Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Buttons Buttons Buttons!

Just a quick post from me today to share with you all some lovely buttons I received in a gift this past weekend :-)

The buttons are mostly mother of pearl and belonged to my great grandmother. Before my grandad was born in 1931 she was a seamstress by trade - her specific job was to join the top and bottom part of socks together. While this career ended when she married and had her family she continued to sew and provide an alteration service for others.  Clearly not all of these buttons are from the same era - the pink button is clearly from a later point in time and most likely dates from the early 60's however a great number were and still have that lovely shine which the mother of pearl provides :-).

When she died my grandmother salvaged most of her buttons however never found the right project to use them on. Skip forward a number of years and she decided that I could probably put them to use. I hope to find a special project to use these for as it would be such a shame to waste them after all this time! Finally I was rather impressed by the writing on the old indigestion tablet container in which most of these buttons came:

Hope you are all enjoying your week - we actually have great weather right now in glasgow - it's just a shame we're stuck in such a dull office! I hope to have some photos taken in the sun later so I can share my most recent project

Jennifer xx

Friday, 17 April 2015

Me Made May 2015

I have signed up to the challenge:

'I, Jennifer Shaw of Jennifer's Sewing Space, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment each day for the duration of May 2015'

I'm excited! I didn't feel ready to participate last year for a number of reasons however this year I think that I have enough me-made garments to make an interesting challenge (and that are of an acceptable quality to wear.)

Particular events which make this an interesting challenge are that we are away on holiday at the end of the month: to Ireland. However more specifically to a festival. Right now I don't really have any festival gear and it was number 4 on my 2015 sewing plan. So I think I'll be doing a touch of research into the ins and outs of no-camping-required festivals. This festival plus associated holiday takes up a full week in May and I'm excited :-D I also have an adult job now - and whereas there are no hard and fast rules on uniform - I feel more inclined to wear something more formal than my usual crazy print fit and flare style that I seem to have adopted!

Items in my handmade wardrobe which currently see a lot of wear include my trusty minoru jacket:

I think this goes with about 90 % of my wardrobe. I'm still working on starting my plan for a spring jacket - however as spring has only really just arrived I don't feel so bad. I have my pattern and fabric ready I just need to make one alteration to the front jacket piece then it's all good to go.

another item which has found it's way into immediate rotation is my Julia Cardigan:

Clearly I don't wear it with a party dress every day however it goes with, again, 90 % of my wardrobe and definitely fits the work appropriate criteria that I'm looking to build!

There are also a few items which I hope to finish up before the end of the first week of May - just to give me more choice. Two of these are cut and ready to sew, I have two patterns ready to cut the fabric from. One of the patterns that I'm hoping to have a bash at (and is the one I have traced pieces for) is this simplicity 1467. I got this free with a sewing magazine this month and think that this pattern alone could fill a few of my pre-May gaps.

Have a great weekend everyone, this week has been insanely busy with work for me yet I find myself enjoying what i do more now than since I worked in the shop/warehouse until 2009. Thats not to say I haven't enjoyed my studies until now - just that I prefer this :-) - so I shall celebrate 6 pm tonight with a large glass of red wine!! Has anyone else signed up for me made may 2015?

Jennifer xx

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Completed: New Look 6020

After declaring that I had not much time for sewing, my production seemed to take an upturn! This dress came together relatively quickly once I had a spare few hours to actually sew it! I even managed to get my overlocker overlocking properly again - somehow the left needle thread had worked its way out of the tension disks :-s. oh well sorted it now is :-)

So with both of my machines fully working, making up this dress from scratch was actually a fairly painless experience :-D. Fairly. I want to make a dress for my cousins wedding at the end of June and have decided to use this pattern and make the necessary changes over a number of wearable muslins before making up the final version in some lovely red crepe I bought in Edinburgh fabrics. I'll share each iteration as I learn to get a perfect fit on this one.

The fabric was a 45" wide cotton from Mandors. I realised at the last minute that I didn't actually have any fabric that was appropriate for a first run of the dress so spent ages lurking all the new bolts which have recently appeared. I felt the flowers on this print stood out more than a regular floral.

This pattern called for facings and as I really dislike facings I decided that I would try and fully line this dress - skirt and all.

Partial fail on the white lining here...
For this I just made up two identical dresses. I had to think a bit about the construction order a little but it went together OK. I attached both dresses at the zip and then pressed the other armhole and neckline under by 5/8" and top stitched. Not the neatest finishing ever but the print hides it a bit. Next time round I am going to finish the armholes with a bias binding facing - much less lazy and a far better finish. I might actually just finish this version with a binding. Maybe. I altered the other half's jeans the other night and it wasn't actually all that bad...

I ended up with a fair amount of gape all around the neckline - I think this is something to do with both my requirement for a narrow shoulder adjustment and the fact it may have stretched while under construction as well as I get the inkling that I cut the size too big. (oh well that's why I didn't cut straight into my crepe....) So in the back I added two darts - which turned out a little too narrow and   took out 3/4" length out of the shoulders; on the front I am debating some front darts. I have already taken a wedge out the back paper pattern piece for my next run. Finally I removed quarter of an inch from the back length with another quarter inch marked onto the pattern pieces for next time.
I had no idea how to expression an extreme close up...

One thing that I liked about the dress is it is more like a tea dress than other styles I have tried. This dress sits under my knee and it took a while but I think i'm used to it! I'm kind of feeling the length right now however will no doubt loose some of it for version 2. Or lengthen it the jury is out on full length, I do love a maxi however the wedding is in the South of England....

I  also wore this as my birthday dress the other week (imperfections and all and as a result I'm almost set on trying the size down) - so that is item #2 off my 2015 plan scored off! yay!

Hope your all sewing up a storm :-)

Jen xx

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