April 8, 2012

Le Weekend

Filed under:Baking,Favourite Things,Photography,Stash,Travel — Aileen @ 23:45

This weekend has had a little bit of everything. We’ve spent it in Galway. It was really good to get away for a few days. There has been some practice, some running, lots of tea-drinking, idle chat and a lot of snoozing. Yesterday I made the best of the good weather and had a browse around town.

I stopped by Pippa Blue to see their new space. They have moved across the road from their previous place on Middle Street into the Cathedral Building (directly opposite). They’re up on the first floor now but this has the massive benefit of greatly increased space and wonderful light throughout. Of course, I totally forgot to take any photos but take it from me, it’s lovely. They’re running all manner of classes and workshops now, as well as offering their studio space for hire, along with the use of a sewing machine and serger.

I picked up some Tanya Whelan cotton (the print) and some Klona cotton (the solid) for spring tops…

…and a fat quarter of Japanese Echino. The other stuff is two types of interfacing. I poured my zip-on-the-bias woes out to Eva, who proceeded to furnish me with two samples of their interfacing. One is a medium-weight sew-in interfacing, which I’ve never used before but should definitely do the trick, and the other is of the lighter iron-on sort. I can’t wait to try them out.

My mum has requested a pencil skirt for her birthday so I went to Hickey’s. It’s nearly as good as the one on Henry St but tends to have more things on sale. I dislike shopping in Hickey’s. It is the perfect example of how simply filling a shop full of yarns and materials does not make an inspiring environment. Anyway, after a long time digging around, I found some ivory ‘panama’ (polyester) that fit the specs. The lining is only acetate but the panama is quite light so it should be ok.

In the course of my digging, I found a few different knits. I bought the Renfrew Top back when it first came out because free international shipping was offered if you pre-ordered. It struck me as a most useful pattern, with different sleeve and neck-line options. It’s quite hard to find a decent knit and it’s not something Murphy Sheehy tends to stock a lot of. I stumbled upon this, a wool jersey.

At €15 a metre, I classed it as expensive but when I went to buy it, I found out that it had been marked down to €10. It’s not mega-stretchy so hopefully it will be nice to work with.

I wandered around the town and took a lot of photos (I have a photoblog here and also have been posting to Instagram under ‘knittingneels’ so follow me if you’d like to see more of my other photos).

The highlight of the weekend was definitely the gluten-free! cake brought to Sunday dinner by Alb‘s brother’s girlfriend.


April 7, 2012

Something of a failure

Filed under:Black Hole,Epic disaster,Finished Objects,Sewing,Skirts — Aileen @ 15:21

I think it’s fair to say that, with regard to sewing, I’ve had a good run of late. Sure, I’ve had a few blips but almost everything I’ve made in the last year, I wear regularly. Not this one. It’s the alternative view of the here – and wear it loads. I got some denim at the K&S show and thought it would be really nice for the other view.

This was more tricky than the other view. There are many sections to the front and the piping needs to be very carefully applied. I took my time and was very pleased with how it turned out.

The back, too, turned out very nicely and I’m happy with how the piping lined up.

The problem lies with the pleat. It looks fine here but when on, it sticks out at the most ridiculous angle. No amount of pressing and re-pressing could get it to behave. I think it is a combination of the thickness of the hem and the fact that the pleat starts at the widest part of the skirt. Either way, it doesn’t work. I have left it to one side but am considering redoing the hem in a way that will make it less thick. Sigh!

Alb and I are in Galway this weekend. I had a really nice time mooching around town earlier. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, have a good one!


April 6, 2012

Red blouse

Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing — Aileen @ 08:24

So remember the polka dot pockets in the shorts I posted about this week? Well, they came about because of another project. Back in early February, I came across the red polka dot cotton in Murphy Sheehy’s and, really, I had a bit of a moment.

This is the same pattern as my last dotty blouse except as the short sleeved version. It’s pretty boxy but it sits surprisingly well.

I used about 2m since it was quite narrow though I probably could have gotten away with a little less – there is a huge 10cm hem on the sleeves. That said, it gives them a lovely crisp edge and controlled drape.

I got really held up finishing this off because I ran out of white thread and was too busy to go get some. I had a really crazy few weeks in February. Anyway, I finally got sorted and got my buttonholes made… only to find that I’d made them ridiculously small. They were probably the smallest buttonholes ever made. I’m not entirely sure how I managed it. I had them all cut and finished off before I realised. There may have been some sulking but engineer husband was quick to point out that you can always make a hole bigger but not smaller! So if you look closely, you’ll see a little overlap in the middle of the buttonholes where I cut the tack at the bottom of the original hole and sewed a longer hole. Crisis averted.

I really like the buttons. I found them in Rubanesque. They’re glass and were something in the region of €1 each but I only needed 5 of them so it was worth it. All told, I made the blouse for less than €20 which is good going, I think.

It’s a fun, summery blouse. All I need now is some weather to wear it in! Have a lovely Easter!


April 5, 2012


Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing,Skirts — Aileen @ 10:44

Here’s a skirt that I finished up quite a while ago.

Pattern: Ginger by Colette Patterns.

This was the first paid-for pattern of Colette’s that I used (I made the Sorbetto before but it’s a free pattern). It’s marked as a Beginner pattern and it is definitely a good choice for a first fitted skirt.

Material: 1.5m of grey wool from Trimmings. At €18/m, this was not a cheap project but I needed a grey skirt and could find nothing else suitable. At least I have been getting a ton of wear out of it since I finished it. I also lined it even though there are no instructions to do so. I managed to squeeze the lining out of 1m – the skirt pieces are quite wide!

I wasn’t very awake when I put this together. I just slapped in the zip so thankfully it all lines up ok at the back!

All in all, the pattern is great. It’s laid out spaciously and very clearly. There are some extra hints for a good finish, which I really liked, especially for attaching the facing to the zip. The second option on the pattern, where you cut the skirt pieces on the bias, is more difficult. I got some really lovely tan cord in Murphy Sheehy’s on sale thinking the nap would show off the bias cut – which it does – but after about ten tries, failed completely at getting the zip to lie properly. My mum gave me some tips which I have yet to try, so hopefully I will soon have another Ginger to show.


April 4, 2012


Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing — Aileen @ 12:14

Apologies for the dead air, readers. This time of year is when I make the money that gets me through to September and, I’m thankful to say, a lot of my depressed CV-sending in December has paid off. Today I am working to shake off a cold and trying to rest whilst still being productive… and not counting down the days to the long weekend at all. Anyway, here are some shorts I finished during the week. I seem to have a thing for unseasonal shorts (it was snowing yesterday).

They’re the same pattern as the last ones.

I even used the last ones to help figure out where to put the back pockets.

Pattern: Shorts from Burda, 6/11.

Material: Denim from my K&S show stash. That stuff has gone a long way. Aaaaannnd a little surprise in the pockets…

…leftover cotton from another project, polka dot in Murphy Sheehy’s.

As you can see, I just used an ordinary zip because I didn’t have an invisible one in the right colour or length. You can still see it on the outside but it’s no big deal. I understitched the pocket fabric to the seam allowance on the front part (you can’t see it in the photo) to stop it from rolling out when I use the pocket and it seems to have done the job.

My favourite part.

I could not face stitching all of that denim down by hand. I had never done a bias binding finish like this before but it was really easy and I will be using it again for sure.