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

pattern review · sewing

{ PAPERCUT } Flutter blouse…

Its been quite some time since I sewed anything for myself. In my last post I mentioned that I had plans & boy have I put those plans into action. Getting going was the hardest but now that Ive hopped that procrastination hurdle, Im all fired up & ready to keep sewing sewing sewing…

While I was expecting I ordered the Papercut Flutter Blouse & could not wait to give it a go. I was curious about sizing so I waited a few months for my post-baby weight loss to steady itself & then measured myself up & went for a medium which seemed perfect until I wore it for a day & realised I could’ve actually gone for the small…..

Let me start by saying everything about this pattern is just gorgeous. Right from the ordering process, posting – which is free worldwide by the way, delivery, packaging { OH THE PACKAGING…DROOL }, the pattern itself – everything folks, just everything. They can do no wrong in my eyes. And no, Im not affiliated or being paid big bucks to say this. They just impress the crap out of me. If I were indeed pressed to give any strike I would say that I prefer sewing with a 1,5cm seam allowance as opposed to a 1cm however that would be my only micro mini grunt. Papercut_flutter1

I used this 100% viscose crepe purchased from Buttinette while on sale. Its heavy-ish but with a lovely drape. I used a white bias tape for the neckline and doubled over my hems on the sleeves & waist but my next Flutter blouse I plan to use the bias tape exposed on the neckline & edge of sleeves. Yup, already planning another Flutter – this time with the longer sleeve option. I tried to match pattern where possible but since the pattern is so random it was difficult to do everywhere. The birds just make me happy & apparently they make other people happy too because I always seem to get people asking about this blouse whenever I wear it.

Not much else to say about this top besides that its up there as one of the most satisfying sews ever for me. It was quick, easy & just what I needed to get my sewjo kickstarted. I should also just apologize up front for the crappy pic above. Im having to chose my bridges carefully these days & unfortunately time doesn’t allow for pretty photoshopped, light corrected, cropped & crazy pics. Soon hopefully…..SOON. 🙂

Take care all x

review · sewing

{ SIMPLICITY } Star Sewist Blogger Challenge

On a total whim, I decided to take part in the Simplicity Star Sewist Challenge because lets face it, who wouldn’t like to win a years supply of patterns amiright ?!? So I chose to go with the dressmaking pattern, New Look 6145, because I like dresses & I knew dressing my baby bump would be easier adjusting this pattern to maternity rather than the other two patterns on offer. NL615_side3 Out came a beautiful piece of navy linen which I accented with some navy & white Shweshwe fabric I purchased while on holiday at home in January. The two pair really well I think. I sized up in general to allow for my pregnancy measurements as well as a little extra for ease. At first I was just going to use the shweshwe for the sleeves & inner facing but then decided rather than make my side seam godet inserts in linen, to make these in shweshwe too. I wasnt entirely sold on the contrast so I cut one of each, basted them both in & decided almost instantly on going with the shweshwe contrast as soon as I saw the dress semi-fitted. In all honesty, the inserts dont work 100% because I didnt trim off the angle required on the side seams. I left them as they should be because I really want to remove the shweshwe panels once Im able to wear the dress post-pregnancy. The inserts really just give me the added space for the baby bump & ass. NL6145_side Overall, it was an easy sew & I { ADORE } the pleated sleeves…but then again, Im gaga over pleated anything! NL6145_front Thank you to Simplicity for offering the challenge & for the free pattern. I’ll certainly be making more of these shift dresses in the future. Also, good luck to all the sewcialists that have entered the competition. Cant wait to see who wins.

This will probably be my last sew for myself until after baby arrives. Im finding the bump so hard to gauge on size since Im in the final weeks & this Noodle is growing like crazy. Ive also hit the exhausted & rather uncomfortable stage so sitting for hours in front of my sewing machine is proving a little challenging. Ive gained 10kgs until now & Im feeling every.single.gram I tell ya. Ive had a relatively uneventful pregnancy to be honest with very few issues but these final few weeks things have definitely amped up. Dont get me wrong, Im loving being preggy & I couldn’t be more grateful for what is about to change our lives forever but this third trimester is tough on your body & your mind. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed my little me-made. Till soon. Ange x

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

{ 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.

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

pattern review · sewing

{ KWIK SEW 3488 } The Shirt-dress…

i’ve been wanting to make  forevs…

I had seen an image in a magazine yonks ago & thought the idea of creating a focus down the middle using contrasting buttons quite genius. After settling on the Kwiksew 3488 pattern, I found a lovely weight 100% white linen at my local fabric store for €6/m & knew it was a match made in heaven. KwikSew3488_front01

This was the first Kwiksew pattern Ive used & I have to be honest & give credit where credit is due. First of all, I love that its printed onto heavier weight paper than the tissue most pattern companies use. It just makes more sense because Im not the sewer that traces…I cut that darn pattern & I use it. The only time I trace is when I notice the pattern battling after multiple abuse….& of course those dreaded BurdaStyle traces. I also love that the paper is { WHITE }. Probably because the writing is easier to see…I dont know, I just prefer it to the brown tissue. Also, most of the writing is in dark blue but the really important text like “PLACE ON FOLD” or cut 1 “ON FOLD” is in red as well as the pattern piece numbers. Sure, these are small details but I dig small details!!! The thing I love most though are the colour coded size lines. XS is in light mauve, S is in light red/pink, M is in light blue & so on. { GENIUS }. It makes following your size so much easier. Again, small deets but you know…

**edit** after publishing this post yesterday Ive had a few ladies mention that since KS was taken over by the McCalls group, the patterns are now printed onto the same brown tissue as the Vogue, Butterick, McCalls etc. This is rather disappointing to hear obviously however Im also quite surprised this is the case because I purchased this pattern from the US recently – directly from McCalls. It could be it was old stock & thats why the pattern was still on the thicker paper?!? Just wanted to clarify incase anyone goes out to buy their patterns based on my review only to find tissue!

The instruction sheet is also printed onto white paper rather than the drab brown but hey ho, whatevs floats your boat. Where some other brands show little diagrams of which side the pattern piece should be laid for cutting ie. right side up etc, these instructions you do have to read..no diagrams. I prefer the diagrams for quick reference but the text is also fine so I highlighted it for quick reference next time. The actual sewing instructions were also really good. This wasn’t a difficult project & I couldnt find any reference to what level of sewer would find this suitable but I would say an advanced beginner with experience sewing buttonholes & topstitching could take this on without a problem. KwikSew3488_front02 KS3488_back

The body measurements listed on the back of the envelope indicated I should sew the L but once I saw the finished garment measurements on the actual pattern piece, I went for the M & Im glad I did.  There is a certain amount of ease allowed for but ease is such a controversial subject. Some people like lots of ease, some like very little. I think it also depends on the style of garment & your body shape really.

Because this was my first Kwiksew pattern, I decided to leave the topstitching until as late as possible. I needed to fit it & I certainly didnt want to have to unpick masses of double topstitch…because almost every seam calls for double topstitch but you can leave those off if you like too – its ups to yous. Most of the seams I topstiched with a twin needle giving it a really nice finish. After sewing so much silk & jersey recently, the linen was a darn dream. I sewed the shorter version, with short sleeves & no pocket flaps. KS3488_stitching_detail

Next big decision – the { BUTTONS }…I had black buttons in mind because I wanted to create that focus but then I found bronze ones…the mind boggled! I took to Instagram for help & some of you voted black, some of you voted bronze – so thanks for that!!! I eventually found these lovely black domed buttons with silver splatter on them. I liked the shape & feel so I went with those. You might also notice I placed my buttons at closer intervals than the pattern suggested which meant almost double the amount of buttonholes. Luckily my Sapphy has the one-step buttonhole feature so sewing those were easy as pie. Once the buttons were stitched on, I blind hemmed & she was done.I wonder if the buttons prevent it from looking too doctor-ish though….because it feels a little doctor-ish. What do you think ?? KS3488_buttons

The dress is really comfortable, belted or not…& in linen perfect for the hot weather we’re having & Im hoping the linen will keep softening with every wash too. Im lucky enough to work from home so this kind of dress fits my lifestyle incredibly well. I just have to slip on a pair of cute flats or my over-worn nude espadrilles & Im ready to go should I need too.KwikSew3488_front04

Im definitely sewing her again, perhaps with 3/4 sleeves in a lightweight denim & red topstitch or chambray….or even with cap-sleeves??!!?

Have a good weekend & till next time,

A x