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

Friday, 22 April 2016

Flowers and cleaning!

I am still learning how to use my camera and have been trying to capture some of the spring loveliness in the garden:

I really like how this shot turned out!

I copied this idea from a picture I saw on instagram again I love how it turned out but think I should have used white card rather than one sheet of white paper as the table shows through a little.

  Another thing I have been thinking about is alternatives for harsh cleaning chemicals. I always cough when cleaning out the bath and shower so thought I would try to make my own all purpose cleaner.

 Basically I mixed 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 cooled boiled water, a little lemon juice and a few drops of tea tree essential oil. I have to say it works great everywhere in the house - bathrooms, kitchen etc. It smells nice and fresh and no horrid chemicals - a win win situation!

  Do you make your own cleaning products? I would love to hear your cleaning 'recipes'!

     Thanks for stopping by!

             Su xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The story of my Fens (Fen dress and top - Fancy Tiger Crafts)

  I wanted to make a Spring/Autumn dress and first bought Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges dress pattern when she last had a sale. However I read some reviews stating that the fit wasn't great for larger ladies. So I bought Deer and Doe's Sureau and was very excited about making it. Sadly when I finally got round to starting it I was above the size range.  I had seen a few rather nice Fen dresses from Fancy Tiger Crafts on the blogosphere and as you can make tops with it too I decided to go for it and bought a paper pattern (as you can't buy the PDF in Europe).

  I decided to go for the top first, it has no shaping whatsoever so I was wondering how it would look on me - I rather like how it turned out! I don't like 'v' necks so went for the round neck option and I can't seem to get my head round hemming sharp curves so went for the hi-low hem rather than the shirt option. I used a gorgeous soft cotton lawn with little owls on it that I had in my stash.

It is a lovely fabric but does crease rather a lot!

I had some issues with the neckline not wanting to lie flat - I think it is because I hate making bias binding so used pre-made bias tabe which is rather stiff - I am hoping that a few washes will sort it out.

I really love the hem line.

 Anyway - top done so I went for the dress. I used this really lovely leaf print cotton from Ditto fabrics that I bought with my Christmas vouchers.

  It was an easy pattern to make up - I didn't really follow the instructions, to be honest they looked a little overly complicated so I just followed the stages but did it the way I thought worked best. It took me just over a week doing a little at a time between work and children.

Excuse the blindingly white legs - first outing this year!

I made the hi low hem again and love it! Obviously I love the pockets too!!

I like it with a belt and may make some belt loops to hold a belt in place.
It is a very loose fitting pattern so if you like a closer fit I would go down a size.

Love it with a cardi and leggings too (excuse my odd shoulders - I didn't sort the sleeves out under the cardi so they have bunched up and made my shoulders look even bigger than they are in real life)!!

It has both front and back bodice darts that come up from the waist - I hadn't made a pattern with darts like these before so it was interesting to try something new!

I have no idea what I am looking at in this photo!!

  There is a 3/4 length sleeve option too and I can see how making it up in different fabrics will create dresses for all the seasons. I can confirm that it is comfortable to wear! I will be making more of these and more tops too (they are perfect for work).

   Thanks for stopping by!

               Su xx

Saturday, 16 April 2016

My first Washi (Made by Rae Washi dress)

I have been thinking about spring/summer sewing and realizing that many of the garments I made last year no longer fit so I need to be thinking ahead and making some new ones in shapes that flatter me. I have long been aware of the Washi dress as there are so many beautiful versions on the web but I had never had an excuse to buy one - until now!!

  I actually made a muslin of the bodice (which I have never done on any of my previous makes!!) from that I discovered that the 'u' shape on the neckline would be too low cut for me, the rest of the fit was OK (although I perhaps should have made a full bust adjustment - this is something I really must get used to doing!!!!). I used material that I bought for a bargain £6/m from the Sew over it stall at the London knitting and stitching show. The fabric is gorgeous and I wish I had bought the grey colourway too.

  This is a beginner pattern and although I didn't struggle with it I think had I been a beginner I may have found it a little tricky. I didn't learn by my Moneta elastic issue and used an old spool of shirring elastic in my stash, again I think once stretched it didn't return to it's original state and so the dress doesn't pull in as tight as it should at the empire waistline, it looks fine from the front but a bit maternityish from the side.


The waistline looks so wonky in this photo - it's not in real life

I think this dress will be lovely without leggings in the summer, but it was just too cold at the beginning of April to go without!

Plus Julia cardi and scarf - this is how I wore it to a family event.

 Thanks for stopping by!

     Su xx

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Another Esme (Lotta Jansdotter's 'Everyday style' book)

I wouldn't normally blog about this as I have made several already but I just love it so much I had to share it with you!!

  It is another Esme tunic (lengthened to a dress) from Lotta Jansdotter's 'Everyday Style' book It is made in a wonderful purple stretch denim that I picked up at the first sew bee's meet up at Ditto Fabric's in Brighton (also online) They don't have it in anymore but have lots of other great fabrics! The stretch in the denim makes it soooooooooo comfie and purple + mustard yellow is one of my favorite colour combinations! I am also planning several more makes from this book for summer.

  Not much more to say about it only that I love it and have been wearing at every possible opportunity!

  This is fast becoming a TNT (tried and true) pattern for me, do you have a favorite pattern that you have made again and again?

   Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Friday, 8 April 2016

A couple of Julia cardigans (Welcome to the mouse house creations)

These two Julia cardigans have been in constant rotation since I made them. I had been looking for a pattern to replace a much loved old RTW cardigan and this pattern is so perfect for me. I never wear cardigans done up and prefer a loose but not over loose fit.

  Construction was very simple - for both of mine I chose the double collar version as I wanted a slightly stiffer collar to have a slight jacket feel to it and also because the inside was neater. I made both of these entirely on my overlocker (a big step for me!!).

They are just perfect for layering.

I love a longer arm but these are a little long even for me!

  Thanks for stopping by!

        Su xx

Thursday, 7 April 2016

More True Bias Mini Hudsons

After the success of my previous True bias mini hudson pants which the boys choose to wear frequently I thought I had better make some more asap!

 I bought a thickish french terry from Fabworks and got going! There isn't really much more to say other than the boys love them even more than the other pairs I have made! The only difficulty with these is that in places the fabric layers were too thick for my overlocker so the inside is a little messy.

I struggled to get a good photo of the mini hudsons specifically as the boys were having so much fun on our first seaside visit of the year.

  Thanks for stopping by!

       Su xx