Sunday, 30 December 2012

My Christmas Outfits!

Hello there my lovely readers! So the New Year is nearly upon us, but before it gets here I wanted to show you my final makes of 2012. These are my Christmas outfits! (Cue slightly crazy picture of me sitting on the sofa with myself!)

Now, you've already seen my Christmas jumper before, but I thought I'd show it again in a bit more detail - it deserves it, it's such a great pattern!

My Christmas Jumper, Front and Back

This jumper was knitted from the Colourful Winter Sports Outfit pattern from the fabulous book A Stitch in Time, Volume 2, the third pattern that I have thus far attempted from the book. I really do love this jumper, it's so snuggly and cosy, I could wear it all the time regardless of the season! I've already cast on the matching beret, so maybe someday soon I'll have to complete matching set :) The skirt I'm wearing is part of a 1950s wool suit (a birthday gift from my Sweetheart) in case you were wondering. I adore all woollen clothes!

Next up is my Christmas dress, made from the "Wintertime Jumper" variation of the sheath dress from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing (you can see Gertie's version of this pattern on her blog)

My Christmas Dress, Front and Back

This dress is another example of my obsessive compulsive need to match plaid exactly! I'm really pleased with how the plaid matching turned out, it's pretty perfect don't you think? :) I also love the belt, which I cut on the bias for a bit of contrast. This is my second pattern from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing, after making her high waisted pencil skirt and once again it was a great pattern to use. I had to make some minor adjustments to the fit of the bodice, but other than that it was a perfect fit first time :) The fabric I used  is actually genuine Scottish tartan, which I bought when we were in Glasgow with the tour. I still have quite a bit left over, so maybe you'll see more tartan projects in my future. But in the mean time I am spending the festive season wearing this Christmassy little number!

So, there you have it, my final sewing/knitting projects of 2012! I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for my sewing table :)

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Friday, 28 December 2012

My Bombshell Dress - finally!

Hello there my lovely readers!

This is a post that has been a long time coming, I'm finally going to show you my finished version of Gertie's Bombshell Dress! I actually completed this dress back in September but have never gotten round to posting about it here. I have worn it on several occasions, including my Birthday, my last night party for Sister Act and even a musical themed fancy dress party (I was supposed to be this classy lady in case you were wondering!). Here are a couple of shots of the dress in action, I have loved it every time I've worn it!
And look, it goes with both blonde and red hair!

This is a very involved dress, I'm not going to lie! It has everything going on: boning, padding, interlining, lining, waist stay, lapped zipper. This was a labour of love, so much work has gone into it, hand stitching, machine work, techniques I've never used before, and I really do think it's all worth it! I would recommend Gertie's online course to anyone who loves sewing and learning something new, I learnt so much making this dress it's not even true. The only thing I need to back and correct (after seeing these pictures!) is a touch more under-stitching on the neckline, to stop the red lining peeking out, but other than that I'm thrilled with everything about it! Here are some shots of the finished dress in detail...

Front and Back of my fabulous Bombshell Dress
The detail of the bodice and the lapped zipper

I hope you've enjoyed this little look at my Bombshell dress, I just have a few more finished projects to share with you before the end of the year, I want a nice fresh start for 2013 :) I can't wait to start some new sewing adventures, I have so many things planned already! And of course I need to post a 2012 sewing/knitting round-up, but that's for another day...

Bye for now, my lovely readers, I'll be back!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #101/102

Hello there my lovely readers, Merry Christmas! I hope you all enjoyed the big day, I had a marvellous time and I am still very much steeped in festive cheer. I love these few days between Christmas and the New Year, they are always so chilled and full of fun, let's all enjoy the final part of 2012 as much we can! Here's a few snapshots of my Christmas time so far, it has been particularly brilliant...

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. My Christmas Dress, 2. Christmas nails, 3. Homemade mince pies,
4. Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason, 5. Christmas Bunting! 6. Pom Pom wrapping
7. Best present ever! 8. More wrapping 9. A sneak peek of the best present ever
10. Homemade gingerbread, 11. Mini cakes! 12. Peppermint Marshmallows
13. Panto time :) 14. Xmas Cupcake! 15. London at Christmas

I'm sure that you're all very busy doing fabulous Christmassy things, but if you have a spare moment and fancy a little online time then here are a few of my personal picks from the past couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful rest of your festive season my lovely readers, eat drink and be merry!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Monday, 24 December 2012

A Very Merry Christmas and our Christmas Card Outtakes!

Hello there my lovely readers and a very Merry Christmas to you all! I apologise for the slight lack of posting recently, Christmas has well and truly taken over my life! I don't mind though, I adore this time of year, and I'm so excited about spending some real quality time with my Sweetheart and wonderful family.

As a little pre-Christmas treat I thought I'd share with you some of our Christmas Card Outtakes, they are pretty hilarious! This is the first year that my Sweetheart and I have made a card together, but it was so much fun I'm pretty sure it's going to be a tradition from now on! The beady eyed among you may notice a few Doctor Who friends in a couple of our shots, because after all what's Christmas without the Doctor?! And of course I'm modelling my newly finished Christmas jumper, which I'm completely in love with and never want to take off! It's the Colourful Winter Sports Outfit jumper from A Stitch in Time, Volume 2 if you're interested. Yet another fabulous pattern by the queen of knitting patterns, Susan Crawford :) Anyways, here we are in all our camp, Christmassy glory (p.s. I knitted my Sweetheart's jumper too!)

I just want to take a quick moment to thank you all so much for continuing to read my little blog, it means so much to me, I can't even tell you! Thank you for reading my ramblings, to every single one of you who has ever commented and for all of you who have stuck with me in spite of my slightly sporadic style of posting. You are all simply marvellous and I am very thankful to have you as my readers!

I have big plans for this blog in the New Year, so I really hope you stick around to see what happens :) I'll leave you with the final version of our Christmas card and my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #100

Hello there my lovely readers and seasons greeting to you all! Can you believe how soon it is until Christmas now? I'm very excited and enjoying getting into the festive spirit :) Unfortunately I was pretty under the weather yesterday (the cold is well and truly kicking my behind!) so I didn't manage to get this post up then, but I'm sure the good will of the season will help you forgive me! (And also, 100th Wednesday Wonderfuls post! Woohoo!)

I have been feeling so Christmassy over the past few days, it's so lovely to be at home and have the time to really prepare for the holidays, it's been a while since I've had that luxury, what with all my working and touring over the past 3 years. So I am definitely taking advantage of all my Christmassy time! Most exciting for me was the fact that my Sweetheart and I made our very first joint Christmas cards, modelling some of my self-knitted Christmas jumpers, and I cannot wait to get them back from the printers! But more on that and my newly finished Christmas jumper another time...

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. My newly finished Christmas jumper! 2. Happy drink :) 3. The king of sandwiches
4. Christmas crafting 5. Decorating the big tree! 6. Is that a festive apron I see...?
7. Ordering cards :) 8. Mmmm... cider... 9. Showing off my jumper at work!

Let's see what other loveliness has been happening around the blogosphere this week...

Have a wonderful run up to Christmas guys, I hope this season brings you everything you want and more!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #98 & #99

Hello there my lovely readers! My goodness I seem to have gone off the radar for a bit! What with Christmas just around the corner I have been spending every free second crafting for the holidays and haven't had much time at all for blogging, but never fear I have posts planned for the near future :)

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. Our baby Christmas tree! 2. My first ever homemade pumpkin pie 3. Lights in North London
4. All in a day's work... 5. New hair! 6. Lights on the South bank
 7. Fancy tea makes me happy 8. the perfect piece of pie 9. Happy post!

Don't you just love Christmas time? I'm so excited about spending the whole of the Christmas season at home this year, I cannot wait! And hopefully I will manage for get some sewing down before the end of the year, I need me some festive outfits!

Anyways, let's see what has been going on in the beautiful blogosphere over the past couple of weeks...

I hope you've enjoyed these Wonderfuls, but if you'll excuse me I have some festive crafting that I really need to get finished!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #97

Hello there my lovely readers! A very happy Wednesday to you all :)

First of all thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my recently completed cape, I love it so it means a lot that you all love it too! Thanks for making my week :)

It's been a fairly busy week in my part of the world, I've started working a "real job" (as opposed to theatrical work!) so that was a bit of a rude awakening! But it's been nice to have some purpose to my days, too much spare time can make you go a bit cuckoo :) All in all everything is great, and I'm really looking forward to the run up to Christmas!

Images, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. A little treat for myself, 2. Getting ready for a cape photo shoot! 3. More Christmas knitting...
4. The Christmas crafting begins! 5. Reading up on my new love 6. Crocheting Christmas baubles!

It wouldn't be Wednesday without some Wonderfuls, so let's take a look at some lovely bits and pieces from around the blogosphere this week:

Have a great rest of the week!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

A Cape Adventure #6 - The Big Reveal!

Hello there my lovely readers! The big day is finally here, it's time to reveal my cape in all it's plaid wooly glory, take a look!

My Sweetheart and I had a lot of fun trotting about the town near our new flat to take these pictures, and I think they've turned out pretty well! Plus, even though the weather was grim, I was nice and cozy in my wooly ensemble :)

Out of everything I have ever sewn I have to say that this cape is definitely my proudest achievement. I really wasn't sure if I would be able to do it justice considering my complete lack of instructions, but it's all come together better than I could have hoped in the end! I am in love with wool and in love with tailoring and I cannot wait to start my next project!

Thanks for following my cape adventure, I hope that the reveal was worth the wait! 

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Cape Adventure #5 - Finishing touches, the lining and the skirt!

The end is finally in sight my lovely readers, it's almost time for the big reveal of my finished cape! But first let me show you the last few details of it's construction, if you can stand it!

First up, I forgot to mention earlier that during the construction of the cape I added a back stay piece, as you can see below:

This back stay was made of muslin and was stitched to the back piece to give the cape more structure. From then onwards the back stay and back piece were treated as one. I also finished the lower edge of the back stay with pinking shears to avoid any extra bulk. 

Next up is the lining of the cape. I used a lovely cotton sateen for the lining as I love using natural fibres for linings, it's so much nicer against the skin! The original pattern didn't call for a lining, so I just used the back and front pattern pieces as a guide and drafted my own lining pieces. The main difference that I added to these pattern pieces was adding an inch to the centre of the back piece (meaning I added two inches in total) in order to have a central pleat in the lining back. This pleat prevents tightness and tearing in your lining as you are giving yourself a little bit of extra ease as the lining of jackets (and capes!) tend to get pulled about a fair bit!

The lining pieces were also changed in order to match up with my self-drafted facings, which you can see below:

And there you have it, the cape is completed! But my aim was always have have a complete plaid outfit from my gorgeous Scottish wool, so of course I needed a pencil skirt to match! And here it is, made from the Pencil Skirt pattern from the fabulous "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing":

I adored this pattern, I actually cannot wait to try more patterns from this book because the pencil skirt was such a pleasure to make! (And I may already have a few projects from this book in the pipeline...!) In case you were wondering this is what the internal working of this skirt look like:

I tried a couple of fancy techniques on this skirt, all of which were great fun, but looking back they weren't exactly necessary! I underlined the whole of the skirt in silk organza so that I could hem it completely invisibly, however the wool I used was very forgiving so this was a little bit of overkill! I also used a length of vintage seam binding on the hem, which wasn't really needed as the skirt was fully lined, but I love how it looks so much I really don't mind :)

So there you have it, construction is complete and here it all is in all it's glory!

What do you think of my outfit? I must admit I am totally and utterly in love with it, tailoring is definitely my new passion, I love it more than any other kind of sewing, and I adore all kinds of sewing! Stay tuned because soon I'll be sharing some shots of myself in my plaid wooly ensemble, I can't wait!

Thanks for sharing my cape journey with me, I hope you've enjoyed it all as much as I have!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Wednesday Wonderful #96

Hello my lovely readers and a very happy Wednesday to you all!

It's been a little bit quieter this week in my corner of the world, I've been doing lots of baking and crafting, mostly preparing for all my Christmas (I've finally said it!) projects. I like to get organised fairly early so it's not all left to the last minute! I'll give you lots of updates when things start getting finished :) Other than that I've just been enjoying the Autumn/Winter weather, it really is my favourite time of year!

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. Pinwheel biscuits! 2. Autumnal adventures :) 3. Wool heaven!
4. I'm going to lick this now... 5. A little bit of festive knitting 6. Homemade marshmallows!
7. Walks in the park 8. My new goosey friend :) 9. Mini loaves are full of joy :)

BUt enough about me, let's see what's been going on in the marvellous blogosphere this week!

That's it from me for now, but I'll be back soon.

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A bit of Spring (in Winter) Cleaning!

Hello lovely readers! 

Now... I have a bit of a confession to make. I have been  buying quite a bit of fabric recently. It started at the Bloggers meet up in Birmingham, where I bought some gorgeous pieces of fabric goodness, but then last week, believing that I was only going to shop for Christmas fabric, I visited Goldhawk Road and may have been a little bit naughty... Basically I am now inundated with winter-weight fabrics, all ready to be sewn up, but I have nowhere to put them! I have two main fabric storage areas in my flat: under my sewing table, where I keep a pile of fabrics that I already have patterns in mind for, and then I have a large stash of extra fabrics, cut offs etc., in a plastic box under my bed. So in order to make room for all my new pretties, I did some serious reorganising. This is the new under-the-desk pile!

The bottom five are all wool, I think I have a problem...!

All focused and ready for winter-weather sewing! I have moved all of my spring/summer weight fabrics (all my pretty vintage cottons and novelty prints) into the under-bed box, all ready to be taken out and played with when it gets warmer again. I also went through all the fabrics that I have been storing in this box and had a brutal selection process as to what was staying and what was going. Anything that I have been keeping for a long time but not actually using has to go. Plus I have a habit of over buying when it comes to the amount of fabric I need for a project, so I have a lot of quite large off cuts that are leaving the stash too. All these unwanted pieces of fabric (together with quite a lot of vintage dress patterns) are going to be finding their way onto ebay over the next few days. I'm sure that someone will want them for something, there are some pretty nice bits and pieces, so I will put the listings up here as soon as they go live, in case any of you fancy having a browse :)

So who says that spring cleaning only happens in spring? Is anyone else having a bit of a reorganise for winter?

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #95

Hello there my lovely readers and a very happy Wednesday to you!

It's been a great week in the world of the Little Red Squirrel, what with the Birmingham bloggers meet up and lots of sewing, knitting and cooking, it's been great :) I've even started planning my crafty projects for a certain upcoming festive season (I can't quite bring myself to say the "C" word yet!) so I'm feeling pretty smug and very organised. I hope you've all had a good week too!

Images, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. My first taste of pumpkin pie! 2. I love my nifty little badge :) 3. Homemade chicken pot pie
4. I love happy post, 5. Knitting up my Greta turban, 6. Nom nom nom chicken nom pot nom pie nom

Let's take a look at the wonderful things that have been happening on the blogosphere this week...

Have a great rest of the week my lovely readers and I'll be back with more bloggy goodness soon!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

A Cape Adventure #4 - Welt Pockets

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to the next step on my cape making adventure: Welt Pockets!

Now you may remember that the original pattern was only supposed to have faux pockets which meant only the welt pattern piece was included. In order to create useable pockets I had to draft my own pieces for the pocket underlay and the pocket bag. 

Once this drafting was done I was ready to cut out my fabric (the welt and the underlay in the plaid wool and the pocket bag in a cotton sateen I am using for the lining) and start the construction of my welt pockets!

The construction of a welt pocket is very similar to the construction of a bound buttonhole, insofar as you sew a lot of fiddly pieces on the right side of your fabric before cutting into your fabric and passing all these fiddly pieces to the wrong side to create your neat little pocket! Well, that's how I see it, but if you want it explained properly then take a look at this how to from the Coletterie, it's great and will tell you all you need to know about welt pockets! 

I've taken a few shots of my own construction of my welt pockets to show you the process a bit more broken down...

First up I marked the placement of my pockets on the right side of my front pieces. Some people prefer to mark with fabric markers or chalk but I find that pins work fine.

To make sure that my pockets are exactly level I made sure that the pins were mirroring each other in their plaid placement. This is one of those moments where working with plaid is actually a help rather than a hinderance! After marking these points I reenforced these areas with weft interfacing (on the wrong side of the fabric) as they about to get a lot of wear and tear!

Next up you need to construct the separate parts of the pocket. The welt pieces are sewn together along both short edges and one long edge, the seams trimmed and graded and then the welt turned right side out and pressed. The pocket underlay is sewn to the upper pocket piece, and both the welt and the upper pocket need a row of stitching 1/4 inch away from the raw edge for the welt and the top edge for the upper pocket (this row can be seen in the second picture below)

The welt, pinned and ready to be stitched, trimmed, graded, turned and pressed!
The welt and upper pocket, stitched to the front of the cape

This 1/4 row of stitching is the one you will sew over to attach these pieces of the pocket to the cape front. The welt pocket stitching line is sewn completely but the upper pocket is sewn about 1/8 inch short of the welt line on each end, so that the pocket bag will fit neatly inside the welt and will not be seen. After this stitching is done, very much like a bound buttonhole, you make an incision (my goodness, it sounds like surgery doesn't it?!) on your pocket line (in my case the line between my two pins) and then flip the upper pocket and the welt to the inside. I cannot stress how much you should go and check out the Coletterie tutorial if this isn't making any sense, their directions are very clear and I am aware that I'm rambling quite a bit! Plus I really didn't take as many pictures as I should have done!

In the below picture you can see that the upper pocket and underlay have been turned to the inside and my welt is still lying flat.

It was at this point that my camera didn't want to play ball anymore so I went on and completed my welt pockets without taking any more photos. To be honest, once you have passed this point the scary bit is over and the final steps are quite simple. Once again I direct you to the Coletterie tutorial where they will show you how to attach your lower pocket to the raw edge of the welt, stitch down the little triangles you made during the cutting of the window to the pocket underlay, sew the upper and lower pocket bag pieces together and finally fell stitch the edges of the welt pocket down to the cape front to finish. Believe me, it's all a lot less complicated than it sounds!

Anyways, here are my completed welt pockets:

It's all looking pretty good isn't it? At this point, as well as completing the welt pockets, I have attached my upper collar to the pad stitched lower collar, - the upper collar was interfaced with some weft so that it would match the weight of the lower collar - trimmed and graded the seams, turned it out and pressed it and under-stitched the collar by hand so that the seam favours to the underside of the collar. I have also sewn the front cape pieces to the back piece and have attached the under collar to the cape. It's definitely starting to look like more cape-ish isn't it?

Anyway, I think that's quite enough waffling from me for one day, but I'll be back soon with more updates on this Cape Adventure, it won't be long now until it's big reveal!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Birmingham Bloggers Meet Up!

Hello there my lovely readers! A very happy Monday to you all, I hope you had good weekends. I certainly did as I spent most of my Saturday trotting around the fabric shops of Birmingham with a truly marvellous group of fellow bloggers. Here they are in all their glory!

Back Row: Roisin, Alice, Helen, Me, Steph, Helen, Rachel, Mellie, Catherine, Amy and Suzy
Front Row: Karen, Winnie, Claire and Kat
(Marie was taking the picture and Charlotte had left by this point!)

This get together was organised by the lovely Kat and Marie and I am so happy that they did! It was a great day, and it was lovely to meet the authors of blogs that I have been reading for a long time (putting a face to the blog if you will!) and meeting lots of new bloggers too. It was the first big blogger meeting that I have been to, and although I was quite nervous on my journey to Birmingham as soon as I met everyone I was instantly put at my ease and soon we were all chatting away like old friends :) I can't tell you how nice it was to spend a whole day talking about sewing, notions, fabric, patterns, knitting and generally all things crafty. If you want the details of our day out then check out Marie's post, she'll give you low down of everywhere we went and what we got up to! (Lots of other bloggers from the meet up have already blogged about our adventures too, so if you're interested you can also check out Rachel, Karen, Helen, Amy, Alice, Roisin and Helen's blogs!)

Anyways, want to see my swag??

After one of the most amazing swaps I have ever seen (I may have brought a few too many patterns with me...!) I walked away with three vintage knitting patterns, two gorgeous dress patterns, a whole load of yarn and, can you believe it, my very own sleeve board complete with cover! How lucky am I? I can't believe that I got all these lovelies for FREE. Amazing :)

When it came to the actual purchasing of fabrics at the amazing Rag Market I was fairly reserved. After all six metres of wool isn't too much, is it?! I spotted the most beautiful tan italian wool on one of the stalls of the outdoor market almost as soon as we started to browse and I fell in love. When I learnt that it was £5 per metre I was sold. It's so soft I have been obsessively stroking it ever since I got it home! My second and final purchase of the day was from the indoor market. Helen and I spotted this beautiful claret wool at the same time and we both came away with 3 metres of it. Perhaps at the next blogger meet up we'll be sporting matching outfits? :)

General wooly goodness!

And I've already picked out a couple of patterns from my stash for these wools, have a look at what I'm planning...

A New Look style suit in Italian Wool, happy days!

Gertie's Wiggle Dress would look so gorgeous in this colour!

It was a wonderful day and I'm very much looking forward to (and hoping for!) the next one! Thanks girls for making the day so great, it was so lovely to meet every one of you :)

Katie xxx

P.S. The beady eyed among you may have noticed that I might be wearing a plaid cape in the above picture... Yes, it's finished! I will be getting the last few construction posts up over the next couple of days before it's big blog reveal, but rest assured it was a great success and was ridiculously comfy to wear!

Friday, 2 November 2012

A Cape Adventure #3 - Pad Stitching the Collar

Pad stitching is one of my favourite parts of hand-tailoring! I find all the little hand stitches very relaxing and I love to see the shape of the collar change as I work in it. For those of you unfamiliar to pad stitching it's basically a way to help your collar keep it's shape beautifully through lots of tiny hand stitches and steaming. Gertie shows us how to pad stich in this fancy tutorial, check it out, she explains the whole things much better than I ever could!

Here are a few shots of my newly pad stitched under collar, I love it so much, all the stitches make me happy!

And here you can see the teeny tiny stitches on the stand (the area of the collar below the roll line). These too make me happy :)

I am loving all the hand tailoring I have been able to do on this cape so far, and there is more to come! Next time I tackle something I've never tried before: Welt Pockets!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #94

Happy Wednesday my lovely readers, and Happy Halloween! I am particularly happy today because my Sweetheart and I are celebrating our three year anniversary. This year has been pretty big for us, what with our having to spend so much time apart with all my touring, but this has just made us stronger and now we are living together! I really cannot believe that we've only been together for three years because I feel like I've known him for my whole life! He truly is my best friend and soulmate and I couldn't be happier :)

I am one lucky girl! So you could say that things are going pretty well around here at the moment, what with my anniversary together with some serious home baking and sewing, I had a great week! 

Images, Each Row, Left to Right:
1. Fancy Anniversary hair, 2.Pretty nails, 3. I love vintage clothing labels!
4. Chocolate and raspberry brownies 5. Is that a collar I see...? 6. Homemade scones
7. Anniversary flowers! 8. Lemon cupcake making 9. I love a good bow!

But enough about me! Let's see what else has been going on in the blogosphere this week...

Have a great rest of the week my lovely readers, I know I will!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A Cape Adventure #2 - Matching Plaid and Bound Buttonholes

Matching Plaid

When working with plaid you have one of two options. Either you can do what all the ready-to-wear manufacturers do and disregard the need for matching the pattern properly, or you can take the definitely-more-professional-but-also-crazy method and meticulously match your plaid. Any guesses as to which route I ended up taking?!

Ok, so there was never any question as to whether or not I would match my plaid, to me it just seems crazy to spend money on such a beautiful high quality fabric and then not do things properly! However, believe me my friends, there is a good reason why high street chains do not take the trouble to match their plaid: it is seriously hard work!

There are all kinds of different tutorials online about how to match plaid, but I decided to use this brilliant how to by the incredibly talented seamstress Tasia of Sewaholic. Tasia's technique (in the most basic sense) involves pinning through your double layer of fabric, matching the plaid at every pin. And we are talking a lot of pins here, and a lot of time spent! 

Pins, pins everywhere...

The experience of pinning my entire length of wool fabric before cutting out my pieces made me appreciate just how time consuming working with plaid really is! And then of course you have to make sure that every one of your pieces is cut so that the plaid will align nicely at the seams, and the the center back of the cape and the collar match, and that the interfacing line up nicely with the outside of the cape, the list could go on and on! But when you see each one of your fabric pieces laid out and perfectly aligned and matched it's really worth it (at least for obsessive compulsives like me!). 

And after all that plaid matching you are ready to cut out your fabric pieces and start sewing! And the first step in my tailoring is going to be...

Bound Buttonholes

This is not my first foray into bound buttonholes, but my previous attempts haven't always been the prettiest of things! This time I was determined to get them right and take my time with them. I used this great tutorial from the Coletterie, which worked really well for me. Before I have used a method in which you make a window in the fashion fabric and form a separate little fabric window behind it, but I much prefer the Coletterie patch method in which these two steps are combined into one. All four (I have added an extra buttonhole after lengthening the hem) buttonholes are looking very pretty indeed!

My small but perfectly formed bound buttonhole :)

Things are going well with my Cape Adventure so far, next time I'll start on my pad stitched collar!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx
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