Monday, 11 April 2016

April - Precipitation, Patterns and Planning!

There's nothing like spending a week away from the studio to set the refresh button on my sewing plans.  A few days by the sea last week has given me a chance to clear my head of work, house jobs and the never ending, ever lengthening 'to do' list.  Aaaaaand relax!  

Even the rain didn't stop play for long and so with a daily dose of sea air the cobwebs have well and truly been blown away. I've sewn not one single stitch in well over a week, but I have collected some new (and not so new) patterns, one or two lengths of new fabric and the fresh ideas are fast racking up in my mental project pile.  Having some new ideas in mind has also made me revisit the old stash fabric too, and yesterday evening I hauled out four or five pieces of cotton poplin, lawn and some vintage silky fabric for immediate consideration.

I've been away visiting family by the seaside, and managed to factor in a trip to one or two local fabric shops and haberdashery departments on the way.  There is a half price sale of Simplicity and Butterick patterns just now and one of the traditional haberdashers locally (one of the very few left) that still has pattern catalogues and sells paper patterns from the shop, also had a sale of some old stock.  Having done an initial swoop to see what was on offer, I went away and made a wish-list. Then I returned with said list and netted the best of what was available.  It pays to be organised when faced with sale price patterns (or sale price anything in my case) as I could have gone a bit mad here and ended up spending a fortune.  But I kept my choices limited to those patterns that I really liked and were potentially good for remaking, for which I already had suitable fabric, or where a suitable choice of fabric was available to buy there in the shop.  Several that I'd chosen were not in stock, but all of the Simplicity ones on my list were available. This then, was the resulting pick, all Simplicity:

One newly released dress pattern, Simplicity 8055 (with additional coat/jacket) and two styles of shirts, one cropped, Simplicity 8090 and one more traditional, Simplicity 1538 - a good range of spring/summer options I think, and lots of opportunity for making multiples if they turn out well enough.  

Together with these, I bought some viscose for the dress and cotton poplin in simple white for the cropped shirt.  I already have lots of stash material suitable for the other shirt and when raiding my stash pile yesterday, these gems presented themselves as definite shirt contenders.  From the bottom they are: yellow floaty cotton chiffon brought as a gift from India, coral shaded vintage floral in a silk mix, blue and orange shell print cotton lawn, blue floral cotton poplin and pink vintage rose print cotton lawn.

Here's a pic of the viscose fabric for the dress, with zip and thread picked out to go with the blue flowers in the design.  I noted that Reiss currently have a few items this season, including a tunic and trousers, in a very similar, tropical fern print in almost identical green and blue colours but with a random, bright orange leaf.  I might think about including an orange element when I'm putting this together.  Or perhaps leave it to just the blues and accessorise it with other colours? Hmmm....    

I did let myself buy a few lengths of this muted colour fabric below, which I love, but which at the moment could become any number of garments.  I haven't decided exactly what I will make but there are lots of options.  It is a nice medium weight cotton, not too stiff, with an abstract floral print that almost looks a bit camouflage in the khaki and black colour palette.  I'm thinking either shift dress with sleeves, or possibly more trousers in a style like these.  The colours are great for spring and summer to wear with neutrals or brights and the fabric is really wide, so even with just a couple of metres there may be more than one garment to play for.

A charity shop local to where we were staying, that I know sells patterns, was also on my route map and I scooped this one for a whole pound.  I usually get vintage patterns from this shop, but this pyjama set is still in print I think.

Now I have fairly recently purchased a similar pyjama pattern, but I have seen reviews online from others who have already made these Burda ones (the women's version) and it seems to get the thumbs up pretty unanimously as a basic design. I noticed in the shop that it has been cut already and used, although all the pieces are there. Having inspected the contents more closely, it seems to have been altered quite dramatically by someone who wanted to make shorts and also widen the back and arm holes quite significantly.  At least I think that's what they've tried to do!  There are extra bits of tissue taped on here and there and some red pen notes, and the arm shaping looks rather odd so it will require some careful tweaking.  Anyway, I think I can work out where the alterations can be reversed back to the original 'factory settings' as it were.

So back to the ranch this week, tons to catch up on with work (the email backlog alone is ridiculous) and home jobs (how do socks manage to hold so much sand, even when they've been washed!?) and probably zero time to bring all my project ideas into life for the next few days!  So for now just daydreaming of the beach and my future sewing plans will have to do.  

At least with the temperatures creeping up few degrees I've been able to wear some spring clothes and enjoy some handmade garments that have been waiting (shivering) in the wings.  I actually went out in my handmade silk bomber jacket earlier today without freezing to death after 5 minutes and wishing I'd worn head-to-toe woollens.  If this continues, a spring dress may well be next in line.


  1. Looking forward to following the progress of these projects - just one thought: have you got space for another wardrobe? I think you're going to need some more hanging room soon if you continue making clothes at this rate!

  2. Ha ha! Yes AWR as a matter of fact I was thinking about wardrobe space only this morning! Things are getting crowded in there, not to mention all the drawers and the boxes under the bed. Perhaps when I can safely pack away the winter woollens though, there will be room for some of these spring projects. Sarah x