Random Ramblings

I absolutely love this photo. We were all guffawing with laughter, as Dad struggled to see anything through the viewfinder. ‘Lift the camera!’ we screeched. ‘He’s going to take a photo of our shoes,’ my sister muttered to me.

A family photo wouldn’t be a family photo without the tops of heads missing. Yesterday, I was back up north for a wedding. I suspect this is the last outing my beautiful rose print dress will have this year, unless we enjoy an Indian summer. There’s a distinct autumn chill in the air, as evidenced by the amount of wool these festival goers at Kings Cross were wearing:

This weekend, clear proof emerged that my silly sense of humour runs in the family:

Can’t take us anywhere!

Back down in London, my latest batch of swatches were waiting for me from the Stone Fabrics Cloth Club. Gawd, I love receiving these swatches. They’re a great education – I get my boyfriend to test me as I try to guess what each fabric is and how it’s priced. Here are six of my favourite autumn fabrics from the latest package:

My absolute favourite is this ‘magenta loose woven jacket weight mohair and wool’:

It’s unbelievably stretchy and springy!

I think this is what would be called ‘challenging’ to work with! Any ideas how you’d stabilise a fabric like this? Underlining? I’d love to try something with it – but not quite yet. I have enough on my plate.

Stone Fabrics are not cheap – not by a long way. But I love their Cloth Club and the swatches have been extremely useful when making items for friends. I just pull out the bag of swatches and let my friend choose something they like. The delivery service is excellent and they’re lovely to deal with on the phone.

We have another delicious Bank Holiday day off tomorrow in the UK. I have a few duties to get out of the way, then I am going to sew my little behind off.

A bientot!

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17 Responses to Random Ramblings

  1. tamsin says:

    Wow those searches are fab – I love the dotty one and the mohair. I have thought about signing up for the swatch club – I think I might have to now. It’s so hard to tell what fabric is like just from pictures

  2. Roobeedoo says:

    Ooh your swatches look like such fun!
    Happy sewing day!
    We Scots will be in the office as usual… sob!

  3. Kirsty says:

    Cloth club? I had no idea such a thing existed, sounds fun!
    I love your rose print dress so much, I don’t think I could bear to put it away for winter, I’d be hunting for a dark belt & coloured tights and cardis to go with.

  4. Sarah says:

    LOL! What a fantastic family photo! Love it! I’ll be sad to see your lovely rose dress put away until next year – it’s one of my favourite things you’ve made.

    Great swatches. Perhaps an organza underlining to stable the magenta?

  5. Debi says:

    Love this post! My mum does the same thing with photos–all headless..hehehehee 🙂 I love your family (oddly reminds me of my own) and you look fabulous in the rose print dress!

    Too bad you can’t come to NYC…I really can’t convince you????? 🙂

  6. Gemma says:

    I love Stone Fabrics too! I’ve just ordered some Wool/Silk mix for my first coat! Eek! Lovely people to deal with.
    Considering joining the Cloth Club too but might just be too much temptation! So many fabulous fabrics just a phone call away!

  7. I loved the jerseys in this season’s swatches, but I totally agree about the mohair. Simultaneously crisp and fragile, but such a lovely colour. I think my favourite was the dark purple wool coating though. I joined the swatch club after reading about it on your blog and I’ve certainly enjoyed getting the samples. They have stuff I’ve never seen elsewhere.

    • That’s a great description of the mohair, Catherine – simultaneously crisp but fragile. Yes, the jerseys were lovely. Oh, how nice to know that I inspired you to join and that we’re oohing and ah-ing over the same swatches.

  8. oonaballoona says:

    when making clothing for friends… what is this activity you speak of? it is foreign to me.

    (i love that purple-y flowerish swatch, should you need practice in this art.)


    • I have two very good friends who I agreed to make things for. (I kind of wanted the experience of fitting something to a person other than me.) But after that my foot is firmly coming down! I swear, I am going to find a reason to hit New York again and meet!

  9. Carolyn says:

    I think what’s so interesting about reading your blog is seeing what resources you have available to you in England. Its awesome how our one communal thread – sewing – binds us together but because we are in different locations, where we purchase items, share ideas and take classes is so different!

  10. Shelly says:

    Love your family photos! They are so typical of mine!! Always a skylarker there somewhere. Although, we often have no feet, lots of sky, but no feet.

    Your fabric swatches look fabulous. Thanks for the shop link. I’ve now book marked it.

  11. Eugenia says:

    Your rose print dress looks fabulous! Let’s hope that we do get an Indian summer – I’m not ready for winter yet and it will give you another chance to wear your dress. Enjoy the day off!

  12. Felicity from Down Under says:

    a day of uninterrupted sewing, gorgeous swatches to drool over, a fun time at a family wedding – wow, life could hardly get any better. I hope you find the opportunity to wear that beautiful dress again before next summer, though.

  13. Hey Karen, thanks for the mention! I found you via another customer.
    If it was me making up that mohair I would stabilise either with organza (silk preferably, but nylon is softer and would work well), or with our very light knitted (iron on) interfacing. You wouldn’t HAVE to interface it, depending on the application, it would make a lovely unlined throw-over jacket, in which case i would bind the seams in something pretty and use our stabilising edge tape to tame the neck, or control with trims or stitching. you can also take advantage of that loose weave by purposely fraying the edges.
    Whilst the fluffiness of that fabric may indeed be ‘challenging’, it is not half so hard as it looks. That loose woven quality means sleeves go in like a dream, and necklines can be shrunk or stretched according to will… so it’s not ALL bad!

    Best wishes

    Bess (employee at Stone Fabrics )

    • Thank you SO much for this advice about how to work with the magenta wool. Fascinating! Great point about how easy it would be to ease in shoulders. I can’t help thinking I’m going to have to keep an eye out for a suitable pattern to use with this fabric. Thank you!

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