Sunday, 29 December 2013

Colette 1027 Zinnia

I made this skirt for my bezzer mate as a gift for Christmas. Now that she has this gift I can post it!

This is the first time that I have made anything for anyone else and as you can imagine I was so nervous as I passed the wrapped, final product to her.

This pattern was so simple that I knew it would work as a gift and have a reasonable chance of fitting. You only need your waist size to make it, what could be simpler?

I really sailed through this one. Even though I took my time as I wanted to get it right (and I only had just enough of the fabric to make it once!). 

The fabric that I used was a Linen Cotton/Poly blend from Minerva. I went for the blend as I thought it would be easier to care for than 100% cotton. 

The only hiccup that I encountered was that the skirt was too big for the waistband. However, I remedied this by putting in some extra pleats.

I also made this small elasticated belt to go with it. I wanted to buy one, but I couldn't find anything appropriate in the shops. 

I like this skirt so much, that I think I'll have to make myself one in the not too distant future! It was a dream to sew and honestly it looks better in real life than my photos!

Back to basics with Simplicity 2906

I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago now, but for some reason I've not found the time to share it!
This pattern is part of the 'it's so easy' range from Simplicity and it really was. I think I sewed this one up in maybe 3 hours. But that's not really surprising considering that there's only 1 pattern piece.

I bought this pattern ages ago when I was just starting out, in hindsight I could have drafted my own pattern pieces!

The original pattern has this skirt really long, I guess that's for tall people, but as I'm only 5'4" I had to chop 3 inches from the pattern. This brought it, after the hem allowance, to sit on my knee. The one piece that it has was still massive and didn't quite fit on my table.

I measured this pattern, I measured it twice and I went for size 12, but my measurements were either wrong or there was too much give in the fabric I used because I had to take it in 1.5". It still feels quite loose too.

The fabric was some wool mix that I won (sounds like I got it for free ha ha!) on eBay. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it definitely has some wool in it.

I've since worn the skirt twice and I love it. It feels so feminine and flirty. It has been worn for both work and out to the pub, I can add so many tops to the outfit.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Simplicity 6020

It has been a while, but I've finally got back in to sewing and created a Simplicity 6020. This is possibly the quickest, easiest dress I've ever made.

That's not to say that I made no mistakes. It all got a little confusing when it came to the lining, when I decided to stitch it to the wrong side on the neckline! 
The dress is constructed with front and back princess seams that run from the bodice down through the skirt, to make a fit and flare shape.

For some reason the side zip sits funny on the dummy, but it's not too bad when it's on. I went for a lapped zip to make it look neat and I was quite impressed with how it turned out considering it was my first.

The fabric was some that I'd picked up from Pauline's on Darlington Market for about £5 per meter and I lined it with purple anti static lining.

The back is in a lovely 'v' shape, showing a little bit of black.

I love the little flowers and I'm glad I went for purple lining rather than boring old black.

However, the camera on the iPad makes it look like I used black, but it's definitely a Cadbury's shade of purple. 

I wore the dress last night when we went out for a family meal and I felt like such a lady. I'm going to have to make another of these, but next time I'd make some amendments to the bodice, the shoulders were a little wide, so I had a little gaping on the chest neckline.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


It has been a hectic 2 months, in fact I'd go so far as to say that's an understatement. I've had to put 2 projects on hold that I had been working on. One being a skirt and the other, a pair of cropped jeans.

We bought a new kitchen from Wren and decided that we'd fit it ourselves as it's soooo expensive to get someone to fit it. But since then there has been problem after problem. It has been so exhausting.

Then, on the 6th I decided to go away to Kenya. I've been there ever since and I'm due back home later on this week. Although I've had a thrilling experience, I can see the end now and I'm looking forward to going home!

Apart from all of the late nights drinking, I've been learning a hell of a lot about being a Vehicle Mechanic. Thankfully I'm out here with a good (and patient) group of lads. I even got to work on a quad bike which was different. They are so fiddly as all the parts are teeny tiny compared to Land Rovers.

We visited Sweetwater Safari park last weekend which was an amazing experience. There were loads of animals to see and we were even lucky enough to see Lions and Elephants before we spent 3 hours trying to figure out how to get out of the park. Typical lads refused the map at the beginning! Then it got dark and that's where the adventure really began. We must have visited 3 gates, guards at each would not let us through. But we got back in the end!

Today I was sat by the pool in the local Golf club (oh lahdee dah!) sunning myself until the rain came at midday. Who said this was the dry season?? Now I'm sat in the bar red as a lobster, catching up with a bit of FB and blogging.

Life is bloody marvelous!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Simplicity 1699

Simplicity has a sale on! I had to hold myself back, I have a number of patterns that I would like, however I managed to stick to 4. One of the patterns that I got was Simplicity 1699, it has 4 patterns with it and I chose to make the peplum top in a red polka dot cotton/poly mix.

This was quite a quick pattern to complete considering that it's almost a dress with all the pattern pieces, so I look forward to making the dress at some point.

I didn't quite fancy the short sleeves, so I used the pieces for the longer sleeves from the dress. 

Some of these pics almost make it look like I'm wearing a paper bag, but I swear it doesn't look like that in real life. The top could have done with being a little more snug, but I like to have a bit of ease.

I don't know how the photo's came out so badly, or why I'm not smiling! I would, however, like to point out that we've spent half the day down the pub in front of the sun, so a mixture of Baz being a bit drunk and me being a bit sun sizzled has produced some rather rubbish pics!!!

The detail on the sleeves is lovely, the way the edge is curved, but it confused the heck out of me when I started to created the hem, I just didn't even click when I was cutting out the pieces, but it's a nice finish.

I meant to use the instructions this time, but I got a little carried away and forgot all about them!  The pieces all came together quite neatly, this was quite an easy garment to construct. I think it's time for that challenge that I've been putting off, I think it's time to make those trousers... Watch this space!!!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

New Look K6123 wrap dress

So I've finally finished my New Look K6123 faux-wrap dress, that I was intending to wear at my Cousin's wedding on the 4th! Instead I managed to finish it just in time for the Girls night out tonight.

I really liked the material that I made it with, a 2-way stretch with a satin finish. It also wasn't too bad to work with. The pattern however didn't exactly fit on the first go. I traced the size 12, but I wish I'd maybe used the size 8 for the shoulders, moving to a size 10 at the bust and then the 12 towards the waist, so as it worked out it was really baggy and I had a lot of adjusting to do.

Even after all of the adjusting I was still conscious that I was flashing my chest tonight! But I always seem to have that problem with low cut tops.

All in all, I like this dress, but I may pin the two wrap sections together next time I wear it.

Really should have sucked that gut in!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Fabworks, Dewsbury

I've been so busy lately, that I've not done much sewing. So it has taken longer that I'd expect to finish my Joel Dewberry Meadow Spirit Skirt and the dress that I've been on with. Both still need finishing off, both have needed huge adjustments. I know creating a toile would save this, but the tweaks required take less time.

Seeing as I've not finished anything, I thought I'd talk about the fabric shop that I visited this week. I'm not sure that's factually correct, it's more like a warehouse! It's called Fabworks mill shop and is located in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, not far from the local train station. They have all sorts in stock for all of your crafty sewing needs. I felt like I was in a dream, you could easily go in there and lose the contents of your purse within minutes!!

They have a webpage that you can find here.

Here's some pictures that I took:

The front courtyard

Excellent dressmaking fabrics
More dressmaking fabrics
Even more dressmaking fabrics
Some of their ribbons, binding etc

Upholstery fabric & leather Scraps
More upholstery fabric

and more...
and more...

more fabric
Buttons and things

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Easily pleased

Nipped out to get a zipper for the dress I'm making, and found this totally adorable ironing board cover. I'd planned to make a new one until I'd seen this, I love it so much I wanted to share its wonderful cheeriness with everyone!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Whey aye man!

Yesterday, Ally and I spent a beautiful, warm British summer's day visiting Ikea! I must confess that I am a bit of an Ikea fan girl, but I don't often get the chance to wander about looking at things as my boyfriend can't stand the place. He put up with it the weekend before my birthday so that he could buy my most excellent sewing table, but as we went round I didn't get the chance to look at hardly anything as he rushed me round. Apparently this is a normal male reaction to the place!

On this trip I managed to look at lots of things, most importantly the fabric section. I just love their quirky designs but I only came out with two pieces, I'd spent so long deliberating over what i was going to get that even Ally was starting to flag ha ha!

I'm very pleased with what I chose:

I currently have no idea what I'm going to make with them, I just loved the colours and the patterns!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Loving Bloglovin'

I've seen Bloglovin' all over the place for some time now and I don't know why my curiosity hasn't taken me there sooner. I have bookmarks all over the place, and a list of blogs that I follow in Blogger as well as the odd pin in Pinterest. Now I have it all under one roof, on one page for my extra convenience. Love it! I just wish all of the blogs I follow were on there. So if you are reading this and you aren't on there, please, please, pretty please add your blog!

Anyway, I haven't spent the last couple of Weeks stalking my latest blog crush. I've been slowly getting on with my Joel Dewberry meadow spirit skirt. I must say I should have finished it by now, it's simple enough, but life has been getting in the way, especially since the Sun has graced us with its presence!

I made a little bit of mistake with the skirt. I could have finished it last night, but I had previously thought it would be a good idea to use a stiffer interfacing as I always wish I had and now I know why I shouldn't. It turned my hips into a triangle. So this was me last night un-picking the bias binding I used to finish it off so I could rip the interfacing out...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Joel Dewberry Meadow Spirit Part 1

Despite everything that's going on, tonight I've managed to get a couple of hours sewing in. It's too hot, I'm faffing and I've wasted the first 30 mins creating a new playlist on iTunes!

After trying to measure the pattern pieces for the waistband yoke I couldn't work out which size I wanted, so I picked the 12 from the guidelines on the back. I know I shouldn't use these but I'm not in a great concentration mode tonight. I decided to make a toile of the waistband just to check that my estimations were correct. You'll notice I used the scraps from my wrap skirt to make it! Seems to look good, so hopefully I'll get the rest of the pattern traced tomorrow.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Michael Kors inspired

Well this should have been easy! I used Burda pattern 7970, which is my first ever Burda. When I measured the pieces it seemed as though all I needed to adjust was the nape to waist length. I really should have measured the shoulders, which could now do with almost an inch of shortening.

I also had to greatly reduce the waist, this dress looked like a paper bag on me on the first go! I made it in size 14, I was umming and ahhhring which size to make, I should have used the Size 12 for all but the hips, which would have given a much better fit without having to make so many after adjustments.

I was quite lucky with the darts, with them being under my arm I knew they would be hidden, but the stripes almost match up.

It was a very easy pattern, it took maybe 4hrs to make and even then I was taking my time over it as I also managed to make a carrot and coriander soup from scratch within the 4hrs.

I didn't want to put this on today as it's so warm, so here's some pics of it on a hanger:

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Simplicity 2594

This was a reasonably easy pattern to follow, there weren't many steps, although I rarely follow a pattern all the way to the end now.

The 'V' was a little troublesome. The first attempt I had to un-pick it and try again. The second attempt worked, but it's not as sharp as it probably should be.

Towards the end of the instructions it tells you to top stitch the 'V', but I didn't. I felt as though if I had it would have looked a little too hand made. The way that I stitched the facing to the neckline enabled it to sit nicely without any requirement for top stitching anyway. I also didn't cut notches out as you would have seen it through the top, I just trimmed it back instead.

I'm quite pleased with the way this top has turned out, even if my boyfriend does think it looks more like a pyjama top!

You will see that my top is modelled on my new assistant - a wonderful birthday present from my Dad and Step Mum, along with my new label...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Too impatient

Joel Dewberry's Meadow Spirit Skirt pattern arrived the other day, thanks to Rainbow Silks in Great Missenden, who appear to be the only UK company to sell the pattern. I keep looking at it longingly, I just can't wait to make it, but the fabric that I have bought to make it with hasn't turned up yet. I then keep looking at my stash, trying to envisage it made from what I have, but it's just not happening for me. So I've picked out the Simplicity pattern of the week from last week and some fabric with boats on that was a bit of an impulse buy from Minerva earlier on in the year...

Monday, 1 July 2013

Least exciting garment

I thought I'd give pj shorts a go. It's warmer weather here and I only have 2 pairs that always seem to be in the wash.

I had an impulse buy of some novelty cotton I bought from Ebay, that I thought would be ideal for these.
The pattern that I used was pattern of the week on the Simplicity-New look website a few weeks ago, 3971.

This was quite a simple pattern, so for comfort I used French seams for all but the waist band. However, twice I made the stupid mistake of stitching the back piece to the other back piece and the same with the front. How could I go so wrong?? It really isn't fun unpicking finished French seams all those times for no reason!

These shorts were also 5 inches too high at the waist, quite obviously designed for Simon Cowell... so I trimmed the pattern a little to ensure a nice hipster fit.

All in all, this wasn't a very interesting pattern, it was a little too easy, so I look forward to making the full PJ's in the winter.