Sunday, 2 October 2016

Pie crust promises?

I’ve decided I’m not going to enter any more competitions/contests!  Well, that’s not no more, ever - just no more unless I was planning to make whatever, in any case. I feel a lot happier.

I've been so caught up in contests that I've lost sight of what I wanted to do for myself. David pulled me up on this over this weekend. He's quite right of course.

PR Sewing Bee

I couldn’t cope with the time pressures of the PR Sewing Bee. You’ll certainly never find me on GBSB!! I hadn't intended to enter the Sewing Bee but I had to when the required make was  apir of shorts! The first round was fine as I was going to sew Joanne another pair of shorts using the pattern I had made for her and which led to well fitting shorts, anyway. So it was no great problem to make up a pair in a short time scale. I knew how to do it and had completed a pair just a couple if weeks earlier. The biggest problems were getting the materials and my carelessness. Joanne was certainly pleased to get another pair, though she might have preferred them to be more different from the first pair so that everyone would stop thinking she wears the one pair all the time! I tried to get a different colour of double georgette (possible online, not locally) but haven’t been able to resource matching guipure lace. In any case, Joanne likes black! She has to wear black to work, too.

I didn’t expect to get through to the second round, though of course I was delighted. I had real problems with this round - finding a pattern, getting materials, getting any inspiration whatsoever, and finding the time to sew (when I didn't really want to!). In the end, my garment was pretty simple and lacked any inspiration, being made up exactly as per pattern. It’s no wonder it didn’t make it to the third round! I have worn it, though! I love the fabric.

I was disappointed, sure, when I didn't make it through - but mighty relieved as my time has been particularly short this last week. That and that I didn’t like the pattern chosen - the Colette Rue. Initially the contestants had to make a dress putting their own spin on it but keeping it clearly a Rue but that has changed slightly and they can now make any garment. However, I’ve been reading some posts about this pattern. It seems to be very badly drafted and there are all sorts of fitting problems with it. People who don’t usually make toiles have been making 5 even 7 toiles! There is a lot of activity on the forum. I have such problems with fitting anyway that I am very glad not to be trying this one. Also, I think the Colette patterns are aimed at a younger clientele. I can’t see me suiting this design. Most of the Colette patterns I have seen made up appear to have fitting issues so I’ve never been eager to make any - though I do have the Colette book.

Simplicity Sewing Challenge

I had months to enter the Simplicity Challenge - and kept procrastinating or getting involved with other things. I feel bad (embarrassed) that I have blogged about a dress when I am far from happy with it. I ended up doing it as quickly as one of the PR sewing bee rounds, when that wasn’t necessary, rather shouldn’t have been necessary, except that I had completely run out of time. What I have is a toile. Yes, I can wear it - around the house, certainly not outside! Given a while longer, and some help from my sewing tutor, I could make this into a very acceptable dress. I may well try this. I may well  post  a review on PR if I take it to the next stage. Obviously, I ‘d have to use a fabric with more body

Sewing Dare

I still have to complete the sewing dare - mine is to remake a previous garment. I still plan to remake my ‘white dress’. I have got as far as altering the pattern after making adjustments to the pattern. Yes, this is something I want to do.

Toile for modification. It's not far away.
I prefer this shape on me to the A-line skirt I made in the sma efabric for the last challenge I entered

 Helen wants me to give her a pattern that fits me perfectly - she wants to make up a dress for me in the fabric she has bought, as a thank you for making her wedding dress. No, Helen doesn’t sew and doesn’t go to a class, so I’m not sure how well this will work out, but the thought is there! So I need to move on with this fitting. I think my white dress (shown above as a toile in turquoise!) will be a nice shape for her though I don't know what the fabric is like, so a non-princess seamed dress could be better.

What I really want to do

However, what I want to do for myself/family is
  • I have been distracted by contests and haven't got around to sorting out my blocks properly, given that I have gained weight (I plan to lose it again but I find this hard). I want to sort out at least a bodice block.
  • Make a well fitting pair of trousers (pants). It’ll take a while. I have some fitting patterns, a Craftsy class, any number of books and help from my tutor at the sewing bee, hopefully.
  • Make a jacket following my tailoring course. I’ll get help in class with fitting and any constructional issues. As I’m retired, I prefer a smart casual jacket rather than a tailored suit jacket. I took some patterns in and my tutor has approved two. I rather favour Vogue 1036, view B, in a nice wool, not the denim recommended. All the reviews I have seen have used denim - this is seen very much as a Jeans jacket but seeing the lines, I hope to create something less casual but still with the casual vibe and the lovely sleeve seaming 
I love the seaming on the sleeve of the white version B

B is my choice

  • Before this, though, I want to make up what I think should be an easy pattern - the Cashmerette Concord T shirt. I won this in a giveaway run by Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.  It comes with FBAs already done in C/D, E/F and G/H so sewing it should be easy.I finally managed to get it printed out today (I've had some home network problems recently). It’s for a knit fabric so I’ll get that washed some time next week. I have plenty of suitable fabrics in my out-of-hand stash! Looking at their sizing recommendations, I plan to make the  16C/D. The recommendations are based on full bust size and I could have gone for a smaller size but there is a fair bit of negative ease and I feel a bit wary about that. I wondered about the next cup size up but in the end decided to go with the recommendations.
Joanne likes the pink version (in black of course) while I prefer the other

Various versions are available
  • Joanne arrived for a visit today and she quite fancies a Concord tee shirt in the short sleeved, scoop necked version - in black, of course! I don’t have any black stretch fabric (black isn’t one of my colours) but I’ll see what I can do.
  • Last year I was going to make Helen a fully pleated skirt in our family tartan but because of the wedding didn’t get past the test garment. I had a few issues with that test garment and wasn’t sure how to resolve them. We have now chosen a pattern with two box pleats on each side, front and back, and a bias yoke and I think fitting will be easier with this. Also, a fully pleated skirt in heavy tartan is quite a weight and this will be lighter.

Helen likes the shorter version. This will either be for her birthday in November or for Christmas.

Helen likes version A
  • Note - other than Helen's skirt I am not setting any time scales - realistic or otherwise!

So, I’m not going to enter the PR handbag contest (I don’t have a pattern for the golf handbag I want to replace and don’t feel up to making one up) or the outerwear contest (I’ve never done anything along these lines and feel I need a bit of help - not possible of course in the contest; and fitting!), though I may do the menswear contest later in the year. Just maybe! The one good thing to be said about contests is that they really give me a time frame.

This weekend, I have done virtually nothing. Watched the Ryder Cup - the USA team won, deservedly so. Wrote this blog post, edited my last. I’m starting to feel a bit better after the bug I’ve had. I’ve cancelled the game of golf I had tomorrow, just 9 holes followed by afternoon tea - but I’m still going for afternoon tea. I think I was trying to push too much into too little time. Joanne is here for a few days and that’s lovely. I did a bit of cooking today, she’ll do a bit, we’ll have some board games and some trips and it will be very relaxing - we all need that.


  1. I have never liked the pressure in the contests - I sew for my own reasons, not for someone elses! I do go in some of them if they happen to perfectly match my needs and timing. So I think you are wise to review your situation - it's too easy to get swept up into the various things in the sewing world. It's why I keep the Make a Garment a Month goals simple and realistic and more about what people may want to make.

    1. That's what I planned but I'm too easily sucked in! Other than the 2nd round of the PR Sewing Bee, though, I've actually chosen the contests because they suited what I wanted to do, though not always in the time scale allowed. I do hope to get on board with MAGAM again, it's such a great idea. However, I do actually enjoy sewing for the family as it's easier to fit someone else than it is me!

    2. MAGM is the only challenge I'm still missing. I never joined the Facebook group because cross posting and following FB will take too much time and it's hard enough to find the time to blog. But I really liked it when we could all post on the blog!

  2. I hear you on the challenges. Sewing without time pressure is so much more fun! Not to mention how lack of time can influence the results in a bad way. I just answered your comment without having read this post. The scoop neck of the Concord tee is rather wide. Perhaps the higher neckline will give you a look that resembles the top you're wearing in your profile pic?

    1. Thank you. The neckline I made up was the high neckline and that was very wide. I've modified and gone up in bust size; I should go down a dress size but I need a full biceps adjustment so probably won't. Overall I thought it was a little neat ie tight so the bigger size is better. Probably an age thing.
      I do very much like the neckline of my profile teeshirt (alas no more). Perhaps I'll make up the higher neckline as is and see. I could do that in the fabric I have already cut out.

    2. Thank you. The neckline I made up was the high neckline and that was very wide. I've modified and gone up in bust size; I should go down a dress size but I need a full biceps adjustment so probably won't. Overall I thought it was a little neat ie tight so the bigger size is better. Probably an age thing.
      I do very much like the neckline of my profile teeshirt (alas no more). Perhaps I'll make up the higher neckline as is and see. I could do that in the fabric I have already cut out.


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