Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Adventures in Sewing Land

I've been really looking forward to having time to get back on here again.
 I love writing posts around the pictures I've taken, it's one of many things that make me happy.

Working five day weeks has come as a shock, I last worked full-time in teaching in 2000.
Around all this my girlies have had exams this past week so it's all been a case of being super organised to keep the house running and stress levels down. I love working three days a week on the whole and being able to hatch all my creative plans alongside being a homebody. I earn enough for what we need doing it this way and then everyones happy. That for us is the best balance.

As this year there's no guarantee of any work for me in the summer (our courses run all the year through) and I get paid for each ten week contract, that means no pay in September. Scary, when the bills don't stop coming in. So I was lucky enough to get another teaching job for six weeks running alongside the days I usually do.
Phew - and best result of all, it means a whole summer off with my girls.

 

 I've been dipping into Instagram more lately to get my fix. I really enjoy the immediacy of IG, how pictures pop up and you can like something or get into a conversation straight away. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the speed of it all, sometimes I feel envious seeing what a lovely day someone else is having when I'm stuck in a souless classroom being sworn at and told this is all S**T. On the whole though I'm getting into it and enjoying this aswell.

 Now as these things go sometimes, my students didn't show on Friday, hospital and work being the reasons for some.

Once all paperwork and phone calls were done, there was nothing for it but to head off for the day. I chose a visit to one of my favourite Market towns where I found these flowers on the Friday market.


 Then I popped into the Haberdashers for a few more polka dots. I crossed my fingers hoping the small bookshop would have a copy of Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch and can you believe it they had just the one copy waiting for me.

Next big thrill was finding the exact pair of white shades I've had in mind for a year or two in the vintage store.


While I was there I spent a happy while choosing fabric from a gorgeous pile.
I have plans for the red to be another Annual Top for me, the pale yellow will be all sorts of things as there's quite a bit there, the 60's towelling I'm going to turn into a beach mat and as for the delicious barkcloth - well I think that needs to be a bag.


I also came across this stunning handmade 1950's dress. I couldn't resist, but wasn't sure if it would fit as I didn't fancy the changing room.  It's where bodies used to be laid out when it was an old Police Station and town morgue. The room is small, with an arched ceiling and the benches for the bodies still remain. As the light didn't work I thought no way am I going in there.


 I arrived home excited with all my purchases along with quiches from the deli and cherries from the market for the man and I to have lunch as he was home working.
The dress wasn't my fit or style as it happens so I popped a picture on Instagram. My friend Emmie fell for it straight away and came to collect at the weekend. So that all worked out great for us both.


On Saturday I was thrilled to find our village honesty stall was up and running once more. The plants, fruit and veg we get from there are wonderful. At the moment there are bundles of Lily of the Valley, Cornflowers and Sweet Williams to buy.

Then the postie came with a parcel just for me. My mum had bought me a new pair of Saltwater sandals as my Adopted Birthday pressie.

Blue is one of my favourite colours and shiny too. What more can I say.


Then I set to for a day of much desired sewing.
I really really need my crafty fix. I'm not sure if you can call it obsessive or an addiction, but I yearn for it and get very grumpy when I don't get any time for making. 


I knew exactly what I was going to start with. A while back I'd bought this green and pink rose print, I wanted to make it into a 1960's style dress, but couldn't find the right pattern. Flicking through Tilly's book when I was skint I saw exactly the pattern I'd had in mind. After a couple of weeks waiting for pay day I couldn't believe my luck when I found it in our small bookshop.

 

 I drafted up the patterns, altering them to my length as I'm a six footer. That means dropping the bust darts and lengthening the bodice plus the skirt.

I didn't have time to make a twoile or want to, so I made a size up and then altered the dress down to my exact measurements as I sewed.

I plan to write a review of this book and a few others I've bought recently as I was really impressed with it.



I chose to make the facings in matching fabric this time rather than contrasts, but I thought a bit of stripy toothpaste binding was just the ticket.


Halfway through before adding the zip and sleeves I stopped for a quick fitting and fiddle with seams.

 

In the middle of all this we had an outing and family time so sewing stopped until late at night.
I was so in love with stitching my Megan dress that I hopped back on my machine and whirred away until 1am.


This is her all done and dusted. I love it.
It fits perfectly after a bit of fiddling, altering of darts and unpicking the zip to bring the back seam in, but we got there in not too long a time and it was a really straightforward pattern.


 I even added a belt as I had a red buckle I'd saved for years that I knew had to go with this print.



When I went out in it the next day I felt good, the dress was so comfy too, with no tight bits or pulling.


Big Thumbs up we say.



Camera back please.

See you later this week.

30 comments:

  1. Oooooooh Lisa, love your dress.....I'm a tad jealous of your dressmaking skills but can't image I'll ever attempt to make anything to wear, school dressmaking lessons put paid to that! And that yummy fabric, that deserves another ooooooooh! I love the quick fix IG gives too, can't give quite the same as blogging though! Have a lovely week :) x

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    1. I can't believe I love sewing either as I remember a sour faced lady Having to teach us sewing. There was no passion or creativity involved it was just a chore. Rosey getting the same but on meeting her art teacher I'm nit surprised, think she's jealous of my girl stupid woman. I really think you should just jump in and have a go you tackled crochet. Watching this space. X

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  2. Simply gorgeous! I love the way you have matched the fabric, binding and buckle. My sewing journey has had to be shelved for the mo but hopefully in a couple of weeks my machine can come out again. How long have you been sewing? As a complete amateur, it seems that the skill to make such lovely clothes seems a long way off!
    Shauna.x

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    1. Always been sewing really. Mum helped me make my first shirt when I was 16 from fabric I'd printed at art college. Being tall it was the only way to have trousers that fitted in the 80's as clothes were all the same length. Made all my life, but having children really got into it again and now working on improving my skills and learning much more as I go. I think it's just jump in and dint be too hard on yourself, just enjoy it Shauna x

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  3. love it Lisa...(and i love our chats on IG too! trying to stay off it today as stuff to do... like sewing hurrah) House to myself too....still waiting for the book to arrive!
    d xx

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    1. Thanks Miss D and I like chatting, easier there somehow. X

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  4. That is beautiful! I too am envious of your peachy stitchy skills, those annual tops are flippin lovely too.

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    1. Blushing, but loving your words too. Thanks Kath.

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  5. You are a wizard on your machine. Such a lovely dress well worth a late night finish.

    Glad that you have your teaching jobs sorted and can look forward to a summer with your girl's. Lots of time for adventures and maybe a little bit of sewing ;0)

    P x

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    1. I have plans for the summer indeed Paula, just need to get my bum into gear sorting them. X

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  6. That dress you made is just stunning...
    And thanks for the lovely photos, I needed to see some colours and nice things, it's a dreary day here in Belgium !
    Ps also love the vintage dress, but the one you made is prettier :-)...

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    1. Thanks lovely Ingrid. We've got the dreary day her now along with tons of rain yesterday, I think you blew it this way! X

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  7. The finished dress looks fab! My mums a seamstress by trade (in a galaxy a long time ago) so I always turned to my mum when I wanted something made or altered. She even made my wedding dress! I remember seeing classes too at school....wasn't interested at all then (preferred metalwork and woodwork lol) I think I was a bit of a tomboy! Anyway, got my fabric and I'm ready to give it a go now. (Gingerscraps on Instagram)

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    1. See I always wished my mum or nan were a seamstress, but then it seems it doesn't follow that it would have rocked my boat then. Can't wait to see your dress. X

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  8. Wow, it's stunning, Lisa. Really. You're so talented.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, I really appreciate your words x

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  9. I was so considering this book and now I have to have it!
    Love the dress so much! Can I ask a cheeky question please?
    Do you use an over locker to finish your edges, as I haven't got one?
    Hope you don't mind me asking x

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    1. Emailed you my lovely. No over locker here as no pennies or space so I use pinking shears.
      X

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  10. It's beautiful! Well done, lovely lady! You're a star of the sewing machine. I've just emailed you, my dear. Xx

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  11. Love the dress and fits like a dream.I follow Tilly's blog and wondered whether to get her book or not. I have to ask if your 6 foot how tall is your other half?
    Gillx

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    1. Really recommend the book Gill. My man is just under 6 ft 5" btw. X

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  12. Your dress looks great!! So glad that you like it, and how great that the other dress was just right for your friend! Good all round hey. I hope that the busy working doesn't get to be too much, but at least you know that it is for a limited period. xx

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  13. I'm just so jealous! Once made a top at school - just a basic vest style top and even that didnt fit once I had sewn it up............badly!! I wouldn't know where to start!!! -x-

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  14. Love the dress and definitely plan to make more of my clothes - it is lovely when something actually fits! xxx

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  15. Fabulous dress! I know what you mean about the shock of 5 days teaching. At the moment I am managing to keep it to a max of three, but before Easter I had a four week stint of full time and have been offered a maternity cover in September which will be full time. I've had to accept even though I prefer part time as otherwise I take a chance that I might end up with nothing!

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  16. I wish I was better at sewing. I feel sympathy with one of your other commenters. I made a skirt at school and it was a disaster. Put me off for life. Definitely a big thumbs up for your dress. You look fabulous! Jacqui x

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  17. Your green and rosey dress looks so pretty - it's years since I have done any dressmaking. I was in our local fabric shop yesterday and it was packed. So many people are doing crafts. I was looking for a background fabric for patchwork.

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  18. Your dress is stunning! I have bought this book but my general lack of skills means that I will start off with the PJs I think!

    Helenxx

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  19. I'm very jealous of your dress making still too... loving that dress and that LOVELY fabric. I would just dive in but I know I'd have to alter any pattern to make it fit and I don't have a personal fitter to help... I'll have to start with something baggy!
    Cx

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Bobo X