Just need to do this apparently to claim my blog on Bloglovin. Yep, as always rather behind the crowd….
Just a quick post to wish all you out there a very happy Christmas…
Thank you everyone for reading my blog, I feel so lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive extended group of friends! So want to wish you all a dazzling festive holiday time….
I'm taking a break for a week, but will be back with some exciting pics of new makes…and will do some kind of review and look forward.
just have huge fun, hope you get to relax, do what you love doing …..
In reverse order, here’s the Bear!
In time honoured tradition, started by Karen at Did You Make That, I managed to capture a sewing blogger at Paddington station with the dude himself! Now speaking of Karen …what better way to learn how to do something new than to do it with friends, with chocolate cake, a super calm teacher who has learnt from her mistakes, in Walthamstow, & even with some celebratory fizz to end!! I was so lucky to be invited by Karen, ostensibly to be a guinea pig for bound buttonhole teaching. You see she is helpfully writing it up as a step by step e-book & wanted to test her approach so far on some willing volunteers. Enter Handmade Jane and Marie of A Sewing Odyssey to complete the set.
Have you ever seen such owner-perfect umbrellas? Marie with animal print & Jane with polka dots? Karen has written up her side of the story here, & not to repeat, it really was the most fun I’ve had for a long time (oh, I know you’ll understand being fellow sewing enthusiasts!) & I think it’s fair to say that all of us now have much higher confidence levels in sewing bound buttonholes.
Karen’s gentle & dulcet instruction ….
Plus we have some almost finished examples. You see I have tried them before for my Vintage Vogue jacket, but they are a long way off being perfect! Karen’s comprehensive instructions & gentle teaching style (& massive amount of preparation) resulted in me coming away understanding a lot more about the why you do it that way, which bits are important & when I can rely on a “Badger Bodge” & when the impact of such a bodge would jeopardise the final result. So as soon as Karen’s e-book is available, I’d highly recommend it….
The opportunity to check we were doing it right at every stage felt like such a luxury. So much nicer to learn in company than to only have the internet or a book to refer to. Karen is not pretending to be the world’s expert by the way, she is just generously sharing her learnings, her trial and error from a very practical bottom up approach. But In my view, the bound buttonholes she’s made on *that* suit ( see the jacket on the dummy behind) have a finish I’d aspire to.
We’ve got bounty to take away:
- My almost finished buttonholes to complete
- Reading material & step by step instructions to test on our own, away from “teacher” & chit chat & chocolate cake
Karen, thank you, for putting in so much effort to make this work so well, even so far as to prepare all of the fabric pieces in advance. What a super fun afternoon & a wonderful meal at Eat 17 (seriously surpassing tasty!). Now I was suitably inspired, & as I was in London, to fill a spare 45 minutes soaking up inspiration at the V&A. I have never been & if I’d had more time would love to go to the ballgowns exhibition that is currently running. More time than that – I’d just spend all day there! However, I found a feast for the eyes just in the general fashion exhibit. First of all I caught sight of this beautiful evening Dior ensemble
And couldn’t resist closer inspection at the buttonholes!
Now that’s what I call delicate & precise.
Then some other clothing that had a mixture of bound buttonholes and hand sewn buttonholes I spied these, some of which is “utility wear” after the war.
But the top right is from the Dior display, I just loved all of these shapes. Hmm, bound buttonholes, tweed, suits, it must be coming up to thinking about autumn sewing plans! Interesting! And finally for some details that I snapped do you like this collection of all sorts of uses of lace? I’m sorry I haven’t made notes about them, as I was being too busy being inspired, but they represent a wide range of fashions from Victorian, right the way up to Chanel.
My head is buzzing! I’ve seen so much to inspire me, have learnt lots I want to try & I need to think about my autumn plans! Do you ever get flooded with thoughts & then find it hard to settle down & do anything? There’s SO much I want to do, but so little time ….
By the way, I shall also catch up with my blog reading as well ..something that I am rather behind with but I predict it will also add more inspiration/ temptation into the mix!!
For those of you who have a bank holiday off tomorrow, enjoy your long weekend! How FAB to have three days off
Hello everyone …thank you so much for the hearty comments in my last post & I’m sorry I haven’t replied to them en blog yet, I have not been able to, being away from home, but will be catching up with everything super soon. There is another massive apology due – the photos in this post are dire! They are camera phone pictures & as such look crappy ….but for once I thought the excitement generated might show through despite the poor quality. Imagine …me in my new spotty bow top & red trousers fumbling around with phone “where is the ‘trackball’?! ooops, it moved” & snigger OK?
So we went to Manchester. We love going to Manchester, one good, or actually that should be two good reasons is that it is where the boys live now & so there have so far been 4 years’ worth of pilgrimages “up north”. Oftentimes it is an extended group of us that includes the former Mr Scruffy Badger aka Mr Technical Pants aka extreme Morrissey fan. Frequently a further good reason makes this a triple pilgrimage timed to see the aforementioned 53 year old & incredibly awesome Mozza himself. This was one of those occasions.
We always gravitate towards the Northern Quarter, vintage, retro heaven sprinkled with interesting bars & restaurants. Slightly off the main drag near Piccadilly Gardens. It’s funny that over the four years I can see how it’s developed – some of the rougher edges are decidedly smoothed & there are many more cafes & tea shops there than when we first started visiting. We usually head to Affleck’s Palace, an emporium of collectables, vintage clothing, records, jewellery, computer games crafts & all that stuff you remember from the 70s & 80s arranged over ?4 floors perhaps occupied by lots of independent sellers. We usually partake in a slap up breakfast on the third floor…Anyway this is a long way to explain that this time I easily managed to persuade the men in our group that Saturday morning in the Northern Quarter would start with a full English then “just 20 mins” in Abakhan for me whilst they had plenty of poster, record & design shop options to keep them occupied.
So what’s the deal with Abakhan you might ask? It’s got a regular online shop & is frequently listed as one of the fabric suppliers for SewMag’s makes. But for me it was my first ever thrilling & slightly scary fabric purchase experience. You see whilst the upstairs are regular bolts of cloth measured out to your yardage, downstairs, on the ground floor you are faced with lots of this:
Lengths of fabric sorted into types & sold by weight. I tell you the first time it really knocked the fabric shopping stuffing out of me because I was overwhelmed & more than a little worried about how much it would cost. Have you ever weighed your fabric to know how much a length that might be a metre and a half would weigh so you could then apply some mental arithmetic to estimate the cost? What kind of unrealistic extreme pressure is this? Weighing & mental arithmetic?!
So you get the flavour. After I’d plucked up courage the first time, I discovered that it was a very fun & not expensive way to buy. In fact you can pick up some real bargains & some really unusual pieces with a bit of rummaging.
Luckily I had a good strong man to lug a large sack back to the hotel (all 4.65 kg of it).
Which looks a bit like this
I bought 4 lengths of lovely quality plain knit fabric (1.3kg @ £8.59 per kg ); some poly wool knits to make cardigans out of (hmm, interesting don’t you think?)- three lengths (unfortunately only greys) including that floral grey in the middle (1.6kg @ £9.95 per kg), & more …
Here are my faves
Some vintage jersey ruffle / crinkle (£2.03) that will be a cute skirt; the floral print poly wool knit (for a cardigan ) was £7.26; a small piece of super hero craft cotton for boxers (£3.10 way hey!!); cerise butterfly print lycra (£4.63 for loads) and a small piece, 1m perhaps of vibrant green/ yellow stretch lace (£1.07); So yes. I am going to experiment with sewing cardigans, what do you think of that? Plenty of room for failures as this is acrylic I’m working with, but no point in starting with posh expensive knits is there now? Anyone sewn a cardigan? I have Simplicity 2154 to draw upon, but think I might start from an old existing one….and cross it with Renfrew perhaps….
So just 30 mins after entering the shop, I deposited the sack in the hotel room & we went to the People’s History Museum which was totally interesting – looked at the events I remember from History lessons at school & made so much more sense, was so much more relevant as an adult. (I must have been so unenlightened as a child!) It covered two hundred years of the political struggles that have achieved the level of democracy & rights we take for granted these days: the Chartists, Tolpuddle Martyrs through to the suffragettes right through to the politics of the 80s. As a history of how political messages were communicated, it was doubly fascinating: satirical 19th C cartoons, a huge collection of awesome banners for trade unions & the artwork & imagery used in the posters were inspiring. Oh my camera phone let me down. All I could manage were these & they can only give you an idea of the ones I thought you’d enjoy …
So the visit was topped off by the Moz himself. I must say it was an awesome concert- he & his band were in top form, some of his songs nearly made me cry & I couldn’t look when they played “Meat is Murder” due to the PETA film footage behind. Maybe there will be some veggie converts as a result.
Top weekend (much needed) & back to normal now …kind of.
This is what I am working on now, right this minute.
I’m making the sleeveless bow blouse. Give it an “ooooh” – it’s in polka dot poly chiffon…..more from Birmingham Rag Market. This is my machine sewing, the 1940s Minnado Dress is destined for finishing this weekend too…..
So much am I enjoying the therapy provided by sewing…much needed this week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Till next time
Scruffy Badger xx
I have had this pattern for years it seems & have kept on bringing it out & almost deciding to make it. I even got so far as to cut out the tissue pieces, but never quite committed scissors to cloth. That is despite seeing all of Zoe’s renditions in wonderful stash & vintage fabrics. At the Goldhawk Road Fandango I even remember asking her advice about it, length & fit etc but it took another year or so before just getting on with it.
The fabric in question: teal linen, a mere metre, not enough for a Ginger, but enough to make the longer view of this skirt. That I’m afraid was my decision maker as I did buy envisioning another Ginger (until the roll ran out at 1m!) I think I may also have been wary that the yoke would require fitting & not be straight forward. How wrong I was. I took the precaution of tissue fitting it with no real issues – & when it was made up it was just fine. (Although I could probably lose an inch around the yoke if I am honest & it would look a bit more snug & shapely on the waist). This skirt’s top sits just on my belly button, it is reasonably low slung, & very comfortable!
I used some left over polka dot from my recent New Look 6000 for pocket linings – if ever these two fabrics deserved to be together it is like this. Shame I don’t have enough left to make a top…..
So I used an invisible zip purely because that was the closest that I had in colour. Man I am so grateful for my invisible zip foot, I appear to be getting better at putting invisizips in with fewer glaring errors & fewer unpickings (none this time woo hoo!)
I decided to line it also (with the last of my pricey but most satisfying-in-the-number-of-garments-it-is-now-the-lining-of-lawn)
& worked out the steps in my head:
- Make skirt but don’t sew up the back seam
- Make up yoke & attach to skirt
- Insert zip
- Sew back seam
- Make pleats/ tucks in lining at waist
- Sew lining but only at side seams
- Attach each side of lining to zip seam allowance
- Sew lining back seam
- Attach lining to the skirt/ yoke seam allowance
- Attach Yoke facing to zip seam allowance & then sew to yoke top
- Attach yoke facing (turned to inside) to lining either by hand or stitching in the ditch from the right side.
- Set lining hem & add lace (I used my overlocker so that the raw edge was finished at the same time, then edge-stitched the hem’s seam allowance to the skirt). The lace is disappointing in its cheapness, but it was all I had to go the distance & better than nothing…
You may see flaws in this progression, but if it helps anyone with their thinking, it worked for me ….loving it with that Kimono sleeve tee
I LOVE having pockets in a skirt, I know, when did I wake up? But even for a skirt for work, especially helpful for stashing small things I might forget to add to my handbag (headache tabs, a bit of money) super useful & saves my brain in the morning, which let’s face it needs all the help it can get.
I love this pattern but am not sure if it is the most flattering shape on me. I feel sure I will try again with a smaller waist & make it out of something with a bit more groove next time now I know how the style handles. I do have something in mind – some furnishing fabric – very a la Zoe – if I have enough ….
Next post I promise concerns my trews, but before then, to put those of you who entered the giveaway out of your misery, the winner of package 1 is
Lynn, who said, “The brooch is great & I love those big pockets on the skirt”
And for number 2,
it is Sara who said, “I like both packages but package two I like a little bit more”. Well done ladies, I will contact you by email to arrange dispatch.
(I used random.org but sorry no evidence ….)
Thank you to everyone who entered & also for the follow up comments on the TED talk, & other recommended reading for inspiration…. lovely people, you
Sorry for mumbling about this for so long…..finally I have taken a few pics & now my linking works I can launch this Giveawayheyhey!
I guess the reason I’m throwing it is because I wanted to just show a bit of appreciation for this wonderful online community I feel a part of. You are all stars, so helpful, encouraging, supportive, funny – you name it, I could go on with the descriptors, but you just want to know what’s up for grabs, don’t you? So if you are interested in the reason behind the giveaway, read on after ….
I’ve got two parcels, to offer different size options, so make sure you let me know which one you would like to be entered for. This is open to anyone, I’ll post anywhere. Please leave a comment by midnight 27th May GMT.
Package number one:
- A beautiful brooch by Labybirdlikes on Etsy
- An 8 gored skirt by Butterick, 50s size 30 waist, hip 39. Now I think this is a great pattern if you have never sewn a vintage pattern. It doesn’t have any printing on it (wot no printing?!) but you’ll get over that easily. It’s a good confidence booster! Plus who wouldn’t want to style it with a figure hugging sweater & neck scarf….
- A cute selection of vintage buttons.
Package number 2:
- A cute crocheted cherry brooch by Ladybirdlikes (actually I like & have test-driven it for you just to make sure it works – it does)
- A 60s dress/ two piece dress pattern with that awesome roll collar, bust 38. I adore this pattern, but would need to alter it & the likelihood of me doing that anytime soon is slimmer than something extremely skinny. Please note that the yellow outfit has been drawn on by a previous owner to show a two piece version, but it is actually a one piece dress. (Shows how it could be made up though, you’d just have to figure out splitting the collar at the front rather than the back…)
- A couple of gorgeous belt buckles ….in truth I bought these for myself, but thought they’d make up this parcel match more evenly to the first.
So if you are interested in winning either of the above please leave a comment before 27th May ends. Now if you want to know more about the backstory ….
I’d been feeling all warm & fuzzy about being part of this wonderful community, when in my non-blogging world I came across this video, the Happy Secret to Better Work on TED by Shawn Achor. You may/ may not agree with what he says but I like it. So while this is primarily aimed at the business community, his presentation talks about positive psychology, the “happiness advantage” & how he thinks it is is possible to rewire ourselves to be more optimistic, happier, resilient & therefore more able to be successful (however we define success) & perform at our best…. By undertaking some simple practices for 21 days he thinks it is possible to retrain your brain so that it habituates the positive, retaining positive feelgood experiences, & it was the practices that to me struck many chords with blogging, in particular the online sewing community. These are the practices:
- 3 gratitudes (3 new things you are grateful for each day)
- Journaling (writing about one great experience that happens to you over the 24 hours)
- Random acts of kindness
Now I am not saying this is true, am certainly not stirring up any science on psychology, but I just wanted to explain that it was this that provoked me to hold a giveaway. I am a pretty positive person anyway, but these practices seemed very applicable to sewing/blogging- for example, journaling – don’t we do this quite a bit when we blog? Meditation – well for me that comes to a certain degree with sewing, I become very much in the moment & certainly lose sense of space & time, forgetting to eat & drink (yes it’s true!!) I think that’s as close to meditation I’d ever get anyway!!. It was the random acts of kindness though that had real meaning to me, & I see evidence of this across our sewing community. The advice so freely given, the effort it takes for someone to look up an article on Threads to help with a certain fitting problem or technique, the kind supportive comments that people like you take the trouble to leave. The pattern that appears through your letter box because someone has got a sense that you’d like it. The fabric that someone spies & thinks of you when they buy it …..You people are awesome, and so here is my random act of kindness, the first of many. It’s funny that shortly after I saw this video Karen wrote a post that provoked many comments about the nature of the online sewing community & how it is a very positive online place with various opinions and experiences reflecting this. Worth a peep if you want to dwell on this more. So there you are. Not a totally random giveaway, but the catalyst explained.
Gosh it’s exciting here!
No really we had a sonic boom over Bath yesterday & conspiracy theories abound….
Anyway, there are some awards pinging around the blogosphere & I’ve been lucky enough to have been nominated too. Thank you dear sweet peeps!
First up Farbenfreud (herself a ray of rainbow-filtered-sunshine with polka dots) nominated me for a Sunshine award
Favorite Color: Yellow. That was my gut feeling, but then red’s also rather a wonderfully cheery colour as well.
Favorite Animal: You would think bad of me if I didn’t say “badger”, but guess what? I like elephants too!
Favorite Number: 3
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Peach or real lemonade
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter, but barely! I am not very good at looking often enough, but when I do I sure know how to lose time!
My Passion: Creating, it has to be. But actually I am quite passionate about people being the best they can be & living their potential & their dreams ….
Getting or Giving Presents: Giving, it has to be.
Favorite Pattern: This is too hard. But. If I had to choose I think I would say the Colette Pattern Rooibos, even though I have only made it once.
Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday it has to be with the prospect of a whole weekend in which to do the things I love
Favorite Flower: Daffodils & daisies
Favorite celebrity role model: Another apology as I don’t keep up with that world, but would chose someone inspirational who followed their dream & made a success of it (err, as usual my head is empty of examples!). However thinking a bit more about this, I would say Eddy Izzard was hugely inspirational, particularly for his sport relief feat in 2009 where he ran 30 miles a day for 6 weeks around the whole of the UK, in other words, 43 marathons over 61 days, but get this, he wasn’t a runner. His progress was televised & I was gripped to the TV. This was 3 years ago & I am still tremendously inspired by his pain, determination, tenacity & achievement.
Then I also have one of these “Versatile Blogger” awards. Now speaking of people who are following their dreams, this is recently from Andrea at Stitchparade, who is going on an adventure & when I read about it, I almost cried (due to reasons explained above!)
I think that the lovely Debbie at Minnado’s House also nominated me a “while back” & I became diverted. Sorry to appear ungrateful, that’s not what was intended. For this I have to list 7 things you don’t know about me. Gosh, I feel I’m pretty open on this blog, afterall I seem to bandy the words “crotch” & “gusset” around with regularity. Plus what can I say that hasn’t already been said in other “10 things” or “7 things” that come with blog-tagging? So I was going to share the next 7 things in my sewing queue, but I’m not there yet. So instead here are some of the things I don’t usually inflict upon you dear lovely patient people:
1. We have been dithering about booking a sailing holiday someplace where we can learn to sail somewhere warm [cheers]
2. This sent me into “nautical wardrobe overdrive”, feverishly planning to supplement my few existing pieces to kitsch it up on deck [hoorah!]
3. Unfortunately we weren’t able to commit to it this summer [boo hoo]
4. But I’m still going to create a nautical holiday wardrobe for when we do go [yay!]
5. And have bought some fabric already [shock! Not more new fabric!]
6. But it’s OK cos I upgraded my phone contract & sold back my iphone [that’s OK then]
7. And we’ve committed to a super duper ski holiday over Christmas so we shall all be skiing on Christmas day en famille after not being able to go this season either [Ra ra, super hoorah!]
There you are, aren’t you glad I usually spare you this level of holiday drama!?
Thank you also to Allison from a Fabric Fixation for nominating me for a Liebster award, which I’ve had before
I’m nominating you all for these awards if you want to play along….much to much pressure to chose a few!
Thank you everyone for your lovely birthday wishes – I was chuffed to bits to receive them, & for so many of you to enter my birthday giveaway. Thank you , thank you & thank you. I’d love for you all to have something, but my hands are tied & I don’t think my bank balance would appreciate the mass postage.
So, in a very manual low tech hat-job draw, here are the winners ….
For lot 1, the ric rac to promote world zigzagination …
The winner is Shivani, who blogs at Pins and Needles & has made me rethink casual shirts with her Wiksten Tova shirt in fabric dotted with elephants no less (I LOVE elephants too!). I can’t wait to see what you do with the ric rac Shivani …..you will inspire me I’m sure!
Next up, New Look 6000.
Lene is the winner of the infamous New Look 6000, saying,
“If you are willing to mail all the way to Australia, I would love the New Look 6000 pattern. I have been admiring your beautiful creation along with all the others in your round-up.”
Sure am Lene! I will be popping this in the post this week to you. Once you’ve made it, feel free to send me some pics & I can add to the gallery…
And last but not least, for the jewellery book,
the winner is none other than Dibs (who blogs at Miss Dibs) Maybe you’ll find some little projects that you can fit in every now & then, or make some soft fabric jewellery that you can wear around the little one ?? I must say I smiled when I drew your name out of the hat as I get the impression from your blog that you are not just a sewing fan, but am nuts for all sorts of crafts- so I hope you find something that takes your fancy in this book. It was always that flower necklace that drew me… & the crocheted cherries!
Thanks again everyone. I’ve emailed the winners, but should the emails go astray please get in touch.
As an update on my sewing ….After that crazy mad 6 weeks at work I lapsed into crazy mad sewing as soon I was able & I think I have made 4 things in the last fortnight with a fifth in suspension awaiting some decisions. More of a slow burner that one. But I spent all afternoon & some of the evening making a Lisette Portfolio tunic …& am wearing it now! (No photos as yet)
And the knitting? Wisdom has a completed back & half a left front with a lime green pocket lining. Woo hoo! Onto it now in front of the TV. [Breathes out & searches for the remote]