Saturday, 25 July 2015

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine comes on holiday!

  I rather liked the look of the latest Tilly and the Buttons dress the Bettine and as there was a deal on to buy the Bettine and the Fifi together I thought it would be rude not to take advantage of the offer. I had a crazy busy week last week and was due to take the little people on a UK holiday so knew sewing the Bettine would have to wait until I came back. However I just kept seeing wonderful versions of it all over the blogosphere and by Thursday I could wait no longer I was going to HAVE to make it! I had the perfect fabric in my stash - back in the days when I knew even less about fabric I fell in love with this quilting cotton and bought 2m I think I had planned to make a Megan dress with it (from love at first stitch) but realised that the dress was just not going to suit my figure no matter how much I loved it. It was a bit of a squeeze to get the dress cut out - I had to use different fabric for the facings and my cuffs are ever so slightly smaller.

  So the afternoon before we were due to leave despite not having even ironed our clothes let alone pack them I found myself finishing up the dress. Sewing the Bettine was a breeze as Tilly's instructions are so clear - my elastic kept getting stuck in the casing as I was passing it through but that was the only issue I had. I sewed a straight size 5 but added 3 inches to the skirt length. I did have a major panic after sewing the bodice and finding it really tight, but I trusted in A closet full of posies who said via instagram that she had a similar issue which seemed to sort itself out once the skirt and bodice were joined together - she was right. It is a little tricky to get off but I think if it was too much bigger it might just look too big.

  I do feel a bit classy in this dress! Most unusual for me! I was worried that the tulip part of the skirt made my hips look even huger but I think its ok!
  So I managed to finish the dress and pack up all our gear just in time - we left home bright and early to make the most of the day - just as well as it has been so beautiful. I thought I had better get some pics of the dress today in case we didn't get such a beautiful day again! We had been on the beach all day so forgive my very windswept hair!!


Enjoying a post beach elderflower cordial!

POCKETS!!!!!!! (obviously I especially love this aspect of the dress!)

So have you made a Bettine yet? Or do you have plans for one? I'm thinking one in a nice drapey fabric - rayon perhaps and one in a denim for winter................
Thanks for stopping by!
           Su xx

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A couple of Lou Lou's!

So a few weeks ago English Girl At home launched her new pattern the Lou Lou dress. As soon as I saw it I knew I had the perfect cotton crinkle look broderie anglais in my stash to use with a contrasting lining. Imagine my excitement when she ran a competition for the pattern, and imagine even greater excitement when I won a copy!!!! There are three versions included in the pattern and even the pattern illustrations are wonderful!

  The pattern is actually made for really drapey fabrics, but I'm just not a really drapey fabric type of person so I just kept my fingers crossed that my fabric choice would work. I found a wonderful midnight blue muslin to use as my contrasting lining and decided to go for view A (the one without the pleat). The pattern has no darts, zips, or fastening and so is made to be loose fitting - not for everyone perhaps but I really like this kind of look. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow with fantastic illustrations. I had not made a fully lined dress before and had not used this method for finishing the shoulders, but was able to understand what I had to do with no problem. It is a really quick make and the finish is nice and neat. My only gripe would be the lack of pockets - I feel lost without pockets!
   I rushed to finish making the dress while my parents in law were visiting so that we could take photos at some lavender fields we had planned to visit - sadly it was wet, cold and windy - no way was I taking my coat off!!!!

 Finally today the weather was good, I was not working and we had a little time to take some piccies!

  I know that perhaps my fabric choice and colour might not be to everyone's taste but I love this dress! I have worn it on several days and it is very comfortable but I think looks like I have made a bit of an effort without being too dressy. I can see how you could make it really special with the right fabric.

  I had a small amount of fabric left over and decided to make a top. It is a little shorter than I would normally wear but I actually like the sightly cropped boxy look worn with cropped skinny jeans - perfect for work!

The lining peeks out a tiny bit but you can't really see it with the dark trousers.

  It seems like everyone has broken up from school - we have three more LONG days before my little people finish for the year! I am crazy buzy with work and have a holiday to get ready for so its gonna be busy! I get my overlocker back on Wednesday so hopefully I can squeeze in a teeny bit of sewing.......

     Thanks for stopping by!

               Su xx

Monday, 6 July 2015

True Bias Southport X 2

With all of this summery weather we have been having I have been feeling that my wardrobe is lacking in summer dresses. I bought the Southport dress pattern when it was on offer after it was released and at the time I thought 'why am I buying a dress pattern, I should be buying work related patterns' but I am so glad I did!! For anyone who doesn't know it is a loose fitting summer dress in both short and maxi versions, it uses bias binding to finish off the neckline and armholes, and has a front button placket on the bodice.

  For my first version I used a duvet cover I found in a charity shop, I only made it a week ago but have already worn it several times! I made a straight size 14, it is supposed to be loose fitting and drapey but even after taking it in an extra 1/2 inch it is still a little too loose. I also wanted the back to be lower than the pattern so I just traced off the front neckline onto the back pattern piece. Unfortunately I think this makes it fall off my sloping shoulders!! I also added two inches to the length. I decided not to add the buttons because I really dislike buttons of any kind and they are not necessary as the dress slips on and off easily without them, I cut the front bodice piece on the fold. Despite the issues it is so comfie and I think looks OK?! Anyway I loved it an knew I wanted to make another in 'good' fabric from my stash ASAP!

I used cord for the drawstring, I think it provides a good contrast.

Beware the dipped back with sloping shoulders!!

 For my 'good' version I had this amazing art gallery fabric I bough on sale from Dragonfly Fabrics ages ago that I thought would be perfect. The cotton is just divine to sew with - I can see how spending a little more on your fabric is worth while! Again I added two inches to the skirt length, I cut a size 12 bodice and graded out to a size 14 on the skirt. I added 1cm to the front neck and cut the back a little higher than on my first version. My overlocker is currently being repaired (and I am deciding which child I am going to have to sell to pay for it!) so I used french seams on the bodice and because I didn't know how to finish skirt seams with pockets I just used bias binding to finish off all the raw edges. How do you finish off your seams if you don't have or didn't want to use an overlocker?

I just LOVE the pockets!!

The fabric is just so light and cool!

Being unwittingly photo bombed by my very cheeky middle child!

And again!

This is my perfect summer dress pattern!!!!

I've seen some really wonderful versions out there, both short and maxi - Has anyone else found their perfect summer dress pattern?

   Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Amy Butler Mini top, mini mini top and the problem with summer......

  I had to pop into my local haberdashary recently to buy some cotton tape for the waist of my Merchant and Mills linen skirt (still unmade!!) and just happened to accidently on purpose look at all of the other beautiful things in the shop! Most of the indie patterns were By hand London (not my style) or Collette (I just don't have much luck with) I saw some amazing Amy Butler bag patterns (I have millions of bags which I never use so thought best not buy a bag pattern - even though they were fab). Then I Stumbled across the Mini dress/tunic/top pattern

  For the bargin price of £9.99 this pattern includes dress, tunic, long top, short top for not just women but girls (age 7+) too!!!! - to be fair you could argue that it would be fairly easy to adjust one pattern for top/tunic/dress if you wanted to. Now I am not at all into me-mini-me matching outfits (if you were this pattern would be a dream come true!) but I could see the potential for lots of different outfits for me and my daughter.

    For my first try I didn't want to cut into uncut fabric so I had to make the short top for both me and my daughter, She chose the rest of the floral fabric that I had used to make her PJ's and as I knew this fabric pressed well I chose to make it as the pattern suggests with the pleat. For my self I just about managed to eek out enough blue and white stripped seersucker that I had used to make disastrous  shorts for my boys (pre-blogging days). I am not into the formal look of pleats but knew it would be easy enough to gather the 'skirt bit' of the top to make a less formal garment.

  Well the pattern was simple to cut out and the instructions were lovely, really suited to a complete beginner until I reached step 9. Maybe I am just particularly stupid but I could not at all understand what it was asking me to do - can you?

  I fudged my way through my daughters top but was not at all happy with the result so I ended up making a very bulky french seam on mine. I would love to make dress versions of this but won't be able to until I sort this shoulder seam issue out!!

  I also tried and failed to get my overlocker working (it's going to the overlocker hospital next week for an 'assessment' - to see if it is worth fixing - I really hope it is as I can't afford a new one and can't live without one!) so the insides are a bit of a mess. 

  Other than the shoulders I am really pleased with the results. 

  I made up a size 7 for my skinny 8 year old, she seemed to be pleased with it....

'A sailor went to sea, sea, sea......'

She is honestly wearing shorts but you can't quite see them as the top is longish - I tried to convince her to wear leggings but it seems that once a tween has made up her mind there is no changing it!!

I made mine in a size large, it does have a bit of a maternity look about it but I often don't like tops/dresses that are tight around my middle. I just wish I had enough fabric for some patch pockets.

It should be nice and cool for the hot spell we are supposed to be heading into!

I am getting better with invisible zips!!

  I love being out doors - any excuse and I am outside -with the kids - with the dog - on my own. Unfortunately you can't really sew outside which does present a particular problem in the summer - I wan't to make a cool summer dress for the heat wave we are about to have but I love being outside too much to stay indoors to sew!!!! - Does anyone else have this issue??

  I hope everyone has been enjoying the sunshine (but finding time to sew)

      Thanks for popping by!

            Su xx


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Burda success!!

    The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me and other than sewing my daughter a Roman outfit and turning a pair of school trousers into some emergency shorts for my youngest I haven't even had time to think about what I might like to sew let alone actually do any sewing!! I haven't even had time to read all of the many sewing blogs I follow. I was away on a course last weekend and was supposed to be on another course today - I was so tired last night that the thought of getting up at 6 am to drive two hours and sit inside all day to then drive two hours home again was just too much and I decided that in the interests of my health I would have to miss today's teachings.
  I was desparate to get sewing again but I was still feeling rather frazzled so I knew it would have to be something nice and simple. Issue 6 of the Burda style mag had this cute teen summer vest top:

   My little lady is obsessed with a TV programme called 'The next step' it is about a dance troupe and involves all of the friendship drama's you would expect to see in a teen soap. It is probably a little old for her but like I said she is obsessed. Anyway this little top is just like some of the tops they wear in the TV show so I was sure she would like it - plus it looked like it would be a very easy sew!

 I dug out a scrap of jersey big enough for the top and got going. It was nice and simple - I foolishly decided to twin needle the hem at the armholes and neckline not thinking that twin needles don't do corners! So close up the top stitching is not the best, but it is still a cute little top that I think will get lot's of wear over the summer!!

She decided that gymnastics would be the best way to show the top off!!

A near perfect cartwheel!

I managed to get her to stay still enough for some poses!

I wanted to get these photos taken before the light faded so the shoulder straps aren't quite attached properly but you get the general idea!

I think it must be every sewist mummy's dream to have their little person exclaim 'wow - awesome mummy' upon receiving a garment made for them - it certainly made my day!

Thanks for popping by!

Su xx

Monday, 1 June 2015

Burda - Meh! and a Merchant and Mills inspired refashion!

I occasionally buy Burda magazine if I see a copy of it in a newsagent, some of the garments I find too flouncy but some of the clean edged ones I like. However the thought of attempting to find all of the correct pattern pieces within the maze that is the pattern sheets and then having to add the seam allowances really put's me off. In a recent edition I loved quite a few of the patterns but thought I should attempt something simple first - hence this blouse:

 There was also was a cute dress which used some of the same pieces, if the blouse went well I thought I would attempt the dress too.

  As expected tracing the pieces and adding the seam allowances was a pain. The pattern pieces didn't match up well with a seam allowance added for the keyhole so I chopped it off, but I think this was a mistake as the keyhole on mine is massive! - I certainly couldn't wear it without a vest underneath!

I like the side curves and the relaxed fit but the back is slightly shorter than the front - weird!

Needless to say I didn't make the dress and am really not sure I can be bothered to attempt anything else.

  On a slightly more positive note I have had this Linen dress in my wardrobe for ages. I love the top half but the weird bubble hem ends mid calf which is a strange length and it basically looks like a huge nightie! - So I have never worn it. 

Inspired by my recent purchase of the Merchant and Mills Workbook I decided a refashion was in order. Off came the weird hem, a deep curve was added to both the front and the back and - Ta Da!! a new linen top!

  The evening sun was gorgeous on the villiage green as I walked my daughter home from her friends house so we took a couple of photos - It was a bit windy for photos really but you get the general idea.

  I really love this and can't believe I have left altering it for so long! 

    Looking at my me made wardrobe throughout May has made me realize my lack of plain basics so I have decided to attempt to create a plain capsule wardrobe using some of the patterns from the workbook I am planning 2 vests, one saltmarsh skirt (maxi skirt) and one pair of stride shorts - I think this should see me through the summer!

 Has anyone else realized that their me made wardrobes are lacking in any areas?

  Thanks for stopping by!

      Su xx

Saturday, 30 May 2015


After seeing this version of the Lazy seamstress's Maude skirt I couldn't wait for the pattern to be released! I bought it, downloaded it as soon as possible and got started on a practice version with the left over duvet cover from my Lilou muslin. I did have a little difficulty with the pdf, my triangles and page edges wouldn't match up which created a few issues when cutting out and meant that my side pocket pieces ended up longer than all of the other pieces. But it was totally worth working things out!

  This is a great stash busting pattern as the individual pieces only use up relativlely small amounts of fabric, also there are lots of potential combinations and variations. Depending on the fabric used this skirt could be great for either summer or winter. My practice skirt was a little on the snug side so for the real thing I reduced all of the seam allowances by 0.5cm giving me an extra 3cm over all. I used the lightweight denim left over from my denim shift dress and again top stitched the pocket edges and hemline in purple:

  The waist is supposed to be finished with petersham ribbon (I had no idea what it was so I had to google it!) I didn't have any but used this beautiful Cath Kidston vintage rose grossgrain ribbon from my stash:

I love the pockets (obviously)!!

  One of our half term activities was getting on a local foot passenger ferry to go crabbing on a jetty at the other side of the river, I convinced my daughter to take a couple of shots of the skirt while we were waiting (it was a bit windy so they are not great photos!) 

I find it hard to photograph plain garments - they never look as great in the photos as they do in real life! - I love this skirt - it will go with lots of things in my wardrobe and is so comfie but looks quite smart too.

 I can also think of lots of combinations for this skirt and have plans for more summer ones as well as a few winter ones!!

  We had great fun on our crabbing expedition - although we didn't actually catch any crabs!!!!

  I hope everyone else's half term has gone as well as ours.

  Thanks for stopping by

      Su xx

  We have had some amazing sunset's and cloud colours this week