Agnes Arrives

No, not the much-coveted Tilly and The Buttons pattern – another Agnes; my new Adjustaform 8-Part Leg Form model!

IMG_8925

I’ve been eyeing up this version for a while because the fact you can fit trousers/shorts to it appealed to me, so it’s a little more luxurious than a standard model and thus a little more expensive, but I found the cheapest retailer selling her for £109 (Sewing Machine Sales, if you’re interested, with free P&P) rather than the £159 some places charge.

I opted for Version A as she meets my measurements and she arrived the next day by courier, so I didn’t have long to wait to create ‘the not-so-mini’ me!

I’m an awkward 35-31-42 at the moment, so adjusting the hips but barely touching the bust was a bit of a shock! However, I realised it’s easier to put a stuffed bra of mine (32E) on her and do a 32 inch ‘under’ bust because the shape of the cup affects where I put darts and whatnot. Maybe this isn’t what you’re meant to do but it seems to work so far… If nothing else, it’s quite comical to look at!

I think she has broader shoulders than me so I need to remember this when adding sleeves to anything. The main bonus is I can now work on maxi dresses without tripping over all the skirt fabric.

Thank goodness we have organised more storage in the sewing room (aka guest room) so there’s some floor space for her. It’s a snug room now made even snugger but another way of looking at it is everything is close to hand! We’ve added Ikea shelving with boxes above the day bed and a pegboard for hanging sewing tools on, so it’s less cluttered.

Now I’m trying to catalogue all my patterns by garment type and then list the contents of each folder, which could take forever…

IMG_8928

 

IMG_8930
Start of a bodice toile for a Burda Magazine maxi dress
Advertisements

New Toys!

I’ve been adding to my equipment and pattern stash recently, in part because I was avoiding essay writing but also because I’m greedy when it comes to sewing supplies! Of course, my big purchase was my Jaguar 096 overlocker, which I posted a photo of before it arrived. I thought it would be a lot trickier to thread than it is but the key really is to unthread it only a step ahead of rethreading it so you can’t get muddled up. It is rather noisy but it saves so much time whilst also providing a professional finish. Being as the Wedding Guest Dress has so many panels forming the skirt, I’ve had lots of practice overlocking long lengths of seams! 😉

My less expensive purchases are a mish-mash of things I have either wanted for a while and saw in online sales or happened upon and decided I needed them.

Patterns

Hobbycraft were having an online sale on sewing supplies so I picked up two patterns which compliment my current stash by being completely different to anything else I have. One was of a girls’ dress so I can make not only the pattern included but also have some idea of sizes for drafting different designs for my nieces.

img_8646

The other pattern is for a ladies’ jumpsuit or playsuit, which appealed to me as a good holiday item. I might make a jumpsuit for my Sri Lankan holiday in November as an option for evenings.

The recent issue of Prima – which my Grandma bought me a subscription for – contains a pattern for off-the-shoulder boho/gypsy-type tops so I might be making one of those too.

Cutting and Sticking Tools!  

I’ve been meaning to buy a rotary cutter and mat for a while and so the Hobbycraft sale provided the perfect excuse to do so. At half their usual price, I’m happy to have added these to my kit! The glue gun was an additional purchase (£5 from Hobbycraft) as I was toying with the idea of adding tiny “diamonds” to my Wedding Guest Dress. It didn’t work but I don’t regret the purchase as it will come in use for many things and didn’t break the bank.
img_8645

 

Crochet Hooks Set

A full set from 1mm to 10mm across 20 hooks so I won’t have to work out whether I have the right hook size for a project when I trying to buy yarn in-store! (I have far too many 3mm – 5mm hooks as a result of never being certain what I have in stock!) I’m hoping to get lace-making now I have some smaller hooks. 🙂

img_8629-1

 

Machine Feet

I desperately wanted to finish off my Wedding Guest Dress hem with a rolled hem so I bought a compatible foot online… and then waited for it to arrive from China for three weeks! My, my, my – what a fiddly little ****** it is to use! My attempts were shocking and I ended up putting it to one side and finishing the hem manually. With time, hopefully I’ll get the hang of it and be rewarded with delicate, light and floaty hems!

img_8628

The other foot is to assist with pin-tucking because my attempts on the yellow chiffon Betty blouse I made were passable but could have been more even. I’ve not used it yet but, as pin-tucks are a favourite feature of mine, I’m sure it won’t be long until I do.

Magnetic Pin “Cushion”

As someone who is absolutely rubbish at putting pins into a cushion as I go, this is a real delight! Something so simple yet so helpful in preventing stabbed feet and en masse pin loss!

img_8627

 

Fabric

I’ve made a *couple* of fabric purchases lately, namely some navy cotton stretch jersey and also some grey jersey with blue and white anchors, which is super cute. 🙂

81_2513_063_SZ00

I took a chance on a wool fabric, which looked as though it would be nice for a coat but it was very disappointing when it arrived. It’s much more ‘plastic’-looking than the photos on the website show so I would only use it ‘inside out’, so to speak.

57_968017_82

Other purchases include some navy chiffon with spots in red hues, and some purple/pink swimsuit fabric, which I mainly bought to bulk up my order to get free postage and a discount but it will be good to practice on before forking out for more expensive stuff in the future.

That’s it for now! June needs to be a frugal month so I’ll have to hold steady on the purchases but I think you’ll agree I’ve enough to keep me going for at least four weeks as it is! 😉

 

Restlessness equals spontaneous online purchases… I may have just bought an overlocker! 🤤


Jaguar 96 ex-showroom model with 15 year guarantee. New it would cost over £320; I’m getting it for £179! 

It’s probably waaaaaay too professional for the likes of me but I could have paid the same for a much more basic, brand new model so I figure a bit of quality is a good thing to have! 🙂 


Thanks to the WONDERFUL sewing community, I have now been able to get my hands on a men’s polo shirt pattern! As you may know, I’ve been searching for a while and had asked around but no one seemed to have made one. Lovely ‘bellacitadel’, a blogger I follow, let me know about two (yes, they are like buses!) patterns she’s been told about so I’ve got the Jalie 3137 on order from an online UK shop called Habithat. I wouldn’t normally pay £9 for a pattern but this is a special exception! Now I’ve just got to find some fabric and win the boy over with whatever I make! 😉 

Unrelated but totally important, see below for my Number 1 driving pet peeve! It’s totally unnecessary and causes so many traffic flow problems! Likewise for anyone who sits in the far right lane – it’s lazy and it’s stupid. 😡

Oops… Only three days into the month and I failed on my mission to refrain from buying patterns… 😐 Damn Love Sewing magazine for their special offers!

Those of us who subscribe to the magazine had the chance to buy Simple Sew patterns for half price and, seeing as I already had my eye on this coat, I couldn’t pass that opportunity up.


I could have bought many more but I restricted myself to just one. I would like to make this trench coat in navy, in a light fabric, but I also want to make a wool one or a waterproof version ready for winter. I’m tempted to add a proper belt with a buckle and nice big buttons. 🙂 

Oh, and I also saw this on sale in Tesco so…


In my defence, it was £4.99 in Tesco compared to £6.50 online so really I was saving money! There are some nice dress and coat patterns inside and some cute kids clothes too. Nothing for the gents though. 🙄

Now I really must be strong for the rest of the month!! 

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

I’m working on a freestyle maxi skirt at the moment, which I hope to be able to finish soon. In need of a short break, I thought I’d share with you some new fabrics I’ve bought. 🙂 I actually have more on order (I’m addicted) – a lovely candy pink linen which I want to make a shift dress from – but we’ll start with those I have!


First up is this chirpy floral chiffon which will become a maxi dress in time. It’s bright but not overpowering so I think it will be perfect! I have 4 metres of this one. Just to give you an idea of how large the flowers are on it, here’s one next to my hand to give it some scale;


No ‘ditsy’ flowers here!!

Next, from the same online store (On Trend Fabrics on Etsy.com) I bought 2 metres of a woven chiffon in an unusual colour for me to pick; yellow. I don’t suit yellow, nor am I particularly drawn to it, but this pattern is lovely and I was caught by the mention of ‘grey’ (one of my favourites!).


Dare I say it’s a little bit more yellow than I thought it would be so I think this fabric will make a skirt or a blouse but not a dress, unless it’s for someone else!


The print on this one isn’t as big but it’s still sizeable.


Above are the lining fabrics I bought. The pink one is a bit ‘plastic-y’ but the white one is okay. The pink lining is for the summer dress I have planned in butterfly chiffon and the white will go under the first fabric in this post.

Now, this next one isn’t new as I’ve had it since just after Christmas (when I spent £50 in the sewing section of John Lewis!) but I don’t think I’ve shared it before.


It’s a John Kaldor fabric and I think it’s a viscose blend. It’s quite weighty but still okay for summer (this is Britain after all) and would make a stunning long, fitted, cowl neck dress. Sadly, I only bought a metre so that idea won’t be realised but I’ll come up with something!

And finally, here’s the fabric I’m using for the aforementioned maxi skirt…


It’s a lightweight polycotton I bought online a while back (The Textile Centre on eBay.co.uk) and I love it. I’m super excited to get this skirt finished so I can flounce around in it!

Bye for now! 🙂

What Have I Been Missing?!

In exchange for the New Look 6732 pattern for my strawberry blouse, the kind sender asked if I could post her a copy of June 2016’s Burda Style magazine as she lives overseas and can’t buy it herself. I hadn’t heard of it before but tracked it down online from newstand.co.uk (incidentally I found out the company will send issues abroad as well so will be passing this note on!) and it arrived 24 hours later.img_6936

Wow! What have I been missing?! I love the patterns it contains and it’s much more ‘grown up’ than Love Sewing magazine which, although I like, contains patterns for non-clothing projects that don’t interest me.

I love the maxi on the cover… But then again, I love maxi dresses full stop! Closest I’ll ever get to being Elizabeth Bennett…! 😉 (Though, in all honesty, I’m more like Jane Eyre if I had to pick a heroine I connect with – but that’s besides the point.)

My kind pattern benefactor had told me I should read it and trace out any patterns I want before sending it on so I’ve selected a few to copy;

I’m going to need to buy more tracing paper!

Of course, I already have tons of patterns to be getting on with but I can’t pass up an opportunity like this. I’m tempted to cancel my Love Sewing subscription and subscribe to Burda Style instead. It’s a bit more pricey but I’ll get more use out of it if June’s issue is anything to go by.

It also contains a pattern for a men’s shirt which I might make for Karl, and some cute girls’ clothes which are just begging to be made for one of my nieces.

 

The fabrics used are lovely but I imagine they are also expensive!

Speaking of fabrics, I ‘won’ some Cloud 9 fabric on eBay last month which I might make shorts or a skirt from as it’s fairly stiff.

$_35

And I may have just bought a metre of this discounted fabric… Oops! Not sure what I’ll use it for but because it’s a very small pattern I’ll probably pair it with a plain fabric as well so it’s not too overwhelming.

Anyway, back to the machine I go. I start a new job on Monday so I doubt I’ll get much time to sew next week. Ideally I’d like to finish the strawberry blouse this weekend but it will be the first time I put in button holes on a machine so I won’t be rushing it!