Saturday, 18 June 2011

Multi-coloured block shop

My workspace (because it sounds grander than 'the desk in my bedroom') is being overtaken by glorious colour. I now have 8 scrap vomit blocks completed and another 4 blocks' worth of string-pieced strips for the remaining 'A' blocks. Then there's the little baby boy quilt which started making itself last week on a whim.

baby boy quilt

As much as I'm trying to pare everything down and keep the house as tidy as possible for viewings, I'm not hiding these completed blocks out of sight because they make me happy when I see them. Partly because it's satisfying to see the 'completed' pile grow, but also because we're living in a completely abnormal way at the moment, with all our clutter hidden from view, so it's nice to have a bit of chaos creeping in!

scrap vomit blocks on a rainy day

scrap vomit blockage

I have, however, stopped short of leaving them laid out on the dining table for the delight of potential viewers -- yes, I'll buy the house immediately, but only if you throw in that beautiful patchwork! --
...
no, probably not going to happen.

Oh, and thanks to all you enablers who commented on my last post, and a twitter exchange with Kate from M is for Make, I've taken my Japanese 'Dress and Camisole' book down from the shelf and traced out a pattern for a pretty - but, crucially, simple - top.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Delusions of being a dressmaker

Will someone please remind me that I am a rubbish dressmaker? I lay before you the evidence (well, the remaining evidence that I haven't disposed of under cover of darkness):

Exhibit 1
The gauzey, wear-with-everything, it's-going-to-be-the-best-top-I've-ever-owned top.

Simplicity 3887

Verdict: Never worn. Looks great on the hanger, but the fabric was itchy, the neck was too wide, and the cap sleeves were voluminous. Attempted remedial work, but banished to the scrap bin as a lost cause.


Exhibit 2
The shoplifting dress.

the one-sleeved sack

Verdict: Really, need I say more??? Wrong fabric, wrong size, unsalvageable.



Exhibit 3
A stash of fabrics and patterns bought specifically for dressmaking, languishing unused in an underbed storage box.

Verdict: Quit while you're ahead and still solvent.


So why is it that I am yearning to make a Beignet Skirt (Colette patterns)? I've been haunting the flickr pool for Colette patterns and have found some lovely examples there. I've even chosen my fabric - this organic crossweave cotton from Raystitch (there isn't a colour I don't like).

I just need to remind myself that the finished skirt, knowing me, will be unwearable. So if you see me hovering over that 'add to cart' button, please save me from myself.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The small stuff

We've had a busy week of house-hunting this half term, with a trip across the border to the Wye valley to begin our search for a new home. Daunting is not the word - co-ordinating house sale and purchase, new schools for children and the husband's new job is going to be no joke. Then there's the packing. I'm trying not to think about all that for the moment, but gradually plugging away at all those little sorting jobs that will make the whole thing less painful.

cutting scrap vomit squares

I'm counting as one of those little jobs going through my fabric scraps at long last. There doesn't seem to be much sense in transporting huge carrier bags of tiny offcuts and fabric strips when we have a whole 5-people's-worth of stuff to think about. Of course, cutting and sewing means making a mess, but it's a pleasant diversion tactic. In a flurry of activity after returning home from Wales, I finally cut my 965th 2.5 inch square ready to start on scrap vomit. I'm thinking of changing the pattern slightly, and using a dark charcoal grey or even a navy for my B blocks, with the outer ring in grey, the next ring in scraps, then the inner ring in grey again, taking inspiration from this lovely quilt I found over on flickr.

scrap tangle

The process of cutting up those little squares has put a considerable dent in my scraps collection, and now I've got the momentum going, I've been grabbing handfuls of fabric strips to finally get going on some projects I've been thinking about for ages. It's so satisfying string-piecing little blocks and odd shaped patchworky pieces. Once I've zipped through a few more, I'll post some pictures of what I'm making; I have lots of different scrappy plans!

piecing scraps
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