Saturday, 30 October 2010

Port Elizabeth

I am thrilled to say that my top pattern has been downloaded from BurdaStyle over 4000 times! Thanks everyone!

George Eliot- great gal!

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Moda Rawhide

Some close-ups.

Sawtooth Stars

I am addicted to the new Singer and have been nosing through my mum's fabric stash. She has some wonderful fabrics- the Moda Rawhide collection being one of them. I have spent this afternoon making some 6" sawtooth patchwork patches, which I think look fab! I really feel like a girl from another era using this machine!

The Helena skirt for Helena- made on the Singer

My good friend Helena has jetted off to a new life in Philly and she bought this fabric to make the skirt named after her. She didn't have time and donated the fabric to me, along with copious other textile goodies! So.... I thought I would make this for her as a Christmas present- let's hope she's too busy in her new job to check my blog. I'm no good at secrets and wanted to share with you!

Check out the beautiful engraved steel detail!

Sewing the side seams (there is a seam guide, but the machine doesn't like it, so I marked my SA with tape):

I then used the tiny hemmer to finish my edges- so thrilled with the results!

How neat!!!

Now my only issue is buttonholes... I'm hoping there's an attachment I can find, but doubt it. I'm loathed to make handsewn buttonholes (although it would be good practice for me) and I'm loathed to use a modern machine to make them, since I wanted this to be totally 'hand' made. I could use poppers/ press studs instead- when I was in Lancaster County, I noticed that the Amish and Messonite women used these a lot, most likely as an alternative to buttons and buttonholes, since they don't use electricity. Hmmm... wish I had bought one of those tools in Zooks...

☆ The Singer in all its glory ☆

I L.O.V.E this machine! It is simply amazing. Check out the quality and attention to detail:

Beautiful wooden case:

Stunning paintwork and sparkly steel:

The shuttle bobbin! I forgot to take a photo of the bobbin that goes inside- too cute! Next time!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

♥ 1933 Singer Sewing Machine ♥

My mum picked up a second hand Singer sewing machine, manufactured in the 1930s. It is in immaculate condition and has all the original accessories and booklet. I can't tell you how excited I was to learn how to use this!! (Sad, I know!) I spent yesterday setting it up and adjusting the tension and then had a play with all the attachments- OMG, this does things I'm sure no modern machine could do without purchasing expensive, specialist presser feet. It makes the most amazing hems, tucks, gathers and binds edges without any fuss. The results are so neat and hark back to home-dressmaking of a different era. Just sewing by hand on the Singer makes me feel nostalgic. As a teacher, I am highly critical of my own and my students' sewing skills- the majority of us simply don't make enough of our own clothes to give us the skills and competence to make the beautiful handmade, quality garments that women in the early 20th century did. This machine goes someway to improving this. Oh, and did I mention the shuttle-bobbin?!! More photos next post!

PS all photos taken with my iPhone- A-mazing quality!

The tucker foot marks the placement of the next fold as you sew the first tuck! So intuitive- who needs electricity?!!
Such neat pin-tucks!!

The hemmer- sews a wide hem (you set the size) and takes away all the measuring, pressing and tacking!

This is my favourite, as it reminds me of vintage hems that are so tiny they leave you wondering how they were achieved- now I know!!

The perfect result! This measures a couple of millimetres and I am desperate to try it on some sheer fabric- who needs roll-hemmers?!!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Clear Out

I'm having a clear out and posted lots on eBay. Anthropologie, Hobbs, Russell &Bromley and lots more...

1950s Trousers

I'm selling these in my Etsy shop, if anyone is interested in them.

Fabric: American Jane

American Jane 'Punctuation' collection for Moda- so retro; so cool! Check out the gorgeous quilt made from this fabric collection.

Fabrics: Suzuko Koseki

Just discovered this Japanese fabric designer and love her prints! I can't seem to find them in many places though, so if anyone knows where I can get them, please let me know.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dresden Plate

Since my fabric-filled trip to Pennsylvania, I have wondered what to do with my feedsack repros from Zooks Dry Goods Store in Intercourse. Many of the 1930s quilt designs are based on the dresden plate/ wedding band designs. I found this modern version and was inspired by the idea of using a block as an art piece. I spent yesterday creating a template and coming up with my first prototype. I am so in love with these fabrics!

Chevron scarf

Since the weather turned, I have got back into that good ol' winter pastime of knitting! I picked up this gorgeous hand-dyed sock yarn in The Lancaster Yarn Shop, Intercourse, PA. They were so friendly and helpful and supplied a free pattern for the scarf. I can't wait to go back!!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sandra's Port Elizabeth

My friend Sandra made a gorgeous Port Elizabeth from my BurdaStyle pattern. Check out her blog here. She specialises in dolls clothes for dolls houses- so cool!