Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pincushion Swap

Hello Everyone!

Last month I took part in the Pincushion Swap, which was jointly organised by Rachel from House of Pinheiro and Charlotte from Sew Far Sew Good. My swapping partner was Fay, who blogs over and Monkey Makes Three and lives all the way over in New Zealand!

I am finally able to share with you what I made since I know that it has found it's way over to New Zealand safe and sound.




I had lots of fun making this cute little pincushion out of scraps from my stash. I used a great tutorial from Very Berry Handmade, which was really straightforward to follow and this beauty sewed up pretty quickly. I highly recommend this as a simple but effective pattern. In fact I plan to make another for myself (it is not possible to have too many pincushions!).



And here is the pincushion I received from Fay! Isn't it cute....and as you can see it has been put to good use already. I love the cherry in the middle - I almost feel guilty sticking pins into it! Thanks Fay :)



Thanks very much for organising the Pin Cushion Swap Rachel and Charlotte...I had lots of fun taking part!

K xx





Monday, 4 June 2012

FO: Pendrell Blouse #2

Happy Jubilee Weekend to everyone in the UK! In celebration of the fact that our Queen has been on the throne for 60 whole years (as of tomorrow i believe), we have a 4 day weekend. Woop! Think of all the sewing time...!

Just under 2 months ago I started a new job. This means that for the first time in my life, 1) I am a commuter, and 2) I require an office appropriate wardrobe. The commuting has the big negative that it leaves me little time for sewing in the evenings, which is why the FO I have to show today has been a WIP for over a month. However it's not all bad as my commute gives me lots of knitting time....more on that soon!



So here it is, my second Pendrell Blouse. This is becoming a favourite pattern, largely because my first Pendrell is quickly becoming a staple of my new office wardrobe. For this second version I wanted something softer and more drapey, so I chose this chiffon-type fabric which was on sale at John Lewis (since it was John Lewis, this was not cheap even though it was in the sale...I think maybe £6/7 a metre). I adore this fabric, however it was a pain to work with. Until now, I have mainly worked with cottons. This sheer fabric was a deliberate choice because I wanted to expand my repertoire and work with other types of fabric...and it was definitely a challenge. I had a quick google to get some tips on working with slippery fabrics, and came upon some excellent advice from A fashionable stitch. Sunni recommends pinning the fabric to a sheet/muslin to keep it in place while cutting out. You then cut the fashion fabric only, but the muslin gives it a bit of stability and prevents the slippery fabric moving around. This is GENIUS! Thanks Sunni :)

  
To prevent fraying, I french seamed everything in sight. This worked well, however meant it took a lot longer to sew as every seam had to be done twice. I must admit, I do love french seams - they look so neat! Somewhere along the line though, disaster struck. Despite careful checking as I went along, one of the sleeves ended up considerably further down at the front than the other (we're talking inches here!). I have no idea how this happened, but I think i must have somehow stretched it while sewing. For a while I was completely clueless on how to fixed this, and distraught that I had ruined my beautiful fabric. Since it would have required unpicking about 4 seams, undoing was not an option - plus I wasn't sure the sheer fabric would cope with being attacked with a seam ripper. However, a lovely sewing friend of mine suggested doing a fix job as best I could and then using a brooch or other accessory to hide the botch job. Another genius idea! To be honest, the fix is not that obvious, but I know it's there. A brooch definitely improves the situation!


So there we go! Not the most perfect garment I've ever made, but definitely wearable. Sorry for the slightly rubbish outside shot - this fabric is hard to photograph. Trust me, it looks great in real life. Despite being tricky to work with, I love how the fabric feels.

I nearly forgot to introduce you to my newest sewing helper, Diana, who is kindly modelling the blouse for me above. She was a birthday present and has already been set to work. I think she does an awesome job. Sally is less convinced though....


Happy sewing everyone...and enjoy the long weekend if you are lucky enough to have one :)

K xx

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