Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ottobre Pintuck tunic

Before I get going with sewing my Vietnamese fabric I need to get my sewing machine serviced.  I bought it when I was at University - so nearly 20 years ago and have never done anything to it apart from clean the lint out.  I think it must have got banged a bit in one of the many moves and also been used a fair amount so at the moment the tension won't behave for anything apart from a straight stitch - this is fine to a point, but the next project I've started on is the JJ blouse from Burda Patterns so will need to do buttonholes.  I also plan to put pintucks on either side of the centre front instead of ruffles and am wanting to use my pintuck foot - although this uses only a straight stitch I can't get it to work - so a service is what we need.

Anyway, before we went away on holiday I finished up a top using a pattern from Ottobre 5/2008 magazine.  I think it's called the pintuck tunic - I say "think" as I have a copy of thte magazine in Finnish, in which it is called Chambray tunika ja pilkullinen viskoositunika.  It was pretty easy to sew up even without being able to understand the instructions.

 I used some IKEA fabric David brought back from a work trip to Sweden a couple of years ago.  It's a pretty big print, but I think having the yoke at the front and back breaks up the pattern a bit.

 The pintucks are quite subtle - I did them without my pintuck foot - but add a bit of feminine detail.
The pattern called for a zip at the back, there didn't seem to be a need so I didn't put one in - but did leave the back yoke to mix the pattern up a bit again.  I didn't make any alterations (apart from omitting the zip).  I finished the inside using mock french seams, which I'm really pleased with. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Vietnamese fabric

We've been away in Vietnam for a couple of weeks.  We had a great time and saw lots of interesting things - we spent one week in Hanoi dodging scooters and doing a couple of trips to see some temples and Halong Bay and another week at the beach.

One place we went in Hanoi was to Chợ Hôm - the fabric market.  What a crazy place - I didn't take any photos but found this blog post, which really show's what it's all about.  The only thing she doesn't mention are the loos - Frances came with me (along with my sister-in-law) and of course Frances needed to go - they were pretty rudimentary.  An open drain with foot places for weeing and then cubicals with actual loos for #2s.  Frances did very well coping.  Anyway, back to the fabric:

These are what I bought - I got 2m of each as I don't really know what each is going to be used for.  Current thoughts:

  • Top is silk (not from Chợ Hôm, but from a tourist shop on the way to Halong Bay) which I think might become a top, although it's really nice - so am going to have to think about it a bit.
  • Next is what Frances picked out - pink and sparkly!  We're thinking of a mermaid tail - probably along the lines of this one.
  • The check is probably going to become a shirt for David.  I'm thinking of getting this pattern. 
  • Then a couple of tops from the red cotton and the white broderie anglais.
  • The last is some linen with a broderie anglais design which I think might become a simple dress. 
So, that's the thoughts so far - let's see what actually transpires!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Absolutely A-Line

My current sewing has meant that I've been doing some for Frances too - who can't resist making a dress for a 4 year old that refuses to wear anything other than dresses?  This phase seems to have been going on for quite some time, but I'm sure it won't last forever.  Anyway, I've got a book called Absolutely A-Line by Wendi Gratz.  It's basically a pattern for an A-line dress with 26 different ideas of versions to make.   I've made it a few times for Frances, the latest of which is here:

While I've been looking through my fabric stash recently, thinking what I can make, Frances saw this material and really liked it.  I think it came from my Nanna's shop (she used to have a Haberdashery shop in N. London) and has sat around for years (she sold the shop in the late 80s to give you an idea how long!).  My thought was to try to make her a maxi dress.  I made the bodice part as per the pattern and then just left the rest of the fabric uncut, gathered it onto the bodice and hemmed it.

Easy peasy and one happy girl.