I have been a very busy bee

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Hi,

Apologies for the break between posts. I have been busy sewing and not actually managing to blog, however, I will hopefully make amends for this with a long(ish) catch-up post.

So, you may recall: It was half term, I couldn’t get any sewing done so planned a knitting project. I am an experienced knitter, a colleague at work had admired some gloves I had knitted, I offered to knit a pair, (dusts hands), job done and I just really struggled with this. We had visitors for the week and I just really failed to get on with the knitting. I did had a lovely time with my mum and I night out with my husband. So, after the green dress was finished, I went back to the knitting and viola, they are done.

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The pattern was free from Ravelry. I had recently been on a knitting course “Finishing Techniques” with the lovely Julia and put most of the information (knitting in ends as you go, darning on right side, different cast on methods and darning in ends) into practice here to give a nicely finished glove. I am very pleased with how the fingers look on the finished project as this has previously been a bit scrappy.

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The recipient was very pleased and their colleague is now looking for a pair (sewing insanity anyone?), and the production of some pure wool gloves has brought spring forth too. Cost was £8.50 (2 balls Rowan pure wool) and timer taken was probably 17 hours.

 

I am mum to 2 lovely girls, the little one was 5, she has inherited many toys, bikes etc. from the older one, so when it comes to birthdays, she doesn‘t get lots of “stuff”. We are all fine with this. So, “what would you like for your birthday darling?” “you to make me a pink dress Mummy”, (I am hoping the pink phase doesn’t last too much longer).

As part of her birthday, I took her to the fabric shop and she picked fabric (we had previously chosen a pattern), and and you can see below was very pleased when I finished it this morning (started it last night, making time 6 hours).

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The bits which I struggled with on this were the collar, I used too stiff interfacing and had to top stitch the collar down. Sewing the band round the middle was a labour of love, I had to go very slowly and unpick several times.

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However, she really loves it and was very very happy. I think she is already planning her next dress.

 

Finally: I have been working on a an idea for a spring coat for some time. There is a lovely pattern in the Sew Serendipity book I have sued before and I made a toile of the design back in February. I have taken the plunge and started this. I am trying to concentrate on the overall finish and details, but the plan is a coat in green wool with some very lovely lining and finishing touches. This project has been playing in mind fro some time, in that I even have a swatch on my desk at work to see how it looks, we did call this sewing insanity. and will involve; working with fabric that frays every time you even think about it, let alone work with it, (I can see lots of stay stitching in  my future), covering buttons, fine finishing possibly involving hand stitching.

So, I have started this and am likely to take my time over this and may do other projects in between, but will blog with updates as I get there.

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Back to the subject of being a busy bee. In addition to the above, my eldest daughter has shown some interest of sewing (hurray!) and I have been helping her. She does most of the making herself with a bit of guidance from me (although I do sew the fiddly bits), she uses the sewing machine herself and is very good. She got a Layer Cake fabric pack for her birthday and has so far made a patchwork pillow case and has made some bunting (cutting shapes out, not a kit!). I think she is angling for a slot on the Known Associates page.

The other thing which is happening is that as the sewing kit is always “out”, the amount of running repairs and alterations has increased. “mum, can you make this skirt a bit tighter?” “can you sew this button back on?”, “the Velcro has come loose on my cycling gloves? could you just……?”

On another topic, there was an interesting piece in the Guardian this week about knitting and sewing and it’s replacement for shopping lust. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/22/knitting-fashion-lust . These types of pieces are not new and it’s always interesting to read the writers point of view. The article and it’s “below the line” replies made me think, (after the usual flicker of annoyance from posters had passed) about my own reason for sewing, so in no particular order;

1. Nothing you buy in the shops fits. We live in a world of “one size fits none”, I have a large bust, so clothes bought which fit the bust are huge on the shoulders. Trousers which fit my post children tummy have a gape at the back my family could pack their holiday clothes into, nice. Making clothes means I can adjust to fit my shape better.

2. Money versus quality. Hmm, a tricky one this, Buying cheap clothes means they are either; badly made, don’t last, fall apart after X washes (where X is less than 10), without having any moral arguments about how they are made. Better quality clothes which don’t fall apart and last some time are *much* more expensive, so having made the decision that I don’t want to wear badly fitting clothes which fall apart, actually making clothes is good value.

3. I just really like it. The best reason after all, I have a hobby which I spend my time on and have something to show at the end of it, a win-win situation. There are days when the sewing insanity sets in (see above), but if you’re going to do something, best “fall right in” and embrace it.

So, back to the coat for me. I will try to blog more as I go along as I think there will be several new things I undertake (button covering and hand stitching).

Sarah

xxxx

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