Musings on Liberty tana lawn and hard decisions

So the Jubilee is almost upon us. Are you excited? Judging from the royal wedding last year, it will be naive for me to assume that only those resident on this side of the ocean are working themselves into a frenzy. I bet every conversation now starts with ” So, anything planned for the jubilee weekend?”. I know because not only have I been the recipient of that question, I have also been at the questioning end of said question.

Anyways, like last time, I plan on spending the weekend sewing. To prepare for that, I went to Goldhawk road on Tuesday. I’m sure you all know by now that I love a good bargain. I am so cheap, I think if you look hard enough in the dictionary, you will find my name there as a synonym. 
I went to Goldhawk road with a plan. To buy liberty tana lawn to make the Wiksten tank top, and rummage through 1 or 2 remnant bins. I fell in love with the pattern after seeing Shivani’s versions. So true to plan, I bought a metre each in these liberty prints for £10/metre. So £20 in total, for what will give me 2 tops.
Then I went to the shop that has my favourite remnant bin on Goldhawk road, and bought these
Swiss Voiles

Italian cottons

Now before you all file me into the nut bin, I did not just spend my non-existent life savings on these. These were from the remnant bin, and as such, were £.50/ piece. Some of the pieces were more than a metre, and I had to rant and rave when I was told that the bigger pieces cost more. I spent a great deal of my time there trying to charm my way into a better deal for myself. In the end, I paid £20 for all of them, and was given an extra piece for “the baby”. I intend to carry Noah on all my fabric buying trips henceforth. 
Comparing the two, I begin to ask myself what the fuss is about Liberty prints. Sure, they are soft and all that, but do I want 2 soft tops, as opposed to 25 tops, for the same price? Believe me when I say the italian cottons are very soft too. I even bought a couple off the roll for other projects, and I don’t think I need to tell you about Swiss cotton voile. 
Do you prefer quantity over quality? Quality here being relative, as I think the Italian cottons and voiles are quality fabrics too. Normally, they sell the Italian cotton in this shop at £10/metre, so we are not talking Primark grade here. I think I shall leave the Liberty prints for special projects, or those requiring  less fabric. Apparently the Wiksten tank top can be made with a metre of fabric. 
The pieces from the remnant bin will be used to make summer tops, and since not all of them are more than a metre, I am thinking tops that require little yardage. Tops like the Sorbetto. I know it will be ok because I took out my sorbetto pattern and did some pattern placement on all of them to see the ones that could be made into tops, and those that might be used in combination with other fabric as ascents.  I’m glad to say only one piece was not big enough for a top. So there you are. Potentially 25 tops for £20. I fear there shall be tsunami of sorbetto tops round these parts in the coming weeks.
Now, on to the second part of my post, which concerns the Cambie dress.
I want to make a cambie so badly. I have the pattern already, I have the lining already ( I decided on a white cotton lining), but now, I don’t know what fabric to use. I originally intended to make it using a white eyelet fabric I had in my stash, but after my trip to goldhawk road, I became confused. Upon arriving at home, I decided to sort my stash so I could know what I had there, lo and behold, I saw more fabric with could be Cambies. aarrgggh!!!!!
So I need your help . Which would you use for a Cambie from the following lot?
Italian cotton


Cotton eyelet

Cotton sateen

Cotton Pique ( Jane made a lovely dress with this one)

decisions decisions…….
I need a stiff drink please!!

Going against the grain…HELP

I need help folks. Seriously.

A couple of weeks ago I went on the rampage at Walthamstow market, scoring metres upon metres of fabric at dead cheap prices, and lamenting the limitations of the human body. 2 hands only? I asked myself. Who can get by with only two hands when fabric shopping? No seriously, I want you to answer that.

Some of the fabric have already seen the light of day here and here. I also chanced upon some stretch cotton fabric with a border print going for £1/metre, and true to form, ordered 3 metres of each available colourway.

It was only when I went home that I noticed the placement of the print. It was only on one end of the lengthwise grain. 

So this is how it is:

I normally only buy 2 metres of any fabric, but at £1/metre, what did I have to loose? The idea I had in my head when I was wobbling under the weight of 3 bolts of fabric en route to the cutting master at the fabric shop, was to make cute little summer dresses with interesting borders. I am not sure how to achieve that now.

Ideally, I would have wanted the pattern on the dresses to go something like this:

This would however mean cutting the fabric on the crosswise grain.

Now, I know it gets drilled into us by the big 4 pattern companies, and other sewing maestros, that fabric should be cut on the lengthwise grain, but in this case what would YOU do?


I found this old article from Threads Magazine, which gave me hope. The author of the article recommends rebelling once in a while. Is this a right time to stage a mutiny folks. I must point out I am no stranger to rebellions, having spent a large part of my youth writing lines when I was in boarding school. Mind you, I don’t think writing lines as punishment did anything to me. The only thing that suffered as result was a reduction in letters to my family and friends.

I suppose I could make one with the border running lengthwise like this Phase Eight dress. What say you?

Women's Black Kimono Border Print Dress

I would be happy for some suggestions please or if you have gone against the grain before, could you share your experience ?

A bientot……

Vogue 1250 dress

Continuing with the theme of easy makes this week, is vogue 1250, a DKNY pattern.

I LOVE this dress.

It is a cowl neck pattern, but I decided, because I am crazy like that, to wear it off my shoulders. I have been looking for an off the shoulder pattern, but I have not been able to find one….yet…so in the meantime, I shall wear this dress like this.

A dodgy picture……

Don’t know what was going in with my face here
I don’t know why I kept looking to my left.

 When pairing it with the jacket, I decided to wear it with the cowl out as it was designed to be.

And for the stats

Pattern Used: Vogue 1250 

Pattern Sizing: I made a size 14 for the top, then tapered out to 16 from the waist down.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think so

Were the instructions easy to follow? Pretty much. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The instructions for the binding at the back of the neck were a bit fiddly I think

Fabric Used: Cotton jersey from Walthamstow market. £2/metre

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added about 2 inches to the cowl to deepen it.

Would you sew it again? Definitely. In black for a LBD, and then some jewel tone colour. 

Would you recommend it to others? For shizzle. If you don’t have this pattern, buy it NOW.

The mission Maxi Dress

Ok, so not the most original of blog post title, but I could not think of anything else to call it.

I finally found time today to make something for myself. Knowing that young sir would be interrupting me every so often for his various needs, I looked for something easy to do. I have been looking around the blogosphere for easy and quick projects, and one that kept coming up was the Mission Maxi dress by Jamie Christina.

The pics are a bit hit and miss because Mr.Dibs was about to go for a run when I begged him to take some pictures of me. That did not go down too well with him.

Busy giving instructions to a very disgruntled Mr.Dibs
The weather has been really horrible today, so there was no way I was venturing out of the house without a cardigan. Hopefully when summer decides to roll around, I will be able to wear it without a cardigan. It has a really interesting back. You can see it better here.

The dress was really easy to make, with only two main pattern pieces, both cut on the fold, and the binding strip, which is used to bind the neck and armholes.

I decided not to complete the binding, so it is half done. Actually when I was doing it, junior Mr.Dibs II decided to wake up. When I tried it on later, I quite liked the unfinished look.

Now for the stats

Pattern Used: Mission Maxi Dress by Jamie Christina

Pattern Sizing: I made a size 14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were uber easy. She even gives tips on how to sew jersey with your regular machine, for those without overlockers/sergers.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the dress. There’s nothing I dislike about the pattern.

Fabric Used: Some jersey I bought from Walthamstow market for £1/meter.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None

Would you sew it again? What a silly question. I intend to make as little as 5 for the summer. 

Would you recommend it to others? Yes!

The Blogger Series: Pincushion Treats

Hi everyone, I am glad to say that things are starting to fall into place chez Dibs, and I have not murdered Noah yet, so that is a good sign that all those sleepless nights have not driven me mad….for now.

Remember when I mentioned here that I was trying to psyche Mr.Dibs into getting me a DSLR camera after the baby came? Well I succeeded, and I am now the proud owner of a Nikon 3100D. I was torn between a Canon and a Nikon, but I settled for the Nikon because it offered video shooting features, while the Canon did not….well not for the money I was willing to pay. I am so excited about the camera, and I have been playing around with it in my spare moments.

Which led me to the reason for this post. Its no secret that I enjoy meeting fellow sewing bloggers, and I feel meeting them in person, and hearing their voice, or laughter, makes reading their blog posts more fun….am I crazy? Probably…anyways, I thought it would be nice to do a series of posts where I interview fellow bloggers I meet, so that you can also get to know them through my Nikon lens. I don’t know how this will pan out, but I hope I can meet as many bloggers as possible, and interview them. Its nothing serious, just a fun 2-3  minutes interview. Is anyone game? I know having a video of yourself on the internet is not everyone’s cuppa tea, so if I approach you with a determined look in my eyes, do feel free to tell me where to put my camera if you are not interested.

For anyone wondering, no, I am not a journalist, but my undergraduate degree was in Journalism and Mass Communications, and so I do tend to delude myself that I could be the next big thing…I’m sure Oprah started somewhere at the bottom too…..NO….she did not?…..really?

First off, I went to visit Pincushion Treats yesterday. When I was pregnant, she visited me on several occasions, bringing me guilt inducing edibles like chocolate macaroons (promptly devoured by all in the Dibs household, with both senior and junior messrs.Dibs clamouring for more…sorry guys, I don’t know how to make them), the softest chocolate chip cookies ever ( I seriously prayed to God that Mr.Dibs would not want some, and surely, it was a blessing that she brought them on one of the nights that was with his mom….someone say Amen please.)

I went with Junior Mr.Dibs II ( you have to start them young on career paths I tell you), and I can assure you that he has, as of yesterday, started his media career. A couple more years, and I can retire to a life of luxury, while he slaves away to keep me in all the luxury I am MOST confident I can become used to. I dare anyone to say its child labour.

This is my first time editing a video, so do feel free to laugh at my mediocre attempt.

In sewing related matters, I am currently buying fabric and patterns, and wondering when I will ever sew anything. It may be a while before I finish any thing, but I shall continue trying, one machine stitch per week. Who knows, maybe I might actually sew a renfrew just in time for Winter.

Have a good weekend everyone.