Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Last Skirt of Summer & The Field in Autumn

I mentioned that I had one last sarong refashion...here it is complete. The fabric was a gift from a friend and is a lightweight, printed cotton. The skirt is made from my TNT mystery vintage A-line skirt pattern (story here), lined with a thin cotton lining taken from the skirt I refashioned into a top here.

I have discovered this shape without lining does not wear well, at least when made from ordinary cotton. It looks better with a little support and will hopefully last longer. I was going to use a waist slip instead of lining, but since I wear cotton skirts mostly in the warmer months I decided a breathable cotton lining made more sense.

Skirt front
Skirt back

There was a lot of pattern to consider for matching. I picked my battles and concentrated on the hemline and the back where the zip was inserted. It wasn't going to match all round as the pattern was not printed strictly on grain. I'm not too concerned in as there is such a lack of pattern and stripe matching in the shops (even with some upmarket brands), I am convinced that nobody notices these small details unless they make clothes themselves! 

I think the skirt would look good with a contrasting colour t-shirt (maybe an orange/red or coral?), but it will have to wait as I think this is probably my last summer garment for now. I didn't make everything I would have liked this summer, but I am uncertain about sewing summer clothes in the winter. I guess I will have to see how I feel.

Finally I thought those of you that came on a country walk with me this July, might like to see what the fields look like at this time of year. The dyke sides were cleared a couple of weeks ago by a tractor with a box scraping attachment. This is so that any restrictions to water flow are removed before the wetter months. The dykes around us never seem to get a lot of water in them, but without clearance the land would soon revert to being no longer land, but a marriage of land and water...no good for walking of any kind!

If you look closely you can see the scraping reveals the holes of all the
waterside dwelling rodents, which I occasionally startle on my walks!

All the crops have been harvested. When I was growing up, stubble like that in the field below would have been burnt off at this time of year, but it is illegal in England and Wales now as it poses a risk to nearby habitations.

Some of the land has already been ploughed. When this large field behind our house is, the view changes completely to chocolate brown/black furrows - that's when I feel the season has really changed.

On the bounty front, although the wildflowers have gone, there is plenty to be harvested in the hedgerows. Usually I would have made blackberry and apple jam by now, but my parents had such a bumper crop of gooseberries this year every jam jar has been filled!

I am so looking forward to autumn and winter sewing, to see what everyone makes and to share what I do; and of course, to those on the other side of the world, to see what lovely summer ideas you have! Warm October wishes to you all and

Happy sewing, 'til next time!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Still Tacking * + September Book Giveaway Winner

Much of my sewing kit is ancient, as it was inherited from my Grandma. Lucky for me she was a hoarder and left plenty of supplies. About a year ago I ran out of tacking thread. (* I am pretty sure tacking thread is called basting thread in North America. Here, basting means anointing your turkey with juices during roasting, but I think basting as a sewing term is beginning to catch on.) Anyway, I visited all my usual sewing supply sites - none stocked it. I went to the sewing section of a large department store - they didn't stock it. I even went to the stall at our minute market which sells home furnishing fabric, laminated tablecloth fabric, polycotton and some habby, where the elderly gentleman who runs it sucked his teeth and finally announced, "No-one has asked for that in years!"

I found some eventually on a quilting website. It was very expensive, for something designed to be broken...anyway, recently I searched again. Lots more options. Either sewing the old way is becoming more popular, or sewing as a hobby is becoming more popular generally. 

Do you tack?  When I learnt to sew, virtually anything that was to be machined had to be tacked first (most especially small areas that needed to be super accurate) and tailor tacks were used for all markings. I still pretty much sew this way. Is there any alternative to tacking, where pins won't do?

Tacking my latest project. The little workbasket in the background
is for all my indispensable bits and has dogs on it - sewing + dogs = perfect for me! 

Also, congrats to September giveaway winner katahdinchicklet! I have emailed you to get your mailing address. I hope you will have fun achieving your Perfect Fit!

Drawn by my willing assistant (OK, it was my daughter, thank you!)

I have every intention of doing more giveaways as I get my sewing space in order, so please continue to check in...and of course for a sewing chat anytime!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!