Monday, 21 July 2014

I'm exhausted, but so happy.....

...... this weekend has been the best in a long time.

I've laughed so much!

and pulled stupid faces in EVERY photo!

Sewed lots!!

Met amazing people and laughed even more!!!!

I've also bought too much, but we won't linger on that too much!

Once I've recovered from the weekend and a trip to Whipsnade Zoo today, I'll get some better photos of my loot and the weekend from my camera and do a proper post........and I'll answer my emails!!


This is also my 300 post, so for you lot reading my waffle for so long and for sticking around, I feel a giveaway coming soon!!!






Thursday, 17 July 2014

Washi Dress LOVE!!!!

I'm in LOVE!
My second Washi Dress is all done and ready for wearing!
I used Pretty Potent - Echinacea in Outloud by Anna Maria Horner, which I had bought especially, as it has the best mix of bright pinks and turquoises! Although I did hold my breathe as I cut it out!!
But, it worked perfectly.
This time I added piping at the neckline and scooped the neckline down a bit lower.
For the piping and armholes I used a really vivid turquoise bias binding that I had bought from Frumble, the quality of it is so much better than the stuff I've got from HobbyCraft before. Even making the piping was a fairly easy affair, I used a thin piping cord and my zipper foot. I basted it in position before I sewed the neckline to the facings and it went together pretty much first time…..but with a bit of swearing and my zipper foot again. 
It was also the first time I've used a woven interfacing and I could really tell the different in that, it stiffened the fabric, but not so much that I was aware of it when I tried it on. The other stuff I've used before still feels really cardboard-like even after washing!!

Look at this matching!! 
I spent a lot of time when I was cutting out trying to pattern match up the bodice to the skirt, as I think on such a strong pattern I needed the flowers to run through the centre of the dress and I can't believe that I got it as perfect as that!! 

 And here it is on….
As with my first one, I went with my bust measurements and made and XXL in it and the fit is perfect. I just wish I had time to make another before this weekend! 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Le Challenge #14 - Small

I have been a very very lucky chicken when it comes to Le Challenge, I am fortunate enough to have won twice, with my Charity Quilt winning last month, so although I have a project I don't think I will link up this time for the small theme.
But, this is what I made, it's the Secret Name Tag for my partner at this years Fat Quarterly Retreat and it has two very small bits of sewing.
A really small sewing machine, with it's very own tiny Aurifil Thread, which I paper pieced from this pattern.
And some super small patchwork, those squares ended up at just under ½" each.
The whole tag finished up at about 3"x 4" and I used some yummy Pam Kitty fabric for the lanyard.
I find secret sewing so difficult, I spent ages trailing the internet and even set up a new Pinterest board for name tag ideas.  I really didn't know what my partner would like as she didn't have many Flickr photos and no favourites to sift through, but I figured a sewing machine is topical for a sewing retreat and patchwork for the quilting bit!!!!! 
It was popped into the post last week, with some scraps and hopefully I will get to see it on my partner at retreat.  
Not long now…….

Le Challenge

Friday, 11 July 2014

This time next week...

I'll be travelling across London to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat. I am just a little bit excited, as I had so much fun last year and learnt so many new things and met lots of lovely people!
And those lovely people at Fat Quarterly have done their linkup for people to get to know each other before hand and so here is my spiel…...
If you don't already know, my name is Joanne and I'm a mum of three, two boys aged 12 & 9, one 3 year old girl and the wife to a very long suffering and patience husband. (who's sure we now have enough quilts and cushions in this house!!)
I live in the very furthest East London, bordering onto Essex. I started sewing properly 2½ years ago, when I pinched my my mums sewing machine to make some Christmas cushions. I did do textiles at school, so knew the basics, but school sewing was more of a chore!!
From making those cushions I was hooked and quickly became aware of quilting through the crazy world of blogging and the rest is buried under a quickly developed fabric stash and the countless cushions and quilts I've made since.

The classes I've got are

Paper piecing with Tacha

Screen Printing with Karen
Patterns into Print with Jenny Fox Proverbs
& Quilt Maths with Lynne

Fabulously Fast Tile Quilt with Amy Smart  

Are you in any of those?

I'm signed up to the Name Tag swap (I've sent my partner her one, but haven't got one back yet) and the sample swap.
I am definitely planning on wearing at least one handmade outfit (the Washi Dress above, if I've finished hemming it!!) and I will be clashing that with my Molly Market Tote (if I get it finished!).

I'm quite shy and quiet at first and am excitedly nervous about going this year, even though it's not my first time going solo, I'm a secret sewist/quilter, so most of my friends old and new have no idea just how much I sew and love it!!

I'm staying at the Grange Hotel, yes I have two child free evenings and I'm looking forward to Trash the Social Secretary keeping us busy!!
And after seeing all of the extra activity, I want to do it all…. sewing on the Friday night for Siblings Together, but also I wouldn't mind popping up to The Village Haberdashery's late night shopping  for a bit of sneaky fabric purchasing….. they have Cotton & Steel….. and I really want to find time to get to Shaukat, which I think is fairly close to Retreat?? and breathe….
Too little time too many fun things to fit in…..
Are you going?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Washi Dress

So, I have finally joined in with the rest of the sewing community and made myself a Washi Dress!
I was worried about fitting my boobs into it, so I decided that a muslin was the only way to start, but the problem is, I can't stand sewing for no reason. If I made a real muslin and it fitted, I would then have had to throw it in the bin and then start again with the good fabric! Well, that just goes against my limited sewing time!! So, I decided to chop into some cotton poplin that I had bought ages ago and had left in my stash, (because when it got here it really wasn't what I thought it would be!!) and try and make a wearable muslin.
And guess what, it only bloody fits!
And I love it!!
The hemming it not straight, but I'm blaming Dolly Parton at Glastonbury for that, oh and a large glass of wine!!!
But, I've worn it out now twice and the first time I got so many lovely comments from mums on the school run, especially about the neck line.
It is such an easy thing to make, I stuck the pattern pieces together on the Sunday morning, then cut and sewed the dress together in the afternoon and I wore it on the Monday!! Yes I wore it with the blue sewline pen marks on it, I have no shame!
I made the XXL, which was the best fit to my bust measurements and didn't alter a thing, the shirring was easy, although my machine did squeak (loudly) as I sewed it! The binding at the armholes gives such a professional finish and makes the seams feel really secure at quite a vulnerable and well worn area.
And now for the photo of me wearing it, taken by my 9 year old son!!
I'm kicking myself for how long I've put off making this dress, I had worried that it would make me look pregnant, but now I've made one I want a Washi Dress in every colour and couldn't care now about my muscle lacking stomach!
The next Washi Dress is assembled, this time we've got piping at the neckline and maybe a scooped out  neckline, I just need to get a photo of it...
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