Sunday, 30 January 2011

Nora refashion

Stupidly I have lost my "before" photo of this t shirt. It was a long sleeve
v-neck with a brown ribbon trim with buttons on it. I took off the trim and made the yoke using the Nora pattern from Ottobre Autumn 2010 blogged about here. I used one of Mr Minnado's worn out t-shirts for the yoke and added three buttons from the button box.
I am thinking this yoke would also look good on a jersey dress...also a striped yoke on a black or navy top for a nautical feel...the possibilities are endless.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Finished Nora

I finished the Nora top from Ottobre magazine on wednesday but it has been so gloomy and dark here I struggled to get a decent photo. I wonder if other bloggers find it amazing how different colours look in different photos and light conditions. The sun has come out today so here is Nora. I made it in a light grey jersey knit which I bought last year on ebay. I have resolved to stop buying knit fabrics on ebay without seeing a sample first as I like this fabric but it is quite clingy and reveals EVERY lump and bump. If I had had it in my hand before buying I would not have bought it! But such is the the Ebay madness and impulse. I was determined to use this fabric up and not waste it.

It is a top which is plain and not much by itself but I think it will be a really useful basic item. Due to the lump revealing quality of the fabric I think I will wear it with cardigans.

The pattern was quite straightforward to follow and the tracing was easier than I had imagined. I did find it a bit strange to follow a pattern entirely with text and no diagrams as I am quite a visual learner. While sewing the yoke I was thinking how great this pattern could be for refashioning and using with contrasting yokes, so you may guess what is currently on my ironing board awaiting finishing.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

reading list and kids these days

Oooh, I have some new-to-me books. In the middle is "Green is the new black" by Tamsin Blanchard subtitled: "How to change the world with style". I will report back on this....And bottom of the pile is the great "How to be an explorer of the world" by Keri Smith (link to her blog, go on, check it out) - it is a book of things to do which can help reignite creativity and alter the way you look at the world around you. I bought it so I can do some of the projects in it with my kids but it is actually aimed at adults. What is everyone else reading?

So preschoool is not quite what it used to be....this is some of the work Little I bought home last week, her photoshopped pictures of her lego model.

Traditionalists out there be reassured, there is also a sandpit, climbing frame and home corner.
In sewing news:
I am hemming my Nora top from Ottobre this afternoon and working on another t shirt refashion from the box of clothes sent by Fabulous Emma. I hope to share pictures soon.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Refashioned T shirt

So, you may have noticed in my last post that I mentioned receiving a box of clothes in the post. Well, after some inital confusion, it turned out they were from a friend who decided to donate to me and said some of them are for refashioning. (Thank you Emma, you are very lovely)
This was my first attempt. I am slightly obsessed about yokes and have been thinking about combining jersey knits with wovens. So I decided this long sleeved brown t-shirt gave me the perfect opportunity to have a play around. Here's the result. I used the shirt front pattern from the Built by Wendy Sew U book and traced a yoke adding my own curve. I then sewed it onto the shirt with a zigzag stitch and cut away the original neckband. I toyed with the idea of adding the apples fabric to the cuffs but decided that could push it into the realm of twee-ness.
Thank you to those who entered my giveaway. Bodthepod is getting the Sew magazine and Ali's name was picked out of the bowl (highly scientific method) to recieve the Burda mag.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Barbie Refashioned

A big retro A-line dress.

Most of the sewing here has been for these ladies this week. Bought from a series of charity shops most of them were naked. To give them some modesty, I have used scraps and some pieces of cut up jumble sale clothes. The blue flowery dress was the end of a sleeve and so came with the ready made frilled hem. The Barbies who have come with clothing seem to be dressed as either saccharine pink princess or are scantily dressed in well, a tarty way. These are only two pictures - there are more.
Making clothes for dolls is strangely addictive, it is so quick and uses up small pieces of fabric. It is also nostalgic, reminding me of my mum making doll's clothes for me and also of how much I loved dressing up my dolls. (No Barbie for me though, we had Sindy)
My nearly four year old is also a hard task master...sitting by the machine, "Can I help?" and "Come on Mum".

Friday, 14 January 2011

Giveaway - sewing magazines

Okay so here it first giveaway. I thought I never win on giveaways but then I got lucky and won the shoes giveaway by the very lovely Ali.
Then, yesterday morning the postman delivered a mysterious box with no letter inside or return address. When we opened it T and I found it was full of clothes....after a few texts were sent I discovered they were from a very lovely friend who was having a clear out.
I was relieved as I had started to worry I had a clothing stalker. So with all these new-to-me gifts I feel I am due to make a giveaway myself.

I have been sorting out my sewing supplies and have a couple of sewing magazines up for grabs. I am not going to use them so would like them to go out there to good homes where they can be properly appreciated.

I will send them out separately and am happy to post them whereever in the world.

Above is Sew magazine from summer 2010. It comes with the unopened pattern envelope to make the halter neck dress, either a maxi style or kneee length, plus a little cotton knit shrug, Amy Butler baby hats, Alice inwonderland inspired embroidery, and lots of other projects, even a little patchwork in there. I bought it when overwhelmed in the supermarket last summer but it just isn't my taste. I am sure another sewer out there can do great things with these patterms.

Then I also have Burda Magazine from Summer 2010 on offer.

The Burda patterns are unused, the magazine just has some wear and tear on the spine.

It has summer clothes and also maternity and childrenswear in this issue. I esepcially love the little girl dress patterns in here but I have a little girl who doesn't like to wear dresses.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment by Wednesday 19th January telling me which magazine you would prefer and perhaps why (I am just a nosey parker) and if you do not have a link set up in your comments to a blog or email, then please add your email address to the comment. Good luck. Oh and keep reading, I feel another giveaway may be due next month with my increased clearouts...

Thursday, 13 January 2011

My First Sewing Book (for ScruffyBadger)

Okay so when I say I will do something, it may take me several months, but I will do it. Back in September I posted about this book - My First Sewing Book- which I found at a National Trust second bookshop for the grand sum of not many pence. Scruffy Badger recognised it as a book from her childhood, perhaps even her First sewing book? I said I would post better, bigger images from it. so here they are. Don't get too nostalgic Ms Badger. I love the illustrations and the ideas divide between making things like a pencil case and a knitting needle tidy to making clothes and even some sandals. Yes, make your own shoes. Do you think anyone did? I am ever so tempted to try it out this summer.

Monday, 10 January 2011

More from Ottobre

First up before Ottobre, my work in progress, my shirt, I went a bit wrong this morning putting on the collar stand so it is due to be unpicked and redone. The colour in this photo is not very accurate it is a deeper browny red.
Now, back to the post subject, I wanted to show in more detail some of the patterns I am thinking of sewing from Ottobre. I think I could get a lot of use out of these patterns if I can get to grips with them. Firstly, I need to work out which of my fabrics in my stash would fit for the patterns. I am limited to only buying a small amount of fabrics new this year. I do think these patterns would give me some good basic wardrobe staples and would be worth a bit of new fabric. I have a weakness for peacoat style jackets. I would love this in red with white top stitching and buttons, or navy fabric and red detailing.... BUT I have no suitable fabric already in the stash so have to think about it. Also a big I brave enough?

Next up...jersey tops:

I like the use of a woven fabric here to edge the neck, but I would probably make the cuffs plainer as I would just get that style of cuff wet and dirty very quickly. Maybe take the cuffs from Susie and give them to Bessie? (Would Bessie be very offended?)

I like the use of women with a range of body shapes and ages as models. It is refreshing to see "real" women showing the clothes.

I think I would like to make this Nora top. Probably without the roses. The yoked neck appeals to me as I always struggle with my neck edging on t-shirts. This gives me a good alternative to the neck band.

Sports capri trousers. They would be useful but the idea of making them doesn't seem very exciting.

I would like these in navy or black, maybe with some red topstitching for Spring and Summer.

I have a piece of grey cotton jersey that I can use to make a top, just got to choose...Nora or Bessie??

Friday, 7 January 2011

work in progress

This has been a week of tidying up after Christmas, putting away decorations and the tree.
I have been playing on picnik, making the Thank You cards for T and Little I, using T's drawing.

Before putting the children's book case back in its place (we moved it for the tree) I decided to repaint it with some white gloss. I think it looks much better now. The colours of the books show up so much brighter now. I originally blogged about the shelves here An unexpected bonus of doing this is we have been rediscovering books we forgot about.
A friend gave me a bag of fabric remnants as part of my Christmas presents, so I started a new sewing project with a rusty red piece (I think it is polycotton) from the bag. It is supposed to be a blouse which something I have never made before. So far I have done the front darts and the outside facing.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Ottobre magazine

Totally irrelevent cake picture, I just wanted to share virtually if not in real life! New Year's Day - friends came over to play and to eat cake and party food. I love making and eating party food. Yum, yum. Now back to sewing business....

I bought myself a christmas present - a two issue subscription to Ottobre magazine. (Cost 12.50 euros) What a treat when it arrived just before Christmas - it has several patterns for using knit fabrics which I hope to try out to expand my sewing knits experience. Plus it has some sportswear patterns (bottom row of the pictures, vest, hoodie and cropped trousers) - a big gap in my homemade wardrobe is exercise clothes. I used to do a lot of exercise before children and after I had one baby only. I went back to the gym last year and found my old sportswear kind of pitiful and a bit holey (that was the stuff that still fitted, my days of cropped gym vests are so over). I am hoping (if the babysitting works out) to join a free women's running group soon as I cannot afford the gym and I do get bored in there. So sewing sportwear is on my to-do list.

I did have a feverish moment on the sunday before Christmas, and I decided to cut out and make the wrap/scarf featured on the cover. I am always a sucker for easy quick patterns.

You are supposed to be able to wear it a multitude of ways but somehow on me I just look like I am wearing an odd piece of material. Closer inspection (and a quick visit to the Ottobre blog) showed the cover model is wearing two wraps over a matching longsleeved t shirt, thus creating the look of a draping top. I think it takes a certain kind of talent and stylishness to wear this as a top/ shawl. These are qualities I do not possess..
And so, I found I like wearing it best as a scarf, it is really light weight and good for warmer days. The light today is awful, really dull so I will try and get a better photo if and when it brightens up.
I am planning a giveaway soon, I just need to check the quality of the proposed items....

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Presents, and Happy New Year

Our newest family member, saved from the cooking pot, is Big Boy Chicken (named by Little I). He is definitelly an Alpha male and enjoying himself with his harem of five ladies.
Our house build in the snow last week. Hopefully we will be in there in 2011!

Having been assiduous about buying second hand all year I let that go in December and bought the children brand new presents. We have had some bad luck with buying battery operated toys second hand. Of course I had to find them at bargain prices! Little I received a music set - here she is with the keyboard. T received a remote control plane. I cannot say how great it is - we have all been enjoying having a go with it and marvelling like a bunch of people who have never seen radio controlled or battery operated toys before. Even Little I managed to fly it.
Happy New Year!