Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Here it is in black and white.

With Joanne's encouragement I am going to join in the Fall Essentials Sew-Along over at Rhinestones and Telephones...

The idea behind it is to sew garments from different categories to build your A/W wardrobe. The time-scale pretty much sold it to me - I should be able to produce at least two items in that time!
Here are the categories: 

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather (Skirts, trousers etc.)

Kelly Skirt - in black lightweight denim
Hummingbird Skirt - in what? I dunno.
Miette Skirt - Would like to find a really soft corduroy for this.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

I really need some layering tees so:
Maria Denmark Birgitte Basic Tee - 3/4 sleeve, in a heavier weight grey/black jersey
Day to Night Top with long sleeves
I would also like a Hummingbird Top and a Mathilde blouse if there is time.

Fabulous Frocks

Realistically I will only get one dress completed and it is likely to be the Red Velvet from Cake patterns as I have signed up for the sew-along. However, I am going to aim to do the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater as well, as I already have the fabric ready to go (aubergine crepe jersey).

In an ideal world I would also make a Colette Hawthorn flannel and a Maria Denmark Edith Shirtdress - to wear as a dress or over jeans/ leggings but you know I am dreaming.

Underneath It All

I don't have the pattern yet but I really like the look of this camisole by Disparate Disciplines. It would be perfect for layering.

Tender Tootsies

Hmm will probably give this category a miss.

Those Cozy Nights

PJ bottoms -  Simplicity, don't remember the number. I have made before but want to tweak the pattern.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Liesle and Co Woodland Stroll Cape. I have some wool boucle fabric that might do for this.

Not a sewing task but I would also like to finish my cowl before winter is over http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lulaboola/honey-cowl

Friday, 11 October 2013

Summer Concert Tee

This should have been a quick and simple make and would have been if I had not chosen the fabric from hell (FFH). This is a 100% viscose, very fine knit, chosen for its lovely drapey qualities. However, I hadn't bargained on how slippery it would be or how much my machine would want to chew it up!

The pattern itself was very easy to put together (I LOVE PDFs) and very easy to follow, so no quibbles there.

However, once I moved onto transferring pattern to FFH, then things started to take a turn for the worse.

 I could tell that what I really needed was:
a) a chalk tracing wheel (now purchased)
b) A rotary cutter (which I had but couldn't use as I don't have a mat large enough)
c) A walking foot (which I also have but I don't have a clue how to use it and mistakenly thought this fact would slow me down!)

To be honest I made this so long ago that I have forgotten most of the horrors. I do remember than on at least two occasions I sewed things with the wrong side facing out! This ended with me having to CUT it apart because it was impossible to unpick. I did manage to get the stripes to match up nicely though.

The neckline was rather shabby as by that point I was losing the will to live. I opted for a zigzig, but have no idea why now??

When I had finished it I wasn't that keen on the length. It is too short at the front for me to feel comfortable (i'm at risk of showing my belly) and due to the fabric, the mullet at the back kept getting all tucked up so I took a fair bit off, this makes it more wearable for me.
So all in all not a complete disaster, it is great as a yoga top! When I make it again I need to lengthen the front and stay away from fabric like this.

Pull your shoulders back woman, you're standing like a sack of spuds!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Thought I should dust off the blog before I completely went off the idea (again).

Well, towards the back end of the summer holidays I was just sorting out a new schedule for home educating the boy, when what should happen the week before the schools were due to start back? We received a call to say there was a place for him at the local primary school!

Although it was planned for this September, it didn't seem like it was going to happen as there were no places at the end of last term. So we were all in shock for a while there, not to mention rushing round in a panic buying uniform and stationary. However, it's now 4 weeks in (nearly) and it all seems to be going well.

There has been lots of sewing going on over the summer, as well as more recently. Boring things such as shortening school trousers and fun things such as new PE bags ....
PE bag with custom Spoonflower Android fabric

 ...and Neil Armstrong costumes (!)
 ...as well as lots of selfish sewing, some successful, some not so much, but more on that later.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Summer Sailors

Last week was Kids Clothing Week so what better time to crack on with the shorts I kept promising my daughter. I searched the interwebs and what I found was that most kid patterns only go up to age 8. My daughter is aged 12 so this posed a problem. After much more searching I eventually found  the Summer Sailors from Brownie Goose

Cute, non? My girl liked them as soon as she saw them, so I downloaded and set to work.

I had most of the materials to hand, apart from the buttons which I had to pop up the road for. The pattern was very quick to put together, I think there were only 8 pages to stick together in total. The only problem I had was matching up the hem of the front and back. I don't know why but the front seemed a fraction shorter. I don't know if it was a slap-dash cutting issue, printing issue, who knows?? Anyhoo, I just chopped off the extra and it didn't seem to matter, he he! The rest of it went super smooth. I added a bit of ric rac to the waistband seam for another pop of white.

My daughter is thrilled with the end result and I have already started on a second pair, with plans to make some corduroy ones for A/W wear with tights.

Apparently navy is as hard to photograph in bright sun as black, oh well you get the idea I hope.

Friday, 12 July 2013

A Twirly Skirt

Last week I had a disappointing week, in terms of sewing. I had wanted to get started on the Colette Hawthorn sewalong but once again I seemed to run out of time everyday. I couldn't even squeeze in a measly 30 minutes of sewing. However, I did get my PDF pattern all taped together and ready to go. So when the weekend arrived and I had a bit more time to play with you'd think i'd get cracking on with it, but no. I decided to make this instead:

 All this hot weather had left me longing for a cool and breezy skirt. Something I could knock out in the limited time I had available between school fetes and rocket launches (true!). Initally I was going to make another Miette but I couldn't place the linen fabric I had in mind. Lost in the depths of my fabric storage.

In my search I came across this Denyse Schmidt fabric that i'd had for ages and thought it would be pretty as a fifties style full skirt.

I got my fabric measurements from the tutorial on the By Hand London blog, then did my gathers using the dental floss trick, which is by far the easiest way to gather I think.
 I didn't have an appropriate zipper, invisible or otherwise, but did find this 2" wide black elastic to use as a waistband.

Having sewn it all together and given it a beautiful invisible hem I tried it on and was rather underwhelmed. Firstly, it was just too gathered at the waist and secondly the length was all wrong, sorry forgot to take pictures. I'd based the length on one of my favourite RTW dresses but somehow the length just didn't work with this style.

So, out came the seam ripper, off came the elastic and off came 3 inches of fabric from the waistline, therefore leaving my lovely hem intact!

Then instead of gathers I did this...

I don't know if these are pleats or tucks. There was no science behind it, I just eyeballed it and it worked out okay. I certainly prefer the look of it this way than with the gathers. There was one major mistake I made though. Obviously when you have gathers the fabric stretches nicely with the elastic, making it easy to take the skirt on and off. With these pleats or whatever they are, not the case!! For once I am very thankful to have a small bottom as I can just about squeeze in and out of it.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Scout Take Two

I finished this a couple of weeks ago, just in time for the start of the good weather. If my Miette is the perfect transitional skirt then this Scout is the perfect warm weather top.

Now you'd think having made a practice version of this top everything would go swimmingly. Well, for the most part it did. Where things went awry was at the neckline. I chose a cotton lawn I had in my stash for this Scout and it was obviously a lot more stretchy on the bias than the poly-cotton I used for my test version. This resulted in a neckline that does not lay perfectly flat. It's not so bad that I can't live with it but it will probably bug me every time I wear the damn thing.

I feel a bit 'early stages of pregnancy' in it, but again not enough to actually put me off wearing it. With all this glorious sunshine and heat we are enjoying I imagine it will be getting quite a lot of wear in the next few weeks.

Light on photos today. Combination of really bright sunshine and less-than-cooperative 12yo photographer!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Holiday Sewing

I'm sure I'm not the only person who decides, just days before going on holiday, that I REALLY need to sew [insert pattern name of choice] before we go away. Well, that was me a few weeks ago when I decided Tilly's Miette skirt would be the perfect whatever-the-weather skirt to pack for our trip up north. 
'Scuse the wrinkles, I'd been wearing it all day.

Luckily it is a super simple pattern to follow and goes together quite easily between putting on loads of laundry, packing and giving the house a good clean.  

I made the size 2 but ended up having to take in about an inch either side as I have non-existent hips. This was no surprise to me and one of the reasons I have chosen to start sewing all my clothes.

I chose this lightweight denim, which I had in my stash, used some red poplin for the waist facings and top-stitched in red also. I enjoyed doing the fancy stitches on the pocket openings!

Overall I'm pleased with this skirt. The pockets do match, even though it doesn't look like it in that top photo. The only major slip-up I had was the top stitching on the bottom of the pocket, It doesn't meet in the middle. If I hadn't been rushing I would have unpicked it and re-sewn it, but I was so I didn't! 

Oh and it WAS the perfect cool climate holiday skirt. I wore it with tights for cooler days and without on the odd day the sun shone.

And look, no knicker flashing!