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Showing posts from 2014

2014 Sewing Year in Review

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All in all I would consider 2014 a sewing success. I made a total of 27 garments. This is way more than the 12 that I was aiming for so I am super chuffed. Anyhow, lets have a look at the hits and misses. You can click on the pattern name to go to the original blog post.
Best/Most Worn

Kwik Sew 3844

This pattern featured on my most worn list last year but I do wear this iteration so often I had to include it again. I reach for this when I have to go out and don't fancy wearing a skirt or dress and have to pair something with jeans. I also love that I popped this tank together from scraps in my stash. 
New Look 6049


Although this version still needs some tweaking I wear this so often. A great garment that works in all seasons, (it looks fab with boots and tights) and I can wear it casual, more dressy with heels on a night out and even to work. Plus, I love the fabric that I snapped up in Malaysia.
Butterick 5454


I love this dress. The colourful fabric just makes me feel so happy when …

The dress that almost got the better of me

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Pattern Review: McCalls 6744 Do you ever have one of those projects where everything seems to go wrong from the start? This was McCalls 6744 for me. I originally was going to sew up view C with the long skirt but you can see that this didn't happen. 


Firstly I cut the the skirt out incorrectly, cutting two left sides. As the shapes are similar I figured it would be salvageable. That was before I inadvertently thought that one of the skirt pieces was a scrap and cut into it as a tester piece, so I had to trim down the other skirt pieces. Somehow I managed to cut the most uneven hem, and as it was so short already I couldn't re-cut it. 
Seriously? I have no idea what was wrong with me. Part of me wants to use the excuse that I was recovering from a tummy bug when I was sewing this, but I know that alot of these mistakes were down to my sillyness. I am just glad that I managed to salvage it in the end. 

Anyway enough of me being an idiot, let's talk about the dress. I had rea…

Festive December Dress

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Pattern Review: Vogue 8870 That's right, my December Garment of the Month is a summer dress. As I will be spending the festive season in Melbourne I have been rapidly expanding my warm weather wardrobe and could not pass up the opportunity to whip up Vogue 8870.

As soon as I snapped up this ITY knit from Windmil Fabric in Boston, USA, I knew that it would be destined for this pattern. The fabric only cost $4.98 USD per yard. It washed fine and sewed up really easily. ITY knits are so comfy and this dress is a dream to wear.

I cut a medium and combined the bodice from view B with the skirt from view A. I cut the back skirt piece on the fold and apart from sewing generous seams on the bodice and using less elastic on the bodice back I sewed this straight out of the envelope. The fit was pretty spot on. I do love Vogue Patterns as I find their fit pretty consistent. Vogue patterns are the ones that always require the least amount of alterations for me. 

This pattern is rated easy and…

Chiffon Butterfly Top

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Pattern Review: Butterick 5355
Greetings from sunny Melbourne!
It has been a while since I last posted I have been busy undertaking some summer sewing for a work trip to Cape Town followed by a holiday in Melbourne. I finished Butterick 5355 back in October and have only gotten round to photographing it as it has been so cold in London. 

The weather in Melbourne is warm but very changeable. I have heard the saying that you get all seasons in one day and it is so true. When I put on this top this morning I was wearing boots!
Anyway less about the climate and more about the top.  The pattern is rated easy and I do agree, however I would say that my fabric choice made this a bit harder. I picked up this pretty chiffon from the man outside Sainsbury's in Walthamstow. Priced at £2 per metre it was a bargain!

I cut medium and sewed this straight out the envelope making no alterations. If I were to make this again I would narrow the neckline as it does give me an off the shoulder look.…

November Garment of the Month: November Nights

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Pattern Review: McCalls 6489 and #MMMPR!
It looks as though I am catching onto sewing my monthly garments along with the themes. For this month I picked out this very Autumnal/Winter fabric from my stash and paired it with McCalls 6489 (now OOP). It was also my first garment worn for Me Made Mondays for the rest of 2014.


Let's start with the fabric. I purchased this jersey in the Summer from A1 Fabrics on Goldhawk Road priced at £4.50 per metre. The thing I liked most at the time is how textured it is. The black bits are almost velvet-like in feel and the fabric is dotted with sparkles. The different textures did confuse my sewing machine a tad when it came to tension, but hey, it was worth it. 

I have had McCalls 6489 in my stash for a while, but finally got around to using it. It is not a hard pattern, although for some reason cowls always stump me. I am sure that this is nothing to do with the pattern, but just how my brain is tested when seeing 2D instructions for 3D item (ple…

Mock Wrap Skirt

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1322
The past month has been busy at work and with a bit of travel. However I am pleased to say that I have been squeezing in a bit of sewing here and there. Some of which has been Simplicity 1322.I purchased this pattern during a recent Simplicity sale and decided to make a wearable muslin from some fabric in my stash. Some faithful blog followers may recognise this cotton from my first ever blog post!

This skirt is a perfect little stash buster as it only uses 80cm of fabric. This cotton print was originally purchased form Fabricland for around £4 per metre and I underlined it with a blue polycotton from my stash, picked up for £1 per metre from good old Brixton Market.
Other than the underlining, I didn't really make any changes. I changed the construction order as per the pattern instructions as I used an invisible zipper in the back rather than a lapped zipper. Therefore I sewed the front to the back pieces and then inserted the zipper just before at…

Fabric Porn Boston Style

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I was recently in Boston for a work trip. This is the second time that I have visited Boston this year and I did some fabric shopping research beforehand. To be honest I hadn't really heard that much about Boston. I knew that there was a Joann's, but this was quite a way out of the city. In total I visited 4 shops. 
The first and my favourite was Winmil Fabrics located downtown. I particularly loved their ITY knit selection, especially as these are harder to come across in the UK. And at $4.98 per yard they were a huge bargain.  




I also picked up this pre-underlined lace for $6.98 per yard 

 And this cotton print for $3.98 per yard.


Next, I popped into Van's Fabrics, round the corner from Winmil in Chinatown. This shop specialises in Asian style fabrics. They have lovely silks and brocades. I only purchased one item which is some kind of viscose/rayon fabric for $5 per yard. 

There are two fabrics located in the Cambridge area of Boston. Sewlow Discount Fabrics has a bit …

Vintage Peplum Dress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 1460
I have been wanting a jean dress in my wardrobe for a while now and I decided to try it out using Simplicity 1460. I have to admit I don't tend to go for vintage styles, but the scalloped neckline caught my eye. I chose to pair the bodice from view C with the peplum from view B. I wore this to work last week and this is how I styled it. 

I am going to hold my hands up and admit that I should have done a muslin for this dress, especially as it has minimal options for fitting as I sew. I did have major fitting problems with the bodice. There was too much excess fabric in the top of the bodice and the sleeves extended too far. I removed the excess by adding in a 2" dart from the armhole to the bust and in the back from the armhole to the top of the back waist darts and reshaped the sleeves. I traced a new bodice pattern piece and was lucky enough to be able to cut them out of my already cut bodice fabric. 


I cut a 16 all over, I decided to size thi…

DVF Rip Off Wrap Dress/October Garment of the Month

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Pattern Review: Butterick 5454
At the beginning of September I went on holiday to Paris.  We were walking past the Galeries Lafayette where Diane von Furstenberg was paying homage to 40 years of the wrap dress. It was such an awesome window display, here is a very sunkissed photo that I snapped. 


Suddenly it dawned on me that my current wardrobe does not contain a wrap dress. And I wanted one. Like right now. For this wrap dress I used Butterick 5454, now OOP. I had made this pattern before ages ago in my pre-blogging days and knew that it would be perfect. 

As you may have guessed, I am not a huge fan of dresses with sleeves, so I went for the flounce sleeved version, which is also a bit different and not hugely DVF in style. I cut a size 14 all over and made minimal changes My only alterations were to grade in a bit more boob coverage to the bodice pieces (aka a FBA) so I could wear this bad boy to work and I took 1.5" off the length, no reason really, just personal preference.…

Teal Knit Dress

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Pattern Review - New Look 6123 I have been in stash-busting mode recently and knocked up another version of New Look 6123. You can see my previous version here. I love that ponte knit makes you feel as though you are wearing pyjamas, and so coming into the colder months I can see a ponte knits having a large presence in my life. Especially being sat at work when it is dark outside!

This teal ponte knit has been in my stash for a while and I knew that it would be perfect for this pattern. I picked this up from Fabricland during a trip to Bristol. Fabricland do a great selection of basic ponte knits for £3.99 per metre. When I wore this to work this week I had lots of comments on how lovely the colour is. Interestingly it looks less blue and more green in real life. 

In true creative style I made the same view as last time - cutting a size 14 all over, and made the same adjustment to take out 2" at the top of the centre back. I graded this out to nothing where the zip hits my bra s…