Tuesday, 26 February 2013

One Renfrew, Two Renfrews...

Warning: this post contains sloppy slobby sewing errors and poor photography.  What would be the collective noun for Renfrews?  A clutch of renfrews, a stitch of renfrews?  I don't know what it could be. 
Any suggestions?
In line with my sewing plans I completed my purple Renfrew a few weeks ago. I cut it out before Christmas and then went back to it in January.   It sewed up really quickly.  The purple fabric was a gift from the lovely Scruffybadger via Birmingham Rag Market.  I am guessing it came from the stallholder whose byline is "Best Marks and Spencer fabric".
Then I got a bit carried away and made a second Renfrew.  This was enabled by Tors who had  mentioned the Backstitch sale.  I looked and found yellow polka dot cotton jesey from Oliver + S, half price.  I bought it as I find it very hard to find good quality jersey fabric.  Well, that's my excuse, and I am sticking with it.  This impulse online buying is dan-ger-ous! 

It's renfrew o'clock!  heee-heee

Obligatory looking for lost object on floor pose

I cut out short sleeves on the yellow top, having cut the purple one with full length sleeves which proved too long for me so I chopped them shorter.  Those long  sleeves are loooooong.  Like Donna, I think I will go down a size next time.  I don't like clinging tops but the neckline is a bit too big. 

So now time to 'fess up.  The purple Renfrew may look okay hanging up in the picture but when cutting it out I made such a rookie error.  I was rushing the cutting out, of course, trying to complete it before RG woke up.  When laying out and cutting the back piece I stupidly laid it so the two sides of the folded piece of fabric didn't match up and upon opening up the back piece realised a chunk of one shoulder simply wasn't there.  I didn't have enough fabric to cut the back out again so I opted for the slobby sewing route and simply sewed up the shirt with a big hole on the back beneath the shoulder seam.  Then when it was finished, I er, er, slobbily I know, I just wore it with a big old hole in it and made sure it was always covered by a cardigan.  This worked fine till I got hot one day!  Slowly my sewing pride took precedence and I decided to act. 
I had a very small piece of a lovely vintage pink nautical fabric
in my stash.  I t came from my bin bags of fabric a couple of years ago.  I used it to make shoulder patches, squared on the back and curved on the front.  I think the pink and purple colours really sing together and I am much happier with my non holey Renfrew.  I think it is brighter and prettier now with shoulder patches than it was before.

Back view
Front view

So, if there is a moral to this story, it would be that it doesn't matter if you make a mistake.  It's what you do afterwards to fix the mistake that counts.  Anyone else made a mistake into something good? 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Novelty prints

I am trying to sew as much as I can from my stash fabrics, the last couple of weeks I have been sewing a Secret Dress from stash fabric.  Sorry to be so annoying but I can't tell you about it yet. I have to confess that I have recently been browsing online fabric stores gazing at prints.  And i fell in love with these, the Architextures collection by Carolyn Friedlander. 

 I would like to use one of them to make my Colette crepe dress.  I also think they'd work well on a Sew Lisette traveller shirt dress or a bow blouse (do you hear me, Scruffybadger?).

I like the way that the functional drawings start to metamorphose into pattern and their image loses its original meaning. And the grahic quality,  But I am resisting temptation to buy at least until I have sewn up more stash fabric and saved up my pennies.

Add caption

Saturday, 16 February 2013

FO: Little Insa Cord Skirt

I made Little I a skirt from the thrifted cord fabric.  I used the Insa pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy J.S. Langdon and Sabine Pollehn.  The skirt has an overskirt and underskirt, each made of four panels.  Then it has an outer skirt yoke for the waist and an optional waistband.  It is a simple skirt to sew but looks more complicated in the pictures. I made the underskirt from red and white polka dot polycotton left over from this top and trimmed it with red ric rac.  The overskirt is in the floral cord and trimmed with some of my vintage lace from my stash. 

I followed the book's suggestion and zig-zagged elastic vertically down the centre of each outer skirt panel.  This gives a ruched effect which with cord fabric is quite puffball-esque.  There are big shiny red buttons and pieces of ric-rac sewn on at intervals round the skirt hem.  The skirt was fun to sew with all the embellishments.  I enjoyed the freedom to try out more embellishments and frou-frou bits with this skirt than I ever would with a skirt for myself. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sew Grateful Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  There are lots of new-to-me blogs that I have been checking out and enjoying from the comments list. 
The highly technical "pieces of paper in a tin" method was used to randomly choose a winner.

And,with  thanks to my assistant, the winner is.....number 17, Kristen of Sew Classic.    Kristen please let me know your postal address.  You can email it to:  minnadoshouse@gmail.com

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sew Grateful Week Giveaway

Thank you for all the birthday wishes for Ropcket Girl.  She says something like, "da-da-da-uh-la-la" back to all of you. 

I have been planning a giveaway for a long time but seeing Gingermakes' post reminded me about
Sew Grateful week and it gave me a timely nudge.  The giveaway is of this little vintage cardboard suitcase containing some sewing and cratfy goodness.  The suitcase is only small so don't start thinking I have lost the plot entirely and am posting out a full sized suitcase.  It was one of a pair I thrifted last year and I had thought it would make a sweet portable sewing case. 

I will leave the giveaway open until Sunday 10th february and all you need to do is leave a comment, but make sure I have some way of contacting you!

Monday, 4 February 2013


 A couple of weeks ago Rocket Girl turned one.  I just can't believe it.  Somedays I only feel 12 years old, somedays 17 years old, somedays I feel 73 years old, certainly, somedays I surprise myself thinking I am a mother of three!  That's about all I have to say.

Oh, except she's great. :)

to here....

Helping sort the fabric stash  - start them young

Favourite occupation - emptying cupboards

Sunday, 3 February 2013

FO: floral cord skirt

Too big skirt!

I  finished sewed these this skirt  back in November but struggled to photograph it and then had to alter it, so finally here they are.  Made from a length of thrifted floral cord, I think it was £2.50.  I made my skirt from the Built By Wendy Sew U book skirt pattern and used two fronted slant patch pockets lined with red and white polka dots.  I fully lined it with some grey lining that was left in my stash from making my Lingering Layers  maternity skirt. All good, so far, I cut the skiirt out size large and remember thinking "That looks awfully big" while sewing.  Of course I didn't measure or try it on in progress - oh no, that would have been far too sensible.  On completion, it was a bit too big but I wore it anyway.  Then I was sick and lost weight before Christmas and suddenly it was much too big.  In the top photos it was safety-pinned in place.  Then my thrifted zip (10p at the car boot) broke. So at New Year I unpicked the skirt and re-sewed.  I had to unpick and move the patch pockets as they were too close to the new seam line, I unpicked the lining partway and took that in, then took in the side seams, replaced the pockets, and inserted a new zip (thrifted from the Cub Scout Christmas bazaar, 5 for a pound) .  Phew...due to my laziness in not initially measuring and testing the size, I had to re-sew almost the entire skirt.  I have learnt a lesson. 

Windy day

My current favourite way to wear the skirt with thrifted red cadigan and (unthrifted) baby
I have been wearing my cord skirt a lot since re-fitting it.  It is just easy, comfortable and brightly pretty. 
Very soon I will show you the matching skirt I made for Little I.  It seemed like too much for one post.