Monday, February 9, 2015

Fabric Design competition shortlist!

My fairies fabric design has made the shortlist of the By Hand London fabric design competition! By Hand London are a really super indie pattern company who are now printing their own fabrics too. Their Anna Dress is one of my favourite patterns I've made so far

There is a vote on their blog now - the pattern with the most votes by this Friday, 13th February will be the winner! And then their fabric will get printed - too super!

If you have time and the inclination, it would be lovely if you could go to the 

to vote. 

Thank you! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two Darling Ranges Dresses

I love Megan Nielsen's pattern for the Darling Ranges dress - I'm really liking button front dresses and blouses, and now that I have a new sewing machine with a one-step buttonhole stitch, it's a breeze as well. I liked the slightly old fashioned look of the Darling Ranges, and figured it might suit me and be a useful day dress. But my first attempt was fairly hopeless and frustrating - I messed up the neckline somehow, perhaps partly it being my first go at self made bias binding - I don't know. Either way I got furious with it, and left it unfinished and hanging up by my desk, where it could think about what it had done.

Deciding to tackle it again marked the first time I really bothered unstitching long lines of sewing, which felt like crossing a mental barrier for me. I'm trying to slow down with my sewing, and take time to get things right or correct things that go horribly wrong. And Megan Nielsen's detailed sewalong on her website really helped to break down the bias binding steps, so that the next attempt worked far better. 

The first dress is in a shirting cotton from Goldhawk Road, which I think was about £5 a metre, so I didn't feel too scared about using it. I had to make a couple of adjustments, taking 1cm off the shoulders and putting a small dart in the back - my first alterations! 

I transferred the changes to my paper pattern, and made up a toile of the bodice to check I'd got it right before making the second dress in a more expensive shirting from The Cloth House on Berwick Street. I also added 2" to the hem, as I'm all about the knee-length skirt these days.

These buttons are handmade ceramic chaps from my button box - I think made by my grandmother. I tried to grade the colours as they went down, which I think was more or less successful! 

I'm learning, slowly, how different fabric looks once it's in finished form to what you imagine when it's on the bolt. I loved this shirting, which is quite rich in colour and textured like soft elephant skin - but made into this dress I think it just looks like denim or chambray. Which I love, but isn't the look I was going for. Learning learning! I'm starting a short trouser course at Sew Over It this week, so I'll share the results of that if all goes well!

Thank you Els for the photos!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fabric pattern

By Hand London is running a competition until tomorrow midnight, to design a fabric pattern for their new pattern line. The theme is Once Upon a Dream - it's pretty dreamy to combine illustration and fabric! I think this went too kiddy really - might be nice for a child's shirt or dress? And I was trying to make it adult, darn it! I was thinking of toile colours and patterns... anyway, here it is. Wish me luck!