Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A sewing frenzy

Sewing has now officially taken over from knitting at our group. Where once the clickity-clack of needles could be heard, it's now been replaced with the drone of several electric sewing machines. Lovely!
This week the group drew a new member - Marlene, a local resident who needed a little help in beginning  a blank cross-stitch. Second time someone has wandered in with one of these, thankfully we did have a kind member on-hand to assist. Not always the case. 

And then there were five (p.s. I'm taking the pic)

Vicky continued with New Look 6723, I tackled New Look 6097 and Marilyn (again) completely finished another skirt from New Look 6843. smile

A member kindly helps Marlene begin a blank cross-stitch

New Look 6843 made by Marylin. The perfect summer skirt for afternoon tea.

Marilyn reckons New Look 6843 is dead easy, she's now made two for her upcoming Caribbean holiday. But be warned, the waistband has plenty of ease so worth double checking before you sew it on or you'll end up with a massive skirt!

On New Look 6097, I'm nearly done with this and will post finished pics next week. However, it's not a simple pattern. I would advise anyone having a go to cut and match your notches correctly or the pockets won't lie down when you sewn them to the side seams. Also, it has a faux wrap at the front which you'll need to bring under and sew down. So basically, you'll need to pin it in place while you're wearing it and 'carefully' take it off. The sleeves roll up but the instructions are rubbish, so wing that part. It also has (bear with me, I'm getting to the end) an elasticated waist which needs a casement.
If you can get through these minor hurdles, it's a fabulous dress!

Vicky is adding a cotton lining to the bodice of her New Look 6723. She wasn't going to but changed her mind. We tried to cajole her into adding a little netting underneath for a 50's look (we have a free box load of netting) but she was having none of it - ha! She reckons the pattern is straight-forward and it's certainly looking rather splendid. Pics next week. Promise!
RK may make a muslin from Vicky's pattern and have a go herself - austerity sewing! :)


OK, so here we have the charity section. If you like the idea of sewing for a worthy cause, read on!

Days for Girls International works to get washable feminine hygiene kits into the hands of those that would otherwise go without. They advocate and partner with NGO's and agencies to teach women and communities to create their own hygiene kits. However, they welcome help and assistance from sewists to make sanitary pads and bags so young girls in developing countries can manage their periods with dignity and go to school. If you'd like to get involved, you can visit their website download the patterns and get in touch with an organiser.

To honour the re-opening of Blackheath Library, a local resident is inviting you to take part in the creation of a textile artwork for permanent display in the new community library.
Knitters, embroiderers, quilters, crocheters, spinners or just anyone with an interest in working with textiles is welcome to participate in this exciting project.

Catford South Sewing & Knitting Group is completely FREE of charge, thanks to Lewisham Council. Use it or lose it.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

New Look is THE look!

Week 7 : 13 weeks left. That's 3 months to make your skirts, maxi dresses, shorts, trousers....

A chink of sunshine, the chirrup of birds and suddenly everyone was dusting off their sewing machine for a summer wardrobe! Dresses, skirts, even upholstery were being carefully constructed to the sounds of Heart 106.2.  Curious visitors dropped by, sandwiches were demolished and a thoroughly good time was had by all! 

Perhaps it was the half-price sale on New Look patterns this month or just a 'coincidence' but 3 out of 4 patterns on the go were New Look. 

Four machines, four thirsty ladies on coffee break!

Marilyn, after a 10 year sewing hiatus, stunned the group by constructing New Look 6843 in 5 hours flat. She cut, tailor tacked (oo-er), sewed and finished the skirt in record time, best of all the gorgeous Hawaiian style material she used was FREE, having been donated by 
Just goes to show, you're never as rusty on the machine as you think you are.

New Look 6843 made by Marylin in record time!

While Marilyn showed us all how it SHOULD be done, RK broke out New Look 6097, a simple faux wrap dress with pockets in polyester. Did I say 'simple'? What I meant to say was New Look totally deceived me because it has TWELVE pieces and - gulp - yokes. What exactly IS a yoke? Answers on a postcard. All I know is that yoke pockets never sit in the side seams properly, they look like pointy triangles. Laugh! To be continued....

New Look 6097 in construction

Vicky continued with New Look 6723, a gorgeous summer prom dress in red and black. Sorry, forgot to get a picture of this dress in progress but here is the pattern for your delectation! I'll make a note to take a pic of this gorgeous creation next week.

As mentioned, we've had a few visitors swing by to take a look with the promise of joining the following week. We also get people asking the group to sew/knit for charity and although each and every project sounds worthwhile and worthy, it is up to the discretion of each member if they want to do it. The group sew and knit for personal pleasure first and foremost.

If you'd like to join in, please feel free to come along. Stay 30 mins or the whole session, it's totally up to you!

Catford South Sewing & Knitting Group is completely FREE of charge, thanks to Lewisham Council. Use it or lose it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Last Saturday was sunny - cue summer dress pattern frenzy! This week a range of new projects (and people) turned up to the group. Jan brought in a beautiful cross-stitch for a cushion. Very timely, as later in the afternoon a lovely lady named Kay dropped in for a cross-stitch tutorial. Jan was only too happy to share her knowledge of how to start a BLANK cross stitch. Amazing.

Jan's cross-stitch cushion

Quite how anyone can decipher the 'morse code' of a Burda flat sheet is anyone's guess but Del gave it a good go this week in order to get the pattern for a 'Bluemarine' wrap dress featured in BurdaStyle. Most review pics of this dress look great, so we can't wait to see how that will turn out!
If you remember, she finished Vogue 1224 two weeks ago and very nice it was too.

Del tracing a Burda magazine pattern for the 'Blumarine' wrap dress in Burda 6/2011

Racer back

My progress on Vogue 8028 has paused while I search for good buttons, so I thought I'd share Simplicity 2443 which I made straight after the Burda jumpsuit.  This Cynthia Rowley dress is straight-forward....OK, that's not entirely true, as many other sewists have commented, the racerback is tricky. 
I had to carefully unpick it 2 or 3 times before I stitched a consistent line all the way around and it still isn't perfect. However, the finished dress is so flattering (and comfy - wow!) it makes you want to sew it all over again. Recommended. 

Catford South Sewing & Knitting Group is completely FREE of charge, thanks to Lewisham Council. Pop in for half an hour of chit-chat or the whole session - it's up to you! :)