Friday, 23 December 2011

Quick Fix!

Amidst all my complicated sewing projects (cutting wool flannel, sewing gussets, endless tweaking on my first self drafted pattern) and the slow paced ones (sew alongs that I intend to sew along and not rush ahead) I decided I need a quick fix. Something nice and easy that I can do in an eye blink.
And between you and me, how awesome will these look with these:
Have a lovely Christmas and in case I don't post before the year is over have a great time entering 2012!!

PS: In case you wondered, Thursdays Knitting is on holidays until January! 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

And there was a muslin...again

But this time the muslin is right. I seem to have finally cracked my kimono sleeved bodice fitting nightmare and this version (not my second or third) seems to be right. I obviously will not find out for sure until I sew it up in the fashion fabric. Wool behaves different from calico but I hope it will be a good fit. Excuse my figure in the photos. I have foam curlers in my hair but thought a touch of lipstick would make the photo more presentable.
The bodice was not the issue as it fits right. I was a bit unhappy with the sleeves at the shoulders but they lay flatter on this version. I think on the first photo I was slouching and that's why you see bunching up.
The back had the biggest issues and I'm happy that changes done have sorted that extra fabric at the back.
The pattern pieces after all the changing look horrendous but if final goal of fit is achieved it doesn't really matter. And finally I can abandon the world of muslins for a bit and start cutting into my yummy wool flannel. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Knitting Thursdays continues...

...with some more lovely scans, this time we have Vogue Knitting book Number 53. Guessing from late 1958.
 I absolutely love this one!
Have a fabulous rest of Thursday! I'm not doing much tonight (I even missed my knitting pub night) as I feel very tired.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Happy Merry Sew Alongs!

I said it before and I'll say it again. I love sew alongs and some of my favourite finished garments were made within sew alongs (expect one that I aim to complete next Spring). You might have noticed the addition of two badges on the right hand side of my blog. If you are reading me on a RSS feeder don't fret. You can see them below.
The first sew along is by the talented Sherry from Pattern Scissors Cloth and it's for a gorgeous bias cut slip with a lace bodice. I have the majority of supplies for this and can't wait to start it. It will be my first time working on the bias and also doing some sort of nightwear (my lounge trousers and underbust corset are not the same). I'm using a coral satiny fabric on unknown content my mum gave me (apparently some leftovers of cushion covers) and some of the black lace I purchased in Budapest.
I have to say I have been quite good restricting myself from buying new fabric. My fabric cabinet is full and my normal household outgoings have increased. Our car broke down and we had to buy a new one. If I could I would walk or cycle to work but it's more than 10 miles away and I drive a lot with work.

Anyway, back to the sew alongs! The next one, starting in January, is for the Sewaholic Minoru. This is the first pattern from talented Tasia that really appealled to me and I look forward to do this. I only read good things about Sewaholic patterns and sew alongs. I also have most of the supplies for this, including the fabric.
I'm still working on my Winter Wool dress muslin but it's not going so well. I'm having serious doubts over whether the kimono long sleeve bodice will work with the wool flannel. I'm aiming for clean lines in the bodice with a sleek and fitted figure. Can't kimono sleeves do that? I'm enlisting some expert help for this fitting but if it doesn't work I will either A) change the bodice to a normal set sleeved one or B) choose a totally different vintage pattern. I have a few other options that would be awesome.

So who's doing any of the sew alongs?

Monday, 12 December 2011

200 followers giveaway winners

Thank you very much to all that entered my 200 followers giveaway! It was great reading about your favourite patterns (knitting and sewing) and I found a few new to me on the process.

Winners were randomly generated via "picking up the paper' by F.

So for Craft...

The winner is...
Congratulations Stephanie!

For Knitting...

The winner is...
Congratulations Ashley!

For Sewing...
The winner is...

Congratulations Tina!

Send me your addresses to suzysewingblog[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk Aiming to post these this week!! Have a great week all!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Knitting Progress and Scans

I have a confession to make. I haven't done any work on my winter wool dress muslin. However I have a good reason. I came down with some type of bug and been unable to do anything else other than lie in sofa all day watching mindless and carefree TV. The positive side of this is that I have managed to do a lot of knitting. The cardigan I'm working on has a simple stockinette stitch which is very good when you feel crap and can't concentrate. I had finished the back piece some days ago and in a unseen record for me I finished one sleeve in two days. Wow! Even I'm impressed with myself. As I'm writing this I'm starting to feel tired so will probably have another day in sofa knitting and watching TV.
Continuing our journey back with Vogue Knitting Book the number is 54 and the year is assumed 1959. Why assumed? Because from now on, these knitting books are not dated. I think they were released twice a year so looking at issue 55, which is 1959 too and issue 56 which is 1960 guessing this is for the early part of 1959. Things ought to start getting more exciting as we move on; don't forget, we are going back in time.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Time for a Giveaway!

Firstly let me say thank you to each of you who made suggestions about fitting my winter wool dress. I have done some work on the muslin and transferred to pattern and will cut new pieces as soon as I stock up on calico. It was hard work, I'm telling you! Very tempted to convert the bodice into a regular bodice piece with set in sleeves. We'll see how muslin two goes first.

It's time for a giveaway as I reached 200 followers! As good a reason as anything else, don't you think? I don't necessarily write a blog to accumulate masses of followers but truly feel humble and happy that so many people have (or had at some point) interest in what I write.
I have three prizes for you divided by craft. First, one for the general crafters amongst you. A copy of Making magazine (special vintage issue from January 2011), a copy of Mollie Makes issue 5 and a copy of Cloth magazine issue 5 Autumn 2010. Also included 4 little plastic Christmas holly.
Next lot for the knitter or the wannabe knitter amongst you. A copy of Inside Crochet February 2011 (I think), a copy of Knitting Magazine March 2011, a set of straight knitting needles 5mm and a set of circular knitting needles 10mm. Also on the lot two assorted balls of yarn. 
Finally for the sewists amongst you I have Vogue 8615 Sizes 8 to 14 and 2,30mtrs of a content unknown mustard yellow fabric. I feel in love with the colour of this fabric and it was quite cheap so I went mad and bought about 5mtrs. I used some on my Sencha but have lots left. If you are on the small size it might be enough for the pattern but you don't have to use it for that.
To enter giveaway leave a comment on this post stating which lot you would like to win plus a line or two on your favourite commercial pattern or project and why.
This giveaway is open worldwide and entries will be accepted till next Sunday 11th December 2011 at 8pm GMT time. Winners announced the next day.

Good luck!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Knitting Blog Love

Untangling Knots is probably my favourite knitting blog. The gorgeous girl behind the blog is Andi who is amazingly talented and has awesome style. One of the amazing features in the blog is the mini series. It guides you through different techniques to cast on or how to do buttonholes with fantastic photos. Andi also has patterns available for sale and some are free, like the one below. A simple but gorgeous knitted belt which will look smashing with a 50s full circe dress.
And what about this gorgeous cardigan. Available on Ravelry here.
The blog is full of information very well written and with gorgeous photos so I highly recommend it if you're into knitting or crocheting. And if you're not you might want to check it anyway, as Andi also does some sewing, refashioning and other craftiness.

On a total different note, I'll also leave you with some more scans. Not very exciting this time I'm afraid. Vogue Knitting Book no. 55 from 1959.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Winter Wool Dress Muslin - Advice Wanted

Today must be muslin day (toile for my British friends) as the lovely Karen blogged about her coat muslin earlier on. I agree 100% with her on the fact that there is nothing flattering about a muslin. I look hideous! But I know muslins are important to ensure a good fit. How frustrating to spend time and money and end up with a badly fit garment. Just take my Winter wool dress, from the gorgeous pattern above. If I had cut my pricey, gorgeous wool flannel what would I do with it? I wouldn't wear it, for sure.
Anyway...I need help! I need your wonderful advice on how to fit this dress and any comments are very helpful.
The dress fits like a glove from the waist down. The length needs taking by about 10 inches but that's easy. I only pinned it roughly for the photos so ignore that.
Onto the dreaded photos. Straight up with arms down you can see some bagginess in the arms.
Hands on hips the bagginess in the arms becomes clear.
Side view shows some more bagginess in the front and somethings terrible wrong at the back.
Back view. Too much fabric.
So as usual for me, the bodice is way too big, even though the measurements in this vintage pattern are smaller than mine. ( I'm a bust 32 and pattern is for bust 30). The sleeves are kimono with gussets under the arms. Disappointingly (but understandable) my pattern making class was cancelled today due to illness as I believe we were going to do kimono sleeves.

My dear readers, any suggestions, recommendations? What do I take out, where and how. Thank you!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Flurries...a gorgeous knitting pattern!

Today on Thursdays Knitting I bring you a very special knitting pattern. Very special because it's the first knitting pattern from a gorgeous talented girl I have the pleasure to call my friend.
Just look at these gorgeous set of a cowl and fingerless gloves:
Aren't they super cute? And their name is fantastic...flurries! I will be supporting Julie and her brand new first pattern by knitting these on maybe a red/ turquoise combination or a red/ black one. Not sure exactly when, as we know by now I am the slowest knitter around but I'll come to it.

So who is Julie? She's a very talented knitter (embroiderer and general crafter too) who blogs at Button, Button. I truly believe Flurries is the first of many gorgeous knitting patterns she'll design. You can purchase the pattern from Ravelry here and also see how other people are knitting flurries.

I would finally just like to say I have in no way gained by posting this on my blog. I truly love this pattern and gorgeous things created by independent designers should be shouted about.

Monday, 21 November 2011


Dear readers! Last week I had an enlightening moment. One than initially filled me with dread, shock and horror but have come to accept. I have discovered I am a procrastinator! I am, indeed, a total utter procrastinator! The first reaction of shock and horror was due to my assumption that procrastinators are horrible people who are lazy and don't bother or care about doing things. And that is simple not me. I am not lazy and I do care about things.

As you might already know, I am taking a short course on Pattern Making at the London College of Fashion. I'll be finishing off in two weeks and already a bit sad to see the end of it. I am loving it so, so much and there is so much more to be learned (I would probably give an arm and a leg to be able to do a full time course). My main motivation to do this course is the zillion ideas for designs in my head that I simply cannot put on paper. I am terrible at drawing, even though I am trying!
I want to be able to design my own clothes but I would also love to share these designs with other people. How exactly, I do not know yet but I have a few possible ideas kicking about in my head.

And this is how I realised I am a procrastinator!! I have ideas, I somewhat know what I want to do but I fail to do it. I know what little steps (some, at least) I need to take to reach my goal but I end up doing other stuff. I delay, delay, delay and then get frustrated because I haven't done what I want.

Google is my friend and I found out a bit more about procrastinators that I have identified with myself (and that made me accept the fact a bit better):

  • Procrastinators get overwhelmed when the task ahead is too big. Well, that's me! When there's so many things to do and so many things to find out and things that I don't know about, things to consider....ahhhh! I am like this at work actually and thought it was because I didn't love the task ahead but it's not. It's the complexity and enormity of the task.
  • Procrastinators can be so because they are perfectionists. We'll, that's me too! I want to make sure everything is just right and all the conditions met. I know in real life this is not possible and mistakes and errors are the best way of learning, but I want to have it as good as I can. This happens in my day job too. I usually tweak an action plan for ages until someone asks me when am I going to implement it.
  • Finally, and this is the crunch one with my current objective. I am so afraid of being a utter failure and not being able to hack it. And actually on my day job I don't have this problem mostly because it's not just my project (I might lead but there are hundreds of active partners whom success depends on too).
So what are your thoughts on this? Are you a procrastinator? Do you have any tips in how to deal with it? As always, I would love to read your thoughts. (and honestly, if you know of any great self help book to deal with it, I am that desperate ;)

Photos taken with phone and compact camera using Instagram or edited in Picnik.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

More lovely scans

 I promise scans is not all I have to offer on Thursdays! I have a few ideas for posts lined up and you will see more of a variety soon. But for now we get scans! We are still in 1960 and I quite enjoyed seeing a photo of someone eating fruit. Just because the amount of photos of women smoking in these magazines is huge. Not a surprise, I know, since smoking was considered fashionable then but I don't think nowadays it is and I couldn't put a photo on my blog of someone smoking as an inspirational image.
The dress below is just stunning! Made entirely of wool lace. Can someone knit me one of these please?
The one below is also a favourite in mine. Knitted in Moss Stitch with a matching border to the dress. How cute! This is also something you can use as inspiration for a refashion. Pick up a old cardigan or jumper and add some trimming.
See you next week for more knitting gorgeousness!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Easy Winter Cape

I finally did all my hand sewing on this cape and have now finished. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. Behold, the cape!!
I decided to do a bit of photoshop editing on this one as I am getting bored with straight out of the camera photos.
This cape is from Easy Stitch n' Save M5913 by McCalls. It was an easy make however I decided to underline it with fleece (yes, you read it right, fleece) to give me extra warmness. This cape was originally intended to go with me to the Bombshell Party, but I decided otherwise, as the extra tickness meant trouble ahead. It is warm but the inside is quite ugly as layers are very tick to do any type of seam finish (other than an overlock stitch). The super tickness also meant I was unable to do machine buttonholes. The thing wouldn't fit under my sewing machine foot. I decided to sew the biggest snaps I could find and put some buttons on top for decoration. 
Just look at the size of the snaps, found in MacCulloch and Wallis. For those not familiar with the 50 pence, the snaps have a diameter of 1 1/4"/ 2.7 cm.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, I am now onto some serious pattern making and hopefully my next project for you might come straight tout of my course!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Knitted Fabrics

When I was lusting for warmer clothing that I could sew I considered venturing into knit fabric sewing. And by knit fabric I don't mean jerseys. I mean the thick and warm thing good for jumpers and cardigans. Knitted fabrics! I decided instead to learn how to knit, as I was (still am) keen to replicate knitwear fashions from 40s and 50s. The stuff I found out there wouldn't allow me to do this.
A week or so ago, Ruth from Sewruth posted this comment in one of my posts:
"I knit very slowly and the most basic of patterns so I've been seeking out sweater knits to sew instead - that way I get an original garment that I can make but look like they're knitted. Any sources anyone?"

I sympathise with this and decided to share what sources for knit fabrics I encountered. You would think with winter on it's way, you could find this in abundance but no. Sweater knits are a rarity (or at least I can never find them).

MacCulloch and Wallis have a small selection of sweater knits fabric including this gorgeous Cable Knit. A bit pricy though at £30 per meter (exc.VAT)
They also have some stripy knits a bit more affordable at £17.50 per meter (exc. VAT)
Ditto Fabrics have this gorgeous eyelet lace knitted fabric at &8.99 per meter here. Isn't the colour gorgeous? They also have it in lime.
They also have this more chunky Tweed Knit.
Readers, have you ever worked with knitted fabrics? What's it like? And please, if you know other sources where to buy it please share. Ta!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thursdays 1960

From our last Thursdays Knitting we go back in time 2 years to 1960 and see what was in Vogue...
I have to say this is not an exciting issue, in my opinion. In fact I struggled to find images that I liked. The one below came close. A beautiful women in a gorgeous cardigan.
I also loved the section below, entitled Finds for Knitters. The hand intrigued's actually hand cream sold at Boots. Some weird packaging back then no?


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