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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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Time to smile

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

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

McCall’s M6951

Retro car top is ready to go

back of retro car shirtThis is the second time I’ve used the McCalls 6951 pattern, so I thought it would be straightforward. A quick sewing project.

No.

Turns out I had set myself a bit of a challenge on this one. I made a real Rookie mistake. I had underestimated the repeat (the length of the fabric until the pattern starts to repeat) and ordered too little fabric. It was not going to be easy to cut out all the pieces and match seams at the same time.

I’m a stickler for matching seams. Especially the front and back. My needlework teacher’s story about sitting behind someone in church, with a non-matching back seam in their dress, has haunted me ever since.

front of retro car shirtI spent the best part of a Sunday morning rearranging the paper pieces on the fabric, until I came up with a creative solution. I cut out the front pieces so they matched. There was no option. It had to match at the front.

The back part was designed as a single piece. My fabric was not big enough. My solution was to cut it in half and also add a yoke using a different fabric. There wasn’t enough for the stated seam allowance. Fortunately, my daughter is willowy and I could get away with less fabric, and added  binding to reinforce the seam. Looks very neat on the inside too.

A bit convoluted, and involved more seam matching, but every thing matches, so I’m happy. I’m not sure Middle daughter was bothered either way.

mccalls m 6951 back view

There wasn’t even enough fabric for the collar. I really did get it wrong. I used the same blue fabric to cut out the under collar, which works.

Strangely, I love the changes I was forced to make. It adds touches that I would not have thought to add. Most importantly, Middle daughter loves the blouse too. She’s the one that will be wearing it after all.

buttons of retro car blouseThe retro car blouse story does not end there. While wearing it on the first day, unfortunately a rather boisterous, big pup, who will remain nameless, became too excited and caught the back of the hem. Leaving the worst kind of tear to mend. Yes, an L-shaped tear.

After much discussion, we came up with a solution. A patch in the shape of my favourite vehicle.

patch to cover an L shape tearIt’s not perfect, but maybe it too adds to the quirkiness of the piece.

Moral of the story. Order more fabric when the repeat is big and don’t play with big, boisterous pups. There. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Details

Pattern: Mccalls 6951
Fabric: Retro cars Print Cotton Poplin
Buttons: Local shop

mccalls m6951 view A front floral

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A homemade birthday blouse

mccalls m6951 view A front floralWhile I add the finishing touches to my latest sewing project, I admit, I do ponder about the best place to photograph it. Take the latest blouse I’ve made for Eldest. It’s floral. I couldn’t help thinking that a beautiful garden in full, flamboyant bloom would fit the bill.

So. This week we revisited Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Bishops Palace Wells CathedralApart from the wonderful waterside views, it does have beautiful flower gardens. Perfect.

mccalls m6951 view A side floral

Sewing Details

Before I talk about the gardens, just want to say that I’m really pleased with how the blouse turned out. Eldest is too. It’s made using the pattern McCall’s M6951.

A tiny word of warning about the pattern. There is a “Girl” size and a “Girl Plus” size. If your children are willowy, like mine, go for the “Girl” size. Might sound obviously. I assumed it was the difference between a tween and a teenager. My mistake. Should have checked the measurements. Oops!

mccalls m6951 view A back floral Fortunately, nothing had been cut out before I realised my mistake. The pattern is easy to follow. Not too many pieces. Only part that made me think was attaching the collar to the collar band. Got there in the end. Don’t be fooled by the photo above. There is no tuck in the back. I should have made sure it was flat, before the photo.

Fabric quantities seem to be out as well. I ordered fabric for view A. It calls for a contrast fabric for the back. Turns out I had enough to do the whole garment in the floral fabric, with some left over. Not sure if the suggested lace is meant to be an overlay. I’ve double checked in case I’ve made a mistake, but I seem to be right.  Admittedly, I seldom follow the suggested layout, so that might help to explain. But then again, who does?

willow dog bishops palace

This is going to be a popular blouse. She has asked if I’ll add an extra button, but otherwise it is perfect. The fabric is scrummy. I loved sewing with it. I’m told it’s lovely and soft to wear too. Very comfortable. Making it an ideal choice for a day out.

leapfrogging willow structure bishops palace wells

Bishop’s Palace, Wells

As for the venue, Bishop’s Palace has two new exhibitions on at the moment. They have willow sculptures by Elaine Marks, dotted around the grounds, and in the Palace there is an exhibition by a local artist Chris Lee, that I was keen to see. Children loved seeing both of these as well as the stained glass wings from last year.

willow statues at Bishops Palace

 

While some like to sketch what they see, others like to express their own interpretation of the sculptures. Hmm. Still figuring out this one.

willow deer head Bishops Palace

They all enjoyed it. Inspired by all they saw.

mccalls 6951 view A floral

This girl turned into a teenager this week. Would you believe it? I, of course, can’t believe how the years have flown, and may demand a recount. Quite relieved that her new blouse was ready for her birthday. Yeh!

Details

Fabric, pattern and thread: Minerva Crafts  (tulips flowers cotton poplin dress fabric)
Buttons: Local fabric store

Have a look at the talented Shirley’s version of this top. She’s used lace on the back.


Noticed as I went through the photos that all the children are wearing at least one homemade piece. Middle has a pair of leggings, which I don’t think I’ve blogged. Youngest is overacting in his new car shirt and hand-me-down recycled trousers. Nice to see my handiwork still being used and appreciated. Smile.

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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.

Copyright notice:

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.