Sunday, July 28, 2019

Miró Spoonflower skirt and Desmond Roll Top Backpack!

Hello sewers! 

Earlier this year I spent a weekend with some friends living in Mallorca. We had a morning at the Fundació Miró Mallorca - it turned out to be my favourite kind of gallery/museum, based in the artist's home and with a sense of what it was like when he and his wife Pilar lived there. It was an artist's idyll - his studio in particular.

I made a picture with my own Miró cat hard at work.

I've been wanting to have a go at designing my own fabric for a while, having been really inspired by Katie, Katie and Emily, and many of the other lovely designs by sewing bloggers. I knew I wanted a really big abstract print, so with Miró in mind I had a look for a likely painting, and made a repeat pattern in Photoshop based on this one below.

Joan Miró Spanish Dancer, 1926.

My Photoshop design.

I ordered a metre of Spoonflower organic cotton jersey with some kind of skirt planned. I used the bottom half of the Nettie Dress pattern and added a black band with 2" elastic for the waist. I didn't bother to hem the bottom - this was a pretty quick sew but I just wanted something to show off the print. And it came out like this!

The top is the Nettie Dress top, sewed quite a while ago and happily a good match! Recently I went with my friends Ella and Eve to see the Van Gogh at the Tate Britain, and this wall on the stairs seemed the ideal backdrop for some blog pics!

Looking at the photos I worried about the absolute baboon-bum effect of the pattern placement - Ella assured me it's fine IRL, but actually I don't much mind either way. 

I'm looking EXTRA pleased here because I also get to show off my best make ever - my Desmond Roll Top Backpack

I love it very much! I wear it every single day, and having it with me gives me a lot of pleasure. The pattern was a treat to use - really well set out and with excellent instructions. I got the fabric and notions from The Cloth House and from Kleins - it didn't end up at all being a cheap project, but I really love it and it feels like it's going to last me - so I'm glad I made the investment in good fabric and notions.

A million backpack photos! So much bliss!

Red bums and red backpacks all the waaaay!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Reeta hack - FOURTH GO ROUND!!

Hello May sewers! 

I'm here to show my FOURTH Reeta dress! It is kind of weird that I keep sewing this dress given that, as I've said three times before, it keeps not suiting me... until now?! I just had a feeling that somehow this dress could be what I wanted - and I think this is more or less it.

I was inspired by Katie's no-collar look for this dress, and indeed I massively prefer it on me like this. This is some viscose-poly type I picked up at A-One Fabrics on Goldhawk Road for a bargainous £4 per metre. It feels really nice and sewed up well - the lovely red shell buttons are from Textile Garden.

The changes I made were:

- running the back bodice/skirt and the back placket together to make one piece
- and therefore needing a facing for the back neckline
- making the sleeves batwing and cut-on
-forgoing the drawstring and case and instead making a self-tie with two belt loops in the side seams

And voila! It looks a right old wrinkly mess in these pics (*ahem, the DRESS*) which is no shade to Shelley's excellent photo skills. But I think the dress itself looks nice in real life - I actually like it a lot! 

 GASP!! A Reeta I like!!! Fourth time lucky! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tiger that came to t-shirt

Hello April sewers! Not April showers ha ha.

I've been sewing up a bit of a storm - now that the weather is properly Spring-like, I've started thinking of summer clothes. Particularly t-shirts. I've made five Deer & Doe Plantain shirts now, and with some tweaks, I'm really happy with the fit.

I found this lovely speckled Robert Kaufman jersey at the Village Haberdashery, and bought three metres (two white one grey) - it's really not cheap at about £22 a metre, but it has the loveliest feeling, and out of three metres I got four t-shirts, which works out at £16 per shirt - well worth it for their quality. This one was made with the last bits, hence the colour blocking, but I'm happy with how it came out.

I bought three metres of this tiger print viscose a while back (annoyingly I can't remember from where) - I had it in mind for a dress but I'm much happier with these trousers. They're woven Hudsons - sized up two sizes from my normal jersey fit, and with the waist raised 3 inches. Actually if I make them again I think I'll raise them another 2. Also I widened and shortened them a bit at the bottom.

My chum and preferred blog photographer Shelley is back in the studio, so I'm back to fun alley photos for a while, hooray! Easy breezy summer trews!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jersey Girl

Hello January sewers!

I'm here with not the most exciting sew, but things I reckon I'll get a lot of wear out of.

This is a skirt from a dress, and a Plantain t-shirt. I made the dress a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it for a while but haven't been using it lately. I figured I'd like it more as a skirt, and I do! I unstitched it from the bodice and added a waistband with a 1.5" elastic inside. I've been wanting more skirts than dresses these days, especially midi-numbers, so I think I'll get a lot of use out of this guy.

Matching headband - classy!

The t-shirt is the Deer and Doe Plantain. I'd love to have a go-to t-shirt pattern. With some tweaking, I reckon this could be it - I think next time I'll raise the neckline a little. My changes for this were to shorten the sleeves a little (rock \m/) and the bodice - I'll put the bodice back next time though as this is a little short. The fabric is a nice jersey from the Organic Textile Company but I'd prefer it a little drapier. 

Until soon!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A dress for a book launch!

Hello November sewers!

I hope you are all well! I  am here to show a dress I made for the recent launch party for my comic book, Welcome to Oddleigh, published by the brilliant Bog Eyed Books! I haven't been sewing all that much lately - comics and work have been taking up all my time. But I knew I wanted to make something special for the launch, and that I'd feel good about myself in something handmade.

I had this white speckled cotton in my stash, and wanted to have another go at this button-down dress hack I've made up a few times now. I wear the most recent blue one a lot, and feel happy with the fit, so it was fairly simple to make up this white dress. The bodice started out, way back, as an Anna hack and the skirt is the Charlotte skirt - so it's a By Hand London Frankenpattern one way or another!

I can't now remember where the sleeves came from, or indeed if they are basically self-drafted. Anyway, the whole effect of this felt really pleasingly 80s to me, and I am seriously happy with it!

And I remembered to add one of the brilliant labels my friends Alice and Barney gave me for my 40th! I love them so much.

The buttons are from The Cloth House, where most of my buttons come from!

And here's a pic of the dress in action on the night! My wonderful friends from my studio bought me the police hat to top it off - I'm not sure many gifts have made me happier!

Friends and balloons and comics and beer - who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Hello Autumnal sewers!

I'm back with my THIRD Named Reeta Dress! Why do I keep making this dress when I've had no success with it, I hear you ask! It's a good question... I just feel like I keep almost liking it, and there's so much to like! 80s feel, opportunity for lots of buttons, pleasingly baggy... 

This is a lovely rayon fabric from Like Sew Amazing - I snapped it up when I saw Sarah's beautiful Myosotis dress on her blog. And it is a much more successful match for the Reeta than the less drapey cotton khadi I made the first two with. And yet...

It's okay, I'm pleased with the construction and the changes I made, which were to forgo the integral tie waist, and make a long self-tie for it. I also extended the sleeves, tapered them at the end, then "stapled" them with cream buttons.

Check out that sexy side split, woot woot!

But I finished this dress a couple of months ago and have yet to wear it! So clearly I don't feel particularly jazzy in it... I think that much as I love the print, it doesn't suit me...

Oh lovely Reeta, three I've made... 

Maybe I'll get fourth time lucky!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Marilla Walker's Roberts Jumpsuit!

Hello fellow sewers!

I'm here to show a jumpsuit I first sewed about six months ago, but which has been through a few changes to get to this point. This is the jumpsuit from Marilla Walker's Roberts Collection! I've sewn up the dungarees before from this pattern collection, and a top made from the jumpsuit half. 

This jumpsuit was originally blue fabric from Fabworks. It was kind of insipid and I thought I might like it more in black. Which I do - but boy, dyeing is a real pain in the butt. Maybe I'm just lazy, but the hassle of it was something I'm NOT keen to repeat - and my sink is still stained a few weeks later.

I made changes by taking in a 2 1/4" wedge from the centre back seam, starting at the top and grading down. This makes the V a bit narrower, which I prefer. I also added shoulder pads, breast pockets and a long self-tie, all of which seem 100% invisible in photographs.

Except from the side - hark at you, self-tie!

I love Marilla Walker's pattern and aesthetic. And I love this jumspuit!