Sunday, 19 July 2015

Simplicity 1158 ~ Jump into summer?

Time to" jump" out of the comfort zone again and into a Jumpsuit. I made my first jumpsuit last year (you can see that HERE) but being strapless, I haven't really had much wear out of it. So this time I am using Simplicity 1158, which is a much more practical and comfortable style for me. I am fair skinned and my skin does not like the sun at all, so coverage is important to me and this jumpsuit is perfect!

Although covered up, I also do still like to be cool, so I chose This lovely soft, cotton jersey of medium weight from Croft Mill. They have some wonderful fabrics and of nice quality and their service is faultless. The only down side is that the P&P is pricey. It helps if you buy more than one fabric to compensate for this should your funds allow!

The pattern is a Simplicity Project Runway. One of those where you can mix and match the various pattern pieces to create your own style.

I made bodice A with the narrow leg trouser.
I kept the leg length just long enough so that I could also dress this up and wear with heels should the occasion arise. 

What drew me to the pattern in the first place was the bodice of View A

Just love all those lovely gathers off the front yoke. What I didn't like was the yoke construction. If you follow the pattern directions, the yoke has no interfacing or facing. Considering that this is such a main feature of the jumpsuit and the entire bodice hangs off it, that's pretty poor. I felt it needed more structure so I interfaced and faced mine, as yokes should be. I'm pleased with how it feels and looks. Oh, and the wrapover doesn't gape either.

Another great feature is those pockets! Who doesn't love pockets?!! And for ease and comfort the waist is elasticated. This jumpsuit is so comfy I could wear it to bed!! (Hmm, better watch what I say there as I just know what my DH is going to say when he sees me wearing this..."ooh, you made pyjamas...!")

To keep the comfy and covered up feel going on, I altered the back bodice. It should have been a wrapover "V" the same as the front with a back tie (see diagram above) but I cut mine on the fold and cut it higher up to create a round neck.

One thing to be aware of if making this pattern; check the finished garment measurements before cutting. There is a huge amount of ease in this. So much so, I cut a Size 4!

As you will have noticed, I was forced to take these photos indoors with the light being so poor outside. 
This is the view from my sewing room window. Where has the god damn sea gone?!! It feels like we have been living in this foreverrrrrrrrr!! We have been masked by this film of mizzle and fog for days. Urghh. Oh the British Summer is such joy (not).
Anyways, photos haven't come out too badly. Certainly a lot better than had I gone outside. And who wants to go out in that without good reason anyhow?!

I mean, for goodness sake I am brighter than the weather!

To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

McCalls 7046 ~ Summertime Blues

I waited so long for some guaranteed warmer weather before making up this pattern. The warmer weather came, stuck around whilst I made this and photographed it but hasn't been seen since. I'm not a huge fan of the heat, but I do love our seasons and the opportunity they provide for us to wear different clothes.

I bought the pattern some months ago as soon as it came out because I just loved it instantly. 
The pattern is McCalls 7046 and I made this sleeveless version, View C

Feeling a little of an anti climax though with the end result. See all that lovely rouching on the bodice drawing? Well on the front of mine t'is more or less non-existant!
All you see here are a couple of folds around my waistline. 

Yet look at the back
Now that's more proper like it! The rouching here is far more effective

The pattern calls for elastic to be used to create the bodice rouching. Having only done rouching with gathers before, I decided to give this method a go. The instructions ask you to sew the elastic inside the seam line of the bodice back, so I can only assume that that is why most of the rouching is actually in the back. I thought at first that perhaps my fabric was too heavy and the skirt was pulling it down. But when I looked in the mirror at the back of it, that couldn't be it at all.

Gotta love everything else about this little dress though. And for the first time ever, I didn't have to take inches off the side seams to get this to fit proper. I cut this in my usual size (using finished garment measurements) and it fits a treat. So do bare this in mind if unlike me, you don't like to use negative ease for fit. If that's the case, this will come up small on you.

I cut a neckband for this pattern rather than just narrow hemming the neckline as per the pattern instructions. I felt a neckline needed more structure. I did however narrow hem the armholes using Collins Wonder Tape first to stabilize them. I just love that stuff!! And I have to say, the finish is much nicer. Less bulk than the neckband.

Overall a little disappointed with the lack of bodice rouching, but glad I tried the elastic method. I know now that gathers are what do it for me! Guess I will just stick to wearing this with my favourite cardigan :)

To read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read.

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

McCalls 6708 ~ Peachy loves Brumby

I've wanted to make a cardigan for ages. But finding the right pattern seemed to fail me. So it's something that was put on the back burner until the right pattern came along.
I finally came across the Jenna Cardigan by Muse but was disappointed to find that it wasn't available as a printed pattern. Sticking together lots of A4 sheets does not appeal to me at all! But after debating with myself for some time, I decided to go with the PDF because I loved the style so much. Kinda figured all the sticking would be worth it! So you can imagine how gutted I was to discover that our printer is not compatible for printing the PDF. No matter what settings I tried, it never came up to scale. Boo hoo for me.

But still intent on making a cardigan, I eventually decided to go back to McCalls 6708 which I had seen some months before. 

This came about because I had just bought the pattern for my Brumby skirt and Brumby is so right for a little cropped top. I think I bought the cardigan pattern just in the nick of time as already it is now OOP. I remember seeing this McCalls cardigan pattern some time ago but it wasn't what I was after at that time. But with Brumby in the making, this now fit the bill to not only full-fill my cardigan make but also for a suitable cropped top for Brumby. 

I made View A but with the long sleeves.
The Peachy fabric I have had laying about on my shelf since before we moved house. It's not the best quality fabric in the world and I have no idea where it came from but when Brumby fabric arrived I couldn't resist using it for the cardigan because the peachy colours just went so lovely together.... 
As shown here with Brumby herself.

(Apologies for the above not so great photos)

I even added some black and gold buttons to bring the ensemble together.

This cardigan is the 2nd of my June MAGAM projects (Brumby being the first). The theme this month is Stash Busting. But as I don't really have much of a stash, I got to use what is probably the piece of fabric that I have had the longest. So that kinda counts, right?!

I did wonder on completion, if I should have made this a little bit shorter so it didn't hide that wonderful Brumby waistband. Yes, that would have looked nice (better even), but then when I tried this on with other things, it became apparent that it would have been too short to wear with anything else!

Not too much to say about the pattern really. It's an easy make as the pattern envelope states and it goes together really quickly with an overlocker. 
Peachy looks a little too home made for my liking, possibly due to the quality of fabric (or lack of it) but I do think that Peachy and Brumby will be very happy together. And don't they just make the perfect couple?!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Megan Nielsen ~ Sharing the Brumby Love...

So excited to showcase this skirt. In summary it's a cute little skirt with a cute name. And I just totally love that name "Brumby". It's just magic! Can't help but keep saying it... Brumby, Brumby, Brumby!

Also couldn't help but wonder as I was making this up, if Brumby actually is a word and if so, what it means? So I looked it up... and it is! Wow, Brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in Australia. Which kind of makes sense now with Megan Nielsen being from Australia and this little skirt is full and kinda free-roaming too.

I've made this skirt as part of my June MAGAM challenge. I have done well to get it completed already, but whilst hubby had been on his travels, I therefore had some late nights in the sewing room to keep myself company. And I have to say that Brumby has been the perfect companion.

I am always interested in making things I perhaps wouldn't normally wear and skirts fall into that category for me. Not a huge fan of skirts as anyone who reads my blog regular already knows. But the fitted, contoured waistband of this not only looks great, it actually feels great too! Probably the only comfortable waistband I have ever worn. And believe me, I am the world's greatest waistband critic!
You can see from the side how well it sits into the natural waistline.

The pattern itself is very, very basic. But it's those H u g e fabulous pockets (and that waistband!) that make this one just that little bit different. These pockets are just awesome!

There is quite a lot of top stitching on Brumby Version 1 and my poor Bernina struggled to stitch through the combination of a needlecord fabric, gathers and a jeans zip on the wasitband, so that I had to just top stitch the top waistband and sew down the inside waistband (facing) afterwards by hand.

The instructions are really good and even offer little tips along the way. But even better, for the exposed zip there is THIS fabulous tutorial which I used and highly recommend (Yes, there actually is a proper method!). 
It recommends using glue to secure the zip before sewing. I used wonder tape
Not bad at all for my first attempt

Something else I have never been a huge fan of is exposed zips. Call me old fashioned but you can't beat the simplicity of concealed zip. Or even a lapped zip for that matter. They are just so neat and professional. But having never inserted an exposed zip before, I wanted to learn how they actually went in. And if any style of skirt looks right with an exposed zip, then Brumby is it.

I bought this pattern because the fitted waistband appealed to me and by using a heavy weight fabric, I love the shape of Version 1. Plus I had seen the tutorial for the exposed zip and wanted to try it out. I wasn't sure if I'd actually even like this once I'd done it but I love it so much I can see me making another one of these for Autumn. I think in a heavier weight fabric I can just about get away with wearing a fuller skirt in our windy seaside town! But that said, this pattern definitely lends itself to all season, all occasion skirts.

Thumbs up for Brumby!

To read my Brumby Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

I still have one more project to complete for my MAGAM challenge. But tomorrow I am OFF ALL DAY so fully intend to indulge myself in the sewing room!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Simplicity 5914 ~ Summer Skirt

I made this skirt a few weeks back for my Mum using one of her own old faithful patterns, Simplicity 5914. I'm pretty sure she has had this pattern 10+ years so I think we can safely say its now discontinued! That said, there are a few kicking around on Etsy and eBay.

I made View B but lengthened it a little for Mum's preference. Mum has made this pattern for herself several times over the years so there was no fitting required; she had already done it for me!

It's a pattern meant for woven fabrics, but works just as well in a stretch knit as shown here, modelled beautifully by Mum herself :)

The fabric was from our February Shopping spree at Birmingham's Rag Market. It's a printed cotton jersey so we decided to do without the zip and go for an elasticated waist instead which I finished with a twin needle.

Being a cotton jersey, it is also quite thin so I added a lining with some Tricot that I already had, and finished the lining hem with some decorative lace.

And on the subject of hems.... I am soooo excited to talk about my new toy.
Check out this little gem!

Yes! I finally have my very own walking foot. I sew a lot of jersey fabrics so have wanted to get one of these beauties for months. Here in the UK they seem to be around £50 each but I managed to pick this one up from eBay at a bargain price, so I bagged it! But this is sooo good, I'd say that even at £50 it would be money well spent. I am certainly going to get my moneys worth out of it. Mine didn't come with instructions but I found THIS fabulous tutorial which showed me everything I needed to know.

I have tried all sorts to stop those wavy hems on stretch knits and whilst wonder tape and bias interfacing are good, they are definitely not as good as the walking foot. I say to anyone out there not sure whether to spend the money on one, do it. You won't regret it.
Just look at this hem...

I did do a practise piece first but I used Mum's skirt as the real guinea pig (sorry Mom!). Chuft, chuft chuft! Doesn't that hem just look so awesome?!

We bought 2 metres of this cotton jersey and only used 1.4m. So there is just enough left to make Mum a little summer top as well :) Success all round.

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here 

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x