#Sewingtheseventies Qipao/Cheongsam

Completing a sewing challenge with over a week to spare…This is sky falling down territory! When saw the #sewingtheseventies challenge by Steely SeamstressSteely Seamstress I really wanted to take part, so it was the best of luck I just happened to be working on a seventies sewing pattern (1972) and my fabric choice was not only vintage…but seventies as anything!!!!! Fate you wanted me to do this post and be apart of this!!

So here’s my entry…

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I’m going to call this dress a qipao rather than a cheongsam. Both are correct, just qipao is the Mandarin way and cheongsam is the Cantonese way. My husband speaks Mandarin so I’m just used to calling it a qipao.

The Pattern

I bought this pattern, Simplicity 5010, on Etsy and I was ummming and ahhing about buying it for months. Firstly, at the grand price of £20 including postage, it would be the most money I have ever spent on a sewing pattern. Secondly, it was from America, with no postal insurance so maybe it wouldn’t even turn up.

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BUT I was in love…with that keyhole neckline. Other qipao sewing patterns just didn’t come close and I’ve wanted to sew a qipao for awhile. I even love it more than the qipao on my make nine list, which was is also gorgeous.

For a bit more information about vintage qipao patterns there is an excellent blog post here by Devine Stitches

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Fitting

I knew the fit on the bust would be perfect, I bought the 34 inch bust pattern specifically so I wouldn’t have to do a bust adjustment, I hate doing those! but I know vintage sizing is still different from todays and I’m a pear so knew the fit wouldn’t be perfect everywhere.

….and as suspected I did need a bit more space on for my bum/hips. I used a really small seam allowance for the back seam so it is baggier then it should be, as I wanted to err on the side of caution. Which was great for my hips but not no much for the waist. I think everything fits except the hips so that’s a pretty easy fitting issue to solve.

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The wind is making it very difficult for you to see the great A line skirt shape but this dress is so comfortable!!

The Fabric

I got this fabric from the sewing weekender fabric swap. Thank you lovely person who donated it!! It’s fabric I would usually say isn’t my style but as soon as I saw it I loved it! and I thought it would be perfect for a qipao when I saw it too!!

I have no idea what it is all I know is it made making those rouleau loops a complete nightmare. It feels quite stiff and synthetic and cuts and sews nicely.

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I am so happy with this dress and am just waiting for sunnier days. My only gripe is how annoying the facings are and I intend to fully line the whole thing next time.

I turned the collar down for these pictures because I was a bit intimidated by how tall the collar was!!  I was planing on making it shorter but now I’m very happy with the length, to see full up collar and more of this dress I have a youtube video up on it.

Happy sewing,

Cleo Pinafore, Tilly and the buttons

From Instagram I knew Cleo was a popular pattern but being at the Knitting and Stitching show a few weeks ago made me realise just how popular Tilly and the Buttons, Cleo Pinafore was. Me and Gabby had ours on…and so did every other person at the show! There was a small army of Cleo wearers!!

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So long overdue and probably a little redundant, here’s my review 😀

The Pattern

The Cleo by Tilly and the Buttons and if you have Instagram you would have probably seen a lot of these already!

It’s a simple, quick sew and so SO comfortable to wear. This was my first make of the year and my sewjo had turned to dust. This Cleo took me three days (I’ve read it take people a few hours) and this sew was purely to fall back in love with sewing again…and it did just the trick. Slowly, with many tea breaks and Netflix on, this pattern came together easily with not much thinking.

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The Fit

This is the second Cleo I’ve sewn and I sewed a straight size 3….which really i shouldn’t. I should have gone between size 3 and 4 at the hips (I’m a pear) but I really like the fit to be tighter at the hips and think it is really flattering. The pattern has enough ease so going for the smaller size doesn’t make it uncomfortable. However, it is a bit of a squeeze getting it over my bum….and if I put on any weight it might not fit….but that’s the gamble I’m willing to take!!!

Changes

I shortened the pattern by 4 inches….I do like a short skirt! After I finished I thought that it might be a little too indecent with the split at the front but I think it’s fine and I don’t feel self conscious.

And not really a change…more of a mistake, I put the dungaree buttons on the wrong place *facepalm* I put them on the marking for the pocket!…Hope it’s not too obvious but D:

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The Fabric

This was some of the fabric I bought back from my trip to Uganda. You have to buy fabric in 6 yard pieces so you might be familiar with it as I gave some to Gabby, I knew she would love the fabric and I love it also, she made a gorgeous skirt. African wax print is glorious to work with. Easy to cut, work with and sew AND the most amazing colours….AND cheap!!! This fabric cost me about the same amount it costs in London £12 for 6 yards. Not sure why I didn’t work with this stuff when I was a beginner….I went with even cheaper, slippery stuff that left me with unwearable monstrosities and made sewing much harder than it needed to be.

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I made no attempt to pattern match. The only place I did bother was on the pockets and even then the pattern is ever so slightly off because I didn’t hand baste it down. I also didn’t overlock the edges. I just used pinking shears and it’s holding up great…This was a very chilled out sew!

I will add African wax print is so stiff! Having the split at the front with this fabric is very useful..I take big strides :p

If you’re interested you can have a look at some of the other fabric I bought back from Uganda in this vlog I did…There are some beauties :p

Happy Sewing

Megan xxxx

#makenine2017

I’ve been avoiding this little corner of internet I created this year (hello Spring!!) and sharing stuff online that the majority of my family doesn’t know left me feeling very, very awkward. However the amazing, amazing words you’ve written to me and the feeling felt cannot be expressed by a small sentence online and I can only say the biggest thank you.

and back to our favourite topic. Sewing!!!

Last years make nine feel kinda flat. Counting I made 4 of them, which is more than I thought I did. However, two are unwearable which is probably why I blanked them from my memory…Looking back the list was thrown together with little thought of practicality or sewing a wardrobe that would work in my day to day life.

I believe in the power of lists and older, *ahem* wiser here’s my list for 2017..

 

By Hand London, Victoria Blazer

I’ve made this pattern before but I want to make it again a different view (the cropped one you can see in the picture). I like everything about this pattern but made the mistake of making the sleeveless view the first time round and it is too cold to be going out in a sleeveless blazer most of the time!

Deer and Doe, Lupin Jack

Another jacket, which will fill a gap I have in my wardrobe for a Spring jacket. At the moment I go straight from a Winter coat to coatless purely because I have no go between.

Closet Case Files, Carolyn Pyjamas

I desperately need Pyjamas. I can’t even remember a time I bought/owned pyjamas. I’ve been surviving off big t-shirts and very old leggings for over a decade and after stealing my husbands pyjamas for a weekend I realised I need to have a set of pyjamas in my life.

Kommatia, Cropped trousers

The thought of having a staple pair of flattering trousers is a dream. I’m turning away from dresses and skirts ,which used to be my uniform, to just wanting to live in trouser.

Butterick, B6285 Wrap Top

Again I’m in need of tops. I have enough summer clothes and this year is gonna be all about separates and layering.

Simplicity, 1950’s Qipao

This is the only really impractical make on the list. I love Qipao’s. I own a few but would love to be able to make my own. I was ecstatic when this pattern was re-released, I had been stalking the original on Etsy for a year, and bought it immediately.

 

Simple Sew, Cara Jumpsuit

I joined the Simple Sew Bloggers Network and this make jumpsuit has been on the list for a few months…oops. That being said I have really wanted to make this jumpsuit as I love the how easy jumpsuits are to wear. The wonderful Eleanor from nelnanandnora gave me the one she made it’s really a lovely jumpsuit.

Sew Over It, Heather dress

I’ve wanted this dress ever since I saw it as a class about two years ago AND FINALLY IT’S MINE MWHAHAHAHAHAHA and yeah, it looks like a really comfortable and practical dress 🙂

Tilly and the Buttons, Cleo

I’ve made this one!! That’s one off the list. I got some African wax print which was perfect for this pattern and this was my first make for 2017. A super easy sew that really got my sewjo going.

I’ve got a massive list of patterns I want to sew through and this year I plan to sew fearlessly. Vintage patterns..let me at you. Difficult fabrics..I’m coming for you. And new skills..you will be learnt!!!

Happy sewing

xx

 

 

Instagram Bullying

Watching Daisy_crumpets taking a mistake I made and turning me into the most horrifically evil person known to the sewing community (all kinda anonymous) has to be the most shocking thing I experienced this year and…I mean it’s been 2016. Here’s a conversation daisy conveniently never mentions.

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I really messed up. I take full accountability and say, with everybody else, the Linden I made was very badly done.

I was wrong but a continued dialogue intended to make me feel like shit is enough. Especially when it’s based on so much being twisted and lying/omission on the other persons side. I don’t make excuses. But this, I’m sick of being the punished. If you didn’t see Daisy instagram post about the events, I wish I hadn’t either but to summarise. Megan is mean. Megan is awful. Megan is cheap. Megan took away my sense of worth. This well known blogger and vlogger is a worthless hack. Megan gave me rubbish. Megan did this on purpose. Megan stole christmas.

Only taken down when Sooz wrote this. I’m sure it would be hundreds deep in comments and likes by now.

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Apparently a line was draw? but then

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And if you want to strip it down, no sewing straight my life. I’m 4 weeks behind on everything (but that’s health related) for this. The thing that really throw me off balance is my abuser (physical) trying to come back into my life. I keep trying to type about the violence I’ve experienced recently but I can’t, I always end up deleting. Just violence brings up so much chaos in the mind and in actions and I’ve been trying so so so hard to hold myself together and it’s been working. Some people know about the shoulder surgery I had this year and it was the person who gave me that injury. Only my family and a closest friends or people at that time know the ins and outs. This isn’t the place. I wanna probably to be in denial, definitely not be pitied and absolutely leave it in the past but since that person is out of prison now it’s harder. The ‘sewing community ‘ who want my blood. There it is. I’m not a sob story because whatever happens in my life I still try and go forward with kindess.

So that’s the answer to what can disorganise a life, are you not entertained. You want my life beyond instagram? You want more???screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-11-58-44

Since I feel like this is such a personal attack on my character and people really want to stick the knife in I can get doctors notes and show scars if you like?

I’m crumbling and trying to push forward with a facade until I get through like I’ve done before but all this is new and making me spiral.

Should I have put that in the message? I absolutely don’t think I needed to for someone to accept an apology. If someone said sorry to me, said they’ld send a new one and were actively in the sewing community. I would give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had bad swaps, it’s frustrating and no one ever contacted me. I’ve taken part in swaps and I know those people can vouch for the gifts I give. I always want to give the best I can and I still tired on this occasion but couldn’t and I wanted to amends, thought I could and wanted to again just at a later date. I was sorry and I did want a resolution, which would make Daisy happy.

I should have started the Linden two months ago but I thought two weeks would be enough time, my emotions, health problems. I had one weekend left but the pattern was cut/ready and I had supplies and I thought it was a simple pattern. Crazily that tortured mess took me the best part of a day. I didn’t count the hours. Overlocker problems, my technique problems, I really picked the wrong fabric.

My thought process and the making of a monster Linden

The finished project was not at all what I had hoped. I did what I thought was the best. The Linden was made with fabric and trimming I thought Daisy would love. I didn’t have enough piping for another and the fabric didn’t work. It was awful but I thought of it as a token, something to show I had tried?? Not a finalised version and definitely the ugliest Linden-baby ever but filled with good intention….I did a contrast pink overlocked thread to match the piping, cut out liberty applique but scraped that idea, thought of lace and really wanted to create something she would love but also remind her of who gave it to her.

I technically did have time to sew a new Linden with stash fabric and if I had fabric I thought Daisy would like I would have. I didn’t think Daisy would like any of the fabric I had plus the thread wouldn’t match and the contrast wouldn’t have been a feature.

I thought a fresh Linden, made with a toile, not rushed…….with a surprise gift (African wax print, I bought some already, before the instagram post, I thought she’ld love) as a sorry for the wait would be best.

I’m in Uganda, seeing my Grandma, I’ve not seen for 10 years, seeing how AIDS has torn families (mine included) apart, hearing my mum talk about growing up under Idi Amin and looking at extreme poverty and….writing this post?? Seriously? I can’t believe this swap is the only thing I can think about and is giving me so much pain. I’m trying my hardest to not make this define my Christmas and the limited time I have with my family.

I’ve been crying at night about this before and after my husbands sleeps so he doesn’t worry about me. Which typing sounds ridiculously dramatic, this cherry on top of a fucking awful 4 weeks! This has brought out a lot of emotions I’ve been containing. I’ve realised I’m most upset over how my biggest form of escapism, my therapy and one of the biggest joys I have is now pure anxiety. I love to sew. I love photography and love meeting people who talk sewing and that feels gone and tainted now but post in my clean slate.

Coming into a new year message, if you still think I’m awful please message and we can unfollow or if I’m following you I want to unfollow. Seeing bloggers I respect and like (but havent actually met) talking so badly about me has got to be the most gutting thing and I want to leave that behind. I’m stopping crying from today and I’m moving forward.  This would have come sooner but getting wifi were I am is difficult!

Perspective wise, I don’t even know what a future employed would say if they saw this.

This post is so personal even my closest sewing friends won’t know a lot of detail but the support and love i got from the true friends I’ve met through this makes me feel like I can really be myself in a safe environment.

I want to say have a Merry Christmas and I wish true love to everybody xxx

 

 

Amended Charlotte Kan Tie Dress

My name is Megan and I am that one person at a sewing meet-up that is wearing RTW clothes.

I don’t know how many of you get that eager “did you make that?” question only to disappoint them (and yourself) by answering “no, it’s from the shops”…. it happens to me frequently. So, I’m on a bit of a mission to sew more clothes I actually wear and to fix the clothes I’ve sewn and liked but have slight issues with which means they get left in the wardrobe. One such make is my Charlotte kan Tie dress, which I’ve blogged about here.

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The problem. It was too short for me to wear comfortably. I did take 8 inches off!!! I kept tugging my skirt down as I walked and felt way too exposed even while wearing leggings underneath. My solution was to experiment with a bit of colour blocking and lengthen the skirt with fabric I had in the stash that was too small to use for anything.

The results……meh, possibly the worst bit of sewing I’ve done for awhile. I hated every step of sewing the extra length and this reminded me why I’m not a mender. For myself or anybody else…and what’s worst is now I think the dress is too long :,(

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This dress has so much potential and brings back such good early sewing memories (it’s the first dress I made and loved) so it’s worth saving and is going back under the sewing machine.

Sewing is such a journey and looking back at old makes and mistakes is part of that. I honestly got into sewing thinking I was gonna save loads of money and that everything I made would be perfect. To my past self: HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH. No. Just no.

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Happy making,

Meg xx