Monday, August 31, 2015

The 'Maillot à Pois Rouges' Mimi Blouse


I'm happy to share my latest sewing make: the 'Maillot à Pois Rouges' Mimi blouse!  'Maillot à Pois Rouges' literally means white with red polka dots but it is also the jersey that is worn in the Tour de France by the person who reaches the mountain top first (the 'King of the Mountains').  While I definitely did not cycle up any mountains, it seemed a nice metaphor for this sewing project.  This Mimi blouse sat lingering in my stash for far too long and finishing it felt like a good sewing achievement!


The fabric is a nice lightweight mixed blend fabric with a cotton contrast collar. I'm usually not a big fan of thin collars but I do like how it looks on this blouse!  The blouse was easy to put together and features a nicely gathered back yoke, pleated sleeves and a button-down front.


The most time consuming parts included attaching the collar and sewing the buttonholes and buttons – primarily because they are the two things that really stand out on the shirt (especially when if you decide to do a contrast collar!)  I have to say that making the collar symmetrical (or as symmetrical as I could!) was the biggest challenge!


Overall, I'm happy with the results and now I have a nice spring/summer weight blouse!  I'd love to try sewing it up all in one fabric.

What about you?  What has been your most recent sewing 'mountaintop' achievement?

Monday, August 10, 2015

McCall 3554: The Black Cherry Blouse


I am so happy to share my latest 1940 McCall Project make: 'The Black Cherry Blouse'.  Many of you know that I am collecting and trying to sew my way through the entire 1940 McCall pattern catalogue!  There are a lot of patterns from that year and I just love all of them.  I'm making good progress on the collecting and less on the making! HA!  You can check out my entire 1940 McCall pattern collection on pinterest and also see what I have sewn up so far for the 1940 McCall Project.


This is McCall pattern 3554, which was released at the beginning of 1940.  It can be made up in long or short-sleeve versions.  I opted for the summer friendly short-sleeve version sewn up in a very soft cotton fabric.  The pattern is very busy but if you look closely, it's a bunch of black cherries with little green leaves.


The pattern has two pockets on the front – which almost disappear due the fabric pattern.  These are functional pockets that close with a button.  The back is gathered and attached to a yoke.  The sleeves are not inserted the normal way, rather they are sewn open onto both front and back bodice with a lapped seam and then closed by sewing the entire underarm seam and following that line all the way down the side of the shirt:


The shirt also goes very well with my me-made trousers (made with a TNT reproduction pattern from 1941).  In fact, like these trousers, this shirt pattern could easily become a staple in my wardrobe.  I already want to sew it up in all sorts of fabrics!


YAY! I'm already plotting and planning which 1940 McCall pattern to sew up next.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Vintage haircut and style


Readers, it was time.  Time to get my hair cut.  It had gotten to an awkward length that made doing pincurls difficult.  My stylist had gone on maternity leave and I was too scared to go to anyone else!  But luckily she came back! YAY!


I get my hair done by the vintage stylist, Ariana at Miss Dixiebelle's Retro Boutique in Edinburgh.  This is definitely one of my favourite places in Edinburgh.


I mean leopard print cover? Flamingo wallpaper?  Vintage hair dryer? Amazing vintage stylists?


Yay! It's exactly what I wanted!!  Didn't she do an amazing job? Perfect length and nicely layered.  I can't wait to play with the new hairdo!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Edinburgh Blogger Meetup


This last weekend I had the chance to meet up with some fabulous sewing bloggers to check out the Pringle exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland.  Pringle of Scotland is a knitwear company that was started in 1815 in the Scottish Borders and they are celebrating 200 years of history!

But first, the lovely ladies:

 (L-R) KerryHelenElaineClare, MeJoyceLizJenFranca with Ellis (Photo from Franca)

It was so great to see some familiar faces and to meet new bloggers!

The exhibit was really small but packed with history.  It followed Pringle's history from the 1800s through to present day.  I found the period from the 1930s to the 1970s the most interesting.

They started primarily with knitted underwear:


In the 1920s they started producing women's golfing sweaters – which were a big hit.  This led to the 1930s and 1940s with the beautiful sweaters:


I got really excited to see the CC41 label on these long johns.  I've never seen the label close-up on a piece of clothing....

They did a great job of going through the company history and how they led some of the fashion trends of the time:


The few examples of knitwear they had were really beautiful.  I especially like this pink rhinestone encrusted sweater from the 1950s:


The detail of many of the sweaters were amazing.  These beauties are from the 1960s:


For many of the sweaters they had the original advertising alongside the display.  I just loved this paisley 1970s knit dress:


After the exhibit, we had a small bite to eat and then hit up Edinburgh Fabrics (my favourite!)  I was very good and didn't buy any new fabric (my stash is getting out of control).  But it was so nice to have an outing with my sewist friends!  Thanks Ladies!!

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?
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