Archive for September, 2014

I Sewed Sleeves!!

Yup, big news in this house ( well for me anyway). I managed to make an item of clothing with sleeves, actual sleeves. “So? A lot of clothes have sleeves, what’s the big deal?” I bet you’re thinking.  The thing is I have a bit of a fear of them, they scare me. I know how silly that sounds but when you’re learning there is always something you know you are going to find difficult and your brain just won’t be able to handle it. For me when it comes to sewing I fear sleeves, I just cant understand how you can smoothly fit an arm into a shoulder without it becoming a horrible ruched mess.

So far my handmade wardrobe hasn’t required much sleeve sewing, the weather gods have been on my side, but Autumn is officially making its presence known.  The weather is starting to get cooler and my arms are getting chilly. I really want to carry on with my handmade wardrobe plans so I faced my fears and made a cardigan. to ease myself in gently I opted for the Coppélia top from Papercut Patterns. It’s a cute little wrap cardi and the best bit is it has raglan sleeves. I know I know I’m a bit of a cheat but a sleeves a sleeve no matter how its constructed!

To give myself more of a challenge I chose to make it out of some mouth watering electric blue Lycra. It reminds me of my childhood dance uniforms Woo!

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I wasn’t sure how well I was going to get on with Lycra but its pretty easy to work with, I’ve come to realise I’m a big knit fabric fan, if its stretchy I love it.

I made a size S as per my measurements but really I should have made an XS. As you can see in the photos its a little loose fitting, especially in the front.

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Luckily the wrap style means I can get away with wearing it without the back looking too baggy. It came together nice and quickly, which is great as I plan on making more, it’s a great wardrobe staple.

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My glamorous assistant wanted to get some of the attention too.

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I’m not planning on wearing only raglan sleeves through the winter months so at some point soon expect a blog post about inset sleeves. Wish me luck!

Myrtle, She’s My Best Friend

I’ve got a new best friend. Her name’s Myrtle. She looks good in every colour and print imaginable and what’s best of all she likes both woven and jersey fabrics!!

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This is the first Colette pattern I’ve tried and I was really pleased with the results. The Myrtle has two length versions, I started with the short version in a metallic stripe Jersey from Fabric House (of course!). There is also an option to add epaulettes but I decided to make it without.

Seriously how awesome is this fabric?!

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The dress goes together reasonably quickly. I pre-cut and took it to our August Sewing club meeting, I managed all the sewing while I was there except closing up the waistband and hemming. Well actually I did get the waistband done but the stitching was a mess because I was rushing so I redid it when I got home.

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Next up, a woven version.

IMG_4766v2The garden was really wet this morning, hence the wellies, although I think I can pull it off!

Although the pattern is supplied with instructions for making the dress in Jersey you can find instructions for using woven fabrics on the Colette Patterns website. I got some bargain, blue, floral viscose (I think) for something like £2 a metre from a shop in Goldhawk road. It was light and had a nice drape so I figured lets give it a go. I found some ready made bias binding in Fabricland which went perfectly with the fabric for the back of the neckline and armholes. It’s the first time I’ve used binding instead of facings and I love the finish, I’m not really a fan of facings so will try using binding more often.

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I opted for the longer length and I think it works really well. Next time I make a woven Myrtle I would add a little extra to the seam allowance just to give me room for a nicer finish.

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The dresses are so easy to wear, the jersey version was great on holiday with both heels and flats. The floral one I’ve worn since we’ve been home with a shawl for a party at a friends house and also dressed it down with a grey, boyfriend fit, cardi and a pair of converse. I really like the fact there are in-seam pockets too.

This is a great dress for me as the pattern is easy to follow and the finished dress looks a lot more complex than it actually is to make. I love how easy to wear the Myrtle is while the neckline adds a bit of interest. It’s definitely versatile too, how great would a velvet version look for winter with tights and boots? Or maybe even a maxi length version?

Handmade Wardrobe – The Holiday Edition

I don’t know about you but I like my holiday clothes to be easy to pack and wear, I try my best to travel light and I don’t want to spend my valuable holiday time ironing. This summer Hubby, the Monsters and I spent two weeks relaxing in the Red Sea. While on holiday I wanted to wear as much handmade as possible. As you can imagine Egypt was HOT so I wanted light weight items that would also compliment my other clothes. I could never be described as a fashion forward, I love clothes and fashion but with 2 boys in the house I don’t spend much time in heels. I like my clothes to show my personality but at the same time they need to be comfy and easy to transition from day to night. If I’m being really honest I’m a pretty lazy dresser.

After going through my wardrobe I decided I needed a few more dresses and some bikini cover ups. My fabric of choice was definitely Jersey, it just rolls up so tiny for packing and I love to wear it.

Cover ups –

You can’t go wrong with a playsuit. Quick to slip on over a bikini but can just as easily be dressed up for the evening with heels and jewellery.

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The pattern was an old Prima pattern I had from a few years ago, it also had a jumpsuit version which I might make too. The fabric I picked up in Goldhawk road from my favourite shop, Fabric House.

On the same shopping trip I bought two chiffon prints from the famous “man outside Sainsbury’s” in Walthamstow market. I thought they would be great for simple kimonos. I used this tutorial and added cute crochet trims from Fabricland.

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As I chose sheer fabrics I opted for french seams. The main reason I added the trim was because I couldn’t decide how to finish the raw edge. I had originally planned to do a rolled hem using my overlocker but I just couldn’t get it to work properly. It was the first time I’d worked with Chiffon and it wasn’t really my friend, the crochet trim definitely saved me!

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I thought I’d wear these a lot in the day but I ended up wearing them in the evenings with a plain vest and skirt or shorts. I’ve also worn them a lot with jeans since I’ve been home.

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Dresses –

Dresses were a no brainer, I whipped up two Mission maxis, this time minus the maxi.

I kept one short.

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And the second midi.

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Both fabrics were from Fabric House, again. My mission maxi pattern was definitely a good investment, so far I’ve used it to make 3 dresses and a vest, it’s so quick to sew up and fits me perfectly.

How cute do the monsters look in my holiday snaps?!