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?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Dip Dye Lilou Dress

Well hello there, welcome to my first post. 
May I introduce you to my current favourite dress. So far I have worn it to two weddings and also on a day out in town. I love it so much I don't even care about the imperfections. And that means quite a lot. Yes, I am one of those perfectionists.

The pattern is the Lilou dress with a gathered skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes. It is my first make from the book but I find it very useful as a reference point when I am unsure about a technique.

I sometimes struggle to find fabric, especially if I have a clear idea of what I want. So for this dress I decided to just make my own design. I really like all the ombre stuff that you can see everywhere at the moment. Would love to dye my hair ombre style but, well I am just not quite brave enough.

I found the fabric for this dress at the Backstitch shop at Burwash Manor, just outside Cambridge. It is an indian shot cotton and it is super soft. I used a navy fabric dye from Dylon and after I finished sewing the dress I followed this tutorial. Next time I will make the palest section of the dyed part a bit wider. 

As you can see there are a few weird creases going on in the bodice. I think this is mainly due to the lining, a really soft silk lining, and me not working accurately enough. 
The only thing I would change pattern wise when making this dress again, is to bring the straps in by 1cm as they sit a bit loose.

And here one with an umbrella, just cose I like it ;)

Have you ever printed or dyed your own fabric? Would love to see your makes!