FO: Summer Dress

I've made a summer dress! And bought fabric to make another one... I feel a sewing binge coming on!

The sewing pattern was Lisette for Butterick B6168, and I was booked to do a dressmaking workshop at Millie Moon on Monday evenings through January and February (a great Christmas present! Thanks family!). One of the lovely owners, Becky helped me to choose both the fabric and the pattern - she knows me too well!

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I knew that I was planning to make this more than once if it was successful, so I carefully traced the pattern out before starting the first evening session. It was fiddly and time-consuming, but totally worthwhile as the tracing paper was much thicker than pattern paper, so it stood up to being thrown into and out of my bag over the 6 weeks of the course. And if I ever want to make it again in another size, I shall be all set!

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The great thing about doing evening workshops rather than just deciding to make this at home, was that I was committed. I needed to go out each Monday no matter what, and I found that really helpful. I have too many plans and not enough time generally, so it was brilliant to have dedicated time for sewing each week. Anna Vickery who taught the class was full of helpful tips and tricks. I've not sewn a dress since I was 18, so I was very rusty on techniques, but this dress felt well within my abilities.

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At Anna's suggestion, I've used bias binding to finish as many of the seams as was practical. I want to be able to wear the dress without worrying about seams fraying, and it needs to go through the was without too much bother either. Fingers crossed the extra effort will be well worth it.

As I worked through the pattern instructions, I did find a couple of things that were missing (ever the editor I'm afraid!)... There wasn't anything to trip me up as I had Anna on hand to ask for help, but if you were new to sewing and working at home the following bit might come in handy:

In step 10, you're instructed to baste the centre front where the bodice pieces cross. There's no later instruction to remove that basting, so don't forget to do that at the end!
Step 28 shows the side seams of the front and back bodices to be sewn, but there's no instruction to do so. I sewed those side seams between steps 27 and 28.
There wasn't much suggestion of which raw edges on the inside of the dress needed finishing. Perhaps this is considered general knowledge one should have before starting a project at this level, but it wouldn't have been much extra information to add, and very helpful for less-experienced sewers.

It's not yet quite warm enough to wear my lovely finished dress, but fingers crossed the sun will be out before too long, and I can potter in the garden in style!

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I'm thrilled with how it's turned out. And I'm looking forward to making time to sew up the fabric I've bought to make the shorter version, which I hope will look great over leggings.

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I particularly like the bodice detail, and the fit in the upper body is great for my curves! I'm definitely inspired to sew more.

FO: A Quilt

I started this quilt at a quilting weekend back in July last year. It then languished in my sewing bag for months, waiting to be quilted. I finally got around to quilting it on a dedicated quilting day in October. And yet again, it languished, needing only the binding to be slipstitched, for months!

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The quilt is made from 64 blocks, so it's a really good size! I added a filet around the edge, and decided against adding anything in the way of a border - it seemed like the quilt needed to be kept simple! I quilted a foot width out of the ditch, in long lines, just inside each block. Again, keeping it simple. I'm not great at any other type of quilting!

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Last week I finally pulled it out of the sewing bag, and set to work on the binding. It didn't take long to finish it off! These things never do - WHEN YOU ACTUALLY WORK ON THEM!!!! Ha! Why do I never learn this lesson?!

Many thanks again to Mélanie for the lovely charm pack and fat quarters. They've made a great quilt, which will be loved for many years to come. :)

WIP: Quilt

It's been a while, but I'm back!

I've made a list of things I want to witter about, and hopefully over the coming months, I'll get some of that list turned into actual blog posts, rather than existing only as ramblings in my head at 2 in the morning...

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I spent a happy weekend in July sewing a quilt based on disappearing nine-patches. I used some beautiful Moda fabric - a present from a knitting friend and fellow quilter, Lilysunshine. And I'm pretty pleased with how it has turned out.

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I absolutely love chain piecing like this - the sewing just flies by and before you know it, you have a lots of blocks that look like a nearly finished quilt top...

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So how is it that it takes another whole day to get to this point (which in my opinion looks barely different)?

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And two months later, the quilt is still sitting on my dining room table in exactly the same state as it was at the end of the quilting weekend! That's how life has been for the last few months. Heaps of fun, but no time to sit still and do things that are just for me.

Here I am though, doing something just for me. Regular blogging here I come!