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.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Kids Clothes Week #2

Hello, hope you're all well. My last week has been an utter right off: the little girl and I have been poorly with cold/flu virus and it's been truly horrid. It felt like my head and chest were stuffed to the brim with cotton wool; too ill to sew, too ill to even think about sewing. Bah!

At last, though, we've been well enough for her to put on the new dress I made during Kid's Clothes Week, and for me to take some photos.

So, my last entry for KCW - a cute birdy dress for my little girl. She is so sweet, I just love making anything for her. When I showed her the fabric I was going to use, she kissed it and danced around singing "a dress for me, a dress for me"!

It was touch-and-go if I could squeeze a dress out of the piddly amount of fabric I'd purchased. No idea why I bought so little. There was a lot of head-scratching and the sleeves are not on grain, but I think it works. My word, though, it could do with a press! A mixture of laziness, and a determination to photo this before another day went by, prevented me from ironing.

The fabric is from FabricLand and is 100% cotton; the print is so cute, and looks just like Muffin from "3rd & Bird", if you know your Cbeebies.

The pattern is Simplicity 1412 from the "it's so easy" range.

The only difficult part was telling the pattern pieces apart, as they all looked very very similar. But once I'd re-labelled everything, it came together very quickly.  I think it has a lovely shape. The girl loves it too, particularly its twirl factor!

I have really enjoyed KCW, and am looking forward to next year already.

Apologies if the photos are a little washed-out and dull, but it is a bank holiday in the UK, so it's only to be expected!