Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Ode to Liberty

On New Years Eve I went to the Liberty in Fashion exhibition at the London Fashion & textile museum.  What can I say, I was in heaven, I loved it.  I wanted to share a few highlights and some of my next Liberty inspired projects.

So the exhibition - its quite small and mainly consists of dresses that have been made by Liberty/in Liberty fabric over the decades.  Here are a few of my highlights and my top 3 facts!!!

First up, I learnt that my favourite Hebe fabric is very, very old - here is a scarf in it from 1905!  Amazing that it still looks so good today.  I have this fabric as blinds/cushions in our bedroom plus I 'm sewing a top with it right now too.

Second fact- did you know that the Liberty store is built with wood from some battleships!  I love the store and found that fascinating!

And my last random fact - Tana Lawn - where does the name come from?  Well its named after Lake Tana, in Africa where Cotton is grown!

Some photos of my favourite dresses in the exhibition:

Look at this neckline...

I love the shaping on this dress, there are pleats & gathers all over the place

3 things I love about this one...  the fabric, the skirt line which has got curved pleat/tucks running down and the frills on the top.  I d love to make this, wouldn't know where to start without a pattern though!

I thought this patchwork skirt was quite effective.

Love this dress shape, especially the big collar.

Love, love the fabric and the neckline!  I d never have thought of doing a frill in a box shape like that

I d love to wear this one, all those lovely neat pin tucks & puffy sleeves.
The detailing on this one was quite magnificent ...
Love the fabric combo and all those tiny buttons going up to the bow at the top.  I could definitely have a go at making something like this.

And lastly some nice embroidery.... this was really very old.

So what am I going to make next in this Liberty theme?

First up is a Agnes top in this lovely Liberty fabric my mum gave me for Christmas- the collar on the pattern and the nice curved shape reminds me of some of the details in the exhibition....

Secondly, and boy do I love this one...  a Simplicity vintage pattern with the Hera tana lawn.  Half made.  Can't want to finish it and share it.

Wool pencil skirt

I wanted to share my latest project, a wool pencil skirt.  I m super happy with this make - I tried really hard on the details of it -I m notoriously messy with the insides, but inspired by some other sewers on #bpsewvember on Instagram encouraged me to try a bit harder on that front!!

Here is the pattern & the fabric.  The wool is from Sew Over It and I totally love it- its a beautiful colour & great quality.   The lining is from Goldhawk Rd and the McCalls pattern I got with a magazine a few months ago (bought the mag for the pattern as I knew it was ideal for my skirt).

To add some interest to the skirt, i wanted to have stripes going down for the main panel, then horizontal stripes on the sides ....  Here are the pieces before I started.

 And here is a closer up at the fabric!

So how did I get on -  I wasn't super happy with the pattern to be honest.  I cut out a size 12 and I usually don't have to make too many adjustments on the skirt part of patterns, but the one came out really, really huge.  I had to take massive amounts out of the skirt later, which was a real pain.  Luckily I did the lining first so didn't have too many surprises when sewing the wool, but still i found it a pain- especially working with a striped fabric where you want to match things up.

First up, here is the lining:

With the wool, I bound the edge of all the pieces with binding foot- even though you don't see it because its lined it stops it fraying and I m happy just to know its there & looking so neat!

Its starting to come together, I was very happy with my zip on this occasion!  Whoop!

I chose to not put on a waistband, instead I used the waistband to create a facing instead. 

And here it is!!

 I found I didn't have anything that looked perfect with it so I went out and bought a couple of new jumpers :)  The one above matches so perfectly- its from Mint Velvet.

And here it is with a denim shirt (after a day at work, so please ignore the fact it looks like it needs a good iron!!!)  ;)

Monday, 4 January 2016

Father Christmas brings me sewing treats

Well what can I say, Father Christmas has great taste in sewing gifts. Look at this lovely lot.... I feel very lucky indeed.

I got 4 new patterns- 2 tops, the Tilly Orla and this Simplicity vintage one and adore both. I had cut out both by Boxing Day, waiting to be sewn 😊✂️

Then these 2 sewaholic ones which I m looking forward to using. 

Next up, Chinelo's book- loved her on the sewing bee, so inspiring and can t wait to have a go! Did anyone try any of these yet? I m thinking the dress with the peplum hemline! Need to go fabric shopping first though. I had my husband take all 26 measurements the book requires last night!!
Next up sets of 4 big spools for my overlocker in White, cream, grey and navy. So far I only had black and so couldn t sew any paler colours!
And a book to master my overlocker 
My mum made me a sewing bag with lots of goodies in!  How cute is that!!
And she had a serious spending spree on Liberty fabric which of course was my favourite present I received!  I love all but the top one is my favourite and is already WIP! 

And last but certainly not least my husband bought me a dress form. Which was a total surprise and makes me very happy I wanted one for ages but didn't think I had room for it! Now I ll make room!!  Here she is!!  

And here is a sneak peak of my next project underway. Pattern, fabric and dress form all in use!!!!

I feel very lucky and very spoilt to have so many wonderful gifts!!  Did you get any lovely sewing gifts?


Saturday, 2 January 2016

My new year sewing plans!

New year, new plans.  So what is in store for me this year?  I ve got 6 things in my head that I d like to have a go at...
  • Learning new things on my overlocker... not sure what yet, but something other than a basic stitch!!!!  I m interested on how to do hems and decorative stitching too. Any ideas?
  • Attempting a coat for the first time ever!
    • I ve got 3 projects in mind here.  Yes I know going from never making a coat/jacket to attempting 3 is probably a bit daft, but its good to have the ambition!  here are my 3:
      • The Papercut patterns Watson jacket

      • The Wafflepatterns Yuzu Raglan coat

      • Some form of blazer with this stunning  Avoca wool fabric I bought.  Any pattern suggestions? I want something quite boxy to work with the large checks...

  • Attempting trousers.  I m scared of making trousers.  I figure its difficult and then fear when I ve made them they either won't fit well or they ll split the first time I wear them.  But I m going to give it a go this year I promise.  I m thinking I may do one of the SewOverIt trouser courses & get stuck in.  Maybe I could use this Corduroy I bought?

  • Making some beautiful blouses with long sleeves. I ve tonnes of things with short sleeves but want some more long sleeved things.  Any pattern recommendations?   This is the first one that is cut out & ready to go.  Its the Tilly Orla pattern in a lovely fabric - I m thinking of doing a denim collar for a contrast & I ve got a great denim zip I can use.  Need to see how its going to look though, not sure whether its a great idea to combine with denim or whether it will look terrible?!
  • Freehand!!  I ve got the book, and I want to give it a go!! I had my husband take all the measurements which was quite amusing, now  I need to get stuck in.  Yikes.  Did anyone else try?  I m planning on starting with this dress...
I m thinking of buying this wool herringbone using patter going down for bodice and across for peplum. What do you think? 

  • Making my own pattern up!  I want to do something without a pattern.  I ve got a skirt in mind (similar to a RTW one which is really expensive that i ve seen) and I want to try making a pattern up myself for it.  I bought the fabric already!  Its a heavy weight cotton, almost like denim which feels amazing, its almost velvety!  The photo doesn't really do it justice...

Well that should keep me busy!  What are you planning?
Messyessymakes  x