Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Completed: Felt Tip Emmeline

There hasn't been much sewing progress here recently. I'm finding it difficult to find the energy and time. P works away 3 days a week, which equated to sewing time when I was on Mat leave. But now I'm back at work, I'm getting home, feeding, bathing and putting to bed the boys, and then making and eating my dinner (the boys are fed their main meal at lunchtime at nursery, so only need a snack when they get home, so we don't eat together. Which I miss) before tidying up, doing chores etc. Often I'm not done til 8/8.30, which just feels too late to be pulling all the stuff out the cupboard. Particularly when I need to go to bed at a reasonable time as I'm up again at 6.30 the next morning.

I have just been going with it, but after a few weeks I'm finding myself feeling frustrated. I had planned a sewing day at The Stitchery in with Jen at the beginning of July, but The Stitchery had to cancel and I wasn't able to do any of their alternative dates. Sigh!

In an effort to free up some more time, I am collecting recipes that take 15 mins or less to prepare, preferably only use one pot and are healthy. I am eating a lot of salads. But toast for dinner one night a week, to allow me to get on with some sewing wouldn't be too bad, would it?

Anyway, here is something I did manage to make fairly recently, just before I went to London where it made it's debut. I had intended to get proper photos in London, but I was just having too good a time and I forgot!

The pattern is the Emmeline Tee again, and to be honest, I didn't change a single thing from my last version. The double gauze version is being worn to death, so I just went with what I knew and liked.

The fabric... now that's something else. This is Liberty Tana Crepe. Yep. Cotton crepe. Nope, I didn't know it existed either. I bought this last summer in Mandors Edinburgh's closing down sale. I had been alerted to the fact that all fabrics were 50% off, so I nipped in one afternoon. I had Baby Boy with me (who was about 6 weeks old at the time), and only paid for half an hour's parking, so I was up against it in terms of what to pick. I wasn't sewing at that time, so had no plans or lists in my head, so obviously I did what anyone would do and made some random grabs at the Liberty stand. I should explain that Mandors sold old season Liberty, so it was already about £14/m at full price. Even so, I somehow managed to buy 3 lengths of fabric for about £20. I'm not sure how that happened. Maybe Baby Boy's cuteness dazzled the staff, or maybe they just did me a favour. Anyway, I got a bargain. It wasn't until I got home that I realised the fabric wasn't Tana Lawn, but I had no clue what it was.
The 3 Tana Crepes I bought that day
But actually the best was yet to come. The fabric has languished in my stash since then, because Liberty = too valuable to cut into, even when it's cheap. But when I did dig it out to prewash it to make this top, I realised that I hadn't bought the 1.5m of each that I thought I had. I had more than 2m of each - of the paisley one I nearly have 2.5m. I know I definitely didn't ask for more than 2m, so some generous cutting was going on there. Maybe it was the end of the bale. I don't really remember. I just thought "wow" and then "god, this is too much fabric to waste on a top".

Some further deliberating happened, but ultimately I knew I would never wear this fabric as a dress. It's too light in colour, and I have children, and am clumsy enough myself. Furthermore, it would be a very summery dress and I live in Scotland where there are maybe 3 hot days a year. So, back to being an Emmeline Tee it was. Because it couldn't really be anything else, could it?

It was a nice straightforward sew again. Because the crepe is cotton, it behaved itself well, sewed nicely and pressed well, although it creases easily. I would describe it as drapier than Tana lawn, but with a bit more body than poly or silk crepe. It really is lovely stuff. There is a bit of order to the seemingly random print, so I bore that in mind when cutting, meaning I was a little more wasteful that I would otherwise have been, but I still have a decent length of fabric left.

I had to do some Googling to find out about this fabric, and the print, which is called Milla A and was based on felt tip marks, which makes me love it even more. It is one of those prints that looks better close up than from a distance, but when I wear it, I am looking at it close up, so that's OK. And lots of colours means it goes with lots of things. Win!

Much neater binding than last time, and again I got that pleasing diagonal print on there.

As much as I love wearing this, and my other Emmeline and Scouts, I do feel the need to up my sewing game a little. Not ideal when pushed for both time and energy, but I can feel the need for variety.

What are you sewing right now? Are you content keeping it simple, or are you challenging yourself with something new?



  1. Love the top, the fabric is fab! I am about to start husbands jacket, can't be bothered but his current one is very worn and he can't find one to fit in the shops...!
    p.s. toast for tea is totally acceptable, add some beans and you even get a portion of veg :)

  2. Ooh Liberty crepe- lucky you! And what a bargain too! I remember liking this print when it came out, because of all those gorgeous colours. It looks great as an Enmeline tee. I think you're doing well fitting in any sewing at all but I know how you feel as I had been feeling the same, sewing lots of tops from patterns i'd used before. I treated myself to a day's annual leave & spent most of it working on my Victoria blazer. I'd never have had the concentration to do it during naptime or in the evening & it felt great! Goodness knows when I'll get it finished but at least I've started! Sorry for the long reply but basically I'm recommending you take a day's holiday!

  3. This is a lovely top - great combination of fabric and pattern. I also struggle with finding time to sew during the week. I'm trying a new 15-minutes a day approach, which I find helps me get on with a project. And since I find the whole sewing process so relaxing, it's 15 minutes of relaxation too! Win win!

  4. Love this one Helen fabric is fab!

  5. Oh, that fabric! I think you made the right choice; as lovely as a dress would be, this way you actually get to wear it. It's such a great staple pattern, this (I especially love the neck binding on this version).
    I wonder if you're being a little hard on yourself re sewing at the moment?? It sounds like life is pretty intense for you all right now, so completing ANY project is a triumph!For what it's worth, when I read the above I certainly wasn't thinking "another simple top??"; I was amazed that you were doing so much and still managing to create glorious things like this! Well done you :)
    (Oh, and toast is absolutely a viable dinner option...)


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