Tag Archives: Sewing

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

I have a new post on the Minerva crafts blog ! Here’s a quick summary but be sure to read the full post here.

As many of you will know already, I love to sew with knit fabrics! and so when Minerva Crafts sent me some of their gorgeous spandex stretch jersey* to review I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get sewing! 

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

With the two recent book releases from Wendy Ward* and Tilly and the Buttons* both dedicated to sewing with knits I had plenty choice of patterns. This time, I chose to make the Joni dress from Tilly and the Buttons’ book – Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing with Knit Fabrics*.

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

You can read about how I got on with the fabric and see more pictures of my dress over on the Minerva Crafts blog.

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

The details:

Pattern: Joni dress from Tilly and the Buttons’ book – Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing with Knit Fabrics*

Fabric: spandex stretch jersey from Minerva Crafts*

Notions: 5mm Elastic

Alterations: Size 3 – small amount of extra room added to bust (approx 5mm)

Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

I think my Joni dress is my new favourite make (the newest is always my favourite!). I loved making it so much that I think I will have to buy some more of this fabric in a few different colours to make some more!

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Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

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Sewing the Joni dress by Tilly and the Buttons

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(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

Sew Over It Penny Dress made by HsHandcrafts

Sew Over It Penny Dress

When the Sew Over It Penny dress was released last year as part of the Sew Over It pdf club I snapped it up straight away. However, the Penny dress didn’t really fit into my sewing plans at the time and so I decided to satisfy my urge to buy the pattern anyway and hacked it into a tie front blouse.

As well as sewing, knitting, and all the other crafty hobbies you can think of I also love music and play the piano, clarinet and tenor saxophone. I play in a couple of big bands and often when we play a concert the dress code is all black. Now whilst I have a few outfits that fit this description I really wanted to add a handmade dress to my wardrobe that I could wear for our latest concert. The Penny dress immediately sprung to mind. I had already printed and assembled the pattern for my blouse hack and the skirt length would be perfect so as to not flash the audience whilst sitting down!

I dug out a black poly viscose I bought on Goldhawk road almost a year ago(!) and got to work.

Sew Over It Penny Dress

The Sew Over It Penny dress is a button up shirt dress with a semi circle skirt making it the perfect mix of smart and casual. It is also a really satisfying make as there is all the fun of the button up shirt and collar to keep you intrigued and then that lovely full-bodied skirt allow you to play with so much fabric!

Making the dress

The construction was quite straight forward as I had already figured out the tricky bits like the button placket last time around. My only problem came when cutting out the skirt – despite having a massive sewing table I didn’t have space to lay the pattern piece flat so had to resort to the floor whilst being extremely careful not to cut the carpet!

To make the dress feel a bit more me I decided not to use black buttons but instead used these cute little wooden square shaped buttons that I picked up at the GBSB live show last year. Unfortunately I dont remebr the name of the seller but they had loads of great buttons.

 

The details:

Pattern: Sew Over It Penny Dress

Fabric: Black poly viscose from Goldhawk Road

Notions: Gutermann thread, square wooden buttons

Alterations: None!

The dress was finished just in time for the concert and I felt great being able to combine my two hobbies in this way!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on instagram

Sew Over It Penny Dress - made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from Named clothing made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from named clothing – a sewing pattern review

The Agate dress* from named clothing is the newest addition to my me made wardrobe and its a beauty!

Agate dress by named patterns made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from named clothing – a sewing pattern review

Thanks to Minerva crafts I had the opportunity to sew up the beautiful Agate dress pattern* from Named clothing, in some of their gorgeous crepes.

You can read all about what I thought and see all of the pics over on their blog where you will find my full review!

 

The details:

Pattern: Agate Dress* – part of the Earth Science collection from Named Clothing

Fabric:  Peach Linen Polyester Crepe Fabric in black* and Polyester & Viscose Blend Crepe Fabric in grey

Notions: Two invisible zips, lightweight interfacing, Gutermann thread

Alterations: Shortened skirt by 4 inches

I do really love this dress although it is a bit smart for everyday wear. Don’t forget to read my full review and get all the pics over on the  Minerva crafts blog

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagtram

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

HsHandcrafts Agate Dress

HsHandcrafts Agate Dress

#2018MakeNine – My Sewing plans for 2018

#2018MakeNine – My Sewing plans for 2018

So far most of my sewing and fabric purchases have been spur of the moment acts of whimsy. This year I have decided it is time for that to change. In fact over the last few months I have made a concerted effort to focus my sewing on items I really want to wear and as such I have been working a lot with jersey (keep your eyes peeled for blog posts and Instagram pics of these makes coming soon).

This year I have decided to take part in the #2018makenine hashtag. I have selected nine makes I want to make throughout the year, I will then post about them hear and on Instagram in the hopes of having some accountability to stick to my plans.

Crazily enough I have been able to pick nine makes for which I already have the fabric and the pattern (or the pattern is free)! I have no delusions that I will stick entirely to this list but hopefully it will help me a little bit with some stash busting and remind me of some of the good intentions and sewing plans made wont be forgotten!

So here are my nine…

Colette Sorbetto

I have been looking for a basic woven top pattern for a while now and think the Colette sorbetto might just make the grade. It is a free pattern and so there is definitely no reason not to try it. I also have the perfect fabric laying in wait – a geometric print in blue from SewSewSew.

 

Jumpsuit trousers

I have made so many skirts and dresses and relatively few pairs of trousers, so much so that when I want a comfy pair of trousers to throw on at the weekend I have to turn to my pyjamas, which is fine most of the time but not when you need to leave the house! These trousers from the GBSB sewing book* look just the trick and I have some soft rayon in black with white polka dots from Sew Over It that will do just the trick – i’ll even match the model in the book!

Named agate*

 This is a cheeky easy win on my 2018makenine list as I already have the pattern* cut out and the fabric is on the way! I will be working on this for Minerva Crafts  in January and you will be able to find my review of the pattern on their blog soon after I have finished!

SOI Alice top

As I hinted at earlier I have been making a lot of knitted fabric clothes recently and I already have two of these gorgeous tops in constant rotation in my wardrobe so i definitely need to make at least one more this year. The top is part of the sew over it online course for sewing with knits which I took in the early Autumn. It is a great course and hopefully i will find the time to write a full post on it soon giving a review of the course and the included patterns!

Colette Moneta

Another knit fabric favourite! I already have two moneta dresses which get a lot of wear so another one for 2018 seems like a must – in fact i have some gingham jersey* from the Minerva crafts winter sale winging its way to me as I type this!

TATB Mimi Blouse*

I already have one of these blouses made up so another one should be a quick make as the pattern is all prepared – I really love the look of this blouse when I have seen them online but don’t really wear mine all that often. I think this is probably due to the lack of drape in the fabric so I am willing to give it another go and a second chance to win me over because on paper this one looks like a winner!

D&D Datura

This was another winner from 2017 – I bought the pattern in the Black Friday sale and have already made three! It is the perfect blouse to go with anything and the pattern is so versatile you would never even guess all three blouses were the same basic pattern. I have fabric for two more of these sat waiting to be stitched up, perhaps by the end of the year I will have a full weeks complement!

SOI Penny Dress

 When SOI released the Penny dress as part of their pdf club I snapped it up immediately, isn’t it just gorgeous – in fact I had to make it immediately but didn’t have the fabric or then inclination to make the full dress, so instead I hacked the pattern and made a cropped blouse instead but now I feel the time has come to give the full dress a whirl – I can see this working beautifully in black poly-cotton the perfect dress for any occasion!

Capri Trousers*

Finally, I need to tackle the fact that I don’t really like summer, it is too hot I don’t like having bare legs, and I am much happier in tights or jeans  – so much so I find myself wishing for Autumn to hurry up and arrive so that I can return to my winter wardrobe! Last summer I made a pair of these Capri pants and they did go someway to making the summer more bearable – i enjoyed that I was wearing trousers but made in a lightweight cotton they were comfortable when the temperatures rose (well, as much as they do in England!) So I think I will get another pair of these made and hopefully resolve some of the fit issues I had with the last one!

So there we have it, nine makes planned for 2018, hopefully I will make some, if not all, of them before the year is out!

I’d love to hear your sewing plans – or maybe you don’t have any? How do you decide what to make next?

If you would like to keep up to date with my current makes head on over to instagram

 

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

Triumph and Defeat

I just came across this draft from Spring last year – I never published it because I couldn’t bring myself to take any pictures. However, I still think it needs to be heard – especially since I have now made two dresses from this book (one blogged here and one here)and they have both been huge successes (although to be fair they don’t have any sleeves!!)

Anyway…here goes…

Nearly 4 months after receiving Chinelo Bally‘s book for Christmas I plucked up the courage to give something a try. Freehand fashion is a bit of a scary concept. You take what seems like hundreds of measurements. mark some crosses on your fabric calculated from those measurements and then cut away at it. What comes out the other end surprisingly resembles a pattern piece!

I decided to stick to what looked like one of the simpler garments and opted to make the boxy top. I dutifully took all my measurements as described in the front of the book, performed all the calculations needed and then sat down to work. I decided if I was going to do this properly I should work straight onto my fabric (the book does suggest for the wary sewer you can work on paper first and create a kind of pattern piece). I cut out the front and back pieces and got sewing.

The fit was amazing! I guess that’s what you get from working off your measurements rather than a pattern. I so pleased with my triumph at creating a top without a pattern.

Next came the sleeves. This is where everything went wrong. The first set of sleeves I made was so tight I couldn’t even lift my arms up past about 45 degrees. The second set were massive. The set of sleeves I finally stuck with are still pretty huge. I think I am going to claim that as a design choice. Maybe next time I give this a go something will click and the sleeves will be fine but I might just cave and use a pattern piece from somewhere else for the sleeves.

The details:

Pattern: No pattern! Instructions based on the boxy top in Freehand Fashion: Learn to Sew the Perfect Wardrobe – No Patterns Required!

Fabric: Abstract print sateen from somewhere on eBay

Notions: Black Gutermann Sew All Sewing Thread

Alterations: None! It was made to my exact size!

I am really pleased to have given something a go from this book and think it could be really great once I get the hang of it. I think I might start using it to make really great fitting tops and bodices but then add some of the features of my favourite patterns. It seems like it might be more straightforward than trying to tweak the fit of a pattern bodice.

If you enjoyed this sneak peak into one of my less successful projects why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram where I post everything from the wins to the fails and all the progress shots in between.

Have you ever tried something and it not gone to plan? I’d love to hear about it in the comments so that I don’t feel quite so alone in my defeat!

Mimi Blouse

2017-01-21-10-42-49So in my last post, I said it would be getting a bit hectic and my posts would be coming few and far between. How right I was! It has been 4 months since I last posted! I must say I never intended for it to be quite so long. At least I can say it is not for a lack of crafting – in fact I have been doing quite a bit of that but actually, it seems to be the photography that is letting me down – I often just want to get on and use/wear/gift whatever it is I have just finished making.

 

 

 

But anyway, here I am…I have just finished making my first Mimi blouse! I really love this pattern and have been looking forward to making it ever since I got my TATB book. So when I picked up this beautiful swallows fabric from Cool Crafting at Christmas I knew immediately what it had to be. It wasn’t until I got home and frantically flipped through the book to find the pattern that I realised exactly why that was what I needed to make…something look familiar?

2017-01-21-15-56-30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking it slow

I knew how much I loved this pattern and had been looking forward to making it so I decided to take it slow. It really paid off as I am so pleased with how it turned out, the corners are sharp the seams are straight and the hems are even. I even managed to add some extra touches – like the buttons on the sleeves, I think they look really great at the join of the two pleats.

2017-01-21-15-56-18

And I even got to use my favourite sewing technique of all – gathers!

2017-01-21-15-56-21

The details:

Pattern: Mimi Blouse from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Hubble and Rose cotton poplin from Cool Crafting

Notions: Pale blue buttons, Guterman thread

Alterations: None!

I do really love this blouse and can see myself making some more – I had planned another straight away in a quilting cotton I already have but I think anything with less drape than this poplin would be too stiff…what a shame I might have to go fabric shopping after all!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram– in fact, that’s probably the best place to keep up with my makes when I don’t have time to photograph them properly!

Happy Birthday Granny!

 

This month marks my granny’s 80th birthday! Like every normal 80-year-old should she will be celebrating her birthday by travelling to Las Vegas! This left me with the question – what sort of present do you make for an 80 year-old who goes to Vegas for her birthday? I started flicking through some of my sewing magazines and it came to me – this travel wallet for storing your passport and travel documents. It’s perfect, something small and personal that can be taken on holiday!2016-08-07 11.28.56

I have lots of small pieces of fabric lying in my stash that I have recovered from old clothes that are past repair and from scarves that are not my colours any more so I decided to put these to good use here. The outside of the wallet is quilted from some floral cotton and a fleece for wadding.

2016-08-07 11.29.31

For the inside lining I used a peach cotton scarf and the pockets are from a purple scarf. The colours all match really well so I am pleased that I didn’t throw these pieces of fabric away. The whole thing is held together at the side seams with bias binding. It is stiffened with cardboard and a piece of white elastic and a wooden button to hold it closed.

2016-08-07 11.29.42

I really enjoyed making this and it was quite quick to come together so I think I will be making some more, especially as it makes such a nice gift for someone going away.

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Facebook

A Stripy (and spotty) Pencil Skirt

Pencil SkirtRecently I have seen a lot of really great pencil skirts popping up on sewing blogs, in magazines and in real life. I decided it was time to make one for myself. Pencil skirts are often tricky to find one that fits well and as fit really is key I decided to draft my own with my Freehand Fashion book as a guide.

I am really pleased with how it turned out. The fit is not 100% perfect but I think it is much better than I would have got from any shop, or even sewing pattern.

Getting the fit just right

Although this is just a pencil skirt there are still quite a lot of measurements that go in to creating it. I dutifully took them all and drew out the pieces on a plain white poly-cotton which was to become my lining fabric. I fitted this and sewed it up to check it was right before cutting into my fashion fabric.

pencil skirt casual side

Well I say fashion fabric…it is actually upholstery fabric from Ikea! Can you believe it my dream to become Maria from the Sound of Music is turning into a reality! So, it’s not quite dressing an entire family from one set of curtains but it is a skirt from curtain material so I’m counting that as a win!

pencil skirt casual front

The fabric did confuse me for quite a while. I kept trying to match the stripes at the seams. I could get the side seams right but couldn’t figure out why they were misaligned at the back. After quite a lot of head scratching I eventually figured out that the stripes are not all straight! I am sure this gives a great effect on a pair of curtains but perhaps not on a skirt! Oh well, I am happy to live with it as is.

pencil skirt dressy back

The pattern suggests an invisible zip but given the weight of this fabric and the fact I didn’t have one to hand I decided to go with a centred zip and I am glad I did. I think it fits in well with the style of the skirt.

pencil skirt dressy front

The fit is not quite perfect across my stomach but I can live with it and I think it looks much better in the pictures where I am wearing heals so perhaps I will keep this skirt for those occasions when I want to wear heels.
pencil skirt dressy side

The details:

Pattern: Self drafted following guide in Fashion with fabric

Fabric: curtain material from Ikea

Notions: 10in white zip, gutermann thread

I love the fact that this is a really fun fabric paired with the smartness of a pencil skirt making for an unexpected combo but I really think it works!

You can also read about this make over on the monthly stitch. This is an awesome collective of sewers posting on a monthly theme. This month the theme was spots and stripes!

Planning Moneta

I have had my eye on Moneta by Colette patterns for some time, and so when they had a sale last week I decided to snap up a pdf copy. I have recently come round to liking pdf patterns. Although they can be a bit of a pain to stick together, there is no need to trace the pattern just cut out your size. Then if you want to make another size at a later date, you can just print it out again!

I am currently a bit snowed under with sewing projects! I started a pencil skirt from Freehand Fashion but then decided I should make a dress for my holiday instead. It turns out this was a good plan as we go away on Thursday, and the dress is not quite finished yet! So when I get back, I will finish off the pencil skirt and then get to work on my dress for the Outfit-along. Once those are all done, Moneta is next on my list. Jersey dresses are just so comfy yet still look like you’ve made an effort with your wardrobe. I hope it will quickly become one of my sewing staples! I have already been admiring lots of lovely jersey fabrics but am holding back from buying them until I am ready to make it!

Here are some of my top picks at the moment

I would love a good basic dress that can be worn with anything and I think a jersey dress is perfect for this. This grey jersey has just enough texture to it to make it interesting while still being versatile. I think I could make one in every sleeve length in this sort of fabric!

 

 I always love a good stripe fabric, and these two are just perfect. Monochrome for autumn and winter and a bright red and teal for summer. But which one to make first?

 And speaking of summer, I love this abstract palm tree print it would be perfect for strolling down the beach in.

 

 

So many potential Moneta dresses to make I don’t know where to begin. I hope this is an easy make so I can make them all in super quick speed!

Helen

Outfit along 2016

As Me-Made-May draws to an end I have been thinking about what I could do to keep the part of my brain busy that enjoys snooping  looking at all the amazing things everyone else has been making. I thought I would be at a loss come June.

However, the awesome crafting community has come to my rescue! This time in the shape of the Outfit along. What could be more exciting than a bunch of crafters creating outfits by both sewing and knitting whilst discussing it every step of the way! Cue major excitement! I really enjoyed the selfish sweater knit along at the start of the year so can’t wait to take part in this one!

The Outfit along is run by Untangling Knots and Lladybird covering the knitting and sewing aspects respectively. This year the chosen patterns are Zinone for the knitting and Sewaholics Hollyburn for the sewing. Unfortunately, neither of these two really inspires me but never fear! I will be taking part anyway – I will just be choosing different patterns .

Right now I am thinking of making a different untangling knots pattern – the Agatha cardigan (one day I may make a knitted garment by a different designer but for now I am in love with all of Andi Satterlund’s patterns!) During Me-Made-May I have realised how muted my colour palette is in my makes so I think I will make the cardigan in a red yarn – possibly Cascade 220 in ruby.

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I will be pairing this with a dress made from the fabric I bought at the Knit and Stitch Show (bottom left in the picture above). A gorgeous cotton poplin floral (oh look we’re back to monochrome again!) I am open to suggestions for the pattern but I am thinking possibly the Lilou dress from Love at First Stitch or a Sew Over It Betty...or I am actually currently working on a custom bodice block, so depending how that goes it could be in the frame. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Who else is joining in with the Outfit Along? What are you making?

Helen

 

 

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