Saturday, 16 May 2015

Chambray Laurel Dress

I have been making a lot of basics recently. PJ's, t-Shirts, sweatpants etc. and didn't have the urge to share them. But this one here made me rather happy which gave me enough motivation to go through the 'making myself look pretty-taking photographs-writing about it' process.

Last year I started to notice the chambray fabrics but I didn't particularly like them. And then a few month ago I suddenly started to love them. I wonder how this happens. Is it because you constantly see things that your mind gets tricked into liking something? Or is it because of the change of season? Anyway, I like chambray - now full stop :)

I was particularly inspired by this pin and then the search began for the perfect fabric. I found this one on Offset Warehouse but it was a pit pricy. I then got the email that is was on sale and I was happy. If you like it too, it is still on sale by the way.
Offset Warehouse sells ethically produced fabrics. It does feel great to know where my fabric comes from and that the people who have made it have been paid and treated fairly!!
Oh, and another plus, this chambray is beautiful and so comfortable to wear!!

The pattern is the Laurel Dress from Colette Patterns. I wanted the dress a bit more fitted and have taken it in on the sides and on the back. I have slightly lowered and shortened the bust darts. Looking at these pictures now, I am wondering if it should be even lower but that could also just be my posture. I have also added some pockets.
This is probably my first dress where I did fit changes myself (I had some help from a friend taking it in on the sides and back). It seems just a little thing but I am quite proud and it makes me feel more confident for future makes. I am still finding the whole fitting process quite daunting. 

If I make this dress again I will make a few little changes around the shoulders and arms but otherwise I am very happy with this one.
Talking about fit, anyone knows why I have this V where the zip finishes?? Any suggestions what to do differently?

I have mostly been sewing with knits in the last few month and it was nice to work with a woven fabric for a change. I generally wear knit tops and dresses and I was surprised how comfortable this woven one is! I am planning to make the top version of the pattern too. But first I must make something a bit more colourful. Just got a beautiful flower print and can't wait to make a lovely summer dress!  What is your favourite summer dress pattern?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Baby Quilt

Recently I was asked by a friend to make a quilt for a little girl. We discussed the design and went to choose the fabric together. I was so excited and couldn't wait to start.
Unfortunately there were some issues with the fabric and the project got delayed. When all was ready I was really worried about it and dreaded starting to work on it. It can be really hard to make something for somebody else. I do worry a lot if it will turn out well and if they will like it.

This quilt was different however. Once I finally started I could not stop. I had so much fun deciding the design and making it come to life. I love working with bright colours. I was rather sad when my friend collected the quilt. But the girl it was for loves it and that's kinda better than keeping it myself!

I started making quilts about a year ago after a friend gave me some tips. I never follow a pattern. I just start with a few small scraps and let it grow until it feels right. The thought of following a pattern scares me. I am not sure if I would be accurate enough at matching up corners and seams. Acutually, I know I would be really bad at it. But I must say, I have seen some really lovely designs on Instagram and might get tempted. But for now I am back to dressmaking.

Have you made any quilts? Do you prefer to follow a pattern or do you make up something random like me? Can you recommend any good patterns?

Friday, 6 February 2015

Espresso Gold Leggins plus Baby Version

Recently I have been trying to stick to some sort of sewing plan. I have nothing written down but it is all in my head. I would like to try to sew clothes that I really need and if I would not sew I had to go out and buy them. Well, those leggins kinda jumped the queue. How rude! But so worth it.
And I still had some of that fab gold double knit I used for my NYE dress.

I got the Seamwork subscription as a Christmas present from my mum and can I just say I LOVE it. I have been on the search for this kind of magazine for some time. I did not want a magazine with too much crafty stuff and neither one with loads of patterns in it. Seawmwork is perfect, you get lots of interesting and useful information (for free!!!) and if you choose to subscribe you get two patterns that are sewn up really quickly. I like it.

So, the second edition came with a leggins pattern and I just had to quickly make them. I think I will get a few more queue jumpers from the magazine. The current issue comes with a bra and panties pattern. Do I need to say more?

Back to the leggins. Unfortunately the Manila leggins did not fit. They were too tight on the lower leg. I was too lazy to alter the pattern and got another one instead. The Espresso leggins. I think it is great because you need to measure lots of different points on your legs and this means they are most likely going to fit. The pattern comes with only one leg piece (back and front are already together). As I wanted to keep my black triangles, that I had tried with the previous pattern, I cut the pattern in half to get a front and back piece and then cut them into two pieces again to get the black and gold pattern. This time I made a toile as I did not want to waist any more of my precious gold fabric. I had to slightly move the side seam and alter the fit a tiny bit. I have already made some final alterations for the next version. I made the lower leg slightly wider and will raise the back seam by a few cm. And maybe got to do something about those wrinkles under my bum. Going to a 'How to fit your clothes' course this Sunday and taking my Ginger Jeans toile. I am sure I will learn something about 'how to fix wrinkles under my bum'…

And here a bonus baby pair! I am going to a Birthday Party for our friends one year old and found this baby/toddler patter in my stash. Perfect! And it only took me 1 hour to make them. And that included tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric. I love quick projects.

Now I am back to my sewing list. You can expect to see some PJ's if I manage to get some good pictures (its sooo dark at the moment). And Ginger Jeans of course!

Do you have a sewing plan? And do you have the pattern or fabric first?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Plantain Tee turned NYE Gold Dress

Hello and Happy New Year! This is my last make from 2014. I got inspired by Heather from Closet Case Files and her fab golden number. I saw this beautiful gold double knit at John Lewis but did not buy it as I had no plans for a sparkly dress. But luckily I saw Heather's post and knew I had to go back and buy it and make myself a little dress. It almost didn't happen as I still had to make that Finlayson sweater for my Husband but it was all finished in time for NYE.

I used the Plantain t-shirt from Deer and Doe. I had made this before and knew it would fit. As I only had a few days left to make it I didn't want to try a new pattern. I made the pattern slightly bigger around the bust, lengthen the short sleeves version by a few cm and took them in by about 1cm on the sides. I then lengthen the top to make it into a dress. Originally it was a bit more A-line but didn't like it and took it in a bit. Not sure if I took it in too much. What do you think? When I started thinking about the dress I was not sure if I wanted it to be fitted all the way, but I guess I could still do that if I change my mind.
At the end of last year I did a pattern cutting course and the collar is my first little project that I drafted from scratch. I am feeling quite proud of it! The fabric I used for it is actually the same, just used the wrong side. So handy when you can use both sides of a fabric.

Now..., the back. I am well aware that there is too much fabric but not quite sure how to alter the pattern to get rid of it. Any suggestions?
I have enrolled to Fitting your Sewing Projects at Tilly and the Buttons's Studio (excited!!) and might get some tips there.

I am absolutely in love with this fabric. It is super soft and would be happy to wear the dress to bed. Seriously!! Probably the most comfortable garment I have ever made and super easy to work with.
If you follow me on instagram you have seen my attempt on making leggins with the same fabric. Unfortunately they are too tight. I have decided to buy a different pattern and currently working on a new pair. To be continued. There might be a lot of gold in the coming weeks, you have been warned!

I had some time off recently and did a big tidy in my sewing room. Due to my busy work schedule and those two sewing projects with a deadline, it got worse and worse. But now it is all clean and reorganised and can't wait to get some sewing done this weekend! 

Have you made yourself a party dress recently?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Zippy top with no zip

Hello, hello. It's been a while. I think I took these photographs back in October (bit more obvious when you see the last picture). It's been rather busy here with Christmas markets (I have a small textile business and currently selling off all my sock), crazy sewing as I am running out of stock and some lovely travels to Switzerland.
Unfortunately this has left me with hardly any time to do some sewing for myself, but instead I went on a bit of a pattern buying craze and I am sure it won't be long until I make something new. 
Ok, the fabric is actually a really nice dark foresty green (if this is a colour) but still working on my photography skills. So please be patient with me ;)

I am in need of some simple tops in my wardrobe and I really liked the simplicity of the Zippy Top from See Kate Sews. I decided to make it without a zip as I wanted a quick and easy make. Turned out it wasn't that quick as I hoped for. I do that a lot recently. Thinking I am sure I will be able to make this up this afternoon… but it never really happens as I make mistakes or it is just not as easy as I thought ;)

The fabric that I used is polyester I think and I got it at Goldhawk Road in London. I am still learning a lot about fabrics and very excited that I shall be getting the Fabric for Fashion book for Christmas!
Ok, back to the top. I cut the fabric on the bias. It is already quite drapy but just wanted to try something I have not done before and I am liking the result. I decided to do a french seam. The seam allowance is only 1cm but as it is a loose fit I decided to just use a bit more and skip the part of increasing the seam allowance to 1.5cm. Basically, I was being lazy.

I also made a little pocked inspired by What Katie sews. I think this is the part that took me forever. First I made the wrong size, then the first one I put on looked absolutely awful and I had to make another one. The pattern has a facing for the neckline but I don't really like them. So after watching some Youtube videos I decided to just turn the neckline over. Hmmm, no it didn't work out that well and I am planning to unpick it and turning it over with some bias binding. Sorry, can't remember how that technique is called, anyone?

Ok, got to go back to the crazy sewing so that my market stall looks a bit like something this weekend. What are you up to at the moment? Do you have time to work on any sewing for yourself or busy with Christmas stuff too? Would love to hear what you are making!

Made a little video of this, you can see it on instagram

Monday, 10 November 2014

Finlayson Sweater

Next one up is the Finlayson Sweater by Thread Theory that I made for my husband. It was his Birthday last month and I wasn't quite sure what to give him. So why not sew something? When I decided to make this sweater I was aware he might not like it at all or that it would not fit. I wanted it to be a surprise, so there was no fitting involved. I managed to get his measurements and sneakily told him that I needed to learn to take other people's measurements for my sewing class ;)

I found the fabric at Fabric Godmother. It is this Roma Jersey and I picked it after I ordered a few samples. It is super soft and I am looking forward to make something for myself from the leftovers! I am thinking mini skirt to go with colourful tights.
I also used some mustard jersey that I got from Backstitch for the decorative facing. Love the colour contrast but not 100% happy with that second seam. Next one will be better ;)

I got the pattern as a pdf and it was pretty straight forward. I struggled a little bit with attaching the collar and as you can probably see, stretched the corners at the front a bit too much. When I am making this again I might get some stretch interfacing to avoid this.

And did he like it? I am please to say he LOVED it!! It is his favourite jumper to date and he got lots of positive comments about it. And no, people did not know I made it! Very happy!

So, I am making him another one for Christmas. I got this lovely and super soft grey Ponte Roma. I am slightly nervous about it. I feel expectations could be rather hight after the first one.

Are you sewing things for your partner, friends or family? Do they appreciate your efforts and do you find it as nerve wracking as I do?

Meet Gulliver the cat

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Wedding Dress

First off, thank you all so much for your lovely comments. Such a nice welcome!!

My next project I am going to share is my wedding dress. I know, exciting!
I really loved making this dress. Well, apart from when I had to take out the lining and make a new one from scratch, when I had to undo the back belt because of fitting issues and of course when I burned a small whole in the lace to name a few ;) The rest was great.

When people asked me if I would make my own wedding dress I always said NO way! Far too stressful and I am not really that good. I became much more confident in sewing about a year ago and suddenly started considering making my own dress. I am very picky when it comes to clothes and usually struggle to find what I am looking for. Imagine me looking for the perfect wedding dress. Kind of impossible. Of course I went to try some on, I think every girl should. Made me feel like a princess and it made me want to be rich so I could wear dresses like this all they time…

I started working on the dress back in February/March. It was quite a long journey but I learned a lot about sewing and what styles fit me or don't. I made five toiles plus about 3 skirts when trying out which style I wanted to go for. I might share some pictures of them in another post.

The first pattern I picked didn't really work, so I decided to use the bodice from the Macaron dress from Colette Patterns and to design the skirt myself. I had made this dress before and really loved it, so why not. I was also inspired by Dixie's version, she looked stunning! If you would like to see more of my inspiration see my Pintrest boardThis dress was probably my biggest inspiration when working on the design.

When my mum came to visit this summer we went fabric shopping in London. We found the beautiful lace and the silk dupion a the Silk Society on Berwick street. I also got some lovely turquoise silk lining. I had this vision that it would show just a little bit when I would be walking or dancing. Unfortunately once I had lined the dress I realised you could see trough the white fabric and see the turquoise. This made the dress look quite cold and at the bust line you could see the seam which did not look nice at all. So the linking had to go and I went to John Lewis in a panic to find a new lining similar to the white of the silk. 
As there is not much drape in the silk I used curtain weights to hold the skirt down. 

Looking back now I wish I had taken some more time and refitted the front of the bodice as it is a bit loose. I finished just a week before the wedding and was at a point where I just didn't want to work on it anymore.
I really loved wearing this dress and so glad I made it myself. I had a few comments from people that I spent too much time making it perfect and that it was good enough already. But I am really glad I did. I loved wearing it on the day and it felt super comfortable. We had the most fantastic day!

Have you made your own wedding dress or are you considering it?