Category: Sewing

Liesl + Co: Cinema Dress

I’m getting ready to speak in public for the first time in .. oh many years – and realised I have nothing currently wearable that is not just a bit too comfortable (scruffy) and full of holes. My style is pretty laid back, necessarily so until I release this extra 50lbs, so I was looking for something feminine, modest, sewable in linen and with possible areas for embellishment – well, I do have an awesome embroidery machine. I wanted something not too obviously tent like but so that I can still sit on the floor, garden or (if needed) prostrations in church.

 

Pattern: Style & Inspiration

Enter the Liesl + Co Cinema Dress. (not an affiliate link!) – you can see how it fits all of the above almost perfectly.

 

The first version here has a contrast yoke and back yoke facing, which I think I will borrow – it gives a secret ‘pop’ and as the instructions are helpful about slightly rolling the facing under so that when top-stitched there won’t be any lining showing, it will be my own secret ūüôācinema2The main official image shows a lovely terracotta linen, view B (the longer length), on a very pretty model.

cinema1

 

I had a quick look a the Very Kerry Berry blog post and she used a beautiful vintage contrast print for the front and back yoke and sleeve cuffs, which finish off the sleeves beautifully – however, she is a very slender sewer and I was beginning to get anxious that no-one over a UK 14 had tried making it.

I found another beautiful print example over at Ivy Arch blog with a great use of print and colour – i love her confident mixing.

IvyArch_CinemaDress

It wouldn’t suit me at the moment but it’s something to think of for the future!

So to summarise: we have an a-line skirted, princess seamed dress with a decent length skirt and cuffed sleeves that are shown at 3/4 length. It buttons up the back and seems to be quite flattering but have only seen examples on slim bloggers so far, which is kind of odd as it goes up to US size 20 – so it’s decent in range and the actual garment sizes are generous, it’s not mean to be fitted. It has pockets (of course) although they are placed on the front panel seam, rather than the sides: I’m kind of conflicted about that, as it could make my belly look bigger (as opposed to side pockets which do the same for the hips – so can I win? no? but pockets are essential).  Plus: It has a matching child’s pattern, the Hide and Seek Girl’s Dress, so I can (with enough material) make a matching one for Miss K! Right now, it’s a good fit for what I’m looking for.

Pattern printing and Changes to the pattern:

  • FBA: Liesl says the pattern is drafted for a B and if you have 2 inches difference between full bust and rib cage, you will need to make an adjustment. I have done it (unsuccessfully) before but this time, I’ve followed the instructions given. It took a while because I was being careful and tired, but it worked really well. Now I know what I’m doing I feel really confident about how to alter similar styles of dress.
  • Blend sizes: for the upper bust measurement I used a US 10, blended out to a 16 from the waist. It wasn’t difficult at all, although I added too much on the front sides of the princess seamed panels that meet the yoke instead of at the sides… I will adjust that in the final dress. With too much it just looks a bit maternity – handy for that post-Friday-night-curry-bloat?
  • Lengthen skirt and sleeves: I HATE 3/4 sleeves that sit just below the elbow. I have long-ish arms yes but I just don’t get why the 3/4 are so popular. I’ve added 2 inches already but will add more, so they sit just above my wrists (hey, no fat wrists yet! FTW!). The skirt needs, for me, about 5 inches. I like my dresses long enough so that I can be pretty undignified and it won’t show my knees. It’s a modesty thing (and a lazy thing). I think longer dresses are more practical and since I don’t wear trousers unless I am desperate, they need to be quite sturdy.
  • Widen sleeves and adjust armholes: a personal choice. I need about an extra inch of width at the bicep right now, to be comfortable. This was easy to do with a cut and slash tutorial plus I looked at this one, adding movement in a fitted sleeve – it isn’t bad, compared to lots of patterns, but it does still lift up when you try to move your arms high. I am not stressing about it right now. I’ve added width on the bicep, slightly lengthened and raised the ‘wings’ of the sleeves – this tutorial shows why/how and my goodness, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who goes into a meltdown when the sleeves are too tight – which of course necessitates adding a little just at the top of the bodice side seams (blended down into the waist)

I decided against doing a forward shoulder adjustment on this – the toile definitely didn’t need one – and the sleeves turned out very well. Mark of a good pattern drafter – the front of the sleeves is a different shape from the back and there is more space behind the top of the shoulder point (where it meets the shoulder bodice seams) than the front. WE ARE NOT EQUAL SHAPES PEOPLE – especially not after years of computer use and painting hunched over a desk.

I spent about two hours doing the pattern adjustments, onto a pattern paper, then traced the whole lot onto swedish tracing paper (so I can adjust again), then made a toile from plain calico (¬£4 per metre). I know this seems like an *awful* Faff but in the past I have wasted a lot of money on fabric and time on patterns that just look *shocking* – I have about four dresses hidden away right now that need to be adjusted before they are wearable. I am a perfectionist, true, but why shouldn’t we be when we are making the clothes for ourselves?

No photos as I managed to fit in assembling it while DD and I played during a quiet home day of school holidays – she made glitter masks (yay) and sequin signs (double yay) and I ignored the mess to stitch it together.

Instructions

I’d say these are very clearly written by an experienced sewer who understands the ‘whuck’ moments we all have when dealing with things like bodice and back yoke facings, welts for in-seam pockets and cuffs on set-in sleeves. All of these are clearly illustrated by line drawings – no photographs – and rather than print them out, I used my trusty chromebook next to the sewing machine. NB: Pattern printing requires many, many A4 sheets. I chose to use my local copy shop which luckily had an extra-wide plotter printer, and I think the two sheets were about ¬£5 each? Moral of the story: BUY THE PAPER PATTERN it will be easier and cheaper in the long run, if you are like me and happy to trace off the pieces. If you don’t mind taping 50 sheets of paper together to trace, then get on with your bad self and tape away..

Assembly

The assembly is straightforward: I liked the almost flat construction, with set-in sleeves. It is intuitive and easy to follow, logically steering you through the pattern.  Take your time and don’t try to rush too much – this is a dress that needs your attention, but not because it’s hard to follow: it expects a certain level of experience I think, for techniques that make it look handmade, not homemade.

Initial fit

I didn’t fit pockets into the toile because, you know, time. I DID choose to fit two sleeves – I know some people will think “it’s a toile, why fit two sleeves?” Answer: because there will be two sleeves on the finished garment and it will hang/fit/drag differently, if there are equal forces on each side of the bodice. Plus I hate the binding sleeve thing (see above). I also omitted the yoke facing and back facing, to save time and make adjustments easier.

I was amazed: it actually fitted me through the shoulders. I have relatively narrow shoulders and a neat upper chest, compared to everything else, and this dress is the first to have fitted me properly ever. Yes, you read that, ever. The width was absolutely spot on for me, so happy happy day. The adjusted sleeves fitted in nicely, no obvious gathers at the easing. Over the FBA princess seams, I preferred the seam on the side where I didn’t snip into the seam allowance – it seemed to hold it better, but bear in mind there was no facing on this toile so that might change things. The length of the sleeves even with an additional 4cm was irritating – personal peeve – so I will add more. The length of the skirt was fine, with my extra 5″ (10cm) and the side seams on the bodice from armscye to waist were hanging straight.

The only changes I plan on making are at the front yoke beneath the bust – I will blend out the additional fabric I put in by about 1/2 inch, maximum, so it swings in under the curve a little instead of hanging so straight down. At the side seams, there was a ton of extra fabric – I suspect that might be because of the calico I used being stiffer than linen but all the same, I think about 1/2 maximum either side from waist to hem should fix that for my first go.

Next Stage

I will be cutting this out of a fabric from my hoard first, I’ll see if I can find something bland or neutral, or perhaps I will just go mad and use some linen.. I want to decorate the yoke with embroidery from the Urban Threads Las Flores Collection

UT10858

Or perhaps their Folklorico, although the designs are a bit more limited and rectangular – but they do have some pretty birds that I already used to customise my denim jacket.

In fact this will look really pretty over a very fine linen or lawn petticoat or bloomers, like the ones from Sew Tina Givens, which could make it look a lot more relaxed when I’m not pretending to be a grown up.

 

 

 

Jocole Endless Dress

I made my last *cough* digital pattern purchase this year and went for the Jocole Endless Dress. It’s possible, with a bit of tweaking, to make hundreds of dresses that are all different. Jodie worked it out. She clearly likes maths.

I am planning three or four dresses -at least- from this pattern but when I had a hankering to make a quick frock with a cream alençon overlay, guess what I grabbed? Yup.

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What I hope you can see is how closely the 6 bodice (empire length) matches the pattern I had to seriously refit from her last emergency gotta-have-it-now dress? Yup, no alterations & it sewed up super.

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I cheated: I used the scalloped edge of the lace for the skirt & arm hems. I used Velcro at the back closure & didn’t make a placket in the skirt, which I just cut in two parts, rather than two separate backs. I think I’d cut the sleeves with a bit more room at the sleeve head but otherwise, perfect.

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You can see the short sleeves have been lengthened a bit – it is January – but I used the top to quickly cut an A-line under dress because I want the chance to swap it for a brighter colour – pink is first up.

I’ve got a doll dress cut & ready to sew – they’re included with the pattern! – plus enough lace for a 6-12 month size too. When I get a chance, I will get decent photos of all 3 – and recover that armchair! Seriously, I dislike the chair & rug SO much…

Monday Digital Download

One of the things I love about the internets is finding images to add to my historical clothing library. In the past, pre-offspring, I designed and made women’s historical corsets and wedding outfits, usually a customised corset and skirt, with matching bag, shoes or boots. Oh how I loved playing with the silk, satin, browsing for hours around images to inspire my wedding ladies. One of my favourites was an astonishing lady called Jean who chose a shot turquoise and black dupion satin to coordinate with exquisite brocade and had a bolero jacket, corset, long skirt with a contrast hidden pleat, bag and teeny tiny boots in turquoise made for her wedding to her long-term partner…

Jean 1

customised silk covered boots

customised silk covered boots

or another incredible Jean, who wore a crushed velvet corset with detachable sleeves, long velvet skirt and silk cape, matching bridesmaids ribbon laced frocks and arrived at her wedding on a white horse, complete with jacobite warriors. No I’m not kidding.

Jean K 1

She had a double layered silk and velvet skirt in the most incredible colours – and completely rocked it.

Jean K 2

So the point is: I couldn’t do any of the things I do without an internal visual library of source material, inspiration, pictorial cookies, to get my imagination moving. I’ve managed to collect images over the years which are unique and too cute to stay stuck in my files. Along with these, I’ll be sharing tiny patterns for things, other snippets that I hope you enjoy and want to keep. Most of these will be sold for the princely sum of…. ONE DOLLAR! I know, I’m based in the UK but I’m very happy – delighted – to say that some of you astonishing folk visit from all over the globe. And people wonder why I am rarely lonely, even though my travelling has been seriously restricted these last few years!

So, for your delectation and enjoyment, I’m delighted to offer my inaugural Monday Digital Download: a 1914 illustration of comfortable Winter doll clothes – and then I’m going to make y’all some PDF patterns to sew them up! As this is the very first, I’m going to offer it for $1 with those signing up to my email subscription list before the 20th of January 2014 getting a bonus PDF detailing pre WWI hair care! Just click [purchase_link id=”408″ style=”button” color=”inherit” text=”Purchase”]. You can get an idea of what’s included below. Please let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you.
Winter Doll Clothes

A Vintage (inspired) Wardrobe: made by me mostly

Ever look in your wardrobe and drawers and just sigh because, being brutally honest, there’s nothing there that you wear and feel good in? Nothing that sets your heart beating a little faster or makes you feel a million dollars? Or, more mundanely, little that fits, doesn’t have holes in it or is less than five years old?

*raises hand to all of the above*

I decided, quite insanely, that I want to completely revamp my wardrobe. There are a few pieces I’ll be keeping but here’s the thing: NOT MUCH. So why and where did I start?

WHY start over?

I’ve got to a point in my life where I’m at peace with who I am. I’m never going to have the shape that society idolizes. I’m unlikely to develop buns of steel or thighs of iron that never touch at this point. And you know what? That’s FINE BY ME. I’m 41 and that is so so different from 39 or even 40 I can’t explain it. I’m here, right now. I’m mostly healthy and my life is so fantastic on a global comparison type scale that frankly it’s not worth mentioning the tiny things that bug me… no, really.

You may recall my vintage hair-do a few months back. I loved it. My husband tolerated it. My friends loved it. Best of all? I felt groomed. That is such a rare thing for me but it made me feel more together somehow.

Ava-Gardner dressing table vintage lady

What am I going to wear today? Something SASSY I think.

I came across other women who felt the same and who had not only blogged about it but generously shared WHY they had done it:¬†for example, the Glamorous Housewife or Tuppence Ha’Penny.

My main motivations are:

  • to streamline my morning decisions (even if we go ahead and homeschool, who wants to make every morning a big production?)
  • to feel like I care about myself and how I look, even if that seems a bit trivial sometimes
  • to show my daughter we can look after ourselves and still be fun, intelligent, modest and loving women
  • to make my husband glad he comes home every night
  • to simplify. So much of life feels like there’s just TOO MUCH of everything – today’s example, buying black eyeliner. Why do we need a zillion types of eyeliner? Gah.
  • to motivate myself to maintain my health, fitness and alignment. It’s easy, oh so easy, to slob about in my worn and threadbare Flax pinafores which allow my weight to fluctuate by anything up to thirty pounds (SERIOUSLY). But I’m 41 and there will come a point soon where losing those pounds gets harder and harder and has more of an impact on my overall health. With my darling mama facing double knee replacements aged (much younger than she has any right to be), that lazy laissez-faire attitude to health is not a great thing.
What type of FABULOUS do you want today?

What type of FABULOUS do you want today?

Where to Start

I began with the awesomeness that is the Tuppence Ha’Penny 1949 wardrobe blog. Please take the time to read it – what I loved was the practicality and simplicity of the items and the reasoning behind them – it really will take you anywhere.

The list includes: two suits, light grey, black. six dresses (print dinner dress, heavy crepe dress, four cotton); Petticoats, cami knickers, pants in tricot; 2 bras, girdles, six nylons(!); four pairs of shoes (tan walking, bronze ankle strap, black suede ankle strap, double strap); 2 pringle twin sets, one black evening sweater; four hats; accessories (4 gloves, long woolen stole, 3 cotton headscarves, gold necklace/belt).

So I sat down, wrote a list of what I did on a daily basis: I go to Church and occasionally coffee (although my hyperosmia imposes stupid limits on my socialising these days); I stay at home and paint, sew and clean (when I’m not blogging or browsing for patterns); I garden and look after chickens (currently four adorable bantams) and finally I suppose it makes sense to include clothes that would work for things like yoga or my wonderful MuTu. From that list, it’s really easy to see what kind of clothes I need.

I broke that down into:

  • Working at home: day dresses (cotton, jersey). Cardigans. Skirt & Blouse. Aprons. Tunic & long bloomers (for feeling funky or bloated).
  • Gardening Dungarees (from kwik sew pattern), skirts (yes, I garden in skirts), 2-3 jersey tops.
  • Church/Shops: day dresses (cotton, jersey). Skirt & Blouse. Cardigan (although it gets stinking hot in our wee church each week).
  • Walking/Working Out: tracksuit bottoms (2-3), jersey tops, one t-shirt (I don’t do upper arms).

That’s not bad, is it?

From my current wardrobe, I will be keeping:

  • ¬†Unmentionables
  • Black velvet long hooded coat; tailored velvet jacket (although it’s not that great, it could work)
  • Green wool jacket (handmade, with a convertible collar and sort of 1915 styling)
  • Brown velvet cape (mainly for stroking)
  • Purple anorak (because I live in Scotland and the rain is horizontal).
  • White linen blouse (hip length, elbow length sleeves, self tie belt & pintuck front)
  • Grey linen waterfall front jacket and matching wide leg trousers (that don’t quite fit at the moment)
  • Black linen dress (to hide in: peter pan collar, long sleeves, waist ties and floor length skirt)
  • Tracksuit bottoms and v-neck jersey tops that don’t have paint on them. Yet.

This means my “To be made” list includes:

  • Grey wool fitted coat (5 metres of grey coating, 100% wool has been in my wardrobe for, oh, 7 years?)
  • Grey skirt, Black skirt
  • Dungarees (pattern and fabric¬†– floral denim and burgundy corduroy – already in cupboard).
  • Tunic and Bloomers (for when I’m feeling funky or fat)
  • Cotton Dresses: The Colette Hawthorn, McCalls Shirtdress and possibly Miz Mozelle too.
  • Jersey Dresses: Black, Grey, Red or Purple, using various patterns; Tiramisu by Cake which has a long sleeve hack, Vogue 1027 like Kate and maybe New Look 6823 which reminds me of Gertie’s “Background Dress” – I like the Vogue one here too but a zip? in a jersey dress?
  • Blouses: print voile, grey print cotton lawn, 2 or 3 solid colours. I’m a bit stuck on the patterns for these but the Colette Hawthorn also makes a peplum blouse, Sewaholic “Alma” is adaptable but I’m open to suggestions!
  • Aprons: 1 full length (I have the Sensibility Edwardian pattern for me and Wee Bear) and 2 or 3 bib front ones for wearing while cooking.

And so that means that my list of What To Buy is admirable short:

  • new knickers. I have TONS of cute lingerie fabric but I’m not spending precious sewing time cutting and sewing up plain underwear, which is a different animal altogether.
  • Twin sets: Black, green, red. Maybe two black sets.
  • Hats: black, green, red or purple. Maybe both. My friend Joyce Paton is an extraordinary dressmaker and milliner who I’m hoping will either do a guest post on millinery or erm, let me try some hats on!
  • Shoes: walking shoes in black and neutral. This is tricky because I can’t do heels. I have plantar fasciitis that has caused huge issues over the last year and is only slightly resolving now, thanks to Katy Bowman and her stretches. So. Flat black walking shoes, either tan or grey walking shoes, and something like a slip on mary jane – but all FLAT and all breathable. I have to confess I spend nearly 9 months of the year in sandals because I hate having hot feet.
  • Handbags, scarves and gloves. I want natty cotton gloves in black, grey and possibly red. Why not? Women look amazing when their accessories bring neutral colours to life.

 

I don't have enough hats.

I don’t have enough hats.

Wish me luck! I will be throwing things out or selling them before I fill up my wardrobe again so I’d better get sewing fast.

All photographs are from the site of Penny Dreadful Vintage: they sell all manner of glorious vintage clothing (a few things I remember first time around…) and ship globally.

Sewing World Magazine: a Review (& recommendation)

SW131001There are literally dozens of ‘sewing’ magazines on the racks these days, aren’t there? How on earth do you choose among them? Do you really want yet another set of a dozen felted handsewn animal finger puppets and how to recycle old newspapers into crocheted doilies?

I don’t. Not very often. I’m incredibly old fashioned and like my knitting patterns in a knitting magazine, crochet in crochet magazine and best of all, a sewing magazine which concentrates on that because, let’s face it, time is short folks. I was kindly sent a copy of Sewing World Magazine to review and received the July 2013 issue. I’m about to order the October one and a couple of back issues so that should tell you what I thought of it!

Overall the look is clean: not too much whimsy, not toooooo girly, (indeed one of the articles is about men who sew – they do!) and of course the requisite advertising which, thankfully, doesn’t dominate the copy or patterns (which happens in other magazines we won’t mention).

The contents are clearly laid out so you can skip to the pattern you’re interested in fast and in this particular issue there are:- a quilt pattern, sewing machine cover, glasses case, cushions and coasters (to practice your machine embroidery), a light voile blouse (to practice your placket insertion), a doll and bunny set and a small girls skirt made from strips that would be¬†a good stash buster, beginners project or way to use up a jelly roll. There are also tips on beating the overlocker blues (which we’ve all had), working with chiffon and a ‘masterclass’ on adapting and fitting a shift dress.

Apart from a minor gripe about the poly dupion used in the masterclass pattern dress (which makes my skin creep just thinking about it) I thought it was a really helpful ‘hand hold’ for those who are unsure about sewing from a multi-size pattern: I’m not sure if making a muslin was covered in an earlier edition but I have to say, every time I haven’t I’ve regretted it! The Pippi style doll is very sweet, with a naive look and lots of pockets for treasures – she would be a perfect gift, if a little fiddly for those of us with little patience *cough*… the Rainbows Edge quilt is very modern and fresh but without being ghastly and garish – the Kona solids jelly roll was used and I have to say, I’m seriously tempted: it would look fantastic in our room, or covering a sofa. The best range I’ve seen in the UK are here from Cottonpatch although I’m not sure which one I will choose… Maybe I’ll have to make two? Three? There is something incredibly soothing about machining a quilt together after hours of doll’s dresses and smocking.

I have to confess: I’m not a¬†massive fan of sewing cushion covers, bags, coasters etc. I do, sometimes, get down to it (and there’s a tutorial for a yoga bolster coming soon!) but generally, I don’t have time. They are great to get started on machine embellishment though, so who knows, I may return to it in time. Likewise, I wasn’t massively enamoured of the little girl’s skirt: it was cute but I’m spoiled by the patterns I have from Farbenmix et al.

Most usefully the patterns are printed on a separate, pull-out sheet in nice sturdy paper. No tissue paper going into holes as you trace it out! If you happen to lose it, the patterns can also be downloaded from the magazine website! I also enjoyed the piece on sewing with chiffon, written by the Fabric Godmother who also happens to have a fabulous selection of fabrics and patterns by my favourite modern pattern-makers online. Perfect.

There’s a Pattern Showcase which is a speedy way to keep up with who’s publishing what as well as website addresses: I know we can all google but frankly, it’s yet another thoughtful piece of information that tells me this magazine is written for people like me who love sewing but are short on time. Or feel short on time!

Best of all: the overlocker troubleshooting guide! What I would’ve given for this a few months ago when my trusty workhorse just would NOT PLAY. Ugh. I love my overlocker in the way that most women love chocolate: they couldn’t do without it but it doesn’t half cause some stress! Finally, after a bit of advertising and some helpful directories, there’s a large spread of¬†Simplicity New Look¬†patterns at a bargain price – in this case mostly for summer but the pictures are large enough to allow you to see the details and there’s a short description such as you’d give to a friend asking about the pattern.

I really enjoyed the magazine and will actually make things from it, as well as keep it for the next time I’m working with slippery chiffon on a spring blouse or my overlocker has a hissy fit – no mean feat to escape the recycling pile in this house! I wholeheartedly recommend it for people who actually love sewing best of all.

 

Magazine Review: Sewing World

So this morning I have in my rather hot little paws a copy of Sewing World magazine: I’ve only skimmed the contents so can’t review in detail just yet but I certainly will tomorrow – there are at least three or four projects I’d like to try. It’s looking good though – uncluttered, clear and firmly focused on the fabric side of things (no recipes of macaroons or papier mache owls for example…)

Can’t wait to spend a few hours with it and report back to you!

Life is Messy II: order out of chaos. Sorta.

So in one child-free afternoon I went from *this*

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To this:

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The large crate full of cotton scraps is a slightly better organised crate (& on top of *cough* the other crate of silk & satin scraps elsewhere… Yes my bedroom. I am so in dire need of a separate sewing room it’s crazy. Or – crazy alert – I could use up my scraps and/or do a giveaway. Anyone interested? Maybe a few satin doll dresses?! Oh dear, planning my next project but three already!

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You can see I’ve organised it by function (I hope): almost in order of sewing need, so I will go from top to bottom. To keep sharp/pointy/stabby tools away from Wee Bear, paper patterns are at the bottom, along with a drawer I hope to empty in short order – the unfinished purses etc.

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I even separated the bulk bags of lace scraps I bought on eBay & paired them up! I’m feeling excited about using them as doll dress trims etc!

If you’d like a similar unit – or the same – I bought mine from Hobbycraft where they have free & fairly rapid delivery as well as the best price on the Internet. Now to go back & order some of their cute craft kits for Wee Bear and paper edging scissors!

Life is Messy: organising the sewing chaos

So after a really super intense week of sewing before the Craft Fair (where I sold one pair of shoes & one doll! Nothing I made this week!) this is the mess left behind:

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And even worse:

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I’m not feeling particularly inspired to sew or do anything with all that lying around.

This afternoon, it’s all going into this:

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And later on I will share how I have categorised my materials. Living on.the.edge. Right?

Craft fair insanity: buying fabric just to cut it up & sell it

There are times when my fabric addiction takes over. Usually when confronted with a gorgeous range from Michael Miller or Makower. When I saw this project from the Sewing Directory I decided it would be perfect for selling at my next craft fair.

I used this bundle from Plush Addict and kept one of the FQs for making bias binding.
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but first a test run. I bought this on impulse from a local fabric shop: 4 pieces for ¬£8 but a) they weren’t full FQ & b) two had quite bad sun bleaching so I’m unimpressed.
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The main issue was working out which pieces to put next to each other, as all the prints coordinate.
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However, the actual pieces are soft, strong, clearly printed & have a lovely effect when combined. I have no idea what to charge for them but aren’t they cute!20130717-183211.jpg