Sunday, 23 August 2015

City gym shorts OR Why didn't I discover this pattern at the beginning of summer!

I can't even remember how I discovered this pattern yesterday evening, shorts were not on my mind but somehow I discovered this FREE pattern from Purl Bee with Kids sizes aged 2-11 and women's hip sizes 33-46 inches!

  It was so quick and easy to make up and a great stash busting pattern! My little lady grabbed them hot off the sewing machine and promptly cartwheeled around the garden in them - so I think she liked them! I managed to get her to stay still enough to snap some photos.


I made size 8-9 (she is a skinny 8 year old), they are a little big but hopefully will still fit next year. The only change I would make with the next pair would be to either make the waistband casing a little wider or use a smaller elastic than the pattern suggests.


I kept the navy thread in when attaching the bias binding thinking that the contrast would look good, but I think it would be better without contrasting thread.



Recently I also made this skirt from a pillow case


I feel a bit meh about it but think if I added over sized pockets like this skirt I would feel better about it.

I loved this Roxy skirt but sadly it no longer fitted me so I also unpicked the zipper and cut off the waistband, folding it over to create a casing for elastic to make this skirt:


This picture really doesn't do it justice, it looks great in real life - so grown up!!

  Thanks for stopping by!

           Su xx


Saturday, 22 August 2015

One Bettine, two Bettine,

I made another Bettine dress out of a charity shop cotton duvet cover I bought for £4.50 - there is still loads left! I totally copied a gorgeous linen version I saw on instagram!


This time I made a size 6 top and graded down to a size 5 at the waist and used the size 5 for the skirt.


I have worn it on a couple of occasions and am very pleased with how it turned out!


I have plans for one more Bettine - a winter version in black lightweight denim - the fabric is washed and ready to go but it is bottom of the sewing list as it is an autum/winter garment. Do you have a sewing list? Mine is just a rough idea of what I want to make and the order they are in depends mostly on what I fancy doing most!!

  I have been doing quite a bit of refashioning too - a couple of skirts for my daughter (I keep forgetting to get photos!) and I chopped up a maxi dress that I love but haven't worn this year (due to the usual excess boobage issue meaning that I had to wear it with a top underneath which kind of defeats the purpose of a cooling maxi dress!). So I turned it into a maxi skirt instead and hope I will get a little more wear out of it. Sadly I can't seem to extract the before photo I took and put on instagram, but here is an after shot:


I hope you are having a fine weekend, making the most of today's sunshine that otherwise seems to have mostly abandoned our summer!

  Thanks for stopping by!

            Su xx


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy...........



If anyone recognizes the title of this post then I apologize for reminding you of painful memories, If you don't recognize it then take the following as a cautionary tale:

      One childhood holiday (presumably in Suffolk) my parents (in what can only have been a fit of madness) bought a cassette tape (yes I know I don't look it but I really am that old) of  'Suffolk fishing songs'. Well you can imagine what the contents were, then imagine this played on a continuous loop whenever we were in the car during the whole holiday..... Someone only has to mention the words 'Suffolk' and 'fishy' in the same sentence and I get a cold shudder.

  Anyway painful memories aside I made a fishy dress and I'm rather pleased about it! Five or six years ago I bought a dress/tunic which was the perfect colour, cut, length, material etc and I wore it, and wore it, and wore it, and wore it. Two years ago it was way past it's best and I started to look for a replacement promising myself that I would throw the tunic away once I had found it's double. I never did find a RTW replacement so once my sewing confidence started to grow I was on the look out for a suitable fabric and pattern.

The pattern: Pocket full of Posies dress/tunic, it's my first intermediate pattern, I made a large and made the dress length. I had intended to use my overlocker for the whole make but it sounded grumpy going over the thick seams and given it's history of breaking down mid make I decided not to risk it.

The fabric: It was an end of bolt remnant, it is quite a thick jersey so was very stable and easy to sew with.

 The neckline is not perfect (I always struggle with knit necklines) and the pocket lining is always turning to the outside (I think I can remedy this by putting in a couple of stitches a few inches below the neckine). I have worn it all day today and it is sooooo comfie, the pockets are perfect for lego, phones, dinosaur teeth - you know all the usual stuff. It will be worn a lot during autumn, spring and cooler summer days - I just hope it will survive all the wear and tear and washing as I am planning to wear this for at least another 5-6 years!!



The pockets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



 Today I went to the Fabric Godmother open day. The fabric choice was amazing (I may have been tempted to purchase a few meters) and there were lots of fellow sewists and bloggers.



 I don't think I have seen so many hand made garments together in the same room - I felt quite rude staring at people looking at what they were wearing. It was really wonderful getting to chat to like-minded people. 

  Thanks for popping by!

                Su xx 


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dottie update........

Pondering my Dottie dilema got me thinking about style and I realized that for things to work you either need to be totally conventional or totally wacky and anything inbetween just isn't quite right.

  I dug out some very purple tights and my green clogs, then put on Dottie 2 - I think the addition of funky tights gives the whole outfit the degree of wackiness needed???? Please forgive the bad photos - the little people were playing Romans and it was very difficult to tear the oldest away and to get her to focus on anything else!!!!


I think this would look good with boots too.


  I also shortened Dottie 1 to the tunic length and it does look a little better I think?


I need to learn to stand up straight when having photos taken!


  Anyway that's enough Dottie for a while! 

  Happy Sunday everyone!

      Su xx


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Simplicity 1080 'Dottie angel frock' OR 'Dottie has me stumped'

Sometimes you see a pattern and it just screams out 'I am for you'. For me simplicity 1080 was one of those patterns - as soon as I saw it I just knew I HAD to have it. I imagined making up seven versions and just throwing away all of my other clothes!!




I first saw it on Lazy Daisy Jones blog and since then have seen some gorgeous versions popping up on Instagram and the blogosphere - I really love all the versions The Woven Nest has made. Initially I had trouble finding the pattern to buy. It seemed it was all sold out both in the UK and USA, just as I thought I was going to have to wait weeks for my copy Simplicity UK got some more copies in - Hurrah! (It's currently half price for this week only) I ordered it and it was waiting for me when I got back from holiday. In my desperation to get going I used a totally inappropriate fabric to make my first version - I had been hoping this dress would take me through summer and into autumn (I could see it with some bright tights, clogs and a chunky cardi). Sadly the only place my first version was going to take me would be to some kind of freaky vintage granny nightdress convention - not a good look! - I might be able to turn it into a wearable tunic version we will see..... I did however learn a valuable lesson - there is a fine line between 'granny chic' and just 'granny'!

  As well as not using the right fabric I really struggled with this pattern, It felt like I struggled with everything, especially the arm holes. I was despondent how could something I loved so much be such a disaster? Just as I thought I would have to give up hope I read city stitching and it would seem that someone with a great deal of dressmaking experience and talent had struggled with some of the same things that I had, but had still managed to make a lovely version - I was inspired to give it another go!

   For my second version I made a size large (probably could have gone down to a medium) but used 1.5cm side seams. I French seamed rather than used bias binding, I took about 4 inches off the length and I used exposed bias binding for the neck and arm holes (to make the neck line smaller and because my arm holes had been a bit of a disaster in my first version). I like my second version much more but the arms are still not quite right - in the picture below the right arm has just wrinkled up they are even in real life!

 

 
I have attempted to recreate the Dottie Angel vibe in my photos!! The crochet rag rug was the first thing I ever attempted to crochet and has been left unfinished in my crafting cupboard for several years!
 
 
Autumn ready complete with granny shawl!
 
 
Goes without saying - I LOVE the pockets!
 
 
Back view
 
 
I added a bit of lace to the hem and really like this addition.
 
 
 After all the effort and stress that went into this dress I am a little unsure about it - is it just too mumsy? Would I wear it 'out and about'? - Perhaps a third version in a less floral print........
 
Next weekend Fabric Godmother are having an open day on Saturday which I am very excited about! I have never been to one of these open days before and am hoping to meet up with some other South Coast Bloggers!
 
 
  Thanks for popping by!
 
             Su xx
 
 
 
 


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine comes on holiday!

  I rather liked the look of the latest Tilly and the Buttons dress the Bettine and as there was a deal on to buy the Bettine and the Fifi together I thought it would be rude not to take advantage of the offer. I had a crazy busy week last week and was due to take the little people on a UK holiday so knew sewing the Bettine would have to wait until I came back. However I just kept seeing wonderful versions of it all over the blogosphere and by Thursday I could wait no longer I was going to HAVE to make it! I had the perfect fabric in my stash - back in the days when I knew even less about fabric I fell in love with this quilting cotton and bought 2m I think I had planned to make a Megan dress with it (from love at first stitch) but realised that the dress was just not going to suit my figure no matter how much I loved it. It was a bit of a squeeze to get the dress cut out - I had to use different fabric for the facings and my cuffs are ever so slightly smaller.



  So the afternoon before we were due to leave despite not having even ironed our clothes let alone pack them I found myself finishing up the dress. Sewing the Bettine was a breeze as Tilly's instructions are so clear - my elastic kept getting stuck in the casing as I was passing it through but that was the only issue I had. I sewed a straight size 5 but added 3 inches to the skirt length. I did have a major panic after sewing the bodice and finding it really tight, but I trusted in A closet full of posies who said via instagram that she had a similar issue which seemed to sort itself out once the skirt and bodice were joined together - she was right. It is a little tricky to get off but I think if it was too much bigger it might just look too big.

  I do feel a bit classy in this dress! Most unusual for me! I was worried that the tulip part of the skirt made my hips look even huger but I think its ok!
  So I managed to finish the dress and pack up all our gear just in time - we left home bright and early to make the most of the day - just as well as it has been so beautiful. I thought I had better get some pics of the dress today in case we didn't get such a beautiful day again! We had been on the beach all day so forgive my very windswept hair!!

 

 
Enjoying a post beach elderflower cordial!

 
POCKETS!!!!!!! (obviously I especially love this aspect of the dress!)

 
So have you made a Bettine yet? Or do you have plans for one? I'm thinking one in a nice drapey fabric - rayon perhaps and one in a denim for winter................
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
           Su xx


Sunday, 19 July 2015

A couple of Lou Lou's!

So a few weeks ago English Girl At home launched her new pattern the Lou Lou dress. As soon as I saw it I knew I had the perfect cotton crinkle look broderie anglais in my stash to use with a contrasting lining. Imagine my excitement when she ran a competition for the pattern, and imagine even greater excitement when I won a copy!!!! There are three versions included in the pattern and even the pattern illustrations are wonderful!


  The pattern is actually made for really drapey fabrics, but I'm just not a really drapey fabric type of person so I just kept my fingers crossed that my fabric choice would work. I found a wonderful midnight blue muslin to use as my contrasting lining and decided to go for view A (the one without the pleat). The pattern has no darts, zips, or fastening and so is made to be loose fitting - not for everyone perhaps but I really like this kind of look. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow with fantastic illustrations. I had not made a fully lined dress before and had not used this method for finishing the shoulders, but was able to understand what I had to do with no problem. It is a really quick make and the finish is nice and neat. My only gripe would be the lack of pockets - I feel lost without pockets!
   I rushed to finish making the dress while my parents in law were visiting so that we could take photos at some lavender fields we had planned to visit - sadly it was wet, cold and windy - no way was I taking my coat off!!!!


 Finally today the weather was good, I was not working and we had a little time to take some piccies!


  I know that perhaps my fabric choice and colour might not be to everyone's taste but I love this dress! I have worn it on several days and it is very comfortable but I think looks like I have made a bit of an effort without being too dressy. I can see how you could make it really special with the right fabric.


  I had a small amount of fabric left over and decided to make a top. It is a little shorter than I would normally wear but I actually like the sightly cropped boxy look worn with cropped skinny jeans - perfect for work!


The lining peeks out a tiny bit but you can't really see it with the dark trousers.



  It seems like everyone has broken up from school - we have three more LONG days before my little people finish for the year! I am crazy buzy with work and have a holiday to get ready for so its gonna be busy! I get my overlocker back on Wednesday so hopefully I can squeeze in a teeny bit of sewing.......

     Thanks for stopping by!

               Su xx