The English Lakeland

The Great Escape for us from Cambridgeshire to Cumbria, what a sense of freedom. So missed.

We drove there but left the car firmly in the car park in Ambleside and took to the bus, with our ” senior passes” its a no brainer. The roads are smaller and twistier than I ever remember, very pretty dry stone walling covered in wild flowers ferns and brambles. In June it was beautiful, and we had a week of almost dry and sunny weather. Its not called The Lakes for nothing!

The attraction for me to Ambleside Windermere and nearby Coniston is predictably Beatrix Potter and her legacy, the awesome countryside and the Herdwick sheep. They make me smile with their smiley faces. But I always find some connection with sewing and thread, this trip was no exception. We discovered Stott Park Mill one of the only remaining working wood turning mills making thread bobbins only now for the tourist industry rather than for the textile industry.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stott-park-bobbin-mill/history/

A selection of the bobbins

A few photos I think may give you an idea of the place, I hope you enjoy them too.

New Look 6545

Ever since the Great British Sewing Bee featured a zipped up bomber jacket as its first challenge a series or two ago, I wanted such a jacket! In fact have wanted one since the 70’s, so better get a crack on I thought.

It’s all matchy matchy

Here is my version. All went well, only had to get the fashion fabric and ribbing. I found a lovely fine wale needle cord from Minerva Crafts. I had both the separating zip and the lining, silk from India bought on holiday so all sorted and ready to go.

My only frustration was I chose a cuff ribbing as opposed to tubular rib which is wider. So when it came to attaching the bottom rib to the jacket body and lining, I had raw edges to deal with as I had not thought it through and so had not attached the facing the neatest way. Never mind once on it doesn’t matter just looks a bit untidy on the inside.

My conclusion to this project is I am going to make another, more fabric in the stash! Also I do not know how those sewers got this together in 4 hours or so!

Short Cuts

Over the years I must have shortened hundreds of jeans and trousers, always too long from the shops. What do you do with the chopped off hems?

Having watched the Great British Sewing Bee last night, and it being their recycling week I couldn’t put these sawn off cuffs into landfill. Any ideas from you crafty lot? Any thing considered!

Jeans and jog bottoms

Sewn Up Gifts Satchel

Just finished this handy bag for summer. Featuring randomly placed geese silhouettes on a cream and white background, I couldn’t resist making this upholstery fabric into a satchel. The pattern comes from Simply Sewing magazine and is designed by Sue Kim. https://www.gathered.how/magazines-simply-sewing/

There are plenty of pockets inside and out and a top zip too, so everything is kept safe and sound. As well as a grab handle on top there is a detachable long body strap. Perfect for shopping work or class!

I have just added this satchel to my Etsy shop Sewn Up Gifts. Postage free in UK. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SewnUpGifts

The Aisling Blouse

Pretty square neck

Flattering shape.

Add your own sparkly buttons.

Gathered cuffs

Ready to go!

This is my take on the Aisling Blouse from Jennifer Lauren .

https://jenniferlaurenhandmade.store/product/the-aisling-blouse/

This pattern company is a first for me. I have always used the big four or five pattern companies, only because they were the only ones available from shops, certainly before the internet! When the internet happened I stubbornly stuck with those names I knew!

These are the differences I found in my new sewing adventure!

First I must point out this pattern was included, along with two others, in The Simply Sewing (issue eighty) magazine. Given that I will use two of the three patterns this was a very good purchase given the cost of dressmaking patterns

https://www.gathered.how/magazines-simply-sewing/

Positives

  • Detailed photo on the package and multi sized.
  • Strong pattern paper.
  • Plenty of extra advice regarding measurements with imperial and metric used.
  • Dressmaking terms avoided, step by step guidance.

Negatives

  • Missed the extra marking points for example at the sleeve insertion stage.
  • The thicker paper meant you could not place the pattern so easily.
  • I found the sleeve notches on sleeve and body piece did not match.
  • A small point but you are advised to press the collar for example then push out the corners which makes it more awkward. Also why mark the button placement so early on in the process? It can be done when the top is complete ensuring perfect placement.

In summary I enjoyed the make and am looking forward to wearing it.

Lesson Learned

I will try very hard now to be more adventurous and try new designers and pattern makers!

Air pods and Ear buds

These sweet storage cases are great for keeping every little thing safe from ear rings to ear buds. Padded and zipped with a loop attached they make lovely little gifts.

If you would like a particular colour do contact me here, or via Etsy in the above link, and I will do my best to help. That is the beauty of handmade!

Nip and a tuck!

So chuffed with myself for actually doing some dressmaking felt inspired to show it off!  Not much but its a start back on the dressmaking trail.  Should be thinking about Christmas sewing but hey ho, there is nowhere to go just at the mo so making the most!

Hope you like my effort here, sewing therapy is a great thing!

Simplicity 8454, lovely pattern but I had to really squeeze it out, due to raiding my “to make” fabric stash.   As a result the neck binding is not on the bias, still I can live with it or grow my hair to cover up!