Monday, 30 October 2017

The Blackwood Cardigan

As a regular user of Instagram, I had seen the Blackwood Cardigan from  Helen's Closet popping up everywhere. I liked it instantly, but when I saw that it was only available as PDF pattern, I instantly dismissed it. Cutting and sticking is not my thing at all and I am always itching to get sewing as it is, without having all that to do first. But the more wonderful versions I saw of this pattern, the more I realised I was going to have to succumb.

And succumb I did. This was so worth all the cutting and sticking. Its not going to be a regular thing for me but I think  I could be tempted if something else jumps out as much as this did.

Printing, sticking and cutting aside, it makes up easy and quick thereafter.
There is no hemming on this cardigan. All the edges are on a fold so if you've got a fabric that you are unsure about hemming, this is the perfect pattern. No wavy edges here!

The sleeves are very long (they are meant to be) so I shortened mine by 1 1/2 inches before adding the cuff.  I only have a vest top under this and the sleeves are still a tad long, but over a jumper, the sleeves are perfect.

The main fabric from Sewsewsew is a polycotton lycra boucle. It doesn't have a huge amount of stretch across the width, so I cut my pattern crosswise where the stretch was greater.
I used a plain navy ponte knit for the cuff and pocket tops. I wanted the front band in navy too, but I didn't have enough as it was just a remnant piece left over from a skirt

I did find this comes up small. I've not seen anyone else mention this so it could be my fabric? My measurements were for a small but I measured the pattern pieces and it appeared that the Medium would give me more room to wear tops underneath. I'm so glad I went with this as the sleeve width is just about ok and the fit everywhere else is perfect. Had I made a small, I think it would have been a tad too small for me, especially with a jumper underneath in the cooler weather.

The appeal of this is it's a fabulous layering piece, without covering up what you're wearing underneath. It's classic and stylish  with a comfort factor all thrown into one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

M7651 ~ Autumn Camouflage

This was another of those patterns that I had to anxiously await to be released in the UK having seen it weeks before available to the US. I bought the print fabric in advance so as soon as that pattern was out, I'd be ready! Whilst waiting the pattern to be released I spotted the solid in a local store and bought 2 metres with a cardigan in mind. Yet when I got home, I couldn't believe how prefect it matched this print. The colour, the weight, even the brushed surface, were the same. I was so chuft! I later realised that had I made this dress all in the print, the fabulous shaping of the front yoke would have been lost. I only cut the 2 side front panels and the front and back yoke in the solid, and I think there's just enough left over to still make a short cardigan.

I am very partial to a high fitted neck, so I increased the width of the collar to make a turtle neck. I also had to cut off about 2" in the length for a snug fit.

Added bonus is the in-seam pockets! I liked how they are in the front panel too rather than the usual side seams. Just because its different. The dress is also lined, so thumbs up to that too. I just lined in a cream tricot.

For me, there is just enough fullness in the skirt without it being too girly.

I can see me making this one again. It was a lovely pattern to make up and for those what need it, it has cup sizes included too. There's more info over on my pattern review

Print fabric HERE was purchased from Minerva Crafts

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read!

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 8 October 2017

V8742 ~ A Tealy Autumn

My autumn sewing seems to be in full swing this year. I have a queue of fabrics and patterns! This latest dress is a pattern I made previously (HERE) in 2013. I cant believe its been 4 years since I made that dress! Its taken me much longer than I had planned to make another. I still have the pumpkin orange dress and I like it such a lot.

The pattern V8742 has long since been discontinued. Ive wanted to make it in a patterned fabric for so long and although I like this, it looks nicer in a solid. If you look at the pumpkin orange version you'll see why. The gathers are so much more distinctive, and thats what this dress is about.

I think you have to know they are there to see them!
The fabric itself however is of perfect weight for a dress like this and it made up so nice. It's a recent purchase from 

I am quite partial to a high neck on my dresses. If I don't add one, I find I'm wrapping a scarf around my neck . Nothing wrong with scarfs, in fact I love them, but a scarf is not at all practical when your cooking and cleaning and doing general household chores! So I added the turtle neck collar from V9264

I made this dress back in September and have worn it quite a lot already. Can't beat a dress for lazy dressing! Add tights and boots (sometimes a hat!) and that's my autumn staple wardrobe!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read!

Happy Sewing
Dawn :)

Monday, 2 October 2017

V8939 ~ Fairisle Jumper

No, I haven't been hand knitting. Or machine knitting for that matter. This is amazingly awesome cosy knit fabric from Sewalicious, a fairly new online fabric store run by the the very beautiful Amy and Nikki. For me, knit fabrics like this are hard to come by, especially a nice quality like this one. So when I spotted it I was over the moon! My intention when I bought it was to combine it with another fabric I have to make a dress like my Swedish fabric dress HERE. Only I didn't order a swatch and when it arrived, it was much thicker than I had thought. No problem with that at all, in fact, I preferred that it was thicker so that I could finally make a proper winter jumper. I only bought a metre but fortunately, this fabric is super wide and I managed to cut this out with even a little to spare!

Vogue 8939 (long discontinued) is my standard, go-to pattern for a turtle/roll neck jersey dress or jumper. I've made this many many times before. Admittedly, this time it wasn't my original intention. 
When I make this pattern as a jumper, I cut the back out on the fold (the pattern has a centre back seam) but I omit that for a jumper which doesn't need to be as fitted. It also looks better for this particular jumper due to the fabric pattern.

As previously mentioned, this fabric is quite thick. So this time I didn't make a roll neck, just a turtle neck. Too much bulk otherwise. In this fabric I had to cut the collar about an inch smaller to make it snug around the neck 

Just look at these colours though! Everything about this jumper is very me. And as luck would have it, I even had a navy ponte skirt to go with it

I used my walking foot for all seams to keep the stripes lined up, and I used a zigzag stitch before finishing with the overlocker. This also avoided that pesky wave you sometimes get on fabrics such as this. For the hem I used my swear by Wonder tape and again using the walking foot, twin needled it. I'm not sure how it will fare with stretch recovery over time as its just an acrylic blend but it pre-washed well!

Feeling and looking a little under the weather on these photos... I was full of a cold, boo hoo! Normal sewing services have since resumed and I am feeling better πŸ˜€

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Burda 6587 ~ Is it a Jacket? Is it a Cardigan?

I struggled with this months MAGAM theme, "shirty or skirty". Shirts I rarely make or wear because I have to wear one for work every day. So they are not something I choose to wear for my home life as well. Skirts, I do make and wear but they are not something I need right now, and browsing through my stash of fabric and patterns (several times) it just wasn't happening for me.

What I do need right now are cardigans. So I chose  Burda 6587 because it has both collar and sleeves. A bit if a cop-out for a shirt I know but it's the best I could come up with this month! Although I do question whether View B looks more like a jacket than a cardigan? It's made using stretch knits so puts it in the cardigan category for me, so I think I can also include this as an entry for the cosy cardi challenge? It's classed as a jacket on the pattern envelope and it looks like a bit like jacket too.  What do you think? As I made it in black, it even looks quite formal

I made View B using a poly/spandex textured jersey purchased from Minerva Crafts last month in preparation for my Autumn/Winter sewing. I chose black because it goes with anything. In winter months I can throw it on over whatever dress I am wearing when that extra layer is needed and not have to worry about colour matching! I adore the thatch colour which is also available in this fabric and I'm still tempted to get it. But it will restrict what I can wear that with, so that needs a little more thought.

I'm wondering if more than one of these will creep into my wardrobe. Always been a big fan of the M6844 but this maaaaaay just pip it. I like the fitted structure of this, how it nips in at the waist onto a flat, unfussy peplum. And the collar looks so neat. I loved that there is a facing as well as collar. It gives such a nice finish on the inside.

Black is a pain to work with but it's worth it for its versatility. It's also a pain to photograph 😞 yet these have come out pretty well. I wasn't expecting any collar detail to come out at all. 

Every time I make up a Burda pattern (which isn't often), I am really pleased with it. I feel I don't give Burda enough of a chance. Their instructions are little to be desired but the few I have made, I've never had issues with and fitting is minor. On this pattern I made none at all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

V9264 ~ Autumn has arrived!

It was time for a new dress for the new season. The cooler weather for me, means dresses, tights and boots! And that of course means a new dress. I have an old favourite pattern that  I have made again and again, but this season Vogue produced this little beauty that I was drawn to instantly. Sometimes you see a pattern and fall in love with it. This for me was one of those. 

Being in the UK we have to wait quite a few weeks before the new patterns are released here which is kinda frustrating when you see something and its out of reach! Its like the new McCalls patterns have been out in the US since the beginning of September; here, we're still waiting!!
For years I have mostly made winter dresses that are slim fit. It's a style that I adore, feel comfortable in and works for me and my lifestyle. I've tended to steer clear of a fit and flare because its often very windy where I live(!). I've no idea why its taken me so long to realise this, but when its proper cold, I'll be wearing a coat outside, so providing its a longer length coat, there's no reason I cant wear dresses like this.

The sleeve detail is one feature I was drawn to. I think I used to wear sleeves like this back in the 80's! These sleeves are quite full as they have both an inverted box pleat at the sleeve head and gathers either side. Its got princess seams and a high neck (which is another favourite of mine) and is an easy dress to put together. I didn't even use the instructions and it made up in no time at all. I cut the size 8 and other than having to take it in about an inch on the waist it fit like a dream.

Oh! I also made the collar narrower as I like high necks to be snug around the neck and not gaping

 Fabric is a recent purchase from the Cotswald Collection at Minerva Crafts. I also bought it in red πŸ˜€

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

M7242 Autumn Maxi MAGAM

Sarah Liz of SarahLizsewstyle has done it again. As host of the MAGAM challenge, every month she seems to come up with a theme that prompts me to make something that I've been meaning to make for months. This months theme "Artful August" was no exception. I remembered this rather abstract Polyester Crepe (Here) that I purchased from Minerva Crafts over a year ago with every intention of making M7242 by Laura Ashley, for late summer early Autumn. Only I didn't. Yet here we are one year on and its slotted perfectly into this months Artful August.

I am slightly late in posting, but this was indeed finished all in good time for the end of August. It's even been worn more than once. Yaay!
As you can see, I made The Maxi version, View D. This was my original intention, but when I came to start it, I was pretty tempted to make View B, as I can just see this worn with a pair of knee boots! But that would be for much cooler weather for which this fabric is not suitable. Plus, I wanted this to be a transition piece to take me from late summer into autumn. So it was back to Plan A  (or to avoid confusion, should I say Plan D πŸ˜†!).

The long sleeves make it perfect for the time of year, as I don't really want to be throwing a cardigan over it. Being long in length also, it will give me limited wearing time due to our unpredictable seasons, but its the transitional pieces that I find I'm often short of and this fills a bit of that gap. The fabric is weighty enough for the long skirt, but still gives ideal drape. I've added a  belt due to the elasticated waist, which whilst that makes for very comfortable wearing, I'm not so keen on the look. 

Plus it breaks up all the busy-ness of the fabric πŸ˜€

This little beauty below is an absolute gem. It was only the second time I have used it and I'd certainly got it mastered down to a tee this time. For once I enjoyed doing buttonholes. Or rather, I enjoyed watching the machine do buttonholes! Trying to get every single one to the exact length on my old Bernina 1015 was testing to say the least!

The buttons, were rescued from an old shirt (you can see that HERE) which I made back in 2013. The shirt had seen better days but the buttons were still like new so I took them all off before binning the shirt and kept them. Im so glad I did as they are perfect for this dress. Plus there is a still a spare should I lose one. Bonus! Does anyone else rescue buttons off worn out clothes? Or is that just something I picked off from my Mum? Her excuse is she was a war baby and anything that could be re-used, was. My excuse... is my Mum πŸ˜„


Oooh and one thing I almost forgot to mention is the pockets!! This has pockets!! Cant beat a dress with in seam pockets in my book. I cut these in a lightweight stretch lining to avoid bulk.

And as I don't want to leave with a photo with my back to you (as that would just be rude) here's just one more....

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Simplicity 2560 ~ The Little Lace Cardigan

I am not often spontaneous when sewing, I'm most definitely a planner. I love to choose a pattern and then search to source suitable fabric and notions. But on this occasion spontaneous I was. I haven't been able to do too much sewing lately, so when I found myself at home on a cold wet August Sunday, off I went to the sewing room to find some inspiration for the August MAGAM Challenge and Sleevefest 2017 which i was hoping to combine. 
Browsing my stash, I spotted this stretch lace fabric that I bought about 3 years ago on a shopping spree with my Mum. I pulled it off the shelf and thought, as summer is almost over (if it isn't already!) if I don't make this now, its going to be yet another year before I do. I'd already got the now discontinued Simplicity 2560 in mind for a winter sew, but cutting  View C  this was not only a perfect entry for the sleevefest, but made in the lace, also perfect for a summer cover-up.

I love the high neck collar and the tie front, although it does look look a little odd left undone. And guess what...? I didn't get photos of that did I! 😳

This was such a quick make. Cut and sewn in one afternoon. There are no sleeves to sew in and I finished the hem with a narrow lace trim rather than hemming so that saved a lot of time too. I was going to finish the sleeves in the same way but I quite liked the double thickness cuff as it gives them more umph!

The high waist seam and gathers on the lower bodice really give this some shape, which is better for me.

The shorter length and lightweight lace will make for a perfect cover up over a summer dress. More likely on holiday though rather than here. I think our 3 weeks of summer is over!

Next up... to complete the MAGAM challenge "Artwear August" ... so much for combining the 2 haha! 

 To Read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read πŸ˜ƒ

Happy Sewing!