Sunday, 27 September 2015

Greenwood's while the sun shines......

  I am loving this warm autumn weather! So much so that I was inspired to make some of the patterns I didn't find time for over the summer! Starting with the Greenwood tank. I wasn't sure it would suit my shape as I like things to be loose over my midrift, but sometimes you need something more fitted so I thought it was worth a go! I particularly liked the low back option and used it for both my makes.

Sorry for the terrible photos - I think I need to invest in a proper camera with timer/ remote rather than cajoling one of the little people into taking them!

  I really like this pattern, the instructions are wonderful, it's length is perfect, and it is a great scrap buster!! I am looking forward to making the Laurelhurst cardi and the Ballard top.

I love my lace edged plantain made out of the same fabric and wear it loads so I thought a tank version would be just the thing for warmer days!

I had a scrap of geometric cotton jersey left over from my coco, not enough for a sleeved top but just enough for a greenwood!!

Low back

  I have been so busy these past couple of weeks I have only managed to skim read a few sewing blogs - I really miss being able to sit down and have a good read!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

              Su xx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Pop over poncho / cape

  For some reason I never feel as if I am dressed properly if I wear a sweater. I think they look great on other people but as soon as I put one on I just feel like a slob! I came across the pop over poncho pattern in the spring and loved it but at the time I felt that I should be making some lighter garments. In winter our house is freezing and last winter I made a crochet poncho which I love and got lots of wear but wasn't very practical (for laundering reasons). I thought I would try making the poncho in a sweater knit rather than a coating type material (which the pattern is designed for).

I really like it - it is comfortable but I don't feel a slob in it!

A close up of the cowl neck (and a weird shadow!)

Rather than use bias binding to hem it I used this ribbon, which I think adds a cute touch!

You can't see it very well but I used a contrast teal thread for the top stitching to match the cowl lining.

I think the dog thinks I have something yummy hid in my pocket!

  This will be perfect for the cold autumn morning school walks and to wear in the house once winter sets in. I could see this made up in a gorgeous tweed or boiled wool!

     Thanks for stopping by!

           Su xx

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Seamwork Akita and blackberry crumble!

  One of my favorite things about this time of year is blackberry crumble!! I love taking the little people blackberry picking and returning home to make crumble with loads of custard!  We have to make it dairy, gluten, and apple free - amazingly it is still very tasty!

  Do you read Seamwork? I loved both this months patterns Akita a simple woven top (from one pattern piece - yes one!) and the Moji woven tapered trousers.  Now the little people are back at school I seem to be busier than ever and have had hardly any sewing/ blog reading time. The Akita is a quick sew project, I used a lovely light batiste that I had in my stash. I have not had much luck with Seamwork patterns in the past so I did muslin this first. In the end I used a 10 for the neck, 12 at the bust, and graded out to a 14 at the waist/hips (I think I should have gone to a 16 looking at the photos). The only issue I had with this is that it has bust darts but they haven't included any increase in length on the front pattern piece to allow for the darts. As the ends of the side seams are finished before the side seams are sewn this does create a little excess fabric on the back, I just about managed to ease it in, but I did find it tricky.

The photo's are not really very flattering but I have worn this top loads and feel very comfortable in it. If I could work out the dart issue I would defiantly make more of this top!

I have so many sewing plans for Autumn/Winter but just haven't had the time to do much sewing recently! I am itching to get the machine out!!

  Thanks for stopping by!

            Su xx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A couple of Coco's!

As the weather has been rather rubbish this 'summer' my sewing thoughts have been dwelling on what to sew for Autumn/Winter. Ever since I started to sew I loved the look of Tilly and the button's Coco top and dress but knew I had too many similar things in my RTW wardrobe, as time has progressed these have fallen by the wayside and there was a Coco shaped hole meaning I could justify buying the pattern. Coco is designed for stable knits, I had none in my stash and couldn't find anything I really loved online. I had this green geometric print medium weight cotton jersey and although it is not the fabric suggested I thought it would be worth the risk. 

  I followed Tilly's instructions for making coco with a contrast yoke I also made the version with cuffs and 3/4 length sleeves - I totally love it and think it will be perfect for Autumn! I liked the idea of using ribbon to stabilize the shoulder seams - I have tried clear elastic in the past but found it a bit tricky so until now I hadn't used anything to give strength to my shoulder seams.

Ta dah!

I'm not sure what Tilly keeps in her pockets as they are minuscule! Just big enough to fit in a couple of Lego people!

If you have never used wonder tape combined with a twin needle for hemming knits I can highly recommend this method - great results and super easy!

  I wanted a short sleeved version and made it with an even lighter cotton jersey - this was a mistake. I spent ages trying to fold this fabric matching up the tiny stripes and had to give up and cut out on the flat - I must have stretched the fabric somehow and when I tried on the finished dress the hemline looked like one of those weird Burda makes with the extra dangly, flouncy bits at either side! I re-cut the hem - still the same problem. I ended up re-shaping the right side of the dress - it is OK for messing about with the kids but its certainly not a make I am proud of and I think the light fabric makes it a bit clingy and not very flattering! 

We spent the last day of the school holidays at the beach eating chips and ice cream (not at the same time!).

  Both dresses are very comfie and I especially like the contrast yoke - I think it makes things look a little smarter.

  I have a few more knit makes planned to complete my Autumn/Winter wardrobe - do you have any seasonal sewing plans?

    Thanks for stopping by!

         Su xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Eyes in my back!

  I loved the Simple sew crossover back top (and slouchy jersey top!) included in the September issue of Love Sewing magazine . When I was at the Fabric Godmother open day last month I spied someone wearing a top made of this fabulous face fabric, it is really different to anything I would usually wear so I thought I would step outside my comfort zone and promptly bought enough to make the top.

  I knew I would have to lower the neckline as I can't stand high necklines pulling on my throat and the photo's in the magazine showed the neckline looking pretty high.

  Because I changed the neckline I used bias binding to finish the neck rather than facings.

  Unfortunately I didn't read the part of the instructions where it tells you that the pattern has zero ease!! Luckily I had made a big enough size that this was fine for the bodice but made things a little tight for the sleeves - I had to un-pick my sleeve seams and redo them with minimum seam allowance - again because I changed the pattern I used bias binding to finish the sleeve hems rather than facings.

  The other issue I had was that the pattern uses facings for the entire hem, even though I understitched it and tacked it at the side seams no way was it going to stay put, because of the fabric pattern I didn't really want to use any top-stitching so I totally cheated and used wonder web!!!!!

  The blouse has no shaping at all so on me it does look a bit boxy, but I think the fab pattern makes up for it! It will be a useful addition to my work wardrobe. I love the look of the slouchy jersey top too and will be making at least one of these - I just need to find the time first!!

I really do love the cross over back.

  I guess you have heard about the made up initiative to raise money for the National Literacy trust? I donated on the just giving page and pledged that I would make something outside my comfort zone. I had two ideas one was this faces blouse and the other was an Anderson blouse made from a super slinky fabric (I did start this one but have to admit to failing miserably and can't even face writing a blog post about it!!). As the remains of the Anderson have been packed away in the hope that I will be able to complete it once the memories of trying to sew with what seemed like air have faded this faces blouse will be my completed pledge. 

  My little people start school again tomorrow, the summer holidays always pass by far too quickly!

     Thanks for stopping by!

             Su xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

City gym shorts OR Why didn't I discover this pattern at the beginning of summer!

I can't even remember how I discovered this pattern yesterday evening, shorts were not on my mind but somehow I discovered this FREE pattern from Purl Bee with Kids sizes aged 2-11 and women's hip sizes 33-46 inches!

  It was so quick and easy to make up and a great stash busting pattern! My little lady grabbed them hot off the sewing machine and promptly cartwheeled around the garden in them - so I think she liked them! I managed to get her to stay still enough to snap some photos.

I made size 8-9 (she is a skinny 8 year old), they are a little big but hopefully will still fit next year. The only change I would make with the next pair would be to either make the waistband casing a little wider or use a smaller elastic than the pattern suggests.

I kept the navy thread in when attaching the bias binding thinking that the contrast would look good, but I think it would be better without contrasting thread.

Recently I also made this skirt from a pillow case

I feel a bit meh about it but think if I added over sized pockets like this skirt I would feel better about it.

I loved this Roxy skirt but sadly it no longer fitted me so I also unpicked the zipper and cut off the waistband, folding it over to create a casing for elastic to make this skirt:

This picture really doesn't do it justice, it looks great in real life - so grown up!!

  Thanks for stopping by!

           Su xx

Saturday, 22 August 2015

One Bettine, two Bettine,

I made another Bettine dress out of a charity shop cotton duvet cover I bought for £4.50 - there is still loads left! I totally copied a gorgeous linen version I saw on instagram!

This time I made a size 6 top and graded down to a size 5 at the waist and used the size 5 for the skirt.

I have worn it on a couple of occasions and am very pleased with how it turned out!

I have plans for one more Bettine - a winter version in black lightweight denim - the fabric is washed and ready to go but it is bottom of the sewing list as it is an autum/winter garment. Do you have a sewing list? Mine is just a rough idea of what I want to make and the order they are in depends mostly on what I fancy doing most!!

  I have been doing quite a bit of refashioning too - a couple of skirts for my daughter (I keep forgetting to get photos!) and I chopped up a maxi dress that I love but haven't worn this year (due to the usual excess boobage issue meaning that I had to wear it with a top underneath which kind of defeats the purpose of a cooling maxi dress!). So I turned it into a maxi skirt instead and hope I will get a little more wear out of it. Sadly I can't seem to extract the before photo I took and put on instagram, but here is an after shot:

I hope you are having a fine weekend, making the most of today's sunshine that otherwise seems to have mostly abandoned our summer!

  Thanks for stopping by!

            Su xx