The Nice Dress

Colette Crepe Dress in viscose

It’s been a busy weekend what with the Great British Sewing Bee show up in London, so I’m a little late sharing my most recent make for the Minerva Crafts blog: my version of the Colette Patterns Crepe Dress. Head on over to their blog for a blast of summer, to read all the deets, and to find out what I’d do differently next time. Looking at those photos makes me long to be back in the South of France!

Oh, and by the way, that’s Nice dress as in the city, not nice as in… well, you know. It is nice, but that just seems like damning it with faint praise, and my English teacher told me never to use that adjective if I could possibly help it 😛

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The Rockabilly Pirate Top

As promised, here’s the link to my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blog, which I’m calling my Rockabilly Pirate Top, for obvious reasons! You can find my full write up of Simplicity 8342 here. It’s such a cute jersey top, and perfect for anyone with a little experience with knit fabrics who’s looking for a slightly more challenging make than a simple t-shirt. I’d love it if you could pop on over to the blog and let me know what you think, and whether you’d make one of these yourselves 🙂

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The Denim Pedal Pushers

Pedal Pushers - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual 2

This year I was determined to get myself a pair of trousers that fit me properly. Now, I don’t know if my experience of buying trousers is typical, but I’ve never had much luck finding anything that was comfortable, let alone that fit well. It made me decide I was a die-hard skirt wearer, as they were so much more comfortable. Not as great for going on zip wires and climbing trees, admittedly, but hey, I liked skirts and didn’t want to wear that typical mum uniform of jeans and a tee.

But I love zip wires and the lure of making my own jeans began to grow. I was all set to leap in and make a pair of Ginger jeans, and then late last year I managed to find myself a pair of RTW skinny jeans that were reasonably comfortable and a pretty good fit. You’ll find me wearing them in heaps of blog pics here, but most recently the ones for my Baby Leopard Kimono  (they’re the high waisted Red Herring Carly jeans, should you be interested).

So, the idea of making my own jeans took a bit of a back seat after that. Okay, so there were things about the Carly jeans that weren’t ideal (like the quality of the fabric and stitching), but they were still way better than anything I could imagine making myself at the time.

But I still wanted to tackle trouser fitting. I had a go at it years ago when I was a good few dress sizes larger, and I managed to make myself a pair of needlecord trousers that were really comfy, but that I never wore out of the house due to an unfortunate lapse in attention when cutting the corduroy. There’s a reason they tell you to cut it with the nap all in one direction, and this became blindingly apparent when I looked down at my trousers–the front was about five shades lighter than the back! I never did make another pair of trousers with that block.

I definitely have Tasha from By Gum By Golly to thank for inspiring me to get going with my trouser fitting mission. Her Cigarette Pants are things of beauty, perfectly fitted to her body and she has detailed her many pattern adjustments at length in a series of blog posts. I began to see that it wasn’t necessary to get things perfect first time, and that it was possible to make a pattern time and again, gradually refining the fit.

This summer I decided to try again, using the Cigarette Pants pattern from my latest sewing bible: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. Read on for more of my fitting escapades…

In a Nutshell:

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August round-up and September’s sewing plans

Summer is over. Boohoo! Okay, so autumn has its good points: pretty colours, misty mornings, golden sunshine, conkers, etc, but I’m really going to miss summer. Summer sewing, in particular. I didn’t get everything made I wanted to this summer (here were my ambitious plans for August), but I suppose in the UK the window for wearing summer clothing isn’t nearly as long as the one for wearing autumn/spring clothing, so I should really be turning my attention to the cooler months now. Sigh.

In other news, I had a lovely family holiday to the South of France this August. Just one week, but sometimes that’s as much as you want with small children in tow! And I’ve moved the website over to a self-hosted account. Come to think of it, it’s a wonder I got anything sewn at all 🙂

Oh, and something else I did that’s vaguely sewing related. I tidied the loft. Okay, so that might not sound sewing related, but I do store my fabric and pattern stash in the loft. It’s pretty easily accessible as it’s right next to the hatch and we have one of those cool ladders that comes down when you open the hatch, so it’s not as inconvenient a storage area as you might think. Anyway, here are the before and after pics of my sewing stash area: Continue reading “August round-up and September’s sewing plans”

New blog address! And what I’ll be doing tomorrow :)

Hi peeps! I’m writing to you all from a brand new blog/website, and I’m really hoping that all you subscribers are still getting notifications, as normal. Please, even if you don’t normally comment, I’d really appreciate a quick comment on this post to let me know you’ve got it okay.

What I’ve done is moved my blog over from a account to a self-hosted one, with the new site address of (way more catchy than, don’t you reckon?!). All posts have transferred over, although I’m having a few issues with missing images in galleries. Luckily I’d only recently started using the gallery function, so in the next week or so I should have had a chance to go through all the affected posts and update the images. I also know some of the headings in posts look odd, so I’ll do my best to fix those too.

If you do have a moment to look around the new site and let me know what you think I’d really appreciate it. I will eventually have a pretty header which my sister is designing for me as she has mad graphics skillz which are sadly lacking in me. I’d particularly appreciate knowing if there are any problems with navigating the site, or anything that looks plain weird. Don’t be afraid to let me know–if I don’t know about it, I can’t fix it!

Anyway, that’s enough of all that boring techy stuff. Believe me, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in it for days now and I really need a break.

So, I have big plans for tomorrow. Mum has the kids, Andy is back at work (he’s a schoolteacher, poor love!), and I’m going to be indulging in the following:

Yep, that’s every single one of Craftsy’s classes with free access for one day only! I have so many sewing classes on my wishlist, and I’m going to be using this chance to check them all out, and I’ll probably have a peek at a few more while I’m at it. I’m particularly keen to find the best jeans and shirt sewing classes there, as they are two garments I want to tackle before the end of the year.

Anyone else a fan of Craftsy classes? I’ve learnt so much from them over the last few years, particularly when it comes to fitting, couture sewing techniques and sewing with knit fabrics. I can’t wait to continue my online education!

Right, I’ll be back on Tuesday with an update post on August’s sewing. Until then,  happy sewing!

Anna x

PS, that’s an affiliate link in the Craftsy ad above, so if you purchase a class after following the link I will get a small commission, at no extra expense to you. Hope that’s all right–it’s the only way I can fund my sewing habit at the moment!