Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Nani Iro top for spring

There's a warmth just beginning in the air and I believe we are emerging from what seemed to me like the dreariest, rainiest winter since eleven years ago when I was stuck at home with two little boys ages zero and 14 months in a dark unrenovated cramped house but-let's-not-dwell-on-that!

I've just emailed off the first full draft of the last major piece of work I have to complete for my 'regular job' before I finish up. Yay!

Last Saturday there was a marked turn in business at the shop, with people buying summery fabrics. Yay!

The daylight is lasting longer. Yay!

I know that soon enough I will be moaning about the heat and having to water the garden and all that but for now... yay! I'm feeling all springy! And not in the least because I made myself a new top from some Nani Iro double gauze I've been eyeing off for a while.

It's such a statement fabric, I wanted to make something simple. So after lots of consideration, I settled on a pattern I'd made before, from a Japanese sewing magazine, Pochee Spring 2010. It's basically a wide raglan sleeve top with the neckline gathered up and the gathers sewn down with a long strip that also becomes the front tie. I love my first version of this shirt and still wear it often. The double gauze has held up very well to wash'n'wear.
The pattern calls for the neckline strip to be cut on the bias, and the layout shows an outrageous amount of fabric allowed simply for cutting this. There's really no need for it to be on the bias and I pieced it together from a couple of pieces cut on the grain.

However my fabric-miser tendencies bit back at me when I didn't have enough room to add seam allowances at the bottom hem. The top turned out a bit short so I headed back to my pile of scraps and eked out a little addition to the bottom, which was kind of on the bias so it kicks out a bit. Actually I quite like the effect! One of those 'happy accidents'. I would allow a bit more fabric next time though. Er, if I could remember how much I cut for this one, ha.

I also shortened the neck slit/placket thingy considerably because it was waaay too low last time - maybe a little too short now but no matter.

Thank you Jasper for the kooky-angle photos!

- Jane x

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mornings, and a look at my Hawthorn although not on me, yet

We've been doing this three-kids-at-school thing for almost a year now but is it getting any easier to get us all ready in the mornings? Uh, nope. Maybe this summer when the sun's up earlier?

This morning:

Charlie, his face still three-quarters asleep, moving with glacial speed through the motions of morning preparations.

Clem, five minutes to go, sliding about with a tissue box on one foot and nothing on the other, admonishing Andy for "always speaking to (him) in a cross voice". Cos yeah, we should happily and sweetly repeat instructions for the seventh or eighth time.

Jasper, completely ready since about 7.30am, and showing us all the totem pole he'd just whipped up with corks, a slice of tree branch and a hot glue gun.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, don't we. But in the mornings I'd take three of Jasper, thank you!

Now again, here I am apologising for not having photos of a garment being worn. There will, really, be a catchup post of me wearing a bunch of stuff soon. But I want to show off my Colette Hawthorn nevertheless, because I'm rather thrilled with it, and I really went slow-and-steady through this, the most detailed thing I've sewn in ages. So here it is on a hanger.

It was love-at-first-sight for me and the Hawthorn pattern. We had just received our first ever bolts of Liberty Tana Lawn at The Drapery and I was all inspired to pull out this Liberty from my stash. It was originally slated for a shirt for Andy, but... let's just say it may just as well have kept sitting in my stash for all the light of day it would have seen. So. Hello, Hawthorn!

I will post later about my fitting alterations and such, and with photos of me wearing it. But for now, here it is, and I can't wait for warmer weather here so I can actually enjoy it!

- Jane xx

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bimini Ring

Thank you so much for all the lovely, supportive comments on my last post. I have given work my notice and am counting down the last few weeks. I can't wait to be able to focus better on the shop and family and home. It seems a bit financially foolhardy but I've done stupider things on my life and got away with it. Things have a way of working out.

Friday was a 'student free day' at the boys' school (teacher training), and thankfully Andy was able to take on parenting duties. He set about installing a new backyard game. It's incredibly simple and rather addictive.

Andy discovered the game at a pub in Texas on a work trip. It's just a hook on a wall, and a ring on a string attached to a swivelly clip thing overhead. Swing the ring and try to get it on the hook. It's pretty much impossible to watch someone doing it without coming over all childish: 'I wanna go! My turn next!'.

In other weekend-ish happenings, Clem had been saving his pocket money for some weeks to buy a 'magic garden' and has been delightedly showing us the progress.

I love these things - really, quite magical. There's quite a bit more 'snow' on the mountain now.

There has been sewing, just no pictures I'm afraid. I made my Dad a Your Sew Girl Flat Cap, on his request (how nice to have my Dad ask me to sew him something!). Jasper has a new velour hoodie and I have been slowly, slowly making my way through a Colette Hawthorn dress for myself. It's rather unseasonal so no rush. Might have to have a photo sesh and do a quick roundup blog post about all the sewings.

How's your weekend? Magic gardens? Pub games for the whole family?

- Jane xx

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