Monday, 24 February 2014

Blueberry Muffins (made with spelt)

I bought some wholemeal spelt flour a while ago to make a cake, but I can't find the recipe now so it's been languishing in the cupboard. I'm not really a breakfast person: usually a soya yoghurt or a breakfast bar does it for me (for about an hour anyway). So I thought I might make some wholemeal muffins and came along this recipe.
They looked pretty healthy (for a breakfast cake anyway!) and would use up some blueberries that I had in my fridge.
Here's a picture of them in the making, which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a much less appetising picture than the finished article.

They taste completely lovely and I'm hopeful they'll keep me full for longer than the yoghurt does!

The mixture is very thick when you make these recipe. And I added extra blueberries. You know, to make them healthy. Or something.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sewing the Sew Along

I'm not going to lie, I was right to be scared of my fabric. I have never used more pins in all my sewing life than for each seam.

Sew Over It published the bodice sewing blog post on Monday but I only finished it this afternoon, so thought I might as well crack on with the skirt and do both parts in one blog post. So, aside from the pinning, I was more than trepidatious about the sizing. You may remember from my previous post that I cut a ten when I usually take an eight. I mentioned that I might have to take the bodice in. I am rarely right, but here I was - I took the sides in by 1cm each side and the bust is still a bit big. I was tempted to go ahead in the sew along and put the zip in so I could muck about with it a bit more but I am true to my promise of not getting ahead of myself.
I could have done what Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It suggested and get someone to pin me into the dress using the 1.5cm seam allowance. The only person who could do this is my lovely mister. But he is not good at things like that, in fact, he is terrible. So I pinned myself in and I'll make adjustments to the zip placement when the time comes.
I did manage to get all the seams to line up, which is a plus. But look at this:

No matter how many times I tried, I could not get the bottom of the skirt hem to line up! It must be a fabric slippage whilst I was cutting out - it really was hard work!
I did try the dress on and I do think that it will look quite nice in the end. Keep fingers crossed!
In related good news, I managed to fix my overlocker, by which I mean clean five years of skeff off of it, rethread it and muck about with the tensions but I still fixed it. I was so happy I literally jumped for joy. It saves a lot of zigzagging and trimming seam allowances!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Return of the Sewing Bee

Ooh! It's incredibly exciting! The Great British Sewing Bee returned to our screens tonight - ten sewists, eight weeks, tonnes of inspiration, tips and entertainment. I looked forward to it all day and I was not disappointed.
Has anyone else noticed that this year's contestants are all so NICE? Last year, most were lovely; albeit I wasn't a fan of Stuart, but he wasn't a bad person, just a little annoying. Anyway, they seem like a nice lot and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
I was also looking forward to sewing the bodice for the 1940s Tea Dress sewalong but I checked the blog HUNDREDS of times and then, when I checked after dinner at half eight, there were the instructions. I won't lie, I've not had a good evening - after my hour commute, I got home to find the dog had been sick/poohed in the kitchen (who knows which end - that dog'll eat anything) and was covered in mud from the fun he had with the dog walker earlier. So there was sick/pooh cleaning, dog walking and dog washing along with the usual evening tasks of dinner and making tomorrow's lunch. Needless to say, I'm a bit tired, a bit jaded and I don't think that makes for a good sewing mood. So the bodice can wait until tomorrow. I just hope I can!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sew Over It Sew Along, Part 1

So, I started the Sew Along on Saturday. I was right to be terrified of my fabric; it's so slippery and awkward. I really hope that I've managed to cut accurately (I even sharpened the scissors!) otherwise, I'm going to look very odd when it's finished.
As usual, I did not take heed of the layout and saved myself about half a metre of fabric, if not more. I intend to use it for a blouse trim - I though it would look nice as a pussy bow and cuffs.

I also did not trace the pattern pieces. I did, but I just couldn't do it accurately. I suspect that my paper was too thick. Then I couldn't get the tracing wheel to work on the fabric so I just cut the pattern up. I'm making a size ten. I normally make the size eight but I measured myself and my waist is a size ten and, bizarrely, so are my tiny boobs. My non existent hips are not even on the scale, but the skirt is loose fitting so I can't see how this will hurt.
Regardless of the measurements, I can see myself having to take the bodice of this dress in a bit... Well, we shall soon find out: the next instalment is posted on Monday, so I'm hoping to get the machine going this week to sew the bodice. Fingers crossed the fabric is not as frightening under the presser foot...

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Pencil Skirt

This is my first post in a while. I got a new job that does not involve wearing sensible clothes so I've been mostly busy trying (and failing) to use new computer systems and work out a whole new set of acronyms. But I've also been using my new found evenings to make, think about making, read about making and make some more.
My first Freedom Project was the Charlotte Skirt. I got the pattern for Christmas and, after much deliberation, I used this Alexander Henry fabric that I was saving to make some pyjamas.
I did have a few issues, but none to do with the excellent pattern. No, the problems were entirely physical. I have not been blessed with a curvaceous body. I have also not been blessed with patience. So I blithely cut the 26" waist version to fit my waist but, after sewing the skirt minus the ruffle, I discovered that my butt didn't exactly fill the skirt. So I cut the smaller size, sort of doing an adjustment but being really lazy about it (I just cut the 26" waist with the 24" waist hips) and, huzzah! it fitted.

There was one slight problem. I was rendered a Dalek when faced with stairs. I could not get up them for love nor money, at least not in a particularly lady-like or indeed human manner. So I unpicked the back a bit and now at least I should be able to get off the train and not be trampled by rush hour crowds hobbling like a Geisha up Whitehall. And I won't burn if the office catches fire and I have to evacuate. It's just safer with the split.
What lazy sewing short cuts have you taken?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

My First Sew Along

I have never done a sew along before but I have heard of them. Working shifts meant that I couldn't do anything at the same time as everyone else, so I often felt left out. But now I'm not working shifts anymore, I'm throwing myself at social things, even if it just comes with a hashtag (#SOIsewalong in this case).
So I'm so excited that I can join in with the Sew Over It 1940s tea dress sew along. I've picked my fabric and it arrived, beautifully wrapped, from Sew Over It on Saturday. Just a quick trip to a haberdashery for a zip and thread and I'm ready to go.
I'm not going to lie - I'm a bit scared of my fabric. Not because of the cute cheetahs on it, but because it is not cotton or cotton like, and very thin and drapey. I've been sewing for years and never made anything with anything delicate. This cannot go wrong.
So determined am I that this won't go wrong, I've even prewashed my fabric. I've resolved to do this sew along by the letter and, of course, to wait until the sew along starts to sew. This is going to be very difficult for me.
If you'd like to participate, just click on the link above. You've still got time before the sewing starts to get your fabric and pattern.
The team at Sew Over It are always so friendly and delivery is very quick in my experience. They also run an array of classes and I am very jealous of anyone who gets to do one. I desperately want to make so many of their gorgeous patterns, unfortunately, most of their lovely clothes are only available if you participate in the classes. I find this annoying on many levels, but mostly because I, like so many other people, make their own clothes to save a bit of money so paying £175 for a class, plus pattern and fabric to make the 1960s coat (which I completely love) is just too much. But, they tell me that some more of their patterns will be available to buy separately soon. Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later!