• Jackets and coats

    Emerald or Teal?

    So this is the story of my new jacket.
    We’ve had a bit of a rocky time getting to completion but we made it out the other side.

    It’s sort of my vintage pledge garment because my original pledge to sew a vintage shelf bust pattern was demolished when I sewed the modern Gertie dress.

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    Meet Style 2563, a vintage jacket and skirt suit pattern dated at 1969. The cover art is misleading – three women on the envelope, but no variations in the pattern pieces, just additional cutting layouts for plaid fabric.

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    I picked this up at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year as there is a regular stall holder with giant plastic tubs full of vintage patterns and I usually spend half an hour combing through it hoping for buried treasure in my size. A quick muslin confirmed it was a pretty good fit and only needed a few tweaks!

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    The outer fabric is a textured wool from Barry’s Fabrics. I picked it up at SewBrum with the cheeky discount that had been arranged for us — thanks Charlotte! There was a fault running parallel to the selvedge about 30 cm along so I was actually given a further discount. Making this something like £9 a metre.

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    The lining fabric was an eBay find! The seller had called it “stilletoes” print by mistake so it’s good I stumbled onto it. Such pretty colours! It’s a lovely satin that probably isn’t silk (even though she calls it that) but feels as nice either way.

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    Aaah those buttons. These were the most expensive part of the jacket. Can you believe there were £3 each!? But since the other supplies were a steal, and wool covered buttons were ruled out, I wanted buttons I’d love and would LAST.

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    So here’s my two pence about this jacket.

    • It’s too short. I lengthened it a lot and it’s still just a bit too short. Very frustrating. I get that it’s supposed to be worn with a dress or skirt but at its actual length your belly button would show.
    • The princess seams on this jacket are a bit crap looking. If you’re going to draft a princess seamed back and a two piece sleeve, the princess seam should curve to the armscye not the shoulder and connect to the sleeve seam.
    • There isn’t any allowance for the roll of the collar so the outer seam doesn’t roll under nicely. I did what I could with it but this is the best I could manage.
    • Why no pockets? Shouldn’t every good jacket have pockets? I really should have added some so it’s partially my fault. Some cute welt pockets would have been nice, possibly even with a little pocket flap, right?

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket Chewie agrees – WHERE’S THE POCKET!?

    almond rock emerald green wool style 2563 jacket

    So there we go! A new jacket with a few problems but still pretty cute. I’ll definitely get a lot of wear out of it.

    The only thing I can’t decide on is what colour this jacket is. I even got some paint sample cards from B&Q and it sort of falls in between their Teal and Emerald. Help me out here, what colour do you think it is?

  • Events and day trips

    Sew Brum – See you there?

    Birmingham… aka sewing heaven.

    almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

    Now I wouldn’t say I live particularly close to Birmingham. But it really is a great place for a meet up.

    And that’s what is happening on October 4th. Charlotte of English Girl At Home is our host for a big fun filled day of shopping and chatting. Plus there’s a chance to win prizes ooooh!

    The exciting bit is that, as well as taking in the fabric shops in Birmingham city centre, we will be popping to Moseley Village (by bus), home of Guthrie and Ghani.

    I think their fabric selection is stunning so I’m rather excited about that part of proceedings.

    almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

    Provisional Itinerary

    More details will be released nearer the date of the event but the provisional plans are as follows.

    10:00: Meet at Birmingham New Street Station (FYI the coach station is about a 10 minute walk from New St, and the megabus drop off is just 2 minutes walk from New St.)

    10:30 – 12:30: Birmingham’s fabric stores! (Barry’s Fabric; Fancy Silk Store; Bull Ring Markets). The Bull Ring markets and fabric stores are located close together so attendees can decide where they would prefer to spend their morning. I love Barry’s so I’ll definitely be going there! And the market has always been good to me.

    12:30 – 13:30: Reconvene and travel to Moseley Village (Guthrie & Ghani) by bus. (The journey between the city centre and Moseley only takes 15 by bus. Buses are every 5-10 minutes).

    13:30 – 16:00: Guthrie & Ghani. Attendees will have plenty of time to spend in the shop which sells sewing and knitting supplies (patterns, fabric, wool & notions). The studio above the shop will be available to attendees from 14:30 onwards where we will be able to natter, compare purchases, and hold a pattern & fabric swap. Tea/coffee and cake will be available in the studio with all donations for refreshments going to Parkinson’s UK.

    There will also be a fabulous raffle of sewing-related goodies, again with all money raised being donated to Parkinson’s UK which I think we can all agree is a lovely idea. I’ve had a peek at the prizes and oh boy they’re good!

    You might have noticed: A group lunch isn’t currently planned, but Charlotte is happy to provide some recommendations of good places to eat in Birmingham and Moseley.

    almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

    Sign up here to let Charlotte know you’re going to attend. And I’ll see you there!

  • Fabric

    Fabric Shopping Adventures!

    Hello lovely Readers! I hope you’ve had a great week.

    I’ve had two fantastic weekends in a row that I wanted to share. And both involved fabric shopping!

    Last weekend I mentioned I was in London. The trip was centred around a lovely friend’s 30th birthday. I also got to see some of my family and go to the ballet. All excellent activities!


    On the Monday before I left for home I snuck in a little bit more fun in the shape of a Goldhawk Road trip with some famous sewing faces. I put a call out on twitter for London-based sewists who’d be free for shopping on a Monday and who replies? Only flipping Lizzie who was going to be visiting the UK and free to meet up!

    Even better, Rachel, Fiona, Inna and Alana were also free for a shopping jaunt. It had been ages since we last caught up with each other.

    We combed the shops for bargains and then had a lovely gossip over lunch in a funny little cafe (Rachel’s photo above). Monday was the day that Fiona’s first Mood post went live and also the day the Project Sewn results were announced! Talented ladies.

    P1060066 P1060058 P1060055

    Excellent London buys – Deer print Georgette, Geometric Cotton Sateen and Fabulous Swimming Ladies Polycotton.

    This weekend was just as good. I got to catch up with Sabs, Kat, Marie, Helen, Roisin and Claire in Birmingham.

    We enjoyed the Rag Market, the brilliant Barry’s and the Fancy Silk Store. Our lunch may have been more gossiping than eating but that’s just how I like it.

    The fabric bargains, lovely company and good weather(!) all made it worth riding the megabus. I know I’m a broken record but it’s amazing considering we met randomly off the Internet, how I seriously value these ladies being in my life. They inspire me and they make me laugh so much.

    P1060039 P1060044

    Brilliant Brum Purchases – Rose print Polyester, Hydrangea print Viscose. Not pictured are my bargain zip and bias binding purchases or my extremely dull lining choices.

    I feel like I’ve been searching for the perfect floral since I started sewing. These two are pretty gorgeous but not perfect. They will do for now though!

    Finally I still have one (ludicrously expensive) fabric purchase to show you but I’m saving that for another time…

    2014-03-01 11.28.28