Wednesday, 27 February 2013

McCall's 6713 Nearly finished

Sewing with stretch fabric wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!

I read all the helpful tips that I received from my last post, as well as following the links to some very informative posts of some others, all of which encouraged me not to be afraid and to get to know my machine's stitches first.
So here is the settings that I ended up using:  (this is mostly a reminder for future reference)
The stitch was more of a small zig-zag rather than the recommended lightning bolt stitch, which my machine didn't seem to do.
So far I am VERY happy with the dress, especially the drape and the gathering on the side.  I have finished the entire dress, but am not showing it all to you yet because there is still the neckline to go.  I didn't line the bodice, and so am going to put the clear elastic around the neckline instead.  At the moment the dress is very loose around the neck and quite revealing, so I'll just give you a quick little peek.

Me holding the loose neckline down firmly

I have ordered some clear elastic for the neckline but it hasn't arrived yet, but I am sure that once I attach this clear elastic my gaping neckline shall become more secure and snug, and ready to reveal.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Delving into knits!

I have decided to try my hand at sewing with knit fabric.  This will be my first ever attempt.

I was inspired by a fabulous dress made by gMarie.  It looks so comfortable and yet so sophisticated, all at the same time.  And then she went ahead and made another equally stunning version!
So of course I copied her immediately and headed over to the McCall's website where they were having a pattern sale at the time!  Such a bonus!  This pattern is McCall's 6713 and I'm going to do a long-sleeved, knee length version.  I really love the swishy bit that flares out on the skirt - I think it will be fun to wear.
McCall's 6713
Today the fabric I've chosen has arrived in the post - I'm really excited about seeing this dress come to life!  I do hope it won't be too difficult.
Bought this online at Ditto fabrics in the UK


I'll be doing lots of internet browsing to get tips about sewing in knit fabrics, but if you have any links or blogs that feature helpful articles, please let me know - I think I'll need all the help I can get.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sew Grateful for all the comments

Thank you to all those who entered my giveaway.  I really do appreciate all the comments and the tips to improve my blog.  As you can see, I have used your tips to explore this 'blogger-business' and try out a few of the features.  I look forward to trying a few more - after all, we all like a change, that's why we sew clothes!

I printed all the names and put them in a bowl, and have now chosen the three recipients of my giveaway:

They are as follows:

gccmom, a new blogger at Chosen Sisters is the winner of Mollie Makes magazine issue #15

Kristin who blogs over at Sew Classic is the winner of Mollie Makes magazine issue #17

Sally from thequirkypeach is the winner of Mollie Makes magazine issue #19

Congratulations ladies!
Please contact me via email so we can arrange delivery.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sharing the Sorbetto

Today I am sharing a little evidence that I have benefited from the online Stitchers.  I really am Sew Grateful for all those who spend so much time and effort creating tutorials and patterns for so many of us to use.
Colette patterns provided the online world with a free pattern in May 2011, and since then it seems hundreds of people have made it!
It is the Sorbetto.  It is effective and easy and free!
So of course I made one too.

Sorry I'm not modelling it, but it is just too cold here for the Sorbetto.
Thank you Colette Patterns, for all that you do!

Here is a close-up of my extra dart for those eagle-eyed amongst you.

Post Script: After I had made the top, attached the bias binding and tried it on when I noticed that two pockets of excess fabric were poking out from the bust apex to the armhole.  So I put it on inside out and pinched these pockets and pinned them.  Then carefully taking it off I pressed it then sewed the darts down permanently - bias and all!  Not very professional really but it was a quick fix and it worked for me.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sew Grateful Sharing Day

Today is another day in the Sew Grateful week.  It has been a real eye-opener reading such a variety of blogs - I think my head is still spinning with stitching overload!  and there's still lots more reading to do!
Today all those participating are sharing a tutorial, a pattern or a tip to show their gratefulness for the Online sewing community.  You can find them all at Debi's Sew Grateful site.

and so here is my contribution.

Meet the Croquis Family

Download the croquis family (pdf). This file includes six figures: average woman, petite woman, plus-size woman, average man, child, and toddler.This is a great idea if you aren't sure whether a pattern will suit you or not. 
Draw the intended garment onto an outline of your body first.

[Doing this saved me time and money.  When I was thinking of sewing this coat, I printed off one of these croquis people before cutting into some expensive fabric.  After seeing my sketch I decided against this pattern for myself and passed it on to somebody whom it would definitely suit better.]
It even has a 'Plus-sized woman' as you can see in my drawing!
Butterick 5824

So today I thought I would share two things.  
First the link from Threads magazine where I found the Croquis family.  It is a downloadable PDF document and each member of the family is printed onto it's own A4 paper. 

Second is an amazing article by Florence at Flossieteacakes about croquis.  She has even got a fantastic idea about how to make your own personal croquis.  She is so inspiring - wait til you see the croquis drawing-pad she created for herself!  This is a truly worthwhile read.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sew Grateful

Today is a very easy challenge - to write about our own Gratitude for the Online Stitching community.
So here are just a few online people who helped and inspired me when I first started browsing this wonderful stitching community.  Four Firsts:

  • Florence was the first blogger who shifted me from blog-reader towards blog-writer.  She had written about a dilema she was having, and in the reply comments everybody was very positive and agreeable, and this moved me to write a comment and thus become a blogger myself.  You see, I thought that the other comments weren't helping her out.  They were very kind and complimentary and that definitely has a huge part to play in supporting one another.  But she writes such interesting and informative posts, she deserved to receive some help herself.  And then I was worried I might be in the minority and I might be overstepping my rights to comment, but Florence replied with such appreciation.  She even used my suggestion in her completed item!  It was a revelation!  I was able to be of true help to somebody in a crafty/sewing way that I can never do in my real life ( I have NO stitching/crafty friends at all)
  • gMarie was the first person to start following my blog and ever since then she has shared supportive comments and inspired my pattern choices and given me fabric ideas.
  • Debi is the first blogger of whom I asked for information and she was VERY forthcoming with detailed information for me, and so I am SEW GRATEFUL to her generosity, her experience and her blog writing.
  • Karen is the first fellow blog-writer who has ever sent me something real in the post, and I am grateful for how interesting and diverse her posts are, especially with the frequency with which she writes them!
There have been many since then, but these are my First introductions to you all and they've left a lasting impression.
Swirling with Gratefulness 

Monday, 4 February 2013

My First Giveaway

**** Sorry but this giveaway is now closed****

Click here for the Winners announcement


Hi there!  I am Nessa.  I live in Scotland but am originally antipodean.  I am sure we have a lot in common - as most stitching bloggers do.  I have only been blogging about my craftiness for a wee while but have sewn for a very long while, and I hope through sharing my projects that I can be of help to you in some way.

I am participating in Debi's Sew Grateful week, and today is "Host a Giveaway Monday."

My First Giveaway

I am going to give away three copies of a British crafty magazine called Mollie Makes.  I had read somewhere that this is quite a popular magazine in some countries but it can be difficult to find a copy, so I thought it would be nice to give these to somebody who would consider it a special treat to receive one of these in the post.  I have issues 15, 17 and 19 to give away and am happy to post anywhere.

From left to right are Mollie Makes Issues 15, 17, 19

Contents page for Issue 15

Contents page for Issue 17

Contents page for Issue 19

To enter, all you have to do is two things: 1) leave a comment below saying which issue you'd prefer. Then, 2) if you could have a look around my blog and leave me a tip on how I could improve in any way at all.  I am pretty new to the online blogging world and would really like to be able to contribute useful and interesting things.  A bit like a bring-a-plate party... I want to be almond and raspberry layer cake, not rice salad.  I'd be Sew Grateful for a little tip.
I've already received some great tips and put them in place: bolder and larger font and tabs along the top. :-) 
P.S. Now I've also made a more decorative banner too - thanks for the tips so far everybody!

I will contact the winners at the end of the Sew Grateful week: 10th Feb.  Entries close the same day at 7pm GMT.

For my regular readers, there is a lot happening today so please click on Debi's link at the top and see what other goodies are on offer from the Sew Grateful online sewing community over at Debi's lovely vintage inspired website. 

Just to let you know, these magazines were purchased at the Recommended Retail Price by myself and have been read by me only.  I am not promoting this magazine and am in no way affiliated with it.  I do not benefit at all from this, except for the lovely feeling of giving.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Winter Knitting

It is pretty cold here at the moment and so I haven't done a single stitch of sewing.  I have two paper patterns cut out and ready to begin, but I am not inspired yet.  They are two medium weight dresses that I just don't need in this weather.  I'm needing cosy polo-necks, vests, leggings and wool, WOOL, WOOL.
So I have knitted a couple of berets.  I don't wear them all slouched to one side, instead I pull them down over  my forehead and the tops of my ears to stay warm.
I call this my Autumn beret.  The yarn is from Noro, it has variegated browns and oranges with a bit of green in it too.
I didn't like any of the front photos so here's one of the back instead
I just finished knitting this one - I'm calling it my Blaeberry beret.
One of our cats not wanting to be seen in the hat either
This one is made from Shilasdair hand-dyed wool I bought whilst we were on holiday on the Isle of Skye, just off the west coast of Scotland.  It is in lovely shades of blueberry (blaeberry in Scots).
The pattern I used was a free download from Jo Sharp and it only takes one ball of wool.  I went online to search for the pattern to share the link here, but couldn't find it.  If any readers wish to have a copy of the pattern though, I can email it to you as an attachment.
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