Sunday, 4 March 2018

The Morgan Jeans by Closet Case Patterns

I put these jeans on my make nine mostly out of fear, and I thought if I put them on my make nine it might push me out my comfort zone. What was I so scared about?!

I decided on the Morgan's jeans as I had heard so much about the Ginger jeans but didn't think my Booty would look particularly flattering in skinny jeans but the Morgan Jeans Boyfriend fit jeans appealed to me!

The denim I'm using is from Sew Crafty Online and it have an ever so slight stretch in it and the colour is just beautiful! The Morgan's pattern doesn't call for stretch denim but I thought I'd take a risk and since I was cutting the top end of the pattern I thought the stretch may help with the ease so I wasn't uncomfortable. And boy was I right!

The pockets on these really confused me for a little while but in the end I read the Ginger jeans sew along and it all clicked into place. I have attached the coin pocket to the wrong side of the pocket fabric which was then causing it to the wrong way around. Making jeans pockets was quite possibly the most rewarding sewing I have done in a while! All of a sudden it works and looks just like that RTW pair you have in your wardrobe! I had an issue with attaching the fly but that was just me being lazy and not using enough pins which I soon rectified. Check out my Instagram stories archive and you will see what I mean.

Deciding where to put my back pockets was a bit of a trauma, I basted the jeans together to see where I should put them but because I was home alone it's near on impossible to look at your own arse and pin a pocket on straight! So I gave up and copied a pair of RTW jeans I have by laying them flat and drawing points of the top two corners and using that for my Morgan's pockets. This worked really well as you can see.. (excuse my giant bum in your face but POCKETS!)

I used this gorgeous daisy print for inside my jeans and continued with my Rainbow overlocking thread. I'm drawn to anything with Daisy prints on as my first name in Guiding was Daisy (like Brown owl in Brownies) so it always has a place in my heart. The waistband and pockets and the rainbow overlocking make me want to show everyone the inside of my jeans too! Like you don't get that in RTW jeans do you!

I still have a slight fit problems with the waist over my bum, but I think I have worked out how to fix that in my next pair by reading through Closet Case's fit instructions which are really comprehensive if you too are wondering how to make them better. I don't mind though as all my RTW jeans have this issue so I nearly always have a belt on with them.

I have rolled up my hem because a. I love my some rainbow overlocking on show, and b. I really love the 'wrong' side colours in this fabric so thought this would be a lovely contrast. Also I didn't use topstitching thread just plain cream and I think this works perfectly against the turquoise jeans it didn't need heavy topstitching taking away from the awesome colours!

I have even attached the rivets and buttons! I used a hammer for the button fly, which was not scary at all and actually quiet therapeutic I think I might make everything a button fly from now on. I used the vario pliers to attach the rivets. I put one either side of the pockets along the side seam by the bar tacks which really gives you that professional finish! I may add some onto the belt hoops but I want to wear them a while before I decide about that.

If you want to see how I got on progress wise I've saved all my pictures on my Instagram archive so go check it out!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Straight Stitch Designs Madrona Skirt

I was lucky enough to be part of the Straight Stitch designs testing team for the Madona skirt. The first time I saw Kimberly post this on her Instagram I was instantly drawn to the girly floaty front petal shape of the skirt and how lovely and unusual it was, THEN I saw she wanted pattern testers so I jumped at the chance!

I used this beautiful Vicose Rayon from Sew Me Sunshine with lovely dandelions on. I was torn between this and a plain mustard one as I thought the lovely frill may be better suited for a plain fabric but I did an office poll as we voted dandelions, and I can bu
y plain clothes not as easy to buy pretty fabric skirts!

The viscose has a lovely drape to and even so walking around is floats around and will be perfect for a spring dress or skirt. I don’t think I’ve ever sewn viscose rayon before but it’s very like cotton lawn to sew so nice and easy and not slippery like you would think a viscose is.

The skirt is super easy! It’s two pieces with a French seam joining the back then a waistband! I have decided my favourite method of creating gathers now is to sew elastic on so I did that again to create the even gathers around the waist. I just large zip zag a piece of ¼” elastic all around the top, stretching it as it sews, then when I let go of the stretch it gathers the fabric beautifully!

I made the waistband a little wider than the pattern because I found the most amazing button that matches perfectly. It was brilliant timing as I was making this skirt at our Sewing day at The Cambridge fabric company. When I popped upstairs to the shop for the elastic which I forgot to bring, I saw these ceramic buttons in a little basket on the till. It matches so perfectly it’s almost spooky!

In my excitement of matching buttons, I put my button hole the wrong way up! I put it portrait when it should be landscape but I have remedied this by moving the buttons along to where they sit nicest of my waist.

I can’t wait for the warmer weather to wear this without tights and some lovely summer tops (think ALL the Ogden Cami’s!)

Big thanks to my photographer Lisa for taking these at lunchtime on our day job, anyone else struggling with daylight to get nice photos this time of year?!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress review

I appear to have fallen off the blogging waggon! But back to the new year with a bang and the first item off my #makenine2018!

Introducing the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress (Pattern link) This dress looks scary complicated with the off set buttons etc but it's really not!

My sizes were super confusing between sizes, so I opted to make a size 20, with an D cub bodice. I'm normally and E cup and 18/20 in rtw (especially if my bums needs to fit in!) but I didn't make any changes to the sizing and made a straight 20 partly through laziness and partly through interest to make the pattern as it comes. I Made mine with super lightweight Viscose that I've had in my stash for a while. It was from ohsewcrafty and it's only £4 pm at the moment!

I accidently cut my pattern pieces for the front the wrong way around, so if you are making it make sure you remember your fabric is right side down, and the pattern piece is facing up looking a you. It doesn't matter really if you forget though, it just means your buttons are on the opposite side. Make sure you do your facing pieces the same way as the pattern piece though which ever way you decide.

I love the drawstring waist on the dress allowing for larger lunches if required, it also mean the top is lovely and floaty perfect for larger buster women like me. Also normally I worry about long sleeves in women fabrics as my arms are a little larger than patterns normally allow but I didn't make any changes to this and they don't feel or look tight and uncomfortable. I think this is due to the lovely floaty design of the bodice and sleeves.

Talking about sleeves I did make a slight edit. The instructions say may slight gathers on the sleeves to fit the cuff in which gives the billowy look. I'm not good at freestyle gathers, so I cut two pieces of elastic the same length of the cuff pieces and stretched it around the bottom of the sleeves sewing it on with a zig zag. This meant when I let go of the stretch it was all beautifully gathered and the right size for the cuff to be attached. I then just overlockered the cuff on top of the elastic and sleeve all together. This bit may be easier to do before you sew up the side seams on your sleeves so remember to do that first if you are going to.

I made small button holes for the drawstring to go through my I think in my next one I will purchase an eyelet set as I think it will finish it off lovely.

I used beautiful big statement buttons on my dress and I think the lovely neckline and buttons deserve drawing your attention to! My fabric had ever so slight gold flecks in so I went all out with gold shiny buttons!

So all in all, I really like this pattern! I've become a bit of a lazy seamstress since Christmas so the amount of pieces I had to cut out scared my bit actually they all come together really quite easily and quickly.

Now for the next on my make nine list! Also, the pup's really likes it too :)

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The British Heart Foundation the Big Stitch

When I saw the British Heart Foundation challenge, The Big Stitch, I knew I had to do something towards it. There is a lovey lady at work who has recent' had a lt of heart troubles yet she's spending a lt of energy fund raising for the BHF so I thought i owl try and help her. what made it even better was she is crafty like me so I got her involved too!

I knew I wanted to go big, i mean go bit or go home right? So I set my heart and buying either a suit or a wedding dress. looking back now I think i was ahead of my time with the refashioners now being suit themed! ha! 

I found the perfect dress on the BHF ebay page set set about bidding. This dress had the most beautiful daisy lace all over it so I knew it had to be mine as Daisy's have always been my thing! I eventually won it for just under 15 and then got it posted over to me. 

When it arrived it smelt pretty bad of moth balls, and had a kind of tissue paper in the underskirt which must have been to keep it stiff. I hung it out on the line for a few days and the smell started to drop. I cut out the paper bit and shoved the whole thing in the washing machine! It survived pretty well considering! the I set upon deconstruction. 

I took the top from the skirt first and I made the whole dress just from the skirt in the end so i have plenty of lace to play with another day, bonus! once the skirt was apart from the bodice, i unpicked the lace around the hem, all the way around. About a million miles of it! I thought I would put this back on the new dress which i did and i think it gives it a lovely finish.

I decided to make the By hand london flora dress, which is a shape of dress I have been looking for a while. High neck and fitted bodice but flowing skirt so this seemed perfect. I cut all the pieces out from the skirt and I used the lining of the skirt to line the dress too. Even the zip I unpicked was the right length, it all fitted perfectly!

We had a bit of a construction party at work where we all brought our projects together and took over one of the lecture rooms. It was great as the skill levels were all so different we helped each other out! Angela made a kaftan out of a maxi dress for her beach holiday, Amy made a pillowcase dress from a duvet - Amy hadn't sewn since school and she took to it like water off a ducks back! Lisa made a handbag from a pair of trousers and a skirt and Jenny made an Ogden cami from a maxi dress! We got pizza delivered too it was fabulous!

Once I had put together all my pieces and sewn back the lace around the hem I decided it was unlikely I was ever going to wear a white dress so I tried to dye it! 

In hindsight I should probably have used a more dramatic colour change, but I dip dyed the dress yellow. The colour didn't stick very well to the lace as I think it was so synthetic it just washed straight out of the lace but did stick a little on the lining and gave it a lovely sade of pale yellow that it impossible to photograph! but it's yellow honest! 

I might re-dye it purple or something brighter so I can wear it more but it looks good in the mean time. I think I used the wrong size top for me as I thought I needed to grade out for my boobs, but I've since made another on and I used a small bodice size and just graded out the waist and it fits me much nicer, so I my take my wedding dress dress in a little but all in all I love how it tuned out!!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Another Yellow Dress... Simply Sewing Lily Dress

So this dress I made in order to have something nice to wear when i took my husband to the royal albert hall. I bought this yellow ribbed jersey from Peterborough market almost a year ao for a pound a meter and had been hording it ever since not sure why! So i thought a nice quick maxi dress would be perfect.
I used the pattern free from Simply Sewing Lily Dress and got to work. Unusually I actually cut the tissue paper out on my size and didn't trace it, REBEL I know! I blooming hate tissue paper though anyone else with me? The dogs only have to so much as look as what i'm doing and the tissue disintegrates in fear! So after a few washi tape jobs I managed to lay it all out on the fabric. Turns out I didn't have enough fabric...! so I decided on an almost maxi dress instead.. panic over.
As I mentioned this dress was all a bit rushed so I had intended on making the race back but cut the wrong tissue, and as previously mentioned I hate tissue, so decided to roll with it. 
it sews together so quickly and the wrap over looked lovely! Just have the arm holes left to hem. But in my lazyness I couldn't be bothered to find my twin needle and walking foot so thought i'd wing it. Big mistake! I ended up stretching out the arm holes and now they look all funny. 

Still I wore it anyway and tucked the excess arm into my bra and the world was non the wiser! The moral of the story is don't be lazy and make sure you have enough time!
PS the proms was good thanks for asking 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Fairfield Shirt by Thread Theory Designs

My first foray into shirts was this tread theory designs shift for my husband. he's been asking me to make something for him for ages but since my hexie quilt is going no-where fast I thought I'd make him a fancy shirt. For this shirt I used the beautifully soft Dashwood sudios cotton that I got from Sew Crafty online. This particular range is called bird song, if you look closely the pattern is lots of groups of birds flying in formation, i kinda love it's peacefulness, yet business. It's a lovely pattern and sill doesn't seem too busy.
The shirt pattern form Thread theory comes with to styles of back, pleated or darts. it also comes with t front shapes, 'slim fit' an 'rounded belly'. I made the pleated back and the rounded bely because using hubbys measurements his shoulders and waist measurements fitted this style front best.
The best bit about this pattern is how easy everything comes together but yet looks like a really difficult make. I mean don't get me wrong I had to practice, which I did using the ASDA duvet for the mexican party, the collar on that one is truly awful but practice makes perfect and that's why you practice!
As you can see the back fits lovely across his shoulders so I know I used the right size. The burito method is brilliant for shirts! Having never done this before I read the instructions and ended up a bit flummoxed, but once I watched a video on how to do it the instructions made loads more sense so I used these for making the next shirt.I like (and so does hubby) he pleated back because it leaves it nice and floaty and when i made this is was very warm and summery!
I probably could have made the normal front of the shirt despite his rounded belly. As you can see it sticks out quite a bit over his belly but hat is probably because it is balancing on the front!

Please excuse his terrible line up pictures, he's not a good insta husband and doesn't really like having his picture taken! This is his off to a family Bbq back in July so the sun was out but he has since worn it tucked into jeans for going out for inner and it works really nicely. I'm planning on making more of these as christmas presents for all the men in my life as they can easily be made and are a lovely heart felt gift! 

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Handmade fair - Ragley Hall

I had the best weekend from the 12th of May, the Dressmakers ball AND the Handmade fair. I've been to the Handmade fair in London the last two years, so thought I would try this one out since we won tickets from the lovely people at Folkit! I took all the in-laws with me as well and I think they loved the experience.

We (my youngest Sister in law Katie and i) did the Indian block printing, whilst my mother in law and other sister in law Christine did the folk it dot daisy flowers. Christine and I then did the wire geometric shapes workshop. We all did the calligraphy workshop, mooched around the shops then went to the Mollie Makes tent for a brush calligraphy workshop. We then all went to see the fabulous Live it. Love it. Make it on stage for the Mollie Mash ups.

I think we got the timings just about right between all the workshops as we weren't hanging around too much between sessions, but we did end up rushing lunch slightly but it didn't matter much.

The shops were very disappointing. The other shows I've been to have had much much bigger shopping areas and much more stalls with things to make myself rather than things that are already made. Though my family, without having seen the other fair, thought it was a great set of shops and artisans. My mother in law especially love the food and was trying everything and we all ended up buying some delicious gin!

I also managed to meet up with a load of people who I had briefly met at the ball thanks to Ellie (SewPositivity) and we all bundled into the photo booth for a quick picture, A lot of people didn't recognize me without all my yellow and big flowers in my hair.

I definitely felt like a real blogger after this weekend and everyone is so very nice it's been great to meet them all in person. Overall i was disappointed with the fair but I think that was because of the high expectations set by the Hampton Court event, as the rest of the family had a great day.