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.

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.

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.

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!

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.


2017 Sewing Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you’ve all started the year with a bang 🙂

I can already see that 2017 is going to be a busy year for sewing – hurrah!  As well as once again vowing to sew from my stash and have fewer works in progress (I must start finishing garments before starting another project!), I’ve decided to take part in two challenges, so I’m going to have an awful lot on my plate.  With that in mind, I thought I’d attempt to get organised and write down some resolutions.  If I have it written down here, I’ll feel more obliged to complete them, right?

Firstly, I signed up for Sew My Style, thought up by Alex over at Bluebird Fabrics.  This is a brilliant initiative promoting the slow fashion movement (something I feel very strongly about!) and encouraging young people to learn to sew.  The general idea is to sew a set garment each month for the whole year – you can read much more about it here and also take a peak at the schedule.  Lots of big names are involved – you’ll find By Hand London, Named Clothing and Megan Nielsen in there.  It’s just going to be brilliant!

The second challenge I’ll be getting involved with is Make Nine, which is the brainchild of Rochelle over at Lucky Lucille.  This is a list of nine projects to complete throughout the year.  Now, luckily for me, a couple of my Make Nine goals are actually covered in Sew My Style – score!  That will give me a little less to do.  We already know the schedule for Sew My Style,  but without further ado, let me share my Make Nine resolutions list with you.  They are in no particular order here, but I’ll probably do everything seasonally once I get going.

1. Make a coat.
I now have three or four coat patterns lined up in my stash (e.g. Papercut’s Watson and Sew Over It’s Lola from My Capsule Wardrobe), but one thing is for sure: I will at least be sewing up the Named Clothing Yona coat for Sew My Style in September, even if I don’t pluck up the courage to start the others.

2. A new Coco.
I love my first Tilly and the Buttons Coco so much!  So much, in fact, that I’m going to make a second one that is virtually identical to it.  I already have the fabric and everything.

3. Isabelle’s advent calendar.
My sewing machine broke in November before I had time to finish my lovely niece’s advent calendar, so this is on the ‘must finish’ list for next year.  I’m basing it on this lovely calendar by Amy at Stitchery Dickory Dock (excellent name!).  I’ve since managed to fix my stupid machine by the way, by simply opening it up and giving it a very thorough clean and DIY service – the problem probably had a lot to do with a very mangled pin caught in the mechanism.  Whoops!

4. Complete at least one knitted garment.
And I do not mean the cardigan I’m 95% finished, I promise!  I mean something new.  I have two possibilities lined up – this, which I’ll lengthen to make a dress, or this, which just makes me go all heart-eyed.  Thoughts?

5. Sew Over It City Break Molly dress.
I have some lovely navy and cream ponte from Sewn Bristol lined up for this – I’m ready to channel my nautical chic!

6. Complete my Dropcloth sampler.
Won’t this be a lovely addition to my sewing space?!  It’ll be a nice project to get along with while I’m commuting.  Yes, I’m one of *those* people who knits and sews on public transport.

7. Make a pair of trousers.
My first trouser making experience was not a great success.  I’ve been putting it off and off and off…  I need to overcome the fear.  No matter what, I’ll be attempting the Cali Faye Hampshire trousers in October for Sew My Style.

8. Closet Case Files Carolyn pyjamas.
I hope to get at least one pair done in January in nice, warm fabric.  I think my sister and I are going to make matching hedgehog pyjamas – eak, so excited!

9. Something involving sequins. 
In a fit of complete madness, and in a haze of all the beautiful sequinned fabrics we saw at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, my friend Rachel and I made a pact to make ‘something sequinned’ in time for Christmas next year.  We’re resting our hopes on Harrogate having lots of lovely sequinned fabrics on offer again in 2017, so we can pick up our fabric there and make something in the following weeks.  Any tips anyone has on sewing with sequins would be gratefully received 🙂

So there you have it – my sewing resolutions for 2017.  I’m going to try to stick to them as much as I can.  I will try to be good and not stray too far away from the plan.  Wish me luck!