Thursday, 18 August 2016

Simplicity 2219 ~ Summer Lovin'

Several weeks ago (which now seem like a lifetime ago) we took a small break before the onslaught of our busy summer season. Before we went, and before the demolition of my Sewing Room I managed to make up 2 or 3 pieces for the trip.

The bodice gathers are what sold me with this pattern. Gathers are my bag. Love, love, love! That said, I did omit the gathers in the back skirt as I wanted this to be more fitted.

I like now how it hugs my waist at the back.

You may recognise these fabrics from a previous post. Yes I used both of these on a dress for Mum. I was going to make the exact dress for myself but in maxi length and then decided last minute to try something different and went with this now OOP Simplicity 2219. It's still available for sale at various online places but I have no idea how anyone could justify paying £45 as advertised on Amazon UK! Ouch.

A lot of reviewers on PR said that this dress came up big. Perhaps it's down to fabric choice (?) as I had no issues at all. I love that the bodice of this dress is lined. Always a bonus. I lined in the same fabric.

I can't get over how much am still loving this blue and yellow combination as much as I did making Mum's version. This dress is most definitely a keeper.

And having my new sewing partner, Lady Mai, meant that I could get the length exactly right.

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Work In Progress (and that's not just the sewing...!)

Currently my Sewing Room looks like this

Not a pretty sight!
In fact it's worse than this right now as the photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. The entire wall is a mess, not just some of it. And, we have 3 rooms like this :(

Due to the essential maintenance I haven't been able to do any sewing for some time and naturally I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms. I work a lot of hours over the summer months anyway but when I can, I have been busy sourcing fabric for THIS shirt dress pattern I purchased some months ago. I am making View C with View D sleeves.
I finally decided on these two invert colour fabrics in cotton poplin available in 14 different colours (HERE) from Minerva Crafts.

On my last day off I laid the bodice pieces onto my ironing board (I have no table!), cut a toile and sewed it up by hand! (yes this is how desperate I am to sew).  It was way to big on the upper bodice but with the advise of a few fellow sewists out there I made a few pattern tweaks, cut again and hey presto!

Today I had another day off so I scrambled about on my hands and knees on our hall floor and cut this baby out. My it's just like being a teenager again cutting out on the floor!
I am using the red fabric for the main and the red on ivory for contrast.

All there is to do now is find somewhere in the house that isn't either under going construction, or housing all the furniture from said construction rooms, to pitch my machine, and get going...

Thanks for stopping by :)

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Light and Breezy ~ McCalls 7125

Try as I might, I cannot seem to get on with anything baggy. I can't seem to deal with excess fabric flopping about my midriff. It's for a similar reason that I do like cropped tops. So why buy this McCalls 7125 I hear you ask?

Well I needed a lightweight cool top so I thought I would have one last attempt at wearing something loose. I made View B with the overlay and although I knew this top would be longer than I wanted, I didn't think it would be quite so much! I cropped this from the off but when it was all made up and all that remained to do was the hem, it was still too long and baggy for my liking. I ended up taking more off the back than the front but it works! It's light and airy and I can't even tell I'm wearing it.

So I think the verdict on the loose fitting clothes, is keep it cropped. I took no excess fabric in, just shortened the length.  I will be trying this again on future projects for sure.

The fabric was an impulse purchase from Birmingham Rag Market back in March. I say impulse because there was a stall full of these types of fabric all at just £1 or £2 a metre. So Mum and I bought 7 different ones between us. (Rude not to!) This particular one was £1 per metre so I was thinking if I only used it as a lining it was still a good buy. Turned out to be an excellent buy as it's perfect for this little top!

I picked the version with the overlay as I thought the top was too plain without. Lace didn't look right due to my patterned fabric so I just used a plain cream remnant piece and trimmed it with a narrow lace. The seams are all french and I stitched a narrow hem. 

No... I am not picking my nose here.... honestly!

It's been some weeks since I made this top and I think our summer has been and gone, as unfortunately I've not had the opportunity to wear this top since the photos weeks ago!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

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