Sew My Style – July

Guys, let me introduce you to my lovely niece, Isabelle!  Here she is modelling her very own handmade blouse.  I’m totally biased, but she is the absolute cutest!

I knew straight off that July’s Sew My Style pattern would not suit me at all.  Let’s just say it’s not for the busty lady – a seam with gathers in all the wrong places.  As I did with February’s pattern, I set to work thinking about who I could make this for.  I was chuffed to discover that it was available in little person sizes, and my niece was even more chuffed to receive her handmade gift 🙂  She got this huge smile on her face and threw her arms around me.  ‘Thank you, Aunty Vicki!’  Oh, my life, I almost cried from the cuteness ❤  Love her to bits and pieces.

The fabric
I used the leftover Swiss dot from my Alex shirt.  It was perfect for this pattern.

The pattern
The Valley Blouse for girls, from Cali Faye.  This, although still relatively easy, turned out to be one of the hardest things I’ve made in a while.  When I cut it out it looked absolutely tiny and I thought it would take me a couple of hours.  How can something so small take all that long, right?  Wrong.  Lots of gathering and fiddly bits.  And I did get to try a couple of things I’ve never done before.

  1. A keyhole.  This didn’t seem like it should work at first, but I went with it and it all came together in the end.  It wasn’t as neat as I would have ideally liked, but it was my first ever one.
  2. Cuffs.  I’ve never made a cuff on anything before.  I stitched in the ditch to secure them, but if I were to do it again I would stitch them by hand.  My stitching in the ditching always looks okay from the outside, but it’s all wobbly on the inside.

This was also the first time, since getting my new machine in January, I’ve had to do a buttonhole, so I got to test drive my automatic buttonholer.  Thumbs up!

The cost
The only thing I had to pay for was the pattern, which was only about £6.50 with the Sew My Style discount code.  I used leftover fabric and buttons (chosen by Isabelle) from my stash.

Advertisements

Sew My Style – June

Ever make something a little out of your comfort zone, only to discover you actually kind of love it?  That’s what happened here, at the halfway mark for Sew My Style.  That’s what I’m loving about Sew My Style – it’s encouraging me to try things I never thought I would – a bit of experimentation never hurt anyone!  I first wore this to Friendsfest – I bought my sister tickets for her birthday.  She had no idea, it was a complete surprise, and it was a really fun day out.

The fabric
I white and turquoise ‘scribble’ stripe jersey from the Textile Centre.  This fabric is lovely – super-soft and drapy – but my sewing machine and overlocker both hated it.  It didn’t seem to matter what I tried – they just kept either trying to eat it or skipping a load of stitches.  After much faffing about, I finally found a setting on my sewing machine that would allow me to get it done.  Very slowly.

The pattern
The Briar Tee from Megan Nielsen.  Megan’s patterns are always so easy to follow, and I think the fit is usually realistic and good – no insane amounts of ease, just the right amount.  Bonus – this was a super-speedy sew.  I think it probably took me around 90 minutes once I’d sorted out my machine issues, and that was sewing at a snail’s pace.  I left making this until far too late, so I decided to make the cropped version as a time saver – out of my comfort zone, as I mentioned, but I dare say I like it! I’m not sure how often I’ll be brave enough to wear it without a vest underneath, but I will wear it.  I really like the fit, so I’d like to make the classic tee at some point.  It’s far too long for me at the back though, so I will need to re-draft it.

The cost
The fabric was a total bargain in the sale at £2.99 per metre.  I got 2 metres, but have absolutely loads left.  The pattern was about £7.20 with the Sew My Style discount.  Around £13 in total.

Linden Sweatshirt

I never thought I was a sweater fan – I never thought they suited me.  Then I made the Toaster Sweater  back in January and it’s turned out to be one of my most worn handmade garments.  I love it.  I think it’s the cropped style.  The classic sweater shape doesn’t suit me very well – I’m quite wide at the hip, so a band that sits on one of the widest parts of my body isn’t very flattering, especially with me being a bit busty too.  When I made the Toaster Sweater, I discovered that a cropped jumper without a ribbing band shows off my shape a bit more and doesn’t make me look quite as round.  With all this in mind, I decided it was time to see whether the Linden Sweatshirt lived up to all the hype.

The verdict?  I love it!  I have worn it an awful lot since making it.  It’s so cosy and comfortable.  I have lots of fabrics in my stash that are suitable for Lindens, so I may end up with a few more.

The fabric
I actually used the leftovers from my Toaster Sweater.  I had about a metre left, but I managed to squeeze it out 🙂  I’m getting quite good at using every last morsel of fabric.

The pattern
The Linden from Grainline Studio, of course.  I picked it up from Guthrie and Ghani at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh, along with some fabric to make it with.  That fabric was far too nice to use without making a toile, hence the stash-busting.  This is the quickest and easiest thing I’ve ever made.  It took around 90 minutes, but that was with me attempting to figure out how to sew on my overlocker.  That’s right, I did it all on my overlocker.  Go me!  I didn’t enjoy it very much and I don’t think the finish is as nice, so I am swiftly going back to using my overlocker solely for finishing seams.  But I still managed it and I’m quite proud of myself 😀  The only thing I did on my sewing machine was twin needle the hem.  I’m going to try another very soon and see if I can get it down to under an hour…

The cost
I already had the fabric and thread, so no cost there.  The pattern was £14.90.

Sew My Style – May

More Sew My Style catch up today, with my May make 🙂

The jury is still out on this skirt.  I like it, I’m just not sure I like it a lot.  I’ve been wearing it, so it can’t be that bad.  I’m wondering whether my fabric choice wasn’t quite right, or whether I would prefer it to be a little longer…?  There’s something that isn’t quite right anyway.  I have some more fabric to try it again, see if I can fathom it out.  I’m quite pleased with my topstitching though, and of course, the ginormous pockets.

The fabric
A light-ish weight denim.  As I said, I’m wondering whether this is perhaps a little too heavy for this skirt.

The pattern
The Basics Pocket Skirt from Cali Faye Collection.  I must admit, I found the pattern a little over-complicated in places, so I kind of did my own thing a lot.  The instructions were very clear, I just decided not to follow them.  The really great thing about this pattern is that it uses barely any fabric – less than a metre for my size, for sure.

Modifications
I omitted the elastic step and opted to redraft my back waistband piece to be more fitted and gather the back skirt piece more fully.  I then inserted a concealed zip into my left side seam.  I just thought the way the elastic was added seemed a bit faffy and I don’t think the finish would have necessarily looked any better.  Maybe I’m wrong – maybe that’s what’s up with my skirt!

Notes
Take a look at the finished garment measurements before tracing and cutting.  I ended up cutting about two sizes smaller than recommended because there is a lot of ease.

The cost
The fabric was free!  My lovely sister gave it to me.  The pattern was about £9 with the Sew My Style discount and I had to spend a couple of quid on a zip.  Just over a tenner for a skirt isn’t half bad!

Sew My Style – April

I know what you’re thinking.  Maybe it’s a bit late to be posting about an April make?  That may be true, but I have a confession – I didn’t actually finish this in April.  I finished it much later than that, and now I’m playing catch up.

So far, I’ve shared my Toaster sweater, Saunio cardigan and Virginia leggings with you, and April’s Sew My Style pattern pick was the Bridgetown dress from Sew House Seven.

I love this dress and I was pleasantly surprised to find it suited me a bit more than I thought it would (though I did size down a lot).  I love the backless design, although, a couple of people on Instagram pointed out that it is reversible!  I was worried that the sleeves may have had a tendency to slide off my shoulders and that I might end up with ‘flashing issues’ (Bridget Jones, anyone?), but I have found that they behave themselves quite well actually.

The fabric
This was the most challenging bit – working with a super slippery viscose.  It’s beautiful and so, so soft, but it’s a slippery little sucker.  I got this from Sewisfaction, my new favourite place!  I so wish I lived in that neck of the woods so I could visit.

The pattern
Bridgetown, by Sew House Seven.  The instructions were easy to follow and this was a surprisingly easy make.  There are no fastenings or zips, no darts or shaping – just the elastic working its magic.  You even only have to hem the skirt because of the way the sleeve is designed.  I made no modifications whatsoever.

The cost
The fabric was £24, but I got 3 metres because I managed to get confused about how much fabric I needed.  I have absolutely loads left – enough for a top for sure.  And the pattern was around £9 with Sew My Style discount.  £33 in total.

 

#TheBigStitch

I love a good refashion.  I love the idea of taking something unloved and turning it into something wearable again.  So when I heard about the Big Stitch campaign from the British Heart Foundation, I hopped straight on the makers’ train!

The Big Stitch is an awareness campaign, encouraging crafters to create unique additions to their wardrobes using items purchased in British Heart Foundation Shops.  A bit of fun for a great cause.  Here’s what I came up with.

I’ve said it before, but for me, refashioning isn’t about creating jaw-dropping pieces – it’s about making something you will wear.  What is the point in spending all that time and effort making something if you don’t intend to wear it?  So, after much deliberation, I decided to make myself a neutral top.  It’s the most grown up thing I’ve made in a long while.

The fabric
My starting point was two men’s shirts – one being 100% cotton and the other a cotton linen blend.  They both had a similar texture and drape though, which is what I was after.  I used the black check shirt for the bodice and the plain black for the collar and facings.

The pattern
I used my very first Seamwork pattern.  I have been a subscriber to Seamwork for ages, but rather shamefully, haven’t made anything until this.  It’s the Addison top.  It was a very easy pattern to follow, but I still got to try out a couple of new techniques.

  1. I have never sewn a v-neck before.  Now, if I’m being totally honest, I found this part to be really fiddly and difficult.  However, I confess to not having done any research into the ins and outs of v-necks before sewing – I just jumped in.  Next time, I will most definitely look into it in more detail because I must have been doing something wrong.  It’s still a bit funky and I’m not 100% happy with it, but it’s hidden by the bow so I’m not getting too bent out of shape about it.
  2. The way the facings and side seams come together is really interesting and completely new to me.  It’s hard to explain how it’s done, but I’m wondering whether it’s the ‘burrito’ method I’ve heard about?  Whatever it was, it worked!

Modifications
I did the pussy bow hack provided by Seamwork as an members’ extra.  I thought it would make the most of a contrast collar and waste less fabric.  Although the pattern doesn’t have a button band, my shirt did, so I kept it for a bit more interest.  It is sewn closed at the top so it is a purely decorative feature.  I switched out the boring shirt buttons for prettier ones from my stash (which were rescued from a holey cardigan).  I also reused the hems on the shirt as a time saver, so the shape of my Addison is slightly different to that of the pattern.

Notes
I love this top, and I really like the fit.  However, if I had traced and cut my pattern according to the body measurements, as suggested, it would have been huge.  I ended up going two sizes down, after looking at the finished garment measurements and realising that there is rather a lot of ease involved.  I would definitely advise a look at the finished garment measurements before you trace or cut – decide how much ease you’d like and go with your gut.

The cost
The shirts were £7.50 (for both) and the pattern set me back one of my Seamwork credits, which we’ll call £3.  I already had everything else I needed.  That’s a grand total of £10.50.

Update

Hello, everyone!  It’s been a long while, hasn’t it?  I haven’t blogged since March.  How rude of me – please accept my sincerest apologies.

I’m afraid it’s been a classic case of real life taking over.  For the past 18 months I have been working two jobs across two different cities, working a very strange shift pattern, and for the most part, relying on public transport.  An awful lot of my free time was taken away – I would often leave the house at 7:30 am and not return until around 10 pm.  And when I wasn’t at work, I was catching up with family and friends, running errands, that sort of thing.  I also had all sorts of other stuff going on that had to take the front seat – kind of an everything all at once situation.  I could barely find time to sew, let alone blog about it, and the last few moths have been a bit too stressful.

However, I’m pleased to say that I started a new job at the beginning of July!  I’m working much more sensible hours and I’m back in one building at all times – what a luxury.  Most importantly, I’ve managed to snatch back quite a bit of free time, so I’m hoping to give my shamefully abandoned blog some attention and reconnect with all you sewing lovelies.  Yay 😀

What have I been up to while I’ve been gone, then?  Well, I have managed some sewing.  Nowhere near as much as I would have liked, but I’ll include some sneaky peaks of what’s to come. My love-hate relationship with jersey continues.  My fabric stash is more out of control than ever because I’ve been so time poor and just can’t get through it quickly enough – nothing to do with me buying too much fabric, of course 😉  Do you remember my sewing resolutions?  Well, I’ve made quite literally no progress with my Make Nine – only two of the makes complete.  Am I allowed to switch out a pattern or two?  I have managed to keep up with Sew My Style (sort of – one of them was a month late!) and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the patterns.  I also took part in the Sew Together for Summer challenge.  I’ve discovered a couple of new sewing gadgets – where have they been all my life?

Mostly, I’ve been dreaming about having more time to sew and getting back to blogging!  I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.  Thank you for sticking around during my hiatus – you’re the best ❤

Happy sewing and ta-ta for now!

xx

Sew My Style – March

Let’s talk about leggings.  I must confess, I’m not a leggings wearer.  Not because I don’t like them, but because I rather feel my thighs aren’t quite slim enough.  If I wear leggings I wear them under dresses in place of tights.  Or because I’m  doing exercise.  I wouldn’t wear leggings as trousers.  I hate the idea of making something I wouldn’t wear – that seems very wasteful to me.  I was so convinced February’s pattern pick wouldn’t suit me that I made it for mt friend Rachel.  So when I saw this pattern for #SewMyStyle, I said to my sister that I’d either have to make boring black leggings or completely whacky dog-walking leggings, otherwise I just wouldn’t wear them.  And who wants to make boring black leggings?  Not me!  Not us!  We made matching marble leggings 😀

The pattern
Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings.  I was really surprised at how easy these were to make!  I don’t know why, but I had always assumed the would be tricky to sew.  But there are only two pattern pieces for these Virginia leggings – the leg (of which you cut two) and the waistband.  The instructions are really easy to follow, and the construction couldn’t be easier.  I traced off my pattern, cut my fabric and sewed these in less than three hours!  Perfect for my hectic lifestyle – I don’t get much free time to sew these days, so quick projects are all the more satisfying.

The fabric
An amazing marble print scuba from Fabric Styles.  It was really easy to work with, and I will most definitely be using scuba again.  I actually bought more of this fabric – I think a Tilly and the Buttons Zadie dress in this fabric, and black side panels would be perfect!  My sister’s fabric is also still available.

The cost
The fabric was £4.50 per metre, and I used just over a metre, so let’s say around £6.  The PDF pattern was £8 once coverted from Australian dollars, including the Sew My Style discount.  That’s £14 for my uber-cool marble leggings 😀

#MonetaParty Dress

Have you ever ended up with a fabric and had no idea what you’re going to make out of it?  I’m sure you understand.  This was one of those fabrics for me.  I was completely dazzled b the sparkles.  Like a niffler!  I wanted the sparkles, but I had no clue what to do with them.  Then came the #MonetaParty on Instagram, organised by the Triple Stitchers (sewpositivity, sewabigail and rach_wain) and Colette Patterns.  I wasn’t initially sure I’d have time to take part, but then I saw Abi’s sparkly Moneta and knew I had to make my own!

The pattern
Moneta by Colette Patterns, of course.  It was third time lucky for me and Colette Patterns, having tried and failed to make a pair of Juniper trousers and a Macaron dress and having rather a a traumatic time of it for both projects.  Moneta, on the other hand, was super easy and I love it!  The instructions were easy to follow and the construction is really simple.  I think I probably sewed it in about three hours.

Modifications
I swapped out the gathers for pleats, because I thought it would give the dress a smarter look.  I put inverted box pleats where the notches on the front and back skirt are.  I’m surprised at how well they’ve worked on such slinky fabric.  I also omitted the pockets, again because I didn’t think they were suited to the style of dress.  The most exciting thing though (after having a spangly dress to flounce around in, of course) is that I learned to use a twin needle!  I’m a little too excited about this, and now that I’ve cracked it I’ll be a twin needle fiend.  Sadly, because I used matching thread (silly me!), nobody can admire my handiwork on this dress, but just wait until I have the chance for contrasting topstitching!

The fabric
A very slink, very sparkly lurex jersey from the Textile Centre.  I was worried my machine would try to eat this fabric, but it actually handled it just fine – nice surprise 🙂

The cost
The fabric was an absolute bargain – a grand total of £4.48 for two metres in the Textile Centre January sale.  The pattern was about £10, and I already had everything else I needed.  Less than £15 for a party dress – win!  😀