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 😛

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In a Nutshell:

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

Bucket (and spade) hat

As part of my continuing mission to do at least a little bit of unselfish sewing for my nearest and dearest, I’ve made my boy a summer hat. And now, of course, everyone wants one. I’ve made a rod for my own back!

But seriously, how cute does he look?! Gabriel has always loved a hat, but has an annoying propensity to lose them. I’m just hoping he can keep hold of this one. At least until I’ve made him a newsboy cap…

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In a Nutshell:

A cute and simple summer project, which is a perfect introduction to hats. Warning: you could get addicted to hat making! Continue reading “Bucket (and spade) hat”

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.

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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…

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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.

 

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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.

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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”

Dressing Miss Daisy: the favourite flower dress

Aug 15 078 (Copy)Anyone following this blog for a while will have noticed that I’m fairly selfish sewist, no doubt. Oh, I have plans to make garments for all the people I love most in the world, but with limited sewing time and limited funds I tend to prioritise clothes for myself.

But Daisy often compliments me on my new makes and asks if I can make her something too, so when she picked out this fabric on our pre-Christmas shopping trip to Rose Crafts, I offered to make it into a skirt or dress for her. After Christmas, naturally. I wasn’t that crazy!

And so we got to March, and Daisy reminded me again, and we decided a dress would be a good idea. In fact, what she wanted was a facsimile of her favourite dress. A very old John Lewis pink jersey dress, shown in the pic on the right. She’s been wearing it for a couple of years now but it fits really well and seems to have more growing room. I had a good look at how it was constructed and decided I could probably have a go. After all, how hard could it be? #famouslastwords

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In a Nutshell:

A cute jersey dress in a dark floral pattern. This is so Daisy, and it fits her perfectly! It’s become her new favourite dress. It also counts for my #dressmakingbloggerchallenge for March (Springtime theme) what with that floral pattern. Are dark florals spring-like? Okay, I don’t care. It’s floral, and that’s good enough for me. Continue reading “Dressing Miss Daisy: the favourite flower dress”

You win some, you lose some: a tale of two tees.

Not all of my sewing projects are successful. Not even when they’re as simple and straightforward as a t-shirt. Here are two tees I’ve recently completed-one win and one fail. And by recently I mean one at the beginning of January and one last week. Partially recent, at any rate!

Major photobombing from my cat, Lottie, in these pics, by the way. Sneaky little so and so!

In a Nutshell:

Even the simplest of projects can go horribly wrong. I’ve learnt lots about what sort of tee shirt patterns suit me, though, so it wasn’t time wasted. Continue reading “You win some, you lose some: a tale of two tees.”

The Madrid Dress: Seamwork’s Neenah

I’m currently dealing with a severe lack of sleep and two ill boys to look after (okay, one of them is in his 50s, but still a boy when he’s ill), so what better time than to cheer myself up by blogging my favourite recent make? And while wearing it too! Yep, this passes the secret pyjamas test for sure.

Oh, and why the Madrid dress when I’ve clearly been modelling it in my back garden? Read on to find out!

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In a Nutshell:

A quick and easy make that’s become a firm wardrobe favourite. Style and comfort, what more could you ask for?! Continue reading “The Madrid Dress: Seamwork’s Neenah”

The Rooftop Cleo dress

I know every sewing blogger out there (pretty much) has already made this dress, but I’m not jumping on a bandwagon, honest! I’ve actually wanted a dungaree dress for yonks, as I had one I absolutely loved when I was pregnant with Daisy (who’s now 11). Last summer I was busy pinning dungaree dresses on an inspiration board, wondering how I’d go about drafting my own pattern for one, so when Tilly released this pattern I was more than ready to make one. I wonder why it took me until February? I blame Christmas for getting in the way 🙂

Like with my recent Moneta dress post, these photos were again taken on our glorious roof terrace during last month’s trip to Madrid.

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In a Nutshell:

A cute but very practical dress–ideal for chasing about after toddlers!

Pattern:

The Cleo Pinafore and Dungaree Dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I sewed the knee length version with the split and used two back pockets and one on the bib.

My waist measurement put me between sizes 3 and 4, and my hips were between sizes 4 and 5. Although the pattern instructions cautioned me to go with the larger size, I’d heard this pattern came up quite roomy at the waist so I rebelled and cut the smaller sizes, grading between a 3 at the waist to a 4 at the hip. With hindsight, this might have been a mistake! More on that in a minute… Continue reading “The Rooftop Cleo dress”

Seasonally inappropriate sewing: the Aster blouse

I’ve been finding the sewing challenges I’m taking part in so motivating that I’ve done the unheard of: completed a summer blouse in the middle of winter! Okay, it’s early spring really, but if it feels like winter, that’s all that matters. I don’t think you can see the goosebumps on these pictures, but I can assure you they were there. Oh yes, and I must thank my darling 11-year-old daughter Daisy for taking these pics. Didn’t she do a great job?! 🙂

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In a Nutshell:

A pretty summer top, but I think this pattern will need some adjustments for next time. I decided to treat this as a wearable muslin, but I spent my time sewing it carefully to get a good finish as I wanted to practice some shirtmaking skills for future projects.

Pattern:

The Aster blouse, by Colette Patterns. It’s a loose-fitting, V-necked blouse with a yoke, and I sewed View 1 with the short sleeves. My measurements put me between an 8 and 10, but I chose to cut the 8 with no grading as the pattern has lots of ease over the hips, and I know I have narrow shoulders so I figured I’d be better having the smaller size there.

This was one of my #2017MakeNine projects as I wanted to build up to making a proper shirt, and I figured this pattern would give me some practice while leaving out some of the scarier parts (collar and cuffs). The reason I sewed it in February was the #WardrobeBuilder challenge for this month: shirts and blouses. That and I fancied filling a wardrobe gap before the weather heats right up. If it ever does… Continue reading “Seasonally inappropriate sewing: the Aster blouse”

A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.

I’m getting in just ahead of the #monetaparty with my first go at this very popular pattern. Oh, and coincidentally I made this for my Dad’s 70th birthday party last month, and I’m finally getting around to blogging it on my 40th birthday. Significant birthdays all round! Oh yes, and for a bit of added exoticism, the photos were taken in Madrid last week, on the roof terrace of our gorgeous Airbnb apartment 🙂

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In a Nutshell:

I have to admit the Moneta pattern never really grabbed me when it came out, as I tend to like my silhouettes more fitted. However, it’s a hugely popular pattern and I figured so many people loving it must mean something, so when Colette allowed me to spend my Seamwork credits on Colette patterns I decided to give it a try. And then the prospect of the upcoming #monetaparty put a boot up my arse to actually get it made. That and needing a dress suitable to wear to my dad’s 70th birthday party–tea and cakes in a church hall. All my existing party dresses were too slinky looking, and I figured Moneta might give me the pretty-but-wholesome vibe I needed 🙂 Continue reading “A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.”

Rainy Day Cardie

This is a toile for a pattern I’ve had my eye on for ages. Apologies for the ropey indoor pics. It just wouldn’t stop raining!

ETA: I realised this morning that I made a mistake while sewing this. See sections in bold italics below!

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In a Nutshell:

I’m considering this casual cardie a success for a toile, even if it hasn’t had any wear just yet… It’s also a proper multitasker as it qualifies as my make for the following 2017 pattern challenges:

#wardrobebuilder: January: Jumpers and Sweaters

#dressmakingbloggerchallenge: January, Keep it Cosy

#2017MakeNine: cardie

Pattern:

The Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork. It’s a relaxed fit, cropped cardigan without any fastenings to worry about, so a really quick and simple sew as all Seamwork patterns are intended to be. I cut a straight size small based on my bust measurement, reasoning there was really no need to grade this out to a medium at the hips as it’s such a relaxed style. Continue reading “Rainy Day Cardie”

Happy New Year! And a rainbow mini skirt…

Happy New Year everyone! May 2017 be a fabulous year for you 😀

This is the first of my two remaining 2016 makes to blog. Not lagging too badly here as I completed this project back in September. That was just in time to wear to a convention for writers and readers of GLBTQ romance, hence the six colour Pride rainbow.

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Oh look, I polished my boots in your honour!

In a Nutshell:

This is a skirt I’ve been planning to make for years, and while I’m really happy I’ve finally got it done, it’s not exactly how I envisaged. It’s an awful lot shorter, for starters…

Pattern:

Self drafted. Actually, I didn’t even draft a pattern–I just fitted it to me as I went. It’s a straight skirt with two back panels and two front panels (does that make it a four gore skirt?), and an invisible zip in the centre back. There’s no waistband, just a grosgrain ribbon facing. It sits a couple of inches below my natural waist, and I decided not to go for darts for shaping as I didn’t like the idea of them breaking into the next layer down of the rainbow. All shaping is done in the seams.

Fabric:

Scraps of needlecord from my stash, left over from my doll-making days. It’s a really high quality, 100% cotton British-made corduroy from Brisbane Moss (I believe it might have been their 16 wale Chiltern). Unfortunately they only supply to trade, so I’ve no idea where I’ll get my corduroy in the future. Good thing I’ve still got lots left… Continue reading “Happy New Year! And a rainbow mini skirt…”

Totally not boring Grey Surplice Dress

This is the last of my 2016 makes to blog (completed early November), which means I’m not doing too badly this year! Blogging more promptly should definitely be a New Year’s resolution, though…

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In a Nutshell:

A simple, neutral knit dress that’s already become a firm wardrobe favourite!

Pattern:

This is the Surplice Dress from the Craftsy Sewing With Knits class. It’s a simple knit dress with an empire line waist, a wrap bodice and an A-line skirt. The sleeves are meant to be elbow length but ended up being slightly shorter because of an alteration I made (more on that later). Based on my measurements I cut a size M.

Fabric:

Grey ponte from Sewn Bristol (I can’t see it in the online store and I bought it back in the summer so perhaps it’s all gone now). I am seriously amazed by the quality of this fabric. At £5.50 a metre I assumed it might not wear all that well–after all, every single ponte I’ve bought in the past has bobbled after a couple of washes, despite me treating it like royalty with the finest delicates detergents, washing cycles and line drying. Continue reading “Totally not boring Grey Surplice Dress”