Mathilde all tucked in and a bit about the fit

I said the other day that I would post photos of me wearing the Mathilde all tucked in, so here they are.  It looks preeettty doesn't it. (I didn't make the skirt - sadly).

Also I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about the fit. Morgan from Crab and Bee asked me whether I had to make any adjustments to the blouse, and given I foolishly left out that vital bit of information when I first posted about the blouse, I thought I'd post about it today.

The answer is no.  I didn't make any adjustments, but I did um and aah about what size to cut. Here's where I fell into the sizing:
Bust: 2- 3
Waist:  2 -3
Hips: 1 - 2
Tilly kindly provides the dimensions of the finished blouse with the pattern so that helped a bit and being a person who prefers to wear things a bit looser than tighter I opted for the 3.  Now that it's made up I certainly could have made the size 2 but it's not hanging off my shoulders too much - which was my main concern.  When I make it again, I might make a 2 but maybe not.

FINISHED! Marion Charlotte

Marion Denim Charlotte Skirt
Yesterday I finished another Charlotte skirt!

It's made from  'Marion' an indigo dyed paisley denim (58% cotton, 40% poly, 2% spandex). It really is the most incredible fabric and from the 'right' side you wouldn't know that it is denim - but it is definitely denim when you turn it over.

I made it in next to no time.  I cut it out and sewed the darts on Saturday night and then sewed up the rest in a couple of free hours on Sunday afternoon.
Marion Denim Charlotte Skirt
Unlike my first Charlotte skirt, I didn't bother to line this one and rather than hand sewing the waist band on I just sewed in the ditch. The fabric hides the stitches, which is great, but not so great when you are trying to see them on the 'wrong' side.
Marion Denim Charlotte Skirt
I've kept the skirt long and haven't taken any extra length off (despite being only 5"2 (well probably only 5"1).  Just like last time, I removed a little bit from the sides, using the instructions on the By Hand London website.  The By Hand girls posted a whole set of tutes during the Charlotte Sewalong and I regularly referred back to them again this time around. Their invisible zip tute is fantastic. I think I can safely say now that the invisible zip and I are on good terms. This one isn't quite as good as the last one, but I think it is still passable.
Marion Denim Charlotte Skirt
Today I've styled it with an old silk shirt that I've had for an age. (No I didn't make this...this is back from the pre sewing days).  These photos were taken really early this morning so the sun hasn't really come up yet, but the day turned out really hot and sunny so once again I was inappropriately dressed for the weather.  Lucky I was inside most of the day.

I also struggled a bit with not cutting my head off in the photos as the camera was balancing precariously and I searched for places that I could balance the camera on. The photos do show however the true colour and ever so slight sheen of the fabric.
By the way, this little package arrived on Friday.  I think I'll have to wait to make it up when I get back from France but there is an Elisalex Sewalong happening in March.   It should be heaps of fun. Wish I could do it. 

Liberty scrap bookmark

First up, pop over to Tilly and the Buttons for her feature on some Mathilde Blouse makes.  I'm there and in some pretty gorgeous company!!

I have mentioned here before my absolute love for Mary Stewart and her mix of romance and crime. Back then I was reading my 5th book of hers and now, well I'm way past that with another two loaded on the kindle ready to go. Yep.  I love them. Yes, there is always a happy ending but is that so bad really?  In fact that's probably why I love them. 
Liberty scrap bookmark
I've been talking about these books to my neighbour at work and she hasn't been able to find them here and as she doesn't have a kindle I thought I'd get one for her for her birthday.

I also thought I'd make a quick little lo-fi Liberty book mark to go with it.  I wouldn't exactly call it stash busting but I did use up a tiny bit of the fabric from my Mathilde blouse (the little statues of course) and also some fabric from my little Liberty pack I got last year for my birthday.
Liberty scrap bookmark
I have read tutorials where they put cardboard in the bookmark, but this one, despite having a little bit of iron on facing is sans cardboard and pretty floppy.

I finished in record time my Marion Charlotte today so hope to post photos tomorrow as I'll definitely be wearing it to work. With Ben being awayI just need to balance the camera precariously on some garden furniture  for some self portraits..time to get a tripod perhaps!

Marion: A vision in paisley denim x2

I'm sure you've heard this story before: Last week I popped into the fabric shop to get buttons for my Mathilde blouse and walked out with fabric.  Yep!

The fabric in question is 'Marion' an indigo dyed paisley denim (58% cotton, 40% poly, 2% spandex).  As soon as I saw it I knew I needed it to make another Charlotte Skirt.  One for autumn. The Charlotte is such a classy shape, I really enjoy wearing that style to work and I know that this fabric will be just perfect, it doesn't really look like denim (except when you turn it over). I grabbed the roll and bought 2 metres.

Today, we had a friend of Oliver's over to play which meant they were entertaining each other and Elliot so I snuck in some sewing time.
After cutting out the Charlotte skirt I found that I had over a metre left  as I was able to put all the pieces side by side.  This by the way is going to be such a nice make.  I'm not planning to line it and from the small bit of sewing I did today, the material is sturdy but soft so holds well for darts (not like the linen and the lining of my first Charlotte). A real pleasure.

I got to thinking what on earth will I do with all that denim left over. I think it would be a bit 80s to do a matching vest or jacket don't you think? Actually it could work, but no, instead I'm going to make a Grainline Moss skirt

I am having great visions of both skirts.  Charlotte for work and being smart and sexy and the Moss for all other times when I can wear a miniskirt.  The Marion Moss being a cool and stylish little workhorse on our trip to France which is only 3 weeks away (eeeek).  Stockings, ankle boots, a little Moss skirt and a Briar perhaps!? Why not!!  Mmm, I do need to go to the fabric shop tomorrow to get zippers for all these skirts, so perhaps I'll spot something for another Briar there!!!

But first the Marion Charlotte.

P.S  Please don't tell me it's weird to have two skirts in the same fabric! I've already work shopped that and
P.P. S I love it when clothes have a name rather than a number!

FINISHED! Archipelago Mathilde

With enormous thanks to Tilly's fabulous pattern and super duper detailed tutorials (of which I used every single one), I present my first Mathilde blouse!!!! What a great pattern.  
The fabric is the Liberty of London I bought the other day from Addicted to Fabric.  It is Archipelago A from the Liberty Art Spring Summer 2013 Tresco range and you can read more about it in my Library of Liberty.  The fabric is so gorgeous.  I had some lovely comments both on the top and on the fabric when I wore it to work today. I just love those sneaky little statues hiding in the garden.
Gathering, pintucks and buttons... These were all a little bit of a stretch for me, but they turned out fine.  The fabric fortunately hides any little imperfections. Buttons no longer seem to be so frightening!  I probably should have thought a bit more about the pattern placement on the front bodice (both pieces now seem a bit matchy matchy - but I think that's just being picky).
I wore it today with jeans (because it's Friday) but next week I'll wear it with my grey skirt all tucked in.  I'm so in love with this top that I'll probably post some photos then as well. 

Mathilde in progress

Banksia, Briar and knicker bockers
Today I wore my new Briar, despite the weather being too hot for a jumper for as long as I could possibly stand the heat. Do you do that? Wear something even though it isn't exactly weather appropriate but because you just made it and love it and want to wear it? This photo, my latest addition to Carolyn's Navel-Gazing Fashion Blogger's Society photo collection sees me wearing my Banksia again (photo shows the material slightly better..) and my knickerbockers.  The last time I wore them I said they were on their last legs and now they really are! But they were my small salute to the hot weather.
I also stole a bit of time and worked on my Mathilde blouse.
It is coming together although I did have some problems with the pintucks.  I measured and measured them but for some reason they still turned out wrong.  Anyway, all fixed now and my material is very forgiving.  It's nice to be working with Liberty again.
Shoulders and sides are together and it seems to fit ok, so tomorrow I might pop down to the fabric store and find some buttons.

FINISHED! Briar in Bosley + Banksia = Brilliant

Here is my first Briar from Megan Nielsen.  What a great pattern! I had been really turned off sewing with stretchy fabrics at the end of last year, but decided to give this one a go because all the versions I'd seen just looked too cute and there is a sewalong! with great tutorials by Megan.
Briar with Banksia
I'm glad I did.  I really love it.
It is the first time I have done a circular pocket (it did take me a few attempts) and the first time I have used twin needles.Twin needles!! Where have you been all my life!!?
The pattern fits perfectly with no adjustments although I did make a bit of a hybrid between the crop and full length version.  I added about 2 inches onto the cropped version.  This week Megan is showing a whole lot of variations on the Briar... I think next one for me will have to have a pocket on the arm.
Briar with Banksia by Megan Nielsen
The Briar looks great with (one of my many) stripey tops and spotty jeans but I have teamed it up here with my Megan Nielsen Bankia top.  Unfortunately the fabric doesn't photograph well but you get the idea.  They really were made for each other!!
This Briar is made from a fabric called Bosley that I bought from Addicted to Fabric.  The tag says that it is 95% cotton 5% spandex and the colour is denim.  I think I'll go back for more in another colourway to make another one!

Harry Potter Party - the wash up

Today we had a Harry Potter party for Oliver and 9 of his friends.  I've mentioned before the many amazing Harry Potter parties on the intranet.  This probably wasn't one of them, but here are a few good parts of the party.  By the time the party happened at 4pm storms had surrounded Canberra and the rain came and went, came and went. We did potions inside but luckily were able to go outside to play quidditch.
I did a lot of research on how on earth we were going to play muggle quidditch, without broomsticks and flying.  In the end I used ideas from all over the place to come up with what I think are very cool rules... though perhaps not that Harry Potter-ish.
We had 2 goals rather than 6
The main difference between my quidditch and the real quidditch is that the golden snitch is a person.  In order to determine who would be the golden snitch I hid (ferrero rocher) golden snitches in the garden with one that had 'S' all over it.  The person who found that one became the golden snitch and got to wear this fantastic gold bowler hat.  Their job was to avoid being caught and there were 'safe' areas they could run to.  I had a few other rules that I might post another time in more detail but the main thing was that there was also a person from each side who could throw water balloons at the opponents.  But only their legs, if they hit any other part of the body they were out for one minute.  It was 36 degrees so no one really complained about the water balloons!
Getting ready for quidditch at the harry potter party this afternoon. And yes the snitch will be a person and they will be wearing the golden hat!
I was going to make robes for everyone, but I didn't.  Instead everyone got to wear a house badge to identify what team they were on.  We changed positions regularly.  To be honest everyone just ran around and focussed too much on the water balloons, so that didn't really work so well.. but I still think it was a good set of rules.
Dementor pinata #harrypotter #dementor #pinata
After Quidditch we were going to do the pinata.  I had great plans for this dementor pinata.  The boys were going to have to do the patronus charm and shout 'Expecto Patronum' while they whacked the dementor.  I had made this pretty sturdy and was looking forward to 15 minutes of dementor whacking. Unfortunately the rain had weakened the pinata and by the time I returned with said 'whacking stick' one of the boys had already pulled the dementor down and the boys were like vultures scraping out it's insides for loot.  For a short moment, my happiness had been sucked from me, just like a real dementor!
All wasn't lost.. there was cake!  Originally I was going to do a golden snitch cake, but instead on walking into the cake shop to get the ball mould, Oliver saw a skull cake tin and declared that he wanted a 'dark mark' cake.  A glittering green skull with a snake protuding from it's mouth. I put a picture next to it for this photo just so I'd remember what I was trying to create. It's wrong isn't it! I suppose I'll be able to reuse this when he Oliver goes into his heavy metal phase!!!  Yep, it's pretty dodgy, but the boys liked it.  Gross!
And here are the contents of the party bag: A Honeydukes sampler.  Yep, sugar overload! The Standard Book of Spells I got from etsy. 

FINISHED! Ahoy there Charlotte Skirt

It's finished! My Charlotte Skirt! And I LOVE it!

I made this during the By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewalong  and I found it a great way to sew.  It was a nice way to try something new - allowing myself the time to do things properly.  The pace was nice and easy, just how it should be in January.  Have to admit though that I was busting by the end to finish it and wear it.  Last night I diligently hand sewed the hem so today it could make its debut.

This skirt introduced me to a couple of new techniques:  the invisible zip and lining a skirt. Those poor girls at By Hand London, I was always asking them questions about this and that! Overall I'm pretty happy with how it is sewed and of course how the skirt looks on.  I think the cut is pretty flattering.   I was a bit worried that I would have problems sitting as it is pretty tight, but no problems there and as you can see I provided a pretty generous split at the back for power walking

My skirt is made of linen with a darker yellow lining.  As you may remember I bought the fabric with the sole purpose of going with a pair of shoes.  I have had the tshirt I'm wearing for a few years but I've never really worn it as it needs to be tucked in... enter the Charlotte Skirt which is in need of something not too thick to be tucked in.  I love love love the sailor result.  I wore it today to work and my colleagues were extremely kind and generous with their comments.  Next time, I'll make it with something thicker like brocade. 

FINISHED! A knitted (yes knitted) baby beanie

I started this beanie when we were in Thredbo a couple of weeks ago but  I undid it all on Tuesday night after realising that I probably couldn't in all conscience give the beanie as it was with all the dodgey stitches and mistakes.  I wasn't too sad pulling it apart as I was watching back to back episodes of season 1 of The Hour  late into the night and was happily knitting away.  If you haven't seen The Hour by the way, then you must - because apart from anything story related (which is brilliant) it will make you want to go out and make a Charlotte pencil skirt!)  Really!
Baby beanie
The beanie is knitted using Felici Sport Self Striping Yarn in Dockside (which I think is being discontinued). I bought four balls of this on ebay after seeing the socks made by Jen from Grainline.  I'm not sure why I bought four given this beanie only used one but there you go.
The seam (which I'm hiding) is a little bit dodgy but.. all in all I think a pretty cute make for only my second knitting project.
Given I'm posting about this baby beanie I thought I'd pull from the archives the gift I made for the big brother of this little baby to be.  I made this quilt back in June 2010.  Looking at it now I probably could have thought a bit more about the colour placement but I had a lot of fun making this.  Funny, how these two gifts probably took about the same amount of time!
Baby boy quilt for baby JC
 baby boy quilt for baby JC baby boy quilt for baby JC

Suger tee in situ PLUS some new Liberty!!!

Finally here are a couple of pictures of the sugar tee I made in January.  You might remember I didn't have quite enough fabric so the length is a result of fabric limitations.  It is a great tee and one that I wear a lot.

In exciting news I am now the proud owner of some new Liberty fabric from the 2013 Spring Summer Art Collection.  You can see all the details in my Library of Liberty fabrics.
Archipelago A Tana Lawn
Archipelago A
First up is the Archipelago A.  I'm going to sew Tilly's Mathilde Blouse (which I purchased the minute I saw it launched on her website this week) with this fabric.  I just love the little peeping statues in amongst the flowers.
Tresco A
The Tresco is just stunning.  The water colour is perfect - which obviously other people thought too as there was only half a metre left.  I bought it anyway, as you never know when you might need it.  I know, that's not exactly stash busting is it?
Richard and Lyla A Tana Lawn
Richard and Lyla A
There is something strangely compelling about the Richard and Lyla print.  It is a fabric that I've thought often about after seeing it for the first time at Addicted to Fabric and knew that if I didn't buy it I'd regret it.  I'm wondering whether this might be good as a button up shirt or shirt dress?

Harry Potter Party: pre party stress

Oliver is having a party next Saturday for his 7th birthday.  A Harry Potter party.  I feel a bit like I'm spinning my wheels with this party (and it is distracting me from my other works in progress!)  I'm trying to both make it fun, but not be over the top about it.  All Oliver wants, is to play quidditch with broom sticks.  Ben says just let the kids do their thing without any prescribed party activites.  No pressure.
There is so much Harry Potter party stuff on the web and some very over the top but cool parties.  One thing I saw which I love is where people have painted brick walls on fabric and then slit an entrance through it for the kids to enter the party through 'platform 9 3/4'.  I love this idea so bought some brick fabric on ebay the other day, only to find out that the bricks were tiny, like doll size tiny.  Not to be discouraged, I thought I'd paint some lo fi bricks onto fabric.  So today, I thought I'd make the 'brick wall'.  As we were driving around collecting supplies for the cake and different things (in a slightly stressed and erratic way) I said "Oliver Oliver, what do you think about the brick wall?"  To which he replied, "Nah, I don't want it.  Don't do it."  I replied, "But it will be so cool."  He continued to say that we didn't need it and he didn't want it until finally I listened.  Ok, so it would be really cool, but perhaps the kids can just come in through the side gate, not through a brickwall. On their broomsticks....