Poor Mother's sewing room
My hand-made wardrobe, soft furnishings and some fun stitching projects
It’s Winter 6PAC time again, and this time I’m really going to do my best to get some, if not all, the garments made/bought.
The guidelines are posted over on Stitchers Guild here and are like this:
The 6PAC is a set of guidelines to help you create a group of garments that will be your wardrobe foundation — you’ll no doubt have red sparkly bows or chanel scarves or black skulls that you will accessorise with, but the aim of this sew along is to create stuff that is no sooner washed than worn, something you want to wear every day!
The generic formula for winter is:
– two over layer tops, one generally heavier (dare I say coat?) and one lighter. For maximum versatility at least one of these, possibly both, will be a dark neutral colour. Highly recommended that at least one is a cardigan (i.e. closes down the front) as they are more versatile in terms of creating outfits.
– two under-layer tops.
– two bottoms.
You must also limit your colour choice. Two neutrals, or a neutral and a colour, are plenty. Do not whine. This is not your whole wardrobe forever. This is the foundation for this season.
My winter wardrobe tends to degenerate into fleeces and shapeless practical trousers, not good when the extra layers tend to create a bulky look in any case. So some better fitted layering pieces are called for. I also need winter skirts as they are much warmer and more fun than trousers when worn with some funky woolly tights.
Colours: navy, grey, berry red. Plus a wild skirt……
Outers: a purchased cardigan: this is so soft and warm, really cosy in a flattering blue mix.
|Fat Face Adele waterfall cardigan|
Stonecutter: a grey cable sweater. I laughed when I googled this for a photo: all the pictures of part-finished Stonecutter patterns are at the same stage as mine! It might be done for January, it does actually knit up quite quickly once you get the pattern going.
I’m using Rowan felted tweed in this grey:
|Rowan Felted Tweed Aran in Dusty|
Tops: both purchased: long sleeve tops from Long Tall Sally in navy and berry red. They were on offer and buying these meant I had wearable garments more quickly and cheaper than making them myself.
Pattern 11 Ottobre 5/2013 in navy cotton twill from Clothspot
With a fly front added and lined for extra warmth.
Skirt no 2: Chocolate/teal skirt with embellishment (my entry for Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee Contest).
Thanks for reading. Comments are welcome!
When the lovely ejvc over on Stitchers’ Guild suggested a plan to spruce up the sewing room, I knew I had to join in. I won’t make the 30th September deadline, because as usual there’s a lot of non-sewing related activity in the household, but I can take my time and enjoy the process.
As suggested here are some “before” pictures of my sewing room as it is now (I took them today, leapt straight out of bed after catching up on the thread over on the forum).
Be warned: it’s untidy, but this is because I haven’t been sewing for a while and things have got dumped in here over the last 3 or 4 weeks.
I sew in a spare bedroom upstairs, about 9’x14′. Starting as you walk in and moving round clockwise this is what you see:
This is the view straight through the door. The window needs painting and I have some fabric to make a roman blind. The table under the window was made from an old Ikea metal bed frame (altered by hubby) and a painted ply top. It’s fab.
Under the table is a laundry skip for offcuts of fabric and a couple of boxes of fabrics: some lengths of woollens and some fabric I’m not sure what to do with.
The stuff on the windowsill will eventually go on shelves on the wall to the right. The chair is piled with ironing and a pair of trousers I’m making for hubby (a wearable muslin).
The fold up bed in the corner is a pain, I’ll probably move that out at some point. It’s a dumping ground for old curtains and things that need mending.
You can also see a couple more boxes under the table: this is stuff from my parents’ house. Mostly its photos that need sorting out.
The spare bed!! Not as bad as it looks here, there are a few piles of folded fabric waiting for me to decide what to do with them. They should really go back into the fabric cupboard. The cardboard box is the knitting machine my daughter gave me. I haven’t had a chance to set it up yet, but hopefully the winter evenings will be my opportunity.
The cabinet beside the bed was made by my Grandfather for my mum, it has a drawer for threads and the lid lifts up on a storage space inside. The drawer is useful but I dump stuff on the top so don’t open the top very often.
The turquoise panels are middle daughters GCSE textile art piece. It’s going on the wall over the bed sometime. The round basket got dumped there, it’s my knitting basket which hubby evicted from the sitting room.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
I love this cupboard. It was from my parents’ house, and it holds lots of notions, books, magazines. The drawers are for knitting wool.
The wardrobe on the left as you walk in is where I store fabrics, with the ironing board in front which seems to be permanently up. There’s nowhere to stash it really. This is the only full-length mirror in the house at the moment, so there are often teenage girls in here admiring themselves.
My dress form with a dodgy bust enlargement! And my steam generating iron which I LOVE!
Here’s inside the wardrobe. The boxes at the bottom hold colour-sorted cottons from my quilting days. Dress fabrics above, in no particular order. I need another shelf to make things easier to pull out and put away.
Lots of ideas for sewing room luxury over at Stitchers’ Guild. I made a quick list of things I’d like to complete:
- Roman blind for the window (window needs painting as well)
- Shelves over the bed
- Pictures to hang here and there
- Re-cover the chair
- Make pressing tools
- Make a pressing cloth
- Ironing board cover
- Covers for the machines
So nothing major to achieve,just titivating really. I’ll try to alternate a sewing room project with 6PAC sewing.
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Sabrina – Student Designer: How to draft a French Dart Shift Dress: The design is based on the extremely popular shift dress from BurdaStyle 10/12. I drafted my own a while ago because I wanted to figure i…
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I’ve had a couple of weekends to myself so tucked myself away in the sewing room and got stuck into a couple of things. I thought I’d share hubby’s trousers with you. He refuses to buy new clothes as nothing ever fits (he’s very tall, and skinny) and he’s fussy about styles, colours, fabrics……
So I thought a good way to get back into sewing more complicated things would be a pair of trousers.
I bought Vogue 8940 for the jacket but the trousers are good too.
A quick test pair with extra seam allowances, tacked together, and the fit looked spot on. I used a chocolate babycord with a bit of stretch that was originally bought for me, but I’ can’t see myself wearing it. If he doesn’t like the finished trousers, he can wear them to work without worrying about ruining them (he runs a boatyard).
I bought some lovely olive chino fabric and some dark grey tiny check cotton from Stone Fabrics for the real thing. But I want to test the pattern and the fit before I cut into that.
Here’s the fronts with the half done fly. The spotty cotton is what’s left after DD2 cut out a couple of vintage aprons a while ago. I liked the idea of a fun fabric hidden away where only we knew about it!
(terrible picture from my phone, sorry)
The backs with the pocket flaps. I’m not sure about the way they line up. I might have put the pocket bags in backwards! This is why I made a practice pair.
Another thing I’ll alter for the real trousers is the binding on the fly. It should have been sewn from the other side so the back is hidden.
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No posts for a few weeks for one reason and another…however, now my mum is installed in her new residential home (and loving it) and our tenant has moved into her house, I can draw breath again.
I’m itching to start sewing for myself, but I’m losing weight steadily so fit’s an issue….
..but then again it’s going to be good practice
Altering a RTW dress that never fitted well, to make a summer skirt
Sewing a princess seam dress that can be taken in later
Making things for the family:
Youngest daughter wants Papercut Patterns’ Bellatrix jacket in a stretch cotton floral
Middle daughter wants a slinky prom dress
Hubby doesn’t know it yet but he wants a pair of trousers from Vogue
Pictures on the way
If you’re not sewing with a plan then you need to get started now!
The idea is to look at your wardrobe, identify key items that are lacking or need replacing, and sew a mini capsule to fill those gaps. Over the year the items build into a useful wardrobe that works for you.
You can of course buy ready made. For me that usually means I end up in ill fitting clothes or dark fleeces and bodywarmers. (I’m tall with a large bust).
Because I can sew (though it’s been a while…) and I can knit too, I’m going with Alexandra’s Sew for a Change challenge, and using the fantastic Facebook group seasonal plans at Sy garderoben – med en plan. It’s a Swedish group, but easy enough to follow with the help of Google translate, or follow along with me.
The spring plan starts week 4 (26 Jan) and runs until week 12 (23 March). Pick two base colours and two accents, and make 6 items.
For my base colours I chose navy and grey, and for accents red and duck egg blue. I love these colours, they suit me and they work all year round. You get a bit more scope too as the grey can be any shade from charcoal through to pale silver, and the duck egg can be pale and frosty or a brighter turquoise, and the red .
1 kavaj/kofta/ytterplagg (bas eller accent)
one jacket/coat in your base or accent
1 underdelar – byxa/kjol (bas)
one skirt or trousers in your base colour
2 överdelar – blus/topp (1 bas och 1 accent)
two tops/blouses, one in base colour, one in accent
2 utanpå överdel – kofta/tröja/väst (1 bas och 1 accent)
two layering pieces (cardigan, waistcoat or light jacket) one in the base colour and one in the accent.
The whole purpose of this is to create a wardrobe that you need and will wear, so feel free to use these as a guide and mix it up a bit if necessary.
A red coat, possibly a trench style
A navy skirt in velveteen (an item I didn’t make for the winter plan, but it’s cut out ready to sew)
A navy and white stripe Breton style top
A white/ivory blouse,
A navy dress, fitted, plain style
A jacket in a navy mix tweed
Add to these purchased long sleeve tops in red, white and duck egg and to knit: a cable sweater in pale greyWatch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download
(Apologies for the strange arrangement of pictures. I can’t make Blogger line them up as I wish)
|Navy dress from Lands End|
|Stonecutter sweater (Ravelry)|
|Navy velveteen skirt|
|Draped white blouse: Dotty by Style Arc|
I’d also like a reversible skirt, and I’m aware that there’s not much duck egg/turquoise in there. Perhaps the Summer plan will accommodate those.
1 ytterplagg – kavaj/kofta/jacka
one jacket (there’s the Chanel one! I have a gorgeous aqua/duck egg tweed waiting)
2 underdelar – byxa/capri/shorts/kjol
2 bottoms (navy linen trousers, reversible skirt)
2 överdelar – blus/topp/t-shirt
2 more tops: there are the duck egg and red t shirts?
1 klänning a dress: print, summery
How about you? Will you be planning your sewing and/or shopping this way?
How about a Christmassy party skirt in a stretchy fabric: one seam up the back, lined, waist and hem trim?
I found some tips on sewing sequinned fabric at:
Here’s that post in full:
Of course, instead of just sewing, I spent a
long-ass time googling “How to Sew With Sequins…” At least now I know
how not to get a sequin-related eye injury. Here’s everything, for
Sewing with Sequined (or beaded) Fabric
Take your time; it’s probably going to take longer than an afternoon to
finish the project. Sandra Betzina says it will take at least three
• Choose a simple pattern with minimal seams.
• Steer clear of patterns with zippers, buttonholes, pleats, pockets, and set-in sleeves.
• Do a muslin first.
Know that sequins have a nap— they lay on top of each other like
shingles; be aware of the right direction when laying your pattern out.
• Lay your pattern out in a single layer.
• Use pattern weights.
• Use 1-inch seam allowances.
• Know that sequins shed. Lay down a tarp or old bed sheet on the floor when cutting the fabric to make clean up easier.
• Try to use old scissors for cutting, because the sequins/beads can dull blades.
• Sew slowly.
• Don’t even try to use a serger.
• Wear glasses while you sew (even sunglasses) to avoid being blinded by a random flying sequin.
Consider hand sewing the entire project for more control and a better
finish. At the very least get ready for some hand hemming.
• Use a longer (3.5) stitch length.
• Choose the needle according to the backing fabric; buy extras, because they’ll get dull fast.
• Line the garment where possible (seam finishes are going to be difficult so lining is better).
• Press with a pressing cloth, without steam.
Don’t try to sew over the sequins; you’ll get lumpy seams. Remove any
sequins/beads in the seam/hem allowances before sewing. After sewing,
re-sew sequins in any bare spots:
Removing sequins from sequined fabric:
1. Use chalk to trace the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, then thread-trace the pattern pieces.
Remove the sequins in the seam/hem allowances. But don’t remove them by
clipping the thread, since that’ll cause the others to fall off one by
one. Instead, pull the thread up with tweezers and use little scissors
to clip just the sequin, leaving the thread intact.
stitching the seam, turn the garment and look for bare spots where
sequins need to be replaced. Hand-stitch the sequin back where needed.
Removing beads from beaded fabric:
Place painter’s tape along the edges of the pattern piece. Painter’s
tape is low tack, so it should not damage your fabric.
2. Hammer along the painter’s tape to break the glass beads.
3. Pull the painter’s tape up and all the broken bits of bead are stuck to the tape.
4. Depending on how heavily beaded the fabric is, this may need to be repeated.
The 6 PAC (6 piece Autumn collection) is a challenge initiated by Elisabeth over at Stitcher’s Guild Sewing Forum that runs each season. The Autumn 6pac starts in August and ends in October, the idea being that you finish with 6 items to add to your Autumn wardrobe.
There are rules, although these are flexible and the whole point is that you actually sew some items. So it’s late September already and I’ve only just decided on the final 6PAC. It’s taken me this long to settle on the fabrics, although I knew I needed warmer skirts and a cardigan/jacket of some sort to fill the gaps in my wardrobe.
Aren’t these gorgeous colours? I sent for loads of samples and bought lots of other fabric before I decided on these. The brown cotton velvet at the bottom is from my stash, it was originally pink but I dyed it years ago. I think it was originally a velvet curtain. The others are all new purchases.
From the top:
1)Sea green wool knit cardigan/long jacket
2) viscose jersey mock wrap top
3) navy velveteen knee length skirt
4) chocolate cord trousers
5) wool knit wrap dress
6) brown velvet a line skirt, possibly with stitch detail hem
I can get 4 outfits just from these 6, or 8 if you count with and without the cardi as two separate outfits. Add items I already own and just watch me work that style!
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One of my favourite bloggers is Peter from Male Pattern Boldness, a blog I discovered when I was searching for resources on sewing for my man.
Recently he posted about one of his favourite sewing books, Decorative Dressmaking. I wasn’t familiar with it but Peter’s review convinced me it would be a useful addition to my bookshelf. I was less enthusiastic about the prices used copies were fetching, however. Currently the cheapest used copy on Amazon UK is around £40.
So I couldn’t quite believe it when I found a hardback copy, here in the UK, on AbeBooks for just £1. That’s right, less than the price of a zipper or reel of thread. Plus shipping for under £3.
I order and paid and waited for the email telling me that unfortunately the book was no longer available. But, no, here it is!
Decorative Dressmaking: don’t let the 80s cover put you off….
It’s filled with gorgeous vintage fashion plates…
.. and lots of detailed construction advice in hand drawings that are useful as well as charming.
Next time I fancy including piping, applique, pintucks, pleats or some other fancy technique, I’m covered!
How lucky am I!?
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