Wednesday, 30 November 2016

M7014 ~ The Perfect Pinafore

November MAGAM Challenge is completed and posted all in the same month. Go me! Sometimes you get a garment that just seems to fall together with no issues and no unpicking at all; this was one of those. And, this is one of my favourite makes of the year. Really pleased with how this has turned out and it gave me so much construction pleasure and lining everything up. (not the cutting, I'm not a fan of cutting) but lining up the seams to pattern match the fabric and keeping it all in place was very self satisfying. I know, I'm weird like that.

The pattern is M7014  and I made view A which has princess seams, patch pockets on the front and an invisible zip at the back.

I made the lining up first as I find the beauty of a lining is that you can use this for fitting and then cut out the fabric accordingly. Not that this needed much alteration, I just needed to reduce the centre back seam by 3cms in total for a better fit. I like the back of dresses to fit snug into the arch of my back.

To ensure that the fabric pattern lined up perfectly at the zip I interfaced down each centre back edge first then used wonder tape to attach the zip in place. Then on top of that I tacked in the zip. I was determined this zip was not going anywhere other than where it should!

I debated at first whether or not to cut the side panels on the cross for a bit of detail but I did this with my last pinafore dress (which is still going strong!) so decided to keep it all the same way in the end, and just do the pockets instead as per the pattern.

I Love that this dress is fully lined. For that I used the same fabric that I lined my Bomber Jacket. It's all crumpled and bumpy in this photo because I had worn this all day before I realised I didn't have a photo of the inside. So back it went onto Lady Mai for another photo. I'm sure she appreciated it, it's kinda cold here right now. Ha! 😉

My favourite detail of this dress though has to be the neckline. I love the shape. The pattern however doesn't tell you to interface this. I often wonder why the Big 4 sometimes miss out vital details? 

As far as the fabric goes, I'm not entirely sure? I picked it up from Birmingham Rag Market some months ago and I think its possibly a woven poly wool blend. But whatever it is, it made up beautifully and I loved working with it.

And I have to say, I love wearing this too. This dress is definitely going to become a staple in my winter wardrobe.

To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!
Dawn x

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Falling into Autumn/Winter with the Rosari Skirt

We have just come home from one of our best holidays ever! We left the UK on a beautiful fresh crisp Autumn day and within the space of 2 and a half hours, landed in a winter scene in snow fallen Stockholm, Sweden. Within less than a day, we encountered the heaviest November snowfall they had had for 111 years. 40 cms in one day!! It was A-MAZING.

I took this skirt along to wear whilst there but due to the weather conditions, it ended up only coming out of the suitcase for photos. And even they didn't turn out that well, so here you have Lady Mai doing a much better job of showing detail...

This is my project for the October MAGAM challenge. It was finished in time, I just didn't get to do photos (as usual). My pattern is the Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt. A pattern I purchased months ago, but only just got around to making. I made a shorter version of View A in Needlecord from Minerva Crafts.

The skirt itself, is pretty plain right? And it's easy to make. But take a look inside....

Nothing plain about that and plenty of prettiness! I spent quite a lot of time finishing the seams of this skirt, and in doing so, over a couple of weeks,I watched the leaves slowly changing colour on the tree outside my sewing room window. Came home today, and they have virtually all gone!

I decided to go with the Hong Kong seam finish on this skirt because I was inspired by this whilst following the McCalls Bomber jacket Sewalong. This was one of the suggested seam finishes for the inside of the bomber and whilst I was originally well up for this on the inside of my jacket, I just couldn't see my Bomber unlined.
So, as I needed another of these skirts, here was the perfect opportunity for my Hong Kong seams! (The stitching you see inside the CB seam is my topstitching, which I did as an after thought)
I also added the binding to the hem and waistband. Just because.

So whilst the skirt went together a breeze and the self satisfaction of those beautiful insides, the stud poppers were another story. I made this skirt in the first 2 weeks of October; it took another 2 weeks to finally sort the fastenings! For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have anorak stud fasteners rather than buttons and buttonholes. Wrong. Bad idea! The first set I bought were useless to say the least. I couldn't get them to stay in at all. Even hubby had a go. There was no way these were staying put. Some were OK but there was no way I was going to risk getting done for indecency! Having spent so much time on the inside you can imagine my frustration. The poppers had made holes and I was convinced that this skirt was ruined and all my careful hard work had gone to waste.

So anyways, after casting it aside for a week and throwing it into the naughty corner, I eventually bought another set which were Prym (the same brand I used for my Shirt Dress). These were better, but only after quite a lot more heartache, blood, sweat and tears. I'd like to say it was a joint effort but hubby must take the credit for finally managing to get a full set in. They are not perfect by any means. They are wonky and off centre (my responsibility) but hey, you live and learn. I am definitely putting these down to experience! 

So despite the stud trauma, there was a happy ever after in the end!


Of course whilst on our visit to Stockholm, I had to hunt out a fabric shop. Came across this one Soders Tyger (which to any Millennium trilogy fans, is right opposite Mikael Blomqvists Kaffebar). The staff here are so friendly and welcoming and instantly changed to English speaking. Here I am standing outside with my purchase!
(well. I couldn't leave empty handed could I?)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

M7100 ~The Bomber is back!

Introducing my first completed make from the new Sewing Room

After being cramped up on an office desk, having an entire room to sew in again made this such a luxury to make. Honestly, I love my new room sooooo much, even when I haven't been sewing, I've had to keep going in there just for a peep! It's by no means finished, it's a WIP but it's a working space and right now that feels A M A Z I N G. I will eventually get a post up with some photos of the new room (for those on IG, you have already had a sneaky peak!) but for now, it's back to the Bomber....

 I love wearing jackets. I love layering up, and I love this time of year as it's perfect for that extra said layer. Nothing excites me more than pulling on a jacket or coat and a pair of boots! Autumn is in the air at last.

And as much as I love wearing a jacket, I love making them just as much. It always gives me such a sense of satisfaction, and above all, I tend to get more wear out of a jacket than I do anything else.

I had been looking at making another version of my Burda 7140 when the McCalls Bomber Jacket Sew-along popped up. I loved these jackets back in the 80's and even made myself one then. So I was reminded of how much I loved them, and my attention immediately switched to making a Bomber instead. And I'm so glad I did. I had forgotten just how much I love this style of jacket. All hail the Bomber! These jackets are everywhere.

My Pattern is M7100 and I made View B with the contrast sleeves and welt pockets.

The main body of the Bomber is Brocade, which I think was kindly gifted to me last year by one of my Mum's friends. It's fabulous close up

There was only 1 metre so I hunted around for some contrast for the sleeves. I found This Here perfect fabric but kept on looking just in case. Then when I decided nothing else was going to come close and came to buy it, it had been reduced to £2.99 pm. It was meant to be!
It's not so easy to take a photo of black, but this sideways on shot shows the texture of the fabric at it's best
It has the rippled effect just like the Brocade :)

I don't like unlined jackets so I decided to add lining to my Bomber. A lining makes a jacket so much more comfortable to wear, easier to get on and off and not to mention all the finished loveliness inside! I slip stitched the lower edge to the ribbing to finish off (In this photo, it's still only pinned) I just found it easier that way and I was too impatient to wait for the McCall Sew Along "adding a lining" week to see how they did it!

The lining itself was was also from the gifted, full of fabrics suitcase from my Mum's friend. I also used it to line the pockets. The pattern states to use main fabric but I wanted a lighter weight. Plus, it looked good!

The instructions for this are a little ropey in places (See my Pattern Review) but there is a revised edition online. Overall though, I think I can safely say that this is probably my favourite make of this year so far. And already probably the most worn too!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Twin Set ~ Cara and a Complimenting Companion!

I am usually the first in line to say goodbye to summer and embrace my favourite season of all. Autumn. I'm not sure what happened this year but early September came and I was not ready to give up my summer wardrobe making just yet. Maybe it was due to the fact that I didn't get much summer sewing in during summer itself? Who knows? But whatever the reason, I've got a whole new summer outfit and regardless of it being too late to wear it now, it's ready for our winter sun holiday in December. YaaY.

These are my 2 projects for the September MAGAM challenge. I didn't want to commit to this months theme of "Sew for 30" because of our building issues at home. I knew I could sew, but not every day. As it turned out, I managed to complete both these items by mid-September, with my machine perched on my office desk! But they are easy patterns after all.

First up was the Stylearc Cara Top. I have always been a fan of the off the shoulder look (I made 2 tops a couple of years ago HERE and later HERE from an old McCalls pattern I bought way back in the 90's) but I was loving the flat banded front of Cara so decided to give this one a go.

The front is of perfect length for me (nice and short). The back is longer, like a high-low hem. I did actually shorten the back length of mine an inch or so for personal preference but it's still a tad long for my liking. If I made this again, I would shorten the back a further 1.5"

This little top is adorable. It's also very quick and easy to make. Well it is for those with some sewing experience. As much as I love Stylearc patterns, the instructions shall we say, are a little vague! And I know I am not alone as I say this.

My fabric is a Cotton Poplin from Minerva Crafts. I fell in love with those colours! I bought 1 metre, as Cara isn't greedy on fabric (another plus!) and I was still left with enough left over to make some binding to pipe that lovely seam detail of the skirt

This is another easy pattern which comes comes together quickly. The pattern is B5566 and I made View C
What a fabulous variety of skirt patterns in one envelope don't you think? And just like Cara, this pattern is not greedy on fabric. I had 1 metre of this stretch denim twill, which was more than enough.

I decided to go with a lapped zip for this skirt. Simply because it was a method I always used back in the day and just wanted to remind myself that I could still do it! You can't beat an invisible zip though for a professional finish IMO.

Oh, and in case you are wondering what I am looking at in some of these photos, we had a little visitor whilst taking the pictures.....

We seemed to "acquire" 2 hens a few days ago which we aptly named Paxo and Sage. But Paxo has disappeared yesterday (gone back home perhaps?) but we still had Sage wanting to get in on the action!

Well that just about wraps up the Summer sewing for me. And sewing on the office desk. Yaay! It's onto a new season now and finally back in the ol' sewing room.... :)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Sweet and Simple ~McCalls 7116

This is another top I made several months ago for our mini break and because it's cotton, I wore it loads.
Originally I wanted to use this fabric for Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top and I originally bought the Agnes Top pattern to make the dress version of it. So it just shows some things never turn out as planned! I had a last minute change of plan with the fabric because with the pattern using negative ease, this fabric is just a little too thin. But it's lovely and soft! Its a cotton jersey from Croft Mill although I think it's long since sold out as it's no longer on the website.

The pattern is M7116 a dress pattern that I previously made HERE. I loved the fit and shape of it so much so I thought it would make a nice top.

As you can see, I like my tops short!

I chose to leave the buttons off the sleeve detail for this top so I could wear a cardigan and not have 2 bulky lumps sticking out underneath!

Just a short post this time as I have a sewing room calling..... yes my room is done!! Ok it's not decorated, its just a shell; but I have put the tables back and my machines are out. The decor can wait!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A long time coming ~ M7351 Shirtdress

When you have been used to a sewing room, it feels pretty rotten when suddenly it's taken away from you, over run with builders, and the house is a mess. So I set myself a task this summer to make a dress to help escape the stresses of both work, and a building site in half of our house, and set up my sewing machine on my office desk.

And 2 months later, this is the result

I am really pleased with the outcome of this dress but it took me so long to make, I have to admit I'm glad to see the back of it!
Cue photo of back, haha!

This dress is my take on McCalls  pattern 7351

I made View C with View D sleeves. I added a contrast sleeve band, shortened the hem, and ditched the collar to keep it mandarin.

For fabric, I picked THIS lovely cotton poplin from Minerva Crafts which is available in a variety a fabulous colourways

The reason behind making a shirt dress was all the small pieces and various stages of construction so it was nice to see it growing slowly bit by bit and I could see what I'd done. I needed this process to get the sewing mojo flowing again.

I made the bodice up first

and the band, skirt and collar were added on after.

The other change I made was to use popper fasteners instead of buttons and buttonholes. I Love these!

But I am done with this dress now and despite it taking me weeks, and the builders having started over 2 months ago, there is still no sign of my sewing room being given back to me. Hmph. But finishing this dress was just the motivation I needed to get the mojo going. It worked.

Its not so much about the space anymore; as proven, I can make do with my office desk!  

Unfortunately due to us being masked in mist and fog for the past few days, I have to leave you with more photos of Lady Mai wearing it and not me.

For my Sewing Pattern Review  Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!