Thursday 26 June 2014

June at Eternal Maker: Nautical

Time for my monthly visit to Eternal Maker and I have been thinking about a nautically themed browse for a while as there are so many sailing theme prints around and I have found a big selection. 
I absolutely love this print; 'Shipshape', Michael Miller 

I love the red and its 'distressed' print style.  I love the simplicity of the boat motifs and the curls of the sea and bird flying over.  I struggle to wear red, especially orangey/red being rather pale, but I think this would make a wonderful dress.  Something full skirted with a little structure- I suggest The Emery, or Simplicity 1419 or 2444- all of which have been made successfully by many bloggers in quilting cottons.  Its a treat of a print!
I am having a similar love affair with this Dear Stella print: Jack and Lula in red.

Its a softer shade of red, I think I could wear this colour rather happily.  And all I said about Shipshape re. dresses applies to this print too. 
I have documented my love of double gauze many times. This pretty, pastel, Kokka double gauze sai-l boat print is perfect for young children- clothing, blankets, dribble bibs, face cloths- all would work with this fabric.

For an instant mix of nautically themed prints, there are some nicely curated fabric bundles available.  This one is 'Natucial but Nice'

Lots of Timeless Treasures prints in their bundle.

And there is Set Sail cheater print in the same range with a bit of everything on!

I also found some clothing patterns with a  Nautical feel. There is Anise by Colette- I think its the double breasted front that makes me think of sailing fashion.

It includes a number of variations, including different sleeve lengths. 
Also by Colette, there are the Juniper pants/trousers.  I don't often make trousers but I do like a wide leg trouser.  These have been in my 'hmm, maybe…' pile for a while now!  The have a proper fly front and I fancy trying that challenge too. 

For the embroiderers amongst you, I couldn't resist the charm of Sublime Stitching embroidery 'Pirates Ahoy!' pattern.

And a little nautical ribbon trim to finish off…

It's a trend that is hard to resist! 
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Liberty Pinks Datura

A quick make for the remains of the hot weather- you know summer comes fast and often briefly in the UK so we have to make the most of it! I bought these two Liberty prints, the pink is Capel and unsure what the ribbons is- from Shaukat at last years Fat Quarterly Retreat.  It was a memorable shopping trip; I was completely overwhelmed by the selection at Shaukat and it is all at competitive prices.

My daughter is really getting to grips with my camera and with the effects of different lighting so I get some lovely pics as a result.   I don't really like standing like this for photos and so doing it with her makes me feel more relaxed. 

 The pattern is Deer and Doe's Datura.  I've made one before here. All the size and modifications details are there too.

Beautiful fabric to work with- goes without saying.  Lined with white cotton lawn on the top bodice.  It is a handy pattern as it uses such a small amount of fabric.

I shall be making the most of any sun today; the rain is a-coming...

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Monday 23 June 2014

June at Seamstar

This month is flying by and I am in a super busy period as always happens around this time: it's just before the summer holidays so my day job is busy, there are lots of family birthdays coming up, lots of hops and stuff that I have made/am making things for so I am taking a little time out to stop and have my monthly browse at Seamstar.
Let's start with some cotton lawn, the perfect summer fabric and there are some new arrivals that I hadn't seen before.  This is Lennox Gardens by Robert Kaufman 

The same print is also available as part of a bundle:

The dark floral in the bundle is Floral Blue, also by Robert Kaufman.  I'm not sure if that is black or navy in the background but I really like it.  It is harder to get darker lawn prints and this one is a beauty!

The plain prints are Cambridge lawns, also by Kaufman.  They come in a selection of pastels and are handy for lining, binding etc on dresses/tops/skirts and for clothing generally.  They are all very useful and I particularly like the Nude colour way, it's a very pretty shell pink.  All the Kaufman lawns are 110cm/42" wide.

Lawn is lovely to quilt with too.  These solids would be a luxurious backing or contrast fabric for prints.
With Glastonbury coming up along with a zillion other festivals, I chanced upon a few suitably themed prints.  There is this cute 'Tents' print from Dear Stella  which I couldn't resist getting a fat quarter of for for fussy cutting.

If you wanted to take this theme further, there is a Camping Chairs 3 fabric bundle that will play nicely with the tents- the chairs are Dear Stella and are also available individually.

Pushing the theme a little further, you could arrive at the festival in a Mini.  

This Mini print is by Dashwood.  Courtney has put together another bundle with this print in too.

I bought a stack of supplies at Seamstar last month so I thought I would give those a mention- this is the sort of stuff that doesn't look very exciting in photographs but is the basics I need in stock for bags, pillows etc.  Starting with Vilene Quiltex fusible fleece:

If you've used Vilene H630 low loft fusible fleece, this is very similar.  It is the same weight, lightweight and thin but the main difference is that it has a pre printed diamond grid which is the adhesive part that fuses.  I've just used this on a Oakshott pillow tutorial that will be on the blog next Monday and I really liked it.  Lighter than batting and because there is less to fuse, the ironing/adhesive process is a little faster and less stressful.  It adheres lightly as only the grid fuses and if you then want to use the grid lines for fast quilting, that's handy too.  I also used this to make some softy toys to give some light lawn a little weight for hand sewn details and it was good for that too.
I also tried some Ultra Firm and Flex double sided fusible interfacing for a 3D box type project that I am making for a magazine.  Wow, its very interesting stuff, great for providing stiffness (no sniggering there at the back), perfect for fabric boxes and baskets and it is easy to put under the foot of the machine and sew.  I didn't fuse it very successfully- the double sidedness wasn't suitable for what I was making.  Instead I used it as a sew in and it was wonderful.  You could use it with fabric to make wrist key fobs instead of canvas strapping.  I also fancy it for bag, wallets and passport holders if you a want sleeker look than fleece/batting and instead have firmness and structure.  Great stuff.  It is sold at 30cm/12" wide and by the metre.

If you fancy a taster pack there is an offcuts bundle for only £2 which is a great chance to try different sorts of interfacing for future use.
I also stocked up on zips.  There are general use standard zips from 4" to 22":

Enjoy!  I will be enjoying Glasto on the telly and radio next weekend, especially looking forward to Elbow although the best thing is the unexpected amazing performance that crops up each year- no knowing who that could be!
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Friday 20 June 2014

I love Nani Iro

I truly do.  Her prints with their mix of painterly and femininity appeal to my arty side and the fabrics always feel so different to everything else- total quality.  I have sewn with Nani Iro double gauze, double jersey and brushed cotton and I have loved them all.  I was thrilled with Frances's invitation to I Love Nani Iro month to promote the new Spring 2014 collection- who wouldn't be!

I sewed top J in stylish Dress Book One made as a blouse rather than dress length.  This is size 8 and I took out the fullness at the back and slimmed down the sleeves a little.

It's a pretty romantic style which matches the prettiness of the print.  Tucks are not easy on double gauze.  The dual layer of fine cotton (its a bit like muslin) stretches easily so I went slowly and took a lot of care.

I was unsure what machine needle would be best and general googling pointed to a new Universal 80.  However, I did get a few snags with that so I swapped to a ballpoint 80 - these usually sew jersey and have a rounded tip to slip between the knit stitches.  As double gauze has quite a loose weave, the ball point slipped into the holes and was a better option than the universal- no snagging.

I do love the tucks.  They give shaping and texture.  Being small busted, I like a bit of extra interest on the front of tops- tucks and yokes are my favourite. 

The sleeves are quite full with gathers at the top and wrist.  Double gauze takes gathers and pleats beautifully.  The fabric is light and not bulky and the bounce of the two layers keeps an informality to pleats especially so great for a casual garment. 

I did the buttonholes on my Singer Featherweight with an attachment and used Aurifil 50wt variegated- an idea totally stolen from Karyn Valino's version of the same top.  I am a huge fan of Karyn's dressmaking.  Top Tip: painting a little Fray Check onto buttonholes before you cut them keeps the fraying under control.

I had enough fabric left to sneak in a  Belcarra too.  Angela of Sake Puppets made one for I love Nani Iro month too.  She's right, double gauze is a great fabric for humid weather- it really breathes. 

For my previous Belcarra sewing details see here.  For the Sewaholic sew long see here.

I added a little hand stitch detail to the next and lower hem.  Double gauze is easy to sew with an embroidery needle.  Like the ballpoint machine needle, the rounded point easily slips into the weave.  A thank you to my daughter at this point for her photography.  She is studying it at GCSE which has its benefits for me!

I know from previous posts that double gauze is new to many.  I also know that those who have tried it love it.  Its best to start with something easy like a scarf: it doesn't take much fabric, it is easy to sew and there's the bonus of an accessory that is likely to be worn a lot so you get to look frequently at a beautiful print.  Sometimes I see prints that I like but don't think will suit me in a whole garment- maybe the pattern is too big or too dark- again, a scarf breaks up a pattern that would look too big in a garment or and softens a colour that might be too dark to wear as a dress.  For other ideas, take a look at the other participants this month.  Stand out projects for me were Lizzie's trousers along with other separates, Leslie's blanket and Celina's mother and daughter outfits and accessories.

View the Nani Iro range in France's lovely shop here:  I've ordered from her a few times over the years and her service is first rate.
The fabric used for these tops was Sen Ritsu A-in real life the colours are as you can see in the photos here.  Kokka heightened the citrus in the publicity photos I think!
The Nani Iro website has lots of free patterns and shows an archive of previous fabric ranges
Visit the different blogs for this month's makes below showcasing a variety of prints and substrates and different clothes and accessories.

Straightgrain   ∆   you & mie   ∆   Lizzy House
A Little Goodness   ∆   Make It Perfect   ∆   skirt as top
Sanae Ishida   ∆   verykerryberry      Craftstorming
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Tuesday 17 June 2014

June at Village Haberdashery

My theme for this month's vista to Village Haberdashery is 'substrates'.  Its a word I don't remember hearing in my Needlework and Textiles O'level, nor when I did a HNC in Fashion in my late 20s- I suspect it is more of an American term when applied to textiles.  I think of Anna Maria Horner as queen of the substrates with her quilting cottons, cotton voile and velveteen.  With the release of her 'Pretty Potent' collection, she's added a few more in the mix and they have just arrived at Annie's shop.
The Echniacea print is the stand out of the collection, the one that I imagine will sell out and people will spend the future In Search Of with ISO pics on Instagram.


This is the 'Outloud' colour way in quilting cotton.  Here is the same print but a different colour way and substrate:

This time the 'Echinacea' print is in 54" wide voile and the colour is 'Sparkle'.  Voile is lighter weight, a looser weave than similar lightweight fabrics like lawn although sometimes the difference is hard to tell.  Anna Maria Horner voiles have a slight sheen to them and a silky buttery quality which makes them lovely to wear and colours seem to be more saturated on voile and remind me of boiled sweets and stained glass windows.  The Little Folks voiles were a big favourite of mine and I have used them in clothing (see here and here) and quilt blocks: I have an ongoing Swoon in voile and Kona Snow.  The School House tunic would work well in voile:

And the newly released as a paper pattern, Mathilde by Tilly Walnes would be very cute in voile.

This is 'Preppy' the green voile colour way:

And this beauty is the rayon challis substrate in 'Float'.  

Rayon challis is a beautiful dressmaking fabric.  it pours onto the body and has a magical drape quality where it will hang artfully.  It is tricky to sew- think of it as a sensitive child that must be treated gently and keep styles relatively simple.  It is great for long flowing garments like the Sewaholic Gabriola (although it would need careful handling on the bias areas) or a maxi length ByhandLondon Anna dress.  Rayon challis is used in the cover pic for the Date Night dress by April Rhodes. 

There are more variations in the quitling cotton/rayon and voile Pretty Potent substrates- find them here.
Other multi subtrate collections include Arizona by April Rhodes for Art Gallery- you will find voile, knits and quilting cotton in this mini collection all on pre-sale  so you can order now.

Jungle Avenue by Sara Lawson for Art Gallery has the same mix of quilting cotton, voile and knit.
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Nani Iro prints feature a variety of substrates and there are some new prints just arrived. There is a linen cotton blend featuring a delicate version of the Pocho print- Pierre Pocho in Mother of Pearl Cloud:

The whites are shimmery in a lovely contrast to the linen.  This would make a lovely A line skirt- Colette Ginger maybe, with a lining. 
You know I love double gauze, (more on double gauze later this week).  Another new Nani Iro print from the Spring 2014 collection is Mountain Views, this version in neon hues is called Ibuku

Double gauze works best in simple shapes.  There is a great free scarf tutorial on the Village Haberdashery blog by Fiona of Poppy Makes and I have one on here too- the perfect way to buy a little fabric and create a big impact. 


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