Thursday, 28 April 2016

Think Pink! Pink skirt #2

You know when you make something you love so much that it just gets worn all the time before you even get a photograph or a blog post up? Well this is what happened with my last make, a proper 'woohoo make' as Kirsty would say! 

I like pink, a lot. My Wildwood Flower skirt gets worn loads so I thought it was about time to make another pink skirt to add to the wardrobe. This is the Great British Sewing Bee A-line tweed mini skirt pattern from the Fashion with Fabric book. There are so many lovely patterns in this book but I decided to start with this as I really needed a warmer skirt for winter.  I am so so pleased with this skirt and wear it at least once a week, often more!

One very neat invisible zip!
Making this skirt involved learning some new sewing skills. This was my first time attaching a lining, first time hand-sewing a hem, and first time using binding to finish a waistline.  The wonderfully vibrant pink wool came from a batch of fabrics gifted to me by a friend who works for a high street fashion store - they hold these fabric sales to get rid of left-over fabric from sample stock and she picked me up some wonderful fabrics! I splashed out and bought some Bremsilk Cupro lining from MacCulloch and Wallis, which is also where I got the brown faux-leather binding.

Hand-stitched hem and lovely purple lining

The instructions were pretty straight-forward as there are no pockets or facings and the directions given for adding the lining worked really well. I made up a straight size 10 but only used 1cm seam allowance instead of the recommended 1.5cm as I thought it would be too snug otherwise. However it's actually turned out a smidgeon too loose so if I make this again I'll just use the given seam allowance. I hand-tacked my zip down before sewing it and am really pleased with how it looks. I can see from these photos that I need to press the hem more but I was scared to as when I initially pressed the fabric it burnt a little bit, thankfully it's on the back and with a little bit of brushing the wool it's not noticeable at all.  Also, it looks squint in these photos but it really isn't, it must be the way I'm standing! I really took my time over this and, I think because of the influence of the quilting I've been doing recently, did more hand-sewing than I usually would on a garment. Both the hem and the back of the binding are hand-sewn, and the tacking stitches for the zip were done by hand.  It was so nice to challenge myself a bit with a pattern after lots of jersey sewing (with more jersey sewing to follow soon!) and I'm looking forward to doing some more sewing with wovens over the summer.

Summary -
Pattern: A-line Tweed mini skirt hack from Fashion with Fabric, Great British Sewing Bee book. This was a present from my husband for Christmas.
Size: 10, no alterations except reduced seam allowance by 0.5cm
Pink wool - present from a friend
Lining - £10 from MacCulloch & Wallis
Binding - £4 from MacCulloch & Wallis
Zip - stash
Thread - purple and brown thread from stash, pink thread £1.60 Hobbycraft
Total cost £15.60 - for a lined wool skirt, woohoo indeed!

This week though it's all about jersey again as I'm taking part in Katie's, from The Creative Counselor, 'Back to Basics week' - which is all about sewing yourself basics, as simple as it sounds. It's been a great push for me and I can't wait to share my next make with you when I get some photos!
And it's Me Made May soon! Who's taking part? Have you changed your pledge at all? 
Here is mine:
'I, Kathryn of Kathryn's Busy Town, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear one me-made/refashioned item each day for the duration of May 2016. I also pledge to start work on one of my vintage patterns during the month of May'

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Stack-o-cats baby quilt

Well I think I can safely say that's me hooked on quilting now. This is my second quilt and I so enjoyed making it and am very happy with how it turned out! I still love sewing clothes but have a feeling there will be more quilts making an appearance here now, in between sewing for me and toddler sewing. This quilt uses the 'Quilt for a baby boy' pattern, another free pattern from Purl Soho.
I could go on a rant about gender/sewing/colours etc here but I won't as Molly, the creator of the pattern quite clearly states she doesn't agree with genderising colours/patterns etc but created this quilt for a particular baby boy, hence the name.

The starting point for this quilt was when I saw the cat print fabric on M is for Make. Well actually the starting point was of course my friend having her baby girl but when I saw the cat fabric, that's when I knew I was going to make her a quilt as my friend loves cats and knitting so this 'stack-o-cats' fabric featuring cats with balls of wool was just perfect! I couldn't decide between the two colour-ways of the print so I ordered both thinking I would find fabrics in my stash to co-ordinate (like I did on my first quilt). However I could only find the green, violet and the coral fabric in my stash so I contacted Kate at 'M is for Make' and she was brilliant! (I'm not getting any sponsorship or freebies from them, I just happen to love their selection of fabrics, and their customer service). She gave me a list of options that all went really well and I picked out some solids, and the lovely Atelier Brunette tangerine.  The white is a lovely quality double sheet I found in our local charity shop (for £1) and the binding is Tangerine Kona, also used in the quilt. I bought the cotton batting from my local Hobbycraft store.

I am so pleased with how this quilt turned out! I love the combination of colours but I think it's the expanses of white that really set the colours off and make this quilt so nice and bold. I used the Purl Soho tutorials again, for making double-fold binding, sewing on double-fold binding, and slip stitching, as I find these so clear and helpful.  The quilt instructions by Molly are also easy to follow and the nice straight lines make for easy quilting.  I think my next quilting challenge might be to try some more free-form quilting, using circles and waves instead of just straight lines. So many things I've read about quilting say a walking foot makes a huge difference but for my Bernina that would mean £80-100 so I think that will need to wait a while. In the meantime I've got a foot my mum used for free-hand machine embroidery so I'm going to do some experiments with that. There's also the rabbit hole of quilting blogs which I've just discovered so I may be spending a lot of my time getting inspiration from them!