Monday, 27 November 2017


Back to simple sewing again.  I made not one, but two Tilly and the Buttons Agneses (Agnii??) this weekend.  Not very much to say about them,  except that this is one of my favourite top patterns, its smooth and close fitting and is perfect for layering.  I had bought some beautiful flamingo fabric on Thursday, and I was going to cut that out on Saturday morning, but I suddenly realised that I hadn't washed it, and although it was tempting to cut it out without bothering, well, we know how that sometimes pans out, don't we?
So, as I'd got all organised and ready with my pattern, I had a hunt round to find what was washed - and I found some bunny fabric I'd bought sometime last year.  
Oh yes, very age appropriate, as usual.  I used my slightly adapted pattern - a size 5, graduated to a size 4 at the hips.  
I've mentioned before that I don't really go in at the waist, or indeed out at the hips.  When you look at those 'know your shape' guides, I'm not a pear, or an apple, or a triangle, or a rectangle.  I'm more a lumpy tube.  Or, if I must be a vegetable, maybe a cucumber, gradually transitioning towards a marrow.
Oh, and I lengthened the sleeves by a smidge too.  Anyway, it was all done very quickly, all made up on the overlocker, apart from the neckline and the hems, which I topstitched with a twin needle.

I had left my cutting board out on the dining room table, so that I was already to go  on Sunday morning with the washed and ironed flamingo fabric

I was up and dressed by 7am, and by the time I went out at 9.30 I had another Agnes.
Very satisfying.  and enough left of the bunny fabric to made a dress for Gracie, once I've taken a pattern from one of her dresses.  Much more age appropriate.

Agnes - Johnny Flynn

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Girl With The Red Shirt

I'm ridiculously delighted with my latest make, and I suppose I could just show you pictures, and tell you how I made it, but that wouldn't be me, would it?
The idea started in February this year when I was watching The One Show.  Now, I don't often watch it, mostly because I'm usually listening to the Archers at that time, but occasionally, especially in the winter, I might catch the tail end of it.  
On this particular episode they were interviewing Danni Minogue, and I really loved her shirt.  You can see a little bit of it here
I haven't previously styled myself on Danni Minogue, nor indeed on either of the Minogue sisters.
(Well, apart from the tiny gold leather hotpants, but in fairness I hardly EVER wear those anymore.)
 I just kept thinking about that shirt though, and after trying to find a similar one online to no avail. I then searched for fabric, and found something very similar from Higgs & Higgs - here
I'm ashamed to say it then languished on my ever-increasing pile of fabric, while I cracked on with quicker makes.  But then I saw it again, and determined that it WAS going to become a shirt.

I looked through my pattern stash, but there was nothing that exactly matched what I had in mind, then somehow I came across Simplicity 1538, which seemed just the ticket.  I had a browse of the internet and saw some lovely versions, so that was the decision made.

I started on it last week and I made my mind up that I wasn't going to rush it (it's not like it was an 'emergency' garment project, but I wanted to make it slowly and carefully.  I have made shirts in the past, with varying degrees of success, but not for many years.
I wasn't sure whether to go for a 14 or a 16, but in the end I went for the larger size, as I detest gaping shirt buttons. I made no alterations at all to the pattern I have to say it fits just as I wanted.

Thanks to my niece Sarah for taking the photos yesterday.  I only wore it briefly for the photoshoot, as she had her two gorgeous girls Grace and Bethany with her and one or other of them always manages to smear me with some form of food detritus.  Even when they're not eating.

As I say, this wasn't a quick make - the shirt has a back yoke, a two-part collar, proper cuffs and front bands for both the button holes and the buttons. 
I only mention this because I saw some cotton shirts in an expensive ladies dress shop whilst I was mid project, and they only had a band on the side where the button holes were, but the button side was just folded over fabric.  AND they were more than five times what this cost me, which was just over 20 quid.
I used a soft iron on interfacting in the front band, collar stand and cuffs, and a slightly heavier weight in the collar, to make it crisp.  The cuffs are slightly on the wide side, but it means you can move your arms without feeling restricted, which is a good thing.  
Its always a bit nerve wracking making the button holes - the rest of the garment is finished and nigh on perfect, and it only needs ONE disastrous buttonhole .... but I had several practice goes on a scrap on interfaced fabric, and all went well.  That just left the vintage pearl buttons which I sewed on with red thread.  I won't put it in the wardrobe at the moment, I just want to look at it!

I will definitely be making more of these, and it lends itself to using contrast fabrics for some parts of the shirt.

Anyway, thanks for the inspirations Danni

Incidentally, other thing to come out of that episode of The One Show - I started watching Nashville from Season 1 (starring Sam Palladio - the guy with the guitar).  I'm on the last season now which I bought as a Box set and now I'm having to eke out the remaining episodes as I'm going to miss them when they're gone!

Right, must go - I'm off to try on the shirt with the gold leather hotpants....

Girl With The Red Shirt - The Pocket Gods