Saturday, 5 July 2014

Franken-patterned Halterneck

Pattern Review: Vogue 8725

I have been itching to make another version of Vogue 8725. I knew that I would love a version with a flared skirt for the summer, but I wasn't 100% keen on the front seam in the original pattern. So I opted to use my adjusted skirt from Butterick 4443

I picked up this linen from Simply Fabrics priced at £4 per metre and knew instantly that it was destined for this dress. It is lined with dress lining also from Simply Fabrics (seriously, where else do I buy lining from these days??) priced at £1 per metre. 

I don't have too much to add about this dress. For those of you that are new to this pattern I love that it has A,B,C and D cups. It makes the fit really easy. I cut a 14 all over and took it in a tad at the back and under the bust. Looking at it, I could probably have taken it in a touch more under the bust, but I like that it is comfy and allows me to breathe.

This was a satisfying and quick sew and the fabric was a dream to work with and I love that this pattern really flatters my lady lumps, especially the ones up top. I have some more fabric lined up to make another version! I have a couple of trips coming up and am looking forward to wearing it out and about, despite linen creasing like nobody's business. Fingers crossed my hotel will have an iron!

You can view my Pattern Review here

I was out in Regents Park when these photos were snapped. I hadn't been there since I was at uni. It's such a lovely park. We had a stroll around the rose garden which was in bloom. Aren't these beautiful?!

Do you have any favourite summer sewing patterns? 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Paisley Shift Dress

Pattern Review: New Look 6049

As some of you may know I really struggle to find a nice shift dress that fits in RTW and handmade items. I did play about with Simplicity 2146 which ended up being more of a sheath dress.

A lady from my sewing group gifted me New Look 6049 and so I decided to give the shift dress another go.

Upon doing a muslin for this dress I discovered that the neckline was too wide and did a 1.5cm narrow shoulder adjustment. You can see above that it is still a bit too big, so if I make this again I will take more out of the shoulders. I deepened the neckline by 5cm as I didn't like how high it was. I cut a 14 on the top and graded out to a generous 16 on the hips. I added in the optional waist darts for added shaping and I took in approximately 3.5cm on each side underneath the bust. 

The fabric is a silky feeling paisley fabric that I picked up in Malaysia at Jakels. I am not sure what the content is, but I am tempted to say that there is some viscose in there somewhere. I really like the drape of this fabric and felt that it was a great choice for the pattern. I even have enough left to make another dress out of it which is exciting. I lined the dress with some stretch lining priced at £1 per metre from Simply Fabrics. 

When I was sewing this dress I wasn't really feeling it, but since I have finished it I have worn it 3 times! I think that I was feeling jaded by all of the alterations and that it was going to be a garment that ends up being alot of work for little reward. Although the fit is not 100% there I am really pleased with the dress overall and I can see that a TNT shift dress pattern will soon be in my grasp. 

You can see my Pattern Review here. 

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Scrap-Busting - Part 2

Pattern Review: McCall's 3341

Firstly, some breaking news which is that I am currently featured on Pattern Review as their Member in Focus. You can check out my interview here.

As promised, here is my second stash busting mini. For this skirt I used McCall's 3341 and went with View E. I have made this before in my pre-blogging days, also to use up a remnant of leftover fabric. This is a simple a-line skirt with darts in the front and back and is a pattern that I stole from my Mum's stash years ago. I cut a size 16 and sewed this straight out of the envelope. The only (lazy) change I made was to omit the waist band.

I am trying to demonstrate with my above pose how the skirt is designed to sit just above your natural waist. I always find this quite strange in patterns, as so few RTW clothes have this feature. I'm sure that I have seen a tutorial somewhere (maybe Threads?) on how to lower the waistline of a pattern, but as I was doing some stash-busting/instant gratification I decided this alteration would not be in the spirit of things. And this skirt will keep my kidneys warm in the winter time....

The fabric was originally purchased years ago at Shepherds Bush market for a couple of squids. Definitely no more than £2 per metre. I lined the skirt with navy lining from my stash. I am sad to say that I originally cut out a dress with this fabric many years ago and it turned into a huge wadder, so it was nice to do something with the remnants so the print could be included in my wardrobe. Here is a close-up of the fabric.

I am really happy with this little mini skirt. It is making me pine for hot summer sunshine like nothing else and fingers crossed the british summertime will let me wear this one bare legged at some point! That said I did wear this other bad boy on a night out with tights and pumps recently so I am sure that this one will get the same treatment at some point. 

You can view my Pattern Review here.

Right, so I have finally decided on my July garment. It will be Butterick 5949. I know that I have threatened to make this previously here but was put off by all of the alterations. I am pleased to say that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and made some shoulder adjustments. I'm now on muslin number two, wish me luck!

Do you enjoy the process of making pattern adjustments, or do you groan and put them off like I do?

Happy sewing!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Scrap-Busting - Part 1

As you may have read previously, my sewing group held a 1 metre stash busting sew-a-long. I made Simplicity 1884 for the challenge. The sew-a-long inspired me to have another look at the remnants in my stash to see if I could use them for some quick instant gratification projects. 

I had (just) enough fabric to create a mini skirt using Mimi G's pencil skirt tutorial. I have made this previously here and it's a definite go-to garment in my wardrobe. 

For this simple skirt I used the remnants from Vogue 8827. This is a ponte knit purchased from good old Simply Fabrics in Brixton, priced at £3 per metre. 

As you can see in the photo above the skirt has two side seams, rather than one seam at the back. This is because I didn't have enough fabric to cut this on the fold. The skirt ended up being shorter than I initially planned as I the fabric is a one-way stretch which meant that I was further restricted by the amount of usable fabric. 

As you can see I am feeling very jammy about being able to use up some scraps to add a cute mini to my wardrobe for zero pounds. Unless it's a large chunk of fabric, the majority of my scraps are destined to the dustbin, but the recent sew-a-long has really given me some inspiration to be more resourceful and less wasteful. I have another scrap busting mini to post about too. Watch this space!

You can see my Pattern Review here.

What do you do with your remnants and scraps? Do you use them for small projects or do you get rid of them?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Me-Made-May'14 Round-up

I really enjoyed Me Made May. I achieved my goal of wearing 4 items per week (except for week 1 because it was so short). Here is a summary of my handmade items worn during the month.

I have provided links back to the original blog post, and have listed them clockwise.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Mimi G 30 Min Pencil Skirt (not yet blogged), Simplicity 1884, Butterick 5744, Self-drafted dress (pre-blogging days)

Week 5

I didn't find the challenge hard at all. I did have to think a little about what I would wear each week so that I fulfilled my aim of 4 handmade items, but I had plenty of handmade garments in my wardrobe to choose from which came as a surprise. I hadn't really assessed how many items in my wardrobe are handmade, so it felt nice that it was more than I thought!

May had a mix of weather so it was great to be able to wear a mix of summer and autumn clothes. The only thing that I would like to make more of is knitwear. I always pop a cardigan over my outfits as a layering piece and it would be fab to have more to choose from. Good knitwear fabric (that isn't a jersey or a ponte knit) is hard to come by in London, but I will keep an eye out for it. 

Overall Me May Made was a success, and I am looking forward to participating in it again next year. Maybe I will be able to go the whole hog!?

How was your Me Made May? 

Monday, 2 June 2014

June Garment of the Month - Vogue 8827

I am pleased to say that I have a finished Vogue 8827. After reading the reviews for this pattern I have to say that I was feeling a bit apprehensive about tackling this dress. I also had a bad luck with the dress previously when I cut out the facings on wrong side and had to abandon it in favour of Vogue 8645

As a year or so had passed, this was enough time for me to mourn the dress and have another go. I have to say I am pretty pleased with how it turned out in the end and I like to think that the red fabric is both bright and femine!

Although this pattern is rated easy, I had heard some comments about the collar instructions and the fastenings. And we all know that Easy Vogue patterns sometimes have a reputation for being anything but easy. That said, I took my time putting this together, ensuring that I understood all of the instructions and I had no problems at all. I cut a 14 and sewed it straight out of the envelope with minor alterations - due to styling preference rather than fit.

I picked a ponte knit from Simply Fabrics priced at £3 per metre. My main concern with this pattern was my fabric choice. Originally when I put this together it looked like a bathrobe and I wasn't convinced at all. I was worried that I should have picked a jersey rather than a ponte knit to make it look smarter and more dress like. 

To remedy this I dismissed the tie belt which helped a million, and I shortened the skirt which gives it more of a cutesy style. The other obvious alteration is the omission of the sleeves as I prefer sleeveless dresses. This helps me cope with the heat of  the tube and lets me add a cardigan in colder weather. 

I have loads of interesting Vogue patterns in my stash so I am pleased that I have nailed one of them. Even though the pattern wasn't hard at all, tackling something different has definitely been a confidence boost.

You can see my Pattern Review here.

I am unsure of what my July garment will be. Originally I had planned another version of Vogue 8725, but I am hoping to finish it before I travel later in the month. I will have a think, browse my stash and see what inspires me. 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 26 May 2014

An Almost Wadder - Butterick 5744

I started sewing Butterick 5744 way back in January. However, when I came to attach the skirt to the bodice it looked terrible. There was too much fabric going on in the bodice and the position of the elastic made me look frumpy. 

After making various hacks here and there I still wasn't convinced. Generally my wadders go straight in the bin as I can't stand the sight of them. As I had spent so much time on the bodice I decided to just hem it and give it to the charity shop and popped it in my sewing basket for a task at a later date. However, last week I was clearing out my sewing area and I tried this dress on again and I actually quite liked it. I hemmed it and now I have a perfectly fine new dress!

I have a really lovely RTW sheer dress which is very similar in style and I absolutely love it. When this pattern came out I knew that I wanted to try it. I decided on the skirt of view A and the bodice of view B. 

I initially cut out a size 14, but I really should have cut a 12 as this pattern has a ridiculous amount of ease. The other alterations I made were to to raise the waist elastic so that it is more empire line in style and I took in some ease in the skirt. Lastly, I shortened the skirt so that it hit me above the knee. 

The fabric used is a ponte knit purchased from Fabricland for £3.99 per metre. I am having a love affair with ponte knits at the moment. They are so easy to cut and sew with as they don't fray and are more stable than jerseys. I also find that they wash really well and are so comfortable to wear. The instructions call for this dress to be lined, but I didn't think that it was necessary with a ponte knit. I don't have an overlocker, so I sewed my seams using the Jalie method for sewing knits on a sewing machine. 

I am glad that I came back to this dress after all these months. It took no time at all to finish. It's so strange that I was ready to write this garment off and left it it my sewing basket for so long. I must have needed a fresh pair of eyes to see that it was worth finishing.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out in the end and it is a comfy dress that I can dress up and down. It will be great for the summer and will be fab in the winter when I can pair it with a cardigan, tights and boots. 

You can read my Pattern Review here.

Do you have lots of UFOs? Do you keep them for a long time?
And do you have to muster a lot of willpower and a new frame of mind to tackle them?

Happy Sewing!