Friday, 17 April 2015

Selfless Sewing #2

Hello all, look what I made: trousers for my Mummy!

Well, truth be told, these are a trial-run made in pyjama fabric! They are New Look 6216; it says 'easy' on the packet, and they were. I am chuffed to have made some trousers, and I'm very pleased with them.

As they are pyjamas rather than outerwear, they can be a bit more fun - the fabric has the cutest little owls on. It is brushed cotton, comfy and cosy. The waistline is a mixture of wide elastic and drawstring. And they fit!

The trousers have cute little pockets, which came together remarkably easily!

It has taken me ages to finish these as I stumbled on the hemming; I was being lazy, avoiding it, for all the other fun sewing jobs I wanted to finish first. But once I'd finished, I saw a pair that are an absolute match in Marks and Spencer, so feel confident this is a going to be a good shape for summer trousers.

I am hoping to soon make my mum some more, as actual trousers, in a blue linen. And these were a good size for me too, so I may make myself some after that.

PS. As you'll see from the photos, my garden is ablaze with tulips. I LOVE this time of year.

Friday, 10 April 2015

It's warm enough for a spring dress- just!

Hello everyone! I have been away from the blog lately because of Easter hols, but still finding time to read other blogs, and most importantly to keep sewing. For a change, I now actually have a backlog of finished items that need to be photographed and blogged. Up first: a Spring dress! 

It's just about warm enough to wear this, another of my Vintage Pattern Pledge entries. It is McCall's 6676.  Looks to me like c. mid 1960s.

Sadly, I don't look as glam as the lady on the cover; even so, the dress is a favourite already. It is made up from a cotton from my Nan's stash. I have never had a fabric behave so well! It pressed and sewed beautifully. Rather a cute print too.

The picture on the cover shows the dress just hitting the knee. When I held the pattern piece up to myself it hit my ankles! I had to fold the pattern up by over 8 inches!
The dress has French darts, a kick pleat at the back and a centre back zip. I really enjoyed making this, and everything inside is nice and neat with cute facings for the neckline and arms.
It goes perfectly with my favourite (thrifted) yellow glass necklace. They were made for each other.
The dress also sports a rather jaunty little belt. The belt is supposed to be held on by bar tacks at the hips. I tried that, but it feels more natural just slightly below my waist.

The dress has an extra seam down the front as the fabric was only a small remnant. I see this dress getting lots of wear in the summer, as it is so light and airy. For now, it's perfect layered with a light jacket.

Hope you have all had a good Easter. We still have a few days till the boys are back at school, so a bit more hanging at our new local park is in order. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Selfless sewing #1

It's Saturday, hurrah! Nothing to do, so it's going to be a lazy day with some sewing done (if I can distract my three little mess-makers). First, though, I want to show you all a fabulous make; I am in love with this dress.


I had agreed to make a dress for a friend's lovely daughter ages ago, but put it off with excuse after excuse. Finally the guilt got to me: the little girl is so nice, I had to get started. I thought if I were going to do this, I wanted to enjoy it; so, I treated myself to a 'new to me' vintage pattern from ebay.

I love vintage patterns, the instructions are so clear and easy to follow. I even finally understood how to ease the fullness of the hem which had seemed like gibberish to me when I'd read about it before.

I am so happy with this make; if only it were in my size, I'd definitely wear it! The fabric is good old curtain remnants from the 70's so era appropriate for the pattern. (You may be wondering where you recognise it from - I previously made a pinafore with it for my baby girl here.)

I wanted to add a bit of colour so I added some applique flowers. I cut out three, but decided in the end that two was enough.

The flowers are attached with Bonda-web and then freehand machine embroidered on top. I have to say I love it!

It has a lapped zipper at the back, and completing it has helped stop me being so terrified of zips (still have not tried an invisible one yet, though).

The bodice also has a gentle curve to it, which gives a lovely shape. It is lined with a faux silk and has the cutest little cap sleeves.  

I enjoyed this make immensely, though it was very time-consuming. The only tough bit was giving it away!!!  Turns out I am a selfish selfless sewer. Hope she likes wearing it; I think she will...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Easy pencil skirt

Afternoon all! Today's post is a quickie for a super quick queue-jumping skirt. Try saying that three times after a glass of vino!

Enter Gertie's "easy knit pencil skirt" from her latest, Gertie sews Vintage Casual. I have previously reviewed the book here. The skirt is one pattern piece folks - ONE!  That, plus a bit of elastic.

The fabric is a blue/green tartan double knit. I shortened the pattern by about 5 inches to make it just above knee-length on me. I must be very short or this pattern is designed for towering giants. (I'm 5ft nothing, and have a height complex!)

Rather than create a casing for the elastic, you form a loop with the elastic first, and then sew it straight onto the top of the skirt. Talk about quick! All that's left after that is to hem it.
The skirt has a great shape, and frankly I feel great in it. The best thing has to be that elastic waist allowing for over-indulging at lunch without compromising comfort!
That is all there is to say, really, except I may now be tempted to buy every patterned knit I see to make more and more of these! But next up will be my selfless sewing for my Mum and my friend's daughter. This just had to squeeze in!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Toothpaste stripes

Hello all!  This is another New Look 6216 with long sleeves made from a lovely thick cotton interlock. The lady in the shop almost put me off it by saying the thin stripes would drive me mad whilst sewing it, but it was fine. In fact, I love the toothpaste stripes - it reminds me of a RTW top I had as a teenager (and still own).  The computer doesn't like it, though, and so the pictures have to be larger than normal not to blur on the screen!

You can see that this is a big baggy top, and I know that is not everyone's cup of tea. But sometimes it is just what I want. 

I got the neckband in well this time - no puckers!  Hurrah!  You can probably see it is standing proud on one side: never mind! Thinking positive: I am getting better and that's all that matters. 

I am pleased with how easy this was, so more knit tops are on the horizon. I'm now on the look out for a new (easy) pattern...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Too many plans!

Hello fellow sewers, I am in a quandary. To date, I have been a methodical stitcher: sew project 1, think about project 2, sew project 2... It's organised and efficient.  But at the moment I have too many plans, and I want to sew everything now, now, now.

I need another Delphine skirt in my life as I live in my Xmas one. I have bought some lovely bright blue linen, and it's killing me not to start on it. I 'd also like to try trousers and have offered to make my mum some pyjama pants for her birthday as a way into this. So far, though, all I have done is cut the pieces out!

My friend wants me to sew her daughter a dress, which I want to do but for which I have up to now had zero enthusiasm. I didn't realise I was so selfish! But I recently won a cracking vintage pattern on ebay, and so feel suddenly inspired.

It's the perfect size for her. I have the bodice and skirt sewn up so far.

But, I also want another bat-wing top.

I am loving this, my circle print top, and I have bought some pink and white stripe interlock knit for this purpose, which again is cut out but nothing sewn yet.

This is all too much - it's CHAOS!

Too much! I don't know where to start!  How do you organise your sewing? Do you have a list? And physically how do you manage multiple projects so they don't get all muddled? I am missing my neat and tidy ways; enthusiasm has its drawbacks.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Practising with jersey

Half-term greetings! Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone: woven fabric is my safe area, and I always feel a little bit uneasy sewing with knits. This year I am determined to get over this fear, and learn some skills. So, I am sewing up some basic T-shirts. Do you make your own basics or save your sewing for fancier stuff?

I actually rather enjoyed sewing this in the end, and happily it was a quick make. This is New Look 6216 and is defined as "easy". Nice comfy looking T-shirt; I chose this as the shape looks easy to wear and nice and baggy without being the classic shapeless box T-shirt.

The pattern does not disappoint. As it is such a loose shape, there's no need to fit, just follow the pattern. It is also very comfortable to wear, and drapes nicely around the body. I rather like the bat-wing shape to the sleeves. It's like being in the 80's all over again!

The fabric has a cute  print of grey, blue and black circles, and is a thin viscose jersey from the fabric Mecca that is Fabricland. I do shop in other places, honest! But having three children drastically curtails fabric shopping time and Fabricland is near, large enough to get into with a buggy, and - best of all - cheap.

I often struggle with neckline finishes on knit fabric, though I think a lot of it is psychological! This shirt has a neckband to finish the neck. I actually managed to get my head around what I should be doing. I just don't have enough hands: one hand holding the shirt, one stretching the neckband to fit the neckline; now, all I need is another to put in the pins, and I'll be fine!

I top-stitched the neck with a zigzag as I don't know if my machine would work with a twin needle. It only has one spool holder on top. Need to dig out the instruction manual for future reference.

It's not a bad job on the whole, but there is a tiny pucker on the back neck - not bad enough to warrant unpicking though!!

I feel like I should just keep making T-shirts till I get it right! In fact I went out today and bought some cotton jersey to have another go at that neck.  Hopefully, practice will make perfect.

These outdoor photos all look a bit sun-bleached. But they'll have to do as posing in the garden in winter is only possible when the sun is high in the sky.  Roll on spring...