Lovely Little Maple Leaf – Simplicity 6128

I am shocked at myself, absolutely shocked, it’s been nearly a month since I last posted!!! Gobsmacked face!

So back too it before the holidays take hold and Christmas is upon us…already is in my world! Very happy face!

Even though I have not been blogging I have been sewing….and plotting (more about that another day).

I ordered 3 patterns when simplicity new look had their patterns on sale and have already completed 2 of the patterns! Woohoo! So I shall begin with the lovely little skirt new look 6128. I had been looking for a skirt pattern for a while (and acquired two in that one shopping session) and thought this one was cute having the pleats at the front to create a slight tulip effect, the pockets- I hadn’t tried this style of pockets before and wide waist band to flatten the stomach – hurrah!

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Also it was squeezed out of just under a meter of fabric. This was a scrap of material found in the dress pile and must have cost pennies, and more than worth it it was. I love the maple leaves and thought it was very autumnal, now it’s past autumn and looks cute with boots, tights and a woolly jumper (with a diamante reindeer on obviously!….you think I’m kidding he he he!!) It was very simple to put together and by doing the shorter version (oooo cheeky) didn’t need to faff with the slit at the back, not that they are too much hassle. What a match the zip is too!

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There are two issues which spring to mind. The first being the pleats are too close together at the centre front of the skirt and it poofed out toooo much! I moved them closer to the pockets, just the same width of the pleat again and it worked a treat flattening out the front of the skirt!

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The other would be to try this pattern using a more flowing type of fabric to see how it falls!! And if using a stiffer piece of cotton like my lovely maple leaves, lining the fabric prevents the skirt sticking to tights at front when walking! I cannot stand this! This was a really quick skirt to put together and so easy! I’m made up with the outcome and  I shall be wearing my new skirt with woolly tights and loving it!

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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!!!

 

And so it has begun….. the Robson Coat!

Well summer is over….the return to work has occurred, the summer dresses are stashed in the wardrobe and it’s time to start making these many jackets I have lined up!
So at the weekend I took the opportunity of staying home…..and starting the Robson coat! It is a long process!

A shell of a coat!

A shell of a coat!

I’m finding binding the seams is the biggest faff but totally understand why it is done as it saves lining, looks so much neater, quite a funky finish and in my case save the material from fraying anymore! With respect to the fraying fabric….. Oh my the mess! If there were purple dogs or sheep in the world I would say one just got slaughtered in my living room!

A lot of hoovering throughout the weekend!

A lot of hoovering throughout the weekend!

I have already learnt quite a lot from this unfinished project;

1- I need to take more care and time using binding! or buy wider binding – this would probably be the easiest option!
2 – trim the seams more.

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3 – pay attention to where your notches are Miss Caroline! I lined up the pockets with the wrong notches (very easily done with this overly fraying material) and had pockets half way down my legs! Subsequently lots of unpicking and rearranging/ restitching!

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4- Press using a wet pillow case for super flatness of thick fabric!
5 – walk away!!!!! When I get abit frustrated I have to just put it all away, hoover up and do something else till tomorrow…..otherwise I’d have thrown the whole coat in the bin!
and I want to say use the size down for Sewaholic patterns… but can’t really give a confirmation on that until I’m finished! I’ve already taken in the back seams and adapted the bust line….so I do feel this size (the size I’ve discovered generally I do use on patterns – not telling you what it is 😉 ) is too big for me! Now I’m wondering about Colette patterns for the Anise as it was mentioned to me it’s a good idea to go a size smaller.

Also this is a very long coat for me, so I will be taking it up too!

Watch this space for the finished coat….or take bets on how long it’s going to be until it’s finished!!! hmmmmm we could still be here at Christmas!

xx

Making for babies!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of a new born than to start making! Especially when the baby in question is my new niece. Freya was born in April and she’s had a few things made for her since then. It’s been a good chance for me to make a few novelty items and to make baby clothes…….yes, including bloomers! love it!

I love an excuse to make a bit of bunting and after making some single sided with my sons name on I decided to make it more of a keepsake for Freya and put her date of birth on the other side. If you ever get to making bunting remember to put the letters and then the reflection on the back in the opposite direction, first letter with last on the back! I did first with first on the back so when it flipped over the date of birth was the wrong way round! Doh!!! Bit of unpicking….sorted!!

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I do like making a dress, or two! So I jumped at the chance to make a summery girly dress! As you do when you have a boy and you can only get so creative with their clothes (poor Fin, or lucky Fin – whichever way you look at it!). There are so many cute patterns out there, but when I went to mooch through the catalogues at Abakhan nothing really stood out to me, especially for the price of one pattern! Then while nosing around Amazon to get my Mccalls 6466 pattern I discovered books with kids patterns – boys and girls age 0 to 5! Awesome Fin can get on this one too! There is some lovely stuff in it and all the patterns are included and since they are so small it makes easy tracing!

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And this was the outcome!

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Obviously the bloomers did not have the elastic in at this point. I took them with the elastic loose and measured them on Freya and then hand stitched them and closed the gaps in the fold over of material so the elastic would not rub on her skin! The dress is double layered as its very thin material, but this could be done with two different fabrics and a reversible dress made! It did seem very plain so I made a small flower with a little leaf behind and stitched it to the front of the dress. It’s quite a good style too as the shoulders untie, making it easier to get in and out of (as any parent will no doubt is essential in baby clothing!). This was such a quick little project – loved it! Freya! You’ll be getting many more dresses my dear!!!

Lurrrrvley fabrics!

I have been very good recently….well since the Birmingham meet up and not been fabric shopping, even walking into a fabric shop for something a simple as some binding generally spills over to  3 dresses and something to do with the many jackets I have lined up. This fabric trip started off with the very sincere intention of buying binding to crack on with  the Robson coat this weekend……Yes folks! I have started cutting, but can only do it when my son is out of the house as I need to lay out the huge volume of material and only have a small house, it takes up the whole living room, and in the 6 weeks summer hols he has been at home all but one weekend! Plus with such a good summer it’s been all about the dresses! More posts on those in the near future!

And here’s what I got!

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And this was restraining myself…..

The very light blue with brown stars I thought would make a lovely little sun dress for my niece ( this shop did take place two weeks ago…..apologies for the delay as there has been a few hols taking place! The joys of teaching! But I ended up with 2.5 meters it was so light I would have been silly not too (it was measured by weight) so I’m planning on using the rest for either jacket lining, a dress or my niece will be having a summer dress in it for the next 4 years!

I love butterflies and this material shouted ‘buy me, buy me!’. I’ve been after some butterflies since ….I started sewing in March but it’s usually expensive and by the meter, so I didn’t care there was only a meter of this hanging around as I had read and was feeling inspired by Dreaming of Avonlea’s blog on AMetreCanGoALongWay and again (as all this material was) bought by weight. It is dress material so figured I could bind the neckline and get away with not lining it making it in time for a holiday!

This maple leaf just caught my eye and again only a meter of dress material……so pretty, just debating what to do with it now! Any ideas folks? It’s too stiff to make a Sorbetto top and is quite an apt pattern as we move into autumn, just struggling to decide…..

Now this was my fave……..pale minty green with tiny white birds and reeaally floaty and fine! Though it creases to high heaven!!! So I shall be researching ways to treat material to help this out! Any advice would be great, THANKS!!!

So with all this material, there’s going to be a few blogposts on the go! Happy hols folks and hope the prep for back to school is going well xx

Handmade in Public!

Glastonferry!

As a newby to sewing I am really conscious of whether my clothes look ‘too’ homemade! So wearing them in public has been a slow process. As more and more people say ‘I like your dress!’ and then the impressed look appears as you tell them you made it yourself……and then, sometimes, they ask if you’ll make them one! Ones confidence starts to go through the roof! And yes folks, even the early creations get thrown on and worn in public! I pretty much now wear something handmade everyday, a top with my jeans, the jersey dresses when the sun appears, but ‘going out’ as in getting dressed up ‘going out’ I have felt like my clothes were not quite good enough! But I’ve been out twice this weekend (very unusual for me to go out at all but when I do it seems there’s all sorts happen at once) and both times, a night out in Liverpool and music festival yesterday, to both I have worn dresses I made myself (vino confidence helps too!). It feels great to be looking individual and knowing the compliments actually mean something!

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So wear your handmade with pride!!!!! I plan to for every occasion….I don’t think I’ll buy another dress again….!?!?!

A fallen crochet hook and the uprising of earrings!

Doing a little crocheting on the decking and…woops… the crochet hook has fallen between the planks! Supersize doh!!! and no amount of faffing with tweezers will get it out! QUick! Jump in the car and get to the closest place I can think of for a crochet hook, the local garden centre which has a craft store….awesome! I think the only thing I have bought from there before is….surprisingly a crochet hook…..but me oh my am I glad we went! 50% OFF EVERYTHING!!!!! So zippedy doo dah! I got very excited, maybe a little too excited! I have been wanting to get my son letters of his name for some name recognition and letter practise, plus a little fun painting activity on a sunny afternoon! So…check!

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The best bit was finding the beads and earring making notions! Awesome! Didn’t have a clue what I was doing so picked up some pliers and wire and then discovered what I actually needed by watching a tutorial on youtube and returned the next day! So here is my new collection and some of my early creations! I got some big crystal effect hearts, which I want to make earrings with but am unsure of how to rig up, any ideas????

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

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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!

Retail Therapy! A pick me up on one of those days…..

Yesterday was ‘one of those days’ at work yesterday….. more so than usual! So on the way home from work, only a teeny detour 😉 I headed off for a little retail therapy in my favourite fabric haven….. abakhan!  I did need a few things for my various projects I seem to have on the go , but also love a rummage and found some fab materials for the two dress patterns I recently acquired!

I love this brown and pink spot. It has a slight sheen to the material and I think its going to make up the Simplicity K2444 pattern free from sew magazine this month! Watch this space for that project!

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Simplicity K2444 pattern

Simplicity K2444 pattern

Also got a concealed zipper foot……oooo exciting,  ever see a zipper again (the eternal optimist) though to be honest it just looks like a little piece of plastic!

Love this material.IMG_1594 A quite fine cotton with a gorgeous delicate blue flower on it. Thinking I’m going to make a circle skirt layered over the grey material (too thin for one layer) though it would be lovely as a summer dress!

It was a happy shopping trip!!! x