Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Maternity Makes #5....Darling Dress...

Suitably autumnal, this is a wearable toile of the lovely Darling Ranges dress by Megan Nielsen. I've been eyeing this pattern up for quite a while, and finally treated myself after a rather disappointing maternity shopping experience.  

I've moaned about high street maternity wear plenty of times but have no shame in adding one more tale. Having pretty much nothing in my wardrobe to see me through work for the last month or so I ordered a few bits from ASOS, they looked good on the website, one in particular being a denim shirt dress which I thought would be a good staple piece and probably be wearable after spud is born too. 

My oh my, it was quite possibly the worst item of clothing I have ever tried on. I would add pictures of the offending item but it seems I deleted them from my phone...probably for the best. Basically the most ill fitting and dowdy dress ever, prison wear/potato sack/tent came to mind....miserable. But anyway it reminded me why I make my own clothes so I packed it back off for a refund and bought myself this pattern and some fabric (which, by the way, cost about half the price of the dress) 

I do intend to make this up in denim/chambray but went for some cotton first to check the fitting etc. and went for making up the whole dress rather than checking the fitting as I went. 
I chose my usual sizing across the shoulders and then graded out a bit at the bust and considerably more at the waist to accommodate the bump. The waistline of the dress is a little higher than usual so left as is.

I really like the shape of this dress and the button front is cute (and hopefully practical in months to come) I love this length of sleeve too, they should actually have an elastic hem at the elbow but I left this out, I prefer them to hang loose. 

The sizing has worked out fine. An addition I do like (but has proved hard to photograph) is that it has some little ties at the back to cinch the waist in, so in theory I'll be able to wear this one for a while as the bump reduces too. 

For a dress with a button placket this comes together really easily. I love the use of bias binding around the neckline rather than a facing too. I added a few more buttons than it requires on the bodice, to stop any gaping-especially at the waistline as I won't be wanting to belt this dress.

I will need to take some excess out of the front bodice, it ripples a bit on the chest, and for my next version I'll grade down at the waist a bit for a post pregnancy version, but those handy little back ties mean you don't have to be too accurate on that measurement which is great at the moment when I'm not too sure what I'll be in the months to come. 

So now I'm denim shopping and hoping that I can find a bit of time to sew another one of these up in the next couple of weeks. Roll on maternity leave!

Monday, 24 October 2016

The S box.....

The lovely Stitchery Lewes have just launched a fantastic new crafty treat and I was lucky enough to be gifted one of these to take a close look at.....

This is the S Box. A new subscription box filled with surprise crafty products for you to use to inspire a new project and make something beautiful from. 

Boxes are available monthly, and you can either choose to buy the boxes month by month or set up a regular subscription. Each one will be stuffed full of different fabrics, yarns, maybe the odd gadget or new tool and will follow a seasonal or topical these or colour scheme. 

I love the concept of these boxes, especially if you've lost your sew-jo for a while, usually all you need is a nice little project to get you going again, this would be perfect!

I was lucky enough to receive this gorgeous Nordic Noel box....

It included some lovely fat quarters, felt squares, beautiful ribbons, buttons, bells and thread! Absolutely stuffed! 

Just incase you're stumped for what to make with your new goodies the box also includes a lovely little info sheet with lots of inspiration...

This was obviously going to be a Christmas make and this year we're in need of a new wreath for our door so this came in perfect timing.
I picked up a metal wreath base from C&H Fabrics, only 59p, and set about planning for a rag wreath using those lovely fat quarters...

I started by cutting up the fabric into strips, around 6x1.5 inches. It was nice not to have a need to be precise with these as this is going to be pretty shabby chic :)

I then started to tie these onto my wreath base with a single knot in the middle and kept going until the whole thing was covered without any gaps....

I wanted to try and use as many of the products in the box as possible so I also decided to use the felt and buttons to make a few puffy hearts to add to the wreath too. There was actually also a little bag of lavender in the box so I added this too, it smells so good!

I picked my favourite bits of ribbon for hanging and of course a big bow and ended up with this......

 I'm really quite pleased with how it's turned out, it didn't really take very long either. Oh I also added the little wooden tag which also came in the box..

Look at all of that pretty!..

I know it's still a while off and I promise I will go and put this away until a more suitable date but....CHRISTMAS!!!!

This is also a great idea for gifts, I know a few people who would love to receive one of these in the post. 
I would love to see these available for dressmaking too, maybe a pattern such as a top and the fabric yardage, thread and notions to go with? 

What do you think of subscription boxes to get you crafting? 


I was gifted this S Box for free from The Stitchery but all words and opinions are my own.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Maternity Make #4....Colette Wren...

Another Wren! As soon as I made my first version I knew this would turn up again soon. 
I bought this perfect black stretch from girl charlee. It's cotton spandex and such a good weight, I hope it washes well as this is going to be worn a lot.

I didn't change anything about the overall fit of this dress, the only change was to raise the waist line by 2 inches to make room for the ever growing baby bump. It's funny looking back on my first version now, I thought I was pretty big then but it looks like nothing now!

I didn't make changes to the paper pattern piece, just literally attached the skirt higher. I didn't adjust the skirt length as this will be worn with leggings or tights now the chilly weather is here.
I stuck to zig zag stitch throughout and left the skirt hem raw.

I'm hoping this neckline will work well for nursing, theres quite a lot of give in the fabric. I love a jersey dress for the ease and comfort but this style also looks pretty smart, well smarter than actually wearing pyjamas and this feels just as nice!

I'm thinking I should try and squeeze just one more of these onto my to sew list while I have the time. Does that list ever end?!