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 🙂

Continue reading “The Rockabilly Pirate Top”

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:

Continue reading “The Denim Pedal Pushers”

The Baby Leopard Kimono

This is one of those rare occasions when I seem to have jumped on a trend bandwagon (last seen with the Cleo dress). Kimonos are everywhere this summer, and I’ve been growing increasingly annoyed with my selection of summer cardies. In the past I’ve always gone for bolero styles, often with a tie front, but they don’t necessarily look right with the clothes I’ve been wearing this year. Or maybe I was just bored with them. Anyway, I’ve been hankering over something loose and flowing to go over my close-fitting clothing. Hence the kimono. And you know what, I reckon it’s exactly what I was after! Read on for more…

In a Nutshell:

A versatile summer layering cardie, which can also be used as a beach cover-up. That was the idea, at any rate. And it’s kind-of animal print. Abstract animal print, at any rate. I’m calling it that, anyway. It’s my kimono so I can name it whatever I like 😛

Pattern:

This is a self-drafted kimono, following the instructions in Portia’s excellent tutorial. Those who’ve followed this blog for a while might remember I made one of these last year, using a striped hacci knit. I do still wear that one but I’m always wishing for a bit more width at the front to wrap it around me, so for my second version I widened the body piece by 2″ at the back and 1″ on each front piece. This extra 4″ in width allows me to wrap the kimono fully at the waist, which in my mind is a must for a beach cover-up! Continue reading “The Baby Leopard Kimono”

The Little Jenny Wren dress

My wardrobe was in serious need of a really lightweight sleeveless knit dress for the summer (and autumn/spring when teamed up with cardie and leggings), so this project jumped all queues and demanded in no uncertain terms that I MAKE IT NOW!!! And you know what? I wish I’d made it earlier in the year to get even more use out of it. What a perfect dress!

 

NB: the title comes from the extra verse to Sing a Song of Sixpence which I found in a nursery rhyme book for my daughter, which goes like this:

She made such a commotion that Little Jenny Wren

Flew down into the garden and put it back again.

I’m not sure if this is a modern addition because someone feared small children would be traumatised by the idea of the maid having no nose (I never was!), but I thought of it while making this dress as I was effectively giving myself back a favourite dress that’s now too big. So yeah, Little Jenny Wren put it back for me. Although it’s not a nose. It’s a dress. Because having a nose in my wardrobe would just be weird 😛

In a Nutshell:

A retro-looking, super comfy and practical summer dress with pockets. What more could a girl ask for?! Continue reading “The Little Jenny Wren dress”

The Flintstones Bikini

So it’s come to this. Me, sharing pictures of myself in a bikini online. A leopard print one at that! But you know what? I’m more proud of this make than any other so far, despite it still needing a few tweaks. Read on for more about my first (but definitely not my last) plunge into swimwear sewing…

In a Nutshell:

A retro-style, halter neck, high waisted bikini. In leopard print pulled from the stash. What’s not to like?! I should just stick a bone through my hair and go full on cavewoman glam 😛

No, honestly, I did save a chicken bone for precisely that purpose, then forgot to use it in the photoshoot! Continue reading “The Flintstones Bikini”

The Barcode Skirt

This is one of those projects that was so simple to sew it hardly seems to warrant a blog post of its own, but hey, it’s my blog and if I want to blog the super-easy makes as well as the complicated ones, I absolutely can. And I seriously love this skirt, so there’s that 😛

Also, I’ve been meaning to blog every week and clearly that didn’t happen last week. I’m not going to apologise because I don’t believe in feeling guilt for no good reason, but I felt like I owe an explanation. Life has been busy and time got away from me, plus I’ve been sewing rather than writing about it–oh, the pressure of an impending holiday deadline! You’ll get two blog posts from me this week, though, as I’ve got one scheduled to go live on the Sewcialists blog tomorrow. I’ll post a link here when it does 🙂

Anyway, on with the sewing stuff…

Striped Gertie Skirtie 4

 

In a Nutshell:

A knit pencil skirt that fills a gap in my wardrobe I didn’t even realise was there! Continue reading “The Barcode Skirt”

The “Who Likes Short Shorts?” Shorts

Okay, you know the weather must be hotting up in England if I’ve made a pair of shorts. I mean, I haven’t even owned a pair of shorts for…. I don’t know, a decade? Before kids, I’m pretty sure of that. Anyway, it would appear I still have legs 😛

The location shots are at our local river, where it widens into a lovely paddling spot in the woods. It was Andy’s idea to take them there. Thanks, Andy!

Short shorts 10
Gabriel was seriously unimpressed by getting his feet wet at first, but it didn’t take long for him to join in!

In a Nutshell:

A great, vintage-inspired shorts pattern with quality details, but the fit needs a little more work.
Continue reading “The “Who Likes Short Shorts?” Shorts”

The Vintage Flowers Blouse

Hey everyone, I’m absolutely thrilled to finally be able to share this project with you, as today is my first post over on the Minerva Craft Blog!

B6217 Gertie blouse #7

It’s the B6217 Vintage Style Blouse by Gertie, and anyone following this blog knows I’m a Gertie fangirl, so this was bound to be a winner. I made it up in a gorgeous cotton voile kindly supplied by Minerva. Unfortunately, the colourway I used is currently out of stock, but there are two other colourways, both of which would make gorgeous summer clothing. Continue reading “The Vintage Flowers Blouse”

The Striped Sweetheart Tee

Please look away now if you’re getting sick of various iterations of the Knit Sweetheart Top from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, as this is my third version. I reckon it’s a good’un, though!

Striped Sweetheart Top 6

In a Nutshell:

A striped tee with vintage, rockabilly vibes. Continue reading “The Striped Sweetheart Tee”

The Some Like it Hot Dress

Today the heatwave has finally broken here in Somerset, but I’m sharing the perfect dress for summer. Here’s hoping I can get plenty more wear out of it this year! Although I don’t really want any more days as hot as yesterday, thank you very much. That was the hottest June day in my lifetime and I could happily go another 40 years without seeing another one like it.

Anyway, enough about the weather. On with the sewing!

 

Sweetheart maxi dress 2
Yes, I know I shouldn’t have worn a black bra but it was the only colour not in the laundry!

 

In a Nutshell:

The perfect vintage-inspired maxi dress for a heatwave!

Pattern:

The Knit Sweetheart Top from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book by Gretchen Hirsch. I made it once before as a black tank top that got loads of wear during Me Made May, but this time I hacked it into a maxi dress with the aid of my knit maxi skirt pattern, drafted using this tutorial. Continue reading “The Some Like it Hot Dress”

Starry, starry dress

Right, well I’ve been busy sewing up a storm this month, but all on one project which I’m doing to an insanely fine finish. French seams galore! And I’m still not quite finished!

Anyway, luckily I have a few of last month’s makes to share with you still, and here’s one I had the foresight to do the pics for when I wore it for the first time, at the very end of Me Made May. Unfortunately neither me nor my photographer noticed I had a twisted strap (curse you, Andy!) and we haven’t had a chance to redo the pics yet. But I’m sharing them anyway because I’m sure you all have the imagination to picture what that strap would look like if it wasn’t twisted. Pretty much the same as the other one, in case you need any help 😛

Denim stars Cleo dress 1

In a Nutshell:

A summer version of my much-loved cord dungaree dress. Starry denim ahoy! Continue reading “Starry, starry dress”

My dream cardigan!

Anyone who’s been following my Me Made May posts either here or on Instagram will have seen this cardie plenty of times already, but here’s the full lowdown on what has become probably the most worn item of me-made clothing this month.

Drop Pocket Cardigan 6

In a Nutshell:

Like the title says, this is my dream cardigan! Do you really need to know any more than that?! Oh, okay. Read on, then, to find out why… Continue reading “My dream cardigan!”

The Gertie Skirtie

It might have taken me a long time to get around to making anything from the book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, but since the success of the Knit Sweetheart Top I haven’t been able to stop! This is my second project from the book. Read on to find out if I like it as much as the first…

Gertie Skirtie00008

In a Nutshell:

A basic but incredibly useful pattern. Wish I’d paid a bit more attention to my fabric, though!

Pattern:

The Easy Knit Pencil Skirt from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It’s a simple pencil skirt with an elasticated waist and all the shaping in the side seams. I cut a size 6, grading to an 8 at the waist as my measurements indicated. Continue reading “The Gertie Skirtie”

Best Tank EVAH! (aka Gertie’s Knit Sweetheart Top)

Right, I’ve got a lot of sewing from April to get blogged, so prepare yourself for lots of posts this month! First up is one of the most useful garments I’ve ever sewn.

 

Knit Sweetheart Top (3)
I’ve been photobombed by a pine cone!

In a Nutshell:

A seriously versatile basic tank with some cute details, that has become my new favourite top!

Pattern:

The Knit Sweetheart Top from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I made the sleeveless variation which Gertie models in the book in black too. Such a copycat! Continue reading “Best Tank EVAH! (aka Gertie’s Knit Sweetheart Top)”

The almost-a-disaster dress

Happy Me Made May, everyone! I’m actually wearing today’s make to kick off my Me Made May (find details of my pledge here). Anyone else taking part?

Right, I’ve finally got around to blogging my last March make: the Heather Dress. Not so tardy, really, as I made a change after completing it, and it’s only just come back off the sewing pile. It’s another installment in my search for the perfect knit dress pattern. Read on to find out if I’m still searching…

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In a Nutshell:

I remember thinking “I must make this dress!” when the pattern first came out. It had everything I was looking for in a knit dress: a fitted silhouette and big pockets, plus some interesting style lines to make it a bit different to the other knit dresses I’ve made. Took me a little while to get around to actually buying the pattern, but I’m glad I waited as I got it on sale and got to take advantage of all the online feedback about the pattern sizing. Continue reading “The almost-a-disaster dress”

Ladybird top

I’m doing my best to use up stash these days, both in terms of patterns I already own and fabric. This is a total stashbuster project, using a Seamwork pattern I downloaded back when it was first released.

IMG_0901

In a Nutshell:

A cute summer top, but it took a lot longer than it should have done as the neckline sewing was fraught with issues…

Pattern:

The Aurora top by Seamwork. I’ve loved the shape of this tank since it was first released, and it looked like an ideal hot weather top for me. I tend to live in RTW cami tops in the summer, but am looking to find a TNT sewing pattern that gives good bra strap coverage. I had high hopes for this one! Continue reading “Ladybird top”