Too many ideas…

I have never hopped between so many projects before.  As I promised myself, I have been trying to finish some open projects for next winter as well as start some well needed re-stocking and some new bits, but I can’t seem to work on just one thing.

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My desk shows just how out of control things are getting.

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I’m also still using both machines as I want to get to know the new one, but sometimes it’s easier to use what’s familiar, plus I have an insanely large stock of pre-wound bobbins in all colours for the old machine and I’m a bit lazy about winding on new ones (even if the new fancy-pants Bernina makes is sooooo much easier).

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New patterns have arrived.  A nice vintage dressing gown as I’ve been hankering for some time for a more glamorous but also still comfortable version than my existing one.  I think I might try to make it in brushed cotton, so it’s structured but cosy.  There’s also a ‘new’ vintage Vogue pattern and guess who forgot that even in these re-prints, the sizing is similarly small to the originals, so I should have sized up – doh – still, I’m slowly shrinking (in a good way) so maybe it will be my size, soon.

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Finally, look at this FABULOUS hand knitted sweater and corsage.  Both are based on vintage patterns and were bought from the Etsy shop 1940s Style For You.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this shop, I was probably looking for original vintage jumpers….anyhow, I couldn’t resist this lovely little number.  Oh how I wish I could knit.
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The brooch is a typical situation where I think it shouts out to buy hand made.  It really is rather special, I make felt flower brooches and I’m sure many in my position might think they would just make something similar for themselves, but I know that a. I wont ever get around to it and b. it’s just a personal thing, I will copy commercial things (like mass made clothing) but I never copy other handmade artist’s work (please don’t think I’m judging anyone else here, it’s just my personal mantra I attempt to stick to) and c. I’m happy to pay for something so beautifully made and reasonably priced; so it’s a win, win for me 🙂

The rain stopped today, for a moment and then the sun came out – happy days!

My Cupboard is Bare…

Rain, rain, rain….wind, wind…rain, rain, rain.  Even I (with my love of rain) am bored now.  Saying that, the sun is trying really hard to come out, as I type, so perhaps we’re due a break?  At least my house has electricity and isn’t flooded.

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As, theoretically, in shop terms we are now in ‘spring’ mode, I figured it is time to remove all my festive stock and see what I have hidden away.

Not a lot apparently.

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Oh dear.  I really am short of spring/summer stock.  I’m not sure I’ll continue making egg cosies in the future, although the magazines love them (some of these have been in Country Living, Oh Comely….gosh quite a few mags actually) they don’t actually sell all that well, they tick over nicely, but I’m not sure they deserve the cupboard space, so I’ve listed the last few and we’ll see how it goes.

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Lavender bags I am almost completely out of, which is rare, as I normally have loads in stock.  I have no monster purses, no cashmere bears….only one cashmere girl bunny left….I really have a lot to do.  I’ve been a bit distracted by working on things for next Christmas (don’t judge!) it feels really good to know that come next September, when I’ll be doing the reverse of today, I wont open a cupboard, only to feel like old Mrs Hubbard.  I would like to organise my time better this year, maybe on Fridays I sew ‘winter’ things, or similar, so I can really keep one step ahead.  Saying that, I’d also like to sew more for myself, get the garden sorted and make time for some local trips to National Trust properties that the rest of the family aren’t interested in (bit random this last one, but our yearly subscription just renewed and it was clear to me how rarely we use it, considering how many sites there are near here and I quite like the idea of pottering around a nice house or garden with no kids in tow…maybe with a nice cream tea afterwards).

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I changed my board over for inspiration….

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and bought another little gem from Miss Bumbles….who’s shop I may be a bit addicted to.

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Finally, this arrived late yesterday.  Oh how I agonised over the decision to buy a second machine.   I love my manual Bernina (1001), it’s done me proud for 20 years and I have no intention of giving it up, but whilst I had some money, I made the decision to buy a second computerised machine, I figured it’d be a nice way to spend the cash, on something that’ll hopefully last me for years to come but that I wouldn’t otherwise have bought.  I’m looking forward to playing with the buttonhole and fancy stitches….I’m worried I’ll be disappointed and prefer my nice manual buttonhole system on my ‘other’ (I refuse to say old as that would make me ancient) machine, I’ll let you know how I get on, oh and just for the record, if I were buying a single machine, there is no doubt at all I’d have gone for the ‘new’ manual Bernina 1008, but as that’s just an updated version of my own machine, the whole point was to get something a little different.

I haven’t even turned it one yet, I have a blind to make, once that’s done my reward will be to play on this beauty and get to know it, I quite like the anticipation, plus I really need to get the blind finished 🙂  Yep, I’m weird like that.

 

The Vikings Are Coming…

I just found this post, half written from back in July of last year (now that sounds odd….but hurrah for it being 2014!  I’m ready for a fresh New Year), so figured I’d finish it and finally get it published….

Recently, Felix had to dress as a Viking for the day, for a school project.  As the Tudor Boy costume I made has been worn so extensively, by both my boys and children of friends, I decided to make a quick tunic in the hope it’ll also be well used.

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It wasn’t in any way historically correct, although I did reference some original patterns for guidance and was made quickly using linen and trim I already had in stock.  Above you can see the basic shapes (this is half the tunic, obviously, so there are double side triangle pieces and the rest is shown folded).

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F had chosen to make a sword for his project homework….out of wood, at his insistence.  I was thinking of cardboard but he was very keen to use wood so I figured he’s old enough to use a knife and cut balsa, although I did worry he might lose a finger at one point.  Actually, what I was really thinking was maybe doing one of the written homework options, but F was having none of it.

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He takes his posing very seriously doesn’t he?!  He worked hard on sanding and painting his sword and had fun hammering in brass furniture tacks for rivets.

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We just bodged the rest of the costume with my belt, his trousers and some bits of linen tied roughly around the lower leg, partly to hide his school shoes.  Oh and the helmet was made from cardboard and paper mache.

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If you’re thinking I make this effort every time the boys have to dress up for school, I don’t, only on occasions when I have time and I know that what I make will be worn again.   C recently needed a Victorian boy outfit, I resisted the urge to get out all my original stuff (of which I have lots, and plenty for men/boys) or to make a nice tweed suit and instead cobbled together the usual ‘working lad’ outfit.  I didn’t even make the hat (which I had planned to) as this one cost £7 and to be honest, it’s actually quite nice quality tweed, I probably couldn’t have made one for that money.

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I like that both the boys have taken a quirky interest in how they choose to dress themselves.  Here, for Boxing Day (is it bad to admit that they stayed in their pj’s all day Christmas Day?!! – I didn’t, I should add, I dresses up including curling my hair and putting make-up on – go me!) they dressed themselves.  F has taken to wearing my Dad’s old school blazer, I’m trying not to be precious about it but can’t help reminding him it is very old and needs to be treated nicely.  C is very particular about what he wears and currently favours ‘smart’ clothing with, ideally, a Dickie bow (and usually a cardi and shirt with EVERY button done up).  I leave them to it.  They are always in need of a haircut.

Oh and the dog C is clutching is by Sally Nencini, I have a footstool of her’s to photograph and mention at some point.

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My other reason for finally publishing this post is that I just treated myself to some new books, including this fabulous one, ‘Creating Historical Costume’ by Elizabeth Friendship.  She was the head of my degree course and taught me to pattern cut, so the book is brilliant for me, as it’s a process of pattern drafting that I already know quite well.  Still, I totally recommend it to anyone interested in cutting their own period clothing patterns, it really is a great guide.

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Whilst I remember, another period pattern book I love is ‘The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Century Dress’ which is also written by someone who went to my college, so again, it’s all processes I already know but it’s such a great book, I wish I’d bought it before I had to make the Tudor costume for F!

That’s it.  I’m easing slowly into the new year due to a stinking cold, but I’m determined not to let it beat me so I’m pretending it’s not happening and just making sure there’s a box of tissues permanently to hand.  I hope you all had a lovely time over the festive season and are also enjoying the start to the new year – let’s hope it’s a good one!