Sunday, 28 February 2010

Good things


Forgive me if this seems like one of those posts that might have been written by an over-excitable puppy, but the sparkly lemonadey feeling of learning something new (as with the dressmaking) can bring that out in one. It all started when an A4 package arrived on my doorstep on Saturday morning. Photo Papers Direct had written to me the week before last asking if I'd like to try some of their t-shirt transfer paper, an offer which would have had me biting off their hand had they not been at a safe distance behind a computer, as I do love the idea of mixing some fancy-pants wizardry into the stitching arena. Anyway, the papers arrived on Saturday and due to them being 'printer-related' they seemed to break down a crafting gender divide and Mr Teacakes was just as enthusiastic about the potential uses as I was (Mr Teacakes is currently in the process of drawing an enormous picture of another world for the children's walls and so the idea of transferring a small section of this on to a t-shirt was one that really appealed).

Anyway, for the last five years I have been rather desperate to learn to use a computer graphics programmes that would allow me to draw, but more importantly mix drawing with samples of fabric. But somehow I've never got around to mastering how to do this. However, on Saturday every time I thought about the t-shirt transfers that I'd like to create they all involved this mixture of computer-generated drawing and fabric samples and so on Saturday night I sketched a tortoise by hand and then loaded it on to the computer and asked Mr Teacakes to teach me how to draw around it. The first couple of hours were a little frustrating as every curve and line is manipulated by handles that spring off each 'point' and it's not as intuitive as I'd expected it to be...however, by midnight this tortoise had been born, I was happily clicking my way around, revelling in how perfectly curvaceous the computer can make things look, and had even learnt to order my work properly by using 'layers'. There's so much happiness to be had from being geeky. I think the ideal package for this type of thing would be Illustrator, but as I only have Fireworks on my computer that's what I used and it seemed to be capable of doing everything I wanted it to do. I then used Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabric line to fill in the tortoise's shell because it's a fabric line that I can't stop thinking about (Fabric Rehab started stocking this last week and seem to be the UK's first and only suppliers - hurrah for them - and as if this wasn't enough fabric excitement for one week, Seamstar has just taken delivery of Anna Maria Horner's Folksy Flannels).



So all this may make it seem like there must be a lot of prep-work involved in using t-shirt transfers...but no, all that is just self-created hustle and bustle around the project. If you didn't fancy gathering enormous eye-bags with yet another late night crafting session you could take a simple picture, photo or even a word (although you'd need to flip it first as a mirror-image is what's transferred onto the t-shirt). Once my tortoise was finished it was actually just a case of printing it onto the transfer paper and ironing it on...a five minute job. My first attempt was unsuccessful in a number of ways...I chose a pink t-shirt, which wasn't the best choice for retaining the vibrant colours, but that was irrelevant anyway, as I managed to singe the t-shirt and actually turn it a rather ugly brown. The instructions said that the transfer would be complete once a symbol on the paper had changed colour...but I wanted to be definitely sure that the transfer really had worked and so chose to leave the hot iron scorching away for another minute once I'd seen the symbol change colour...I'm a wise one. However, once I'd defumigated the house I decided to try again with a white t-shirt and to follow the instructions properly.


This time I was really pleased with the results - the image doesn't have that horrible shiny look that some t-shirt transfers can have - you can see this better here:


I love the way the fabric on the shell looks too. I'd worried about leaving the background of the shell white in case the transfer made this look odd...but you really can't see that it's a transfer, it's as if the prints are actually a part of the original fabric of the t-shirt:


Can you tell quite how much I love this whole process? And the Zebra - well, she loved it - she stood by declaring each stage a success (even the burnt t-shirt) and wiggled her way into the t-shirt the minute it had cooled down. I'd love to also use the transfers on some plain cotton to make pencil cases for her and dinosaur-boy...they seem to love things with their names on and their own pictures could be scanned in and transferred on.


I feel like the fun has just begun - I have so many ideas for how I'd like to use these papers and next on my list is mixing in some stitching with the final transfer to create something more textural and multi-media even more fiercely fine in the fun-to-make stakes (why does writing the word 'multi-media' make me feel completely pretentious? Does anyone share my cringe factor with that word?).


So anyway, should you wish to venture down the transfer route (I've done the t-shirt burning bit for you now...you really can follow the instructions safe in the knowledge that you don't need to double the suggested ironing time for no reason at all.) then my papers were sent from the lovelies at Photo Paper Direct - they sent me two packs, one for using on light coloured fabrics and one for dark coloured fabrics. I'm yet to try out the dark version - I think the technique for transferring differs somewhat, but it looks just as simple. I will report back when Mr Teacakes has had a turn as he is planning to use them for something relating to Dinosaur-boy's birthday in a few months time.

Anyway, I had meant to blog about my new quilt this evening, but really this was all far too exciting not to tell you about right this instant. So sorry for the over-enthusiasm...I think learning new things does this to me...time to lie down in a darkened room.

I hope you've had the most lovely of weekends,
Florence x 

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Making things from boxes


This was what the little Teacakes made one day during half term. We have the most beautiful book that I've blogged about before called Green Crafts for Children by Emma Hardy, which detailed this lovely idea of making a shoebox house and some furniture. In the week running up to half-term we'd spent time looking through the book to decide what we should make and happily we all plumped for the same thing. And with advance warning of what we were going to do I was able to go out and buy special papers for them to cover things in (if only I'd remembered to get them some little matchboxes too,  as we ended up having to de-box the contents of my make-up bag in order to make drawers and sofas).


They made all the items for it together, but Zebra-girl was in charge of picking the colour-scheme, decorations and sewing a pillow for the upstairs and Dinosaur-boy selected his choice of fabrics and wallpaper and made sofa cushions for the downstairs. I love it when he sews as he concentrates so intensely that his breathing sounds like Darth Vader's.


We had such fun, but, like many of the things in the book, they look so perfectly made that the children aspire to a greater level of neatness than they are currently able to master without help. I often find that if they are shown an initial image of what something might look like then they are reluctant to deviate from it and their expectations around what the finished item should look like are far more perfectionist...which means that they insist on my being over-involved in measuring everything out properly, rather than experiencing the unbridled fun and creativity of more haphazard cutting and sticking. So in some ways I wish that I'd kept this wonderful book to myself and just used it to suggest ideas of what they might make...but they now love looking through it too much to hide it.


On Sunday Mr Teacakes gave Zebra-girl a cardboard box as a treat (it's so odd how universal it is that nearly every child's eyes light up at the offer of an old box) and she took it off to her room and closed her door (we found out later that this was because we may have objected had we seen her scissoring holes into the box risking possible injury in the process). She happily beavered away and made this lovely theatre. She made a long hole at the top so that she could drop scene changes in and another hole through which she could dangle characters on strings.


She then attached semi-circle boxes for an audience to sit in. And finally she wrote a script for Little Red Riding Hood and made characters and lots of different background scenes to go with it. On completion she invited me to learn some lines and help act it all out to Mr Teacakes and Dinosaur-boy and the audience in the stalls. It nearly made me cry seeing the care and imagination she had used in making it.


And just in case you're wondering...the scene you're viewing is when Little Red Riding Hood's mother asks her to take some food over to Grandmother...just before things get messy with the wolf.


Myself, I have made nothing from boxes, but I did make this cushion as a custom order for a friend's niece who lives in France. Here it is on Zebra's bed just before it went off to it's new home.


On Tuesday I woke with the sudden urge to de-stash. I have no idea why, but I went through my fabric drawers and edited it a little...then a couple of hours later I put lots of it back, but those things that I already have lots of, or just never seem to get round to using, I have listed on Etsy...just in case you're interested. There's some enormous pieces of suiting that might be good for clothing or bag-making, as well as some quilting-weight cottons that include prints by Tilda, Sandi Henderson, Joel Dewberry (some of these are measure a metre or thereabouts) and a couple of other bits and pieces. They are all in perfect condition, but as they've been in my fabric drawer they don't have that new-fabric-look like they do when they've been cut fresh from the bolt.

This week has been a week for things going wrong: fabrics being sewn back to front and general clumsiness on my part, but I have finally finished the quilt that I've been working on for the last day or so and it is now drying. To be blogged....

Hope you're having a lovely week.

Florence x

P.S - And hurrah! Lovely Mr Teacakes has made me a new blog banner...I had made the last one myself without any help...apparently that much was obvious. I'm so pleased with this new one...much better.

Friday, 19 February 2010

When cushions go wrong


It was with great excitement last week that I started working on this cushion as the honeycomb aspect of it is something that I've had in my head for a long time...ever since making this bag. I wanted to try something similar using a crisper, more easily creased fabric. I had actually meant to honeycomb the entire cushion but my selective memory had allowed me to forget how long this might take...I passed a happy four-and-a-half-hours slowly working on the section that you can see in the final cushion, listening to the radio and generally feeling happy to be doing some hand-sewing, until I decided that this was utterly self-indulgent and that I must create a cushion with only a honeycomb panel and leave it at that.


This is perhaps where things went wrong...I've also been wanting to make cushions in greys and creams, and so putting a little cream border around the edge seemed the logical thing to do. And then some more grey to finish off.


I felt quite pleased with it for a while...I'd found a new way of inserting a zip into the back of a cushion that completely concealed it and was easy to do (more and possibly a tutorial on that later...although you may - very sensibly - wish to refrain from taking instruction from anyone who could make something such as the above) and this was making me feel happy. It was only when Mr Teacakes arrived home and glanced at it sitting in the chair in the corner that I realised that I'd made something a little odd. I think that the gist of his thinking was that I'd created something that had a car-crash of styles within it...and that while the honeycomb pleating may be pleasing for the actual sewer to create (yes, that's me) that it wasn't necessarily what he'd choose to have in his own home. 'Fussy' and 'overly structural' were the two comments that have stayed with me and he found the cream edging panel particularly offensive...and all of this rang true when I looked at my cushion more objectively. It's so odd how sometimes you lose sight of what something actually looks like when you're working up close on it. This may all sound like Mr Teacakes was being horribly untactful, but he wasn't at all and I'm just as frank about his website designs.


All of this hasn't put me off using honeycomb pleating on bags, but it has made me feel that our house may be a honeycomb-free zone.

Having used all my lovely grey cotton up on this abomination above it needed replacing and so this little pile acted as the perfect comfort purchases. I had also run out of creams...it helped them go into the basket when they look so nice together. The black at the bottom is earmarked for a sleeveless top for me...I have a really clear picture in my head of how the top will look...now it's just trying to execute it!


I have added a 'follow me on twitter' button to the side of my blog...I have no idea why I have signed up to this, apart from that sometimes while sewing I have thoughts about sewing-related things that seem to have disappeared by the time I come to blog about things...and sometimes I see exciting things on my internet travels that I feel like I must share with others and then never do (there's a danger that my blog could become an entire list of links if I did). Mr Teacakes has strong opinions on cushions and Twitter. He has extracted promises from me that I will never write things such as 'about to eat lunch', or 'leaving the house now' and that I will only use Twitter in relation to sewing. As eating and leaving the house are often ignored in favour of stitching I won't find it too hard to keep within his guidelines.

My blog name has already been taken on Twitter, so we spent an amusing hour last night thinking up 15-character alternatives while Mr Teacakes was building Lego surprises for Dinosaur-boy to find in the morning and I was working my way through a series of bizarre floor exercises (necessary to make up for the cream egg(s) that passed my lips yesterday...every year I forget quite how good they are). I quite liked Flossie8teacakes, but in the end we decided on the more postal address-sounding 1FlossieTeacakes. Lovely Jenny quickly made the whole thing suddenly seem less faceless - thank you!

It has been half-term this week. We have had the most lovely time, mostly seeing friends, but also fitting in a Pyjama day doing arts and crafts. I'll show you what they made once I've had a chance to take a photograph of it...construction was rather involved and so I completely forgot to take any pictures.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Florence x

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Quilting and binding things...


Ah, there we are:  I can do what I say I'm going to! No clothes (even though I now know that you would have liked them - thank you!). This was a custom order that I was working on last week. It is being modelled by Zebra-girl's own bear, which is, conveniently, a similar size to the sleeping bag's new owner (yes, bear is having a Goldilocks moment and sleeping in a stolen bed). A friend recently brought round her child's beloved comforter-rabbity-thing (I think it's a rabbit anyway...it is so well loved that it is now difficult to identify) and asked me if I'd make a sleeping bag for it for her little girl's birthday. This was such fun to make. It has a heavily padded pillow and then a is quilted back and front, and has ended up being quite a substantial little bed as it is so heavily wadded. I can't wait to go visiting and see what the real owner looks like tucked up in his bag.


I've written about this foot a few times in my articles on feet, but I wanted to show it to you in action here as it has yet another use. I usually use it as a hem guide or edge marker, but I've now found a new use for it - it was perfect for making perfectly parallel narrow quilting lines, without having to do any tedious measuring with fabric marking pens. Hurrah!


The little Teacakes arrived home, saw the sleeping bag and have put in requests for new bedding for their own bears...mmm. Dinosaur-boy has a birthday soon and so I'm looking forward to making a blue one.


The same friend also asked me to make her daughter a cushion for her wooden chair. It's so odd to watch how narrow quilting can harness and bring under control great volumes of fleecy wadding. I quickly realised that one layer of wadding would compress to nothing once quilted and so in the picture above my machine is coping with four layers of wadding under its foot. This is why I love this machine...it seemed that I was asking the impossible of it and yet it coped with it perfectly, despite the fact that the foot was at an odd angle (due to the compressed already-quilted fabric being to the left and the great uncontrolled wodges to the right).


Once I'd quilted it I applied a spotty red binding. The thickness of the wadding allowed me to make a really nice substantial square-edged binding.


I'm coming to love making quilted things - I love the time at the machine where I can mindlessly whizz up and down in straight lines and then finishing the binding is also becoming one of my new favourite tasks. We rarely watch television as it feels like wasting time when there's so many things that we want to do, but having some hand-sewing means that I feel completely justified in sitting down and having a little vegetable-time, as psychologically I still feel like I'm getting things done. Hurrah for binding...it's an excuse to laze.


I added little gingham ties to attach the cushion to the chair. This is how the finished chair looks - it's unbelievable how much the wadding has been condensed down, but it feels so densely packed that it's a really comfortable cushion to sit in...I found this out by getting half my bottom into the chair, before deciding that I was in danger of having a Goldilocks moment and thought better of squeezing the rest of myself on too.


So many other things to share with you, but for now my thoughts are turning back to clothing. The Great Plains catalogue arrived today - I always love their summer dresses, but they're all wrong for my shape and so I'm left trying them on over and over, hoping that I'll find one that has miraculously morphed on the rail to be just right for me (it's a depressing scenario that replays every summer), but today when looking through it there was none of that...I was looking through it purely for inspiration and came away plotting my own summer dresses that can be made for half the price...I think that the sewing fun may have only just begun...I can't believe how many years of this I've missed out on and am now feeling the need to make up for lost time.


Those of you not reading through bloglines may notice that I've added some pages to my blog on tabs at the top. I love these exciting webby things...it has a similarly exciting feel to having moved some furniture around in one's living room (something that we never do due to have ridiculously large sofas that will only ever fit in one place...but I imagine that's how it feels anyway).

Wishing you a happy Friday and the loveliest of half terms for those that have small ones. We have already earmarked one of the days for staying in our pyjamas and doing baking and crafts...Ginny's tutorial will hopefully be used and we are also planning to make houses from shoe boxes as demonstrated in Green Crafts. We have been looking through this book, which is one of our favourites,  for the last week planning our wish list of activities to squeeze in...if only we had longer than one week.

x

Monday, 8 February 2010

Just a few more...

I know, I know....I hadn't intended to post pictures of any more clothes...but there were some that I made before Christmas that I'd meant to blog about, and then there's the whole problem of me becoming absolutely addicted to making myself skirts, not to mention the fact that your commenty goodness is only encouraging me and it's so much fun to have others to talk to who are equally obsessed...so somehow here I am with just a few more skirts and dresses.

First is this skirt that I made for Zebra-girl in December - these colourful corduroys were in my local fabric shop and on seeing them I had that heady moment where you can't breathe for loving something so much. Luckily she is only a small thing and so my craving for the corduroy could be satisfied with just a mere soupcon of fabric...which was a good thing as it was so very expensive. At home I had some wonderfully strokeable velvet ribbon that my sister had bought for me a couple of years ago, and that went with the rich red perfectly and pulled the the two fabric colours together. Luckily, Zebra-girl loved it and has worn it a lot.

This is the yoke as a work-in-progress for the dress that I made for my sister's Christmas present. Planning this dress turned my head inside out...it took me so long to work out what order to do things in as I'm not used to working with concealed zips with linings.
Anyway, this hanger (which is a baby's hanger) is far too small for displaying adult clothes on (hence the fact that it looks a little odd), but here it was before I sewed the central buttons on and hemmed it - I never took a photograph of the finished dress as December was a little busy, but I was pleased with the way that the lining had gone in, even though I feel like I've since learnt so much about drafting patterns (see last post), that I may not necessarily have cut it in quite the way that I did.

So that's last year's garmenty goodness...now what I got up to on Friday night (yes, I am thrilling company for my husband, but fear not, we had fun on Saturday instead). In winter, when I wear boots and thick tights, I prefer my skirts to be short, but in summer I prefer them to cover my knees (due to my finding my own to be exceptionally ugly ones) so I'm keeping the denim skirt from my last post the length that it is and saving it for summer wear. Which left me with such a winter-skirt craving that I simply had to rustle something up. I had a fraction less than half a metre of this lovely blue corduroy and it was just enough to make an A-line skirt. I ended up completely redrafting my pattern as I decided to take a couple of inches out so that it sat a fraction higher on the waist, and so that the A had hit it's widest point at my new shorter length (rather than several inches of invisible skirt below it).

Two hours later a skirt was born. Once again, I had fun adding a contrast fabric to the insides of the waistbands and hem line. Mr Teacakes chose the fabric for me, as he could see that my two hour project was threatening to turn into a ten hour one if I continued to spend any more time hovering over the fabric drawers winneting about what print to use.

It feels unbelievable to me that something that didn't exist at 8.30pm on Friday night can have materialised and be ready to wear by Saturday morning. But it was, and I was so excited that I completely forgot to take any pictures of it until that evening when I was making a cheese sauce. So just like any normal person making something that will catch on the bottom of the pan easily, I grabbed my camera and took some right there and then before it got covered in flour.

Hurrah for multi-tasking...the cheese sauce didn't burn and was tea was ready ten minutes later.
What has pleased me most about these skirts is that I'm rapidly feeling like making my own wardrobe is the most appealing option. I have always loved clothes shopping with an absolute passion and thought that making my own clothes could be fun, but that really I'd want them in addition to my shop bought lovelies, not instead of. However, I've had a skirt from Gap that was (almost) perfectly acceptable sat in a bag for a week. It was a little too long for me and would have needed shortening and I would have needed to have moved some of the buttons at the front to take it in at the waist (due to Gap no longer stocking their smallest size...grrr, but for those shorties who have been similarly enraged by this, Boden have gone some way to making things lovely again by introducing a size 6 across their entire range) and the pleats in it didn't sit in quite the right way at the back, but I did really like it. However, suddenly these things felt like one compromise too many, so it has been returned to the shop and I am one step closer to being able to do cartwheels (I'm thinking that elation may propel me in a way that no amount of tips and advice from Zebra-girl thus far has been able to) due to the fact that making my own skirt that is just perfect for me cost me only £3.50.

Anyway, going back to my last post - if you commented then I've (hopefully) responded in the commenty section, however, a couple of things came up that I thought I'd mention here:

Jody asked whether I thought it would be any use for making maternity clothes with...hmm, I wouldn't want to send lots of pregnant women on a clothes-making goose chase, but I can only imagine that it would. As you use so many measurements (ie. true waist, low waist, high hip, low hip etc), then I would have thought it would be perfect for making allowances for all the places that you go in and out during pregnancy. You don't use every measurement for every pattern, but once you've learnt how to draft a pattern from some of your measurements, then I'm guessing that throwing a couple of extra reference points in wouldn't be too difficult. However, Cal Patch, the author of the book, has a blog and a Flickr group...so perhaps she might be able to tell you how many leaps on maternity pattern drafting really is..

Anita (of whom I'm having severe shoe jealousy) mentioned the author Simon Henry in my comments - he looks to have three books out, all of which I'm interested in, although I'm wondering how easily applicable to the 'everyday' his work is. Has anyone ventured inside these books and found out to what extent one has to be a full-time party girl to find these useful?
Additionally, a few people commented or emailed about a book called Sew What! Skirts - I'd seen this on Amazon, but had never realised that it was about making skirts from scratch rather than someone else's patterns, and it sounded too good to miss - thank you so much for the recommendations. It has now arrived, but I'm yet to have a chance to look through it (due to my working on a custom order very slowly today - really, it was like watching a baboon trying to sew and what should have taken an hour, took me five - yes, five! - hours to get perfect), but will report back once I have finished reading.

Also, Sarah emailed me and asked if I might mention a Pattern Challenge that she is hosting on her blog. Her hope is to create a pattern library of reviews for different shop-bought patterns...which could be a really useful thing to avoid mishaps like those that I had when making my blancmange dress from a troublesome Simplicity pattern.

I know that I have proved myself to be utterly untrustworthy now, but I absolutely promise that my next post will not be about making clothes, thinking about making clothes, or even dreaming about making clothes...it will be about quilted things of the non-garment variety.
Florence x

Monday, 1 February 2010

Quite possibly my favourite book ever...

At the end of my last post I told you that some exciting things were due to be coming through my letterbox. One of them was Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes that I've been thinking about buying for a while now. Words can't quite express how much I love this book, but perhaps if I tell you that I stayed up until nearly 1am and read it cover-to-cover in one sitting that might give you some clue as to just how good it is. Cal advises you to dive right in and start making things, as her instructions will be clearer if you're involved in a practical task...but actually, her teaching technique is so fantastic that I was able to follow everything and understand her formula and techniques for doing things almost straight away...it all makes such good sense (and this is really saying something, as I don't comprehend complicated things easily).

The book's aim is to give you the ability to make garments fitted perfectly to your own unique body shape and size. The book is full of examples that you can follow, but you quickly realise that you can merge them together and add in your own details as the focus is on pattern-making (not how you sew the pattern pieces together), which gives you more freedom to introduce your own ideas. After taking 24 measurements from around your body (see picture), you learn to draw out an accurate pattern using these, as well as how to add in extra inchage for darts, ease, seam allowances and how to guesstimate your sweep circumference (that's the circumference of the hem of your intended garment). Cal shows you how to do everything in such a way that it quickly becomes instinctive as to the processes you need to go through to make a pattern work if you alter any one of the variables that you've already drafted in (such as a dart). It made me realise that I'd missed so many basics in my own pattern making - like the idea that waists and hems are not straight lines, but gently curve to flatter your own curves, or that it's essential that all the corners must remain square at 90 degree angles...and yes, you're shown how to blend these two things together. She manages to make complex tasks (such as 'slash and spread' - where you slash and spread your basic pattern to give a fuller, twirlier skirt) feel completely do-able.

I've felt horribly stunted by my own poor understanding of how to draft a pattern and so this book feels like an absolute gift. As soon as I'd finished reading it I was desperate to start making something using the techniques. The only suitable material left in the house for dressmaking was the half-metre remnant from the dress in the last post, so I decided to make a denim skirt using a side fastening (having seen it in action looking completely fabulous here) that features in one of her patterns as I don't own a denim skirt that doesn't go weirdly pouchy over the stomach area where the front zip is. I blended the fastening with Cal's method for making a basic A-line skirt and also drafted in my own internal (as opposed to patch) side pockets to add a bit of interest.

I bound the pockets with home-made denim bias tape and lined the inside of the pockets with a brown Denyse Schmidt print from the Katie Jump Rope range.

And then to add to the fun of dressing in the morning I bound the waist band with the same print...no you can't see it from the outside...but I know it's there and it makes me utterly happy.

I then added some more Jump Rope fabric to the bottom of the hem and used this as the turn up inside the skirt...you can see a peek of it when sitting cross legged...I wish all my skirts had this on now.

So the actual fit of the skirt...well, Cal's methods really do work. It feels like it has been made just for me. In a rare fit of patience I made a muslin (rough version of the garment using cheap material) to check the fit first and did end up adjusting darts and altering the waist size a little. The muslin was an old bed sheet...it's hard to assess whether you have the right balance between fitted and clingy when working a thread-bare bed sheet saved from teenagehood, but I do think it is so worth doing even with this poor stand-in material and now can't believe that I would ever have dreamt of jumping right in there (Cal advises that you use the same weight of fabric for the muslin as you intend to use for the final item...I didn't quite manage that bit).

Skirts can often be a bit gapey around the waist at the back, but this fits perfectly.

The thing that I enjoyed most was that with a new confidence that the finished item would fit I was able to pay more attention to putting in little finishing details, feeling that it was worth the investment in time.

This book has done nothing at all to dampen my new-found obsession with clothes-making and I'm already planning my next project which I'll make by adapting Cal's basic pattern for a t-shirt (it has a yoke and ruffles and all sorts...or is this a case of running before walking?). I'm feeling less confident about this as setting sleeves in isn't my strong point and I don't remember having worked with jersey either.

This is the final skirt - for those also taking their first steps with Cal's book my sweep circumference was 9" bigger than my low hip circumference here. I mention this because I would have found this information helpful as sweep circumference is a sort of guesstimated measurement, rather than an actual one and it's really hard to visualise just how big an A-line your final sweep measurement will actually yield.

I think out of every sewing book I've ever owned this is the one that I would recommend the most. Most of the craft books that I buy are for eye-candy purposes only. This one, however, is utterly practical and I have already written all over the pages with notes and measurements, making it feel akin to a well-loved cookbook that I can imagine eventually falling apart through over-use.

And just in case you are tiring of the incessant clothes talk and seeing pictures of my headless body I have some goodies to show you in my next post that I made last week for a custom order...I do love the odd things that people ask me to make and this one proved to be a welcome break from dressmaking.
Happy Monday,
Florence x