The Rooftop Cleo dress

I know every sewing blogger out there (pretty much) has already made this dress, but I’m not jumping on a bandwagon, honest! I’ve actually wanted a dungaree dress for yonks, as I had one I absolutely loved when I was pregnant with Daisy (who’s now 11). Last summer I was busy pinning dungaree dresses on an inspiration board, wondering how I’d go about drafting my own pattern for one, so when Tilly released this pattern I was more than ready to make one. I wonder why it took me until February? I blame Christmas for getting in the way 🙂

Like with my recent Moneta dress post, these photos were again taken on our glorious roof terrace during last month’s trip to Madrid.

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In a Nutshell:

A cute but very practical dress–ideal for chasing about after toddlers!

Pattern:

The Cleo Pinafore and Dungaree Dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I sewed the knee length version with the split and used two back pockets and one on the bib.

My waist measurement put me between sizes 3 and 4, and my hips were between sizes 4 and 5. Although the pattern instructions cautioned me to go with the larger size, I’d heard this pattern came up quite roomy at the waist so I rebelled and cut the smaller sizes, grading between a 3 at the waist to a 4 at the hip. With hindsight, this might have been a mistake! More on that in a minute… Continue reading The Rooftop Cleo dress

Seasonally inappropriate sewing: the Aster blouse

I’ve been finding the sewing challenges I’m taking part in so motivating that I’ve done the unheard of: completed a summer blouse in the middle of winter! Okay, it’s early spring really, but if it feels like winter, that’s all that matters. I don’t think you can see the goosebumps on these pictures, but I can assure you they were there. Oh yes, and I must thank my darling 11-year-old daughter Daisy for taking these pics. Didn’t she do a great job?! 🙂

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In a Nutshell:

A pretty summer top, but I think this pattern will need some adjustments for next time. I decided to treat this as a wearable muslin, but I spent my time sewing it carefully to get a good finish as I wanted to practice some shirtmaking skills for future projects.

Pattern:

The Aster blouse, by Colette Patterns. It’s a loose-fitting, V-necked blouse with a yoke, and I sewed View 1 with the short sleeves. My measurements put me between an 8 and 10, but I chose to cut the 8 with no grading as the pattern has lots of ease over the hips, and I know I have narrow shoulders so I figured I’d be better having the smaller size there.

This was one of my #2017MakeNine projects as I wanted to build up to making a proper shirt, and I figured this pattern would give me some practice while leaving out some of the scarier parts (collar and cuffs). The reason I sewed it in February was the #WardrobeBuilder challenge for this month: shirts and blouses. That and I fancied filling a wardrobe gap before the weather heats right up. If it ever does… Continue reading Seasonally inappropriate sewing: the Aster blouse

February round up and March sewing plans

I’ve decided to shake up my “monthly” crafting posts and make them more structured. And more about sewing than crochet or knitting, because let’s face it, that’s what I do most of these days.

So, without further ado, here’s what I made in February:

L-R: Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress, Seamwork Neenah dress, Colette Aster blouse

That’s three complete garments in the shortest month of the year. Go me! At this rate I could be sewing one garment a week before long–speedy Gonzalez, that’s me!

I’ll be blogging all these February makes really soon, I promise. February was also the month I started a proper sewing journal, and already I’m finding it’s helping me to focus on my sewing more and make better plans. I might blog more about that in the future…

March sewing plans:

I’ve got t-shirts on the brain at the moment–partly because of this month’s #WardrobeBuilder challenge, but also because I desperately need some new tops. I’m planning on using up stashed knits to begin with and will hopefully have a bit of fun playing around with patterns and techniques. The Plantain tee is probably going to be first up as I’ve made it before, in a hot pink interlock with short sleeves. Perfect for wearing under my Cleo dress!

I also really want one more longer sleeved knit dress in my arsenal, and so I’ve got the SOI Heather Dress pattern printed out. My eye is on some pink and purple ponte at my local fabric shop–colourblocking ahoy!

I’m also thinking about cami-style tops for the warmer weather that will hopefully just be around the corner. I would like to use up the leftovers from some of my knit projects to make the Seamwork Aurora top.

I also have a “going out” top to refashion from an old velvet tee that was cut into by someone (can’t remember who, but they gave it to me years ago). Should be a really quick make and will hopefully fill a wardrobe gap for warm yet fancy clothing.

And last but not least, another knit project, but this time for my daughter, Daisy. She wants a dress made from some fabric she picked out before Christmas. It’s black with flowers, and she wants a copy of her favourite short sleeved dress. I’m feeling confident enough with knits to attempt this now, and what’s more, it will be my entry for this month’s #dressmakingbloggerchallenge, as that’s all about florals.

That’s nearly all from stash, so March should be a thrifty sewing month for me 🙂

What are you planning to make this month?

A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.

I’m getting in just ahead of the #monetaparty with my first go at this very popular pattern. Oh, and coincidentally I made this for my Dad’s 70th birthday party last month, and I’m finally getting around to blogging it on my 40th birthday. Significant birthdays all round! Oh yes, and for a bit of added exoticism, the photos were taken in Madrid last week, on the roof terrace of our gorgeous Airbnb apartment 🙂

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In a Nutshell:

I have to admit the Moneta pattern never really grabbed me when it came out, as I tend to like my silhouettes more fitted. However, it’s a hugely popular pattern and I figured so many people loving it must mean something, so when Colette allowed me to spend my Seamwork credits on Colette patterns I decided to give it a try. And then the prospect of the upcoming #monetaparty put a boot up my arse to actually get it made. That and needing a dress suitable to wear to my dad’s 70th birthday party–tea and cakes in a church hall. All my existing party dresses were too slinky looking, and I figured Moneta might give me the pretty-but-wholesome vibe I needed 🙂 Continue reading A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.

Mending crazy!

 

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Arrrgh! The giant mending pile of doom! It’s going to bury us all!!!

I’ve been inspired by the internet to get on with my mending pile. Yes, it’s been an ongoing ambition for some time now, and I’d got as far as gathering it all together, cataloguing it on Trello, and buying a giant plastic storage box from IKEA to house it all, yet still the pile remained. Albeit safely contained in a plastic crate. Don’t want dangerously unmended items on the loose, now, do we?!

But now I’ve cleared the vast majority of it. What changed, I hear you ask?

Inspired by Melly’s January challenge I divided my mending up into 6 piles, according to what the next step was:

  • Needs either cutting or seam ripping.
  • Needs a trip into the loft to find some fabric for patching.
  • Needs hand sewing.
  • Needs pressing.
  • Needs the sewing machine.
  • Needs the overlocker.
  • Needs more thought/trying on before deciding on the next step.

Continue reading Mending crazy!

Craftysticks: the Christmas edition (in January, naturally)

Things might have been quiet on the blog, but that’s more down to having computer issues than me not being crafty! I am currently dictating this post into my phone as the PC is still misbehaving. Thankfully Andy ordered us a new one last night, so hopefully I will be back on the blog more often in future 🙂

Sewing:

img_0147-copyThis year I decided I wanted to make more of my Christmas presents again, and went the sewing rather than my customary knitting and crochet route for a fair few of them. First up is the one I’m most proud of, mainly because I’ve had it in my head to make for my friend for several years now. It’s a cushion featuring her favourite TV detective, Colombo! I used Dylon Image Maker to transfer a black-and-white laserprinted picture of Columbo that I found online. It was simple enough to do, and the only real difficulty is the number of times you have to wet and gently scrape off the paper residue; definitely more than the two times they suggest on the packet. I had originally intended to put the pom-poms as trim around the edge of the cushion and piece the front with a mitred border, as well as inserting a zip closure, but the image making took longer than expected and I had to cut some corners. The cushion is now a simple envelope design, and I used the pom-pom trim to cover the less-than-perfect edges of the Columbo appliqué. My friend was thrilled, and the cushion now resides on her computer chair. Continue reading Craftysticks: the Christmas edition (in January, naturally)

Rainy Day Cardie

This is a toile for a pattern I’ve had my eye on for ages. Apologies for the ropey indoor pics. It just wouldn’t stop raining!

ETA: I realised this morning that I made a mistake while sewing this. See sections in bold italics below!

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In a Nutshell:

I’m considering this casual cardie a success for a toile, even if it hasn’t had any wear just yet… It’s also a proper multitasker as it qualifies as my make for the following 2017 pattern challenges:

#wardrobebuilder: January: Jumpers and Sweaters

#dressmakingbloggerchallenge: January, Keep it Cosy

#2017MakeNine: cardie

Pattern:

The Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork. It’s a relaxed fit, cropped cardigan without any fastenings to worry about, so a really quick and simple sew as all Seamwork patterns are intended to be. I cut a straight size small based on my bust measurement, reasoning there was really no need to grade this out to a medium at the hips as it’s such a relaxed style. Continue reading Rainy Day Cardie