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Showing posts from 2015

What a difference a year makes!

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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 …

September Garment of the Month

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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 goo…

Covering Up

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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 …

Instant Gratification Required!

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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 s…

August Garment of the Month

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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.

July Garment of the Month

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1872
My mum had a retirement party this weekend and of course I had to make a dress to celebrate. I had been wanting to try out the dress from Simplicity 1872 for years and finally decided to take the plunge.


I have made this pattern as a peplum top before, but it was so old that it went to the charity shop earlier this year, so it's nice to have another iteration of the pattern in my wardrobe. Ok,so let's talk fabric. I picked this up at the textile district around the Sacre Couer on my holiday to Paris with my mum last September. It cost €10 for 3 metres which is a bargain. I am pretty sure that it is some kind of polyester chiffon. I underlined the dress with stretch lining from Simply Fabrics in Brixton priced at £1 per metre. 


I know that a couple of people have mentioned that there is a huge amount of ease in this pattern. It is true and I took out approximately 2" in the bodice and cut a larger armhole to compensate. This dress pattern s…

Springtime Florals

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 3956
I am still trying to build in some tops that I can wear on a night out (see here) and decided to try Simplicity 3956. This is another item that I finished back before my trip to Canada and have only just gotten around to photographing it. 

I have made this before years and years ago, but didn't return to the pattern as the fit needed some tweaking. However, I had been thinking that a TNT strap top was missing from my pattern stash so I decided to give this one another go. I cut view D but without the overskirt. I omitted the tie belt as I  felt it was unnecessary and was treating this as a wearable muslin. 

Previously when I made this, the bodice was too big and ended up gaping under the arms. To remedy this I cut a size 14 for most areas, but used a size 12 for the bodice back. I added 1" to the height of the front bodice for extra boob coverage. 

I used a printed floral chiffon from purchased from the fabric stall on Market Row in Brixton Mar…

A Girl Just Can't Have Enough!

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Pattern Review: Kwik Sew 3844
I literally cannot get enough of this tank top pattern. At the time of writing this blog post all the reviews for this on pattern review are mine!


I finished this tank around a month ago, but haven't had a chance to take some snaps. As you can see, I decided to change this version up a little. I tried this pattern out with a woven rather than a stretch fabric that the pattern calls for and it does mean that this is a tad snug around the bust. I also made this a V-neck style in the front as I felt that it sat too high on my neckline without the natural drape of jersey. 

In addition I had to cut a fair bit off the bottom of this tank as the woven fabric didn't stretch across my hips. I really don't know how I didn't have the foresight to think of this when I was cutting it out. I pretty much always have to grade out a size or two to allow for my hips. It was a definite moment where I kicked myself for being such a dummy. However, I think tha…

Wedding Guest Dress

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Pattern Review: Vogue 1223
I do enjoy the opportunity of sewing a wedding guest dress. It's a great chance to sew something a little bit special and challenge myself to pick something out of my comfort zone. Two of my uni friends got tied the knot this weekend and I went with Vogue 1223.

This is a dress pattern where both the fabric and the pattern design steal the show equally. I love how the left hand bodice extends into the majority of the skirt. It's a really interesting design feature. I have to say that I spent a really long time popping in tailor tacks and basting darts - I got through a good half a season of CSI whilst sewing this dress. 
Here is a close-up of the dress front. you can see a bit more clearly how the pleats extend all the way down the front of the bodice into the skirt. 

The fabric is a polyester chiffon purchased from the fabric stall on Market Row in Brixton Market. It was an absolute steal at £2.20 per metre. I lined the dress with georgette from Simp…

Long time no blog!

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Pattern Review: Vogue 8870  I overcame my lack of sewing mojo in the past month, but it looks as though my blog has been a bit neglected. I am all finished with my March garment of the month, but I haven't had a chance to photograph it yet. To tie you guys over here is an oldie that is yet to make it to the blog. It's a modified version of Vogue 8870.

I finished this before my trip to Australia back last year. However, the hand picked invisible zipper was so terrible I vowed to rip it out and just sew up the back seam seeing as I can pull this dress on over my head without using the zipper.
I used the bodice of Vogue 8870 and drafted the skirt from a RTW dress from my wardrobe. I think that it worked out pretty well, although I would definitely come up with a better construction order. When you look at the inside of the dress you can tell I was winging it!

I have previously made this pattern here, and as you can see the bodice is tad more blouson. For this version in a woven I…

February Garment of the Month

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Pattern Review: Vogue 1387
I have to admit that my sewing mojo has been so low I wasn't sure February's garment was going to happen. Quite a few fellow sewers have mentioned that they have not been as productive as hoped during February, so maybe there has been something in the air? That said, I pulled it out of the bag to finish my muslin for this Vogue 1387 Rebecca Taylor pattern.

I initially fell in love with the pleats in the shoulders and the sleeve bands. Aren't they fab little details?? However there have been mixed reviews on Pattern Review, so although the line drawings looked simple enough I knew that it would be wise to make a muslin. I cut a straight size 14 and I think the fit is not bad at all. As you can see in the photo below there is a bit of excess in the sleeve, something that can be easily remedied for next time. 

I did make two alterations. I lengthened the skirt by 2", without this it would have been ridiculously short on me and I don't think…

Tasha Stitches!

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Pattern Review: Flower Fairies Zinnia Bookmark Cross Stitch Kit My sewing mojo has been pretty much non-existent since I got back from Chicago in mid January. I have been really busy catching up with family and friends and to be honest I haven't made sewing a priority. 
All of the busyness has meant that I came down with a nasty cough and cold. I don't know about you guys, but I really can't sew when I am feeling under the weather. That said, cabin fever struck and I decided to finish my first ever cross stitch project!
I actually finished the cross stitching towards the end of the summer, but it has been languishing in my sewing basket waiting for me to sew on the backing. 

I learnt cross stitch when I was tiny and in Primary school and hadn't really thought about it since. However, when I joined my sewing group a couple of years ago I saw some great designs and I thought about having a simple project to keep my fingers busy when I couldn't take any of my sewing p…

January Garment of the Month

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Pattern Review: Butterick 5454 This months theme was to try something new. I totally went against this and sewed up another wrap dress.  And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, I am indeed wearing a dress with sleeves! When I sewed up this version here one of my colleagues at work mentioned that it would look nice with sleeves, so I decided to give it a try. 


This ITY knit from my stash was purchased back in June at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. It was on sale for $2.99 per yard. It sewed up beautifully. I cut a 14 and made no changes except to add in a bit more boob coverage in the bodice. I am wearing a black strap top under this, but mostly for warmth as it has been pretty cold here in London. 

I don't have too much else to say except that I LOVE this version. Who knows, maybe 2015 will be the year I sew up lots of sleeved dresses. 
You can see my pattern review here.
I am still deciding what to sew for February. I have so many fabrics from my recent holiday that I feel overwhelm…

Fabric Porn South of the Equator

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I am finally back in the UK! I had a mammoth bout of travelling with two work trips either side of my fab holiday in Melbourne. As I was not able to do any sewing I filled some of my time with fabric shopping. 
I spent just under a week in the lovely city of Cape Town. I picked up a couple of Ankara wax prints at a market in the city. To be honest the prints were probably not much cheaper than I would buy in London as I was at such a touristy market, but I really like them and they are such a fun souvenir of the city. 



These next two fabrics were purchased at a fabric shop just outside the city centre on a street with a variety of fabric shops, a mix of dress and upholstery fabrics.  



After Cape Town I headed to Melbourne for three and a half weeks. My first stop was at Darn Cheap Fabrics where I snapped up these fun fabrics.





When in Melbourne I was also lucky enough to stop into Spotlight which had a Christmas sale.


We were passing through Lillydale en route to the Yarra Wine Valley…