Sunday, 19 June 2011

Pendrell, I think I love you...

What a little gem of a pattern. I can see why Karen has made umpteen of them. Here is my Pendell, sewn up with material I got for £1/2 a metre in Walthamstow Market.

Ignore the thread hanging from my seam - it's actually just stuck to my jeans!
I absolutely love it, I think it is my favourite make so far (apart from maybe my first Rooibos). 

I have to admit I'd have been lost without Tasia's sewalong, so I'm extremely grateful for that, thanks Tasia. This was mostly to do with the bias binding on the neck and arm-holes, a technique I'd never used before. I now think bias binding is BRILLIANT and want to use it on EVERYTHING! If only I'd known about it for my last make, I could have bias bound the neck and arms and saved myself from faffing about with stupid facings. *doh* I also needed the pictures for getting my head around how to make the sleeves, but once I'd got it they were extremely satisfying to make. I also bodged the arm-hole (the second one I'd done so can't even blame inexperience!) by sewing the binding to the wrong side of the fabric. Lesson learned, don't sew for too long without a break or any food, your concentration will wane!

Another problem I had was the sizing - I cut out a size 12 as I wanted to make sure it sat nice and loosely over my hips. The finished make made me look like a floral clad american footballer! Far too much material in the sleeves and shoulder area. I think I could have got away with the size 10, and I may even need to cut a bit smaller through the shoulders/bust. It was reasonably easy to fix though, I just took in the side seams by about a cm, and then the two front/back seams in by about half a cm up to the bustline then graded it up to take in about a cm/cm and a half through the bust and shoulders. I was worried it might ruin the line of the top, but I don't think it's suffered too badly. 

I immediately want to make another one, but I'm still loathe to cut into an expensive fabric as I think I may have more sizing issues to work through. A gingham version may be making an appearance after all...!

To summarise:
Pendrell = ACE. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Walthamstow market fabric haul

So yesterday I went to Walthamstow market to check out the cheap fabric Karen's always raving about. And I wasn't disappointed! I came away with 2m of each of these for around a tenner:


The eagle eyed amongst you might notice that I have been a bit of a copycat. I knew I was buying a gingham similar to the one Karen used for her Pendrell, but it wasn't until later that I realised I've also copied her with the yellow fabric too. Um. Hope you don't mind Karen! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that...

So. Now to decide what to make. Like about 90% of the sewing world, I've recently purchased the Ginger and the Pendrell.

I'm excited! After seeing all the beautiful versions of the Pendrell out there, I couldn't not snap it up, and Sunni's sewalong for the Ginger had me champing at the bit to get my mitts on the pattern. Her versions are just stunning. It also helps that there's a sewalong for the Pendrell, I love having all the tips on-hand.

Now to match fabric to patterns...I was thinking either the yellow or the pink and white floral for a Ginger - what do you think? I'm imagining the yellow with red pockets, something like this version of Sunni's. But I'm torn, because they're the two I'd like to use for the Pendrell too...

As for the gingham, I'm not entirely sure what to do with it yet - I loved Karen's gingham Pendrell, but that might be a little too single white female, so I'm waiting for inspiration to strike! Perhaps an interior (curtain? cushion?) rather than clothing. And I've got my eye on the green paisley-esque fabric for a collarless Rooibos, along the lines of Roisin's version. Or would that be a little OTT?? What say you?

Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday - it's dull and wet in my corner of London, so I'm in clean pjs, full of french toast, and not planning to leave the flat, while Matt makes fresh bread in the kitchen. Perfect! I've also been dedicating a little too much time to my addiction. Yep. I'm addicted to...Guitar Hero. Bet you didn't see that one coming. I spent Christmas a few years ago pretty much sofa-bound with back pain that only champagne and brandy cocktails could cure, and not much else to do other than play my sister's wii. And lo, a passion was born. It was one only indulged from afar over the past few years, but this week we got our own wii (uber cheap as the new one is coming out soon) and I've been shamelessly ignoring my poor boyfriend, working my way through all the levels. I'm sure it will be short lived, but for now it's bloody good fun...!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Dots and duds

Woo it's finally finished! McCalls 2401 in bright red polka dot, that I started making in March

It wasn't a hard make, it just languished as an unfinished object for a rather long time. I started making the version with 3/4 length sleeves, but then the weather started to get warmer, and I'm afraid I just wasn't 'feeling it'. However a couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough, I'd make it without the sleeves instead. Sadly the facings etc are all completely different with the sleeveless version, so I had to make it up as I went along. As a consequence the inside is a bit of a mess, but you (hopefully!) can't tell from the outside. 

The good
I liked this pattern a lot. It has a very easy technique for inserting the zipper which I'd never seen before, but it took all the hassle out of it and I'll definitely be using it in future makes. It also has a sweet little split at the back. I have to say, I feel rather sophis in it, it is much more fitted than anything I'd normally wear. 

The bad
I was too lazy to make a muslin, so as a consequence there were a few fitting issues, mostly around the shoulders. I always seem to have the problem that the back gapes at the neckline and the shoulders look too 'blocky'. Does anyone know what type of adjustments I should be making, is that a common problem? I fixed the gapiness by hitching in the shoulder seams a few inches, but the blockiness is still there, I decided it wasn't worth unpicking all the interfacing to fix (lazy), plus I wasn't sure how to go about it. 

And now for the ugly....
I refer you to my last post where I announced I was making a top from the Japanese sewing book. Well. It's hideous. Just hideous. A dud dud, if you will (do you call clothes 'duds' where you come from??). It's unfinished as it was so unflattering I couldn't bear to work on it any further. 

Ok, the make itself is not bad, but seriously. It made me look about 9 months pregnant. Thankfully there is a lot of fabric in it, so it can probably be repurposed somehow! I've not seen any pictures of this top actually on a person (as opposed to on a dummy - Mildred is taking one for the team and modelling it for me) - has anyone else made it? Perhaps it's just universally unflattering! 

Anyway, I've settled into my new job, have more energy now that the weathers picked up, and have got my sewing mojo back, so hopefully it will not be as quiet around here as of late. I spent today in Walthamstow Market, as recommended heartily by Karen, and picked up 8 metres of fabric for around a tenner - bargain!! I'll share my purchases in my next post.