Wales Sews Meet Up

Well, at the risk of sounding like Enid Blyton, what a jolly splendid day was had by all. Last year I met with three other Instagram sewists in Cardiff, we had a mooch round TrixieLixie and then ate cake and drank tea in the John Lewis café. We had a lovely time, and all agreed to do it again soon. Well, it’s taken us a year, and this time I thought there might be one or two other sewists who might like to join us, so I posted an announcement on my Instagram account – and, well, wow!

39028867_855051708217423_8824791456808960000_n

I had replies from over 20 local-ish sewists, and yesterday, on a mild sunny Saturday, 17 of us met at TrixieLixie.  I say met, it was more like an invading hoard. We poured into the shop – don’t worry, Tracy and Stewart were expecting us, and had the kettle boiling and plenty of cakes and bikkies laid out. There were sewists from Llanelli, Swansea, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Newport and Cardiff, of all ages, from university students to retired grandmas.

IMG_7532

It was such a joy to meet the people behind the makes that we knew from IG posts. Some of us had communicated online for years without ever meeting face to face. There were squeals of ‘ooh, you finished your Cleo’ and ‘how did those buttonholes turn out?’, ‘can I see your lining?’  etc. In fact, a sewing meet-up is the only place where you can stroke each other’s clothes, examine seams etc without ending up with a police caution!

After much stroking of fabric and rummaging through all the notions and patterns (TrixieLixie now stock Merchant & Mills and Deer & Doe patterns – but that’s a whole other blog post!) and a lot of purchases, we made our way into the city centre (taking Tracy with us, leaving Stewart to tidy up the shop!). We had another good old mooch around the haberdashery department of John Lewis, before heading up to the top floor café, where they had set aside tables for us to sit, and talk, and eat, and talk and talk.

IMG_7537

There was lots of laughter, and some tears (@made_by_tea agreed to be @mummabmakes’  Sewing Wife, aww) and a lot of discussion about how sewing and Instagram can bring people together, especially as a grown up, when it can be difficult to make new friends. We all agreed to meet up again, soon.

Thank you to TrixieLixie, for your hospitality, and for helping to make new friendships. Happy Sewing!

 

You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

Spring Green – in Autumn??

Hello, Sewing friends, thank you so much for all the kind responses to my last blog. That purple Miette skirt has had so much wear this summer, it is definitely a happy skirt. Here in Cardiff, autumn is beginning to make its presence felt. But, like a stubborn toddler I am ignoring it, sticking my head in the sewing sand, making another summery skirt and resisting the lure of tights and boots. Let’s face it, ladies, we are going to be pulling on those 40 deniers for months to come, so whilst there is a glimmer of sun in the sky I am going to make the most of every bare-legged second.

So here is my latest season-defying skirt – it is New Look 6346. A simple button front, A-line skirt that comes in two lengths – 18” and 24”, and suits most woven fabrics. I used a beautiful, bright spring-green and white floral Moda cotton from TrixieLixie. It is quite a stiff cotton and I thought it would work well with the A-line shape. I decided to cut the 18” length, then fearing it would be a little short for my chubby knees, added an inch and a half, which sits almost at knee- length on me.

The skirt construction is perfectly straight forward, made up of two back pieces, two front and the four-piece waistband. The button bands are made by interfacing & folding over the front edges of the two skirt fronts. I had my usual nervous moment when it came to the buttonholes – after years of faking it with poppers or faux plackets (yes really!) I have worked out that although my trusty old Singer does do a four-step buttonhole, but she doesn’t like going 1,2,3,4, oh no, my old girl goes 2,3,4,1! Since we worked that out, we manage just fine!

IMG_7209

So far so good, but – and there always is a but – the one thing I struggle with, when it comes to mainstream patterns (commonly known as the Big 4 – Simplicity, New Look, McCalls and Butterick) is working out the correct size to cut. Quite an important thing to get right, I am sure you will agree. I know from talking to others that I am not alone with this problem. This certainly happened with this skirt. I looked at the garment size measurements on the back of the packet, and I looked at the finished garment measurements, usually found on the actual paper pattern – yes it really does say 10 ½” of ease!

0C5F56D0-38CE-4249-A256-8B3962FF87CB

No wonder people get confused as to what size they should cut out. If a pattern has this much ease, then what size should you cut? My measurements put me just outside the size 8, but with that amount of ease, could I get away with it? I decided to cut the 10. After this initial dithering, the skirt came together quickly. My machine co-operated beautifully when it came to the buttonholes, and I sewed the hem, the inside of the waistband and the buttons by hand.

IMG_7206

When I finish a garment, I always ask myself, would I make it again. In this case, yes, I think a denim version would be nice. In the meantime, if you see someone inappropriately dressed for the Autumn, be kind – it could be me! Happy Sewing.

IMG_7428

You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

A PASSION FOR PURPLE

Hello sewing pals, thank you for all the nice comments following my last (first) blog post. It was heartening to see so many people had read it. And by that, I mean real people, not family or friends who could not refuse!!

So, which comes first for you, the fabric or the pattern? Well, in the case of this skirt, it was the fabric. TrixieLixie have bolts and bolts of gorgeous, colourful Kaffe Fassett cottons, but this one in particular yelled at me from the shelf, its purple loveliness was irresistible. I have always had a bit of a thing for the colour purple – perhaps it stems from my crush on Donny Osmond when I was five. Each Osmond brother had a signature colour, and Donny’s was purple.  Thankfully for Donny, my love for the colour has outlived my love for him!

IMG_7185

Anyway, on to the skirt. I originally thought I would sew a top, but when I got home I decided it would make a fine skirt, but sadly I hadn’t bought enough, so had to make a return trip to TrixieLixie to buy some more (tough, I know!).  Then I saw that the prolific blogger and my lovely pal @sewistella had made a Miette skirt, in blue patterned cotton, and I wondered why I had never tried this pattern.  So, I made third trip to TrixieLixie as they stock all sorts of independent sewing patterns, including lots of Tilly and the Buttons and I knew they had it in stock, thankfully the shop is not far from my house, though I think three visits in a week means I am entitled to my own mug in the staff room, what do you think?!! [Mmmm… not sure about that – Ed]

IMG_7107

As with all Tilly patterns the instructions are clear, with good colour photographs. The skirt is a simple wrap around, the wrapping taking place at the back, so there is none of the gaping you get with front wrap skirts. The skirt fastens with two very long ties, one of which threads through a gap in the waistband. You can see Mabel, my dressform, helpfully modelling all the lengths of tie & waistband, prior to sewing up.

The gap in the waistband is reinforced, like a buttonhole. I made a half-hearted attempt at pattern matching the two front pieces, but I didn’t waste too much time and worry over it as the bands of pattern are not straight, the ties hang down at the front, and if I keep twirling then no-one will notice some slightly dodgy pattern matching. I overlocked all the edges and hand stitched the hem and the inside of the waistband. No stitch in the ditch for me – I am far too sloppy a sewist, and anyway, I rather enjoy some peaceful hand sewing, with a nice mug of tea and a detective on the TV.

IMG_7133

This is the perfect Summer skirt for the sunny weather we have had in the UK recently, but I am already thinking that this would make a good Autumn skirt too, in a heavier fabric (a plaid perhaps? Or a nice coloured denim?), it would be great lined, worn with knee-high boots – what do you think? Have any of you made a lined Miette? Hmm, might have to nip down the road to TrixieLixie to look at more fabric ….

IMG_7188

You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

trixielixie

What’s everyone else making for Valentines day?

I’ve been trying to decide what I might like to make for Valentines this year

It’s a tradition, of sorts, to make something, so I decided to have a look around. It’s pretty straight forward, these days, to find inspiration on places like Pinterest and Instagram. So I started pinning some of my favourites.

IMG_0655

Come and have a look at trixielixiepins/valentines

And please, any suggestions would be fabulous!

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!

Review of the year 2015

Another year seems to have flown by! I have been taking a look back at my sewing exploits during 2015 and thought I would share some of the highlights with you.


This has probably been my most worn make of the year, my Colette Archer shirt, with matching knickers of course!


I used one of our lampshade making kits to make this machine embroidered lampshade.


A Surfing Kitty basket for Sophie and a Watson bra set for Amy, & knickers!


Lots of dresses! A Sewaholic Davie, By Hand Anna another Davie & a Colette Moneta.


Me Made May, my favourite month! Check out all my MMMay blog posts for more info.


June was perfect weather for Drape tops so I made lots! The pattern is in The Great Bristish Sewing Bee Sew Your own Wardrobe book, it is a very easy pattern & they make great presents for young adults (& mature ones too!)


In July I made shorts & vests using the patterns from Colette Seamworks online sewing magazine and a Buchannon dressing gown for Amy’s birthday 🎂


I really got to grips with my overlocker this year, a lot of my makes involved jersey fabric!

 We went to Dismaland! I used Regents Street lawn to make my tops a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse and a Grainline Scout Tee.
 A stripey month! A Colette Wren dress, a Thread Theory Strathcona Henley, my gorgeous niece in a dress from the book Sew Japanese and a Colette Aster hack shirt dress.
 An elastic waist skirt, Grainline lakeside pyjama’s, Gather Mortmain dress and Liberty swimwear bikini (pattern from Colette Seamworks online sewing magazine)


Lots of handmade Christmas presents, a Christmas outfit using Hemmingway fabric and the last makes of the year were Bra’s, I will tell you more about these in my next blog post!

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

Christmas Gifts for the Creative Soul from ♥ TrixieLixie ♥

We have handpicked a selection of gifts for the person who loves to make and do, be it you or your loved ones.

 THORPE-KNICKS  null  liberty-clasp-package

TrixieLixie Knicker Kits

from £13.50

Moda Charm Packs

£9.95

TrixieLixie Clasp Purse Kits

from £5.50

 fiskars  small-tin-of-buttons-561-p[ekm]288x288[ekm]  liberty-cat

Fiskars Scissors

from £10.00

Small Tin of Buttons

£3.50

Liberty Fabrics

from £3.50 per quarter

IMG_0402 Felix tea towel kit Cat & Mouse sewing kits

Lampshade Making Kits

from £13.50

Sarah Young Tea Towel Kits

£12.00

Cat and Mouse Craft Kit

£19.99

Our Webstore is full to the brim of lovely things to buy for Christmas.