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 Dots Take 1

If you sew, and if you use Instagram or Twitter, you must know about the #SewDots campaign.  Sew Dots was brought to us by the wonderful Rosie Martin, author of the recently published No Patterns Needed.  When she’s not sewing or writing books about sewing, Rosie does fantastic work for the RNIB – the Royal National Institute of Blind People – helping people with visual impairments use modern technologies, such as mobile phones.  Sew Dots came as an extension of the RNIB’s Wear Dots Raise Lots, a campaign aimed at highlighting the impact of Braille, and Rosie, because she’s brilliant, thought she could rally up fellow dressmakers to try to raise even more awareness.  The idea was to sew something dotty (dots like Braille), share your creation/s on Twitter or Instagram and donate £5 to Rosie’s Just Giving page.  I sewed, and I donated, so let me share my first Sew Dots project with you.

The fabric: a white Swiss dot I picked up on eBay.  I liked the idea of Swiss dot because I wanted my projects to have 3D elements.  The dots on this fabric are perfectly reminiscent of Braille.

The pattern: I’m sure you’ve seen the latest release from Lisa Comfort at Sew Over It.  My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break has taken the sewing world by storm.  And rightfully so, everything in that e-book is beautiful!  This is my first (of many, I’m sure!) make from it – the Alex shirt.

Modifications: just two.  I used the tab from the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine pattern instead of the one provided, as the Bettine tab was a bit wider and less fiddly.  Because I’m lazy – there, I said it.  Also because I’m lazy, I was very naughty and didn’t bother with the buttonholes.  The shirt is so loose fitting that it slips over my head just fine.  In fact, I may even go down a size for my next Alex Shirt.

The cost: the fabric was £6.99 per metre.  I bought three metres, but didn’t use it all.  I used self-cover buttons, which were £2.50.  In total, that’s about £23.50.

I think Rosie has struck gold with this idea, and I’m really hoping it sticks around in future years.  This is something that means a lot to me.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that my father is blind.  He uses the services provided by the RNIB extensively, especially their talking book and Braille libraries.  I know he would be lost without books.  The work the RNIB does really is invaluable, and I’m a fan of any campaigns that support their work.