Sunday, 16 August 2015

Simplicity 2369 ~ Mother and Daughter


When I was a little girl, I was extremely lucky to have the nicest, prettiest of dresses that no one else had. Every little girl loves dresses and I was no exception. But the best thing of all was having a dress just like Mum! Mum would make herself a dress, and very often I would get one too with the left-overs. If I were a Mum I would do exactly the same. But I'm not. So the next best thing is to repeat history (in reverse) and me make a dress for Mum and make one for myself too in the same fabric!

Here is Mum's surprise Birthday present!

And here is my version (blogged HERE a couple of weeks ago)

For mum's I used Simplicity 2369 View A


It's a mock-wrap, gathered onto a tie on the left front. 

This is the right front

It's an easy make, especially with those raglan sleeves. So no sleeves to set in and there's no zip either! The sleeves though are extremely long! I didn't have Mum around for fitting but on her measurements, these would have come right down to her elbows and beyond! So I shortened them. There is also no interfacing on the bodice front neckline so I added some, just to stabilise it.
It's been a good while since I made this for Mum but I think they were the only 2 issues. This made up really quickly and it fits Mum a treat!

As with my own version of this dress, I made most of it with my super walking foot, and overlocker for the skirt seams.

Even now, I still feel proud to have a dress just like Mum. And hopefully one day we will even get to wear them together!


(I will add pattern review link asap)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x



Sunday, 2 August 2015

McCalls 7116 ~ Summer Comfort



So it's August. Meaning we only officially have one month left of a summer we haven't really had yet. Not that I am a huge fan of hot weather, but I like us to have at least some, to appreciate the cool, fresh weather of Autumn when it arrives. But anyways, for now at least, we have sunshine! Not overly warm sunshine but it's comfortable. And look.... I can see the sea again from my sewing room window!!

So with Autumn just around the corner, I thought I'd have a stab at one more summer dress, as this will probably be my last summer make for this year.

Let me introduce McCalls 7116 

It's a style that is very me. Gathered sleeves, gathered bodice, but fitted below the bust, and over the waist and hips, as better shown here by the pattern drawing.
This is View D
I love the detail in this dress. Especially the inverted pleat and little button detail on the sleeves

This one is a close up of the button detail and pleat. The daisy buttons are so cute! I found them HERE at Minerva Crafts

And the wrapover front bodice is cut so well that there is no gaping at all. I made no fit adjustments for any of this dress and everything about it is perfect!
I loved the attached bodice facing on the pattern and that the back neck edge was finished with a bias facing (cut in the same fabric). This is by far the best and neatest finish faux wrap bodice method I have done to date and will apply this method for future projects.

This dress is also a very practical style for me to wear. I used a printed cotton jersey from Croft Mill although sadly it's no longer available. It's only of tee shirt weight but should we get any hot weather(!), this will keep me nice and cool without being exposed to the sun. And being jersey, I was able to make this up without needing to insert the zip! I tacked everything together first to make sure I could get it over my head and Bingo! So with no fit adjustment and no zip, this made up in no time at all. (well it would have done had I made it on one swoop!) I think it's actually taken me about a month off and on. I don't get much sewing time in summer

I used my walking foot for all of this apart from the side seams where I used the overlocker. That walking foot was a darn good investment!




Absolutely love this little dress. A great make, a great wear, and I can't recommend the pattern enough.


To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

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