Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Yearly round-up



So... it's kind of depressing to look back on 2014 and realise just how little I have actually made this year. Eight items of clothing only (plus some small crochet items) - nowhere near the amount I have made in previous years.
 

When I began doing my PGCE to retrain as a teacher a little over two years ago, I never imagined how little I would end up sewing. I knew that teaching would be busy - much busier than my 9-5 desk based job with no take home work, which I did previously, but it's somewhat depressing to see just how much teaching has taken over from everything else.

Admittedly, this year (since September at least) I've been at a different school, having completed my NQT year, and actually I seem to be slowly gaining more of my weekend time back, so I'm hoping that 2015 will be much more productive that 2014!

All bar 1 of the 8 items I made this year have been dresses - and mostly dresses from patterns I have previously made, which means that I have been able to turn them around much quicker than if I was using a new pattern. This is very much a result of having limited time last year. Sadly, that also means that all the lovely vintage patterns I have in my stash, that I really want to make, have been left languishing because they require more time that I have had up to date.

However, I am determined that this year will change - I have already created a muslin of a vintage 50s wiggle dress to test for fit and this needs to be sewn up in the actual fabric ready for a wedding at the start of February - so that is my first goal for 2015!

I am also determined that I will give myself much more sewing time this year as well. Much as I love my job, I am not going to allow it to take over everything any more.

On the plus side this year, I actually managed to teach myself to crochet! Thanks mainly to the blog Attic24. Lucy provides some of the best, clearest, instructions I have managed to find and she has turned me into a crocheter! As a result, I actually managed to make 3 crochet based presents - a cuddly rabbit for my youngest niece (Craftsy pattern), a bobble hat for her older sister and a crochet owl as part of my own sister's Christmas present (using this great free pattern by BunnyMummy).

Taken from Bunny Mummy
(4) Name: 'Crocheting : Stella Bunny Crochet Pattern
Taken from Craftsy
So...... Goals for 2015. I'm not normally one for New Year's resolutions - as I invariably end up breaking them, but in 2015 I am determined that:

  • I will carry on with the crochet - It's incredibly relaxing and I can also do this whilst sitting in the lounge with the hubby so I don't feel like I'm being anti-social.
  • I will sew at least 2 of my vintage patterns this year.
  • I will try to give myself sewing time at the weekends whenever I can - I'm busy during the week, but there's no excuses at the weekend. 
What about everyone else? Any crafting related resolutions for 2015? 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Finished Project: Flowery 40's style shorts

Another finished project for you. This time a pair of summery, flowery shorts.


I used the Smooth Sailing pattern for these - a pattern I've used before to make a blue pair of shorts (though I'm yet to make any trousers from this pattern).


I wear the blue version of these shorts quite a lot, but I've found that the fabric is a little too stiff, so decided a cotton might be better this time round. I still wanted them to have some shape though so I underlined them with a white cotton I had in my stash. This seems to have worked really well if I do say so my self as they keep their shape nicely.


Not a huge amount to say about construction. The waistline / side seams on my blue ones were a smidge loose so I took them in just a quarter of an inch or so which has made them much more snug fitting and they don't ride up at the waist as much now.

I also did an invisible zip this time round, because that's what I had in my stash.


I wore these so much in holiday - they're just so comfortable! Hopefully I'll get round to making the trousers from this pattern at some point too!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

To all those people still following me despite long periods of radio silence:



Hope you all have a lovely time.

Helen

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Finished Project: pattern hack pastille

Hello hello!

I've finished another dress! ;-) I finished this way back over the summer but I've only just remembered to post about it!

This is a bit of a pattern hack. I found this fish fabric in Barry's fabric warehouse last time we had a Brum meet-up. I was planning on making a strappy little sun-dress, but decided against it in the end.

I used the Colette Pastille bodice pattern (like I did with my map dress) but I didn't want such a high neckline at the back, so I created a V-neckline instead for a bit of variety.


I lined the bodice using the method the By Hand London girls show you in the Elizalex dress pattern (which is pure genius, can't believe I haven't come across it before!), and then decided I just wanted a basic gathered skirt, so I used the Cambie pattern pieces to save measuring out and guessing the size I needed.

All in all, I love this make. And, because it's using pattern pieces that are already sized to fit me, this was such a quick make. I literally, cut the pieces out and sewed it up in a single afternoon. Probably also helped by doing a machine sewn hem.

The only thing I would change next time is the length of the skirt - I'm not a fan of showing off my knees and much prefer skirt to be slightly longer, but he-ho I'll still get lots of wear out of this I'm sure.