Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Simplicity 3688: TNT 1941 Trousers

One of the first things I did when I got back to sewing was visit my TNT (tried n' true) pattern, Simplicity 3688.  I love this high-waisted trousers reissued pattern (originally from 1941).

I love this pattern so much that I've already made four different versions: one in navy blue, one in a checkered brown tweed, another in dark green and one in black:

For this version, I made it out of Italian grey wool flannel fabric from Bacci Fabrics.  This fabric is AMAZING.  It is so soft and easy to sew.

Very happy to have another staple pair of trousers in my wardrobe!  Any other recommendations on good TNT patterns?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Florence, Italy: Bacci Fabrics

I think I've died and gone to fabric heaven.  Or is this heaven on earth?  Welcome to Bacci fabrics in Florence, Italy located on Via dell'Ariento. 

This amazing family owned shop was opened in 1945 and expanded in the 1990s.  It has designer Italian fabrics as well as the most amazingly luscious Italian wool.  I spent what felt like hours caressing and 'oohing and ahhhing' over the wool fabrics.  I ended walking away with 2 meters of the blue fabric (in the picture below) and the most amazing grey flannel wool.

Here's a shot of the length of the store and how happy I look with my purchases:

If you ever find yourself in Florence for work or pleasure, definitely take a trip over to Bacci fabrics.  The store is centrally located and easy to get to and well worth the visit. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The prices are more expensive but the quality is definitely top notch.  A nice fabric treat!

I love fabric shopping in new locations as I always find unexpected treasures.  What is your favourite holiday fabric shopping location?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Put a Bird on It: The Delphine Tropical Bird Skirt

It is right that my first sewn item after over HALF A YEAR of NOT SEWING (eeks!) is a summer skirt with giant birds on it?  Well, I am originally from Portland after all.

I delved into the Delphine skirt pattern in Tilly's book 'Love at First Stitch' and I love it.  It's a great shape and very easy to sew together.  It's way shorter than I normally wear (after all, my closet is mostly 1940s outfits) but this sort of skirt is great for a hot summer day.

Speaking of warm weather (which we don't really have in Scotland – we haven't broken 70 degrees yet and it is the height of summer), these photos are from the lovely Florence, Italy.  The Boboli Gardens to be specific.  Talk about a comeback post – giant birds, sunshine, ancient gardens, amazing views....

This fabric is really fun.  I found it in W. Armstrongs, which is Edinburgh's largest vintage store.  It's all hand painted and I had to work really hard to make the pattern fit on the fabric I had available.  The poor pink bird on the front almost lost his head.  But luckily it sort of stayed on (as long as I stand up straight and don't slouch!)

I am very proud of my invisible zipper.  Can you believe it's my first one EVER?  Tilly's book walked me through step by step. I found it much easier than putting in a normal zipper!  I'm still going to insert my zips the old fashioned way on my 1940s dresses, but this method is great for modern patterns.

Italy....so pretty....It really is such a good vacation spot.  David and I were there house sitting for a friend and had such a great time.

Overall, I'm very happy with the skirt.  I love the shape and will definitely make more.  Plus they pack up really easily (a good incentive for vacation sewing).

Thank you Tilly for drafting such a great pattern!  And thank you David for putting up with my non-sewing self for the past year.

I don't know about you, but I get really antsy if I don't have my creative outlet.  So it's nice to be back in that space.  And thank you everyone for your comments on my last post – it feels really nice coming back into such a great community.  YAY!

Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm Back!!

Did you miss me?

I wasn't planning on being absent for so long – life and work just ended up getting very busy.  It feels great to be back because I missed interacting with all of you.  It's also great to be back in the sewing room – plotting and planning my next makes!  Stay tuned, more to come!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Fashion Show

I've finally got some pictures of the Weaving Destination fashion show we had during the Edinburgh Festival!  The fashion show was held in the amazing St. John's Church – right in the heart of the Festival.

We did two rounds of runway walking.  The first consisted of the fabrics and scarves, which were draped over our models in fun and unique ways.  Here's some photos of both our cotton and silk fabrics...

We were very happy to have a few male models!  They also wore the Nedan Foundation's 'Stop Human Trafficking' shirts.  The Nedan Foundation is the charity associated with Weaving Destination in India (read more here).

The second round of the fashion show featured our designer garments.  Sally from Charity Shop Chic even came up to Edinburgh to model her own make!!

You'll recognise these amazing makes from my previous post.  Don't they look great going down the runway?

The lovely Rachel also modelled her own make from the Eri silk fabric:

There were a few garments for men as well including a great silk waistcoat and cotton shirts:

We showed a Weaving Destination documentary as well during the fashion show.

The final bow with all our wonderful model volunteers! Thank you all sooooo much!

At the end of the show, we had the audience vote for their favourite design and Roisin Muldoon's pink summer dress won first place and Sally's amazing pink evening gown won second place!   The two halter outfits came in a very close third!  Well done ladies!

We were very happy to raise funds to support Weaving Destination and sold quite a few scarves and pieces of fabric after the show.  Check out more at our Etsy shop!  Thank you to everyone for your kinds words on the previous blog post as well!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fashion Show Entries: A Sneak Preview

Wow – one day left until the fashion show!  I am so excited.  Many thanks to everyone who is volunteering as a model or is helping to coordinate the fashion show...it's going to be a fun event.  We'll be at the St John's Church on Thursday the 14th from 6:00-7:30pm.  You can buy tickets here.  All proceeds go to support Weaving Destination and the Nedan Foundation, a local charity in NE India providing important services and support to women and their families.

I am so excited to show you some of the amazing outfits that have been entered into the fashion show contest – all made from Weaving Destination fabric!

I was delighted to receive Roisin's entry to the fashion show – a classic Sew Dolly Clackett dress.  It even fit me, so I slipped it on to take photos!  It uses the border print in such a clever way – up the back of the dress and at the bottom.  There are adorable pleats in the skirt front as well!  Thanks Roisin!!

The super lovely Jane who blogs over at Handmade Jane used Weaving Destination fabric to make pillow covers, lined bags, zipped pouches and book covers!  I just love how the fabric looks on those adorable pillows!  You can read more about her makes here...
Thank you, Jane!!

I am super excited about this amazing me-made make from Contrariety Rose.  Louise makes bespoke dresses with vintage flair.  Check out her super cool website and her Etsy shop with similarly amazing dresses!

Another awesome halter design – this time in separates from Steely Seamstress.  I absolutely LOVE the shirred back to this amazing halter top!  And isn't the placement of the print just ingenious?  This has an adorable mini wrap skirt with great wooden buttons!  Thank you Steely Seamstress!!

Many of you will know Rachel who blogs over at House of Pinheiro. I am in awe of Rachel's self-drafted jacket entry!  The placement of the stripes is just fantastic and I love the lining fabric as well.  Rachel also made a cute keyhole blouse with a v-neck back!  I am so excited because this is the outfit I get to model in the fashion show! yay!  Thank you, Rachel!!!

One of the most amazing outfits I have seen is Sally's own make from the fabric!  Many of you know Sally who blogs over at Charity Shop Chic (and her fabulous new pattern line – Capital Chic Patterns).  This dress is SO AMAZING!  The skirt has loads of beautiful pleats (there is tulle sewn under the skirt as well to give it extra flare).  The top is made from Harris tweed as Sally wanted to honour the spirit of Weaving Destination by matching Scottish handwoven fabric with Indian handwoven fabric!  And I think you will agree with me that it is absolutely stunning!  PLUS the best part is that Sally will be modelling her dress in the fashion show!!  I am beyond excited!!!!  Thank you so much, Sally!

And last but not least is a very special make as it is made from a sample of our ethical Eri silk fabric. This silk is made from Eri silkworms, which are only found in the Northeast part of India.  The other great thing about this silk is that it is 100% vegan (the silkworms are not killed in the process)!  Rachel made a fantastic outfit with a beautiful lace yoke and will also be modelling this herself in the fashion show!! YAY!  Thanks so much, Rachel!!

How amazing are these makes?  I am so happy for everyone's entries and support and am super excited for the fashion show tomorrow!

Which garment is your favourite?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Enter our Fashion Show!!

Are you a designer? Do you love to sew? Do you want to use your creativity and talent for a good cause?  Do you want your designs to get noticed at the Edinburgh Festival?

Enter our Fashion Show Contest!!

I'm super excited to tell you all about this exciting news.  We have managed to secure space during the Edinburgh Festival – the largest arts festival in the world!!  And we are planning to have a Weaving Destination fashion show and we are inviting you to submit garments or crafts using Weaving Destination fabric that we can showcase in the show.  

How to Enter:
Register and Purchase your Weaving Destination Fabric
Enter 'FESTIVALFABRIC' as the code in Etsy to get a 20% discount on your purchase 
Weaving Destination is a social enterprise benefiting women weavers in India, many of whom are survivors of human trafficking.  Their beautiful hand-woven, cotton and silk fabrics are organic, ethical (vegan), naturally dyed and of the highest quality. Proceeds from the sale of fabrics go back directly to the women weavers and their families. All contest participants will get 15% off their purchases. Email us your name, contact details, category and number of entries at: wetheweavingdestination@gmail.com. We will confirm your participation.

The Categories:
 1. Garments
a.    Sew Up a Garment Using the Weaving Destination Fabric and Send it to Us.
Send us Your Garment Postmarked by 20th July, 2014 (outside the UK) and 28 July (within the UK). The address for posting your garments will be sent to you when you register.

b.     We will Include Your Garment in the Fashion Show
Your garment will feature in the Fashion Show on 14th August 2014 (18:00 – 19:30) in Edinburgh right during the month-long Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.  We will showcase all the designs featured in the fashion show and your design may get media attention!

When purchasing your fabric, let us know if you plan to model the garment yourself in the fashion show or if you would like to make the garment for one of our models.  If it is for one of our models, we will send you measurements and you can get started on sewing up your dream designer outfit!

                 c. You Will Be Automatically Entered in the Fashion Show Contest
You will automatically be entered in the fashion show contest which will feature a long list of fabulous prizes (to be announced soon).  The winners will be decided by a split vote between the audience at the fashion show and an online vote through the 'My Happy Sewing Place' blog.

  d.  At the End, You Can Either Donate Your Garment to Weaving Destination or We Will Post it Back to You. We are happy to send you back your garment for you to cherish or you can donate it to Weaving Destination!  Just let us know what you prefer!!

2. Housewares, Crafts and Other Items

Garment sewing not your thing?  No worries!  We are opening the contest to housewares and craft sewers as well! We will be having a Weaving Destination stall at the Fashion Show event if you want to showcase your creativity.  Do you love making bags, pincushions, headscarves, etc?  Why not use Weaving Destination fabric and we can showcase your items in our stall and sell them for you!!  You get to keep 60% of the profits and the remaining 40% will be donated to Weaving Destination.  If you'd like to participate, email us your contact details, what you plan to make and how much you would like to charge.  That way, we can plan our stall accordingly.  All items made for the Weaving Destination stall will also be entered into a separate category of the contest with equally cool prizes!! 

You can send more than one entry.  Do let us know your number of entries when you register.

You can also come and see the show, tickets on sale here.

Don't wait, precious sewing time is ticking away :-)  We will share all the photos from the event with you all!  I can't wait!! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Week with Tilly: The Lilou 'Queen Anne's Lace' Dress

I'm back from a lovely short holiday and am excited to show you my most recent creation!  I was delighted to pattern test the Lilou dress pattern from Tilly's new book: Love at First Stitch.  It's such a fabulous dress pattern with a chic no-fuss bodice and a beautifully draped skirt.

I cut into some precious Japanese cotton fabric that I purchased last year for the bodice.  It reminds me a bit of a 1950s pattern with hearts and flowers.  The bodice is very straightforward to sew together and has a neat lining.  I used a polka dot fabric for the bodice lining (fun!)

The skirt fabric is a lovely twill blend that is stable but with some drape.  This dress fits fabulously into my work wardrobe as it works well under a wool blazer:

Here's my best Tilly pose....have you seen the pictures from the book??  One of my favourite things to do is to read it before bed and look at all the beautiful pictures and imagine all the clothes I am going to make!!

There's something about the faux separates look that I just love in dresses!

I am really pleased with the way the dress came out.  I feel like I could wear it in almost every season – it's perfect for hot summer days or paired with a jacket for those cool autumn and spring nights.

The dress is also perfect for twirling :-)

Do you have the book?  Are you planning to make some of the patterns?  I can't wait to try them all!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sewing for the Kitten

It's been crazy weather 'round these parts.  One day is sunny and warm and the next day is cold and rainy!  Perfect time to sew up a little treat for the kitten.  When I say 'kitten', I'm using that term in an affectionate way as our 'kitten' is 19 years old!  Like most cats her age, her digestive tract is not what it used to be and she is prone to tummy aches.  She loves her belly rubs and we thought she might like a cat-sized hot water bottle as well.  David bought one of the mini hot water bottles and I sewed up a tartan cover for it.  We basically laid the full hot water bottle over the fabric and traced around it, adding the seam allowance and making a flap to insert the bottle:

And boy, does she love it! Look at her....and doesn't the hot water bottle look like a mini-Scottish cat toy?

Our sweet little chickpea...

Have you ever sewn for your pets?

Monday, April 28, 2014

McCall 3834: The 'Windy' Skirt

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last two makes!  I don't know what happened between last week and this week but the sun has disappeared!  Perfect for a good ol' wool project.  Enter the skirt from McCall 3834:

I had enough fabric left over from my jacket (McCall 3769 or the 'Lantern Army' jacket) to make a matching skirt.  McCall 3834 was super easy and quick to sew with maybe 2 hours or so of construction time.  The skirt is very straight and there's only two major pieces.

I decided to leave the hem a bit longer because I love how it looks with the jacket.  What you can't see from the brown wool fabric is that there are tiny little flecks of blue in it.  So, I am planning on making a matching blouse in a similar blue colour to the one I'm wearing here (what can I say, I like blue blouses!!)  This blouse is from a 1950s Maudella pattern but I'd like another blouse without the bow necktie.

The beautiful flowers (violets?) give a false impression that spring is here! But as you can see from the photos, it was very windy and cold.  Scotland is very changeable in terms of weather.  Locals often joke that if you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes and it will change!

Of course, that means I'll get a lot of wear out of this suit!!  I can't wait to make more suits from the 1940 McCall patterns...

Happy spring (or autumn) to you all!

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