Coming Up…

I had hoped to unveil my first t-shirt today, but Ben and I had some creative differences during the photoshoot, so that’ll have to wait for another day. In the meantime, let’s talk about fabric shopping…

The other day, my mum and I went to Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush for the first time. That place is AMAZING! We have quite a nice selection of fabric shops in Brighton, but they’re not grouped together and, for the most part, they’re not that cheap. Here we found at least ten fabric shops covering both sides of the street. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable in each shop, and would always ask if we were looking for anything in particular, before just leaving us to browse if we wanted.

Obviously, I bought some stuff, and since the stash is out of control, I thought I would make a little list of upcoming projects for my reference as much as anything else. This list is subject to change as soon as I get distracted by something new and pretty, but I’m very happy with the fabric and pattern combinations below. I’m hoping that some of the other fabrics in the stash can be used for wearable muslins of all of these.

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I’m going to be making a Belladone in this amazing Japanese panda print for the Summer Sundress Sewalong, and I couldn’t be more excited! My first toile (bodice only) has revealed that I need to lower the bust darts by about an inch, and since it feels a bit short, I won’t take the extra length out. The hole in the back is gaping quite a bit and will need some work, but I think I will correct the front first, and see if that has any effect.

I often have issues with darts being too high and necklines gaping, so these changes aren’t very surprising. I hope that if I can get the darts right on this pattern, I can somehow use it as a guide for the Colette Peony I’ve given up on fitting. I bought the worlds shittiest tracing paper from MacCulloch and Wallis though, so pattern alterations tend to be a fraught process in our household.

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I left for Goldhawk Road with a vague idea about finding some patterned crepe to do my beloved Pierre Balmain Vogue pattern justice, but a visit to Al Anaka Textiles changed my mind. The owners were so helpful, asking about what I was making, and taking me off to see the new cottons they’d just got in. As soon as I saw this orange and pink paisley print, I knew it was the one! Apparently there’s a tradition in the Middle East that the first customer to buy from a roll gets a discount as a kind of blessing, so I got this for £7.50/metre. I don’t know if that’s true, but I was happy with a discount, and it’s nice to think that my dress is lucky! They were very helpful in discussing the length I would need (they thought I could get away with less, but I played it safe with the 4 1/2 metres specified on the pattern envelope). If you’re in the area, I’d really recommend a trip to their shop if you’re after some advice.

There was a recent conversation on Marcy’s blog about who we dress for, and my feeling was that I dressed for myself, although Ben had some input on his favourite colours on me and so on. I wasn’t quite sure that he would like this, and I was surprised that I was a little bothered by that. I was planning to explain about the beautiful drape of the fabric, and the 70s print being perfect for a pattern of the same era, but he declared it awesome on sight, so that was a relief. I would have made it, whatever, but it’s always nice to have a little support. He’s been commenting on how much he likes it ever since!

It’s difficult to express how pleased I am with this fabric choice. I’d spent a long time thinking about what to make this from, so it’s great to have something planned out now. And yes, I am obviously going to make the long version. My thoughts are that if I don’t find it wearable at that length, then I can always cut it down to knee length at a later date.

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I was very much hoping to find some African wax print fabric at Goldhawk Road and I was NOT disappointed. I think this came from A to Z fabrics, although I’m not 100% sure. The guy working there was really helpful, and happily dragged pre cut bits of fabric out of massive piles for us to hold up against ourselves in the mirror (both this shop and Al Anaka have mirrors, which is such a great idea!). I didn’t have firm plans for this fabric when I bought it, but the man said the colour suited me (I’m a sucker for flattery), I loved the little tree-croissants and at £15 for six yards, I was happy to wait and find a use for it one day. It was only during lunch that I realised it would be great for my 70s beach tunic! Any leftovers will probably become a skirt.

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Another brilliant African wax print! This was also probably purchased from A to Z, but was £18 for six yards. I just love the sunny nautical feeling of the print. I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet, but probably a dress of some kind (any suggestions welcome). If there’s enough left over, I am wondering about a summer dressing gown kimono thing.

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I found this denim in Snoopers Paradise last month, and as soon as I saw the Delphine pattern in Tilly’s book, I knew this would be perfect. This is the next project after the jammies in the book, and I’m ready to go. One change I’m going to try is an exposed zip – I think that’ll look really cool with the denim.

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After the skirt, I’ll be tackling the Megan dress. I’ve had this fabric in my stash for quite a while, and I think this dress is the perfect choice to show it off.

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When I find the time, I’d also like to continue my mission to make each view of this Simplicity pattern in leopard print.

And finally…

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This shirt from the first GBSB book is doing my head in at the moment. Despite careful cutting, the pattern is all off, and I just stumble from one disaster to the next – the collar is currently wonky. This was meant to be my second #1ppw but it makes me want to punch myself in the face. I’m going to put it on the back burner for a bit. Thankfully I managed to finish my birthday dress up for #1ppw instead.

To Do…

…in no particular order. 
 

Beachy Tunic

My first proper vintage creation is cut out and ready to go! The fabric is the grey stuff which I got in France, but my God, I wish it was skunk print. I got the ribbon in Fabric Land (do NOT click on that link if you have epilepsy), and it’s not exactly what I wanted, but it hurts my eyes a little bit, and that can only be a good thing. 

Jiffy II
I love this dress. I love this dress so much. I got this cotton for about £3/metre in Fabric Land (surprise!). I’d planned to make a different dress with it, but I need a dynasty of Jiffys in my life. I’m going to try out my alterations from Jiffy I, leave off the collar and buttons, and I’m wondering about including the additional excitement of an exposed zip. 
 
Kelly
Growing up in the woods, I used to live opposite a girl called Kelly. She was a few years older than me, but she’d come to my birthday parties and stuff. Her family had some ferrets and a dog called Piper. I wonder where she is now.
This skirt doesn’t have any ferrets, more’s the pity, but it does have some polyester/nylon blend corduroy (guess where that came from). I need a winter skirt and it’s time I learnt to make buttonholes.
 
Peony
I was planning to make this for my friend’s wedding last summer, but it never quite happened. The design is absolutely beautiful, and I love this fabric (John Lewis), so I think it’s time to do something about getting the two of them together to form a meaningful relationship. 

Lumberjack Shirt
This is, I think, literally the last piece of plaid brushed cotton available in Brighton and Hove (thank you C and H Fabrics). It is also, according to the pattern, not big enough, but if I have to live with one sleeve, I have to live with one sleeve.
The original idea was a shirt for Ben, but the lack of man-fabric caused too many problems, so I changed my plans to an Archer for myself. Then I saw this pattern in my sewing bee book, and decided it was close enough to what I wanted. Who needs cuffs, anyway?


Pierre Balmain
Oh, Pierre. How you intimidate me. I had to take my mum and auntie shopping to finally reach a decision on the fabric to use for this. I left my flat with plans for a light wool with some kind of pattern, which, somewhere between Fabric Land and C and H, turned into maybe a plain crepe in rust. But my refusal to pay more than £10/metre led me to this pink jersey with grey flecks through it.  Having never sewn anything stretchy before, I can’t help thinking I may have bitten off more than I can chew. On the plus side, it is so, so soft, so if the dress doesn’t work out very well, then at least I shall have an excellent nightie.
Here’s a close up of the loveliness: