Friday, 8 April 2016

Exciting Spoonflower announcement for European fans!

Most of the sewing community have heard of Spoonflower, the brilliant US company that prints your designs onto high quality fabric and ships it out to you, wherever you are in the world.  But UK customers can sometimes come a cropper when ordering goods from outside the EU, as parcels can get held up at customs, or even be "held to ransom" until the UK buyer pays a sometimes hefty customs charge.  Nightmare!

Spoonflower have addressed this issue by now shipping fabric from Berlin for European customers.  They are also adding VAT at the point of sale, to prevent any additional charges being added on by customs.  This is fantastic news, and will make it easier than ever to accidentally order a few metres of fabric with your pet's face all over it, to make into a dress.  Just me, then?

Read all about it on the Spoonflower blog.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The best kind of Easter present!

Since completing the overlocker course with Layla Totah at Guthrie & Ghani in March, I have really been getting down to the exciting business of sewing with knits - almost on an industrial scale! 

The first garment I sewed was a simple shaped t shirt out of floral waffle ponte roma in a lovely autumnal pink and taupe that I ordered from Abakhan.  It's still in stock if you like the sound of a textured stable knit fabric.  I sewed it for my mum for Easter, as she prefers clothes to chocolate!

Floral waffle ponte roma t shirt
Above is a photo of my mum wearing her new top whilst visiting friends in Australia.

She was so pleased with it, she wore it several times on her trip, and told me that she received compliments when she was wearing it.  So, for her wedding anniversary (38 years!), and to say thank you for her picking me up some lovely crepe in mustard and teal whilst she was in Australia, I decided to order more of the fabric, in the other two colourways Abakhan stocks, and make her two more tops.

Turquoise floral waffle ponte roma top
 Above is the top I made using the turquoise colourway

Cerise floral waffle ponte roma top
And finally, here is the top I made in the cerise colourway.

This fabric was so easy to sew with.  It's very stable, but with a good stretch with great recovery.  However, it is a poly spandex, so don't make the same mistake I did and accidentally melt the back of the neckline of the first top whilst trying to press it!  Luckily it was only a small area, and because of the style of the fabric it isn't obvious unless you run your fingers over it.  I still couldn't believe I'd done it, though!

Abakhan have currently got lots of fab jersey fabric in stock, in lots of fun prints, as well as solids, so they're well worth a look if you fancy sewing up a quick t shirt for spring.

Have you sewn any "basics" that you're particularly proud of?

Monday, 4 April 2016

A houndstooth Coco dress

One of my favourite patterns, Coco by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons, is a quick and easy make for stretch fabrics.  I have made a couple of sleeveless versions previously (as yet unblogged), but this time I actually managed to buy enough ponte roma to make a version with sleeves!  This houndstooth ponte roma is lovely and soft.  I can't remember where I got it from - possibly Minerva Crafts.

I used my overlocker (utilising my new found overlocker skills!), and so the whole thing came together really quickly.  I included the funnel neckline and cuffs on the sleeves.

Funnel collar - and look at the pattern matching!

Inside the sleeve

Overlocked and straight stitched hem

 I cut a 3 at the bust and waist, grading out to a 5 at the hips, and it is an easy fitting fairly smart dress for work.  It's also super comfy.  I suppose I could have cut a size 2 at the shoulders and waist, but as I wouldn't want to go any smaller than a 3 at the bust, and I am far too much of a lazy sewer to grade in and out and in and out, I can deal with it as it is.

Houndstooth Coco dress

If you haven't yet tried sewing a Coco dress - why not?!  It's a really easy dress to sew, and can be sewn on a normal sewing machine (my first two were both sewn on my basic Brother sewing machine).  Hop over to Tilly and the Buttons, and snap up a copy of the Coco pattern.  You won't regret it!  The instructions are really clear and easy to follow, so if you don't have much dressmaking experience, you don't need to worry.

I love the quick makes that offer almost instant gratification.  What's your favourite instant pattern fix?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Ginger jeans and Waver jacket plans

Two patterns I've had my eye on for a while are the Ginger Jeans and Waver jacket.  And seeing Layla's version of the Waver jacket at the overlocker class she taught, it pretty much sealed the deal.  So when I picked both patterns up from Guthrie & Ghani recently, I knew I'd need to start looking at fabric choices.

For the jeans, I settled on two different stretch denims, both from Guthrie & Ghani.  The one on the left is an unusual bubble print, and is a dark indigo.  The denim on the right is a standard stretch denim in a more casual mid blue. 

Both denims are currently in stock, if you like the look of them.

As for the Waver jacket, I am considering making it out of the flamingo cotton I picked up last year on Goldhawk Road.  Would that be too much?  Maybe it would be better as a lining, and have the main coat in a plain fabric, to make the coat more wearable.  I've got some lovely plain fabrics in my stash, so maybe I should shop that for my first Waver.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Indie pattern love

We all know about the Big Four pattern producers.  But there are some really fantastic indie pattern creators that are definitely worth investigating!

Some of my favourite indie pattern designers include Tilly and the Buttons, Sewaholic, By Hand London, Colette, and Closet Case Patterns.  They are all great in different ways, for different tastes, and different body shapes.  Indie patterns are created by small designers, with the pattern development process being supported by many hobby sewists all around the world who pattern test, ensuring that the final version is perfect for you and me.

Which is your favourite small pattern house?  Any emerging talents that I might not have heard of yet? 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The perfect Valentine's gift

For Valentine's Day this year Mr Deravelled booked me on a one day course at Guthrie & Ghani, to help me finally get to grips with my overlocker that he bought me two Christmasses ago!  The course was led by Layla Totah, and it was fabulous.  I went in not even knowing how to thread an overlocker, and came out not only confident in my ability to thread my overlocker, but also able to create a wearable top!  If you have an overlocker that is gathering dust because you're too afraid to turn it on, then you're in luck!  They have another class coming up in July, and currently there are still some spaces left!  Go go go!

With Layla's excellent tuition, I now feel assured that I can use my overlocker with confidence - amazing!  It was also lovely to spend the day with a room of like-minded sewists, chatting about sewing-related stuff and drinking copious cups of tea.

Red velvet cake from the Persian cafe down the road - what else?!

I would highy recommend a Guthrie & Ghani sewing course to anyone who wants to learn a lot in a short space of time, and really push their knowledge to the next level.  I loved it so much, I've booked to go back for a two day course in the summer.  Watch this space!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A wonderful gift from Mr Deravelled

On a recent trip down to London with Mr Deravelled and the Moomin, we happened upon the historic London landmark - Liberty of London.  Having never been inside Liberty before (although an avid viewer of the documentary), we went in for a look around.

After negotiating the ground floor full of beautiful accessories, cosmetics and chocolate, we made our way up the creaking staircase to the fabric floor.  It was smaller than I imagined, but still fabulous.  It was at this point that Mr Deravelled said that he would buy me three metres of the fabric of my choice (lucky me!).  After squeeing a lot, I started the serious business of trying to choose just one design.  After very nearly going for the Strawberry Thief, I instead decided upon the above tana lawn, in Morris A.  Thank you, Mr Deravelled!

It really is an experience shopping in Liberty.  They take so much care over the cutting of the fabric, and wrap it so beautifully in Liberty tissue paper.  They even put it in a fancy purple gift bag, emblazoned with the Liberty crest in gold.  Just as well, really, as the fabric is very expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that I am now too afraid to use it!  Do you ever have that problem?