Knife and fork

So I got my fantastic new Bernina, and then took myself off to Wales for the weekend and ended up sewing the majority of this skirt on my mum’s trusty Janome, which is now, following the demise of our Canadian Singer from the 70s, our very oldest sewing machine, hailing from – shock horror – the late 90s.

The outer and lining are both self drafted so a bit (a lot!) of trial and error went into this skirt. The lining is A-line with darts front and back, and the outer skirt is straight with knife pleats (following this excellent tutorial, which, unexpectedly, calls for a fork). The fabric is rayon from Cotton + Steel’s second collaboration with Rifle Paper Co, Wonderland, purchased in the summer from The Village Haberdashery.

What can I say? I really like this skirt! I also figured out how to use my Bernina’s automatic buttonhole feature, so can now realistically think about making some proper, button-down blouses (at long last). Time to really make progress on my extensive Liberty tana lawn collection.

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Petal power 

I’ve spent a few years looking for a craft magazine which I actually enjoy. I stumbled across Making last year, and I’m in love! I even bought the back issues so I’ll have a complete collection.

Here are some “petal pouches”, from issue 1: “Flora”. I made these as part of Operation Christmas 2017 in a bit of a production line, but they’ve turned out pretty well. 

The first set is made from Nani Iro linen (blue floral – which you may recognise from this favourite dress) and double gauze (white floral). 

The second set is from my remaining Martha Negley feathers fabric (you can actually see some matching cushions in the photos, but I mostly made this skirt which I never wear) and Liberty poplin with little pencils. The poplin is great – really crisp and rigid and great to sew, but also thin.

Needless to say I’ve subscribed to Making for another year and can’t wait to see what’s in store! And meanwhile, I hope these petal pouches are loved by their recipients (because if not, I definitely want them back!). 

Winter warmer

This year my mum asked me to knit her a hat for Christmas, to replace one she’d lost, so I sewed her a dress. I also knit her the hat, but wanted to make her something she wouldn’t leave on the train!

The fabric is Liberty “Poppytot” fluffy sweatshirt in which I hot as a remnant about two years ago (half price! What a steal). I already made myself this sweatshirt from it last year and there was thankfully still enough left for a dress.

For the pattern, I used the Grainline Studio Lark Tee as a base, but added darts and length, and altered the neckline largely in line with New Look K6145. I sized up one because of the thickness of the fabric, and also added patch pockets.

A new sewing chapter

When I started sewing in earnest (is that really 6 years ago?!) my mum very kindly and presciently bought me my first machine – a John Lewis, red, basic model for just under £100. It’s served me pretty well, looking back at my makes, and it’s cheerful cherry red has been a cheeky source of inspiration and delight.

But after a while, it’s time to make new friends. Earlier this month I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally, and came back with a veritable beast. A Bernina 570QE, unicorn machine of dreams. I’ve been saving up for over a year, I’ve had help from generous benefactors (special shout out to my aunt and stepdad), and I’ve finally taken rather a big leap.

I was giddy all day after I brought the Bernina home, but a little bit  apprehensive of actually starting to familiarise myself with it. But last weekend, a convenient rainy day kept me inside and I started the long process of getting to know the Bernina.

So my inaugural make (in honour of having my first ever straight stretch stitch at my fingertips) is a Talvikki sweater, by Named Clothing. The fabric is sweatshirting by Atelier Brunette, purchased from M is for Make

The fabric is a bit thinner than I expected – if I make this again, it will be in boiled wool. The Atelier Brunette fabric is not designed for British (or Canadian!) winters. But I think this will be a nice anti-mosquito layer for hot summer nights, and for the time being it’s so roomy I can really layer up underneath. In the photos I’m wearing my Liberty Hesketh Apollon sweatshirt underneath. 

And the Bernina? An absolute dream. But definitely still a long learning curve ahead of me. 

Escargot-pants

In a last minute bid to prepare myself for my summer trip to Canada I made myself some snail trousers. I also made a linen stripe tee a few weeks back and forgot to blog it, so here they are together. 

The trousers are the Luna Pants pattern by Made By Rae, and sewn in Heather Ross’s Sleeping Porch cotton lawn. Everything about these trousers is perfect – from the fit, to the soft lawn, to the pockets, to the subdued and sophisticated print which on second glance turns out to be just hundreds of snails…

The tee is another Named Clothing Inari Tee. For this one I lengthened the front by 3″ and the back by 5″, and played around with stripes and pockets. The fabric is linen-cotton which I bought a few years ago at John Lewis intending to sew a shirred dress, but never managed to (but I did use some for this knitting bag). Anyway, this tee is great and I love the length. 

Fox tote

It was my stepdad’s birthday last month and I made him a foxy tote for carrying his sketchbooks. 

Pattern is self drafted. Outer fabric is Japanese linen-canvas from M is for Make, inner is Cotton + Steel that’s been in my stash so long I can’t remember where it’s from. Base is from a furnishing fabric remnant I got at John Lewis. Strap webbing was left over from this project, and is from Ray-Stitch. 

Pain-da

Look at the awkward French joke I’ve made for the title of this post! Yay. Now let’s look at my new incredible bloomers I’ve made for summer sleep times. I also made a matching pj top, self-drafted but based on one I saw at Gap of all places. 

I’ve secretly been dreaming of bloomers for infantile big people like myself for a long time; I have this vision of going to visit my friend Sophie in Cornwall and going to the seaside to go rock-pooling in Liberty-print bloomers.

As a first stab though, these make for very sweet dreams. I love the panda-breads and panda-pastries; they delight me every time I look down at them. 

Top is self-drafted, bloomers are adapted from the free Madeleine bloomers pattern by Colette (added a few inches of extra waist length). Fabric is from Miss Matatabi