Why Bother Making Jogging Bottoms?!

Well, I’ll tell you!  Firstly, Happy New Year!!

camo-front-2

As a curvy girl with a rounded bum I always need to buy the size to accommodate my arse.  This usually means that there is loads of spare fabric round my waist, which makes me look like I have a bigger tummy, especially with thicker sweatshirt fabric.

Making my own means that I can grade between sizes and eliminate the extra bulk – always a plus!  Especially after my Christmas excesses (although I have started my Couch to 5K programme ha! day 4 and going strong!!)

The pattern I used is Anima from Papercut Patterns.  The fabric I used for this first tester pair is some cheap jersey from Ebay and to be honest its a bit too thin but I like how they fit.  I made a mini pair for my son too with the same fabric but I was told no pics allowed of him!

camo-back

camo-pocket

I used some ribbon to stop the pockets from stretching out – I always cut off the ribbon loops you get in RTW tops and use those!  I made them on  my overlocker except the top stitching on the pockets.

For my next “proper” pair I will take in a bit more from the waist and use thicker sweatshirt fabric, this:

jeans-fabric

It’s a sweatshirt fabric with a ripped denim print on it, I did think about making a dress from it but decided that would be a bit too much but jogging bottoms will be great!

jeans-jogger

Nearly finished – just the waist band to attach!

Hope you all had a good Christmas and are brimming with sewing schemes and plans!

Hand Made Holiday Wardrobe

20160806_210000

I’ve had a fabulous summer, a family holiday in Croatia and a week with just me and the kids in Cornwall with some friends.  The British summer has been fantastic where we are and it seems to have gone on for ever!

20160730_183730

Now back to reality!

Before we went to Croatia I planned to travel light and have a mix and match wardrobe as we were traveling about for the first 10 days, staying a few nights here and there so having easy to put together clothes would make life easier and we didn’t want to have a lot of luggage to carry around.

I’m not usually very good at being organized but I was quite impressed with myself!  Before going I made 4 t-shirts, 3 Scouts and 1 Concord, a Groove Dress, Mecury Trousers, refashioned an old maxi dress into a skirt and I had some summer clothes I made for last year’s holiday.  I didn’t get a photo of everything as I kept forgetting but  here are some … I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

grey scout
Refashioned maxi dress and Scout Tee
pink scout and mercury
Concord Tee and Mercury Trousers
pink scout and cloud skirt
Faye Skirt and Scout Tee
navy scout and mercury
Mercury Trousers and Scout Tee
pink leopard dress
Scout Tee dress
groove
Groove Dress
Hope you all had a good summer!

“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

 

A New Favourite – Cloudy!

I have made another Fay Skirt from Style Arc and I absolutely love it!  I am a big fan of Style Arc and the Fay Skirt is an excellent pattern but I think the fabric really makes this one great.

cloud fabric

It’s a scuba fabric that I got from Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road and its thick enough to avoid exposing any cellulite or knicker line, heaven forbid!

cloud skirt

My youngest took this and my eyes are shut but it shows the skirt off well.  A quick and easy sew, just the sides and an elastic waist band, easy peasy!

side cloud skirt

‘Nuff said!

Have you got any makes you love, or fabric you are drooling over?  Let me know by clicking the “comments” link above, would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlocker, You Mean Another Sewing Machine? No, An Overlocker!

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend a class at The Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington.  For those who don’t know, The Thrifty Stitcher, aka Claire-Louise Hardie, is the Sewing Producer for The Great British Sewing Bee.  I did the “Overlocking Basics De-Mystified” taught by the lovely Layla Totah.class group

For most people, the fear of the overlocker is the threading, and yes, it is a bit tricky.  I’m so glad that I did the course before purchasing my Janome 6234XL, as Layla came by with her trusty scissors and snipped the threads a few times, which was very alarming!  However, making us thread the machine a few times really gave me confidence and I had less fear when my machine arrived at home.  class overlocker

We made a t-shirt in the class and it is amazing how quickly it came together!  When researching overlockers, people always said how much quicker, easier and professional it made your sewing but I didn’t really get it until now!  If you have ever considered getting one and you are dithering – do it now!  You will never regret it, the expense is totally worth it and my thinking is that I will never have to buy one again, or at least not for about 20 years!

me in class
The T-shirt I made in class, over the top of my dress, so not that flattering!
theresa top
Theresa’s t-shirt

And this is my new Janome 6234XL sitting next to my beloved Pfaff, I think they will become the best of friends!Machines

Once it arrived, I threaded it straight away, it worked first time and I made a “test” skirt in under half an hour!  Job done I reckon.overlock skirt

Not my favourite fabric, but bought on Ebay for 99p and a wearable muslin, and the t-shirt is the one I made in class, I may add a band to the bottom of it so it sits better on my hips. The skirt is the Fay by Style Arc, it’s supposed to be a double layered skirt with a bagged out hem but I didn’t have enough fabric and it’s a thick Ponte so I just made a single layer and stitched a hem.  My youngest took this photo and said “it makes you look skinny, you should make more of these”!  I’m sure I will!

So, what sewing extravagances have you indulged in?  Click the “comments” box at the top of the page and let me know!

A Holiday Wardrobe!

front trousers

 

I have made several things for our up coming holiday – only 1 week to go!!  First of all these Hawaiian print trousers.  I made these using the jumpsuit pattern from the Sewing Bee book (a fantastic purchase – so many patterns from one book – and great information about fabric choice etc). This is the pattern hack of the jumpsuit which you can make into trousers by tracing off the lower waist line.  I LOVE this pattern, for lots of reasons.  A) It fit me right from the pattern with no adjustment at all (I usually do a FBA (I know this stands for Full Bust Adjustment but for me its a Full Bum Adjustment ha!).  B) It has no zips or pockets so is quick to sew up. C) It has an elastic waist so no fitting issues there and the design is loose and roomy so no worries with fitting at the hip either!

side of hawaii trousers

I love the fabric too, which was a cheap find on ebay, about £2 per meter I think, and I used it as a toile to check the fit but they are totally wearable! I tried to take a back view myself in the mirror which was not easy! full length back trousersI wanted to show the back as I think the fit is really good.  I’m a RTW size 14/16 and I cut out a 14 which was perfect, the waist band was a bit loose so I just cut off 2″ of elastic and redid it and it’s fine.

The top I’m wearing is yet another Scout Tee!  Made from a white cotton/poly mix with some stretch.  I wanted a couple of basic tops for the holiday that I can just wash and wear easily.

white scout

 

Not the best photo but I had no photographer that day!

I also made a pattern hack of the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons with a flutter sleeve pattern that I got from Muse Patterns – they sell a Knit Sleeve Pack that can be used in knit garments, its excellent value at $3.

 

 

 

 

Pink flutter sleeveI look a bit odd in this photo but it was about 34 degrees and I was feeling hot and bothered!

Flutter sleeve

 

The flutter sleeve!  I also made a Coco Dress in a fabric with trees and sunsets but don’t have any photos.  Hopefully I can get some pictures of all my outfits in action when I’m on holiday!

hawaii fabric closeup

 

Just love this fabric!

If you’re going away, have a great time, if you want to comment, click on “comments” at the top of the page, it would be great to hear from you!

The Long and Short of it!

I have made the Aeolian T-Shirt Dress from Pattern Fantastique out of a knit fabric that is a dense t-shirt weight. It’s a great pattern that has 4 different lengths from a top to a maxi dress and can be made in a knit or woven fabric.  It’s a PDF downloadable pattern which means you need to piece it together but it was very easy and straight forward.stripe dress arms up

 

I really love the shape of the sleeves and it is a great, easy to wear, summer holiday dress.  However, now it’s made, I feel I need to shorten it to the knee, does it look too frumpy as it is?  Can I be bothered to alter the hem line!?

Stripe match

 

I just wanted to show off my stripe matching on the raglan sleeve! Yay! also, I used a decorative stretch stitch to stitch down the back facing.  This photo shows the colour really well.  My Swedish friend said it looks very Swedish, it must be the blue and white, ha!

stripe dress arms down

So what’s the verdict, shorten or not?  Please leave your comment by clicking “comments” at the top of the page, would love to hear your views!

Jersey Scout Tee

I haven’t been able to get much sewing done in the last week and a half as we have been away for a family wedding, then down to my parents in Dorset for a few days and then it’s been half term week so entertaining children!  However, I did the obligatory Ikea trip with a friend and her children and managed to pick up some fabric for a couple of summer tops and a dress, yay! Also, for anyone thinking of starting sewing but not wanting to invest a great deal in a machine, Ikea does a good looking machine for about £45 which is a real bargain (not tested it though!)

I did manage to squeeze in a few 15 minutes bursts of sewing here and there and made a jersey version of the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio (I think this is my new go-to pattern for simple summer tops).

finished jersey scout

I had some ponte fabric left over from my Coco Dress from Tilly and the Buttons, and a Coco Top I made for a friend.  It’s the same fabric but my friend’s was black and white and mine was red and white.  I had a few scraps left and thought I would try to squeeze a top out of it. I cut out a size smaller to allow for the knit fabric and used the pattern strip for a bias neck binding to add a thin neck band, I thought it might be too thin but I think it looks ok.

neck jersey scout

 

Unfortunately, I had to cut it with the stripes going vertically as I didn’t have enough fabric and the sleeves had to be the red and white but I quite like the contrast.  Also, on the back I cut a yolk with vertical stripes and the rest of the back was horizontal stripes, a bit of a mish mash but heh!  When I pinned the first sleeve in I realised the red and white was true white, the black and white was more cream but I was a bit past caring by then and I think it looks ok, good enough for casual day wear when its hot.

pinned sleeve j scoutCan you notice the difference in white and cream?! Oh well … (This is the sleeve pinned in, it lies nice and flat now it’s stitched in).

Sorry there are no photos of me wearing this but it is a great fit, not too fitted but with shaping so it hangs well.  I feel good to have made this out of scraps so its “free” really, ha!

What have you made out of “scraps”?  Leave a comment in the link at the top of the page, I would love to hear from you!