Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Flowers for the ballet...

It's been quite a while since I've bored anyone with yet another Dixie Ballet Dress, so it's about time I got back to it before I loose the knack!

My favourite jersey dress pattern made up in the pretty floral stretch from Girl Charlee UK. I was so happy when I first realised they now sold over here and promptly ordered a stack of samples for some winter pieces last year and I'm not sure what happened but I never quite got around to ordering any lengths. Not to worry, I just made up for it and recently received this lovely big package in the post...

Sadly you can't order half meters so I rounded up to 3m for dresses, I hate the thought of cutting it out and realising you don't quite have enough. 

As always this sewed up a treat, no problems along the way. I had some clear elastic in my stash which I used to stabilise the shoulders. I only had wide elastic in my stash and impatiently went ahead and used this for my waist band. It's fine, it just over hangs the allowance on the inside so isn't too pleasing to look at, but who will? I'll make sure I buy the right stuff next time though. 
I didn't add my usual extra inch to the waist and I'm happy with where it falls. I also got my twin needle out for the sleeves and hem. I need to get better at using this. It always stretches the fabric out a little, which goes back with a good steam but I think I might try using my older machine next time where you reduce the presser foot pressure, maybe that would make it move through a bit smoother?

This print is a cotton lycra blend and its super soft. The colours are really bold too. I hasn't been worn yet, due to the decline in our summer time weather but I'm hoping it'll get it's first outing this coming weekend, with a cardi if need be!

I love the skirt shape on this dress, the fabric drapes really well but it's not going to pose any problems in the windy seaside weather (my greatest knicker flashing fear!)

Thanks to Dixie for creating a pattern that will forever make me smile, I am by no means done with this pattern, this ones in my 'Forever' pile :)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Scrap Stash....

I had no real sewing plans this weekend so I thought it about time I tackled an area of my sewing drawers I've been avoiding. My scrap stash...

You know, all of those off cuts and fabric pieces not quite big enough to make something substantial from. Well I tend to keep them all. Because you never  know when you might need a tiny scrap of sequins!

I have one big bag, well I should have just one big bag. Lately it's pulling at the zip seams and spilling out into the whole drawer it's kept in. It makes me feel a bit stressed to have too much fabric going on at any one time. I like to able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To know that there will be satisfaction in using lots of it up in the very near future. This was not going to happen with the gigantic pile above.

So I set about clearing it out with a couple of rules in mind. Only pieces of a decent size and shape will stay. No long thin triangles. No jagged edged circles. I need to be able to see potential in a decent size. Don't keep fabric that you really can't imagine using like sequins, shiny satin and chiffon. 

Anything of a decent size that I didn't want I've given to the charity shop and all the scrap pieces have gone in a big bag (well, three big bags) and I've popped them into the recycling bin. 

Whist rummaging through that lot I found a pile of pre cut squares obviously intended for a patch blanket, actually thinking about it now they must have been excess from this blanket. I wondered whether to chuck em or start this up again, twitter helped me out and I decided to finish the thing! I came across this old scarf too, which will be perfect for a blanket backing...

So I also managed to bust a bit of the scrap stash in the process. I just have to make sure I get around to stitching this together soon before they get lost in the masses again. 

I now have a much more manageable scrap stash. Look how satisfyingly neat this is!...

I'll now be a bit more tempted to start using it up as I can actually see what nice pieces I have. I want to make sure I don't start adding to much more to it any time soon. 

I'm on the look out for stash busting projects now. I've got a few nieces and nephews so have been inspired by Zoe using the Oliver + S bucket hat pattern for some little summer hats. I don't think I'll need yet another patch blanket though...best keep on looking!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Me Made May 16 Make #4.....

The last garment from my Me Made May pledge! and even though I'm only just writing about it I promise that, yes, it was made in May. 

This is my favourite May make, for obvious reasons...

We had the pleasure of attending my cousins beautiful wedding in Anglesey on the 1st June so I just had to squeeze in a new dress make, if ever you need an excuse for a new dress it's a wedding invite!

I picked up this fabric for just £6 per meter in Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road.  A bargain seeing as it's popped up on a few websites lately for around double that. It's a lovely stretch cotton, perfect for cutting and sewing and a delight to wear. I love the colours of the abstract floral print, really nice and bright but not obnoxiously so, well in my opinion. I love the navy back ground. 

I went for a slightly different dress style to my usual. I've had the By Hand London Flora in my stash for a while, and made it up for a bridesmaid commission last year which tempted me to make one for myself. The faux wrap front has been tempting me for ages too.

So variation 1 it was. I did make up a toile for this bodice, as I have learnt that anything V neck is most likely going to need some tweaking of the inevitable front gaping, and I was right. I took out a two inch wedge from either side of the neck line and another 1 inch wedge from the arm hole down to the front dart.
The back didn't need any adjustments, although it looks a little gapy in the pic below, when I'm standing straight with my head up, you know like normal, it's fine. 

I didn't go for the dipped hem skirt. It looks a little too short at the front for me, I like my skirts just on the knee, not above. The pleats are a little lost in this fabric but it's very swishy....(s'cuse mid swish face)

I wore this with a waist sash at the wedding, just to pull it in a little and break up the floral pattern...

I'm really pleased I chose the wrap version, I'm not used to bodices this low cut but it's hardly verging on wardrobe disaster so I think I should branch out a bit more in the neckline department of my wardrobe. 
I'm hoping that this dress has some more summer wear potential in it, worn with my usual trainers I think I can just about get away with this as an every day dress? 

I'll come back to this bodice at some point and I can see myself using the skirt pattern again, maybe in a plain colour to show off those lovely pleats.

That's Betty saying she loves it too :)

Me Made May 16 Make #3.....

This make was a bit of an experiment really. I had a length of blue interlock jersey in my stash, just something I picked up from a stash at work, and wanted to have a go at creating a Deer and Doe Plantain dress.

I've seen a couple floating around blogland and they look really comfy. It's not my usual style, I don't really go for much that doesn't have an obvious waistline but there's nothing wrong with a little bit of loose fitting comfiness every now and then.

I followed the usual pattern for the top and then just extended the length. The front piece is a bit narrower then the back as I didn't have quite enough fabric. I didn't notice that a huge chunk had been cut out of the length which meant I couldn't fit the pattern piece fully onto the fabric but it's enough for an experiment. 

I'm not sure what I think of this really. On one hand I quite like it, it's not a huge disaster and doesn't look too much like a nighty, but on the other I think it might be a bit too mumsy for me, a bit 'meh'. 
Wearable toile is where I think I'll leave this and I don't think I'll make another. I really need that waistline. I like the fit of the top. The neckline of the Plantian is lovely, a really flattering scoop. 

A good project for stash busting a piece of fabric that didn't really have any other plans for, I'll be sure to wear this, probably just around the house or down to the beach but it'll get use so it's not a total disaster. 

Sometimes it's just good to give things a go :)

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

#MMMay16 Days 22-31....

Slightly misleading blog post. I have nothing to show you. Zip, zilch, nada.
Life took over and I failed to take any photos of what I was putting on my body each morning. I thought about taking a massive batch of pics in one go but really and truly I cannot be arsed.

I assure you I wore something me made every damn day, yes I stuck to that pledge, I even got 2 more makes in too, those I will post when I get around to it.

I had a week off work and went on a road trip to see lovely friends in Liverpool, then spend the week in Anglesey for a family wedding, which was amazing, and I think we were in the only part of the UK to have blazing sunshine for the whole week. Lots of friends, loads of family, lots of happy news and smiles and sun tans! It was bliss and I had no motivation to blog at all, let alone the wifi to accommodate it so yeah, life happens and it was brilliant :)

Back to sewing soon!