Thursday, February 23, 2017

A busy few days

1972 - The Miner's Strike
As promised, here is the completed piece. The Miner's strike from 1972. This is now ready to be added to the panel. 

Magazine article detailing the sweatshirt design.
The past few days have been rather busy with a lot of sewing. I have been getting on with some dressmaking which I first wrote about here.
Sweatshirt with lace insert - my version.
I started off with the sweatshirt you see here. Found in Love Sewing Magazine, issue 34, it really is nice and cosy, and can be worn with thin polo neck tops underneath. My version has a slightly different neckline to the original design since I wanted the cuffs and neck to match. The lace fabric came out of my stash since I didn't need very much.

After this, I started making up some patterns of my own. I hadn't been very pleased with my first attempts at making polo neck tops out of jersey fabric, so decided to make a pattern from a top I already own. It fits much more snugly than anything I had previously made and I rather liked the style. I also made a pattern from a useful vest I also already have. I added some length to the sleeves which were rather short on the original and made it out of some cotton interlock remaining in my stash. I must admit that I am not very pleased with the neckline since I should have slightly stretched the fabric as I was sewing. Still, it is a really nice and warm addition to my winter wardrobe.

Grey stripe polo neck - neckline

Striped polo neck
The first polo neck made from my own pattern was this grey striped one and I must say I was really pleased with the stripes on the shoulder line. This worked really well, so I went on to make two further tops, completing the last of these this evening. As I write, I am wearing the flying birds top.

Leafy polo neck
Flying Birds polo neck

Tomorrow, I really must get on and get my cocoon coat sewn up ready to wear. It has been sitting beside my chair, waiting rather patiently for me to get other projects out of the way. The weather forecast doesn't sound very nice tomorrow, so a day spent indoors sewing, sounds rather pleasant. The pattern is one I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate back in November. You can the pattern here. I bought some lovely woolen fabric some time back, a bright red on one side and a tartan pattern on the reverse. I fancy playing around with the possibilities offered by the different sides of the fabric.

Oh yes, the "1001 Nights" quilts are now safely back at home with me after their exhibition at Quiltfest. They will soon be heading off to Bramble Patch for their next outing.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Exhibition at Quiltfest
Last week I was a little later than intended in posting to this Blog since I had been busy taking the "1001 Nights" quilts over to Llangollen in North Wales to be exhibited at Quiltfest. I have been involved with this collection of quilts for some time. They are on show at Quiltfest until the 19th February. After this they will travel to Bramble Patch to be exhibited there over Easter this year.

My title stems from the fact that the following quilt should have been finished some months ago. It is finally ready to be handed over.

"1972" being stitched.
The background is built up using pieces of dyecatcher stitched onto fusible wadding. The other fabrics used are thin felt and a sheer fabric which I cut round using a soldering iron. This was to stop the fabric shredding.

More stitching showing the water soluble fabric I use 

The topic of the quilt is the year 1972. It will become part of a Millenium embroidery along with other pieces denoting events from that year. My theme was the first Miners Strike which took place that year trying to stop the inevitable closure of the coal mines around the UK. When I was training as a teacher I found myself observing the lives of the miners and their families since I was based in Doncaster, Yorkshire.

The piece is A4 in size - 7.75" x 11.75" 

Do you ever get the feeling that you have spoken too soon? Well, I suddenly realised whilst writing the above that there was something that didn't look quite finished......... So I will be going back to my sewing machine a little later to get that done. Photos of the completed, fully finished piece next time.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Now to get started

Newly purchased jersey fabrics
 I am determined to get on with sewing projects to make some clothes. At present I have a coat and a lace insert sweatshirt to complete. They are cut out and ready to stitch, but will have to wait for another project which is wildly overdue.......... I'll tell you all about that one another time. I'm prevaricating at the moment. I really need to get on with this A4 quilt, but am having doubts about whether it will be good enough. Yes, I know. I really should shut up and get on with it.

Planning for future dressmaking projects
The lovely fabrics shown above are currently drying. I always wash fabrics before use, and have been delighted with the quality of the fabric which has arrived. I have bought these online from a company I have used before. Fabworks. They use a delivery firm who are very prompt and keep their customers informed about when their parcel is likely to arrive. I do appreciate it when companies give a one hour window in which a parcel will come to my door. The drivers, so far have also been very pleasant.

What got me started on planning a collection of clothes was a Blog post by Maria Denmark. It got me thinking about what exactly I need to make to replace some increasingly shabby clothes in my own wardrobe. Hence the notebook. It might keep me on task............. Unlikely, but it might help.
I plan to turn the two leafy designs into versions of the v-neck cap sleeved dress hiding behind the notebook. The other three patterns are not suitable for use with jersey, but will be used to make use of fabric I already have in my stash. I've wanted a tunic like the Merchant and Mills design for a very long time, so that will be something I should start soon. The grey stripe and the swallows design will be made into summery tops. I am not sure what to make with the purple flying birds fabric. It asks to be made into another dress, but I'm not sure which pattern to use yet.

Recent purchase from Lidl
In the local Lidl over the weekend, I found these thick "pens". The description on the back says "Highly pigmented, water soluble crayons with a creamy, soft consistency.
The brilliant, colour-fast paints blend easily for vivid colour gradients. Mix with water for water colour effects. Use on paper, canvas, wood, etc..."Intriguing. I plan to play with these soon.

Another recent purchase
The previous week I found these. They are acrylic sprays for use in mixed media projects. Again, I can see a play session in my future.