Thursday, 28 May 2015

Finished Project: Megan Nielsen Cara maternity t-shirt

Hello all,

Sorry for the radio silence recently - my sewing has been a bit in limbo over the last few months because there's been no point sewing my usual stuff - having a wee one growing inside means that I'm fast growing out of all my old stuff and also don't fit into my usual size (and won't for a while). But at the same time, I'm still not big enough to fit into 'proper' maternity patterns (I'm 14 weeks so the bump will start to show pretty soon no doubt). Despite that, I've been sewing up a couple of maternity items anyway.

This t-shirt is a classic example - there is still no visible bump (although in the picture it kind of looks like there is) to fill this t-shirt but I'm generally wider and larger than I was (pregnancy is so flattering is it not) so non-maternity clothes I've made no longer fit comfortably.

On to the make though! Not much to say about this pattern really. It was super quick to make - probably an hour in total (after printing, sticking and cutting the pdf pattern, which always takes a while). One of the great things about jersey is that yo don't have to finish the raw edges as they don't fray, so one less thing to do.

I lengthened the pattern pieces by about 1 1/2 inches as I made a mock up in cheap jersey and it was way shorter than I'd like, but other than that no alterations. I've got a stack of jersey waiting to be sewn so no doubt I'll be making more of these over the next 6 months!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Vintage Pledge #2: Simplicity 3062 Jacket

Hello all!

I've got my second of 5 pledged makes for the vintage pledge for you today.

Now, if you read my last vintage pledge post, you will remember I said I was planning on making Vogue 8112 to go with the dress. However, having made a calico version to test for fir, I found the shape looked really weird on me so I decided to go with the matching cropped jacket from my dress pattern. Having seen Oobop's version of the Vogue jacket though, I'm kind of tempted to give it a go again.

But... on to the jacket I actually sewed. I bought the fabric from Barry's fabrics in Birmingham - I went in with my vintage hat in order to find the best colour match!

Now, it's fair to say that, as far as pattern's go, this should not have been a difficult jacket to sew up but every time I started sewing part of it I seemed to make a load of mistakes! So much sew I almost gave up. But, thankfully, I plodded on and eventually ended up with a finished jacket.

I'm such a classy kind of girl aren't I!
I made bound buttonholes for the jacket since I don't often make them, but I always think they look lovely and I interlined the fabric with a brushed cotton to make it extra snugly before lining it with a burgundy lining fabric that matched the dress.

It's such a lovely, warm jacket to wear but it's not exactly day wear so probably won't get that many outings unfortunately.

I wore it with my red Simplicity 3062 dress to a friend's wedding along with the vintage hat that started the whole outfit off. I decided to go the whole hog and have my hair done too by the Vintage Salon in Birmingham - they did my hair for my own wedding and always do such a great job.

So that's #2 of my pledge down - only another 3 patterns to go! Oh yes, and this is what happens when you have to wait 1 hour for a taxi that decides to turn up late at the end of a wedding...

and you decide to take out the million and one hair pins holding your hair in place...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Pattern Drafting

Hello all,

I wanted to share with you what I've been up to over the last few weeks. I've been taking part in a pattern drafting course at Carolyn Rose School of Sewing in Leamington for the last 4 weeks - with another 2 weeks still to go - and it's been fantastic!

I've been searching for a pattern drafting course for a while and luckily, finally came across a course at Carolyn Rose. Fortunately for me, there was still a space on the course (I found it 3 days before it was due to start!).

The first session was definitely a bit of a brain teaser, what with all the measurements, arithmetic and measuring out accurately, but Candace, the lady who teaches the course made everything feel super simple so we all got through it in the end. By the end of the session, we had our rough bodice block to check for fitting. Mine fit first time round fortunately so it meant I could get on to creating a skirt block and the final bodice block the next session.

So far we've made our full bodice block and a skirt block.

We've learnt how to manipulate the darts for different bodice shapes.

And I've even drafted my very first ever pattern design for a bodice to go with a nice gathered skirt. This week's job is to make it up in muslin form to check for fit etc. Can't wait!

Next week we're drafting our sleeve block before going on to more pattern design in the final session.

All in all, the course has been great and I've learnt so much. I have so many ideas of things I want to design and make so watch this space!

Those of you out there who want a new sewing challenge, I'd definitely recommend a pattern drafting course. And if you live in the Coventry / Leamington area you should check out Carolyn Rose as they have not only the beginners pattern drafting course, but intermediate courses, trouser block courses and jacket block courses. I'm pretty much determined to sign up each and every one of them! :-)

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Finished Project: Copycat Coco

Happy Sunday all! Hope you all had a lovely Valentines day, whatever you were doing. Hubby and I went to Ludlow for the day - I really pretty black and white market town in Shropshire - before coming back and going out for a nice Thai meal. Pretty chilled but lovely nonetheless.

Anyhoo - on to the finished project. I made this the day after I made my Coco Blue - I'd been to Birmingham and came across some really snuggly red sweatshirt material so decided to completely rip-off Tilly's own snuggly red coco top she made and make one of my own.

Just like the dress, this is super easy to make and Tilly's instructions are really easy to follow. I made it in 1 hour max. What I love about sewing with sweatshirt / jersey fabric is the ability to be a lazy stitcher and not do anything with the seam finishes as they don't fray.

I have worn this so much since I made it - perfect for wearing round the house when I need another layer or on those colder days at school too.

Plus, I've got enough sweatshirt fabric left to make myself a bolero top or something - anyone have any suggestions for good bolero patterns?

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Finished Project: Coco Blue

Hello hello! How are we all?

I've got another finished project today - something super quick and easy to get me in the mood for sewing up my vintage jacket. Tilly's Coco pattern.

I bought this pattern a few weeks back because I liked the idea of having some super simple and comfortable staples for work in my wardrobe. It basically took me just over an hour to cut out the pattern, cut the pattern pieces and then sew up - it could not be simpler! That's my kind of quick make!

I used some navy blue ponte de roma jersey - so lovely and soft - to make up the dress. I thought about adding the pockets but decided I just wanted a simple plain dress for this version. However, I have plenty of plans for making more of this pattern - tops and dresses.

Other than that, I added 2" to the length because I prefer my dresses slightly longer than it would have been if I'd left it. But other than that, I cut out a straight size 3 and fits brilliantly.

Next up (in between sewing my vintage jacket) is a blatant idea steal from Tilly herself - a red sweatshirt version of the funnel collar Coco top. Very snuggly!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge # 1: Simplicity 3062

Hello all!

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to sign up for the Vintage Pattern Pledge this year to try to encourage me to use some of the many vintage patterns in my stash. 


As I had a wedding coming up, I wanted to make a new dress - something that would go with a lovely vintage hat I found before Christmas - so a vintage pattern seemed like a good choice! 

The pattern I've used is Simplicity 3062 - a 1959 wiggle dress pattern. There's a matching cropped jacket to go with it but I've decided not to make that this time round. 

I made the dress out of some red wool fabric I bought at my first ever Birmingham Blogger's meetup - I bought it with either a wiggle dress or some kind of skirt suit pattern in mind but never got round to making anything with it.

The bust size was right for me but I needed to alter the waist measurement so I re-drew the pattern and made a muslin to check - when I tried it on the waist was then too big so I took off about 1/2" overall around the waist and made another muslin. The fit was fine after that so I was able to get on with making the actual dress. 

I fully lined the dress with some lovely soft, grey lining fabric and ended up shortening the length of the dress by about 1" before hemming.

I did a lapped zip as I always think these look lovely with vintage dresses. 

Because the wool gets bulky where its folded, when I made the darts in the front and the back, I snipped them open and pressed each side flat rather than pressing the whole dart to one side.

I also catch-stitched the hem and whip stitched the lining to the zip to finish the dress off. 

All in all I'm quite proud of this make - the fabric is a lovely colour and the fit is really nice.  

I'm planning on making a jacket to go with the dress out of a really nice grey/blue woollen fabric I bought this weekend from Barry's Fabrics. Since the wedding is in February I wanted a jacket that would be warmer than the cropped style jacket that matches the dress pattern.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Vintage pattern pledge 2015

Hello all!

I've decided to sign up for the Vintage pattern pledge his year. Thanks to A Stitching Odyssey and Kestrel Makes for hosting it this year.

My pledge this year is a simple one really.

To sew at least 5 vintage patterns from my current collection. 

I have so many patterns I haven't sewn yet it seems a shame they just sit languishing in a box. And in true organised fashion I happen to have just finished my first vintage pattern of the year already!

Simplicity 3062. More pictures to follow when I get round to photographing it properly.

I've made it for a wedding I'm going to in February... Mainly to go with a vintage hat I found in a local vintage shop which I fell in love with despite not having anything to really go with it. I figured why not make something to go with it! I have to say it's probably the first time I've made an outfit round an accessory before...

Next up - a vintage jacket to match the hat and go over the dress.