Sunday, 18 March 2012

Busier than I thought I had been!

I’ve been busy making a roman blind for a friend the last week or so.  She asked me a few weeks ago if I could make one for her, she's had the fabric for 18  months and a towel at the window so she wasn’t in any desperate hurry.  When we bought our first house we couldn’t afford any curtains so our front bay windows had a combination of towels, sheet and a big piece of cardboard to block the light!  As it was so complicated to put it up we just left it there day and night for about 6 months!  Have ever you had some makeshift curtains?   Anyway she asked me and I said ‘Oh I’ve never made a a roman blind but I could find out, it will be no problem!’  After trawling around on the internet for a while I found a great resource – YouTube is a wonderful thing! There also a great forum with loads of great posts and people happily sharing their knowledge and experience.  My friend had given me blackout lining and I know from past experience machine stitches perforate the lining and allow light in, I didn’t want to do this so I had to hand stitch most of the blind.  I think the only machine stitching was the pockets to hold the doweling and sewing on the Velcro at the top!  So from this exercise I’ve learnt about roman blinds, herringbone stitches, stab stitches and perfected my slip stitches!  Its also nice to be sewing in straight lines rather than curves to fit bodies!  




Close up of the rings


Folded up blind

I can’t show you the blind in situ as we need my friends other half to put some battening up (as long as that takes less than 18 months I don’t mind!)  but it should be ok. 


Another thing I’ve been doing is converting our home office into a sewing room!  As we’ve moved away from desktops towards pcs and smartphones we don’t have the need for an office like we once did.  Hubby works from home on occasion but he can do that anywhere and even in MY sewing room, if I allow it! 


A big work space, check out the scissors hanging up! How exciting!!!


I was previously using the spare room but every time someone came to stay I’d have to pack up which was annoying so now I can leave my mess!  There's still some officey stuff in there and loads of books on the bookshelves but its nice to have such a large work surface and have the sewing machine and overlocker out at the same time.  The ironing board probably won’t stay there permanently as it usually lives in the cupboard downstairs but its a nice novelty not have have to run up and down so I might bring it up when I’m sewing……..

And Sewing, I have been.  I got Simplicity 2209 (I do prefer the Sewaholic/Colette method of naming patterns rather than random numbers, it sounds much better  to say ‘I love your Truffle dress’ than to say ‘That Simplicity 2209 is gorgeous!)  free with Sew Mag recently and I decided to give it go.  I’ve also been following The Couture Dress course with Susan Khalje on and although I’m not making a couture dress and using full couture techniques I did follow her instructions for making a muslin/toile and disregard the seam allowances and use the sewing line as your guide.  Its so much better especially as my cutting skills aren’t the best but using this method it doesn’t matter as you never have to match up raw edges instead matching up sewing lines. I used a 20 top and 22 bottom and graded the waist out although I possibly could have got away with a 20 skirt.   I’m glad I did this as I’ve learnt a few things making this muslin mainly around the unusual darts on the bodice, its vital to sew them in the order listed and making the muslin allowed to see that the darts needed to be moved so I unpicked it all and moved them with no problem.  That's the beauty of a muslin.  I solved most of the fitting problem on my dummy first and then fine tuned them on me.  



the dart points needed lowering


I lengthened the skirt


As you can see I’ve done a swayback pinch, I’ve taken the front and back in at the shoulders.  The back had to have a few tweaks as I wasn’t happy about it.  I seem to have to take huge chunks out of the shoulders of all patterns, I must have a very rounded back.  I’ve used the Dart-Be-Gone method Susan was talking about on her course.



I tightened up the back a little more after these photos were taken. 

I’ve finished the work on the muslin and have to get the fabric tomorrow I’m going to use this  fabric for it which I’d already spied in the fabric shop but didn’t want to buy it until I’d tried the pattern out…..


it’s a blend, cotton 70%, polyester 25% and spandex 5%. 

Its funny I remember when this pattern came out last year and I didn’t think much of it, I think I was blinded by the dreadful jacket on the cover but when it came with the magazine I was more intrigued, I remembered that Scruffy Badger made one and loved it and from this muslin I can say she’s right!  The darts are somehow really flattering and surprisingly easy to sew.  I just hope the final version looks and feels as good.  I hope so as I’m thinking of making another one using different fabrics as I think that might be a good stash busting exercise although I’m assuming I would need to use similar weighted fabrics for this to ensure the dress fits and wears properly.  Have you tried this before, what advice would you give?

So it turns out I’ve been a lot busier than I thought I hade been!!!!!

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