Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Jumper Dress Geometric Style

Pattern Review: McCalls 7194

I have finally blogged! So I have to admit I finished this dress back in January but haven't gotten round to posting it.

I decided to make McCalls 7194 as my sewing mojo had been low and I fancied some instant gratification. I cut a 14 all over and lengthened it to make it a dress. The only other alteration I made was to take off some of the length of the shoulders as the seam sat quite low on me.

The fabric was purchased from Textile Centre in Walthamstow priced at £2.75 per yard. I really wasn't sure about the fabric and I think that it is still growing on me. The fabric is a super comfortable sweater knit though so that makes up for it. 

This pattern is really easy as it doesn't include any notions, closures or darts. It all came together very quickly. I would definitely make this again and maybe try going down a size for a snug fit. I am sucker for cowl neck dresses as I really like the way they frame the face. 

I made myself hem this dress so I could pack it for my holiday to Budapest. It kept me lovely and warm and was so comfy! This pattern is fab quick make and a design that lets the fabric take the centre stage. 

I have another simple dress on my dummy that is waiting to be hemmed before I start on my spring and summer sewing!

You can view the Pattern Review online here.

Anyone else lost their mojo for 2016!?

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Cross Stitch Crazy

Pattern Review: Framecraft Handbag Mirror

My sewing mojo is still firmly in the gutter so I thought that this severely belated post about an instant gratification cross stitch project might make me feel better.

This was a lovely birthday present from some friends. It is a pocket mirror that comes with the patterns for every letter of the alphabet. You can currently purchase this online here. 

This was easy to complete and I did most of it on the train home to Bristol for Christmas. 

It was a great in between project as I started on my next large cross stitch project: Maia Fan Fair
This will take me an age but I am really enjoying it so far. This is what the finished project will hopefully look like!

Wish me luck! And also pray that my sewing mojo returns swiftly.

Happy Stitching

Saturday, 24 October 2015

What a difference a year makes!

Pattern Review: Dimensions Crafts Oriental Butterfly Counted Cross Stitch Kit 

My sewing blog has been pretty quiet recently as I have been travelling a lot with work and my sewing mojo is at an all time low. However I am delighted that I have (finally) finished my recent cross stitch project. 

I purchased this Dimensions cross stitch pattern for just under £11 in October 2014 and have been working on it on and off for the past year. My first cross stitch project was very much a beginner project and I can tell that I am more confident and used to following patterns. I am really pleased with the finished product and for the price it is excellent! 

I have to admit I go through a love/hate relationship with cross stitch. I like having a project always on hand to take to my craft group and I like that I can do this no matter how stressed or poorly I am feeling (unlike sewing). However, at times I really struggle with how long it takes compared to sewing. We all know that cross stitch is not a speedy hobby but sometimes I can't help but feel a little despondent when I have been working on it for 3 hours and hardly finished an inch of the pattern!

That said seeing this framed (thanks dad for my handmade frame!) and hung in the hallway makes it all better and I am excited to be working on another project. The next cross stitch project is a little bit of instant gratification - if there is such a thing! 

Do you have any slow burning hobbies that you do in-between other things such as sewing? 

Happy stitching!

Monday, 21 September 2015

September Garment of the Month

Pattern Review: Vogue 8667 Mashup

Despite it being Monday and being in the midst of a headcold, the plus side of today was that I wore my new dress for the first time. For this dress I used the bodice of Vogue 8667 and added my amended skirt from Butterick 4443.

I have made Vogue 8667 twice before (here and here) and I absolutely adore the cute collar on this pattern. It really adds a bit of interest to what is quite a simple dress. For this iteration I knew I wanted to have a fuller skirt but wanted something more casual than the pleated version that comes with the original pattern. Butterick 4443 fitted the bill perfectly. 

The fabric is a printed ponte knit picked up from Le Coupon in Paris from my holiday last summer. The fabric cost €10 for three metres which is such a bargain. It's lovely and soft and especially today (not feeling 100%) it was great to feel as though I was sat in work wearing pajamas. I have a suspicion it might pill pretty soon but I still plan to get a good amount of wear out of this bad boy this Autumn/Winter. 

As I was sewing this in a knit fabric I went down a size and cut a 12 out all over. I still had to do my usual alterations - to pinch out fabric underneath the bust and lengthen the front bust pieces to make up for my lack of full bust adjustment. 

This was a really satisfying and quick make and I definitely know that this pattern hack will rear its head again! 

You can see my Pattern Review here. 

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Covering Up

Pattern Review: Prima Magazine Cover Up

Continuing along the instant gratification theme I whipped up this simple open cardigan during my week off. 

This is the pattern from the January 2010 issue I stole from my mum a while ago. Here is a picture of the pattern. As it suggests it really is a quick and easy project - I sewed this up in one evening and would be a great beginner project. 

For this pattern I cut a size 14 and I did end up having to make some amendments. I graded out some of the steepness of the bottom front pieces as a styling preference. I also found that the sleeves sat way too low on my shoulders, so I removed around an inch from the top of the sleavehead and shoulders. I always wear my cardigan sleeves rolled up so it's not an issue, but the sleeves are much shorter on me than in the pattern photo. Next time I will definitely add some additional length to the sleeves. 

The fabric is a lightweight cardigan knit fabric purchased from Universal Textiles on Goldhawk Road. It cost £3 per metre which is a bargain. I have found some great gems in Universal Textiles and you can always get a great price for everything you buy there. The fabric was easy to work with and I still have a decent remnant so I am deciding what I should sew with the leftovers. 

I really like how the darts give this cover up a nice shape, especially in the back. This is such an easy wardrobe staple and is one of those patterns that lets the fabric steal the show. I am already thinking about what knit fabrics I have in my stash so I can whip up another. 

You can view my Pattern Review here.

On the sewing table is my September Garment of the Month, a modified version of Vogue 8667. After my run of wadders a few weeks ago I still want to do some comfort sewing and this fits the bill. 

What simple sewing projects have you guys been working on? 

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Instant Gratification Required!

Pattern Review: Kwik Sew 3844

I mentioned in my last post that I have had some bad luck with my recent sewing projects. So what better way to solve my blues than to whip up a (fourth!!!) version of Kwik Sew 3844.

To be honest I was pretty horrified with myself when I realised I had made so many versions but none of them were a simple black tank. I think most people would say that they are a wardrobe staple. I purchased this fabric from one of the shops on Goldhawk Road for £4.99 per metre. 

As per usual I cut a medium  and sewed this straight out of the envelope. I don't bother with the boob pocket. For me it disturbs the simplicity of the overall garment. 

I really don't have too much to say about this version that I haven't covered before. Except that I like it so much I am thinking about making a shorter version (similar to this iteration here) out of the same fabric. This is so that I can wear it tucked in with skirts which would be handy, and also another excuse for some instant gratification. In other words, don't expect to be seeing the last of this pattern anytime soon!

You can see my pattern review here.

I have a couple of other instant gratification/TNT patterns on the go to soothe my wadder woes. They are knit garments which has signaled that Autumn is arriving, (yes I am wearing boots despite these photos being taken on the August Bank Holiday weekend) and that I clearly can't face any sort of fit issues at present!

Anyone else been soothing some sewing woes? 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Garment of the Month

Pattern Review: Vogue 9015

So making sleepwear is a first for me! 

I am pretty surprised that I have never made any pajama bottoms or anything similar before. For my first sleepwear garment I decided on a simple nightie as this is the type of sleepwear I actually sleep in. I chose Vogue 9015 - due to the see-through nature of the fabric I thought that photos on my dummy might be more appropriate. 

I purchased this fabric at a shopping trip with my sewing group. It was around £3 per metre from one of the shops on Goldhawk road (I can't remember which one). To be honest the quality of the fabric is not great. It seems to pick up the tiniest mark and it does have a very man made feel to it. 

I chose to sew view C but without the lace overlay. The pattern is easy, but does eat up a fair bit of fabric as it is cut on the bias. For some reason I had trouble attaching the bias facings. I would like to say it is because of the fabric, but really I think that I was just having an off day.

I found that there was a bit of gaping around the top of the bust area. I think that another reviewer has also mentioned this, but it is something that could be easily remedied for next time. 

I feel pretty meh about this. I expect that this is because I am not in love with the fabric. And I didn't enjoy the process of constructing this garment. I wonder if it is the same as when I sew upholstery or other items that I don't wear out of the house. Does anyone else have that?

You can view my Pattern Review here:

I have had a couple of wadders/unwearable muslins in the past months which has been a bit rubbish. On the plus side it does mean that I have been trying patterns that have been in the stash for a while, but on the downside my output has suffered. 

I have had some time off this last week so to make up for this I have sewn some basics and instant gratification items which I will post in due course. 

How has everyone else's summer sewing been going? 

Happy Sewing!