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 appliquéd 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!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Bear Dungarees!

Afternoon all. Hope everyone's preparations for Christmas are going well. I am ignoring it this year and hoping it will go away! The tree is up and mince pies have been eaten, and now - after months of upheaval from building works - I plan to veg out, relax, watch films and sew. Hurrah. For now though I do have a finished object to share...

These awesome dungarees have been made in grabbed ten minute chunks of time. Having a sewing room is an eye opener: you can leave your stuff mid-sew and no-one spills their food on it! And next time you have a spare five minutes you are ready to go again. Love it.

Boy growling like a bear.
I chose this to be my first sewing room project as I have been champing at the bit to make these ever since I saw Janet's foxy dungarees back in September. The pattern is from the book Wild Things by Kirsty Hartley. And it is a fabulous; full of colour and inspiration.  There are lots of projects to choose from, and -although a little fiddly with appliques - none of the designs are particularly hard to sew.

I wasn't being super exact with the details on my bear face, so they are a little uneven and the ears aren't symmetrical, but I care not. It's so jolly cute. I could have sat down and been precise but it would have taken longer, and as I say it really was a grab any time where I could sew project.

Middle boy has been looking forward to getting these since the book arrived. As luck would have it, I had the perfect fabric in my stash: a deep brown stretch velvet. I have had it forever and not known what to do with it; so, I am glad to have finally found a use for it. Because of the pile of the fabric, I had to use a walking foot as without it the fabric bunched under the needle. All praise the walking foot!

Whilst trying to push over the car boy models the back of the dungars!
He seems very pleased with his bear outfit and it's the little details like the clawed pockets that make it for me.  All in all, an enjoyable sew and I am looking forward to making something else from the book next year. 

Right, some presents to wrap, then some more sewing!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Hello again

Hello everyone, it's been ages since my last post, and it's been ages since I last sewed anything! But there is a reason, and it's a good one. We have spent the last few months in the utter chaos of having a loft extension and general remodelling of our house.

If that wasn't exciting enough, one of the benefits of the extension is ... my own sewing room!

The room is long and narrow with two velux windows for lots of light.

My new room prompted a trip to Ikea to get a new table! I feel a bit like the cat who got the cream at the moment. The rest of the house is in disarray with everything in boxes and covered in dust! All I want to do is shut myself in there and sew, but it may take a while to get back into full swing.

I have at least made a start and cut out a pair of dungarees for the middle boy.  All I need is a little bit of time, and I'll be away!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Autumn: Kids Clothes Week

Happy half-term, sewing friends! Wow, I hadn't realised it had been so long since my last post, never mind. Hope you are all well. Last week was 'Kids Clothes Week', the initiative that encourages you to sew an hour a day for seven days, solely for the little people in your life.

This year, the theme was 'Disguise'. I had lots of ideas, but in the end I went with a button-up shirt for my eldest. The headache-inducing fabric was chosen by the lovely boy himself, and it would work well if he ever chose to disguise himself as a zebra!!! 

I have never made a shirt before; even though it's not my finest work, I really enjoyed sewing it.  Oops, just noticed in the photographs: I haven't removed all my basting thread on the shoulders - will rectify that when the boy takes it off.

The plackets caused the most bother; I unpicked and re-stitched several times, but got there in the end.  I even got to use my button foot to sew on the buttons by machine! Cool.

This was also my first attempt at a rolled hem; again, I used a specialist machine foot. It worked fine on a single layer of fabric but as soon as I came to a seam the foot did not want to play ball. But it'll do. It was good practice, and I now want to put rolled hems on everything!


The pattern is Design Q from Sew Chic Kids. I love this book and have made several items from it. I find the illustrations and list style instructions easy to follow.  I recommend it if you have kiddos to sew for between 2 and 10. My scrummy boy is 9 and a half; this is the age 8 size but it should fit him for a long time to come.

My favourite feature is the cute pleat on the back yoke; made me feel very accomplished making it.  Always a good feeling!

I am tempted to try again on this pattern now I understand how all the pieces fit together; it should be much easier and quicker next time round. I have a huge list of things to make for ME, though, so it's unlikely to happen for a while! So that's my contribution to Kids Clothes Week. Have you made anything for Autumn KCW?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Scrap busting with simplicity 1412

Hi there sewing friends. I hope you're all well, and sewing up a storm! I didn't get my birthday dress finished in time. Boo! But it's almost done, just the hem to go now. Despite this, I had a lovely day. I was brought breakfast in bed by my eldest, and given lots of lovely prezzies. Nearly all of them were sewing related - how fabulous!!!

In the meantime, I still have something to share with you all and this is from the "its so easy" range at Simplicity. I made it before here. And the darling daughter loves a good pretty dress; who doesn't?

The dress uses up the smallest scraps from this top;bearing in mind I only bought a metre of it in the first place, I would say the fabric has done me very well indeed.

The rest of the dress is a pillowcase cut up and refashioned. It is lovely fabric, and only got consigned to the cut-up pile as it had a small stain that just would not wash out. 

I love the ric-rac embellishment, I think it really makes it special. I hand-sewed it on at my first visit to the monthly Brighton Sewing Bee. It was so exciting getting to meet so many other people, all crazy for sewing and nice cake.

Do you go to any sewing groups or craft clubs? I feel really pleased to have found the Brighton Sewing Bee group. Sewing can be an isolated hobby, so I am very grateful to social media, blogs and meet-ups for keeping us all in touch.

Bye for now; will see you soon with my finished dress...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Most used pattern to date: NewLook 6216

Hello there! School has started again, and - by some strange coincidence - my house has become less messy and chaotic almost overnight. I am sure there is no correlation between those two facts. Okay, maybe there is a link!

Anyhoo... this is my new top: a blush viscose jersey made into the short sleeved top from Newlook 6216, my most made pattern envelope ever! I have made the trousers twice here and here and the long-sleeved top twice here and here. This make completes the envelope. Considering I bought it during a half price sale, the cost per item is in pence rather than pounds. Kerching!!

I did add the pocket which was considerable effort, only to find that the placement was under my arm going by the pattern markings! I am not alone in this: Hannah from Hannah Knits Stuff made this top recently and did exactly the same thing! The placement on the pattern must be off.

Even without the pocket I love the simple shape and cute detail of the bands on the sleeves. Plus the neckline does not gape. Wahoo! Really pleased, as I need a few more tee shirts for layering now it is getting cold. So, this pattern may appear again. However, I am ridiculously busy at the moment, and eager to make a new dress for my birthday. And some fancy trousers too. So there will be no tee shirts coming anytime soon!

I am fearful that the dress for my birthday will fall by the wayside under time constraints. Do you have lots of makes on your wish-list? How do you cope when they don't get made up?

See you all soon.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

McCalls M6958 (or the dress it's now too cold to wear!)

Hi everyone. It's been a while since my last blog-post, and I have to be honest and say I have no idea where the time went.  A blur of day trips and camping, and the Summer has been and gone.

Today I am sharing my only summer make! The pattern (McCalls M6958) was purchased with a magazine I picked up in Sainsbury's. I don't often buy magazines with free patterns because, well, they aren't free, are they?! But this mag had three patterns with it, all of which I actually liked, so it seemed like a good idea.

I did a few standard-for-me alterations, changing where the bust dart fell, and lopping off inches in height so that the waist actually hit my waist! The dress itself was an easy make, but took me simply ages - just a lack of free time, I guess. It sat patiently waiting to be hemmed for over two weeks!  Then, after finishing it, the weather has been too cold and wet to take blog photos.

I have finally braved the weather to show the dress off. I am really pleased with it, and think that the shape suits me. It has a much more fitted shape than I normally wear, but it still has lots of ease, so it is comfy.

The camera has decided not to capture the colours at all well. The fabric is a lovely burgundy colour with grey and black geese flying in all directions. It is also the first piece of fabric I ever bought. I promptly decided I'd likely ruin it, so had better practise on old sheets and curtains first! But, two years on, I was determined it should sit in the stash no longer.

The colours are clearer here in this mid-make shot. It also documents my first invisible zip, which I am pretty proud of: it wasn't as bad as I had expected, but actually (and I know I am in the minority) I really like the look of a good lapped zip. I am pleased to have tried it, though, and have even bought a few more for future projects.

It does look rather blousey here; this is because the shaping is achieved with dart tucks, so it poufs out slightly. But not too much - I do like the overall shape.

I am hoping to be able to wear it with a cardie and tights to a party, but - other than that - this won't get worn till next year. A shame that, as I adore it.

I suppose it's all Fall/Autumn sewing for me from now on...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

New Trousers.

Greetings all. Week three of the summer holidays, and I am so exhausted I can barely move! The kids meanwhile career around with seemingly boundless energy. In the oft spoken words of my youngest: "it not fair!"  Despite this exhaustion, I have somehow produced new trousers.

Super comfy slouch-about-in trousers is what I needed, and what I made. The pattern is NewLook 6216, which is the same pattern with which I made my Mum's pyjama trousers. They were especially easy to whip up, having made them before.

Having said that, I did sew the buggers together wrongly! But it all worked out okay: I was able to use the duff sewing to create French seams! This was possible as the design of the trousers is quite wide and baggy, so they were able to lose a little width to extra seam allowance!

The fabric is a lovely dark burgundy red in linen-look cotton. So easy to sew, and fabulous to wear.  Like linen, they do crease, but perhaps not as fast.

The true beauty of these trousers lies in their elasticated waist. So comfy. Though, I think I feel confident enough to give "proper" trousers a go now!

I have worn these babies almost constantly since they were finished, and actually they look much nicer with a close fitting top. They seemed determined to photograph badly, though (or perhaps my unmotivated 9 year old photographer was just bored of the task).

I am really pleased with these and could easily see myself making them again if the right fabric caught my eye.

Now, back to the exhausting task of entertaining three kids before they trash my house!