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The Clare Pant from Stylearc

This time I have something a little different to share – I made trousers!

Being part of the Sewisfaction blogger team, I am lucky enough to regularly have access to their beautiful range of stunning fabrics, and am able to take my pick of something fabulous to make and share.

This time I opted for the most perfect Robert Kaufmann chambray in this completely wonderful grey/blue shade. It’s comfortable to wear, simple to sew with and the neutral colour is just so easy to wear with t-shirts and trainers or with a dressier top and shoes if you like.

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The pattern that I chose is The Clare Pant from Stylearc. It ticks all the boxes that I was looking for in a wide leg cropped trouser pattern and as this is a blog post that I have written for Sewisfaction, the full review including lots more photos can be found over on their blog here.

Huge thanks to Sheona at Sewisfaction for her generosity in sending me this fabric to work with, and I hope that you love them as much as I do!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Day Dress from The Avid Seamstress

It’s been two or three years since I sewed my first Day Dress, and just recently when I was trying to decide on what dress I wanted to make to attend the Sewisfaction Big Summer Stitch Up sewing event, I came across this pattern, and thought it was about time that I gave it another go.

I have made several of The Avid Seamstress sewing patterns before, and they are an absolute joy. The instructions are always so beautifully written, any sewing terms are clearly explained and the whole process of sewing one of these patterns is such a great experience.

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I made view C – but I love the look of view B (with the buttons) too.

Because the bodice is quite fitted on this dress, I went for a stretch cotton twill, as I wanted it to fit snugly, but still be wonderfully comfortable at the same time. This Ellie Stretch Twill from Sewisfaction was perfect. I just cannot resist a pretty floral fabric. It looks like it is out of stock now, but if you follow my link, there is the opportunity to join a waitlist to be notified if it comes back into stock. Because of the stretch, I also sized down one size, and this worked out great.

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The cotton reel brooch is available in my shop x

When I tried on my original version, to check the fit, I noticed that the back neckline was gaping a little bit on me – something that I often find – I corrected this with a 1″ adjustment which I marked on the pattern piece before cutting out. I’m not sure what the technical name for this adjustment is (I’m calling it ‘a gaping back neck adjustment’), but basically it means cutting a straight line from the middle of the neckline on the back bodice piece, almost all the way down to the waistline, then cutting along that line and bringing it in and overlapping it at he neckline by the required amount (in my case 1″), and taping it in place. This really works for me. Don’t forget that you will need to cut a new back neckline facing piece now as the original one obviously won’t fit any more. I simply traced my own piece by placing some pattern tracing paper over the newly adjusted back bodice neckline.

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Of course pockets are a wonderful part of this dress, and I chose to make them using some silky lining fabric that I had in my stash, just to keep any bulk at bay.

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The back of the dress is fastened/unfastened with an invisible zip. Everything lined up wonderfully, and I really like the gentle gathers in the skirt – not too many, not too few! I must admit I gathered the skirt in the usual way, rather than use elastic as per the instructions, and this worked equally well.

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The length of the skirt is spot on for me. It just hits the knee, and this is as per the pattern with the hem overlocked and using just the teeniest tiniest hem I possibly could. You might want to think about your skirt length though if you are much taller or shorter than me – I am 5’2″.

I am over the moon with how the dress has turned out. It fits me much better than my original version that I made all that time ago, partly because of that gaping back neck adjustment and partly because I sized down. My love for The Day Dress has returned BIG TIME, I don’t think it will be too long before I make another – I love the look of the version with the buttons down the front.

The finishing touch is this cute new label which I purchased from Pink Coat Club recently. A perfect addition to any handmade garment if you are a kitty Mum like me.

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Today’s blog pics were taken in Leicester Botanical Gardens. Such a pretty tucked away treasure, and certainly somewhere we will return to again.

Take care, and I’ll be back again soon,

Kathy x

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Simplicity 8816 Cross Back Apron

Since the launch of my acrylic jewellery business, a great deal of my working day is spent at my craft bench making acrylic necklaces and brooches. I will be the first to hold my hand up and admit that I can be clumsy at times and pretty soon I realised that an apron was going to be a necessity.

In the previous few weeks I had seen a lot of cross back aprons and this was the sort of style that I wanted. (Although having said that I’m not ruling out the addition of a frilly retro number another time).

I really loved The Maria Apron by Maven Patterns, especially when the lovely Sarah blogged about it here. But in the end I could not resist the big old wrap around pockets that Simplicity 8816 had to offer.

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There are a few different options with this pattern, and I went for View A, (the orange version in the top right of the image above), which is the mid thigh length cross back version – although it’s almost knee length on me – I’m 5’2″.

I’m really happy with my choice of fabric. Some of you will probably recognise it – it’s the beige Lenda fabric from Ikea. At £5 per metre, and nice and wide, I think I only needed about 1 metre to make the medium size. Also – who doesn’t love cutting their own fabric! The fabric is a sturdy, medium weight, and ideal for protecting my clothes from a battering of glue and paint!

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It’s such a quick and easy pattern to make, perfect for a beginner. The pattern pieces that you need are simply the apron front, the pocket, the front band and the strap. Easy.

The instructions call for the addition of bias binding to finish the armhole edges of the apron. I have tons of home made bias which I cannot resist making if I have leftover fabric (especially ditsy floral fabrics), so I was over the moon to have the opportunity to use up some of it. I may have got a little carried away with it, as I also decided to use it to finish the side and bottom edges of the apron too…and the top of the pocket!

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I particularly like the pockets – they wrap all the way around the entire width of the apron, divided by three rows of vertical stitching, giving you a whopping FOUR massive pockets. Oh joy! Add a bit of bias to the top and your pocket dreams are right there!!

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There’s a little bit of topstitching on this one, which is a part of sewing that I really enjoy. Hence I had a great old time with this detail on the front band, straps and pockets.

 

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Shameless plug – but the button brooch is available from my shop x

The cross straps at the back give me just the right amount of coverage – I felt other styles of cross back aprons covered too much of the back which I didn’t need and felt might make me too warm when I was working. So this was just right. Putting it on initially was funny as I was putting my arms through the wrong bits – if you have ever put on a cross-back item of clothing you will know what I mean – but I’m used to it now.

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So this is definitely a good investment in my handmade wardrobe. I have been wearing it for the last few weeks and I wouldn’t be without it now.

Although I am using it for crafting purposes, it would be equally as suitable in the kitchen as an alternative to the butchers style apron don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be fun to colour block it? Imagine using different fabric for the pockets, band and straps!

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Tiered Skirt from issue 65 of Love Sewing Magazine

The style of this skirt pattern is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. I had a tiered skirt like this about 15 years ago and I can remember wearing it ALL THE TIME after the birth of my second son, as it was elasticated like this and it was one of the few items in my wardrobe with accommodated my changing body shape at this time. I wore and washed it so much that in the end I had to let it go as the fabric had just dreadfully faded over time.

Fast forward a few years and I am delighted to see a revival in tiered skirts and dresses, and when I noticed this free download in issue 65 of Love Sewing Magazine I couldn’t  wait to make it.

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It’s an incredibly simple pattern to cut out and sew. There is just one pattern piece to download which is the skirt yoke. The rest of the pattern (the tiers) are formed by adding slightly gathered rectangles, each rectangle getting longer as you go down the length of the skirt. The measurements of the tiers (along with the sewing instructions) are written in the magazine issue.

All that you need to finish off your skirt is a length of elastic, and you are good to go!

Yesterday we went strawberry picking and I decided to use this opportunity to show you some pics of the finished skirt.

 

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The pattern in the magazine shows the finished skirt as having the yoke plus 4 tiers. As I am 5’2″,  I only needed to cut 3 tiers and found this to be the perfect midi length for me. You can definitely play around with the number of tiers that you cut to make it as long or as short as you want.

Fabric suggestions are tana lawn or lightweight cotton fabrics and I chose to sew it using a super pretty floral viscose from The Frugal Fabric Shop.

This fabric was sent to me as a gift from Kate from The Frugal Fabric Shop when we had a little product swap recently. It’s cool and swishy and just perfect for this skirt don’t you think?

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Due to the ditsy floral print of the fabric it’s hard to capture the beauty of the tiers on this skirt. Hopefully the image below from the magazine shows you what the actual design of the skirt is a little more clearly. I think making this up in a solid colour next time might be a good idea.

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This pattern was designed by Fiona Hesford from Sewgirl, and I loved just how quickly it came together and how comfortable it is to wear.

I cut it out in the morning and sewed it up in the afternoon. It’s very rare that I wear my new ‘me-mades’ straight away, as I always like to photograph them for my blog first, but with this skirt we had a sunny day last Saturday, and I wore it straight away on my morning walk!

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Thank you to Fiona for sharing such a great pattern with us via Love Sewing magazine. Hand on heart I am making this one again .. and probably again …

Issue 65 of Love Sewing magazine has been one of my fave’s –  I also made another free skirt download pattern from this issue – a ruffle skirt – and you can take a look at the blog that I wrote on that pattern here.

Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ skirt pattern or can you recommend any other tiered skirts or dresses?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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Swedish Tracing Paper – my product review of Patterntrace.

As someone who traces out EVERY pattern that they use, I am always interested in learning about different products and techniques that will make my life easier when doing so.

 

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Creative Industry who asked if I might be interested in testing out some of their Patterntrace Swedish tracing paper in return for  writing an honest blog post with my thoughts. I absolutely jumped at the chance of course, and after testing it out for the last few weeks, using it on 4 or 5 sewing projects so far, I think I am ready to share my thoughts with you.

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Your Patterntrace comes to you on a 10 metre roll – long enough to last you for several projects. This roll is lovely and wide at 1 metre, so it easily fitted all my pattern pieces on nicely. I was interested to see what it felt like, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it feels and looks a little like very lightweight interfacing (but more see-through). It’s made from plant fibres therefore giving it a greater level of strength than paper, and this also means that it is compostable too. It will tear – but you need to try quite hard to make it do so – and this is such a bonus, as paper pattern pieces can take quite a beating what with pinning, cutting, marking and folding.

Before using it to trace out my patterns, I find that it is best to give the original pattern pieces a good press. Skip this step and you will find that wrinkles in your pattern will distort your tracing lines and give you an inaccurate traced pattern piece.

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I was absolutely thrilled when I lay the Patterntrace over the pattern. Look how easy it is to see what you are tracing!

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When tracing my patterns, I usually just grab the nearest biro for transferring my markings. But during sewing I am also likely to use other tools for marking. Below you can see how easy the Swedish tracing paper is to use with

  • pencil
  • Frixion pen
  • Chaco chalk liner pen
  • Regular biro
  • Water erasable fabric pen
  • tailor’s chalk

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What is also really clever is that because it is fibrous, you can also sew it together therefore using it to make 3d shapes, toiles or accurately help with fitting issues. Just machine sew through it as you would with any fabric!

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Something else that I really liked was that when you unroll it to use it, it lays lovely and flat on the table. You can imagine that a regular roll of paper would not behave itself like this and just curl up. Just a small thing, but so helpful!

I always keep my leftover scraps/offcuts of tracing paper too, do you? Often they can be used again on other projects for small tracings like neck facings, cuffs or pockets, or they can be taped together to be used for slightly larger pieces. Just to let you know that it tapes together really well without any slipping and holds it perfectly. So don’t throw the small leftover pieces away, you can use it all!

I was also keen to see how little space it would take up when it was folded for storage – and also how it would look when it was then opened out again. Would it crease? Could the creases be ironed out? The good news is that it folds up nice and flat ( rather like the tissue paper that you find in the big 4 pattern envelopes), and it will iron out on a cool iron setting so that it is super easy to use again. To put this to the test I cut a rough square of Patterntrace, screwed it up as tightly as I could, and then flattened it out by hand and ironed it. As you can see from the pics below – the final pic after ironing is almost as good as new!

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This is the ‘before’

 

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This is hand flattened after screwing it up as tightly as I could.

 

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After ironing – almost as good as new!

 

After I finished with this particular pattern, I folded it all up, gently ironed it flat and it fitted into the pattern envelope (with the original pattern and instructions) easily. What a bonus!

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I shudder to show you the chaos that is my current pattern tracing storage situation, but brace yourselves, that is exactly what I am going to do! Below is the how I store my current pattern tracings. There’s lots of them, I know. Told you I traced everything! So these tracings are using 90gsm tracing paper. It’s much thicker and stiffer, and whilst it’s fine to trace through, it does tear easily, it’s bulky to store as you can see, and you cannot really fold it. This is definitely a situation that could be avoided if I were using Swedish tracing paper.

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Don’t judge me..

 

If you think that Patterntrace might be something that you would like to try, I am delighted to share with you a 10% discount code. The code is  sewdainty  and you are able to use this for anything on the Creative Industry website (not just Patterntrace), and just so as you know, there is free postage on orders over £10 within the UK too!

There are all sorts of sewing goodies on the Creative Industry website, ranging from sewing workbooks and notepads, to fun clothing labels and pin badges. Do take a look, and if you’re not quite ready to splash out on a full roll of patterntrace and would like to try it out first, why not add a generously sized sample to your order (at only 50p) and you can see what it’s like for yourself.

Thank you so much to Creative Industry for sending me this roll to test out. It’s safe to say that I am very impressed by it and can certainly see what all the fuss is about. It’s been a real pleasure to use and although I have used it on several projects already, I have so much left on the roll it will last me for quite a while yet!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet

I’m pretty sure that you have seen these overalls popping up all over the place since their release about a month ago.

The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet are the cutest relaxed fitting dungarees you have ever seen. They feature a classic v-shaped back and button strap fastenings and have an optional size zip. Patch pockets on the front, back and bib are yours to choose from and there is an option for full/cropped length or a Summery shorts version.

The size range is incredible on this too . Sizes 0-30 are accommodated in with this pattern – how awesome is that? I cut a size 10 at the bib grading out to a 12 at the hips.

This is actually the first time that I have sewn a Helen’s Closet pattern and going on what I had already heard regarding her patterns, I knew that it would be an enjoyable process.

 

As expected, her instructions are clearly written and helpful. Helen describes this as an intermediate pattern and I would agree with that.

My fabric choice is the Ikea Lenda fabric – not the best fabric in the world, but at £5 per metre, it was perfect for trying out this pattern. I think if I made it again I would go for a slightly more lightweight fabric as I feel this looks a little too crisp for the look that I was going for.

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Before I cut out the fabric, I adjusted the length. This pattern is drafted for a 5’6″ body, and as I am only 5’2″, I needed to remove 2″ from the length (that is the 4″ difference divided by 2). This worked out perfectly in terms of leg length, but I think I might need to shorten the crotch length next time I make them as it is a little baggy there.

I loved the wording and illustrations in the instructions – especially the little tips giving explanations regarding why some of the techniques were being used.

I left out interfacing my straps as I felt they had enough structure anyway, and they were fine without.

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The scissors necklace is available for purchase from my website.

The waist at the front and back is nipped in with small darts. This is such a great feature as whilst they are still loose, you have a certain amount of shaping there which is very useful I think – especially when your waist to hip measurement difference is quite big like mine.

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A 5″ invisible zipper is also an option although not always necessary. I could have just about slipped these over my hips without it, but decided to add a zip just to make things easier. I didn’t have an invisible zip of that length, so just used a regular zip here instead.

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The patch pockets on the front and back are cute and whilst I used them on the back of the overalls, I wasn’t sure that I wanted them on the front. I decided that I would insert in-seam pockets instead. After inserting the zip (which I didn’t think that I would want initially), I realised that the in-seam pockets wouldn’t now fit on that side now, but still kept it on the other side. I mean, a girl needs pockets. Not sure if this feels a bit odd just having it on one side, so may try the patch pockets on the front next time if I still need to use the zip.

For the pocket bag I used the same floral fabric that I used for the front and back facings.

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I like the shape of the bib pocket. It has a upward triangular shape to the top edge and I enjoyed the placement of it and all the top stitching details. Top stitching is part of sewing that I really enjoy and this pattern has plenty of it! I particularly like the stitching details on the back strap too.

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I think if I’m honest when I sewed the back of the bodice to the facing with the straps enclosed inside, I didn’t make the best job of it. I think I got a little confused with the two different seam allowances (3/8″ and 5/8″) for this step and may have gone a little wobbly. Luckily this seemed to look alright from the right side, but my facing on the inside has a little ripple in it. Nobody will see this and you’re not going to tell anybody are you? Ha!

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The length of the straps are trimmed when you have finished the garment, and I needed to cut approx 4″ from each strap.

I didn’t finish the legs of the overalls apart from overlocking them, as I know that I will always wear them turned up a couple of times.

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough if you are considering this style of make in the future. It’s cute, fun to sew, and super comfortable to wear. What’s not to love!

 

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Learning to crochet granny stripes at Toft.

Since learning how to knit recently, it seemed only polite to give crochet a go!

Several years ago, I kind of taught myself how to crochet using YouTube tutorials. I enjoyed it at the time, but over the years have let that hobby go and convinced myself that I have forgotten how to do it.

There is no reason why I couldn’t just go back to YouTube to brush up on my skills, but I decided to treat myself to a workshop at the Toft studio in Warwickshire, not far from where I live. The studio is set in a pretty rural location at the end of a quiet lane in Dunchurch, and the barn style decor is warm and inviting. When I arrived, there were several people knitting and chatting inside and others enjoying cake and coffee at the picnic benches outside – it was a lovely warm afternoon.

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Beckee was my tutor for this course and she was super lovely. Offering me a drink on arrival and making sure I had everything, I was surprised to see that there was only one other lady on the workshop with me. Whilst I believe that there was space on this workshop for more, I think that they do keep their workshop attendee numbers quite small to make sure that everybody is able to receive as much attention as they need, which is great.

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Such a great teaching area.

The granny stripe crochet workshop teaches you how to create the basic stitches of chain, double crochet and triple crochet. You are also shown how to understand crochet abbreviations and follow a chart.  Changing your yarn colour was also part of this workshop and was surprisingly simple. Becky was friendly and patient and helpfully guided us through each step by using a chunky yarn and larger hook so that we could see what she was doing.

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Coffee and delicious cake is provided halfway through the lesson and it was a relaxed and enjoyable afternoon. The other lady that was learning with me was keen on amigurumi  (which I was surprised to hear is slightly different from regular crochet), and when she mentioned this, Beckee very helpfully shared with her some tips regarding stitching and stuffing the toys. The company hold free workshops to help sewing up and stuffing your toys on Fridays I think, which is impressive customer service. Several video tutorials are available on the website for those that aren’t local to the studio and I very much get the impression that this company are keen to provide you with as much support as you need following your purchase from them.

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The shop is beautifully displayed and very tempting. If I thought I had a problem wanting all the sewing patterns and new fabrics, then I can totally see a whole new yarn and yarn pattern obsession developing. Time to save up my pennies whilst deciding on a project that I can put my new found skills to use on. I am really loving the look of the animal kits – this bunny kit is so cute and I would love to give this a go one day, whilst this granny stripe blanket would be the perfect way to put my beginner skills to the test.

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Before leaving, I took the opportunity to visit the alpacas which had recently been sheared. How could you not love a face like this!

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The workshop price included a tote bag to take home your crochet sample in and I was really pleased that the yarn that I hadn’t used up during the afternoon was given to me to take home so that I could carry on. Such a good idea as I know if I learn something then I definitely need to keep repeating it or else I’m sure I will forget! Needless to say, as soon as dinner that evening was finished and cleared away, I started another sample again. I’m hooked! Ha!

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I’m so glad that I have discovered the joys of knitting and crochet. I feel these more ‘portable’ hobbies are such a lovely way to still be creative but without being tied away at your sewing machine.

Are you #teamknit or #teamcrochet ?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

(Before I treat myself to a lovely kit from Toft, I decided that it might be a good idea to practice my stripes, so last night I found a free crochet blanket pattern online, and I’m giving it a go using some cheap yarn that won’t matter if I make a few mistakes. I’m currently about 6 or 7 rows in and I’m loving it)!

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The Summer Skirt – a ruffle skirt from Wardrobe By Me

I’m sure that we all know that Love Sewing magazine is always packed full of good stuff. Not only do you have at least one printed pattern included, but there are always several great downloads and instructions for other lovely patterns.

Issue 65 which was out a couple of months ago was no exception. In addition to the two free patterns that were included with this issue, there were a couple of other great pattern downloads inside that I was really interested in. Both are skirt patterns, and the one that I have chosen to make first is this faux wrap ruffle Summer Skirt from Wardrobe by Me, an independent pattern company with a Scandanavian feel.

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These ruffle skirts are EVERYWHERE at the moment and I absolutely love them. I did have a concern that the length may swamp me – I’m 5’2″, but whether or not it does – I’m loving it and wearing it regardless! Whilst we are on the subject of height – I took three inches out of the length of the skirt.

I must admit I did come across a few hurdles in making this pattern, and there were certainly a few moments where I was scratching my head. I’ll explain.

This pattern has 8 pieces. It is a printable download from Love Sewing Magazine. The instructions are found within the magazine. It is such a beautiful pattern and if you have issue 65 and you will find it on page 49.

The first thing that I noticed was that the ‘layplan’ or cutting layout shows it for only 7 pieces. Initially I worried that in order to cut out the 8th piece not shownon the plan, (one of the ruffle pieces), I would need to buy more fabric – until I noticed that the ruffle piece shown on the layout is only cut on a single piece and doesn’t need to be placed on the double layers of fabric as shown. This way the other ruffle piece (that wasn’t shown in the drawing) can be cut out of the other single layer of fabric – doh! Obvious really but just had me puzzled for a while.

The ruffle pieces are incredibly long (they are joined together at the centre back), so this is a bit of a mammoth gathering task – not my favourite sewing job at the best of times! I must look into a gathering foot for the machine sometime..

With all the confusion in the cutting out of the ruffle, somehow I managed to cut them out ‘backwards’. What I mean is that the wrap on my skirt is now from left to right rather than from right to left. Small detail and I don’t suppose it really matters – unless there’s some wrap code that I don’t know about – don’t tell me if there is!! Ha!!

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I think I must have been having some kind of bad day when I made this pattern as I also struggled with the waistband. The elastic in the waistband is inserted just in the back and stitched in place. This ensures a nice snug fit and a flat waistband at the front of the skirt which is lovely. I had it in my head that it was elasticated all the way around and couldn’t work out why the elastic length that they instruct you to cut was so short. What is wrong with me!

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The back – I forgot to raise my t-shirt so that you can see the elasticated back waistband – whoops!

I must admit I wasn’t a fan of how the waistband was attached either, again after quite some time making sure that the placement of it was correct. I really struggled with this one – despite the notches, it took me a couple of goes to get it right. I have seen a gorgeous version from Wendy over on Instagram where she has adapted the waistband a little and I think I might do this next time too. Isn’t her animal print fabulous!

The fabric that I used to make this is an adorable ditsy print floral fabric (a viscose I think)? that I bought from The Sewing Cafe when I was in Hinckley last week. It looks brown, but is in fact a very dark sage green colour, so pretty. The drape on it is stunning and it has just the right amount of swishyness for this pattern!

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These pattern review pics were taken at stunning Calke Abbey today. I usually take my pics inside but it seems such a shame to do so when the weather is so beautiful, and as myself and my husband have recently become National Trust members I thought we would combine a trip to this stunning property with taking some pics of my latest make.

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So despite all my struggles on this one, probably mostly my fault, I am absolutely in love with the outcome! It is exactly what I wanted and I really enjoyed wearing it today. More will definitely be made as I especially would love a red floral version – so nice for holidays!

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Another pattern download from the same magazine is a tiered skirt and I hope to make this one up soon too. I’ll let you know when I do.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Floral Washi Dress from Made by Rae

My latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now live and I’m really pleased to be talking about The Washi Dress, which is a dress that I have been wanting to make for a long time.

As always with my Minerva makes, I will link the full review here and you can read all about it over at Minerva Crafts.

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Using this really cute ditsy floral cotton poplin gives it a vintage feel, and it worked out really great – the fabric has a nice amount of body to hold the skirt pleats beautifully.

I chose to purchase the expansion pack from Made By Rae which gave me the small bow feature at the neckline. The expansion pack gives you a couple of bow options, a collar and sleeve variations too.

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The shirring technique used at the back of the dress was great fun to sew and it makes for a really comfortable fit.

Unfortunately this month will be my last make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network for the time being – in order for me to focus on my jewellery business I am taking a break from the Blogger Network but do hope to dip in and out of occasional blog posts as part of the Minerva Makers team.

Huge thanks to all at Minerva for their wonderful support and generous supplies that have been sent to me to review over the last couple of years.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Seamwork Astoria and a self-drafted midi skirt

I’m as guilty as the next person for grabbing a great pattern and then not getting around to sewing it for AGES! The same applies to fabric I guess, and whilst I don’t have a huge fabric stash, some of it has been there for a while!

 

The Seamwork Astoria Top  has been in my PDF drawer for what must be a couple of years now, and at last I can finally see what all the love is about.

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It’s a simple cropped round necked top, and is just lovely. Fabric suggestions for this top are medium weight knits and I went for this blush ponte that I bought from Sewisfaction last time I was down in Wokingham. The textured finish on the fabric gives it a scuba vibe, and the dusky blush colour is super pretty (and also matches my favourite shade of lipstick at the moment which, of course, makes me very happy).

For those remotely interested (because I always like to know these things), my fave lipstick combo is NYX soft matte lip cream in 14 (Zurich) and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk dabbed on top. You’re welcome.

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I cut a straight size medium and this was just right for me. When I sewed in the neckband, it turned out a little too long and saggy. So out came the unpicker and I shortened it by 2″.  If I’m being picky, it could probably have done with a little more shaved off- but I was too lazy to unpick the neckband again!

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All the usual tools etc were used – a walking foot, a ball point machine needle and ball twin needle for finishing the neckband and sleeves. I also used the twin needle on the waistband – I get carried away when the twin needle comes out! The sleeves are a little long. Not sure why I cut this length when I always prefer 3/4 sleeves, but hey ho! it’s alright isn’t it?

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I totally love it. As someone who wears a lot of skirts and dresses,  I know it will fit well in my wardrobe especially at this time of the year when it can still be a little chilly. I am making more of an effort to sew using plain/solid colours and this pattern is perfect for this as it will pair nicely with my crazy printed skirts and dresses. More of these will definitely be sewn!

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Not gonna lie – I do love a good Instagram challenge, and three gorgeous sewists over on Instagram have started a fun challenge each month this year with the general tag of #sewingpatternsandprints . This months friendly theme is animals and can be searched by looking for the tag #sewinganimalapril .Do head on over and check out the lovely three organisers who are TamlynSamantha, and Kealy, for more information!

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I chose to make a self-drafted midi skirt using this gorgeous animal print stretch cotton sateen that I bought from the lovely Sarah at Like Sew Amazing when I was down in Bristol a few months ago for her shop launch.

It’s a straightforward sew – just gathered rectangles really! I didn’t want the gather to be too full as the fabric already has some structure, so instead of going for double the width, I probably went for about 1.5 times the width in terms of how much gather I wanted. I added a 2″ waistband which I measured nice and snugly – (I’ve been caught with stretch fabrics on the waistband feeling too loose before), and this one is sooo comfortable.

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It simply has to have pockets doesn’t it. No arguments there. My trusty pocket piece that I always have close to hand in case I need to add it was called upon, and add an 8 or 9″ invisible zip from my stash and presto! One quick and easy skirt!

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I went for a midi length, which is not my usual length, as I wasn’t sure if I could carry it off at only 5’2″. But I really like it and certainly intend to make more cute gathered skirts this length in the future!

So all in all, two quick and easy makes which I can mix and match with existing items in my wardrobe. Win Win!

Thanks for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x