Wednesday, 11 May 2016

GBSB 2016

It's back!! I am super excited that the fourth series of The Great British Sewing Bee is back next week. The first episode 'basic construction' airs on Monday 16th May at 9.00pm on BBC2.

This series features a change in judges, with Patrick Grant being joined by Esme Young from Central St. Martin's. There are 10 contestants and there will be 8 episodes. The format seems to be the same, with three challenges: a construction challenge based on everyone using the same pattern, a creative challenge where contestants need to adapt an item of clothing and the made to measure challenge where contestants have to fit to a live model.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the contestants work and the different challenges they face. I'm going to ensure that I have this on record so I don't miss any!  

Anyone else looking forward to GBSB's return? 

Turquoise Sleeveless Blouse

I'm still here! Baby Gibbs still hasn't made an appearance - I'm currently three days overdue, so it could happen at any time. In the mean time, I've been keeping busy with some sewing.

One of the projects that has been in my sewing queue (yes, I've got one!) for a while is a second version of my red floral sleeveless blouse. This blouse got a fair amount of wear last summer, before I became pregnant. The pattern is a version of the 40's style blouse pattern in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual by Gretchen Hirsch.

I brought this gorgeous turquoise and pink floral print fabric from a trip last year to Walthamstow at the same time as the red floral fabric. It has very good drape and I always envisioned it as a sleeveless summer blouse.

Due to my current condition, I had to work slowly on this project. I actually started this during the Easter half term and then finished it last week over several days. I have been sewing a few seams, etc. and then having a rest!

I am pleased with the finished blouse. I mistakenly interfaced both the under and upper collar, but couldn't be bothered to cut a new under collar so went with it. This has resulted in a slightly stiffer collar, which I actually don't mind as it seems to hold the shape better.  

The inside of this blouse is also very neat. I am becoming more confident with using bias binding to finish arm holes and love the neat finish this gives the blouse. I also paid more attention when stitching up the darts of this blouse to ensure that they aren't wonky like my previous version!!

I was unsure about my choice of buttons for this blouse. My first instinct was to go with hot pink contrasting buttons but failed to find any the right shade. I also had difficulty finding the proper shade of turquoise and ended up with this slightly lighter blue shade. I don't hate them but I'm not totally in love with them either. I guess I could change them at a later date if I find any better ones!

The only glaring worry I have about this blouse is obviously that it doesn't currently fit me! I tried it on and it fits nicely around the shoulders but not around my very, very large bump. The idea is that once I have given birth and I am beginning to get back to normal this blouse should fit nicely for the summer. Another bonus is that it is button down so should be good for nursing too!

Have you started sewing for the summer?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Happy Camper Socks

I'm currently on my third week of maternity leave and no signs of baby Gibbs yet! My due date is this weekend so baby could make his or her appearance at any point really. It's frustrating that I could have another 2 more weeks after this weekend if I go overdue...

Anyway, I am currently in the process of finding things to keep me occupied; there is only so much cleaning and folding of tiny person clothes a woman can do! I have found that sewing is somewhat demanding on my tired and uncomfortable body but knitting is great!

This week I have finally finished my very first pair of socks!

For Christmas I was given a ball of Sidar Heart and Sole Sock Yarn; this colourway is called 'Happy Camper'. I am not particularly confident in my knitting skills and would never have chosen this intermediate project- knitting socks looks so difficult and I've always thought it was a bit pointless considering how cheap you can buy socks.

The yarn band came with instructions for how to knit a pair of socks. I didn't get round to starting this project until going we went on holiday to Spain in February. I previously blogged about my progress with these socks and how surprised I was at how enjoyable I found knitting these socks.

The yarn knitted up a dream and I loved watching the stripes appearing in my work. I found this project challenging enough to keep my interest, but no where near as difficult as I would have expected. I used a set of KnitPro Symfonie Double Pointed wooden needles, which apart from being beautifully multicoloured, were smooth to knit with and well worth the investment. Being wooden, this also meant that I was able to take them in my hand luggage on the Airplane on holiday.

I finally finished the second sock yesterday and am so please with the finished pair. There aren't many obvious mistakes and I have improved my skill with picking up the inevitable dropped stitches. I didn't bother matching up the yarn when starting, so the stripes don't match up but I don't mind.

 I am particularly please with the heels and love the ribbed effect!

So, my very first knitted and wearable garment!! I definitely see some more socks in my future, no that I have got the hang of knitting socks and depending on how wearable these end up being. I have a feeling they might not get much use as we are approaching summer!