By Hand London, Victoria Blazer

Hello and oh dear me it’s more than halfway through the year *inner cry* summer is fully here so I decided to make something for Autumn (there’s a logic there somewhere, I’ll tell myself I’m following the fashion season calendar).

With this project I’ve officially made three of my 2016 make nine. I’m shocked. My sewing plans so far have always been laid out in detail but rarely completed. I now have high hopes of actually finishing that list!

The Pattern

This is By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer.  One of the first patterns I bought, it’s been in the stash for ages and sewing this up brought back serious memories of finding sewing blogs and when I first started my sewing journey.

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The  Fabric

This is another Walthamstow, Man Outside Sainsbury’s find (yep ,the man deserves capital letters). Apparently this fabric was a Zara leftovers. I bought it in the week I swore off buying black fabric because I wanted to experiment with colour more but it was so lovely I couldn’t leave it behind.

I bought the lining fabric a while ago from a John Lewis sale and I regretted it immediately. Not really a lining fabric, it is 100% cotton and a bit heavy, I liked the print but couldn’t imagine it on a dress/skirt looking good on me. I’m now so glad I didn’t take it to a fabric swap because now it’s the reason I love this coat so much…..and why flasher pose will happen numerous times whilst wearing this coat.

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The Pattern

Why was I so scared? Why did I wait so long to sew this pattern? This is the perfect pattern for a jacket scared sewer to start with. The pattern was very easy to sew. It came together in a day and there are hardly any pieces to trace out.

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This patterns reminds me of why I loved BHL so much. Confidence builders. A brilliantly facilitating sew along and a modern, stylish pattern. This pattern company got a lot of new people into sewing (me included).

However, while I was blindly following their sew along, they didn’t include stay stitching or clipping the edge so my lining doesn’t peek out, means this is very much an amateurs attempt and has some flaws.

Also, the pockets are also very shallow, it feels like anything I put in them would fall out.

Adjustments

I made no adjustments and made a straight size 10.

Marilla does a fantastic post on how to add a facing to the blazer so the lining doesn’t show through, which I will definitely be using next time (my mum wants a blazer too, she bought the fabric and everything haha).

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Making something so wearable and easy to incorporate into my wardrobe has left me beyond exstatic and makes me seriously question my previous and future makes in terms of usefulness and practicality.

Plus finalllllllly biting the bullet and sewing something I was thought was too challenging has really boosted my confidence and makes me what to try really extending myself with sewing.

I wasn’t alone in making this jacket and the final push came from my lovely sewing partner in crime Gabby. You can see us making it up below, her version is just beautiful and I had serious fabric envy.

 

Wish you fantastic summer days

Meg xx

The Burda Marthe

The emotion shame sponsors todays post. I don’t usually blog about my complete sewing failures but this blog is my only way of cataloging what I’ve made and this is the only wearable sewing failure I’ve had, which is absolutely sewing progress.

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The Fabric

The first thing I thought after finishing this project and trying it on was, should a grown woman really wear baby pink??? *tears* Such a wrong choice of colour for my complexion, I need warm tones.

This fabric was a total impulse buy from miss matatabi. I should have been convinced it wasn’t really meant for me when it was described as perfect for baby clothes but it was on sale and there are Penguins holding hands!

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Here’s a closer look at the material, I got this image from Miss Matatabi’s Etsy shop here

On the plus side, this is cotton seersucker and it was amazingly easy to sew with. I have more seersucker in my stash and I’m gonna patiently wait for the perfect project to use it with.

I love reading and looking at the blogs of fearless quilting cotton, bold print, I love it so I’m wearing it, sewing ladies but, unfortunately, I think I’m too much of a conservative dresser to wear unusual prints with any confidence.

The Pattern

This is a Burda pattern, blouse 109. I was looking longingly at all the versions of the Marthe blouse, by Republique Du Chiffon, going around the internet but really couldn’t justify buying another pattern. I was looking through my Burdastyle magazines to remind myself I literally have hundreds of sewing patterns and, luckily, one of my magazines had a Marthe doppelgänger.

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I really don’t mind tracing and adding a seam allowance but I’m useless at organising pattern pieces once I’ve finished a pattern. I’m trying to rectify this with having a pattern folder. So to use this pattern again, which I do want to, I’ll have to trace it again. I think I might start adding 2cm seam allowances on patterns so I have more fabric to alter with.

The Fit

…and to top it all of, it doesn’t fit properly. Which I thought was impossible in this style of  over-sized top but those glaringly obvious bust creases don’t lie.

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This project was a bunch of rookie errors tied in with sewing toile laziness. I’m not kicking myself too much about it but I really hope some of the fabric can be saved…and yeah a baby project is what it’s gonna be reserved for haha

Meg xx

Anderson Blouse, Sew Over It

I’m so conflicted, I really want to love this pattern but have some issues that need to be resolved. Namely in the two days I’ve worn this top more then three people have seen my bra, time to invest in vests?

The Pattern

I quickly snapped up the Anderson Blouse when it was first released with a special offer.

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The instructions are sparser then I usually like my instructions and I got confused during the collar and cuff construction but it was still a quick and fun sew.

The Fabric

This was some very cheap (I was told cotton but for £1 a meter really!?!) fabric I got from the man outside Sainsburys in Walthamstow. I love the colour and it was my first fabric shopping trip where I bought no prints, only sensible solids.

This fabric drapes beautifully but is so thin, this is purely a summer top. Unfortunately, when I was cutting out the fabric, I used a few thick pins which left small holes in some of the the fabric D: #sewinghorrorstory

The Fit

This fabric was so cheap I used it for a toile and sewed up a straight, no adjustments, size 10. I usually size up for SOI patterns but reading around, people said this pattern comes out big so I stayed with my measured size. This has some problems, the blouse all at once feels too tight for my shoulders and yet I feel surrounded by too much fabric.

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There is so much fabric in the sleeves and I’ve read about some people going a size smaller with this pattern because they wanted it with less fabric but, for me, I think it would be too tight on my shoulders. If I do this top with sleeves again I would also need to shorten the sleeves.

I really didn’t want to hand stitch the front together because I wanted the top to flow around me but you will expose yourself without hand stitching the front together. Even with hand stitching once I sat down and my belly popped out, I think that’s just the gamble you take with a top like this.

Another annoyance was that the gathered shoulders kept on falling backwards and would not properly sit on my shoulders whilst I was walking or with the wind. I felt like I was constantly readjusting myself. I’m not sure what I can do to fix that.

I’ve not given up on this pattern and a sleeveless version is on my list because I’ve gotten so many compliments of this blouse.

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Alterations

One detail most people agree on is that the drawstring tie at the end of the blouse adds too much bulk around the waist and is largely unflattering. I also got rid of the  drawstring and used two snap fasteners there instead.

Just as I was pondering what kind of tall, thin goodness could possibly get away with wearing this top with the drawstring bottom without looking pregnant. It hit me. This would make an awesome maternity top! When I (eventually) get pregnant this blouse is on the top of my list.

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I’ve read people who find this top unflattering but I really like it on them. I think this type of top looks better on then you feel in it. Hefty yet elegant are the words I’ld say I feel in this blouse.

The blouse really doesn’t stand up to an active and windy day. The second time I wore this blouse, with a high waisted skirt, the hand stitching broke and I basically spent the day as a flasher. However, I think I will wear this blouse a lot because it is so comfortable and it looks lovely.

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of lovely sewing ladies  (Alexa, Ana, ElenaNina, Alex, Gabby and more) because of cocowawa crafts GBSB meet up. Watching the Sewing Bee with people as hyped about sewing as me was wonderful. I’m definitely going next week and if you’re in London I would say pop in and see what it’s like.

Happy sewing xx

Tangoed, Charlotte Kan Tiedress

Hello, it’s been awhile but I’ve been on a Netflix, non sewing binge! Anyway, back in the sewing world Me -Made May is currently in full swing, I haven’t taken part because I know I just don’t have enough me made clothes, but this is was the first time I’ve taken a me-made with me on holiday. I can’t wait to have enough clothes I’ve made to wear a me-made daily and I am enjoying following (stalking) the MMMay16 tag.

These pictures are now far from the reality of where I’m currently sitting, although London is being especially lovely this week. These pictures where taken in Marrakesh and now I understand why so many artists where inspired by the city, it’s a vibrant, beautiful place.

The Pattern

This is the Charlotte Kan Tie dress, I’ve sewn this pattern before and I have it on my, ever increasing list, to sew up a winter version with longer sleeves. However, Charlotte updated the pattern from the previous one I bought and I gave it a look over and thought it would be the perfect pattern to stash bust with.

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Charlotte revised the patterns instructions and it is far more beginner friendly with less guess work than before and I even attempted the pocket, got to love a good pocket, which I didn’t before because it’s a bit of a complicated one and the previous instructions were too vague for me.

The fabric

I have no idea what type of fabric I used. It photographs as ridiculously orange, which it absolutely is. From a distance you can just see bright orange approaching. Which is why I chose a different fabric for the ties to try and tone down the colour…but which colour really matches with orange that tones it down!! I’m really on a mission to not buy fabric unless I really need it, so I went through my entire fabric stash and this burnt orange/brownish, sheer fabric was the best of the bunch. It’s not the most groundbreaking of colour combinations but it does make me feel less Tangoed.

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Fitting

I sewed up size small with no problems. Whilst making the bias binding the fabric stretched almost by double and I’m sure the fabric stretched whilst I was making this too. So this version is baggier than my last but I’m not too fussed about that. However, I am now going to always ask what type of fabric I’m buying so I won’t have these surprises.

Alterations

To further try and break up the colour and make the dress a little more interesting I added a seam at the back. This idea came from the layout plans given on the pattern instructions for people with narrow fabric.

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If anyone owns and collects Burdastyle magazine as much as me you know Burda always add a random back seam as a design feature and I felt the Burda spirit in me when I made this little change.

I also took 10 cm off the length of the skirt.

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Having not been able to sew for a few month, I’m now happily beside my sewing machine re watching Futurama while I sew. Bliss.

Liebster Award and Fabric Sample Sales

The lovely Madame Tifaine nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you so much here’s my random three facts.

  1. I’m currently learning Mandarin and have applied for a scholarship to spend 4 weeks studying in China this summer. Wish me luck!!
  2. I’ve been wanting to start a Etsy business for ages. Here’s a hint of the stuff I have.
  3. I’m making Sloe gin this year. I’m ridiculously excited and plan to save a small bottle and let it age to be drunk when I have my 10th wedding anniversary.

I want to tag Sophie Bach she is such a sewing inspiration.

Now, to the serious business of fabric. Sample sales are amazing. If you do live in London or near enough to travel down easily I would google fabric sample sales monthly because you might catch brilliant offers. Even if you don’t live close I recommend coming down for a sample sale, the prices are incomparable, especially for the quality. I’m kicking myself for missing 3 good fabric sample sales last year because I wasn’t searching for them. The next fabric sample sale I know of is on the 26th March. At Fashion Capital, you can see some of the fabric they offer at the sale here or buy it online if you can’t make it down. They do a monthly fabric sample sale, so if you can’t make it down to this weekend don’t worry.

I’m baffled about what to tweet about usually but I will post information of sample sales on my twitter. I’ll probably post on my instagram too.

I’m officially drowning in fabric. For the first time I’m scared of how much fabric I have. It’s 100% down to a sample sale I visited last week. I got around 40 metres for less then £50.

 

Not even all of it is pictured! So many plans! Thank you to everybody who has been wishing me well. 4 more weeks until I can sew again! The stash needs to start reducing I’ve run out of space for it all. My stash is now spread across three rooms, yikes!

 

Have a brilliant Easter xx