Category Archives: Uncategorized

Work in progress – Brasilia hack

My current work in progress is a rework of the Brasilia dress by House of Pinheiro. Things have been sped up by my new rotary cutter, but I’m still painfully slow at sewing!  I’m making this up in a twill woven mystery fabric from walthamstow market. It has a nice drape, and I’ve added a lining as this will be a dress for work. Because of the ‘no bare shoulders’ dress code I normally layer dresses over long sleeve tees or shirts. 



Made Up initative progress

When donating to the Made Up Initiative (a really worthy cause; I was always reading as a child and it’s a shame to think some children don’t have the chance to enjoy that experience) I pledged to make a start on a pair of Ultimate Trousers. This poor pattern has been languishing for almost a year, and I’ve had some black cotton drill earmarked for about the same length of time. Time to forget the notion that trousers will be way harder to make than dresses! 

Well, I’ve jumped in and made a start. 

I’m one muslin into the process, and already I can tell there needs to be a little fine-tuning on the fit…like the addition of nearly 20cm to the leg length! I’m 5″8 and want these to be a full length pair of trousers. 

So far, I must admit that making trousers isn’t as scary as I thought, and even if I don’t get them finished by the deadline I’m proud of myself for getting on with it and proving that I can make trousers(!!!). 

Have I gone mad? 

At walthamstow the other weekend a fabric caught my eye, and I just couldn’t go home without it.  

 Unusually for me it’s a very loud print, full of bright colours. Almost completely the opposite of the subtle prints or plain colours I normally wear. 

  Luckily the reverse is a bit more toned down, so I’m hoping this will make a wearable Saltbox tank top by Blueprints for Sewing. 

Sewing in the news

I came across an excellent article this morning on the benefits of sewing in the Guardian, by Jenny of the Cashmerette and Curvy Sewing Collective blogs. It’s generating a lot of comments, and happily most of them are fellow sewing enthusiasts or those who wish they could sew. I love to see sewing in the media, I’m hoping it breaks down the myth that it’s specialised and difficult, or something that only old ladies do. 

Read it here

Wishing I was a speedier sewist

I’ve been much more productive than usual in the past few weeks, with two fabrics making it into garments before I’d even owned them a month (my longest stashed item has been languishing for about five years!) I think that’s maybe connected to the fact that one of the reasons I sew is for stress relief and I get married two weeks on Saturday. Two weeks! 

However, I still feel like I’m making slow progress on my linen sundress. This is possibly because I’ve elected to bind the seams, so each seam is taking twice as long as normal to finish. And being lazy, or time-efficient, with things I know I’ll wear infrequently I’ve been known to just leave a wide seam allowance unfinished in the past. I think this is a bad habit I should leave behind, and accept that I’ll just have to practice more if I want to be a speedier sewist! 

Seam finishing

 I’ve not had the best results in the past with pinking seams on garments and I like to be able to throw my clothes in the washing machine without worrying that they’ll fall apart. Normally I finish seams by zigzagging them. 

However, with the linen I bought recently I could see how the loose weave would fray easily, so I wanted to try something different instead. I ordered a couple of different colours of rayon seam binding from Crafty Ribbons. It came really quickly and was quite inexpensive, plus they’d included a sample of their new French cotton lace in a pretty pale blue, so I might end up a repeat customer! 

I’ve tried out the binding tonight on the shoulder seams of my current work in progress. I’m making my white checked linen into a Coffee Date Dress (minus the ruffle). I’m lining this with white viscose, due to the sheerness of the white linen. 

The finish feels secure, it was very easy to do and it doesn’t add much bulk. I’m planning to use it for the skirt and waist seams, and I’m considering using it to hem the dress too. I’m looking forward to seeing this finished. 

 I also love my new ironing board cover, it’s sewing themed!