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Topics - Francesca

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The Haberdashery / Sewing kit for Mum
« on: December 05, 2019, 13:46:26 PM »
My Mum has asked for a sewing kit for Christmas. A proper one. You see I nicked all the good stuff out of hers years ago (yes she said I could... at the time!) She has more free time on her hands nowadays and wants to get back into sewing but she said every time she tries to sit down and do it she realises she doesn't really have any of the tools she needs, except one good pair of scissors.

So far I've got:

Set of Gutermann threads in popular standard colours
Pin cushion
Pack of glassheaded pins
Seam ripper
Embroidery scissors (for snipping threads)
Seam gauge
Needle threader, fancy desktop type (I know her eyesight isn't all that great anymore so I thought this would help any frustration)
Hand sewing needles
Chalk pencils
Tape measure
Magnetic seam guide

I've also got her a nice Cashmerette pattern for a lace top, hopefully because of the cup sizes and the full bicep pieces being included she can just get right on with it with no adjustments. I've also got her enough lace fabric and bias binding to make the top. She'll only need a button for the back neck.

Anything else? I don't want to go for anything big and expensive at this stage as this is just a kit to get her started up again. I know she'd probably like to be cutting out on a mat with a rotary as she loves it when I do it, but the large scale mat is £90 so I think if she really gets back into it she'll buy one herself.

Today... / Tuesday 12th November
« on: November 12, 2019, 03:46:21 AM »
Yay, I get to start a Today thread for once!

It's 3:45am, I'm pretty much halfway through my nightshift. It's a one-off, and I'm really struggling. It doesn't help that there is really not a lot going on. But I'm so happy I've made it halfway and the promise of McDonald's brekkie being brought in at 6am is helping keep me going.

Tomorrow (or should I say today) I've got to figure out what I'm supposed to do to get back to normal ready for work at 9am on Wednesday.

Might try and stay up when I get home. Maybe I'll finally get some sewing done?!

In the wardrobe / My weekend plans
« on: October 29, 2019, 21:26:32 PM »
This weekend I am determined to sew. I downed tools on the dress for the wedding earlier this month and have been ignoring my sewing room since.

I bought two gorgeous fabrics and I want to get on them straight away as they're perfect for winter. One is a gorgeous navy blue faux mohair and the other is a distressed blue satin. My idea is to make a miniskirt and shirt outfit from the two that go together.

I was going to draft the skirt myself from my sloper as I want a really simple pencil mini skirt, but I'm trying to decide exactly how it should look. I did consider then possibly using the pattern from Sew Fitography for the sort of skirt I want:

But my sloper comes from Sew Fitography anyway so it's basically paying 15 dollars to not have to draft my own waistband which seems a tad lazy. So I'll probably just try my own.

I need to print the SF pattern off with ease. Hmm, but how much ease to have? I prefer a tight fit but I still need to be able to move in it. 2"? Is that too much? The fabric has a bit of ease as it's mohair effect attached onto a sort of woven but knitted looking backing and it's a bit more loose woven than I expected.

I was also trying to decide where to have a slit. I think I will need one for a bit of movement but as I want it to end mid-thigh I can't do a full proper kick pleat. Instead I am thinking a simple faced slit a few inches deep on each thigh, which also means I could run a seam all the way up into the front darts and make them into princess seams to accommodate both the waist shaping and the slits.

For the shirt, I'm still undecided. I want a really good shirt pattern with good instructions. I'm trying to think what I already have.

House Beautiful / Firm cushion inners
« on: October 23, 2019, 13:05:11 PM »
Our new bed frame arrives tomorrow and I love the style, but the big difference is we currently have an upholstered sleigh bed and the new one is a wooden frame. The headboard is formed of round poles like a banister.

I wanted to make two large (and I mean large, basically mattress to top of headboard height) cushions that we can put against the headboard for when we watch films and things in bed, or breakfast etc in bed which we normally do at the weekends.

I want them to be fairly firm, enough to give a bit of back support for comfort. I generally prefer feather but I'm wondering if some sort of very soft foam might work instead?

Has anyone done anything like this? They need to be squishy enough to not be like rock solid sofa cushions but not so squishy and soft that they just disintegrate into nothing when leant on for too long.

Patterns Discussion / Still on the hunt for the right coat pattern :(
« on: October 17, 2019, 23:03:40 PM »
I've been really struggling to find a coat pattern with the right detailing I want. I have some gorgeous fabric, a dark navy check with primary yellow and red through it (sounds uglier than it is!) and want to make a boxy coat from it but I really want a huge spankin' collar and it's been really hard to find.

Originally the pattern I had in mind was this gorgeous MimiG coat:

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But looking at a lot of the reviews and actual completed projects, the collar just looks so... small? Especially on a larger size. SewManju made it up and she is an 18 I think, and the collar is a lot smaller on her:

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This is another reviewer in a much smaller size and still the collar is so small!

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Has anyone seen a boxy type coat with a BIG notched lapel collar?

In the wardrobe / Would you interline?
« on: September 30, 2019, 22:36:06 PM »
I am making this dress again in drapey velvet for a wedding. I am going to line it with silk habotai because I don't want to get too sweaty in the velvet.

I was planning to draft front facings attached to a full lining so the neckline looks good. I was also planning to interline it with sew-in interfacing (don't want to heat-fix anything to either velvet or silk) so I bought some fairly cheap but fine lightweight sew-in.

I'm just not sure if it'll end up too... crunchy? I don't know. I've sewn a dress in a similar weight with sew-in before (one of the first dresses I ever made actually! Still have it somewhere. Was instructed by my ex-wedding-dress maker teacher to use sew-in!) and I feel like the weight of these fabrics is similar but there's just something stopping me.

Thoughts? It's princess-seamed so I guess I'll just construct a full bodice in the sew-in and affix it to the outer fabric with long tacking stitches and then treat the fabrics as one?

For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / [For sale] Lots and lots of wool!!
« on: September 27, 2019, 21:56:33 PM »
I'll be adding to this all evening and over three next few days as I'm doing a big clearout.

Postage £3.60 up to the first 900g, then 50p each 900g after.

Cygnet Cotton DK- 21 balls - 1.05kg - 2140m approx.


Fun with Fabric / Washing velvet?
« on: September 07, 2019, 16:33:29 PM »
I bought some velvet to make a floor length gown for a wedding I'm going to in October.

Only other experience sewing with velvet was the cotton stuff I used for the flower girl dress. That was a lot more stiff and easy to sew with. This one is definitely going to be a bit more tough!

My query was about washing. It's polyester woven, so probably won't shrink that much, but I'm a bit concerned that if i do wash it it'll ruin the beautiful pile.

Do you reckon it's worth prewashing it, or should I just sew the dress up and treat it as dry-clean only?

Adding Zing & Bling / 🦞Bet you never thought you'd see this 🦞
« on: September 04, 2019, 14:09:08 PM »
Some will remember in the mists of time I asked Iminei if she would be willing to embroider some lobsters, using her fantastic whizzy embroidery machine, onto some fabric for me to make espadrilles.

Today I received an unexpected fabricky parcel. Upon opening, I'm afraid to say I recognised the fabric and initially assumed that Imi had sent back the fabric to me, along with a card of apology (which I would have been equally happy to receive!) BUT there I unfolded the fabrics to reveal the most BEAUTIFUL lobster embroideries on the fabric I've ever seen!

How amazing are these!

Thanks so much Imi, even though summer is over I'm still excited to make the shoes and they'll be ready and waiting for me Summer 2020 (or unless Kris decides to take me anywhere sunny and warm this winter... hmm no... 2020 it is then).

I'm ecstatic! Thank you so much @Iminei

For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / ISO Sherpa or fleece scrap?
« on: August 27, 2019, 11:38:39 AM »
Just bought a new "window hammock" for the cat that is made out of a plastic mesh base. Want to make a small bedding cushion for him to sleep on. Something that I can chuck in the washing machine easily.

Does anyone have a piece of something soft and squidgy like sherpa fabric, decent quality faux fur (don't want anything that will moult like crazy), thick fleece etc? I need a piece at least 70cm x 40cm.

Fun with Fabric / Polka dot viscose?
« on: August 21, 2019, 15:56:51 PM »
Anyone fancy hunting these down on any of the sites they use? I've found a lot but nothing quite right  :(

I'm looking for viscose/rayon challis in black with white polka dots. The dots need to be big, like slightly larger than 50p, and they need to be scattered not in straight line formation.

I'd found one on eBay but they are short and I need 4m of it :(

Your Favourite Suppliers / Frocks & Stock Canterbury
« on: August 20, 2019, 20:24:58 PM »
Whilst visiting Canterbury at the weekend I stopped in at Frocks & Stock which is a charity shop with a very large haberdashery department. The entire downstairs room is fabrics (some on rolls, most on hangers), plus patterns, yarns, accessories, buttons, and sewing machines.

I saw lots I liked but was sensible and came away with 2.5m of a really lovely burgundy jersey. Has very strong recovery so I suspect a decent spandex and cotton. It was £6. They had loads!

Fun with Fabric / Textile 9 on eBay (quite cheap dress fabrics)
« on: August 20, 2019, 16:36:45 PM »
Recently discovered Textile 9 on eBay. They sell loads of different fabrics but all specifically in 4m cuts for very cheap. 4m of jerseys, fleeces, scubas etc for as little as £8 (for the full 4m piece that is, not per metre).

I ordered some snake print fabric from them. It isn't the highest quality but for £2pm it's exactly what I wanted to make a wearable toile for a skirt pattern and I'll probably still have some leftover.

Technical Help / MOVED: Displaying photos
« on: August 19, 2019, 19:49:34 PM »

Technical Help / Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:00:28 AM »
Please tell me there is a way to sew a lining to a sleeveless bodice that doesn't involve the side seams being open  :'( I am an idiot and wasn't thinking as I put together the lining and bodice of my dress separately, including sewing up the side seams and overlocking them. Doh. The linen is quite fraying and unstable so I'm really worried about unpicking the overlocked seams.

I'm so used to sewing things with sleeves where I attach the sleeves to the bodice and lining as one and then hand stitch the sleeve lining in (like with jackets) that I didn't even think.

But I think I'm going to have to unpick aren't I

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