Archive for July, 2010

July 26, 2010

Pass on the Knowledge

I had a lovely weekend at home with the family. We did a bit of shopping, a bit of cooking, lots of eating, too much playing and not enough sleep.

My friend came over for lunch on Sunday. Her mum has bought her a sewing machine and she has a mortal fear of getting it wrong.  I think sewing classes in school were a chore not a pleasure.  Memories of chopping fabric out of the jaws of the machine flooded back.  I said I’d teach her how to make something.  She said “don’t be silly” and “I can’t do that” but she didn’t protest for long.  I opened my secret stash drawer and she was sold.

Ten minutes later we were cutting out some fabric for a simple drawstring bag. Thirty minutes later and she had made it!  She was so pleased.  It’s hard to beat the feeling when you have made something you are really pleased with.  She is now talking cushions and bags…  I got a picture message a few hours later – she had made another one!  I am so proud!

Joint effort on the left, flying solo on the right!

Sewing is about being creative but it is so much about being methodical and having some confidence in yourself.  There’s hardly a project on which I haven’t used a seam ripper.  You also need to know when it’s never going to work and not beat yourself up about it.  But it makes the next successful project all the more rewarding.

My current projects on the go are a white version of my purple dress and some new baby sets.  I have a lot of friends in the family way.  Pictures to follow when they are finished.

July 14, 2010

Carrot Cake and Relaxation

I am struggling to stick to my brief this week.  I have not done much sewing over the last few days.  My son was two on Friday so there were many festivities over the weekend and not much creating.

I did do a lot of baking – but did not take any pictures!  I need to think BLOG now when I make things.  Instead of making a large cake, I like to make a few batches of different cakes so there is something for everyone.  This time I made lavender cupcakes, mini scones and brownies.  Triple yum.  But you’ll just have to imagine how delicious they were and I’ll show you them next time.

I also have neglected the compost theme of the blog.  We have had big storms here today (for England) so it’s not ideal for photo taking.  My tomatoes aren’t ripening and I’m glum.

So, to cheer myself up, here is a photo of the lovely slice of cake I had in Teacup, Manchester last week.  We had the week off so with the child in daycare we headed off some R&R for the day. Cake and tea followed by a delicious spa.  Heaven.

Mmmm Carrot Cake

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July 6, 2010

First Home-Sewn Dress

Hurrah!  I have made my first dress all by myself.

I got the inspiration for the pattern from a project on Burda Style.  Luckily, there is a great fabric shop in my town.  It has a wide range of fabric – although it doesn’t have the coolest prints, you can rummage for some good finds.  It also has patterns and had just the one I wanted.

Simplicity Pattern # 2591

The pattern is a tea dress which you can make with or without sleeves and with different neck variations.

I bought some white fabric with a small green and blue pattern when I bought the dress pattern.  I am quite cautious and I wanted to test out the pattern first.  I bought some cheap fabric from Petticoat Lane last year.  It was about £10 for 10 metres – ideal for testing out my skills and the pattern.  I originally bought it to line handbags but haven’t used it for anything yet.  The fabric is quite a striking ethnic print and was a really nice cotton to work with.

After cutting out, the sewing took about two afternoon sessions.  There was a tricky moment when joining the side panel with the front panel and then side pocket (what does pivot mean???!!!) but mostly it went quite smoothly and here is the finished result!

Happy with my new dress

I am really pleased with it.  It is quite flattering for my shape and is really cool for the summer.  I have added a belt as the pattern has come out on the generous side.  I was so pleased with it I even wore it to a wedding on Saturday.

Me and fella at wedding

I am going to try the white one over the next few days as I have a few days off work.  There’s no stopping me now!