Tag Archives: fabrics

weekly photo challenge: world through your eyes

fabric piles on chair (yes, there IS a chair underneath) - reminding me I want to use these SOON
fabric piles on chair (yes, there IS a chair underneath) – reminding me I want to use these SOON

Well, you know I’m thinking fabric and colour and pattern all the time, so what better things to share in this week’s challenge?

Warning!  You are about to enter into the strange and wonderful thought processes of moi, matching fabric with pattern, style & colour.  Proceed with caution!

retro-inspired Balenciaga
Balenciaga dress – 20s fashion that’s very current: Love it!
(click to go to original post on Mizhattan.com)
summer pattern board
summer pattern board

Inspiration: On left is a feminine and fresh Balenciaga that, minus that fuzzy hat, would look great for a 1920s day or night on the town.

On the right is my current wish list/pattern board, which I see all the time. It contains patterns from 1930s to 2013 styles.

It’s supposed to remind me of all those gorgeous things I want to make & wear NOW!

(Hope the un-subliminal messaging works – hee-hee!)

Which brings me to fabric bought last December,  but meant for this summer because they’re very light cottons.

2 light weight 100% cotton fabrics
2 light weight 100% cotton fabrics
(ignore the beige with berry branches at top right)

really wanted to use the white with cherries for Folkwear’s Metro Middy Blouse, but when I started laying out the pattern Sunday afternoon I realized there wasn’t enough. Rats! (Went with medium weight linen & cotton blend for that pattern, but that’s another post.)

Still thinking in blouse & skirt mode, I wandered over to me board of patterns …  I kept seeing the red, in me mind’s eye, as a circle skirt.  Scanning the  pattern board, I started thinking about elongating the bodice of Folkwear’s 1930s Day Dress.  Hmm… that might work as a blouse – just button it down the front a bit more.  Plus, it’s high on my Must Make This Summer list.

click to move to Folkwear's page!
click to move to Folkwear’s page!

A light bulb moment!  Why not go whole hog & make a skirt & blouse instead of a dress, using the bottom right view.  That’s my  Plan B… to see if there’s enough of both fabrics to make a tail on the bodice for a blouse, & a waist band for a separate skirt.

In your mind’s eye, can you visualise cherries on white fabric for the blouse, with maybe the red for the collar & sleeves? Then I’d do the skirt with the solid red, and maybe cherry fabric for the adorable pockets?? If there’s enough fabric….. and must use some cute buttons… that cherry fab needs cute buttons…

If not, no doubt there’s a Plan C or D or even E available, all from the pattern board.  Decisions!

(Have temporarily given up the idea of a circle skirt outta this red, of course.)  But not the idea of doing a circle skirt.  😉

(Oh, that ‘extra’ beige fabric with the berry branches? It’s slightly heavier 100% cotton & perfect for a-nother blouse with longer sleeves to wear with that skirt.)

Sometimes I wonder about meself… and need another creative person to bounce an idea off of.

Sew, what do you think?

indie pattern & another stashed project

this fabulucious buttery rayon has been aging for... easily a decade, until I could trace the pieces so I'd have the pattern, whoch I tossed - waaaahhhh!!!
this fabulucious buttery rayon has been aging for… easily a decade, until I could trace the pieces so I’d have the pattern, which I foolishly tossed – waaaahhhh!!!

indie pattern challenge

The linen-cotton fabric ordered from amazon arrived Friday night and got laundered Saturday.  Yes, amazon does have fabric & the provider listed is fabric.com ~ it’s the exact same fabric! But goodness ~ it had more lint than a heavy cotton bath towel. Am thinking to laundry & dry once more before cutting out my Middy Blouse.  Why’d I order from amazon? I needed to get some notions that were a little less dear than on fabric.com, and a couple of things fabric.com didn’t have.

another project from the vault…

The story behind the yellow rayon above began aaages ago.  The fabric is another stashed California fabric.  The colour, which doesn’t reproduce quite correctly, is a wonderful sunflower yellow, not too bright, with a hint of that brown sunflower centre with the yummy seeds. Have 2 other unlined pull-ons from the pattern, but cannot locate the pattern online. Mind you, also can’t remember the pattern company or year, either!  I just remember thinking that if I left the pieces all cut out I could toss the pattern & copy from the pieces for another pattern, then sew it up. Ten-plus years later, it’s finally getting done.

forgot to mention yesterday…

black & gold lanalux by Lana Yarns
black & gold lanalux by Lana Yarns

Dragged another project out over the weekend, but this one’s knitting. Found this yarn 2 or 3 years ago, and thought it would make a soft, glittery evening shawl. Got it started and almost done, then shelved it. Now hope to get it finished. 1 ball of yarn to go!  (Details over on ravelry.)

All for now, Lovelies ~ happy sewing!

burda challenge completed!

completed blouse
completed blouse
will definitely wear casually!

Making this 4-piece Burda pattern has been interesting.  It’s the first time I remember making a sample using an old sheet – always wanted to use an old sheet!

That gave me a healthy sense of freedom, knowing I wasn’t working on expensive fabric, or having to come up with a usable piece of clothing. Should I do some piping? Maybe add lace to the sleeve or hem?  Finally, I decided to add another set of tucks at the neckline, and do a seam up the back, using a button closure.

However, in this case I eventually felt the sheet had a little too much body for the style. I should have used a single knit – like the lovely bamboo jersey I originally planned for this project.  But as the overall style isn’t particularly flattering, I’m glad I stuck with the sheet!

Veddy veddy interesting to finally work on a Burda pattern, and I’m grateful I kept at it and completed this challenge!


weekly photo challenge: background & more organising

top of shelving unit - note white shelves in background on left & right
top of shelving unit – note white shelves in background on left & right

Am sooo pleased!!! Scored a great bargain from a yard sale. It’s very sturdy & will provide LOTS of storage for fabric, books, notions, etc. Now need to start stacking me stackable bookcases (those white things in the background, lower left & right) to make use of vertical space, a la designer Christopher Lowell.

And speaking of organizing, how cool is it that this week’s photo challenge coincides with The Organising Project?!  What, you say?  She’s bought  another shelf for that tiny space when she’s already got 6?!

It’s all about that stuff in the background, Possums – those places of I-wish-obcurity, unnoticed & unseen (see definition #2, next para.) that should be a sofa for sitting rather than book & fabric storage.

From my favorite dictionary: BACK”GROUND, n. [back and ground.] Ground in the rear or behind, as opposed to the front. 2. A place of obscurity, or shade; a situation little seen, or noticed.

In other words, it’s all about that stuff in the background – fabric strewn over sofa, and boxes & books on the floor – cleverly mostly cut out of the frame. Besides, who doesn’t need storage for all their sewing inventory & gear???


update on stuff…

looks straight here but as soon as I walked outside into the humidity it looked like S-curves all round!
hat brim looks straight here but as soon as I walked outside into the humidity it looked like S-curves all round!

Have been doing lots, like washing/cleaning/planning new ironing board cover, dithering about how to get brim of spring crocheted hat a bit straighter, what ribbons to use for last week’ quick spring shift… not to mention Life’s stuff, aka laundry, groceries, further settling in/organizing, catching up with friends ~ Life’s administrivia!

Have I listed enough excuses for not being super productive?!

Will try to remember to get some kind of wiring to thread hopefully invisibly thru the  hat brim when I’m next either in a hardware or craft shop. That should sort it out.  Did you know wiring hat brims is normal? Not for every hat, of course, but the ones that do often cover the wire with some sort of trim, such as ribbon. I don’t want to do that because I think any trim will alter my ability to dress the hat up or down.  What do you think?!

On the home front, I’d noticed the shower curtain dragging the floor and wanted to put a hem in after its’ next wash, which happened yesterday. The fabric used is a heavy-weight 100% cotton similar (in weight) to denim — and you know how denim can stretch!

can you see the little almost dotted line (center) where the thread was pulled?
can you see the little almost dotted line (center) where the thread was pulled?

Guess the weight of the curtain was pulling the already long curtain down enough to drag the floor in this current bath. Planning for a future possibility of more height,  I did a 6-inch hem, using my machine and a straight stitch. Got out my packet of denim sewing machine needles and chose a larger size (14), but forgot to lengthen the stitch a bit. Not a big deal now, but if that hem has to come out in the future, it’ll take more time… oh, well!  😉

Because I was sewing through 3 & 4 thicknesses of fabric, I went slowly, kept my needle in the up position, and made sure no fabric dragged on the way under the needle because I didn’t want to risk breaking a needle, and  I succeeded. However, when almost done, a thread of the fabric somehow got pulled.

I stopped sewing immediately to check the needle — not bent or snapped – then cut the threads, carefully pulled the fabric out, and double-checked the needle & feed dog area.  Couldn’t find any problem or reason for the snag, so repositioned fabric and s-l-o-w-l-y completed the sewing.  Then I put the needle in my discard case, and hung the freshly-washed curtain back up… another job completed!

discarded needles
discarded needles

weekly photo challenge: escape

amongst the piles, current project is bright yellows/orange on tippy top of fabric piles & actually under the pressure foot
amongst the piles, current project is bright yellows/orange on tippy top of fabric piles & actually under the pressure foot

Borrowing from Urban Rustic, I think of this as my sewing slum, and it’s a delightful escape. Having spent so much time getting machines cleaned, & finding infrastructure (fabric, patterns, thread, bindings, ribbons, laces, buttons, interfacings, etc.) it’s such a pleasure to just sit down and sew.

Decided this morning to make up a seersucker fabric purchased last weekend. Am doing an extremely simple gathered straight shift with tie shoulder straps. It’ll do for either nightgown or house dress when it’s super hot… which is what I was vainly looking for this morning.

If you can’t find it/don’t have it, sew it! Which makes this not only an escape to a pleasanter, though decidedly crowded place, it’s also a process whereby to escape from heat, and add a needed item to me wardrobe.

Not bad for a Friday!

summer hat & fabric stash

can you see the brim's been started?!
can you see the brim’s been started?!

Spent lots of time this weekend going through fabric.  Now have all winter fabrics boxed up, awaiting Aug/Sept time frame.  And have all summer things boxed, with a lot of it washed-since-the-move and ready to cut out.  Phew!

After all that, plus getting me serger back and playing with it, just spent a lotta time crocheting in front of telly.  Hat’s almost done – yeah!

process, process, process… and impatience!

May I report, Dear Readers, that I do not like hot, humid weather? And possibly, as a consequence, don’t have many me-mades for said season??  There’s also the eternal problem of either Not Finding The Right Pattern, or Not Finding The Right Fabric. Am I the only one who struggles with these??? Puh-lease tell me I’m not!

At the moment, am sitting with me feet up by open windows, eating cake* & occasionally typing a word or two, virtuously awaiting laundry to complete its’ wash & dry cycles, totally ignoring the piles of fabric all over the bedroom closet floor.

Because, you understand, moi has decided, once laundry is done, to do a major sort out of The Stash and make 2 piles, Hot and Cold weather fabrics. Upon reflection, I’d thought about doing it before moving, but gave it up when massive indecision over what to pack, one item at a time, hindered the whole removals process. You know I didn’t want to make the mistake of ditching fabric, then later wishing I hadn’t.  ;-(    Now the move’s done, and hope the sort will be easier.


Can’t believe how quickly that 1 pile from last night’s rummage became 2 – it didn’t take 10 minutes! But something tells me that if I do what in my heart I know needs to be done – measure & note length, width & type of each fabric, and take it’s photo – there will be a lot more than 10 measly minutes gone. Maybe I’ll just begin with the summer fabrics, and leave the winter for later…

Read a quote somewhere recently from Ann R, winner of this season’s Great British Sewing Bee. She said that the preparation time of a project can seem to take forever, but is an essential part of the entire process. Hmm. Know she’s right, but it can seem very tedious indeed…

* Josée’s double chocolate muffins, with bran, so I can pretend I’m just eating a daily bran muffin – hehe!

a wee bit more sewing bee!

from the BBC-2 web site
from the BBC-2 web site

Note-This shoulda been a monday or tuesday post, but was too busy to put it up – apologies for not feeling like writing this week, & saving them all up for today – my bad On a brighter note, you’ve the whole weekend to catch up.   he-he!

There’s just something about the camaraderie all 8 contestants displayed that’s knocked a big hole in many people’s hearts around the globe.  If you’re one of those with withdrawal pangs, here’s a wee bit more detail. And lots more piccies!

❤❤  Faithful Readers know I’m a fan of Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place.  Her partner, David, has written a beautiful guest post of his observations of the show, having accompanied Debi to Lauren’s Grand Opening last weekend, when many of the contestants also came to help out. As a man who doesn’t sew, he had time to observe and reflect on what was happening. It’s inspiring reading!  ❤❤

the sewers, in alpha order

  • Ann is on Ravelry, and has ventured into quilting
  • Jane’s gorgeous handbags are available online
  • Lauren’s shop sells online & has just opened in Birmingham, U.K.
  • Mark & his wife spend their evenings making historic costumes for themselves
  • Michelle is a young mum & makes unique fashions for herself & her baby
  • Sandra continues to sew for herself & her 3 daughters… and has started her own label
  • Stuart writes a quilting column for a monthly magazine, and holds quilting workshops around the U.K., including at Lauren’s store
  • Tilly is publishing her own patterns, has a very popular blog, and also does workshops at Lauren’s store

judges & presenter

  • May Martin has taught at Denman College (Women’s Institute Academy) since 1995
  • Savile Row’s Patrick Grant is a director of a bespoke menswear firm and has absorbed their high level of workmanship
  • Claudia Winkleman is well-known for hosting BBC programmes, including Strictly Come Dancing & The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman

BBC-2 aired the programmes, and this is their site. Note that I’ve tried several times to view clips on their site and have only gotten to see 1 or 2.  Not certain if it’s because I’m not in England, or if the site was overloaded with requests to view.