Sunday, March 13, 2011

I've been busy sewing!

Well, this weekend we've moved the clocks forward for daylight savings but Spring sure doesn't look any closer! It has precipitated every day for the whole of last week -waffling between rain and snow. The only good thing is that is has no accumulated. I haven't any right to moan about things here when conditions in Japan are so terrible. I turned on the news channel as I normally do at 5:30 a.m. the day of the quake and could not believe what I was seeing! The video of the tsunami was on every channel and it just didn't look real. I am still in disbelief. My heart goes out to everyone there who has lost family or homes and everything. May those who are left be safe now and may there be no more quakes or disasters over there so people can begin recovering.

This week I began stitching another set of samples for the pattern, The Infant Wardrobe I. These pieces are for a white Christening Ensemble and I used the white 100% cotton Ottoman that I found in Fabricland. (I haven't seen Ottoman fabric for decades so I snatched the remainder of the bolt!) It washed up perfectly and because I wanted the ribs going the length of the garments, cheated and cut them with the crosswise grain running lengthwise. These are baby garments and since the fabric washed so well I have no fear in doing so. The fabric looks a bit like grosgrain ribbon as the rib is fairly fine. Next I chose Swiss satin batiste for the jacket lining and the boy's shirt. I wanted to try clean lining the jacket as my first test had made use of the facing pieces. But when a friend said she hates making anything with facings it started bells ringing. So in the pattern you will have a chose of construction methods.
Here is the full suit. I've tacked a bow tie at the neck but I'm not sure it is the right size so will have to look at that a bit more carefully. There are no buttons or buttonholes on this jacket so it will do for a boy or girl.
And here is a shot of the shirt and pants on their own. These are not the very best of photos as I rushed to get them done this morning by lamp light! But at least they will give you an idea of what is coming.

The pieces have gone together perfectly and this time I chose French seams over Flat felled seams for the shirt. For the pants I serged the seam allowances as the fabric was a bit stiff and didn't like being top stitched when I made up the jacket. One needs to be flexible and adjust finishing techniques according to the fabric you are using. French seams are great on fine fabrics but don't work for everything.

I am now working on the kilt and have the girls' shirt cut out. The ribs of the ottoman fabric make pleating the kilt so easy! I will try the tam as well so there is a complete set in white. I have fabrics for two more girls' sets ready to go and they will feature a few variations to hopefully inspire you. Just have to keep my eyes peeled for fabrics suitable to do up a couple of sets for boys that will show you what you can do with the pattern with them in mind.

The kilt and tam are traditional military wear for men so if you have a Scottish background you could certainly do these up in a family tartan and many come in miniature so they would be a better scale for little people. 

One last shot - this my Christmas Cactus which is in full bloom at the moment for the third time since before Christmas. It is covered in buds and is so beautiful the way if fades from this glorious pink to white. This is a record as for years there was not even a bud on this plant!

Well that's it for today. Hopefully I will have more photos for you next week. As I am stitching, I am working on the instructions for the pattern. So it will be a little while yet before it goes to print.
Have a great week and keep stitching!!

P.S. Black Squirrel is alive and doing very well in case anyone was worried about him. We spotted him dashing across the top of the fence in the back yard this week between the snowflakes! He lives to taunt yet another day.....

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