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

Sunday, 1 February 2015

McCalls 7057 ~ Winter Warmer

Hi Everyone

Winter has well and truly arrived in the little far western corner of our world. And how warm and cosy do I feel in this? There is nothing I love more than wrapping up for winter on a cold, fresh sunny day and to go out there and brave the elements. It doesn't really matter how cold it is outside, pile on the layers and no matter what the temperature, it's good to feel warm on the inside. Russian hat, woolly socks, a few layers and this jacket, and I'm toasty and snug.

This pattern appealed because of the soft draped hood, which doubles as a collar and a shawl collar when worn down.

With this being the feature, I used a contrast fabric to accentuate this. I was also a tad concerned that this jacket would resemble a dressing gown, particularly due to my colour choice, so I chose a knitted fur effect , hairy kind of eyelash fabric. Never used this fabric before and whilst the finished results are pretty amazing, I wasn't praising it so much whilst working with it. Man, the fibres from this fabric get everywhere. And I mean everywhere! Totally worth it though. And it was surprisingly easy to work with (if you don't mind the mess!)


Both fabrics are from Minerva Crafts. And despite having purchased these only recently, I can no longer find either on the website. I think it's currently still under construction for a makeover, as it has a completely new look, so this maybe why? Speaking of the new look, I have to mention that included in this new look, is the lifted restriction of buying in multiples of full metres only. If you only need 1.1m, you now only have to buy 1.1m. How awesome is this? It's the first time I have come across a website that lets you buy less than multiples of 0.5m. Go check it out... MinervaCrafts.co.uk

The pattern I've used is McCalls 7057. It's unlined but I lined mine with tricot as I didn't much fancy taking this on and off without.


The fabric suggestions recommend stretch knits. I've used a stretch knit (like a jersey sweatshirt) but I don't see why this can't be made up in a lovely soft fleece. How cosy would that be?

**(2 minutes later update!! Just been over to the PR Website and someone actually has already made it in a fleece fabric. So there you go!)**

The instructions come with all kinds of fit adjustments, but as this is so loose and baggy I should think most people could just make it straight up out of the envelope. I made the size Small and could have gotten away with an extra small. This comes up big, but I'm cool with that as it leaves plenty of room for big jumpers and/or layers underneath.

Oh and it has in-seam side pockets. YaaY!


One negative is that there are no belt loops for the belt (Why?). I just added some thread loops to stop that baby getting lost. I lose gloves like there's no tomorrow, I am not loosing this as well!
I also top stitched my belt. It's not specified in the instructions but I did because, well, that's what you do for a more pro finish right? Right.

The final finishing touch was adding cuffs to match the collar. Complete the look with Russian hat, gloves and boots. Job done. Winter weather, yeah I'm ready..!





And of course, this can also be worn as a shawl collar for the extra bit of added warmth over the shoulders. Lush :)



Or, wear it as a hood if you forget your hat! ;)


I have noticed since taking the photos that the inside front is dropping down a little. This is double breasted so it's going to need a button/press stud on the inside to to stop it slipping.


To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x



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 http://www.sewbox.co.uk. 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

 Belted

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 from Minerva Crafts 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