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Showing posts from 2017

Do I hear Santa...?

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Pattern Review: The World of Cross Stitch Nov 1999: Christmas Table Linen Yes, this is a Christmas cross stitch pattern, but too be honest it isn't very Christmassy. It is also very far away from table linen. Behold a seasonal coaster and bookmark!
First up the bookmark. The original design was for a seasonal cake band. The design on the bookmark was to be repeated as necessary to make the length of the band. I have never used a cake band in my life, let alone a cross stitch one. Since I read a huge amount,  a bookmark seemed about right. 

This was a really enjoyable simple cross stitch, and some much needed relief after my complex cross stitched Mai. I interfaced the back of the bookmark and lined it with some cotton lining from my stash. 
The coaster was originally designed to be a candle stick holder. Urm...what? Who has a candlestick holder? Doesn't everyone just use empty wine bottles these days?? Anyway, I thought that it would work well instead as a handy coaster. 

I s…

Remnant Busting

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1370 This pattern has appeared so many times on the blog! It is a great pattern to use up fabric remnants. This fabric was stolen and used originally for a midi skirt. I had enough left to squeeze out a mini skirt!

I really don't have anything else to say about this pattern. For those new to the blog I cut a size 16. I underlined the linen with some cotton lining from my stash. I omitted the waistband due to fabric constraints and used bias binding to finish the waistband and hem. 

The print is really fun and goes with my standard black accessories. It will also work in the winter with boots and tights which is always a win!

Expect more of these on the blog until I find another TNT remnant busting pattern! This is the end of my backlog of summer sewing patterns. Time for some Autumn/Winter sewing.
In the meantime you can view my Pattern Review here
What are your preferred remnant busting patterns? 

Goodbye Summer!

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Pattern Review: Vogue 8870 Summer is now well long gone here in London. However, I am sure that you are relieved as this year I have made so many summer versions of Vogue 8870. Here is the final one and I promise I will keep this review short and sweet!

This iteration was a wearable muslin to see if I could get away with drafting it as sway dress with no waist definition. I have tried sway dresses countless times and yet I never learn my lesson. With my shape a loose dress looked terrible so I hacked it in two and popped in some waist elastic like the original version suggested.

You can still see the slight pooling from my swayback, but because of of the blouson style it isn't too noticeable. The fabric is some poly viscose that I purchased from Dalston Market. It was ridiculously cheap which is why I picked it for a wearable muslin. 

I don't have too much else to cover in this review that I haven't covered in these reviews here. It has ended up being a really easy to wea…

Hawaiian Summer

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Pattern Review: 8870 Behold Vogue 8870 which has made it into the TNT camp! This is now the third time that I have made this pattern and each time it has looked pretty different. That said, the first two iterations here and here are both summer dresses. For the third outing I decided to make a summer top!

This was a pretty easy alteration. I cut a medium and added 10" to the front and back bodice pieces to make a top. I graded out to account for the good old hips. On making this I realised that I could have gone down a size to account to the stretch in the fabric. 

I also omitted the back bodice elastic as it seemed unnecessary. As there was no elastic casing in the back I drafted a back facing and finished all of the seams and hems on my overlocker for a clean finish. I ended up taking in an inch on the sides so I will definitely cut a small when I make this next. 

I am so pleased with this top! It is all the small things that make this winner. For example that I love that the …

Stop Thief!

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Pattern Review: New Look 6106 Despite not being busy on the blog things have been busy. I purchased an overlocker and went on a one day course to get to get to grips on it. After feeling more confident with using it, I decided to try it out on a linen skirt. All of the inside seams are underlined and overlocked as I wanted a heavy drape on the skirt. 

So I must confess that this entire skirt was stolen. I had spied this linen print in my my mum's sewing room when I was back home at the end of June. I sneakily packed it into my suitcase along with this New Look skirt pattern which I also stole! 

Believe it or not this is the first time I have made skirt with pockets. I was really unsure about inserting them at first, but then decided to go with it. Too be honest with the busyness of the print you don't really notice them. I cut a size 16 and the only alteration I made was to take an inch of the top of the waistband as it was a bit thick for my liking. 

I was hesitant about the…

Brooklyn Flowers

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 6301 As some of you may know I started a new job at the end of March which also happened to be the beginning of the organisation's peak event times. I haven't had too much time to sew, but we had a launch event and I decided last minute to make a dress for the occasion.

I have made Simplicity 6301 twice before here and here, so I knew that this would be a quick make. The star of this version is the fabric. This is a border print fabric that I picked up during my holiday in New York City in mid May. We met up with some family during our stay and went for a mothers day brunch and after headed to Belmont Avenue for some fabric. 

This ITY knit was a bargain at $4 per yard. It is actually a border print so it was a bit tricky to squeeze out all of the pattern pieces. I ended up having to cut the neck and arm bands out of the black border, but I think that it ended up being a nice detail.

I was worried that the lack of fabric would mean that my pattern pl…

Gardens by the Bay

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Pattern Review: New Look 6123 At the end of January I had a work trip to Singapore. I was very pleased that I was very restrained and only bought one piece of fabric from Chinatown priced at $8SD per yard. It is a printed polycotton/viscose and I knew that I wanted it to be a feminine dress. 
After a lot of deliberation I went with New Look 6123. I have actually made this twice before here and here both in a ponte knit. I love the gathered bodice on this pattern but knew that the skirt wouldn't suit me in a woven, so I added my self-drafted dress skirt which I have used here and here!

This pattern is designed to be unlined. I knew that I wanted to line this bodice so I followed this helpful tutorial and it worked out ok after a little bit of head scratching. I lined the fabric with some blue stretch lining from either Walthamstow or Brixton (standard suppliers for stretch lining for me!)

I cut a generous size 14 and the fit on the front bodice was pretty good. I added around 3/4&…

A Cross Stitched Mai

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Pattern Review - Dimensions Gold Petite Counted Cross Stitch: Mai Believe it or not I have a back log of cross stitch projects to post! I finished this back in mid-December just before the Christmas holidays. I worked on this on and off on this project for just over a year. 
It was a project that I often took on work trips and to my craft group meetups. Although this is from the Dimensions Petite range (the finished project measures 5x7"), the project was fairly complex. There is a large amount back-stitching to give definition to all of the details, especially the kimono. Lazy daisies and satin stitches are also featured in the design. 


The kit comes with 18 count ivory aida, needles and plenty of thread already on a thread organiser. I didn't run out of any colours which is always a plus for cross stitch kits. That said you can always purchase the readily available  (for the UK anyway) DMC threads should you need any more. I would recommend this as a great portable project…

Textured Trousers

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1167
Take a moment everyone...I made some trousers! 
To prolong my enjoyment of Mimi G patterns that I bought on sale last year, I decided to try View B of Simplicity 1167. The only time I have made 'proper' trousers (not my pajama pants here) I completed a muslin and decided they weren't for me. However, we currently have a Random Project sew-a-long with my sewing group, where you complete a random pattern from your stash purely to see how it will turn out, with no pre-planning. 

I loved the pattern envelope and combined with the excellent reviews on Pattern Review I decided to take a chance. The fabric is a stretch fabric, a bit thinner than a ponte knit with a textured flower print. It was around £7 per yard and purchased from The Textile Centre in Walthamstow. I love the textured print as it makes a simple pair of black trousers extra special. The fabric was really easy to work with and is very comfortable. 

I have to say I am very pleased w…

Wardrobe Basics

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1370 & 1167
I have an absence of wardrobe classics at the moment, particularly black tops. I picked up Mimi G's Simplicity 1167 pattern on sale last year and decided to try out the high-low tank top. The high low feature makes it a bit different to a normal tank top and is very on trend. The fabric is a stretch jersey crepe. I am pretty sure that I picked this up at a London market although I can't remember which one! 

I found that I really liked the shape of the tank of top. It has a good amount of shaping throughout the waist which works for me. I found that the armbands and neckbands are too small for the top. I used stated amount of seam allowances but you can see from the creases that there is too much fabric in there. That said it would be easy enough to fix for next time. 

You can see below that I will need to do a swayback adjustment. Although there are lots of issues with this top I do like it. It was a very quick make, the overall shap…

Rosenheim Shirtdress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 8084 Shirtdresses have been all the rage this past year and I have taken the plunge and jumped on the bandwagon. When Simplicity Patterns were on sale this summer I snapped up Mimi G's Shirtdress pattern

I cut a size 14 for this dress. I added an inch to the length, but other than that I made no fit alternations. However I really struggled for the placket to lie correctly. Every time I stitched it, it ended up twisted and didn't sit right. In the end I recut the placket. The same thing happened, but not as badly. I wondered if it has something to do with the grain of the fabric? I also had to re-cut the collar to be larger as I found it ended up being too small. 

I am glad that I persevered as I love the style of this dress. With the blouson effect and waist tie, you don't have to worry about the fit and you still get good waist definition. As this dress is unlined I french seamed the sides and used bias binding  to on the yoke seam for a clea…

I'm Back!

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Pattern Review: Butterick 5744
The last half of 2016 saw me out of action due a bad shoulder and neck problems. After spending a small fortune on osteopath appointments and improving my posture I am now able to sew for short bursts. I decided that my next project should be something with minimal hand sewing and Butterick 5744 fit the bill perfectly. 

I made this ages ago here in a ponte knit fabric and have been curious to see how it would work in a woven. The fabric is some poly rayon blend that I picked up at a London market some time ago. I knew that for a woven version my fabric would have to have a good drape. I lined this with some stretch lining that I picked up somewhere in Walthamstow for £1 per metre. 

I made minimal adjustments this time. I graded in an inch to the top and bottom of the front bodice pieces and that was it. I cut a size 14 and took off and inch from the bodice sides. I remember from the last time that the bodice comes with a large amount of ease. I tacked t…