vignette

a new wiksten tank

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Here are the results of my smallish dressmaking spurt - I now have a the basics of a Vignette wardrobe!

Just looking at them all hanging together makes me glad I sew.

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My latest addition is a new Wiksten Tank in the red Petal double gauze.  Again this is a pattern I've made before, so everything was ready to start cutting etc.  All of my previous versions have been made from a thicker quilting cotton.  It's great to finally have one made out of a soft and squishy substrate - so dreamy to wear.  Double gauze is perfect for this style.

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And it adds a nice pop of colour to ensemble too.

Hopefully having all these wardrobe additions will convince me to make the time to sew more wearables.

 


fen number 2

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If the Staple Dress is my favourite dress pattern then the Fen dress comes a very close second.  This easy to wear style is equally flattering and works great with sandals in summer or layered in the winter months.  I know this because I've been wearing my first version of this dress (see below) for almost a whole year now.  Although the pattern has a variety of style options (round or v neck/short or long sleeve/top or dress/shirt-tail or drop hem), I went for the exact same mix of these as I used last time.  Why mess with something that works?  Again, having the pattern all cut out was a bonus.

I also used the exact same substrate as last time - double gauze from my Vignette line for Cloud 9 but this time the teal Petal print.

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A few pattern making notes - One of the tips I got from watching The Great British Sewing Bee this year was seeing how Charlotte speeded up the cutting process by holding her pattern pieces in place with weights and then cutting around them with a rotary cutter - Genius!  I applied this tip to most of my cutting for all of the makes I've been showing lately and it is a 'duh' lightbulb moment.  Obviously being a quilter and having a rotary cutter on hand helps and safety has to be observed at all times - always cut away from your body and keep fingers out of the way.  For curved areas of the pattern where it would be tricky to use the rotary, I use my regular chalk marker and cut with scissors.

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These are the pattern weights I use, they're handmade and were gifted to me by the Cloud 9 team last fall market.  

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Here are both my Fen dresses (so far) together.  I think I might need a few more.

You can find my previous post for the first Fen dress here.


city gym shorts

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I have to confess, I'm not big on wearing shorts.  I only reach for them when the sun is shining at full throttle and I need an outfit with built in air conditioning.  I kept seeing photo's online of the City Gym shorts pattern but I was certain this style was not for me.  Then it got super hot and I decided to give them a go.  I'll admit I was completely wrong, the fit on these shorts is perfect.  They are super wearable.  

So good that I made them twice! (so far).

Both these fabrics are from my Vignette collection, the gold is quilting cotton (but has a lovely light hand, perfect for clothes making).  The navy is double gauze and in case you're wondering this substrate works perfectly for this pattern too.  I made the double gauze shorts exactly the same way, no modifications.  I just made sure to cut them right before sewing as this substrate doesn't like waiting around.  The navy pair were my daughter's idea, she said that the darker fabric would make them perfect for autumn/winter as you could wear them over tights. I tried this over the weekend and she was right. I love how she thinks ahead sartorially :)

Both pairs were edged with Robert Kaufman slub indigo chambray (I bought mine at the village haberdashery).

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One small thing, my print outs of the pattern pieces kept printing with some of the cutting lines missing.  I tried the tips in the tutorial but couldn't get them to work.  In the end I just taped my print out on to my computer screen (with the pattern image on the screen at full size) and drew in the missing lines by hand.  It was easy to do and solved the problem for me.

You can find the pattern for the shorts here.

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staple dress no. 5

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We had rocking temperatures here in the UK over the summer.  I quickly decided I didn't have enough 'hot day' options amongst my sweater laden wardrobe and spent a few days fixing that glitch. The Staple Dress was the first pattern I reached for.  I bought this pattern right after it first came out and it has quickly become my go to dress pattern, easy to make and easy to wear.  It also helps that I already have the pattern cut out and have my favourite length and waist height sussed which means fast, no stress sewing. 

I used this pretty 'Poppy' print from my Vignette fabric line for Cloud 9.  Even though there are double gauze options in the collection, this print is only available as a quilting cotton.  It wasn't until I had actually cut out and started sewing the dress that I really noticed how light weight of a cotton it is, it's actually pretty well perfect for dressmaking.  I've been wearing this dress a lot over the summer but I love that the print is going to look great paired with leggings and a cardi right through winter too!

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So this is my fifth version of the staple dress pattern and I thought it might be fun to see them all together.  It's interesting that four of them are blue/navy, I guess I have a go to dress colour too!

You can see my previous posts for two of the above dresses here and here.


tulips

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I've been in love with Camille's Vintage Tulip pattern ever seen she posted pictures online.  I recently talked myself out of making the large size by consoling myself with the mini (a quilt bite when I really wanted a full blown snack..).  I bought the paper version of the pattern from her online shop and it was nice to get some quilty mail and to use a real life pattern for once.  As with all Camille's patterns, this one is well written and enjoyable to stitch up.

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I used a mixture of my new Foxglove fabrics with some Vignette.  The colours sing well together.  I especially love that the aqua print in Foxglove is a little lighter than the Vignette one.  It gives things a pretty watercolour kind of effect.  Also that orange and aqua together...

Can't wait to finish this one up so that it can go up on the wall with my mini Flutter!

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spring

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I've been slowly working away on more blocks using my Vignette fabrics.  I'm delighted with how spring-like these blocks look, even if the weather isn't quite matching on the outside.  Things are blooming nicely along.  These blocks are mostly destined for smaller projects.  That way I can experiment with a few hand and machine quilting techniques I want to try out.

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I'm in love with the colours and the contrast in these blocks.

I've also been re-familiarizing myself with my 'proper' camera.  I've gotten so used to snapping photos quickly on my phone, that I'd mostly forgotten how.  

Something else that's been keeping me busy is tidying up, here on the blog.  I've updated my Tutorials page already (just click on the 'Tutorials' tab under the blog header up there to go take a look). I'm also working on updating links and making my space here a little easier to navigate.


English wedding ring

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I've been slowly making up a few test blocks to decipher what kind of pattern I want to use for a Vignette quilt.  I am a very undecided type of person and I've only fallen in love with each of the patterns I've tried so far.  So basically no progress has been made as far as decision making is concerned.

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I'm really head over heels for this traditional English Wedding ring block.  I used some of the blender prints from Vignette along with some Essex linen in Silver.  The effect is dreamy.

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I was feeling a little uneasy about the thought of all those half square triangles until I discovered this neat little trick using these Omnigrid marking rulers.  You simply lay the ruler diagonally across the wrong side of the fabric and mark along both long edges.  A whole stack of squares is marked in minutes.  Then just sew on the drawn lines!  It's opening my eyes to a whole world of patterns I wouldn't even consider otherwise.

I found the set of three rulers together, it's sold as a marking set.  It's made by Omnigrid so I guess you could find these easily at stockists of their other rulers.

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I've been making a few stacks of  these up whilst I'm in the mood.  I can always decide on the final layout later.

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You can find Vignette fabric in these fine stores.


floret dress

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I sewed up another dress using my Vignette double gauze fabric, this time I chose the Floret print on navy.  I was so happy when I found out that Cloud 9 were doing this print on the double gauze, since I would have made this dress up in the quilting cotton anyway but making it in the gauze just makes it drape so much nicer and it's so dreamily squishy!  I am head over heels for this dress already and plan to wear it lots. I used the staple dress pattern again because it is exactly that - a wardrobe staple that works year round.

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I got my daughter to snap these pictures of me a few weeks back. She did a great job other than that she seemed to have the focus on the fence rather than the fabric in the majority of the pictures...  Which is useful if you're a fence enthusiast.

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So if you'd like to see the fabric in more detail, I snapped a quick pic of all four of the double gauze prints just for you.

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Vignette double gauze is now available in all of these super fabric shops -

USA

Fabricworm

Hawthorne Threads 

Gather Here 

Fancy Tiger Crafts

Harts Fabric

Spool

Jones And Vandermeer

Circa 15 Fabric Studio

Crafty Planet

Del Ray Fabrics

Fabric.Com

 

UK

The Village Haberdashery

M Is For Make

Simply Solids

 


ebb

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Recently I've begun to favour projects that involve more of the slower aspects of sewing that I enjoy the most.  These include techniques such as needleturn applique and hand quilting - I have long loved both the process and the finished look of these skills. As I venture into these more time consuming practices I have decided to keep my projects small and manageable whilst I explore and develop my skills.  Over the holidays I decided to try out the Ebb pattern by Carolyn Friedlander which has options for making quilt, pillow and tote versions of the design.  I chose to try the pillowsham, which was the perfect size for the time I was seeking to fill, I am really really happy with the finished result. 

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Of course I chose to use my Vignette fabrics and teamed them with a Robert Kaufman yarn dyed Essex linen in silver for the background.  I used a selection of matching colours of Aurifil 50wt thread for the applique and a 12wt cotton for the hand quilting.  The colours from the top are 2610 (used for hand quilting), 2021, 2975, 2220, 2277, 2570, 5015, 2830 (this is the only one I used 28wt since that's what I had on hand and it worked perfectly), 4182 and 2785.

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Here's a close up of the quilting.

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A few notes on equipment - I used Bohin needles, both applique and quilting versions respectively.  These were lovely to use but the ones I had have super small eyes which were a struggle to thread until I remembered the needle threader I had picked up whilst in the states recently.  This one is made by Dritz and was a breeze to use, it even comes with an LED light so you can really see what you are doing!  My daughters both thought this was very hi tech for me :)  I also finally got around to getting a leather thimble - no more sore fingertips.  I'm looking forward to using more of these techniques and have several new projects in the works.

If you're looking for places to find Vignette fabric - I've put together a handy list of stockists,

USA

Fabricworm

Hawthorne Threads 

Gather Here - quilting cotton  / double gauze

Fancy Tiger Crafts

Harts Fabric

Spool

Jones And Vandermeer

Circa 15 Fabric Studio

Crafty Planet

Del Ray Fabrics

Fabric.Com

Once Around - 352 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. CA 94941   Phone: 415.389.1667

 

UK

The Village Haberdashery

M Is For Make

Simply Solids

Pretty Fabrics And Trims

 

I'll update the list as often as I can, in the meantime please let me know if you are a shop stocking the line and wish to be added.

 

 


trellis

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Trellis is a quilt pattern I put together to showcase my Vignette fabric collection. It's a simple pattern that uses traditional quilt blocks and has a kind of reverse Irish Chain effect.  When putting together a quilting fabric collection, there can be alot of working backwards involved.  So this pattern was created after I had finished the designs but before I had seen any form of the actual fabric.  It's a little bit unnerving working this way because you are visualizing a virtual quilt in your head and hoping it looks good when it comes around to getting made.  Since I had many things to create for my market booth last autumn, the quilt in the above picture was made by Jean and Alyson Ruvel for Cloud 9 to use as a sample.  

The Trellis quilt pattern is available here.