Friday, September 19, 2014

Studio Take over: Tilly Towers

So you have heard, there is a new studio in town. What a better 'inauguration' opportunity than call your friends over for a sew in sunday! More like a studio take over: Tilly Towers is officially the best place in town!

We took our personal projects, favourite bits and bobs {my stitch in the ditch presser feet caused a little stir} and food... a lot of food (just a small representation pictured)

There are homemade sausage rolls peeps!
Janene, Jane, Winnie and I meet at the station. I'm awful for directions and my answer to everything is grab a taxi... Lucky a nice guy gave us direction and we had Jane's drawn directions on her notebook to keep us in check. We arrived after a short walk and were taken inspired by the building industrial clean look. Very fashionable for small creative business. Forgot to take a picture as I just wanted to go in and have a cuppa.

What a "in brand' tea lady... seven normal teas and one earl grey please.

Alana so kindly set it up all our machines so we were really set to go. 

What projects were we working on? Hear from everyone here and here. 

As you can see, we have actually sewn! Some did anyway... I was too busy being Me and didn't kept still. Poser!

Took a little while for me to sort out my bobbin... it keep loading unevenly. Any excuse to just not keep quiet! GBSB wouldn't never let me join... LOL! "30 minutes to go and Rachel still on that bobbin..."

Maybe I should have followed Karen's lead by bringing some knitting.

She wasn't the only one.

I went home with my project almost finished with only facing and hemming to do.  Both me and my twin were using the same chambray, just in a different shade, and wearing blue "ikat" print.

Loved watchings those ladies in action... how awesome is Katie's print? She does have a great taste in fabric. Watch for the outfit I will make with what she gifted me. (fabrics not pictured) 

I left the day with 3 lovely pieces of fabric... So much for a fabric diet! Freya arrived late to the party but gave us some insights on what she is working on. It's a treat!

We close this lovely sunday with some bubbly.


It was one of my favourite weekends. A sewing holiday needs to happen!

I got a little game for you... Can you guess the owners of those adorable pincushions? 

Pincushions do tell a story don't they? Share yours #takeoverpincushion 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jumpsuit OTD: Simplicity 1371 Cynthia Rowley

One more jumpsuit? Oh YEAH! I been in love with this top and trousers combo since It was launched. I always loved Cynthia Rowley designs (my first skirt was 2512) and knew exactly how I wanted to change the pattern into an one piece.

Fabric is a delicious cotton sateen from Fabric Godmother {Murad}. The "ikat" print is really fun and the fabric wears well. I didn't worry about print placement and worked.

Let's talk about the sizing, patterns peculiarities and alterations. I made a size 12. The only alteration was to lengthen the bodice view A to meet the trousers waist, ignoring the waistbands. I did sewn the crotch curve 1 cm instead of 1,5cm because jumpsuits need a little more wiggle room. I can confirm I can seat ( and sew) very comfortably.

The trousers curve is very high. I am just making a chambray version and have eliminated the waistband . So if you are short on that area you may need to adjust the pattern.

Sewing tip: Even though cotton sateen has good recovery I like to stabilise the crotch. You can either use stay tape (help you see where you stitching), rayon tape  like snug hug seam binding- my favourite or If you sewing something like ponte pants you may prefer using a 1/4 clear elastic.

Sew or baste your crotch curve and once you are happy with the shape, place the tape on top of the stitching line and stitch on the same line. Bonus points; double security on your seam so less risk of bursting your trousers! You can overlock  the edges of both the trousers and the binding.  Because this is so soft I didn't cut small, but you can use just 1/4 ( 0.6 cm) 

I was pleasantly surprised how comprehensive the instructions were. I followed the construction order pretty closely. The jumpsuit is closed on the size with a navy invisible zipper.

Not only as the front has a cute cutout, the back is pretty awesome too!

One thing I learned from this project is that the pattern pleats would be more suitable on a draper fabric because they look a bit raised. As this fabric print is very busy, the effect isn't a problem.

I'm so in LOVE with this outfit... I'm hoping the weather will hold warm a little bit longer.

If you liked my version don't miss Dixie original version of this pattern. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It’s a beginners world

Type ‘beginners how to’ and millions of search results will appear. Try to search for something a little more advance and nothing… well, some stuff will appear but not related to what you want… That’s because most people (and companies) concentrate on providing information for the entry level of any market. Doesn’t matter what sector, catering for beginners always seems the most attractive point of entry or marketing strategy.

SEO and social media push “search-ability/ Pin-ability” so as many people get traffic by providing free information for a wider group.
Helps create a relationship with the user.
Beginners content is available… no need of an expert to just repackage into something.
Get’s the finance: the YES from directors, stakeholders! It’s risk averse people!

Don't beginners go and develop and became improvers? they do but they don’t need attention, do they?- read it in a satirical voice 

With sewing this gap is too close to my heart.

I understand the financial implication of WHY makes sense to cater for the wide world… let’s be honest here… home sewing has been growing ( thanks to popularisation of TV shows and the increase of 'coolness' factor) but still a pretty small niche market.

And if we segment it by age, motivation, spare income etc…

Not everyone that get excited about the idea of sewing will actually became fanatic about it. Seems like so many of us because its easy to find each other but there are a bunch of people that see and act  about sewing differently.

When I get asked to review sewing products, books, patterns, magazines... there is a little bit of hope that I will be surprised by something more challenging. 

During my blog life I have been approached by different publishers about writing a sewing book. I get excited, start planing based on the scope agreed but after a few meetings It’s obvious that they don’t want a more advance book. I than say: Thank you so much for the opportunity.  And we part ways with a reminder that if they ever need someone that has a different point of view on what people want in a book, they could call me back! 

I’m not saying I’m an expert. So many people have been sewing a lot longer than me. I’m saying I got something else to bring to the conversation. I really applaud people that ventures on more advanced market.

In a way blogs have filled some part of the market desperate for something others that sewing for total beginners as much as they filled with 'how to' tutorials.

Could we run the risk of sewing blogs going to dark side and only write for the beginner sewist? Thankfully there are too many of us that think otherwise!  I honesty love real sewists info exchange!

Do you have a view on this subject? What would be your personal expectations?

Similar conversations: 

Karen's review of Lauren's book

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Readers asked: The answers

Hey darlings,

Sorry for the lack of verbs, bad pronunciation and overly nonsense!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Lip Smacking Holly

Hello friends,

As you probably already heard, I was a pattern tester for BHL newest pattern: Holly

I am huge fan of jumpsuits. It's like wearing a dress but with a lot more freedom of movement.  Perfect for dancing... yes I'm feeling like I just went through a time tunnel and arrived in studio 54! 

I made the Holly while I was in Brazil, top-ing my Brazilian-ness! Some lower decolage was definitely a requirement for the Brazilian scene. So I changed the neckline for the bodice Variation one.  

I think by changing the neckline it balance well with the wide legs ( I reduced 2 cm each side from the tester version)

I hemmed for a flat shoe because I am more likely to wear it during the day. I didn't need to add length so most people will probably will need to shorten it. * updated: I actually cut my pattern hem largest size.

Close the pattern with two red pokadot buttons from my stash. 

I made size 10/14. I didn't made any size alterations. I know the release pattern bottom curve was altered so unless I make that and compare the fit, I cannot comment it. The test pattern worked perfectly for me and that's probably what I will be re- sewing from. If I'm been very picky, I would lengthen the bodice 1 cm.

I am so in love with these sleeves and rolled cuffs!

Let's talk about fabric. I been hunting this style (lips) of fabric for 4 months when my gorgeous friend Claire post it on IG. What!!! OMG, please please please I need that fabric. 

Claire went shopping for me and GIFTed me 4 metres. She is amazing! I LOVE our community. 

I knew Jolies loved this so much I send her some. Because love goes around doesn't it. I thought I could get more and went back but no lip fabric to be found. SAD..... 

I need more of this fabric awesomeness! If you spot it, please let me know!

Did I mention the clever invisible zipper? what zipper? super well  hidden! 

This pattern is amazing and my new favourite of their collection. I am not saying that because I am a tester. I send them feedback on things I don't love all the time. They listen and adapt but still maintain their integrity and passion for their design. 

oh before I forget, let me show you the back...

cool right? After wearing this twice I may add another button to raise the neckline. Too sext for UK scene! 

  what do you think?