Petersham ribbons – an expansion post

My last post on the self-drafted skirt led to this post on petersham. Naomi asked me to expand on petersham ribbon and I said I’d do a post since my reply was getting long.

But first this:

The first time I used ‘petersham’ I had actually been sold grosgrain. Since I had asked the shop assistant who very nicely showed it to me – I just assumed I had the petersham that I had read of. I recall even asking if it would curve and she said yes. As I was sewing, it remained suspiciously straight but I reasoned that maybe it had to be worn before it does its thing. However, after wearing the skirt a couple of times with no change in the shape of the ‘petersham’, I started considering the possibility that it wasn’t me who had made a sewing mistake.

That’s when my search began again – better equipped with the knowledge of what  ‘was definitely not‘ petersham ribbon. I eventually found a haberdashery which was run by an old woman in the market (she told me she had been there for 40 years). She also had some petersham. I was mistrustful given my previous experience but I bought 1m (it looked a lot like grosgrain but had a teeny tiny difference to my untrained eye). When I got home – I unrolled it and immediately noticed the difference between the first one (grosgrain) and this second one. This was definitely Petersham ribbon. I got back as soon as I could to the market to buy more but alas !- apparently she had retired and the day that I had bought the 1m was her last day! So I now had to find some Petersham! The game was on.

Why bother with petersham in the first place

Before I get into a long ramble of petersham ribbon, let me sell you on the benefits of this essential sewing cave notion. The benefits are manifold:

  • It’s so comfortable because it expands to contours of the body and ‘sits’ rather than grips the waist.
  • Can be use if there is no fabric for a facing
  • Can be used to reduce bulk at the waist
  • Its put on after everything is constructed and fitting done so it’s less fuss
  • It’s a strong durable finish used often in couture houses
  • It is much easier to use than a normal waistband.
  • looks neat on the inside

So what is a petersham ribbon?

My first stop was Wikipedia and it says:

Petersham ribbon, also called Petersham facing or simply Petersham, is a thick, stiff, flexible corded ribbon usually made out of eithercotton, rayon, viscose, or a cotton/ rayon or viscose blend of fibers and used as facing by milliners and tailors… It is woven so that once steamed, it will take on and support a particular curve of fabric….t is also useful as an alternative to bias tape for making fabric conform closely to the shape of the body wearing it— in a corset, for example, or along the waistline of a pair of trousers or a skirt.

This is an accurate definition. Petersham looks like a ribbon but it is much thicker and not as drapey as a ribbon. Like grosgrain (pronunced grograin) ribbon, it comes with a scalloped edge but petersham has a tighter weave on one side which allows it to take on and support a curve.20170404_16375320170404_163814

It sounds simple enough but the problem is that in most sewing books that I have read there is no consistency as to what grosgrain and petersham are. In most cases, it is used interchangeably. Add to that the fact that in most shops I have enquired about petersham I almost always get shown grosgrain. It’s not the shop assistant’s fault either as I elaborate below.

Grosgrain or Petersham? Same thing or different?

Petersham is not to be confused with its close cousin grosgrain, which is straight like normal ribbon you might use in hair.

What do the sewing books have to say….

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You cant take the academia out of the girl…..

 

I did a search of my sewing books. I was limited to my own personal library and if there are other books that deal specifically with petersham ribbon I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Just like my shopping experiences, my sewing books also present different information.

Readers Digest mentions petershams and only says this:

Petersham ribbon is often used for finishing or staying waistlines. It can also be a decorative trim. It is sold by the meter in various widths and a wide range of colours. A special curved petersham is also available in black and white only. Pg. 20

This tells me that it is referring to grosgrain in the first then actual petersham last. It is helpful as it does point out that petershams are only in black and white.

The Vogue Sewing Book doesn’t have petersham listed in its index or glossary so I went to look at skirt waistband finishing. Sure enough, it pops up there but under a different guise and name here is the extract (on Faced Waistline):

RIBBON: Shape a 20 -25 mm (3/4″ – 1″) wide strip of grosgrain ribbon by steaming it into curves corresponding to those of the waistline edge. Be sure to stretch the edge that is to be let free; if you shrink the edge to be joined to the garment, it will stretch during wear. Fit ribbon to your body, allowing 25mm (1″) for ends. pg 336

Based on what we already know about the definition of petersham, – clearly, this tutorial is talking about petersham and not grosgrain which will not ever curve unless cut or darted. It’s a good tutorial apart from the fact that if a beginner were to buy grosgrain and follow it, they would be shocked (perhaps not shocked per se but maybe frustrated) to find it’s not working. (Caveat being that they are using this 1978 edition which I have – if anyone has a newer edition – is this still the same exact text or has it been changed? )

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Vogue Sewing Book

 

The Sewing Book (Alison Smith) This book had petersham in the index and has a well illustrated photographic tutorial which refers to petersham ribbon as we know it. Here is the extract:.

Petersham in an alternative finish to a facing if you do not have enough fabric to cut a facing. Available in black and white, it is a stiff, ridged tape that is 2.5cm (1″) wide and curved – the tighter curve is the top edge. Like a facing, petersham is attached to the waist after the skirt or trousers have been constructed. pg 177

This is the best succinct explanation along with the tutorial. On pg 179 there is an equally good entry on grosgrain distinguishing between the two ribbon cousins and providing a tutorial on using grosgrain.  The only thing missing from both these tutorials is how to finish the petersham and grosgrain at the zip fastening. I have provided a link down below in the resources section on a great tutorial which goes all the way to finishing around the zip fastening – I highly recommend this read if you are looking to up your finishing techniques.

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The Sewing Book (Alison Smith)

 

Couture Sewing Techniques (Claire Schaeffer) is the only book to use the term grosgrain and describe a process that is for grosgrain ribbon. I have included it as I found it very interesting. She describes a technique where snipping and darting are used to shape it. So it is definitely grosgrain as it is sold today i.e. straight and needing cutting to shape it to a curve. It doesn’t have a petersham entry on index or glossary either.Here is the extract.

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Couture Sewing Techniques (Claire Schaeffer)

 

Gerstie’s Ultimate Dress Book (Gretchen Hirsch) has a petersham reference in the index. I can’t be too certain but it looks like what’s being referred to is possibly a grosgrain given that it comes in different widths and colours. Also looking at the picture provided, I can’t see the typical waviness I’d expect to see on a petersham that’s been curved around a waist.  Perhaps this might be a US thing and they sell the petersham as defined at the beginning there in differing widths and colours? If there are any US readers who know I’d love to hear your experiances/thoughts on this.

Here is the extract:20170404_200836

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Characteristic waviness of a petersham ribbon

 

So far the Alison Smith book has provided the clearest definitions and tutorial for petersham ribbon. It’s the one book where a beginner would seek to find the proper petersham ribbon since the book specifically says that its only black and white and 1″ wide. The tutorial would also yield a good result as everything matches up.

Ok so now we know that petersham ribbon is the best thing since sliced bread and why there is some confusion as to what it actually is. But hopefully, by now, you get the idea that grosgrain is NOT petersham. Perhaps you can even tell the difference between them. Of course, now are wondering where to buy this lovely thing I speak of. Well, that’s a tricky one……

Where to buy  petersham ribbon?

I live in the UK so my experiance is limited to this country unfortunately.  More specifically to my region in Yorkshire. I tried buying on Ebay twice and each time received grosgrain so I gave up buying online. I went to Bonds in Farsley but they didn’t have any in stock at that time (I havent yet returned to check but they said they stock it). I found some in Boyes Super Store (Bradford branch) where I bought loads. Samuel Taylors in Leeds Market also had some. And thats it. I have basically stocked up and have about 10m each of the black and white in my cave. I invite readers from other countries (& UK) to share if they know where to buy petersham. Please let me know in the comments below.

Mistakes to avoid.

Hopefully, I made these mistakes so you don’t have to.

Buying the wrong thing.

  • Watch out for descriptions that say grosgrain/petersham in them – most likely they are the grosgrain ribbon. As mentioned above, my research indicates that petersham and grosgrain are 2 separate things.
  • I have also yet to ever come across Petersham that isn’t black or white or 1″ wide. I use that as an indicator myself. Buy from reputable sellers so that you can double check with them before buying. Also once you find it, buy shed loads of it – it’s not easy to come by!

Cutting your petersham too short.

Its painful and it has happened to me but I quickly learnt not to do that again. Now I don’t necessarily cut it from my roll before sewing in on. I will sew it on then cut off the excess leaving the allowance I need to turn under.

Unraveling ends

I have used Fray check successfully especially when I cut it an angle which I wouldn’t advise. Otherwise turn it under and hand sew it as soon as possible.

Petersham ribbon when used correctly creates the most comfortable waist finish. My all time favourite Holyburn skirt has a Petersham ribbon.

20170404_200400_HDRResources on Petersham ribbons

A Challenging Sew – a useful tutorial on sewing a lined skirt with petersham.

Threads  – a Youtube tutorial on how to curve petersham to a seam.

Hopefully you have a slightly better understanding of Petersham Naomi. I have enjoyed writing up this post so thank you for asking the question.

Now lets see if you picked up something. I have 2 pictures below – which ones are the petersham ribbons? All welcome to have a go 🙂20170404_16344320170404_16381420170404_163722

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

xoxo

PS. Apologies for poorly lit pictures. I took these on my phone today as I was writing this post.

Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, First Edition 1978

The Vogue Sewing Book, Revised Metric Edition, 1978

The Sewing Book, Alison Smith, 2009

Couture Sewing Techniques, Claire B. Schaeffer, 1993

Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book, Gretchen Hirsch, 2016

Early 2017 Springwatch

Hello,

This past weekend presented itself with some lovely weather so I was out on Sunday in the garden – cleaning the greenhouse, sowing seeds, etc. The etc includes taking in the beautiful spring sights.

I don’t know about you but I love the morning after a light shower. The flowers have the droplets clinging on to their delicate petals and its a lovely thing to see. I took these pictures using OH’s phone and I was rather impressed.2017-03-12 09.47.472017-03-12 09.48.082017-03-12 09.48.51-22017-03-12 09.49.132017-03-12 09.50.012017-03-12 09.51.292017-03-12 09.53.242017-03-12 09.53.402017-03-12 09.54.102017-03-12 09.54.282017-03-12 09.55.102017-03-12 09.55.592017-03-12 09.56.152017-03-12 09.44.202017-03-12 09.44.432017-03-12 09.45.032017-03-12 09.45.072017-03-12 09.45.16

Meanwhile at the allotment the garlic and overwintering onions are doing well. I just sowed the seeds for this year. The potatoes are chitting along. This year we are only going to plant one variety of potatoes : Maris Piper.

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Leek bed
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I think it was the birds that did this to our purple sprouting brcocolli

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The onions sets and garlic.

Spring is coming.

Colette Laurel Shift dress

Hello everyone,

This was my first White Tree Blogger Network project. For my first project, I decided to fill a gap  in my wardrobe – the shift dress.cp1025-laurel-12-large-818764633d8862d1b4da235e826b82d41eb9dd463e3a1806080ef1627cb793cb

There were many shift dress patterns available but in the end I chose the Laurel dress by Colette patterns. The fit is semi-loose with a fitted bust and back darts to keep the shape streamlined which is what I wanted. It looked to me like a chic and simple shift dress. When it came to the fabric I had a hard time selecting from all the great fabrics on offer from White Tree Fabrics. After hours of browsing I finally settled on this floral printed denim which has a cute floral motif. I liked that the floral motif wasn’t so small that its ditsy.

When I received the fabric I was really impressed by its beauty. It’s a lovely lightweight tightly woven chambray fabric with a beautiful drape. It feels so comfortable and sewing with it was a joy! It irons beautifully and sews like a dream. The blue background is like a lovely denim blue. I prewashed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried it.

Construction wise I cut the size 2 on the Laurel (Version 1) and sensibly made up a toile. The fit at the bust was pretty perfect but the armholes were a tad too tight so I had to reduce the seam allowance for a little bit more ease. That did the trick. The waist and the hip were much too wide for my liking so it was clear I had to take it in. Here is what I did – I started at size 2 on the bust dart and graded to size 0 at waist and hip. This created the look of the shift dress I wanted like in the line drawing

Once my fitting was done I cut into my delicious fabric and made some bias binding for finishing the neckline with. This pattern sewed up very quickly for me. I left out the zipper because I found I could put it on easily without one.

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Colette Laurel Dress

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Colette Laurel Dress

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Colette Laurel Dress – Bias Bound neckline

I love this dress – it will work well in fall with layers underneath and it will be perfect for spring and summer too. I also really love this fabric and will be getting more to make a shirt – this is perfect shirt fabric as well.

Do you like chambray shift dresses for autumn too?

Thanks for reading guys and until next time – Happy Sewing!

Hila

McCalls M7430 Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.m7430_a

I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.

 

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McCalls M7430

m7043-1m7043mccalls-m7043

 

Pattern Description: Misses’ Knit Side-Panel Dresses with Yokes

McCalls M7430 is a fitted pullover knit dress with side panels (no side seams). It has a front and back yoke with neckline variations. The neck variation is a bound, round neckline or a turtleneck. The hem variation is a shaped hem or a straight hem. The dress may be made sleeveless, three-quarter sleeve or long sleeve.

Pattern Sizing

Pattern sizing combinations are A5(6-14) and E5(14-22). I cut out a size 10 based on finished garment measurements and I thought it was not too far off the mark ease-wise.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

I made view D, using a black contrast stretch pleather with a pink and black cloque fabric. And it looked like what I was expecting based on the pattern cover.

 Were the instructions easy to follow?

I read through the instructions before embarking on this project and they were huge easy to follow diagrams accompanying the written instructions making this beginner friendly. This is a relatively simple dress to make anyway. It scores more points on the beginner friendly scale as there is a YouTUbe sew along by Anita Design . You can’t do much better that! If you don’t like reading instructions it’s worth checking that out. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like patterns with interesting seam lines. This has princess seams at the front combined with a front yoke as well which gives plenty of colour blocking options. There are endless possibilities.

Fabric Used

I bought the main fabric during SewUpNorth in November last year. It is a bold black & cerise jacquard blister ponte (cloque). I have since found out that composition is viscose, polyester & spandex (which explains why it’s so comfortable). It has a beautifully-soft handle and a firm stretch with good recovery across the width and length of the fabric. This is the same fabric I used for my Lady Skater Dress <link here>.

What really drew me to the fabric was the easy flamboyance of the vibrant rococo-style pattern. In terms of fabric care: I machine washed at 30°C and tumble dried as normal.

For the contrast, I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from Leeds Market. The stretch pleather was bought to make leggings but I am glad I didn’t make leggings with it. I didn’t want stretch pleather on my neck so I used what little black ponte I had for the upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the black ponte for the side panels.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I took in the princess seams at the waist line to reduce a swayback issue. Swayback is a standard alteration for me but I skipped it on this because I had princess seams down my back to work with. Though for future makes I will do the adjustment on my paper pattern.

There is a little more ease across the upper back than there should be for a fitted dress- it was also slightly roomy for me around the bust area where I took in about 1” in total.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I am making this again for sure. Its easy to both make and wear. Comfortable and practical. I would definitely reccommend it.

Here’s a tip. The back of the dress is almost identical to the front so much so that when sewing it up its easy to mix up the pattern pieces unless if you make sure to mark them – I didnt and honestly will never not mark them again!

And another thing; my biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head lines to line up with the yoke. My initial preference would have been to make this in a stripey main fabric. However, I realised that I had a bit of trouble with a solid colour – imagine trying to line up stripes! It is possible but its something to bear in mind when cutting out especially if one is fussy about perfect pattern matching.  

Conclusion:

It’s a good basic wardrobe staple. I may make a more summery one at some point with a shorter length, normal collar and no sleeves . this dress was on the shorter side – its fine for me but if you like more covereage there, pay attention to the finished garment length measurements before cutting so you can add length. I recommend McCalls M7430 if you are looking for a dress that is  well-fitting and easy-to-make. Alternatively, shorten it to make turtleneck top.

Final point about the dress: if made in one solid color, the detail of the princess seam and yoke seam is lost which would be a shame. So if you make this I highly recommend using contrasting fabrics. I also I love the slimming effect of the contrasting side panels (especially when black is used like I did for mine) – but any dark colour will have a similar effect.

Many thanks for stopping by my little corners of the interwebs. Until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

2016 Hits and Lessons Learnt

It is that time of the year again where we all feel compelled to reflect – I had told myself I wasnt going to do this but after reading others I started reflecting on my makes and suddenly realised that I have some things to talk about. I guess there is something inside all of us that wants the new year to better than the last.

I think I dont like the term ‘miss’ – as if its a target – I always think in terms of lessons learnt – no experience is ever worthless IMHO. I dont see failure as a step backwards. Everytime I fail, I learn something new; I feel less anxiety when I do it again. To me thats a step forwards in the right direction. I have experienced, discovered and achieved much during the last 12 months.

But first a few stats presented in an infographic..what-i-sewed-1

In addition I have learnt how to create an infographic :-).

Top 5

Ok here we go; my top 5 hits as decided by the easiest accessible metric of all – InstaGram likes :-). I also like IG because its a record of how I wear my clothes on a daily basis.

Colette Wren Dress made in John Kaldor wool Jersy (463 likes)

 

Moneta Lady Skater Hybrid (417 likes)

 

Vogue Skirt and Simplicity Top (415 likes)

 

Moneta Gabriola Hybrid Dress (373 likes)

 

McCalls M6696 Shirtdress (358 likes)

 

Here is my top nine collage according to instagram.

I’d say this accurately reflects my favourite makes.

However IG doesnt take into account the clothes I make for my kids and hubs. My favourite hit was this M6044 shirt for my hubs which he loves to wear (I am so proud of that pocket matching). Thank goodness it’s made out of a really great quality Cotton and Steel fabric because it’s washed every week.mccalls20m6044

The other hit I’d say are the New Look 6423 foxes dresses I made for my girls. One of my twins basically wears it every other day – its her most favourite dress. The fabric is still as vibrant and has held up so well despite the many washes it’s had (about 3/week on average).

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New Look 6423

Lessons learnt

On to the lessons learnt – I cant really use IG for this because I don’t tend to wear things that didn’t work out. There is only one I can think of that I dont actually wear and that’s the  Oakridge blouse (blog post here). I cant get my head around this top for some reason.

Though I love my garments – each one has its highs and lows of the project and I learn from those. Through these highs and lows, I have learnt the value of patience, optimism and commitment. I also have come to understand how I can remain positive and calm in the face of short term setbacks.

 

I felt that my reflection would be quite superficial if I didnt compare it against what my written goals for 2016 were…..however…I cant seem to find the post in which I loosely categorised my goals. But I did

  • enter the PR Skirt Contest
  • enter the PR one pattern many looks contest
  • all 4 weeks of Indie Pattern Month 2016
  • make another pair of jeans (S8222)
  • McCall Pattern Company shirtdress sewalong
  • Finish all 5 of my knitting WIPS
  • I also participated in some IG challenges (MeMadeMay & SewPhotohop & BPSewvember & One Week One Pattern)
  • I signed up for a pattern drafting class. Through it I met some lovely sewing ladies who are just as mad about sewing as I am though they dont have blogs – which made me realise that there are so many of us out there who dont blog.
  • started my YouTube channel
  • complete my Burda Challenge

Fabric

Now for the elephant in the room – Fabric or more specifically buying fabric…here is a snippet of a conversation in my head between my Ideal Self 1 and Ideal Self 2….

“Did you hear about Hila?  She has so much fabric she could sink a battle ship!”

“REALLY!?  Doesn’t she know that enough is enough?”

“Evidently not!  I heard she just signed up for the Spoolette fabric shopping meet up in February!”

I had made some sort of a vow to be on a fabric buying moratorium. Well…….I was good for a while, then I fell off the bandwagon in a spectacular way and I have bought a lot of fabric – quite possibly a lot more than if I hadn’t tried to go against my nature by caging myself in. I am sick and tired of my laments and complaints.  So I accept it – I love buying fabric.  I love my fabric.  I honestly seriously do.

In some ways, my resolution was a triumph of hope over experience. Perhaps that’s because I was too ambitious and then judged myself too harshly when I failed to meet that impossibly high standard. My guilt had an ironic impact on my behaviour which led to me scuppering on my broader goal of getting the stash under control. I have come to the conclusion that enjoying the occasional indulgence can help recharge my self-control.

The moral is that, for now, I will make sure to leave room for a little bit of vice amid all my virtuous intentions. So in conclusion…..

I LOVE BUYING FABRIC! I LOVE FABRIC!

When I buy fabric I am not just buying something tangible, I am buying dreams and possibilities of what this item can become. It holds out the intoxicating promise of a Pinterest worthy wardrobe. I love to pet and fold the fabric and daydream about what it could become one day.

I’d also add that it’s not “JUST” a piece of fabric –it’s a piece of who we are, or who we want to be.  Our individual fabric stashes are as varied as each of our personalities and interests.  No two stashes are alike! Think about it – our stashes are like our fingerprints : unique.

I have children who I hope one day will love sewing as much I do and perhaps I can leave them some sort of a legacy. I know I can’t use it all – but you can bet your top dollar that I will try my darndest to sew up as much of it as I can. Because I love creating and making. I am lucky enough to have a big home in which space is not as limited as with our previous home.

There is an energy inside of me – that spark that ignites the fire. Sewing gives my life a sense of joy – a sense of fulfillment.

And fighting it is useless. For now I shan’t make too much of a fuss – until I have so much fabric that it becomes a hindrance to my creativity or I can’t organise it.

Come 2017, I will keep pushing my limits and raising the bar; and yes, I will make mistakes and feel awkward, stupid and dumb sometimes but thats okay.

And so I sign off 2016 by sharing a quote from Neil Gaiman

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.

Happy New Year chums,

Hila

XoX

 

 

 

KnitWeek2016 Pt 1 : Organising the Yarns, Supplies & Patterns

Hi guys,

The first of my posts in KnitWeek2016 begins with organising the knitting stash. I began in earnest in early October. I think that most of us in the sewing and knitting community are more of producers than consumers (only in the sense that we consume tools and raw materials to make an item rather than just purchasing an item ready made).  As a consequence we collect tools and materials for production. With that comes the challenge of keeping organised. Luckily my knitting stash is much (much) less than the sewing stash so the task of organising it didnt seem too daunting.

Cataloging the yarn

First I emptied out all the yarns I had and proceeded to catalog them all on Ravelry. I have been in awe and super impressed with how incredibly useful the Ravelry stash feature is. If you enter all your details correctly it will show you which patterns can be made up with the amount of yarn you have for a particular yarn. Also seeing what other projects have been made using that yarn in your stash is so useful for giving you ideas when you are in a rut, or if like me you cant remember what you bought the yarn for :-). So now all my yarn is cataloged and my gosh it feels good. If you would like to have snoop around my stash you can find it here <link>.

Yarn storage

I like to have my stash visible so I dont forget what I have, seeing as I am more of a more of an out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of person. The 80L plastic tub I use is great at keeping out yarn eating bugs, as well as keeping the stash visible.

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All my yarn stash in this 80l capacity plastic tub

So then while I was at it I thought that much as I like digging out all the 29 stash items I have, I wanted to easily browse what I had without having to unearth them all. So a simple idea formed to have strands on a page with name and details. I used a laminated card with a hole punch to make holes for stringing yarn samples through and voila – my yarn directory! Its kept in the same binder as my knitting patterns.

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Yarn sample catalog page in my knitting pattern binder

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Knitting patterns

Next up I sorted out the patterns I have – printed and bought (Eeeeck I actually bought a couple of patterns from an actual bricks and mortar shop when I started knitting before discovering Ravelry). Anyhow those were neatified and filed in the binder.

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Knitting patterns stored in plastic sleeves

Knitting tools and sundries

Next up my knitting tools – I have loads of circular needles, crochet hooks and DPNs. These were more challenging to organise. On the one hand I needed to have them all together but at the same time I need to look through by type quickly….for now my solution was to have them all in one old shoebox. I will be thing about how to improve on this.

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Knitting and crochet tools in separate freezer bags within one shoebox…

I now enjoy the yarn in my collection rather than feeling overwhelmed by it. Having said this though I do realise I need to do some serious yarn stashbusting over the next year.

What are your favourite yarn stash organising tips? I will be back tomorrow with another knitting post sharing a finished knitting project. I actually finished some knitting projects guys 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,

Hila

Sewing Plans…..sort of…ish….

Hello again,

So I have been mulling a bit on my sewing plans. This last week with the sewing goddeses smiling upon me has meant I have been doing what I like to call intuitive sewing – which roughly translates to sewing without a specific plan. It rather entails stumbling across a fabric and thinking this could go with that other thing I am making and then I immediately cut it and sew it up and I look for some more fabric that could make something to go with the thing I just made previously…and so on….

More importantly – one of my new habits (that I am trying to form) is making sure that no remnants are left – if the left over bit is large enough for a top its gets cut immediately or if it is leggings for my twinks it gets cut and anything left over insufficient for a garment gets chucked. A very good thing for how it is depleting my stash slowly.

Anyhow I digress – the purpose of this post was to pull together my thoughts on what I want to proactively achieve over the next few months.

  1. Pattern Review are doing a One Pattern Many Looks contest which I have decided to enter. In the past I have excelled at such a challenge based on how I did at IPM 2015 and 2016 One pattern 2 ways contest. See here the Giselle Maxis I made in 2015 and the Carme blouses I made in 2016. I haven’t yet picked a pattern but my cogs are turning. You can check out the PR details here.
  2. I found out about the Little Red Dress Project over on Youtube – its not limited to vloggers – its just how I first came across it. Its a challenge to make a red dress in time for the Christmas holidays. I am realising that red looks good on me and I want to add more reds in my wardrobe so this is great for me.
  3. Separately I want to make another pair of jeans. I have bought the Mimi G pattern during the Simplicity sale. I have the fabric and I just need to trace the pattern.
  4. I signed up for Stitching Santa run by SewChet which I am quite excited about. To shake things up for myself I decided to go with knitting instead of sewing. This is my first time signing up.
  5. I need to catch up on my Burda Challenge 2016 – I have done 8 garments to date but I really need to have a total of 12 (one pattern/month) to justify the subscription. I didn’t renew my subscription when it ended in August but I actually really like Burda  patterns. Their fitting is pretty much perfect on me and they have some fun designs, so I would like to have a 12 month subscription for next year. My Burda makes so far here..
  6. I have enrolled on the free class Fall 2016 Knitalong on Craftsy. Its focusing on knitting 3 accessories over the fall months : a cowl, a hat  and fingerless mitts. The idea is one item for each month of fall. The class is free and it includes the 3 patterns. I am liking it so far since starting my cowl.

So those are some of my loose goals for the coming season’s sewing and knitting. In the meantime – I have been going through my fabric and pattern stash selecting ones that I will never use and taking them along to the Sew Up North meet up on Saturday 4th November. I cant tell you how excited I am to be going even though I know I am not going to be buying fabric (actually I have a teeny tiny £20 budget) but still I cant wait to meet everyone who is going to be coming and help out in any way I can. Plus just to soak up the feeling of being in the company of  like minded individuals. More details over here at RedWSews.wordpress.com.

Is there anything else going on in the sewing community that I have missed?

Until next time – Happy Sewing! I will be back soon.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 3

Hello again everyone,

Phew ! Its Part 3 of my BHL Anna dress blog arc. Part 1 is here and Part 2 here.

This final dress was made in a viscose fabric I bought on Ebay earlier this year. It was one of those late night shopping things. The fabric is very light and breathable. Once I washed it – it was so completely off grain that I gave up after an hour of trying to tease it back onto grain. I just did the best I could. The next time I buy a similar fabric I will know not to wash it first. The shrinkage was very negligible as I recall. Anyhow moving on…

My little sister managed to squeeze us in for an overnight visit in between her globetrotting life. She was severely jet lagged the short time she was with us but we had a whale of a time – as always. She is my best fried as well so when she snuck a peek into my cave and mentioned how much she loved the purple maxi dress that was hanging on my door, I immediately offered the dress to her.

She tried it on and didn’t take it off for the rest of the day – I offered to take it in at the side but she was adamant she likes it the way it is.  Being so tall and willowly she looks great in just about anything.

She obligingly agreed to a quick photo shoot using my phone camera (unfortunately big camera was out of action that weekend :-(.) WIthout further adue here is number 3….

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BHL Anna Dress back view
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BHL Anna Dress – V neck and no thigh split
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There is no neck gaping on this one 🙂

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My little sister 🙂
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It was fun being behind the camera yelling “Show me fierce!”

BHL Anna Dress

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Its not often I get the chance to spend time with my sister but writing this post took me back to the lovely time I had with her. It makes me happy that she liked something I made and has added it to her wardrobe. Especially since its also something that I really enjoyed sewing up.

That concludes my Anna trio blog arc. If you read this far then I thank you and appreciate you. It has been fun for me doing a blog arc (especially because all I have to do is copy the previous post so all the categories and tags are already selected :-). I think I will do something similar in future….Speaking of the future, I have just one last summer sewing project to share with you guys then I will move on to the fall stuff I have been working on.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing all.

Peace and love,

Hila

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 2

Hello again,

As promised I am back with the second of three By Hand London Anna dresses that I made over the summer. I posted my first one here <link here>.

I bought the fabric from Leeds Market about a year ago- so it was a stasher (term I use for long term stash residents) for a long while. I am certain that it was happy to get out. I had brought it out to make a Burdastyle dress but seeing it again with the Anna dress pattern out – it suddenly became an Anna. I had just enough to make this dress. Lucky for me the print inst directional so I could lay skirt panels next to each other. The fabric also has some stretch to it on the cross grain which allows for a nice comfortable fit.  Like the first Anna dress I finished the split and hem by hand. It was a pleasure to hand sew those finishing details.

The V neckline is possibly my favourite feature of this dress. However all did not go well in sewing it.  Despite trying my best to stay the neckline using some stay tape – there is some gaping on one side. What’s annoying is I cant figure out where I went wrong because the other side sits perfectly flat…if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I tried loads of steam and clapper action to get it flat but I may have made it worse. Still – its a lovely dress and I will wear it regardless :-).

I love the blue of this dress so much. I even wore it to a wedding with my Morris blazer. My mother in law is not one to be easily impressed but for the first time she was bowled over when I told her I had made it (she was kindly babysitting for us so we could go to the wedding). That was a cherry on top for me. She doesn’t hand out compliments willy nilly :-). Pictures!

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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress – that pesky gapey neckline
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress Waistline detail
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BHL Anna Dress Back view
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BHL Anna Dress
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Such a lovely neckline shape – one of my fave features of this dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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See how one side is fine and flat while the other has a wobble
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Close up of the wobble
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BHL Anna Dress with my mustard Morris blazer
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BHL Anna + Morris Blazer
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Yep! I like this dress 🙂

And here is a clip of it in motion…

As always thanks for stopping by! I will b e back this time tomorrow with final one that my little sister adopted 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 1

Hello again,

One of my winnings from Indie Pattern Month 2016 was an Anna Dress pattern from BHL. This is a pattern I have coveted for some time. So when I got it I went a little bit gaga and sewed up 3 dresses in a row!

My little sister came to visit around the time I had finished them and she fell in love with one of them. She tried it on and I gave it to her. She looks amazing in hers – she is tall, willowy and graceful ( I am the shortest one in my family – a sore point with me!).

Anyway I love these Anna’s so much. I cant add anything construction wise that isn’t already out there. There is an excellent sewalong on the BHL website which is what I used, I didn’t read the instructions that came with it.

Its a fabric hog though. Printing it and taping it up was not that much fun if I had to be honest.

I did a muslin of the bodice after tracing the size 8/10 which fit my measurement. The fit was good. What I didn’t muslin was the skirt and it turned out to be at least 6″ too long – its only later that I realised i think its drafted for wearing with very high heels. I shortened the skirt and went on to cut out the second one in the V neck and the 3rd one in the V neck. I really like the V neck. I had to hand sew the slits for a neat finish. The seams were finished using an overlocker. The hem was hand sewn as well. A good chance to practice some of the new sewing skills I am learning from the Claire Schaeffer book.

Ok pictures and pictures….very picture heavy this post. I was going to do pictures for all three Anna dresses in one post but I was late with processing the pictures so I am presenting them as a 3 part blog arc over the next 2 – 3 days. This is the first one which has a lovely story behind the fabric. When I went to the Yorkshire Spoolettes meetup back in February , I had the pleasure of meeting Karen who blogs over at thesewingmiserabilist. She was wearing this wonderful dress made out of a beautiful crepe fabric – I fell for the fabric and she helped me find it at Fabw0rks. I bought it later but spent an age dithering over what to make with it. The fabric is so beautiful – the pictures dont do it justice – the rich deep purple almost aubergine background for the fiery orchids like print. It has some stretch on the crossgrain. I love the fabric and feel fabulous in it :-). In the end it was Anna!  Enjoy!

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BHL Anna Dress
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We only had sun for a few minutes during the shoot and the oranges in the fabric really come out
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BHL Anna Dress
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Anna dress Bac View – I love how it billows as I walk
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Invisible zip LIKE A BOSS!
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Love the thigh high split
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There are always kids around the photo shoot – I have become adept at posing quickly
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Anna dress – its a fabric hog. It requires at least 4 meters.
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The kimono sleeve
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Anna Dress
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BHL Anna dress Side View
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I also love the neckline – its very well drafted.
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Close up of the neckline.

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I even wore to London over the summer…

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

Ramblings etc..

Remember in my last Ramblings post I  mentioned our first camping trip?  Well …it rained and rained, and then some more rain even when we were packing up the tent. Everything got wet. Basically the entire 3 days we were there, it RAINED!  Not giving up though – I cant imagine it could possibly get any worse than that. The only way must be up surely.

I bought 2 sewing books while in the tent at night struggling to sleep in cramped quarters. Boundless Style and Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Looking through the books was fun the first time but I quickly realised it was unlikely I will be making anything from these books. I think buying them was a reaction to my dropping sugar on top of being stuck in a tent with 5 excitable kids.

Speaking of sugar -its been well over a month of being sugar free now and I can honestly say that I am past the cravings. I do not crave it anymore. I can walk past the candy aisle in the supermarket and not be tempted. I am now moving to the  next stage which is swapping over my simple carbs for complex ones. Apparently our bodies treat refined flour like sugar so that means I am swapping to whole grain pasta and whole grain rice for now. I bought some quinoa and hated it. Brown rice was not too bad but too chewy – unsurprisingly the kids dont like either of those so I have to cook a separate portion for myself.

Knitting – why am I so bad at finishing knitting projects. I have 5 in the process. A Marion cardigan (needs blocking) , a Miette that was finished well over a year ago but is yet to be blocked. A green Antler cardigan for my third child. An Owls sweater for me. A purple chuck sweater…………..I wallowed. I threw myself a pity party – but I didn’t let the self pity settle for long (thankfully) and got tough with myself!  So I set myself an ACTION challenge in which I just have to take any action with the knitting. The deadline being a blog post in first week of November. Don’t judge me – sometimes I need hard deadlines to push me :-). Knitting means a lot of TV shows in the background.

I have been watching an Amazon Prime original series called The Collection which is set in Paris fashion house just after the end of WW2. I was quite looking forward to it but have found it to be quite slow and indulgent. Perhaps I was expecting too much actual atelier insight – a true glimpse into the workings of a haute couture house. Alas it has disappointed me so far. I am still watching it in the background as I knit at the end of the day in bed just to see exactly what all this meandering has been about. Have you seen this too? Another show I have been watching and loving is Parks and Recreation. Been doing a lot of knitting to this and even got hubs hooked on it too.

The Knitting and Stitching show is upon us Northerners in Harrogate. I had promised myself last year that I would go but unfortunately due to my excess fabric and yarn stash – I have wisely deferred to next year. I now have a hard target to reduce my respective stashes so I can go next year.

I will be joining in on Sew Up North – a sojourn arranged by Redsews on 5th November. For more information click here – it is going to be an awesome day out. I will not be buying fabric though. If you are in the area why  not drop by?

The Great British Bake Off – I had a funny conversation with my twins in the sewing cave. I snuck off to the cave while the whole family was catching up with GBBO. Less than 10 mins of blessed solitude later my twinks made their way up the attic stairs. They proceeded to upend my threads, pins and pattern weights to play with…..

Mom: GBBO is on downstairs…..

Twins:…..<silence>…….

Mom: Why dont you go watch it downstairs?

Twins: No. We are girls.

I dont quite know what to make of that statement but the tone and finality of the stated fact immediately reduced me to acceptance of their presence in the cave. An hour later, satisfied with making 2 more Renfrew tops – my twins satisfied with building ‘Pin and Thread Town’, we left the cave. And that was that.

Oh and I usually like GBBO but I have been a tad annoyed with some of their challenges this year – they lost me at lace pancakes!!!! Imean WTF!! Who would seriously want to make lace pancakes? I love baking but that episode just felt silly to me. <maybe in time I will get over it and watch it before the season finishes>…..only time will tell.

I also caught Episode 2 of ‘The Apprentice’ on Iplayer last night and am glad that they finally stopped the pretense of being a show about real business. The contestants, as far I can tell (from the one episode), are crackers and will provide Big Brother style reality TV material. Nothing like how real businesses operate at all!

The sewjo goddesses are smiling upon me – I have never felt so motivated to sew and am whipping up so many items. I cant wait to do a photo shoot for the the autumn stuff I have made so far and share :-). How is your autumn sewing coming along?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope wherever you are in the world you are having/had a lovely day.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

200th Blog Post Giveaway Winners…/

Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for all your lovely encouraging words about my 200th post blogversary. And now, without more ado, here are the winners of the giveaways selected by randon.org.

Lekala gift certificates for 3 readers

Comment No 8 – Sewing for Cat People

Comment No 52 –  Hoopes Parks Studios

Comment No. 28 –  Sew RED-y

A copy of Pattern Cutting Made Easy by Gillian Holman

Comment no. 21 – QPLourde

9781849940733

Congratulations to the winners. Please get in touch with me within the week so I can arrange for your gift certificates and for posting the book. Use this contact me form < Click Here >

Peace and love,

Hila

*All  giveaways were bought by me.