Friday, 29 April 2011

Wow oh wow!

What a day, I loved every minute of it, I watched the whole thing all morning and I’ve read loads online and watched the new highlights this evening.  The whole day was perfect, everything was fabulous (apart from Princesses Beatrice & Eugenies outfits!)and how did she look?  Well how perfect is this……

It looked perfect for her, she will be Queen one day and she already has a demure and modest style so this dress is spot on for both these requirements.  So traditional yet coming from McQueen so modern just like the two of them.  The whole wedding seemed a seamless blend of traditional and modern with the horse drawn carriages followed by minibuses!  This dress, the decor at the Abbey and the flowers all echoed that, traditional, regal, beautiful, simple.  I wish them all the joy and luck in the world and the benefit of their long relationship means that they both know what they are getting themselves into so there should be some stability in the British Monarchy for the next generation. 

BTW, both Gertie and Amanda have great posts about the dress, check them out.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Royal Wedding

Is wrong to be so excited about the Royal Wedding as I currently am?  Unfortunately I’m going to a street party or celebration but I shall be glued to the TV all morning Friday!  What about you?  What are you waiting to see, the dress, the coaches, the flowers, the fly past, the balcony kiss?  My OH thinks its all load of tosh and waiting for it to be over but I can’t wait to watch it with my own little princesses!

Only 2 more sleeps!  Just hope the weather holds for them…..

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Eggs, silk and help needed!

Over Easter I went to my in-laws which was great as the weather in the UK has been so lovely at the moment.  The kids had a great Easter Egg hunt round their garden and house.   Hubby made up some brilliant clues and they spent ages running around inside and out following the clues and finding random eggs, although Miss M ran past some a couple of times! 

After the chocolate frenzy was over MIL said she had something to show me and got out some of the most beautiful silk you’ve ever seen!  This was silk bought by her father in Singapore/Hong Kong/Bangkok in the 1950s & 60s.  There was a red dupion (I think) silk which might have come from Thailand.  As it is my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary this year MIL asked me to make her a dress from this ruby silk!!!  After I hyperventilated a few times I said yes on the caveat it might go horrible wrong and she should have a plan B for the huge party she has organised!


Do you think this is Dupion?  I don’t know much about silk but by googleing, wikipedia & looking at photos that's the conclusion I came to.


There are 3 metres of the fabric so we had to be careful about the style of dress,  (immediately I thought of a boat neck full skirted 1950s style dress) as we couldn’t have anything that required too much fabric and also that flattered MIL and that she liked.  After spending ages looking online at modern pattern she suddenly remembered she had some old patterns from when she sewed in college back in the early 60s so she dug those out and there was the exact style we had both been looking for, empire line, a line skirt sleeveless, low necked!  And guess what her measurements are very close to the size of this pattern as of course its not a multi sized pattern.  I bet there's not many women who after 3 kids and 40 years of marriage could contemplate wearing the same size they did when they were 20! 


I very very quickly tissue fitted the pieces in a very rough way and it seems ok, my only real concern is the bust dart placement but that can be easily rectified.  The plan is to make up a muslin and she can come for a fitting and then we’ll make a final decision on whether to go ahead and cut the silk.  Yeek!

In return I got some silk as well!


Is this dupion as well?  It has a similar texture but doesn’t have the two tone thread that I thought dupion had. 




There was a nice little fact sheet in the as well describing how to wash silk and the manufacturer!


Then saving the best for last she got out a big parcel of the loveliest silk I’ve ever seen!


A green and gold thick silk, is it a Brocade?  I think this is how it could be described.


There are about 10 yards…


…and with a beautiful sheen. 



I presume this is the manufacturer (Hong Kong?) but I can’t find any reference to it by googling.  MIL doesn’t know what to do with the fabric and I suggested selling it on eBay/etsy but I have no idea of its value.  I did a bit of research but can’t find anything similar to gauge a ball park value.  How does someone go about finding the value of vintage silk fabric and what is the best way to go about selling it?  I know lots of bloggers buy and sell vintage fabric and I was hoping for some advice from blog land.  Any help gratefully received!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Where’s the bandwagon?

Yes I am still here, never being the most regular blogger I seem to have turned into an occasional blogger these days.  I still read everyone else’s blogs avidly and in doing so have seen all the wonderful Pendrell Blouses around blogland.  I stumbled across Tasia of Sewholic Patterns just as she was finishing her Pendrell Blouse Sewalong and then loads of versions popped up on various blogs each one looking as lovely as the last and making me itch to make one myself especially as I’m her target audience being very pear shaped!  So when she released her latest pattern (Crescent Skirt) and was offering free shipping (from Canada fgs, I can’t get free delivery from Tesco round the corner never mind Canada!) on both patterns I thought it sounded a great deal (ever the MSEer!). 

Tasia is starting a Sewalong on Monday for the Crescent Skirt which I intend to join in with BUT I’m away for the Easter weekend so I might dip in and out of it.  But in the meantime I HAD to make a Pendrell and as part of my on-going attempt to transform from Slummy to Yummy I thought it would be perfect.  I knew I wanted a white top, to be able to wear with a multitude of patterned skirts I’ve previously made so I found a white cotton lawn (I think) with dobby dots and little squares.  Its a little sheer but not too immodest!  I didn’t want my first (I’m sure there will be more of them….) version to be slippery fabric so I went for the cotton and it was really easy to make.  The only problems I encountered were of my own making

  • I need to use a finer needle for fine fabrics as I had a problem with skipped stitches especially sewing through the various layers when sewing on bias binding trim.  I used a new needle and I re-threaded many times but I kept having the same problem therefore I deduce the problem must be the wrong size needle.  I don’t usually sew with finer dressmaking fabrics so I need to invest in better needles.  I found this a problem in the past having used cheaper Hemline needles, and then swopping for better quality John James needles.  I should have used a size 9/70 I guess..
  • The pattern is a little too long for my tastes, I don’t wear tops tucked in so the natural length is too long for me.  I was too unsure about cutting the pattern before hand (I have enough trauma cutting the paper pattern as it is, what if I’ve got the wrong size?  What if I cut the wrong line?! Can’t get a refund on a cut pattern!) so I ended up cutting off about 4 inches after construction.  I shall go back now and amend the paper patterns to take this into consideration as I can’t every see myself wanting to wear it longer. 
  • I measured myself and 3 out of  4 measurements ended up in the size 14 columns so I traced that size off on Frost Fleece.  Using the Fit For Real People method I tissue fitted the pattern but felt that it wasn’t quite generous enough across the bust and hip even though they were the measurements that hit that size!  I went for the Size 16 (and cut the paper pattern!) but I still have the Frost Fleece if I decide to go a little smaller.  I think the 16 is a good fit but maybe a smidgeon big around the neck.  I might try a 14 in a Frost Fleece muslin to double check the size. 
  • Maybe because I used the 16 I found the armholes a little gappy so I sewed the side seam about 1/2 inch smaller and tapered back to the side seam, this seemed to work well. 
  • I had to sew first and then overlock later as I’m always afraid to commit to doing it in one pass on my overlocker which made the process a little longer.  Having done one version I think next time I’ll do it in one go, that might reduce the amount of skipped stiches as well as the overlocker doesn’t stop for anyone!

Anyway so late last night I finished it!  As it was such a lovely day today I decided to wear it on our family visit to Fishbourne Roman Place near Chichester along with my previous latest creation which I never got round to blogging!  Back in February I bought some Echino Bonbon in brown which I think made a lovely skirt but none of my family seem to agree!!! What do you think?!


I was wearing jeans when I tried it on yesterday but when I put it on this morning I had a bit of a crisis of confidence as I looked different and the ruffles looked waaay too OTT for me but looking at this picture I think it looks ok.  I would like to make a turquoise version to match the turquoise circles in this skirt but then I would only be able to wear it with this skirt or jean?  I would also like to try a shiny fabric but defiantly need good needles for that one!

I’ve got all my supplies for the Crescent, even though it took ages to find a fabric I liked so that's the next bandwagon to jump onto, at this rate I’ll be on to the Colette Patterns next as they are other company that everyone in blogland raves about atm.  Crepe maybe? Or probably Beignet?!

So anyway after irregular blogging I’ve made up for it in this post a very wordy one which can be summarised thus

  1. I made a Pendrell because everyone else was
  2. I will most likely make another one or two
  3. I’m going to make a Crescent Skirt in the Sewalong
  4. I’m easily swayed to follow a sewing blogging meme!
  5. I’m a crap Blogger!