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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Ample Cross Back Aprons!

I've just listed a few of my bigger cross back aprons on Etsy, 
 I had to wait for a willing model!

Small, medium and large means absolutely nothing to me, there is no size definition. 
I'm a 10/12/14 depending on the label. On my bigger sizes I want for 'ample' and 'more than ample'.  The measurements are listed in inches.

Top to bottom these are denim,  heavy linen and pinstripe denim.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Long Time Coming

My third attempt at Simplicity 2444.  This one took considerably longer though.  The first muslin took a couple of hours and that was with cutting out the pattern.  The second car print took a bit longer, maybe 4 because I had to perfectly match the join in the middle of the print and place the illustrations exactly where I wanted them.

This is number three, so it should have been a breeze but by this time I was getting a bit cocky.  I had a very pretty Liberty Lawn that I could have used but then I re-discovered this in my stash.  I got it a few years ago from my favourite fabric shop, if money was no object I'd never shop anywhere else.  Cloth House is in Berwick Street in Soho, there are a few really good fabric shops in that area and some overpriced but good vintage shops.  I like it because it only carries the best, pricey but worth it because you just can't find fabric like that all under one roof anywhere else.  Anyway I think I paid about £35 a metre for this silk because I loved the colours, it was a fairly loose weave and unusual, a bit shot/tonic. 

 Once I started working with it I realised my error,  the thread is so fine that if you breathe it moves, because it's a loose weave as soon as it's cut it frays like billyo but worst of all it has a sort of optical illusion effect.   The black weft thread is super super fine and starts with one strand and build up to very dense, if you are dead centre in front of it and move left or right the depth of shade changes.  Every time you pin, measure or cut you need to be in just the right position.  There are a lot of pleats and darts in this pattern and with a stripe running horizontal and vertical it took some time and a lot of unpicking and re-doing.  In total this took me a whopping 25 hours to complete with all the edges and hem hand stitched.  I stabilised the whole bodice with vilene and overlocked like mad which I wouldn't normally do on a garment for me, I prefer french seams but that was never going to happen.

The big day finally arrived and it looked okay, I love the deep pockets - my phone was safe and sound all day thats how big they are - but look like i'm slouching when my hands are shoved in.  The engineering in the bodice worked well, the skirt is so swishy and the whole thing very comfortable but I suppose that is because it is a bespoke bit of tailoring and fits like a glove which is what you should get if you can be bothered to make something for your exact body shape.

My favourite 1950's Lucite bag got an outing and many many compliments, 
I bought it many years ago it from here, the most fabulous shop for vintage jewellery and bags. 
Glorious weather, a chilled out wedding and an ice cream bicycle to die for.
Congratulations Daim and Jane, a rare and perfect day.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Another day at the office.

At my workstation yesterday adding a bit more embroidery to one of my Etsy vintage pinnies,
 only one left now so I'm going to have to get busy.
 A custom order that's on it's way to the other side of the pond.
Sticking out of my head is my favourite marking pencil, these are great because they are a water colour pencil, the lines wash out and you can get them in any colour you fancy. 
 I get mine from here, I love being able to walk in and pursue the colour spectrum.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Simplicity 2444 No.2 Vintage Motors

The Simplicity 2444 muslin worked well so I had a go with my intended fabric.
  A vintage French printed cotton, I'm guessing 1960's.

Matching the seams exactly is what making your own clothes is all about,
 simple pleasures!

I'm not keen on the finished article for what I had intended,
 a bit too much Cath Kidston for my liking.
The zip is in but the shoulders need tweaking and it needs hemming. 
I think I'll get more wear from it with birkenstocks rather than heels.

I am chuffed that I managed to get the yellow Rolls Royce just where I wanted it, 
it reminds me of my favourite films.

Back to the drawing board. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Simplicity 2444

I've had this pattern in for a while, Simplicity 2444.
My absolute favourite is by Yarning Over The Days and I love What I Wore and Stitchywitch, but of course there are loads more to choose from and plenty of variation in the pattern.

The muslin from a bed sheet, I might actually wear this though.

The only modification I think I'll need is to take it up on the shoulders so it sits above my hip bones,
 I just pinned here.

Love the pockets.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Vintage Marignan & Simplicity 2444

This weeks project.
I've been eyeing up this frock for a while,
 mainly because I saw it on a friends blog 
and it has pockets.

I found the fabric a while back, pristine and untouched.

I love the print.

What I really want is the chauffeur's coat for a bit of top down motoring.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A Little Bit of Moon Gazing

On Saturday I had a real treat, I went with a friend to take a class with the very talented
 Jenny Barnett, I loved being the student for a change.

The myth of the Moon gazing hare reflects ancient beliefs. Pagans believed that seeing a moon gazing hare would bring growth, re-birth, abundance, new beginnings and good fortune. The symbol of the moon gazing hare is almost universal meaning fertility and dates back to ancient times. The hare is always an attribute of lunar deities. The moon-gazing hare was especially important to early Britons. In nature hares can be seen and in ancient times, often seen in this "moon gazing" pose. Chinese moon gazing hares were thought of as gazing up at what he sees as his ancient ancestor in the moon.

We made needle felted hares in a three hour class, 
I've probably done a couple of hours at home but she still needs a bit of work and a few whiskers.

I did City & Guilds Feltmaking a while ago and I've done a little bit of needle felt but I've used it more on embellishment and repair, I'm more of a wet felter!

I loved this and I expect I'll be doing more, this is why I love wool completely.
To make this hare I used a felting needle - barbs on the end, sheep wool, a couple of beads 
and a lot of elbow grease.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Japanese Style Stitching

A great day at Salt Line yesterday.

A few of my summer makes found new homes.

 I've listed these on my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Autumn Workshops at Salt Line Studio

Saturday 19th December
Beginners Knitting
10 - 1 

Saturday 19th December
Make a Zipped Pouch - 
At least one, maybe three in this session. 
 I'll show you the foolproof way to sew in a zip!
2 - 4
£15 + Materials

Thursday 1st October
Beginners Knitting

Thursday 1st October
Oversized Tote
Big eyelets and rope handles.
2 - 4
£15 + Materials

Tuesday 13th October
Beginners Knitting - * Evening *
6.30 - 9

Thursday 5th November
Knit a Hat in the Round
Pattern provided.
10 -1 

Thursday 5th November
Christmas Applique Bunting
Make a banner of your choice, eg. 'Baby It's Cold Outside', 'Yo Ho Ho'
 or let your imagination run wild.
£15 + Materials

Saturday 14th November
True Mobius
The truly amazing piece of engineering, pattern provided.
10 -1

Saturday 14th November
Christmas Stocking Crazy Patchwork
2 - 5 

Tuesday 17th November
Bunny Making
Create a pure wool treasure.
10 - 1
£20 + Materials

Tuesday 17th November
Christmas Felt Decorations
2 - 4
£15 + Materials

All classes are at Salt Line Studio, 100 Crewe Road, Alsager, ST7 2JA.  Payment must be made in advance and can be done over the telephone by contacting the lovely ladies at Salt Line, Lorna, Jo or Ruthie on 01270 877370.
Beginner knitters need bring nothing at all.  Classes that are + materials,  you are very welcome to bring your own materials and therefore incur no extra charge, but if you don't have the necessary materials I will have ample to purchase.
Feel free to contact me with any questions

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Salt Line Fair

All ready for the Salt Line Fair.

 Part of Alsager Music Festival weekend.
Sunday 12th July, 12-4.

Salt Line Studio, 100 Crewe Road, Alsager, ST7 2JA.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Retro Beach Bag

I love this pure cotton towelling - not stretchy - which I am guessing is 50's/60's.
 A great pice of cloth that had never been used, until now.
It's evolved into a large tote and matching towel.

I made friends with my roll hem foot, I don't know why I've never used this before? 
Lot's of summery kimono type garments being created for the 
Salt Line fair next Sunday which ties in with Alsager's Music Festival.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Babushka Skulls

I loathe and detest hand rolled and stitched hems but there's really nothing as good,
 a machine rolled hem is just to stiff and these beauties need to be fluid.

I got this silk a while ago because I thought it looked interesting and I could tell it was good stuff.
After a bit of research found that they were colour samples for a line of Liberty scarves - Result!

Cute babushkas or skulls depending on your point of view.
The super fine pins and Thread Heaven are out today.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Woolfest 2015

One of those very rare days when absolutely everything runs smoothly, all plans come together exactly and many many people exceed your expectations.  We had a brilliant day at Woolfest in Cockermouth, breakfasted at Tebay, lunched at the sheep ring, satsuma breaked with live music, dined well and finished off with a monster ice cream after a stroll in glorious scenery.

Organisation by the Woolclip massive was spot-on, stall holders as excited to be there as us and everyone just having a jolly time surrounded by fibre and the livestock that provide it.

We were very proud to be almost the last car on what had been a chock-a-block car park.
The day was rounded off in beautiful Keswick 
and we drove home through the most amazing clouds we have ever seen.
Truly a day that will be remembered.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Evacuee For The Day

Miss Belle is an evacuee for a day
on a school trip to Shugborough Hall.

Surprisingly for us we didn't have a suitable frock
 so I knocked this one up at the weekend, everything else we had in.
We had a bit of a debate about dress length,
 obviously it would have been a lot shorter but I wanted her to be able to wear it again.
  We decided the length by the good old fashioned, 'touch your toes can we see your knickers' test!

I think the boy doll is about the right period.
I bought it years ago with the intention of tidying it up for Louis
 but then I just couldn't bear to.
  He has been waiting for just this day.

As has this fabric, it's been in someones stash since before we went decimal
- February 1971.