Remember me…?

Well, it has been an awfully long time since I said hello from Peggy’s Pickles – 16 months to be precise!

Although the lack of blogging suggests I have been completely consumed with nappies, sleepless nights and games of peek-a-boo (all of which have happened in abundance), I have in fact been quite productive on the sewing front as well. I don’t have that many photos but this is a list of all the things I have made since my little boy was born:

Baby quilt, done a local sewing course, embroidered cushion cover, scout woven tee x 2, sorbetto top x 1, drafted my own pattern from an existing jumper and made the jumper, made the jumper again for my sister, learnt to knit, knitted a scarf (which will never ever ever ever be done again, my word – the stress), two thirds of a granny square crochet blanket, t-shirts x 2, renfrews x 2, Clover trousers x 2 (although one pair may not count as they have stretched beyond all recognition), done a Craftsy course and…

IMG_0541        IMG_0721

                      made a hoodie with a very big hoodie, self drafted trousers

              IMG_0785         IMG_0806

             Lucy Tunic for my niece (not the cardigan!), an owl pin cushion

                 406950_10151156211083667_824468612_n        389251_10151656926722372_709367364_n

Wedding present pillows, lots of Flashback Skinny Tees

               541284_10151231388997372_676429907_n         1003351_10151784870127372_1357969572_n

Minikrea elephant trousersOliver + S Sailboat jumper and self drafted trousers

    1009912_10152951108850165_629097827_n     IMG_0679

Baby sling, and tee-pee (my fave!)

IMG_0996

And lots and lots and lots of baby trousers!!

This leads me on to make another announcement (no not more babies) – I have started my own business!

You can find my shop on Folksy here: http://folksy.com/shops/LittleBiscuit

In a nutshell, I am designing and making baby clothes from up-cycled fabric. The shop opened today and I will share the story of how it came about in my next blog post. In the meantime, do go and have a look and pass it on to all your friends!

Hello Everyone!

Things have been very quiet here at Peggy’s Pickles for the last few weeks as we had a very early arrival!

Technically he still should still be in my tummy, but three weeks ago our little son decided he’d had enough and wanted to see the world.

A tough few weeks have followed with 8 days in intensive care, but he’s home now and we’re all muddling through.

It means I might not be doing much sewing for a while, but will be back as soon as I can 🙂

A little bit of help

With my belly reaching gargantuan proportions, but still having things I want to get done, the whole fabric cutting situation needed a big rethink. So who should come to my rescue but Dave!

Normally it is best if I leave the room when Dave does anything DIY related as I’m not very good at biting my tongue when I can see a ‘better’ way of doing things. But in this case, I had to be present, and the whole exercise proved that we do indeed have a strong marriage – bringing up a child should be a breeze now!!

Although Dave did tackle the pattern master, when it came to measuring it was the tool box tape measure rather than the sewing box tape measure that was used, just to keep things a bit more manly.

Hopefully I’ll be able to show you what all this was in aid of soon!!

Jack Sprat would eat no fat…

… And his wife would eat no lean…

No, it’s not baby brain finally taking over completely, it’s my favourite textile design from an exhibition I saw a few days ago at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London.

Called Designing Women: Postwar British Textiles, the exhibition shows the work of British textile artists working after the Second World War, and how they radically changed the industry with their modern designs.

The exhibition mainly focuses on three women: Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler. Ever since finding out about Robin and Lucienne Day at Uni and then learning more on my Masters, I have admired their work for its influence and simplicity, its use of innovative materials, and the fact that they seemed an awfully glamorous couple!

So this exhibition was a good chance to see a large selection of Lucienne Day’s textiles in one place.

Here are some of my favourites from the exhibition. Considering these were mainly done in the 1950s, I think they’re still remarkably modern. I’d definitely have them in my home!

Calyx
Lucienne Day
1951

Calyx was Day’s most popular design, and launched at the 1951 Festival of Britain. It was manufactured by Heal Fabrics, who initially were skeptical of the avant garde design. However, after winning awards and international acclaim they soon embraced this new modern style.

Too Many Cooks
Lucienne Day
1959 

Miscellany
Lucienne Day
1952 

Fall
Lucienne Day
1952 

Magnetic
Lucienne Day
1957

Composure
Paule Vézelay
1967

The textile design above is by Paule Vézelay, who I had not heard of before. Her designs however were some of my favourites in the exhibition, I love the bold colours, and the shapes are far less fussy than some work done by the other designers. Nice and simple!

The exhibition is on until 16 June if you fancy it, and a full price ticket is £7. While the textiles are undoubtedly nice to look at, there is quite limited information and interpretation so I did leave a bit disappointed, and felt like I didn’t really find out too much about the period or the designers themselves. For that you should go and see the monster British Design exhibition on at the V&A at the moment!

Image sources
http://designmuseum.org/design/robin-lucienne-day

Gathers

Last term in my clothes making class I found out why my gathers never really worked. Although I may be the only one who didn’t realise how to do them properly I thought I would share with you what I learnt!

I am using a sleeve from my Mum’s maternity top to demonstrate.

The three stars show where the tailors tacks are. To create a gather, you need to sew two lines (not one as I had previously thought) of long stitches, without reverse stitching the start or finish of each line. This is known as basting (another thing that I thought only applies to turkey’s at Christmas for quite a long time :-)).

These lines of stitching should be between the left and right tailors tacks. They should also be within the seam allowance (normally 1.5cm on commercial patterns).

To create the gathers, you take hold of the threads at one end of the stitching and gently pull them. You can spread the gathers evenly using your fingers or a pin. By sewing two lines of stitching, the gathers lie much flatter and therefore sit better when you join them with another piece of the garment, in this case the sleeve joining the sleeve hole (not sure that’s a technical term!).

I hope that’s helpful to anyone else who, like me, was only doing one line of gather stitches, and then finding it very difficult to make them look nice!

Pyjama Party: The Worst / Best / Funniest thing I have ever made…

For those of you who read other sewing blogs, I’m sure you can’t have missed the fact that today is Pyjama Party day!

This is the grand finale of a sewalong run by Karen at Did You Make That?. After a frustrating week last week of not being able to make very much because the little person growing in my belly gets in the way, I decided making pyjama bottoms might be the perfect pick-me-up as they would be simple, not require too much bending over and cutting time, and apparently after the baby comes you live in jammies for a few weeks.

This is the pattern I bought.

Having been swept away by the couple on the front of the pattern envelope, I had another idea. PJs for me and Dave!! (Not matching though, hopefully we will never reach the matching stage)

Now, I’m not sure about the etiquette of having a BOY at the Pyjama Party. Do I need to get parental permission? Do we stay in separate rooms even though we’re married…?

Unfortunately though, two pairs of PJs weren’t meant to be due to the very late arrival of the pattern in the post (yesterday). Instead I have just made Dave’s as a thank you for how brilliant he’s been in looking after me whilst I’m pregnant. I am pretty sure I haven’t always been the easiest person to deal with, and it requires a man of great patience to run to the corner shop late at night without a whisper of a complaint, because I have a ‘craving’ for Coco Pops.

So, Dave’s PJ fabric. Now this is where it possibly starts to get a bit silly. The options were traditional tartan, or something a bit more ‘interesting’. Having been let loose on Goldhawk Road (a street in London with lots of amazing fabric shops) unsupervised, take a wild guess which I went for.

SHARK ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, I must point out that I was shopping alone.

When the man in the shop found out I was being such a loving wife, he promptly said he would specially wrap my fabric up for me. (He meant the cellophane bag you see in the picture above, not the tissue paper and ribbons I’d been imagining :-))

Now, sharks aren’t neccessarily the most relaxing choice for a pair of jammies, but never fear Dave, Peggy’s got your back. She’s not scared of no sharks!!

Thankfully this was a super easy pattern with only one pattern piece, so they didn’t take too long to make. The tricky part was the fact that Dave was away while I was making them, so I had to guess a bit with which size to go for. Now that I have Dave and his measurements back, I should have gone for the smaller size.

 

And that is why I have decided these are the ‘Worst / Best / Funniest thing I have ever made…’ The fabric is awful / amazing, and the fit is veering on the clown-like, but they make me chuckle every time I see them. And that has never happened with anything I’ve made before!

Dave reading his grown-up book, in his grown-up PJs

I would say don’t worry, no-ones going to see you in these Dave, but now I’ve written a whole blog post on them!

(Thanks Karen for a great sewalong, it has made me laugh a lot, although not necessarily in ways I was expecting :-))

Image source
http://onlinecraftmall.com.au/Simplicity-9871-Sewing-Pattern-Its-So-Easy-MissMen-Sleepwear-P1592598.aspx

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

Yes, I firmly believe in the above phrase (Dave, that’s aimed at you. Did I mention I’m going to be getting a person out of me in a few months time? :-))

The reason I have quoted the song made famous by Marylin Monroe is because Dave took me to see a small exhibition (see, you brought it on yourself Dave) at the Getty Images Gallery just behind Oxford Street at the weekend. The exhibition commemmorates 50 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe through photographs and a display of costumes and dresses worn by the star.

It was obviously the dresses that we went for, and here is a selection for you to see. One of the things I thought was lacking from some of the exhibition was being able to see an image of Monroe wearing the dress, so I have tried to do that here instead.

  The Prince and the Showgirl

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Some Like it Hot

Bus Stop

Niagara

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

There’s No Business Like Show Business

The exhibition is open until 23 May, and although it’s small I’d recommend popping in to have a peek!

Images Sources
Please click on each image to be taken to where I found it.