Monday, November 5, 2012

3 men's ties

The "tie" on the right is just fabric, I forgot to take a pic of it and had already posted it off to my brother abroad.
I used the same pattern as I have used previously. ... with a few personalisations that I hope to post about soon. With the tie on the right, I used a stiff-ish interfacing and no lining, so the interfacing is sewn onto the tie fabric (I'm not too pleased with this finish). On the middle tie, I didn't use any lining or interfacing - it's got quite a casual feel to it, day-to-day, grunge chic which suits the fabric pattern. The third tie is very substantial. I used dressmaking interfacing, the fabricy kind which is not so stiff. And I lined the tie in black cotton voile. I
I set out to follow the pattern exactly and to be able to compare the three ties using the same criteria but I simply can't seem to confine myself and un-confuse things! I like variety... and besides, I didn't have a lining that matched the midtown fabric.
The fabrics are, from right to left:

Each have a very different personality. I hope the receivers will approve.

Monday, October 29, 2012


At the Wexford Festival Opera the town's and the region's best was on show. In the Colman Doyle Gallery, I met Alex from Coolree yarns who was sitting behind his spinning wheel.
I bought a skein and hope I won't make a mess of it. It's so beautiful.
I robbed this image from his website - where there's a blog and online shop -
exquisite hand-dyed wool blends
Coolree is in Forthmountain near Wexford town.

Anticipating the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS

I'm looking forward to going to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS on Thursday in Dublin. I got a list of exhibitors from the website of the exhibition organisers, Twisted Thread. The link mightn't always work so I've pasted the list here for my own future reference. Here is what the "suppliers" page on my blog has been trying to achieve! A listing of places in Ireland for dressmaking etc supplies.

List of companies exhibiting
The 62 Group celebrating 50 years TGPD15
A Rubanesque G5
Abacus Beads (Belfast) A9
Ahmed’s Leathers Ltd B17
John Allen  TGE25
Alpaca Select B9
Alphabet Jigsaw K23
Aly’s Inky Fingers K15
Anglia Textile Works: Themes and Variations TGB7
Art Van Go TGC1
Artistic Handbags - Ann Lacy D3
Ballyphehane / Togher Community Arts & Crafts Initiative TGB15
BDI Beads E3
Bead Spider P1
Beads and Bling Ltd E21
Bee Bee Wools - Fancy Yarn N9
Bernina Electronic Machine Centre G7
The Black Sheep R1
Karin Boyes - Eastleigh College TGA17
Braidmakers Workshop G27
Brother Sewing Machines K8
Butterick & Vogue Patterns G13
Caitlín Uí Chéidigh - GMIT TGF3
Caroline’s Accessories L5
Rachel Caswell P3
Color Improvisations curated by Nancy Crow TGF15
Colourcraft C&A Ltd C1
Alice Colson - Manchester School of Art  TGA1
The Constant Knitter C3
Cork Textiles Network TGC7
The Cotton Shed K6
Craft Lines of Essex A13
Crafts Council of Ireland  TGG5
Craftspun Yarns K20
Crafty Angels D7
The Crafty Fox G14
Create with Kate G11
D L21
Design Perfection M0
DGH Promotions E19
Dimension Stamps E5
Discover Aloe F16
Doughtys Patchwork and Quilting N2
Dublin Embroiderers Guild M27
Samantha Duffee - Buckinghamshire New UniversityTGA13
Earthly Emporium M20

Earthly Emporium G16
Eurotherapy Q23
Fabrics Galore E1
Fabrics Galore K25
Fabulous Felt Kate Ramsey K4 C21
Fashion & Health E23
Felt - Aleksandra Winiarska Q13
Feltmakers Ireland N29
The Fennel Shed M6
Fiddlesticks Fabrics K5
Filament Textiles F30
First Steps Lounge TGD25
Fly Away: from inmates of Limerick Prison K25
Fosters Chocolates C0
Glitterati Crafts M2
Good Feet C23
Grafton Academy of Dress Designing E9
Green Acres Quilts M13
Green Angel N15
Green Angel Ltd N17
Guild of Irish Lacemakers M25
Jane E Hall TGC3
Hand Stitch Perspectives  TGE15
Helen Garvey - GMIT TGF3
Hidden Celt Q15
Hilary Hollingworth TGA15 Q7 Q7
Husqvarna Viking Waterford M12
i of the needle P17
ICA (Irish Countrywomen’s Association) P27
Indigo Craft C15
Ingrid de Vane Ltd C17
The Innocent Big Knit SH1
IQFOI / Sew Many Places N25
Irish Country Living (Irish Farmers Journal) E25
The Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) M29
Irish Guild of Embroiderers C29
Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers L29
Irish Quilting P19
Jacana B7
Jiani Charms Belfast Bead Shop F14
Just Art Stitch  D13
Kilbora Quilt Shoppe N11
Noor Kimit - Manchester Metropolitan University TGB25
Knitting 4 fun D1
The Lace Guild E11
Lauralynn Children’s Hospice F18Sarah Levy - GMIT TGF3
Limerick College of Further Education P23
Limerick Institute of Technology: School of Art & Design  G25
Limerick Quilt Centre M4
Linden Lady Chocolates L4
Little Gifts Ltd F27
Love to Knit Bray G23
The Lucet Co D25
Made in Westmeath L27
Magee Weaving N6
Magic Clip P21
Mary Murphy-Madigan G9
Meiflower Q1
Miliner Warehouse M23
Adnan Mirza - Glasgow School of Art TGA3
Moira C on TV K21
Molten Designs E4
Mr Dan B5
mxy Ltd D15
NCAD Textiles TGE5
Needlethreader D27
Nicola Flint - De Montfort University TGA11
NKM Shows L2
Terri O’Brien - NCAD TGA25
Jessica Odell-Foster - West Wales School of the ArtsTGA19
Oliver Twists  K2
Rachel Parker - Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) TGA9
Patchwork Plus F12
Paua2thePeople R17
Payper Box R20
Pfaff Sewing Machines Waterford C4
Pippablue F25
Planet Purple Kids P15
R&Z Accessories L25
Rags for Linda F9
The Real Massage Co C24
M Rosenberg & Son N23
Rowandean Embroidery B1
Lorna Rowley - NCAD TGA21
Royal School of Needlework TGF10
Saffron & Sapphire B3
SBP Health Q11
The Sewing Shed R5
Sewing World / British Patchwork & Quilting magazine  D21
Siesta Frames Ltd G1
SilkFelt G21
Natalie Simone Davies - Manchester Metropolitan University TGA5
Singer Sewing Centre F5
Something Nice IRL A15
The Southampton Bead Shop A7
Stamposaurus Craft Supplies B21Stitch-Witch R3
Stormhall Ltd R13
Stunt Giraffe Acoustic Textiles - Edinburgh College of Art  TGA7
Terri Studio Designs E17
The Handbag Company D0
Totally Beads Ltd Q8
Totally Beads Ltd Q9
Trim The Tree A11
Trim Wool Shop Ltd N21
Trim Wool Shop Ltd M15
Trudy Anne Designs B15
Tetvana Tvshkevvch - GMIT TGF3
University of Ulster TGF5
Val Holmes   Inside / Outside  Intaglio/Relief TGE7
Village Fabrics M8
Vivid Crafts E15
Laura Weber - NCAD TGA23
Winnie’s Wool Wagon C7
The Women of Algeria E29
Women of Finglas, the M27
WonderFil Specialty Threads Q3
The Wool Shop F1
The Yarn Room P4
Yellow Brick Road P13
Yorkshire Book Company A1
Yorkshire Book Company A10
Zentangle ® Designs E13

Sunday, October 21, 2012


At the ploughing championships, I came across a stall for a craft supply shop that sells quilting fabric and trimmings galore. They are in Athy, Co. Kildare (the same county as me!). It's hard to tell if they have a physical bricks-and-mortar shop but they definitely have an online shop:


I am a commuter. I get the train each morning to work. I see people carrying their lunches (and breakfasts) in all kinds of bags, mostly plastic shopping bags, sometimes sturdier shopping bags with knotted string handles.
I thought it would be nice to have a personal purpose-made bag for this.
The pattern I used was based on the previous bag I made:
But I fiddled with the dimensions, and I didn't really have a proper plan.
The fabric is designed by Melody Miller, her Ruby Star Shining collection. It's a lovely cotton-linen weight.

The lining is a leftover blue lineny thing that I made a skirt out of previously.

The dimensions are wrong, I need to work on that. All these things matter. I think it's ok to through together some fabric, add a handle, that's a bag... but then a fork doesn't fit in it. Or it's too big and you're tempted to put your novel into it as well as your lunch.

Fabric shopping - from the virtual to reality

Everytime I submit an order to the online fabric shop, The Village Haberdashery, I get extremely excited. Annie has a great deal on European Shipping for £5. Often when I shop online, adding things to my cart, I have to chicken out before the last click because shipping from US or Australia or UK to Ireland increases the cost scarily.
I can't wait for this order to arrive. I'm on a tie buzz at the moment! Ties are so personal. When men in my life mention a big occasion, I want to make them a tie! And it's fascinating to look at fabrics and imagine the different male personalities wearing them. A fabric that strikes me as "no, awful" when I'm considering one person, suddenly seems perfect for another!
I've made two ties so far: from yellow silk dupion, and from a gentle-colour-tone floral print (Hope Chest Floral in Blue):

The order I've just sent in includes:

Flock - Kaleidoscope in Blue
Center City - Los Angeles in Midtown
Alchemy - Coquina in Taupe
Curious Nature by Parson Gray - Universe Night

I also bought some more Melody Miller because my previous projects from her fabrics were so much admired.
Ruby Star Vinyl - Records in Ambrosia

Here's my previous projects:

And the ever-efficient Annie at The Village Haberdashery emailed me a "shipped" notice this evening so I'm hopeful that I won't have to wait to long for my parcel to arrive.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anna Maria Horner's Study Hall Skirt

Months ago, I had this pattern shipped to my brother's friend in America (postage can be so expensive to Ireland).
I found a use for the Happy Black Fabric. I also used an Italian Linen bought in Hickey's. There's a lovely stretch to the linen.
I was worried that the much lighter cotton fabric and the heavier linen wouldn't work together in this pattern texture-wise. I think the idea is to use two fabrics of the same texture. But it worked fine.

I amn't demonstrating the skirt, because, unfortunately, it doesn't suit my figure at all.
Here's the inside:
The pattern was easy to follow. Some instructions were repeated which I found a bit confusing but it did all make sense.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Disappointment - another pattern drafting course cancelled

I signed up to an adult evening course in a nearby community college; in Hartstown near Blanchardstown. It was to run over 18 weeks on Tuesday nights 7-9pm.
But, once again, they didn't have sufficient interest to run the course.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Polka dot Nappy Bag

The second project my sister-in-law and I shopped for during my recent visit to Germany was... a Wickeltasche.
The fabric was purchased in Anders, Besonders, Gut in Pivitsheide (near Detmold/Bielefeld/Köln). We had great fun with the shopkeeper, and she was extremely helpful too.

So here's the Wickeltasche, or auf Englisch, nappy bag. Is that the correct term? Not having a need for such an item, I actually only know the word in my niece's mother tongue!
The polka dot fabric is washable. It's like oil-cloth but not as thick or as shiny.

The lining is a cotton. We tried to get something lustiger but the shop didn't have anything to match (they did have another very fun fabric which will be made into a project very soon...) so we went for this checkered praktisch lining.
There's a mobile phone pocket inside and a zippable pocket. The zipped pocket is lined in pink satin, forgot to take a photo.

The side of the bag has rings which will clip onto exhisting hooks on the pram:
Who knows how this bag came together, the bottom corners are crazy!
Considering I had no pattern to make this nappy bag, I am very proud of it. I hope it's new owners will be too. In the post...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Star-spangled hat for baby

My sister-in-law is very demanding*!! I visited her in Germany and together we schemed designs for making a nappy bag, lampshades, a clever dress/apron, and - as her child's little white hat no longer fits - a baby hat.
Here's the original white hat which no longer fits:

So I took out my skizzen paper (tracing) and made the pattern pieces, then added 1cm.
I hope I haven't made it too big. I did most of the sewing on the overlocker.
Here's the finished hat:
It's got a peak at the front. I think it looks like a jockey's cap!
I've sent it in the post today. Fingers crossed it fits!

*My sister-in-law could could say the same about me - that I am equally demanding! - having brought me to visit at least three fabric shops during my four-day visit to them in Germany. This fabric was bought in Meter Weise in Bielefeld.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Catch a flight... need a bag...

Airport and airplane restrictions these days make travelling so unpleasant. With some airlines, only one item of hand-luggage is allowed. This is to include handbag and duty free purchases. Regardless of the passport check... and perhaps purchases to be made... and other reasons for needing some small items to hand. Recently it has driven me *crazy* having to open zip, close zip etc on my big bag.
So today, with a flight to catch to Germany at 5pm, I decided to solve the problem and sew up a basic shoulder pouch that could easily crumple into my suitcase if the lady at the boarding gate got snotty and insisted on only one piece of luggage.
I had no pattern but made it up out of my head. The map on the flap laying so perfectly on the map of the main bag was a pure coincidence!
But what was I thinking cutting 90 degree corners?! Next time, that'll be a curve!
Lined with leftover black crepe satin from the High-Waisted Skirt I made recently. And the strap is made from that too.
It's reversible.
Did the job!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tie for a graduation

My uncle is graduating from University this week. I thought such an occasion deserved a new tie (now that I've ventured into tie-making!).

The first tie I made was from yellow/gold silk dupion. I used the Puking Pastilles pattern*. This time, as well as being inspired by Annie's post on her Village Haberdashery blog, I also used fabric purchased from her marvelous online store. I say marvelous because every time I sew with a fabric purchased from The Village Haberdashery, I swoon and ooh and aah! The fabrics I used felt beautiful and wonderful under my  fingers as I cut and sewed.

They are:

* I must admit to adjusting the pattern. As Annie suggested, I brought in the width of it by half an inch on each side.
I must still be doing something wrong, because the lining and main fabric had the middle section going in different directions.
Parts 1 and 2 of the pattern didn't seem to fit together, the join wasn't at a 45 degree angle. Out came my set square and skizzen paper. And my training as an architect came in handy!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A man's tie in yellow-gold Silk Dupion

My inspiration for this project came from - once again - The Village Haberdashery blog.
It was a sixtieth birthday present for a William.
The pattern was posted by Puking Pastilles.
The fabric was purchased in Róisín Cross Silks in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dress in a day

Today, Saturday, I made the Crepe Dress designed by Colette Patterns.
It says "beginner" - I think it's for an advanced beginner!
I love Colette's pockets; they're perfectly shaped.
The fabric was bought in Stoffmarkt in Bielefeld in Germany recently. It's 100% cotton (Baumwolle).
It's a wrap dress. But wraps at the back as opposed to the front.
I liked the pattern but might prefer to make a lining for the top part instead of all the facings. And I think the seam in the front of the dress makes it a bit apron-y so I might use one piece here next time.
I like this dress. Murphy Sheehy stocks Liberty prints which might work well for this dress. I think it's probably nicer with a contrasting fabric for the belt.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Disappointment - pattern drafting class cancelled

I had been so excited about an upcoming intensive week-long course at Róisín Cross Silks in Dún Laoire next week. I have done a few dressmaking courses and I wanted to "up the ante" by undertaking a pattern drafting or pattern making course. I am devastated that it has been cancelled.
It's hard to find a pattern drafting course. Murphy Sheehy will be running one in the Autumn but I don't know that I can commit to trekking back to Dublin in the evenings from Maynooth. I'll see...

Sewaholic Cambie Dress #1

I titled this post "Cambie Dress #1" because I have a feeling I'll be making more of them!
The pattern is another of Tasia's from Sewaholic. According to a fellow online dressmaker, this is the
pattern that's taking the UK blogging community by storm
I purchased it from the online store, The Village Haberdashery. It's the second Sewaholic pattern I've made. I made a Renfrew Top in salmon pink recently. I find Tasia's patterns easy to follow - enjoyable and fun.
The fabric was bought by my aunt in Brussels as a birthday present. It's a viscose rayon. Doesn't feel very pleasant to me but I have lined it in a black cotton voile and that feels gorgeous. I cut the shape of the skirt lining according to "A" style in the pattern - the more worky version of this dress.
I love the back of the dress, how it becomes the sleeves!
Not sure about black shoes with this dress. Looking at these pictures, I think it needs a pair of lilac shoes. To be spotted at a wedding near you soon...!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wipeable strap covers for Baby Car Seat

My friend came to me with a problem the other day. Her little girl isn't a good traveller and the straps of the car seat are difficult to clean.
Luckily, she had a spare strap to give me so I could use it for measurements while sewing the solution!
Coincidentally, my sister-in-law had bought some pink polka dot fabric in Germany. It has an oil-cloth-like texture.
I cut two rectangles, added velcro, stitched the edges. Hey presto. Mammy's life is made easier ;)