Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Last of summer in the garden

I love roses, especially the David Austins. My piano teacher in Australia used to have a wonderful garden and she loved particularly these roses. When I went to the Chelsea Flower show for the first time after moving here I was completely amazed by the display. Of course then the first thing I had to do to the garden was to buy roses. I did not exactly plan the timing of starting the garden particularly well since August is the end of the season, but lucky for me the local nursery had 2 standards - a Harlow Carr and a Sophy's Rose. The ultimate plan is to plant a few more standards along the fence line, but they are now out of stock until at least the end of the year.

The Harlow Carr (twin roses picture) smells and looks divine and makes me happy everyday I look outside. Also super pleased that I found Anna's Gardens to come and dig the flower bed, remove the existing topsoil and refill with compost / new topsoil - makes my gardening life so much more enjoyable! Highly recommend.

Next up - buying bulbs for autumn and winter flowering! 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Archer button-down shirt from Grainline patterns

Its been a long blogging break, but since I have been trawling through other people's sewing blogs which are super helpful in terms of looking at patterns that have come to life, I am restarting my blog to document my own adventures!

I made a shirt this weekend, the first completed project for awhile. I have not bought a pattern in forever, having been working from my own blocks. However, I just don't have time to self drafting patterns all the time, there are talented people out there who are passionate about patterns, and there have been phenomenally good reviews of the Grainline Archer shirt pattern. Bit late to be jumping on the bandwagon but hey! Despite the time required to tape 46 pages of pdf printout, I am inclined to agree this is a fabulous pattern. I made one up for TT to bring back with him to deliver to my mother, and I am so pleased with the way it turned out. 

The fabric is my mother's choice though admittedly it is from my stash. I actually had planned on making a full Archer shirt with the checked fabric (I still might since I love love love this pattern) but mum got there first in there first and wanted it for the contrast trim.

Fabric: Red Chambray from Croft Mill
Contrast trim: Paul Smith Pigeon Force, also from Croft Mill here

In hindsight it was not the greatest mix and match from a textural perspective and the loosely woven Paul Smith fabric was difficult to work with compared to the tightly woven chambray. Should have thought of that before I started .... in any case, there are many imperfections and there was much time spent trying to align the checks (even worse given it had to be cut on the bias). And never again will I be doing a project without an overlocker unless its silk or sheer! Its high on my to-buy list!

I did make some adjustments - I like my cuffs and button bands soft, so skipped the interfacing. Also reduced the sleeve length since the pattern is way too long for my arms (and my mum's). The below is a size 14 at the top but I graded it down to 12 for the hips. 

Completing this was a mega achievement for me given the unexpected challenges, all my own fault for making it difficult for myself. But here's hoping mother will wear it and send me a photo!