Friday, 12 July 2013

Extra Quick 'N Easy - Butterick 3286

I found this pattern during a marvellous bit of box-rummaging at Oxford's Thursday market earlier in the year. I'd been thinking about drafting a simple top pattern, but not quite getting round to it, for ages. This pattern did the job, just at the right time. Who can resist a pattern that declares itself to be, not just Easy, but Extra Quick too - so much so that there's not even time for a proper "and". Don't you just love a 'n?

I decided to go for the scooped neck version to begin with, and true to the billing I was able to cut the fabric out in the amount of time it took my 3 year old to notice I was doing something else vaguely interesting while she was watching Dora the Explorer.

The sewing was simple too - easily completed in one evening, and best of all... I really do like the result. The bust darts are super low and long - they start at about waist height and go up sharply towards the bust apex. This gives that distinctive boxy shape of the mid 60s but with just the right amount of flattering shaping. I used some vintage lightweight fabric that was donated to me years ago by a teacher who'd discovered a sizable stash in an old school cupboard. Next tie I might try something with slightly more drape, but all in all - thumbs up to the Extra Quick 'N Easy. Lemon squeezy.

I decided to go with the garden reflection/drainpipe combo look - edgy stuff 'eh?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Clasp Clutch Purse Class

On the last Sunday of June, I had the pleasure of teaching a group of 6 lovely ladies how to make a clasp clutch purse.  The last Pinworks workshop until Autumn. Having spent quite some time discussing this class over the past few weeks, I can confirm that it's easier to make one than say one.

I always enjoy teaching, but this class was particularly fun as the ladies were chatty- at times quite giddy (although that was probably the glue) - right from the start.  A good thing for all involved as it meant less of the Verity Warne warm-up act. Anyone else go into verbal overdrive in the face of nervous silence? I once found myself being the only hopping bunny in a room of  mums and toddlers. I was 8 months pregnant. But, that's another story... back to unpronounable bags...

We started off by looking at how to draft a clutch purse pattern (trace round your frame, add some to the sides, don't forget your seam allowance and after that, there's no wrong answer). Then, my group of friendly ladies decided to mix and match their chosen fabric prints to create contrasting linings. I'd initially planned to use plain white calico for the inner bag - so it worked out perfectly that most of the ladies had chosen complimentary fabrics. I'm a sucker for a pretty lining.

Everyone picked up the knack of using fleece interlining to help add structure, and the bag bodies were completed in perfect time. Gluing and applying the frame was clearly not the group's favourite step - it definitely takes some getting to used to and the trick is not to be too kind - you just have to go for it. Remember, baby wipes are our friend. 

So, that's another season of classes completed. Now, it's on to making samples and gearing up for the Autumn timetable - aprons, lampshades and knickers a go go!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Fun in the sun

Splash park and drum making at the Cowley Road Carnival.

Nothing beats an impromptu family rock-out on the drive back home after a day in the sun.


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