Saturday, April 19

While sketching some ideas today I got a little over-whelmed with thoughts of what to make next. I have a lot of patterns and fabric in my stash which is awesome but what comes along with this is too many ideas and too many thoughts. It's hard to narrow down what I actually want to make. I thought it would help to write a post and see what comes out. 

So below are some of my new patterns and some of the new fabrics I purchased while in Leeds with my mum. We had an awesome day at haberdasheries and markets and picked up some real gems. All of which were under £5 a metre. I was also very pleased when my mum bought some pink flamingo fabric to make a skirt from! amazing!

The patterns above I got from simplicity online, thinking about it I believe these were all in a fiver also. Great value and there are soooooo many patterns to choose from. I initially went on to the site to only look for a blazer pattern. The other day in Camden I tried on a really cool pink blazer with royal blue lining. I almost bought it but then, as usual stopped myself and thought how much fun it would be to make instead. So I found the simplicity 2340 blazer pattern above, which was exactly what I was look for. A loose fitting, casual jacket. After browsing for quite a while I had a basket full of other patterns. Couldn't resist, but had to filter so thought about what was really missing from my handmade wardrobe. 

I definitely don't make enough tops and so with this in mind searched for really versatile tops and came up with these two shirt patterns above. I have a couple of very simple style top patterns already but the shirt was missing and loved these two straight away. The simplicity 1422 pattern looked really cute and I liked the loose fitting style, the different lengths and yoke details. I had visions of drop waist dresses with a ruffle attached to the bottom and all sorts. The other pattern, simplicity 1538 I was drawn to because after making the negroni shirt from colette patterns for my boyfriend I really wanted a similar shirt for myself and although the photos are a little funny in this pattern I was drawn in by the cowboy look and again the fun yoke detail. Here I had visions of studs. Ha! (listening to way too much country)

Then I thought, right time to have another go at making trousers. I have never made a fly before and really want to give it a go. I have looked at a few tutorials online and think ey I can do that. Knowing this will be an entirely different story once I begin so anyway I found this burda 7250 pattern. Again I liked the casual feel of the trouser and one variation has a stripe up the side so thought hmm this could be interesting. The pattern has really nice pleates at the front and ofcourse the fly zip was a selling point. All in all a nice trouser pattern I thought so then headed to the checkout. Very happy.

These are my new fabrics just sitting and waiting to be cut into. I just don't know what to do with what. I love the thought of a shirt with one flowery piece and a contrasting placket and yoke and collar but then is that too much I just don't know. As soon as I saw the stripey blue, red and white fabric all I could think of was the little girl twirling on the Great British Sewing Bee opening credits. So I guess I have to make a similar, gathered skirt and high neck bodice with that one. I did think of using the top left pale blue flower fabric for a pair of trousers but unsure weather I would wear them or not. Really I don't wear trousers at the best of times so not sure there. Also if I had a little blouse in this fabric it would be rather cute indeed. Oh dear the options are endless but I will get stuck in soon. 

It is the Easter weekend and I know a lot of people are enjoying a lovely time off, I ofcourse have to work this evening! meh! so not had the time to really dive into anything yet, however Sunday and Monday could be the days for it. WIll have to suggest my boyfriend heads off to the gym. oooo hoping it's open! lol! Ah well let the sewing commence and I will keep you up to date with progress and ideas. 

Happy stitching to all and to all a lovely Easter. xx

Friday, April 18

Hello everyone. I thought it might be time for a little update of what I have been up to. The sewing is in full swing as usual. I have a new addition to my sewing tools. My sewing machine has a new brother. A shiny new overlooked from boyfriend for my birthday was the most amazing surprise. I love it. I had heard that they were a nightmare to thread but luckily this one came threaded! Awesome, however i have already, almost ran out of thread, eek! 

So on to the clothes. Here is a snippet of what I have been making and we are getting very spring, summer so more florals with a lot more to come too as my fabric pile is growing and growing! I have also Beemer back on the knitting and crochet. The pink jumper below has taken me a long time to finish but I finally got it done and love it. 

Hope you all like my creations an happy stitching everyone! X

Sunday, March 23

Hello Everyone. I hope the stitching world is happy today! My world is happy today and so great that I finally got some time to show you all what I have been up to. I guess firstly I need to explain my absence and why I have been away from the blog world. 

I was so pleased and proud of myself for completing a whole year of 52 creations and felt like a second year was the right thing to do. Well, while on that second journey things just didn't feel right. I felt like I was maybe (as I liked to put it) 'churning things out!' that were not really inspiring to me or really anything I would want to wear after I made it. I felt like they were being made because of the blog tasks and not because I wanted to make them. Sooooo, after a lot of deliberation I came to the decision to stop. And ofcourse that meant the weekly deadline and not the sewing, naturally. With this change I knew I wanted to definitely still show my creations to the world so when I feel the time is right I will unleash my recent creations to you all. 

Sew here is what I have been up to! Enjoy and happy stitching!!!

Monday, February 17

For this creation I wanted to make a real fancy dress for a special occasion. To achieve this I have altered the bodice of the pattern quite dramatically but with quite little ease. I wanted to make a strappy dress, something quite elegant and fun but still including the awesome shaping of this patterns bodice. As I said for last weeks creation I love the placement of the darts so much with these pieces that I wanted to keep them and then only cut into the top of the bodice to make the neckline a lot lower. For any special occasion dress I do lean towards a green colour. Being a red head I know I cannot go wrong with most shades of green so even if the dress doesn't work out totally perfect the colour hopefully will always be flattering. I had this in mind also when choosing to make a low cut, strappy dress as there will be more skin on show than I am use to so if I am happy with the colour I know I will feel comfortable.

The alterations I made on the bodice pattern were achieved by tracing over the bodice pieces and then drawing the desired shape on top, cutting around this new line to create the new bodice shape. This was fairly easy to do as I only needed to cut away the shape at the top therefore not needing to alter any of the darts or any of the shaping from the waist up. I just needed to remember to add a 5/8" seam allowance to ensure that the dress wouldn't sit too low. It is very easy to draft your own straps, however here I used the straps from the Georgia dress from ByHandLondon. The size and shape is perfect so I think for ease, if you have the right pattern pieces in your stash that work then why spend more time creating something new.

Once I had my bodice and lining (form the same fabric) cut and sewn together I then needed to add a skirt piece to complete the dress. This pattern is only a peplum top pattern and so therefore does not have a skirt variation. My favorite skirt shape and the one I enjoy making the most (probably because it is super easy) is a gathered skirt. I love the shape it gives and lovely at a mid calf length. My usual, desired width of fabric for this is 2m, however because I felt this dress style was a little more elegant and simple I wanted the silhouette to remain slim and so only used, I believe 1.25m so a lot less gathers were created. I always prefer to hand gather the material, it does take a little longer but I find it is a lot easier to control the spacing. This was then attached to the bodice just as you would any other skirt, making sure the gathers are even along the waistline. Then when the two pieces were sewn together I removed the hand stitched thread used to form the gathers, as this is no longer needed. 

As a finishing touch to add a little glam and colour I found this lovely red sheer fabric and lace trim. I thought it would look lovely stitched along the hem line. It also finished off my hem perfectly.

So there we have the second example of how you can alter a pattern so dramatically with just a little inspiration. There are endless options with this particular pattern, I love it so much so I think we will definitely see it again through this years 52. 

Happy stitching everyone and don't forget to watch the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday night 8pm BBC2

Monday, February 10

I am finally here, writing this post, as you can see this week is a little late! shocking I know. My mother was very worried about me and had to call to make sure I was ok. Of course I am totally fine, just a busy life as usual and sometimes things can get a little too much. However, and true to form this doesn't affect my sewing, only my writing. Maybe I need to come up with a fun knew format that makes it easier for me to document my creations. Something more visual perhaps, more exciting to look through. If anyone has any ideas or links to pages please let me know. 

So let me get back to this weeks creation and the brand new pattern, which is Vogue V8815 I was very excited about this pattern and wanted to link it in with a wedding I am going to next weekend. This is probably my favorite bodice shape. It is the best fit I have found for my shape. I love it. It is just a peplum pattern but has soooo many options. A few I have already explored and really exciting to try more and share them with you. Due to this awesome bodice shape, I thought it would be great to use for a dress to wear to the wedding. Very exciting. 

The reason why I like the shape so much is the way the darts fit at the front and the way they shape the boob area. I am not very large in this area and so I find this fits perfectly with no need for an adjustments. 

The fabric I used for this creation was from one of the most fun shops I have ever been to and it is up north near where I am from in North Yorkshire. The village is called Embsay and the shop is at the Embsay mill. If you ever need any wool or fabric or cross stitch supplies this is such a lovely place to go. I guess if you live close, otherwise that is quite a mission. Anyways I love to have a trip there with my mum whenever I am home. It's like the best day out. So, yes the fabric. I got the fabric in this shop last time I was home and been dying to use it. It was, I believe about £6.50pm. Very reasonable I thought. It is quite a stiff cotton so thought it would work well with this shape and style. The fabric shop specialise in quilting fabrics and tools so, although the variety of prints you can choose from is out of this world they are all mostly cottons. 

The pattern I chose for the next four creations I have used before to create both tops and dresses but for this creation I thought I would try something new and make a little jacket. To create this was very simple and didn't take a lot of planning. I only needed to alter the layplan and how I cut each piece out. Due to the jacket shape this meant that the back would be totally closed and the front open. To achieve this I laid and cut the back piece on the fold. Here I added a little extra at the fold edge. With this being a jacket I was worried it may be a little too tight fitting so wanted to add a little more ease. I then cut two separate front pieces again adding a little more. Looking back now I think I definitely should have added a little more to both the front and back but still pleased with the outcome. 

So let me know what you think of week 5's creation. Week 6 is complete and I hope to post this on Wednesday. Maybe with a new format. Not sure yet. Week 6 is hopefully the dress I am going to wear to this wedding, unless I make another one in-between now and then and change my mind, which could very well happen. The wedding is in Edinburgh, where I use to live and haven't been back since I left nearly three years ago now so very excited. I have a whole new, handmade, weekend wardrobe planned. Including a new chunky knit shawl that is well on it's way. Very excited to get that finished and load up some pictures to show you. I am also working on a coat so hopefully have some pictures up of that too. Such fun!

Thank you for listening and happy stitching everyone!!

Tuesday, January 28

I have come to the end of the first pattern in my new adventure. With my aim being to use 13 different patterns and therefore 4 variations of each pattern, I feel things are going well so far. I haven't yet pushed myself with the patterns, there will definitely be time for this. Easing myself into it is a plan I am sticking with and hoping a simple plan and good idea will produce an elegant and wearable garment. Which brings me to week 4 and maybe I have achieved this simple elegance. 

With this weeks creation I wanted to show that even with a dress only pattern, with no separate skirt variation, it doesn't mean that you can't create just a skirt. If you have found a dress pattern you really love and the skirt pieces are a lovely shape there is nothing stopping you from making a separate skirt. This may sound a little obvious but it sometimes can be a bit tricky. I have found that when doing this you might need to change the waistline size. Speaking from personal preference I would normally allow a little more room in a dress but prefer a closer fit in a skirt. This will come from taking a little more care with your measurements and making sure you know exactly the size you need, depending on a dress or skirt shape. If you are having difficulty knowing how and where to measure the gals at byhandlondon have an awesome post telling you everything you need to know. Check it out here.

So back to the pattern and the final creation using Newlook 6824. I chose to use pattern piece H, which is the pleated skirt. I had decided on the fabric quite early on and already had this in my stash, leftover from a creation last year. The style I had envisioned suited the fabric perfectly. I was super pleased that the length of the pattern piece was exactly how I wanted the skirt to be. I love a mid calf length especially with a fuller skirt. So this meant that luckily I didn't need to do any extra measuring or cutting. 

The extras needed for this creation come when finishing the skirt. As discussed before and due to this being a dress pattern with no skirt variation I had to create a waistband piece. Thankfully there are a lot of tutorials out there to help you with this. If you have never drafted a waistband before I would definitely recommend and send you back to the gals at byhandlondon and there very helpful tutorial for the perfect waistband here. This involves just a little more measuring. The fun part when making your own waistband is that you can really play around when deciding on the size and style and can really go nuts with contrasting fabrics to make each skirt you make totally different. 

I chose a navy fabric for my waistband to compliment the blue in the skirt. With the style of the skirt I didn't need to make a statement in the waistband as the print and sheer fabric, I think is striking enough. The images above show how the fabric can change dependent on skirt worn underneath. This can be sewn in and attached permanently if you wanted, but I think it's a lot more fun to leave bare. You can then be as risk-ay or conservative as you like.

Above are all the pattern alterations I have explored showing four very different styles. Going into the next pattern and others to come I might re-use this one. Hopefully as I gather more throughout the year I can begin to combine the patterns. oooo the options are endless. Firstly, I guess I need to decide on pattern two - eeek! what will it be. Any suggestions are welcome. 

Thank you everyone for reading and happy stitching!