pattern review · sewing

{ 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

pattern review · sewing

{ 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

review · sewing

{ DATURA } The 2nd…

So Ive probably gone & confused y’all with my Datura’s.

But its not so confusing. Stick with me.

Splat! came first, then this one & then the 3rd for my SIL. You see…not so confusing after all. I just posted them in the wrong order. Deer&Doe_Datura_closeup

Anyway, since Splat! was a little snug I had promised to make another allowing a little extra room for comfort. I { REALLY } wanted a white one for summer { WHAT SUMMER ??? } so after scratching through my stash, I settled on this white cotton with light grey paisley print thats been lurking for years. Since this version was quite a spontaneous make, I had to improvise with the contrast yoke fabric….& by improvise I really mean I cut into one of the hubsters shirts & lined it with white. The shirt was too big anyway but the grey was a perfect match. Deer&Doe_Datura_back

She went together as easy as pie until I got to the snaps at the back. I dont know, I just prefer to use snaps on my Datura tops as opposed to regular buttons. I hammered & hammered until I couldnt hammer any more. Eventually got it right. I think the snaps I was using were just rubbish so when Juli of Sweet Little Chickadee posted some lovely colourful snaps on her  Instagram one day, I jumped at the opportunity to ask her where she had found them. Dear me that girl is the best. She hooked me up to Cowgirl Snaps on etsy & I didnt waste time in ordering a whole bunch of stunning colours. They took about a week to arrive with me in Europe & I was in popper heaven!  I might still remove the silver snaps off this Datura & replace them with some pearly white ones….we’ll see!Deer_Doe_Datura_poppers

Cowgirl_snaps Deer&Doe_Datura

Anyway friends, thats 2 posts in 2 days. I deserve a medal especially with how slack Ive been with blogging recently! Ive been sewing, just not photographing. A combination of no time & no lack of decent weather outdoors to photograph. I had such high hopes for summer this year { SIGH }.

To all of you, have a great weekend.

We have a friends wedding tomorrow. I had high hopes of making a great dress for the wedding too { ANOTHER SIGH }…alas, Im RTW all the way 🙂

xx Till soon

chit-chat · sewing

{ ON THE CUTTING TABLE } & other news…

Hello friends –

London was great. Busy but good. I wish we had planned in Friday as well just to do our own thing but sadly ….next time huh. On Thursday I decided to clear my schedule for 2 hours while I jumped the tube & headed off to Goldhawk Road for a quick fabric shop.

I found some gems to be honest – absolutely not what I was expecting because I feel like when I shop under pressure I can never really enjoy it & end up leaving frustrated. Do you have that too? Anyway, it was weird to see all these fabrics popping out at me even though I was { VERY } aware of being on the clock. Here are the fabrics I took home with me :fabric_shop

{ left to right }

// multi-coloured (but mostly pink) irish linen which is heavy & beautiful quality.

// great floral cotton – so crisp but so soft too

// a viscose blend but the colours & pattern are rad

// an olive-ish green poly

// a black cotton with cut-outs – very cool. i only got a metre of this because i only intend on making a sleeveless top but thinking now, i really should have got more for a dress.

// a black & white cotton with the most adorable paris print

I picked these up from a variety of stores along goldhawk road. Every store I went into, the staff were super friendly and eager to assist. Where I felt fabric was a little overpriced for what it was, I said so & the sales staff had no problem negotiating.  Looking forward to visiting again – perhaps with more time on the clock!

Before leaving for London, I took advantage of the McCall Company sale & ordered a whole stack of new patterns so I was excited to see them sticking out my mailbox when I arrived home. There is { NOTHING } better than arriving home to sewing bits ‘n bobs – Im sure you know the feeling 🙂 Anyway, new patterns means I have to find an afternoon to sit & cut them all out. I really dont like having to cut patterns out before I start sewing so I like to get that done asap.  Cutting 7 patterns literally took all afternoon. Some of those suckers were huge! This is the recycle pile : pattern_cutting

And new to my sewing room is a drawer unit to help with storage of my threads and smalls, stationery & general crap. I was quite keen to use one of those thread holders to display them but then I started looking at how much thread I have and quickly realised my thread holder would have to be one giant coz I got lots…so I ditched the idea & used the drawers instead which doesnt look too bad. Whatcha think ? threads_drawer

The sewing room has been taking shape over the past couple of months & its almost { ALMOST } finished. As soon as I think its photo worthy, I’ll give you a peek inside ok?!

Ive also finally decided to make something of the yellow silk I purchased  a few months back. Silk has been pre-washed, pressed & ready for cutting 🙂  Coming soon…silk

Ive also got 3 or 4 pieces that have been finished for some time but Ive been wearing them to death so I really do need to photograph them to show you. Ive made a linen skirt with an offcut from the white linen I used to make the shirt dress plus I recycled one of the hubsters shirts to make another Datura which Im so in love with…so those should be popping up here real soon.

I know its only Thursday but have a good weekend 🙂 x Ange

pattern review · sewing

{ EASY LIVING } Kimono…

This project has actually been finished for quite some time. Life happens & that means some things have to take a back seat but Im cool with that. Are you?

Browsing one of my favourite websites I came across this fabric that looked delicious enough to eat. It was listed as “Ramie” & since I had no idea what it was, I decided the surest way to find out was to just order a piece.  Wiki doesnt make it sound too appetizing but dont listen to Wiki coz in fabric form, its delish. Its got the texture of linen but it feels like cotton – what more could you possibly ask for when you have summer on your mind?! Now I do wish I had ordered more than the a mere metre… Style2254_side

Style2254_side02

I had wanted to whip me up a Kimono-style somethin’ for some time. I settled on an old Style pattern (#2254) and used the robe as a place to start. If you’re interested in checking this pattern out, there is one available on Etsy for the moment. BTW, does anyone know if Style Patterns Ltd still exists ? Or what happened to them ? I remember them having some really awesome patterns..

Anyway, I shortened the length overall as well as the sleeves & instead of attaching lace trims, I used the extra unwanted length to add nice broad hems. Also, because I didnt sew in the lace trim, where the shoulder meets the back neck, I simply folded over the facing & stitched it down. Style2254_facing

There is nothing to say about the sew because its dirt easy…novice easy. Kimono_Style2254

Till next time – Ange x

{ feeling (& looking) particularly fragile today after the rolling stones concert in vienna last night. it was so good i could quite possibly die feeling rather musically satisfied today. if you ever get the chance to see those blokes live, take it. i promise you would not be disappointed }

sewing

{ JUNGLE } Jammin’…

I went shopping for a piece of jersey knit last week. I needed only 1.2m of knit. Thats all.

I walked out with 2m of stretch denim, 1.2m of the knit and 3m of this :

Jungle_madness

It feels & looks like a cotton voile but its a viscose voile…or so he says. Im gonna have to do the burn test & see what gives but isn’t it so crazyprwiddy. The colours are a wild combination of yellow, orange, blues, purple…. { YUMMMMMMMMMMMM YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM }.

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6003 } The tame animal skirt…

I was instantly all over this pattern because of the lovely variations of skirts offered. Although it shows a couple peplum options together with a standard basic pencil skirt, you could absolutely go mad with alterations to custom this skirt to anything you need it to be. I love skirts with back vents so this pattern is a winner for many reasons.

I chose View E not because I wanted to be boring but because once I had selected the fabric I knew adding a peplum would just add too much “wild” & the fabric was wild enough. NewLook_6003_skirt_front

{ DESCRIPTION } New Look 6003, pencil skirt in various lengths, with back vent and various peplum options.

{ FABRIC USED } The fabric is a stretch cotton, think stretch denim & your’e heading in the right direction.  The fabric was a printed panel. I cut the front from the upper part and the back from the lower part of the panel. I like how the patterns are so different but the colouring is the same and doesn’t look mis-matched….or does it?

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size however it was a little too big. I removed at least an inch off both side seams and little more than an inch over the hips. Once I got the waist & hips fitted, the length of View E just looked rather frumpy so I chopped off 4 inches and then I pegged in the hem & used my french curve to shape the sides so the skirt gives a bit more of an hourglass shape than a straight pencil skirt. Due to the stretchiness of the fabric, it works really well however I dont think I  would do this if the fabric were non-stretch.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use the instructions. This is a basic pencil skirt, you really cant go wrong.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Instead of installing a normal zip or an invisible one, I installed an exposed zip! { WHAT ?? } Oh yeah, an exposed zip! I used the Gretchen Hirsch tutorial  which explains how to do this & I think it looks pretty cool. I chose a white zip with silver metal teeth & its by no means a perfect installation but its pretty good for a first attempt. Word of warning & if you’ve already tried this method, you will know already – but installing an exposed zip challenges everything you already know about installing a zip. They go in so differently to a regular zip that you almost start to question your sanity. Rest assured though, it looks great & its so easy to do that once I was done I started seriously contemplating why every zip is not installed this way…it makes life much easier.

More changes….Hmmmm…oh yeah. Once I sewed on the waistband, instead of hand stitching the facing under, I sewed the facing on normally with raw edges & finished the whole lot with bias tape to hide the raw edging and give a better finish. I could do that all by machine which means I avoided the handstitching all together. { BONUS } NewLook_6003_skirt_bindings

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * For me this was an easy sew & I would recommend it to a beginner, perhaps a slightly experienced beginner.

{ TIME } This skirt took me around 4-5 hours.NewLook_6003_skirt_side

{ SUM IT UP }  This skirt was definitely an experiment & for various reasons. I had wanted to experiment with fabric pattern ie. the animal print on one side and the grass etc on the other. I also wanted to try an exposed zip somewhere along the line because I had never tried before….but I didnt start this project with those plans in mind, it kinda just fell together as things evolved.

Overall, I really like the results and I like patterns that are simple and therefore allow for maximum self expression through additions and changes to make them unique. This New Look 6003 certainly fits that bill so its fast become one of my favourite patterns.

Ok, til next time x