Sunday, 8 February 2015

Fabric shopping in Shepherd's Bush

I only just realised that I have a number of draft posts sitting there unloved and neglected.  I completely forgot that I hadn't finished them

So just for completeness's sake, here is my blog post about a fabric shopping trip 2-3 years ago, it was the first time we went to the Goldhawk Road/Shepherds Bush area fabric shops as a group.

It is a really long time ago now...

Oh my goodness, did I have a whale of a time or what!  I went absolutely totally over-the-top bonkers mad.  If that gives you an idea of how much I felt like a kid in a candy shop.

So many beautiful fabrics!  Just couldn't resist.  There were a couple of occasions when I gave off excited little screams, might have been 'let me at it' yelps for all I know, to be honest.

There are two new shops that I didn't know and I just absolutely love and adore the range of fabrics they sell!  I know I will come back and then aim straight for those.  I'll have to try and remember the names - they were both on the South side of Goldhawk Road, maybe 3-4 fabric shops away from the tube station?

I went with a whole group of girls from my Sewing group, it was lovely sharing the shopping experience and best of all: go for a well-deserved sit-down at the end.  I still knew the building as the local library (but they seem to have moved into Westfields?) but it is now a theatre, the Bush Theatre.  Who knew?  And they have a great cafe bar - I'll come back just for this, I won't even need to buy any fabric first (oh, just who am I kidding?).  Really nice place.  On Uxbridge Road on the corner to Pennard Road, old building, has a beer garden along its side.

I can't wait to see what I'll make from my lovely new purchases.

Update: I did cut into the flowery black and white fabric for a quilt. I would like to make one with fan shapes in seven black and white fabrics, with a dark red quarter circle and the remainder of the square in white. I have a lovely Egyptian cotton from Empress Mills, they sell random cuts in a bundle - perfect for patchwork!

The pink and organgey fabric on top on the right: I gave this one away at a fabric swap. The orange or salmon colour is just not me. I'm sure it's gone to a good home.

I haven't done anything with the other fabrics, just like so many others. I am hoping that my fabric buying obsession has lessened now that I've got pretty much all fabrics in the kind of colours that I could want...

Friday, 6 February 2015

Wardrobe decluttering

Now here's a subject that really floats my boat!  Getting rid of stuff, yay!

Wardrobe decluttering

This has gone swimmingly, and all because I moved house to a smaller place. The choice was to live in hoarder's paradise with stacks of clothes threatening to fall over, or get rid of everything I don't need.

Surprisingly it turns out I don't need nearly as much in the way of clothing as I thought I did!

The best tool has also been my new warerobe with sliding doors: so easy to open and see what I've got, so convenient to pull garments out and so difficult to hang any hangers on to the outside as I was used to do.  Bliss!

For the first time in my place I am hanging alike garments next each other.  My wardrobe starts with currently worn coat, jackets, then trousers, skirts and then all tops: long-sleeved tops right now and a few that I want within easy reach at the end. They are either evening wear or a couple of summer tops that I want to alter.

It works wonderfully well!

I shoved short-sleeved T-shirts into a plastic container with lid and put it under the bed where it's nicely out of the way.  I won't need them again until it's summer.  Or at least when it gets a bit warmer - and for once I actually know exactly where I put them!

It is also nice to see that I've hung some tops and some skirts into the wardrobe that I sewed myself. Most of them provide quite a nice flash of colour in the dreariness of the other colours I've got!

I would really like to make (or buy) at least a couple more tops in colours that make me feel more alive and energetic.  The 'make it myself' option should be no problem because I've got lots of fabrics, quite a few in colours that I am looking forward to wearing!

The only issue is that I'll have to get it done.  It's the fitting that gets to me.  I'm alright with skirts, but the top part - that's not going too well so far. Big sigh.

Wish me patience!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Pick a project or how I learned to like preparation

A blog post that spent time as a draft for too long.  Here goes:

Too many projects on the go, too many things started but just lying around.  Why do I do that to myself?

It is obviously so much more exciting to start a project than to carry on when the initial spark faded and the first tricky bits start to bite.

I think I might have found a way to get myself into the right head space: organise a group activity by my sewing group so we support each other in order to get one of those old, boring WIPs back into ship shape.
Thinking about it, you need to ponder a few things when you try to revive an abandoned sewing project:

You want to know that you have all the bits and pieces you need. Starting with all the paper pattern pieces and instructions, the fabrics or already cut pieces, and all the other supplies needed.

Just the act of pulling an old WIP back out from whatever dark corner it was lurking is a rather good feeling.  But only if you feel you can get somewhere with it.

The support of the others is just invaluable.  Somehow you don't feel quite so stuck, if that makes sense.

I am really looking forward to sharing with them what I am doing so I get back to the point where I can start the final sewing stage and complete a garment.

It almost feels like luxury to think that I might soon have a project less to worry about!

I did decide which one I wanted to look at: my stash-busting skirt in grey and wine red.  I was able to look over it and feel quite encouraged: I had closed the side seams already!

And I retrieved a piece of black lining fabric that's suitable. Yes, I even have enough of it!

Getting my head around what I need to do as the next steps and how I am going to cut out the lining will be a bit of a challenge. This project does not have instructions because I' not using a pattern!

The obstacle I got stuck at was the waist. I drew up a pattern to my own measurements but I left it open about how high I would make the waist.  I don't want to use a waistband but just darts to shape the top of the skirt.  I think I may need a friend's help to make sure I don't cut this wonky or at the wrong height. 

Or maybe it won't even be as difficult as my prevarication makes it seem?

I no longer have the paper pattern to hand so I will need to cut the lining free-hand. It's a good thing that the lining has to be a bit loose anyway, that makes this job easier.

I am quite sure though that my sewing excitement will return once I get stuck back in! I want to wear this and it will be a good challenge to meet.

It'll be interesting!