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

Sewing Weekender Swap Haul

The week I heard my scholarship to China had fallen through because not enough people had applied, was the week the Foldlines Sewing Weekender was announced. The stars aligned. I bought my tickets at once and so did a lot of other people. That day was impulse buy day for many UK sewers! There was such a demand and the event was such a success that I have a feeling more will definitely be taking place. Which is brilliant because I know many more people wanted to come.

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There have been blog posts from Lucy from Sew Essential Rach (Rach Against the Machine), Crafty Clyde, Charlotte (English Girl at Home), Ginger Thread GirlFehr Trade, The Fabric Wangler and What Corrine Did…I think that’s every blog post..

..and if you still want more Gabby did an amazing vlog  capturing some of the atmosphere. We were 50 woman, who love sewing….and were crazily excited about being with so many other people who loved sewing. Imagine a sewing comic con. We were all very passionate about our hobby!!!!

If you notice there’s not a single moment where I’m captured sat down sewing. I’m eating, hanging out at the fabric/pattern swapping area and chatting. That is a realistic portrait of how I spent the weekend.

Photographic evidence.

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I imagine lots of people can relate when I say, I knew zero people who sewed when I started sewing. Meet ups are the stuff of my dreams and how I met lots, if not all, of my sewing friends. I mingled and talked and relished in the fact that everyone was so open, friendly and willing to talk sewing.

Now, I’m gonna get down to it and tell you about my finds from the swap. Nothing amplifies the phrase to me ‘one mans rubbish is another mans treasure’ quite like a good old sewing meet up swap!

Here are the larger pieces of fabric I got, there seems to be a theme going on. For some reason that day blue was speaking to me! and vintage flower prints. No idea what I will do with this lot but I do love looking at it.

 

Now for the smaller pieces. Again, another theme going on here! These pieces are quite tiny but because of that I have less choices and more on an idea of what I’ll make with each bit. The first fabric I’m gonna try and make a pair, of very tiny, shorts. The middle one is maybe enough for a scarf and the last piece, which is jersey, I can get a small top out of.

 

I tried to be as restrained as possible with the patterns, when I first started sewing patterns/Burda magazines were my biggest impulse buy and I am very aware that I have more patterns than I will ever need…but oh the possibilities…

These two vintages pieces caught my eye. They are so pretty and I can imagine swishing around in the left one and as for the one on the right, I can never say no to a 60’s pattern in my size. The sixties are my favourite decade.

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Ever since Rosabella mentioned the Overture Set on one her vlog I knew I needed this pattern. I was gonna buy the magazine, which it came with, but luckily someone brought it to the swap. I love it, oversized clothes are my preferred silhouette and I’m looking through the stash so I can get this made as soon as possible! The other pattern looks like a nice staple dress…yeah, not as enthused about that one but it’s got potential.

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These two last patterns are part of a project I have mulling around in my brain. I want to find my perfect shirtdress. Making wardrobe staples is my next big challenge, now my sewing is beyond a hope-this-works-out level, and I really want to find what makes me feel confident and comfortable and I think shirt dresses are the way to go.

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I wish I could thank everyone personally for their donations! I am really grateful to get such lovely stuff as I’m trying, and sometimes failing, at buying as little fabric as possible this year.

If anyone is going to Sew Brum I’ll see you there..maybe…more than a hundred people are coming, so if you spot me say hi!  🙂

Meg xx

 

Vlogging Solo, August Plans

If you’re like me, in the past few months you’ve been discovered and started binge watching sewing vloggers on youtube… for me, like blogging I’ve been watching, crushing and enjoying vlogs so much, I thought…let me give this a try.

If you’re thinking of starting a vlog, go for it! You don’t need a new camera or to invest loads of money on equipment. You just need to be comfortable talking to yourself out load :p

I literally made my video with a iphone propped up with some books and a random box. I edited it on a apple computer with imovie, again my computer is 5 years old and is on it’s last legs…apple products lifespan is not 20 years stong!!

I love blogging and think blogs will never die but videos are such a great medium and another way to connect with other sewing enthusiasts. I hope you watch and enjoy 🙂

Meg

Shirtwaist Dress, Gertie New Book for Better Sewing

This is me playing catch up with a make that’s a few months old. I recently wore it out to a Nigerian musical Wakaa and the amount of African wax print outfits on show made me release that my stash/wardrobe is not yet complete without some more of these gorgeous fabrics.

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The Pattern

Not being too much of a pre 1960’s vintage girl Gertie was never one of my sewing blog crushes but I was making this with Gabby who has all her books. We chose this pattern from her book Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, I think a shirtdress is such a wardrobe staple and I really like effect the shirring on this one had.

Plus, trying shirring and making buttonholes, new techniques I hadn’t tried before.

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Fabric

THIS FABRIC. Hands down the best fabric I’ve bought in my short sewing life.  I initially was going to go with a more sensible fabric but I just kept on coming back to the chickens.

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Ever since I’ve been visiting Walthamstow market, Goldhawk Road fabric shops have been upgraded to being on the pricey side. Desperate not to spend too much money and too lazy to pop down to Walthamstow,  I took a tip from a friend that the market there has super cheap fabric shops. So I went into Shepherds Bush market, just next to Goldhawk Road. The prices are just as low as he said and I got 6 metres (the fabric was pre cut) of this for £9. Bargain.

Alterations

I made a size 12 (if I remember correctly…it was a while ago)..and, for me, the proportions on the sleeves and bodice are really off. The shoulders (and if you read my blog regularly, you know I have a thing about shoulders) where so puffed out it turned this pear shaped girl into a square. I took away at least an extra 5cm off the upper sleeve.

Also the pockets. The pockets are far too low and even Gabby (we made the same size)  who is taller then me (so must have longer arms!?!) struggled with this low pocket placement. We both brought the pockets up but I didn’t do it enough for it to be comfortable when putting my hands in my pocket.

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If you are attempting to have a go with this dress Heather does an extremely detailed post on how she tackled the sleeve/bodice alterations here, which are definitely more helpful than what I can provide. I did a lot of guesstimations…and no toile..bad sewer me.

I’m probably going to take off the sleeves and have it as a sleeveless dress and I hope that will solve a lot of the issues I have with it.

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This is the original dresses length,I’m 5’3, I was going to shorten the hem but these days (since I crossed over to the 26-35 category) I’m liking the longer look. When I put on the pearl earrings and necklace my mum said I looked like I came from the 60’s and I feel in love with this dress.

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Now, newly opening chicken shop, thank you! 5 minutes after leaving my house I saw this wall, shouted ‘CHICKENS!!’ Tried to ignore the many people walking past and became the ultimate chicken woman I was apparently destined to become.

This is another vlogged make and as you can see on Wednesdays we wear stripes.

Thanks for popping in and reading,

Meg x

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