Monday, 29 August 2016

The 'All's well that ends well dress' (Cynthia Rowley for Simlicity 2406)

  Mr Sewingsu loves a good boot sale and a few weekends ago he came back with a whole stack of uncut patterns. A few were the wrong size, a few I just didn't like, but quite a few were worth keeping hold of and this one in-particular caught my eye.

  I decided I would make one last summer pattern using some lovely viscose I bought from an Etsy seller. I decided to embrace the cut out shoulder trend and make view B. I do love the back slit but this is not a look that I could carry off so I intended to put a zipper in. I could see from the finished measurements that there was quite a bit of ease but I thought that as it was supposed to be loose and billowy I would go with the suggested sizing. I made a size 20 at the bust grading out to a 22 at the waist thinking that it would be better to make it too big and then take it in if necessary. Unfortunately I didn't take into account that the process of making the dress made this impossible. You can't try the dress on until the sleeves are inserted which is nearly the last step by which time all the facings are attached and the sleeves fully lined! When I did try it on it was way way to big, I abandoned the zip idea and crossed over the back opening to create a smaller neckline, using two cute buttons to hide my hand stitching. I am actually quite pleased with the result:

The instructions for inserting the pockets are crazy so I just did it my own way. I had read online that the sleeves were a bit tricky but I just took it slowly and it wasn't as bad as I had expected.

I rather like how the sleeves turned out.

After wearing it for a few hours my front hem is much higher than the back - either I needed to have adjusted the back above the belt to the same degree as the front when I put it on or it is my bust and tummy that is using extra fabric - not sure how to stop that??

Dodgy back/butt shot!!!!

It has an obi style belt/sash which you can't really see well in the photos but is lovely and I really like this touch.

  All in all I am rather pleased with this dress. I am planing a couple of winter versions (view c) in a dark floral viscose and perhaps another in a black pointe. When making this again I will go down a size or two, and cut the back on the fold.

 Thanks for stopping by!

                        Su xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Seagull dress (Tilly and the buttons Bettine).

  It's no secret that I love the Tilly and the buttons Bettine dress - I made it twice last year but these no longer fit and I wanted to make another for this year. I found this lovely sea bird fabric in the sales and knew it would make a great Bettine dress. 

(forgive the wrinklyness - I took this photo while it was hanging up to dry!)

I cut the largest size as I remember when making it last year it does come up small and I wanted a nice loose fitting top. I also added 3 inches to the skirt length. 

I had some scraps of dark blue very lightweight denim that I used for the contrast pockets which I think work quite well.

I usually wear a little leather belt with it which looks great but I forgot to put it on when we went out to take the photos!

I had anticipated that there would be lots of cooler rainy days this summer to wear it on but the weather down here has just been amazing so I have only ended up wearing it once! To take these photos and then out for a birthday lunch!

 I hope you are enjoying the summer wherever you are!

   Thanks for stopping by!

         Su xx

Sunday, 7 August 2016

McCall's M7093 top in Nani Iro double gauze.

 I mentioned before that I had seen Hila's wonderful chambray version of M7093 and decided to make my own. I treated myself to 1m of Nani Iro pocho in turquoise. I also ordered some contrast grey double gauze but didn't read the description properly and missed the bit about it being 'open weave' - Oh my goodness it was thin:

  Far too thin to use it for the contrast areas of the top as I had intended. I had spent quite a bit ordering both pieces of double gauze and really didn't want to spend any more on buying more fabric for the top. So I doubled up the grey gauze for the side contrast panels (Thanks to Hila for the suggestion!):

  And used some lovely midnight blue muslin I had in my stash for the back piece.

  It was a simple but interesting make, piecing it all together. I hadn't  made sleeve darts before - they are a bit pointy so I am not sure what I have done wrong in their construction.

  I also hadn't  worked with double gauze before and did feel like it was a bit of a race against time to get the seams sewn and overlocked before they unraveled! It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to washing!

We visited a local garden and had great fun spotting the sculptures, climbing in the tree house and walking through bamboo tunnels.

I LOVE the pockets (obviously). It has a really nice hi-low hem too but I didn't manage to get a good shot of it.

Back shot on the rope bridge!

Imitating the giant star gazing hare was a must!

Abakhan fabrics have a sale on liberty prints at the moment so I ordered some tana lawn to make another M7093 top and some cord to make the tunic version - I will need to draft some pockets for this and maybe lengthen it a little but I don't think it will be too tricky..........

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Ogden cami into a summer dress

I was going to post about my completed M7093 top today but as it is so sunny here on the south coast  today a summer dress post seemed more appropriate.

  There really isn't much to say, I lengthened the True bias Ogden cami to make it into a dress, I had been thinking above knee would be best but made it way longer by accident and actually like the just below knee length best. I made it up in green linen from my stash (and had enough left to make a cami length too). I like it loose but also made a tie so I can make it more shaped if I want to.

  I really love it and am keeping my fingers crossed for lots more summer days to wear it on.

There is a little gaping  at the bust area.

I like it with the waist tie too.

It was surprisingly difficult to get a good close up shot when using a camera and timer.

And one of the back too!

I hope that wherever you are the sun is shining!

  Thanks for stopping by!

       Su xx

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ogden cami - my new favorite pattern!

 I know, I know, I am so fickle, it feels like nearly every pattern I make is my new favorite! I really do love this one though, every True Bias pattern I have made I have really liked. The patterns are drafted well and the instructions are always good. This was a really quick sew and I love the results.

  Initially I had some trouble because the fabric was so thin.

 When I tried stay stitching the neck and arm holes the fabric really puckered up. My sewing machine manual suggested shortening the stitch length, I also changed my needle (I have been on the same pack of needles since I started sewing!!), I whacked the tension right down to 1 - all of this made a tiny bit of difference but it was still puckering. In the end I decided perhaps controversially that I would be causing more harm by stay stitching than I would to just leave it and be careful. I kept the tension and stitch length low and the seams were all pucker-free.

  There isn't really much more to say other than the finish is really nice and I think this will become a wardrobe staple, a couple of these in plain colours and maybe one lengthened to a dress will see me through the summer! The only change I would make is to lengthen it an inch or two.

The little people, dog and I went for a wander down to the boat yard this morning - I forget sometimes how lucky we are to live so near to the sea. 

We struggled to get a good back shot so this one will have to do!

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Friday, 29 July 2016

Holiday musings and future projects....

We have just had a week away in beautiful Dorset even though 6 out of 8 of us were struck down with a vomiting bug (courtesy of my youngest) we still had a great time. The weather was good most days and we had lots of mini adventures including fossil hunting in Charmouth.

Recently my work life has been really busy which when you run your own business is fantastic but also stressful and it does tend to take over a little. I was really ready for a break. I loved spending some quality time with my family and of course my little people - it taught me how much I have missed spending time with them over the past months - something I need to change. I also enjoyed being able to catch up with some of the blogs I used to follow and it made me realize how much I enjoy the whole sewing community - I am going to try and find time each week do do a little blog reading no matter how busy work is. Although I had future projects in mind it has been a while since I have seen a new pattern (or an old one) that really inspired me. Hila of Saturday night stitch always amazes me - her garments are so professional and she always looks so 'put together', she is also a teacher and has about a gazillion children (5) - I seriously don't know how she does it. Anyway she made M7093 in chambray and I loved the look of it straight away - I have to say if I hadn't seen Hila's version and only the pattern cover I would have by passed it completely.

I have long coveted a garment made in double gauze, and especially anything by Nani Iro but is it just soooooo expensive. I decided to treat myself to this turquoise Nani Iro along with a plain grey for contrast from The Eternal Maker I think (hope) it will make a great top. 

Another pattern that caught my eye was The Ogden Cami by True Bias This is really my type of thing - loose fitting but not too loose and plenty of shoulder/back exposure without exposing too much at the front. There is 20% off with the code LAUNCHWEEK20 until Sunday at midnight (EST) I love the plain black version - very classy!

I am going to make this up in a fox print rayon from my stash first and if it goes well I may invest in some plain silk blend - I found a silk/acetate blend that looked great but I don't like wearing synthetic fabrics - anyone had any experience of silk/acetate blends??

I will leave you with a few holiday snaps!

This is one of my favorite views in the whole of England - Corfe Castle from the Scott Arms in Kingston.

Some days it seemed like we were in the Med!

I have one more week off and I intend to make the most of it - a slow pace of life spending some quality time with my little people and of course Sewing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Su xx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Summertime dottie (Simplicity Dottie Angel 8153)

Well Hellllloooooooo!

  Long time no see you might say! Did I give up sewing? Was I sick of blogging? Or was I abducted by aliens? Well none of the above actually. I have been sewing, if you follow me on instagram you will know that my machine has not gotten dusty with non use. Am I tired of blogging? - No not at all. The simple truth is that I have been so busy with work, family and everything that goes with them! I have just about found time to sew, even to take photos but every time I turned on the computer I knew that there was a ton of unanswered emails and reports to write that needed to be done before any blogging took place. By the time I had done all of the things I needed to I was too tired to write anything remotely sensible! I haven't even kept up with reading any of the blogs I usually follow. I plan to change this - There are three days of term left and then I have just over two weeks holiday! Yayyyyyyyyyy!! After that I am working for two long days a week but then I will have the rest of the week off - plenty of time to enjoy the holidays with the little people and sneak in lots of sewing and blogging - HURRAH!!

  As you know I LOVE the Simplicity Dottie Angel patterns, however my first Dottie make wasn't really a success as it just didn't suit me. One of the reasons I first started to sew was to find a dress/tunic that was summery (exposure of shoulders required) but that could also be worn with cropped leggings (much safer to go to a windy beach with the little people when wearing leggings). So when Simplicity released Dottie Angel 8153 I struggled to wait until it was released in the UK!

  By the by there is an even newer one just released in the US - I will certainly be snapping this one up as soon as it hits the UK online stores!!

  Anyway back to me! There are several options but I really wanted to make the dress. I thought I had better make a toile first so I made the top version in a very very fine (almost translucent) chambray:

  Apologies for the very crumpled non-ironed photo! I mostly like it - I decided to sew the bib bit down completely at the sides - this was a mistake as it restricted the fullness created by the front pleats (under the bib) and makes the top seem too tight. Also despite this being the long version of the top it is still too short (for my liking). At least I knew what to change for the real version.

  I bought some suitably flowery fabric (light quilting weight) and got going. It was an easy make but with just enough detail to make it an interesting sew - you can't see it on the photo but the bib bit has an almost quilted effect.

I had fun styling the pictures like the pattern cover.

I did however feel like I was constantly going to fall off the stool!

  All in all I really like it, the waist ties mean that it is not a billowy sheet like affair and gives it as much or as little shape as you want. I also love being able to accessorize with as much or as little lace edging or contrasting pocket/bib colours as you like. 

   I decided I wanted to make a bib-less version in a non-flowery fabric as a simple summer dress. I dug around in my stash and found this lovely lightweight cotton. The pockets with the pattern were not right for this dress so I made massively over sized pockets instead. I love this version too but I am not sure if the fabric is just too lightweight - I haven't had a chance to wear it for a day yet so we will see.

My hemline has gone a bit funny - hopefully all it needs is a good iron.

  I love both versions and think I will get lots of wear from them.

  In other news the little people are soooooo ready for the holidays and the bad weather we have had for the past few months has meant precious little time spent outside. Hopefully the improvement in weather will last for the holidays (fingers, toes, arms and legs all crossed). The veg in the garden has been rubbish this year - we did manage a few peas:

Thanks for stopping by!

        S xx