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A very short history of my sewing mistakes, new zinnia and a sorbetto!

12 Nov
zinnia

A wise fabric choice for both substance and style.

Mistakes. We have all made them. From dating the wrong guy, not taking ‘that’ job to saying completely the wrong thing in social situations I have made them all. Sewing mistakes happen too, and they come in a variety of annoying forms, which have in the past scuppered my enjoyment of sewing.

Colette recently opened the topic of mistakes to the  sewing community, and I was glad to read that so many of us make simple and obvious ones just like me.

My main large mistakes would be fabric choice or as that Paul from bake off kept banging on about ‘style over substance’.  I spent ages working on the now OOP simplicity 2591 using a lovely shade of simple brown cotton lawn for the muslin, only to go mad and sew it up in a heavier weave purple and blue print (not to bad) and bright yellow key print (which was really bad and makes me look like a giant pikachu). Both FO are now banished to the wardrobe and I never wear them or have shown them here.

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I have made four different cotton appropriate skirts from simplicity pattern 2226, which now I never wear even though they are very well made and fit well. The darling prints that were so me at the time aged very quickly or I did. I’ve only just crept from under my quilted cotton blanket and realized that other materials are not as terrifying as I once imagined.

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Lovely finished zinnia number two

As I mentioned in my last post about Zinnia I had already started on the next version, which was being cut from a mystery viscose/poly/cotton dark navy polka dot print from Saeed’s fabric shop in Walthamstow. I decided to cut a size 6 in the main skirt pattern and waist band pieces this time, but kept the alteration of sewing the waist band half the given seam allowance to produce a size 5 waist and the addition of seam pockets. I did this because I wanted a little more gathering than my first zinnia to give it a fuller 50′s look, more appropriate to the fabric choice.

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I also used the three row gathering method instead of my usual two and have to agree the difference is paramount. The gathers looked tighter when sewn, meaning they did not distort at all when attaching them to the waistband. I finished the skirt with a 2mm rolled hem- a new foot has been acquired and eleven 5mm mustard fish eye buttons. With the buttons, the 200m Gutterman thread and the 1.5m fabric this zinnia cost me about £7. Nice :)

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As the fabric was 60” wide I was left with about half a meter left. What the H do you do with that amount of fabric? Awesome and lovely Lucy from Guthrie and Ghani inspired me to make my very first Sorbetto. It has taken me a long time to jump on the Sorbetto band wagon. I am small and curvy and tanks did not suit my once a Pikachu dress wearing style, but now I feel the time is right.

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This FO was meant to be more of a muslin but it really is very wearable. I cut a size 2 on the top and using my French curve graded the hips into a size 4. I also lengthened the pattern at the waist during the drafting process, and lowered the neckline by about an inch and a half. I made a few meters of Bias binding using Colette’s continual method which worked very well, and used it to finish both arm and neck.

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Without lengthening the bodice it really would have been way to short. I’m only 5’2” or 3”, and next time I will make the arm holes slightly larger for more movement. I like the low neckline so will keep this adjustment for my next sorbetto. Not sure what that will look like yet….

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Simplicity 2226 strikes again, I make a start on Simplicity 2591, and I realize I need to start attending FBA (Fabric Buyers anonymous)

4 Aug

Simplicity 2226 review (again) The autumn edition

Pattern Description:Simplicity’s Learn to Sew pattern collection. Misses’ skirt in two lengths and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing:6-18. I cut and made a straight 10. My measurements are 36, 26, 36. As usual the measurement suggested I made a size 14 which would have been huge. I made a toile waist band (nothing else) and decided the 10 would be a good fit. I suggest you do this very simple step (pattern pieces 4 and 5) so you can see which size will be appropriate to how you like your skirts to fit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, following the instructions and choosing the correct fabric will make you a very wearable skirt that looks as good as the picture.

Were the instructions easy to follow?   As this is the second time I have made this project I initially used a sew along by noodle head, but this time I followed the simplicity instructions and found them helpful and usable.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked the pockets, and small amount of material needed to make the skirt. I used 1m of main fabric and 50cms of contrast fabric. Good cheap project.

Fabric Used: I used a one way printed fabric that I could try to match up neatly, as I will be using a plaid fabric on another project and wanted some experience now. The fabric used is a quilting weight cotton for a warmer Autumn skirt- Amy Butler’s passion Lilly in Mulberry. I bought 2m in the sale from John Lewis for £6m making this project an under £15 garment all together with thread and binding. I lined up the pattern at the back seam, which worked to a point. As the pattern is on the grain the back seam is not totally straight but it looks perfect from a meter away- its only really close up you can see the alignment.

Happily enough the pattern repeat and the size I made meant that the side seams which I was not worried about also aligned up! :)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Of course every project I make I have to challenge myself just a little and this skirt was no exception. This version includes finished side and pockets seams using the ‘French seam method‘ which does give a really lovely neat and long lasting seam, and eliminated the need for bias binding. The binding on the pockets on my last version was a little bulky at the end- the French seam worked perfectly. I also took 2 inches of the shortest pattern suggestion as I am so short.  Although I did not use the carriers on this project, I did use bias binding just to finish the waistband facing. Keep it neat :)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  This is the second make from this pattern (3rd in you include the version I am helping a friend sew up) and I am just as happy with this one as I was the first. I will make another one of these again- it is now in my ‘go to’ collection.


Conclusion: I am slightly struggling with what to wear on top with these skirts! Nightmare! I have been wearing my trusty boden shirt but as it is slightly to large on me I think my silhouette is slightly swamped. I have invested in a new black jumper from Boden’s new range ‘the 60′s jumper’ which is not super fitted but should skim me and keep me warm. I want to wear this skirt with tights and brogues for winter. Let’s hop the jumper sorts out the issue’s… or a totally plain version could also work…. Thanks to my two friends who took the pictures for me.

Finally a simplicity 2591 Muslin

Firstly- sorry about the mess in the picture and the picture quality but I was on my own, it was 2am and I had just finished two projects in a day. Studio is gonna be messy.

This said, this muslin has been a long time coming! I went on a hunt for this Out of print pattern when I read Stitchywitch’s review in early 2011. I managed to swag a copy from ebay for about £10 and then got excited, bought loads of different fabric ‘for the dress, traced and cut a straight size 10 on to pattern paper and then life got in the way. I moved house, lost a job, lost a boyfriend, gained a stone, lost two stone, bought a dog, moved house again, had a major operation and then remembered about two years later how much I wanted to make this dress.

So with all that life in the past I sat down and sewed up a muslin in 5 hours. :)

This is made from 1.5m of brown sheeting cotton that I seem to have 10 meters of from god knows where. It actually made a lovely dress! If the fit had been right, I had not sewn the back seam on the outside of the dress and if I could figure out what the instructions meant!

Of course this is the point of a muslin and I am very happy I made one. I need to make a size bigger- a size 12 would give me more room over my waist, and I can grade the bodice to a size 10 when sewing up the seams. This muslin does not have a zipper mind! I was able to sew up the back and then yank it over my head. :) I also took a whole 4 inches off the length and think I could make it 5!

The main issue is that wrinkling on the bodice front. Not because its too tight, but because I do not understand instructions 6-7. Not at all.

I have emailed simplicity with no joy- the person who replied did not even read the body of the email and just assumed I was making a request about an OOP pattern. I have now messaged a few of my favorite bloggers who have also made this dress to see if they can shed some light on what the heck I am doing wrong.

This is the offending part of the dress. It is where the bodice, skirt front and pocket facing is attached to the bodice sides. I have no idea how to get it all to fit without bumps and lumps. I am wondering if I went wrong at the pockets when you are meant to under stitch… think i may have top stitched. Also looking at the pockets on the instructions those dots have me confused. ANY HELP OUT THERE?  I will be making another muslin so hopefully I will make more progress…but any help would…. help. I did take time with the pattern markings with this project. After reading the Colette handbook I decided to actually machine baste the darts in. I have to say, taking the extra time to do this really payed off. Who would have thought? :)

AND finally the fabric. ALL the fabric.

I am a sucker for printed fabric. A real sucker. I love cute prints and it is causing me hording issues. I have so so many cotton quilting weight fabrics that I do not know what to do with them. I buy them as I think ‘that will make a beautiful dress’ only never to find the perfect pattern to work with it. I have come to conclude that unless the fabric is silky, and has drape that quilting cottons can cause fitting issues- but still i buy them.  Any way, here are a few of my latest buys.

  1.  Little Red Riding Hood in icing is from the Walk in the Woods fabric collection designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda. 100% cotton  from Cotton patch @ £11.40m Planned for a dress
  2.  Foxes in icingis from the Walk in the Woods fabric collection designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda. 100% cotton from cotton patch @£11.4om planned for a dress
  3. Underwater sisters if from the the Mendocino fabric collection designed by Healther ross for Spoonflower. 100% cotton poplin from Spoonflower @ $2om planned for a dress

If you are reading this post solely for the underwater sister’s tag- you will be asking ‘where did she get that from, it is all sold out!’ but you would be excited to know….it’s not! Woop. Although the original colours are not being reproduced, Heather has lovingly adapted the Under water sister’s to a mix between blush, natural and Ivory. WOOP!!!! I had considered spending £50 a meter at one point. Madness! I am not bothered it’s not an original but I MUST find a pattern to make a lovely item out of it. I bought 2 yards for $47 (about £30) on the cotton poplin and will a) review it for others b) panic about custom charges until it gets here. I would have bought 3 yards but I am concerned it is gonna rack up the charges. Kind of a test!

  1. Petite odile in Oyster from the French general collection for moda. 100% cotton from bedecked @ £14m planned for another 2226 skirt
  2. Cocoon Butterfly by Valori Wells for freespirit. 100% cotton (very silky) planned for a special  dress
  3. Carline in red by Liberty of London, tana lawn from Fred Winters @ £10m planned for a dress

I am afraid I can tell you were I got the butterflys from as it was an amazing Birthday gift. :)  Well that is the fabric wind up- I am off to spend all day perfecting 2591! Have an awesome weekend people

Doryon #6045 Burda Jumpsuit preparation. Part One

17 Jul

This weekend just gone was my Birthday. I wanted to cover up my birthday suit by wearing a new dress that I had made, but sadly the chance to sew up something suitable never presented itself. Do not worry, I wore a bought outfit so no birthday suit was on show :)  The realization that I now have only one item in my wardrobe made by me that fits got me thinking about this whole sewing shenanigans. I really want to be able to join in with the various ME MADE challenges that crop up from time to time, but this means making items that are actually wearable. Tilly and the buttons made some very interesting comments surrounding the issues of sewing with quilting cotton, which I realized most of my fabric stash is made up of. My major issue is that I get over excited about a fabric, buy way to much of it, use a inappropriate pattern, do not make a muslin because I am to impatient and then end up left with one of three situations:

  1. A garment that is very well made but does not fit me
  2.  Something very under finished that will not last because I did not launder the fabric or serge the raw edges
  3. A lovely wearable item, but it simply does not suit my other clothes so therefore gets worn very little.

Really these issues need consideration because what is the point of spending hours on a project that you will never wear? None. Wearability is a very important issue when designing and making your own clothes.  Sometimes using quilting weight cotton can be successful. My latest project for instance Simplicity 2226 is a wearable addition to my wardrobe. The pattern did not call for drape of movement so quilting weight cotton worked well in this case.

Had this been a wiggle dress the results would have been disastrous. This is a mistake I have actually made. I do not want to make these mistakes again. So what am I going to make next? A dress? A top?…. a cuddly toy? Nope! I am making a onesie, a romper, a play-suit, jumpsuit…call it what ever you will! You either love them or hate them, but I have got one of these babies and I love wearing it. Of course mistakes have been made. I friend of mine laughed copiously into her drink, whilst telling me about her classic school boy error of wearing her play-suit to a festival. Porter loos are not made for onsies people!  (they should be mind because playsuits are meant to be played in!

The pattern

Burda Doryon #6045             Difficulty: Intermediate

Description

We’re in love! The Doryon romper is right in time for hot summer days. With sharp tailored details like the pleated shorts and the demure hand-sewn inset, this romper is calling for your special touch. You can accessorize this look with a contrasting belt or by tying a sash through the belt loops.

Recommended Materials

Silk, wool, cotton blends

Amount of Fabrics

1 1/2 – 1 5/8 yards (1.30 – 1.40 meters) self, 1/2 – 5/8 yards (.35 – .45 meters) inset.

The inspiration

Partly because I got some birthday money, have had enough of sewing in silence and because help is always helpful I am undertaking this project at a workshop at Creative Open Workshop. C.O.W run many different types of classes and mine will be run by the lovely Francine of Framboos who made my lovely crochet horseradish necklace and can me seen modeling the Burda project above. I am not as slim as the Francine so can not hope the item looks like that on me, but I love her fabric choice.

Montage! Starting on the far left you can see Burda’s representation of the pattern. As this model is probably 6’2” I will not worry to much about mine not looking the same on me. I dislike the colour, and wonder why Burda have their models act so oddly? The next picture of eunnyjang’s make is darling. I love the plaid fabric and the yoke. She has also raised the waist line, which is flattering. The blue stripped version by wzrdreams has the contrast yoke, and I have to say it is not for me. Although the make is well made (this lady cleverly reworked the zip to the back) I think stripes and contrast would be to over powering on my short frame. I love the plain blue version by laramossler. The yoke has been removed for a lower cutting fit, and the simple fabric drapes well. The very end is made by figamadood and I love the adaptation of the shoulder clasp. Apparently it does up on one side with press studs, but I can not help worrying that I will sit down with force and they will open up…..

Adaptations to consider

  1. Fabric choice is going to either make or brake this project. I am leaning towards a very plain cotton/linen mix with some drape but structure too. I hope I have such an item in my stash….
  2. That closure on the shoulder.  Other ways of finishing it could be to have tie’s like figamadood. Maybe I could adapt the pattern like Butterick 5708? That has tie shoulder….
  3. I am not going to have time to raise the whole waist line but make omit the belt loops or make them sit and the natural waist?
  4. NO contrast yoke! Maybe take ideas from the plaid version…. i really like that version.

Update

After pulling ALL my fabric out of my stash I realize that it is mostly quilting cotton fabric :( I have one suitable linen/cotton mix but it is very red. Not sure it would be that wearable and I already have a summer romper so a thicker one would be a better idea. In the end I decided brushed cotton would be suitable and have ordered this awesome fabric from croft mill.

Hopefully it will arrive in time to wash and iron- i asked them to sprinkle fairy dust on it. Fingers crossed. I know it is not a plain fabric……  but i have made a mood board to help prove that it will fit in with my existing wardrobe :) With a pair of black/grey tights in winter i think we are on to a winner!

Mood board

Bella Swan’s wedding dress and The Pippa middleton Bridemaids dress.

6 Jul

I try to hide it from most people, because I am meant to be a well-educated and respectable young woman but I have watched and read the twilight series. Yes, all of them. What did I get from them? A dark insight to one woman’s personal belief that to be happy you need a rich, dead husband who can provide for you eternally. Other than that, I am not sure. I would love a husband who is eternally faithful to me and able to run fast between engagements to get back to me…. Coming back to reality what I did like was Bella’s wedding dress in the latest film. I am all about vintage lace things, and think weddings are the only time I could wear something so extravagant. (also, do you think filming this scene was weird for the couple in real life? I mean, there must have been that uncomfortable moment where one of them asked ‘are you sure that minister is an actor? or ‘this could be us in the future’….WEIRD)

Now did you know this dress was designed  by Carolina Herrera, which was custom fit for Kristen Stewart, took Ms Herrera and four seamstresses six months to complete? Made out of  crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, 152 buttons line the back of the dress, with 17 additional buttons on each sleeve, this dress is now available to all brides! You can have a hand crafted, fitted to your body Bella dress and made by the designer for a mere $35,000. Wow. Personally I would not want the same dress- this seems very stalkerish in my opinion but a similar dress, taking elements from the design….yes! Any way the point I was going to make before I started researching this dress (that I knew nothing about previously) was that Butterick have released a pattern that is very similar to the Herrera design.

This is Butterick 5779. To be legal and not be charged with copy right infringement garments have to have 7 major changes made to them (need I mention the Harry potter fleur delacour wedding dress issue). Can you see what these could be? I know which one I would want, but i also know which I could afford. I would like this dress in dark navy without the train. I wish I had some balls to go to…I might actually consider making this.

The other dress that I stumbles upon (and have actually bought the pattern) is Pippa middletons Bridemaids dress.

Now, I had not thought about it but it very similar to the Bella Swan dress. Designed by the lovable Alexander McQueen this dress reportedly cost around £20,000. Just like the Bella dress you can get replicas all over the net at much lower prices but Butterick have struck again with a very similar pattern.

Butterick 5710 is a wonderful alternative. I bought this pattern the week it was released- not because I am a royalist, getting married or even making a wedding dress for anyone else. No, I have a surplus of vintage velvet and I thought a short version of this would be a lovely evening dress. One of my favorite seamstresses has made this dress from scratch already. Julia bobbin’s sister looks every bit (or is it Butt) the Middleton.

After making another version of this Skirt and designing a wiggle dress that actually fits, then I may turn my gaze on to this pattern….. watch this space.

Simplicity 2226, the perfect skirt pattern. A homage to the Cath Kidston Guard Skirt

6 Jul

A while back Cath Kidston released a Jubilee inspired range called ‘London calling’, which included this lovely guard skirt @ £35.   I had full intention of buying one but they sold out in about 2 days. I was sad about this, but life goes on and you can not cry over spilled milk.   This year I visited the NEC’s creative craft fair and bought quite a lot of fabric, as well as participated in a few demonstrations. One of my favorite stalls does not sell their merchandise online, so I always look forward to buying their well sourced fabric. This year they had a lovely Jubilee themed selection by makoweruk. This is the same company who designed that lovely Brighton fabric that I am hording. One of their fabrics jumped out at me.

So it’s not exactly the same as the guard skirt, but Cath also did a ‘London sites’ fabric that had the London eye on it, and suddenly I was imaging owning my own guard skirt after all. I bought 1m for £11. Bargain. Then all I had to do was find an appropriate pattern. The Cath version has side pockets, elasticated contrast waistband and it is lined. The fabric was pretty thin so it needed to be. I looked around but then I had an operation and all thoughts of sewing went out my mind.

In May, Cath Kidston reissued their Guard skirt. Edward bought it for me, as a present. I kind of forced him into it, but he knows how grateful I was and still am. We were going to a friends wedding over the Jubilee weekend in Bournemouth and I wore that lovely skirt 2/4 days we were away.

It really is a beautiful skirt- and it sold out very quickly again so I am very lucky. The only issue I have with it, which other people have blogged about as well, is the amount of excess fabric. Having an elasticated waist band means the fabric can bunch up under things and I have to wear a top over it to rain it in. I know this is the reason it was £35 and not the usual £60 you may expect to pay. I still love that skirt.

But I had the Makower fabric not being used and my good friend and bully Pilar suggesting I needed to sew something. I had bought a skirt pattern with the high hopes of using it, but then stored it away with all my other patterns. That pattern is Simplicity 2226. There are lots of versions of this skirt all over the Internet.

Here are a few of my favorite Blogged here, here and here. I love how the skirt can be made as quirky or as simple as you like by manipulating small details. I have been struggling with the idea of sewing something new because after loosing weight ALL the items of clothing I painstakingly and lovingly made no longer fit me :( I will be reluctantly selling these items on ebay (or if you are interested contact me) but I decided it was time to accept I am slim enough and clothes can be made without worry of them being to big/small anytime soon. My body has completely changed and I have found committing the fabric, and time needed to get to know it quite scary! Usually I make dresses. I hardly ever wear dresses strangely enough. I tend to wear jeans and tops, or skirts with shirts. With this in mind I concluded a skirt would be a good compromise. No worry about talking the top in/out and only half the amount of fabric needed. Win, win! With some research I found that a very awesome person had done a Sew along for this pattern! I am year to late, but It helped boost my lacking confidence and it was very well explained, which we can all agree most simplicity pattern instructions are not. More sew alongs please!

And here we are, me prating about in Stratford Upon Avon wearing my fully finished Simplicity 2226 view c with bias binding finished pockets, contrast pockets and belt loops and added contrast bias binding waist band for detail. I call it, Alice underground. As the pattern calls for 1.5m of fabric (short length) I had to use contrast pockets, which I would rather have not done. I used 0.50m of my Cath Kidston for Ikea blue with red spots to give it a more ‘Cath’ feel.

Because I have been sewing for some time now, I always try to add something a little harder to the pattern and finish the inside as neatly as the outside. Here are some close up pictures of the finish and detail. I used Bias binding where the pockets ended to give them some strength as I know I will be shoving my hands in and out of them all the time (like the child I am) and I serged as I went (really helped by the sew along) to make sure all the seams are neat. Next time I will use the `French seam’ method on the side seams as suggested by Noodlehead in the Sew along. There of course will be a next time- it is already on the sewing table :) This skirt is so wearable and needed no alterations making it a very quick project. I cut a straight 10. I worried about it being to small because of where is sits on the waist, but after making a mock up of just the waist band I realized a size 8 would also have been okay. I am 36, 26, 36 for all you ladies wondering what size to make.

Cost:

Main fabric £11, Contrast fabric £2.50, Bias binding £2, Zipper £2

£17.50 seems very reasonable to me compared to £35 for a unfitted skirt….

Which one do you like? (the answer for me is both)

simplicity 3559, simplicity 3673 and Butterick 6582. The good, the bad and work in progress. PART TWO- the bad.

13 Apr

After praising Simplicity 3559 like it was my adopted daughter its time for part two of the installment, where I will be condemning simplicity 3673 like a bad step child. Yes me and simplicity 3673 did not get on. For a mixture of reasons….mostly to do with me I think, but there had to be something to do with the pattern as well. This is part two of a three part blog. You can find the first here.

This is described as a misses retro jumper dress or dress and is a 1950s reprint of an simplicity original. It has skirt and belt variations and I bought this pattern for £3.95 at John lewis whilst they were selling off all their sewing patterns. I was not aware of this at the time and if I had been I would have bought loads of patterns. Darn.

The dress has 2 skirt variations, a length variation and a belt variation. The waist is high and fitted with the choice of a wiggle or flared skirt. I decided to try the straight version without the belt because at a size 14-16 fitted clothes tend to flatter one more. Most of the time.

I measured myself up and with the measurements 38-30-36 indicating a clear size 16. I laid out the pattern paper and measured the actual print to confirm before I cut. MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE. The pattern came up big by about 2 inch of ease. I debated what to do, read loads of blogs, called my mum, eat a bacon sandwich and then cut the size 14, and added 2 inches to the bodice top to help fit my 34G chest. I did this by tracing the bodice and simply grading the bottom of the bodice to a size 16….more about how wrong this was later.

What fabric did I use? Well lets have a look. I had gone on a Ikea fabric rampaged before buying this pattern and as this was only my second attempt I did not want to hack into some of my expensive irreplaceable lovelyies. I had already used Ikea fabrics for my last project (blogged here) and used heavy weight material which suited the project, but this dress needed to be a little lighter and cooler. I wondered if anybody else has ever used ikea fabrics for clothes and stumbled upon this Interesting article and also this blog. Just love that shower curtain dress…..I’ll store that idea for another make. Maybe that waterproof weekend bag I have been dreaming about.

It was good to know I was not alone and decided on using 2 meters of this Cecilia light weight 100% cotton at a cheerful £2 a meter and a polyester lining I got from Barry fabrics for cheap.

How did I find the instructions? They were a little confusing to start with. i could not get my head around how to finish the edges when the bodice bottom would not be hidden by a seam inside the dress….not explaining that very well I know but that was the issue. The instructions did not make it clear you had to serge as you went. I was new to sewing, now I know better. Here is a visual of what a mess the inside of the dress looks like.

simplicity-3673 inside the mess

Not the tidiest job hay? well it did teach me to serge as I work and you do not see the inside when you wear an item. This was not the only issue with the dress. That extra ease I added for my bust….yeah that did not work. Even though I measured the actual paper pattern twice the pattern gave quite a lot of ease making the dress baggy all over and the extra 16 grading on my chest very unflattering. Here is the dress on my sewing dummy. This dummy is the larger size model and now is bigger than my frame all over by at least 2 inches and at the most 4.

simplicity 3673 front

simplicity 3673 back

And here is the dress on me.

size 14 simplicity 3673 side view

As you can see, very unflattering. It makes me look like like i’m 13 stone again!

size 14 simplicity 3673 front view

From the front angle is is not so bad and I wear a waist belt with it to maximize my definition without showing off to much of my flesh. I also wear it with a long sleeved top underneath to keep ‘modest’.

Without pulling the fabric of the dress, but trying to stop waldo from eating my feet

This picture is not exactly true to the way it should have fitted. Since making this item I have lost about 2 stone. I was a few months into my weight loss journey and I think this added to why the dress was too big when it was finished. Not all the reason though. I have still worn this dress to school and because its so big it is quite useful when you are leaning over to pick up fallen over children and the school I visit is predominantly Muslim so covering up is expected. I would have re-ordered this dress in the smaller sizes but have decided to try all the other 1000 patterns I have. I now also own some good books that explain how to change commercial patterns to make them fit. Sadly this project was bad. You can not win them all.

The last installment of this review will follow shortly- my original WIP has had to be scrapped due to the fabric being inappropriate and for want of a better word- annoying. Any ideas how to work with stretch satin would be greatly accepted….the replacement fabric is thicker, heavier and less stretchy than the last but still has some wiggle give!

WIP butterick 6582

Pugging good fun having some rudy in the park

2 Mar

Well today I thought it would be nice to give the sewing pattern reviews a rest and instead talk a little about waldo. He does rule 99% of my life and is incredibly cute, when he is not eating my shoes or stealing toilet paper. (actually he is  cute even when doing these things but do not tell him, his heads big enough as it is)

Me and waldo met little under a year ago when after realizing all my friends were knocked up, married or both I was neither. This is not a ‘got to make a film about it’ situation I just simply felt a little bit…lonely? Think that is the right word. I just wanted a little more responsibility without the baby sick. Waldo was the answer.

Waldo's first picture

This, as the title suggests was waldos first ever picture taken by me on the way home from the breeder. Look at that fatty puppy paw. He looks so silly. He is silly. I have never had a dog before. We had cats in the family home, but dogs were quite alien to me- which could be why i chose to love a pug. They are completely different to any other dog…or animal for that matter. As a puppy he never cried at night but he did/does meow. His favorite band is Metallica (who I dislike) and he watched films- usually ones with other dogs in, with an interest boarding on creepy. The contrary to this rule would be the film Taken, which he simply would not stop staring at until the end. Seems he was worrying about Liam Neasons daughter and wanted to help as much as he could.

the window of things i do not understand

This is his ‘concerned stare’. Waldo is concerned all the time. By the way, this is the view from my window. I made a window seat using a single memory foam matters so I could sit and read whilst the world drove by. Sadly, the world that drove by were all doing horrid things and after watching yet another man peeing I decided not to bother. Waldo on the other hand loves to watch strangers pee, and sits up there letting me know what is going on.

I sooo want to disobey you women

This is a typical waldo moment. I was (and have now succeeded) in teaching waldo some restraint around food. Pugs love food. To the point where every meal could be their last so they must suck it up like a hoover. Placing food in waldos mouth and making him wait til I say “ace” took a while. He was angry. I was tired, but we got there in the end. Now he smiles when I do this, and activity seeks kibble for ‘mouth placing’ but here if he had teeth i think he would have taken of my fingers. Of course never say ‘ace’ around waldo as you will get knocked over in the rush for the phantom kibble.

Waldo and rudy pugging about in the park

Here is waldo with rudy. The only other pug he had met other than his family. They are actually having a great time, although it kind of looks like they are trying to kill each other. Together they were like pug rockets! Now usually when walking waldo he greets all dogs with a ‘please love me and play with me’ attitude, but when he was playing with rudy no other dog got a look in. This was lovely as many dogs do not respond kindly to waldos love, so I am glad the tables were turned.

After 2 hours of Rudy and running waldo slept for about 18 hours. So did I.

I have found a few other ladies with pugs that sew and if you are one of these then let me know!! I want to see pictures of naughty sewing restricting pugs. Waldo eats, sits on and chews my fabrics if left alone with them. He also goes mad for pattern pieces on tracing paper….I never did find belt C from Butterick 6582…….

butter would not melt....but pattern paper? Thats another story

New Look / simplicity 6824

28 Feb

I made this dress last summer after searching for a simple pattern to work with. This was only my third attempt at using a pattern- my first being Simplicity 3559, which worked out just fine and Simplicity 3673 which did not. I have lost 3 stone since making these dresses and have dropped from a size 16 (modern pattern) to a size 10 (modern pattern). I was in between losing weight whilst making simplicity 3673, and I believe this contributed to it looking…..rubbish!

I will blog these dresses at a later date, but for now I would like to focus on my favorite make so far. I have already reviewed this dress on   patternreview.com which also has a few other great sew members dresses that you should check out.

Here is my review as it appears at pattern review.

Pattern Description: This is a muti piece pattern with mix and match tops and skirts

Pattern Sizing: size A (8-18) My dress is a size 12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, no modifications needed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I made mistakes after being used to other manufactures…. need to keep my eyes more open.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that its so versatile and it has 10 sizes included in the one envelope

Fabric Used: Cotton on the top, with a stretch polyester/cotton/elastine blend on the bottom.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None needed.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will be sewing it again and again- if i have time….so many projects!

Conclusion: This pattern gives an up to date retro look with a 50s/60s cut.

And here it is!

New Look 6824

The top half of the dress fabric is called Pie a la mode by Ami Simms from Lady Button Fabrics. I believe this to be sold out now, which is a real shame as i just love this fun cherry design. Looks good enough to eat.I actually have a range of fabrics from this designer which all have food related patterns on it. I simply have not found a use for the apple pie or sliced bananas fabric as of yet…..ideas here please. The bottom half used a stretch type fabric which sadly did not come with a fiber content, but after being laundered and ironed did it’s job well.

What I loved about this dress pattern is the detail. Bows! I am constantly told off about how many bows I own- on clothes and in my hair. As you can see in this picture i am wearing a lady Gaga esk hair band. Sadly after this dress was made someone with their big feet ‘accidentally’ trod on it. Rubbish. Here is another picture which shows the fabric in finer detail and that wonderful removable sash bow.

I have to admit I use this sash on other dresses and always get complements.

After rushing my last project I decided to do this dress justice and added some special finishing touches, which included adding embroidered bias binding to the internal join of the lined bodice and skirt, and adding a ‘label’ using the selvage from the fabric naming the brand. Things I could have done better would definitely be the zip….i find zips difficult. But as my gran would say, if at first you do not succeed unpick the whole mess and get her to show me how. Wish granny Kelly was still here. I believe she would be proud of me. What do you think?

Creating a life less boring

27 Feb

Welcome to my first blog about sewing and designing! After lurking on many sewing blog sites I decided it is about time I had my own! I am hoping this will encourage me to finish projects, share them, get advise from fellow crafters, show case some of my work and also save money by having a place where all my patterns are stored.I keep buying similar patterns on ebay! It’s very annoying.

Please feel free to wipe your feet,come in and help yourself to cupcakes, Just let me know you are here and share your ideas. That is what life is all about! Also I have a pug.

‘All you need is pug’

Captain Waldo is 10 months old and loves eating, sleeping, eating my sewing, sleeping on my sewing and me. I think. He is wearing a handmade creation by a lovely lady called Jessica Lynne. She sells wonderful items from her esty shop here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/jessicalynneart and also here http://allyouneedispug.com/ which is my favorite as it tells you about the wonderful story of her gorgeous pug JD. Waldo did not come with a story- but he is making up for it by causing constant chaos.  This would include being the star of Red Candy’s big red blog. Here is waldo featuring in their ‘Where’s Wally Friday!’ section, in which every Friday waldo hides/visits somewhere and you have to guess where he is!  Go have a go, you know you want to. I will update his progress as he travels.

Other news for today would include Boden’s new additions to there Johnnie B range. I just love Boden and have already invested my savings for summer in a few key items. The new Johnnie B range has a playsuit that makes my heart beat faster and my bank manager frown. Here is the play suit and the other items I want to co-ordinate with it.

 

I imagine myself wearing this play suit with my vintage red sandals whilst eating a ice cream sundae. Yum.

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