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Surf to Summit Top Pattern - Out now!

Honing in on a jeans pattern

16 July 2013, 14:45

Even though I finally finished my pink trousers and lace teeshirt I mentioned last week, it’s been so hot and sweaty that I haven’t quite managed to do a photoshoot for them yet. Everything’s written so as soon as I do, you’ll get to see how great they are, honest!

I also managed to cut out a Kwik Sew exercise top, but not start sewing it yet, but what I really wanted to talk about today is the ongoing process in deciding which jeans pattern to use as a match for some heavyweight, non-stretch denim in my stash. So when I say that I’m “always thinking two projects ahead”, you now know it’s the truth!

If you remember back to my Spring Sewing Ideas, I had two different KnipMode jeans patterns that I thought I might use:

However, I found out soon after that the 2012 KnipMode one was for stretch wovens, which dis-counted it for this particular bout of jeans sewing.

The 2005 one looked very promising, but when I made a muslin of it the look was not good – ill-fitting in the waist and hips and way too wide in the legs. I’m sure I could fix it with plenty of time and patience, but with such an enormous pattern stash it just wasn’t worth pursuing further!

So I went back to the drawing board, otherwise known as my online pattern catalogue, and had a look through all the magazine issues I’d tagged “jeans”. This was a lot! So as I flipped through, I took screenshot segments of the ones I liked the look of, and renamed these files with the brand and pattern number, and shoved them in a special folder.

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Details matter!

10 August 2012, 15:00

I spent part of last evening working on the fuchsia Cynthia Rowley party dress, and I just love it when I come across a lined bodice without neck or armhole facings, as it’s the best opportunity to do some beautiful prick-stitching!

Contrast prick-stitching is not for the faint of heart, but I enjoy both the process, and the finished result.

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The turquoise and silver motif dress

7 June 2011, 17:16

I am very pleased to finally be able to show you this dress, which has been quite a while in the making!

I first bought the motif at Mode et Travaux in Paris when we visiting there last summer, but then a few months ago I decided that I really wanted to do something with it, so I started laying out my first pattern ideas. Then I finally decided on a a pattern and started basting the motif onto my linen in preparation for our French road trip, where I painstakingly sewed the motif onto the dress using silver thread and an embroidery hoop.

The finished dress is a variation on dress #102 from the March 2010 KnipMode supplement, but I modified the neckline heavily so that it’d match the motif’s curves. In actuality, I cut the curve of the neckline after I’d completely sewed the motif into place!

Since I changed the front neckline, I also had the widen the back at the neck edge to match the front, too. It means my big head can only just fit through, as it’s much narrower than the original pattern.

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Been making and opening...

28 July 2009, 18:27

Believe it or not, I’ve been doing an awful lot of resting and napping, but as long as I don’t spend too much time standing at the ironing board, I can usually get a fair bit of sewing done before I get too tired (though on the days I have to go into outpatients I just come home and collapse!).

Making!

Since I already had this KnipMode wrap blouse prepared as an activity pack, it seemed the ideal candidate to ease myself into my sewing room again. I’m waiting for my wigs to arrive from Hong Kong before I do the photoshoot, but here’s a teaser on Susan…

I realise I’m posting out of order here since I haven’t shown you all the fantastic August issue of KnipMode magzine yet, but let’s just say it’s so fan-tas-tic (terrible Dutch pun, uggggh) that I’ve already drafted this weekend bag pattern and have online shopping lists together to get all the haberdashery bits to complete it. I’m SO excited to try that vilene stuff that turns regular fabric into oilcloth, as my RTW bags just get so filthy so quickly!

And starting the long line of baby gifts (I have something like 5 or 6 friends due in August & September!!) is this baby blanket for our friend’s little baby, Grace. I did the embroidery (from Urban Threads) while I was in hospital, then used a large amount of the turquiose basketweave fabric (which was just screaming to be made into a blanket even before I made my duffle coat!), and finished it off with some red and white bias tape. How is it that no matter how much bias tape you make, you’ll always end up a little short? Or maybe it’s just me?

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Hospital activity packs

5 July 2009, 19:34

To accompany my my little red sewing machine on the inside here with me, I made up some “activity packs” in advance that my mom or James could just bring to me when I got the sewing itch. Into each gallon ziploc bag went all the cut fabric pieces for that project, plus the thread and bobbin, any notions, and the scanned line drawing & instructions. That way I should hopefully just be able to get down to business when the feeling strikes me without having to do all the boring prep stuff!

First up is already in my activity drawer (I’ve only got four drawers and a tiny wardobe in the room, so one is designated for fun!), a hat from the May 09 Burda, with all the pattern pieces cut out in the red & white floral cotton poplin, with all the appropriate pieces fused to some super heavyweight canvas interfacing.

I’ve also got this top and trousers from the May 09 KnipMode ready to go…

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Embroidery and bunting

2 July 2009, 23:00

I seem to be pretty lucky so far to have escaped the constant chemo nausea I was told to expect. I’m on two different chemo drugs now until Sunday when I switch to a third on its own, and so far one of them has had zero affect on the way I feel, and the other seems to be giving me wildly different comedy afflictions each day (first fever & headache, then the next day a weird bumpy rash like mosquito bites all over my body plus breathing problems, then tonight it just seems to be a 2 hour long sneezing fest. weird.). In any case, it’s so far much easier than I was expecting (knock on wood), so it’s given me some time to do some crafting in amoungst my tv and film watching.

Yesterday (Day -7) (in bone marrow transplant land, the day you get your stem cells is Day Zero, so right now I’m counting down to that, 8 July. After I receive them, I’ll go into the positive numbers!)

Yesterday I did a bit of ham-fisted embroidery, finishing up a bit for a baby present, which I’ll reveal when it’s totally finished, as well as finally finishing that Sublime Stitching apron kit I’ve been working on here and there over the last few months (remember this from the al fresco sewing day?).

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Parklife!

22 April 2009, 13:07

Yesterday I had an all-day hospital visit, but instead of being the super dull day I was dreading, it actually turned into the most relaxed and chilled day I’ve had in months! Some women go to the spa, I go to Nuclear Medicine for a bit of radioactivity, ha.

Part of the day was that I had two hours free before having to report back in, so instead of wandering around Camberwell, I went into the big park next to the hospital. We’re having absolutely gorgeous weather in London right now, and everyone was out with their babies and dogs, having impromptu picnics and tennis matches, so I found myself an empty picnic table and brought out my embroidery. Here’s my view of my project, and of my view of the bandstand:

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