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.
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.
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.
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.
So I posted a few weeks ago about the bloomers and bonnet I made for my little cousin’s 2nd birthday. I didn’t have much time and I was waiting for a sewing pattern to arrive, so I had to send that adorable but incomplete outfit across the pond to Canada in time for W’s birthday.
But the pattern arrived and the final piece of the puzzle is now in place.
This is the Colombe top from Citronille. I had fun with online dictionaries and my rusty French A-level translating the instructions, but generally it was pretty easy and I love the result! I just wish it came in bigger sizes – 2 years is the maximum.
I used some sweet cotton clipdot from my stash, red rickrack, and spare red buttons which I think were from my first ever knitting project.
Can I have one too?
My sweet little cousin across the pond is already turning two! Last year she got a romper and bonnet/blouse set. This year she’s getting… apples! And hedgehogs, and some Liberty fabric from her great-grandmother.
Bloomers pattern from Wiksten. Bonnet pattern free from Purl Soho. Apple/hedgehog double gauze from Miss Matatabi. Vintage tana lawn from my Grannie.
I love the Named Clothing Inari dress I made at Easter, so I followed up with a totally un-customised, straight from the pattern Inari Tee.
It’s in Nani Iro double gauze with lovely pearlescent dots which I got (for free! First competition I’ve ever won, and the most I’ve ever wanted to win sonething) from Miss Matatabi (much more from this generous haul to follow).
I love it, it’s great with my high waisted skirts and smart trousers at the office; but at the same time it’s too short to wear casually unless I get / make some high waisted jeans. So I’m going to make more of these, but a bit longer. Watch this space!