Sunday, 23 April 2017

My perfect top (x2) and simple sew pleated culottes (x1)

    We have been busy over the Easter holidays with visitors and day trips. The weather has been amazing, hardly a drop of rain and really quite warm for the time of year. I haven't had has as much time as I would like to sew and much of what little time I had was spent on some disastrous trousers now stuffed in a cupboard (one day when the pain has subsided I may blog about them). After the disastrous pair I was still determined to make trousers and thought something a little looser fitting may be just the thing. I always hated culottes as a child and vowed never to wear them again - however I have been seeing a few lovely pairs on the web/ in shops and thought I would give them another chance! I decided on this pattern (mainly because it had it in my stash as it was free with a magazine):

   They would have been straight forward if I hadn't sewn the pockets on the wrong way up (BOTH sides and TWICE!!!!!!!!), and bought the wrong type of zip - it all took much longer than it should have done but I am so pleased with the result! I used a gorgeous grey linen from my stash.

  They are perhaps the only item of clothing that I own which that I would actually wear a t-shirt tucked in! They are really comfie, although I think I may need some extra room behind (I must find out how to do a full butt adjustment for the next pair).

  I am pleased with my invisible zip - I found it odd that the instructions had you place the top of the zip half way down the waistband, I think it is supposed to be a design feature and actually I rather like it but i'm not sure if other people will look at it and think I just haven't finished them properly.

  I have been on the search for my perfect summer t-shirt that I can wear to work. I need it to be something high enough at the neckline for it not to be indecent when I am leaning forward but not too high as I hate things around by throat area. It needs to be loose enough to move around/lean over etc but I didn't want it to look like a sack! I love the boxy kimono sleeved tops that are around at the moment but wanted to find one that had bust darts to add some shape. Jo of Three stories high had made some lovely kids t-shirts from an old issue of Ottobre magazine, I asked her which issue it was and decided to buy a back copy of it, when ordering it, on a whim I decided to get the most recent women's issue too - and I am so glad I did!!  I love the style of the garments in the magazine generally but when I turned a page to find a kimono sleeved top with bust darts I was delighted.

  I have to say that tracing the pattern is very difficult (worse than Burda!). You have to add seem allowances which I did by sellotaping two pens together for a 1cm seem allowance. Construction was straight forwards, the pattern is very economical fabric wise and I used left over linen from my culottes to make the first top:

  I loved it so much I went straight ahead and made a second with some cotton I purchased at the knitting and stitching show:

The fabric was more of a quilting weight cotton so I think I will make another in a lighter tana lawn (perhaps a Liberty print I have been saving).

  I have a few busy work weeks ahead plus I need to make some alterations to a nightshirt I made my Dad for Christmas (said night shirt has been languishing on my sewing table and is impatiently giving me a hard stare whenever I am near!). Hopefully I will squeeze some selfish sewing in as well....

  Thanks for stopping by!

            Su xx

Monday, 10 April 2017

Sew me something Kate X 2

I have been looking for the perfect simple dress pattern, something understated but with a bit of interest. I spied the Sew me something Kate dress and bought it a while ago. There are several variations that make it suitable for every season. I had dreams of a linen summer version and finally got round to making it out of a lovely purple linen/cotton blend. I chose the version with cute puffed sleeves and a little gather at the front neckline.

 Initially I was really disappointed - it was so large that the bust darts were waist height and I had to take it in by 1.5cm at the side seams and shoulders (stupidly I didn't try it on until after I had set in the sleeves!) With all of the alterations and repeated trying on I managed to stretch out the neckline all in all a disaster - or so I thought.....

  Since making it I have worn it loads!!!! I love the colour, the sleeves and especially the contrast bias binding. It is really comfortable and although I have now decided that gathers at the neckline really don't suit me I still think I will get lots of wear over the summer.

  I decided to give the pattern another chance and made a version without a gather at the neckline. I chose a gorgeous Koi carp patterned linen/cotton blend that I bought ages ago from Ditto fabrics. This fabric needed a very simple pattern so I chose the non- bound sleeve option and used the same fabric as the dress for the neck line binding.

  I love the result!!!!

Excuse the odd pose - I'm not quite sure what was going on!!!!

Today as it was a little cooler than at the weekend this is how I wore it:

  Both ways of wearing it are very 'me' and I think this dress will be worn as often as possible!!

  Thanks for stopping by!

        Su xx

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Moneta Partaaaaaaaaay!!!!

Ok so this is going to be a photo heavy post!  Over on Instagram this weekend is the Moneta party - hosted by @rach_wain @sewpositivity and @sewabigail. Basically everyone uses the colette patterns Moneta dress, makes their own with as many additions/changes as they like (so long as the basic dress is still the same) and the best ones win prizes, the hashtag #monetaparty is used so that everyone can see all the entries. I love the pattern but the only one I ever made was unflatering as it was too long in the bodice and the skirt:

The party sounded fun and I wanted in! I thought I should make a toile first to see if I could get the bodice right. I cut the pattern out as intended, pinned the bodice together and tried it on (ouch!). I decided to lop 1.5" off the bottom of the bodice, I knew that this would make the skirt shorter - but hey! that meant I didn't need to shorten that as well!  I used a lovely cotton jersey from Girl Charlee (UK).

  I so loved the toile that it wasn't really a toile and I have worn it loads - the mustard colour brightens any dreary day and looks good with both tights and leggings. (I look a bit bedraggled in the photo as it was raining - plus Mr Sewingsu is not very patient where photo's are concerned - due to copious forced childhood photo posing apparently).

  So for the real deal I ordered this gorgeous organic jersey from Stoff and Stil - a Danish company who have just opened a UK web shop.

  I love all things nature inspired and as a vet I especially love animals - so I was really drawn to this fabric.

  I took the little people out to an ancient farm (round houses, mud huts etc) and got some sheep related photos (even though there weren't actual sheep on the fabric it was as near to a wild animal as I was going to get!) :

The sheep looked suitably impressed.......

  We than made an unexpected stop on the way home for a picnic lunch at the ruins of an old abbey - turns out this was a great place for photos! My 9 year old photographer did her best David Bailey impression and the boys ran through the ruins playing knights/soldiers etc - everyone had a great time (plus it wasn't busy so I didn't feel too self conscious!).

  I have never taken part in an Instagram party before - it was such fun! The build up has been great seeing sneak peeks of everyone's dresses and the finished dresses have been amazing - I have seen some fantastic hacks that I would never have even thought of!!!!

  Anyway half term is more or less over and it's back to work and school on Monday.

    Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Sew me something Julia top

   The TNTB Zadie dress was next on my sewing list but we had a bit of a sad week and I didn't feel like starting anything that looked like it might be remotely difficult.

  This week Sew me something released their Julia pocket top It looked super comfie and a bit different - so I bought it and decided that it would be this weekends project! 

  I chose a lovely pink terry fabric I bought ages and ages ago at one of the Fabric Godmother open days (there is another one coming up soon if you live on the south coast).

  I love unusual pattern pieces:

The top came together really quickly and the instructions were great.

As you can see it is an over sized boxy top, I totally love the interesting pockets I think they are a great feature.

The photo's don't really do it justice (apologies for the wrinkles - I had actually ironed it - honest!) It is so snuggly and warm - perfect for winter weather. The only thing I am concerned about is the colour - I am very likely to spill something right down the front of it!!!!

I chose to use contrasting grey thread to topstitch around the neckline and hem with my twin needle.

The details: Now I know it supposed to be an over sized top but it does come up very large. I used the 1cm seam allowance for the sleeves and then a 1 inch allowance for each side seam. 

I really want to make one in a light jersey with a scoop neck as it would be a great layering piece and  really my style - I think I will go down a size or two and will have to make the neckline a bit smaller (I have small slopey shoulders and wide necklines just fall off me!!)

Anyway that's about it for this weekend. everyone seems to be on half term next week but we have to wait until the week afterwards - I am planning to sew my Moneta and Zadie dresses around occupying the small people during half term - it's going to be busy!!

Thanks for stopping by!

      Su xx

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo(s)

Hi!   It's been a loooooooong time since I wrote a blog post! Ages ago when Tilly and the Buttons released their Cleo dungaree pattern I instantly fell in love and snapped up the Aubergine needlecord kit. In the pattern photos on the website Tilly uses a larger size model as well as a smaller sized one, I really like this as it helps me to see how it would look on someone similar to my size, I wish more pattern houses did this. I decided to make it in the longer length as I thought this would be perfect for winter. I was so pleased with the result (I have a bit of wrinkling in the bib bit and I think it may be a little big - but I don't like things to be tight so I am happy with it). I Have had lots of good comments about it when I have been wearing it (which is almost constantly!) I usually wear it with bright tights and brown boots.

There are two versions of the pattern the long one above with the knee split and a shorter version. I knew that I would want to make the shorter version too and this will be great for spring (and winter!). I chose this mustard needlecord I had in my stash which I think was from My Fabrics. Now you would think that as I had made it before and given that the previous make was such a success that this one would have been a breeze - this was not to be. It all started off well and I used a lovely contrasting cotton lawn for the insides which I love.

 Then as the dress was nearly finished it all went horribly wrong. I am not sure how I managed it but I must have used a 1cm seam allowance rather than a 1.5cm one on the straps and by the time I had realized the dress was constructed so to correct it there would have been an awful lot of unpicking to do - I decided to leave it. I think it looks OK and only I will know. As if this wasn't bad enough can you imagine my upset when I had completed the entire dress including the hem, put it on for the first time and discovered I had put the front pocket on way too low AAARRRRRRGGGGGG! (to put it mildly!).

  I was determined to unpick it and move it to the correct position however I chicken'ed out at the last minute too worried that it would lead to an awful pocket outline right in the middle of the dress - had it been one of the back pockets or even the pockets lower down on the dress it would have been ok - but I decided I couldn't risk it with the center front pocket. 

The back is lovely too:

Despite the stupid mistakes I do still love the dress and will wear it lots, but will always have the knowledge that it is not perfect.

 I am going to try to blog a bit more often  and have decided to write down my plans using the free template from Sew DIY  here are some of my plans for February:

  I am hoping to take part in the Moneta party at the end of February, it is an instagram based concept where everyone makes a Moneta and post's a photo of their dress in the hope of winning some great prizes. I have completed my (very) wearable toile with adjustments and am just waiting for my fabric to arrive so that I can start on the 'real thing' (I am keeping my fingers crossed that things don't go the way my Cleo's went!). I also want to try and find time to make the new TNB pattern Zadie

  I have seen this gorgeous version by Cookin' and Craftin' that I am going to shamelessly copy!!!!

  Thanks for stopping by and I hope it won't be too long before my next post........

      Su xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

Recreating a RTW girls Christmas dress......

  I can't believe its been so long since I last wrote on here - I have been sewing (lots) but have had very little time to take photos or write.

  When looking for Christmas gifts for my 9 year old daughter I stumbled on this dress from next:

It is a velvet skater style dress, my daughter has several skater type dresses in jersey material and loves them so I knew she would love this too.
BUT - it has a button on the back and she has a button phobia (weird I know!).

  I was pretty sure I could recreate it and found the kitschy-coo girls skater dress However this only goes up to age 8. So I bought the lady and teens version Her measurements fitted the smallest size, I printed and traced it thinking that if it were a little big it would last until next year. I shortened the arms by 1 inch. I left the rest of the pattern as it was and fitted as I went along. Unfortunately I didn't anticipate that the velvet was not as stretchy as plain old jersey fabric so it fits perfectly now but probably won't for much longer!

   She totally loves it and I am very pleased with how it has turned out, it will be perfect for Christmas day! Velvet seems to be very difficult to photograph, the best pictures were without the flash but as it was a dull day some of them are a little shaky!

She loves to dance so a full skirt is a must!!

Attempting to capture it in full flow!!

  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2017.

     Thanks for stopping by

           S xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Feelin' blue.........

A trio of blues.........

First up New Look 6320:  Back in the day when I first began to sew I think this was the first proper pattern I used. Its a simple shift dress for tweens I made a gorgeous sleeveless version in blue flowery needlecord with a purple exposed zipper for my daughter. She wore it as a dress, when it no longer fitted as a dress she wore it as a tunic top - eventually we had to give it away to  friends daughter. At the end of the summer quite out of the blue (no pun intended) she asked me to make her another - she chose a blue needlecord from Myfabrics with a green exposed zipper. It is a really simple and satisfying make. She wears it with leggings and a t-shirt underneath and I think loves it just as much as the first one I made.

Next up - A fen dress in brushed cotton.

   As soon as the weather started to turn even a little bit cooler I felt the need for something nice and cosy. I bought this snugly brushed cotton from Fabworks. I have made a summer fen in the spring and this make was just as straight forward - sadly my photos of it are not great.

I was so pleased to eventually have found some nice mustard tights!

Number three - Burda 9641 - out of the Fen scraps I decided to make some trousers for my youngest. I chose the 6-14yr sized packet so that I can hopefully use the larger sizes as he grows. I made a size 6 knowing they would be a little big (he is titchy). I really enjoyed making these, they are simple enough but with cute details like the pockets ( I still need to add velcro closures). I chopped off about 4 inches from the length measuring them while he as wearing them, I used a 1" hem and despite my measuring they are too short!! I will have to take them down a little (thank heaven I used a larger hem than I usually would!

  He seems to be very happy with them which makes me happy!

  I have nearly finished my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress and can't wait to share it with you! I am also planning to make a boiled wool coatigan and after that I really need to get on with my Christmas sewing!

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx