Saturday, 28 March 2015

McCalls 6841 ~ Hot Pink!

Check out this awesome bright colour!! Woo hoo how I relished in making this top

Now that the sewing of my work wardrobe, consisting of black, black and only black is over, I picked the hottest, brightest colour I could find to make McCall's 6841

I saw so many fabulous versions of this pattern last year, that even though this is not normally the style of top I would wear, I just had to get this pattern to give it a try. I bought it at the back end of last Summer, but didn't get around to making it. Then Autumn came and went, Winter arrived, and before I knew it, it was too cold for a top like this.
But hey, it's now March (meaning almost Spring right? Not that you'd notice here in the UK) and the March MAGAM is to "March into Spring" Perfect for my need of a hot colour and to finally make up this pattern

The way this top goes together is just sheer genius. I read through the instructions first and got the general gist of it, but it wasn't until I started to make this up that I actually realised exactly how this works. At Step 7 I am left wondering how on earth that will work but I ride with it, and it really, really does! 
Sorry this is the wrong way up... for the life of me I couldn't get this to rotate and save!
And it's easy. No wonder this pattern is so highly rated. It certainly gets my vote too.

In the past I have always had a tendency to shy away from loose fitting things, but because of my sewing, and making things out of my comfort zone, I am slowly being converted. And although this is a loose fit, what I do like is how it sits at the back. It doesn't hang all loose, it sits on the hips.

I used a cerise pink Jersey Viscose fabric from Minerva Crafts. It's no longer available but they do have similar. To stop the hem from stretching on this fine knit, I used this awesome Washaway Wonder Tape before sewing
This stuff is AMAZING!!

I cut this top with the 3/4 length sleeves but on completion I didn't like them. Not unusual at all for me that; Ooooh I do like my arms proper covered! But I wanted to give it a go in hope that I may become converted. Errr, not so! I was constantly trying to pull them down, so with fabric I had left over, I added some wide cuffs.

Love, Love Love!!!

In fact I love this top sooooo much, fabric for top number 2 is already purchased

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Style Arc ~ Elle Pant

So last week, I whipped up a pair of desperately needed trousers for work.

And having whipped them up so quickly, I whipped up another pair!

I've casually browsed the patterns of Style Arc from time to time but never actually bought anything. To be honest I never really seriously looked because I assumed that postage from Australia to the UK would be horrendous. But on needing to update my work wardrobe, I remembered seeing a trouser pattern that had looked pretty similar to what I was after. That trouser pattern is called Elle

Turns out that the postage to the UK was only about £3 too. So in total this pattern has cost around £10 but I will use this again and again. And seeing as I've already used it twice that's reduced it to £5 already right? Right!

Being new to Style Arc I didn't quite know what to expect. Delivery was pretty quick (8 days) considering it literally came from the other side of the world . 
The pattern comes A4 size in a cellophane sleeve and is printed on good sturdy white paper. A bit like Kwik Sew Patterns. You also get a little freebie sample of the recommended fabric suggestion which is an awesome idea and a great touch. 
I would say though that some sewing knowledge is needed. Although there are some techniques and tips on the Style Arc Website

I have to be comfortable at work because I am constantly on the go.  Up and downstairs all day, bending, fetching, carrying, you name it! So no bulky waistbands or fastenings is a must. This pattern has an elasticated waist but I found they actually don't need the elastic if you use the recommended fabric of Bengaline, which I did. I cut my waistband 2" smaller than the waist of my trousers, and stretched it to fit as I attached it. By using the negative ease in the waistband, these babies stay up and they stay put all day long! Even in my job. Result.

Flat waistband. No bulk :)

The fit wasn't bad at all really. I had to take them in on the waist and hip line of the back trouser piece by about 1" per side, (personal preference) because I like to use the negative ease to get a comfortable fit. I did find however that my hippo legs had to squeeeeeeeze into the first pair I made! Unless you have marvellously slim legs, these are more like a skinny fit than a slim fit! So for the 2nd pair I widened the legs to make them more "slim" rather than skinny. 

This is the first pair

And this is the second pair

You can't really tell any different because 
A) they are black!
and B) because the first pair is using the fabric stretch to fit around my calf, whereas the 2nd pair are cut to fit the width of my calf.
So there is no real physical difference, they just feel different. The fit is good if you have slim legs. Which sadly I don't!

You can see the entire trousers much better in my bright red and white spotty socks!

So anyhows, hopefully here ends my days of sewing in black  and sewing for work. I've enjoyed making new clothes for work as it's introduced me to 2 new indie pattern companies Colette and Style Arc. But if I ever see black fabric again this year it will be too soon!

So now I'm off to work with some wonderfully bright and wonderfully pink, fabric! YaaY... colour!

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

Dawn :)x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Vogue 8939 ~ Jumper Dress, Jumper!

I'm starting to lose count at how many times this pattern has been out of it's envelope.  I loved my Christmas version so much (HERE) it turned out to be my favourite make of last year. But it was just that, a Christmas Dress, and  I missed wearing it.

I picked cream for this one because I was hoping that with being a cotton jersey it would take me into spring.

This is what it looked like when I first finished it.

I say 'looked' as in past tense because it stayed as a dress for all of one day! Oh My Gosh! I can hear you saying it now.... the ruffle on this dress is  A W F U L. A 5 year old would wear this!

I loved the ruffled hem so much on the Christmas Dress, my intention was to replicate it. Although to make it just a little different I made this ruffle wider and also fuller. Big mistake. I hated it. And it looks terrible. What was I thinking? It mightn't have looked quite so bad if I'd gone with the normal 2 1/2 x for the gathers but either way I doubt I'd of liked it.

So anyhow, off came the ruffle and now it's now a jumper! 

How much better does this look? The colour also makes a better jumper than a dress. And it's far more practical too.

My fabric is a decorative cotton jersey from good ol faithful Minerva Crafts which cost me a grand total of £4.50!! So there was no loss at all really in chopping off that despicable ruffle. 
You can just about see the fabric detail here

What is quite noticeable now that this is a jumper, is how it has a much looser fit around the middle without the weight of the skirt pulling down into shape. It looks like I've let it out loads but I haven't altered the fit at all. But I've left it because I don't like my jumpers quite as fitted as my dresses. You can see the fit difference between the dress and top more noticeably from these side on views.

Side on dress

Side on jumper

Totally loving this much more as a jumper. And I am quite proud that I've made yet another practical item for my wardrobe. I lack good basic separates because I just love making dresses, and well, nice things in general!

And the skirt I am wearing is my Mabel from last week! She hasn't seen my uniformed work shirts yet, but she sure is getting acquainted with my (limited!) casual separates at home already.

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!

Dawn :)x

Friday, 27 February 2015

Colette Patterns 1029 ~ Meet Mabel....

I read somewhere in sewing blog world that it's easy to have too much frosting and not enough cake. But when it comes to making something nice (frosting) or something practical (cake), it's so easy to fall into the frosting category.
I have been following the blog of Lladybird Lauren these past few months and there is one gal that knows her cake. Talk about a practical, wearable wardrobe! 

So now it's my turn for a bit of cake. Having a recently new dressing room and sorting out clothes, I noticed that my work wardrobe is looking rather tired and decided I need to replace some of it ready for when our season kicks off in spring. I've always bought my work clothes and hands up, I admit, that was going to be the plan again. But then I asked myself, well why? I need a couple of skirts and a couple of pairs of trousers so why not make them? Sadly my work wardrobe is restricted to black skirts or trousers and I hate working with black. But not to be deterred...!!

This is my favourite skirt for work (not made). It's practical, durable and best of all it's comfortable being a stretch jersey knit and has no bulk around my middle or any fastenings. (Yes I know it's crumpled, the light picked out every lump and bump!)

The theme this month for the MAGAM challenge was to fashion something, so this worked out perfectly for me and gave me something more to aim for other than just " a work skirt in black".
In my quest to find a pattern to replicate the above, I came across Mabel from Colette Patterns.

Bingo. Just what I was looking for.

I made Version 3 and I think it's a pretty good match! 

Yes, Yes, another crumpled photo! Believe me this IS pressed!! But if I changed the light, the skirt detail wasn't as easy to see

But you get the idea. It's basically just a straight skirt with side front panels and a waistband. That's it. It's not very exciting in black, especially on photos!

To keep in with the comfort theme, I purchased from Calico Lane this cotton jersey knit. Work gets very hot in summer (Air con? What's that...?!!) so none of those sweaty synthetic fibres for me thank you very much!
The fabric is quite thin (like what you would use to make a t shirt) so I basically made 2 skirts and lined the skirt with the skirt number 2 to give it some substance. I omitted the side front seams for the lining, but basically made them up the same and just joined them together at the waistband seam (as shown here below where my pins are) and then joined them to the waistband as one. Just as you would any normal lining.

This is my introduction to another Indie pattern company. It's so interesting to see how different pattern companies put these things together. Colette patterns do not disappoint. The instructions come in a little mini booklet with the pattern pieces tucked in a little envelope at the back.

These instructions are written for a complete novice so anyone could make this. There is also a Sewalong available, although I didn't use it so I can't comment on what it's like.
It's been 2 or 3 weeks since I made this so I cant remember which size I cut. I think it was a Small? But whatever it was, it fit perfectly. I made the skirt as per the instructions, although I did omit the back vent. I didn't see the need for it. I used my over-locker for all the seams and twin needled the hem. I understitched the waistband as a personal preference. 

This skirt is super comfy, practical and easy to wear. It's just what I need for work to replace my old RTW but I am already imagining it in some striped fabric and playing about with those stripes!

I struggled to get a decent photo of me wearing it, but hey, it's just a plain black skirt. No excitement necessary...!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

To Infinity and Beyond.... Simplicity Scarfs

Inspired by those made by Hana from Velvet Ribbon I made 3 Infinity Scarfs. One Brown, One Black and One Raspberry Pink.

I can never have enough scarfs. I have as many scarfs as most women (not me) have handbags! But these are the first ones I have made. I had never even thought about making a scarf before now but I'm so glad I did. Now I could have a scarf to match every outfit and coat!

The scarf requires no pattern but these are from a freebie step by step Sew Your Own Infinity Scarf tutorial from Simplicity available HERE. It's super easy to follow and make, and it's quick to do. I made the shorter version which is basically one strip of fabric 60" long (the fabric width) by 25" deep.

I made the black and the brown ones first. The brown one is actually a little shorter but who's checking!

These two are made from a lovely decorative double layered, textured jersey both available HERE and HERE from Minerva Crafts.
This fabric is soooo soft! 

The third one is a more dressy scarf made from a crinkled crushed velour which has the most beautiful sheen on it. It's a fabric that I have had for over 20 years. (Yes, I really am that old). I knew it would come in handy for something one day! It's only 90cms wide and I only bought a metre. Goodness knows what on earth I thought I could make with just a metre when its that narrow? Perhaps I was thinking of the scarf I was going to make with it in the year 2015?! So Yaay, here we are 20+ years later and I have finally used it.

Because this fabric was so narrow, I had to cut 2 strips instead of 1 and just stitched them together to make the 60" up in length.

So, that's 3 more scarfs added to my collection. I am so not going to be cold for the rest of this winter! And... I can foresee more arriving on the horizon :)

Thanks For Stopping By and Taking Time to Read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Simplicity 1321 ~ Check Mate Monochrome

Hello Everyone

It was time for something a little more versatile. Black and white. Well it goes with everything doesn't it?

 I have mentioned before that I don't do skirts very often. As in, I don't wear them all that much other than for work. So I am trying to change that. I picked View C from Simplicity 1321 to start the impending change. It has no waistband (a must for me to wear this), great seam detail and a flounced, pleated hem.

As we are in the midst of Winter here in the UK I picked a wool blend fabric HERE from Calico lane. I have only recently started using this company and have to say that I am impressed. This fabric is beautiful and reasonably priced too. The service is amazing and I have since purchased more fabric of equally good quality.
Anyhow, back to the fabric in question. Due to the seam detail on this skirt I opted to go for a check. Call me weird but I love playing around with stripes and checks on patterns.

This is the back. Not looking a lot different to the front!

Although looking pretty good on the main skirt part, using the checked fabric didn't benefit so much for the inverted pleats as they are  totally lost in my fabric choice. It's not helped because the pleats are also in a flounce! I like it though. It's typical me-style with it's flippy little hem and the fabric is Lush. It's just so soft, drapes lovely and makes up to perfection.

I've opened out the flounce here so you can just about see one of the inverted pleats.

Oh, and speaking of the flounce, for personal preference I shortened it by about 3cms.

The pattern calls for the flounce to not only be entirely interfaced, but also faced with the same fabric. The pattern piece said to Cut 4 and I actually thought it was a mis-print until I read the instructions! I didn't want my flounce stiff so I omitted the interfacing and with this being a woven wool blend my fabric is also quite thick, so I didn't want it faced either. This skirt pattern is unlined so instead I just did a basic straight skirt lining and left my flounce soft and flippy.

It wasn't until completion of this skirt that I became fully aware that I only own 2 big jumpers! So much for it going everything haha ;) ! I do have thinner jumpers and cardigans etc but that's it. The jumper I'm wearing here is one I made for our New York trip at Christmas in 2013 (blogged here). And the remaining boucle from this was what I used for my recent oversize top HERE

This is one of the very few times that I have posted my main pictures with Dolly wearing my make and not myself. It didn't seem to matter where the photos were taken of me wearing this skirt, for once I have to say that Dolly shows it's true detail better than I do!

Even outside, Dolly still wears it's detail better!

But it's a great little skirt and I love it.

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn x