Selfless sewing - Deer & Doe Chardon .... and a few surprises!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Hi guys,

Long time no hear? (Is that an Irishism btw? I'm still having to check certain phrases, even after 4 years)

SO.. I haven't posted in a while, but I have been tipping away (now that's definitely an Irishism?).

aNYwho - 

So I have been sewing, trying to muslin out a Mae blouse at the moment, and I've been having a few issues - 

Mainly the first one was too small. The back barely touched, and clearly as its a button placket, its supposed to overlap!
I was surprised as I did go by the measurements, and even traced between sizes for some ease. 
I have done an FBA and some other random tweaking (mainly more letting out) so I should be good to go soon. I've just cut out the 3rd (hopefully wearable) muslin. Mr.G left me alone last night to get it all sewn up, but on a phone call to my Mam she asked me about the skirt that I was supposed to be making my sister, and I realised that it was sitting in a box, just waiting to interface the facings.

And after Kathryn's Sewing Enjoyment chart, I've realised my 0% is interfacing stuff. 
Why - I don't know..

But I decided to get my shit together and suck it up, and I've just finished off the whole thing.
Boo yea!

As the title said, its a Deer & Doe Chardon skirt. I'm actually very proud of the darn thing! It looks great, and I'm really excited to give it to my sister.
I can't model it for you myself, as she has a smaller waist, so I'll have to let the dressform do the honours.

Pattern-wise, it came together really quick. I used a tropical print, medium weight, stretch cotton from A1 on Goldhawk Rd. It was one of the 5 meter lengths that Janene and Roisin split in the past. 
I, however, am selfish and if 5 meters are there then they're all mine!! Mwa- ha ha.
Thankfully, I have still got more than enough of this to make myself a dress too :)

The fabric is weighty enough to give the pleats a proper pop, and stand off the body.
I did find it came up a bit big (although maybe the fabric stretched?) so I trimmed it down.
I'm a bit nervous that I was a bit trim happy so hopefully it fits! I also shortened it a fair bit, as my sister is one for the short skirt (occasionally indecent). I think for her this is a very modest, demure length.

The fabric is a bit thick in terms of folding down the facings and getting them to sit down, and again in terms of zipping up at the facing area. This was a combination of the fabric, but also all the pleats. Although my zipper insertion was very clean! I topstitched along the top to keep the facing down inside.

I did intend on doing the back bow but I forgot to do it before I sewed up that pleat, and then I wasn't arsed going back to put it in! I wasn't sure about it anyway because I only had the same print, and the fact the fabric is so thick, I wasn't sure it would tie well. No matter.

One thing I ADORE about this pattern is the pockets! Granted they are my first pockets, so I'm pretty excited about them, but they are lovely and deep, and are the perfect hand-size - wrist deep! They feel so good. and they are really well hidden in the pleats. They will be my go to pocket pattern piece from now on.

And I must say, one of the reasons it came together so fast and so clean, was because of this baby...

Surprise!! I got an overlocker yesterday!!!

Its a Janome 9200d, and I must say I am IN LOVE

Now, I didn't expect to be... Mr.G was going to get me one for Christmas, and I wasn't even excited.
I was a bit shruggy about it. A bit 'Meh'.
I kept saying - "I don't really neeeed one".

But dear god things have changed. The insides of this skirt look serious.

Now, the surprise is the overlocker, and the story of how the stork brought my baby to me.

Well - 

I was walking through town last week, and was thinking about how I would love to befriend a tailor/dressmaker to teach me the ways of the needle, and as I was passing a small tailors that I usually just stroll past, I looked in the window, and I saw that he was selling mannequins for £20. Mr.G noticed a few other things for sale, and we wondered if perhaps he was closing.

I passed again today, and noticed other things for sale. And hanging up there was a Harris Tweed men's Jacket for £45. Bearing in mind that the last Harris jacket I saw was £250, I couldn't help having a look.
It was a 40" chest, so I thought I could definitely take it all apart and cut each piece in a more me size.. perhaps? It didn't have much detailing as it stood, so the pieces weren't distorted.

It looks vintage (the lining has that look), so I decided to go for it.

I have pictures of the expensive jackets I was inspired by.

As I had forgot my purse, Mr.G had to go to the cash machine.

In the meantime, me and the Tailor-man got to talking about dressmaking and he asked me if I had an overlocker. He then proceeded to tell me he was intending on selling his 6-9 month one due to closing down.
And then he said he would sell it for £70.

I was sold, and Mr.G had to go to the cash machine again. He also did a quick google search and it came up at £200-250. On top of that, I bought a big tin of buttons for £5. He said there were some Horn buttons in there (but I'm no button connoisseur).

 And he gave me a sleeve board (as he had 3!). I just have to pad and cover it, but he showed me how he did his. It pretty big. I may have to get a smaller one for slim sleeves! but it will be good for wider sleeves and trouser legs. Or maybe it will be ok, I haven't done many sleeves so far.

It was so cool. And there's more that I'm going to buy off him...
But I'll talk about that when I get them.

Some stuff he's ready to part with (but I had enough to carry for one day, and I couldn't send Mr.G to the cash machine for a third time!) And other things he's gonna wait until he's closing the doors. There's a couple bits of fabric I have my eye on!

I also want to take pictures of his industrial machine ( I think he said approx 5200 stitches a minute - that is mind-boggling) and an industrial overlocker (the reason he had the Janome was because it takes about 2hrs to change a thread colour!). And also, an industrial steam iron (which you have to fill with 5 pints of water in the morning! Something like 40psi of steam).

It's only a small shop but it was cool to see thing's I'd never seen before.
I'll have to wait and see what his price will be for a few of the bits - I'm gonna put a clamp on my bank account for the minute!

To be continued, eh?

Do you think that I will be able to refashion the Jacket???


Emmie x


  1. That's a good deal! I love my overlocker, just remember to clean it out often and oil it... it gets SO MUCH lint it. I made one shirt yesterday from teal knit and the whole serger looked like teal threw up on it! Btw, that skirt is really pretty, I may have to get that pattern :)

  2. congrats! That is a great deal :) I love my overlocker as well. Sewing knits is a breeze. I agree with Amy, remember to clean and oil it. Mine likes to yell/growl at me if I let it go to long w/o oiling.

  3. Yay, glad someone else feels the same! I really need to fins a suitable pattern now!

  4. How often do you oil it? I assume the manual will have instructions on where to oil..

  5. Thanks! Yes, such a difference. I now enjoy finishing seams!!

  6. How often do you oil yours? Any particular oil? I'm cleaning it pretty often already with a toothbrush

  7. Well I vacuum mine out because it's fast! lol. A toothbrush is really good - very thorough. I think you are supposed to oil it every month? But I sew on mine almost everyday and I only oil it every 2 mo or so - when I remember. I use Dritz Zoom-Spout Sewing Machine Oil : seriously the best because it has this tube thing that pulls out so you can put it right down in the right spots. It is not too expensive either. I have a brother serger and my book told me to only oil 2 spots which were hard to get to otherwise.

  8. Cool. I will have to invest in some. Don't want to make it cranky!

  9. Wow, what fabulous bargains! can't wait to see how you get on with the tweed jacket.

  10. Beautiful skirt. The fabric is lovely. So kind of you to make it for your sister. I've been eyeing up this skirt pattern...

  11. I read what Kristin said.. I think once a month is smart! I kinda suck at it and oil mine when it starts sounding weird and/or burning lint smell ... I'm not the best serger owner... but I am trying to get better! The manual will tell you where, yeah :)

  12. Love your Chardon! How sweet of you to make one for your sister! I have made 2 chardons and there will be many more. It's such a great skirt pattern! I have also made the Mae. Check them out on my blog ( I hope your 3rd muslin fits!

  13. Your chardon skirt looks fantastic. The patterns on my wish list, can't wait to get it. You got some brilliant bargains too. :) I reckon you'll do a grand job on your jacket.

  14. I know, I'm gonna have to keep my eyes peeled for a good pattern

  15. It's very easy and turns out really well!

  16. I loved your Mae! It's gorgeous!

  17. Hopefully! I'll do my best, if I can manage to find the right pattern!

  18. Hello, I wanted to know if its possible for the skirt ( Deer & Doe Chardon skirt) be sewn as a maxi skirt. All the way down to the ankle? Would it be too wide as the skirt gets longer in length?


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