Can I panic now?! Flights are booked and we have 19 days before we fly off to San Francisco! I am very relieved that we decided to break up the long journey by stopping in NYC to see family for a couple of days. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family, but most especially my niece who is now a toddler with the cutest cheeks ever.
Packing housewares is the last thing on my mind, which is thankfully (thankgoodnessthankgoodnessthankgoodness) being taken care of by the relocation company. My thoughts are mainly on two things: all my fabric arriving in California safely and what last London activities I want to do.
Most of my fabric will be packed away in a sea shipment, arriving in about two months time (ACK!). That leaves me having to pick a few pieces that I can put on the air shipment, which arrives earlier. I’m choosing what fabrics to pack based on what projects I want to work on once we settle in. I am considering these: Juniper maternity trousers, a baby quilt and some maternity Renfrew tops (isn’t Stitch and Witter’s fab?).
That would put most of my beloved fabric on the sea shipment, hoping they arrive safely to us in California. When we moved to London we took an inventory of everything we packed. But we failed to be very specific, ended up missing items and not remembering quite everything that was lost, which of course made it hard to get things replaced. But not this time. This time we are taking photos and taking great care in writing everything down.
My refusal to walk away from a bargain means I’ve acquired too much fabric. Luckily I keep a spreadsheet that allows me to know what fabrics I have and how much of it. With good record-keeping the money I spent on all my fabric would be replaced if they went missing but really, it would be quite hard to replace them. So here’s hoping nothing happens to them en route! I finished updating my spreadsheet yesterday (I did get lazy and stopped inputting the width measurement) and I am a bit embarrassed at how much fabric I’ve accumulated. I seem to replace 2 meters of fabric with 10 more every time I go to a fabric shop! Ugh. Must sew more and must buy less, yes? Yes.
Having lived in London three times since turning 20, I know this won’t be my last time here. I’ve made wonderful friends from the sewing and expat communities that I look forward to visiting with in the future. But for now I have lots to do before leaving: visit the V&A again (I went to so many paid exhibits I wonder, why didn’t I become a member?!), go for afternoon tea and Sunday roast, photograph my beautiful neighborhood, and visit with friends. And maybe go to Liberty for one last splurge? No, no, no, Mela. No more fabric. One of my best friends is coming to visit from New Orleans for Thanksgiving. We will surely get a few of my London to-dos checked off while she’s here.
*Phew* Now that I’ve written everything down that needs to be done I don’t feel so worried. Blogging is such good therapy.
Hiyo! Thanks for all the lovely comments on my recent babydoll dress. It goes to show that choosing a pretty fabric can really spruce up a simple pattern.
So, this post is about giving. I’ve been very lucky, winning quite a handful of lovely gifts from bloggers. Most recently I got a set of tickets to see Virginia Bates talk at the V&A about her vintage collection (AMAZING!) and her new book, Dress to Kill: Virginia’s Jazz Age Fashion. Thanks Kathryn!
I’ve been wanting to give back for a while now and finally got together the bits I want to give away. You can pick between three prizes.
The first one is a lovely embroidered journal from Paperchase. I have one myself and I use it to keep all my sewing notes in one place.
The second one is a set of vintage patterns. One is an 80s dress (size 16, bust 42) that totally has some potential. And the second is a Butterick reprint of a 50s dress (size 14-20).
And the last one is a set of modern patterns. One ranges from sizes 10-18, and the other 14-18.
I’m willing to send abroad. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your first, second and third choices. I’ll pick three winners Sunday, November 18 and ship them out the next day! Easy peasy.
P.S. Most of y’all know we’re moving, and well, we have a few appliances that need new homes. If you’re curious, and local, check out what’s for sale. Thanks!
Sunday, 18 November, comments are closed. Winners are being picked shortly.
Today I had the great fortune of spending the afternoon learning how to crochet from Joanne. She’s such a patient teacher. And funny to boot. Sadly I have no photos to show for it because, well, I forgot to take any. But be assured, there was eating, drinking and lots of gabbing.
For the special occasion I wore my new babydoll dress. Because the pattern is so easy to put together I knew I had to whip another one up fast, before I got distracted by something else. This dress came together in about two hours, cutting included. That’s a big deal for me, y’all. It means I am getting better at sewing knits. Huzzah!
I used a lovely double-knit jersey bought from Fabrics Galore in Battersea. Shivani and I had a nice afternoon shopping there last week and we both came home with this jersey. For this babydoll version I left the sleeves out. Because, really, when am I ever not wearing a cardi? Hardly ever. I made some binding, cutting them 2.5 inches wide. In hindsight, I would go a bit narrower.
I remembered to fix the gaping problem I had in the last dress by reducing the back bodice by 1 inch. Worked out perfectly. No gaping!
But I totally forgot to make the front skirt longer, to compensate for the bump. If I make another I hope to fix that issue then.
So there’s that. Another lovely knit dress that came together without any hitches. Now I have to return to my Juniper trousers, which I have been ignoring for quite some time now.
Ever since I acquired some stripey jersey fabric from the lovely Rehanon at a swap, I knew I wanted to make it into a skirt. And today was finally the day! Using a maternity skirt that I specifically bought to use as a pattern, I whipped it up this morning.
There’s not much to say about the project. It was fast, easy and just what the morning called for.The skirt only has one seam and I am happy that I managed to match the stripes. I encased some elastic for the waistband and that’s it. I had the perfect amount of fabric (a meter-ish, I think) and enough left over for a nifty headband. Sweet.
Hey, guys! I know that Melizza of Pincushion Treats can bake, because I've eaten several of her creations. Macaroons, cheese cake, cocktails... If I lived with Melizza, I don't think I'd ever stop licking my plate clean. She was the obvious person to invite as a guest blogger for our Apronalong Launch. I asked her to bake something unusual and exciting, and she didn't disappoint...
The Sew U Home Stretch book has been making the rounds in the blogosphere (totally check out Karen’s, Winnie’s and Rachel’s garments). I totally understand why: the book comes with basic pattern pieces and instructions on how to manipulate them to make various types of garments. I wanted another comfy bump-friendly knit dress so I went with the babydoll pattern. Before getting started I had to grade the pattern up, like usual. I added 6 inches to the bust and 8 inches to the waist. Of course, suffering from baby brain (it’s real, y’all. I forget stuff mid-sentence!) I forgot to grade up the sleeve! Of course I didn’t realize this until after I finished making the dress. D’oh! There’s a wee bit of strain on the bodice from the tight sleeve but it’s not awful. And still totally wearable.
I always have issues when sewing. I’m prone to making stupid mistakes. You name it, I do it. This time around I had issues with the neckband. It was pretty thick so stitching in the ditch proved quite tricky. After unpicking twice, and stretching out the neckline a bit (I need to stop doing that!), I decided I hated the finish. I cut it out and went with a thicker neckband, which I quite like the look of.
Changes for next time (because I am totally making another one):
1. Taking an inch off the back bodice. My back is smaller than the front, so there was a bit of a gape at the neck. I unfortunately couldn’t get a clear photo of this.
2. Either leave the sleeves out or grade the sleeve up a bit and leave the puffiness out. I’m not quite in love with the extra volume on my already voluminous biceps. Ya, know.
3. Adjust for the bump: see about lengthening the front skirt so it doesn’t look shorter than the back.
I’m looking forward to making more garments from the book. Having very few successful attempts at knit, I will classify this dress as a win! It’s comfy, fast to sew together and cute to boot.
I want to give a very special thanks to Evie from Pendle Stitches for gifting me with a lovely pattern and cardigan for baby boy. I was so thrilled to have received such a wonderful gift…I cried. Maybe it was the hormones but I’m quite the sap usually.
And to continue the feeling of an early Christmas and giving, I won a giveaway from Maider and got a parcel of goodies. Thanks, Maider!
All this receiving means it’s time for me to give back. I need to work on hosting a giveaway ASAP! More on that later.
Last night my husband accepted an offer for a position within his company at the San Francisco office. As of December we will become California residents. Holy Krakow!!!
We have NO clue as to where to live or what to expect. I’d love any input if you have any. Drop me an email or a comment and I’ll appreciate it immensely! I’m kinda still in shock over here. I’m so going to miss all the sewing friends I’ve met in the UK. But I am looking forward to making new ones in the States.
Having our baby boy (oh yeah, it’s a boy!) grow up closer to family is very important to us. Even though Cali isn’t as close to family as we would like, at least the travel will be easier for them. And much more affordable.
So yeah, there are quite a few changes happening over here. But I am going to soldier on and keep sewing. It’ll keep me from going manic!
When I started on my Colette Juniper trousers I thought, “Sweet, this will super easy. Adjust the crotch, the hem and BAM new pants.” Not so. I finished sewing these up last night and I am just not too certain I like the width of the pant legs. What do you think? Are they meant to look this wide?
If you can’t tell, when I come to a sewing crossroad I also turn to the sewing community. Y’all always help me clear my muddled thoughts and see things in a different picture. Here’s another angle, more straight forward.
I cut a size 18, and it fits great at the hips, like I had hoped. I adjusted the crotch using the same measurements that I used for my Clover trousers. The crotch seems a bit low and I am just swimming in fabric.
I wonder if my posture had anything to do with some of those wrinkles. Because (WARNING: BOOTY SHOT APPROACHING) a photo of my backside shows less issues.
Right now the possible changes I am going to make for the next pair are:
1. Play with the crotch measurements. I find it too low.
2. Take in the inseam for a less baggy look.
3. Keep half of the button fly and attach the maternity band higher. Currently the bump band is far too wide and low. I can only wear the trousers with a long shirt.
4. Lengthen the hem a wee bit.
So am I right in thinking these are a bit too wide for my frame? I think trimming the excess will make them look sleeker. And me slimmer, which is always a great thing.
My weekend started with the Knitting and Stitching Show on Friday. I got there early to avoid the crowds but unfortunately could not avoid the heat. I am pretty sure the heating was on in that place. Oh brother. But at least I got to visit the stalls in peace, that is, until the place soon got packed. It was a bit tricky to maneuver through the crowds, taking a bit of patience. Luckily I made my purchases early on so I was mostly just browsing and visiting with Shivani from Pins and Needles when she had a break between classes.
I left Ally Pally quite happy, staying within my budget and finding the perfect fat quarter bundle for a new baby quilt. After getting home I took it easy because the next day was my trip to Paris!
I often come across a blog post about Paris fabric shopping but it was Karen’s one that had me book the train ticket after reading it. The trip was suppose to be a congratulatory one, having finished my sixth half marathon. Sadly I wasn’t in the fittest state to continue training and soon stopped. Sad day. But at least there was still a trip to Paris
Following Karen’s advice, I hit the Montmartre area and I wasn’t disappointed. Fabric shops filled with heaps and heaps of fabric! I didn’t dare take a photo since there were signs saying not to. And I’m much to chicken to try it on the sly.
I went to several shops but it was at the first one that I was the most successful. They had so many fabrics I wanted but I decided on only three. At 10 Euros for three meters I found them quite reasonable priced. I wish I could have brought more home but after so many recent sewing-related purchases I decided to show a bit of restraint (for me, anyway). As for the fabrics, I see a dress in the polka dots, a circle skirt in the plaid and some Clovers in the denim.