Friday, March 28, 2008

Amy Butler Tunic

tunic 1, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

I started making this Amy Butler Tunic yesterday and completed it today. I used some vintage cotton bought at the antique textile fair a few weeks ago.
The green floral cotton only cost me £1 (for about 3 metres),and is from the 1960's.The accent cotton is original 1930's and was £12 for that tiny piece,but I love it next to the green.

tunic 3

tunic 4

When I unpacked the green floral cotton,I realised I'd bought it based on the muted tones of the wrong side,and actually I really don't like the right side of the print,which you can see here on the inside of the tunic.

tunic 2

I plan to wear this with jeans and sandals in the summer,and almost certainly with a shrug too.(I hate my fat arms,which is why I didn't make the tunic with cap sleeves,fat arms and big boobs are a disaster with cap sleeves!)

tunic 5

I'm not sure I'll use this pattern again. I had to fiddle with the front section to get it to fit right.I ended up putting a small dart in the top of the centre front to get it to fit without gaping.I noticed even on the model on the pattern envelope the bust fabric gapes,so I don't think it was my duff sewing that was the problem.
If I do make it again,and I half wanted to make the cami version in some lovely Liberty tana lawn I've been saving,I think I'll have to have a play with the fit first.

Curtain making

I hate curtain making,and consequently all those making curtain calculations and rules just will not stick in my brain,so I prefer the "start cutting and sewing and see what happens method",which has always served me pretty well thank you very much.
I'm decorating the boys room this holiday and they need new curtains.I was going to make blinds,but Woody pointed out to me how irritated I get just straightening the one roman blind in Edens room,after she's opened it in a totally haphazzard way.The boys room has a huge bay window and I had planned to make four roman blinds each in a different colour (Minna twill from Ikea)....hmmm,he definately had a point!
In the spirit of recycling,I took down the current curtains,washed them,and cut the useful fabric (dark blue) out to use again. Then I cut out enough orange and enough green twill to make them long enough for the window...probably,I haven't actually measured them yet,but I have enough twill to add more if needed,I'm thinking red...
Finally,getting to the point,yesterday I tootled off to JL to buy some curtain tape,I didn't know what kind,but knew I'd know when I saw it,but I couldn't find it,so after a good 5 mins of looking I found an assisstant,who informed me that they keep the curtain tape under the counter...??
She wanted to know what kind I wanted,and was not impressed when I said I didn't know,but I'd know it when I saw it...which I did! Then she wanted to know how much I needed...hmmm good question! I hadn't even measured the window or the curtains I'd cut out. I pondered for a second and she started doing that horrible curtain stuff.."how many drops do you have?"...what does that mean? (And please don't tell me,I don't want to know!),that was when I explained to her that I am a "cut and sew kinda make it up as you go along kinda gal",and oh boy,I was not prepared for her reaction!!
Instead of admiring my cavalier and I like to think creative (!) curtain making method, she actually rolled her eyes at me and laughed! Not a cheery laugh either, a sneery laugh!
I admit I felt hurt,and wanted to blurt out something like "hey,ok I don't really know what I'm doing with curtain making,but see this outfit I'm wearing,I made 90% of it,I can too there!!!"...instead,I just mumbled something about my methods working for me in the past,paid for my tape,and shuffled out of the store feeling fed up.
(Oh and incase you are wondering I bought waaay too much tape,but it's better to have too much than too little isn't it?)

To cheer myself up when I got home,I started work on an Amy Butler tunic.

almost finished Amy Butler tunic

Awful pic,and it's not quite finished yet either.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today's Charity shop finds

new jacket, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

Eden and I went on a girly shopping trip today. We have both stopped biting our nails for one whole month so we went shopping for nail polish and other girly things.
On our way home we popped into a charity shop,and I spotted this jacket. I was immediately drawn to the green wool,and thought I may be able to re fashion it into a spring jacket for me. I ordinarily hate animal print on anything,but to my surprise when I got home and tried it on,I actually rather liked the jacket as it was.
I have already taken in the sides and arms a little to fit better,but that's all I plan to do..
I also found this skirt,and no need for any alterations on that,it fits perfectly.

new skirt

Cleaning up my sewing space.

hat and mittens, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

I've been having a bit of a spring clean around here this week,I even cleaned out the dark,damp and full of frogs cellar on Monday.
Funny though,how easily distracted I get when cleaning up my sewing space.
I had earlier stolen the box all my fleece fabrics were stored in,to store some of the boys toys,so my desk was covered in a pile of fleece,mostly offcuts and scraps.
I started out sorting the useful scraps,but then realising some were Sid sized,I just had to run up a couple of things for him...after all I no longer had a box to store the fabric in!
Sid now has a hat and mittens to match his new coat,a stripey hoody and a very simple fleece sweater. Nothing fancy,but all useful.

stripey hoody

elmo sweater

I also managed to cut out fabric for new curtains for the boys bedroom,and do a jeans to skirt re con,but my sewing space still needs a good clean...oops!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You've gotta love fleece!

sids new coat, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

Actually I'm not much of a fleece fan usually,but I found this lime green malden mills windpro fleece at the bottom of my fabric stash the other day and determined to make something useful with it. I seem to remember it wasn't exactly cheap when I bought it about 6 years ago.
Sadly Sid has grown out of his lovely corduroy coat,and an accident with a large muddy puddle which meant it had to be washed hotter than the wool lining could cope with meant that it was no longer looking it's best,so this afternoon I determined to run him up a quick spring coat.
I didn't use a pattern,and simply cut a very simple T shape....the only seams are the underarm and side seams,plus the one attatching the hood.
The good thing about fleece is there's no need to neaten seams,no need to press (I finger press as I go along),and any top stitching simply sinks into the fabric,so you really don't have to be that neat either,snaps finish off the coat and also attatch and fasten the scarf....a great project for a lazy Easter afternoon,and cheered me up no end after I spent the morning painting the skirting boards you can see behind Sid in the picture!

sids new coat2

feeding the ducks

Happy Easter

easter morning, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

This is the scene that greeted me from our bedroom window at 6am this morning. Angus was more excited about the snow than his chocolate egg!
We don't get much snow here usually,and I have mixed feelings about snow in March. The magnolia tree in my neighbours garden is usually blooming by now ( usually in time for Angus' birthday),but I don't think it will like this weather.
I love spring and the blooming of the Magnolia tree is always such a joy...I wish I could move it to my garden!
We've had a busy weekend so far.

styal mill

Friday Angus asked to go to Styal Mill for his birthday treat. He loves the enormous waterwheel. Infact all of us love to go around the mill and the grounds,it's not often we all agree on a day out,but Styal Mill seems to tick a box or two for everyone in the family.

my silly lot

Sid was worn out after a couple of hours.

very tired baby

and rather cross

I have managed a little sewing this weekend. Remember the wrap around lounge pants I made a while back? Well,they just drove me potty.They flapped around,and fell down,and were impossible to go to the loo or sleep in,so yesterday I cut both pairs down into pyjama bottoms for the girls.


Today is a DIY day...bluerghhhhhh!!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

re fashioned skirt

re fashioned skirt, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

After finishing off some custom orders today I decided to squeeze in a quickie project. I bought this dress at the antique textile fair in Manchester last weekend. The dress only cost £5,it was way too small for me,but the fabric was pretty and there was lots of it .
All I did to make the skirt was cut a chunk out of the middle of the dress roughly the size to fit my waist and to come just below my knees.
I had initially planned to unpick a seam and add a zip and waistband,but lazyness and lack of time (dinner was nearly ready) won out and I simply added some navy fold over elastic to the waist,stretching slightly as I sewed.This means the skirt sits below my natural waist and just above my hips.
I then added some jumbo red ric rac to the hem,and using some scraps made some patch pockets also trimmed with the ric rac and two of the great vintage buttons also bought at the fair.
A super fast but very satisfying project...except now I need a red cardy to go with it!

An action shot,not a great one,but it's all I could manage with the self timer.


More fabric

Fabric ATC swap, originally uploaded by Sajona.

This time,the fabric was designed by me,but put to good use by a friend.
I gave one of my online sewing buddies,Caroline a silk screen print I'd completed many years ago while still a student.The piece was meant to be a design for childrens furnishing fabrics,but I got rather carried away with scary monsters and deep colours..LOL
Anyway,years later Caroline has used it for two projects,
a beautiful bag,and these freehand embroidery pieces.
I love both and it gives me warm fuzzies to see my fabric being used by someone other than me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So I finally got the time to make... corset! It's steel boned and well,it's bloomin fantastic! I think I need to wear corsets every day,cos without too much effort I'm 4" slimmer around my waist...heck I have a waist!
I'll own up and say some of the stitching is a bit under par,and I should've made a size smaller,plus I need to alter the pattern next time to fit my narrow ribcage,but those are all good lessons learned.
No pics so far,trying to figure out how to photograph it on without showing too much of me.I did ask Woody last night,but he was too easily distracted.
Off to order more corset making notions,can't believe I had everything to make this one for a year and only just got around to it!

ETA some pics,thankfully on my tailors dummy and not on me! These are not great pics,and honestly after a few days I've decided to take this corset apart and start again,I'm just not happy with the quality of my sewing,and that means I'll never be happy wearing it. (Oh and the sharp eyed amongst you will notice this corset is actually on upside down. I fitted it to me that way,and by the time I realised it was too late...doh!!)



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

fabric haul

fabric haul, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

This is the results of Sunday's shopping....well some of it!
I actually bought two vintage dresses from the late 1960's,one to cut up,and one for a friend. One vintage skirt from the same era,also to re fashion,lots of
yummy buttons,and some lace bobbins.I don't make lace,but I was always really fascinated by the lace my school needlework teacher constantly had on the go,and seeing the pretty bobbins for sale,I knew I had to buy some.
The fair itself was just great,much busier than I expected,but India and I had a lovely time.I came away feeling inspired,and India is one step closer to becoming a fabric junkie!
I had taken her along to keep me in check.I explained if Mummy started to get a glazed crazy expression,and start foaming at the mouth it was time to leave,but India was worse than me,weaving through the crowds to point out little sparkly bits of embroidery or a jewel like button.
We eventually rang Daddy to come and pick us up after our shopping bag was full and we only had enough money left to buy a well earned cup of tea for me and an orange juice for her.
I'm sure we missed out a few stalls.I deliberately avoided the stalls piled high with beautiful antique quilts,their faded beauty was soo enticing,but I knew we couldn't afford them,so admiring from a distance was best.There was also a stall selling sumptuous wool blankets,and again I felt it best to admire from a distance.
One stall,we couldn't get close to had on display the most beautiful hand made pieces.The colours drew me in initially,but we just couldn't beat our way through the throngs to get close enough to find out who the designer was,but I'm googling like mad till I find her,so will report back.(Why didn't I buy a programme?)
Looking forward to next year!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Antique Textile Fair

stash1, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

I'm just back from the antique Textile Fair in Manchester with my bag full of goodies!
More details later,though if you click on the photo you can get a closer look at what's inside the bag.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Happy Things

apples 5, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

Like most busy Mums, my day is full of chores,and errands. Today I was doing my usual kitchen clean up while listening to Womans Hour on Radio 4,when I was distracted by the spring sunshine trying hard to shine onto this bowl of apples.
Little moments like that during the day just make me smile.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Sunflowers, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

I should have been working today,but somehow just couldn't bring myself to sit at the sewing machine. Instead I had an urge to clear out some cupboards!
I tidied our "crawl in" wardrobe,and found my purple suede boots ready for a 1968 themed party we've been invited to. Then I sorted my art supplies into a new drawer.Sorted through my pile of notebooks,and even cleaned out my "everything else " cupboard.
While doing this I found some of my old printed textiles completed in college almost 20 years ago...eek!
This Sunflowers one was hanging on our bedroom wall until we moved into the loft,and now we've almost finished decorating the hallway up to the loft,I think we are going to re hang it in that space.
The others I found,I just don't know what to do with. It does seem a shame to just keep them folded up in a box. I shall have to have a think...
I also found some of my old watercolours and may have found some that I can use for my new Zidee labels,we'll see.