Sunday, 29 June 2014

Summer Anna Maxi Dress....

First up from my summer sews list is my BHL Anna maxi dress.
There are loads of really lovely maxi versions out there, a couple of my favourites are Roisin's swimming ladies and Lauren's blue silk.

This dress was a case of fabric before pattern.

I picked up some teal indian cotton on Goldhawk Rd. It's so lovely and lightweight, a little bit sheer, and really soft. I wanted to use it for something beachy, like a kaftan cover up thing but couldnt really find the right pattern. I've been wanting to sew up the Anna maxi version for a while but thought it might be a bit dressy for beach wear. But after some thinking I came up with 'oh f**k it', I can wear a sheer-ish maxi as a bikini cover up right? 

So I got down to it, only to realise that I couldnt fit all of the pattern peices onto my peice of teal cotton, waaaaaah! That cotton is really narrow. However, I did also buy the same fabric in navy too so some quick thinking and I decided to colour block it with a navy bodice and teal skirt. 

Oh what a lovely "design feature" ;)
I went for the v neck version, just because I'm yet to try it out. I like it but if I make a version that isnt beachy I'd need to do something about the width of the opening as it's not very bra strap friendly, it could do with coming in on the shoulders by half and inch or so.
This dress is looong, like super long. I'm not sure what height it's intended for but I initially chopped 2 inches off the skirt length before cutting my fabric (to try and squeeze the pattern peices on) and then also chopped another 2 inches off and it still hits the floor. I'm 5ft 6" which I don't consider to be short, maybe it's to accomodate wearing super high heels? Anyways its a good length for wearing with flip flops now.

I'm really annoyed with the split. I'm being a complete weirdo but I prefer my right leg to pop out of slits, it just feels better ok! and I really thought I'd put this on the right but oh look, there it is on the left. Humph.

I used french seems throughout and added a lapped zip.

I'm pleased with this make, I think it's going to be a beach favourite and am looking forward to sipping some sunset cocktails in it...roll on holidays :)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Finger knitting.......

Yes, FINGER knitting.
I'd not heard of it being an actual real thing before but it is! and I know this because I gave it a go and it works and everything, look!....
So I've been admiring a lot of plaited, crochet and knit necklaces out in fashion land at the mo. All lovely fabrics and colours and I thought I'd surely be able to coble one together myself so I got onto Pinterest and found this...

It's got a really good link to a youtube video which is much easier to see how to do the knitting rather than looking at images.
But this is what I start out with your choice of yarn. I wanted to use jersey so I cut up an old top (what a way to refashion)

and then, cynically,  Istarted "knitting"....

lo and behold it was actaully doing something! It ended up looking like this..

Give it a bit of a pull either end to tighten up the braiding and add some extra yarn each end for ties and I ended up with a proper necklace...

I didn't bother with the metal parts for each end becasue I didn't have any I don't think it needs them.
I'm really pleased with it, it's just the sort of thing I was considering paying quite a few quid for but I managed this out of a top I didn't want any more and 20 mins of time. So now I'm hunting through the wardrobe so I can make other colours....

Have you tried finger knitting?

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer sews....

It's well and truly summer now (look away from that looming cloud) I've got quite a few dresses to wear but theres definitely a few patterns that I want to get made up for this years sunshine. So this is my summer sew list....
Yep another Anna, but this time a maxi version.
I've actually just finished this so blog post coming soon!
Fabric: Indian cotton from the Goldhawk Rd haul
Now it's much warmer in the evenings I'm needing some new PJs to lounge around in, I'm thinking of maybe a shorts or 3/4 leg version in a nice light cotton.
Fabric: Something from the stash, maybe the left over swimming ladies?
I've had my eye on a few wrap dresses recently and it seems like the perfect dress to throw over a bikini too. I got this pattern because it was in the sale for a couple of quid, can't remember where from?, but on closer inspection it's not quite the dress I was after but I'm going to give it a go and see if I can add in some of my own alterations....GULP
Fabric: Might have accidentally bought some cute bird print drapey drapey viscose....
I've had a Hazel with a twist in my head for a while now. I want to keep the original bodice pattern, and use the facing as a small little collar across the top of the bodice. Add in spaghetti straps that tie on the shoulders and add either a circle or half circle skirt. Something that looks a bit like this...
Fabric: Plain black cotton of some description, keeping with my "cake" making :)
And thats my summer list (for now)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tillys Lilou....

I made this dress up a while ago now, a few days after getting my Love At First Stitch book through in the post, but I've had some troublesome fit issues to fix so havent quite got around to bloggin it until now, but anyways....
This is my lovely swimming ladies Lilou dress!....

This was part of my stash from Goldhawk Road (yep still using it all up) and a massive bargain at £1.99pm!

I knew I wanted to make up this pattern first after seeing the sneak peeks in Tilly's book and Marie's gorgeous green version.
I added a couple of self challenges to this make, having to make sure my pattern matching was up to scratch with these lovely ladies and adding some cute polka dot piping around the arm and neck holes. The most I've ever done with piping was around the waist of my first Belladone so I wanted to have a go at getting round corners and adding a bit of interest to a standard neckline.

I read up on a few tutorials and with plenty a pin at hand got on with it...

Not bad for a first attempt?
I sandwiched it in between the dress fabric and the lining so I started by sewing it to the dress farbic and then sewing the lining on top so I could see what I was doing, then understitched the lining. I was a bit worried it wouldnt sit well and ot a bit confused thinking of the curve once it gets turned inside but in the end I just went with it and its all good :)
The arms were a little trickier and I didn't bother with the placement of the lining over the top..I sure as hell couldnt get my head around how to order that! so I just sort of used the piping as a facing like Gertie shows you how to here.

Next up the pattern matching. I didn't quite manage it like a pro but I'm getting there...

Now to get to those pesky fit issues.
I totally made a muslin of this dress bodice because I wanted to make sure it was all good before getting on with the real thing. I did it and all was fine with supposedly no alterations needed. However, once I finished the dress and tried it on it just didn't sit right across the chest. It sort of pulled across the top and down into each arm hole. Were the darts wrong? No it didnt seem so, was the piping pulling at the arm holes in some way? I took off the piping and it wasnt any different so I sewed that all back on. So I brought it into work and had a pinning and pegging session with my sewing buddy and it seems that the only thing which made it better was to shorten the straps by about 2 inches. I'm not too sure if this was the right thing to do but I went home and took the piping off, cut the shoulders down and cut out an inch under each arm to compensate for it being higher and sewed it all back together again. It does now sit better, although the neckline is now much higher than intended. It doesnt fit great but much better and I'm really not sure what else it could be, maybe it's just not the right pattern for my body shape?
Any ideas??

Whatever, I now have a cute swimming ladies dress...Yey! and I think it will probably only be me that notices the misfitting of it on me so hey ho.
I don't think I'll be going for another Lilou unless I find the motivation to sit and have a good look at what the problem may be, but I can't wait to have a go at the Margot PJs and the Megan dress :)

Monday, 9 June 2014

When is a dress not a dress?.....

When it's a new top! :)
I had a bit of a wardrobe sort out and chuck out session, this was one of those peices that was at the top of the bag and I didnt really want to get rid of, although it's only ever been a beach dress I just really love the print. So just before I threw those bags away I grabbed this one back and went all snippy and sewy on it...

Oh yeah,,,it's another Scout. Actually it was the last top I squeezed into Me Made May, a cute summery sleeveless version.

I think the border print works really well. I cut some bias strips for the arm and neck holes and french seamed it. not much else to report, it all came together in about 40mins.

I do love a bit of refashioning, being able to get more wear out of some of your favourite RTW peices before having to really say goodbye.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Way overdue #MMMay14 days 29-31 and 5 things....

Grainline Hemlock


Sleeveless Scout (unblogged)

5 things....

1. I like Dixie DIY Ballet a lot, I've worn 6 in May and theres another 3 stashed away with my winter wardrobe. Thats ok though as they are super comfy and in the right fabric are perfect for work and play. Maybe I should stop making those for a while though....
 I also like my Grainline Studio Scouts quite a fair bit, I wore 5 different versions. Not a huge amount but its up there as one of my favourite patterns to wear with jeans. I even squeezed in a sleeveless summer verion for the last day.

2. As a goal for the coming year I'd like to start to work through new patterns in my stash rather than remaking patterns I already have. This is a funny one as I've made quie a few of the same pattern...Anna, Dixie, 2444 etc but when I used to buy clothes I wouldnt ever go and buy more than one version of a dress in a shop. I'm not saying I'll never make the same ones again..when you like them its hard not too! But I'd like to make an effort to try new ones, taking time to choose the right fabrics.

3. I really like blue. I sort of knew this, but I didnt realise I wore it quite so much. 16 days out of 31 were predominantly blue days. Looking at the photos though, I'm pretty happy with this, I think it suits me well enough. I'd like to add some more neutrals and block colour items to my wardrobe. Theres also a lot of print and pattern going on, which I love, but I think theres something so nice and versatile about a plain colour dress and I loved how my Navy 2444 felt to wear, must remember this when fabric shopping...musnt get distracted by cats!

4. I only had to repeat 2 items! This wasn't in my original pledge but once I started I thought I'd see how long I could go, and as I'd pledged items rather than outfits this was probably a bit easier. If the weather had been a bit nicer I could have got through the month...damn you rain!! I'm going to add this to next years challenge.

5. I've got quite a full up wardrobe! I'd like to start being a bit more selective and taking my time to work out what I need before I go ahead and make another frou frou dress, I want all of my me mades to be well worn and have a purpose and not linger at the back of the wardrobe waiting for a suitable event.

I loved taking part in this challenge again and thank the lovely Zoe for organising it and for posting photos with adorbs Dolores!

Is self stitched September a thing this year??