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….. We make
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Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Life

Thank you….

  • Kate Thanks for sharing your tips. Put cream on the strawbs and you will be fine 26 Jul
  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... I love experimenting with filters on Instagram and then just put it back to normal when I post! I do like black and white pics... 25 Jul
  • Helena Love the colour of the material and the fish. I also think it's great that you've taken something and put your own twist on it.... 25 Jul
  • Craft Mother That is inspirational. Gives me hope that I can do it. Interesting about flexibility. I hadn't thought of that. Possibly I need to look into... 25 Jul
  • Craft Mother Yes very relaxed. 25 Jul
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

make your own clothes

McCall 9251 – handmade summer dress for me

I may be speeding up with my sewing projects. It took me a week of squeezing an hour, here and there, in at the evenings and weekends. Going from the cutting out stage to wearing, in a trice. Of course, in that time, the weather has changed from glorious summer-dress-wearing to refreshingly showery, but I’m not blaming my dress. The sun will come out again. I will be ready.

I picked up the pattern from a charity shop. Peering in the envelope, I could see it was already cut out and fortunately, it seemed to be in my size.  I then had a quandry. Do I pull out all the piece and start arranging them on the shop floor, to check if they are there, or cross my fingers and hope all the pieces were included? Not surprisingly, I went for the latter. It was only 50p and for a good cause, so no great loss if I got it wrong.

The fabric is from a local shop. I bought it on a whim. I knew most of my dress patterns used about 3 metres. I’d figure out what to use it for later. Then I got home and pondered whether it would suit being a dress. It is a very busy print. The fabric sat in my cupboard for a few years. Beautiful and soft.

Last weekend, I tidied my sewing area. With the beautiful hot weather we were having, I needed a summer dress and I knew I’d stumble across a solution, while I sorted. And there was the fabric again. And the pattern too. Once decided, the dress was soon cut out. All the paper pieces were there and, somehow, being already cut out, it made it easier to get going on the project.

The bodice took longest and I was pleased at how well I put the collar together. It wasn’t until I tried it on, that I realised the collar looked awful on me. As a blouse it would have worked. As a dress, it made me feel like my grandmother. It wasn’t me So the collar went.

I suit a v neck. I already knew that.

Anyway. I’m pleased with my new dress. It is loose and perfect for hot, sticky summer days. The fabric is floaty and it’s easy to move in. I almost forget I’m wearing it. A nice change from my usual poplin cotton, which tends to be noisy and stiffer. I might drop the hem a little, after seeing these photos, but apart from that, I’m happy.

I used three buttons from my stash. Strangely, each of the children individually picked out the same buttons from my tin. I knew they were the right ones!

I sewed this dress using my old hand cranked Singer machine. It is a dream, especially with the top stitching. Although next time,  I might use my electric machine for the long seams. They seemed to take ages. Yawn. All french seams as the fabric is thin and prone to fraying. The other neatening and button holes I did by hand.

Almost forgot to say, thank you to middle daughter for taking the photos.

Right. On to the next sewing project. Might even go for another summer dress. Scissors at the ready!

Sharing. Good idea.

Buttons and bobbin tunic

new look 6808 orange tunic sideOne orange tunic finished. For me. I can’t remember if it was the pattern or the fabric that I fell in love with first. Not that it matters. Once I saw the neck detail, I knew I wanted to make the top. It has a bow. What’s not to like?

The only hitch, was that the version with the bow had short sleeves and I was hankering for a long sleeve version. I checked on-line to see if anyone else had swapped the short sleeves for the long sleeve version, to no avail. I examined the pattern’s outside cover as much as I could to see if either sleeve could be used. It looked hopeful, but you never can quite tell. I’d give it a go.

new look 6808 orange tunicTurns out that the body of the pattern is the same piece for both versions, so it really wasn’t a problem swapping the sleeves.

The pattern was simple to follow until I became lost with the neck attaching stage. Probably explains why it doesn’t sit as flat on the shoulders as it could do. I may fiddle with it more so that it stays in place. I’m putting it down to working late.

This is also the first time I have fitted a zip in the side of a blouse/tunic. It would have been fine. A piece of cake, except I chose to fit it while surrounded by children. I do not recommend this strategy at all. I tacked it in the wrong way round, upside down and, another time, out of line. Fourth time lucky, or should I say child free.new look 6808 orange tunic 2I haven’t mentioned the fabric. It is a cotton poplin. Orange. Covered in some of my favourite things: bobbins, buttons and threaded needles.

It’s a fun top. The print is not too obvious until you get close up. Otherwise it looks like an abstract orange pattern, which I like. I could wear this to work, picking up children or shopping, but not gardening. Too smart for gardening. Incidently, I made the skirt for work, a while back. It’s such a useful skirt. I really should make another one. I’m pretty pleased that the two go together so well.

nearly finished handmade top

Details:

Pattern: New Look 6808
Fabric: Minerva crafts

Thank you to, Middle daughter for taking the photos and making me smile. My next sewing project happens to be for her, so hopefully, I’ll be taking photos of her next time.

Sharing. Good idea.

Pyjamas – McCall’s 4244

homemade men's pyjamas McCall's 4244Yesterday, the sun was streaming through my sewing room’s windows and for the first time this year, I felt the call to do a bit of dressmaking. My sewing room is the old wash house. We did it up a few years back, but it’s not the cosiest room, so the sun makes all the difference at this time of year.

homemade men's pyjamas McCall's 4244 and dogI cut out a pair of pyjama bottoms for my husband, a couple of weeks ago. Ready for his birthday. I missed the deadline, but only by a few days. He doesn’t mind. My husband is a patient man.

The fabric is truely soft and lovely to work, but frays like crazy. Like watching a slow puncture. You know what will happen, but can’t reverse it.

I neatened all the seams, using french seams to encase the edges. Not the kind of garment that you need tickley threads left to their own devices.

homemade men's pyjamas McCall's 4244 and dog 2 Of course, I totally meant to change the direction of the print for the legs. Matching legs is so last year. You didn’t notice? You are my newest best friend!

homemade men's pyjamas McCall's 4244 and dog 3Ha! Only on a sewing/family lifestyle blog would you see photos of the man of the house modelling pyjamas. He says they are great to wear.

Sewing details:

Pattern: McCall’s 4244. Local fabric shop
Fabric: Local fabric shop. Brushed cotton.

Changes: The pattern calls for metres of thin elastic. I think it’s meant to be looped through the waistband several times. I opted to use a wider elastic and loop just once.

Verdict: Pattern is straight forward. Only four pieces of fabric required for the pyjama bottoms. Four more, for the pockets. Took an afternoon for me to sew up, with the usual interruptions.

*In the photos, the Pup is referring to a headline back in January, reporting a headteacher’s request for parents not to wear pyjamas when they drop their children off at school.

Linking up to Sara’s wonderful Crafty Schooling Sunday. Always so many inspiring projects.

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Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

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All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.