Friday, January 21, 2022

First Wiksten Unfolding Jacket!

 But certain not to be the last! I don't know what took me so long to get around to making this pattern - the Wiksten Unfolding Jacket. I think I was a bit intimidated by how fabric-hungry it sounded. But actually even that wasn't too bad. 

And I loved making it - lots of cutting, but then, as everyone else has said, it comes together quickly, and very neatly. I used stash fabrics: a velboa from Minerva for the shell, and some Goldhawk Road cotton for the lining. I hope it looks smoking-jacket-esque, but it's fairly random.

It was more meant as a wearable toile - but it's very comfortable, and warm, and I like it! I cut a size small and think the fit is great. I'd like to make the short version next.

A match made in Heaven?!

Mmmm all that velboa-y goodness!

See you soon!

Monochrome shirt

Hello winter sewing friends!

This shirt is directly inspired by/shamelessly copied from @sablecraft's Patina Blouse (Friday Pattern Company) on Instagram. The pattern is my old, much-made, self-drafted shirt pattern. I drafted a new neckline and collar as the last big collars were a bit low-cut to be practical for winter, and I'm really happy with how this one sits.

The fabrics are both Swiss dot cotton from Minerva

I took these pics on the open roof of my building, with the sun rising behind me and beginning to shine up Shepherds Bush.

Until soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Brown Study

A pinch and a punch, June sewers!

I'm here to show off two sewing firsts for me - a turtleneck top and my first rigid trousers! Both these patterns are very popular in the online sewing world - the Nikko Top by True Bias, and the Dawn Jeans from Megan Nielsen Patterns

I've wanted to sew jeans for ages, but had the big nerves about doing it - the fly, the jeans buttons, the fitting issues - the FEAR. I thought it was time to give it a whirl though, and I'm glad I did. I feel like for the first time I really get what people mean when they say something is beautifully drafted - the Dawn Jeans felt like that. They took me a long time, and a lot of wrangling with my machine and top-stitching, but at no point did anything go heinously wrong and I put that down to the drafting and the instructions of this super pattern.

Fitting-wise, I'm not sure... I can see that there are problems here, and I'd like to have a go at fixing them next time. I think I'd already like them more in denim - this corduroy was left over from another project, but I'm not currently nuts about corduroy jeans... I have drag lines on the front, knees and under the bum. Reading through the excellent help on Closet Core Patterns' jeans fitting page, the advice to chill and not worry too much about fit already has helped - but I'm definitely going to have another go with this pattern.

Bum lines - but how much do I care about something I never see?? Not much, is the answer.

Okay fit I guess! Quickly on the Nikko, because there's little to say - I sewed a straight size 8 and love love love it. It's a lovely melange cotton jersey from Ray Stitch. A million more for next winter, I feel.

Until next time, summer sewers!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Stripey Mindy

 Hello sewing friends!

Here I am with a Fibre Mood Mindy, this time made into a long shift dress. I LOVE this one! It's in stripey fabric from Merchant & Mills - a little see-through, as these photos have shown me, but nothing a slip won't cure. And I really feel good in this dress.

Having made the Mindy top a couple of times, and having modified the back to be higher (I don't love designs that have my back out - it feels weird, like sleeping without a cover on. Monster bait!) I felt okay just extending this from the bodice, flaring it enough to get over my hips.

It's a bit of a shapeless tent without the tie belt - a magical addition to so many dresses, in my opinion.

I also made another Fennel Fanny Pack. I love this pattern - but I think the original isn't really big enough for life's day-to-day essentials (now including sunglasses and earphones). I deepened it this time by 1", and lengthened it by 2". I didn't use either stiff fabric, or interfacing - which was an error. It's a lovely bag but I think should be much stiffer to hold its shape. Next time, which there will be - these make great gifts, too.

Until soon my sewing friends!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Feeling a good kind of blue

 Hello April sewers! 

I made this dress over the long Easter weekend - it's been on my mind for a while to make a long, swishy summer dress. I had to steel myself a bit as I've mainly being sewing separates over the past year, and much prefer it - I really don't enjoy wrangling big bits of fabric.

For a few years I've had this dress pinned on my Sewing Inspiration board and a hankering to recreate it. 

This blue fabric from Minerva was intended as a toile, but has turned out much nicer than I expected - and the whole process was such a faff, I'll take a breather before embarking on the orange dot cotton one I have in mind next! 

For this dress, I used the shirt block that I've been making so much over the past months. I cut into the bodice back and front to make seams to put the ruffle into - the ruffle is a long rectangle about 1.5 times the length of the overall seam, back and front. I cut the bodice to my natural waist, and gathered it to fit a self-drafted skirt - adding a ruffle 1.5 times the length of the skirt bottom. I've put in a side "invisible" zip to get in and out - I haven't yet bought an invisible zip foot for my Pfaff, so that didn't work too well... but it's fine! 

The glass bodice buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter once more. 

I like this dress a lot - maybe it won't be the most practical thing in the world, but it turned out just as I'd imagined, and I'm excited to realise the orange one at some point...

Until soon!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Cord 'n' ruffles!

Hello Spring sewers!

I've been sewing up a storm to get through these last weeks, and here are two fruits of my labours. The skirt is a modified By Hand London Charlotte Skirt - front extended to make a button placket, and three belt loops added round the back. The nice brown baby cord is from my stash, and I can't remember where before that... 

I've made the Charlotte Skirt A LOT, one way and another. Mostly as part of the button-through dress I've made four iterations of. I'm happy with the fit on me, apart from the normal (for me) pencil-skirt issues. I love the pencil skirt silhouette, but in order for it to fit by the evening, it needs to be too big in the morning... the belt and loops help with this adjustment during the day. I guess an elasticated waist at the back might be another solution... till then, this fix is the best I've managed.

Back vent for added walking potential. 

The shirt is yet another version of my ongoing play around with the original Simplicity 8523 (view B) - this one is the same the last in every way except for a gather ruffled collar this time. I think I measured the neckline and multiplied by 1.5 - ruffley goodness. The cream buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter - lots of lovely goodies on there, I highly recommend a peruse if you aren't familiar with the website!

Hard to photograph this lovely black Swiss dot - here's a better one - and the ruffle shows up more as well! There's a lot of SD cotton around at the moment, hurrah, but this one is from Minerva and I'm happy with its quality.

Until soon, sewing friends! 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Very velouring!

 Hi sewing friends!

I'm repeating silhouettes now - sorry to be boring while I'm caught in a puff-sleeved shirt/Pomona Pants frenzy which I have no desire to get out of. 

A few months ago I was alerted via Instagram that Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn had some affordable cupro for sale, and bought three metres. It's beautiful, and I love how it feels, but it's the shiftiest fabric I've worked with yet. I spent longer cutting out than usual, and once cut all the pieces looked dismayingly wonky and different in sizes. But a bit of wrangling, and lots more pinning than I'm accustomed to, and they all fit together. I made exactly the same shirt as in my last post, minus the frills round the collar. 

I love this shirt - it's very comfortable, and looks quite smart with some jewellery to jazz it up. I think it'll get a lot of wears.

My other recent fabric purchase was this mint green jersey velour/velvet from Fabric Godmother. Having not read the description properly I'd taken it for a woven velvet when I purchased it, so was a bit sad when it arrived that it wasn't as fancy as I'd imagined. But it's beautiful in its own right, and after a little fear that I'd actually made myself Juicy Couture pants when I made these Pomonas, I think the high waist and shape keep it out of that danger zone! I think they look kind of 40s and sophisticated - or they did before I bagged them out and got them grubby by wearing them every day since I finished them two weeks ago.

As it's important to embrace those things which we fear, I decided to lean into the Juicy Couture thing and make a matching t-shirt. I had to do some piecing at the back as I was almost out of my two metres. But I quite like this look in the end. I think it's sort of Carmela Sopranoesque.

Absence of "Juicy" writing on the bum - far too sophisticated for that!

Thanks for reading! And thanks to my friend Steve for taking these pics in front of our shared building - a bit of natural light to sparkle on my velour.