Welcome to my Blog where I aim to chronicle and share my experiences in Sewing. My Wonderful Mum taught me how to sew many moons ago, but I hadn't sewn for many years until 2012 when my now husband and I decided to get married in Lapland.The only way I could create "The Winter Queen" image I had, was to make it myself. It re-kindled my love of sewing and have been sewing ever since. And yes, that is me in my profile photo…
A week or so ago, I couldn't make up my mind on what to make next. On my table was the pattern for the Carolyn Pyjamas which I planned to cut in these blue and beige cotton poplins with the plain for binding.
It was cold in my sewing room at the time and I was wearing 2 layers. (it still is and I still am!). I got as far as cutting out the paper pattern pieces and then started to question if these were what I should be making right now when it 5'c outside and hot water bottle weather at night? Wouldn't I be better off with another warm practical cardigan that I could wearing hot off the sewing machine? Instead of pyjamas likely to be tucked away it the drawer until late spring.
Oooh but the temptation to cut these out is high!!
Anyway, whilst I was pondering, I made a top for my Mum (here) instead. Since finishing that, we've run into Mid February, and half way through an already short month. So due to time, practicality (and weather!) for my MAGAM challenge I've decided to put the pyjamas on hold (sigh) and make another version of M6844. I made one of these a couple of weeks ago (Here) and I have practically lived in it. It doesn't fit in with this month's theme "fit and finish" unless I can justify that by saying, well at least it will fit and least it will be finished before February is out. What a cheat! 😲 This time I am using more fabric purchased from Birmingham rag market last year. That's not such a great photo. The one below shows the detail and colour much better.
It's quite a loose knit so I will be lining this one. I love stretch fabrics to wear and make and if they are textured I love them even more. Happy Sewing All! Dawn 😊
Whist I have been dilly dallying over what to make next for myself, I made a top for Mum. It's been a while since I made something for her so in fairness, it was her turn.
New Look 6150 was the pattern choice. This pattern has been around an absolute age and there are 3 pages worth of wonderful versions on PR, dating right back to 2012! I can now see why everyone loves it so much and why it's still going strong.
There is a lovely variety of styles in the pattern but for Mum I made View B. The detail on this top is lovely. I know this is Mum's but I have a real weakness for gathers, and this has plenty. It also has a real good overlap wrap on it, not some flimsy, careless half hearted, gape-open wrap that you get on some patterns. I also love the collar and its construction. Yes I can definitely see why so many have made this up and why 5 years on, it still isn't discontinued. Go New Look!
The pattern calls for light to medium weight knits. I used a scuba knit that Mum and I purchased from Birmingham Rag Market last year which I thought maybe a little thick. Not at all. It sewed up lovely and with great results. The iron might not like scuba but boy does my overlocker make up for that. My overlocker loved this fabric. What a pleasure to sew.
The gathers on the sleeves are done with elastic
In the end it pressed out pretty well. I got a super hot iron to it with my silk organza pressing cloth. Result!
As for me, I'm still debating on whether to go with the Carolyn Pyjamas or another version of M6844. My intention was the pyjamas, but I have been dithering because it's still wintery cold here, and right now another warm cardigan is going to give me far more wear than cotton pyjamas! Hmmm can you see which way I am swaying here..?!
I am surprised I haven't worn this pattern out. Its my most go-to pattern. V8939, long since discontinued, makes for good staple comfy basics to my wardrobe.
This cotton jersey rib was gifted to me some time ago by my Mums friend having a clear out. Saw it on my shelf, washed it and decided to make the dress version of this pattern. But low and behold, on further inspection it was randomly dotted with tiny, tiny holes 😨. To avoid the holes, there was no way this would make anything other than a jumper so a jumper is was to be.
One thing I did notice this time was that it came up so much bigger in this fabric. Even the neckline is lower. I have made this pattern about 5 times before and never had this. Very first version HERE and my favourite (Christmas) version HERE. Just goes to show, unless you are making something in the exact same fabric, patterns just don't always come out the same.
I sometimes get a little despondent making essential basics, because that's what they are... Basic! But as we all need these in our wardrobes, to keep the motivation going, as soon as this was cut, I dug out this lovely Textured Lurex Wool and decided to make a matching cardigan straight afterwards to go with. It's February now, so if I didn't make this up soon, it was going to sit on the shelf for yet another year! And I need to be wearing this now
The photos cant actually pick out the glitter flecks in this, not even when we tried close up. But they are there!
A tad more visible on Lady Mai but not much! The fabric was purchased from Minerva Crafts over a year ago but it's sadly no longer available.
The pattern for this is the ever popular M6844. The world and his wife have made up this pattern, including myself, once before. (You can see that Here). Well twice if you count a different version I made for Mum! Again I made View C for me because I just love a peplum. I made two changes this time. Both were to the facing/collar. This time I didn't use interfacing and it sits much better without. And also, I attached the facing of the collar to the wrong side of the bodice (instead of right sides together). This was so it had a neater finish on the inside. I didn't like the visible overlocked seam on my previous version. The seam is now on the outside but is hidden by the rollover collar.
Photo of the inside
It was impossible to pattern match this fabric because it was just so random. So I just went with lining up the white stripes; the only stripes consistent!
This is such a great piece for layering, I don't know why I hadn't made another one sooner. Cardigans are another essential staple and this pattern is a great choice for dressing up a simple polo neck and a pair of Jeans
I am feeling on a roll with this pattern and can envisage another one coming on soon, ready for Spring 👍
Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀 Happy Sewing All! Dawn
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.
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 😀) 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 😕. 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!😉)
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 😀
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 :)