Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Very Long Time Coming...

It has been a very very very long time.

Due to a variety of reasons, of which I won't go into at risk of being negative (hello new resolution) I haven't posted for a while.

I just wanted to say a very big thanks to My Secret Santa for my wonderful gift of NZ Merino wool and trim. I can't wait to use it.

I hope to resume normal programming soon...ish.

Ta ta for now


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tailoring Part 1

My challenge for the year is coming along swimmingly. And when I say swimmingly, I mean doggy paddling. Slowly but surely. I'm in the process of making a muslin for Gertie's Bombshell dress, which I hope to have finished for a wedding I'm going to next month. Which I'm now beginning to feel is slightly ambitious. But anyhoo...

In the absence of anything constructive to show you regarding the dress, I thought I would fill you in on my tailoring course. I'm now 4 weeks into the course, and am really enjoying it! Hoorah!

My tutor, Anne, worked on Saville Row for years and seems to know what she's talking about. she promised me that she would teach me all about padstitching and welt pockets and bound buttonholes, and scared numerous people in the class in the process.

I'm going to sound horrible when I say this - the only thing that lets down the course is the other people taking it. Gasp shock horror bitch.

You know it's never a good sign when someone sees a sewing machine stitching and says "oh wow!". Not good. An hour and a half of the first lesson was spent with Anne trying to explain what a pattern was. the majority of people in the class had never used a sewing machine before!

Anyway my judgemental bitching has stopped now I promise.

Anne has been really helpful with my project so far - a winter coat. should be ready just in time for the hottest period of the year but never mind.

I'm making Butterick 5425 - The pointed collar version but in the shorter length. I chose this gorgeous red wool mix from Goldshawk Road, with a cream lining. The photo doesn't do the colour justice. Everytime someone in the class saw it they would automatically stroke it. It's that yummy.

So far I've done plenty of padstitching which I think is wonderfully neat. Much neater than my tutors...not that I'm competitive :-) 


Mine - it's a bit dark but hopefully you can see the lovely neat chevrons...
I don't know about you, but I find this padstitching wonderfully relaxing...

So, at the moment I'm working on the lapel, padstitching the hair canvas, chest canvas and Dommet (?) together. The next task will be to do a rolling padstitch to attach the lapel to the facing of the coat. I'll let you know how that goes...


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Afternoon Rooibos at Blenheim Palace

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! etc!

I hope you're all enjoying the extremely confusing weather! Is it sunny? Is it snowing? I wish it would make up it's mind. Particularly when I'm cycling and get snowflakes in my eyes.

As mentioned last week, I have managed to scratch out an item off my Wardrobe Challenge! Huzzah! I have wanted to make the Colette Rooibos dress for aggggeeeesss, and I finally did it. Not once, but twice!

I suppose the first attempt doesn't really count, as it was supposed to be a test garment. I've has some lovely purple polycotton (I would be ashamed but it cost me a pound a metre and it's pretty) in my stash for a while without really knowing want to do with it, so decided in the absence of muslin, I would make a test Rooibos out of it. 

I ended up with this:

I can only apologise for the slightly awkward photos. 

The pattern was a dream to put together (of course seeing as it was Colette), and I love the result. So much so that I strapped on my belt and wore it to work the next day. It kind of has to be worn with a belt as it's a tiny tad too large in the waist and around the thighs.

And so I fiddled about with my pattern and made another version the following week out of some gorgeous fabric bought on a jolly around Goldhawk Road. I think it must be some sort of cotton sateen - it feels beautiful to the touch. It was love at first fondle.

I didn't take a piccy of the fabric, so you'll have to make do with it on the finished garment:

Yes I was being silly. This is not how I usually take my photographs...
I used red piping on the neck, midriff and pockets, and I think it contrast really nicely with the main fabric. It's fully lined, and I used french seems on the skirt pattern:

I absolutely love this dress and have worn it about six times since I made it.

The photos were taken at Blenheim Palace, which is where I spent a delightful Friday off last week. The weather (see above) was not being very agreeable, and this is the view we got on arrival:

Can you see the palace? Nope? Me neither.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't really clear up, but the day itself was wonderful. The house, home to the current 11th Duke of Marlborough (oh, yes, I learnt things), has a really interesting history. For example Winston Churchill was born at this house, and proposed to his wife Clementine there. Also during the war, it was a home to a group of school boys and MI5. I'm not sure how that would have worked but there you go.

The outing was a gift to Mummy Twitchy for Xmas, and we followed up the tours and wanderings with a warming Afternoon Tea:

All in all, it was a fantastic way to spend the day. I highly recommend visiting Blenheim Palace. Even if you're not interested in the house, they've got a humungous Park and Pleasure Garden to amble about in. Maybe when it's a little less foggy though...


Obligatory jumping shot....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

TWC: The Posh Frock

I'm not gonna lie to you - I did have my 2012 Challenge in the back of my mind for a while now. Due to a variety of events beyond my control, I haven't had the time or the content to post anything for a while.

So for my first *coughrestrospectivecough* post on Twitchy's Wardrobe Challenge (2012) I decided to start off by making a posh frock in preparation for being spoilt by my family for my birthday at the start of February. I had the pattern:

V1137 - shortened a little

And the fabric:

I fell in love with that fabric the moment I saw it. I got this on my last sewing meet-up excursion to Goldhawk Road last year, and I think a few of us ended up laden down with this fabric. Although I think Stevie got a better deal on it than I did. I'm not bitter.

So out of two beautiful ingredients I ended up with...

Drumroll please....

The inside of a posh frock!

I can almost hear the anti-climatic grumble. Or not.

Here's the outside of the dress so you can see what I'm aiming for.

(Sorry about the darkish quality of the photos. And the rubbish visible to the left and the right)
So the problem was that I started sewing this dress in the first week of January *coughrestrospectivecough*, and finished the dress the last week of January in preparation for my birthday. Yes, sure, fine, what's the issue with that right? Well, I lost over a stone in weight and and inch and a half all over my body (woohoo!). Which meant I had a dress that was milllllleeeessss too big for me all over my body (not woohoo...).

This lead to a ripping of seams, including a beautifully inserted invisible zipper, and since then, the dress has been pinned to the tailors dummy waiting for the occasion necessary to provoke me into picking it up again. Serves me right for not fitting as I sew, but a disappointment none the less.

So there we have it, an almost fail at the start off. But tune in next time for not one, but TWO Rooibos dresses. Oh, yeah....


Monday, 27 February 2012

My 2012 Challenge

I've was very, very, very unproductive last year. Very. Unproductive. Very.

So this year, I want to create myself a challenge which will inspire me to sew more and complain about my failures to you more. You lucky things!

You hear all over the blogosphere about a capsule wardrobe, and I have indeed come to the realisation that I own about a billion dresses (exaggerate... moi?), all of which seem to be summer dresses or too large for me. There's not really anything practical about my wardrobe. And so enters my 2012 Challenge (snappy/witty/clever name to be decided).

The aim is to fill my wardrobe with 12 new items, equaling 1 make for every month. This way I'm giving myself plenty of time to make things, I won't feel all pressured and give up like normal. If I make any more than that, then we'll call it a bonus. Huzzah!

Twitchy's 2012 Challenge will consist of.....


1 coat
1 pair of trousers
1 posh frock
1 Rooibos
1 Chantilly
1 Bombshell dress
1 Stripy blazer, possibly courtesy of Gertie's Starlet Suit course
1 Black Beignet
1 circle skirt
3 blouses

By the by, I finally made a decision on the sewing course to take this year, and am starting my Tailoring Course at Lewisham College this Wednesday. Eep! Hopefully this means I can get to work on my fantasy coat which will fit like a dream and make feel like a super hot (as in warm) star everywhere I go.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Dear Gertie

Please stop making fabulous courses that I want to do.

First you tease me with the beautiful bombshell dress that I am yet to make, and then you captivate me with your Starlet Suit. 

It's not like I can say no is it? When will I find the time to make everything I want to this year? The last thing I made was an ill fitting Rooibos dress which I was to ashamed to blog about.

So Gertie. Please. For the sake of my sanity, please stop being so fabulous.

That is all.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Advice needed...

The Sewing Class, Alix Baronne d'Anethan

Hello all,

I need a little bit of advice from you.

Next year I am determined to do some sort of sewing course. Initially, I was going to enroll in Morley College's Intermediate Sewing Course, a la Karen, but was a little put off by Shivani's experiences.

That, and I'm having a really hard time trying to get anyone from Morley College on the phone to ask them about it. It's mildly off putting....

I was also going to attempt to make a coat this year, but Mummy Twitchy keeps suggesting that I take a course before starting - and of course she is right, who wants to waste yummy wool when you've paid a fortune for it.

I've found a course that does 'tailoring' in Lewisham. It's looks cheap (big smile), and that it might cater for different level (thumbs up), but again I'm finding it tricky to find out what to expect (another case of not being able to find anyone to talk to on the phone). I'm almost ashamed to ask, but what does tailoring really entail? I would have thought coats and jackets etc, but does anyone have any other ideas?

Any help on the subject would be very much appreciated. Does anyone have any recommendations for courses in Centralish or South London? Has anyone done a course or knows someone who has, either at Morley or Lewisham College? What the devil does Tailoring actually mean?

Thank you's with sprinkles if anyone has any advice or comments to give me!