Friday, 29 July 2011

Speed sewing: it's best not to think


 Earlier in the week I found myself with exactly 2.5 hours in which to sew, when fate collided to place one child at a friend's house and another on a large inflatable raft having a hose pipe squirted at her (apparently it was more fun than you could ever imagine). Such a small window of time put a stop to all my usual shilly-shallying over fabric choices. I went straight to some cheerful Anna Maria Horner voile Little Honey in Ink that I bought last summer and took my sheers to it. The pattern is my own - a mixture of several tops that I've made in the past.


It would have been completed inside the 2.5 hours, had I not sewn the entire neck binding in place before suddenly remembering a top of Kate's that I'd fallen in love with. The thought of it made me think how much I'd like to have a pleat, rather than gathering at the neck (which is what I had there at the time). In reality I can see now that my memory of Kate's top wasn't overly accurate since hunting it down to show you here (her top is far more graceful and elegant than mine and has good deal more pleat action going on) but it was the inspiration for wielding a seam ripper on the freshly stitched binding - thanks, Kate!


I can't remember exactly where I bought this fabric now, but a quick search online reveals that both Ray-Stitch and Saints & Pinners still stock it this year. The Little Folks voiles range is one of my favourite Anna Maria Horner's fabric lines ever - it is making me feel a little panic stricken that the time may come when this collection is obsolete. I'm sure this fabric would make a wonderful dress for a child too...I think that was the purpose for which I'd chosen it originally actually. Oh dear. Selfish Mummy.

Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Florence x

28 comments:

  1. It's a lovely top! My thoughts entirely about Little Folks - one of the best. I think you ought to develop a pattern for that top - rather than grading lots of sizes you could just do SML?

    Pomona x

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  2. Thank you, Pomona - that's a good idea! Clothing patterns are definitely in my plan for after the summer holidays...they'll possibly be autumnal by then though!

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  3. It's lovely Florence, reminds me of another top I made too...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mformake/4259274038/in/set-72157622471029483

    I much prefer the sleeves on your top, my were a bit gladiatorial for me!! I'm not sure if that is even a word...

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  4. I've never seen that top before, Kate! It's very lovely though.

    I'd love to see the original top on a person then for sleevage demonstration, as it looks lovely in the photo.

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  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I wonder, bing a super great clothes stitcher, whether you could recommend a pattern suitable for a complete beginner (but with some sewing skills - mainly from quilting) - perhaps something like the one you did here? I really ould like to dive into the world of clothes making but have no idea where to start!

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  6. Beautiful, beautiful. :)

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  7. Ruth, what about Colette Patterns' free Sorbetto top? I can imagine that would be a good place to start as Sarai's instruction is always so clear that it would be perfect for a beginner.

    Thank you, Ulla! x

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  8. Thanks so much Florence! I just googled the Sorbetto top - it's beautiful! I think I might pluck up the courage to try!

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  9. It's a gorgeous top Florence, and so quick to make! I like Pomona's suggestion that you start to do patterns which you sell, that would be fantastic!
    I came across a tunic design made by Very Purple Person, which you might like, I think it's rather gorgeous: http://verypurpleperson.com/2009/11/cotton-tunics.html
    Vanessa xxx

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  10. Ruth - fantastic - I can't wait to see what you make.

    Vanessa, that's gorgeous! She looks adorable (although she does tend to look adorable in most things, I've noticed!). I've added it to my Pinterest boards. Thank you so much for the link - I do follow her blog but I'd somehow missed that. x

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  11. What an amazing top! It looks fabulous with the pleat. Isn't it great how we can get so much accomplished in a short amount of time, especially when the kids are away!! :)

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  12. This top is adorable! I love the pleat. A perfect use of the window of time you had to sew! ~Val

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  13. So lovely! The pleat is such a simple yet playful detail and that print is one of my favourites - I used it to make AMH’s "Roundabout Blouse".

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  14. It looks so beautiful!!! Very flattering and it looks comfy too! :)

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  15. That is a great top!! I would buy that pattern!

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  16. Super top, Florence. I love that fabric - still hoarding mine for the right moment and a few hours sewing time!

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  17. I just thought I'd wait till I put my blog post up to let you know about the tutorial for the Starboard Skirt I came across. I thought of you, and thought you might like it, and the pattern is great for little girls too! It's the subject of my blog post today. Vanessa xxx

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  18. Beautiful!

    I was reading some of your old posts on sewing garments, and loved reading about your husband's gorgeous shirt in January (the inside yoke is fantastic!)

    I wondered if you have ever seen or read this book?
    http://www.amazon.com/Shirtmaking-Developing-Skills-Fine-Sewing/dp/1561582646

    I used to sew garments all the time, and when my girls were in jr. high or so (mid 90's), collared shirts and blouses were much more the fashion. I made TONS of shirts for them and myself using the methods in this book. The collars and cuffs turned out SO nice. I wish I'd kept some of them just because the sewing was perfection. Take a look at the book if you haven't before - I hope you'll be impressed and inspired.

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  19. I am new to your blog, and I have to say, I love it!! You are such a talented seamstress and you have a great eye. I would definitely be interested in your patterns!!

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  20. good to hear that you made go use of your time. Love the top!

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  21. It is a great top. Simple enough for jeans but much smarter than a T. Are you going to stop at one?

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  22. Love it. Love it. Want one!

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  23. I can't believe you got anywhere near finishing that top in 2.5 hours! So impressive! Please do a pattern. Some of us are slower and we need summer sewing patterns in the winter :-) Also, do you know of a good men's PJ pattern? The one I have is very tapered and comically large round the hips...

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  24. Wow 2.5 hours? That's amazing! I'm curious, did you use a serger/overlocker? I made a draped Burdastyle cardigan, 90% of it with an overlocker and it was very quick.

    http://www.sewinlove.com.au/2011/05/08/burdastyle-karen-draped-cardigan-in-ribbed-knit-fabric/

    Still took me an entire weekend though...

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  25. Beautiful top - I love the shape of the cap sleeves! That is one of my favourite fabrics ever, have used it for my girls and often thought I should have saved some for me!

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  26. Nina - I don't, but last time I made some PJs for my husband I just traced around a shop-bought pair of his and they turned out fine...and left more money for fabric!

    Rin, yes I use an overlocker, which is probably why I found it possible to make it in that time - they're wonderful aren't they. That's a fantastic cardigan, you clever thing!

    Cathie - thank you so much for the link - no, I hadn't see that!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x