Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Oh you sew, don't you?

Hello! Is it just me or does the phrase "oh, you sew, don't you?" bring you out in a cold sweat? It's usually followed hard with the likes of "could you look at this zip?" "Can you hem this for me?" "Would you mind..."

Normally I am prepared for such occasions, and deftly supply the name and number for a local alterations company!

This time however, I was caught on the hop at my daughter's preschool. Could I knock up a little bit of bunting for them? The fabric was deposited into my arms before I had a chance to say anything. And would I turn it around in four days, please, as they were having a party Monday?

Over twelve metres of tediun!
I have never cursed the making of anything more in my life, probably because I was rather ill and the process seemed to last forever! Also I got a text message asking that, for the party, the children dress as bees! Black and yellow theme, see. Somehow I managed a hurried bee T-shirt as well.

Ill and exhausted seamstress.
All done, and finished by the skin of my teeth. Phew.

Of course, by the end of the day she was filthy! I am glad I did it, and pleased to give the preschool something nice, but I am certain that I will say no next time!

How about you? Do you enjoy altruistic sewing?

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Oh! Did you make that?

Hello sewing friends; my husband paid me a huge compliment this morning: 'Did you make that?' he said, 'Really?' Why, yes I did!

For some unknown reason, the colour seems impossible to capture accurately on screen. But it is a bold bright Star Trek red! I had originally fancied a red Coco using the Tilly and the Buttons pattern, but something held me back. I think it was the fear of looking like Lieutenant Uhura!

That aside, the fabric is a gorgeously bouncy viscose punto roma from Ditto Fabrics. It was bought at a sewing meet-up with the "sew bees". Am I the last to sew up something from the spoils of that day? Possibly!

In the end, I turned to my tried and tested dress pattern - simplicity 1784. It's just a fancy shift dress, really; I've made this twice before here and here and wear the dresses all the time. They are the perfect length for me, and the front section gives a bit of interest.

My original dresses make good use of contrasting fabrics and colour, but this time I thought I would make it plain. And I am really happy with it.

Over time my sewing is getting better. I am pleased with the detail in this make; smooth hemline, neat stitching in the ditch around the yoke, and my favourite bit - the pockets; they fall in the seam lines, and are roomy and fun.

The shape suits me, and I feel happy wearing this bright colour; it even matches my awfully bright lipstick!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

New trousers!

Good evening. It's been cold recently, and this morning - to the joy of my youngest - it snowed. Sadly for her, it had all melted in the short time it took her to get dressed. Poor thing. We went outside anyway to photograph my new trousers, but it was very cold so we decamped indoors pronto.

I love the print of this fabric; dark blue floral print against a deep plummy purple. I bought it about a year ago on a whim from Fabricland in Brighton; it's a scuba knit and is thick and spongy. The trousers feel surprisingly lovely when on!

I really liked the fabric but because of the fabric content (polyester) I wouldn't want to wear it as a top or dress as it would be too sweaty, so it was destined to be either skirt or trousers.

From the front.

From the back
After making my muslin (simplicity 1314) I knew I had to raise the centre back and 
I used the slash and spread method to add room to the back of my trouser pattern. Very easy to do and worked a treat.

I am really pleased with how these turned out and would ideally like another pair. I have the most delicious wool and viscose knit from Ditto fabrics that I had earmarked for more trousers. It is almost black on the right side, but I prefer the wrong side as its a gorgeous mix of light grey and white in an almost twill effect.

But now I am deliberating as the fabric is so yummy and would make a lovely dress too. Decisions decisions!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Two muslins maketh great pyjamas!

Hello. Today's makes are practice runs, trying out 'new to me' patterns for sizing and fit.

In the process, I seem to have made a great pair of winter pyjamas. The fabric is from my epic charity shop haul the other day. Three metres of soft and fluffy double jersey for £2!

First up is my practice Linden. I have seen so many wonderful versions in blogland. At first I just admired the pattern from afar, then during Me-Made-May I decided I wanted one. It's taken a long time to get round to it, but I am so pleased I have.

It's easy to make and great to wear. The fabric didn't have enough stretch to use for the neckline. So I just grabbed a stretchy piece of blue jersey for the neck from my bulging scrap basket. In hindsight, I could have just cut the pattern piece a bit bigger to make up for the lack of stretch, but this didn't occur to me until later.

I am so thrilled with this sweatshirt that I jumped on-line and have purchased two lovely pieces of sweatshirting for my next version. I am very grateful to January sales for softening the financial blow!

The trousers are Simplicity 1314 (which I admit I bought for the dress pattern) which I have also been meaning to try for ages. Slim fitting knit trousers, perfect for winter mornings. I am glad I made these as a muslin because the fit isn't quite right. The front is fine, but the centre back sits lower than the front. (Guess I have a big bum!)

My first thought was to add a wedge shape to the top of the back pattern piece, but after some research I think I should try slashing and spreading as suggested by Gertie!

Well I shall try and hope for the best with my fashion fabric. Goodbye for now, Louise x

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Saved Sophia and a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year! May it bring us all health, happiness and hopefully enough time to sew.

I made this top which came free with  Love Sewing Magazine back in October, when Gabby organised the Sophia-sew along. Sadly, I hated the finished top! So it sat in the naughty pile, occasionally tried on and re-rejected! Until... I realised that  - as I can sew - I could alter it to fit!

Well, duh! Why did it take me so long to realise? I didn't take any 'before' photos, but you can take my word for it that it looked awful: excess fabric at the front, and gaping armholes that showed off my whole bra. My alteration was to remove a long wedge from armcycle to hem. Easy!

Still gapes a little, even after alterations! But not normally noticeable!
Did I copy my alteration down onto my pattern pieces so I could make it again? Nah. Maybe I will as I like this now, and it would look lovely in a super fluid viscose.

I definitely like the silhouette, and that the cropped length is unique in my wardrobe. I rather like how it gives the illusion that I am taller than my tiny stature by exposing lots of leg and waist!

Well, that's all folks. Everyone in blogland seems to be doing best ofs and plans for the new year, but I haven't quite got my arse in gear for that yet. Happy 2016, Louise x

Monday, 28 December 2015

Easy skirt; Newlook 6346

Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas break. For once it is actually relaxing here. Three small kids makes for a lot of noise and hullabaloo, but this year I am thankful for the gift of Lego Dimensions, a computer gane which has completely engrossed them and allowed me to sit and relax and find a few minutes to sew!

This is my new skirt. It's a linen mix fabric, definitely a mix as it frayed terribly. I cannot complain though as the fabric was part of an epic haul from a charity shop and this piece cost me just £1.50. 

The fraying seams are finished with my machine's overlock stitch. I am now looking forward to getting an overlocker as it will make quick work of fraying fabric.

The skirt is NewLook 6346 which is categorised as easy. And it was. I mixed things up a little by topstitching down all my seams. It's subtle, but it adds a little texture and detail.

However, the pattern is not without fault: the sizing is way off. I chose size 14 (28 inch waist) but the finished waist comes out at 32 inches! 

At first I thought this was my mistake, but I've checked my pattern pieces. I can still wear it, as I can let it drop and wear it just above my hips. But from the pattern envelope, it is clearly meant to sit on the waist.

Even so, this hasn't put me off the pattern - I will just size down next time. So, if and when I find the perfect fabric, I am sure there will be another. I especially love the buttons, think they look really smart. My machine, though only a cheapy Toyota, does amazing button holes. 

Hope everyone is finding time to sew, or at least dream about it! Till next time, Louise x

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A fun top quickie!

This post is just a quickie: a super fast upcycle to make my darling husband a Christmas top.

I used an old shirt that would otherwise have been shredded at fabric recycle, and got to work. I drew a template for the tree, cut it from some lovely wool felt, and appliqu├ęd it on using a zig-zag stitch.  I then hand sewed baubles and the tinsel (lovely braid) on during my nightly vigil to ensure children remain in their correct beds at night time. A quickie, but much appreciated by Mister Seamsoddlouise, so a real win.

Merry Christmas!