Sunday, 29 November 2015

Deer and Doe Anemone

I am quickly becoming a HUGE fan of Deer and Doe patterns! They are always truly beautiful inside and out! I made the Anemone in a stretch twill which I bought from Goldhawk road and it's lined in blue cotton. I cut it out of one and a half metres easily even when I was attempting to match the horizontal lines of the pattern. I was convinced that I wanted to make a patterned Anemone but maybe the peplum detail would have stood out more if I had made it plain.
The pattern was beautifully easy to sew. Because there were so many parts to the skirt I found it useful to write the name on each with a washable pen so I didn't get confused. The instructions were easy to follow and unlike many of the things I have made it was completely stress free!
Because of the curve which runs through each pattern piece I wasn't able to pattern match completely but it definitely could have been much better than it is. Pattern matching is a skill I really need to work on. If you have any tips that would be brilliant!
it could have done with being taken in slightly on the waist. I hadn't anticipated it sitting quite as high as it does so when fitting I didn't fit it to the correct place on my waist.
I'm completely in love with the peplum detail!
The lining makes the skirt feel absolutely gorgeous to wear. I love it when an item of clothing is beautiful both inside and out, it makes it feel so special.

Saturday, 21 November 2015


I have had Tilly and the Buttons Arielle and this wool fabric for a while, for some reason it just never came to the top of my 'Must Sew Now List'! But I decided that it was time to move away from dresses and sew some separates and I'm certainly glad I made it. I used herringbone wool for the fabric which I bought from Walthamstow market from the man outside Sainsburys. I made a size 1 on the waist grading out to a 2 at the hips. I cut this size out of one and a half meters (160cm wide) and had quite a bit left over. I'm really pleased with the skirt and I can't wait for an opportunity to show it off and wear it!
This is one of the few items that I have made which I'm actually happy with the fit. I was very conscious that I didn't want the buttons to pull at all and I think they look pretty good!
It was very straightforward to make and as ever Tilly's instructions were easy to follow and full of helpful tips. I got myself into a bit of a pickle when it came to attaching the lining to the skirt as it didn't fit, only to realise that I had forgotten to sew the darts on the back of the skirt! After realising my mistake the lining went in easily.
When considering linings and buttons I tend to get all my buttons out to see what colours work and I instantly fell in love with the unusual combination of the red gingham hearts with the herringbone so I decided to roll with it and line it with red gingham too. I bought the lining from ebay where there was plenty of choice.
There's something very charming about the lining and buttons...It must remind me of summer dresses from when I was little. I am definitely a convert to lining items of clothing, in my head it makes them feel more special and I love how beautiful it makes them inside and out.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Beautiful Betty

I have had this beautiful wool fabric and the Sew Over It Betty dress pattern in my stash for a while. It wasn't until the weather began to turn that I decided it was the time to get sewing. I'm so glad I did because I am completely and utterly in love with this dress!
I made the dress in a light link wool which I bought from Sew Over It. I can't take credit for the fabric choice, I decided to make it after seeing this dress in the Sew Over It Islington shop. I don't think I would have felt confident in making it in wool unless I had seen it made up.
The style of the dress is gorgeous with a fitted bodice, full circle skirt and a V-neck back. The combination just makes me feel so special. A gorgeous full circle like this one is just asking to be twirled...
The construction was easy and the instructions were, as always from Sew Over It, very clear to follow. I had a little bit of trouble with the zip, which was more difficult to insert due to the bulky fabric.

As it was made in wool I decided to line the bodice to ensure that it didn't feel scratchy at all. I love the combination of the strawberry fabric with the wool.
I have always found curved hems difficult to hem, ending up with ugly pulling until I made the Deer and Doe Datura and discovered using bias binding. As I loved this dress so much I decided to take the time to make my own bias binding using the lining and I love the effect. It just makes it feel that bit special and little touches like these make handmade clothes feel so special.
I absolutely cannot wait for a special occasion to wear Betty!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Hall of Horrors

I'm going to breathe in deeply and attempt not to wince too much as I write this entry. These are a few (sadly there are more) of my sewing failures. I know that I shouldn't be so stroppy about my failures after all failure is how we learn but all the wasted hours and beautiful fabric is just so frustrating.

My first failure is the Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse. This was the second item of clothing I made and it is poorly constructed. However, for me, more guiling that than is this contrast buttons and collar I chose which make it look like it would be more at home at a bowling alley. Looking back at the pattern now, it's not a top which I would usually choose for myself so I'm not sure why I thought that it was a good idea to invest hours in making myself one.

All in all then it was a failure for a huge range of reasons; poor construction; terrible fabric choice and a pattern which just isn't my style.

Onto the next one and this one really stings. The Colette Hawthorn. I think I must have invested four weekends worth of sewing in this dress. It was a disaster from the start. I measured myself but decided that I couldn't possibly be that size so I cut the size up, which was huge, poorly fitting and very unflattering. After some alterations to the bodice I decided to continue. I wanted to make it with the sleeve plackets (due to being stubborn I would not quit and resolve to have it sleeveless). These took me forever and are still incorrect! Even after attempting them countless times. After finally deciding to finish it anyway it is extremely unflattering on me. It makes me feel old fashioned and frumpy. Such as shame, as I know that there are some truly beautiful Hawthorns out there and I love the fabric which I bought in the John Lewis sale. Perhaps when I'm ready I will be able to rescue it and turn it into a sleeveless dress which could be more flattering on me.

This brings me to my most recent failure which happens to be my project from last weekend. I decided to make the Sew Over It shift dress in a cotton which I bought at the Knit and Stitch fair. I just love the black cats! This dress is very unflattering on me, so much so that I'm struggling to finish it (the hem is currently pinned and sleeves unfinished). The cotton is medium weight, the pattern does say to use lightweight, so it is probably my fault for choosing the wrong fabric. I usually like quite baggy clothes with simple almost shapeless silhouettes but this dress just doesn't work for me. It billows out at the top then clings to the hips. I think that I need a shift dress which is more A-line. I used my Simplicity cord dress to adapt the shape but it still doesn't suit me or feel right.
I'm really sad about this one as I absolutely love the fabric. I've considered adding in a black triangle at the sides to make it an A-line shape or turning it into a top to save it. What do you think or do I just need to resolve myself to having lost the fabric?