Breaking New Year’s Resolutions?

At the start of 2016 I made a promise to myself that I would try and finish a sewing project before starting a new one, and I have stuck to it!  Until now …. I have been wrestling with very frustrated sewing plans!  First of all, I decided to make jeans … yes JEANS, not jeggings, not pull ups with an elasticated waist but proper JEANS!!!!  I saw the Ginger Jeans pattern ages ago and was in awe of all the fabulous creations people have blogged about but the thought of making jeans was just a step too far for me, like making my own bra or nickers, why would I?  However, I decided to challenge myself and give it a go!  And I was doing really well BUT … I ran out of top stitching thread!

jeans pockets

I am surprised how little thread is on a spool, after all, the manufacturers must be aware that people will need to rip out seams, especially when top stitching, but it seems there is just enough thread on a spool for 1 pair of jeans …  I did a proper fly front and top stitched the pockets etc.

jeansfly

I was quite impressed with myself, the Mr said “you’ve even done the thingy stitches” (bar tacks) and although not perfect, I am more than happy to wear them, when I get them finished!  I need to get some more thread but obviously it needs to be the same thread but I bought it in Sailsbury and I live in London …… I will figure it out.  Maybe send my Mum a bit of the thread (from a ripped out seam!) and get her to buy me another spool from the same shop.

Then I thought, “I love that Marilla Walker jumpsuit, I’ll make another one!”  I was inspired by this jumpsuit by Plumo.

I found some cheap fabric on Ebay and thought I would give it a try but to make it different I wanted to change the buttons at the front for an exposed chunky zip which I also bought on Ebay but the seller is away for 2 weeks so I’m waiting for the zip and can’t get any further along till it arrives, this is the fabric, not the same obviously but I like it.

cloud jump

So, that’s 2 projects I can’t get finished!  I have decided to make a quick, easy skirt whilst I’m waiting, another Marilla Walker pattern, the Ilsley skirt, it’s a free pattern you can download but she is raising money for a cancer charity so it would be good to make a donation, the link is on her blog.

skirt plan

Finally, I have a pattern, fabric, elastic so hopefully this will be a project I can finish!  The fabric looks denim but actually it is a chambray/viscose mix I got on Ebay and it is very soft with a lovely drape.  I notice there is a bit of “Style Arc” in the pattern but it’s from a piece of scrap paper I used to lengthen the skirt by 2″.  The Style Arc pattern I downloaded and pieced together is the Milla dress which I plan to make in a double knit cotton jersey with a white bodice and yellow bottom half.

Simple but stylish slip on dress

 

Anyway, that’s my progress, or lack of it.  I’m letting myself off the New Year’s Resolution rule as I am unable to finish the projects so starting another in the meantime doesn’t count, what do you think?!

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Andy Pandy?

jumpsfront

I absolutely love this jumpsuit!  It’s the pattern from Marilla Walker’s Roberts Collection.  The pattern collection is really great as it contains a dress (2 length options), Jumpsuit, Dungarees and top all for the price of one pattern – I bought the printed paper pattern and it was £8.40 on Etsy – bargain!  I will definitely be making the dungarees and dress, in fact I have just bought some Hugo Boss remnant linen on ebay to make the dress version!

jumpsfront3

Anyway, back to the jumpsuit.  (My son cut my head off!)  I used a lovely soft, light weight denim that I bought in Salisbury a month ago.  The sizing had me at a size 5 bust and size 4 waist and hip, as the pattern is designed to be slightly over-sized, I graded down to the size 4 at the waist and hip as I didn’t want it to be massively big.  It is a great fit and really comfortable and it has pockets – love POCKETS!!

jumpsfront2

I love the back view, I think that fact that the waist band doesn’t go round the back makes it much more flattering and I’m really pleased that my inverted V at the back meets almost perfectly!

jumpsv

jumpsback

It’s the first time I have done flat felled seams and I did that on ALL the freaking seams!!  It was worth it though as the top stitching sits better and has less bulk.  I love the buttons too …

jumpsbutton

The length is quite long but it means the hem can roll three times which allows the hem edge to be unseen – fussy I know but I like that detail!

jumpsrolledhem

I have worn this out to three different occasions since making it and have received lots of compliments so I think that makes it a winner!  I am wearing it now in our Spring weather with a long sleeved t-shirt and I will wear it through the summer without which makes it very practical.  It is my best make yet and I am so pleased with it – Marilla Walker is a great pattern designer!

P.S These opinions are my own and I have no affiliation with Marilla Walker, I just think she’s fab!

Starting Again!

I’m not keen on New Year’s Resolutions generally but this year I have decided to make a few sewing/knitted related ones:

  1.   Only make things I am going to wear.
  2.    Use up fabric and yarn from the stash.
  3.    Try to blog regularly (technology permitting!)

With this in mind – last night I unraveled a sweater I made.  This is the pattern, which is lovely

pattern image

The trouble is I am not a willowy, waif-like woman and it made me look like a house end!  Nothing to do with the pattern, just the wrong style for me.  I had actually knitted the whole sweater and sewn it up!

jumper

I did enjoy the process as I quite like knitting lace patterns but the sleeve increases, whilst keeping the pattern correct, were a bit of a nightmare!

My youngest enjoyed helping me unravel …

unravelling

The wool is Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn which is a chainette chunky weight, knitted on 10mm needles, but its very light to wear, it’s also quite expensive so I didn’t want to just let it sit in the drawer as an unworn garment.

cast on

This is what I have cast on.  It is a Debbie Bliss pattern that uses Como yarn, now discontinued, but the Paloma seems to be a good substitute.  I have actually made this pattern before, but knitted a size too big, then felted it to make it smaller but it came out child size!  So .. I put a zip in the front and my son used it as a winter jacket (he was 5 at the time!)

All in all, this is why I prefer sewing to knitting!  However, I think it is just a case of getting the size, choice of yarn and pattern style right and disciplining myself to knit a bit each evening when I’m at home so it doesn’t take a year to finish!  Hopefully this time around will be a success story!  We shall wait and see …

It Looks Like Babycham!

Sorry for the silence, I haven’t blogged for ages due to computer failure!  It has been very frustrating to say the least but FINALLY we are back up and running, hooray!!

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This is the Blouse Cézembre by Anne K Courture which has been  in my list of makes for quite a while but I only made it a month ago.  It has ended up being my Christmas top for a couple of “dos” and I really like it.  Initially I thought it might be too big but I think I like the slightly oversized look and it is great for eating too much Christmas fare!

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These are the flowers the lovely Mr bought me for our anniversary on December 18th.

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Back to the sewing!  I made a size 44 as I wanted it to be very loose fitting but I think next time I will go down to a size 42.  I took the size according to my bust measurement but it is very generously sized.  It’s quite a quick, easy sew, the trickiest bit being the curved hemline which has a facing.  You can see the high/low look:

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I got the fabric online and it is really one of my best buys from ebay.  Karen wrote a post, Putting the fun back into black from Did You Make That made a shift dress in the same fabric.

babi

My youngest took the photos on my phone and he’s not bad but can get a bit fed up after a few minutes!

All in all, I’m quite pleased with it!  Let me know what you think in the comments box.

And for those of you too young to remember what Babycham is,

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year! x

“It looks like a £70 Top!”

I’ve been away a while, but all back to normal now!  I have been doing bits of sewing here and there but nothing major – life gets in the way sometimes …

I have been on a bit of a sweatshirt mission for some reason, maybe it’s the change to  autumnal weather!  I’ve made a Jasper sweatshirt from Paprika Patterns, two Fielders from Merchant and Mills, and 2 Lindens from Grainline Studio!  I made all of them on my fabulous overlocker which made them really quick sews, I only used my sewing machine for some top stitching round the neck of the Lindens and Fielders. Here’s the Jasper …

sweat full

I used some great quality fabric I bought in Stockholm which is so soft it’s like stroking a cat! I really like the fit of this, it has princess seams which makes the bust fit and on the drafting, from size 8-12 it’s a B cup and size 14 onwards is drafted for a C cup which makes perfect sense as not many size 14+ would be a B cup.  You’d think more designers would cop on to that fact!

Sweat neck

The neckline is very flattering, it’s supposed to have a tab thing that buttons down at the side of the neck but I left that off and I think it looks better like this.  It also can be made in a tunic/dress length and have welt pockets into the front princess seams.  There’s also the option of a hem band and cuffs.  I love sweatshirts and the cosy comfort of them but don’t like the bulky, blokey look that some RTW have.

I think I will be making another of these and maybe one for my Mum!

sweat side

 

Ercol! A New Stash Storer

I follow several sewing blogs and it has been interesting to see other people’s sewing spaces and how they organise it.  The spaces have been very varied from a small secret space on a boat by Melissa Fehr, cleverly designed and hidden away.  To a massive “sewing cave” by Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, to a lovely bright sewing area by Scruffy Badger.

Whilst my sewing has been very sporadic lately, I have organised my sewing space a bit more and it is now much easier to find things!  Previously I have had fabric shoved into various boxes and cupboard spaces which meant that I often forgot what I had as I couldn’t see it all in one go.  I have wanted a dedicated fabric space for ages but I’m fussy and I wanted my beautiful fabric to be kept in a beautiful place!  Luckily, on a local “sell and swap it” website, I found this lovely Ercol sideboard dating from the 1960s.

Side board

I know its not everyone’s cup of tea but I love it!

fabric stash

The bottom shelf is for jersey and knits, the top shelf for lining fabric.

fabric wovens

Woven fabric on the bottom shelf and facing and elastic on the top.

Pattern drawer

The bottom drawer holds patterns that are too big to fit in my pattern boxes, mostly Style Arc patterns and PDF print outs. I also store carbon and tracing paper there along with tailor’s ham etc.

It feels so great to have all my fabric in one place at last!  Now just to get on and do some sewing …

 

From Old to New!

My sewing has come to a juddering halt over the school holidays as I can’t cope with being constantly interrupted whilst trying to focus on making something!  (Although I have made a muslin of some trousers and have now improved the fit – I hope!  Will blog about it later).

On the first day back from holiday, I had three mountains of washing piled on the kitchen floor and no food in the fridge …. , so I made a necklace!

necklace start

The beads are Chinese glass beads, I think antique, that my father-in-law gave me.  He was an avid antique collector, although never spent a lot, (these beads were about 50p – £1 each).  He had them in a cabinet in a glass bowl and I happened to comment one day that they would make a nice necklace, so he generously gave them to me!

big bead

They are quite unusual and as they are glass, they cannot be touching each other as they will break easily.  I used some suede that I bought in Sweden and knotted each bead into place either side of it.  I left about a 1/2″ length between each bead.

bead detail

beads

As you can see, most beads were in pairs and my FIL had labelled each pair saying where he bought them and how much he paid.  Sadly, I could not use all of them as the hole through the centre was too narrow.  I used a needle and thread at each end and threaded the beads on.

Threading necklace

I am quite pleased with how it turned out but I don’t think this is an every day necklace as I would be worried about knocking it and shattering the glass – maybe just for going out in the evening!finished necklace