Saturday, 25 February 2017

Moneta Partaaaaaaaaay!!!!

Ok so this is going to be a photo heavy post!  Over on Instagram this weekend is the Moneta party - hosted by @rach_wain @sewpositivity and @sewabigail. Basically everyone uses the colette patterns Moneta dress, makes their own with as many additions/changes as they like (so long as the basic dress is still the same) and the best ones win prizes, the hashtag #monetaparty is used so that everyone can see all the entries. I love the pattern but the only one I ever made was unflatering as it was too long in the bodice and the skirt:

The party sounded fun and I wanted in! I thought I should make a toile first to see if I could get the bodice right. I cut the pattern out as intended, pinned the bodice together and tried it on (ouch!). I decided to lop 1.5" off the bottom of the bodice, I knew that this would make the skirt shorter - but hey! that meant I didn't need to shorten that as well!  I used a lovely cotton jersey from Girl Charlee (UK).

  I so loved the toile that it wasn't really a toile and I have worn it loads - the mustard colour brightens any dreary day and looks good with both tights and leggings. (I look a bit bedraggled in the photo as it was raining - plus Mr Sewingsu is not very patient where photo's are concerned - due to copious forced childhood photo posing apparently).

  So for the real deal I ordered this gorgeous organic jersey from Stoff and Stil - a Danish company who have just opened a UK web shop.

  I love all things nature inspired and as a vet I especially love animals - so I was really drawn to this fabric.

  I took the little people out to an ancient farm (round houses, mud huts etc) and got some sheep related photos (even though there weren't actual sheep on the fabric it was as near to a wild animal as I was going to get!) :

The sheep looked suitably impressed.......

  We than made an unexpected stop on the way home for a picnic lunch at the ruins of an old abbey - turns out this was a great place for photos! My 9 year old photographer did her best David Bailey impression and the boys ran through the ruins playing knights/soldiers etc - everyone had a great time (plus it wasn't busy so I didn't feel too self conscious!).

  I have never taken part in an Instagram party before - it was such fun! The build up has been great seeing sneak peeks of everyone's dresses and the finished dresses have been amazing - I have seen some fantastic hacks that I would never have even thought of!!!!

  Anyway half term is more or less over and it's back to work and school on Monday.

    Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Sew me something Julia top

   The TNTB Zadie dress was next on my sewing list but we had a bit of a sad week and I didn't feel like starting anything that looked like it might be remotely difficult.

  This week Sew me something released their Julia pocket top It looked super comfie and a bit different - so I bought it and decided that it would be this weekends project! 

  I chose a lovely pink terry fabric I bought ages and ages ago at one of the Fabric Godmother open days (there is another one coming up soon if you live on the south coast).

  I love unusual pattern pieces:

The top came together really quickly and the instructions were great.

As you can see it is an over sized boxy top, I totally love the interesting pockets I think they are a great feature.

The photo's don't really do it justice (apologies for the wrinkles - I had actually ironed it - honest!) It is so snuggly and warm - perfect for winter weather. The only thing I am concerned about is the colour - I am very likely to spill something right down the front of it!!!!

I chose to use contrasting grey thread to topstitch around the neckline and hem with my twin needle.

The details: Now I know it supposed to be an over sized top but it does come up very large. I used the 1cm seam allowance for the sleeves and then a 1 inch allowance for each side seam. 

I really want to make one in a light jersey with a scoop neck as it would be a great layering piece and  really my style - I think I will go down a size or two and will have to make the neckline a bit smaller (I have small slopey shoulders and wide necklines just fall off me!!)

Anyway that's about it for this weekend. everyone seems to be on half term next week but we have to wait until the week afterwards - I am planning to sew my Moneta and Zadie dresses around occupying the small people during half term - it's going to be busy!!

Thanks for stopping by!

      Su xx

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo(s)

Hi!   It's been a loooooooong time since I wrote a blog post! Ages ago when Tilly and the Buttons released their Cleo dungaree pattern I instantly fell in love and snapped up the Aubergine needlecord kit. In the pattern photos on the website Tilly uses a larger size model as well as a smaller sized one, I really like this as it helps me to see how it would look on someone similar to my size, I wish more pattern houses did this. I decided to make it in the longer length as I thought this would be perfect for winter. I was so pleased with the result (I have a bit of wrinkling in the bib bit and I think it may be a little big - but I don't like things to be tight so I am happy with it). I Have had lots of good comments about it when I have been wearing it (which is almost constantly!) I usually wear it with bright tights and brown boots.

There are two versions of the pattern the long one above with the knee split and a shorter version. I knew that I would want to make the shorter version too and this will be great for spring (and winter!). I chose this mustard needlecord I had in my stash which I think was from My Fabrics. Now you would think that as I had made it before and given that the previous make was such a success that this one would have been a breeze - this was not to be. It all started off well and I used a lovely contrasting cotton lawn for the insides which I love.

 Then as the dress was nearly finished it all went horribly wrong. I am not sure how I managed it but I must have used a 1cm seam allowance rather than a 1.5cm one on the straps and by the time I had realized the dress was constructed so to correct it there would have been an awful lot of unpicking to do - I decided to leave it. I think it looks OK and only I will know. As if this wasn't bad enough can you imagine my upset when I had completed the entire dress including the hem, put it on for the first time and discovered I had put the front pocket on way too low AAARRRRRRGGGGGG! (to put it mildly!).

  I was determined to unpick it and move it to the correct position however I chicken'ed out at the last minute too worried that it would lead to an awful pocket outline right in the middle of the dress - had it been one of the back pockets or even the pockets lower down on the dress it would have been ok - but I decided I couldn't risk it with the center front pocket. 

The back is lovely too:

Despite the stupid mistakes I do still love the dress and will wear it lots, but will always have the knowledge that it is not perfect.

 I am going to try to blog a bit more often  and have decided to write down my plans using the free template from Sew DIY  here are some of my plans for February:

  I am hoping to take part in the Moneta party at the end of February, it is an instagram based concept where everyone makes a Moneta and post's a photo of their dress in the hope of winning some great prizes. I have completed my (very) wearable toile with adjustments and am just waiting for my fabric to arrive so that I can start on the 'real thing' (I am keeping my fingers crossed that things don't go the way my Cleo's went!). I also want to try and find time to make the new TNB pattern Zadie

  I have seen this gorgeous version by Cookin' and Craftin' that I am going to shamelessly copy!!!!

  Thanks for stopping by and I hope it won't be too long before my next post........

      Su xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

Recreating a RTW girls Christmas dress......

  I can't believe its been so long since I last wrote on here - I have been sewing (lots) but have had very little time to take photos or write.

  When looking for Christmas gifts for my 9 year old daughter I stumbled on this dress from next:

It is a velvet skater style dress, my daughter has several skater type dresses in jersey material and loves them so I knew she would love this too.
BUT - it has a button on the back and she has a button phobia (weird I know!).

  I was pretty sure I could recreate it and found the kitschy-coo girls skater dress However this only goes up to age 8. So I bought the lady and teens version Her measurements fitted the smallest size, I printed and traced it thinking that if it were a little big it would last until next year. I shortened the arms by 1 inch. I left the rest of the pattern as it was and fitted as I went along. Unfortunately I didn't anticipate that the velvet was not as stretchy as plain old jersey fabric so it fits perfectly now but probably won't for much longer!

   She totally loves it and I am very pleased with how it has turned out, it will be perfect for Christmas day! Velvet seems to be very difficult to photograph, the best pictures were without the flash but as it was a dull day some of them are a little shaky!

She loves to dance so a full skirt is a must!!

Attempting to capture it in full flow!!

  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2017.

     Thanks for stopping by

           S xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Feelin' blue.........

A trio of blues.........

First up New Look 6320:  Back in the day when I first began to sew I think this was the first proper pattern I used. Its a simple shift dress for tweens I made a gorgeous sleeveless version in blue flowery needlecord with a purple exposed zipper for my daughter. She wore it as a dress, when it no longer fitted as a dress she wore it as a tunic top - eventually we had to give it away to  friends daughter. At the end of the summer quite out of the blue (no pun intended) she asked me to make her another - she chose a blue needlecord from Myfabrics with a green exposed zipper. It is a really simple and satisfying make. She wears it with leggings and a t-shirt underneath and I think loves it just as much as the first one I made.

Next up - A fen dress in brushed cotton.

   As soon as the weather started to turn even a little bit cooler I felt the need for something nice and cosy. I bought this snugly brushed cotton from Fabworks. I have made a summer fen in the spring and this make was just as straight forward - sadly my photos of it are not great.

I was so pleased to eventually have found some nice mustard tights!

Number three - Burda 9641 - out of the Fen scraps I decided to make some trousers for my youngest. I chose the 6-14yr sized packet so that I can hopefully use the larger sizes as he grows. I made a size 6 knowing they would be a little big (he is titchy). I really enjoyed making these, they are simple enough but with cute details like the pockets ( I still need to add velcro closures). I chopped off about 4 inches from the length measuring them while he as wearing them, I used a 1" hem and despite my measuring they are too short!! I will have to take them down a little (thank heaven I used a larger hem than I usually would!

  He seems to be very happy with them which makes me happy!

  I have nearly finished my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress and can't wait to share it with you! I am also planning to make a boiled wool coatigan and after that I really need to get on with my Christmas sewing!

  Thanks for stopping by!

          Su xx

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade

  I love Autumn it really is my favorite time of year - I love the colours, the misty mornings, starting to wrap up in cosy clothes and longer evenings snuggled on the sofa. I can't believe its been so long since I blogged. If you follow me on Instagram (@sewingsu) you will know I have been busy making a few things but I just haven't had the time to take photos/upload them/and write about them. In an effort to make blogging easier I am going to try to write less - just mention the important things rather than going into too much detail. During this half term holiday we have been busy doing lots of spooky activities but I have had some time to sew........

 As soon as I saw the ivy pinafore pop up on my instagram feed I just knew this was my sort of pattern and bought it straight away. By the same evening I had the pdf cut and pasted together (FYI - the PDF was so easy to assemble - the way it has been arranged means that there is no cutting required - yes you heard right - NO CUTTING!!!! - Why can't all PDF's be like this?). There are two views  a flared pinafore and a straighter one - I went for the straighter view.

  The instructions were good and everything was straight forward. The dress is lined which will be great for winter and looks fab.

I used a fairly heavy black denim which is red denim on the other side - everyone on Instagram voted for red on the outside but red is a colour I never wear and I didn't want to go to all the trouble of making it and then not like it so I played it safe!

There is some awesome top stitching which would look great if you did want to use a contrasting thread.

It has pockets which of course I love!

I tried to get my photographer to get a close up of the front yoke and buttons and this was the best we could manage!

I think my photographer was getting artistic - I quite like the wonkyness!

Hopefully I will get a couple more makes blogged tomorrow as we have an 'insect day'

Happy Halloween everyone!

  Thanks for stopping by

                             Su xx

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