Discovering Burda Mag

As a relative newbie to sewing (under a year), I had heard of, but never seen a copy of Burda magazine until I intentionally went into town (doesn’t happen often) and into WH Smith (again doesn’t happen often) with the belief that it would be the only place I could probably find it! And I was right!

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And a big oooooooo….. when I opened it to discover 15 patterns all with the paper pattern and instructions! I started scanning the pages and reflecting on my fabric stash….. until I opened up the pattern sheet and got a little daunted! I picked  what I consider to be simple piece….at this stage I have not started stitching… with only two pieces to cut out from the pattern sheet I wouldn’t scare myself off!

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A few things to bear in mind…..

You must be focussed to follow the lines, I even had the idea of highlighting the lines for a little extra focus! And I did it first thing in the morning to avoid distractions.

Use weights to hold tracing paper onto the pattern paper….pots of playdough very useful!

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Don’t forget to add seams!!!! Oooops to me for getting which way was up and not adding enough for the hem, so, erm, may end up with a slightly shorter skirt than intended!

I then wrote all instructions on each cut out including whether seam allowance was included, which way was up and the grainline (just like you would get on a paper pattern!) the size, incase like me you scoff too much at certain times of year (….holidays are coming, holidays are coming!) and then when I sandwich bagged it up I wrote the mag issue on the front of the bag and pattern name/ number in permanent marker……blimey I feel very organised!!!!

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Wish me luck on the make!!!

 

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Sewing Meet Up!

I know it’s a little late in the day but what an amazing time was had by all at the sewing meet-up in Birmingham on Saturday! Lovely ladies to chat sewing and fabric with, lovely lunch, amazing shopping and a cute little flower brooch (which was very handy knowing who to talk to in the fabric shop…..which was busy!).

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Marie, Kat and Claire did an amazing job organising everyone, especially the awkward person who order their lunch wrong (ooops…. yes that was me!). They kept everyone together and made everyone welcome and sorted a fab swap! Well done ladies!

I was lucky enough to have met Hannah from Madewithhugsandkisses before the swap and headed down to Brum on the train with the lovely lady! But to anybody who possibly put off turning out for the event, there would be no need to be daunted, everybody spoke to everybody else and was really friendly! Everyone was really happy to talk fabric and we were all discussing which patterns we were planning…..I got some great tips about doing the Colette Anise jacket – Thanks Claire and Charlotte!

The day was great and very exciting, but the excitement is still there, every time I walk past my new stash of fabric! I get a little giddy feeling in my tummy! Especially when I remember how much some of them cost! The Market was amazing and we got some amazing materials! One of which (the lemon) was £1 a meter!!!! What…… £1??????!!!!!!!!! Mental!

So here is the new stash and yes, all jackets are covered!!!

I got so excited about this turquoise gabardine (yes I discovered fabric with gabardine on the label! I know what it is now!) and I cannot wait to get started for my summer Anise. Talking of Anise I discovered this gorgeous green tweed to make a winter Anise jacket! And yes I do have a green flat cap I can wear with it!

Anise fabric

Anise fabric

I had given up the ghost on material for the Robson coat! Until……this little beauty turned up and for £2 a meter! (on the market obviously) I was made up, especially as I needed 5m! Check out the weave! Love it waffley!!!!!

Robson fabric

Robson fabric

The swap was great….put your unwanted items in and take out what you like the look of! One woman’s unwanted sewing items…. are another woman’s treasure! So I put in a few fabrics and a pattern and took a few fabrics and a pattern and stood back from the table but there were so many fab items left people just weren’t into and so I picked up the amazing orange with shiny pink…love it! definitely being made into a skirt and a bag! The ditsy floral I had my eye on as soon as the materials were laid out and the black lace…..well….I had been telling some ladies earlier I wanted to try making a lace shift dress! so the plan came together perfectly…and thank you Lara for not wanting the lace!

Swaps!

Swaps!

A better shot of the lace!

A better shot of the lace!

Now here are a number of dresses for our not so fabulous summer but still, so excited by all the material and some ideas! And yes it was a bit of a shopping spree and I won’t be going fabric shopping again in a long time – but it will be back in Birmingham!

From the market!

From the market!

From the shop!

From the shop!

This is going to keep me very busy……..

Cannot wait for the next meet up ladies! XX

A gift? ……….For Me?

Hello Robson!!!

Hello Robson!!!

Well not really a gift, but I did win a giveaway! Woohoo! My first! Thanks sooooo much to Veanna from sosewlovely. The fabulous Robson Coat from Sewaholic arrived on my doorstep earlier today! Thanks Postie……who I did actually nearly run over, well, you don’t expect to turn the corner into your road and find the postman crouched over all his mail in the middle of the road! Poor bloke!

Anyway back to the pattern. I have seen numerous Robson coats on various blogs and it’s a great shape and versatile for personalising! This coat to me seems so adaptable, as a rain mac or a lighter summer mac. Especially as the English summer is not what it used to be, this week excepted, let us expect rain…… too pessimistic for me! It’s going to be 22 degrees plus until October 31st (in my mind…..and inside my Robson coat!).

Ooooo, I love a crispy pattern!

Ooooo, I love a crispy pattern!

When I posted on sosewlovely in response to the giveaway I was ‘living on a hope and a dream’, I never win things (especially the lottery!) and the many other sewing enthusiasts made it stiff competition! But luckily my intention of funky lining and contrast cuffs, pockets must have struck a cord. As for material I’m looking forward to this one! Especially as I will be fabric shopping with 40 other sewing bloggers next weekend at the Birmingham meet up, including my new blogging buddy…….and yes we have met in REAL LIFE, actual face to face conversation at a workshop Hannah from madewithhugsandkisses was running at the StyleFactory in Runcorn. Hi Hannah!! See you Thursday at sewing club! (which was a riot this week-great group of women!)!! So I am expecting to be able to pick people’s brains and get some hints and tips on the pattern, also for the Colette Anise which I have been umming and ahhing about for months now!

Colette Anise! Ready and WAITING!

Colette Anise! Ready and WAITING!

I want the Robson coat to be in one colour with the pockets, cuffs, belt and lining to be in a contrast colour. I could keep with a summer nautical theme with navy blue and white contrast, but whenever I flick my eyes towards the pattern I see a turquoise coat with bright pink pockets….eeeek a bit bright , but how fab with the right shades (no I don’t mean sunglasses!). Yet, who knows what I’ll end up with after an all day fabric shopping trip, swoon!!!!

So another watch this space……yeah I know there has been no progress with the Anise…….but I will hopefully be blogging next Saturday in sheer joy and excitement at the material I have selected for the Robson!

Supersize EEEEEEEEEEKKK!!!!! in excitement!

And another huge thank-you to Veanna (cool name!) at sosewlovely! And Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!

Happy Sewing!

More vintage making!

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I posted recently about the vintage patterns I had being buying on ebay. Well, last weekend I took one of my favourite trips to the fabric shop with some specific ideas of material and colours for the skirt I loved but…..really did not have fun when I got there! I usually love a browse, mooching through the piles of fabric weighing up the different patterns I have…though I did take a shopping list! But yuck! The pay and display metre was not working and ate my money so I only had one hour, which always puts me on edge as the traffic wardens of the City of Liverpool are fierce!!!! With my time limit eating away in my mind, and the fact I went unprepared with little cash and having to spend over a certain amount to use cards and not being able to take materials go between floors to pay for it…..oh it was stressful!
I eventually picked up on this patterned fabric in the last lot of materials I got round to, always in the last place you look! I loved the pattern and thought it would work wonderfully with the skirt pattern and I would get the opportunity to work on matching a pattern, until I got it home and realised I had not studied the pattern properly and needed the main sections of material to be cut on the bias (across the grain – see I’m learning!) But this pattern on the fabric for me was only going to work along the grain, so as I seem to be doing alot lately, I adapted the pattern. I cut the material and made the skirt following the pattern instructions and it obviously fell very structured and straight which made it stick out in an aline shape ALOT. So, I turned the skirt inside out and repinned the shape to a slimmer aline from the bottom of the yoke and it has made a lovely aline shape skirt which I am really happy with.

On a windy, cold day in May!

On a windy, cold day in May!

Obviously there is always something I would like to work on as I’m improving my sewing skills and with this material I was hoping to have a go at matching patterns, which was impossible as the pattern was too erratic. Without studying it, which I couldn’t in my brief time fabric shopping, I could not see the repetition was sparse and matching up the rows was …….difficult.
I am happy with the outcome, especially that I had a purple zip (matching the skirt) in my stash and put it in super easy! I’ve been wearing the skirt, a true sign of a happy outcome and will be using this pattern (the correct way, with the correct material) in the near future! Happy sewing!

Vintage Wonders!

I have discovered vintage patterns on ebay….and eventually had to stop mooching as it was going to end up costing me a fortune! But over the past couple of weeks I’ve bought some lovely patterns at incredible prices…..and have already made up two patterns, slightly adapted to modernise (they are from the 70’s and 80’s).

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I chose these 3 patterns as they look similar to more modern patterns I had seen and I thought I would suit them and they would suit my ability level.

Vogue 8347 – Not even cut…..amazing!

The Vogue pattern has a very similar dress shape to what is in a lot of the shops but have elastic running across the waist (I’m planning on adding this to the dress in the near future). I took the shoulders in nearly half way across and didn’t want the button up neckline feature, so just stitch the front yoke to the back. I also reinforced the yoke with interfacing, which I’m now debating the decision as it would be nice even slinkier round the neckline. Following the pattern measurement there was a lot of material and so I cut the material in about 2 inches from my size to make it a closer fit. The material has been hanging around my fabric stash since early March and I kept debating making a circle skirt with it, glad I didn’t as this dress gave me achance to practice my french seams (getting much neater and smaller) and I think it falls lovely and shows off the pattern, if the material was stiffer it would be much more sticky out, though I do want to try it with a thin flowery cotton. I really like the outcome and can’t wait to wear  it out, maybe even with black tights and boots as the weather  will not warm up!!!

Cinched waist, looks lovely with a belt.

Cinched waist, looks lovely with a belt.

Pattern on show.

Pattern on show.

Simplicity 9205- Cut and ready to go, in great condition and I actually did more damage to it the first time I used it than it had in over 30 years! Ooops!

I was looking for a button down dress, which I’m being really fussy about, and though the buttons on this dress are decorative, they achieved a look similar to what I wanted and I liked the idea of making a four panelled skirt, as I’ve seen a few of these around on other sewers blogs. The picture of this dress does not do it justice, as it is nicely fitted around the waist and the skirt then flares out. You may have been able to see this better if I hadn’t altered the neckline by widening and lowering the v. This was the first time I had made a v neck with bias binding though and I was made up with the outcome. I love the contrast of the red and navy (and i’m a big fan of buttons which look like sweets) and wore this with patent red pumps! I am also in the process of making a skirt from the pattern. I need to lower the waistband, as I cut to high up the waist from the pattern, reinsert the zip and hem it!

Wearing my dress to the theatre to see the truly amazing Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty! I also need to learn how to pose!

Wearing my dress to the theatre to see the truly amazing Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty! I also need to learn how to pose!

Butterick 3929 – In incredible condition, cut and the paper is thinner than when fresh, but in great condition.

This pattern I love as the panel across the stomach looks like it will be really flattering. It did only turn up this morning though, so I’m afraid I have not had time to attack it yet.

I love that people have used and loved patterns and are passing them on (for a small cost – but who wouldn’t!). These patterns have history and with slight adaptations they can be brought back to life and loved again!

Who’s afraid of the big bad buttonholes? Not me!!!!

 

Tilly's Picnic Blanket Skirt, well..... mine.

Tilly’s Picnic Blanket Skirt, well….. mine.

 

When I started sewing I thought ooooo this is great having totally individual clothing! But I’ve got a feeling the knew found fame of sewing because of the Great British Sewing Bee (I think I mention it every blog post recently) may have changed that….. and I’ve made The Picnic Blanket Skirt from Tilly and The Buttons blog……at least it’s all different materials.
Well I loved the skirt and it all seemed simple enough, but I’d never made button holes before and turns out they are easy peasy! As long as the measuring out of the buttonholes is in the right place and there is an instruction book with the sewing machine which gives a step by step guide…..and luckily I had both!

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Tilly’s instructions were really good for measuring out the buttonholes, I did have to wing it a bit with where to then put the buttons. First attempt at the top button to get the placket to lie neatly over the top of each other was pretty rubbish, but when I clocked on the button will pull straight to the furthest point of the buttonhole I just went down all the buttonholes with the plackets lying on top of each other and marked a dot at the point I wanted the button on the placket underneath.
I’m glad I plucked up the courage….it always scares me making holes in my clothes not knowing how it’s going to turn out! Turns out it’s all good!

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Using up scraps! ….Or a headband tutorial!!!

Sitting around on Sunday afternoon in front of NCIS repeats, intermittent with the odd bit of tidying up and having a sew!

I’ve had a really relaxing day …. there’s been nothing that really needed doing today, or I chose to ignore the more hardcore stuff which needs doing, like dusting the blinds…… so it was yoga, baking lemon drizzle cake (which is nearly half way down now – oops!) and then faffing about. Part of the faffing about involved cutting an a-line skirt for my Mum and then playing with the scraps and this piece of material is proving to be quite lucrative!

The top flower patterned material.

The top flower patterned material.

This material costs all of around 50p, as it’s so light, bought from Abakhan, Liverpool. So far I have made the circle skirt from the Great British Sewing Bee book – that’s another story altogether – and on seeing the skirt my Mum requested I made her one as she loved the material, there wasn’t enough for another circle skirt, so she gave me one of her patterns for a skirt, which I would class ‘vintage’ (he he cheeky – sorry Mum).

With all these cut offs laying about I started messing about and making a few flowers and then had the bright idea to make a headband, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but had never just sat down to faff….I love the word ‘faff’.

Figured I’d take a few photos and make it a scraps tutorial……

This is made with bits of left overs so there are no exact measurements, which makes it accessible to everyone as everyones heads are different sizes. I used different coloured cottons so they could be seen, I would suggest using matching thread.

1, Make the flower. The longer and wider the material the bigger the flower will be, mine was about 12.5″ long and 2″ wide. Fold the material lengthways and turn under the end.

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Stitch about every inch along.

Stitch about every inch along.

Fold every inch ish and stitch through the folded material. Do this to the end of the material and stitch along the edges to join the flower into a circle.

Take a square of material to make the curl in the centre. Fold the square into a triangle and roll tightly from the corner where the two edges meet towards the folded edge. Then stitch this togetheracross the back of the swirl to hold it together. stitch it to the flower, again through the back so the stitches can’t be seen.

Roll the square.

Roll the square.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

 

2, Make the Headband. Cut 2 pieces (or keep as one and fold in half). The material can be as wide or narrow as you like, if you want a wide headband remember if it is too wide it may stick up off the top of your head, and remember some of your scrap will need to be a seam. The material does not need to reach completely around your head as you will be putting elastic in. Put interfacing on one side of the material, just so the headband will hold it’s shape when it’s on your head.

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

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Put the right sides together, pin and stitch along the long sides to make a tube (don’t stitch the ends).

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the headband the right way out and press.

Turn the ends in.

3, Insert the elastic. Unfortunately I do not have a magic equation to figure out what length of elastic to use. Put the headband around your head and put your elastic inbetween the gap, overlap it a bit on the turned over edges and have a mess with stretching the elastic, when you have an idea, pin it in place and try pulling the headband over your head (without sticking pins in yourself – I kept getting my hair tangled in the pin heads – ouch!). It looks like my elastic was made to measure – a flook I assure you!

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Put the elastic into the turned in ends with enough of an overlap to make sure the stitches hold. Zig zag stitch so it holds in place.

4, Put the flower on. Put your headband on, pose in the mirror and pin the flower on wherever you like and then stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches are hidden.

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Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can't be seen.

Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can’t be seen.

5, If you want to…… I wasn’t bothered about covering the elastic as I would only wear headbands with my hair down, but if you want to- cut a piece of material to cover the folded width and the length to cover the elastic, when it is stretched, and along the headband to cover the stitches. This will then need to be hand stitched by turning all seams inwards and will scrunch slightly when the headband is relaxed.

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I hop

Pretty flower on my head!

Pretty flower on my head!

e this is useful …… I would love some feedback on how I do tutorials, I fear they may be abit long winded…..

But I enjoyed making this headband and am going to go faff about with some more flowers and headbands!!!!

Happy Sewing x

Here’s Some I Made earlier!

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

Refashion from a maxi dress.

Refashion from a maxi dress.

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Love my blue spotty dress.

IMG_1687 IMG_1698 IMG_1700Thanks to my sister-in-law for taking the pics!

I’m definitely not much of a model, but here are some of the items I have made recently…..I’ll give a quick ish rundown!

The purple (ish) skirt at the top I took from the Simplicity K2444 pattern free from Sew Mag. I didn’t have enough material to make the dress so adapted the pattern to make the skirt and added a waistband. Love it with my boots, jumper and fur snood, plus thick tights….it was snowing when this was first made! Think it will look fab with flip-flops too tho!

The maxi skirt is a refashion from a maxi dress which was too tight around the top! Now this material obviously is clingy and shows all lumps and bumps….which made the top even worse! So I think I would generally put my top over the waistband, as  you can see, there is a quite visible line where my vest is. All I did to refashion this is cut it in a straight line an inch above where I wanted it to be seen then made a waistband from a piece of black elastic and stretched the band as I sewed the material on. The elastic can also be rolled over to hide the black and as the skirt is so long it doesn’t really effect the length. I have a plan for the top I chopped off too….

The spotty dress I’ve shown before ….love it with my red shoes!!! You may have noticed I’m wearing tights and the same pumps throughout as I was just quickly getting changed….not much of a photoshoot, was fitting it in before making lunch and had my son running round the garden jumping in photos… he he he!!!

The next photo is from my drapey cardi tutorial. I have a few of these in varied colours now, but this one gets the most wear and has beeen machine washed a few times and is still standing, which I’m very happy about! Love the material, and it hides all lumps and bumps! The top was the first top I made. I drew a pattern from my most worn top (if I’m going out and can’t decide what to wear safety top) bought some pink binding to contrast (why make binding when it can be bought on the roll….unless you have one of those fabby binding making contraptions!!!!). I also have a little rectangle on elastic skirt in this material which needs some warmer weather…….. I love the flowers, colour and overall pattern!

The voile top was a bitof an experiment which……turned out alright actually- though Im not 100% on the material! I cut a rectangle by folding the material into four and where the corners folded I cut a quarter circle (like making a circle skirt) for the neck hole! This turned out very big in the shape of a rectangle, so to make the neck smaller I put pleats over the shoulders which made a nice drapey effect and then sewed the sides with french seams…. then kept adjusting the sides until they tapered in enough to fit properly! If it had been longer when I first cut it I may have kept it the rectangle shape (very batwing) but decided against! I may experiment with this and put a tutorial on as the neck and shoulder are a lovely shape!!!

And finally the pink t-shirt, again I made a pattern froma tshirt I love the shape of, very simple no darts and cut it out! This was a good practice for sleeves! And silly me did one inside out……shhhhhh don’t tell anyone! there is so little difference in the reverse of the material though even I didn’t notice for ages!

Now this is a selection of clothing I’ve made and can’t wait to share more, though I am going to go and practice my modelling poses first! I don’t have my photo taken very often……it’s unnerving!

One Complete Dress.

Here’s the finished dress McCall’s M6699. i’m quite proud of it and will definitely be wearing it…..when the weather warms up!!

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I did learn alot from this project…. my first dress, first lining and darts…..

1, Press, press, press seams before stitching.

2, Make sure all seams are pointing in the right direction when putting the pieces together.

3, Don’t be afraid to unpick and do it again!

4, Definitely don’t use anything other than a marker specific to materials which comes off (I made the silly mistake of using a pen to make dots on the darts and then when I moved the darts the dots could be seen…..doh! hopefully they will come off when i wash it, but it’s only me that can see them really!)

5, Keep trying on and measuring! Reduces the chance of needing to unpick!

6, and many more!!!!! (sang in a fun happy birthday tune…….)

When it got to the point of the zip not working and the pointy boobs from dodgy darts I wsa ready to throw in the towel and just have a skirt…..but I pulled myself together, gave myself the night off and attacked again in the morning with a positive point of view…….and I’m so glad I did!

I really enjoyed making this dress and even more enjoyed putting it on and feeling that huge sense of satisfaction of making something to wear myself!!! Hurrah!!! There will be many more!

Great British Print Off!

First project this weekend!

First project this weekend!


I’m very excited to be printing off the patterns from the Great British Sewing Bee book and as my son is with his Dad this weekend I have a weekend of uninterrupted, except from a bit of cleaning, sewing! Now precedence is on the Simplicity pattern from Sew Mag (already cut out and raring to go), which I already adapted a skirt from…. and it’s about time as it’s been about 4 weeks since I got the brown with pink polka spot material! Can’t wait! I have finished my first dress complete from pattern, with recovered zip and no pointy bust darts and will post it with pics on my return home!
Now I have to sneakily print off ALOT of pages on my parents printer (as I don’t have one) and am recovering from having a wisdom tooth removed, at their house (oh how painful….it actually feels like they have broke my jaw-not my parents, the doc!).