Friday, April 22, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Real Sunshine and Mock Smocking

With the unexpectedly warm weather continuing- it's like Nature is trying to apologise for the hard, cold winter- we took to the garden yesterday. Having near enough burst my lungs inflating the paddling pool and given thanks for a hosepipe in the garden to save me lugging buckets about, I settled down to finish off some handsewing.
Proper smocking is something I'd like to learn, but for now I'm contenting myself with mock smocking using shearing elastic. A slightly late birthday present of a sun top for a little friend of ours in Cardiff was made in a similar way to the first of two sundresses I'm making for Maeve from some Liberty print and other fabric acquired on a recent trip to see my folks. I'll expand- and reveal- more when the full ensemble is complete.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On the beach

The town we live in has been an easy target for jokes for many years. It's true, it does have its unattractive, industrial side. But with a blessing of sunshine on the dunes and sea, so that little ones can splash and dig and run about and yes, probably ingest a fair bit of sand you can be as rude as you like. We'll keep it, thanks!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring part three

May I present the work of a couple of evenings in front of the sewing machine, and the first stage of my efforts to improve my sewing skills. This trio of shorts was made using the Oliver + S 'Sketchbook' pattern (a 'two scissors' rated pattern, skill building fans!)

I decided to make all three pairs simultaneously. This was partly because for some reason I find doing it this way is quicker than making one pair after another, and partly because I thought it would give me the chance to really nail each technique by doing it three (or in the case of stages that needed doing for each leg, six) times over.
I can't praise the instructions on the pattern enough. They seemed really lengthy at first glance, but working through one step at a time, it was really easy to get it right. I grew to love the way the shorts looked a bit ropey and hopeless until you put the waistband on and stopstitched it then suddenly- wow!- they look really good!

As well as being easy to follow, I really like the details that Leisl Gibson includes, like the pockets and mock fly. I also followed the suggestion to topstitch, using contrast thread. It was a bit of a fiddle, especially on the in and out seams, but the effect is really professional looking, a bit like when you sew up and block properly on knits. It's interesting that the original pattern these are quite smart shorts, and I actually bought it so I can make some school shorts, but in these fabrics they look sort of surfer-casual.

All in all, I'm really pleased with the results. The best bit is- P, my greatest critic, actually likes to wear them!!