Monday, 13 February 2017

Bursting at the Seams

Pro- I finished my Archer shirt!  Con- I made the smaller size and it already is too tight for bump and prego boobs.  However, I love this shirt- I can't wait to fit in to it again.

My mum bought me this cotton from the NEC show last year.  It's gorgeous, perfect for shirting.  I sewed up the size 8, which is my usual size.  I meant to size up to a 10, but completely forgot!  I have to blame pregnancy brain- which has also been responsible for many embarrassing moments while shopping when I keep forgetting my pin numbers.

I have plenty of this fabric left, so I could make another top for myself, but I think I'll wait and make baby something cute.  I'm thinking an adorable dress would be perfect in this fabric- so I'll keep it for next spring.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

FO: Super Simple Pyjama Shorts

I've been working on my list of early spring makes and have actually finished one of them!  My stripey Archer shirt, green Lindon sweatshirt and Moneta dress are all in various stages of finished, from just needing buttons, or top stitching to still in pieces (I'm looking at you Moneta).  

I have finished the easiest of all my intended projects- the tartan sleep shorts.  I used the pattern we use in our workshop at Crafty Sew & So, which has 1 pattern piece, with the waistband included.  These shorts come together so quickly, I'll probably make few more over the next couple of months ready for the summer.  There isn't much else to say about this make, I'm just enjoying sewing again and getting projects finished! Yay!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Waterfall Maternity T-shirts

When I found out we we're having a baby, back in September, I did a quick internet serch for dressmaking patterns, I found some older ones from the Big 4 (which they seem to have stopped producing), Megan Neilsons collection and very little else.  There we're a few freebies, but I'm dubious about using free patterns for adults clothes in case they're not as well drafted, and I'm hopeless as following tutorial instructions for making my own patterns from old clothes or adjusting pattern pieces.  

I've still not found many options, so anyone with suggestions please let me know! The few I found included the Make It Perfect- The Waterfall Blouse which I found and bought on the Backstitch website.  A maternity pattern which uses woven fabric to make a nice t-shirt was right up my street, so I ordered it and have since made three!

The pattern really is a lovely, simple project.  With just four pieces, it has gathering just above the bust, creating lots of space around the waist, down to the hips.  I like the grown on sleeves of this patterns- giving good shoulder coverage without needing to set in a separate pattern pieces.

When I made my first top, I wasn't showing at all and wearing this blouse really made be feel like I was wearing a Maternity Top.  But as I've grown in to it, its become less uncomfortable and more flattering. I'm currently at 24 weeks, and it's fitting lovely.  While there is plenty of room left in it, I don't know how far in to my third trimester these blouses will continue to fit.

While the Waterfall Blouse is a nice and simple pattern, I'm a little bored by it now and wont be making any more.  I have enough in my wardrobe to be doing for now, and I'll be working with other patterns to keep building my maternity wardrobe.  I'm thinking more jersey projects and see what the Washi Dress by Made by Rae can do as maternity wear.  

Monday, 16 January 2017

January Sewing Plans

I'm spending this wet and miserable day at home, in leggings and a jumper, with a cup of tea to hand at all times, sewing my way through my pile of yummy fabrics.  Bliss!

I've got six projects planned for the immediate future, two of which I have started already- YAY for quick makes.  I've been struggling with my Sew-Jo since we found out we were pregnant.  There is something about not knowing how your body is going to look by the end of the month that really put me off sewing for a while.  I kept thinking 'what is the point' of putting any effort in to a garment if it only fits for a short while, or not at all.  That, coupled with struggling to find patterns that still felt like they fit in to my personal style of largely fit and flair dresses really knocked me.

BUT... I have come out the other side of Christmas with some fresh inspiration and I am off!  The thing that has changed the most for me is the Moneta Party, being ran by The Triple Stitchers on Instagram this month.  We've been asked to sponsor as Crafty Sew & So, so I'm not entering the competition side of the party, but I have realised how easy the Colette Moneta dress will be to change in to a maternity dress! Plus, Sarah at work has offered to show me how to change the bodice up for easy nursing access too.

Especially as I get bigger, I plan on wearing Colettes Moneta a lot over the next few months, so I'm planning on making a few of them to get me through the week.  They'll be so comfortable, just like secret pyjamas- exactly what I need for my changing body.

Fabric for Monetta #1

Fabric for Moneta #2

Along side all the Monetas I'm going to sew two new Grainline Studio Archer shirts.  The one I've already started on is using up stash fabric my mum bought me at the NEC show Sewing for Pleasure last March.  Its a gorgeous cotton shirting fabric, white with fine blue stripes down it's length.  It's sewing up really nicely.   The Second is an end of roll remnant from Crafty Sew & So, sadly out of stock now.  I fancy a nice bright floral shirt for the spring.  

Fabric for Archer #1

Fabric for Archer #2

Also already in progress (and so almost finished) is my first Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt.  I purchased the fabric, a classic kelly green sweat-shirting, from Leicester Market sometime last winter with the Linden in mind, but couldn't find the right colour ribbing to go with it.  As I also didn't have the pattern yet, the fabric has just sat at home waiting for me to get going with it.  This weekend, Dave bought me the pattern and I spent Sunday afternoon cutting it out and getting it together.  Just hemming and top stitching to go!

Fabric for my Linden Sweatshirt

Finally, I plan to make myself some tartan pyjama bottoms.  This fabric is also from work in three colours.  I have 1.25m, enough to sew some cute shortie pjs for when the weather warms up.  We run a Sleep Shorts workshop, which is such a great, quick make, and I'll be using the pattern from that.

Cosy PJ shorts Fabric

We'll that should keep me busy well in to February! What are your sewing plans?

Monday, 9 January 2017

Catching up with 2016's projects

I've made a fair few things in 2016 that I never got around to blogging about, so I'm the interest of saving time and just getting them out there I'm going to blog about all my garments in one blog post.  I'll try and keep it short and sweet.  Though, this list isn't exhaustive, it's what I remember sewing/ what I have photo's of and is enough to document my progress over the last year.  They're are in a very random order as I can't remember when I made what!

1920's Murder Mystery Evening Dress, made from black jaquard fabric bought at Leeds Market a couple of years ago.  I started making this dress Thursday evening before the party on the Saturday- after realising I had nothing to wear! Luckily, it was a quiet Friday at work and I got the majority of the sewing done there.  Due to the speed of this sew, it's not the best made thing in the world, but it did the job I needed it for!

Simple Gathered 1950's Style Skirt- A sample for the shop as we run this as a workshop- the 100% gingham fabric is available from Crafty Sew & So.  I've since returned this to the samples box, as it doesn't really fit me with my growing prego belly.

Another sample for work, using our pattern for an a-line skirt and a larger, black 100% cotton gingham avalible in the shop.  I also got to play with our fabulous embroidery machines to add the cherry detail- which I love!

This Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt in a white cotton/linen mix blouse from eBay was a challenging make because I had some fitting issues which I didn't work out with a toile.  I must make this again, I love the shape, but there are a few things to change and I've been feeling like making simpler, quicker projects recently.

I made the Colette Violet Blouse in a cotton lawn I've had in my stash for many many years and I have no idea where it's from!  The main reason I haven't sewn with this fabric (or really worn this blouse) is the fabric isn't really me.  The colours aren't one's you'd find in my regular wardrobe, so I haven't gotten a lot of use from this blouse.  I have, however, made some adjustments to the pattern and hope to make another one in a different fabric this spring.

I love this floral dress made with the bodice from Simplicity 2444 and a pleated skirt, using Micheal Miller Meet Me in the Meadow fabric.  Infortunatly, I finished this just weeks before I found out I was pregnant and so haven't had a lot of wear out of it yet.  Fit and flair dresses are simply the wrong shape for a prego belly!  It's in storage for next summer though, I hope I'll get a lot of use out of it eventually.

I made a fab Grainline Archer Shirt from this dotty chambray too (no photos to share), and had enough left over to make a Scout tee!  Happy day!  I love both these patterns for their simplicity and know I will keep getting a lot of use out of the finished garments and the patterns in the future.

One of my favourite makes this year has to be the Deer and Doe Dutra Blouse.  The green fabric was gifted to me by my sister-in-law, who bought it at John Lewis' a couple of years ago.  She actually made the same pattern with her's too!   I totally copied her, it was too cute not to.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Going in to 2017...

Well, its been a hell of a year, eh?  Not all bad, please note, I'm not all doom and gloom about it like it feels some people are.  In fact, personally I've had lots of high points in 2016.  Some of which I've shared here, but the last 6 months have flown by and I haven't managed to write a single blog post to document it!  

On of the most challenging things of this year has been maintaining this blog and I'm mostly putting the blame on work for that.  It's been an amazing year at Crafty Sew & So- we've been open just over a year now and each day provides a new challenge and new opportunities for me to learn and develop.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  The fact this bog has suffered along the way has pained me slightly, so I'm aiming to come back swinging this new year. 

I should warn you though, I've got a new, rather large and ongoing project that I expect will get in the way of my blogging time- I'm having my first baby in May!  Do expect baby related posts, do expect more ramblings and maybe the odd middle of the night post, but do also expect more dressmaking posts, as, really, that is where my sewing joy lies.

So, to end this mad, fun, crazy, painful, joyous year I present to you a quilt I've made.  

I've has this beautiful Dashwood Studio's cotton since February and quite promptly turned it in to a quilt top, cutting each long quarter down to two long eights and then sewing them all together in a repeating pattern (I love simple quilt designs).  It wasn't long until I quilted it at work on our long arm machine and had the binding attached.  

But then, because I love it so much, I decided to hand finish the binding for neatness.  Except I hate hand sewing, and it took me about 8 hours to do one long side (aprox 1/3rd of the quilt).  So it sat, unfinished for 5 months, until today.  Today I said 'screw it' and finished the binding by machine. It's not as neat, but it is still beautiful and it is finished! Woo hoo!  

So that's my story, just a quick one.  One to keep this blog from dying off and becoming something I used to do, one to start the new year as I mean to go on, one to say 'Hi, not dead' and one to share something I made with you, because I like to do that.  

I wish you all a happy, happy new year.  Take care- I'll talk to you soon (promise)
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