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 😃

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

M7579 ~ Mixing the Old with the New-(ish)

I was very excited about this months MAGAM theme "Seasonal Stash Busting" because I have had the patterned and solid colour fabrics waiting to be made since February at least. The floral fabric was gifted to me a couple of years ago by my Mum's friend. I have no idea what it is, but its beautifully soft, drapes well and doesn't crease. I am pretty sure it was in her stash for quite some time too as it was only 90cms wide, so it's pretty old. Didn't they stop making fabric that width donkeys years ago? I've been itching to make  this into something since I acquired it, but not only was it narrow, there wasn't much of it either.

But then at the beginning of the year I spotted M7579 and purchased the navy and red crepe fabrics to make this pattern come alive. Those bias seams need to be shown off! Not hidden in a solid colour or patterned fabric. Only it sat on my shelf for several months just looking at me, until along came Sarah Liz with the perfect MAGAM theme to kick my butt into action!

In truth it is not my usual style of top that I would normally choose to wear, and I keep telling myself that I will make and wear loose fitting clothes no more. But this pattern really jumped out at me. It caught my eye as soon as I did see it. There was something about its asymmetrical-ness and the line detail and I just knew I had to make it.

I played around with a few sketches first as I couldn't decide which panels to cut in which fabrics. I eventually decided on what you see now. Careful cutting was required due to most of these seams being on the bias and to keep the edges from stretching. I stay stitched every piece as soon as I lifted off the pattern and handled each piece as though it would break if I so much as let it go or hang off the table!  I thought keeping this from stretching was going to be a challenge for me, and that's the main reason I wanted to make it. But it wasn't at all and I think its turned out to be quite a success!   Sometimes I think I under estimate myself 😏

I was looking forward to making this and wasn't disappointed. It was a little like putting a jigsaw together adding piece by piece and watching how it came together. My only dislike is the instructions have you leave raw edges visible on the neck and sleeve bindings. I didn't like this idea so finished mine as you would normally finish an edge with binding. I made the neck binding wider than the sleeves for personal preference. I am really pleased with how its turned out but that said, I'm not sure I will get too much wear out of this. It was more about the challenge and the interest in construction as much as anything. Plus as you may have noticed, I live by the sea and wind is nearly always an issue here, blowing any sense of gracefulness out the window. Or across the bay as the case may be!

And finally, here she is being modelled by Lady Mai. No windswept-ness here!


The trousers were made to match using bengaline and the Style Arc Elle Pant so even more stash busting for July 😊

Happy Sewing Everyone
Dawn 😀

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

McCalls 7125 ~ Cool and cropped

This is a top I made last year. Browsing through my wardrobe I realised this one slipped through the net and didn't get blogged. It's also my second version of M7125 but with a couple of slight changes.

First off, this is a cotton jersey knit, unlike my previous version which is a woven. Everyone needs something for the hottest of days so making this loose top in a cotton made sense. And just what I needed. The fabric from Croft Mill is left over from 2 previous dress projects that I made for Mum and myself, and there was just enough left  for this little top. I certainly got my money's worth out of those 5 metres 😀

I adore the overlay on my previous version but nothing I had in my stash looked suitable with this floral jersey. So it's plain. I think the bright florals more than make up for the lack of overlay though. And this top is after all, all about keeping cool. 

The other minor difference is that I made this one even shorter. And I prefer it on me this way. Short crop tops are certainly the way to go for me!

It's over a year since I made this top, so any other detail is all a bit sketchy. I leave you with a few more photos instead. Especially as the scenery is nice!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

M7574 and M7576 ~ Cool Blues

These are unusual pattern choices for me. I decided to take a chance and be different, and the chance paid off. I find wearing full skirts that I can never relax because I live by the sea and 9 times out of 10, its windy. And full skirts and wind are just a bad combination! Even on the day of taking these photos, it was a scorching 27'c (that's hot for here) and right on the coast, there was still a (warm) breeze blowing as you can tell by my hair.

I used a stretch cotton sateen from Minerva Crafts. I bought the fabric last year and was going to make some 3/4 length trousers, because that's what i needed. However that's not really what I wanted so this fabric never got made up. Then a couple of months ago I spotted M7576. Thought they were a bit weird at first, but kept coming back to them. In the end, I decided to take a chance and just went for it. And I am glad I did. These are summery and look a bit like a skirt, but without the risk of the wind having me arrested for indecency. They are also so practical to wear. Should we ever decide to go rock climbing, no problem! It's like wearing trousers but I'm not.

These were a straight forward, straight out of the envelope make. I made no changes other than I shaped the top at the waistline to reduce the bulk at the waist. The waist is elasticated

The top is M7574 and probably the closest I thing I will ever get to wearing  a tee shirt! The fabric is a  left over remnant from a jumpsuit (Here ) that I made a couple of years ago. I was drawn to this pattern because  I love high necks, love cropped tops and I love the shaping on the shoulder.  The neckline is also meant to be edge stitched but I unpicked it as it stretched a bit and looked all bumpy. Clearly I haven't mastered that technique yet! What this pattern really needs is a coverstitch machine for that pro finish. (should DH ever read this, hint hint 😉)

I love this pattern so much I can see me making this top for all seasons. I am convinced it will now replace my old faithful jumper pattern from V8939

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

B6425 ~ June MAGAM completed

Sew New Season is the theme for June's MAGAM challenge and I chose black!! Choosing black for our new season of summer, is not the only bizarre thing about this outfit. Black is also not a colour  I wear often on my top half because as you can see, I am pasty white. But I have been itching to make up the hot pink denim ever since it arrived. This is the other weird thing. I am not a huge fan of pink. Yeah that's right, that is a complete contradiction of terms! But.... I do love pink if it is teamed with black and so that, is how this outfit arrived.

The pattern I chose is B6425 and I made the top from View A but adding a frill across the front and shoulders.
I cut a Size 8 but still had to take  quite a lot in to make this more fitted.  I also cut 3" off the length. It does come up rather large unless you like a loose fit. It did however need no adjustment across the shoulders. I was thinking I would perhaps need to insert some elastic here, but not so. Its perfect as it is and it's also very comfortable to wear.

The pink jeggings are made from another stretch denim from Empress Mills. I  love their denims! It's also the Style Arc Elle Pant pattern once again. This pattern has become one of my wardrobe staples.

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 5 June 2017

M7092 ~ Using up the remnants!

I have made this pattern 3 times for my Mum! Once as an evening dress, once as a day dress (here) and once as a top. So I was thinking that it was about time I gave this pattern a try myself.

M7092 is a great little pattern. And once you've done those bodice pleats and insert, it flies together thereafter. I made this in one afternoon on a cold April day when it was hailing outside and I was home alone.
The photos were taken in May long after the hail had gone and the flowers were in beautiful bloom! It's taken me so long to get this post together, that even the flowers have gone over now too 😔

I mentioned in a previous post that this has a lot of layers on the front bodice. I reduced that by one layer(!) this time by not having the bodice double thickness. Ok I still had to give it a facing but it reduced the bulk slightly where all the pleats are. And it does help. My overlocker didn't like the bulkiness before but it stitched over this time absolutely fine 😀

I would love this made up as a dress. I think it would look much nicer than just a top, but I didn't have enough fabric even if I had thought about it before hand. Which I didn't! The fabric was already a remnant piece as was the turquoise used for the bodice insert. For once I struck lucky that I had complimenting fabrics in the stash. That never usually happens to me.

The trousers are not the same ones as on a recent post (honest!) but are again the Elle Pant from Style Arc. The other pair are a light weight cheaper denim in aqua. Those were my trial pair (wearable toile if you like) as it was the first time I had cut the pattern in stretch denim. This time I used a much better quality slub stretch denim in Petrol from Empress Mills. I love the denims from here and the customer service is just so personal and friendly. And the variety of colour choice for the denim is just awesome. I now have several of the other colours too!

I seem to go through phases with colours. At the start of the year it was burgundy/wine. Now, it seems to be turquoise. I've just made a blouse for my Mum in turquoisey colours too!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 22 May 2017

M6844 for Summer ~ May MAGAM completed

Here I am, wearing yet another, albeit a very slightly different version, of M6844. This is my one for summer and is also my project for the Merry May MAGAM Challenge. 

The merriness is in the fabric. It's just so light and summery and very merry for May. This fabric is a fairly recent purchase from Minerva Crafts. I bought it specifically for this pattern so the fabric didn't come out of my stash. This is a better photo of it taken from their website.

Minerva Catalogue Photo

It's quite a loose knit and very lightweight making it perfect for a summer version. 

For my summer version, I altered the pattern slightly this time by shortening the sleeves. And just for a little more difference, I also shortened the peplum at the back so it was the same length as it is on the pattern at the side seams. Plus, I added my usual belt with some thread loops to keep it in place.

The trousers are also another favourite pattern of mine, the Elle Pant which I made in Teal Bengaline

I have covered both these patterns before more than once, so I am keeping this post brief! The Elle Pants, are a good staple that I will continue to use for a good while yet but I think (at least for now) I am done with M6844. I will however, put that one into semi retirement rather than full retirement, just in case! I am thinking that I should also be done with this colour! I am loving turquoisey blues at the moment, I can't get enough of it. And I still have yet one more project to blog that is also these colours 😮 Hay ho! 

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!
Dawn x

Friday, 12 May 2017

Part 2 ~ Sewing Room Additional Features

Hi everyone! To continue on from my last post about my new sewing space, this one includes all the extra the additional bits and bobs I've added to my room over the past 6 months. So if you're looking to see something new I've sewn, you won't find it here 😵. It's been so exciting putting this room together and finally after 3 years of living here, getting everything organised into a proper home.

The first thing I did when we put my sewing room back together 6 months ago (after the building renovations) was to get all my fabric out of bags, boxes, cupboards etc and into some tidy storage. The unit is Ikea's Kallax and is perfect for storing fabrics. I even have gaps! When fabric was shoved here there and everywhere, I felt like I had too much. Now it seems I have room for more haha 😊

I got 4 baskets for the bottom to store all my remnant pieces. One is still empty!

The second thing I did, was to sort out my sewing patterns into some kind of filing system. When I joined Pintrest a couple of years or so ago, I always pinned any new patterns that I bought so I could see what I had. This left all other patterns purchased before Pintrest "unpinned". So, I decided to create a board on Pintrest for each pattern category (i.e Skirts, Tops, Dresses etc etc) which I now use to browse through my Pattern Stash. (Incidentally, in case anyone interested was wondering where these boards are, all my pintrest boards are a free-for-all to browse, with the exception of patterns. I didn't think my entire pattern collection was of any interest to anyone else so I kept them only visible to me!)

Anyway.... Previously, pinned or not, all my patterns were just in random boxes. The only significance between them was either "made" or "un-made". Now I have these fabulous new boxes and each one of the Pintrest boards coincides with a pattern box labelled with the same category. So if I want to make a skirt, I can browse all my skirt patterns on Pintrest and I know I will then find the chosen pattern in the pattern box labelled "Skirts." Oh! And the patterns are all in alphabetical Pattern Company order and pattern number order. These boxes sit on top of my fabric stash Kallax

On the photo above, you may have noticed my threads cabinet. First off, the credit for these thread trays goes entirely to my Dad. He made me one of these back in the 80's when I started sewing and back then, it held most of my sewing threads. To me it was a genius idea and I was so proud to have my very own "tray" full of cottons! A lot of my sewing things got "lost" over the years, but thankfully this never did. Years later, I have acquired a lot more cottons, so stealing Dad's idea, DH and I made several more. 
DH drilled the holes and cut the dowels, and I just glued them all in.

The chest of drawers in which they stand, Mum was getting rid of. And by sheer coincidence the trays fit in perfectly. Dad made the drawers also and although he didn't make them for the trays, it's just like he did! There was no better fit.

The photos above and below are unfortunately the only ones I have of the drawers in their original state, as I forgot to take any! (Mum had them inside a wardrobe, so it made no odds what they looked like in there). 

I took all the drawers out and undercoated it

and then painted everything in cream. Done. 😀

The small middle drawer holds my bobbins

Next up for a makeover was my cupboard over the stairs. As you can see it was pretty damp in there before the builders came in, (hence all the construction work last year) and also pretty useless for storing anything neatly. It either had to be piled up, or left as a wasted space.

You can see just how old our cottage is below (210 years old), by the shape of the wall inside!

Here below, with the frame painted, you can see how yellow the paint used to be!

It's now had a fresh lick of paint, inside and out, and has shelves making it very handy for (tidy!) storage

And two new door handles 😀

 I now also have my iron stowed away neatly on the wall next to this cupboard.

The only thing I don't have in my room atm is a stand alone ironing board. I may or may not get one in the future. So far I am managing well with my little table top one. This is ideal as I can keep it out on the cutting table whilst sewing, and then once a project is complete and I am ready to cut out something else, It just folds up and stows away.

The biggest and best addition to my room is of course the cutting table. Its an IKEA hack made up of 3 Kallax units fixed to a board with casters on the bottom, (so I can move it easily around the room) and a kitchen worktop surface. This was kindly made up as a surprise by my wonderful husband! The table top is solid wood and needed 3 coats of varnish to make it nice and smooth. Since my last post, it's had drawers added.

These shelves below hold all my little bits and bobs. The small boxes house my notions. I need to get some more as I still have bits to file away. And I have room to fill at least another shelf.

everything is handy by above my sewing machine

Of course,  a lot of the credit must go to my darling husband who put so much work into making this room happen. Without him, I wouldn't have a room to be proud of. I still need a few small additions and some finishing touches, but all in all, it's a job well done, and I am very lucky and very, very happy! 😊

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing Everyone 😀