Sunday, 13 October 2013

Nice weather for ducks

View from the dining room - not the weeding weather I was banking on

Hello there, long time no speak, I'm not entirely certain how we got to mid October this quickly ... I think it's my age, my Nainy always said the years whizz by as you get older ... moving on ...

All the lamps on at 10 o'clock this morning - not a bright and sunny day
I've been beavering away with my cross-stitch projects but I'm officially working on Secret Santa stuff so (just in case family members stumble across the blog) I can't share photos.
I am loving rediscovering cross-stitch, very satisfying - and perfect to complete in front of Strictly Come Dancing.

Dave Myers 'owns' Strictly with bizarre paso
Dave Myers and Karen Hauer - Photo - BBC
Speaking of which, I'm usually all about the dancing, smarting when a good dancer goes because a "people's favourite" is kept in by the viewers.  But laughter is good for you - that's official.  I think Dave Myers' paso doble might be the funniest thing I have ever seen (and I sat through lots and lots of dance competitions when my DD was younger - there were some interesting routines). 

I so hope he doesn't go out too soon, I'm not sure how he'd top the paso but I'd like to see him try!  You can see it here - enjoy!

Right, enough of Strictly (with which I am very slightly obsessed - I think it's the costumes) ... I actually did some crafting today ... well preparation for sewing but as I can't abide ironing, pinning and cutting out are my least favourite bits of the whole process I thought I'd do a batch and get it out of the way. 

Plus I need to cut out on the dining table otherwise I have no end of bother with my back (getting hit by a car will do that to you) - doing a whole heap of cutting out in one go means the table won't be out of action for months days - I'm so considerate!

I'm also testing to see if it means I'll manage to sew in the short timeslots I seem to have available to me lately.  I think it's worth a try, I'm conducting a very scientific experiment - I'm looking at my productivity over the last month (practically zero) and seeing if it improves, shouldn't be hard to measure - I like simple maths :)

Revisiting an old friend - in case you've been under a rock somewhere for about 3 years,
the free pattern is available here

I spent last weekend sorting out my wardrobe and identifying gaps.  I'm not a keen clothes shopper so decided to see if I could make as many outfits as possible with what I have.  It's glaringly obvious I need some simple shell tops to go with skirts for work.  I like sleeveless tops under cardigans (and I love cardigans).  I laid my skirts out, raided my stash for the fabulously small amounts of fabric a Sorbetto will take and got the scissors out.

I love this print and I think it will go brilliantly with a couple of grey skirts I have.
I have 75 cm length, it's 145 cm wide and I paid £6 for it at a craft fair last September

So this is the first one ready to go.  I just about squeezed out self-drafted neck facings (I'm not that keen on bias necklines unless it's made from the main fabric).  Not a scrap left for sleeves (that's fine) but I did manage to make it 2" longer, which I prefer.  So all cut out and ready to go when I move on to 'sewing up' phase.

This is the second Sorbetto I've cut out.  I got this remnant at a craft fair in June 2012 (pre-blog),
It was £4, I have a paltry 65cm of 145 cm wide fabric - again it's a lawn

I tell you this one was very tight for fabric, I couldn't even squeeze the neck facings out of matching fabric, I'll use a plain scrap of something else.  I did get the all important extra 2" length in though. I love all the different colours in this one, lends itself to different accessories, shoes and most importantly cardigans.

I had planned a Sorbetto out of this one but I don't have nearly enough
Despite the fact that the Sorbetto is so brilliant and will squeeze out of tiny amounts of fabric, I couldn't manage it this time.

I love this fabric, lots of my favourite shades in it. 
However, whilst I have just over a metre in length it is a vintage piece,
consequently only 36" wide

I bought this at the same craft fair in June 2012 where I picked up the blue piece above.  This was £4 too.  As I can't manage a top I had a rethink and this is my plan ...

The plain black is from my stash too so I'm going to make a dress,
with patterned top and plain skirt.
Having searched through my patterns, given the amounts I have to play with, I'm going to use Butterick B5450 again, as I did for my Autumn in Tokyo dress.  I love the fact that the dress will contain black and brown - I think it's going to be easy to mix and match with different accessories to vary the lookI'm hoping it will look different enough because of the 2 fabric combo.  So a dress cut out and ready to go too.

With that in mind, I decided to tackle a refashion too.  Yonks ago (when I first started to try and sew clothes in early 2012) I tackled the free Coffee Date dress that I found at Burdastyle.  Now, I have seen some brilliant versions of this dress but mine wasn't one of them - total disaster just about sums it up!

I was gutted because I'd wasted some of my favourite fabric that I bought in Swansea at Lee Mills Fabrics - I love this shop and my DS is at Uni up the road - very handy!  Because the Butterick pattern above takes so little fabric I hoped I might be able to recut and rescue my mess.  Brilliantly, it worked, with a bit of juggling and a bit of a 'free and easy' approach to the grainline!

The 2 top back pieces from the Coffee Date Dress skirt backs

I've had to do away with the centre front pleat but that
means I can squeeze this out of the previously cut Coffee Date Dress skirt front

And because, not having decided on a pattern when I bought it, I had 3 metres of this gorgeous green polka dot fabric, I have managed to cut the skirt from the untouched leftovers.  So this will be version 3 of the same pattern but, without the centre pleat it's not a direct copy cat - I have my fingers crossed I don't start looking like I'm wearing a uniform!

This is what's left of the Coffee Date Dress - I'll take it to pieces and use it
for patchwork.  Poor dress :(

So that's 4 garments cut out - I guess I'd better get on and sew something in the near future.   I'll let you know how I get on with my scientific experiment - perhaps an old dog can learn new tricks :)



  1. All those fabrics are gorgeous, and it's great you've managed to salvage your green polka dot fabric! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished items.

  2. Thank you - it's nice to work with cheery fabrics on such a dull day :)

  3. I am sure you will become very good at new tricks :)

    1. I've got to try something - otherwise my WIP list will take over the house!

  4. Love your plans. How lovely to be sewing (or at least cutting) pretty fabrics in such miserable weather.

    I have to disagree with you about Dave Myers paso doble being the funniest thing ever - my vote would go to his cha cha in week one. Des and I were literally crying with laughter by the time he finished. There are some brilliant dancers this year though. I'm going with Sophie and Brendan (love Brendan!) and Des is rather keen on Susanna Reid. (Sorry, can you tell I'm slightly Strictly obsessed too!)

  5. I can't fail to be cheered up by a pile of pretty fabric!

    The cha cha was funny, I think it was the paso face that finished me off! I'm cheering Sophie on too - brilliant charlston. And I love Fiona too, I always wanted to look like her when I was a teenager - some hope! I'm not keen on Julien - a bit hyper for my taste but very sparkly outfits - fabulous! Oh I do love Strictly :) x

  6. Wow! I love your second top, it's simply gorgeous! You have a lot of fun work ahead, so prolific ... Happy week, dear Lady.

    1. Thank you Rosy - I've set aside some time this weekend, if I could finish 1 top I'd be very pleased :)


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