Easter Bunny

Inspired by the post by The Little Tailoress back in February 2014 and using the pattern from Tilda’s book Crafting Springtime Gifts I have made an Easter Bunny. You can’t go naked so “Bunny” is wearing a little dress made from a scrap of Jubilee Cherries cotton print. She now sits on the bed along with Gregory the Teddy (who is older than me!) and Jemima Puddleduck.

easter rabbit 3

Expensive Times!

They say things happen in threes so now I have had a hat trick! First
our VHS/DVD/Freeview receiver went wrong, then I had to replace my tablet and now today the overlocker has gone to sewing machine heaven. Franklins in Salisbury did give me some scrap value which was not a lot. But thinking positively the machine was over 20 years old (worked hard virtually every day since purchase) and cost £200 originally so I think I have had my money’s worth out of it. Just typical though that I had sold the 2nd overlocker in February and if I had kept it – it would have saved me forking out over £300 today for a replacement!
I saw my new JUKI 654DE machine demonstrated and it looks good, does even  more things than my previous overlocker and also looks to be much  simpler to operate and change from overlocking to rolled hem (a real  boon on fine fabrics – scarf-making etc) system. So this afternoon is  going to be “Get to know your new machine” and this has to happen  really fast as I am so impatient – right in the middle of making a new dress!

juki

The Great British Sewing Bee

I have been avidly watching both the first and the current series of this programme. Today, the book that accompanies the series arrived complete with a set of patterns. As soon as I complete the current set of dresses, I plan to make up the 1930′s peplum blouse using one of the many lengths of crepe de chine fabric in my stash.

1930s blouse pic        1930s blouse text

A Halt in Production

In a bid to rationlise the equipment in my sewing room, I recently sold the second of my two overlocker machines leaving me with just one Janome overlocker machine. I still have several other sewing/embroidery machines but more about those another time. This afternoon I was beavering away with the making of Jubilee Cherries print dress, using the sewing machine and overlocking all the seams. For no apparent reason the overlocker started to make a grungchy noise – well that’s the best way I can describe it! I undid the covers and gave the mechanics a good dust, changed the needle and re-set the foot. Still no improvement so I have had to pack up the machine and will take it across to Salisbury, Franklins Sewing Centre tomorrow in the hope that Steve can fix it – quickly!!

Jubilee Cherries Dress

I have the delicious cherry printed shoes as mentioned in a previous post and have decided to make another dress to wear with them.  I telephoned Fabricland to order some more of the Black background, Cherry printed fabric but “Oh no!” sadly this is out of stock until July! I quickly browsed the other cotton fabrics and settled upon Jubilee Cherries in Pink colourway.

jubilee cherries

I have cut out the dress and have started stitching. This is  yet another version of the 50′s style from McCalls 6438 with my own drafted sleeves which have a shaped hemline to echo the shaping of the collar. I have a can-can petticoat in Red which will ensure that the dress is really “on trend”.

Truro Prima Dress no 45

Inspired by the success of version 44 of this dress style I have now completed version 45! I purchased the “retro” fabric in Truro whilst holidaying in Cornwall. The fabric is cotton with a little elastane which makes for a really comfortable and forgiving fit. I have a beautiful Blue Jacket with White piping that I intend to wear with this dress – I just need an occasion to wear the ensemble!

truro dress

Record-keeping

I started recording my sewing activities back in 1991 when I purchased my first sewing & embroidery machine from Janome.  Since then I have traded up my machines and filled several notebooks with records of projects. The notebooks make fascinating reading, for me at least. It is akin to a diary and just flicking through reminds me of various functions and activities I have attended through the years. Business functions, May balls, Ladies Day at the Races, Weddings and family celebrations - all are recorded in my notebooks. I see that I first made the PRIMA GO ANYWHERE DRESS back in April 2000 using a Denim Blue striped gabardine fabric. Since then I have made up this style, with variations, for others and myself, no less than 44 times! The original pattern had become so tatty and torn with the adjustments over the years that I was fortunate enough to buy another copy from eBay and this is now “sacred” in it’s original form being kept as MASTER copy for the future. Do any of you have favourite patterns and how many times have you made up yours?

A new version of an old pattern

Simplicity 8484 was copyrighted in 1988 which is when, I think, I first made this dress in a Lemon & Grey abstract print crepe de chine. I remember it as being ultra-smart and comfortable to wear so was delighted when it came up on eBay in the right size range. It has taken a lot of communication to receive the pattern as initially the seller sent the completely wrong pattern! Now it is here I plan to make in a lightweight cotton print – just as a tester on sizing and fit. Bearing in mind the really puffy sleeves on the previous dress, I shall re-draft the sleeves so that they have only a small puff at the shoulder, but will keep the tie feature. The dress takes roughly 4 metres of 114 cm fabric and as this is the usual amount that I buy “on spec” I should be able to find something to use.

8484 c 1988

A new Dress for the Spring II

It seems to be the way of things at the moment, never straightforward. I had adjusted the pattern for this dress by dropping the fullness of the bust to my new bust point and adding to the seam allowances at side and panel seams. I had measured myself (as I know I have put on weight, again – how depressing) and wanted to be sure that the dress was big enough. Having basted the dress together I discovered that I did not need all those extra inches! So… the dress took longer to make than I had envisaged. It is finished now and waiting for some Spring-like weather in which to wear it. When I do finally wear the dress I will get some photos taken as the style really does not have a great deal of “hanger appeal” – it looks so much better on a real live body!

6527 front6527 reverse6527 scallop neckline and front buttons

 

A new Dress for the Spring

It’s the first day of Spring so I thought I would make a new dress in a cotton fabric that has a print that made me think of the Pink Hyacinths and Yellow Primroses currently flowering in the garden. I bought the fabric last Autumn from a stand at the Quilt Show held at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallett. Whilst I am waiting for a new pattern ordered from eBay to arrive, I decided to re-visit an old pattern (New Look 6527) that I have used in the past with great success.  When made up the sleeves are not quite as full as portrayed on the pattern envelope and of course, my waist is no longer as pronounced but I do like the full skirt, scallop neckline and the button front. I have made some fitting adjustments and cut out the fabric so hopefully will put the dress together over the weekend.

spring dress fabric

Whilst cutting out the pattern, I was supervised by a furry assistant – Jazz, my Tortie & White cat who has delusions of becoming a dress designer!

jazz and the spring dress cutting out

new look 6527