Thursday, 19 January 2017

M7476 ~ Housecoat Anyone?

There is no denying, I was glad to see the back of this and out the sewing room door. Even after it was evicted, its evidence remained. Everything in the sewing room was covered in raspberry pink fluff. And I mean everything. Including myself. 
On the plus side though, the sewing room got a thorough spring clean, which after all, isn't a bad thing.

I was originally intending to make a matching cardigan for my Little Piece of Sweden Dress . Turned out, no matter how hard I tried, I didn't have enough of the Swedish fabric left, only of the striped. (As much as I'd have loved to go back for more!) 
It's turned proper cold here of late and sometimes I do need an extra layer around the house during the day, when the heating isn't on and the fire isn't lit. So I turned my attention to a pattern I've been meaning to make up for some time, M7476. A cardigan/jacket that I can just throw on when that little bit of extra warmth is required.
I made View D using fabric from my Birmingham Rag Market stash. It's a chenille type fabric which in hindsight I think would have been much better suited to a shorter button up, rather than this longer length, shawl collared V-neck. But at the time I still had my Swedish  dress fabric in mind, saw the colour of this on the shelf, and consequently looked no further. 

I realised my error long before this was completed. I wasn't  planning on making a bathrobe, but it does beg the question, is that what this is? Was I making a bathrobe?! Still, no point in dwelling, it was cut and started and I never discard anything and move on to something else until present project is finished. Perhaps I can class this as more of a "housecoat?" I dont know.... do housecoats still exist these days? Anyway, housecoat or no, I chose to  leave the button fastening off and just leave it as a loose throwover.

I love that this has pockets. And the instructions were great, suggesting you cut out the pocket pattern piece (minus seam allowance) in cardboard and then use this as a template to press the pocket seam allowance under. What a genius idea! So simple, yet something I would never have thought of. Great idea for getting your pockets perfectly square and identical.

This fabric is quite loose knit and stretchy so before sewing, I added clear elastic to the neck edges and shoulder seams to stabilise them. I figured it would also move about whilst sewing so I stitched all the seams on a zig-zag with my walking foot first and then went to the overlocker. 

I am not sure I will get much wear out of this but time will tell. It's warm, it's comfy and it's certainly cold enough to wear this right now with lovely crisp frosty mornings. Its been handy to throw it on as needed. But it comes back round to the Sarah Liz debate  again; 'Style at home, does it matter?' 
Is it Ok as it's only for just around the house, or not Ok because we should be happy in what we wear (and not make do) as it makes us feel better.....? I leave you with that thought.

To read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read πŸ˜€

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 9 January 2017

My Little Piece of Sweden ~ M7430

Here we are in 2017, and we are over a week into it already. Where does the time go? "So Happy Belated New Year Everyone and Welcome to my first make of the year!" Yes! My first sew project is done and dusted.

I was really excited to get sewing again for the New Year. Especially as I have been itching to use my fabric purchase from my favourite country, Sweden. Soderstyger on Hornsgatan, Stockholm, Sweden to be precise. 
Here I am stood outside with said purchase on what was Stockholm's heaviest snowfall day in November for 111 years!

Oh How I yearn to go back here

 So using M7430, what better choice to kick off the January MAGAM challenge "Sew New Start" with my Little 1.5m Piece of Sweden.

I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from a Birmingham Rag Market shopping spree last year
 These two were a match meant to happen

From M7430 I made View D. After much contemplation I eventually decided to use my patterned fabric for the side panels and the plain (My Little Piece of Sweden) for the centre front and backs, simply to be different. I had a poke around on PR and most other versions of this had the patterned fabric for the centre panels. I had been undecided previously so my decision was made to do mine the opposite and mix it up a bit. It would have looked good the other way but I'm pleased with how it looks. Plus, this way, My Little Piece of Sweden is at the forefront of this dress (as it should be πŸ˜€) and not tucked away at the sides!

The back of the dress is identical to the front

And there are no side seams (bonus!)

This dress went together really quickly and easily. My biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head stripes to line up with the yoke stripes. Not too happy with the outcome of this but this was so tricky with so much ease in the sleeve head πŸ˜•. I love this style of dress and I am a huge fan of knits. They are easy, comfy and practical to wear. Sarah Liz from the MAGAM challenge picked up an interesting point on clothes we wear at home don't really matter, and what is actually ideal to wear for household chores? Personally I find this kind of style perfect for home. I feel comfortable, yet I don't feel scruffy. I'm not one who can lounge about in PJ's all day but when I am doing jobs I don't want to feel restricted and uncomfortable. Also, by wearing a knit dress like this, if I need to go out, I don't have to get changed into something smarter. (I just cover it up with a coat instead! Ha! story of my life!πŸ˜‰)

This is going to be another "go-to" pattern for me. It's a good basic wardrobe staple. 
Next up, a cardigan to match!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 

Happy Sewing!
Dawn πŸ˜€

Monday, 2 January 2017

V9044 ~ I made a Hat!

Despite spending most of December away on holiday, coming home for Christmas and then spending the post Christmas/New Year week on double shifts, I just managed to squeeze in one more make for 2016....
My first hat!

As a lover of wearing hats, I've often wondered what it would be like to actually make one. So using left over fabric from my previous project the McCalls pinafore, I decided to find out.

I also used the exact same pinafore lining to line my hat as there was just enough left over.

With the wise words of my Mum in mind "the secret to a good hat is accurate cutting and seam allowance", I took such care to cut this thing out. 21 tiny pieces including the peak, all cut individually. 6 each of fabric, interfacing and lining, 2 peaks and one buckram. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cutting out took almost as long as the sewing! Looks like a small project but there's quite a bit of (accurate) sewing to be done even on a little hat like this.

As it's my first hat, I choose an easy one to start. The baker boy style hat View C from Vogue 9044 by Patricia Underwood
This was surprisingly easy to put together. Just a bit fiddly in places, especially with the small seam allowances. The fabric and lining are made up identically, joined together, peak added and then finally the grosgrain ribbon.  Accuracy though, is everything. A Mother is always right!

I did try to do a self covered button for the centre crown but the fabric kept fraying so bad on something so small it just wasn't happening. After several attempts, I gave up and used a button I already had in the button tin. I think the fabric was also far too thick for the button I had as I tried it with a cotton and it pulled in around the button perfectly. No matter, this hat was an experiment for me anyway so even without the matching button its turned out much better than I was expecting it to. The centre crown pieces all met up nicely and it fits! (Incidentally, I cut a small) What more could I have asked for?

And here I am wearing it today with the matching pinafore dress :)

Well that's it for 2016 sewing now. Everything I have made is blogged so I am up to date, which I am pleased about as I can start a total fresh for 2017. Having had a lot of work done to our house last year I haven't done as much sewing as I would have liked, so I am really excited that 2017 is going to be a good sewing year for me. 

Happy New Year Everyone and happy 2017 Sewing!

Dawn :) 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Perfect Pinafore ~ M7014

November MAGAM Challenge is completed and posted all in the same month. Go me! Sometimes you get a garment that just seems to fall together with no issues and no unpicking at all; this was one of those. And, this is one of my favourite makes of the year. Really pleased with how this has turned out and it gave me so much construction pleasure and lining everything up. (not the cutting, I'm not a fan of cutting) but lining up the seams to pattern match the fabric and keeping it all in place was very self satisfying. I know, I'm weird like that.

The pattern is M7014  and I made view A which has princess seams, patch pockets on the front and an invisible zip at the back.

I made the lining up first as I find the beauty of a lining is that you can use this for fitting and then cut out the fabric accordingly. Not that this needed much alteration, I just needed to reduce the centre back seam by 3cms in total for a better fit. I like the back of dresses to fit snug into the arch of my back.

To ensure that the fabric pattern lined up perfectly at the zip I interfaced down each centre back edge first then used wonder tape to attach the zip in place. Then on top of that I tacked in the zip. I was determined this zip was not going anywhere other than where it should!

I debated at first whether or not to cut the side panels on the cross for a bit of detail but I did this with my last pinafore dress (which is still going strong!) so decided to keep it all the same way in the end, and just do the pockets instead as per the pattern.

I Love that this dress is fully lined. For that I used the same fabric that I lined my Bomber Jacket. It's all crumpled and bumpy in this photo because I had worn this all day before I realised I didn't have a photo of the inside. So back it went onto Lady Mai for another photo. I'm sure she appreciated it, it's kinda cold here right now. Ha! πŸ˜‰

My favourite detail of this dress though has to be the neckline. I love the shape. The pattern however doesn't tell you to interface this. I often wonder why the Big 4 sometimes miss out vital details? 

As far as the fabric goes, I'm not entirely sure? I picked it up from Birmingham Rag Market some months ago and I think its possibly a woven poly wool blend. But whatever it is, it made up beautifully and I loved working with it.

And I have to say, I love wearing this too. This dress is definitely going to become a staple in my winter wardrobe.

To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read πŸ˜€

Happy Sewing!
Dawn x

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Falling into Autumn/Winter with the Rosari Skirt

We have just come home from one of our best holidays ever! We left the UK on a beautiful fresh crisp Autumn day and within the space of 2 and a half hours, landed in a winter scene in snow fallen Stockholm, Sweden. Within less than a day, we encountered the heaviest November snowfall they had had for 111 years. 40 cms in one day!! It was A-MAZING.

I took this skirt along to wear whilst there but due to the weather conditions, it ended up only coming out of the suitcase for photos. And even they didn't turn out that well, so here you have Lady Mai doing a much better job of showing detail...

This is my project for the October MAGAM challenge. It was finished in time, I just didn't get to do photos (as usual). My pattern is the Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt. A pattern I purchased months ago, but only just got around to making. I made a shorter version of View A in Needlecord from Minerva Crafts.

The skirt itself, is pretty plain right? And it's easy to make. But take a look inside....

Nothing plain about that and plenty of prettiness! I spent quite a lot of time finishing the seams of this skirt, and in doing so, over a couple of weeks,I watched the leaves slowly changing colour on the tree outside my sewing room window. Came home today, and they have virtually all gone!

I decided to go with the Hong Kong seam finish on this skirt because I was inspired by this whilst following the McCalls Bomber jacket Sewalong. This was one of the suggested seam finishes for the inside of the bomber and whilst I was originally well up for this on the inside of my jacket, I just couldn't see my Bomber unlined.
So, as I needed another of these skirts, here was the perfect opportunity for my Hong Kong seams! (The stitching you see inside the CB seam is my topstitching, which I did as an after thought)
I also added the binding to the hem and waistband. Just because.

So whilst the skirt went together a breeze and the self satisfaction of those beautiful insides, the stud poppers were another story. I made this skirt in the first 2 weeks of October; it took another 2 weeks to finally sort the fastenings! For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have anorak stud fasteners rather than buttons and buttonholes. Wrong. Bad idea! The first set I bought were useless to say the least. I couldn't get them to stay in at all. Even hubby had a go. There was no way these were staying put. Some were OK but there was no way I was going to risk getting done for indecency! Having spent so much time on the inside you can imagine my frustration. The poppers had made holes and I was convinced that this skirt was ruined and all my careful hard work had gone to waste.

So anyways, after casting it aside for a week and throwing it into the naughty corner, I eventually bought another set which were Prym (the same brand I used for my Shirt Dress). These were better, but only after quite a lot more heartache, blood, sweat and tears. I'd like to say it was a joint effort but hubby must take the credit for finally managing to get a full set in. They are not perfect by any means. They are wonky and off centre (my responsibility) but hey, you live and learn. I am definitely putting these down to experience! 

So despite the stud trauma, there was a happy ever after in the end!


Of course whilst on our visit to Stockholm, I had to hunt out a fabric shop. Came across this one Soders Tyger (which to any Millennium trilogy fans, is right opposite Mikael Blomqvists Kaffebar). The staff here are so friendly and welcoming and instantly changed to English speaking. Here I am standing outside with my purchase!
(well. I couldn't leave empty handed could I?)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x