Monday, 29 May 2017

Sewing is my super power...

I love clothes. Don't all dressmakers. Like many of you, I spent and spend my days ogling clothes in shops, magazines and in many online platforms. Before sewing, I would constantly find something I loved (especially in magazines), look at the price, gulp, and put it quickly to the back of my mind. However, since sewing this is no longer how it has to be. Instead I have began to use them as inspiration for my latest projects. I fell head over heels in love with this organza top from Orla Kiely which cost £180 and so clearly it wasn't going into my basket anytime soon. I was also perterbuted to notice that the top is actually made of 100% polyester, not silk.
Instead I bought 1.5m of 100% silk organza from Goldhawk Road (which cost me £15). For the top,. I used the Merchant and Mills camber top (already in my stash). I omitted the yoke by overlapping the pattern pieces by their seam allowance to create one back piece and lengthened the darts by about an inch and a half.

Excuse the slightly crumpled appearance in these photos. They were taken on a whim during an early me made may photo opportunity!

I used a fair few different hems when finishing the top. The neckline is finished used cotton bias binding, the ruffle using a rolled hem, the sleeve has a 1cm hem and the top itself has a 1.5 inch hem. Phew! I was worried that it would look strange with all these different hem lengths but I think that it works overall.
My copy cat top cost me in total £17 (I included the price of a reel of thread). Less than 10% of the one I liked online and in far better quality fabric. Sewing is definitely a super power.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Sew Over It Pussybow Blouse

First of all, I'm sorry for the long blogging silence. I recently bought my first place and it's got me thinking a lot about creativity. The more involved I became in decorating the less motivation I had for sewing. All most as if the creativity within myself is limited to a certain amount but hey perhaps that's just me. Thankfully my mum took me under her wing (as ever) and sent me a torrent of sewspiration via pinterst which managed to relight my sewjo...

After dipping my feet back into the sewing water with a couple of Grainline Lark tees I decided to tackle a pattern that has been lurking in my stash unappreciated for about a year, the Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse. Boy am I glad that I finally decided to make this pattern. I am head over heels in love with it!

I made the blouse in a translucent drapey fabric bought from The Knit and Stitch Show. It has flowers on which are raised giving the fabric a pretty texture. When I bought the fabric, I didn't notice that it was only 1m wide and only bought 1.5m. Because of this the long sleeve that the pattern is designed with just wasn't possible. Initially I thought that I would go sleeveless but when I tried it on without sleeves it seemed boxey and unbalanced on me. Because of this I instead decided to cut the given sleeve down into a short sleeve which I had enough fabric for.

The instructions with the pattern were clear and I made no alterations to fit. Don't you just love it when that happens! Because of the translucent nature of the fabric I used French seams throughout which keeps the insides neat from both the inside and outside.
Whenever I finish an item I always ask myself two questions; will I wear it regularly and would I make it again? The answer to both is a resounding yes. I can see this blouse slotting happily into both my work and home wardrobe and so I can seen myself wanting a few more.

As ever, happy stitching x

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Helmi I need more!

I've had my eye on Named Patterns Helmi for a while now. I added it to my Make 9 and as I was itching to sew it I decided pretty early on that it would be my first make. I have a real soft spot for Named patterns. They seem to suit my figure and I love the simple lines of the designs.

Helmi certainly did not disappoint! It has some gorgeous details including a dropped curved hem and a fly front which made it an interesting yet quick make. I used a drapey fabric from Fabicland in Brighton. I swooned as soon as I saw the swans in the shop!

The instructions were as ever concise and simple to follow. The fit was great and I made absolutely no alterations at all!

I used some small shell buttons from my button stash which I think finish it off perfectly.
I find myself wearing this dress incessantly and it has received lots of complements. I'm mulling over using a dark red fabric with a small cream spot for my next one but I'm worried I won't love it as much as this one! What do you think?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

A Rescued Ralph Pink Marilyn

When I cut out this skirt, I took one look at the fabric and thought that's random enough for me not to pattern match and so dived straight in. Turns out...I was wrong. I posted it on Instagram and got so many lovely messages from other sewers who has made similar mistakes. After deliberating, I decided to leave it and learn to love it.

However it lingered in the back of my wardrobe totally abandoned and unloved. I finally made the decision to buy another metre of the fabric (not expensive and available online from Fabicland) and recut another front. Boy am I pleased that I took the time to do this! I absolutely love it now and it's pretty much in my weekly work wardrobe rotation.

Sewing wise, the pattern was pretty easy. There's a rather large amount of interfacing to cut at the start of the project for which you don't have actual pattern pieces which was annoying. Once I got over that though it was pretty much plain sailing. I decided not to top stitch the facing down to create a waist band and instead anchored it down with some hand stitching.

I finished it off with some outlandish blue buttons which I wasn't too sure of at the start but which it's a twist I really like on it now.

Perhaps I need to revisit some of my other failures after all there are more than a few to choose from! Have you managed to rescue any items?

Happy stitching x

Friday, 13 January 2017

Tulle Dream

I rather quietly began making this. The reason for my silence is that my previous attempts at sewing tulle have resulted in catastrophic failures. I had a niggling feeling that this may also be one but luckily for me I'd completely in love with it.

During Christmas shopping I noticed a few tulle dresses in the shops which I thought I'd have a go at recreating. I decided to use the Merchant and Mills Camber top for the bodice as I wanted a top without any fixtures to negotiate. The skirt was merely a rectangle which was gathered onto the bodice with the gather attached on the outside.

I love how iridescent it kind of reminds me of a jellyfish! The neckline is finished with navy bias binding to give it a nice finish. The beauty of tulle is that it doesn't fray. So yay, no need to finish the seams or to create a hem (sigh, definitely my least favourite part of sewing).

Of course being rather see-through meant that I needed to make a slip dress to wear underneath. After some brain wreaking I remembered that I had a pattern in the Great British Sewing Bee book. I omitted the lace (I thought this would be too fussy for the dress) and instead finished the edges with bias binding which worked out fine.

Here she is altogether...
Although the dress may seem rather formal. I managed to get away with wearing it on Christmas eve with a large hand knitted jumper and a pair of boots. Thank goodness for the eclectic look!

Happy stitching x

Monday, 2 January 2017

Ralph Pink Bow Shirt

Happy new year everyone! May your 2017s be full of happiness and plenty of stitching.

I'm ashamed to say that I actually made this a fair few months ago but I just haven't managed to get any decent photos of it. As it has been the Christmas holidays I've managed to finally get some nice photos!

The Ralph Pink Bow Shirt had been on my 'to-sew' list for a while. I had always fancied using some organza and spotted this rather lovely silk organza at Goldhawk Road. At £8 a metre it's quite a steal as well.

It's worth noting that whilst Ralph creates gorgeous designs which are cut beautifully his instructions aren't always the clearest. The instructions for the Bow Shirt were quite clear with only one part which doesn't quite fit. The pattern pieces ask you to cut two yokes for the back of the shirt but his instructions tell you to only use one. If you want to use two pieces I'd suggest looking at the instructions for a pattern such as the Merchant and Mills Camber for further guidance.

Due to the nature of the organza this was a rather slow project as the insides are completely on show! I sewed all seams (apart from the armistice) using French seams. For the armistice I sewed a tiny seam and finished it with a line of stitching to prevent fraying. For the hem I used my rolled hem foot which I'm not a huge fan of but I don't think it looks too bad.

I absolutely love the finished top.
I was concerned about creating button holes on the delicate fabric and I also thought that buttons might interrupt the 'flow' of the bow so I decided to use poppers. Plastic poppers showed through the fabric the least so that's what I opted for in the end.
If I was to make it again I would release the seams slightly at the waist as the top pulls ever so slightly here.

I absolutely love this top but I'm not sure if I need another one in my wardrobe. If I was to make another, I think I would use a cotton lawn perhaps which I think would give the shirt a completely different vibe.

Happy stitching x

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Fabric Shopping in Amsterdam

I was lucky to have a little weekend in Amsterdam last weekend. Although the weather was absolutely miserable it didn't detract from what a beautiful city it is. While I was there, I took the opportunity to do a just a little bit of fabric shopping of course!

I was only in Amsterdam for the weekend when the largest fabric market (Lapjesmarkt) turns into a farmers market so I visited Albert Cuyp Market instead. Lots of the fabric stalls were actually shops which had some fabric on a stall in front of them. There were some truly gorgeous fabrics for sale.

There was one particularly beautiful shop which sold catwalk fabric and had accompanying swatches of what it had been used for. The fabric was truly stunning (as is the organisation of the shop) but it was sadly too expensive for me. A gorgeous jersey by D&G was 162 euros! Definitely worth a visit though just to see such fabulous fabric.

I ended up buying just a few bits. I'm calling them souvenirs!

Two striped jerseys because who doesn't need striped tshirts...
A spotty taffeta which I'm imagining will become a gathered skirt (hopefully in time for Christmas).
I was also totally seduced by this flamingo sweatshirt which I cannot wait to sew into a Linden.
There's also two metres of silver velvet in there because you know it's December so we all need a bit of velvet in the stash!

With so many sewing plans in my head all I need is the Christmas holidays to begin so I can crack on. Happy stitching x