Tuesday, 31 December 2013

McCalls 6844

Happy New Year!

Another year over and another about to just begin. Where has the time gone to? We have just got back from our wonderful trip spending Christmas in New York City. It was our 2nd visit there but even 2nd time around it's a real culture shock to us Brits! What an amazing city. I have been absent from my blog for about 4 weeks now and that was why. We sailed over, taking 7 days so that was another trip in itself!

Because of the trip, I was sewing frantically throughout November into early December, so now it's time to share those sewing experiences with you.

This was the first item I made for the trip back in early November so it seems forever ago now! What can I say about this wonderful pattern? Other than the fact it seems that everyone loves it! It has been popular for weeks now and I am guessing it's just going to be one of those classics that will remain popular for some time.  It was the first of the new McCalls autumn range that caught my eye but as they come out several weeks later here in the UK I had to wait to get my hands on it.

The pattern is McCalls 6844 a close fitted cardigan with several view options. I made View C, the one with the peplum as this was what attracted me to it. The pattern specifies that the Cardigan doesn't meet in the middle yet I found that it wrapped over quite nicely. I teamed it with a belt and a self drafted pencil skirt, also featured on my blog HERE.  I love this look.

I read the instructions before making the cardigan up and was surprised to see just how easy construction actually is. And quick too! If you are after a smart, flattering, quick easy make, this is the one!

I have had this fabric for some time. It was intended for something else but the something else got made in errrr,, something else(!) leaving me able to make this lovely cardigan with it instead. It's a Multi-coloured Woven Double Jersey available from Minerva Crafts and a perfect weight for this project. The peplum drapes beautifully.

To read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE 

~ Thanks for looking ~
The Winter~Queen

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Happy Holidays!

Hi Everyone!

I am now taking a Christmas Break and will be back to update you on Christmas Holiday Sewing in the New Year.... :)

Wishing you all a fun and fabulous time!

~Keep Smiling ~
The Winter~Queen

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Simplicity 2556

The Wonders of a Waistcoat

This waistcoat was the first thing I made after our Lapland Wedding and honeymoon cruise. So the first day wear item really! I enjoyed sewing for our wedding so much I have been sewing ever since. I wasn't blogging back then but as I mentioned this waistcoat in one of my Previous Posts, and this is after all a diary/log of everything I make, I thought it about time I included it. 

I had never made a waistcoat until my now husband and I decided to get married. I made my Winter Wonderland Wedding Coat and Wedding Dress  for our Big Day and as the fabric I used for my dress was also available in an Ice Blue, I decided I would make hubby a waistcoat and cravat to match. 

It's pictured here without the buttons and buttonholes (unfinished!). It was -4'c in The Ice Chapel where we married so needless to say there are no photos of hubby wearing JUST his (finished) waistcoat!!

Pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed making this, once all the wedding and honeymoon cruise sewing was over, I wanted to have a go at one for myself. I picked Simplicity 2556 because when I was looking for a waistcoat pattern I just loved everything about the black one in the main photo on the pattern envelope (View A).

So much so I made it (almost) exactly the same right down to the Grommet Trim. It's such an unusual take a waistcoat I had to have one!
I say "almost exactly" because there is one thing that I did change and that is the notched collar. I made mine un-notched. I also added an extra button so the front looked more symmetrical.

But, I have to say it's the shape of the back that I like the most. And I loved how they made the yoke and collar from a satin fabric but the lower back was in the main fabric, so of course I did the same. Although when I made this, I lined the yoke rather than just turning under the side edges. That wouldn't do at all lol! ;)

I used a black liquid satin for the back and collar, a remnant left over from a previous project but there is a budget one HERE or for super quality check out THIS ONE.
The fabric for the waistcoat itself was from my stash of many many moons ago when I used to sew as a mere youngster! I don't know what it is but it has a slight stretch to it which was useful for ease of construction. It is not that clear on the photos but it has a very fine pinstripe in white.

This photo shows it (and the grommet trim) much better

It's quite an unusual take on a waistcoat, and everything about it appealed to me. I was so chuffed I was even able to find the exact matching grommet trim!

And finally... ooh la la!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for looking ~ Keep Smiling :)

The Winter~Queen 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Vogue 1314

Tracy Reese (New York) Dress

This seems to be one of those patterns that everybody loves. I too love this style of dress and I saw so many pretty and colourful versions of this on Pattern Review that I knew I couldn't go far wrong with this one. I made this dress to take on our honeymoon cruise several months ago so it's one that I made before I started blogging (it's catch up time!)

The pattern is Vogue 1314. Basic shape dress with some lovely rouching down each side seam. (Better shown here on the pattern diagram)

 It's a simple and easy pattern that lends itself for a loud busy fabric. Mine was no exception! This is a Poly/Spandex Jersey available from Minerva Crafts. The photos do not do it justice at all, its a really lovely print. It is also very soft and very slinky! Great feel to it but due to the slinkiness (is there such a word..?!) it was kinda slippery to work with! I adore the print of this fabric and the vibrant bright colours; it's awesome! What's also awesome is the fact that it never creases! This came out of the suitcase in the same condition it went in. You could screw this fabric up into a ball and sit on it and it still wouldn't
crease! So it's great holiday fabric :)
Of course using such a busy pattern camouflages the side gathering detail somewhat so I've tried to include a close up as best I can.


I also love the fact that this dress is lined and that it had separate pattern pieces just for that. I used my usual Tricot in a pale pink for this which I had in my stash but a variety of other colours can be found HERE.
I confess it's been a few months since I made this dress so it's hard to do a good write up on it. I remember it came up very big so I had to re-do the gathers on the sides as I would have lost them all by  having to take it in so much! Turned pretty good though I thought :)

I always thought I would make this dress again, but since sewing this I discovered Vogue 8742 which I love even more! You can see this blogged HERE.

The scarf I am wearing was from a local market in my Mum's village but Amazon do some similar ones. Shoes are old!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for looking ~ Keep Smiling :)

The Winter~Queen

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Vogue 8939 - Blue Zebra

Blue Zebra!

I totally love the style of this style of dress! And I love the blue zebra print on the fabric. However I wouldn't have looked twice at this pattern had it not been for the double page spread of it in the October issue of Sew Today magazine. I am certainly not a suit and trousers/skirt person as this pattern Vogue 8939 predominantly depicts. So much so, I hadn't even noticed the lovely dress on it.

Had I just seen this photo I would never have purchased the pattern. I mean, this is just NOT me at all...

The dress however, featured on the far left of the page is very me! This is what caught my eye... 

I can't believe that it's actually in the same pattern envelope! But there again, it is a Vogue Wardrobe Pattern and does seem to work well as a jumper with the other items, so why not extend it to make a dress pattern also? The pattern contains a Vest, Jacket, Top, Dress, Skirt and trousers, so an absolute bargain if you choose to make them all!

The dress is the type of pattern that I know I will use over and over again so I will certainly get my moneys worth making just that over and over again. It's great as a smart casual for every day wear on these colder winter days. I cant reiterate enough how comfortable and practical jersey knits are to wear. I just love them!

Sadly the fabric I used for this is a real cheap quality polyester jersey. My own fault entirely. It was the first (and only!) time I have purchased a fabric online without requesting a swatch first. Big mistake! It doesn't look too bad on the photos but it is not the best and I am sure it will not wear well. It was the print I was drawn to; this I love, it works so well with this dress and it hasn't turned out too bad over all. And one thing I will also say in its favour is that it's lovely and warm! Such a shame about this fabric quality because I absolutely love this dress! 

It might not be too obvious at first glance but I changed the collar on this dress from a roll neck to a turtle neck. Because the fabric is so thick, rolling it over (giving 4 layers!) would have been too bulky for me. The turtle neck only gave it a double thickness. I wanted the rouched effect for this dress. It actually looks quite high on these photos but having worn the dress all day it has now dropped and looks less high up.

The chunky chain necklace I purchased from New Look. I can't find it on their website in gold but they do have the same one in black HERE or a similar gold one HERE.

This pattern is easy peasy to make (just 4 pieces) it went together in a flash and not a lot of cutting out either. The latter being a bonus for me. As much as I love sewing, on a scale of 1-10 I would give cutting out a 1! But anyway, despite the fabric quality issue, I love this dress, I love the pattern even more and not only do I have another ready cut out (watch this space!), I am already looking at purchasing this Ribbed Jersey to make my next one after that!

To read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

 Thanks for looking ~ Keep Smiling :)

The Winter~Queen

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Burda 7140

I think we can safely say that Autumn has certainly made its presence felt here in Cornwall these past few weeks! Not that I am complaining when it has given me something other than a dress or a shirt to get stuck into. I am so very often inspired by seasons. Does anyone else get this too?

This jacket is Burda 7140. Burda do some amazing modern, funky designs.  This pattern is categorised as "Young Burda" but don't let that deter you! This is a versatile jacket pattern that can be dressed up or down, suitable for any age. I made View B with the peplum, but there is a good mix and match variety with this pattern.

Pattern diagram

I'm not entirely certain what this fabric is. Hubby will tell you it looks like carpet! (It doesn't!) After  popping in Waterstones bookshop and walking up the stairs, his comment is "Ooh this carpet looks like the fabric you just bought!"
Maybe this is what he is referring to....?

He never fails to make me smile :)

Anyway, husbands jokes aside, its a polyester jersey with a subtle stretch but then has the black/brown woven tweed effect woven on the top of the stretch. This is the best I could I do on taking a close up photo of it. Does it really look like that carpet...? Lol I think not!

I bought it from Truro Fabrics store but unfortunately its not available on their website, but this jacket would also look great made out of these Boiled Wool Jerseys and Boiled wool blend jerseys which come in an array of beautiful colours! Or for something that little bit different these Wool Blend Boucle Fabrics would look fantastic.

To funk it up a bit, I decided to use a bright coloured contrast lining (orange for Autumn!). In fact its that bright it's almost florescent! I am a huge fan of Tricot for lining stretch knits and jersey fabrics but its not that easy to get hold of here in the UK. White Lodge Fabrics do a limited selection of colours and seem to be the only place where I can find it, but if anyone knows where else it is sold in the UK please do drop me a line and let me know :)

Above and below: as you can see..... Bright!!

To keep in with my brown/orange theme, I used used a brass zip exposed. Exposed zips seem to have been "in" of late. I used to hate them, but they are growing on me now, especially used as a contrast. I am finally coming round to the idea that a feature zip can look quite effective! I think it's made a nice finishing touch.

And finally, a slightly different look worn with my gorgeous silk chiffon scarf (originally featured HERE with my pumpkin orange dress)

Thanks for Looking ~ Keep Smiling :)

The Winter~Queen

Thursday, 7 November 2013

McCalls 6241 - Ladder Knit

This top must be the easiest and fastest pattern I have ever made! Cutting out aside, this made up in less than an hour (and that included hand sewing the hem!). There are only 3 pattern pieces so there isn't even much cutting out either! I almost bought McCalls 6797 but on closer inspection it did look a little too simple to make and I knew I wouldn't wear it with one short sleeve and one long. Well its no good having one cold arm is it?! ;)

So I had a look around and came across this one, McCalls 6241 which is fairly similar, (And of course it has two long sleeves!)  but it also has a little more detail with shoulder and side pleats which I found more attractive, particularly to make.

and worn....

It doesn't get great reviews on the Sewing Pattern Review website but not to be deterred, I decided to give it a go anyway. I'm glad I did because I didn't have any issues with it at all and I am far from disappointed! Most reviewers said it came up big but I think it's meant to be isn't it...? I cut the 8 and just took it in on the hemline and sleeve hems to embrace the negative ease for a snug fit where it matters!

The Pattern Envelope shows this top worn more like a cowl neckline and most other reviewers wore it like this too and looked great, but I envisaged this as being worn slightly off the shoulder as I love off the shoulder tops. It can be worn and looks good both ways but off the shoulder is my preference. Mine is also a lot longer (I made View C) but View B (shown) would have been plenty long enough.

I could see this pattern just shouting out to be made in a large print. I knew I wanted dark browns/greys/black so this unusual Ladder Knit print available from
http://www.trurofabrics.com/ was perfect. It's a lovely soft jersey viscose and it was great for this pattern because it drapes beautifully for those soft loose pleats. It would make an absolutely wonderful fitted dress too! I love the quality of this fabric, I can't compliment it enough. And the ladder knit print has this casual off the shoulder look written all over it.

I've teamed this top with UPVC leggings for the photos but it would look just as good with jeans and wide leg trousers I'm sure. Mine is so long I could wear it as a dress if was brave enough and several years younger!!

Thanks for looking ~ Keep Smiling :)

The Winter~Queen