Sunday, 31 August 2014

No sewing

I've been feeling a bit crappy because I haven't been sewing up a storm. Well, right now it is just not happening. The school terms are so much better suited to dabbling in activities that take less time and focus. Well, for me anyway. At the weekends I have riding, gardening, other jobs and catching up with people to do. So if you visit my big blog Poppies and Daisies to see what else I have been up to. The sewing will start again soon. I hope.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Oh, dear. I've caught a horrible cold. Sorry no sewing activities currently. I am dreaming of the perfect summer dress. It would be 1950's in style (or late 1940's Dior New Look) with a nipped in waist, and flared skirt. Definitely tea length. Sorry, I don't subscribe to the belief that "tea length" = unflattering. If I was worried about unflattering I'd be avoiding gathers across my ample derriere. I can assure you that I could choose a much more unflattering length!

As well as finding and fitting the perfect pattern, I dream of glorious fabrics. Maybe birdies by Cath Kidston? These would actually look super cute in autumn.
 Anna Griffin fabrics are just gorgeous! I love these two colourways in Grace. Look at those roses:

 How about some Tilda? This one might present some pattern matching challenges.
 I have a fat quarter of this teacup pattern. I'm imagining afternoon tea wearing an afternoon tea dress.
I'd need to make some pretty tulle petticoats to wear underneath. Not to full, but just enough to give a bit of a lift and swish. Pretty colours would be fun to mix things up a bit. Each dress could have a matching cardie. Merino knit fabric would be perfect. Light but warm if required. 

Once this crappy cold is gone I'm going to carry on with the summer dress quest. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Typical Term Time

There hasn't been much sewing around here. Typically I find it harder to fit in much sewing during term time. I'd rather be home sewing, but my horse, cat, dog, 'cello, garden and crafts have to be funded somehow! I do tend to flit from craft to craft, interest to interest in a similar manner to Grandma, who was a remarkably prolific crafter, energetic gardener and went through more dogs that you would think was possible in the time I can remember. Unlike me, she loved to move house, carting her stash of all sorts of stuff with her. Fortunately I am able to make use of some of her treasures, some of which are very old. I must show you some bits and pieces from the craft cupboard sometime. 

The reason I say I flit between crafts is that I found these dear origami dresses at our favourite second hand bookshop. The lovely lady who works there does papercrafts out of old maps and books. I couldn't resist purchasing them for my workroom wall. 
 They came as a set with the ribbon and tiny little pegs. How cute are these!?
So these set me off onto a bit of papercraft and scrapbooking. If I can't fit in sewing stuff I can sneak in a bit of papercraft here and there. It doesn't take much time, although I can make a bigger mess than sewing in a much shorter time. The origami dresses are really easy to make. I found a serious little man presenting a tutorial on making them on You Tube.

Don't worry, I'm sure to be back onto the sewing machine very soon. Possibly tomorrow. Unless I get sidetracked by making wee origami dresses!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Riding wear

 I love riding my horse. In fact I love horses whether I'm in the saddle or not! Riding wear needs to be very comfortable, and the top half needs to be good for layering, because it can be chilly up in the wind, or really hot if you are working hard. Not that we do too much of that! Sorry, these photos are not the sharpest - not sure what happened, but as it was mild today I wore one of my much modified Gertie Portrait Blouses.
This one is a light cotton and has shirring in the back to give it shape and stretch. It is already crumpled because it had been out to the saddlery shop. I promise I did iron it!
The back forms a sort of peplum which is ideal for riding. The colour is a bit risky for riding, but it wasn't muddy this week so Zanny, my horse, was clean. She gets extremely filthy on wet winter days, and shares a lot of that dirt with me. I had to put two photos of the back view in because you can see my furry children milling around in this one, and in the one above I love the way Fergus is patting at something. 
 I bought some new boots today. They are Shires paddock boots, and are much smarter than my previous pair. I'm wearing them with neoprene half chaps. When we were children we never had chaps but practically everyone wears them here now. I always wear Horze jodhpurs because I have found they have a style that suits my womanly curves. They have a nice high waist and are very sturdy. Some brands are hipster style, but who wants to see butt crack on horseback? Even horses hide their butt cracks with their tails.
 Zanny and I had a lovely ride today. I threw a cardie on over the top, as I usually do. I have several merino cardies that have been demoted from work wear to riding and gardening wear. I loathe the look of polarfleece, so only wear it for freezing days exercising or gardening.

Onto the details. I modified Gertie's original blouse pattern from her first book by narrowing the shoulders and adding a simple self-drafted sleeve. I used double ended darts in the front for shaping, rather than pleats, and used shirring instead of darts at the back. The blouse is longer than the original to stop it riding up while in the saddle and doing active things around the stable yard. My blouse is looser than Gertie's original to cater for my generous bust, so didn't need the side zip.

Would I make my own jodphurs? Not on your life as long as I can get my favourite Horze ones (although the brand name brings to mind the ladies of the night - am I right??).