Lace Yoke Coco Dress

I think “take photos of blue coco” has been on my to do list every weekend since November and I finally got round to it. Ta dah!

Also, new hair!

I cut this out so long ago I can barely remember anything about it so this probably won’t be a very useful blog post I’m sorry. I fiddled with the pattern straight after making my first Coco dress. Eventually cut out the fabric in May and then didn’t get round to sewing it up until October. Nearly a year after the first one. So blinkin’ slow!

But it’s done now and it has been in heavy rotation ever since. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight recently so it’s a bit too snug now. But I’ve started eating mainly sadness foods and not stuffing my face with office treats so hopefully it’ll fit better again soon.

I shamelessly copied the lace yoke idea from Katie of What Katie Sews but I can’t find her blog post with her lace yoke Cocos anymore to link to. I’m really pleased with how it worked out. I just traced off the yoke part of the pattern, cut it out in lace and sewed it to the front piece around all the edges using a zigzag stitch. Actually I used the three step zigzag stitch because if fancied trying it.

Tilly pose

I made a swayback adjustment but I’ve got hell of a lot of bunching in the lower back area that I don’t think was as bad when I first made it so I think it’s the extra hip girth causing most of it. I’m not sure I can be bothered to make a bigger swayback adjustment anyway. I can’t see my back and I just don’t think I care. As long as I don’t look at these photos ever again and forget how bad the back looks.

I’ve started giving some quite serious thought to having a go at bra making as I have quite a fat back/large band size in bras but small boobs so I really struggle to find bras to fit. In this photo I’m wearing a 36AA and my fat is bulging over the band so I think I need a 38AAA, which doesn’t exist. Anyway, that’s not really relevant to this dress but these back and side view photos make me keener on the idea so I thought I’d share.

I bought a couple of knicker sewing patterns and a beautiful kit from Evie la luve so I’m going to have a go at making knickers to practice the whole elastic thang as I haven’t even really done much sewing directly onto elastic.

The lace overlay worked really well to elevate what could have been quite a boring dress and I’m really happy with it. I love the colour of the dress with my new hair colour too. I’ve got loads of this lace left if you have any suggestions of what to do with it. Lace yokes on everything!

Trying to be bloggery – looking more like I’d seen some dirt on the floor

The details

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

Measurements: At the time of making they were Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″ but now they’re Bust: 38.5 – Waist: 31.5 – Hips 41″

Size made: Size 4

Alterations: 

  • Took 1/2″ out of neckline
  • 1/2″ swayback adjustment
  • Narrowed the sleeve
  • Forward shoulder adjustment

Fabric used: Blue ponte roma from Plush Addict. I can’t remember exactly how much sorry, more than a metre but less than 2. I cut out on a single layer.

Another version?

Probably.

Any changes next time?

I think I need a little more length above the armpit. That seam digs in a tiny bit and I don’t think that’s just because of the enplumpening.

Unrelated to Coco but have you been taking part in #MIYMarch17 on Instagram? I’ve actually managed to keep up with it for the first time and I’m going to miss the prompts so if you know of any daily photo challenges for April I could get involved with I’d love to hear them.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Another Seamwork Paxson jumper

What’s that? A finished garment post? Don’t all keel over in shock. I seem to be starting a tradition of making the manfriend a Paxson jumper/sweater/pullover/whatever it wants to be called for Christmas. Even though he would far rather I didn’t make him anything and just enjoy December rather than shutting myself in the sewing room making presents.

While I’m on that subject I should put my pledge to myself down on (digital) paper:

This year I am NOT making any Christmas presents in December. I can make Christmas presents by all means but they must be finished by December.

Last year I had the week before Christmas off work and I spent it stressed and miserable because of my stupid habit of taking on far too much. Instead of pottering about and watching Christmas films I was sewing and cake decorating and stressing. And I still haven’t actually finished all the Christmas presents yet… oops.

Anyway, this year’s Paxson. There’s not a lot to say really as it’s a simple make and something I’ve made before so this will be a fairly photo heavy post.

Nonchalant lean and a chat with Judy Hopps
Arty…

I made the same size as last time even though he’s a bit bigger this year because the last one still fits. Paxson is a super quick sew because you can do it all on the overlocker. I do love the neat finish of a cuff or hem band. Though as of tomorrow I will be the proud owner of a coverstitch machine, eeek! So I should be able to sew lovely neat knit hems. Ha, we’ll see…

I shortened the sleeves a little bit but a cutting mishap made them a little shorter than I intended. He tends to wear it pulled up slightly like this. I have offered to fix it (redo the cuffs a bit longer) but he’s said he likes it fine as it is.

The fabric is the snaggiest fabric in the world. It kept catching on the edges of my nails and I was really worried I was going to leave pulls in it. Which isn’t the best considering the Manfriend is a gympanzee and has callouses on his hands from weight lifting. So it snags on them too, which is a bit of a bugger.

The details

Pattern: Seamwork magazine Paxson sweater

Measurements: Chest 43.5″ – Waist 36″ – Hips/Boy waist 36″

Size made: L

Alterations: I shortened the sleeve slightly (a little too much)

Fabric used: About 1.5m Warm jersey from White Tree Fabrics

Another version?

I think it’s time to try other patterns if I do more unselfish sewing.

I am going to try to make myself something with the left fabric though. Which we’ll never wear at the same time don’t worry.

Final Thoughts

He claims to like it and has worn it in public so we’ll count it as a win, it’s just a shame about the catchy fabric.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, with lots of sewing and/or relaxing. I still haven’t actually done any sewing so far this year. This week I cut out a Sew Over It Nancy dress and the mustard Deer and Doe Plantain I mentioned in my Make Nine post. Taking my total of cut out projects to seven. So I really should actually sew some of them soon. I’ve got tomorrow off work to bake cakes to sell at work to raise money for an old school friend’s crowdfunding appeal but if I finish quickly I might do some sewing.

Anyway, have a good week folks. I’ll leave you with the manfriend’s (moderately terrifying) “broken doll” pose to haunt your dreams.

broken doll manfriend

#2017MakeNine

If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen quite a few of these little grids of nine popping up since the end of last year. #2017MakeNine is something Rochelle of Lucky Lucille came up with last year but this is my first time trying it. It’s exactly what it sounds like really, you just pick 9 patterns that you’re going to make this year and I thought I’d share my plans here too.

They’re not in any particularly meaningful order, just what I thought looked the most balanced – which I spent waaay too long faffing about with. They are all patterns I already have and I’m going to use fabric from my stash for all of them too.

1. Knit pencil skirt from McCalls 7331 – Black and white striped ponte

Jen from Gingerella mentioned this pattern to me when I asked for cardigan pattern recommendations and not long after I spotted it as the free pattern with Dressmaker magazine so I snapped it up. Spookily that’s happened to me twice now, I decide I want a pattern and then spot it as a magazine freebie (the second was Butterick 6285).

I’m going to use this striped black and white ponte that I bought on my one trip to the fabric shops of Goldhawk Road back in 2015 – trying to make good on that stashbusting goal. I can see myself either shortening or tapering the skirt in a bit as I want a slightly more fitted skirt than this looks on the pattern envelope but I’ll make the decision when I’m sewing it probably.

2. Deer and Doe Plantain tee – mustard jersey, maybe

This is a pattern that I’ve had for a couple of years but haven’t got round to making yet. It’s a free PDF pattern and it’s even been printed, assembled AND traced for probably 2 years. This is its year!

The fabric may change or there may just be multiple versions. I’ve got some green jersey that’s also on the table and some cream. I’ve sort of got it in my mind that I want these nine garments to work together so cream might be the better bet for that. But saying that, all of the bottoms are fairly neutral so mustard or green would still go with them.

3. Closet Case Files Ginger jeans – blue denim

The photo here isn’t my actual denim. I didn’t have a photo when I was making these collages so I just got one from the internet. I think it looks like this but I might be wrong. Anyway, it is time to revisit jeans making. I had planned to do it this month but I am distinctly plump after an incredibly overindulgent Christmas (and December… And January…) and don’t really want to stay this size. So it seems a bit foolish to battle fitting, just to need to do it again after I get my eating under control.

4. Seamwork Neenah poloneck top – black jersey

This one isn’t my actual fabric either. My fabric called itself crepe jersey (or it might have been jersey crepe) and is ever so slinky but not so slinky it’s hard to work with. It’s the same fabric I used for the off the shoulder Mesa dress top I’m wearing in the photo in this post.

I’ve seen a lot of people sewing polonecks lately and it reminded me how much I used to wear a black RTW that is languishing in the back of my wardrobe (too snug). So I thought I’d make a top version of the Neenah dress from Seamwork magazine to save buying a new pattern.

5. Sew Over It Alex shirt dress (from City Break eBook) – purple viscose

The Alex shirt and shirt dress is probably my favourite pattern from the City Break eBook. It seems like a nice pattern to start the introduction to shirt making as there’s no collar stand or cuff but I’ll still be learning something new with the yoke.

I’ve had this pretty plum coloured viscose in my stash for a long time. I originally bought it with the plan to make another maxi By Hand London Anna dress thinking I would wear it in autumn as it’s such pretty autumnal colours. But then I realised that I wouldn’t wear a maxi dress in autumn – what shoes do people wear with maxi dresses when it’s not sunny? – so it’s sat in the stash ever since. But soon it will fulfil its garmenty destiny.

6. Deer and Doe Pavot coat (discontinued) – royal blue gabardine

This has been planned for sooooo long. I’ve traced the pattern, bought calico for a toile and done a butt load of research on drafting a lining. It’s time to just crack on with it really.

7. Deer and Doe Safran jeans – black denim

Another one that’s not my actual fabric and I think my denim is blacker than that. We’re not technically allowed to wear jeans to work (except Fridays) but I’m hoping to wear these as stealth jeans.

8. Deer and Doe Mélilot shirt  – white crepe

Everyone needs a white shirt don’t they? The fabric is a white crepe that I bought on Goldhawk Road. I originally intended to make a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse out of it but I think it’ll make a lovely Mélilot.

9. Style Arc Simone cardigan – grey sweater knit

I am worried this one might end up looking a bit school cardigan like but I think the grey will make for a nice versatile layering piece.

So that’s my #2017MakeNine plans. Of course I haven’t actually been near my sewing machine since before Christmas and don’t seem to have any sew-jo whatsoever. I’ve even got three projects cut out that I can’t seem to get up the oomph to actually sew. (Muse Jenna cardigan, Seamwork Mesa fit-n-flare hack and Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes.) I think I need to give my sewing room a good tidy so it’s a more appealing room to be in. It’s so so messy at the moment.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had a nice weekend. Take care and I’ll speak to you again soon, hopefully with some finished projects to show you. I think I’m up to about 10 unblogged makes now. Ooops!

Top 5 of 2016: Goals for 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve. Me and Aled went to my mum’s and we had a good old fashioned fondue (an oil one, where you deep fry meat and vegetables, not a cheese one) and some drinks and silly games.

We had Guess Who crackers for Christmas and my mum is now slightly obsessed with Guess Who so mainly that and charades – which I hate. But my nan was hilarious. She wanted to play but then couldn’t do any of her goes so she just kept having hysterical laughing fits and my mum did hers as well as her own.

But anyway I’m waffling. Let’s talk goals.

1. Stashbust!

I seriously seriously need to reduce the stash this year. It is getting seriously out of control and I don’t have the space for it all. It’s taken over my whole sewing room and it’s now spreading throughout the house. I had to put it back into the sewing room because we were having guests over Christmas and there isn’t room for both me and it in there so I simply have to use it this year. I am a spreadsheet nerd so I’ve got a spreadsheet of my fabric (though I’m sure there’s some I’ve missed) and I have 133.8 metres of fabric over 67 different fabrics. That’s appalling isn’t it? That’s enough fabric to not need to buy any for 2 years.

2. Make a shirt

I’ve got a few shirt patterns now and I want to dig in and actually get some made. My most recent purchase is the Sewaholic Granville shirt because I love all of Hila from Saturday Night Stitch‘s versions and it has a proper tower sleeve placket thingy, which I want to have a go at.

So I’ve now got a little stash of shirt patterns* and I don’t know whether to work through them in order of complexity or just dive straight in to a hard one. I’ll probably start with the Alex shirtdress as I’ve got some lovely plum viscose earmarked for it and I put it on my #2017makenine on instagram.

*My collection:

3. Become a wrinkle whisperer

I want to be able to read fabric and diagnose fit problems. I got Fitting and Pattern Alteration for Christmas from my mum (by request, she’s not that good at guessing) and just from flicking through I think it is going to be oh so helpful. It goes through 88 body quirks, how to diagnose them and how to alter a pattern for them. My problems seem to boil down to my “slumped” posture.

4. Jeans!

This is next up on the list. I think with jeans and trousers in general you seen to benefit from making a load of them in a row, ironing out a different little fitting quirk each time. So that’s what I’m hoping to do in January. Or Jeanuary if you will? Who’s up for joining me? We can make it a hashtag.

5. Sew something with silk

I want to start challenging myself with trickier fabrics. I’ve been sewing slippery fabrics like viscose and poly crepe de chine for ages so I don’t know why I’m so scared of silk. Probably the price tag. Fiona from Diary of Chain Stitcher and Lauren of Lladybird sew with silk a lot and their makes always look amazing. Even if it’s just something as simple as scout tee, silk elevates it. So at some point this year I want to buy some silk. I’m thinking sandwashed silk but I don’t really know anything about silk so I’m open to suggestions. As well as recommendations of where to buy it.

So that’s my five but I did just think of a teeny supplementary one of learning how to maintain my sewing machine after seeing someone on instagram mention giving theirs a DIY service.

Here’s to a productive and fun year of sewing! 

Top 5 of 2016: 2016’s goals and reflections

I’m combining posts today to squeeze them into this year and so I can post 2017’s goals tomorrow. Not that looking back at 2016’s goals is an official Top 5 post but I like to do it.

Looking back at this year’s goals

I’m just going to put the headings here but you can read more about this year’s goals here if you like.

1. Make trousers

Sort of. I’ve made 3 pairs of trousers but none of the type that I’d intended to make. I’d wanted to make some slim fitting skinny jean type trousers to wear to work and got stuck at the fitting stage of both Ginger jeans and Ultimate Trousers. Here’s what I did make though:

Sneak peak – we were both looking at different photographers

2. Make time for sewing

I’ve definitely sewn more this year so we’ll count this one as a success. Other things have definitely been neglected though and I haven’t exercised as much as I’d like. I’m in awe of people who manage to fit everything in. It’s probably because I go to bed too early. 10 o’clock on the dot, I’m in bed.

3. Stop buying fabric

Big time no. I failed this one so dismally. I kept track in a spreadsheet and I bought 87 metres of fabric this year and used 60 metres of fabric so I’ve increased the stash by 27 metres when I really need to be decreasing it. My sewing room is very small and I don’t have the storage space for such a huge stash. Plus what good is it doing sitting in boxes?

4. Hackity hack

I’ve made quite a few hacks and pattern love children this year:

5. Join in more

Yes! I’ve managed this one. I went to a real life meet-up! In Cambridge no less, which is about 250 miles away from where I live. I’ve taken part in photo challenges and tried to comment on blogs more but I can still do better with that. Making my YouTube channel more active this year has definitely led to more interaction with other sewing peeps, which has been really lovely. More of that in 2017!

Reflections

Time for the navel gazing!

1. I need to make things tighter

This is a big one. The advice on patterns is always to choose the bigger size if you’re in between sizes but I’ve started to notice that that leads to things being a little bit too big. I guess I’m used to wearing RTW with less ease built in? Who knows. Something to bear in mind when choosing pattern sizes next year.

2. I quite like watching things while I sew

Nothing earth shattering here but I did quite a bit of sewing with a TV show on the laptop or iPad this year and I quite enjoyed it. I don’t think it’ll replace the radio or podcasts for me but it made a nice change. I watched most of iZombie while sewing, the new Gilmore Girls episodes (still have the last one to go though) and Home Alone while making Christmas presents. I’m open to suggestions for things that are good but don’t need full attention. I mainly like silly things. I was thinking maybe Love, or Orphan Black but I don’t know if they need to be properly watched.

3. Cut out multiple projects

Whenever I take the time to cut out a couple of projects in advance I always feel like I whizz through the sewing and feel so productive. Especially if they’re things that I can use the same colour thread for. I’ve got two projects using the same mustard jersey cut out waiting to be sewn up. And I’ve still got just under two metres of it left so I’m hoping to get another cardigan and maybe a tee cut out and then I’ll have a mammoth mustard sewing session in the new year.

4. Comparison is the thief of joy

I’m a bugger for comparing myself to other people and finding myself lacking. Whether it’s their productivity, fitting or just general skills. And I need to cut it out. We’re all on our own journey and other people being faster or better at sewing than me doesn’t affect my sewing in the slightest.

5. Perfection is the enemy of good

I’m just going for it with the twee expressions this year. Basically what I mean is that waiting to be “good enough” to use the good fabric is dumb. *Glances at the sloth and dinosaur fabric*  And so is obsessing over crotch wrinkles that you wouldn’t give a second thought to in RTW jeans. *Pointed look to the Gingers that have been on hold since March* Having something finished is better than having fabric sitting in a drawer bringing no one any joy.

So those are the some of the things I’ve learned in 2016, as well as specific fitting issues I’ve started to work out – basically I have terrible posture and need to do more yoga or pilates in 2017. Hope you all have a lovely New Year’s Eve, thank you all for the support and kind words in 2016 and I’ll see you again in 2017.

Top 5 of 2016: misses

My brain seems to be in holiday/powersaving mode as I completely forgot to say anything about the Top 5 lists and link to Gillian’s blog in my last post. Here’s her post explaining it. But basically it is as it sounds, a series of posts on sewing hits, misses, reflections, goals and non-sewing highlights. I tend to do them all but you can do as many or few as you want.

Right, lets dive into the misses shall we?

Black and grey Datura

I’ve banged on about this failure a few times before so it’s probably not a surprise to see it here. Difficult fabric leading to some bad sewing and possibly the wrong size means I haven’t worn it except for photos. Such a shame because I love the colours and style of it. The fabric feels lovely too, it’s a dreadful creaser though.

Southport dress

I feel mean putting this one in because there’s nothing wrong with it, I’ve just barely worn it. Entirely the slit’s fault. I tend to avoid shaving my legs (I prefer the torture that is epilating) and that’s one of the reasons I like maxi things – still nice and cool when I’m a bit fuzzy. The slit negates that benefit so I hardly wore it.

I’ve used the Southport dress in three pattern hacks though so the pattern is definitely a hit, it’s just this version that isn’t.

Carrie trousers

These just aren’t something I feel comfortable in. I knew they were a risk as they’re well out of my usual style comfort zone. I struggle to know what to wear with them and I don’t really like the elastic at the side/front, it pulls weird and I’d rather it ended at the side seams and the whole front was flat.

Green New Look 6217 tee

This is the only photo I have of it, but it’s in this video if want a better look.

I haven’t blogged this one yet because it’s sat in the sewing room awaiting repair. Which is the main reason it’s a miss really. The first time I washed it the hem frayed horribly so I need to redo it and I haven’t been bothered yet because I’m so lazy with fixing things – always distracted by the new and shiny.

And I can’t pick a 5th. I’ve only worn my (unblogged) Sew Over It Doris dress once but I wouldn’t call it a miss, it was made for a night out and it was a big success. I haven’t worn my other Datura blouse that much either because it’s still waiting for me to sew the buttons on the back but I wouldn’t call that a miss either. There are few toiles and WIPs sitting in the sewing room too, which is the biggest kind of miss really as there’s nothing to show for the work.

I definitely think struggling to choose a Top 5 misses is a good sign though. Hopefully it means my sewing is improving. Plus nothing is a true miss is it? We learn something with every success and probably even more with every failure.

Top 5 of 2016: hits

Hey dudes! How are you all? Hope you had a lovely Christmas or any other festivity you celebrate at this time of year. Our Christmas was lovely. It’s become our tradition that my mum and nan come to us for Christmas dinner and we go to Aled’s parents’ for Boxing Day. We’ve done some high quality lounging since then, including starting watching Trollhunters* on Netflix and eating some excellent leftover sandwiches.

*I get very emotionally invested in cartoons.

Anyway, it’s Top 5 time again. How does it get here so quickly? I’ve started a bit late this year and will run out of days in 2016. So let’s get started.

5. Seamwork magazine Oslo cardigan

This one has been chosen based on just how much I’ve worn it. I reach for it all the time because it’s cosy and I seem to believe that green goes with everything.

4. Newport maxi dress hack

I wasn’t sure whether to include this one because I made it so close to the end of the summer I haven’t actually worn worn it that much but I was still really happy with how it turned out and I know I’ll wear it a lot next spring and summer.

3. Floral viscose Grainline Scout tee

Grainline Scout tee

I have worn this a lot and I really need to get round to making some more. I really love my off the shoulder hack version I made this year too (pictured below) and once I’ve tweaked it a bit I hope to make more of them next year as well.

2. Wedding Cambie

cambie-dress

While this isn’t something I’ll get a lot of wear out of I really really like it and I’m very proud of it. I think it fits great and I learnt new techniques while I was making it. It’s definitely one of my favourite things I’ve made so far.

And the winner is…

1. Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

winslow-culottes

I love love love my Helen’s Closet Winslow palazzo pants. I wore them loads over the summer (and got loads of compliments every time I did). It’s a fab, quick and versatile pattern. I made another pair of the palazzo pant length to wear to a wedding at the beginning of December and I’ve got a shorts version cut out and waiting to be sewn up.

So that’s my hits for the year. Here’s to lots more in 2016. I’ll be back tomorrow with the misses.

New Look 6096 and Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

It’s another bumper two for the price of one post today after another longish gap. Sorry, I’m rubbish. Life and work are really hectic at the moment so I haven’t been finding the time and energy to blog or even sew much to be honest. I’m having a bit of a knitting phase at the moment instead. I’m about half way through the body of this jumper but without stripes.

Today’s post is about sewing though. I took these photos over a month ago now, I went for a dog walk with my mum and we stopped for photos whenever we thought the backdrop looked autumnal and pretty.

New Look 6096

First we have New Look 6096. I’ve made this as a maxi dress before for myself and as a short version for my Nan. My maxi dress gets worn a lot in the spring and summer so I’ve wanted a shorter version for a while but I finally got round to it (umm, in August).

nl6096 dress

I didn’t really change anything from the first time I made it for myself and it’s a straight size 10 but shortened slightly (perhaps a little too much). I mostly used French seams except for a couple that I overlocked.

new look 6096 collage

There’s not a lot to say about the dress as it’s pretty simple so this is probably going to be a more photos than text kinda post. Especially as I’m full of cold so my brain is a bit fuzzy and I’m not so hot with the words.

new look 6096 dress

new look 6096

The details

Pattern: New Look 6096 View A

Measurements: I haven’t checked these in a while so they may not be entirely accurate as I’ve been digging into the office treats with abandon but last time I checked they were: Bust – 38″ Waist 30.5″ Hips 39″

Size made: 10

Alterations: I took quite a bit off the length but I couldn’t tell you how much sorry, probably at least 4″ though.

Fabric used: 2m of 150cm wide viscose (but only just, there’s a bit of selvedge in the skirt seam)

Another version?

Probably yep, unless I’m forever distracted by the new and the shiny.

Any changes next time?

I might try to narrow the neckline and bring the shoulders in a bit, they sit quite wide at the moment.

Final Thoughts

It’s a comfy dress and I like it even though it makes me look a little bit pregnant.

Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

I’ve had a Seamwork subscription for aaages and I made the Manfriend a Paxson sweater last Christmas but this is the first of their patterns I’ve got round to making for myself. It’s a bit of a funny one because I’ve worn it loads since I made it but I’m still not sure how much I actually like it.

olso cardigan

seamwork-cardigan

oslo cardigan closed

I love the colour of the fabric I used. It’s a polyester sweater knit kinda thing and it’s soft and lovely. It dries really quickly too which is good during winter when it’s difficult to get washing dry.

Being a Seamwork pattern, it was a nice speedy sew, almost entirely sewn on the overlocker. I did have to go over a couple of bits again though where I’d cut my notches a bit too big so I had teeny holes – I need to be more careful with notches.

seamwork oslo cardigan

seamwork oslo

olso cardigan back

The details

Pattern: Seamwork magazine Oslo cardigan

Measurements: Bust – 38″ Waist 30.5″ Hips 39″

Size made: Small for shoulders, armhole, sleeves, and collar grading out to a Medium from the bust down.

Alterations: I shortened the cuffs by about 3″

Fabric used: Just shy of 2 metres of 150cm wide “wool type knit” from the Textile Centre.

Another version?

Yes I think so, unless I find a different cardigan I like more.

Any changes next time? 

Yes, I’m going to size down I think.

Any tips or advice

There is an error in the instructions for the cuffs (at least there is in my version, I don’t know if it’s since been corrected). It says to match the short edges of the cuffs and stitch but it is the long edge you need to stitch. That one had me second guessing myself for a while. Especially as I had shortened the cuffs so the long and short sides weren’t that different.

They say to go for the size up if you’re in between sizes but I think I’d probably say the opposite. My measurements put me at the upper end of the medium and I could quite happily wear the small. But then I suppose that depends on the look you’re after, I like big and cosy but don’t want to feel swamped in fabric.

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I reach for my Oslo all the time so I must like it, I think it’s just slightly baggier than all the cardigans I’ve ever bought myself so it feels not quite right. Looking at the RTW cardi I have on right now I think it might be the fit of the sleeves that bother me as most of my shop bought cardigans are definitely slimmer fitting on the arms.

Have you ever finished something and not been sure if you actually like it or am I being a weirdo?

Sewaholic Cambie Dress

I’ve got a bumper two in one post for you today so apologies if it gets a bit long. The manfriend’s brother got married last month so I wanted a pretty dress to wear to the wedding. It was a gay wedding so I hoped to be able to make a dress made out of this incredible rainbow and unicorn fabric:

rainbow and unicorn fabric

But unfortunately it was a classy and respectable wedding so it was vetoed and I went for some less extravagant floral stretch cotton sateen instead. I still really need to own a dress made out of that unicorn fabric though.

I used the Sewaholic Cambie dress pattern but with a circle skirt and here is the dress in action in the stunning gardens of their wedding venue. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for somewhere to get married in Shropshire, The Hundred House Hotel is beautiful.)

sewaholic-cambie-dress-at-wedding

But before I tell you about the dress I have a top version to share. I worked hard on the fit of this dress. First making a rough toile and then a wearable toile peplum top.

cambie peplum top

My first toile had fit fairly well except for a lot of extra length in the front strap/sleeve bit and a gapey neckline, front and back. So I shortened the strap by 1″ and set to work on my pattern for the gape. The back was easy enough – I just cut a line front where it gaped to the back armhole and overlapped to get rid of the gape. But the front was a bit of a headscratcher and I ended up butchering my front bodice pattern piece so much that I had to retrace it. It was then that I noticed that my toile seemed to have stretched out of shape quite badly, with the sides being much longer than they should have been. The darts were also slightly too wide for me.

That gave me the idea of cutting 3/8″ off the centre front and adding it onto the side seam instead. So I gave that a go and I also stabilised the front neckline with twill tape to prevent it stretching out again. I used this tutorial from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing.

cambie-top-back-and-side

My adjustments worked pretty well but the back neckline was still a bit gapey and there was a little bit of fabric pooling at my lower back. So I increased the neckline overlap and did a slightly overzealous swayback adjustment. Then cracked on with my dress.

sewaholic-cambie-dress-with-circle-skirt

Which I am super super happy with. I used the free Veronika skirt pattern from Megan Nielsen for the skirt part because the last time I tried to draft a circle skirt it went horribly wrong so I didn’t want to risk it. And fortunately the size 8 of the Cambie dress and the size M of the Veronika skirt had the same finished measurement of 30¼”. Of course that wasn’t leaving me with any ease whatsoever but I figured that the stretch in the fabric would cover that or I could use smaller seam allowances if I needed to. Luckily I was right and it fit great, without even needing to fiddle with the seam allowances. Hurrah for stretch cotton! It even coped with the amount of food and booze I threw at it.

sewaholic-cambie-dress

In terms of construction the dress is the same as the top. I again moved the zip to the side and stabilised the neckline with twill tape. I also did a horsehair braid hem to give the skirt a bit of weight and floof without having to wear a petticoat. It was not fun to handstitch.

cambie-dress-back-and-side

There’s not a lot else to say about it really so I’ll just bombard you with a few more photos and then leave you with the details.

cambie-dress

sewaholic-cambie

cambie-at-wedding

The details

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie dress with a Megan Nielsen Veronika skirt

Measurements: Bust 37.5″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ — Height 5’2″

Size made: 8 (dress) and M (skirt)

Alterations:

  • Moved the zip to the side
  • I shortened the sleeve pieces by 1″
  • Took 3/8″ off the centre front and added it onto the side
  • Overlapped the back neckline by about 3/4″ to remove some gape
  • A swayback adjustment (not sure by how much as I think I eyeballed it)

Fabric used: Just over 2m of 150cm wide stretch cotton sateen.

Another version?

Yes, I’m a little obsessed with this pattern now.

Any changes next time?

I want to use a non stretch cotton next time so I’ll probably have to use teeny tiny seam allowances or add a bit of extra room when I cut out. The darts possibly need shortening a smidge too. And I think I may also bring the centre of the sweetheart neckline down slightly as I lost some of the shape by cutting a bit off the centre. I’ll probably put a pleated skirt on it next time too. So just a few changes…

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I love this dress. The fabric is gorgeous, it fits well and is perfect for twirling in.

spinning-cambie

New Look 6217 / Southport Dress Lovechild

Well that little blogging roll ground to a screeching halt didn’t it?

Sorry about that. I have actually got five finished garments to show you, I’ve just been really rubbish at photographing them. I went to my mum’s for a bumper photography session last sunday but completely forgot three things. Perhaps I should get one of the pop up tents they used on the Sew Over It City Break photo shoot and do a location shoot somewhere prettier for the rest of them!

new-look-6217-dress-hack

Anyway, today I’ve got a pattern hack to show you. Back in the middle of September it suddenly got really warm again for a couple of days so I frantically sewed a last minute maxi dress. It’s the lovechild of a New Look 6217 tee and a True Bias Southport dress, which I have been calling a Newport dress because it amuses me.

newport-dress-collage

To make it I put the Southport dress bodice under some tracing paper and traced off the centre front line (but extended up), waist seam and a smidge of the side seam and I marked where the shoulder was. Then I put the New Look 6217 under and lined up the shoulder and sort of the side seam (I overlapped the centre front a bit to make the neckline opening smaller and the top a slightly slimmer fit than a 6217), then traced off the neckline, sleeve bits and side seam blending into the traced Southport side seam. Hopefully that makes sense.

southport dress new look 6217 hack

Oh and I also added a bit more flare to the skirt. I was going to do it properly slash and spread the skirt in a few places but as I was trying to get the dress finished quickly I just pivoted the skirt pieces out when I was cutting out. I cut the front on the fold to omit the slit. I totally forgot that I still need to shorten the skirt and ended up taking an inch off the hem. It’s still a bit long but it’ll do.

true-bias-southport-hack-collage
I know I look derpy but I liked the photo anyway

I also didn’t do a drawstring like on the Southport dress and made an elastic channel out of the waist seam instead. The seams are overlocked instead of French seamed this time to save time.

The fabric is some viscose that I bought from Regency Rags on eBay about a year ago after seeing Marie from A Stitching Odyssey post a picture of it. I think I’ve got just shy of a metre left and some big scraps so I expect I might make a top out of what’s left.

true-bias-southport-hack-max
Best Max cameo I could get

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress and New Look 6217

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ — Height 5’2″

Size made: Size 6 Southport skirt with the New Look 6217 hacked to fit

Alterations: I’ve tweaked the fit of New Look 6217 a little bit every time I’ve made it so it’s hard to remember where I’m at with changes. I’ve done all sorts of shoulder shenanigans basically. You can see the details in previous posts about the top plus a small swayback adjustment. For the Southport skirt part it’s just been shortened a lot – about 4″ – and pivoted to add some more fullness to the hem.

Fabric used: Around 2.25m of 150cm wide though there was probably a more economical way from cutting as I ended up with some big scraps.

Another version? 

Yes. I want to make a shorter version.

Any changes next time?

The shoulders slip back a lot so I need to do something but I don’t know what. I’ve been looking into it and things I’ve read say that the back armhole needs more room. Does that seem right?

Non-clueless versions

Kerry from Kestrel Makes used the same fabric to make a very similar dress with a vintage pattern. She has also made two New Look 6217 dresses.

Final Thoughts

I’m really happy with this dress. It’s really comfy and floaty, perfect for that sort of inbetween weather in spring or late summer (and apparently early autumn too these days). It’d be a nice one for holiday evening outfits too. I’m definitely going to make a shorter one to team with tights and a cardi now or bare legs in warmer weather.

Anyway, that’s it from me. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend and I’ll try not to leave it another 8 weeks before blogging again.