Sunday, 28 June 2015

New Look 6145 - Mark 2

Greetings all! It's been three weeks since my last sew, but I'm feeling okay about it. A week ago, I was strangled by this lack of creativity, but I know now this hiatus will pass. I do have something to share, though: a blouse that somehow escaped the blog previously.

The pattern is the one I got free from the simplicity blogger challenge: Newlook 6145. It is perfect for my style, easy to wear, loose and not constricting.

I used the modified pattern from previously (I had raised the waist by an inch and a half and redrawn the darts back and front accordingly) then cropped it to blouse length. As this fabric didn't contain any stretch, I reduced the seam allowances to 1cm, to give me a little more wiggle room. My previous version made with stretch cotton can be seen here.

The fabric is called "sunflowers" in coral, 100% cotton. It's from fabricland and comes in loads of colourways. I only bought a metre, but it was more than enough for this - it's always good to have a pattern you can make with a metre! There is just enough in the tiny scraps for the bodice of a little girl's dress too!

I think this is a year-round make. Perfect for this hot sun we are currently having, but it will layer beautifully in colder weather too.

Again, I made this without adding a zip; frankly, I wonder why the pattern needs one. There is so much ease that it slips over my head effortlessly.

I have worn this lots and lots, and I love it. I'm sure I will make more of these blouses when I next find some fabulous fabric.

Goes well with my jeans too!   Happy sewing folks; it won't be long before I am joining you again too.

Monday, 22 June 2015

More refashioning, with embroidery

Hello there. I feel a bit of a fraud blogging, as truth-be-told I have done no sewing for almost two weeks. It's really depressing me. I have three half-finished projects sat next to my machine and I just don't have the "Oomph" to sew them. I don't know if it's the lack of sewing that gets me down, or that when I'm down I can't sew. But either way it's not good.  

However, I do have something to share: a Delphine skirt from "Love at First Stitch". This is my second incarnation of this pattern; my polka dot skirt is in heavy rotation as it seems to go with everything! I do love the shape and fit of the Delphine, so I very much doubt this will be my last one either.

This, like my previous refashion, was an attempt to use up fabric from worn-out jeans that were past giving to the charity shop, but still contained usable fabric. Apart from folding out some length, I made no other alterations and sewed a straight size 3. The fit is pretty perfect for me.

The waist band and back are from a pair a maternity jeans, and the front is a plain vintage linen with applique flowers on. This piece of fabric was very small and only just matched the front pattern piece.

I can't really take credit for the design. I found this piece of fabric neatly folded in my late Nan's fabric stash.

She had carefully cut out the flowers from a sample book of curtain fabric, and arranged and stuck them on with bondaweb. Nanny had then presumably not known what to do with it and put it away. I myself had previously got it out many times wondering how I could use it.

I added machine embroidery to give the applique more texture, and to ensure they didn't flap off in the wash

After this, there was much deliberation over what to do with it. Perhaps I should have framed it. But selfishly perhaps I saw it as a skirt panel!

Sadly, I'm not entirely convinced this is successful. I think the linen is too thin in comparison to the denim. I will wear it happily, though perhaps only in summer. I also want to replace the zip with an exposed one. I have even bought it, just need to sew it on. Motivation - come find me!!

Hopefully, I will be back on my machine very soon; until then, I will continue to enjoy reading other people's sewing adventures.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Refashioned jeans to Simplicity 1787

Hi fellow stitchers! I have wanted a colour blocked denim tunic for ages, and now I have one. And I love it!

I started out with a pinterest board, pinning lots of gorgeous denim tunics; you can view my board here if you are so inclined.

Then, I started to see other bloggers creating beautiful denim shifts (I love Su's newlook tunic from "Butterflies and Lemondrops", and "Justsewtheraputic's" denim Laurel). Suitably inspired, I began.

My first decision was to recycle some old jeans for colour blocking; I then decided upon a pattern. I went for a dress pattern I had made before and love wearing: Simplicity 1787.
The shape of the pattern pieces immediately lends itself to colour blocking. The dark blue is from my old (non-fitting since having baby No. 3) jeans, and the light blue was gifted to me by a friend. The level of stretch was very similar, so they worked well together.


The pockets are the best feature of this pattern. Useful, but stylish too. I lined them with scraps of floral fabric so they are pretty on the inside too.

I love the Sixties vibe this dress gives off, it almost feels like it should be on Star Trek! But it is still modern enough to get compliments. I need to get brave enough to say "I made it" in reply, I usually just say thank you! 

For the back, I was determined to have an exposed zip, as I felt that aesthetic would suit the denim. I lost count of how many overly complicated youtube tutorials I watched on how to do it!  In the end, it was relatively easy to attach the zip. Though having said that, I did break THREE needles putting this in! My machine just did not like going through the double thickness denim, facings and zip tape! But it was worth it.

I did originally play around with the idea of sleeves, which do look nice. But in the end sleeveless won out.
It is just what I wanted and planned; this is why I love sewing - it is truly a very addictive hobby.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Hers and Hers

Hello all! The sun has been shining all weekend here. It's been glorious, so warm and summery. The girl and I have been posing and playing in our fun summer skirts - we are all matchy-matchy!  It's actually been rather fun.
My skirt pattern is the "quick knit pencil" pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I have made this before here, and it is so quick to put together that it almost makes itself.  As I did last time, I folded out 5 inches in length! I am getting a complex about being short!

The fabric is a beautiful printed jersey called "Rose Journey" from fabricland in Brighton, and it is very pretty. I only bought a small amount of fabric (as I am an eternal scrimper and saver) so I didn't bother with pattern matching, and its fine.  A ready-to-wear skirt would be no better, so I don't mind.

I made up the pattern for my daughter's skirt: it is just a basic A-line shape, cut bigger than her waist measurement then gathered by an elasticated waistband to fit her. I am a huge fan of elastic -  so comfy. She loves it (always lovely to get a positive reaction to ones sewing!) and is thrilled that we match.
These are perfect weight for summer holiday wear - they will be easy to pack without needing an iron afterwards. I can't wait to wear mine for a paddle at the beach.
It has a great shape too, I found myself walking with a definite wiggle today!

Fingers crossed for more lovely weather.  Mind you it's our kids' summer fete next weekend, so I'm expecting torrential rain!

Friday, 29 May 2015

New Vintage pyjamas?!

Hello! Today's blog title is a bit of an oxymoron, but these are newly made pyjamas using vintage fabric and a vintage pattern.

Me pretending to sleep.

These were made in reaction to my lack of me-made jim-jams during MeMadeMay15.

I scored the pattern while out with my Mum and Aunt in a charity shop. I was thrilled with my haul: I got a 60s, a 50s and a 30s pattern! My companions were NOT of a mind with me nor the online sewing community however, as they both deemed my purchases rather naff!

I decided that the top as per pattern would be too neck-choking, so I went with the pyjama trousers and a simple box top.

Hugging middle child's bedtime bear. 

The fabric is a vintage twill, from my Nan's stash. It had a label on it saying it was a fabric sample and not for resale! I wonder how she got it.

I am really happy with these. They were sewn up in a burst of enthusiasm, jumping the queue in front of many other outfits that were patiently waiting to be finished! They have a bit of design interest over regular elastic-waist PJs, a flat-front waistband with soft pleats underneath, and elastic at the back. On the left, there is an opening that closes with a button.
That did, if I am honest, cause some head scratching. I just could not grasp how the instructions wanted me to conceal those raw edges. So, I cheated and used bias binding! I also used a loop of elastic rather than a buttonhole, although I could always go back and change that later.
I couldn't wait to have a lazy day wearing these rather than regular clothes! They are roomy to wriggle in (I have it on good authority that I do this in my sleep) and definitely comfy. 
More fake sleeping!
I'll see how much I wear them before I decide if I'll make more from this pattern. But I definitely like the idea of more handmade pyjamas. I can count this as one of my "Vintage Pledge" makes too! Oh, and not sure you can tell in long-shot but the top has a pocket. Rather cute!
I'm tired now, so I'll say night night!  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Me-Made May. What has it taught me?

Hello Me-Made-May-ers!  This is my first year properly participating in MMM, the challenge set by SoZo to wear handmades consistently for a whole month.

I tried last year, but didn't have enough clothes. This year, I have joined instagram and found it to be really motivating in daily encouraging me to document my pledge.

some Instagram pics of my Me-Mades!
What have I learnt so far?
  • I have to be in the mood to wear certain clothes! I pick what I wear depending on how I feel. Restricting my palate to me-mades has been hard - but not impossible.

  •  I have really enjoyed seeing other peoples wardrobes. So many new-to-me patterns and fabrics. I now NEED a Linden and an Emery in my repertoire. I have seen so many fantastic versions of both of these this year, and not one I didn't want!


  • I have no me-made trousers (yet...)

  • No me-made pyjamas.  (Fixing this one right now.)

60s pattern I am working on.

  • Lastly, I have found that I LOVE Instagram. I stayed away from it for so long thinking it would be just another drain on my time (which I suppose is not that far wrong) but wow it's fun! It's just wonderful to connect so quickly to other people who love sewing as much as, if not more than, I do!

With less than a week to go, how have you got on with MMM?

Friday, 15 May 2015

Simplicity Star Sewist - New Look 6145

Hello everyone. Have you heard that Simplicity are searching for a "star sewist"?  To do this, they are running a competition with a choice of free pattern. I chose to make Newlook 6145. According to twitter, they have had over 300 entries. Wow! And today I am adding my entry into the mix.

New Look 6145

Originally, I wasn't overly inspired by this pattern - it didn't jump out at me. But then I started looking at Boden online and found my inspiration: a simple shift with a 60s vibe.

Boden Inspiration

I am loving the 60s-look at the moment, and I had the perfect fabric. A stretch cotton sateen with bold flower pattern. This fabric was gifted to me by a friend. I would never have chosen it myself  (I steer clear of mainly white clothes with small children!) but I love it. I did wonder if I could carry off wearing such a bold dress, but I decided to just go for it!

I did a couple of flat pattern adjustments before I started sewing. I am substantially shorter than whoever these patterns are designed for, so I had to take out over an inch and a half in length, both below and above the waist. By taking out that length, though, I had to redraw the darts, which did take a little head-scratching and googling to check I was doing it right.

I made a quick muslin out of a very old and threadbare poly-cotton sheet, and it fitted perfectly.  More than that, because it is such a loose fitting shape, I realised that when I used my stretch fabric I would be able to do away with the zip! And it fits perfectly without it.

Gosh, I'm standing awkwardly in the above shot! Anyway, there is a little pleat at the bottom. I don't really feel the dress needs it, and I likely won't include it in my next version. Yes, there definitely will be another, maybe another two or three.

I love the silhouette of this pattern, semi-fitted but still loose enough not to be constricting. I feel stylish in it, but without trying too hard.


This fabric was a dream to sew. I had been nervous about stitching stretch wovens, as I had heard that they can stretch out of shape and seams can pucker easily. But I was careful, slow and I staystitched. All went well.  Hope this was not beginners' luck, as I have just bought some more!

Version number 2 is halfway there (this time as a blouse) and the fabric for number 3 has been bought and pre-washed. I am really thrilled with this pattern and am looking forward to having a few of these hanging in my closet.

Also, I think it is kinda close to my Boden inspiration, so I am very pleased. Thank you Mags for the lovely fabric, and to opening my eyes to the new world of stretch cotton.