1930s Sewalong

 

I made this dress in 2010 from a 1930s pattern. It’s made from a high quality navy and white cotton. I wore it once or twice and then dyed it French lavender and wore it again.

Although I liked it I was never really happy about the quality of the sewing. It was a wearable toile at best and I’ve always thought I’d like to make the real thing. I think it would enhance that not so pared down wardrobe of mine.

Emily Ann Frances from RetroGlam is also going to sew 1930s and we’re hoping that you would like to join in. There are no rules or deadlines so please go over to She Sews You Know if you’re interested in joining us or you’d just like to follow our progress.

 

After a Fashion?

 

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The inside of my winter wardrobe.

I don’t often post on this blog: I’m usually to be found thinking about quilts at She Sews You Know , but as my thoughts are wardrobe related I thought I’d write them here.

Lately, I have been reading a few things about minimalism, capsule wardrobes and having the clothes you need for your life. Project 333 is one you might like to look at if you are interested.

There is nothing minimalist about my wardrobe. Running kit, scruffy clothes for walking the dog and cleaning out hens are all in drawers and of course there is the extensive laundry pile.

There’s also nothing fashionable about my wardrobe.

This is still my favourite coat and it makes me easily recognisable. No one else has one like it and that’s my aim where possible.

There are only two items hanging there bought new from shops – a green maxi dress bought in Berlin and a camel maxi coat bought about fifteen years ago. There isn’t much of a colour theme: if I think it suits me I will wear it. Sometimes I find or make a piece and it has to wait a few months until I find or make a piece that goes with it.

I recently filled up a bin bag of clothes for the charity shop – I make mistakes and I go off things. I’m hoping there’ll be other people out there who aren’t too worried about up to the minute fashion so they’re not wasted.

 

This is my evening skirt, made of silk, lined with silk and worn once, maybe twice. It didn’t get added to the bin bag because I’m planning to reuse the fabric for other projects. The silk top is already in the unpicking pile.

I am trying to build a wardrobe I can actually wear year in year out until it wears out – I get fond of clothes and I don’t want to trash the planet. I love clothes  but I don’t want to be dictated to. I want to wear clothes that represent who I am, brighten up my life and let me get on with that life.

I’d love to hear from you if you are working on the same lines…..

Norma x

PS. Yes, still wearing them!

 

An exciting week!

I’m going to give a historic quilting workshop at the Weald & Downland Museum in May. Victorian & medieval to try & lots of other sorts to examine.  I’m in the brochure & I’m so excited….

The latest quiltThe latest Victorian style Weald & Downland Museum quilt.

Tumbling blocksMy own Tumbling Blocks – grown much bigger since this was taken.

And a new skirt…

New skirtNew skirt (and Gus!)

The fabric is very felt like and I bought it from the Turkish Market in Berlin.  I used the same pattern as the patchwork skirt I made in the summer. I love the way it’s cut on the bias.

Patchwork SkirtIt was hard to find interesting  fabric in Berlin – I should have asked people for tips before I went.

New skirtIt’s also a bit of a stash bust – the lining came from a bag of fabric given to me by a friend ages ago.

New skirtHeading off to the supermarket

New skirtPurple coat and pink skirt are me-made, boots from green shoes, denim jacket from charity shop and blouse from car boot sale.

The blouse is lovely but it crumples like a rag after a really short time. I’m thinking of using a bit of spray starch. Or does anyone have a better idea, please?

Happy Weekend! xxx

Patchwork stripes

Patchwork SkirtMy beach skirt!  We’re not going to the beach until September but I’m ready for it.

Patchwork skirt - backThe back

I made up the patchwork as a piece of fabric and then cut the pieces out of it.  The pieces are all cut on the bias and unfortunately I cut some the wrong way and had to make extra fabric. I used a Burda pattern; there’s a back zip and a slightly elasticated waist.

Sideways onSide view

Now all I need is some good weather…..

A Mistake!

Completed SureauThis is it: Robe Sureau complete.  But I won’t be showing any photos of me wearing it because it looked awful.

I did make a toile but thought it looked silly on me because old sheets aren’t always very flattering.  Unfortunately, it just does look ridiculous on me.

I did everything I could to save it – added bias trims, tried various buttons – but I think the basic shape is just wrong for me.

Remains of the Sureau & Day 13I didn’t want to discard it completely, so I removed the top, changed the zip and added a waistband.

Me Mades: Purple wool teeshirt,newly refashioned skirt, shoes.

Linking to Visible Monday. Why not go & take a look?

More Quilting & a bit of Me Made May

I’ve been hand quilting a waistcoat for the Weald & Downland Museum & thought you might like to see it.  Baasically, it’s a 17th century bodywarmer.  The top is a fine pale green wool, there’s carded sheeps wool in the centre and a linen backing. It’s quilted with linen thread which has to be waxed.

Quilted waistcoat

This is the waistcoat quilted & ready to be made up.

Quilting 17th century styleIt took me about 15 hours to quilt.  The thick linen backing means that it’s hard to get up any speed.

I decided to show a couple of Me Made May outfits because I particularly like them.

Me Made MayI think it might be the setting like best rather than the outfit.

This is a refashioned (altered & dyed) skirt and a top made from another skirt.

Top, no pattern requiredThis is my favourite top.  I made it from a Liberty Print skirt I found in a charity shop. Those are my me made shoes too.  I’ve worn them most days this month. The trousers are Olsen from a charity shop.

Some days I’ve only got one visible me made but I always wear my me made knickers, so that’s two. (In answer to Curtise).

I’ve got a dress in progress at the moment so I will have something new to wear this month. Hooray!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

In My Wardrobe

Me-Made-May’13 is almost here and I have made a pledge to wear at least two of my “me-mades” or refashioned items everyday. It will be the 4th time I’ve joined in one of these challenges organised by Zoe. In preparation, I’ve been looking at what I’ve actually got…

Me Made WardrobeThese are my refashions and made by me clothes.  A few things are in the laundry pile.  There is also a couple of rescued jumpers I dyed, a drawer full of me-made knickers, some scarves, a few bags and a couple of longsleeved teeshirts.

Oh, and of course these…

me made shoesMy much loved shoes made on a course at Green Shoes last year.

not me madeAnd this is the heap of clothes I took out of the wardrobe to show off the me-mades. This time there might be more me-mades than bought things. Well, maybe.

It’s been my aim for years to try out making every type of garment.  My bra making didn’t work and my knitting is appalling – likely to grow as soon as washed.

Fairisle jumperI knitted this much loved fairisle jumper, but it grew big enough to fit a large man: and I couldn’t find one who wanted to wear a turquoise and mustard jumper.

So when I tried knitting socks, it only ended well because my lovely friend eventually took them away and did them for me.  I do mend them though.

Darned socksAnd jeans: I don’t make them but I wear them.  I know lots of you wouldn’t wear them and I can see why, but I do for part of almost every day.  I walk the dog, dig the allotment, muck out and ride in them.  I do try to add a homemade or refashioned top to go with them.

I used to buy new jeans but the manager of one of the local charity shops told me that most jeans end up going for rags because unless more or less perfect, they were very hard to sell. Since then I’ve been hunting out second hand and shortening them where necessary. I don’t need perfection.

So that’s my me-made wardrobe.  I won’t be doing outfit posts unless I’ve something new to show, but I’ll put a link to Flickr where you will be able to see my clothes and those of lots of others who’ll be joining in the challenge.

And here’s my pledge  “I, Norma, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May’13. I endeavour to wear at least 2 me-made or refashioned items each day for the duration of May 2013.”

PS. Thank you for your lovely comments on my refashioned blouse. I really appreciate them.

New Coat – Purple of Course

Minoru coat

I’ve finished the Minoru Coat at last.  The intention was to have a wearable toile and I think it’s very wearable.

Hood up

I made the version with the hood – it zips into the collar if it’s not needed.

I followed the 2012 Sewalong at Sewaholic patterns and learned a lot.

Now for the technical details:

What did I change?

I didn’t elasticate the waist because I made it from such heavy fabric it would have looked bulky.

I added a couple of in seam pockets for a handkerchief or a dog biscuit or two.

Would I make it again?

Definitely. I am going to make a waterproof version with patch pockets.

What was best about the pattern?

I like the two hidden pockets inside and the extra hip room -my hips are small compared with the rest of me but the extra room is good for cycling and riding.

Would I recommend the Minoru pattern?

Yes, definitely.  But if you are not very experienced I think the Sewalong details really help.

I really made the jacket to ride in but I can’t quite bring myself to get it dirty.  Not yet anyway.

Wearing the Blues

Blue skirt & blouse

My new clothes.  I feel smart enough to work in an office.   A blue cord skirt made from my own pattern.

Blue cord skirt

And my first Deer and Doe Airelle blouse. The main fabric is cotton lawn. The fabric has to be soft and drapey as the blouse can’t be very fitted: there are no fastenings at all.  Rather like a non-stretch tee shirt.

Airelle blouse

I love the pattern and will definitely make another.  Very French don’t you think?  The contrast collar and cuffs were made from a scrap of quilting fabric.

Airelle pattern

I have the Robe Sureau pattern to try too –  maybe some of my birthday fabric.

Cord skirt

I thought the skirt and blouse would be good together, but I made the skirt first and couldn’t wait to wear it.

Blue Airelle and skirt

I have started my purple Minoru jacket but it won’t be ready soon because I am making a dress for someone else – a customer! I have started a business to do repairs and alterations but I was asked to make a dress.  And yes, she has seen me wearing my me mades and was happy with the standard.  Exciting!

New clothes and a new business, I’m so happy  I’m linking this to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday.

Was it was here?

Chatsworth Road, Clapton

For the first time in more than thirty years I went back to the street where I lived when I moved to London.  This is Chatsworth Road, Clapton and this might be the shop I lived above. Only it was a shoe shop then and I lived at the back: yard view not street view. I really don’t know if it was the same place or not.  How crazy is that?

Birthday fabric

On a more certain note, my other half’s mum gave me some money for a shopping spree in London and I bought all this fabric on Walthamstow Market for £50.  Karen at Did you Make That? recommends the market and I can easily see why. If you can get along there on a Saturday it’s definitely worth it.

The striped fabric is pure wool made in Huddersfield – probably for trousers;

the purple is a wool type destined to be my first Minoru jacket, a practice for a waterproof and more expensive version ;

Minoru pattern

the turquoise is jersey  for my next long sleeved tee shirt.  I said there would be another and I meant it;

the spotty fabric is soft cotton for a dress – maybe Robe Sureau or New Look 6000.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my tee shirt – I really appreciate your encouragement.  Pattern making seems the way to go if I can get to grips with it.  Just think of being able to make anything you can imagine…….