Monday, July 31, 2017

My first Anna Dress

Morning all,
try not to be too shocked, but today I am going to treat you to some up to date sewing! The Anna dress from By Hand London is one of my #2017makenine. It has been on my things to make for literally years as I rushed out and bought the pattern when it was rumoured that By Hand London were taking all of their patterns to PDF ( I don't think that ever happened). I don't actually know why it has taken me so long to make it up either. There are literally hundreds of inspiring examples all over the internet, not to mention all of the amazing hacks out there! Google it if you get a minute.

Anyway I have bought two lots of fabric for this dress now. Some very beautiful liberty cotton from Fabworks ( cutting that out later today )  and this cheap, gorgeous green stuff from B and M fabrics when I went to #sewupnorth which was going to be my toile.

I was little disappointed by the green, as I loved it so much in the shop , but it has bled the green into the cream. It is, I hope, only noticeable to me as I still love it and  you get what you pay for .

I decided on the boat neck long version which reminds me of a purple silk number I owned about 20 years ago.The original length of the skirt was very, very long and although I wish I was this  tall I had to cut 5 inches off of the bottom. I made the  the size 12 bodice exactly as it was and it is a fairly good fit.... although looking at mine in comparison to many of the other versions out there I am not sure that I couldn't have made a sba  in the bust  as I can get this version on over my head without undoing it. This could be however due to the drapey nature of the fabric.

The pattern has lovely illustrations and techniques - french seams throughout . As this was just a toile I chose to just overlock the seams which definitely sped me up. I promise to do it properly on my next version. :)
The pattern had a choice of splits left/right or without. I am not sure if you can tell but I kept the split in for this version as it is so lovely and drapey that I thought it would work well. It does and I think probably has saved me from breaking my neck a couple of times since wearing it. If I decide to leave the split out of the next one I might have to raise the hemline slightly.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Odgen Cami - A pattern better than chocolate!

Morning all,
Happy Saturday!
As I am on a mission of full disclosure. I thought I had better spill the beans on probably my favourite sewing pattern/ dress fabric scrap-buster ever!

My daughters( especially the eldest ) buy a lot of vest tops and camisoles tops and I mean a lot predominantly from Primarni and other fashion establishments. I had  been looking at them, and admiring them, whilst thinking how hard can one of those be?

Not hard is the answer! The Ogden Cami by True Bias is the perfect little top. They are so easy! All you have to do is buy it, print it out and stick it together or if you are lazy like me get to print them  and you are good to go.

The pattern is very straightforward with easy to  follow instructions  and with a little bit of juggling it will decimate any of the larger scraps you come across. You can also make one in an hour. It is perfect for a novice sewer and immediate gratification for everybody else.

This lovely version was made out an odd shaped  scrap that I picked up off the scrap table at #sewupnorth.

 I lined it all the way through as the fabric was a bit scratchy . I do think I like this method better as it seems to create a smoother line and obviously would be a good idea for sheer fabrics.

I have made 6 ( 5 for me and one for the eldest daughter ) so far all out of oddments and I have another couple cut out ready to go. I just love it. If you haven't tried it you really should give it a go!

Friday, July 28, 2017


Morning all, I know right my blog posts are a bit like busses right?!
I thought I would tell you about the #thebigstitch that the British Heart Foundation are running on instagram and other social Media this month.

The idea is that you go into one of their shops, buy something and then transform it into something new that you would love to wear.

When I saw it, I immediately loved the concept, but was a little sceptical that I would find anything that would inspire me. I mean how often do you wander around the shops, with an idea, and come back with something suitable? Pretty much never!  Anyway my friend Sarah and I had a mooch around our local shop on Monday just on the off chance that I might find something. I had looked through all of the women's clothes, all of the linens and was just about to give up when I spotted two perfectly matched men's shirts.

At £4.98 each they were a bit of a bargain and I knew that they wouldn't fit either of the men in my life so I wouldn't feel guilty cutting them up ( I didn't realise my that the daughters would be eyeing them up....).

I took them home and washed them together and although the dark blue did bleed slightly into the white of the other shirt I think it actually enhanced the fabric.

I used my Newlook6483 as a starting point but decided on a bit of a homage to the lovely Dear and Doe Datura pattern so kept the bottom of the patterned shirt exactly as it was cutting it off under the armpits and adding two strips of the dark blue shirt as the top.

 I would love to have been able to have a play at copying the Datura neckline but I just didn't have enough fabric. As I have several of the dear and doe patterns on my wish list including this one the neckline can wait for another outing. As it was I had to unpick the pockets from the navy shirt in order to make facings, which was a little traumatic as my seam ripper and I nearly fell out.
The newlook pattern is designed to have a seam down the back which I took out, however I thing I could of taken a bit more off the back as you can see it is a little gapey. I guess it is probably only me who will be that critical.

Overall I am really pleased with how my little top turned out and I will be stalking my local charity shops in the near future to see if I can find any other goodies for upcycling projects.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

So many Stitches

Dear all,
I am sorry I have been gone so long, but I have fallen in love. Fallen in love with Instagram, the immediacy of the quick little posts, the comments from new friends and sewers and of course the lovely little hearts that are now sprinkled all over my projects!

That being said, I have also missed my blog, it is much easier for me to see what I have made and  when on here and if my junky old laptop plays nicely I am going to try and catch up over the next couple of weeks.

First off I thought I would let you know how I was getting on with #2017makenine. For  a little recap back in January I put together a list of nine items that I was hoping to get made in the coming year. You can read about my list here

I have made 4 so far, of the nine. Heather was the first and I did actually blog about that here . Then came Cleo by Tilly and the buttons and I succumbed to two versions of this. It is such a good dress for running about in doing weekend errands.
This lovely brocade came from my trip to Fabworks in January as did the corduroy, this is my favourite though! Especially as the pattern matching on my pocket went to well!
I do like the pink cord though, which is just as well as I seem to have a lot of it!

I then made a Renfrew, I have to say it wasn't a great success. Partly because I used scraps ( that were a little too small) from my stripey coco dress and the neck line bagged.  The upside is that I used up scraps!

It is definitely one I want  to make again before the end of the year as it is such a versatile little top that can be dressed up or down!

My latest make of the nine has been Arielle by Tilly and the Buttons. I made this at the beginning of July and am still actually waiting for the perfect occasion to wear it. This was my third time of trying this. The last two had been a disaster ( not because of the pattern) but this one was plain sailing. It always helps to read the instructions! This version is a beautiful, soft, dark  purple corduroy, also from Fabworks , if I was making it again I think I would probably use a fabric with a little more structure but I fell in love with this cord and just had to use it.

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