A Christmas Camber

At the end of November I visited The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate for the third year. I guess the longer I sew, the more knowledgeable I become in terms of the types of fabric available as well as what constitutes a decent price. This year I was quite restrained and after doing a couple of circuits of the disorientating halls I parked my mum with a cuppa and headed back to get some of the beautiful stork fabric by Lady McElroy. As I was waiting to pay at the Cool Crafting stand, a lady in the queue was checking the back of the Merchant and Mills Camber Dress pattern envelope before ordering 2.5m of metallic Robert Kaufman linen. I asked whether she was planning her Christmas dress, whilst simultaneously deciding I too wanted to make one. Neither the storks nor the metallic was cheap, but they were good quality, so I coughed up for the combined 5m and returned to my mum.

I’d already bought The Camber pattern from Rachel in the summer, and whipped one up using a sheer but pretty floral my dad brought back from Myanmar. I’ve worn it with a belt (and slip!) several times, and liked how the pattern sewed up. In this fabric it’s a nice cool dress for the warmer weather.

It’s a straightforward make without fastenings, with a yoke for a bit of interest on the back, but I thought the simplicity of the pattern and plain yet metallic fabric would mean I could dress it up with a necklace or scarf, or simply by standing beside the most decorative item in the house:

I wore it at home on Christmas Day and to my Nan’s on Boxing Day and found it comfortable throughout. I found a gold belt that picked up the shine in the fabric.Not your traditional Christmas blooms but my mum wanted to buy my some flowers when we did our Christmas Eve food shop, and actually the tulips have been beautiful.

The only thing I think this dress is lacking is pockets ~ maybe something to add next time? I have an end of bolt piece of beautiful navy linen with peach flowers I also bought from Rachel waiting to be sewn up into a Camber (with pockets?) sometime soon.

Since Christmas I’ve already sewn two more dresses with a third cut out and just begun. Here’s to plenty more sewing in 2018 🥂

Advertisements

A Pair of Pennies 

A couple of months ago I joined the Sew Over It PDF club, even though I typically prefer buying printed patterns. When the Penny Dress was released I knew I wanted to make one. Once I’d printed and assembled the pattern I realised I needed wide fabric, which restricted what I could use from my stash, but I found some summery pink checked cotton that I’d had a while with no particular project in mind. I can’t remember where I got it but I know it would have been inexpensive. As the Penny only calls for three buttons I had plenty to choose from, and settled on some which came free with an issue of Molly Makes. 

I cut the size 12 as the fit looked fairly relaxed. As I was making it I came across a couple of people online who were having difficulties with the collar, both of whom I consider to be much more adept and experienced. My collar went ok until it came to joining it to the interfaced button placket, as when I turned the bit under the collar (the lapel?) the right way out, the corner curled in. I trimmed my seams and wasn’t otherwise sure how to resolve it, so left it. It isn’t too noticeable but did mean I wasn’t able to topstitch the two front sections. I left the dress to hang for a couple of days before hemming, although I think it’s just a single fold hem, and as this fabric is quite prone to fraying may need a second fold at some point. 

This dress is comfortable to wear, and although I initially considered shortening it to knee length, I think the midi length is right for the vintage style. I just borrowed this beautiful front door for a quick photo mid dog walk. 

I didn’t make any fitting adjustments to the second of my pair of Pennies, and this time used some crepe/viscose type fabric bought online from The Textile Centre. I love all things bird related so at £4pm this fabric was an obvious choice. I had some dark wooden buttons which seemed to match nicely.Although I didn’t do anything differently, for some reason I didn’t have the collar curling on this dress and so was able to topstitch as directed. Again I left the dress to hang before hemming – for a couple of w weeks for no particular reason. The only thing with this fabric is that because it’s a directional print, I have birds facing every direction at some point in the skirt. I think I could have reduced this by adding an extra seam – the skirt only has one – but I just tried to make sure that the birds right at the front were upright.These photos were taken at a pretty little National Trust property called Acorn Bank. Believe it or not we managed to fit them in between two heavy downpours, even though the sun shone so beautifully for just long enough for the dogs and I to pose. 

I like both of my Pennies, though the bird one is my favourite. I think they will both get some autumn wear, with the colours of the bird fabric making that one particularly appropriate for the new season. 

Both of these dresses were complimented by complete strangers on their first time of wearing. The checked dress was commented on by a lady cycling past, who called out “Beautiful dress!” and, as I held open a door whilst wearing the bird dress, another lady thanked me and then said my dress was stunning. I told her I had made it and she said she loved birds, and she was a vet who cared for them, how interesting does that sound? 

Vintage pattern destash

As well as having a clear out of my modern patterns, I also thought it was time I sorted through my vintage patterns. As before please let me know in the comments or @makingnmarking on Twitter if you would like any and I will happily post them out. If you felt like you’d like to donate a small amount of money to a charity of your choice in return that would be brilliant.

With the vintage patterns I want to make it clear that I haven’t sewn up any of these patterns and I don’t know whether all of the pattern pieces are included. They have all come from charity shops or been inherited, so please don’t be too disappointed if there is something missing. You’ll see that some of these patterns are very old, and many have been cut and used by previous owners. However, I can’t help but think they would still be of use or interest to some people, and I would really love to see anything that is made using some of these. It always intrigues me who originally bought these, and what their makes might have looked like. 

I’ve photographed the patterns in fours, then turned each one over so you can hopefully see a bit more info or the line drawings.













Pattern destash 

It’s that time of year when I’m having a clear out and making space in my sewing room. Most of these patterns were free with magazines so I’m not asking for payment, although if you’d like to make a small donation to a charity of your choice that would be brilliant. It’ll be first come first served, and I’m afraid I’m limiting this to UK only to keep my postage costs down. If there’s a pattern you would like please leave the name/number of the pattern in the comments & also either your Twitter handle or email address so I can contact you to get postal details. You can also tweet/DM me @makingnmarking Lastly be quick – about 6 of these have already been snapped up!

Post updated 2.9.17 – the patterns on the photo below are the only ones remaining. Some of the others are already winging their way to their new owners. Let me know asap if you’d like any. 

Holiday Heathers 

A week away meant lots of opportunity for photos with pretty backdrops, so this post is just to show you two more Sew Over It Heather dresses. They are both quite colourful, made of scuba type fabrics from Fabworks at around £5pm. I’d got 2m of the darker print but have also figured out it’s possible to squeeze a Heather out of 1.5m as long as it’s fairly wide – I should have taken a photo, but I basically folded the two selvedges to the middle & placed the centre front and back pieces on each side, with the side panels just below and neckband beneath one. I then refolded the fabric in half for the sleeves. Again I added 3 and 4 inches length to each of these dresses, and the one using 1.5m of fabric might be a squeeze if you wanted full length sleeves, but I was happy with three quarter sleeves on that one. I’d cut out my third Heather at home but sewed it up on holiday in Scotland, where it also got its debut. Perfect for when it’s still warm enough for bare legs but when you appreciate having your arms and shoulders covered, without the hassle of wearing a cardigan or jacket. I found scuba very easy to sew with, and am sure these dresses will cope well with cold weather once teamed with tights. I found that the neckband stands up slightly on the grey/pink/turquoise one in particular, even though I increased the seam allowance in attempt to pull it in – I did the same on the shoulder seams which on reflection probably negated my intended adjustment. One to remember next time! Whilst away I visited Rachel and her gorgeous shop Holm Sewn. I knew there was some graffiti next to her shop that I wanted a photo with, so I headed for that first. When I then went into the shop she said she thought she’d seen someone wearing a Heather dress go past, which made me smile. The ‘I 🖤 CD’ in the photo is Castle Douglas, the location of Holm Sewn. I had a really nice chat with Rachel and treated myself to a couple of patterns and some fabric, all of which I’m hoping to get to grips with soon. As suggested by the photos, much of my week away consisted of being outdoors walking the dogs, under largely grey skies – although it was warm. There really isn’t a whole lot more to say about my now trio of Heathers. I almost cut out a fourth while I was away but have so far resisted (do I need four versions of the same dress?) – I plan to trace off and cut out my newly purchased Camber Dress next. I would love to hear if you’ve sewn up one or more Heathers, and whether you’re indulging in any bank holiday sewing, or if you’re simply outside enjoying the sunshine. 

Instagram ccmercer

So pleased with my purchases from the @johnlewisretail sale today! 4m of Robert Kaufman denim + What was left of some @atelierbrunette cotton + some @makoweruk metallic spot. Plus some pretty she’ll buttons that were less than half price 🙌🏼 All came to a total of £36.50. Now to figure out whether I can use any of them for my #2018makenine plans 🤔 •
•
•
#buttons #makersgonnamake #imakethings #dressmaking #sales #shopping #bargains The light isn’t great but here’s my second @sewoveritlondon #soivintageshirtdress hot off the machine. This one is made using some chambray coloured cotton from @fabworksmillshop leftover from an @theavidseamstress #daydress I made quite a while ago. The buttons feel like quite a statement and I’m hoping they don’t detract from the dress. I sewed this up as a size 12 and it fits SO much better than the 14. •
•
•
#sewmystyle #sewoveritlondon #sewoverit #vintageshirtdress #chambray #sleeveless #dressmaking #imakethings #makersgonnamake #sewersgonnasew #holidaysewing #buttons The only fabric I purchased (so far) in the sales just arrived from @misformake ~ the mason jars is a brushed cotton and the floral (+ snails! 🐌) is a cotton lawn. I only have a couple of metres of each so I’m not sure what I’ll make yet 🤔
•
•
•
#goodpostday #happymail #fabric #sales #salebuys #endofrolls #endofbolt #makersgonnamake #imakethings #sewersgonnasew Finished! My first @sewoveritlondon #vintageshirtdress made with @dashwoodstudio #flurry fabric with 8 vintage red buttons. I cut out the paper pattern and made a size 14, but I think it’s come up a little large and now I’m regretting not tracing it off - which I nearly always do. I’m hoping I’ll be able to nip it in with a belt, as other than that I’m pretty happy with it. I would like to make a sleeveless version in a 12 to compare but I’m not sure how best to size down a pattern I’ve already cut 🤷🏻‍♀️
•
•
•
#soivintageshirtdress #dashwoodstudio #shirtdress #collar #handmade #Imakethings #memade #dressmaking #January Searching through my vintage buttons for 8 that are a suitable match for my almost finished @sewoveritlondon #vintageshirtdress 🧐
•
•
•
#buttons #vintage #retro #choices #preloved #recycle #reuse Last year I realised I could sometimes combine 2 of my favourite things: running and dog walking. Oliver is less compliant, unsurprisingly, but Wilf just loves to run. 
In 2017 we completed 3 #canicross races together, as well as several parkruns. He gets very excited at the beginning, particularly when there is lots of clapping or lots of other dogs. Wilf keeps me company on lots of training runs, both on his harness if we are running on the road and off the lead if we’re on the trails. He’s happy to go on very early or very late runs. He even looks disappointed if I head out in my trainers without him. 
I’ve already booked our first couple of canicross races for 2018, and this year I plan to log how many miles Wilfie runs too. He’s a good dog. •
•
•
#rescuedog #dailydog #instadog #patterdaleterrier #patterdale #patterdalex #patterdalecross #runningbuddy #runningdog #runningdogsofinstagram

Follow me on Twitter

Flickr Photos

Top Posts & Pages

Visitors

Flag Counter}

Save 10% at Elephant In My Handbag

Insert code Marking99 *first use only*

“Simplicity

Archives

Follow Making and Marking on WordPress.com
The Monthly Stitch
“#VintagePledge

#secretsewing