Saturday, 24 January 2015

Papercut Patterns ~ Circle Top

This is only the second Indie pattern that I have tried (the first being my Minoru Jacket from Sewaholic ). When it arrived in the post, I didn't even realise what it was until I opened it. So how surprised was I to find the sewing pattern I had ordered in a beautifully packaged box with a proper photograph on the front.

Isn't this just lovely?! It was almost a shame to break the seal! But when you do, this beautifully package of a box actually becomes a hanger! How cool is that? Inside, the pattern and the instructions are printed on sturdy recyled paper (almost like that brown parcel paper you buy) and even more cute is that you can cut out the instructions bit 

which starts out like this

and with a tiny bit of glue and some folding, you can make it into a cute little booklet like this!

I've wanted to try another indie pattern for quite some time now; but I fall so easily for The Big 4 who bring out patterns faster than I can sew them, it just doesn't happen. When the theme for this months MAGAM challenge was to "Try Something New" I saw this as my opportunity to do it now. This is the Papercut Circle Top which I have had my eye on for sometime. Simply because, throw overs are something I both lack and need!

Being in the UK, I ordered my Pattern (which was reduced at the time.. YaaY!) from I hadn't used this website before, but man these guys are super fast on delivery. Ordered late one evening, delivered within 36 hours. That's what I call service! It came that fast I actually felt kinda guilty for not whipping it out of the envelope and making a start on it straight away!

This top is one of the quickest, easiest things you could make. It's so simple in both construction and style yet the amazing thing is how versatile it actually is to wear. As you can see from the pattern diagram it looks like this

Yes, basically that's it! Its literally just a circle with sleeves in it. There are no seams, the armholes are cut out of the circle.
And yet it can be worn so many different ways....

With a shawl collar

Pulled forward (a brooch would be nice here but I didn't have one to demonstrate!) making it less long at the back


Or loosely over the shoulders

Or you can even drape it over your head if you so wish!

Hmmm somehow, I don't think I will be wishing to wear it this way myself! ;)

But my favourite way to wear it is the loosely over the shoulders look. Just check out how naturally it just cascades down the body. Nice :)

I chose a loose knit fabric which has a colourful print on the outside, but the inside (wrong side) the fabric is like a black and white marl. I chose this purposely for contrast as it can be seen whilst worn. If you don't like the wrong side of your fabric, you will need to choose something different for this top. It doesn't specify on the pattern that the wrong side will show, but it does. I guess that's obvious to a more experienced sewer but a beginner may not realise.

This is the perfect little cover up. Everyone should have one of these and everyone should own the Papercut Patterns Circle top! :)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Thursday, 15 January 2015

McCalls 6793 ~ Urban Oversize

Hello Everyone!

I am quite excited as this is my first official make of 2015. My Poncho was my first posting, but was made in December. Ok maybe I started this at the back end of 2014 but the construction majority was only last week. I ran out of silk thread for the narrow hem so that bit was done just last night!

In the past, I have never been one for baggy clothes as I've always felt like a sack of potatoes wearing them! But loose oversize tops are popular right now and a huge part of my sewing process is to make things out of my comfort zone to encourage me to wear different things. So this is where McCalls 6793 came in.

I chose this pattern because I have such a love of gathers and ruffled hems. If I stood any chance of wearing this, it was a good start. I made View B, featured here with the bow neckline. 

Turned out to be an absolute fabulous choice and I actually do stand every chance of wearing this because I love it! It's great when something you think isn't you, feels so good on, you wonder why you never wore anything like this before?! I am so going to be wearing this loads.

My fabric is a John Kaldor  french crepe from Minerva Crafts which is just lush and was a pleasure to work with. And it doesn't crease. Always a bonus. I can't find it there anymore but Sew Box have the same one HERE
The pattern has quite a few features that would be a bit lost in such a busy print so as I had a remnant piece of boucle left over form a previous project (HERE) I added a built in tank top to break it up a little and emphasise that bow.

I finished the hem of the boucle tank first using a twin needle. I then placed it on top of the front bodice, tacking (basting) it all together around the edges. (I know, I should have taken a photo here) I then just made the top as per the pattern treating the front bodice as one as you can see here from the side view.

Other alterations I made was to lengthen the sleeves by 2", omit the sleeve opening and the little rouleau loop at the cuff. On the pattern the sleeves are 3/4 length. For me that just wont do! The cuffs were wide enough just to slip over my hand so didn't warrant the opening. And the rouleau loop was just another feature that would have been totally lost in this busy print anyway!

I made the Size Small and as you can see this is a very loose fit. So I can't imagine that there would be much need for fitting adjustments on this pattern. 

Whilst making this, I was starting to wonder what on earth I have got that I could wear to compliment it? But in December, having lived out of suitcases since moving house last May, our Dressing Room was finally completed. So now I feel so lucky that everything is now there on easy accessible display, just waiting to be worn. I was in there less than a minute before spotting this skirt (Blogged Here) in a similar colour to the tank top overlay. Perfect! My outfit was complete. And no suitcases required....! :)

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 4 January 2015

McCalls 6209 ~ Poncho...? Perfect!

What a great little throw over this is. It all started when the Christmas Shopping began and I didn't know what to get for my one and only lovely Auntie. Feeling totally uninspired by the shops (I am the worlds worst shopper) I started thinking that a personal gift made by myself would be rather nice. I am not keen on making clothes for other people, often due to fit issues (taking the pleasure out of sewing) but also, as I have found in the past, you make something for one person, it starts to escalate and where do you draw the line at saying No? Has anyone else ever had this issue or are you happy to oblige?

So I picked McCalls 6209 because it's an easy make with no fit issues. And as Auntie knew nothing about this and also lives across the border in Wales, fitting something was a no-no for starters. So with no fitting required, said Aunt had a special handmade gift this Christmas. At least I hope she found it special! I made View E (bottom right)

This is Auntie's Poncho

Inspired by the poncho made by Meg from McCalls and rather chuft at how Auntie's turned out, I decided to make one for myself. 

And so this one is mine!

I made View E again and following the tip from Meg I found the centre points in the front and back and cut diagonally across from there to the end of the shoulder seams (making a triangle). 

I finished the edges by stretching the fabric as I overlocked (serged to my american friends!) it to create a  lettuce (wavy) effect. Although this is a jersey knit fabric, it doesn't have a huge amount of stretch so it's not as wavy as I'd  like, but hey, it works! And I likes it! No idea where the fabric came from exactly; it was a reduced remnant piece from eBay quite some time ago. It was meant for a dress but it turned into a poncho instead! I love its subtle colour mixes of blue, brown and white.

I remember wearing a (pink and white crocheted!) Poncho when I was about 5 years old and never thought I'd see the day where I would wear one again. I have always associated ponchos with my childhood but they seem to be everywhere at the moment. This is what I love about sewing; it makes me make things that I would never dream of wearing if I didn't sew. Now I have something that I can just throw on when I'm feeling the chill! And this is so light and small it's even perfect just to pop on in the sewing room... where I currently have no heating.... yet! :)

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Vogue 8939 ~ Snowflakes and Reindeer

My old faithful sewing pattern Vogue 8939 has made it out of the envelope once again and in time for Christmas to help me celebrate the festivities. 
Yes Christmas is here once again! The lights on the tree are sparkling bright, the presents underneath anxiously await to be opened and Santa Claus is very soon to be on his way.

This time last year we were soaking up the Christmas atmosphere in the Capital of the World, New York City. 2014 saw us finally move into our new home (we call it "The Ranch". It's not at all but for the first time in years we have our own outside space and so to us, it feels like there's quite a bit of it!) so this year we are spending a quiet first Christmas in our new house. This calls for lots of good food, drink, nibbles and snuggled up in front of an open fire :). And so all of this also calls for a warm, cosy, comfortable Christmas Dress.

And there's plenty of stretch in here for when I eat too much food!

I've used this pattern 3 times before. First time HERE, second time as a jumper HERE and again as another dress which I never blogged. Yes, yes I know I said I would log e v e r y t h i n g but the photos of this were pretty awful and the dress, well, it's since gone to a better home
See what I mean?! But there you have it. Done. It's blogged now ;)

As this is my third (but definitely not final!) dress, I decided on some extra detail this time with (my favourite addition) a ruffled hem. Oh how I love a good ruffle! That combined with a patterned fabric has made this my favourite of the 3 dresses I've made so far.

The fabric was inspired by Tracy H from Tracy Sews Happy. She made a jumper in a very similar print which I loved instantly (HERE). Since then I became on the lookout for something like it and this is what I found. 

This dress is also my Project for the MAGAM Challenge. This months theme was to make a dress for Christmas. And so I did! Literally... in Christmas fabric! 
So I shall be feeling very festive indeed wearing this tomorrow on Christmas Day :)

My original alterations to this pattern was to take it in considerably for a snugger fit and to lengthen the sleeves a little. Of course, this now being my go-to pattern, I make it up straight out of the envelope. Love this pattern it's one of my favourites :)

**Merry Christmas fellow sewers !**

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Dawn xx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vogue 1419 ~ Sewalong Coat

DAH DAH!!! So here it is... the unveiling of V1419. The Coat that took up most of my sewing time throughout October and November!

I took on this project as exactly that. A project. This coat was all about learning new techniques and improving my skills. So when The V1419 Sewalong was introduced by Mccalls I knew I had to do this. I won't go into any detail about this as I talked about it on my blog before (twice) but for those who missed it or are reading this and actually want to read that too, you can get the info HERE and HERE

Anyhow, moving on, let's start with the fabric. Boy did I have trouble sourcing fabric for this pattern. I dont think I have sent off for soooo many samples since looking for fabric for my wedding coat. When I finally stumbled across a lovely brocade by pure chance, I wanted it for this coat so badly. But to cut a long story short and so as not to bore you with the details, it wasn't to be.

I think it tuned out for the best anyway as on making my toile (muslin) for this pattern I didn't like the A line on me at all. 

If there was any chance that I was going to wear this afterwards, I had to at least like the look of it on me! So I knew then, I wanted a softer fabric so it would have more drape. I came across this THIS corduroy with corded appliqué, which is smart yet casual. And also a little more practical and wearable for me than brocade.

I kind of went into this project blind, as I had no idea what I was taking on. I had done welt pockets before (once, back in the 80's) but never bound buttonholes or seams finished with binding. The seam finishing turned out to be much easier than I had thought (time consuming but fairly easy). Oh and what a fabulous finish! 
 Sleeve seam
tacking (basting) before topstitching!

Had it not been for all the seam binding this coat probably would have made up in no time at all!

I was so excited to get started on these bound seam finishes. But at the same time also quite anxious as this was another new one on me. I began with great caution determined to get it right. But after mastering the first couple and being rather impressed with myself at how well they turned out; i.e. neater (although not the neatest I'm sure!) than I expected, my confidence grew. I was loving this....err.... for a while...

The instructions went:
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 

Ok, so you get the idea! So the coat was coming together but this was the entire process throughout umpteen amount of steps with nothing else different to do in-between.
Oh. My. God. Boy was I glad when it came to make up the welt pockets! Yes those seams were great but gees I'm not afraid to say I got slightly fed up of the monotony!

Speaking of the Welt Pockets, I have to say, I LOVED making these! And no, not because it was such a relief to get onto a new process (although that helped!). 
I had made welt pockets (once with and once without a flap) many, many years ago and from memory I don't recall finding them hard or having any issues. Same this time. And I even enjoyed finishing the pocket edges off with, yes you've guessed it.... binding!

I mean, check these out for a lovely clean finish. This beats overlocking!!

The instructions say to hand sew the binding down on the folded edge, which I did on the left side, but for the right hand side I stitched in the ditch as recommended by Lladybird Lauren using  my new #5 foot. I did both methods to see which I preferred. I suppose if I'm honest. you can't beat a bit of hidden hand sewing, it's soooo neat. But uhhh, I hate hand sewing. Loved stitching in the ditch with the special foot, but perhaps choosing to use it for the first time on a curved edge wasn't my best idea!

The Buttonholes were one of the very last things to do. Obviously. When Lauren said these were fiddly and time consuming SHE WAS NOT JOKING!! These are my first ever bound buttonholes and if I ever see another one again it will be too soon lol! Hand sewing is not my favourite friend and there was hours of hand sewing on these (10) bad boys! And that's excluding the 4 bar tacks on EACH one, making a total of 40. Arghh

This was my first ever attempt at bound buttonholes and taking that into account they are not that bad. But they are not that good either! I'm pretty sure Patrick and May would throw me off the Sewing Bee for these efforts. But hey, we've all got to do something for the first time and thanks to (Lladybird) Lauren  and Meg from McCalls I achieved everything that I set out to do by making this coat. 

I never made this coat as a wearable item, but as a project. But it's turned out Ok so I suppose you could say that this is my wearable muslin. For now when I see a coat pattern I like and want to make, (in the year dot haha ) I can do so with confidence.
 Those seam finishes are pretty awesome but in all said and done, you can't beat lining!
 But bound buttonholes...? hey bring it on...!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x