Tag Archives: Mathilde

Brigitte and Tonic

19 May

A rare sighting of the shade-loving Panda in sunshine

Boo!

Today, I seized the moment and got him indoors to photograph me outdoors. Outside our office to be precise. Seeing as we work together, the sun was shining, and our office is a four minute walk from our house, it seemed like a good idea.

Friday night saw me whizz up a Brigitte scarf from Tilly Button’s book, Love At First Stitch. This book richly deserves all the accolades that it has garnered: it’s well written, beautifully styled, full of properly helpful sewing information, and some fab-u-lous patterns. When I was “saved” by sewing last summer, Mathilde was the first pattern I made and since then, I’ve made all of Tilly’s patterns to date. I thought I might as well start with Brigitte as I’m rather partial to a head scarf, as they cover a multitude of bad hair sins, and as evidence from my college library card shows, I’ve been wearing head scarves and plaid shirts my whole life.  The scarf is straight forward to construct (of course it is!) but, you know, it’s really nice to have a scarf to wear in a print that you’ve chosen and that goes with loads of things in your wardrobe.

Close-up of Brigitte hiding the seam lines of my wig

Close-up of Brigitte hiding the seam lines of my wig

Having been in our office on my own last week all on my lonesome, I took the opportunity to utilise the large flat table in our meeting room in order to cut out some rather lovely fabric I’d bought to make the Tonic Tee by Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick (SBCC). I’d chosen a rather gorgeous grey and navy striped jersey from Guthrie & Ghani at £4.75 per half metre. The pattern was rather generously available free of charge, and needed only a metre of fabric so less than £10 for an organic cotton t-shirt seems a pretty good price to me. IMG_2646

The office table was good value and enabled me to release my inner OCD and match my stripes like a zealot during my lunch time. Did zealots match stripes? This one did. I am now planning a hostile takeover of the meeting room for my own sewing purposes, armed with a pair of Fiskars and some shearing elastic.

Ta-dah! Stripes that match!

Ta-dah! Stripes that match!

The inspiration behind my Tonic Tee was the ethereal sewing goddess known as Christine Haynes. She wrote a fab tutorial for drafting a Peter Pan collar for the Tonic Tee that you can find here. Everything was awesome. Everything was cool as me and the table worked as a team. The construction of the Tee probably took me about three and a half hours and everything worked. This is my favourite item of 2014 so far. I love it. I encourage you to make one too. With a collar. You know you want to. I am a stripey Tonic Christine zealot and it’s made me very happy. I made something I love to wear.

The zealot pose

The zealot pose

And of course, spurred on by success, I naturally returned to SBCC to buy another pattern, the Mimosa Blouse – which is exactly how it should work, when they’re kind enough to share their stuff for free.

Last Saturday, I managed to overcome various different anxieties/phobias/navigational challenges and head off to the vast gathering that was #NYlon2014. There I met some truly lovely women and hopefully began some new friendships – special mentions to Caroline of CJ Made and Janet at Kitchen Table Sewing – and bought enough fabric to make a Mimosa blouse and plenty more. Being part of the sewing community really does give you so much.

For a long time, I regularly guest blogged for my husband’s music blog, Mad Mackerel. This song was the school anthem for 2012 and it came to mind when I was thinking about how much I dislike having my photo taken for this blog! It’s actually a very funny indie punk song by The Lovely Eggs and my children (and lots of others) LOVED it! Don’t be put off by the cover, it’s expletive free, but there’s plenty of scope for some improv dancing. By child number 2 I’d had enough of ‘Wind the [bloody] Bobbin Up’ and ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, so number 3 just got stuff like this 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Welcome Mathilde: I’ve been expecting you

23 Oct

Hey there, I’m the Panda that sews. Let’s give me a capital letter as I am a proper noun, just a bit shy really. I do other things too, but maybe later.

First out of the stalls on my sewing voyage of discovery is a Tilly & the Buttons pattern that I rather stupidly read as a beginner pattern: hi there Mathilde. Wrong: Mathilde is not a beginner, she’s intermediate, unlike me. Actually it’s her sister Miette I should have gone for, but she’s happily now also in my possession, and I’m waiting for the arrival of a parcel from Ray Stitch to get busy. All hail Tilly for enticing me into the wonderful world of sewing once again and leading me down the garden path to a whole world of fabric fun.

MathildeI followed the fabulous online instructions on Tilly’s website to the LETTER for Mathilde, and I’m feeling just a bit pleased with myself that it all worked and actually seems to fit. I’ve even been out in it. Albeit in the dark and to a friend’s house five minutes walk away. Still little steps. Mathilde is made in a Michael Miller fabric, Hawthorn Blossom, bought from the lovely lasses at Bedecked in Powys. Of course I bought it online; I can’t go shopping in my panda mask now can I?

My sewing vocab increases daily. I am now building a stash, quietly and secretly. (Previously I thought a stash was family silver hidden from granny, ready to sell to fund some ne’er do well Med cruise. Hey ho.) I now have an invisible zipper, a foot to go with, and some basic know-how in how to marry the two.

Mathilde2It’s a jolly good job I decided to ‘rediscover’ sewing with Google and his mates, otherwise I think I’d be lost. Yep, little steps.

Oops, here we go… I knew there was a song in there somewhere.

‘Something good tonight made me forget about you for now.’