Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wool Hollyburn Skirt

The hollyburn skirts that I made previously for pattern testing and the sew-along have proved to be very versatile work skirts, so it was bound to happen that I'd make more at some point. For this version I used the last of the wool suiting that I used for my Mad-Meh dress. I had pretty much exactly the right amount left over.

This time around I made myself the 'middle' option (in both length and flare). My previous versions were the short and most flared-option. I ended up having to hack off quite a few inches, as it was a little too long on me, settling with this knee length, as any longer was a bit overwhelming on me.

Similarly to the dress in this fabric, I'm not completely loving the finished make. I still love the fabric, but the skirt itself doesn't quite feel right when I'm wearing it. Having said that, it's gotten plenty of wear since I made it.

I lined this version, and inserted the zipper as per the sewalong, and also added the button tabs to the waistband (which I do really like).

The t-shirt in these pictures is also a me-made and unblogged. It's my standard t-shirt block, and the first thing I made on my new overlocker, what feels like yonks ago when I got it but realistically is a few months ago, early May maybe? I love the jersey but hadn't plucked up the courage to sew with it as it curled terribly. I even tried the cornstarch trick but that didn't even help enough.

However, with quick and minimal handling between cutting and overlocking, and a fair few pins and an equal amount of patience, the t-shirt came together really well and was well worth the effort.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Laura Skirt


This skirt is the love child of some fabric pinched from Mindy's stash before she went overseas (miss you Mindy!!) and stealing the idea that Laura had beautifully implemented on a skirt she made a while ago (hence the name of the skirt).

I took my standard pencil skirt pattern, and converted the darts into princess seams on the front and back of the skirt. Then, rather than having a vent or slit at the back, added a lovely little flounce between the back princess seams.

In these photos the skirt is shown worn with my silk portrait blouse.


(I really should have ironed the skirt before taking these photos)

I deliberately left in the centre back seam above the flounce. I considered removing it and moving the zip to the side, but decided I would rather have a centre back zip.

This skirt is SO comfortable. I have no idea what the fabric is, but it's got a slight bit of stretch in it, and just enough body and weight that it doesn't get pulled around by my tights when I walk.

A fairly simple staple, with a little bit of interest, which has been a fantastic addition to my working wardrobe. I hope to make a few more of this skirt.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A quilt for baby Riley

I recently made a quilt for my good friend Simon and his 1 year old son Riley.

The criteria for selecting the fabrics and design were that the quilt needed to:
a) feature blue heavily
b) be awesome

So, with some help from the boy, I selected the above bundle of fabrics at GJs. After some playing around we settled on this fairly simple design, in order to let the fabrics shine:

And then, guess what, one of the fabrics does shine! ...well glow... it turns out the Star Wars fabric is glow in the dark!
If I hadn't been pressing it in the evening and then turned the lights off we might not have found out; so check your stash for any secretly glow in the dark fabric guys!

It turned out that one of the fabrics I picked was designed by "Riley Blake", so I had a nice convenient name tag on the selvedge of that fabric!


I did different quilting in each of the sections, including loop-de-loops in the red section to mirror the print.

And after binding in red... a fantastic new quilt!!


Here it is with a happy dad after being gifted:

And doesn't Riley look cosy sleeping underneath it...

And it's plenty big enough for him to grow into...

Yay for a successful quilt!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aiken Jumper (plus bonus pencil skirt)

Today I want to share with you another successful knitting project from an Andi Satterlund pattern. This pattern is the Aiken and went completely smoothly and was a very quick knit. In all honesty, it took less time to knit the jumper than it did for me to get around to writing this post after taking photos *looks ashamed*

A testament to the speed of the knit, is that I knit my guage swatch and cast on on Christmas Day, and I'm not sure exactly when I finished the jumper, but it was sometime early February. So speedy!!


I didn't make any alterations except for adding some extra rows of ribbing around the waist. Ideally I would have made it a smidge longer still, but this was how much yarn I had and I was too lazy to go buy some more.

I find that the jumpers I have with a high neckline like this don't get worn much, but this jumper has proved to be an exception to that, especially since I adore the lace detail.

The yarn I've used is a merino yarn so is lovely to wear and snuggly warm.


Also, the skirt I'm wearing in these photos hasn't been blogged before. It's another Jenny Skirt, and the reason it hadn't been blogged is that when I originally made it (which was who knows how long ago) it was too small. I could get it on but couldn't really move, and certainly couldn't sit down; I'd forgotten to account for this fabric having no stretch.

Anyway, I've managed to lose a little weight this year and now the skirt fits through the hips! Hurrah! However, the waist was too big, so I unpicked the zip and took it in at the centre back to make the waist fit better.

The skirt fabric is a silk suiting that I got from the fabric store. It was interesting to work with. It's very soft and decadent, but fray terribly and holds creases like nobody's business. I wouldn't sew with it again!

Anyway, an incredibly successful jumper and a salvaged skirt. And hopefully my next post won't come at quite such a big delay after my last one.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2 metre Challenge - Part 2 - Dress

The other day I showed you the shorts I made with this fabric, which really were the bonus project (although my 'done thing' really does seem to be making dresses and matching shorts at the moment!).

Today I am excited to show you my 'real' garment for this challenge. With some help from a print out from fashionary along with some moral (and creative) support from Mel I came up with the design for this dress.

I used my bodice block and pencil skirt patterns and 'mushed' them together at the waist. This was a little tricky as the darts were very different widths on the bodice and skirt fronts, but I managed it (although mushed is definitely the best word to use. Then I drew on my style lines, straightened the side seams of the skirt and made a quick muslin. With some more help from the fabulous Mel with the fitting of the muslin I quickly proceeded to cutting out the real thing.


I'm not completely convinced about the silhouette and fit of the dress. It feels a tiny bit... I'm not sure what... frumpy? when wearing it. And there are a few drag lines and wrinkles here and there that I'm not really sure how to get rid of (advice gratefully received).


However, for pretty much an attempt at self drafting I'm quite proud of myself! I do really like the neckline/armhole feature that I've added, and also the use of the bias on the upper back.

I couldn't work out how to successfully add pockets to the dress without risking ruining the silhouette, so I didn't try. Which I'm sure I'll curse when wearing it, but never mind.

Anyway, there's my dress for the 2m challenge. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2 Metre Challenge - Part 1 - Shorts

Back in September in the small amount of the pre-frocktails fabric shopping trip that I popped in on, myself, Kat, Amanda, Liz and Lizzy set ourselves a little challenge/project; we spotted some lovely gingham fabric in the Alannah Hill outlet store and each bought 2m of the fabric with the challenge of seeing what we each made from it.

Kat and Lizzy have already posted their gorgeous projects (click on their names to see, they're great!), but I don't believe the other two have yet (please correct me if I'm wrong ladies).


Anyway, it took me a little while to decide what to do with my gingham. I had a few ideas, but I decided to let them ruminate (aka procrastinated) for a while and eventually committed to a plan over my Christmas/New Year break. With some moral support from Mel I settled on a design... which I will share with you soon. The bonus of my chosen design is that it didn't need the full 2m, and I managed to get this pair of shorts out of the fabric too!

Particularly after seeing Kat's shorts I was really happy that I could get shorts too; it allowed me to get the shorts without straight copying her as I've come up with my own idea too.

The shorts are essentially identical to my Birthday Shorts, except that because the gingham doesn't have any stretch in it they are functionally a bit smaller. Because of this, despite the shorts being finished in early January, I am only able to share them now as I have solved the problem of the shorts being too small by becoming smaller myself. Now they fit perfectly!


The only changes I made to the shorts are adding slash pockets in the front and making the back patch pockets a little bit deeper so that my phone fits in better.

Stay tuned for my 'real' garment for this project soon; I just have some hand sewing left to go to finish!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jungle January - Zebra Inspired Maxi

You guys, I have broken my maxi-dress virginity! And I think I might be converted...

Anyway, to make this maxi I used my knit t-shirt block to draft one. I took the block, changed the armholes to have a slight racer back, changed the neckline slightly, and then extended the sideseams to get a dress that was the width of the fabric. I added a bit extra ease from the waist down so that I would have a nice amount of ease through the hips, and just kept that line going.

The fabric is a funky stripe that I picked up in the Clegs boxing day sale a bit over a year ago. The way the stripe has been knitted has given it this uneven look, which I really like. I finished the neck and armholes off with some leftover black jersey, and easy done! A new dress!

Hurrah! On hot summer days at home, expect me to be wearing either this or my Portrait Dress!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bouncing Birthday Shorts!

It seems to be a fairly common occurrence for sewists to make themselves a 'birthday dress', which I think is a really nice idea. Except, for what I had planned for my birthday this year a birthday dress just wasn't going to cut it.

You see, I had a Bouncy Castle at my birthday party. I've wanted to get bouncy castle since mid-2012, so have had a fairly long held plan to have one at my birthday this year, since I was reaching a year ending in zero so figured that was a good enough excuse.

So instead of a birthday dress I'd like to introduce you to my birthday shorts!

You probably recognise the fabric, as it's the same that I used for my Roisin Dress. I was careful with my cutting layout and cut the dress and shorts out at the same time and easily fit both onto the 2.5m I had of the fabric.

The pattern is the Ruby Pattern from Burdastyle, with some alterations. I left off the button placket pieces and just stitched up one side seam and put an invisible zip in the other. I included the fitting changes that I did in my last version of the shorts, and then some additional ones (that interestingly I had already identified in the post about my last ones); I made them narrower in the leg tapering them in slightly, also made them smaller by taking in the side seams, and took a little more out at the centre back. I also made these the finished length of the other ones, but without the cuff. I added the back pockets, but didn't bother with the pocket flap.

I've worn these shorts so much since I finished them, not just on my birthday, and they're a massive success! I've actually already almost made another pair in another fabric and have at least one more pair planned. 

Hooray for shorts!
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