{ New Look 6254 } The non-maternity, maternity top…

Ive not wanted to turn this blog into a maternity/pregnancy blog by any means but the fact is Im expecting & since I sew mostly for myself, its natural that Id hit a stage whereby my life would be consumed with baby stuff, baby bump & dealing with dressing it. So feel free to skip these maternity frock posts if you have no interest – I dont mind :)

This New Look pattern has been in my pattern stash since 2004, not because I was hoping to be pregnant by then { NOOOO }. I bought it because it looked cute. Its not a maternity pattern BTW !!! After making it way back then & realising it made me look extremely pregnant, I decided to hang on to it for that day Id need it. Well folks, that day came – about 2 weeks ago. Im only due in July so its going to heat up pretty soon & then there’s the postnatal period which still requires a little bit of maternity wear so I decided to give this a go. NL6254 I used a polyester from my stash, probably also purchased around 2004 believe it or not. I was never overly fond of the fabric so I figured if the top didnt work for me, it would be no great loss. Turns out, I really like the fabric now that its made up.  It pairs well with both white & blue which will be perfect for Summer. I lined the bodice with a cream cotton to keep things stable. There should have been more gathers under the bust however on fitting, I realised it was a little too snug gathered right up so I let them out a little to allow for some extra room for the growing bewbs. Its still a little snug so Im hoping these milkies dont grow too much more. NL6254_side On the up side, there is plenty room on the lower front for the expanding baby bump. The sides have splits to a decent height allowing for extra swish which is nice. NL6254_side2Overall, its a quick easy sew & a top suitable for maternity, although it wouldnt work as a nursing top unfortunately. Now, all I need is the snow to move on out so the sun can come out. Roll on Summer. x

{ NEW LOOK 6248 } The quick linen skirt…

It was the weekend before the Monday we were leaving to go on holiday….so what did I do….well, I whipped up a last minute skirt for the holidays didnt I?!? Dont you?

Good thing this tried ‘n tested pattern is a breeze.

Might I also add this was { LAST } year Summer. Whoops!NL6248

I used some of the 100% white linen I had left over from the shirt-dress. Love the fabric. It may crease like no-ones business but its crispness is such a pleasure in the heat.

I made view E without the ruffles, which admittedly woulda looked really cool but I didnt have the time to ruffle about in honesty. 8 panels sewn together, each seam topstitched with a 4,5 length on my Sapphy, in go the facings & the zip, hem & she’s done.

Easy as that. N6248

Just thought Id share if any of you are considering this little skirt for the coming summer.

Till soon my dears xx

PS – Ive paired the skirt above with the BurdaStyle wrap top I made yonks ago incase you interested in that pattern.

{ BIGGEST, TOUGHEST } project of my life…

Lovelies –

Ive eluded to my absence in the recent past & although I dont feel pressure as such to post to my blog regularly any more, I have felt a little guilty for keeping you all in the dark. Your’e not just readers. I value you all as friends – whether Ive personally met you or not. Anyway, the time feels right to let you in on my news… 19

The hubster & I are expecting.

After many many years of trying, we’ve finally been blessed. We are so very grateful for this little miracle & Ive naturally done everything to protect & grow this little human to give it the best opportunity for a healthy start in life.  Having just passed the halfway point in the pregnancy journey, things are now moving full steam ahead in preparation for the lil’un to arrive early Summer.

In other news…

I havent been doing much sewing to be honest. I took a little break in November-ish time to focus on the pregnancy & then December I caught a cold. With no medication allowed, the cold developed into a chest infection with a very slow recovery unfortunately. I did manage to make a maternity skirt and some other small things which I’ll share over the next few weeks.

Mid-January we jetted off down south for 3 weeks to visit family & friends back in my ‘hood. It was so lovely to get away from the cold, fuel up on sun & love before returning to what is hopefully the last of the cold weather.

Since the bump is growing Im having to make up some more maternity items which is really exciting. Ive naturally been going through all the maternity patterns available & Im thrilled to see there are some real lovely options available out there….but still, are there enough?! .

Thats all the news I have for now. Trust you’re all healthy & happy

xAnge

 

 

 

 

{ COLETTE } Purple Peony…

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS !!!

I told you a few posts back that I had made the Colette Peony some time ago – so here are the deets. Thanks for your patience.

Inspiration was not hard to come by. Just google “Colette Peony” & a flurry of pretty Peonies start to load your screen. Abbey from Sew Charleston made the most beautiful floral Peony in 2013. I mean honestly….{ BA BOING } !!! & this perfect polka Peony made by Amy, just gorgeous.

Being a newbie to Colette patterns I decided to err on the side of caution & investigate every possible person that had anything to say about her patterns, good or bad. What I discovered quite quickly was many of you talking about how difficult Ms Peony was to fit!!! { EEEECK }. I instantly panicked. I haven’t told you guys what a hard time Ive had with fitting the BHL Anna have I?? Oooh, can I rant quick??.. Anna has probably been the biggest nightmare Ive ever had in my journey of sewing. Now I know many of you will disagree saying how fucking easy she is to make & just so you know, it irks me when I see how some of you have sewed multiples of Anna in various fabrics (yes, Im looking at you Ms Oona) but come hell or high water, I just cant get that biaatch to fit me! Ive muslined her bodice too many times to even count & while she appears to be the easiest bodice, believe me, my bewbs disagree! Strongly. Rant over (rolling eyes)…until another day!

So approaching the Peony with possible similar problems was not an experience I particularly wanted for myself. Regret management is evil evil shit so instead of cutting into that tissue, I decided to adopt the tracing way of life like a grown up. I traced a size bigger than the finished measurement suggested & then got to making a muslin of the bodice. The first muslin was too big so I retraced in a size smaller & re-muslined.

Perfect fit…. Well kinda.

Honestly.

I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasnt dreaming.

So I proceeded to cutting  & she was stitched up rather quickly. colette_peony_front1

I left out the pockets of course. Coz really. I always do. And even when I do have a brain wave & think pockets might be a change from the norm…I end up taking them out anyway. You’ll notice I also left off the sleeves which may not have been the best decision since I do think the sleeves would stretch out the neckline & keep it from gaping in front which it does at the moment…ever so slightly.

And because I left off the sleeves, I needed to finish the edges here & without facings I decided to improvise with bias tape. Now you’ll know why I remembered the dyeing trick. I had no purple bias tape so out came the dye. { ABRACADABRA } white became purple bias tape in a matter of minutes! Your’e welcome. Purples dont match 100% but its good enough no?! I sewed the bias tape in by hand to avoid any machine stitching on the end & although it took some time, it was well worth the effort. biased_edges

I played with the idea of finishing the hem with a spanish stitch but ultimately, I decided to keep her plain. Of course as ‘ol murphy would have it, now that she’s all finished I think the spanish stitch might have been the better way to go! { DOH }. So I may go back & do that. Also, if the gaping neckline continues to irritate me, I may just pull out the bias tape I lovingly matched & insert sleeves too.colette_peony_front2

I used an invisible zip for the back which was a bit of a pain to sew for some reason. I think it had to do with the fact that I couldnt find an exact match to the fabric. On the hanger you cant see the zip, on the body there are parts that show unfortunately. Only after did I think why on earth didnt I bomb the zip in with the purple dye?? { WHY OH WHY }

My favourite details of the dress are the pretty little gathers at the front waist. Love those. They hide all kinds of crazy.  The fabric is 100% linen I found for €8/m which in my neck of the woods is a bloody bargain so naturally I purchased more than I needed because thats what one does when they find a bargain….in a colour that suits them! ( Or is that just me).

Im happy with Ms Peony but there are some issues that need sorting as mentioned. But overall, she’s comfortable and I definitely know that she fits well.

I like her, I like her alot.

Hope you’ve all had a good start to the New Year. All the best for 2015.

xxAnge

 

 

 

{ VOGUE 1247 } Rachel Comey top…

Friends, Ive been scarce around the blog due to a combination of things really. Work, stress. Then I got sick. Its just made me really tired and in the meantime I lost my sewjo so bad I started wondering if it would ever return. Luckily, Im getting back into it but the break has been good.  Trust you all had a good Christmas (if you celebrate) and I’ll wish you all a good New Year now.

This V1247 pattern had been on my wishlist for forever but it was only once I saw “Seeker of Sewing Highs” Sophie’s insanely gorgeous version, did I gasp & decide I had to have the pattern.  Don’t get me wrong folks. There were some stunners out there already, Sophie’s just spoke my kinda language. Luckily for me, Vogue were having a sale at the time. { WHEW }.

I knew just what I was looking for in fabric too – something soft & patterned without a pattern if you knowwhatimean. I wanted the panels to mismatch but be matched at the same time to show off the front panels. Anyway, once I stumbled upon this cotton/silk (70%/30%) blend, I knew immediately it would be the one & due to all the lovely reviewers who agreed the pattern runs rather large & one can easily go down a size or two, I ordered the minimum of fabric & used every last scrap. V1247_front V1247_back

She sewed up without fuss. I took great care in matching up my shoulder pleats and did my best to align the front panels. As 2 separate pieces (top and bottom), the seams aligned perfectly but once I sewed together the top portion to the bottom, my lines were off slightly so I didnt get the perfect point but hey-ho I swoon at all the other bits of perfection.V1247_alignmentV1247_pleats

With french seams throughout and a lovely bias neck facing, she’s casual but with some awesome finishes. I didnt fold my sleeves over as instructed because my fabric, while beautiful, is not that slouchy slouch so when folded they just stuck out too much overall & decided therefore to leave it sheer.

My fabric is sheer but perfect for summer & you may be wondering why Ive been sewing summer instead of winter… Simple really. Im headed home on holiday for 3 weeks soon. Home means hot, summer, friends & family – a decent vacation. Its been 3 ½ years since Ive been home.

I cannot wait!

A xx

{ IM STILL HERE } Was there any doubt…

Its true, I’m still knocking around although I realise my last post here was more than a month back. { CRAP }. Where has the month gone ?

Ive been so busy. Work has been crazy with 2 London projects wrapping up more or less at the same time which means double the amount of stress…. Not good!! We’ve also been working on our basement preparing to move our office down because it just wasn’t acceptable in our living space any longer. The constant work reminder resulting in no boundries between work & home was just not working for me…add to that the { MESS } dear me, the mess!!! As you know, I like things in order but I just could not stand to look at the office any longer. So we’ve finally moved. More space, more storage, more office-y equals more happy :)

Added to all that its the end of year rush. Need. I. say. more!

And then just to add things to the already stressful mix, Ive been working on a huge project. { HUGE }. Cant share the details just yet but soon…I promise :-)

Ive also been sewing, not much, but Ive been sewing. I have quite a few things in the draft folder to blog – just need to sort out the pics. Ive got the Colette Peony to show you, Ive got a lovely linen NL6248 skirt that I made in summer to share, Ive finished the V1247 blouse & Ive whipped up a gorgeous coral Maria Denmark Kimono tee which Ive been wearing all the time so I need to show you that. Soon. Promise.

For now though, SLEEP.

Have a lovely weekend xx Ange

{ LET’S TALK } Patterns…

Carolyns recent post got me thinking. There are times I feel guilty about purchasing so many patterns especially when a haul of 8 arrive at one time but the feeling of guilt never really lasts too long because I always buy on sale. Also, & this is a big { ALSO }, it’s my hobby. I love looking at the pattern envelopes filled with opportunity. The drawings & construction details (on some!) are inspiring & get my mind going about all sorts of things.

Some of us buy patterns only when we need but Im the type of person that purchases patterns as soon as I see them because Ive learned that if you leave it too long, the pattern eventually goes OOP which is a real pain in the ass when you get your shit together & decide its now time to sew that particular garment. Believe me, Ive learnt from experience & Ive paid silly money to purchase OOP via etsy & the likes!  Another huge consideration, which is similar to the chicken vs. egg scenario, is what comes first…the fabric or the pattern? For me sometimes its the pattern, sometimes its the fabric & its another reason why I purchase patterns before I even know what I’ll be sewing it with…..& it also happens to be the same reason I buy fabric sometimes without knowing what its going to be. Its probably the reason why so many of us sewers have substantial stashes of both patterns & fabric!  Im quite passionate about ensuring the marriage of pattern & fabric is perfect. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don’t… { YOU KNOW }.

I think one of the biggest questions around the sewing community is :

{ How do you store your patterns? }

Quite honestly, I keep it as simple as possible.

I store my patterns in their original envelopes, pattern house by house, in numerical order! These are all stored in clear fully sealable bin containers that fit nicely under my work station one above the other. Each bin contains around 200 patterns & Im well into my second bin now. That includes Indie patterns that Ive printed & enveloped as well as BurdaStyle patterns etc. I realise that once my collection gets to the point of more than 2 bins, I’ll have to strategize on a new storage solution but for now, this works & I like to see them rather than have them in a wardrobe tucked away.  This is what they look like : pattern_storage1

The orange dots you see on the top right corner of some of these tells me Ive made something from that particular pattern already. When Im looking for something new to sew ie. something Ive not sewn before, its a quick & easy reference. Im a self-confessed Mini-Monk so I like to have everything in order…all.the.time! Im not judging  in any way but when I read that some of you battle to find pieces of patterns & whole patterns etc, I just cringe. Im looking at you Miss Dibs :-) As much as I love reading her stories about missing pattern pieces, Ive just got this mild OCD syndrome that doesn’t allow me to be untidy or have things out of place. Its not a gift I tell ya…Saying that though, Ive always cut my tissue, never traced….until recently :)

Ok, moving on…

On my shelves I have these timber crates that fit patterns perfectly. In here I keep anything that Im currently working on or a little queue of whats to come, ideas etc. I also bomb any new patterns in here until they’re either packed away or sorted…

pattern_storage2

Then…. there’s this :pattern_catalogue1

I catalogue my patterns digitally as well!!!

Now I know that may sound rather over the top { BUT } its helped with preserving the actual pattern in a huge way. I dont have to thumb through every pattern every time I want to look for something. I found handling the patterns all the time was ruining the envelopes. The flaps were tearing & getting crumpled…being the mini-Monk that I am, I just had to find an alternative way. So this works – I just go to my digital pattern catalogue & look through them from here. Its quicker & easier when Im low on time plus it really has minimized the damage to my patterns.

I photograph every pattern that hits my sewing room first & foremost. All the pics are uploaded to iphoto. I sync to my ipad which I have an app called Bento. From this app Im able to sort all these patterns into pattern house, number etc. That helps me to keep track of whether its a top, skirt, coat, jacket blah blah blah. Ive also started categorizing the amount of fabric needed. I know, its a little OTT :-) but its fun.

So thats pretty much it…

How do you store your patterns ? Do you have a system or do your patterns just roam wild? Id love to hear & feel free to leave a link to your storage solutions if you’ve blogged about them.

Hope your’e all having a great Saturday…. xAnge

{ VOGUE 8907 } Marigold Superwoman…

This Vogue 8907 makes me laugh out loud. Vogue8907_front1

Its so pretty but view A is every inch Superwoman…which is why I decided to make that particular one. Just like every kid needs a Superwowan/man cape to insist on wearing to school & grocery shopping, I need a Superwoman top to wear to every meeting! haha Vogue8907_front2

Sadly, this pattern is now OOP. { SORRY FOLKS }. There aren’t that many made up versions on the internet either. Erica B made a beautiful cobalt blue version in silk & Melanie made one in red but besides those 2, Ive not been able to track any others of view A as yet.  Have you perhaps made this ?

To be honest, I finished this months ago together with various other pieces. Ive just been so crap at taking photos so forgive me.

Right, down to the deets :

I used the beautiful yellow silk crepe de chine (14mm) that I purchased & blogged about earlier in the year. Its such a happy colour that yellow. For any of you wanting reference, its code is 2035 Bright Yellow. If you click on the post Ive just mentioned above, the details of where I purchased is all there with a contact. Zoe is the nicest lady & she’ll be more than happy to assist you with silk buying.Vogue8907_side1

The silk was not the easiest to handle but I tried to cut single layered where I could. I also used silk pins within the seam allowance to avoid any unsightly holes which regular pins sometimes leave in silk. I also used tailor tacks to mark instead of chalk or erasable pen. There were only 3 pieces to handle in total so it really wasn’t too bad.  Im currently working with the hot pink silk received at the same time as this yellow & its already giving me far more trouble….but the project is far more complicated though.

The pattern was easy with the most ‘difficult’ part being the gathers at the shoulder. Sizing seemed pretty spot on at the time but having photographed this a few months later, it seems I have some excess space under the arm area but this could have something to do with loosing some inches since I sewed this.  { DOH }. Vogue8907_closeup

The edge of the ‘cape’ is my favourite part looking so whispy & super feminine. I achieved that by stitching a few mm from the edge…just a plain stitch. Then I used that stitch as a guide to turn over a small hem & stitched it again. Perfect finish.

I love the billowy cape back the most I think. Its fun, its unique & you certainly don’t see a top like this every day. Im so glad I bought this pattern & I look forward to making more of these.

A good weekend to you all.

xAnge

 

{ REMOVED POST } Why…

Folks, some of you have emailed me asking about why I deleted the post regarding the free pattern offer earlier in the week.

That post was removed after it was brought to my attention that there were similarities between some of the aforementioned company patterns and another established pattern company. Im not able to go into the details because quite frankly, its got nothing to do with me however as Ive said many times before, I love our sewing community. I love that people are incredibly supportive of one another. I would never want to believe that such shittiness could be going on in our wonderful world of sewing but maybe thats just me being naive….

 

 

{ WINNER } of the Mens Shirt Giveaway….

Readers, I have a winner….

Kelsey who blogs over at The Simple Seamstress has won the Simplicity 1544 Mens Shirt Giveaway.  Kelsey, I’ll be sending you an email for all your deets in a bit.

Well done & I hope you enjoy sewing for the men in your life.

x