Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


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Faux Sheepskin Coat

Last week, I drove over to my ‘local’ fabric warehouse half an hour away to collect my dressmaking shears which had been sent away to be sharpened (a student had tried to cut over a pin). In theory, I could have been in and out in two minutes and saved myself a bit of money, but I couldn’t resist having a quick look at the fabrics to see what was new.

As soon as I spotted this faux sheepskin in lilac I immediately thought ‘Coat’, and McCall’s 7480 was the perfect pattern as the envelope even shows it made in a similar fabric.

I cut it out that night using weights instead of pins as the fabric is very thick.

The coat has a simple shape which comes together as soon as the shoulder seams are sewn.

I adapted the pattern to suit the fabric in several areas, the first being to use the same fabric for the pockets rather than the suggested lining fabric.

The pockets are top stitched to the front of the coat to stop them flapping around inside.


This type of fabric doesn’t fray so none of the raw edges needed finishing. All the seams were top stitched to ensure that they lay flat. I actually quite like the way the seams look on the inside.

So this is the coat finished according to the instructions and they suggest that a purchased belt will act as a closure.



However, in my mind I pictured a single button of the traditional leather kind and found exactly what I was looking for after a quick rummage in my button tin.

Obviously, an ordinary buttonhole wouldn’t be any good, so I decided on a bound buttonhole using a scrap of the same faux sheepskin. I trimmed the pile right back to make it possible.




Pretty good from the outside….

….but I could have chosen a slightly larger scrap to make the inside a bit better. It’s surprising how much fabric a tiny bound buttonhole takes up!

That’s what I picture when I think of sheepskin coats, so I’m happy with that – much better than a belt.


A couple of extra details added were a tab to hang the coat up with – how annoying is it when coats don’t have one?

I also decided to turn the cuffs up. so that the furry side would show a little bit.


The unlined collar would have to look neat on both sides as the inside would be exposed at the back neck.


I was careful to match up the seams everywhere as there is quite a lot of top stitching which would stick out like a sore thumb if it was out of line.


The pockets are nice and cosy thanks to the decision to make them from the same fabric..


Number 3 Son was chief photographer on this occasion, and did OK despite the windy gusts.





I wore it to the carnival at the weekend and was almost too warm, so I’m confident that it will be a good Winter coat.


Mind you, it might have been all the prosecco that was making me feel warm:)


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Cow Print Colette “Laurel”

Yes, I really am wearing Cow-print!

To see more, click on the link to the full blog post over at Minerva Crafts.


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Vogue 1496 Linen ‘Cocoon’ Dress

This is a make from way back in May that has been so useful and worn so much that I just had to get around to doing a blog post about it.

There’s nothing particularly special about the pattern, other than the fact that it is a Vogue original which has been my favourite pattern brand since the Eighties.


I think we can agree that the shape does nothing for the model’s slim physique on the front of the pattern envelope but, on the contrary, I could envisage it working well for my 5’2″ size 14 figure.

The ‘cocoon’ shape has rather a daring low neckline, short sleeves and the length falls to the knee – perfect to show off my best bits (boobs, arms and legs) and skim over my non-existent waistline.

It also features pockets in the side seams, which are a must for me.


I went to a bricks-and-mortar shop to buy my fabric, and chose this linen with a large floral design from Hanson’s in Sturminster Newton.


A quick make, I sewed it up in no time in anticipation of a long, hot Summer (ha, ha!)


I do love hand-worthy pockets.


No bra needed because the pattern is busy enough to distract the eye from any potential embarrassment – perfect for our up-coming foreign holidays where it would be far too hot to wear a bra.


The armholes were an interesting design.


No waist-hugging meant it promised to be the perfect outfit for a meal with plenty of space to accommodate a full belly!


Yep, overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it looks on me.


It certainly has proved to be a worthwhile make as I’ve worn it lots over the Summer – and I mean LOTS.

Here it is at Desert Springs in Spain in May.


Back home in England it has regularly been a comfortable outfit for meals out.


Another holiday in Spain saw it worn even more as the temperatures soared in July.


Paris in August – I’m definitely getting my money’s worth out of this one!


There was even enough left over fabric to make half a dozen little fabric storage pots to donate to the school Summer fair.


Having been away for most of the school holidays, not much (ie. none) sewing got done and I’m looking forward to getting back to the sewing machine again.

 Sewing 100+ name tags into school uniform doesn’t count, does it?!


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Beach Wrap/Bikini Cover-Up

Looking ahead to the Summer holidays, I wanted to make a simple cover-up that would be quick to throw on over a swimsuit. You know those times; when you want a drink at the pool bar and don’t want to get dressed, but don’t want to sit there in a pair of bikini bottoms!

You can read all about it in my blog post over at Minerva Crafts :- Beach Wrap/Bikini Cover-Up


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Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day – The Fashions

So, our day started well – six of us met at Templecombe station, cracked open the champagne on the platform and caught the 9.45 to Reading for the first leg of our train journey to Ascot.

Two stops in (Tisbury) someone laughingly asked if we’d all got our tickets. Mr. H-L and I thought each other was joking when we both said “No”.

Oops.

This is us after alighting at Tisbury, ready to catch the next train back to Templecombe. Luckily, a friend had a house key and popped in to collect the tickets. She dropped them off at the ticket office for us to save time as we had got a lift to the station and had no means of getting home.


Having caught the next train, we were only an hour behind. Of course, all the food and champagne had gone on ahead with our friends, so we had to try and recreate the excitement with Pringles and Prosecco bought on the train.

We’d opted to travel First Class so it was no problem. We got chatting to a few other race-goers on the two and a half hour journey and two changes of train.


And at least we’d got our tickets!!


Safely in by 1pm, we had time for proper bubbly before the Royal Procession at 2 o’clock.


Bubbles were flowing like a river and everyone was having a great time, gearing up to the first race at 2.30.


We ambled over to the parade ring in time to watch the Royal Carriages arrive. Queenie looked radiant in cerise, although Prince Phillip was too ill to accompany her this year so Prince Andrew is sat next to her.


And then the action began!

We had our race card and picked this patriotic-looking bookie with which to place our bets.


We won some, we lost some. The viewing is great despite the thousands of people as the huge screen means you don’t miss a thing, which is otherwise possible despite the horses thundering past just a few yards away as the photo below illustrates.


On to the fashions of the day. Our party of six scrubbed up pretty well, I think.

These are two close friends who feature a lot on the blog.


Another friend who joined us for the first time this year.


Lovely Ruth from the USA was in England for just a week and her first day coincided with Royal Ascot, an event that was on her bucket list – AND she even got to see the Queen! She was one happy American!


And, of course, you’ve already seen pictures of The Mister and Me.


Dress codes are slightly less formal in the Queen Anne Enclosure, but there were plenty of gents still choosing top hat and tails.

Yes, that is a man touting Stella Artois by the pint in a barrel on his back.


Three piece suits seemed to be the most popular mens’ attire by far, and there were a surprising number of different looks.


How about this bright red one, scarlet right down to the matching shoes and trilby!


More variations on formal menswear, some good……



….and some not so good!



As for the ladies, hmmm.

A few got it very right and embraced the elegant, classy look that Ascot is famous for.






A lot more were almost there, but missed the fact that hemlines should ideally be knee length or lower.


Some girls thought bodycon Lycra was an appropriate choice!


But, unfortunately, there were far too many girls in their early twenties who just didn’t get it. I couldn’t bring myself to photograph them, but this press photo from Aintree races gives you the gist. More like “Barbie Goes To The Races”.


The hats were incredible as usual.



Although not my thing, fascinators were a very popular choice with many ladies. A massive hat wins every time for me:)

The six races were over all too soon, then it was off to do the traditional singing around the bandstand at 6pm.



Just time to nip into the shop before heading back to the train.


There was even a mobile seller with Cuban cigars.


The fifteen minute walk back to the station saw the majority of ladies in flip flops, hobbling after a day in ill-fitting-but-gorgeous shoes. Not me – I kept mine on all the way home!


First Class was full to bursting on the return journey, but we were fortunate enough to get seats on all three changes of train.

On this leg, the carriage was silent until The Mister pipes up at the top of his voice “SWEET CAR-O-LINE….!” And the rest of the carriage finished it with “…..Bah, bah, bah!” What followed was a spontaneous rendition of all the other songs that had just been sung around the bandstand that continued until the next change of train – great finish to a fabulous day!!


I’m already thinking about next year’s dress – we’re going to upgrade to fine dining so an even posher dress could be on the cards. 

Any suggestions gratefully received!


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Dress For Royal Ascot 

As usual, I made myself a new dress for Ascot this year – to read all about the slightly rushed experience (I made it the day before!) just click on the link below which will take you to the full blog post over at Minerva Crafts.

Burda 6869 Dress For Royal Ascot


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The Jordan Jacket by Serendipity Studio – aka Bling Denim Jacket!

This month’s project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now live – follow the link to read all about this challenging make!

Sequinned Denim-Style Jacket