Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Alison Glass Chroma Baby Quilt


I started this baby quilt during an improvisation quilt workshop with Jenny Haynes at the Village Haberdashery back in March. To create the quilt top I used the beautiful Chroma Collection for Andover Fabrics by Alison Glass. I was sent the fabric by a friend Kathy who works for Andover Fabrics in New York, the collection is not yet available to buy until June 2017. Lucky me that got a sneak preview!


I have spent the past month slowly hand-stitching the quilt. I added organic wadding and self bound the quilt using the backing fabric. I forgot to take photos of this process so if you would like to try this method yourself hop over Ludlow Quilt and Sew blog who has a great tutorial about how to do it.

I also used up lots of embroidery thread left-over from my textile students days from the 1990's.
Does anybody remember when Maderia threads produced hand-embroidery floss in these packets? I used them all up (and lots more) on this quilt!


I got a real sense of satisfaction completing this baby quilt and it got me wondering how long it took me to make it.

Session 1: Selecting colour combinations, cutting and machine stitching together = 6 hours
Session 2: Cutting out backing fabric, wadding, pinning together, hand-basting all together = 3 hours
Session 3: Creating / pinning the self-binding, sewing binding and 1/4 hand-quilting = 4
Session 4: Hand-quilting with fine thread = 3 hours
Session 5: Hand-quilting with fine thread = 3 hours
Session 6: Hand-quilting with embroidery thread = 6 hours
Session 7: Hand-quilting with embroidery thread around the border = 3 hours

Approximately 28 hours to produce a predominantly hand-sewn quilt. I have to admit after session six my hand was sore after 6-hours of hand-quilting.

I am hoping all the hard work will be worth it when my friend and her wife receive this gift for their baby girl in June!



I alternated between thinner sewing thread and the thicker embroidery thread to add more textural interest to the quilting. As the fabric was so busy and colourful I chose to sew regular running stitches in straight(ish) lines across the width of the quilt. The thread I selected were picked from a wide range of colours found in the prints. 






You can see the different coloured threads more easily on the reverse of the quilt, although some of the finer sewing threads blend into the background.




I have been inspired to make my own quilt and I am already mid-way through the construction of a double-bed sized quilt. I will reveal more in my next blogpost.

I hope you enjoyed seeing copious amounts of patch-worked and hand-quilted Alison Glass fabrics as much as I had sewing it!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Liberty Laurel Dress


I finished this pretty summer dress yesterday after hanging around in an almost finished state for nearly a year. I started in May 2016 and have only just got around to finishing the bias bound neck and fastening at the back in April 2017! If you are not familiar with the silhouette it is the ever-popular beginners shift dress the Colette Laurel.


I remember cutting out and making the majority of this dress last year but luckily I gleaned a bit more information via my 'project' section of the Foldline sewing enthusiast platform. Foldline is a great online community of sewists where you can create a profile and interact with other sewing enthusiasts. You can also write pattern reviews, create an online visual of your stash fabric and contribute to a forum.


Above is an example of my laurel project as seen on my Foldline profile. I added a few notes about the changes I made. Apparently I have added 6cm to the length of the dress (I had forgotten that detail which is bound to happen if you take 11 months to finish a dress!) and the Liberty cotton was purchased in a 30% off online sale. The Liberty print is called Kinetic from the Spring / Summer 2016 collection. You can get it from Sharkut for £14.99 per metre.

Not much else to report other than I used the same closing technique as my Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress with a hair-band cheat rouleau loop and a lovely button I had in my stash. I used the reverse side of the button as it had pretty flecks of grey, pink and white in it that picked up on the colours of the Liberty print.

I hand stitched the self-made bias binding into position including around the opening at the back.

It fits well on the upper body but is probably a little wider than I'd like at the hip area as I did my usual grading between two sizes from bust to hips. Perhaps I don't need to do this on my next version as it is a fairly loose fitting shift dress. It does however look nice worn with a belt. When I get a chance I will post some photos of me wearing it.






Pattern: Colette Laurel Dress (I made the top here) = £12 (second make from pattern) = £6
Fabric: 1.1 metre of Liberty Kinetic Tana Lawn = £15
Gutterman Thread: Pink from stash = free
Rouleau Loop: Hairband from stash = free
Buttton: From stash = free

Total: £23

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Art Exhibition Adventures

Joseph Frank at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey until 7th May 2017

I visited the Joseph Frank exhibition last week and enjoyed the bold and beautiful prints created by this artist and designer. The work is displayed brilliantly with the original textile prints artworks alongside floor to ceiling lengths of printed fabric. A fun interactive touch is there are several pieces of furniture upholstered in the prints for visitors to sit on.

Upstairs hangs a wide collection of still life and landscape paintings produced by Frank throughout his career. They are bold watercolours that showcase his interest in colour, pattern and texture.
I would highly recommend a visit to see this exhibition before it closes on the 7th May.


Teheran 1943-45


Himalaya 1950
Window 1943-45




Alternative Facts by Fatherless at Stour Space, Hackney Wick until 1st May

This exhibition at the Stour Space Gallery involved a little adventure to get there starting at Hackney Wick station and a walk down the canal towpath next to the Olympic Park. I really wanted to see this show by the Fatherless print collective as I already own one of their prints (below) that I bought from the Pick me Up exhibition in 2013.


They have an interesting approach to making art. As a collective they all add to each piece of work they do layering screen-prints over the top of each other using bright and bold imagery and colours. The artists in the Fatherless collective are Jarrod Hennis, Javier Jimenez, Greg Lang, Dave Menard and Londoner Ben Rider.








Thursday, 13 April 2017

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

I have had both the By Hand London Victoria Blazer pattern and this pretty cotton sateen in my stash for quite some time. The colourful print reminds me of one of my favourite artists, Sonia Delauney who uses lots of beautiful washes of colour and circular motifs in her paintings.
Sonia Delauney, 1914, Prismes Electriques. Image Source
Last Wednesday I decided that the Victoria blazer and Delauney-esque fabric would make a great pairing and set about cutting out the pattern.


I opted for variation two; the cropped blazer.
Things were going as planned and I also found enough bright blue fabric for the lining (leftover from SOI Tulip skirt) and cut the whole lot out.
The construction was great as I used the beautifully illustrated instruction booklet as well as the online sew-along on the BHL blog.

After tackling the very cool collar construction and had assembled the front and back of the blazer things went a little off-piste. It seems I had not cut the appropriate length for the cropped blazer on the front bodice pieces, leaving quite a chunk missing. Luckily, rather than sulking and throwing this in the UFO (unfinished-object) pile, inspiration struck in the form of a pocket.


After looking at Grainline's Driftless cardigan I decided to create a pocket by adding an extra layer of outer-fabric across the full width of the front of each bodice piece. I lined them with blue fabric and sewed the whole lot to the front of each bodice.


I'm really happy with this new 'design-feature' alteration. Additionally I also had to add extra sections on the lining too as I had cut all pieces out at the same time.

As for the remaining construction I did far more hand-sewing than instructed in the booklet but I really love the mindful practice of carefully finishing garments by hand. In part this hand-work is also because my 25 year old Bernina is still playing up and either needs a massive overhaul or (whispered tones) I need to buy a new machine.....


I used the same construction for the lining that I learnt on the Sew Over It Coco Jacket which is to sew the jacket lining to the seam allowance of the arm scythe then to hand-stitch the sleeve into position. It takes A LOT longer to do this than other methods but I love the final finish. I would like to make another Victoria Blazer so I will keep my eye out for a new fabric with the right weight.





Pattern: By Hand London Victoria Blazer paper pattern = £13
Fabric: 1.5 metres cotton sateen from Samuel Taylors (Leeds 2013) = £10
Lining: 1 metre of lining from stash = free
Gutterman Thread: Black and blue from stash = free

Total: £23

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.