Japanese pattern tour - the London Sew Social team showcase Tuttle

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Ah, Japanese sewing books - they've been a recent, and happy, discovery on my sewing journey. 








So I was thrilled when Tuttle, who publish translations of some of the loveliest Japanese pattern books, agreed to sponsor the London Sew Social gathering this year. 
We all generously received a pattern book, and this week, the London Sew Socialists are sharing creations from Tuttle's books, showcasing some of our favourite Tuttle patterns. Today I'm joined by the lovely Marta of Do Guincho, who's been sharing some wonderful creations from Stylish Party Dresses, with a stunning blouse on her blog today. And there are more  posts across our European group. See below....






This little dress pattern is rapidly climbing up my 'top pattern' list.

It's the square necked dress from the essential Tuttle children's book, Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids.

Before our holiday to France I embarked on a sewing frenzy and this was one of those creations.






It's a dress I created in an evening, from heavenly seersucker from Miss Matatabi, which was a gift from the lovely Sara of Made by Sara.

This fabric is so simple, yet so perfect. It's crisp and cool and almost silky-fine cotton weave. I kept everything simple - dressing it up only with two teal blue buttons.

I love stripes - playing with stripes, and this cool seersucker and fresh orange stripes is just perfect for river paddling, or exploring French Mediaeval lanes. Wouldn't you say?




It was a very easy sew, the only little twist I added was I made the button loops out of elastic, so that Missy can pull this over her head herself. 





This is an easy pattern but also versatile - I'm half way through my next square necked dress, cutting out  cotton flannel for a winter weight school dress.

Watch this space.

Thank you Tuttle!

Now my fellow London Sew Socialists are also show-casing Tuttle all this week - take a little tour around, there's some incredible creativity out there. Here's a few links.....






Experimental Summer Sewing #1 - When a tablecloth becomes a blouse

Thursday, 1 September 2016


It's been a rough old year, so our holiday in the south of France was really, really needed. 
Of course the landscape is wonderful, the sunshine endless. But what was really special was having those little moments of time together. Like watching my son teaching my daughter card tricks. Or seeing them both explore mediaeval streets of tiny villages by lantern light.



And our holiday inspired me to sew. And experiment.

This was one of my summer Experimental Sewing projects...



Last summer, when I took part in the Alice in Wonderland sewing series hosted by Made by Sara, I acquired a pile of vintage table cloths. (honestly - buying bundles of the most exquisite hand-embroidered linens at our local market is cheaper than buying new fabric.)



So this particular pretty tablecloth, bought for just a pound or two was destined for my cutting table (aka my kitchen table - I have no sewing room sadly).


I drew a rough pattern, by drawing round an existing top. Very simple pattern, just bust darts, with simple straps.

Sewing with a tablecloth meant some modifications. The side seams are squared off - to make use of the existing hems, and I pieced the back together out of two over-lapping pieces, leaving a mid-back split.


It's not a perfect top - I'm not convinced it's totally flattering at the neckline or shoulders.

And these photographs aren't the best.
They were taken on a visit to Minerve, which sits in the middle of a stunning gorge.
It was the hot afternoon sun, and we were a little tired, when I begged Mr As it Seams to take a few photos.

There are lots of things that Mr As it Seams does brilliantly, but photography isn't one of them. I think he still thinks of camera as something with precious 'film' in it that mustn't be wasted. He takes one or two pictures and then says "Right? done."  Without bothering about focus, or whether everyone was looking at the camera, or the little details I fuss over (typically I might take 100 pictures before editing for a blog post).



So these three or four will have to do...Because I won't be wearing this little blouse anywhere so hot or beautiful again soon...
I'm ignoring my sweaty face and wrinkles and remembering a lovely day, and the sense of time and space with people I love, before we launch into the whole September crazy routine.




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