Sunday, 29 April 2012

FO: Safari Print Pyjamas

Karen's Pyjama Party...Day Two??

Yes, i know, I'm late to Karen's Pyjama excuse? I give you a clue, one of the following is true.

1) I found another party to attend which was even more fabulous than Karen's (well we all know that this can't be true....)

2) While desperately trying to get my PJs finished in time for yesterday's big reveal, I found that I had accidentally sewed the wrong legs together. Therefore instead of spending the evening wearing my beautiful new pyjamas, I spent it unpicking the legs. Which I had french-seamed. Opps.

I got there in the end though, and it was definitely worth the wait :)

The Pattern: Simplicity 2116

The Fabric: 2 and a half metres of awesome safari animal print cotton, £5/m from Leicester market

Any adjustments to the pattern?: I cut a large based on my hip measurement, however they are quite big so I think I would have been OK with a medium. I lengthened the trousers by 2 inches to account for my long legs, and I cut 2 inches off the top waist as it was too big. 

The details: I french-seamed everything in sight to give a neat finish which I'm really proud of, and added a tag to mark the back a recommended by Karen (a great tip!).

Would I make this again, and if so would I change anything? I will definitely be making these again, they are so comfy. With shop-bought pyjamas I often struggle to find ones that are long enough, so it was great to be able to control the length.

Sally cat comes to admire my new pyjamas

Overall a great make - a big thanks to Karen for organising the Pyjama Party! It's been great fun seeing everyone elses PJs :)

Karen asked us to say what we are reading in our PJ posts. As you can see above, I am currently reading "Eat, Pray, Love". I fell asleep during the film, and I thought the book had to be better. So far I am finding it a bit hard to get into, but I live in hope it will improve!
On a slightly different note, I am flying to Glasgow tomorrow for work and want to know if I can take knitting needles with me either in hand luggage or in checked-in baggage...does anyone know the current rules on this? I don't really want to be stopped at security in front of my new boss....!! Any advice appreciated! We are flying with BMI if that makes any difference.

K xx

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Karen's Pyjama Party

I am so excited that Karen from Did You Make That? is hosting a Pyjama Party Sewalong. Pyjamas have been on my to-make list for so long, and now I have a great excuse to move them right to the top.

I love pyjamas, I think they are quite possibly the most comfortable item of clothing ever invented, and I look fondly back to my student days when it was considered acceptable to wear pyjamas for most of the day! These days I can only get away with it at the weekends...and even this is a rare occurrence. So, I am a huge fan of the pyjama. However, being tall I do have trouble finding pyjama trousers that are long enough. Nobody appreciates the trouser-sock gap! So sewing my own is a great solution to this problem. pattern piece! What's not to love?!

I will be using this pattern, Simplicity 2116, which I currently have on order from my local haberdashery department in Fenwicks (going into a shop and buying a pattern was a completely new experience for me, and funnily enough something that I had never given much consideration postage?! Fantastic!). They were out of stock of this particular pattern (who knew that Leicester was such a hub of pyjama fanatics?!) but it should be in by the end of the week...and luckily for me they currently have a sale on for Simplicity patterns (thanks to Marie for the tip!), I got it for the bargainous price of just £2!

I know I should be stash busting, especially after my Walthamstow splurge, but I just couldn't resist picking up these two fabrics from Leicester Market yesterday with pyjamas in mind...the animal print is just so cute, and is just screaming pyjamas at me! I can't wait to pick up my pattern next week and get going!

In other news, on Friday I left my job at the university where I have been working for almost 5 years, to take up a new "grown up" job at a research charity (I start tomorrow, argh! I am very excited but also apprehensive). Just take a look at the amazing card my colleagues got many knitted characters! Someone knows me well.

I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. Who else is joining in with the pyjama party? I can't wait to see everyones all made up :)

K xx

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Walthamstow Meet-Up

Yes I know...I'm a little late to the party! You have probably already read about last Saturday's Walthamstow Meet Up here and here and here, or maybe here or I'll be brief. It was a fabulous day of swapping and chatting and shopping and eating cake. I had met very few sewing bloggers in real life before last week, so it was a joy to meet so many fantastic and lovely ladies. The whole day was meticulously and brilliantly organised by Claire, who even provided us with sweet treats to keep our sugar levels up after a hard days shopping (those brownies were to die for!).

My amazing swap acquisitions

The first item of business was the swap! I acquired a wonderous selection of fabrics which will help me in my resolution to sew with materials other than cotton! I have some silk-backed crepe which came from Claire, some gorgeous green jersey from Jane, a lovely length of navy patterned something-or-other from Camilla and a beautiful length of chiffon-type fabric with a cute cherry print from Melizza. Thank you so much ladies - I hope to do these fabrics proud!

After the swap. we headed out to have a hunt around the many fabric shops and stalls around Walthamstow market and fabric stalls. Oh. My. God. I have never been amongst such a large number of fabric stalls selling wonderful fabrics for as cheap as chips! Jersey for £2 a metre? Yes please! Cotton prints for £1 a metre? Don't mind if I do.

Chiffon and Jersey

I ended up with a selection of jerseys (planned for Renfrews), some chiffon-type remnets which I plan for blouses, and 5 metres of emerald taffeta-type fabric which may well become a Colette Truffle dress (I know 5m sounds excessive, but the stallholder did me a deal due to a minor imperfection so I got 5m for £4!).

Fabric for a Truffle Dress

I am so pleased with my purchases, as I have been waiting for a chance to try sewing with different fabrics and thanks to the expertise and advice from my fellow sewists I now feel more confident. Particular thanks go to Rachel and Marie for help with my emerald green acquisition! So all in all a fabulous day - I can't wait for the next one ladies!

To add to my excitement further, I received a lovely parcel in the post this week from Andrea over at Invisible giveaway patterns that I won!

A fabulous selection of patterns!

Don't they look splendid? I am spoilt for choice of which to make first! So it has been a great week for new sewing acquisitions. Hopefully this will lead to a productive next few months...!

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter weekend :) I spent much of it working on the knitted blanket my mum and I are making. I am pleased to report that we are finally at the stage of sewing it together...

Right I'm off to find the chocolate...!

K xx

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Knitting Needle Rolls

Most of my crafty friends were spring babies. I don't know why this is - perhaps there is an interesting research project here, to investigate whether those with spring birthdays are more likely to be crafty. (Feel free to correct me if you are born at any other time of year!). This is probably just a coincidence, but what it does mean is that every year I have to think up lots of present ideas in a short space of time. This year, I went with variations on a theme and made knitting needle rolls.

These are relatively simple to make - providing you can sew in a straight line! They are basically a roll with a large divided pocket for knitting needles, a smaller one for crochet hooks, plus a felt swatch for yarn needles and any other bits and bobs that you may want to keep in them. I added wadding in between the outer and inner fabrics to add some structure and protection. Each one was personalised depending on who it was made for, with appropriate fabrics and different features as necessary - for example, for my friend who is more into crochet than knitting, I increased the size of the smaller pocket to give room for all her crochet hooks.  I came up with the pattern myself, based on a few different examples I have seen in the past. I did take a few pictures whilst sewing so I could post a tutorial - please let me know if you would be interested in this!

I am pretty pleased with how they came out, and I love all the different fabric combinations. Next I think perhaps I will make one for myself...!

In other news, I am VERY excited to be attending my very first blogger meet up on Saturday! This is being held in Walthamstow and is being organised by Claire of Sew Incidentally.... Fabric shopping AND meeting other sewing bloggers AND a swap....almost too much excitement :)

I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend...and maybe I will meet some of you on Saturday!

K xx

Sunday, 1 April 2012

FO: Hen Party Salsa Dress

This weekend was spent away for the Hen Party of a good friend of mine. As part of the celebrations, we went salsa dancing. We were instructed to dress in red, orange or pink and I was surprised to find that I had nothing suitable in any of these colours already in my wardrobe. The solution? Make one! Here is what I came up with...

The pattern: New Look 6557 View B

The fabric and notions: ~2 metres of red light cotton and 1 1/2 metres of black lining, both £3/metre from Leicester market, ~3 metres of black lace trim and a 14" zipper. Due to the bargainous fabric this dress comes in at just over £10 in total which convinced me I had made the right descision to make something rather than buy a new dress! 

Any adjustments to the pattern? This dress was made rather last minute, so I chose a pattern that I have used before (see here) so I knew it fit and didn't need to make a muslin. The only change I did make was to shorten the hem and lining by about 3 inches.

The details? For me, the beauty of this dress is all about the details. Believe it or not, this is the first ever garment I have made from fabric in a solid colour rather than a print! This gave me the chance to play around with applique and other details. I added lace trim to the outer straps and the hem to fit in with the Latin theme. I was very lucky here as the lace was from my stash and I had only just enough...I think I made it round the hem with literally a cm to spare! I also appliqued a flower onto the skirt which I think gives the dress a lovely slightly 50s vibe.

Close up of the lace trimming and applique
Would I make this again, and if so what changes would I make? Definitely! This pattern is quick to sew up and I have the fit almost spot on. It's still a tiny bit loose (and low!) across the chest so I think if I made it again I would make some alterations to the bodice. I would also love to try some of the other bodice variations. One other thing I would change is the use of interfacing. I decided it would be a good idea to interface the midriff band to add structure, but as this dress is fully lined I don't think this was actually necessary. Also I made the slight error of using white interfacing...this + lights in the club = glowing white midriff...not a good look! In future I would probably leave out the interfacing...or use black instead!!

All in all I was very pleased with this is fun, comfortable and I will be wearing it again!

I hope you all had a great weekend...I'm off to catch up on some sleep!

K xx


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