Wow, look at this, a blog post. I haven't been here in such a long time because I'm writing a book, which means I have hardly been doing any selfish sewing, or anything at all really apart from writing a book. If you were to stop me on the street and ask, I would say without hesitation that I haven't done ANY sewing AT ALL since September, when this project began, because I am feeling the totality of deprivation. But when I look at the facts I've actually made four things for myself in the last seven months. Three of those have been from stretchy fabric, which I have only recently discovered the joys of, the number one joy being stretchy things are quick to make. As the world of stretchy garment making has opened up to me, so has the world of buying stretchy fabric, which is wonderful! A whole new world of fabrics through which I cam roam!
A few weeks ago I had to go to Brighton for a funeral. It was a very sad day which I won't go into, but never-the-less four good things happened:
1. I got to see this.
2. I got to meet Wendy Ward from Brighton's super cool sewing studio MIY Workshop. I happened to walk past it and give her door a knock and there she was with her two lovely dogs!
3. I caught up with good friends from way back.
4. I found some really nice fabric in Fabric Land. Here it is:
I have just completed a Linden Sweatshirt with the fabric on the right. I have never seen anything like this fabric before. It looks like a sort of black jersey that has had strings of wool felted onto it. If you look closely (below) you can see that the wrong side of the fabric looks almost like a blurred version of the right side. The wrong side feels a bit like fleece, which is very nice.
The fabric tag on the fabric read simply 'Liquorice Jersey' and the woman in Fabric Land seemed pretty mystified by it too. There was another version that was all purples and greens but I resisted that in the name of making something that I would wear a lot. Cake, rather than icing!
I have made one Linden before, also out of a weird fabric that has a sort of spongey waffle texture. That is the first time I have ever used ribbing and I loved it. (Don't look too closely it's a bit loose and wobbly!)
I decided to make my liquorice version baggier than the first as that's more my style, so I widened the body and deepened the armholes by 3/4 of an inch. I think I'll go a bit wider and deeper next time. I also discovered that this liquorice jersey is actually not very stretchy at all leaving me with a gaping neck hole, so I removed fabric by deeply tapering all four of the raglan seams, which also made the neck hole smaller which coincidentally I was thinking about doing anyway but was too lazy to redraft.
It's been a wild day in London weather wise and I decided to write this blog post on the back of the adrenalin rush I got from completing my 11 mile cycle journey home from work - including a perilous dash across London Bridge - in really strong winds! The wind is so wild that I had a load of new arrivals in the yard when I opened the back door tonight. They are plants from the upstairs neighbours roof garden that have blown down into our yard. Here's one. I don't think it looks very happy about it's swift relocation.
Here's a sleeve close up so you can see the texture of the fabric as well as the nice chunky ribbing. The ribbing feels like it comes from an army & navy shop, it's so nice and rough and industrial.
I was outside taking these pictures for all of five minutes, the beginning of which were cold, blustery and gloomy, the middle few saw the sun emerge in kind of a scary hyperactive way and then right at this moment it started bucketing down with rain!
I'm glad I have a warm homemade sweater to see me through the atmospheric twists and turns that April may bring. Happy spring everybody.