Saturday, 23 August 2014

Vintage McCalls 5234 - The Sound of a Snail Eating.

Our last book group book was  ` The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating ` so I thought this was a good excuse as any to finally sew up my snail fabric. You see I bought this fabric in an impulsive moment because the shop was closing down and this was famed Japanese fabric - I had heard  about how terrific it was and I wanted to try some . But really - snails ?!

Crazy looking snail lady. 

My enthusiasm for this project waxed and waned. I was only half hearted to start with because of the somewhat juvenile print - I am an adult woman  - what was I thinking ? ( Mind you I still own and wear a Winnie the Pooh windcheater ) hence why I really needed a reason to sew it up .
But then after I washed the fabric I realised it was double gauze, a fabric I have never sewn before and only seen in Japan so I became excited again. The fabric feels soft but a bit spongy . It washed up well and I had no trouble with the layers coming apart.

I used a vintage pattern McCalls 5234 ( 1976 )  - a carefree pattern and at only 10 cents the pattern was almost free.
I prefer woven shirts with collars in general to knit tops ( but I sew and wear those a lot as well ) but I was a bit bored with my basic button up shirts so I was keen to try  this pattern with yokes and front pockets. And for some weird reason I was quite attracted to the pattern cover art with the over-rouged pouting and grinning models. The only change I made to the pattern was to reduce the size of  the collar - those 70s collars are huge .

Then I found the perfect matching bias binding in my mothers stash ( she must have every colour under the sun ) so I was feeling even more positive. I used the bias binding to create some flat piping to highlight the front yokes and pocket flaps  but I did not execute this very well so I started feeling blah about the project again . But I kept on going because did I mention this fabric is also the second most expensive in my stash - can you believe that ! Then, I started to feel the love again because the fabric is wonderful to sew with and  really from a bit of a distance you can`t tell they are snails and I am quite fond of orange and liked the pale blue contrasting colours. Also I found 5 orange buttons in my stash and if you really stretch your imagination they kind of look like snails as well.

I did finish the  shirt  but the final product does not quite  match what I had in my mind  .Despite that I have worn the shirt several times including to book group and it matches well with my orange cardy which I also sewed ( Butterick 5251 ) . Oh and the  book you ask ? It is written by a woman with a chronic debilitating illness which leaves her bed bound. A friend brings her a snail and she makes a home for it in a terrarium and then watches the snail because there is not much else she can do . However this book  was really  just about snails . I learnt lots of facts about snails that I never knew I needed to know. I almost started to even like the slimy things until the snail in the book goes and has over 600 babies ! Alas there were no snail elimination tips at all.

I am currently sewing a more complex Burda WOF jacket which will take a while but I am excited about . I am going to try catch up with  my sewing bloggy diary and post my other makes . I get bored of seeing the same photo when I log into my blog to look at what everyone is making !

Happy Sewing . Janine.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

New Look 6356 - Un, Deux, Trois .

 The third time making this pattern this year with a little french influence with classic navy and cream stripes with a boat neckline .  What else can I say about this pattern ?
It is quick.
It is easy .
It uses little fabric.
It  has  an easy fit - not too baggy, not too tight .

New Look 6356 is designed for wovens but this top is made from a stable single knit ( with very little stretch ) . I only needed just under one metre of 150cm wide fabric  to make this long sleeved top in size 12  . The pattern does not come with long sleeves but it is very easy to lay a long sleeve pattern under the provided sleeve piece and extend it to full length. My daughters two versions with the short sleeves only took 80cm of 115 cm wide fabric ( size 8 ) .

OK although this was ` quick and easy`  I admit to unpicking the back seam four times and the side seams twice until I could match the stripes  : o  

To spruce up the top I sewed navy bias binding over the shoulder seams  ( I had just enough of the bias trim  to bind the neck and decorate the shoulders - love that ! ) and sewed on some cute little marcasite inspired buttons cut off an old shirt.
Overall this pattern is a winner !

Happy Sewing.
Cheers Janine.