Thursday 30 June 2016

Bra Making Success, plus Storing and Sourcing Supplies

Like many of you, sewing is my therapy.  I've made a conscious decision not to pursue it as my main income for fear of losing my love of the thing I most like to do,  Instead, I earn some money through it but most of my sewing is for fun.  But I am a greedy sewer. I want to sew it all.  Quilts, bags, clothes and now lingerie.  I wind myself up with the sheer amount of things I plan to sew- far more than is possible in the time available - and I often need to remind myself to slow down, finish what I am sewing now and worry less.  Since my 'Bra Making with Madalynne day', I've been sewing more undies.  Starting with an everyday bra, using the same pattern (I think this is being released by Simplicity some time in August) and a few tweaks on the class bra I made.


On this one, I narrowed the bridge- the gap between the two cups.  I also shortened the distance at the bottom of the band so the elastic and underwires are closer.  


This one isn't perfect, the underarm area still waved a little as I sewed it and probably needs a slight reduction towards the top of the seam- my sides are quite straight rather than tapering in at that point. It does fit better than any shop-bought bra that I own.  I literally cannot find a bra without padding to fit me.  My high bust is flat and bony and any bras without padding tend to gape forwards on me. The combination of stretch lace and power mesh - a supportive net that is on the inside of the cups and front band and is the sole fabric for the back band - is perfect for my small bust.   It goes against some bra maker's recommendations to use fabrics with little or no stretch I guess but this level of stretch helps my fit issues and still provides sufficient support.  It's not a good combo for a heavier/fuller bust but for mine it works well.  


This is the Sierra, a free pattern from Maddie Flanagan.  I made this for my daughter.  The support is light and is based on compression - squeezing  and flattening basically!  The front is stretch lace and the lining is a very firm power mesh, comparable to a control fabric.  There is no 3D shaping in the front cup area, instead the combination of cross-over and pressure holds everything in place.  This is an XS- too small even for me.  It's the sort of bra to wear for a sleep over, or a day at home.


Construction was straightforward apart from the edging around the band which involved zig zags following the scallops. that was tricky.   I do recommend adding an extra inch to the end of each side- the part where the hook and eye will go.  It just gives you a little extra room for fitting to the right level of constriction. 


This is Noelle, another Maddie free pattern which came out this week.  I made this last week during a shout out for testers.  I made a small as the sizing matched my measurements but I needed to size down and next time I'll make an XS but with the S darts as they are spot on.  I used a shape wear cotton/nylon blend for the main fabric and elastic lace for the bottom band.  The final crop top is a gentle relaxed fit, good for bed or hot days.  I'll use a power mesh to line the next one and aim for a more supportive feel.   There's a matching high waist panty with the pattern download too. 


Although I've had more success with bra making recently, I still feel very much the beginner.  It is a fascinating world.  I am in the Bra Making Forum Facebook group which is a supportive global network of  bra makers and shows just how many potential fit issues there are for all our differently sized busts.  Supplies are still an issue.  I buy kits here and there, I also buy supplies on eBay but it is hit and miss.  The Shapewear fabric I used for Noelle is wonderful quality but a random find.  I found ¼" elastic (needed for the straps) hard to come by.   I've also bought elastic or lace which is weak and will not survive the most careful hand washing and wearing.  Terminology is mixed and inconsistent - Power mesh and power net are used interchangeably but the density and tightness of them varies from flimsy net (often used for pretty knickers ),  to extra firm (sometimes used in control garments).  Power mesh can be double layered to strengthen it's compression effects.



It is an expensive business too.  I find I have a big draw full of supplies and yet if I want to make something I am always short of something.  Every bra or pair of knickers takes more elastic than you first imagine and a fair amount of thread.  It helps to have everything sorted into labelled zip loc bags and I recommend recycling your worn out bras- great for the strap sliders, wires and little bows or roses that all seem to last a lot longer than the rest of the bra.    These bits are also good for making a test bra when trying a new pattern.  For kits, I've recently bought from Natasha of Arte Crafts- although the $/£ exchange rate has changed rather dramatically since then- her pink Duoplex kit kit was lovely quality and I am looking forward to sewing it up. I also bought this kit from Freya of Elise Patterns a UK supplies seller.  I assume she is hand dying her kits  to create the different colour options  I ordered a yellow kit, it looks more orange/apricot that I was expecting  but it was good value and I think it will combine with blue nicely.


For UK and European bra makers, I have a list of suppliers here.  It is hard to always find exactly what you want in the right place, but things are improving.   I think the best piece of advice I can think of when it comes to bra making is to look at what you currently wear- check the lines of what fits you well- what style cup?  How does the back look?  Then look for a pattern which is similar.  I would also recommend looking at what other bra makers have made- look for someone with similar fitting issues.   I found a list of bra making blogs here at Sewsnbows  No bra pattern works for everyone,  I see lots of styles that will never work on me and I doubt that something like the Sierra would work on a large cup size.  Big or small busted, we all have issues and expecting one pattern to address everything is expecting a miracle from the pattern maker.   For bra making supplies in other parts of the world, check out Amy's guide on Cloth Habit.   There's a fascinating listen on Sandi Hazlewood's Crafty Planner podcast where she interviews Norma Loehr of Orange Lingerie.

On a side note. I've had a huge spike recently in viewing numbers - I don't know why but if you are new to this blog, Hi there!  And you are welcome to introduce yourself too...and if you came here via somewhere else, let me know, I'm curious!



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June at Eternal Maker

It's been a busy week- post Brexit moping up of tears (mine, husband and daughter), prom and preparing for a few summer events so I've squeezed this nine-of-the-best post  for sponsor Eternal Maker  into the last day of June.  Summer is currently on hold in the UK, nothing new there, so I've put a mix of garment weight fabrics alongside quilting cottons and  naturally, I had to include some double gauze.   Enjoy.


In rows, from left to right:

  1. Yukie Indigo Michael Miller Fabrics.  There's a more than hint of woven Ikat inspiration in this print.  Quilting cotton although you can see it made up in a man's shirt on the Michael Miller website.
  2. Cat Vintage Playing Cards by Cosmo Tex.  More stubby texture and a glorious colour and print. 
  3. Cityscape barkcloth from Hokkoh.  Slubby weighty cotton, great for bags, cushions and garments with a bit of structure.  I made a barkcloth skirt- see here.
  4. Meadow, Pink Orange, The Lovely Hunt, Lizzie House.  Deep saturated colour in this Lizzie House print on quilting cotton
  5. Maritime knit top (excellent pattern, hopefully fit my review in next week) from the gold version of this and it washes up beautifully in the machine.
  6. Double Gauze, Komorebi Blue Nani Iro by Naomi Ito for Kokka.  Amazing depth of colour in this beauty, Naomi Ito at her endless best. 
  7. Grey Stripe cotton jersey from Kiyohara.  Amazing quality fabric- look at the pic close up to get an idea of the weight, it has a bit of heft to it.  I've made a Maritime knit top (excellent pattern, hopefully fit my review in next week) from the gold version of this and it washes up beautifully in the machine. 
  8. Cat Vintage Matchbooks by Cosmo Tex.  Glorious print on a textured cotton- love the teal background and everything else about it.
  9. Cotton indigo dot, Robert Kauman.  Wide 57" floaty fabric- good for soft drapey effects, scarves or soft tops.




Monday 27 June 2016

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Blocks 79 and 80: Patience and Patricia

There's a couple of easy blocks in the Farmer's Wife quilt-along this week although be warned, it's the calm before the storm, next weeks blocks are really quite a challenge. Starting this week with block 79, Patience (p.238  heart breaking letter of sadness p.70).  It's a simple nine-patch style construction for this block and only needs rotary cutting and sewing together.


Fabric Credits
Kona Sour Apple
Lori Holt Flower Patch for Riley Blake
Heather Ross for Windham, Tiger Lily, cats on grid in green
Ayumi  returns with a guest post for block 80, Patricia (p. 239  letter p. 52), go to her blog here.


Fabric Credits
Windham, Playdate, Diamond flower yellow
Kona Melon
Heather Ross for Wyndham, Tiger Lily Butterflies in brown

{For both blocks, I link to sponsor shops for fabric bought from them and elsewhere for other fabrics}

Even though this is a simple block, easy to rotary piece, although I ended up sewing the pieces together incorrectly three times...


Here are two more nine-patch blocks to add to my collection, eleven in total.


  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #Patienceblock or #Patriciablock as well as #fw79Patience, #fw80Patricia
  • If you want me to take a look at your blocks, tag me on Instagram, I'm @verykerryberry or comment here and paste in a link to your blog
  • There's a Flickr group you can add to here.  All my Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks can be seen in this album and my 9-patch blocks in this album. 
Jo Avery is back as a guest blogger next Monday!  Back with the tricky blocks next week x
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Tuesday 21 June 2016

Sharing: Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress in Floral Jersey for Girl Charlee



All the info is over at the Girl Charlee blog and I go into lots of detail about hemming knits, including lighter weight fabrics, on a standard sewing machine and share samples demonstrating a range of techniques and methods.  Pattern and fabric were kindly provided by Named Clothing and Girl Charlee in return for the blog post.  I chose this patterns after meeting another sewist (Shiona) wearing the Kielo and realising that the style had a lot more appeal for me than I initially thought- seeing things in the flesh can make all the difference!  

Monday 20 June 2016

Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along Blocks 77 and 78: Nellie and Old Maid

Good morning to those of you following the Farmer's Wife quilt-along, it's time for two more blocks.  Starting with  block 77, Nellie (p.236  letter p.102).  It's a block with lots of little pieces- all squares or rectangles- and although you can rotary cut and piece all of this block following the book CD instructions,  I cut a little bigger and foundation paper pieced the block to keep everything accurate.


Fabric Credits
Kona Corn
Kona Persimmon
Robert Kaufman, Morningside Farm, Daisies Lake, Darlene Zimmerman

I played around slightly with by adding an extra colour with the orange squares in the centre to break it up a little.  Otherwise, not much to report on the making.  My top of the top tips for sewing blocks like these where the sections can easily undo when the paper is torn off, is to keep your stitches small and add an extra back stitch just as you start and end the seam line for a little extra security.


Top Tips for Foundation Piecing this Block
  • Pre cut all pieces
  • Use a water based glue stick e.g. Sweden, to stick the first piece of fabric on each section
  • Chain piece where possible
  • Press section seams open
Justine is guest posting for block 78, Old Maid (p. 237  letter p. 84).   I love Old Maid, it's such  classic quilt block.  See Justine's post here.  I tried out a new shade of green for this block, this is Betty's Green from Moda and it is a soft 30s colour.  As it's mixed in with another Moda print, they harmonise nicely.


Fabric Credits
Moda Solids Betty's Green
Moda American Jane, Bread n' Butter, Dotted Daisy, Ivory

{For both blocks, I link to sponsor shops for fabric bought from them and elsewhere for other fabrics}

Here are another pair of nine-patch blocks to add to my collection, I'm now up to a total of nine.  It never fails to amaze me how fast these blocks go together compared to the Farmer's Wife blocks.


  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #Nellieblock or #OldMaidblock as well as #fw77Nellie, #fw78OldMaid
  • If you want me to take a look at your blocks, tag me on Instagram, I'm @verykerryberry or comment here and paste in a link to your blog
  • There's a Flickr group you can add to here.  All my Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks can be seen in this album and my 9-patch blocks in this album. 
Ayumi returns as a guest blogger next Monday!  See you next week x
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Sunday 19 June 2016

June at Plush Addict

Here's my sponsor selection for June from Plush Addict, including quilting cotton, new pattern releases and a beautiful luxury crepe for trousers, enjoy! *edited to add, many of these are now on clearance so at a lower price!*

Starting top left, from l to r:
  1. Free Spirit Lottie Da, Sprig in Tangerine.  Heather Bailey print in a glorious and groovy citrus palette.
  2. Moda Whispers, Muslin Mates, Take Flight in grey, from Studio M, this is just one print from a  beautiful tonal range of white, off whites, light and darker greys.
  3. Dear Stella Carousel Horses in Pink.  Gorgoeus quilting cotton print with great potential for retro styles dresses and skirts.
  4. Moda Whispers, Muslin Mates, XOXO pale grey
  5. Lewis & Irene, Make a Wish: Fat quarter bundle, fairies, florals and fauna.  Soft and pretty colour palette.
  6. Windham Swim Team- Fish Pattern.  this is the first time I've seen this print. It's from Dinara Mirtalipova, a new Windham designer with a fun first collection (see more at Windham).  There's only one print available at Plush Addict but it has a lot of potential for mixing with other fabrics and fish/water/mermaid prints.
  7. Japanese Import, 'Min & Deco' Tulips on Cream.  I couldn't resist the Scandi, graphic style of this Japanese print on cotton.  Deco is the design company name, I think it's just the usual quilting cotton substrate.
  8. Tilly & the Buttons Marigold Trousers/jumpsuit pattern.  the newest release from Tilly Walnes, this pattern is very representative of lots of ready-to-wear trouser and dumpsite styles on the hight street at the moment and Tilly has further pattern hack ideas on her blog.  I've suggested a very appropriate fabric next!
  9. Luxury Crepe in Platinum, perfect for Tilly Marigold trousers or jumpsuit.  In fact, after I chose this for this month's sponsor selection, I found that Tilly had a picture on her blog of the jumpsuit in this very fabric!

Friday 17 June 2016

Birthday Block Banner

To celebrate a year since the publication of her Farm Girl Vintage book, Lori Holt has designed a 'Farm Girl Layer Cake' Anniversary block and she and the Fat Quarter Shop are sharing versions of the blocks made by lots of sewing bloggers (full list in the FQ shop blog post) and I am taking part.  Check out the link here for the free Layer Cake pattern download from Lori.   The block can be made in two sizes, I opted for the smaller 6" size and added some wider sashing to make the block suitable for a birthday banner flag.


July is a busy month for birthdays in our house and I thought a banner flag that came out for family birthdays would be a cute bit of decor.  It's easy to do and the method could be applied to any size quilt block.

How to Make a Birthday Block Banner

In addition to the usual materials to make the smaller block you will need:

  • 12" square backing material
  • Some extra background fabric
  • ribbon, twine or ric rac for hanging
  • a stick- I used a gardening bamboo cane cut to size
1.  Complete the block following the instructions up to adding piece R- we will cut these a little larger!  Cut the following replacement pieces for R to enlarge the block slightly:
  • One 3" x 8 ½ rectangle for top
  • One 3 ½"x 8 ½" rectangle for the bottom
Sew these to the top and bottom of the block.  Press the block, starch if that's your preference!
Fold the block in half lengthways.  Cut the block to make a banner shape using a quilting ruler with a 45 degree line, line up with the fold and the edge of the block as in the photo below.  Trim excess fabric with a rotary cutter to create the banner point.  You can always mark with pencil or chalk first on the reverse to check your shape.


2.  Cut the backing fabric by placing the banner front on to the backing fabric, right sides together.  Use the banner front as a template, cut around it using quilt ruler and rotary cutter.    Mark ¼" seam intersections in pencil at the lower corners and point on the front banner.  Whilst banner front and back are still right sides together, pin around the edge.
Leaving a 3" space along the centre of the top edge, sew a ¼" seam all around the banner edge.   Trim corners and points.   Press the top seam open, including the gap to create a fold in the opening fabric.  Turn the banner through the gap, right side out.  Poke out corners carefully and press.  Use slip stitch to close the opening. 

3.  Fold your fabric over at the top creating enough room for your stick to slide through comfortably- it should not be too sung.  Pin and baste into place making sure your basting stitches are parallel to the top edge as you will be using these as a guideline for your top stitching.
4.  With a contrast thread- maybe even something thicker, I used Aufil 12 wt, stitch along the top of the banner, following the basting stitched and creating the hanging stick casing sleeve,  then continue the stitches around the edge of the banner.   With thicker threads it is often neater to finish the loose thread ends by hand.  Thread the hanging stick through.  Tie twine or ribbon or ric rac to the stick ends to hang the banner, tuck the ends into the casing sleeve.


Hang and enjoy on every birthday occasion!


Fabrics Used:
  • Background: vintage fabric
  • Cake: Lecien small gingham
  • Cake filling Atsuko Matsuyama floral
  • Cake Heart: Ayumi Takahashi for Kokka, Lighthearted  Swedish Kitchen text print
  • Cake Stand: Denyse Schmidt Sweet Ruby floral, tiny Japanese strawberry print and Cosmo cricket sketch print.
  • Backing fabric: Lecien Od New 30s Deer print by Atsuko Matsuyama 
  • Top Stitch Thread: 12wt Aurifil 1231 Spring Green
Check out the other bloggers taking part here:

Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts
Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane
Kelly from Kelbysews
Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Renee from Sewn with Grace
Sinta from Pink Pin Cushion
Lisa from In the Boondocks
Dana from Old Red Barn Co.
Melissa from Happy Quilting
Kim from Persimon Dreams
Marni from Haberdashery Fun
Jacque from Lily Pad Quilting
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Wednesday 15 June 2016

Bell Sleeve Blouse and Circle Skirt: Named Clothing for Kotiliesi Käsityö Magazine

I've had these garments photographed for a while so I thought I'd give myself  a push and get them blogged!  They are both from a Finnish magazine called Kotiliesi Käsityö that Laura and Saara at Named Clothing produce lots of designs for.  It's a wonderful magazine, a mix of knitting and sewing and whilst I marvel and admire the knitting, it's all about the sewing patterns for me.


Named Clothing always show a photo album of their designs for the current issue of the magazine- I think it's published every two months- on their Facebook page.  They also include email details to contact the Kotiliesi Käsityö magazine directly to buy a copy.   I've done this and they are very helpful.  You do have to pay online from your bank, not Paypal, and banks usually make quite high charges for this.  I have a friend in Finland who helps me out when I need a copy.  Even with the bank charge, you can end up with a lot of Named Clothing patterns for you money and I think they are aimed at a slightly older age group than the usual Named Clothing designs which suits me perfectly.  Lots of everyday separates, plus dresses, coats and jackets.


These designs are from issue 2/2016.  Sadly, old copies of the magazines are not available- there have been several I would've loved.  I have noticed that some of the clothing goes on to become a Named Clothing pattern at a later date and often with a few tweaks and changes.   These are both bell shaped designs according to Google translate- I use this and my linguistically able daughter to translate the sewing instructions.  The patterns are traced from layered and nested designs- like Burda- and seam allowances need to be added.  


I do find Named Clothing a great fit, the bust darts  start mid armhole and point downwards to the bust apex- this seems to be ideal for me.  I made a test garment and I made no changes to the darts which is very rare for me.  The only change I made was one I have made before on my second version of the Kanerva pattern, I made the size EU 38/ UK10 and reduced the centre front by ¼".  This alteration gives me a size 8 fit at the upper bodice and shoulders where I am narrow with the space and ease of size 10 armholes- I like freedom of movement here!  The same dart is used for the Kielo Wrap Dress (my blog post on this is dress will be over at the Girl Charlee blog next week) and I found it a wonderful fit on that pattern too.  I added ric-rac at the neckline to echo the print.


Fabric for the top is Atelier Brunette cotton lawn/batiste in Blue Moon.  It's gorgeous fabric, softer than a Liberty lawn and wonderful to wear, great drape for a woven cotton. 


The skirt is an A-line shape with flap detail pockets. The fabric is In Theory, Wavelength in Gold.  It's barkcloth which is a heavier weight, slubby cotton fabric that seems to hand particularly well in skirts and jackets.  I made a size 10/ Eu38 with a larger waist and with shaped waistband pieces as I find that more comfortable than a straight waistband.  I used a small piece of Liberty Capel in mustard to face and line the pockets.  The buttons were bought with a gift certificate I won a few months back for button specialist Textile Garden .  The right buttons can make or break an outfit and I usually rely on the excess of vintage buttons I've gathered over the years but the sheer luxury of spending a generous voucher on lots of amazing new buttons was a wonderful indulgence. Check out the 'Other' section to get a hint of the fantastic selection available.  

The top has seen most wear as it's incredibly comfortable and the sleeve length is well suited to the cooler days of British summer and beyond.  The skirt is quite a full-on print to wear but it does give me an instantly dressed up look when I put it on and the gold is a very uplifting colour.  Clogs are low tan from Lotta from Stockholm, check the 'seconds' out.   You can see our cat Buffy, now one year old, on look-out duty on the back of the wall.


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Monday 13 June 2016

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along: Blocks 75 & 76, Nan and Nancy

Welcome back to the Farmer's Wife quilt-along, I hope you are all feeling refreshed after our little break and ready for more blocks!   The blocks that we have remaining feel like such a small part of the total book, completion does not feel far away!   Block 75, Nan (p.234  letter p.154) is an easy block to get back into the book although the accompanying farmer's wife letter is heartbreaking.


Fabric Credits
Suzoki Koseki for Yuwa red Paris daisy (Out of print)
Marcus Brothers 1930s repro school house print (OOP, gift from Chase!)

I'm not religious so I'm not sure if I will include this block in the final quilt- I may substitute with something more personal.  I did enjoy picking the fabrics though, I felt these two really went together!    If you would like an alternative block for any of your blocks, there's a great selection in The Splendid Sampler project by Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan.  I'm contributing a block in mid October and I might sneak that into my Farmer's Wife quilt

Rotary Cutting dimensions
These dimensions are slightly bigger than you need so they are ready for foundation paper piecing.  They are not actual size.  If you are a beginner, you can cut them even larger to give you more wiggle room!  Some squares are cut on point to make triangles and avoid bias edges in troublesome places like the outer edges of the block.

Cross
A1: Cut (1) 2 x 3 ½" rectangle
A5: Cut (1) 2 ½" x 6 ¼" rectangle
B1: Cut (1) 2 x 4" rectangle

Background
A2, A3: cut (1) 3 ¼" square on point, sub-cut along diagonal to yield 2 half-square triangles
B2, B3: cut (1) 4 ¼" square on point, sub-cut along diagonal to yield 2 half-square triangles
A4, B4: cut (1) 2 ¼" square, sub-cut along diagonal to yield 2 half-square triangles
A6, A7: cut (1) 3 ¼" square, sub-cut along diagonal to yield 2 half-square triangles

Top Tips for Foundation Piecing this Block
  • Pre cut all pieces
  • Use a water based glue stick e.g. Sweden, to stick the first piece of fabric on each section
  • When adding A6 and A7, align the right angle corner of the fabric triangle so it is inline with the right angle corner of the paper

  • When joining sections A to B, first find the centre point on the long diagonal line on A and B, pinch to make a temporary fold.  Use a water based glue stick to hold this in place.  You could also glue the rest of the seam
  • For perfect alignment of sections A and B, mark the seam allowances at the end of the seam on each section- this will create precise seam points for you to start and end the seam
  • Press section seam to one side
For block 76, Nancy (p. 235  letter p. 42) Jo from A Life in Lists is guest posting, see what colours she's chosen in her hand pieced block here.   I knew I wanted to add an extra colour so I picked a background fabric with two colours running through it as well as the main and used those as solids to accent the triangle and rectangles.    



Fabric Credits
Kona Carnation
Kona Sour Apple
Gracie's School House Classic Dottie Blossoms
{Please note that on both blocks, I link to sponsor shops for fabric bought from then and elsewhere for other fabrics}

I stitched up a couple of nine-patch blocks to add to my collection.  I pick the fabrics for these very quickly and enjoy the changes in scale with some of the smaller ditsy repro prints against the 1" gingham squares.


  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #nanblock or #nancyblock as well as #fw75Nan, #fw76Nancy
  • If you want me to take a look at your blocks, tag me on Instagram, I'm @verykerryberry or comment here and paste in a link to your blog
  • There's a Flickr group you can add to here.  All my Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks can be seen in this album and my 9-patch blocks in this album. 
Next Monday Justine will be returning as a guest blogger!  See you then x



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Thursday 9 June 2016

June at Village Haberdashery

Lots of Nani Iro fabrics arrived at Village Haberdashery for my June sponsor visit.  I'll admit, I was quick to order some in and lots of you had the same idea as the website was under strain with those initial burst of purchases!   Here is my June selection, a mix of double gauze, interlock knits, canvas, quilting cotton, yarn dyed cotton and a pattern!


From left to right:

1.  Marianne Dress: Adaptable pattern for knits from Christine Haynes.  This style would work very well with the striped interlock knits (see number 8) as they have a bit of weight to them and is a relatively easy sew too.

2.  French Bulldogs, in bow ties, blue Cotton/linen blend canvas by Cosmo good for bags, cushions and more.

3.  Pocho Imataria- double gauze. Shimmery soft metallic dashes.  Double gauze makes wonderful 
casual garments, baby clothes and lightweight blankets.

4.  Dapper Wovens Check is in the Mail in Wine Stain by Luke Haynes of @entropies - Yarn dyed fabric so the check is created by two different colour threads and the way they are woven rather than printed on to a blank base.  Very soft, tactile fabric for quilting and clothes inspired by the reclaimed textiles in Luke's quilts.  Gorgeous colour selection too!

5.   Nani Iro Canvas, Beautiful Life in Fairy Tale, incredible Naomi Ito design on linen/cotton canvas for Kokka.  Good for bags, cushions etc, but I think I would be tempted to buy this and staple it onto a big canvas to make amazing wall art!  The high contrast would make it perfect for a neutral colour baby room or play space.

6. Nani Iro Fuwari Fuwari in Violet Field, a reissue of a classic Naomi Ito design,  Fuwari means 'float' in japanese, so imagine a multitude of floating violet, blue and yellow petals.  This design was used by Karyn of Make Something to create the most wonderful blouse a few years back, one of my favourite double gauze inspiration makes and a perfect example of a style that works well in double gauze.

7.  Purebred Preakness in Black.  Classic colour by numbers design on quilting cotton by Erin Michael.  Other prints in the Purebred range can be found here (some are discounted!).

8.  Striped Interlock knits. Great quality heavy weight jersey.  All cotton, good amount of stretch.  Interlock is a more stable form of cotton jersey- the edges stay flat rather than curling up when cutting. 160cm wide.  There are also plain interlock knits, good for contrast or colour blocking as in the Marianne dress- the link will take you to all the interlock jersey fabrics from the same manufacturer.  
9.  Loominous: Illuminated graph in metalic cream.  Another soft yarn dyed fabric, metallic threads contrasting with cream from Anna Maria Horner- great for clothing and quilts and this particular fabric would make a gorgeous summer scarf to protect shoulders, neck and chest on hot sunny days- there's a free tutorial here for a loop scarf or I have a free tutorial for an simple rectangular scarf here- it only needs a metre of material!

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Monday 6 June 2016

Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL: Thoughts So Far

This week we are having a week-off any new blocks in The Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL so I thought I'd reflect on blocks and fabrics so far.  


 I have a big fat stack of 74 blocks which feels reassuringly close to the 99 blocks finishing line...


I do like the challenge of two new blocks each week and some of them are quite a work out.  The quilt along has give me a love of 1930s reproduction prints from so much more experience of working with them.  I've had some fabrics which I've liked and yet I couldn't often find a place for them like those below. 


From l to r:
1. Too pale, the quilt along has made me love brighter colours more than the lighter pastels.
2 and 3.  I find these children's style nursery designs a little bit too sentimental, maybe because my child is quite grown up?
4.  I've used this diamond grid once but I've found the pattern orientation a little hard to use in on-point blocks.
5.  I love the pink and orange leaf print but it is a bit of a challenge.  It doesn't work well with pink or orange solid, the contrast is insufficient and if I introduce a separate colour like green, it can look a little disconnected.
6.  I like this print but the pinky background is a little dark and a little dull so it's been used but sadly the fabric doesn't shine for me. 

With such small pieces in many of the six-inch square Farmer's Wife blocks, I've found directional prints- like the diamond print above- are much harder to use. The multi directional prints ( like many in the selection below)  usually make a print much easier to use and more economical  too. 


These have been my favrouite fabrics.  Sometimes it's the colour- far left the Toy Chest Floral is such a wonderful combination of purple/blue/yellow and a good purple fabric is hard to find.  I have loved the colours of many Heather Ross Tiger Lily prints and the yellow particularly lead me to use such a lot of yellow solids and prints in the different quilt blocks.  Giant blooms like Lori Holts make the blocks look a little more modern at times and put a little zest into the more traditional fabrics.  The colours in general have been glorious to work with. 

You can find posts all the blocks so far here.
You can see pictures of all my blocks here in my Flickr Album.
You can find all the techniques covered so far by all the wonderful guest posters, many of whom have done multiple posts here.

What has been your experience so far?  Started but other things took over?  Started and then changed your original colour palette?  Found a new appreciation of a particular print or colour?

Back next Monday with blocks 75 and 76 and Jo Greene will be back as a guest blogger. 
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