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!

I will make a winter coat this year, I will. Honest. Well maybe….

Every year about this time, I think, ‘right then, lets make a nice warm coat’.

Then I dawdle and procrastinate, think well… maybe next week, and before I know it, it’s Spring and I can get on with making those nice fun summer dresses again.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. It’s definitely going to happen.

Firstly I have to choose who I am making this for. My husband is a good bet, he is forgiving and frankly would wear anything. I’ve got a couple of patterns to choose from, the good solid Colette Albion or the trendy Thread Theory Peacoat. We’ve got this nice soft Polyester Heavy Felt that would be up for the job. Mmmm but what about the lining…..

cp2002-albion-01-large-d676699b101ddfe4b4b60db7ebde0dac Goldstream Peacoat 1

Then again, I quite fancy a girlie version of the Albion too or maybe The Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat. We have some nice Boucle fabric, that would be good for the Colette Anise Jacket, or a Victoria Blazer or one of those nice Morris Blazers from Grainline Patterns.

cp2002-albion-08-largeCoatFrontAcp1023-anise-04-large

Some Gabachino Fabric might be perfect for a slightly more lightweight Sewaholic Robson Coat

robson coat 2 Fall+Jordan+Silver

Mind you, I’ve always fancied a Denim version of the Serendipity Jordan Jacket, that would be great for the Spring,

There you go, I’m procrastinating again!

Liberty Jersey Fabric

With all these wild, new Liberty Jersey Fabrics we’ve got in stock at TrixieLixie, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to make with them all.

liberty-jersey2We have made the Sewaholic Davie Dress ourselves and we know others who are ardent fans of Cake Patterns knit dress range.

knits-1Best-selling Colette do three dress patterns, [Myrtle, Moneta, and Wren] and a skirt pattern [Mabel] that have been designed specifically for jersey and after trying them all we can say they are straightforward and great fun, with a size range that will accommodate everyone.

knits-2

 

Last chance to win in our Sew September competition

Just a last minute reminder to enter our competition, which ends on the 1st October.

book-competition-smlThe prize is the Great British Sewing Bee book, Fashion With Fabric, plus a metre of Regent Street Lawn fabric of your choice.

All you have to do is go to the TrixieLixie website and choose your favourite fabric from the Regent Street Lawn fabric range. Then put your answer in the comments section of the TrixieLixie facebook competition post dated 6th September. Make sure we can contact you if you win.

Anyone can enter, so tell your friends.

Winner will be chosen by random generator on 1st October 2015.

We love our customers

We’ve have quite a few people send us things recently that they have made with TrixieLixie products. We absolutely adore it when this happens. Here are some of our favourites.

Jo sent pics of her brilliant dress made from Joel Dewbury Flora Rayon – Tulip Eucalyptus

$_12bSusan looks dreamy and fabulous in her drape top.

IMG_4144Lisa says that she has got the crafting bug back after making one of our simple purse making kits. We ought to be on the NHS!

11849839_1668380210047600_237116181_n

Jo’s hubby gets a fabulous new Hemingway fabric shirt – Prize Winner – We liked this so much that we sent out a prize.

shirt1

And just to prove that we are up for it ourselves, here we are, looking like a right pair of Wallys.

IMG_4313

So please send us your makes. Use the hashtag #trixielixiemakes.

trixielixiemakes2

 

Pillow Frenzy

It seems that I’ve had a bit of a run on making pillowcases for my friends. I love giving them as gifts, as they are so easy to make.

With these ones I made for my sister, I’ve used Gutermann fabrics with a touch of pom pom specialness. They go brilliantly with her seaside themed front room. This Gutermann collection has lots of subtle colours which would fit well in any environment.

Guter pillows topMy friend Fran loves cowboys and loves these pillows too. They are made using the Moda Fabrics Honky-Tonk range.

cowboy pillows side cowboy pillows top

The wild world of FreeSpirit fabrics

earthly-wideThese Garden of Earthly Delights fabrics from Studio KM are like a strange and sensuous Darwinian journey to a newly discovered world. These fabrics are for the most outrageous dresses or more realistically, beautiful cushions or other home decor bits. Personally, I’d just stretch them up and put them in a frame.

elizabeth-wideWe think Tula Pink is the most Funky of all the fabric designers out there and this Elizabeth collection doesn’t disappoint! Inspired by a trip to Hampton Court and the art of taking a good selfie.

duck-egg-wideKaffe Fasset never disappoints in the wild colour stakes. We’ve had a few fabrics in the Rowan ranges in the past, but we bought this Big Blooms Duck Egg fabric to make up a Gather Buchanan dressing gown. A bit selfish maybe, but there is lots left!

rayon-sidewaysFinally these beautiful Rayon fabrics. Beautiful feel with stunning colours and design, perfect for those free flowing summer dress creations.