Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Autumn Swap Goodies

Today I picked up my autumn swap parcel from the post office from AnneMarie over at Candle Light Cottage and all I can say is WOW!!!
 I opened the box to find some lovely autumnal tissue paper

a felt and tweed mini wreath, lots of autumny buttons and a lovely card.
 Under the tissue paper were lots more packages wrapped in the same tissue paper and tied with ribbons.
My first packages were very chocolatey indeed!!
A bag of delicious Hotel Chocolat drinking chocolate to be enjoyed in my pottery mug complete with mug warmer and coaster (AnneMarie I would love to know what wool you used?) and a bar of marshmallow crispy chocolate that I have shared out tonight.
Then there was this seriously cute harvest mouse that I think I will call Matilda
 Every sewer loves buttons and boy are these big buttons!
I now also have some button boxes to keep my big buttons in.
I think AnneMarie must have been listening in on my conversations as only the other day I admired a friends felt ball necklace and now I can make my very own.
 The packages just seem to keep on coming and inside the next parcel was this huge gingerbread skeleton man and lots of spider confetti.
 I love autumn especially the hearty meals so I'm really looking forward to trying some of the recipes in this book. I say me but it will probably be Paul doing the cooking I shall be there for the tasting - obviously!
The smell from this candle was gorgeous and I can't wait to wear my new brooch.
 I haven't started  putting out my autumn decorations yet but AnneMarie has definitely given me the boost to start with this superb rag wreath, I love the colours and the patterns of the fabrics.
 Well as you can see AnneMarie has been a super duper swap partner, here is a photo of all my goodies together.
 And here's a few more close ups

 Thanks AnneMarie for being such a fabulous swap partner. Your parcel will be with you in the next few days I hope you like your autumn swap parcel as much as I have enjoyed mine.

Thanks to Blueberry Heart for organising this swap again I can't wait to see what everyone receives.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Dressmaking Wednesday

With my fabric all washed and pressed I headed off on Wednesday to my dressmaking group, it was much busier this week and everyone was busy with their projects when I arrived. My first job was to give my pattern pieces a quick iron, so I plugged the iron in and let it heat up when the fire alarm suddenly started bleeping, I was standing right under it and it didn't like my hot iron at all! I turned the iron down and moved the ironing board away from the pesky fire alarm, anyone would think I had burnt the dinner (again!)
With my pattern pieces nicely pressed it was time to lay out my fabric, now although we have lovely big tables to work on at the hall the group use pattern cutting boards like the one in the picture below.

I've never seen or used one of these before but I can see it being really useful when cutting on the floor or on your dining table. I think I might add this to my ever growing Christmas list.

Now as the newbie in the group I didn't want to rush ahead nor did I want to keep pestering Jean every five minutes but my dressmaking abilities seemed to completely disappear as I laid out my fabric and pattern pieces. If I had been at home I would have just got on with it but for some reason I needed reassurance that I was doing it the right way. I spoke with the group about this and Jean explained that it happens to everyone. Phew, was I glad to hear that! 

With my pattern piece pinned in place Jean explained that if the pattern requires a zip then she advises to add an extra 1/4" to the seam allowance for turning and adjustments. With this in mind and with my scissors poised I set about cutting out my fabric. The front and the back use the same pattern piece so I re pinned the pattern piece and cut that one out too. The next step is tailor tacking, again something I have never tried before, so my homework for this week is to tailor tack both the front and back pieces and then it's onto the pleats.
Luckily for me one of the ladies in the group has made this skirt nine times in different fabrics so I had the chance to try her's on for size and to have a look at how the pleats are constructed. I'm not much of a skirt wearer but I have to say that the skirt was really comfortable and I just hope mine looks as good as Rose's.

Monday, 16 September 2013

The perfect day...

After a wet and windy weekend this morning turned out to be the perfect day for washing my fabrics ready for dressmaking group on Wednesday.
The fabric is folded
Then submerged.
 And rolled
 And then repeated for the next fabric.
 I found out from Jean that this roses is an older fabric as it's only 36" wide and the way to test if it is cotton is  to find a loose thread and try to break it, if it's hard to break then it's cotton and if it breaks easily then it's probably a mixed fabric. (I hope I have that right???)
 I picked this fabric up at the charity shop last year and I'm hoping to make this top from it.
 Today was also the perfect day to try out my bargain washing line, my old one broke and as much as I like shopping I didn't want to spend nearly £90 on a new one so Paul found this one on ebay for £4.99. Bargain!!!!

The day didn't stay sunny for long but I did manage to get the fabrics dry and now they just need ironing. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Dress Making

Today was my first day at my dress making group, I blogged about it here. I was not as organised as I would like to have been, (I'm blaming the holidays and getting back into the school routine) and I couldn't quite remember the times, but I had a rough idea. So at 10.45 this morning I nicely packed (okay threw) some patterns and some fabric in a bag and pootled off to Bickancre village where the the classes are held. Phew! I had got the time right and the rest of the group were just arriving too.
There were 7 of us today, although normally there are a few more so its a nice size group. I'm not sure I will have remembered everyones name but I am getting there!
The ladies in the group made me feel really welcome as I made myself at home at my table.
Some of the ladies are finishing garments off from last term and some (me included) are starting something new. After lots of introductions and a bit of catching up it was time to get started. Jean, the lady who runs the group, came round and we discussed my pattern choices and fabrics. I've decided to make a skirt, using a pattern that I bought a couple of years ago and it's never even been out of the packet, and I'm using some fabric that I originally bought to make a maxi dress, heaven knows when I would have worn a maxi dress but I love the fabric and am hoping that I will learn to love wearing skirts!

After taking some of my measurements and working out a plan of action with Jean I started getting busy with my scissors and cut out my pattern. I'm between sizes (14-16) so we opted for a 16 and will adjust it to get the right fit.

There were lots of different things going on in the group pattern cutting, pattern adjusting and garment adjusting to name but a few. I'm definitely looking forward to learning lots of new skills as although I had made clothes before I do believe Jean will be showing me new skills and getting rid of any bad habits. In between all this busy-ness there was time for coffee and a slice of delicious homemade cake. Nom! Nom!
I'm really looking forward to next week and I have some preparation to do before then, namely washing my fabric in the bath and organising some lining for my skirt. I hoping for a bright breezy day this weekend so I can get the fabric dry. I will be wielding the scissors again at next weeks meeting and cutting out my pieces!
I'm also looking forward to posting my progress as I know I have been a bit absent on here lately. I was going to post some of our holiday activities but as we are already well into September I thought I would just start from today and try to make a bit more time for posting and I rally don't want to start each post with an apology!! (so I've quietly added the apology to the end instead)

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