Wednesday, January 28, 2015

cambie.... the weekly soap

Last year I finally bought Cambie. She (a dress pattern has to be female!) is a pattern that I have been pussyfooting about for ages. She is going to help me sew three wonderful dresses (or at least that is the plan!). Two for work, one for the winter in a dark brown wool and one for the summer in a lightweight grey and black patterned cotton-mix. And the third one in a traditional German woven blue and white check with red/orange details.  The third one is a special dress. I shall tell you more about that one when I get to it though. Just let me tell you it has to be a wow to live up to the occasion I am intending to wear it to.

 The fabric for this dress trio was all preloved fabric that people didn't sew up. The dark brown wool came from a charity shop fairly nearby that always has a tempting stock of yardage (or should that be meterage). I bought it thinking boy's trousers but the rate they get through trousers at the moment, the only thing I would be prepared to sew is leather with steel kneecaps! So after I got over the boys's trouser idea, it went into the stash for a while. The great thing is, now I can count it as stashbusting.
The grey and black cotton came from my "Nähtreff". More about the actual sewing evening itself another time. In November last year a local theatre put on a production of "The Fiddler on the Roof". There was a call out in the local paper for fabric and notions to make costumes with. The response was amazing. People brought in truckloads of wonderful fabric and notions. The lace.... people gave their buttons collections... well all that was left after sewing the costumes went into the Nähtreff stash! This lovely cotton was left over and asked if it wasn't used, if it could be earmarked for me. Lucky me... it wasn't needed. So it will become a lovely little Cambie for me. Lucky me. Despite picking it up this year, I reckon as I asked for it last year, that it does not count as a new addition this year. 

As I am making three dresses and using lovely fabric, I decided to make a muslin. That allows me to play with the bodice length too. Madame long body here. I even chose a muslin fabric with a stripe so I could see what went on with the stripes for the third dress.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stash Building I

In one Facebook group I am in (of the two!) we stashbust. I have pledged not to buy any more fabric this year or last year. Well like nearly all of the others in the group, last year I failed. This year is fairly new, so I am doing alright so far! Having said that I did not buy very much last year. The reason why I have made this pledge is because I have a ridicious stash. It's size came about because of two separate "incidents". 

The first one was an award winning Ebay score. A woman who had inherited her mother's and aunt's house was selling off it's contents. Both of them were textiles teachers and they obviously both had a bit of a fabric problem going on. I think I was one of her first customers and got a Volvo estate boot (trunk for you, Americans) full of fabric for 2€. 

I used to have another blog... and here is what I wrote back then in 2010: 

When I went to collect it
 .......Wasting time looking at material on Ebay wasn't quite so wasted. Look at the loot in this boot. 2€! I challenge you to get a better deal! There are some wild, some pretty and some pretty grim (70's nylon) pieces in there. And there are some that are already calling out to be turned into clothes. Clothes for me, clothes for the Things, clothes for Karneval, clothes for little girls (don't have any of those at home)..... I shall have lots of fun! I do have one question though, what do you do with three meters of purple (or red or yellow or brown) nylon? Any takers?

After I had got it home......
I told you about my award winning ebay steal. Now I am washing and airing it. Good that the weather is so hot (and now windy too). I now have a nice pile of material, such a nice pile that I have no idea where I am going to store it. Yesterday I ironed a lot and whilst doing that I thought about the women who's stash this had been. Did she have things in mind when she bought each piece or did she just buy them? Some have obviously been reduced or pieces with faults. What were they like as a people? Did they sew for themselves, for her family, for friends?
There are two ways of looking at this collection of material (I don't know if there was more): it is what is left over after a lifetime of crafting, all the really nice pieces have been sewn, or there are plans and dreams in still in there. I think the truth, as ever, is somewhere in between. Some of the pieces literally shout out about what they want to become. A pretty pink summer skirt, a child's winter fleece, a Barbie dress (?? that must be the material talking as I haven't come up with such things before!!), a pair of grey autumn trousers.  I am sure you will end up seeing some of these things here. 

Some of the pieces pay hommage to a certain period of time. There are pieces of spun nylon in purple, red, bright yellow and bright blue. There are some horrible beige nylon with light blue flowers raised on the surface. A bit like flocked wallpaper. In this heat it doesn't just look horrible, it makes my skin crawl. What would you do with them? The only idea I had was to ring a clothing museum and ask if they could use them.

From this haul, I have made a mathematics dress (see top photo, blue and black material on the left hand side),  the tent part of a play tent for Thing Two and  a Christmas tree skirt from some of the lime green on the left. All the nylon and fabric that made my skin crawl as well as a good lot of patterns that I felt I would never even like, nevermind love, I gave away. Proud of myself on that one!

As to the second "incident", I'll tell you about that another time.... 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Baby Blankets

2014 saw a old trend being revived by my friends. All of a sudden another round of babies were born. Numbers two and three were born all over the place. A completely natural thing you are probably thinking. Well , yes, only it was quiet on that scene for a while.
Being such a lazy friend, instead of sewing up complicated Welcome Baby parcels, I just sewed up some cosy blankets. I reckoned that by the time you get to Number Two ot Three you are probably swimming in stuff anyway! And I know that when I had Thing Two I was actually very happy to be able to reused some of the clothes/blankets/toys that I loved but had been put to one side. But you know, I am married to a man who is a Number Three. A favourite of the family stories is one where he was so chuffed to get something new and something that noone else had before. Having said that I am a Number One (and Only...) and I got plenty of pre-loved clothes! Anyway seconds and thirds should have at least one new thing. 

And so the blanket workshop opened:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Aus blau mach pink!

Wie bringe ich meine Kleine dazu, die Sachen von ihrem Bruder anzuziehen?" Das Dilemma: Richtige Größe, falsche Farbe.... Mir fiel eine Haarspangenvorlage ein, die ich mal auf einem meiner Lieblingsblogs entdeckt habe. Ideal für die Schuhe!

How can I get my little girl to wear her brother's things? The problem... the right size, the oh-so-wrong colour... And then I remembered a pattern I have for hair clips, that I discovered on one of my favourite blogs. Ideal for these slippers!

Hier das Ergebnis:
Here is the result:

upcycled  Hausschuhe, Kleidung Jungs zu Mädchen
...und weil die Schuhe so gut ankamen, gab es direkt noch ein paar Haarklammern dazu!
...and because the slippers were recieved so thankfully, I made a few hair clips to go with them!

Schmetterling Haarspange

Euch allen ein gutes neues Jahr!
A wee bit late, but happy New Year!