review · sewing

{ M7542 } in butterflies…

When this McCalls 7542 landed in my postbox early January, it was instant jubilation. Those sleeves just scream { SEW ME }. I went about cutting & sewing her up within a day or two but my excitement ended abruptly when I tried her on & realised she didn’t fit so well.

I was initially quite excited about this pattern as it boasts various cup sizes A-D. I had not fitted a pattern with optional cup sizes so I figured cutting my cup size would give me a good fit. Was I wrong. The bust darts sat horribly high & the whole bodice just felt too boxy & tight.

I finished her anyway & even wore her a few times but my heart just didnt connect.

Last week I took her out while I was sorting out my wardrobe & I figured since I dont wear her, I should just donate it but even though my heart didn’t connect to the fit, it beat to the fabric { SO LOUD } so donating just wasn’t an option. The fabric, btw, I purchased last year from Empire Textiles and its a Mitex Holland Wax Print.M7542_1

I set about unpicking the areas that gave me issues. I started with the side seams to release those bust darts & I moved the darts down (at least an inch & a half) to give my bewbs more room & to co-incide with my real bust apex. Sorted! Next up I released the sleeve seams a little as I found the original seam made the sleeve just a bit too snug. I also stole a little space from the back seam & sewing up the final side seams I managed to steal some space here too.M7542_sleeve

M7542_2All of those changes resulted in a much better fitting top, one that I now just want to wear every single day. Its still boxy & short but summer is coming so woo-ha!

So I learnt two good things while sewing this top :

  1. Make more muslins!!!
  2. My body really has changed so much since having a baby. I lost so much weight post-partum & gained so much again since I stopped nursing that I really do need to admit that my bewbs just aren’t up north & perky no more! 🙂

So, Is there another M7542 in my future ? Why yes, certainly. Its a basic boxy bodice with some lovely sleeve options so why not.

Till soon,

Ange x

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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 }.