Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tania Culottes - they're here!

Look what arrived first thing Saturday morning!

Very impressive backstitch. Bravo. Bravo.
I was running out of the door Saturday when I picked up my post so I didn't get to open the envelope till I was sitting in the pub later with some friends. I don't want to name names, but there was open mocking of a grown lady wanting to make herself culottes. Not by everyone, but I definitely heard snorting.

Are culottes so bad?

I mean personally I haven't had the best experiences, I did have to wear a hideous poo coloured pair for brownies. And actually there was a red woollen embroidered culotte suit when I was about 6 that left some mental wounds, (I would say scars, but I've just been thinking about it and they haven't healed yet). But hey, that was the early 90's and bad things happened to good clothes back then. Also, six year olds are not known for their sartorial taste.

So these culottes will be just fine. However, just to make sure I googled them. And there are some really pretty versions out there, I like these and these and these. Consider me reassured. Now I just need to pick apart my old broderie anglaise dress and hope I have enough fabric.

One project at a time though. The picnic blanket skirt is merely a hem and a press from completion.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Pattern lust - Tania Culottes

Photos taken from
I very much need these Megan Nielson culottes in my life. They are beautiful.

I think it was lladybird's version that swung me, that and a useless but lovely dress in my wardrobe. Its a navy broderie anglaise baby doll dress I bought from topshop an embarrassingly long time ago. Baby doll is not a winning shape on me and its a little short. However the skirt is nice and full and the fabric is lovely so I think I might try and turn it into these.

However, the pattern appears to be sold out everywhere, I found one stockist in the UK which didn't have a big sold out sticker plastered all over the page and I've placed an order. I'm not entirely sure if this company - backstitch, actually has them in stock or just doesn't believe in out of stock notices. Only time will tell eh?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Tilly's picnic blanket skirt - buttoning it up

Well, I have been busy. I feel a bit like I haven’t been home for ages. I’ve been all over England and a fair bit of Europe, but I’m back at my sewing table and I’m content.

So I’ve returned to the picnic blanket skirt and after it spent so long as huge squares of fabric it’s really taken shape. The side seams are finished with mock french seams, the waistband is painstakingly slip stitched on and the pockets are floral and awesome. In fact the fabric I used for the pockets has come from my Mum’s stash and used to be the curtain fabric for my room when I was tiny.

Many many button options. No ironing.

Next I have to work out how I want to fasten the front of the skirt together. The pattern stipulates buttons, but I'm not sure. With the pale blue/grey colour all the buttons I’ve looked at look too cutesy. Instead I’m envisioning giant snaps, so that nothing shows. However, having never sewn with them before I’m a bit unsure of how well they’ll work, do I use plastic or metal? How big is ridiculous? And will the waistband pop open too easily? I don’t want to be standing up and leaving the skirt behind on a bus seat.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A short sewing update

*Ah-hem*. So after turning my needle round my machine started sewing again. Perfectly normal mistake. Any other numpty could have done the same. 

But I haven't really had a chance to make use of it and finish my picnic blanket skirt. I've been really wanting to sew but work keeps getting in the way. However, as of Friday my crazy fortnight of work is over and sewing resumes in the evenings.

That doesn't mean I'm not creating anything though. Somewhere in-between presentations, posters and most importantly cooking dinner, I'm making fox costumes. Yup. Fox costumes. Bad week for it. I keep finding myself thinking about orange felt when I'm supposed to be thinking about cells.

Pictures to follow. Can't promise I won't look ridiculous.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A stitch disaster.

I am crazy busy. In the words of Kanye, my life is cray cray. I doubt he was referring to endless fluorescence microscopy, but watevs.
Last night I was so tired and annoyed (who on earth dismantles part of a microscope when nobody remembers how to put it back together?) that I just ate beans on toast and read my new running book.

And why couldn't I face my sewing? Well I was avoiding my picnic blanket skirt until my brain was working better. My sewing machine did not like sewing two layers of fabric and a layer of interfacing. It threw a strop and the tension has gone all strange and it keeps missing stitches. Whatever I did Monday night only made it worse. Frustrating.

Anyhoo. This evening I reattempted it. And now it's frankly just a disaster. The weatherman says summer is on the way and dammit I want to wear my skirt, but I can't if I cant sew anything.

This is what it looks like:

You can see missed stitches (on two very different fabrics) and dreadful tension problems. The dark thread (underneath) shows through whilst the pale blue thread on top just lies on the fabric.

I feel like I've tried everything. I've tried different bobbins and different spools of thread. I've re-threaded. I've turned the tension dial from one extreme to the other with no effect. I've removed the throat plate and dusted underneath.

I'm torn between continuing to fiddle or taking it to be serviced. Suggestions welcomed. I'm off to find chocolate.