Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Season 22 Week 1: On Location

It's here!!!  Season 22 launches with the On Location theme!!!

Bombles and Mookin - Mighty Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow 

When I heard that the first topic of the season would be 'On location' I knew I wanted to pick something that was both quintessentially English and somewhere that means a lot to us too. What could be more special than the English oak woodland that my children have grown up with as their playground?

Once I had decided on woodlands it felt right to use an autumn colour palette, draw from nature and if possible work in a bit of upcycling as that is an important part of my sewing life. An enormous source of my sewing inspiration are the patterns of Twig +Tale. The concept for this outfit started with a classic length Travellers Cape, a scrap of faux fur throw, an upholstery sample book (for the features) and the most perfect Windham Fabrics 'Tiger Lily' print for the lining. The free reindeer add on was repurposed with the addition of spots and tail and voila, a fallow deer... and a fluff filled sewing area! The dress started out as a Lauren Pintuck Tunic, from Made for Mermaids and a bolt end of linen, but by the time I had turned it into an a-line dress, added hem facing (from cape lining scraps), and altered the number and orientation of the pintucks into a fan, the only thing left from the original pattern was the armscye. The hand embroidery of acorn, leaf and tree was shashiko inspired, and it made my heart glad that I am a hoarder and had the perfect deer button in my stash to top it off- they are sort of tiny accents that give me enormous satisfaction.

We had a bit of fun with this picture, because I wanted to be able to showcase the beautiful back of that luscious cape.. including tail, but also let you see the pin tucks and hand embroidery on the dress.

As always when I sew I like to reflect the tastes and passions of the wearer... in this case my daughter, the Mookin of BomblesandMookin, and that means accessories are a necessity. Her oak-leaf bag is made entirely from waste leather from the sofa making industry. I drafted the pattern from scratch, and added extra texture to the leaf-flap by sewing the ribs like curved pintucks. My first leather bag was a big hit! Her top is based on the Immergrün by Firlefanz, a free German pattern I have been meaning to try for a while. I wanted a slimmer fit so reduced the width of body and sleeves, used the gathered sleeve cap option to add texture to the fine cotton lycra, and drafted a cuff piece to give an oak leaf inspired wavy edge. I'm proud of how this look has come together, reflecting her personality and my sewing style - resulting in an outfit which brings us both great pleasure.

Embroidery to follow journey of the acorn to mighty oak, feature stag buttons, leather bag and cuff detail to suggest the shape of an oak leaf.

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow

To find out more about how it was done and find links to patterns please visit my blog The Accidental Sewist

The Sewn Edge - Sunsets, Sea and Catching Crabs

There are many great things about our location, on the South Coast of England, but for us the highlight is the Solent. This is the body of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight and where we spend much of our summer and down time. These outfits have been inspired by memories of a summer filled with sunsets, sailing and catching crabs!

My youngest daughter is wearing a colour blocked denim dress, with a pink, gold and silver appliqued crab, pink leggings and a beanie. 
Starting from the top, the beanie is based on a pattern by Brindille and Twig, I've cut the inner layer slightly longer to give a little band of colour at the bottom to frame her face. The dress is in a slightly stretch denim and based on the Sassy Dress by Puperita, I have left out the collar and bound the neckline, added volume to the sleeves and the skirt and added elastic to give a contemporary balloon silhouette. The colour blocking on the dress represents waves and the movement of the water and wraps around the dress. I have used the right and wrong side of the denim to achieve this - one of my favourite effects. The Crab is in three sunset colours, self drafted and bonded and stitched to the dress. The leggings are self drafted and a pink cotton jersey. 

My oldest daughter is wearing an appliqued sweatshirt, leggings with skirt ruffle and beanie.
Again from the top, the beanie is as my youngest's and again has a little band of colour framing her face. The sweatshirt is based on the Lounge Sweatshirt also by B&T. I've cut it two sizes down and to give a more fitted shape, but added an inverted pleat at the sleeve head and added length to the sleeves to retain some of the sleeve volume and add interest. The dramatic sun applique is self drafted and in gold, pink and turquoise jersey, again it is bonded and stitched. The colour blocked skirt leggings are self drafted and were inspired by waves and water. The striped fabric is a viscose jersey and drapes beautifully. I chose gold for the stripe to represent the suns reflections on the sea. 

It has been a great pleasure to make these outfits for my little ones, who love them, I hope you do too! You can find out more here, www.instagram.com/the_sewn_edge and don't forget to vote! 

Bobbins and Buttons - Destination Back Yard

Here is my first entry for Project Run and Play season 22. The theme for this weeks entry is location, 'to showcase what makes the location the BEST!'

I was actually away on a mini family break when the email arrived with the details of the first theme. We were staying in a log cabin surrounded by a lake in an idyllic location in the Cotswolds. We even had our own little rowing boat. This place ticked a lot of boxes for me, my husband and our kids, it could definitely have been a contender for best location.

I mulled over the theme during the holiday and came to the conclusion that though this was an amazing place, without special people to share it with it would not have been anywhere near as special. I started to think about the simple fun times we had had in our own back garden. Also the times when the kids had designed their own adventures, turning the garden into a make believe land or island of discovery.

I chose to turn the theme around a little bit and say that the best location can be as humble as your own back yard, its what you do and the special people you are with that makes the location the best.

With that in mind I set about designing for my little creatives. They would need clothing that allowed them to explore or create. Clothing that allowed them the freedom whatever the weather, to have whatever the adventure they wanted to dream up that day.

I drafted all my own patterns for the whole collection starting with raincoats. I knew straight away I wanted to use the clear rain drop fabric that I stock in my shop. The colours in the fabric set the palette for the collection. The shape needed to work for boys and girls. Ella's version is simpler in style because of the fabric being transparent and tricky to work with. For Josephs raincoat I added lining and gusset patch pockets.

The rest of the their outfits consist of dungarees for Ella, whose favorite ever thing to wear is the Mary dungaree dress. A trouser version was a natural move on, which worked with almost no amendments needed. I found some cotton canvas world print in tonal grey for the pocket and facings. The idea of introducing the whole world of adventure to our back yard is quite fun. Underneath her dungarees she has a simple long sleeve jersey top.

Joseph has a half zip neck top which was probably the trickiest thing to make. The combination of stretch and woven to create the collar was not easy. I added reflective tape to his top and the dungarees for an extra element of functionality. His slim fit joggers feature reinforced knee panels with lines of contrast top-stitching.

Overall I am really happy with these outfits. The kids love them too. By the end of the photoshoot the clothes looked liked they had been on a real adventure, with mucky knees and elbows...just the way it should be!

I have written a post with more photographs and detail about the styles which you can read over on my blog.

Made by Jack's Mum - Yorkshire: God's Own Country

I live in such a beautiful part of the world that I was spoilt for choice when looking for inspiration for this week's look. Yorkshire is often referred to as 'God's own Country' so visiting a 900 year old monastery felt like a good place to start. We lived in Australia for many years and returning to Yorkshire after a long time away gave me a new appreciation for things I had previously taken for granted. To be able to walk through buildings and under archways that have been there for nearly a thousand years is a privilege not available in all parts of the world. For me, Fountain's Abbey is the king of such buildings - set in a stunning location, bursting with historical secrets and woven through with flora and fauna. It was one of the first places I visited when returning to England and its beauty feeds my soul. 

My inspiration began with the stunning 300ft vaulted ceiling in the cellarium. Jack's hoodie started life as my Hot Chocolate pattern with every piece colour blocked to mirror the ceiling curves and shadows. His jeans are the Starboy Skinny Jeans pattern - the perfect choice for our string bean eldest. Jack has some mild sensory preferences and one thing he can't stand is loose-feeling waistbands. This is challenging when his height is that of someone two years older and his waist is that of someone two years younger. The joy of sewing for my boys is that I can create garments that suit and fit them perfectly. Jack has also declared buttons to be 'rubbish' so I used a snap on the waistband instead. The reverse appliqué on the pockets reflect the window shape that is repeated throughout the abbey.

Charlie's sweatshirt started out as an Adventurer Raglan before again going through some pretty serious colour-blocking. The lines and colours represent the falling autumn leaves. His trousers are the Twist and Shout pattern with a pop of orange piping. I used a soft elastic waist and cosy stretch corduroy so they are just as comfortable as joggers. Again, the pockets have topstitching to reflect the window shapes.

Since the weather at this time of year is only a little above freezing, I sewed a base layer for each boy using a viscose-wool blend jersey. I used the Eclipse pattern, choosing the long sleeved t-shirt option, but lowering the neckline and using a facing rather than a neckband so that it sits flush and hidden under other layers. I also added thumb hole cuffs to both sweatshirts as another layer against the cold.

The boys love to be 'matching-not-matching' so I used the same orange for their t-shirts. Jack's is the Jacky V with the v-neck again echoing the shapes of the building. Charlie's is another Eclipse with a few appliqué leaves.

The whole look was finished with sturdy, explorer-worthy boots and a Fell & Dale Flat Cap (because, well, Yorkshire) and the boys were ready for adventure. As with everything I make, they tested the comfort and strength of every piece to the limit. At the end of the day I was left to test my skills of mud removal. Everyone was happy!

For more photos please check out my blog!

Mother Grimm - Cymru - Land of dragons, castles and myths

Wales might be small in size but it's big in history. It has the most castles per square mile in Europe, it's the birthplace of the Merlin and the Arthurian myths (as well as many other legends) and it possibly has one of the coolest flags in the World. How many other countries have a Dragon as their emblem!
This made picking a on location theme fairly easy - Knights and Dragons. Or as the boys decided- why not Dragon Knights! Well luckily I had the patterns ready for this. The Pendragon Knight armour set (Pendragon is of course the name of Uther, Arthur's father- who was born nearby and means Head/Chief Dragon) combined with the Dragon wings pattern. As far as the boys are concerned, you cannot have too much dragon in an outfit!

Some of the more eagle eye may recognise the top fabric themes from last year. The panels and fabric were perfect for this theme and the boys were outgrowing those tops so I made new ones (early Christmas presents!). The dragon panel is an ancient emblem of Wales, being associated with Uther Pendragon, hence why I commissioned a UK fabric group to print it with matching scales. Owain Glyndwr adopted this dragon in gold (red is and was the original colour) when leading an uprising against the Norman/English invaders of Wales (circa 1400's). As for the colour choices - one boy loves green and the other red. The tops are made from cotton lycra throughout and the armour pieces are quilted with fusible fleece insides.
One thing I've always thought the Knight theme was missing is some armoured trousers. Luckily I have a partly drafted trouser pattern so I simply blocked it for armour effects. The front is padded and lined inside to help with those annoying knee holes that seem to happen as soon as they put any trousers on! And the back has a couple of blocking stripes to look like leg armour straps. I used a needlecord fabric for the main part of the trousers and the blocking armour pieces are made from matching cotton lycra pieces from the top's fabric (padded, lined and quilted as mentioned with fusible fleece and cl)
Don't look now - but I think Merlin's been playing around with causality timerifts again!
The wings are made from woven fabrics. I used spraytime from Makower as I wanted them to go with the outfit but felt the wings and main body in the same scales would lack contrast. The spraytime fabrics are great as they have a blend of shades within each colour which meant they matched the scales fairly well. The wings are again lined with a fusible fleece and quilted.
Who left these swords stuck in the stones? Time to leap into action against our foes!
Being Wales - of course the weather was gloomy with a hint of gloom and rain but we managed to get some taken before the inevitable downpour. The site is an old Abbey which has the graves of many Welsh Princes (Prince being used instead of King in Wales) dating back to a 1000 years or more. The boys love visiting here and I like to think that the buried Princes would approve of two young Welsh lads practising swordplay above their heads.
Green Knight top has full double pauldron armour sets. Red Knight top has single pauldorn armour sets (the ones that clip around the shoulder region)
If you'd like to see more pictures and information about these sews, then please visit my blog post.
Patterns used are MotherGrimm Ser Gawain Knight hoodie with Pendragon armour add on. The singe listings are linked below but there is a double listing on the website with a reduced price.
Dragon wings https://mothergrimmpatterns.co.uk/Sewing%20Patterns/dragon-wings-child-pdf-pattern/
Many thanks to Minerva Crafts for the gifted green needlecord fabric and the fusible fleece. https://www.minervacrafts.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8-mWg6n05QIVy0PTCh05cQ8lEAAYASAAEgJD0PD_BwE
Now it's your turn! Use the voting widget to vote for your top 2 favorites. 

  This week our celebrity guest judge is the recent Sewing Bee winner, Juliet Uzor !!!

The designers scores are determined as follows: 
1/3 of the score is based on YOUR vote
 1/3 of the score by this week's celebrity guest judge Juliet Uzor of Sew So Natural!!!  .
1/3 of the score comes from the panel of judges

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  1. What a tough choice! Everything is so darling on this round. :D

  2. Oh man! There's some good stuff here!!

  3. This time I truly cannot pick a favourite, I so badly wanted to pick them all, they are all so amazing!

  4. Love them all, so hard to choose. They are all amazing!

  5. Good luck to the judges, they're amazing.

  6. WOWZA. What an incredible first week. I'm absolutely blown away! Very, very well done everyone!

  7. I love the idea of the whole world being in your back yard - what a wonderful concept, especially right now as society has started to believe that children no longer play outside -they do!

  8. What an incredibly talented bunch such lovely outfits. You are an inspiration to sewing mamas everywhere!


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