Sunday, 31 August 2014

When Peggy met Josephine.

So early autumn has been gently knocking on the door, the past few weeks has been a bit cooler and so along with early harvesting are thoughts of autumn attire.  Whilst it has been a pretty good summer, I have to say autumn is definitely my favourite season, I love the autumn colours of the leaves changing and all the lovely seasonal fruit like blackberries.

Blackberry picking time.
Back to autumn attire then.  I finally have finished my Peggy skirt and I love it.  This skirt has taken an inordinately long time to complete through no real fault of it's own.  I did have some difficulties initially in the cutting out as I wasn't sure where some of the lines (especially for the tucks) were meant to be for each size, but Abby sent me a print out with the sizes marked on so that was fine then.  I then left it for summer sewing as I felt the colour of my denim would be more suitable for autumn.  If I'm honest, I also wondered if it was really my style.

Bluegingerdoll patterns are meant to be vintage style which I am not usually drawn too, but I liked the pocket detail and tucks on this one.  Not an expert on vintage I believe the styles are late 1950's and they are probably designed with the hour glass figure in mind.

Pocket and tuck detail.
I do love the pocket detail, it is designed to protrude out slightly and the shape of it is just that bit different.  The tucks also give it a great shape and detail at the front.  I am comparatively slimmer in the hips than my upper half and there is definitely more fabric in the hip area, potentially making you look bigger than you are, so if you are very thin I would say this pattern might drown you.  I toyed with taking it in but it would have been a bit tricky with the pocket fabric at the sides and anyway I felt it would take away from the overall shape of the skirt.

I chose View B with the raised curved waistband just for a change and it turned out great.  My fabric is a rose coloured stretch jeans fabric from myfabrics, sort of like a lighter weight denim, very easy to work with and just the right weight, I think, for this pattern.  There are quite a few layers when assembling the pockets and pocket fuse so I think you wouldn't want too thick a fabric.

I do have 4 inch heals on but they suck into the grass!
The skirt also has a lapped zipper, this was my first attempt at it.  In the instructions it just says "Insert a lapped zipper" ... eek! It refers you to the Bluegingerdoll website for further help, but I'm afraid I didn't find that much help either. (Sorry Abby)   In the end I think I found a tutorial on youtube, perhaps I had been over-complicating it in my head because it turned out to be quite simple in the end and looks well. (Sorry I forgot to take a photo)

So like I said I really like this skirt (in the end) and I am pleasantly surprised at that, sometimes it's good to move out of your comfort zone. Oh yes I also thought about making it knee length (my normal length for a skirt) pinned it up but it knocked it all out of proportion so I kept it the longer length - I think it will be great with knee length boots later on.

A double whammy today, my blouse is the Josephine blouse. I have been meaning to make this one for ages and again I really like this pattern.  The main details are the pintucks which admittedly are a little bit difficult to see fully with my fabric, perhaps from that point of view either a lighter coloured fabric or a plain fabric would show the details off better.  So the fabric is from the Liberty spring summer 2013 collection and is called Tresco and it is so amazing.  Although it is predominately purple when you really look closely at it there is literally every colour under the sun, cerise, various blues and greens, yellow, black, coral and even a neon green. They are fantastic at fabrics, Liberty!

Anyway, back to Josephine.  It is a great pattern, can be sleeveless, or a blouse with gathered sleeve or a tunic dress with a fuller sleeve (which I wouldn't mind trying soon).  The back has an enclosed elastic casing which gives the blouse a more fitted look but could quite as easily be omitted for a looser fit. It is a pdf pattern with great instructions and is very straightforward.  It goes well with my Peggy skirt, so there you are my first autumn outfit.

Pintuck detail Josephine blouse in Liberty Tresco fabric.
And for some more autumn colour....

Rosy Beet soup.
Saute 1 onion, 1 potato, 1 celery stick for 2 minutes in 1 tbsp oil, add 3 medium beetroot and saute another 3 minutes.  Add 1 tin tomatoes, 1.5 pints stock, 2 tbsp cider vinegar (vital to keep the vibrant colour) Add some herbs and simmer for 1.25 hours. Blend in a liquidiser, add black pepper and add a swirl of natural yoghurt or sour cream.  Simple, seasonal and oh so good for you.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Rejuvenation and relaxation.

What an amazing July that was.  We were lucky in our choice of holiday destination this year, all the way across the water to Norfolk for nearly 3 weeks.  We seemed to miss any storms or rain and had amazing weather the whole time, the only down side were the mosquitoes which were incessant with their biting.

I deliberately didn't take my computer, no knitting or sewing.  I had a complete break from everything technological which was very welcome.  I know there are the necessities that we now have to do on-line, but we are on computers so much now, I felt the need for a real break from it all.  With the weather being so good I didn't really miss knitting and so we had a very active, outdoorsey kind of holiday.  We are, however, on a cusp as a family in that our children our now teenagers and you start to wonder what does it for them!

Anyway, with relaxation and rejuvenation in mind I thought I would share my last make before we left on holiday.  They are basically track suit bottoms and they were great for travelling in.

I used the Papercut Anima pant pattern which was a quick and straightforward make.  These paper patterns are lovely, they come in a brown cardboard flat box and the pattern pieces are in brown paper with instruction that can be formed into a little booklet.  The box also has a 'coathanger' so that it can be hung up.  Cute!  The fabric I used is this marled grey jersey fabric from Clothspot.  I only discovered this company lately but anything I have got has been great,  What I particularly like is their descriptions of each fabric and clever little links to other matching fabrics.

The fabric itself is a polyester/viscose jersey with some spandex, is relatively light but has a soft cosiness to it.  I really like it (might have to get some more) and it also washes well.

As regards the pattern it is straightforward, the pants have pockets, a fairly deep elastic waist and eyelet holes for a drawstring cord.  I tried cord but it just looked a bit bulky so I settled for some fine Tessuti ribbon which works just fine.  You can opt for cuffed or non-cuffed legs, I chose non-cuffed but they turned out at that awkward not quite flattering length, so I would either add a couple of inches or choose to put the cuff on.  I think they are meant to be like ankle grazing but it doesn't quite suit me.  Overall I am pleased, this will be a pattern to return to.  I had also chosen a patterned jersey to make another pair but have chickened out so far.  Haha.

Anyway I came back to my vegetable garden which seemed to have thrived in 3 weeks (as had the weeds, of course)

Brassicas and squash thriving.
Peas & beans
First produce of the year (apart from salad)
So lots of weeding and work in the garden, but also some sewing planning,  been saving some Liberty from last autumn which really should be cut into.

I may, however, have to call it the 'Alfie' as I see Alfie was wearing a shirt in this fabric at the birth of the twins in Eastenders.  That guy's got taste!!