Sewing

Lottie Coat

This time of Twixtmas, the no-man’s land betwixt the Christmas and New Year festivities, has been a very productive one chez Baker. So lovely to have some sewing time to myself while the males of the house entertain themselves with Netflix and their Christmas pressies (not to mention the building of yet another guitar…), so I have had fun (and of course a bit of muttering under the breath) making stuff.

Yesterday I cut a batch of pouches to make. I sold lots of them before Christmas so need to replenish my stock. I made 10 yesterday, whilst listening to my new David Bowie greatest hits CD that Santa brought for me!  As you know, I love making pouches and they went well, so I need to get stocks going again as once back at school, there isn’t so much time for sewing!

But today I made something for myself. A coat! Very pleased with it. It’s just a simple, unlined shell coat with pockets in the seamlines and three-quarter length sleeves “for a nod to 60s design” as the pattern says! The pattern was a free pdf download from Issue 33 of Love Sewing magazine.

Now, although a printed pattern is usually my choice, especially indie ones as the packaging and production is always lovely, I do now and then love a pdf. I find the printing, cutting and piecing together of the sheets of paper very satisfying, and of course the resulting pattern pieces that you cut from it are very sturdy – great if you are using a tricky, oft-shifting fabric, or if you want to make multiple copies of the same garment.

I ordered the fabric for this several weeks ago from Abakhan (my first ever purchase from them, it was very reasonable and I love it!) and it’s been sitting in my cupboard waiting until I had a clear day. I washed this first on a cold wool wash in the machine, just in case of any shrinkage. My overlocker was indispensable as this is a fairly loose-weave wool blend and frayed like a bugger. The pattern instructions were really clear, although definitely not for beginners. It was fairly straightforward to make (very proud of myself for doing these pockets!) but the facings were what made me a bit puzzled. But I worked it out in the end! Once made up, all that was left to do was the buttonhole – easy peasy on cottons but a total nightmare on layers of this thick wool fabric. Hence the swearing (I said muttering before but it was a little stronger than that!) Finally I realised it just wasn’t going to work and I had to improvise – it’s not perfect but you can’t see it!

So, am very proud of myself. First coat and with pockets and everything! Am now thinking I need a new selection of Jackie O-inspired shift dresses…

Sewing

A tidy-up, and a couple of things knocked off the To Do list!

Last weekend I tidied my sewing room! Woo-hoo! It was lovely to spend some time sorting through my fabric stash especially (wow, I have too much fabric, if there is such a thing!) and rediscovering some of the lovely bits and pieces I’d forgotten about! It’s all now nice and tidy and stacked neatly in colour blocks. Wonder how long that will last?! But it gave me a good chance to spy things I’d not remembered I had, which led in turn to a couple of things on the To-Do list!

My stash. I seriously need to use some of it before buying anything new!
My stash. I seriously need to use some of it before buying anything new! This cupboard is the height of me, by the way!

The 2015 “To Do” list is coming along nicely. I have been making myself spend more time sewing lately as a means to de-stressing and getting a better perspective on life! So the first thing I did was to make another Coco dress. I made one last year in a brown jersey fabric with orange helicopters on. Here it is:

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I wear it so much and it’s so comfy. So this time I made one in a red ladybird spot. I love it and have already worn it a couple of times, so I think it’s a good addition to the wardrobe. I do love Coco, and this fabric (ponte di Roma) was a dream to sew. Anyone nervous about sewing with a stretch fabric would do well with this as a first try.

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I topstitched the pockets this time because the last one I made annoys me a bit because the fabric rolls (see below). But apart from that, a lovely quick and satisfying sew!

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The second thing I made was a pair of Margot pyjamas from Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch. I ditched the ribbon ties in favour of elastic, which I much prefer in a pyjama! Hmmm…is it possible to have a singular of pyjamas?!!

I discovered this brushed cotton plaid when I tidied! Yay! Perfect for pjs! I do love my pjs, and I don’t think I could ever have too many!

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You can see I used my beloved overlocker (thanks again, Mum!) to neaten up the seams.

Lovely and cosy.

Sewing

My new toy

My lovely Mum queued at 8am yesterday to be one of the first in to her local LIDL in order to get me a Singer overlocker which they had in on special offer. I teach all day so they would have sold out by the time I could get there. Have wanted one for so long! As it happens, Mum was one of the first into the shop but by the time she got to them, there were only two left! Wow! She picked it up, along with some cones of thread. What a lovely Mum!

So, I got it tonight and after a bit of confusion with the manual and the need for a glass of wine, I managed to thread it up and try it out!

Am obviously going to be using it for neatening seams etc. but can anyone recommend a good book or blog/website for other tips and ideas in getting the most out of it?

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