Prepping not sewing and a MMM14 pledge

Last week we were away and I put my sewing machines in for a well earned tune up.  This week was the longest of all short weeks (Monday and Friday are public holidays) and even if I had my machines back I wouldn't have felt like sewing.  I still haven't got them back, although I'm told the Babylock will be ready to pick up on Saturday. I'm not exactly sure when the machine will be back, so the weekend doesn't look good for sewing.
So without the machines around for distraction I'm cleaning the house, coooking, prepping for when they will be back. It feels like ages (because it is) since I've made anything:
  • I have another Kanerva all cut out and ready to sew up.
  • I have muslined a pair of Clovers and just bought a RTW pair of pants (the first in ages) that  while a little big will help as a template.. Might get to cutting those out this weekend.
  • I also have two new patterns from the fantastic new collection from Republic du Chiffon. (I feel the need to get a few more of them, but they are in French and take a while to come, which doesn't exactly satisfy my pdf instant gratifcation need.) I'm doing a bit of translation and might get to trace out one of these this weekend if I get to the shops and buy some tracing paper
  • I have an idea for another Tokyo jacket from my stash - so might cut that out...
So that should keep me busy this long weekend. What do you do when you don't have your machines? Prep or take the opportunity to do something completely different?

Oh, and of course you've all been reading that it's that time of year again.
I've signed up for my 3rd year of Me Made May.  Last year I must have dedicated an hour a day to checking out the flickr pool, but it really is fun and while I wear me made clothing every day there is something special about MMM and it does provide an airing for some less worn me made clothes.

I Kirsty of top notch: sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least 1 handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2014, with no repeat outfits. I will also try and liven up my photos with a few location shots.

And finally... I was also nominated for a Liebster award by French Seams and Pipe Dreams while on holidays. THANKYOU! Have you seen her Miette + Coco ensemble. I want to steal this outfit! I'll be back another day to answer her questions and nominate some blogs.

FINISHED! Ocean scallop lace Coco

Completely unexpectedly, here is my second finished Coco. This time the dress.
Last week I started a muslin of a pair of Colette Clovers, but after sewing the muslin went a bit blah about the project and put them aside.  I then cut out another Kanerva, but didn't have the right thread to start sewing up so on Friday,  so thought I'd cut out the fabric for another Coco.
I bought 1.2m of this slightly stretchy knit from Tessuti when I was there in January (It's called Ocean scallop lace and is 4% elast & 96% polyamide). When I bought it I thought it might make fun leggings and even bought the Megan Nielson leggings pattern to make them up.. but then got cold feet (or legs) and never went through with it.
On Friday it seemed right to cut this fabric as a Coco. My first Coco is quite fitted so this time for a dress version I cut straight down the side, omitting the slight tapering that happens as I was looking for a slightly more 'swinging' version. I didn't quite have enough fabric so cut the sleeves cross grain (?) which turned out perfectly as I used the selvedge omitting the need for a hem.
Before I knew it, the dress was cut and I was overlocking the seams.  With my first Coco, I sewed then overlocked for neatening, but with this one I went straight to overlocking.  This always causes me a bit of a problem with the sizing as I always find it hard to overlock at big seam widths.  I need to get out the manual and read this bit again. I admit to running down the sides quite a few times until I was happy with the fit across the shoulders.  My first one fit so perfectly that it was weird to try this one and find it so big across the shoulders. It is still not perfect with a bit of excess but not a huge deal.  A product of a different fabric weight as well as no funnel neck perhaps.
By the time the sides were sewn up I knew I wanted to wear this dress to a party we were going to on Saturday afternoon.  After all I only had the neckline and hem to do.  Now Saturday mornings are extremely busy so this probably wasn't the best idea but my mind was made up.  The clock was ticking. I put out a call on instagram to Kelly and others as to how to hem as I don't love knits. Lots of suggestions were to just cut the scalloped edge, but given the weight and content of this fabric, I was worried about it rolling or fraying and Kelly suggested heming with bias tape.
I popped down to Addicted to Fabric during Oliver's piano lesson and they convinced me to use elastic in the neck and as a hemming tape. It was genius. I probably could have stretched it a bit more at the neck for an even flatter result, but I like how it makes the neck sit really flat and I like the weight it gives to the hem.
The only thing I regret was that I originally sewed the neckline and hem using a zigzag stitch. I hate this stitch. I tried to convince myself that no one would notice it but couldn't. So after finishing it and dropping Oliver to a birthday party, drove with purpose home to unpick it and use my twin needle.  Do you know how hard it was to unpick this!? Mmm, so unpicking finally finished I loaded up the twin needle but didn't change the stitch (because let's face it, now it was almost time to be leaving for the party and I was a bit panicky) and immediately broke the needle as the machine tried to do a zigzag.  #$%!  No spares.  Urgh. So single stitch it was around the neck as I faced the reality that going out to get another needle would be unsafe!
The hem remains zigzagged and will forever because let's face it, no one is going to notice that part of the dress. I took these photos Sunday morning, recreating my look from Saturday afternoon. I really love the long socks with ankle boots look.. could be my Autumn style.  I really like this look on me and think with the right fabric there might be another Coco in my life.