19 Apr 2015

First make in a while ...

Ok well today has been so much fun because today I dusted off my sewing machine and made something.  I have been away for far too long but hope to get back into the swing of it with regular sewing projects and a whole new wardrobe of fantastically fitted clothes.

I have made a plan of what I want to make.  I wanted to use a lot of the books and patterns that I had already in my collection and make them with fabrics that I have designed.  I also wanted them to build in difficulty.

My first make is the easiest thing that I have ever made and so instant gratification.  There are no difficult fitting issues or complex patterns instructions.  It is also completely free and available here as well as also to be found in Tilly Walnes book Love at First Stitch

The first make is the Brigitte scarf.  This is a simple and versatile scarf and also a great introduction project for those just starting out using a sewing machine.

Here is the finished item

I hope that I've inspired you to give this a go and would love to see your versions.  The fabric is available through spoonflower and woven monkey.

5 Feb 2015

I'm Back

Well I disappeared but will be back soon with some more makes.  Thanks for your patience - now just a quick spring clean and clear out some cobwebs and then lots of fresh content coming your way

4 Jul 2014

Colette Sorbetto number 2 AKA (Happy Sewing Sorbetto)

In my last post I mentioned I had made a sorbetto.  Well this is it and I love it.  I love it so much that I wore it to the NYLon 2014

What do I love about this.

I love that there is a fabric store just down the road from me that I can but cotton prints.  Up till now I have had to have fabric shop binges as there wasn't a fabric store nearby with cute fabric (nearest 20 miles away). So I love that I can make another one of these soon.

I love that its a bit longer. The first one was just a bit too short

I love that my grading adjustment fits so well - no gaping armholes and back or tight across the bust.  I have worn this top so many time and it always cheers me up 

But most of all I love that it will always remind me of the NyLon 2014 and all the lovely bloggers I met. Thank you to Rachel (House of Pinheiro)for organising such a fun event. Next time I will remember to take some photos in between fabric shopping (got a bit carried away) Howeverhere is a photo of everyone from the day taken the lovely Kitty Wong. Our very talented official photographer for the day.

source Kitty Wong

25 Jun 2014

part 2 The sleeveless woven top

So the next make I made was this - well actually it wasn't I made a Colette Sorbetto before this one.  The only problem was it didn't fit at all. Will discuss the successful one next week.

I made it using navy polka dot material (which was left over from my ByHand London Victoria) and it only took a few hours to make although I think after making one, future Sorbettos are much quicker.

The problems with my navy Sorbetto is that it is too tight around the front and far too short for my personal preference.  I definitely would not be able to raise my arms.

It fitted around the back fine and the pleated front is a really sweet and simple to do feature.  I used plain navy bias binding for the neck and arms.  Really love the navy spot and will make another as it would be so versatile.  I plan to make further Sorbettos but longer and  more generous around the front.  There are also so many variations of this pattern and the best thing of all its completely free and instantly available as a printable download.  This did however allow me to practice and so although not wearable, as a toile it worked really well. So I'm counting it as a success.  I also got better with practice making neat binded seams.

9 May 2014

The wonderful, wearable handmade wardrobe. Part one

If I'm to have a wonderfully wearable handmade wardrobe I needed to start sewing again.  I set about thinking how to do this and came up with an idea.  Since I started sewing I have only bought two tops so I tend to wear the same things all the time.  Taking on board ideas from Colettes Wardrobe Architect I came up with the following list.

1) A sleeveless dress
2 ) A sleeveless top
3) A short sleeve dress
4) A short sleeve top
5) A skirt

I also decided that I could double this list if I made a woven and a knit of each.  Starting with the wovens.  So that means I already have 10 projects to make.  I would also like to make some PJ's, a coat and some trousers, but these will have to wait for now.  I plan on using up my stash of fabric first if possible and any patterns that I have already.  This part is more difficult as I love seeing new patterns and especially as Tilly and the Buttons book Love at First Stitch has come out this week.

Part One Wovens
First pattern was for a sleeveless dress - I had bought Colettes Hazel last year but had not made a successfully finished one.  I had some beautiful blue floral cotton lawn last August and decided that this would be put to good use on this pattern.  I chose not to do a FBA on this as LLadybird suggested it wasn't necessary. I cut a 2 bust graded to a 6 at the waist and hips.

 This is the best fit I have ever had on a strappy dress.  I also love how they cover over the bra perfectly.  I was not able to put the invisible zipper in as neatly as I would like and I'm not sure I really understood this part of the instructions.  I love a dress with pockets and cannot wait for the sun to come out so I can wear it.

 Although the floral print looks good I would love to make another where the bodice is a contrasting colour as this looks really dramatic.  I will be making another Hazel in the future but next time I think a solid colour or chambray version.

Me Made May 2014

This is the outfit I wore for the first week of Me Made May 2014-  I am trying to wear one handmade item each week.  Week one Sewaholic Alma -  Really pleased I wore this as I got compliments about it.  Much better to wear it than have it lurking unloved at the back of the cupboard.

I had hoped that the rain would stop to allow for the photos get done will add them asap.  I have also updated the about me  and contact me sections of this blog.

Next week Colette Sorbetto...

2 May 2014

Hello again

So where have I been hiding?
This is my first post in almost two months and I'm really sorry that I've been away, but I have been sewing.  I went on a quest to get a better fit.  I was looking back at all my makes since I started sewing and found that they all had the same problem.  There was always a lot of extra material in the back.  I always measured twice (and sometimes more), checked the packet  and chose the appropriate size yet my makes were only looking good from the front.  So this began to bother me.  What was the point in spending all that time making something if ultimately the fit would be better from ready to wear.

Well I decided that I needed to understand pattern making better and drafted myself a skirt using Cal Patches book.  I know, when I look back I can clearly see that having a well fitted skirt pattern was not going to solve the problem that was affecting my tops and dresses.  The process was really fun and I did create my own skirt self drafted pattern.  This taught me a lot about basic construction which led me to realising that the measurements I was taking averaged out the circumference of the body (the body could be split into quarters - not literally ouch) My body would need significantly more fabric for the front than the back.  This was a proper light bulb moment.

Well I then looked into narrow back adjustments and FBA and in one post  realised that there might be a blogger  body double (by this I mean someone who is a similar shape to me) who I could look up when I make patterns to see what adjustment they made - clever huh.  Well imagine my excitement when I realised that my body shape is not that far off Lladybird. This is cool because not only is the stuff she makes similar to my style but also she is so prolific and adds loads of information.  I feel that Lladybird may become my spiritual sewing guide - or at least  it would mean that I will have a wearable wardrobe.

I have also ordered a book that I can use to help with this issue - well loved by the blogging community.  just hope it turns up soon.

Me Made May 2014

Well its also near Me Made May time and I know that I have very few items that I could wear.  My pledge 'I, SewSleepy sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one item of me made each week for the duration of May 2014'  

By Hand London Fabric Competition

The exciting news that by Hand London had achieved their Kickstarter goal was only partly eclipsed for me by the launch of their Secret Garden Competition to find a fabric design that would be put up for sale on their site.  I did enter with this design below.  It wasn't shortlisted but was so fun to make I will be making up some more. I thought you may be interested to see the design I did.

Well thats all and if you made it this far thank you.  I will be reviewing Hazel by Colette patterns in my next post.