Irish silk

We’re still very much in the grips on winter here in London – temperatures barely above freezing, constant rain and high winds, and over Easter weekend, almost continuous hail and flurries. Ugh. I’m nearly finished with my winter sewing, but with the weather as it is, I can’t really start sewing anything for warmer weather just yet. But I was just so in love with the silk charmeuse I bought in Dublin that I ignored all common sense and sewed up Burda WOF 02/2008 #119.

Such is my dedication to all of you that I went outside for this photo shoot when it was 30F/0C with high winds. I’m not sure if you can see the goosebumps or not!

I learned a lot from my last foray into silk charmeuse so this time I:

  • Used the smallest microtex sharp needle I had
  • Used French seams and enclosed edges everywhere I could, and bound edges everywhere else (like armscyes)
  • Made hems as tiny as possible
  • (and if the pattern had any facings, I’d eliminate those and bias bind the edges instead)

The instructions for this were particularly confusing, so I found Nancywin’s earlier review and photos to be particularly helpful in constructing the collar. It doesn’t actually tie, but instead one end is folded back to form a loop which the other end goes through. I was also skeptical that I’d be able to get this on without any sort of zipper or bodice closure, but a quick muslin proved that it was possible and actually very comfortable to get on.

The only problem here is that it’s still way too cold to wear it, and I’ve actually only worn it for the above photoshoot. Each morning I sigh and pet it, then go and layer on more warm clothes and sweaters that I’m thoroughly sick of. I’m in such a conundrum that I’m actually going to sew for James next, as BurdaStyle now have a long-sleeved men’s shirt pattern. Hopefully by the time I’m done with that I’ll be able to ditch the scarves and gloves and (gasp!) wear short sleeves again… I live in hope.

Birthday Roundup

Thanks for all your birthday wishes! I had a great day, starting with opening my gift from James before I even got out of bed. He got me a chumby (it’s a squishable, touchscreen, open-source, internetty appliance thing)! He went through the big hassle of getting me one for my birthday (via my parents since you can’t buy chumbies outside the US right now) and I’m having so much fun playing around with it. James has already coded up a little widget to tell me when Tower Bridge is next raising so I don’t get caught out and delayed to work. It’s all open source and very hackable, right down to them posting a sewing pattern to make new covers for it!

I spent my brother’s Amazon gift certificate on three books: Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing by David Page Coffin (which I’ve seen recommended everywhere and I feel will come in very handy for the four linen shirts I’ve got planned this summer), Starting Electronics by Keith Brindley (because I have a breadboard and a full electronics kit but I don’t know quite quite to do with them and this book has step-by-step projects to build and then I can hopefully learn enough to sew together my Lilypad Arduino stuff I got for Christmas which I’m very itching to do!), and also Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out by Jon Robertson (which was highly recommended on Vegan lunch box for camping, hiking, and picnic food but I thought it might be useful for us since we have so much storage room on the boat for nonperishables and are otherwise apocalypse-ready!).

My parents’ gift money I’m spending on a one year UK subscription to Burda WOF magazine, a two year subscription to Threads magazine, and enough blue wool coating fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics to make myself a new winter jacket. And I must’ve been very good this year, because I also got the gift of a pedicure from James’s parents, which will be my first ever (but after all my running and new shoes, is very necessary, I feel!).

Leave a Reply