Bits and Pieces

I’ve taken a few sewing related photos recently that I haven’t blogged about so this post is basically just a mish-mash of those pics with some commentary so that I’ve got a record.

I’ve only recently sewn one other garment that I didn’t mention in my last post.  I wanted an easy-peasy project and this fit the bill – although I did slightly complicate it by making my own bias binding for the neckline, just because I could. (The instructions have you use purchased bias binding.)

The pattern is Simplicity 1989:

I don’t usually buy SewSimple patterns because the garments seem too shapeless for me, but the pattern was only £1.70 in the last sale and the couple of reviews on Pattern Review were good so I included it in my order.

I was worried that I might look like a sack of spuds tied in the middle (I often worry about that effect with clothing) but I’m quite pleased with the result.

It’s a very simple, comfortable dress.  The fabric is a new one that I bought recently. It’s a polyester crepe-de-chine so this is very much a throw on and forget dress because it doesn’t crease.  Based on the finished garment measurements I cut a straight size 16 and it fits me pretty well.  It is very slightly too tight across my shoulder blades but as it has a centre back seam I’ll just sew a slightly smaller CB seam above the waist if I make it again. I may also add a couple of front waist darts because I do find myself tweaking it at the front waist when I’m wearing it, but overall it’s a great, simple pattern.  Although it looks like a short dress in the pattern photo/drawing, I didn’t add anything to the length and on 5’3″ me it’s not too short.

Other than sewing the above dress, and the couple of garments in my previous post, I’ve just been a bit spendy.

I read this post about these shoes a little while ago:

and I couldn’t resist at least going into Clarks to try them on.  They weren’t available in my size in this gorgous blue, but I tried them on in black, fully intending to then go home and order the blue if the black were a good fit.  The black did fit and I realised that I would probably get more wear from the black than the blue so I bought them (and Mr RTS has since said that if I hadn’t bought them then he would have gone back and got them for me because they are so nice!).   I have been gradually getting rid of most of my very high shoes, but I had to agree with Janene that these are incredibly comfortable.  I suppose I now have to confess that, after wearing the black pair around the house for a few hours, and finding them so very comfortable, I ended up ordering the blue as well.  I just have to stop myself going back to the shop as they also have them in red, although not on the Clarks website. I have to keep reminding myself that I already own two pairs of high-heeled red shoes that I rarely wear!  (One pair of those red shoes is mentioned in this post.)

In my spending defence I have bought very little clothing this year.  In fact, I have bought one skirt from a charity shop (£5), the above two pairs of shoes (£45 and £35), and one bag from ebay (less than £10).  I’ve been meaning to mention the bag on this blog for ages but I kept forgetting to take a photo.  I finally remembered last week so here it is:

When I saw it on ebay I couldn’t resist putting in a small bid – and, obviously, I won!  I presumed that the sewing machine was just simply printed on, but it’s actually an applique (although the applique is a simple printed piece of vinyl), and the little piece of blue “fabric” is a separate piece:

It also came with a wallet that, of course, I forgot to photograph.  The wallet has a printed vinyl sewing needle and thread appliqued onto it.  I have always kept my sewing shopping lists on a half-sized (A5) clipboard, and it fits perfectly into this bag so this has now become my “going shopping for fabric” handbag.  I can use the wallet for swatches for matching thread, zips, buttons, etc.  As the bag is black vinyl it matches perfectly with my black version of the shoes picture above because of the patent leather toes and heels :).

My other spending has been on fabric (surprise, surprise!).


This is intended for Simplicity 1849.

I really like twisty front tops and dresses and own a couple of purchased ones from a few years ago; but I’ve yet to find a pattern that works for me.  I’ll keep trying.


I actually bought this for the dress I made above, but when I got it home I realised it was too thin so I swapped two projects.  My intention now for this fabric is a simple tunic – Simplicity 2191, view B, including the tie-belt.

Ponte (I call it ponte – my local fabric shop calls it ponti – I don’t really know what it is) jersey:

This is the softest, scrummiest jersey I have ever felt (although I’ll admit that I only buy cheap fabric).  I don’t have definite plans for it yet, but it would work for the Burda dress that I made a muslin for last year. It’s going into my stash until autumn. I bought 2.5m as that would give me many options.

A fun poly-jersey:

I’m glad I wasn’t intending to make a serious garment from this because when it was being cut the shop assistant said that it reminded her of fried eggs.  This isn’t a fabric I would pick for myself for an outside garment, but I bought it for my TNT nightie.

I don’t know what to call this next one – I think it was described as a pleated jersey on the label.  It’s definitely a polyester and I have no idea what I am going to sew with it.

I attempted to get a close-up of the teeny pleats:

If you can think of a pattern that would work for this then I’d be happy to hear about it.  It’s about 150cm wide and I bought 2m*.

A boring (but I’m posting so that I don’t forget about it) twill:

(Please ignore the creases – I pre-wash, but don’t iron, most new fabrics).  This is intended to be yet another Burda 02-2010-104.  My first version of the Vogue 1247 top is a bit of an orphan and this fabric is a good tone (although not a match) to that top.

Another poly jersey:

I would like to get picky and/or snobby about fabric but I’ve come to understand that if I ever bought really expensive fabric I would be too scared to cut it (unless it was bought for something that I know is a perfect fit) so I am happy to buy poly-jersey and poly-cotton and just plain polyester.  I also live in a very temperate country so I don’t need pure wool to be warm, or the purest cotton lawn to be cool – a poly-mix works for most of the year.  I also like how it washes and wears.  If I lived elsewhere I have no doubt I would feel differently.

The above fabric is now intended for one of my previous (and still incomplete) Burda Challenge projects.

I had a different fabric chosen for this project, but I think this is better.  I currently have too many projects in my “to-sew” pile at the moment but I saw a version of this dress here today that is definitely pushing this one towards the top.

The last fabric I bought is another poly crepe-de-chine:

It feels more like a viscose than a poly c-d-c.  It has to be a dress and it’s yet another fabric that I have bought 3.5m of because I need to find the right pattern.  Again, any suggestions would be welcome*.

*On both occasions I’ve asked for suggestions I’m really asking for a comment if you  immediately thought “that fabric would be brilliant for ****** pattern”.  I’m not asking anyone to look for the right pattern for me – I can do, and enjoy, that for myself, but any suggestions will be appreciated.

Stash Update: 306.90m

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10 Responses to Bits and Pieces

  1. prttynpnk says:

    You have me really wanting some turquoise print fabric now!! I have a few of the Sew Simple patterns- they are good ‘wins’ when you have had a painful project and need proof that you should still own the sewing machine!

    • You can never go wrong with a turquoise print – so you must go out and buy some. I honestly think about half my stash includes some sort of print that includes turquoise – I am pathologically drawn to it.

      Having sewn one of the Sew Simple patterns I will definitely consider others.

  2. judy says:

    I really like your sew simple 1986 pattern.. I saw it at my fabric store , and it didn’t appeal to me.. But seeing it made and on you.. Cute as can be..I will have to buy it.ha

    I really love your shoes and how great that you ended up with both pairs..

    Some really pretty fabric purchases too.. I too, do not buy real expensive fabrics.. I just can’t bring myself to do it.. I would be scared to mess it up.. I normally buy fabric on sale [if I see something I like.. I tell myself, “just wait ,it will go on sale”.lol [Sometimes, it sales out and I never get it….but———— I have so much fabric, I sure dont need it.]

    Happy sewing and I can’t wait to see all the new things you make.

    • I’m happy that my local fabric shop doesn’t sell high priced fabrics so I never have to wait for a sale. I do occasionally wish I could buy a very high quality wool from them because I could feel it – but then I realise that it would cost me a fortune if they stocked high priced fabric because I would buy too much of it “just in case”.

  3. Danielle says:

    Ooooh the bag is adorable! I want one! 🙂

    • I think I just got lucky on ebay. I haven’t seen it before or since I bought it – but then I wasn’t/haven’t been looking. I was just doing a search for “sewing machines” and browsing the results. It’s one of those “I can’t believe I found this on ebay” items 🙂

  4. ooobop! says:

    Ditto Daniell…. that bag is soooo cool! I love your dress and you look lovely in it! I know exactly what you mean about avoiding shapeless patterns but using the right fabric… and with the right shoes of course… a dress so simple can be so perfect. Great length on you too. Plus how satisfying to have made your own bias trim. Makes it all the more special 🙂

  5. allisonC says:

    Cute bag! You have some great fabrics there, I think poly gets an unfairly bad rap sometimes, there are lots of good ones available these days, especially in knits.

  6. Sewingelle says:

    Lots of lovely purchases. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Frankie says:

    I like the Simplicity dress you made! I saw that pattern in the store and I didn’t want to buy it because I wasn’t sure. But it looks great on you so I’m giving it a second thought!

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