Sweat Shop pop up at Selfridges

I’m really excited to hear that Paris’s Sweat Shop has a pop up at Selfridges for London Fashion Week.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a sewing cafe in Paris that works like an internet cafe i.e. you rent the machines by the hour. They also have classes and workshops. I’ve been wanting to go every since I read about it and now it has come to London, albeit briefly.

Has anyone visited the Paris Sweat Shop? Or been to the pop-up yet? I might go tomorrow and will report back if so

– Kate


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My first vintage pattern

I bought my very first vintage pattern off ebay this week, Maudella 4894.

I’m tempted to use Joan Holloway as my inspiration and make it in a bright blue fabric like this:

I can’t wait to make it!

– Kate

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Colette beignet skirt

Here’s my poppy red Colette beignet skirt
I made this a couple of months ago. At first I was really happy with it, but having worn it to work one day I realised why the instructions suggest a heavy weight fabric – the fabric I used crumpled the minute I sat on it. There’s a reason using the wrong fabric is number 2 on Colette’s ten ways to ruin your sewing. Oh well I still wear it lot. And now I know how to  make it, I’m probably going to make another one in some emerald green twill I picked up at Holloway market.
Pattern: Colette beignet
The pattern was so easy to follow and I loved the booklet setup. So much easier than the giant pieces of paper that come with other patterns. It made sewing it a dream, despite the fact that it was  probably the most complex thing I’d made at the time. I used my mum’s serger to finish the edges, though it took me about four hours to work out how to thread it.
Fabric: Shell fabric – a red cotton bought at the Knitting and Stitching show last year from the Fabrics Galore stand. Lining Fabric – a cotton check that my sister bought on sale at John Lewis last year.
What I like about it: The fit – I made a size smaller than I thought I would need. I’m about two sizes bigger around my hips than I am at my waist so I cut it for my waist as I didn’t want it to be loose there. And somehow it fits!
What I would change: The fabric! I bought it because I loved the colour but I obviously haven’t learnt my lesson yet about using suitable fabrics. The cotton is too flimsy for this pattern and after a day at work the skirt is very crumpled.
Also my seams are really quite puckered – needed to be more careful about my curved seams in the future.

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V & A Horrockses Fabric

Did anyone else see the guardian’s article on Horrockses fashion this week?   
It reminded me that I’ve been planning on buying some of the V& A’s reproduction horrockses fabric for quite some time now. I’m a little bit in love with them:
I particularly like the blue striped daisy fabric – might have to be a sewing project for next spring. I’m thinking it might be cute made up in a dress like this one Gertie made a while back.
Has anyone else used these fabrics for crafting projects? I would love to know what others have made with them
– Kate

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Nankeen Dress

Here’s my latest finished project and I’m pretty pleased with it!
I bought the fabric while I was in Shanghai in April from a fabric market there. It’s a traditional Chinese indigo print. I bought it after having visited the Chinese Nankeen Exhibition Hall in the French Concession. If you’re ever in Shanghai and into fabric, you should definitely drop in for a quick visit. The courtyard is full of drying indigo cloth draped everywhere and they have beautiful, though expensive, things for sale.
If you are looking for something similar there are also Hungarian indigo fabrics which are beautiful. I saw some lovely ones for quilting at the festival of quilts at the NEC a couple of weeks ago and you can buy them on-line at http://www.kekfestocotton.co.uk/.

The pattern was one I’ve had in my stash for years. It’s got a vintage feel about it and I really like the big box pleats in the skirt. I made a muslin of the bodice and ended up adding an inch to the bottom of it but other than that I made no changes to the pattern.

 Pattern: Vogue 2429 that I’ve had for about 7 years and never used. I made view B.
Fabric:  Nankeen fabric from Shanghai, white cotton for lining
Time:  4 evenings
What I liked about it: I love the pattern of the fabric and the bodice fits nice and snugly in a way I would never be able to get from a shop bought dress. The joys of home sewing!
What I would change: Unfortunately the colour is still running from the fabric despite pre-washing it, so I’m going to have to wash it again. The gathering around the front could be neater – next time I’d be tempted to gather it at the end rather than before it’s all been put together; how much you gather it really effects the fit around the bust. The only other problem is that it gapes a little around the arms around the top of the bodice – but am pretty happy with it in general.
– Kate

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Colette Rooibos – Fabric

As you may have noticed from the button on our page I intended on doing the Colette Rooibos Sewalong. It’s actually finished now and I’m only just starting, oopsy daisy. On the plus side all the posts are up so I can easily follow and get inspiration from what others have done. I’ve decided on my fabrics and am going to make the muslin this weekend.

The shell fabric is going to be in this forest green twill from Holloway market. It was 50p a metre – bargain!

The piping and lining is going to be in this pretty green flowery print I found in my mum’s stash:

And I’m planning on using some of these green and cream glass buttons from L. Nichols Handmade Glass Buttons that I bought a couple of years ago at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace:

Will update you all on my progress with my Rooibos!

– Kate

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Serious dress envy

I just watched the last episode of the BBC’s The Hour, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to sew a wiggle dress like the ones Romola Garai wears in it. I found a couple of vintage patterns online which I think are quite suitable – Vogue 7951 and Butterick 7982. I’m going to have to keep an eye out on ebay for these two.

Anyone else found any similar vintage patterns?

– Kate

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