Bits and Bobbins: July-September

I can’t quite believe how quickly this year is whizzing away. It seems like only yesterday I was writing the first one of these round-up posts and now it’s nearly Christmas… (I know it’s not really but this year I seem to have mentally skipped spooky season and jumped straight to full on festive mode.)

So what have I been up to this quarter?

Projects finished

Can you tell I like blue? The red Ogden sticks out like a sore thumb!

July

August

  • True Bias Lander pants – blog post coming soon! Hopefully…
  • Christine Haynes Rumi dress

September

Projects in progress

I’ve nearly completed my Deer and Doe Reglisse dress. All I need to do is level the hem and hem it. So obviously it’s been sat on Doris the dressform for a fortnight. I’ve tried it on and I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping I would, which is probably what’s stalled the progress.

I also started work on my Chi-town chinos that have been cut out for a year. I’ve sewn the pockets and started the fly front but that’s as far as I got.

Stashbusting stats

Fabric in (this quarter): 9 m
Fabric out (this quarter): 11.8 m
Stashbusted (this quarter): -2.8 m

I was doing really well this quarter and bought hardly any fabric and then I went to a sewing meet up with lots of other Welsh sewers and bought 3.5 metres of fabric. Oops. Oh well, I still got rid of more than I bought this quarter.

Fabric in (year to date): 29.1 m
Fabric out (year to date): 34.5 m
Stashbusted (year to date): -5.4 m

The stash is slowly shrinking so I’m happy. Goodness knows how much I’d added by this point last year so I’m proud to have gotten my buying under control by even this little.

Pattern buying

I was actually been fairly restrained this quarter and only bought:

I’ve already bought a bunch this new quarter (oops) but that’s for the next post.

Sewing related things I’ve liked

I bought a button sewing foot for my machine and I’m in love. Sewing buttons on is one of my most hated tasks. I’ve never been very good at it and I just don’t trust any button I’ve sewn on to stay on.

The foot makes it so easy. You have to drop the feed dogs and make sure you’ve got the stitch settings right – my machine has a button sewing stitch but I think just a zigzag will do the trick – but once you’re set up it’s easy peasy to whizz through.

I’ve since seen an Instagram post saying you can do it without a special foot so if you don’t have a (sewing machine) foot fetish like I do then I’d definitely recommend having a look into that.

There was also a great TV show on the BBC called Back in Time for the Factory where they recreated a clothing factory as it would have been in the 60s, 70s and 80s. A big group of Welsh women then went to work on the production line. It’s about much more than sewing and I did get a bit weepy at some of the parts about going on strike for equal pay. If you didn’t watch it then I’d really recommend watching it on iPlayer if it’s available where you live.

Meet-ups

#walessews meet up at TrixieLixie in Cardiff

I was lucky enough to take part in two sewing meet-ups over the last quarter. In August I met the lovely Ella (aka @sewistella) in Swansea for a mooch around Lee Mills and a coffee. Then at the end of September the fabulous Sara @saraknitsandsews organised a #walessews meet up in Cardiff.

It was brilliant getting to meet so many other sewers. I’m quite shy and a bit awkward when I meet people for the first time but the beauty of meeting other people who sew is that you already have something in common and things to talk about. It was a lovely day and I’m really looking forward to the next time. There’s talk of us having a Frocktails kinda thing.

What’s next?

As always I have far too many plans and far too little time/energy. I really want some autumnal tops but I also need to sew a dress for Halloween out of my Alexander Henry zombie pinups (officially called Beauties and Brains) fabric so it doesn’t sit in my stash for another year. 

I also need to start work on my dress for the Sewcialite Soiree in Bristol next month. I’ve bought a pattern (the Dorothy dress from Sew La Di Da Vintage) and it’s going to feature the shimmery green mesh from stash rainbow photo above.

I’d quite like to sew a coat over the next few months too. I put the Grainline Cascade duffle coat on my Make Nine list but I think I’m going to bump it for something else.

What are your upcoming plans?

Bits and Bobbins: April-June

Hey peeps, I hope you all had a lovely weekend and Monday has been gentle with you. Somehow another three months have whizzed by and it’s time for another quarterly round-up thingy. I’ve spent the whole three months trying to come up with a name for it and had nothing but The Stitch Rep (like sit-rep), which is a bit rubbish. So I put the Manfriend on the case and he just came up with bits and bobbins, which tickled me so I’ve gone with it.

Projects finished

I’ve been a wee bit more productive than last time so I’ve split this part into the months.

April

Just a Tilly and the Buttons Bibi skirt this month.

May

  • Scoop neck ballet tee – this has already become a firm favourite
  • Knit New Look 6217 tee – this was a bit of a wadder. I added a bit of ease as I was cutting it out and it turned out huge. It’s fine for bumming around the house but I’ll never wear it outside.
  • Striped pencil skirt – another new favourite. I think I need to alter the pattern slightly (shortening it between waist and hips) before making more but I’m still really happy with it.
  • Hey June Union St tee – I made a right pig’s ear of the v-neck but I don’t think non-sewers would notice.

June

  • Tilly and the Buttons Joni top – I don’t like this. I have a slight issue with Tilly and the Buttons patterns as I think because their target market is beginners certain things are done in the easiest way, rather than the best way. I don’t like the way the neckline is finished in this pattern and I know if I wear it I’d constantly be adjusting the twist as one side likes to try to turn under and the other side flips out. I’m going to see if my mum wants it as it’s purple, which she loves and her bigger boobs might pull the fabric more taught and stop some of these issues.
  • Sew Over It Eve wrap top(/toile) – This isn’t technically finished yet as I still need to add a waist tie but I’m still counting it. I made it with fabric leftover from this dress and I think it’ll look good with my striped pencil skirt.
  • Sew Over It Eve dress – I made this to wear to a wedding and for #sewtogetherforsummer and I love it.

Projects in waiting

It’s mostly the same ones as last time. These are the ones I hope to sew soon though.

  • Grainline Archer shirt – in progress, just sleeves, side seams, cuffs and buttonholes/buttons to go. So loads. Part of me wants to leave it until the autumn now as it’s flannel so I won’t get to wear it but I also want to check the fit so I can make a chambray version as I think that’ll make a great cover up for cooler summer evenings.
  • Red Ogden cami – I really want to get a wiggle on with this one because I made some fit adjustments and I need to know if they worked before I can make any more Ogdens (and I have a lot of Ogden sized scraps).
  • Named Kielo wrap dress – I’m making it out of this floral viscose jersey and I probably should have made my first one out of something I like less but the fabric I was going to use for a wearable toile turned out to be directional.
  • Chi-town chinos – I cut these out last year and still haven’t gotten round to sewing them yet.
  • Deer and Doe Reglisse dress – This has been in progress since last summer. I messed up the collar and put it on hold until I could face unpicking and redoing it. Then summer disappeared and I haven’t got back round to it yet.

Stashbusting stats

Fabric in (this quarter): 9.1 m
Fabric out (this quarter): 9.2 m
Stashbusted (this quarter): -0.1 m

I just squeaked in under the wire here when I cut my Kielo out on Wednesday. I hoped to get it sewn up as well to wear on Friday but I didn’t get time on Thursday night.

Fabric in (year to date): 20.1 m
Fabric out (year to date): 22.7 m
Stashbusted (year to date): -2.6 m

I may not have gotten rid of a lot of the stash but I’m really pleased with how little fabric I’ve bought so far this year. I’ve been making much more sensible purchases and I haven’t been swept away by pretties I have no immediate need for.

Pattern buying

I fell foul (afoul?) of the sales and bought a load of New Look and McCall’s patterns. The list is in the order I bought them.

Things I’ve liked

I bought some Heat n Bond Soft Stretch fusible hemming tape after seeing people rave about it on Instagram and it really is great for hemming knits.

This blog post isn’t from the last three months but I just rediscovered it in my Feedly saved posts. It’sa great post by Charlie of This blog is not for you about making our hobbies stressful, which is definitely something I cab be guilty of.

I can’t really think of any other sewing related things I’ve liked. Me and my hangover very much enjoyed Set It Up on Netflix this weekend though. I’m not generally much of a romcom gal anymore but I thoroughly enjoyed it – and think I would even if I wasn’t so delicate.

That’s probably enough list bombardment for one evening. I hope to be back with a finished garment post or two soon.

Quarterly round-up number 1

Hey there peeps. I hope you’re all having a good week and had a nice long weekend, if you were lucky enough to have one. Mine was quite peaceful and chilled out. I had planned to decorate my sewing room but I didn’t get round to it. Tidying and emptying the damn thing took up most of the weekend! It’s completely empty now and I’ve even pulled the carpet up as I’m thinking about sanding and painting the floorboards. Any tips on painting floorboards or paint recommendations are gratefully received.

In other life type news, my nan is still on the mend and walked with a quad-foot walking stick yesterday, which is really good as she hadn’t been doing much walking. Hopefully she should be able to come out of hospital soon.

Anyway, sewing. I follow a few people who do monthly round-up posts about what they’ve sewn, including Masha from The Itinerant Seamstress who has a section at the end tracking her fabric buying, which I think is a great idea. So I thought I’d copy and do little round-up posts. I’m not productive enough to do them monthly though so I’m going for quarterly.

Projects finished

In January I finished off my Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress (and actually blogged about it!).

In February I had a little flurry of sewing for a holiday to Egypt with my mum to celebrate her 60th birthday. I made a pair of True Bias Lander shorts, a wrap skirt using the skirt part of the Sew Over It Eve dress and a maxi dress by shirring the top of two big rectangles of viscose.

True Bias Lander shorts and Ogden cami, self drafted maxi dress, SOI Eve wrap skirt

I also finished off a knit dress I made last year. There wasn’t actually any sewing involved though, I just chopped a bit off the hem and decided I liked it unhemmed. It’s hack of my beloved Dixie DIY Ballet dress. I’d already made myself a swingy t-shirt from the pattern by tracing around the shoulder and armhole shape and then swinging the side seams out and lengthening into a tee. I made it into a dress pattern by just extending the side seam down.

Dixie DIY ballet swing dress hack

The pattern needs a few tweaks as the sides were a bit too long and it had a bit of a hanky hem shape, which I had to level. I really love this dress though and definitely plan a few more. There’s a lovely autumnal floral jersey in my stash that I’ve earmarked for a longer sleeved version.

I haven’t finished anything in March but I have made most of a Sew Over It Heather dress. I just have the neckband and the hems to go. This project finally kicked me into action to get my overlocker repaired. It had been broken since the beginning of January and because I hate making phone calls so much I kept putting off phoning the sewing machine repair man. But my sewing machine taking SIX MINUTES to sew one (admittedly, long) seam with a stretch stitch was the push I needed.

Projects in waiting

I’ve had a wee cutting spree and I’ve got 4 new projects cut out.

  • A True Bias Ogden cami I’d hoped to finish for my holiday but ran out of time
  • A self-drafted knit pencil skirt
  • A Tilly and the Buttons Bibi pencil skirt
  • A Grainline Archer shirt

Stashbusting stats

Fabric in: 11m
Fabric out: 13.5m

I’ve actually stashbusted! Only 2.5 metres but I’ll take it. I did get it down by 4.75m but then I bought 2 bits of fabric and some ribbing. Ironically it’s all intended to be used to stashbust some of my smaller pieces of stash fabric. I bought some white jersey to use for the body of a raglan t-shirt with the leftovers of the ballet swing dress above as the sleeves. And some lightweight black sweatshirt fabric to be the sleeves and yoke of a jumper with some sloth print sweatshirting I bought a 0.5m remnant of.

Pattern buying

While I’ve been better for not buying fabric willy nilly, patterns are a different story. So I thought it might be nice to track that here too. I’ve bought:

  • Chalk and Notch Fringe dress and top
  • True Bias Lander Pants
  • Helen’s Closet Avery leggings
  • Nina Lee London Kew dress
  • Hey June Handmade Union St Tee
  • Megan Nielsen Flint shorts and pants
  • Sew Over It Ultimate culottes
  • The latest Sew Over It PDF club pattern (as I was writing this, which is what made me add this section)
  • Oh and Tilly and the Buttons’ new book, Stretch, which contains 6 patterns

So that’s quite a lot… I’ll try and curb it a bit over the next few months.

I’m sure I thought of another section to add but it has completely flown out of my mind. If there’s anything else you’d like to see included here then please let me know in the comments. I’ll try and work on a better name for these posts too.