Friday, 30 September 2011

My Traveling Stash




Dear Readers,
I have been traveling for three weeks and while it was good, I am enjoying being back in my own little British city unpacking and unwinding and speaking my own language instead of struggling with guide book Spanish or French.
I want to report that Barcelona is full of unusual architecture by Antonio Gaudi, some true elegance on Passiage de Gracia, and then there's La Rambla - a walkway to see and be seen. It feels like tourists from all over pass by. It's good, bad, trashy, flashy and fascinating.


La Sagrada Familia, due to be finished in about 20 years!


On La Rambla, Barcelona

London is home away from home to me and I enjoyed showing it to my daughter. That's her taking the photo while we were exploring Harrods.



Paris could take up volumes. We both enjoyed bohemian Montmarte better than the grandeur of Champs Elysees or Place de Concorde.




We had coffee and crepes in the Jardin des Tuileries near The Louvre and people watched while autumn leaves fell.



But maybe most of all I enjoyed taking the time to get back to the streets just down from Sacre Coeur and do some fabric shopping! 
My lovely sewing souveniers are pictured at the top of this post.
The gorgeous multi coloured liberty cotton was from Tissus Reine, the black and pink cotton was a bargain table find from the shop next door to it. I finally bought a smock pattern I've had my eye on all year since Liza Jane reviewed it. here
I look forward to getting back into some sewing. It's good to be home.



Sculpture in the Rodin Museum, Paris.

Happy sewing,
Val.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Shirt into Jacket

Dear sewers and readers,
Every now and then I get a bright idea then I try to translate that idea into reality and don't quite make it. 
I know what I am envisioning, but the reality turns into something else. I had bought some khaki linen the last time I was in London and I wanted to make a casual jacket, easy, throw on, doesn't matter if it creases type jacket. Instead I ended up with a very serious looking Chairman Mao jacket.


Me


Chairman Mao

Let me say I am actually pleased with my jacket as long as I lighten it up like this:


Or this:


There is luggage in the picture, dear reader, because I am going on holiday. I am meeting up with my DD in London tomorrow, then a friend joins us and we are going to Barcelona! and Paris! That is why I have a big grin on my face. But back to business:  this is what I had in mind, something more like a jean jacket.


I had a pattern that was similar, a V8689 shirt, vogue website  generously given to me by Sigrid at this year's European PR meeting in Brussels. You can read Sigrid's blog here. You can also look up this pattern on Pattern Review. Sigrid did not feel she had a success with it, but two other posters who have bodies a little more like my straight-up-and-down one did. Before you ask yes I did consider shortening the finished jacket but it did not work. Pockets lower down on the body (like a normal jacket) did not work either.
I spent two weeks working on this jacket. I modified the collar to sit a bit lower. I went two sizes up for extra ease on the body. I decided to interline with some cotton batik that I have oodles of to make the linen sit a bit better, then I lined the thing. I asked myself why do I do this? Tailoring is fun until you have a deadline and just want the thing finished. 
But finished it is. It is a fair way toward being what I wanted - something trans seasonal yet lightweight. The interlining does give it a bit of wind proofing and body that it otherwise would not have had. As usual, I will do a PR review when time permits.
I'm going travelling!
Happy sewing everybody.