Sunday, 23 February 2014

Hopefully just about to start sewing again!

Well, my 'sewing room' (that's far too grand a title for my corner of the dining room) is well on the way to being finished.

I still have some room in the drawers and cupboards but I don't have room for my fabrics which will have to live on in the 4 large plastic boxes they are stored in. I do hope to do some serious stash busting. My patterns are stored in 2 plastic boxes to the left of the unit. My computer is up and running, and my laptop is there too. Today I made sure that the PC and the laptop were in synch with each other as far as sewing went. Now that my PC is accessible when I'm sewing, I hope to be able to start to watch some of the online classes that I've bought or had given to me as presents - some of my patterns came with these classes. I have the Islander sewing system jacket but it looks much too complex for me at the moment. The dress I made for my daughter, entered into the LWD competition on, was one of these, Fit the Perfect Fit, though I hadn't done the class and made quite a few changes.

Talking about books - as I said, I have a lot - which ones do you rate highly? There are a few that I've used quite a bit for general sewing techniques and a few I've had to consult for pattern fitting. Some I've seen recommended and purchased and others I just saw...  I haven't bought the book from Series 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee ... yet.

I say I want to de-stash, in common with many of the bloggers I follow. However, I had a serious set-back this week! A few years ago, a high end, expensive and good quality, RTW dressmaking and tailoring company (I'm not really sure what to call them) closed. They had a shop in my home city and an online store. The online store was bought by other people and the name and the price kept on but unfortunately not the quality. That's why I'm not mentioning the name of the company. I have a couple of garments from them from a few years back, bought in their sale. When they closed, some of the employees were able to take all of their fabric and notion stock, all good quality, and they stored it in the room of a church hall, selling it off bit by bit. Apparently, they hadn't realised how much they were going to be taking on. I went to one of their sales last year, the first I knew about this, having learned about it from the tutor in the dressmaking group I attend and bought a fair amount of fabric, including the textured ivory cotton/spandex fabric I used in the dress, for me, I submitted to the Little White Dress competition at PR. I didn't know what kind of fabric this was originally and thought it was a textured polyester. Back to yesterday. I went to the final sale of this fabric - the church needs the space back for another venture. The most knowledgeable lady involved in the selling was unfortunately not able to attend as she had fractured her shoulder the night before. However, I'm sure I got  good advice on the nature of the fabric (a German cotton with stretch) and how to treat it. I had some problems pressing a previous fabric, stretching it out of shape and had been very wary of repeating my mistake. I had to update my PR review with the changed type of fabric. Naturally, I couldn't leave this final fabric sale without buying anything!! I was really quite restrained and only bought 5 lots of fabric and a few lots of lining - even though lining was available the last time, I hadn't bought the right colour or type for my ivory fabric and had to go and buy it locally. So now I have some really serious stash busting to do!!

I have decided to enter PR 'New to Me' competition - I really do benefit from a challenge and a time scale. What do you think of the following choices?

Maybe the vest. I've never made a New Look pattern - but are they part of Simplicity?
I rather liked this dress from the Sew U Home Stretch book - but then I realised that the included patterns are Simplicity patterns which I have sewn before.

I have never sewn Burda - this is the pattern and the fabric I have already bought (full price from Dainty Fabrics in Washington (Tyne & Wear not DC!). However, I've heard these patterns can be tricky so it may be too difficult for me even though reviews say 'easy and great for beginners'.
Another option is a Style wrap over pencil skirt from a pattern bought in the 90s - I don't think the company still exists.

So hopefully to sewing next week!
Best wishes


  1. I've had good luck with PRINTED burda patterns like you have. it's the ones out of the magazine that seem to be a challenge as the instructions are very minimalistic. I don't think you'll have any trouble at all with that one and I love the fabric you've chosen

  2. Thank you. I think I will go with this. I'm pretty slow, though, so am not likely to get it all done. Being a new pattern company to me I'm not sure what fit adjustments will be required - they're the things that take all the time, of course!

  3. I second the vote for the Burda. The printed patterns have better instructions than those in the magazines or downloaded but they are still somewhat skimpy. That dress, though, looks as if it's easy enough to figure out. And you do have plenty of reference books to consult if you get stuck! Good luck.

  4. Thank you. So true about the reference books!

  5. Your sewing room looks like it will be a lovely place to sew. I do believe Newlook is part of the Simplicity group. I've only sewn Newlook patterns as they seem to fit me with little to no alterations - so far. Not tried Burda yet, but want to. Your Burda choice and fabric will look stunning. Good Luck!

    1. I started the Burda pattern in sewing class today - I have made some alterations to the pattern - no such thing as a pattern that fits me out of the packet! Yes, New Look is part of Simplicity (as is Burda!) but they are actually all quite different from each other .

  6. Good for you and welcome to sewing . . . again!


    Another sewist from the MAGAM challenge ;-)


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