Is there any greater reward in life than to come home and climb into your (handmade) pyjamas? Forgive me if I write this in my casual attire, but it’s been a helluva two weeks. With various family and friends staying Chez Karen, decorators currently installed and a work trip to prepare for, I’ve barely had time to sew or knit. Sometimes I wave at my sewing machine from across the room, smiling wistfully. Hail, old friend! One day we shall be reunited.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It’s been Toile-Tastic. Look:

Two On The Go!

Important note about this photo: it was taken this morning before I went to work. That natural light seeping in through the window? You may not recognise it. I’ll enunciate slowly: it’s called sunlight. Friends, the days are getting longer. May the blogging community cheer loud and long.

So, I’m making a toile of the Simplicity 2443 jacket. A reminder of what it looks like:

I checked my body measurements against the cut out pattern pieces, as recommended in a recent blog post by Tilly and the Buttons. (Thanks, Tilly!) The toile is working up to what looks to be a perfect fit, but I wanted to also use it as an exercise to test:

  • Would that close fitting neckline suit my face?
  • Was the jacket deep enough to cover my belly?
  • How the heck am I going to insert a placket? And what is a placket?

I’ve learned that a toile helps you practise construction before cutting into the final fabric. What’s the final fabric choice, Karen? Wait and see, wait and see…

The second toile, draped across the seat, is the one I’ve been working on during my sewing evening course. It’s for the V8667 dress:

Our tutor is coming into her own now that it’s time to start adjusting. Below is a photo of one of the other students with her coat toile. Gillian helped her tweak the back fitting:

These aren’t the final adjustments, but they help tutor and student see where the issues lie and which parts of the pattern need study and amendment. I have to say, that coat lay beautifully down her front after those tweaks. Fascinating!

Now, I am more than happy to share with you the gorgeosity of the wool cashmere mix I have ordered for my make of this dress:

What a beauty!

Stone Fabrics really came good with this one. For 2.5 metres and postage it came to £40. So, not a cheap make – but you know me. Good fabric forces me to take things seriously. For the first time ever I also received care instructions with my package:

And a really interesting newsletter about current trends:

Hee, hee. Apparently, ‘Restraint is the theme.’ Which I guess means I am massively off trend with my love of zinging strong colours. Oh well, who cares? I’m really impressed with Stone Fabrics, supplier of this wool, and I’ve signed up to their Cloth Club.

Finally, a little bit of crochet love for the hook wielders out there. As I made my way home from this week’s sewing lesson at the end of a very long day, I noticed someone doing spectacular crocheting as she waited for the tube. With a blogger’s razor sharp instincts, I whipped out my camera and politely asked for a photograph:

Now that’s crochet!

I’ve had a few comments on this blog along the lines of, ‘Oh, I would never dare ask to take someone’s photo/ask them to take my photo.’ Friends, let me share a secret. People like it. They’re flattered. They want to please. Either that, or I have a very intimidating face. I can only recall one instance of anyone ever saying ‘no’ and that was done very pleasantly. So what do you have to lose?

The worst someone can say is, ‘Don’t listen to Karen, she’s a bleedin’ idiot.’

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7 Responses to Toile-Tastic!

  1. Roisin says:

    That fabric is awesome-o. I love it! Restraint sucks, I’m going to be following your trend 🙂
    I’m also mind-boggled by that crocheting lady. My friend Denise crochets for a living and she’s also been making roses, they’re beautiful – but that looks like some kind of crazy/amazing garment that lady was making. That’s some skills right there!

  2. rachel says:

    I can’t wait to see both! And I seriously love the purple wool/cashmere — it will look stunning for that dress.

  3. Roobeedoo says:

    Lovely purpley goodness! And OMG that is some serious crochet!

  4. lizajane says:

    That purple fabric is beautiful! I’m not a fan of restraint either 🙂

  5. Tilly says:

    Props for getting a snap of that lady’s crochet. Definitely worth sharing. Hope you’re going to make a rose garland scarf soon.

    That purple fabric is stunning – really looking forward to seeing your finished project.

  6. helbo says:

    Love the fabric – and thanks for the Stone Fabrics recommendation – I’ve signed up too!

  7. Alessa says:

    Oooh, very pretty fabric, can’t wait to see your finished dress!
    Also, very pretty crochet roses!

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