Hot weather sewing, and what to wear during a heatwave!

 I like to sew whatever the weather, I also like to sit in the garden when it is sunny so I usually have some embroidery on the go, however this summer I have been inspired to do a bit of quilting and I am doing it by hand! It is a very portable project so I carry it around in my bag and get it out whenever I get the opportunity.

Firstly a bit about my inspiration; My Mum and I paid a visit to Bath’ The Victoria Gallery’ to be precise, to see an awe inspiring display of Kaffe Fasset quilts, cushions and samplers. Absolutely gorgeous! Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photo’s so here is a picture of the poster;

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I really recommend this exhibition, not just for the fantastic Kaffe Fassett display but also the amazing Candace Bahouth ceramics, they are stunning – if you don’t know her work you need to google it right now!

As we were walking around I said to Mum, I should’ve worn one of my Kaffe Fassett garments, she laughed and pointed out what was on the dress that I was wearing! KF appliqued flowers of course! We have a huge range of KF fabrics in the shop and on our Big Blooms fabric website . Not only was I wearing one of my super cool for summer Washi dresses, Mum was wearing a Barcelona skirt that I made for her!

 

Sooo……. back to the summer project, I think it is going to be a yoga mat, well that is the plan but who knows?

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Talking of super cool summer clothing, the Washi dress is currently my absolute favourite, so far I have made 3 and my fabric of choice is cotton lawn so they are nice and thin to keep me cool and the drape is lovely. I seem to be making my way through all the Liberty tana lawn that we have in the shop at the moment, the green one is my latest make, the bicycle print one I made last summer. They are being rotated almost daily at the moment as it is very hot in work!

What summer sewing are you doing at the moment and what is your favourite outfit to wear during the hot, hot weather?

TrixieLixie Fabric and Haberdashery Boutique

 

 

 

 

 

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Club Tropicana

Hello Sewing Friends,

When the lovely people at TrixieLixie asked me if I fancied writing a blog for them, I said ‘who me?, no, couldn’t possibly’, and then went home and thought ‘well why not?’, and so I did!

Hopefully more Club Tropicana than Agadoo!

 

So, who took part in Me Made May this year? Did you stroll around in co-ordinated and elegant outfits, or did you (like me) find lots of gaps in your wardrobe?  Whilst I am always drawn to a floaty, flowery frock, I realised what I really need are nice basics – skirts, t-shirts and especially tops.

At first glance New Look 6217 doesn’t really jump out – it is a top, skirt, trousers and jacket combo, it looks a little bland but, trust me, it’s worth a second look. The top has only 3 pieces; a front cut on the fold and two back pieces with a centre seam. There is a hint of grown on sleeve, so it doesn’t feel too vest-like.  So far I have made this pattern four times in various cottons. The first was a little snug on the bust so using good old kitchen greaseproof paper I traced the front piece and did a FBA, following the tutorial on the Curvy Sewing Collective website.

I made this top in a lovely Moda cotton that I bought from the TrixieLixie sale bin (go and have a rummage, you won’t be disappointed!). TrixieLixie is a wonderful shop in Cardiff, it is bricks & mortar and online. It sells dressmaking fabric, quilting fabric, patterns and notions, and more importantly you get friendly (and very patient!) service and helpful advice.

The fabric is a vivid green, purple and orange tropical print on a white back-ground. I only bought one metre, which is slightly under what you need for this pattern, and decided to make a cropped version, ready for warm summer days. Perhaps I was inspired by the tropical pattern, and memories of Wham and those boxy, cropped tops we wore in the early 80s, with high waisted jeans, trying to look like the girls in Bananarama! I merely folded my pattern pieces at the lengthen/shorten line and pinned onto the fabric before cutting out. I think I shortened it so it was 17” from neckline to front hem – which sounds very short, but then I am only 5’1”.

I had just enough to make myself some bias binding to edge the neckline. I have tried the continuous construction method, but I just end up with wobbly edges and lumpy seams, so I used the joining strips method, which I find a little tidier. I think the binding gives interest to the neckline. In fact, I think it took longer to make the binding than to make the whole of the rest of the top!

The back of the neck fastens with a button, and my overflowing button box gave me a choice of four – so of course, I went for the biggest, shiniest, orangeiest button. For the button loop I used a length of narrow ribbon (I always cut the hanging loops of the inside of my RTW, so I have a jar full of short lengths of coloured ribbon). To be honest, the neckline is so wide that you could probably do without the opening – but why deny yourself a pretty button? Even if you can’t see it!

I overlocked all the edges, apart from the neckline, and machined the seams, I even machined the hem on the sleeves, though I did take my time to hand stitch the hem of the body.

So here it is, my Club Tropicana (New Look 6217) top in fabric from TrixieLixie. A simple pattern, a simple cotton top, but definitely worth a second look!