Monday, 30 October 2017

Autumnal BHL Charlotte Skirt


A quick post about my new By Hand London Charlotte skirt that I finished last week using the remnants of some gorgeous Autumnal printed floral linen I bought from Sew Over It last year. I made a Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress out of the first metre and a half which I absolutely love. I thought the remaining metre of fabric would be perfect to squeeze a Charlotte pencil skirt out of it and I'm really pleased I did.

No changes to the pattern since the last version (I have graduated from one size at the waist to a larger size at the hips). I constructed it with French Seams, bias bound the centre back seam around the zip with black bias-binding and hand stitched a deep hem.

I lengthened the waistband so I could overlap it and added press-studs for extra security. Overall a speedy make if you exclude the sewing of eight darts!

My wool and cashmere coat is the Sew Over It 1960's Coat which I get lots of wear out of in the winter months.

Pattern: By Hand London Charlotte Skirt Pattern = £9.00 (£4.50 as it's the second time I've used it)
Fabric: 1 metre of linen from Sew Over It = £10 (from stash)
Gutterman Thread: Burgundy from stash = free
Invisible Zip: Black = 50p
Bias Binding: 2 metres of black satin bias binding from Ray Stitch = £2.20
Press-studs: from my Grandma's stash = free

Total: £17.20

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Chambray McCalls 6696

About a year ago I bought two metres of this lovely Art Gallery Denim Studio grid-printed navy chambray from Ray Stitch in Islington. I always had in mind to make another classic McCalls 6696 shirt dress. I made my first version waaaaay back in January 2015.

The construction was pretty much the same as my previous dress with a few minor adjustments as follows:
  • Removed 2cm from the collar lapel width
  • Removed the gathers at the back bodice
  • Added 5cm to the length of the skirt section
  • Used French Seams throughout construction
  • Bias bound the armscye, pockets and hem
  • Rounded off the corners of the pockets
Here are some internal photos of the different finishes.











I wore the finished dress last night to the Sew Over It Islington launch party for their new 1940's wrap dress pattern. They had 50% discounts on paper patterns and 20% off fabric in store which was a little incentive to buy a few things for Christmas presents for some sewing friends. I met my friend Alex (My Creative Experiments) at the shop and also chatted to Karen (Did You Make That?) and Gabby (Gabberdashery) which was great to catch up with these lovely ladies in real life.

Here I am in front of the lush fabrics in the Sew Over It shop in all my McCalls M6696 wrinkled glory!



Pattern: McCalls 6696 Pattern = £8.00 (£4.00 as it's the second time I've used it)
Fabric: 1.5 metres of chambray from Ray Stitch = £16
Gutterman Thread: Navy from stash = free
Bias Binding: 2 metres of burgundy satin bias binding from Ray Stitch = £2.20
Press-studs: from my Grandma's stash = free

Total: £22.20

Friday, 27 October 2017

Flower Arranging at Tate Britain

A second floral related post in as many days!
I spent a lovely hour creating a contemporary flower arrangement at Tate Britain with the florists Rebel Rebel. Inspired by the work of British artists, the idea behind the class was to channel the colour palettes of the artists to produce an arrangement of flowers that reflected their style or aesthetic.

My piece was inspired by the joyful still life work of David Hockney and his sumptuous approach to colour and esoteric compositions.

David Hockney - Three Sunflowers and a Bottle of Water, 1996








Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Paper Flower making with A Petal Unfolds


On Sunday I attended a workshop in Shoreditch ran by the lovely Susan from A Petal Unfolds. I signed up for the peony flower workshop a two and a half hour session to learn how to make a crepe paper flower.

Susan had created a lovely pack of cardboard templates for each part of the flower. We started with centre of the flower using yellow and orange crepe. The stamen are created by snipping fine vertical cuts the length of the paper. You then roll the paper around some floristry wire using glue to secure it.
Petals of various sizes are cut out of a crepe paper colour of your choice. Before glueing into position you gently stretch the crepe paper to create some gentle folds and movement in the petals. The key to creating a natural looking flower, glue the petals clockwise at 2, 5, 7, 11 and so on filling in the gaps as you continue. I used about 36 - 40 petals in the flower you see here and a few leaves. I had sooooo much fun making this flower and I would love to learn more about paper flower crafts.
Enjoy these luscious photos!













Saturday, 14 October 2017

North London Adventures

2 Mile Walk
A lovely evening walk through picturesque Islington residential streets towards Kings Cross. My friend Charlotte and I ate at a small social enterprise cafe called New Roots Cafe at 344 Caledonian Road which serves vegan and vegetarian food. It is ran by volunteers and all profits support the charity Highway House and the women’s shelter in Islington.
Here are some photos of the lovely architecture we enjoyed along the route.






English Paper Piecing


Waaaaay back in May I attended a London Craft Club session in Chiswick for some mindful hand-patchwork ran by Chris Webb.
I was joined by my friend Alex (My Creative Experiments blog) and Kris. We spent a few relaxing hours creating an abstract English Paper Pieced patchwork piece. Although lots of fabric scraps are provided I took along a collection of monochrome cottons. 





I'm pretty pleased with the finished patchwork. It is going to form the centre piece for some free-style machine patchwork for a cushion cover. The plan is to give it to a good friend for her Christmas present. I am hoping to finish it over the half term break at the end of October.