{ LET’S TALK } Patterns…

Carolyns recent post got me thinking. There are times I feel guilty about purchasing so many patterns especially when a haul of 8 arrive at one time but the feeling of guilt never really lasts too long because I always buy on sale. Also, & this is a big { ALSO }, it’s my hobby. I love looking at the pattern envelopes filled with opportunity. The drawings & construction details (on some!) are inspiring & get my mind going about all sorts of things.

Some of us buy patterns only when we need but Im the type of person that purchases patterns as soon as I see them because Ive learned that if you leave it too long, the pattern eventually goes OOP which is a real pain in the ass when you get your shit together & decide its now time to sew that particular garment. Believe me, Ive learnt from experience & Ive paid silly money to purchase OOP via etsy & the likes!  Another huge consideration, which is similar to the chicken vs. egg scenario, is what comes first…the fabric or the pattern? For me sometimes its the pattern, sometimes its the fabric & its another reason why I purchase patterns before I even know what I’ll be sewing it with…..& it also happens to be the same reason I buy fabric sometimes without knowing what its going to be. Its probably the reason why so many of us sewers have substantial stashes of both patterns & fabric!  Im quite passionate about ensuring the marriage of pattern & fabric is perfect. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don’t… { YOU KNOW }.

I think one of the biggest questions around the sewing community is :

{ How do you store your patterns? }

Quite honestly, I keep it as simple as possible.

I store my patterns in their original envelopes, pattern house by house, in numerical order! These are all stored in clear fully sealable bin containers that fit nicely under my work station one above the other. Each bin contains around 200 patterns & Im well into my second bin now. That includes Indie patterns that Ive printed & enveloped as well as BurdaStyle patterns etc. I realise that once my collection gets to the point of more than 2 bins, I’ll have to strategize on a new storage solution but for now, this works & I like to see them rather than have them in a wardrobe tucked away.  This is what they look like : pattern_storage1

The orange dots you see on the top right corner of some of these tells me Ive made something from that particular pattern already. When Im looking for something new to sew ie. something Ive not sewn before, its a quick & easy reference. Im a self-confessed Mini-Monk so I like to have everything in order…all.the.time! Im not judging  in any way but when I read that some of you battle to find pieces of patterns & whole patterns etc, I just cringe. Im looking at you Miss Dibs :-) As much as I love reading her stories about missing pattern pieces, Ive just got this mild OCD syndrome that doesn’t allow me to be untidy or have things out of place. Its not a gift I tell ya…Saying that though, Ive always cut my tissue, never traced….until recently :)

Ok, moving on…

On my shelves I have these timber crates that fit patterns perfectly. In here I keep anything that Im currently working on or a little queue of whats to come, ideas etc. I also bomb any new patterns in here until they’re either packed away or sorted…

pattern_storage2

Then…. there’s this :pattern_catalogue1

I catalogue my patterns digitally as well!!!

Now I know that may sound rather over the top { BUT } its helped with preserving the actual pattern in a huge way. I dont have to thumb through every pattern every time I want to look for something. I found handling the patterns all the time was ruining the envelopes. The flaps were tearing & getting crumpled…being the mini-Monk that I am, I just had to find an alternative way. So this works – I just go to my digital pattern catalogue & look through them from here. Its quicker & easier when Im low on time plus it really has minimized the damage to my patterns.

I photograph every pattern that hits my sewing room first & foremost. All the pics are uploaded to iphoto. I sync to my ipad which I have an app called Bento. From this app Im able to sort all these patterns into pattern house, number etc. That helps me to keep track of whether its a top, skirt, coat, jacket blah blah blah. Ive also started categorizing the amount of fabric needed. I know, its a little OTT :-) but its fun.

So thats pretty much it…

How do you store your patterns ? Do you have a system or do your patterns just roam wild? Id love to hear & feel free to leave a link to your storage solutions if you’ve blogged about them.

Hope your’e all having a great Saturday…. xAnge

{ VOGUE 8907 } Marigold Superwoman…

This Vogue 8907 makes me laugh out loud. Vogue8907_front1

Its so pretty but view A is every inch Superwoman…which is why I decided to make that particular one. Just like every kid needs a Superwowan/man cape to insist on wearing to school & grocery shopping, I need a Superwoman top to wear to every meeting! haha Vogue8907_front2

Sadly, this pattern is now OOP. { SORRY FOLKS }. There aren’t that many made up versions on the internet either. Erica B made a beautiful cobalt blue version in silk & Melanie made one in red but besides those 2, Ive not been able to track any others of view A as yet.  Have you perhaps made this ?

To be honest, I finished this months ago together with various other pieces. Ive just been so crap at taking photos so forgive me.

Right, down to the deets :

I used the beautiful yellow silk crepe de chine (14mm) that I purchased & blogged about earlier in the year. Its such a happy colour that yellow. For any of you wanting reference, its code is 2035 Bright Yellow. If you click on the post Ive just mentioned above, the details of where I purchased is all there with a contact. Zoe is the nicest lady & she’ll be more than happy to assist you with silk buying.Vogue8907_side1

The silk was not the easiest to handle but I tried to cut single layered where I could. I also used silk pins within the seam allowance to avoid any unsightly holes which regular pins sometimes leave in silk. I also used tailor tacks to mark instead of chalk or erasable pen. There were only 3 pieces to handle in total so it really wasn’t too bad.  Im currently working with the hot pink silk received at the same time as this yellow & its already giving me far more trouble….but the project is far more complicated though.

The pattern was easy with the most ‘difficult’ part being the gathers at the shoulder. Sizing seemed pretty spot on at the time but having photographed this a few months later, it seems I have some excess space under the arm area but this could have something to do with loosing some inches since I sewed this.  { DOH }. Vogue8907_closeup

The edge of the ‘cape’ is my favourite part looking so whispy & super feminine. I achieved that by stitching a few mm from the edge…just a plain stitch. Then I used that stitch as a guide to turn over a small hem & stitched it again. Perfect finish.

I love the billowy cape back the most I think. Its fun, its unique & you certainly don’t see a top like this every day. Im so glad I bought this pattern & I look forward to making more of these.

A good weekend to you all.

xAnge

 

{ REMOVED POST } Why…

Folks, some of you have emailed me asking about why I deleted the post regarding the free pattern offer earlier in the week.

That post was removed after it was brought to my attention that there were similarities between some of the aforementioned company patterns and another established pattern company. Im not able to go into the details because quite frankly, its got nothing to do with me however as Ive said many times before, I love our sewing community. I love that people are incredibly supportive of one another. I would never want to believe that such shittiness could be going on in our wonderful world of sewing but maybe thats just me being naive….

 

 

{ WINNER } of the Mens Shirt Giveaway….

Readers, I have a winner….

Kelsey who blogs over at The Simple Seamstress has won the Simplicity 1544 Mens Shirt Giveaway.  Kelsey, I’ll be sending you an email for all your deets in a bit.

Well done & I hope you enjoy sewing for the men in your life.

x

{ TIPTRICK TUESDAY } Bias tape…

Peeps, its been a { LONG } while since I shared a tip/trick with you but I remembered this one on Saturday when I was searching my stash.

A while ago I got so tired of having to find various colours of bias tape so instead, I purchased a whole roll of white cotton bias & now when I need a specific colour, I just dye it exactly the colour I need.

Saturday called for deep purple…

So out came the Rit liquid dyes that I purchased last year in almost every colour. I mixed a little bit of purple & a little drop of violet to make this vibrant purple, dropped in my white tape, let it stew for a few minutes & then rinsed it out under cold water. Sewing_tips_bias_tape

Your’e very welcome :-)

{ PS } Those of you that haven’t entered my Mens shirt pattern giveaway, you’ve still got until Sunday!!

{ MEN } Simplicity 1544 + giveaway…

There is constant chatter amongst the sewcialists regarding “selfish sewing”. Some of us are quite happy to be selfish seamstresses while some of us will sew for anyone or anything….yes, Im talking about you out there that sews for your dog/cat/neighbour. Ive touched on it briefly, but for me, sewing for others really does boil down to how confident I feel as a sewer. I always think that while a crooked seam here or there, a wonky facing etc might be ok for me to overlook, I always worry that it may be frowned upon by others I may sew for.  Strange but true.

I recently sewed a Datura for my SIL which was very well received.  With this in mind coupled together with the ½ price Simplicity sale (still running BTW) at Sew Essential UK, I purchased a whole whack of patterns, Simplicity 1544 being one of them. Simplicity1544_giveawayI have wanted to sew for the hubby for some time so this pattern seemed like a good place to start. Without going into much boring detail, I buggered up on the sizing..& it turns out I now have  { TWO } of these lovely Simplicity 1544 patterns.

I cheekily suggested I give one away via my blog. The lovely folk at Sew Essential agreed so they win, I win, you win. Its a { WIN WIN…WIN }.

{ GIVEAWAY CLOSED }

So, if you wanna win this mens pattern (SIZE 34-42 US, 44-52 EURO), please leave a comment below before next SUNDAY 05 October 2014. You must have an active sewing blog linked to your comment & follow me either on WordPress or Bloglovin’. Giveaway is open worldwide so dont be shy.

Good luck.

xxAnge

 

{ DATURA } The 2nd…

So Ive probably gone & confused y’all with my Datura’s.

But its not so confusing. Stick with me.

Splat! came first, then this one & then the 3rd for my SIL. You see…not so confusing after all. I just posted them in the wrong order. Deer&Doe_Datura_closeup

Anyway, since Splat! was a little snug I had promised to make another allowing a little extra room for comfort. I { REALLY } wanted a white one for summer { WHAT SUMMER ??? } so after scratching through my stash, I settled on this white cotton with light grey paisley print thats been lurking for years. Since this version was quite a spontaneous make, I had to improvise with the contrast yoke fabric….& by improvise I really mean I cut into one of the hubsters shirts & lined it with white. The shirt was too big anyway but the grey was a perfect match. Deer&Doe_Datura_back

She went together as easy as pie until I got to the snaps at the back. I dont know, I just prefer to use snaps on my Datura tops as opposed to regular buttons. I hammered & hammered until I couldnt hammer any more. Eventually got it right. I think the snaps I was using were just rubbish so when Juli of Sweet Little Chickadee posted some lovely colourful snaps on her  Instagram one day, I jumped at the opportunity to ask her where she had found them. Dear me that girl is the best. She hooked me up to Cowgirl Snaps on etsy & I didnt waste time in ordering a whole bunch of stunning colours. They took about a week to arrive with me in Europe & I was in popper heaven!  I might still remove the silver snaps off this Datura & replace them with some pearly white ones….we’ll see!Deer_Doe_Datura_poppers

Cowgirl_snaps Deer&Doe_Datura

Anyway friends, thats 2 posts in 2 days. I deserve a medal especially with how slack Ive been with blogging recently! Ive been sewing, just not photographing. A combination of no time & no lack of decent weather outdoors to photograph. I had such high hopes for summer this year { SIGH }.

To all of you, have a great weekend.

We have a friends wedding tomorrow. I had high hopes of making a great dress for the wedding too { ANOTHER SIGH }…alas, Im RTW all the way :-)

xx Till soon

{ DEER & DOE } Jet Black Anémone…

The Anénome pattern dropped through my postbox on a Wednesday. She was finished 2 days later! If you’d recall, I did the same thing with my first Datura so it seems to be becoming my ‘thing’ with the Deer & Doe patterns.  I just find these patterns the cutest & so easy to rustle up as long as you have all  your bits ‘n bobs together. Deer&Doe_Anemone_front

If you dont know Anénome yet, allow me to introduce her. D&D launched her beginning of March & describe her as “A fitted high waisted skirt, lined, in two versions : short with a peplum, or knee length with decorative buttons”. Now of course, you could go long with a peplum or short with buttons, the choice is yours, but I decided to go short with pepi.

Before I go on I just wanted to say that Ive overexposed these images purposefully. Black is such a difficult colour to photograph to begin with & its another reason why Im showing you this garment on Poppy  {my dress form} & not on myself.  The overexposure of the background has also made the creases of the fabric more visible because of course, Poppy is not an exact replica of me.

Ok, back to the good stuff : I found the Datura a little small cut on my usual size so I erred on the side of caution this time around & cut Ms Anénome a size larger & because I have ample ass, I added a little more for extra measure.

I used an off-cut of the jet black gabardine I used for the V8601 riding jacket I made a while ago. The gabardine is tough as nails so there was no need to do any lining – something I really do not like is lining. Because the pattern expects you to use lining, I had to make some facings. I traced directly off the pattern pieces themselves. The only thing I did differently was make sure the front & side front pieces were cut as { ONE } facing & the side back & back pieces as one piece each as well. Does that make sense ? It just eliminates the need to have the facing made up of so many pieces & therefore less bulk at the waist. I folded over & under at the zip & stitched down by hand as most patterns instruct you to do when working with facings. I added a hook & eye above my zip because the zip specified for this skirt is quite long & you know how annoying it can be to try & get a zip up without a hook ‘n eye. Deer&Doe_back

Inserting the zip was painless thanks to the invisible zip foot which I would always recommend. I sewed in my “made by me” label & stitched some magenta loops on for hanging. I like to use coloured loops because they’re so much easier to find if they contrast to the fabric. Deer&Doe_Anemone_label

I blind hemmed the entire skirt, gave it a good press & { VOILA }. Deer&Doe_Anemone_front1

She’s really cute… I think.

If you’re not into high waisted skirts, then think about this one coz she really does sit quite high but I love the shape.  I had thought about the peplums adding extra width to the hips but I think she helps to disguise wide hips rather than accentuate them so this may be my first Anénome but certainly not my last!

Till next time… Ange x

PS – Thanks all for your advice & recommendations regarding overlockers. I have narrowed my search down to overlockers only since most of you reckon stay away from the combination machines…..so stay away I shall!

 

{ OVERLOCKER / SERGER } In the market for a newbie…

So after around 2 years of not using my overlocker, I finally pulled it out a while back & since then Ive been using it for almost everything.

I was given this machine back in 2003, but she had plenty miles on her then already…Id have to guess & say she was already 8 years then. So that makes ‘ol Ellie around the 18/20 year old mark?!?

She’s tired.  She works. { HARD } but she’s sooo tired. She’s aged incredibly well & in the 11 years Ive had her, she’s given me very little trouble. I’ll admit, there were some days I wanted to throw her around the room in frustration but I learnt over the years that she just mostly likes to do things in { HER } time which usually meant overnight. Id sleep while she worked on her issues. The next day we’d be friends again. Forcing her was never an option as Im sure many of you have discovered with your overlockers & their threading issues!

Anyway, recently Ive started wondering if its not worth looking into a new overlocker but perhaps with the added benefit of a coverstitch too. Ive been reading a tonne of reviews and watching a lot of youtube vids but I was wondering if any of you have any recommendations.  Also, any advice from those of you that maybe have a combination overlocker/coverstitch machine & how its been working out for you. Ive read some sewers say they’d keep their overlocker & coverstitch separate ??! Hmm..interesting. Im not 100% sold on whether I need a coverstitch either…

Machines are an investment & I dont mind spending a good amount of cash because I know if a machine is good, it will last!! Take Ellie for instance. She’s almost 20 & still going…albeit with some issues. (I could have her professionally serviced & new blades installed etc etc but servicing in Austria costs upwards of €130 so when I think about the value of that cash, I start to think about investing in a newer fancier one than repairing or servicing a 20yr oldie).

Anyway fellow sewcialists, your advice is always welcome & valued…

Good weekend to you all

Ange x

{ THOUGHTS } Do you sew for others…

Ive thought about this…alot. More so than I probably should to be honest.

Do you sew for others? 

Im not talking about you lovelies that sew for others for a living….I mean, thats paying the bills. Im talking about you other lovelies that sew for fun, because you love it – not that those of you that sew for a living dont love it but youknowwhatimean…Maybe the question should be rather – Do you enjoy sewing for others ?

Cos lemme tell ya, I dont. Im a selfish sewer if ever there was one.

There. { I SAID IT }.

Why ? Well, for a variety of reasons.

I dont like spending hours sewing for other people when Im not 100% sure they’re gonna love it, appreciate it or value it the way I do. 

And I always feel so open for judgement. Could that just be me?! Do you feel it too? 

Also, what about those folk you’ve sewed for that tell you “OMG i love it “ but you { NEVER } see them wearing whatever you made them? I call those the one-timers coz thats how many times I sew for them….only one time!

And, there’s still an era of folk out there that think “homemade” is beneath them, working class. The type that must buy labels. Yip, I avoid those folk too coz their understanding & my understanding are just too far apart.

My sister-in-law recently saw the 2nd Datura I was finishing up (still to be blogged) & mentioned some fabric she had stashed away. I offered to make her a Datura which I finished up last weekend. Im so curious about how it will be received.

Datura_Deer&Doe

So tell me, do you enjoy sewing for others?