May is upon us. And for everyone in Europe we had a bank holiday to kick things off too!
I managed four out of five days in me-mades this week. I had agreed with myself a goal of six out of seven days in each week but hey, this was a short week!
Day 1: green bias stripe top from self drafted pattern. Not blogged because its the same fabric and pattern as my bias stripe dress!
Day 2: sweetheart print truffle bodice with self drafted gathered a-line skirt. More about that later.
Day 3: one of the first ever things I made, my georgette star print top using New Look 6962.
Day 4: strappy top made from the skirt of a topshop sundress using Butterick 5653.
I had an awesome weekend. I saw my little brother on Saturday and went to Abakhans where I bought chevron print fabric for an unbelievably good price. Saw friends and ate good food on Sunday. And larked about around the canal and docks before having a bbq yesterday! Plus I watched three good films and snuck in a smidge of sewing!!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!
I’ve written this blog post about five times now.
I’m both scared and excited to think about what 2013 will bring and my brain is racing at a mile a minute.
Unavoidable changes are heading my way and I’m trying to figure out how to roll with them.
I’m not going to start waffling on about all of that because it’s been a long day and this is still a sewing blog right?!
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS
Regardless of any drama the new year has brought, I’ve also done a smidgen of sewing!
I eased myself back in slowly. I put an elastic waist in a B5653 strappy floral top UFO that’s been lingering around since Summer.
This Butterick top is sort of a refashion and a muslin.
I salvaged the fabric from an old Topshop dress and wanted to try out the strappy view of the top before investing other fabric in it.
I’m already plotting many more versions of this is.
And I think it’d look lovely extended into a sundress. Yes yes I know we’re expecting snow this weekend.
Then I hemmed the striped NL 6808 I started before xmas.
Tweet peeps are sure to be sick of seeing this top. I’ve posted pics of it in every stage of construction.
Check out the bitching stripe matching on it though! On the sides and on the sleeves (this damn near killed me).
I also added an exposed zip to the back.
Roisin suggested a tutorial post which I’m eager to supply.
I will not be showing you the insides of this bad boy but will instead draft up something neater for show and tell.
I wore this one today and wasn’t most impressed with how I looked but think that’s just because I’m full of cold at the minute and in my mind I look I have bats nesting in my hair and the pallor of a jaundiced gremlin.
And on that delightful note I shall leave you for now.
I will return shortly with organised thoughts rather than the deranged stream of consciousness I’ve been trying to fight back…
This post starts and ends with Burda.
First I want to shout “I bought a Burda Magazine”!! I finally got the courage up to buy one. I know it’s only £4.75 but I’ve never seen more than one pattern in there to make it worth buying and the lack of seam allowance/crap instructions scared me off. But this one is chock full of patterns I’m eager to make!
All to be picked up AFTER a couple of current projects.
I’m trying a new zen approach to sewing. I do a little bit at a time and stop when I start to get irate or stressed!
So my fishy dress is progressing slowly and surely.
I tried to put pleats in the front. I swear I did. But they just would not go in straight or neat or even sized or anything. Blerrrrgh. So I ditched them.
I’ve also been deliberating the best way to attach my collar and performing little trials is helping me learn.
All this work and NO photos. Well I put a sneak peek on Instagram the other day but I want a big reveal!! I was a bit gutted my reveal wasn’t yesterday to coincide with Oona’s promaballoona. But I’d rather reveal it next weekend instead than have it be out in the world too early.
It’s my precious and I’ll reveal it when I want to!!
Have you seen the subject of this year’s Tessuti Awards? I only saw it thanks to Julia Bobbin but in a way I wish I hadn’t! This is like my dream competition!! A spots and/or stripes dress contest with an unbelievable cash prize that I could use to get back to Oz!! I love Australia and want to go back desperately.
The thing that is getting to me (and it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for Tessuti to ask) is that you can only use Tessuti fabric. But it’ll take 10 days to deliver worldwide and cost $30 just to ship the fabric!
With the deadline of Sept 19th and me going away the 7th – 14th of Sept, I’ll end up with no time to sew if I have to wait 10 days for delivery!
OH WHY DIDN’T I SPOT THIS EARLIER!?!?
(even the pun hasn’t perked me up)
Finally a bit more Burda….
I’ve been downloading the free Friday patterns from Burda Style. Rather impressed a major company like them would give away patterns, though obviously it’s not every Friday. Is there a pattern to their giveaways? No pun intended, the word I need is ” pattern”!
I got the Sadie pattern and thought ooh this looks simply and sweet and a great trial into the world of Burda. I also smiled because I have a friend called Sadie.
I’d not been very successful with jersey in the past. I tried to reproduce this Modcloth dress months ago by mis-aligning the stripes and using red top-stitching. Lets just say my finished product was super sloppy.
It was my first attempt though and the jersey was £1 a metre from my favourite place that I’m sure you’re all sick of me mentioning.
I hacked up my efforts for Sadie but kept the misalignment of stripes and top-stitching down the centre front and back.
I used the same jersey to make sleeve binding but attached it a) in the wrong order and b) with the wrong technique so it sticks out a bit more than anticipated.
I kind of like it though. It’s like I rolled up the sleeves when I put it on.
I attached my neck facing correctly thank goodness.
I then realised it was rather short for my tastes hence the weird regular stripes at the bottom that creates that big black wedge on one side and the top-stitching stops abruptly.
I’m proud of the top-stitching though. And I’m not going to be afraid of jersey in the future (Sergei the serger handled it well). Plus I’m going to make a Sadie again but definitely add a few inches to the bottom of the pattern.
Is it worth uploading to My Projects on Burda style though? I think not.
Maybe when I make my awesome red cape I’ll upload that instead!!
When I first started sewing I thought it would be the perfect way to indulge my addiction to dresses. Somewhere along the way I ended up making a lot of tops, a few dresses and not much else! So where did all the dresses go? And all the other plans I had?!
This revelation struck me as I was ironing my nice white fabric with red polka dots ready to make another top. Firstly, I stopped because it seemed the washing machine hadn’t gotten it very clean… hmm where are these dirty marks from?! And secondly, once I had stopped I did some thinking about skirts.
It’s nearly summer and I don’t have many skirts. Very few for work especially. So how about a polka dot skirt? I have a prima pattern for an A-line skirt saved up for the task and from what I hear they’re simple enough to make. So I’ve re-washed my fabric ready to start this very soon.
I also made a promise to myself to figure out why I have a lot of fabric, and a lot of dress patterns, but very few FINISHED dresses! “Finished” is the core issue as I have FOUR partially completed lying in my sewing corner and plenty more that I’ve plotted but not started.
One of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) is a lovely pale green dress using a quilting fabric from The Skep – Knitting and Quilting shop in Farsley and a pattern from the book Famous Frocks by Sara Alm and Hannah McDevitt.
I’m so close with this dress. I just need to power on. The pockets need refitting before I can sew the skirt to the top. Then I can wear it to work!
Another is made from Anna Maria Horner fabric, the “Shattered” voile from the Innocent Crush line.
I bought the fabric very early on in my sewing career and immediately started sewing a Butterick 4443. WHY?! I should have held onto this fabric until I knew what I was doing and made something better than 4443 out of it?! Chuh. Now I look at it and think is there a way to turn this into a different dress?! I don’t think there is but I keep looking.
I should just finish it and hope I like the outcome.
Third there is a green striped number which I finished poorly and it started to unravel before I’d even worn it! So I unpicked it to redo the waist seam using my overlocker. But then I never actually rebuilt it!
The reason is that it has an elastic waist casing and I doing HATE elastic casings even though they fit me great. I always make them about 1mm too small and work up a sweat trying to thread the stupid safety pin through. But I do love this fabric and the dress would be so easy to wear to work or during relaxing times so I should get my butt into gear and finish it!
Finally I have my Vogue 8723 Ikea dress to finish. It’s mocking me even now while pinned to my mannequin. But something is throwing me off. I can’t tell if the fit is off or is it the slightly too dark lining fabric or possibly the fact I didn’t understitch the seams properly? Well whatever it is I want to get back into this dress soon!!
All very shameful I know. I need to remedy this problem asap. I have so many other things I want to sew I’m getting so tormented about what to work on!! I need some organisation in my sewing life and to stop being seduced by new projects.
I said I’d be back and I AM!
I have been pottering away with a couple of projects. One which will soon be posted as a tutorial.
I won’t go into the drama of Sunday and my time spent watching paramedics scamper round my boyfriend but I will say he’s all fine now. Phew!
Recently I wore two tops made from the same self drafted pattern. I love empire line tops if you haven’t gathered but do plan to try some button and zip up tops to stop having to feed elastic taped to a safety-pin through almost every item I make!
So here are days 9 and 11. Summery tops but here in cold miserable Yorkshire I’ve had to wear jeans, cardigans, scarfs and keep an umbrella with me at all times.
SO what about day 14?
Well after watching Mondo on Project Runway All Stars make his own ink blot / Rorschach print with fabric dye I thought “I CAN DO THAT!” and promptly bought a plain canvas bag and a little tub of fabric paint in a squeezy tube.
The result is this tote bag that I’ve used for hulking stuff about in like shopping and swimming gear. I love it. I think it looks a bit like a woman’s face with a crazy beehive. What do you think?
As I said… tutorial to follow. I plan to make more of these on better quality canvas bags, possibly in different colours (meaning different colour bags AND paints) and then if I’m feeling brave I’ll try like Mondo to make a t-shirt or dress with a panel of this kind of print on it.