house weekly. It is my job to sample up the patterns and share the process so that makers can sew-a-long. Hopefully my teaching background and endless enthusiasm will stand me in good stead. This brushed cotton winter dress has been one of my favourite garments of late. It is called the Fen dress by Fancy Tiger Crafts. The pattern has lots of variations so I will enjoy exploring more.

Sometimes however I have to make a garment out of a fabric I am not so keen on and at first this was hard for me to do. In the past when sewing was a hobby, I tried hard to make sure that what I made was a really good use of my precious time alongside my teaching job. Now I have got over this and can happily make a garment as a sample because I am being paid to do so. I have to give some items a new home but my mum and my friends are happy with that! On the plus side, it does give me the opportunity to toile a pattern using a delivered fabric and then make it later for myself in a self-chosen fabric.

The Charlotte dress by Atelier Jupe patterns was the perfect example. The fabric above was so soft, drapey and such good quality but boy, who put those colours together?! Anyway, it might be right up someone's street but not mine. I absolutely loved the dress pattern though so I made it again in a piece of seasalt fabric I had been saving for just the right thing...and this tie waist dress was it. I made it a little shorter on the second run and got myself the perfect dress.

I still hold on to my own deep rooted sewing ethos which is to sew for my family by recycling as much as I can. Here is a shirt made for Andy from a tablecloth ready for summer. Well, why not? The cotton was beautiful quality.

I also like to support local sewing shops. If we bought all our fabrics online some shops would be gone altogether...a balance is good I think.

This embroidered cotton was in the sale at Abakhan from £21.95 a metre to £6.59 a metre so I just had to have 1 metre. It's green. It's cotton. It's botanical. I love it. One metre was perfect for the Datura blouse by Doe and Deer. Such a wonderful pattern with beautiful techniques which enclose all the seams and gives a brilliant bust fit for a vest top.

And finally, a trait you will know me for if you have followed this blog for a while - the using up of all the scraps in the most creative of ways.

This is the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio. It is a mix of embroidered fabric scraps I just didn't want to throw in the recycle bin. The Scout Tee is probably one of my most expensive pattern purchases, but definitely my most used. I could wear variations of these tops everyday.

I have also been working on a wedding guest outfit for my teen but it has been quite the negotiation. Can you imagine? More on that one later when I next round up my sewing adventures.

Off to check out your blogs with a cuppa now. Jo xxxxx 

Thursday 17 February 2022

Lots happening this many things in fact, it has taken me away from the online world. The biggest being my studio make over. When we moved house 18 months ago all of the furniture we didn't quite have a planned home for ended up in the studio and I used it to store my stuff. Now, with creating online tutorials for my work, I have to make it work as part of my job. The new working from home concept.

Painting - one studio wall white for better filming. The sewing wall houses everything sewing related with some room to spare. I also painted the table legs on both tables green, then waxed them to seal the paint.

Disturbing - all of my craft stuff is in its self disturbing. I had a good clear out and replaced this wall with more storage.

Building - two whole walls of IKEA Ivar units with bloke was gruelling especially as we did it all on one rainy day. My girls built some stuff too in the house while we put the units together and they kept popping in with completed parts. 

Exciting - news. The introduction of our cockerel, Gordon, has meant that Daisy the hen has started laying again. Hopefully, Heidi can hatch chicks which she has been reading up on. The incubator is ready to go in spring. For now though, we are eating the new eggs.

Giving - a Harris Tweed jacket a new life. It was a mens kilt jacket but I shortened the shoulders and sleeves; added a waist tie; covered some new buttons and added a cuff detail. It is such a warm coat/jacket.

Sewing - a comfortable dress. I am not mad about the fabric print as it happens but the pattern is brilliant and super easy. I have been exploring a range of patterns for work called Atelier Jupe. They have a wonderful wardrobe range and incredible instructions. This is the Charlotte dress and Lou top. I like that most of my clothes have names!

Sorting - out embroidery threads. With the two girls both stitching, it was all getting a bit of a mess. I bought them a bobbin case and the girls sorted out what they wanted to keep then got rid of the rest.

Crocheting - my knitting and crochet has ground to a halt. All of that painting and moving furniture has left me with a sore elbow. Also I have ran out of the medium grey colour wool for this throw and can't seem to find any anywhere. I have also found out that using my hands every evening to do yarn craft is actually what keeps me awake! I am finding it hard to keep my eyes open in the evenings without it.

Upskilling - my sewing by creating piping detail on my latest pair of Carolyn Pyjamas. The pattern really lends itself to the concept of moving your sewing on as you make each pair more complex. It is expensive but in my opinion, the only one PJ pattern you will ever need. This is my fifth pair (not all for me!)

Listening - to the wild wind this week and bracing ourselves for Friday with storm Eunice. I have tied the trampoline to a tree, turned all the sheep hay cratches away from the wind and picked up anything that can blow away and put it in the shed. All gates will be checked but fingers will have to be crossed for the tin on the barn roof. In calmer times...

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxx