Holiday Sewing… And Fabric Shopping Plans!

I have been quiet on the blog for quite some time due to work and generally being busy with life.  However, I have still been sewing a lot and have attended a course at Morley College one day a week which has been amazing and I have learnt so much as well as making some new sewing friends!

So … for now I will just show my basic makes for holiday, ie, easy to wash and wear with minimal care.  We are going away for 3 weeks with a small luggage allowance so I’m trying to mix and match clothing!

This is a hack of the Scout Tee, I just cropped it and added a 9″ peplum which is almost double the width of the top (not quite double as I didn’t have enough fabric)!

As you can see there is a seam down the front, this is because I cut it out late at night after a long day at work and I accidentally placed the shoulder curve on the fold thinking it was the front neckline, anyway, it turned out ok!

Next up, another Scout Tee hack with a dipped hem at the back (and no centre seam!)

I love this fabric, such pretty colours, Tilly and the Buttons used it in some of their kits for the Zadie dress.

I also made a knit top from a Stoff and Stil pattern, it’s supposed to be for a woven but I wanted a knit of ease of wear and I love the sleeves with a slight gather at the shoulder and the bell shape.

Apologies for the messy kitchen and lack of head, my photographer was doing his best under pressure to get back to the world of Zelda!

Hopefully I will get back into the groove and catch up with my massive backlog of finished garments .. just need to get all the photos done!

 

Hand Made Holiday Wardrobe

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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!

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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!

“In The Clouds” Roberts Jumpsuit

jumpsuit bride2

Another Roberts Jumpsuit from the Marilla Walker pattern, the third item I have made from the pattern and it still won’t be the last – this is absolutely the best pattern I have ever bought! (And I’ve bought A LOT!!)  You can buy it from her shop on Etsy.

The fabric is a very soft rayon I bought on Ebay which was a real bargain and I washed it twice just to make sure it was properly pre-shrunk!  I love the clouds and the blueness of it (please note my new blue shoes that go very well too!)

Jumpsuit2

The photos are taken in Venice where the lovely Mr took me for my birthday at the beginning of June.

This time, to make it look different I put in a chunky white zip instead of buttons and had to take away the overlap and seam allowance for the button placket.  This tested my maths ability for a while but I got my head round it.  I also took 1″ out of the crotch length and 2″ off the leg length as I didn’t want these to be turned up.  I made it all with the overlocker except the hems and zip, I then top stitched all the seams down.

The zip looks really great but as it is a chunky zip and the rayon is very light weight, it did slightly pull the v-neck down a bit and I was conscious of too much cleavage so I wore a camisole underneath but I’m happy with that.  Standing up straight it would be fine but I was worried about what would be on display if I bent forward.  I actually wore it to breakfast at our hotel without the camisole and the Mr said it looked fine but I lost my bottle and quickly put a camisole on before going out for the day!  It must be a sign of my age because when I was 21 I wouldn’t have cared at all!

jumpsuit back

It looks like my left leg is a strange shape but it was just a bit breezy!  I’m very pleased with this make and I’m sure it will get lots of wear this summer (I’ve already worn it a lot as I made it a month ago).

I would love to hear your comments!  Next up Marilla Walker Mercury Trousers ….

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?!

A Holiday and a Summer Wardrobe

sun set

We have had 3 wonderful weeks away and it has been an amazing trip. (If you just want to get to the sewing, scroll down!)  Firstly, we flew to Stockholm, which is a beautiful city, loads of things to see and do, if you have kids I would recommend the Viking Museum and the Abba Museum, both are very interactive and great fun! It also has a great fabric shop, Tygverket, where I bought a few meters.

Then we went to Lake Vattern for 4 days – very tranquil and peaceful but if you are a city person like me, 4 days is probably enough!  On to Gothenburg, which was also fabulous.  We then drove to Copenhagen and had 3 days there, unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but on a sunny afternoon we did a boat trip round the city which was fun, some very interesting buildings.

Finally, we went to Croatia for the last week and it was gloriously sunny and such a beautiful, cultured and sophisticated country, I would definitely recommend it.  I found some great jewellery shops that sold pieces made by local designers.  I particularly liked the design of Midzo, and bought a couple of pieces.

Jewellery Croatia

On to the sewing!  Obviously, whilst away I didn’t do any sewing but I did wear all the things I made, so here they are …

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My “hurry up and take the photo” look

Trees dress

This is a dress I haven’t blogged about, I love the fabric, it has trees with colours coming through like a sunset, bought from Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road.  Its a mash up between a Scout Tee, Grainline Studio, and the Coco Dress, Tilly and the Buttons.

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Aeolian Dress, I said to the Mr “its about the dress, not me”, so he cut my head off!
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Penelope Dress and another “hurry up and take the photo” look
Trousers and top
Scout Tee and Trousers from Sewing Bee Book

I can’t tell you how much I love these trousers, I wore them so much on holiday and they are so comfy and cool (as in temperature, I don’t kid myself I look “cool”!)

Well, that’s it, it’s good to be home and back on the blog! (And “Bake Off” is back on TV yay!!) Please leave a comment by clicking the “comments” box at the top of the page, I would love to hear from you.  What have you been up to this summer, or winter, depending where you are?

 

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!

What to Sew…?

shop fabric

 

What to sew next?  I was given this selection of fabric as a birthday present when I was at my parents’ house, it’s from Fabric Land in Sailsbury.

I used the blue and white stripe for my Aeolian dress, which I have yet to shorten (see previous blog).  I want to make a Scout Tee dress with the pink leopard print – I know NEON PINK LEOPARD PRINT!!  What was I thinking, my Mum looked at me sideways and said “What are you going to make with that?!”

I will use the green polka dot for some wide leg summer trousers, it is a poly cotton mix light suit weight and has some stretch, just trying to find the right pattern.  Maybe the Colette Juniper or the trousers from the Holly Jumpsuit By Hand London.

Image from Colette Patterns website

The plain blue fabric is a scuba stretch that I want to use to make the Morris Blazer from Grainline Studio.  Both sides of the fabric are the same and it doesn’t fray so I thought I would try making it without the front facing and just leaving a raw edge, we’ll see!

Morris Blazer
Image from Grainline Studio website

The white is for a Plantain Tee from Deer and Doe I think, not very exciting but it will get a lot of wear. It’s a FREE downloadable pattern and it fits through the shoulders and bust then widens out to an A-line, very flattering.

Shirt Plantain
Image from Deer and Doe Website

Pretty, Pretty Dress!


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I love the look of this dress, its the Zsalya Dress from Kate and Rose Patterns.  Although it fits nicely and I have had quite a few compliments on it, next time I would go slightly smaller across the shoulders.  I’m a RTW size 14 but cut a size L, next time will go to M.

Their patterns have very good instructions, giving the option of a clean finish or a “quick and dirty” version.  I opted for the clean finish as I like garments to feel good on  the inside!  However, if I’m making a quick easy wear garment, I will often cut corners on the finish for speed!  The one thing I would mention is that their seam allowances are VERY small, if you want a larger seam allowance you will have to factor that in when cutting out, they tell you all this in the instructions.

Dress Lining

 

The trickiest bit is the neck line and facing.  I chose to do the facing/lining in a plain voile fabric and I used a seersucker type fabric for the main body that I bought from  The Fent Shop in Kings Lynn.

The sleeve has a really pretty inverted V that I forgot to take a photo of!

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I would like to make their Giselle and Roza patterns too but my list of projects is very looong!

I’m off to shorten my Aeolian dress now and hopefully get another one made.

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!

A New Dress!

We have finally agreed on our summer holiday and booked it, so I am now in panic mode about making a few summer garments.  Part of our holiday will be in a Northen Hemisphere climate and part in a hot climate.  We are having an extra long holiday this year, 3 weeks, so I will need clothes that can be easily washed with no ironing required! Therefore, I am making knit dresses and summer trousers in easy care type fabrics. Dress and Jacket 2

I have started with the Penelope Dress which was a free pattern from Sewing Made Simple Magazine.

I like the style of this dress and it is a really easy make that comes together quickly, however it does come up small! The fabric I used has a lot of stretch and the dress is much more fitted than I would normally wear. I have a thing for tie dye/Batik fabric!  I tried it out with some fabric I had in my stash which was very cheap so it is more of a wearable muslin. I’m a size 14 and cut a Large but next time will go XL.
Dress 1I think it looks ok even though is more “body contour” than I would like, the Mr likes it!
20150602_195629I even managed to find a RTW velvet jacket that I got from eBay that goes with it very well! (Although this is a very unflattering photo which makes me look squat!)

I wore it out for dinner on my birthday!

Next up, more Misty jeans and Kate and Rose dress!