Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sorbetto top

Yes, I realise I've jumped on the Sorbetto bandwagon about two years after everyone else but better late than never, right?
I made it about two weeks ago but despite wearing it  a couple of times already, I just haven't had the chance to get it photographed. It was a dream to sew up: really easy to follow, no size adjustments needed and really quick (well, it took me between 4 and 5 hours one afternoon, which for me as a beginner is brilliant). It's the most "finished" garment I've made to date - I took my time and made sure I finished every seam and worked as neatly as I possibly could. The exposed bias binding was really easy to put on too. I'm so, so pleased with myself!

This weekend, I've been working on my Robe Sureau. I've almost completed it but it still needs a bit of work so only work in progress photos for now I'm afraid.
Cutting out - note the use of my really high tech pattern weights
Constructing the bodice
There will be more photos (and horror stories) once the dress is finished. Hope you all had as lovely a weekend as me. A bientot...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Keeping up with the Santa theme...

My friend's little girl will be 2 years old in a few days and I went to visit her yesterday. I wanted to make her something so thought I'd combine a birthday and Christmas present by making a stocking and filling it with a few sweets.

I drew a stocking shape on paper and cut two out of red felt. I also cut two more from lining fabric (but forgot to take photos...)
I then embroidered an "e" (for Edie) onto one of the felt shapes - not the neatest, eh?!
I used a deep green felt for the cuff. For the construction I followed a tutorial by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew. I completely missed the step where you are supposed to put the tab for hanging the stocking up between the lining and outer so instead I used a piece of ribbon and a button on the outside. I actually think this looks great and really finishes it off perfectly!
Et voila! (I don't have a very nice looking mantel piece so resorted to hanging it off a bonsai for the photo!)

Sewist's Secret Santa

Kat at KraftyKat has put together a Secret Santa - how cool is that?
Basically, the idea is that whoever wants to take part (international participants welcome) will be put into a huge Santa hat and names pulled out will be linked up in pairs. Each person gets to spend about £5 on sewing/crafting goodies to send to their buddy as a little Xmas pressie. Fun!

If you want to take part or for more info, head over to KraftyKat - but hurry, the deadline (23 November) is fast don't want to miss out!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Finished: Long sleeved T shirt

Based on the Lydia pattern from Burda (as a downloadable for $1), I made this T shirt mainly to see what it would be like to work with jersey. It was ok. Yes, only ok. I used my machine's stretch stitch for the first time which I found tricky but manageable. I did think halfway through that I probably should have used my walking foot but I just couldn't be bothered to unscrew and put it on by that point.

There are some puckers at the neck because I used binding rather than facings. To be honest, I'm not completely enamoured with it and will probably wear it as a base layer under things rather than on its own. It might be the material rather than anything else, it was stretchy but not soft and warm like I thought it was going to be. The top is very comfy tho - I wore it out to dinner last night under a short sleeved jumper dress (sorry, forgot to take a photo) and it was quite cosy.

I'm thinking of making some knickers from the leftover fabric once I get some stretch elastic/lace!

In other cat news, I found Mini lurking in the greenhouse...
...Merky eating the breadcrumbs I'd left out for the birdies...
...and both tinkers fascinated by the smell of our bikes after we'd been out for a ride through the fallen leaves in the park! No idea why!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sureau sewalong: finished toile

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...

So I took Eleonore's advice and cut a size smaller for the bodice. And I stuck to the 1.5cm seam allowance this time as I realised that for the first toile, I sewed with a seam allowance of probably 1cm which must have added to the gaping neckline, oops!

I really want to put pockets into the finished dress and thought I'd better practice on the toile. So I used the instructions for the Cynthia Rowley/Simplicity 2215 pattern which were actually pretty straightforward.
Except that I sewed the pocket shut. Twice. But I got there in the end. And I was very pleasantly surprised at how easily the invisible zip went in. I was dreading that bit after all the horror stories I've read on t'interweb while doing research. The only thing I need to do for the real Sureau is to make sure I sew nearer to the teeth (I was naughty and just used the normal foot for the toile instead of the zip foot as I was too lazy to change it).
The first fitting, sans zip and sleeves. But doesn't the fit look so much better? No gaping neckline, no massive chest area... Oh, you have to excuse my socks - it was cold today!
And here's a photo with sleeve and zip (if you look closely, you can see the bit under the zip where I didn't bother to sew the side up!) I need to cut the sleeve one size smaller too I think.

I'm so happy with this! I can't wait to start the real thing but I think I might wait just a little while longer just so I can get extra tips from both Anna and Eleonore about fitting and especially about lining. I'm thinking of lining the skirt part. Things that I need to make sure I do for the real Sureau are:
  • Finish seams
  • Make gathers as symmetrical as possible
  • Make zip as invisible as possible
  • Take my time so that I have a beautiful, unrushed, lasting dress at the end of it all

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I didn't cheat, yay!

It seems I did get a blog award, I just didn't realise it!
This is the Premio Primavera blog award which is a "thank you" award for giving support and encouragement to other bloggers by leaving comments. A while ago I got a mention for leaving comments on soisewedthis's blog - I presumed this was just a shout out but I've since realised after reading other blogs that it means that the award has been passed on to me...HOORAY! And thank you soisewedthis (I hope I didn't come across as ungrateful in my ignorance when you nominated me!!)

So now I have to pass the award on to the last nine commenters on my blog so here goes:
1. Kelly from bakedoandmend - we've discovered we live near each other and are helping each other in the Sureau sewalong
2. Anna from paunnet - gorgeous dresses and beautiful photography
3. Amanda from bimbleandpimble - crazy! (and lovely creations to boot)
4. sewisewedthis - we have lots of parallels
5. Sara from littlevisibledelightbutnecessary - just so nice! And great clothes!
6. Katie - who doesn't have a blog...yet!
7. Brandie from abc -  sewing, knitting, baking and a cute cat called Mr Gray
8. Nazma from asianfashionblog - lots of clothing inspiration
9. B from 19thcenturymodernsquared - houseproud and lovin' it!

I am really surprised as I didn't think I had nine readers! So thank you one and all. I love being able to communicate with others who have similar interests as me despite being on different continents, it gives me a nice, warm, cosy glow inside! Long may it last. Please pass on to your own commenters so that we can spread the blog love right around the world x

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sureau sewalong: toile top

The sewalong doesn't start till tomorrow but I just couldn't wait. I found an old cotton sheet to use as the toile so I cut out the pieces for the top last night before going out for dinner for a friend's birthday. Kolkata Lounge, the best curry in Stirchley, yum!

The top was surprisingly easy to put together. I hadn't really been looking forward to the gathers but it was fine. Not quite symmetrical but I think any irregularities will inevitably show up a lot more on a thin, cream cotton than (hopefully) on my dark brown fabric.

I quickly tried it on and realised that the neckline gapes. A lot. Excuse the fit on the photo below - I hastily pinned it together so it looks me look really huge!

If I pull the shoulders back, it sits a bit better...
But then the back gapes!

I am SO glad I took on board what Anna said about making a toile for the Sureau. I would have been gutted if I'd cut into my "fashion fabric" (picking up the lingo now!) and run into these problems. I'll just have to sit tight and wait till the sewalong kicks off so I can get Anna and Eleonore's advice about what to do. If anyone else out there has any suggestions, please do share! Even with the hiccoughs, I'm pretty pleased with my progress and am looking forward to carrying on.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


This week, I've intermittently been working on my long sleeved T shirt based on the Lydia pattern from Burdastyle
Pieces laid out for sewing together. Mini wanted her feather in the photo.
Instead of facings at the neck like the pattern suggests, I put my quilting skills to use and did a binding - credit for the idea goes to the swingy summer tank top tutorial at Prudent Baby (yes I know it's a kiddie's top but the principle are the same!) There are some slight puckers but I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable when worn.
The finished product will be on here soon! This weekend, I'm planning on finishing this, laying out my pattern pieces for the Cynthia Rowley skirt that I'm making for my sewing class and maybe cutting out the pieces for my muslin (or toile as my sewing teacher says, which is what I'm going to call it from now on) for the Sureau sewalong. Yes, Anna, I did take your advice below - thank you!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Megan Nielsen giveaway

OMG OMG OMG Megan Nielsen is having a first birthday party giveaway!
I'm hyperventilating after seeing the prizes...patterns, fabric, labels, notions and more - I mean what more could a girl want?! I especially want to win the Kelly skirt and Darling Range dress patterns...

To enter this fab competition head over to Megan's blog (am I allowed to refer to her by her first name?) I'm keeping everything crossed that I'm one of the five lucky winners!