Friday, July 31, 2015

Edinburgh Blogger Meetup

This last weekend I had the chance to meet up with some fabulous sewing bloggers to check out the Pringle exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland.  Pringle of Scotland is a knitwear company that was started in 1815 in the Scottish Borders and they are celebrating 200 years of history!

But first, the lovely ladies:

 (L-R) KerryHelenElaineClare, MeJoyceLizJenFranca with Ellis (Photo from Franca)

It was so great to see some familiar faces and to meet new bloggers!

The exhibit was really small but packed with history.  It followed Pringle's history from the 1800s through to present day.  I found the period from the 1930s to the 1970s the most interesting.

They started primarily with knitted underwear:

In the 1920s they started producing women's golfing sweaters – which were a big hit.  This led to the 1930s and 1940s with the beautiful sweaters:

I got really excited to see the CC41 label on these long johns.  I've never seen the label close-up on a piece of clothing....

They did a great job of going through the company history and how they led some of the fashion trends of the time:

The few examples of knitwear they had were really beautiful.  I especially like this pink rhinestone encrusted sweater from the 1950s:

The detail of many of the sweaters were amazing.  These beauties are from the 1960s:

For many of the sweaters they had the original advertising alongside the display.  I just loved this paisley 1970s knit dress:

After the exhibit, we had a small bite to eat and then hit up Edinburgh Fabrics (my favourite!)  I was very good and didn't buy any new fabric (my stash is getting out of control).  But it was so nice to have an outing with my sewist friends!  Thanks Ladies!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Simplicity 3688: TNT 1941 Trousers

One of the first things I did when I got back to sewing was visit my TNT (tried n' true) pattern, Simplicity 3688.  I love this high-waisted trousers reissued pattern (originally from 1941).

I love this pattern so much that I've already made four different versions: one in navy blue, one in a checkered brown tweed, another in dark green and one in black:

For this version, I made it out of Italian grey wool flannel fabric from Bacci Fabrics.  This fabric is AMAZING.  It is so soft and easy to sew.

Very happy to have another staple pair of trousers in my wardrobe!  Any other recommendations on good TNT patterns?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Florence, Italy: Bacci Fabrics

I think I've died and gone to fabric heaven.  Or is this heaven on earth?  Welcome to Bacci fabrics in Florence, Italy located on Via dell'Ariento. 

This amazing family owned shop was opened in 1945 and expanded in the 1990s.  It has designer Italian fabrics as well as the most amazingly luscious Italian wool.  I spent what felt like hours caressing and 'oohing and ahhhing' over the wool fabrics.  I ended walking away with 2 meters of the blue fabric (in the picture below) and the most amazing grey flannel wool.

Here's a shot of the length of the store and how happy I look with my purchases:

If you ever find yourself in Florence for work or pleasure, definitely take a trip over to Bacci fabrics.  The store is centrally located and easy to get to and well worth the visit. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The prices are more expensive but the quality is definitely top notch.  A nice fabric treat!

I love fabric shopping in new locations as I always find unexpected treasures.  What is your favourite holiday fabric shopping location?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Put a Bird on It: The Delphine Tropical Bird Skirt

It is right that my first sewn item after over HALF A YEAR of NOT SEWING (eeks!) is a summer skirt with giant birds on it?  Well, I am originally from Portland after all.

I delved into the Delphine skirt pattern in Tilly's book 'Love at First Stitch' and I love it.  It's a great shape and very easy to sew together.  It's way shorter than I normally wear (after all, my closet is mostly 1940s outfits) but this sort of skirt is great for a hot summer day.

Speaking of warm weather (which we don't really have in Scotland – we haven't broken 70 degrees yet and it is the height of summer), these photos are from the lovely Florence, Italy.  The Boboli Gardens to be specific.  Talk about a comeback post – giant birds, sunshine, ancient gardens, amazing views....

This fabric is really fun.  I found it in W. Armstrongs, which is Edinburgh's largest vintage store.  It's all hand painted and I had to work really hard to make the pattern fit on the fabric I had available.  The poor pink bird on the front almost lost his head.  But luckily it sort of stayed on (as long as I stand up straight and don't slouch!)

I am very proud of my invisible zipper.  Can you believe it's my first one EVER?  Tilly's book walked me through step by step. I found it much easier than putting in a normal zipper!  I'm still going to insert my zips the old fashioned way on my 1940s dresses, but this method is great for modern patterns. pretty....It really is such a good vacation spot.  David and I were there house sitting for a friend and had such a great time.

Overall, I'm very happy with the skirt.  I love the shape and will definitely make more.  Plus they pack up really easily (a good incentive for vacation sewing).

Thank you Tilly for drafting such a great pattern!  And thank you David for putting up with my non-sewing self for the past year.

I don't know about you, but I get really antsy if I don't have my creative outlet.  So it's nice to be back in that space.  And thank you everyone for your comments on my last post – it feels really nice coming back into such a great community.  YAY!

Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm Back!!

Did you miss me?

I wasn't planning on being absent for so long – life and work just ended up getting very busy.  It feels great to be back because I missed interacting with all of you.  It's also great to be back in the sewing room – plotting and planning my next makes!  Stay tuned, more to come!
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