Wednesday, 29 October 2014

McCalls 6988 ~ Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn!

There's a small pocket of time from mid September to the end of October that is my absolute favourite time of year. How I love Autumn! I don't know about you but when I step outside, the feeling of freshness hits me. It's often sunny but just enough chill to warrant another layer.

In the case of this pattern, McCalls 6988 the extra layer being a roll neck jumper, making this flirty little number into an autumn staple

 And for an Autumn staple, I couldn't resist this Autumnal check double jersey fabric available HERE from good ol' faithful fabric suppliers Minerva Crafts!

This dress is also my project for the October MAGAM challenge. The theme this month was Sew and Shine (interpreted to make something vibrant and bright) so this colour fabric really fitted in with both this theme and (my favourite!) season

How I adore this pattern! This is just so very ME . Fitted jersey dresses with flirty little hems are my favourite thing to both make and wear.

I made View A shown on the pattern envelope worn as a dress. Personally Im not keen on sleeveless dresses (or anything sleeveless!) but you can't possibly cover up a great pattern like this with a cardigan (heaven forbid!) so the only thing for it of course was to put the layer underneath :)

Check out the pattern diagrams though... oh they have Dawn colour blocking written all over them! Yaay for me!

This is yet another pattern from The Big 4 that calls for a centre back zip in a stretch jersey fabric. There was no way I was putting a zip in this little beauty and so tried to be clever and cut the centre back on the fold. Big mistake! The neckline was huge for starters (cutting on the fold meant I was unable to alter it where it needed to be) and it also lost it's shaping down to the waistline making it quite boxy. So I ended up cutting the back panels in half, taking a good 3" off the neckline grading out again on the waist and back in again over the hips and all the way down. I then had the perfect fit. And it still didnt need a zip!

Of course the other fun thing about making this dress was playing about with the checks.

Overall, this has to be one of my favourite makes so far. Fabric for the next one, already ordered and arrived!

 I am now currently busy participating in the Vogue 1419 Sewalong which is extremely time consuming due to all the bound seam finishes, so it doesnt look like there will be much else getting a look in on my sewing table for a couple of weeks yet!

See you all soon.... hopefully!! :)

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!

Dawn :)x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Vogue 8929 ~ Camouflage and Khaki

These trousers have totally restored my sewing mojo! I think I am pretty safe to say that over the past few weeks it was kind of flagging. The few things I have made of late just didn't give me the buzz that I usually get from making something new. And after my lack of interest part way through pjyama making last time, I was starting to get a little worried I was losing it completely!
 NOT SO...
(breathes a sigh of relief)

I love combining fabrics and colours. And when these 2 beauties arrived I just couldn't wait to get stuck in. For the first time in ages I felt excited about making something. Ooooh and that feels soooo good! Yaay...Give a warm welcome back to my sewing mojo....!!

I bought Vogue 8929 as soon as it came out, which could possibly be months and months ago by now? Totally drawn to the detail on these trousers they had colour blocking written all over them. 

I finally got around to buying fabrics a few weeks ago and made View B shown on the pattern envelope made in stripes

And shown here by moi made in Bottle Green Ponte Roma and a Green Camouflage Jersey Print both from Minerva Crafts. I was totally impressed with both these fabrics. They were wonderful to work with.

The pattern called for the main pieces to be cut opposite to the grain line. I'm assuming this was to get the effect with stripes. I cut mine on the straight grain and  used the camouflage as the contrast for the side panels. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do the top stitching so I did a practise piece first to see what it looked like. Loved it! So here's a close up of the real deal

and the lower leg... 
The top stitching actually finishes it off rather nicely, me thinks :)

I love everything about these trousers, especially the pockets and the contrast side panels. What a great detail!
For fitting I had to take in about 1" in from the centre front and back seams. I took it from there so I didn't lose any detail from the sides. Taking in the back wasn't as necessary with it being elasticated but I did it as a personal preference so there was less bulk in the waistband.
These sit below waistline and the front waistband is flat. Perfect for someone like me who doesn't like bulk around the middle!

I'm hoping that these won't "bag" on the knees as I can foresee me wearing these loads. I love making jersey dresses but these have matched that pleasure, and these are so much more practical and will get worn a lot more for sure. Even hubby was impressed..... "when did you buy those?" was the opening question.
Compliment accepted! :)

To Read My Full Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Butterick 6837 ~ Pyjama JimJams!

Oh I'm so late posting these! They have been finished for over a week but what a busy social week we have had :) Our busy working summer is over and we have been enjoying life once again. The nights are now drawing in and the evenings are longer and cosy. So here I introduce my Pj's for these longer and cosy nights....

Despite loving these pyjamas, being pleased at how they turned out and how cosy and comfy they are to wear I can't deny that I didn't enjoy making these at all! And I have have no particular justifying reason for that statement either!

My current pyjamas were a mis-shaped, over worn and over washed disgrace. But pyjamas to me are more of a necessity that no-one ever sees so I guess this is why I never replaced them? But  a new house and a freshly decorated and newly carpeted bedroom just put them to even more to shame!
So it was time to treat myself to some new ones. I had never made pyjamas before and this was my opportunity.

All the sewing patterns for pyjamas seemed much of a muchness really. I am a member of Sew Direct which includes 40% off all Butterick, Vogue, McCalls and Kwik Sew patterns so naturally it had to be one of these. But I chose Butterick 6837 as it had a dressing gown pattern included in the envelope should I ever want to make one of these... which is likely. Ask me about dressing gowns and there's a completely different story!! I lurve dressing gowns. My dressing gown would be my one luxury item on a desert island. I wear mine every day, twice a day and it goes everywhere I go! Yes, even on holiday, much to the moans and groans of hubby as he watches me cramming it into the suitcase! I must have the most travelled dressing gown in the world lol.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. With the pattern sorted, next up, fabric. Once again inspiration came from September's MAGAM Challenge which was to make something for the changing seasons. So with Autumn/Winter on the way I decided to go for a lovely soft, warm flannel (HERE) from Minerva Crafts (again!) in Lemon.

I started with such enthusiasm and cut out and made up the pyjama bottoms first. I took my time, did nice french seams and I even made some piping to insert on the lower legs (omitted the fly as I didn't think it needed it for the women's). But the piping for some reason gave me a few issues; which were resolved, but once the trousers were complete I'd suddenly lost interest in the making .

So although it was all with good intention to pipe the collar, pocket, sleeves and centre front seam, due to the now lack of interest, they never happened! So I made the top as per the pattern (not even the french seams got a look in!) just to get it finished quicker. Perhaps getting new fabric in the post for the next project whilst the pyjamas were still in the making, may have had something to do with wanting to get them out of the way....? I wonder has this happened to anyone else, where you have lost interest half way through a project? Have to say, 'tis a first for me!

But, all that said and done, these were definitely worth it. I love these pyjamas! They are loose and baggy and feel great on. Space and comfort is everything for a pair of Jim Jams :)
And I feel so warm, snug and cosy wearing them. After all, Is there anything better than snuggling up in a cosy pair of pyjamas with a hot drink and a good book whilst Jack Frost works his magic outside?

To read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

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

Dawn :)x

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

V1419 Sewalong

So, when I first saw this coat I barely gave it a passing glance...

But as a follower of the McCall Pattern Blog, it was brought to my attention and I began to admire it and appreciate it's detail. 

This coat is just so not practical at all for my lifestyle. My kinda coat needs to be rainproof, windproof, trees and hedge-proof, brambleproof, bung in the washing machine proof, suitable to be worn with wellies proof, and all those other practical proofs you can possibly think of!

 But it's the pattern that The McCall Pattern Company have chosen for their first Sewalong, of which I have decided to be brave and participate!  I have made advanced level sewing patterns before but never a coat. I've made plenty of jackets in my time and OK I did make a coat once back in the 80's but it was with the assistance of my wonderful Mum and she even did the bound buttonholes for me.

The pattern arrived yesterday and OMG the instructions are intimidating! This is going to be one major task for me. But I am looking forward to it and it's done over a timeline of several weeks starting more or less as of now up until 17 November.

Next week is all about buying fabrics. I've already been on the hunt for mine and pretty much decided on THIS terracotta English Wool Coating

 Meg from McCalls asked if I actually wanted an unlined coat made from wool, which made me think about that? Yet I can't find anything else in this colour that I like as much! And besides, for me, this is all about the challenge and participating and not about wearing it lol. I mean, can you really see me wearing this lovely coat with my wellies and woolly hat, being blown across the seafront...?!!

Wish me luck, I think I'm gonna need it...!

Happy Sewing :)

PS: anyone interested in taking part in the sewalong, check it out HERE it's not too late!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

McCalls 6788 ~ Fashionstar ~ A little bit of old, turned into new

Over a period of several months this pattern went through the process of 3 different fabric combinations, which is why it has taken me this long to make a pattern I bought 12 months ago.

On purchasing McCalls 6788 it was with all intent to buy some tweedy looking jersey matched with some beigey looking jersey. But hey ho I couldn't find any at the time to compliment one another so on the back burner it went. 

I am a member of the MAGAM Challenge  and the challenge for last month was to make up an item of clothing using up fabric from your stash. I already had a project I wanted to complete for last month but the stash buster challenge led me anyway to sifting through what I already had. I came across some fabulous crushed velour in bright burgundy which went perfectly with some ponte roma I also already had.

 This dress would have looked amazing in this! Yet when I checked the fabric quantity I had nowhere near enough of the velour (groan). Having had the fabric that long (and when I say long, I mean loooooong! It's so old I've had it 20 years!) I had totally forgotten it was only 90cm wide and McCalls 6788  requires a minimum width of 150cms for the bodice of this dress. So that was that idea also blown away and back to the drawing board I went once again.

As it turned out I also had this red and black (viscose?) jersey (also 20 years old!!) in just the right amount of fabric and this pillar-box red Ponte roma (only last year old), also in just the right amount! 

I didn't particularly want to make this pattern in black and red; especially as my last sew was red, but I was determined to use up what I had. And you know what...? Not a bad selection of fabrics after all!

As you can see from the pattern diagram above, the pattern calls for a shoulder bow which I omitted as it made it look to dressy for my casual look. And to make it even more casual, this is a great dress pattern to throw on a long sleeve top underneath for those cooler autumnal days

If you have seen any of my previous makes, you may have noticed that I tend to chop the skirt length off to above the knee. Mostly for autumn/winter dresses. It's just a personal preference as for me they are easier to wear this length and with tights for winter they look better on me this way. Almost cut the length off this one, only when I tried it on for fitting I just thought "you know what... I'm going to leave this as it is. Just for a change!" So I did!
**UPDATE**  the length has been chopped!! For an every day dress on a straight skirt, knee length is not practical for me. I live in a hilly area and walk a lot!!**

I love how the armholes are actually made from leaving part of the shoulder seam open. And it fooled me. Before I read through the instructions my mind was telling me the armholes went in the side seams. Just goes to show... don't ever assume you know best lol

I often wonder why Pattern Companies add zips to jersey dresses? Err it's jeresy...?! This pattern also had a zip but in this case, the pattern has a waistband. I didn't want the zip (they rarely look nice in stretch fabrics anyway) so I made it up without the waistband and threw a belt on instead. Job done!


Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vogue 8648 ~ Hey look it's Pac-man!

Anybody recognise these little chaps...?

 These were the social phenomenon of what is now an icon of 1980's popular culture. I'm not a gamer myself, never have been, but these little chappies definitely make an eye catching and colourful fabric that I couldn't resist.

The pattern is Vogue 8648, A perfect pattern for colour blocking. Or in my case, pac-man blocking! I made View C (yellow dress on the pattern envelope)

The pattern calls for you to cut this pattern on the cross grain. (Well from memory at least some of it, if not all...?) Not sure why? Didnt think the little chappies on the fabric would appreciate being lopsided anyway so I went with the straight grain for the most part and just did the waistband on cross grain. Well it worked for me!

I have no idea where I bought the fabric from but it's a quilting cotton that was beautiful to work with. I didn't have a huge amount (1m) so I just had to play around with pattern pieces to see what fit. 

Ok, I can see that the photos aren't that great and you're having to take my word for it that these are actually little pac-men and not just coloured in dots so how about a bit of a zoom in....

Oh look, there they are!

 I love that Vogue Patterns add lining to a lot of their dress patterns. I just love the finish of a lined dress not to mention the comfort of wearing it! And yet I never wore this dress other than for these photos. My sister-in-law is now the proud owner of it. Well, perhaps I am being rather over confident in the word proud lol but owns it she does, proud or not! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing 
Dawn :)x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Butterick 5747 ~ Hello Sailor!

August is traditionally the month that us British take to the coast for a bit of fresh sea air, sand in our toes, ice cream and fish and chips. Our bank holiday is generally the last chance to make the most of what's left of our summer before the children head back to school and early autumn heads our way.

I however, live by the sea so rarely participate in any of those activities during summer. Especially August! But, living by the sea, it was time to have a nautical themed dress. And this is it...

So where is the sea you may ask..? Well August for us is our busiest time. So as much as I wanted to head down to the beach for some photos of this dress, time just didn't allow.

The pattern, Butterick 5747 lends itself to make the perfect little sailor dress

I made a combo of both: the Bodice of View A and the Straight skirt of View B using a pillarbox red luna cotton. It creases like crazy but cool and fresh it certainly is!

Oh look careful and you can actually see the sea!! Getting out on our balcony is the closest I got to "seaside" photos!

I made a couple of changes to the pattern but only slight. I didn't want the big winged collar so I altered this and rounded it off. The dress also features a detachable dickey giving the option to wear the dress with or without it. Hmmm, without tends to give rather a lot of over exposure, especially if you are pigeon chested like me! Yet making the dickey the size of the pattern piece gives the feeling of serious strangulation!! So I made the dickey considerably smaller and this works perfectly :)

For the nautical vibe I added the red and white grossgrain ribbon and nautical red and white anchor buttons both available HERE and HERE

These buttons just add the perfect finishing touch

Fabric, Buttons and Grossgrain Trim were all purchased from

I also purchased a red and white striped belt for this dress to match the red and white trim. Only I actually prefer the dress without the belt!

This dress was also my August project for the MAGAM Challenge. Had I not joined this wonderful inspirational group, I really don't think this dress would ever have made it in time to see the summer out....!

To read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x