Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Hot weather slow down July 26, 2008

Filed under: Sewing,Shopping — lauravw @ 4:52 pm

The hot weather this week has stopped me in my tracks. I made some fairy cakes last weekend, but failed to take a picture (a shame – they were pretty). Then this week I made banana bread, and there’s no picture of that either.

A while ago I visited the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art with my parents. I found a lot of the exhibitions that were on at the time of our visit a little too contemporary for my taste (and my dad was just plain baffled by most of it), but the shop had some lovely goodies in by wonderful designers. Mum bought one of these tea towels with a stark print of the building on it, in black. She’s not yet used it as a tea towel, but wants to make use of it one way or another. I offered to make a cushion cover or apron from it, and I think she’s leaning towards an apron, so that will be a nice little project for one of these lazy hot weather days.

The designers of the tea towels, People Will Always Need Plates, are also responsible for these make-yourself-a-skirt packages by Clothkits. They are expensive (more than I’ve ever paid for a ready-made skirt) but not so outrageously expensive that I’ve ruled them out completely… Domesticali has bought one and hopefully will post pictures when she’s made it.


More pictures of my skirt July 15, 2008

Filed under: Sewing — lauravw @ 7:43 pm

The sun made a brief appearance over the weekend, so I was able to get a couple of pictures of me wearing my new skirt taken.

And today I was thrilled to find my order of Erin McMorris fabric from Pink By Post has arrived, so I can get on with the next skirt soon – I still need to buy some fabric for the lining, and a zip, but at least the most exciting part is ready to use.


Tuesday Night Craft Club: The Boden July 10, 2008

Filed under: Sewing,Tuesday Night Craft Club — lauravw @ 8:10 pm

On Tuesday night I worked on my A-line Barcelona skirt. It was all going pretty well, and late in the evening I got a bee in my bonnet about trying to finish the skirt before I went to bed for the night. This I managed to do, and then I was able to wear my skirt the next day.

The skirt-making process went pretty well, and there’s only one aspect I’m not happy with: the muslin lining. I’m not sure if ‘muslin’ fabric means the same in the US as it does in the UK, and I suspect that might be the issue. John Lewis only had one weight of muslin, and so that was what I bought – very fine, slightly stretchy fabric. The stretchyness makes it hard to press back into shape after laundering, and so cutting out the pattern neatly wasn’t as easy as it could have been. I noticed that a fabric shop sales person advised Domesticali against muslin, I should have asked someone who knows about these things before I bought mine. The end result is perfectly acceptable, but if I make a second skirt I’ll switch to something more solid for the lining.

The finished skirt fits well, and I’ve already ordered some of this Erin McMorris fabric to make a second one. I’m not sure if I’ll make the apron overlay again though – it’s beautiful, but the pleats around the hips add a good couple of inches to my silhouette, and not in the sort of place a girl wants to add inches to.

The highlight of this project was when someone at work asked me if my skirt was from Boden. I see this as a compliment for Amy Butler and somewhat of an endorsement of my developing sewing skills. Plus it means I have sort of saved money – the fabric I bought was certainly cheaper than buying anything from Boden (although their sale is on, and there are pretty things reduced…).


Making a note July 8, 2008

Filed under: Sewing,Shopping — lauravw @ 7:04 pm

Melissa’s list of places to shop for fabric and related items in London is something I hope to put to good use someday.


Eloise R Designs July 3, 2008

Filed under: Shopping — lauravw @ 6:23 pm

My lovely friend Eloise at long last has a website, where you can buy her beautiful greetings cards. I have been helping Eloise build this website for the last few months, and I now feel very proud to see it sitting out there on the internet, ready for people to buy some of her cards. (And I was very happy to see her get such a good write up on Print and Pattern today, well done Eloise!)

We launched the site, www.eloiserdesigns.co.uk, earlier this week, and will be celebrating with a small party on Saturday. (I think there’s going to be cake.)

Please pay her site a visit – I’m sure you’ll find some cards you’d like to buy. I think if you are the parent of a school age child you will find her packs of cards for children very useful to keep stashed away for birthdays throughout the term. And some of the women’s cards would look great in little frames to decorate your house. Have I twisted your arm yet? I hope so! Go shopping!


Tuesday Night Craft Club: shopping for fabric July 1, 2008

Filed under: Sewing,Shopping — lauravw @ 5:55 pm

I mentioned that when I made the Barcelona skirt recently I was hoping to find some darker fabrics that suited me better. I’ve been digging around and things look promising.

The new collection from Erin McMorris, Park Slope, has colours I love in it – pinks, browns, reddish oranges.

And Heather Bailey’s new collection is wonderful – her website says she has an online store in the works, which is good news.

I’ve picked out my favourites from each of these collections and made a little gallery – Erin McMorris’s are at the top (definitely a good combination for a Barcelona skirt), and Heather Bailey’s are underneath (I wouldn’t mix the ones I’ve shown here together, it’s just they are the ones I liked best in terms of making me some new clothes).

I don’t think either of these are for sale yet, so for now I’m just window shopping…