Tag Archives: dressmaking

The world’s single most beautiful piece of fabric. Ever.

Yesterday lunchtime I was hunting for some cotton lycra jersey when I stumbled across the single most beautiful fabric I have ever seen, in Calico’s, Cardiff.  Just look at this.

Floral fabric

The world’s softest, brightest, most glorious piece of ‘Wool Mix’. (although I have no idea what it’s mixed with). and it belongs to me.

*sigh*  Isn’t it just heaven? It’s a wool mix and feels a bit felted, has lovely wispy textured bits on it and is just so bold and vibrant.  To give an idea of scale the largest roses are about 20cm across.

So today, after anguishing over it all evening, and my husband agreeing that I would be stupid not to buy it, I went back.  I was actually shaking a little bit as I watched it being measured and cut, and I told the lovely sales assistant all about my plans.  She agreed that it would make a fabulous coat and confessed that she’s been eyeing it up herself also.  (I think it’s probably for the best that I don’t work in a fabric shop.  I don’t think I’d have any wages to speak of to take back home with me.  But I’d have a glorious fabric stash.)

I see this as a fitted frock coat with a swishy, twirly skirt.  I have my eye on McCalls 6800 but I want to browse a bit more before I commit.  I want to be sure that the pattern I choose is absolutely right.

McCalls 6800 – a splendidly swooshy frock coat pattern.

It has also occurred to me that such a bold fabric and such a fitted pattern might end up wearing me rather than the other way round.  As you can tell from my DIY dress form I’m a bit on the stumpy, stout side.  So I think I should probably try to apply myself to Slimming World between now and Christmas so I can get the best out of this fabric.

I can’t help feeling this fabric is going to end up being named, as I can’t keep saying ‘this fabric’ over and over, ever after.  But not today. Today I’m not feeling moved or inspired to name fabrics.

(In case you were wondering, I didn’t manage to find any suitable jersey in town, but I did order some from Tia Knight which should be with me shortly, so it’s all good.)

Frozen Faux-La-Loopsies

Back before Christmas I made a pair of Lalaloopsy dolls for my girls as Christmas presents using this pattern by Quirky Artist Loft (which is not based on any commercially available dolls, any similarities are completely coincidental).  I would recommend the pattern without reservation as it is easy to follow, has some nice hair variation suggestions and gives you a beautiful, very sweet doll.  She also offers clothing patterns for the dolls which I’ve downloaded but haven’t made anything from yet.

Frozen Lalaloopsy

The Faux-La-Loopsies in their Anna and Elsa costumes.
Oh my goodness – the hair. Let me tell you how long it took to sew on all that hair! 14 hours! Each! And people ask me whether I would make them to sell – who’d pay for that?!

Since then the world has gone Frozen crazy.  Including me.  I love it.  It’s quite possibly the best film ever, and I will cheerfully admit to listening to the CD while in the car alone and watching the DVD repeatedly, by choice and child free.  So when I decided to make Frozen outfits for the dolls it was as much for my own gratification as for the girls’ benefit.  They’re actually miniature versions of the dressing up outfits I plan to make for the girls.  I’ve already bought the fabric but I have some more pressing sewing projects to get on with in the meantime so sadly they will have to wait just a bit longer.

Among my more pressing sewing projects is the pair of trousers I’m making in my evening classes.  They’re going well, although I’ve reached another pause until next class as I want to check my fly is right before moving on.  The fly is IMPORTANT, people!

So far I’m pleased with it – the muslin fit very well, but I have no photo as it was a tiny bit see-through (black knickers, you know) and the fly was appalling.  there’s no way anybody is getting a look at that fly.  I did consider putting them on Mari to show you the lovely back view, but they didn’t sit well on her because she only has half a bum.

I do have a photo of the fabric I’m using though, if only so I can share a lesson I have learned in fabric preparation.

I bought a top dyed cotton garbadine from Ebay which was described as developing a vintage wash look after the first cool wash.  Perfect.  So I put it in the machine at 30 degrees and waited.  And this is what came out….

vintaged garbadine

Not quite the ‘vintage look’ I’d hoped for when pre-washing my Ebay fabric. It might all turn out ok though. Let’s stay positive.


It’s a bit (very) creased, isn’t it.  I can’t decide whether it’s ruined or not but am using it anyway – I had to cut around the worst of the creases and I’ll make a judgement on how successful it is when the garment’s complete. At worst it will be a good practice for my next trousers, and I should have some very comfy trousers for lounging around and doing the gardening in.

Back in class I asked Angela what went wrong and she suggested the spin cycle in my machine may have been too strong, and that pressing the fabric straight from the machine might have helped revive it. I have squirrelled these tips away for next time I’m pre-washing.