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

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade

  I love Autumn it really is my favorite time of year - I love the colours, the misty mornings, starting to wrap up in cosy clothes and longer evenings snuggled on the sofa. I can't believe its been so long since I blogged. If you follow me on Instagram (@sewingsu) you will know I have been busy making a few things but I just haven't had the time to take photos/upload them/and write about them. In an effort to make blogging easier I am going to try to write less - just mention the important things rather than going into too much detail. During this half term holiday we have been busy doing lots of spooky activities but I have had some time to sew........

 As soon as I saw the ivy pinafore pop up on my instagram feed I just knew this was my sort of pattern and bought it straight away. By the same evening I had the pdf cut and pasted together (FYI - the PDF was so easy to assemble - the way it has been arranged means that there is no cutting required - yes you heard right - NO CUTTING!!!! - Why can't all PDF's be like this?). There are two views  a flared pinafore and a straighter one - I went for the straighter view.

  The instructions were good and everything was straight forward. The dress is lined which will be great for winter and looks fab.

I used a fairly heavy black denim which is red denim on the other side - everyone on Instagram voted for red on the outside but red is a colour I never wear and I didn't want to go to all the trouble of making it and then not like it so I played it safe!

There is some awesome top stitching which would look great if you did want to use a contrasting thread.

It has pockets which of course I love!

I tried to get my photographer to get a close up of the front yoke and buttons and this was the best we could manage!

I think my photographer was getting artistic - I quite like the wonkyness!

Hopefully I will get a couple more makes blogged tomorrow as we have an 'insect day'

Happy Halloween everyone!

  Thanks for stopping by

                             Su xx

Monday, 29 August 2016

The 'All's well that ends well dress' (Cynthia Rowley for Simlicity 2406)

  Mr Sewingsu loves a good boot sale and a few weekends ago he came back with a whole stack of uncut patterns. A few were the wrong size, a few I just didn't like, but quite a few were worth keeping hold of and this one in-particular caught my eye.

  I decided I would make one last summer pattern using some lovely viscose I bought from an Etsy seller. I decided to embrace the cut out shoulder trend and make view B. I do love the back slit but this is not a look that I could carry off so I intended to put a zipper in. I could see from the finished measurements that there was quite a bit of ease but I thought that as it was supposed to be loose and billowy I would go with the suggested sizing. I made a size 20 at the bust grading out to a 22 at the waist thinking that it would be better to make it too big and then take it in if necessary. Unfortunately I didn't take into account that the process of making the dress made this impossible. You can't try the dress on until the sleeves are inserted which is nearly the last step by which time all the facings are attached and the sleeves fully lined! When I did try it on it was way way to big, I abandoned the zip idea and crossed over the back opening to create a smaller neckline, using two cute buttons to hide my hand stitching. I am actually quite pleased with the result:

The instructions for inserting the pockets are crazy so I just did it my own way. I had read online that the sleeves were a bit tricky but I just took it slowly and it wasn't as bad as I had expected.

I rather like how the sleeves turned out.

After wearing it for a few hours my front hem is much higher than the back - either I needed to have adjusted the back above the belt to the same degree as the front when I put it on or it is my bust and tummy that is using extra fabric - not sure how to stop that??

Dodgy back/butt shot!!!!

It has an obi style belt/sash which you can't really see well in the photos but is lovely and I really like this touch.

  All in all I am rather pleased with this dress. I am planing a couple of winter versions (view c) in a dark floral viscose and perhaps another in a black pointe. When making this again I will go down a size or two, and cut the back on the fold.

 Thanks for stopping by!

                        Su xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Seagull dress (Tilly and the buttons Bettine).

  It's no secret that I love the Tilly and the buttons Bettine dress - I made it twice last year but these no longer fit and I wanted to make another for this year. I found this lovely sea bird fabric in the sales and knew it would make a great Bettine dress. 

(forgive the wrinklyness - I took this photo while it was hanging up to dry!)

I cut the largest size as I remember when making it last year it does come up small and I wanted a nice loose fitting top. I also added 3 inches to the skirt length. 

I had some scraps of dark blue very lightweight denim that I used for the contrast pockets which I think work quite well.

I usually wear a little leather belt with it which looks great but I forgot to put it on when we went out to take the photos!

I had anticipated that there would be lots of cooler rainy days this summer to wear it on but the weather down here has just been amazing so I have only ended up wearing it once! To take these photos and then out for a birthday lunch!

 I hope you are enjoying the summer wherever you are!

   Thanks for stopping by!

         Su xx

Sunday, 7 August 2016

McCall's M7093 top in Nani Iro double gauze.

 I mentioned before that I had seen Hila's wonderful chambray version of M7093 and decided to make my own. I treated myself to 1m of Nani Iro pocho in turquoise. I also ordered some contrast grey double gauze but didn't read the description properly and missed the bit about it being 'open weave' - Oh my goodness it was thin:

  Far too thin to use it for the contrast areas of the top as I had intended. I had spent quite a bit ordering both pieces of double gauze and really didn't want to spend any more on buying more fabric for the top. So I doubled up the grey gauze for the side contrast panels (Thanks to Hila for the suggestion!):

  And used some lovely midnight blue muslin I had in my stash for the back piece.

  It was a simple but interesting make, piecing it all together. I hadn't  made sleeve darts before - they are a bit pointy so I am not sure what I have done wrong in their construction.

  I also hadn't  worked with double gauze before and did feel like it was a bit of a race against time to get the seams sewn and overlocked before they unraveled! It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to washing!

We visited a local garden and had great fun spotting the sculptures, climbing in the tree house and walking through bamboo tunnels.

I LOVE the pockets (obviously). It has a really nice hi-low hem too but I didn't manage to get a good shot of it.

Back shot on the rope bridge!

Imitating the giant star gazing hare was a must!

Abakhan fabrics have a sale on liberty prints at the moment so I ordered some tana lawn to make another M7093 top and some cord to make the tunic version - I will need to draft some pockets for this and maybe lengthen it a little but I don't think it will be too tricky..........

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Ogden cami into a summer dress

I was going to post about my completed M7093 top today but as it is so sunny here on the south coast  today a summer dress post seemed more appropriate.

  There really isn't much to say, I lengthened the True bias Ogden cami to make it into a dress, I had been thinking above knee would be best but made it way longer by accident and actually like the just below knee length best. I made it up in green linen from my stash (and had enough left to make a cami length too). I like it loose but also made a tie so I can make it more shaped if I want to.

  I really love it and am keeping my fingers crossed for lots more summer days to wear it on.

There is a little gaping  at the bust area.

I like it with the waist tie too.

It was surprisingly difficult to get a good close up shot when using a camera and timer.

And one of the back too!

I hope that wherever you are the sun is shining!

  Thanks for stopping by!

       Su xx

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ogden cami - my new favorite pattern!

 I know, I know, I am so fickle, it feels like nearly every pattern I make is my new favorite! I really do love this one though, every True Bias pattern I have made I have really liked. The patterns are drafted well and the instructions are always good. This was a really quick sew and I love the results.

  Initially I had some trouble because the fabric was so thin.

 When I tried stay stitching the neck and arm holes the fabric really puckered up. My sewing machine manual suggested shortening the stitch length, I also changed my needle (I have been on the same pack of needles since I started sewing!!), I whacked the tension right down to 1 - all of this made a tiny bit of difference but it was still puckering. In the end I decided perhaps controversially that I would be causing more harm by stay stitching than I would to just leave it and be careful. I kept the tension and stitch length low and the seams were all pucker-free.

  There isn't really much more to say other than the finish is really nice and I think this will become a wardrobe staple, a couple of these in plain colours and maybe one lengthened to a dress will see me through the summer! The only change I would make is to lengthen it an inch or two.

The little people, dog and I went for a wander down to the boat yard this morning - I forget sometimes how lucky we are to live so near to the sea. 

We struggled to get a good back shot so this one will have to do!

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx