Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Stitch Gathering

Sunday was the second Edinburgh Stitch Gathering and I was happy to attend again.  I went to the first one last year and had a lovely time meeting new people and creating.  All the attendees signed up for two workshops that they would like to attend and were sent a printed tote bag to embellish as the ticket, along with the name of another attendee to give it to on the day.

My tote bag was going to Elaine, who I immediately googled and found that she collects Matroyshka dolls, and so this is what I did with my tote bag for Elaine:
I received a tote bag from Sally, who I also had the pleasure to meet at the first Stitch Gathering last year.  She made a really smart looking block for both the front and back of my tote, you can see it in the bottom left of this photo of all the things I made or were given at the Stitch Gathering!
We could also make a name tag for a secret person if we wanted to, and then we'd receive one too.  My name tag was made for me by Helen, and I made one for Kim.


My morning class was all about paper piecing curved shapes with Fiona.  We were asked to bring along a list of tools as well as the printed off templates that were emailed to us.  The shape we were using is known as the apple core.  First we were given tips about basting stitches and knots and then asked to baste a few.
Then we started whip stitching them together with a few tips about direction and colour placement.  I got three stitched together during the class and am now all ready to get on with finishing this during some winter TV watching!
My results
After a delicious lunch my afternoon class was also handstitching and taught by Fiona.  This time we worked on some reverse applique to create a piece of work that could be hung on the wall.  We were shown some pinning and snipping tips.
I finished my work within the class time too!  That is my sewing spot above, with my workbasket all closed and put away!
Some results from the class


During lunch we also had a chance to look at all of the ticket tote bags.  The landscape one was my favourite.  It was awe-inspiring to see such a variety of creative takes on the one bag!

There was also a lucky dip, and a chance for anyone who wanted to show and tell us about something that they had made.  There were some very impressive works being shown!  I even got to see a Farmer's Wife quilt, made by Sheila.

It was really lovely to catch up with some people that I met last year, whom after meeting them I started to follow their Instagram feeds or read their blogs.  Claire, JennySheila and I have been in the Little Blogs Quilting Bee since we met last year, and so it was really fun to see them again!  I also met a few new ladies who were very friendly and nice to sit beside and stitch with for the day.  
There were other classes on offer too, so if you are interested in reading about them a few other attendees have also written blog posts about the day. There is a link-up on Jo's blog myBearpaw .

 The Goody Bag!

When we entered the building we handed over the ticket/tote bag and were given a goody bag full of pretty and useful things!  Here is what was in them:

FABRIC:  Five fat quarters from Robert Kaufman, two fat quarters from Blend fabrics, one fat quarter from Dashwood Studios, a scrap pack of Liberty from VeryBerry fabric and a piece of tana lawn and a tote bag from Liberty.
THREAD: perle cotton no.8 (and sequins) from myBearpaw, embroidery thread from DMC, two spools of thread from Coats and a spool from Aurifil.
TOOLS: Frixion pen from Pilot, scissors from Grove and Banks and oat biscuits from Nairns.
We also got a Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, which I have already posted to a friend.

Jo at myBearpaw is giving one away, so do hop over to her blog if you are interested!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

An Aussie at a Scottish Polish Wedding

We have long been planning to attend a family wedding in Poland this September, and as Scottish formal attire is traditionally the kilt with a black jacket, we were going to make a big impression over there as a large contingent of kilt-wearing Scots.  As an Australian living in Scotland, I am wearing my tartan shoes and have tartan on my clutch, but I thought I would also include some Aussie-ness too!

I used this beautifully drapey and luxurious rayon fabric designed by Anna Maria Horner that has the leaves of my favourite tree, the eucalyptus tree.
So floaty!

We had these trees with the long leaves growing in our backyard when I was a child, and they remind me of the artwork of May Gibbs too.  I have always loved the shape of these leaves and even had them used in my wedding ring design.
Eucalyptus in Lime, rayon
For this dress I used Butterick 5987, version B
Butterick 5987 version b
The pattern is EASY.  It is designed for a light weight fabric but the drapey rayon worked really well.  I lined the bodice but not the skirt.  The pattern does ask for the bodice to have underlining as well as lining just to give the main fabric some structure, but I didn't use the underlining, as it was a summer wedding I didn't want too many layers for all that dancing!

Speaking of dancing, here are some photos of me dancing at the Polish wedding!  The dress felt really comfortable to wear.

The wedding reception was held in a rustic-looking barn-like restaurant, and this was the wall decoration at the table where we sat!

The dress details

For the belt, the pattern suggests a stretchy 2" bridal trim, but I went for satin ribbon with some sequined trim which I hand stitched.  At first I stitched the whole thing onto the waist by hand, but it looked all bumpy and wavey and didn't give me a narrow waist at all.  After unstitching I decided to only attach it at the zip seam, and then I tried the dress on to decide exactly how snug I wanted the waist ribbon to be, then cut four of the circles off and stitched the end to the zip seam too.  This is the only place where the belt ribbon is attached and it works perfectly!  The second photo below shows you how the belt is very loose when not being worn.  
I left a little bit of green ribbon at the edge to flap over the zip so that there is no visible colour gap, but as you can see in this last photo, the ribbon flap just sits over the zip.

About the pattern

The bodice is cut on the bias, and so has plenty of room to account for a bust and a tummy.  I cut the size 24 and made no alterations, apart from omitting the underlining and the skirt lining, only completing the bodice lining.  The instructions in the pattern never tell you to finish any seams, so I only finished the skirt seams with pinking shears and overlocked the bodice and waistband seams.

Here's one funny thing I found with the pattern:  What on earth are these circle markings for?  This is the pattern piece for the back of the skirt.  I didn't use them at all and there was no reference made to them in the instructions.
But there was no marking for the bottom of the zip, so perhaps that is what these are meant to be, and they just lost their way a little?  (When putting in my zip, I just started from the top and kept going until I got to the bottom without using any markings.)

It was a lovely time in Poland, and I loved wearing this dress! (tartan shoes are visible in this one)

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