Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Modern Essential ~ Simplicity 2556


It's been finished for weeks and finally it's here; my project for April's (yes April's!)MAGAM Challenge. The theme for April was to use the oldest piece of fabric in your stash. Up until this past 12 months or so I never really had much of a stash, so the pieces of fabric I had beforehand were few and far between. 



This piece of faux moleskin I bought back in the 90's and although I still have a couple of other pieces also from the 90's they were all bought together so are as old as each other! I can even remember buying them, back in the day when department stores still used to sell fabrics and haberdasheries. These were from the CO-OP in Plymouth and the fabric department was closing down; hence the multi purchases! But it also came at a time when my life was changing, sewing dried up and I never got to use them.



So some 20+ years later one of my oldest pieces of fabric is now a waistcoat. Hooray!! I did actually use some of this for a previous MAGAM challenge (Here) to make binding for a skirt, so using what was left for a waistcoat was ideal.

For the lining, I teamed it for contrast with what was my newest piece of fabric at the time, THIS poly cotton from Minerva Crafts. It says it's "orange" but it's not, it's mustard. Mustard is a colour I am loving at the moment.
Minerva Catalogue Photo


My pattern is the now OOP Simplicity 2556 (but still available for sale on amazon/ebay/etsy etc) . I have previously used this pattern for View A (HERE) but this time I chose View C without the collar and faux welt pocket detail because I chose to pipe the front seams in my contrast fabric and use fancy buttons instead.



The buttons are a little too heavy for this really, but the colour match and pattern were so perfect that I couldn't resist and so looked no further.

I also used the contrast for the back tab


I love the back!






Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Colours of Summer ~ Mums McCalls 7092


Where has the time gone! I have been AWOL but not idle, and I am finally finding time to catch up with all your blogs too :)

This is a dress I made a few weeks ago for my Mum. We have a lot going on with our house right now, (hence the infrequent posts) plus, due to so much concentration on the house, I also lost a bit of the sewing Mo~jo too.  But there's nothing quite like a successful garment to get the creative juices flowing again. 
  
Oh... and a brand new sewing machine helps on that front also....



Yes, here she is, my beauty of a Bernina. There was nothing wrong with my old faithful Bernina 1015 but she is 28 years old and it was time for an upgrade. Plus, she didn't sew through thicknesses like this either....



I think there was about 8 layers of fabric on the bodice of this dress and my new machine sewed through this lot like paper. (Unfortunately my overlocker didn't like it so much!)

The pattern is McCalls 7092 and I made View C for Mum but somewhere in-between the short and  the 3/4 sleeve
Despite all the layers, I totally adore the bodice of this dress 



The fabric we bought from Birmingham Rag Market back in March of last year and we bought enough for a dress each. The yellow is some left over ponte roma from a dress I made HERE.  I love the yellow contrast on Mum's so much I have incorporated the yellow in a dress for me also. (to be blogged soon)


And finally.... Mum wearing it



To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

I have a few things I still need to blog that I have made over a period of time (on the old Bernina!). So whilst the sewing has now dried up completely, due to the builders about to move into the sewing room sometime soon and I have nowhere to sew, it's time to start catching up.

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)
Happy Sewing!

Dawn :)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Introducing Lady Mae....

When I started sewing again in 2012, it was to make my Wedding Dress and Coat. I hadn't sewn for many years until then, so due to several house moves and no longer dressmaking, sewing supplies of the larger kind had become very limited. To make and have somewhere to hang my Wedding Dress and Coat, I needed a dressmakers dummy. As hanging was my then only concern, I thought I would only use it for a few months and bought a really cheap second. Little did I realise that when my sewing began, it would rekindle my love for it. 

I have been sewing ever since and "Old Dolly" the out of shape, deformed, flimsy and not to mention red and ugly (who buys red? It goes with nothing and clashes with almost everything I made!) has finally met her maker and fallen completely apart. Its a pity I don't have a photo of her as she really was in a laughable, sorry state! I'm amazed she lasted this long really. These past 12-18 months she has been no good for fitting, one push and she pinged out of shape; so she's just been used for hanging things on during the sewing process.

Two years ago, we moved house and every room needs attention. I have a sewing room but it is waaaay down the list of priorities so I wasn't planning on buying anything new for it until it was time for it's proper makeover. In that makeover included a Dressmakers Dummy. But 2 years on, needs must, I have upgraded now and I have upgraded well!

Let me introduce to you Lady Mae


She is aptly named because she is "Lady Valet" of make from Adjustoform. And any Mr Selfridge fans out there will know that the head of the Dressmaking Department in the British TV series "Mr. Selfridge" was indeed Lady Mae!


I did quite a lot of research before this big purchase and Lady Valet seemed the best one that did it for me. I was hoping on one with collapsable shoulders but this is the only feature that the Lady Valet doesn't have that I would have liked. She is adjustable (always handy) especially as I make clothes for myself and my Mum these days and she is proper good n' sturdy!(That's Lady Mai not Mum! Although the phrase could count for both haha ;) ) 
I read this useful article on Jaycott's Blog (where I purchased Lady Mai from), bought a cover for her also and fitted her out accordingly!


Other new tools that I have added to my collection early are these

Mum kindly got me the tailors ham and sleeve roll for Christmas and the silk organza pressing cloths I purchased some weeks ago from The English Couture Company. One large and one small, which I overlocked in different colours for easier identification. I had forgotten how satisfying pressing is with the right tools. I love pressing now!

And finally my latest addition to the collection is the Point Presser/Clapper

This kinda came in handy for the waistcoat I have just made (to be blogged soon) but here's a sneaky photo of the inside during construction and a brief glimpse of old Dolly...



So despite being determined to "make do" until such time the sewing room gets a makeover, time is pressing on (no pun intended!) and the new purchases have started already. Next on my list is to upgrade my  old Bernina....!!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Simplicity 8045 ~ Rustic Chevrons from Mood Fabrics (yes!!! I've been to Mood!!)



Way back in January (and I say way back, because it feels like that right now) in the midst of Winter, we sailed all the way across the pond to ever wonderful New York City.
During this visit I was very honoured to be offered a meet up with the lovely Tomasa from SewMuchFashion for a personal guided tour of mood fabrics.

I will never forget this day for as long as I live. It was one of the coldest days I have ever experienced (and I got married in Lapland!). It was icy cold, but clearly it felt exaggerated due to the fact that we had left the hotel at 8am that morning for our 10am slot over to Liberty Island, and other than going up to the Crown of Lady Liberty herself, by the time I met up with  Tomasa at 5pm , I had been outside in sub zero temperatures for 9 hours! And I looked a frightful sight in woolly hat, gloves and thermal trousers by the Tomasa finished work!!


Look at Tomasa looking amazing!

So anyhows, this fabric holds wonderful memories for me, so it feels kinda special. Tomasa was so patient and obliging as I overwhelmingly made my around Mood with no clue whatsoever with what to buy! For me it was like being in a dream. Seeing so much fabric of all natures was too surreal. The only thing I knew was that I wanted something that was like nothing I could get back home. I seemed to wander aimlessly for ages (it was less than an hour I'm sure) and then BAM! This popped out! 
Its an Italian acrylic wool (HERE ) and when asked at Mood Fabrics what I was going to make with it, I had no idea! I just had to have it.


Mood Catalogue Photo


I pondered on it for some weeks and finally decided on a Jumper version of Simplicity 8045. Unfortunately, when I came to cut this out last week, disaster struck! I found 3 holes in it!!!
I could hardly take it back(!) but as this is a loose knit I managed to sew the holes up and use that piece for the underside of the collar. I only had 1.5yards so this was the best I could do. And It turned out good so alls well that ends well.

What struck me about this pattern is the very wide collar. Most off the shoulder of this style are much narrower. With my fabric, the wide collar works well.


I also love the gathering in the side seams and collar. I love gathers and I love anything off the shoulder so this pattern was a good find for such a special fabric


The fabric has no pattern repeat so I made use of the blue edge border for the hem 

and the gold border edge on the opposite side of the fabric for the sleeves

and speaking of sleeves, the pattern features 3/4 length so I lengthened mine just because I love long sleeves!




To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Prima Peasant


There is nothing quite like the dawn of a new season to offer fresh, new inspiration. Whilst I have enjoyed my winter months of sewing, Spring offers new colours and new wardrobe pieces. 

For my first Spring make I have kept it simple and let the fabric do the talking with this BoHo style pattern from the Prima Magazine October 15. This is my project for the Moreish Makeover March MAGAM Challenge; simply because I need more tops like this.

I love this style of blouse. I used to wear it a lot back in the day (gypsy tops I think they were called then?) and I have a purchased one that I have almost worn to death.  
Mum dropped this pattern on me to make a blouse for her (which you can see HERE) and I loved it instantly! Had a few issues with Mum's due to the fabric, and low and behold I stumbled across fabric issues again with this one!


Not sure what sort of woven this is but whatever, it was seriously off-grain! Grrr. Made cutting a pain I can tell you, especially as this has an horizontal pattern. It didn't help that I didn't like the pattern horizontal either (the big rectangular-like shapes you see C/F and C/B were meant to be going across not down). For this top I felt that it would look much better vertical, so after a bit of pulling and tugging I then cut it cross grain. It's turned out OK and also the fullness of this top helps to disguise that the pattern is still a little wonky. But at least its on the grain so won't go out of shape!





I picked the fabric up from Birmingham Rag Market last November and was just drawn to the colours immediately. Had no idea  what I would make with it until Mum sent this pattern. Then I just knew that these two were a match.



The drawstring neckline was finished off with black and orange beads, purchased from a Hobbycraft store near to Mum




To read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Boho Peasant Top for Mum


Feeling pretty snug about this one as it almost didn't make it! 
Mum picked the fabric on a trip to Birmingham Rag Market in March of last year (my goodness, where did that year got to?!). I think we originally planned to make a skirt with it. But a year on, Mum had forgotten which fabrics she had left so I sent her some swatches. No sooner had she been reminded of this concertina pleated fabric, she came up with this free pattern from October 2015 Prima Magazine.



Well that was a pleasant surprise for me because a pattern like this wasn't what I was expecting at all! Having never worked with this fabric before and not able to find much, if anything online on how to work with it, this pattern was perfect. With the drawstring neckline and elasticating the sleeves, should those pleats flatten themselves out, no-one would know.



As it turned out, keeping the pleats in wasn't the problem. I used wonder tape to keep them together and this worked a treat. The issues I did have however, was stitching the actual fabric. I tried all sorts of various needles but none of them liked it. Talk about skipped stitches. The microtex needle which I thought would be the best one for this fabric turned out to be the worst! There were no stitches at all. I tried that many, I can't even recall which one worked the best now. I just know it wasn't the microtex or  the ballpoint!



The drawstring ties you see in these photos, aren't actually the ones in the finished article. These were just temporary until our trip last week to the Birmingham Rag Market again, where we were able to find a suitable replacement

As shown here with silver cording 


and complete with beads!

I have to say that perseverance certainly paid off with this one. Until I got the hang of it, this fabric was a pain to work with. But just look how it turned out. The top I thought I was going to like the least, I like the most! Despite the initial issues with stitching, this has come up trumps. And it suits my Mum to a tee :)


Definitely a thumbs up from me for this one!


To Read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE 

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x