Tuesday, 28 May 2013

I'm a Cambie copycat

Oh dear, I totally ripped off Rochelle from Lucky Lucille's idea of a neutral coloured Cambie skirt. I told her, though, so that doesn't totally count as stealing, right?

My original idea was to make a straight skirt (based on my tried and tested NL6843 with pockets) out of fabric that was left over from when I made my Wasp bag all those millennia ago. Remember? It's a gorgeously soft brushed cotton that I bought from (where else?) the Brum rag market. But when I saw Rochelle's version, I was smitten so I decided to pinch her idea emulate her.

Matchy matchy with my Wasp bag

I left it a bit longer initially (image above) but I didn't think it worked so I made it an inch or two shorter and I like it a lot more.

The Cambie skirt was a doddle to sew, I think I completed it in a few hours spread over two or three evenings. All the seams bar the hem have been finished with the same bias binding that I used on my olive button back blouse.

My buttonholing went horribly wrong due to the thick layers of cotton and waistband stiffener I used (have you ever used stiffener? It's amazeballs!) so it was time for my trusty press-stud-plus-fake-button trick again. If you look closely in the photo below, you can even see it looks like there's an actual buttonhole there because I couldn't get all of the damned stitches out!! Oh and I put in a pink zip because it matched the bias binding. Yes, I know you can't see the bias binding on the outside to figure out that the zip matches but tough sh*t, I know and that's all that matters.

I got to photograph it on a gorgeously sunny day with my lo-lo top. I think this skirt may well be a staple - a light colour for the summer but thick enough to wear with tights in the winter. Win!

Monday, 27 May 2013

M to the power of 4: Week 4

Me Made May Mondays weekly roundup (Bank holiday special!)

Day 22: Olive button back blouse

Day 24: Robe Sureau

Day 25: Lo-lo top

Day 26: Cambie skirt (not yet blogged)

Day 27: Polka dot skirt

The "special" part is that I've been up since before 5am and in work! Now home and vegging out enjoying the last of the sun.

Before I go, I need to say thanks to Amy at Almond Rock and Alice at Backstitch - I won Amy's giveaway for a £15 voucher. After much deliberation (fabric, no, pattern, no, fabric) I plumped for the Sewaholic Thurlows pattern. Reckon I need to get over my fear of sewing trousers, right?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Lo-lo top

I'm calling this my lo-lo top. It was supposed to be a hi-lo top. They seem to be all the rage at the moment and I thought I'd be trendy but in the end I was too lazy.

It's based on the Sorbetto, just lengthened and with a curved hem. All French seamed as the fabric (leftover from my turquoise Washi dress) is just that bit too sheer to leave unsightly seams on show. The neck and arm holes are finished with bias binding but I did my first proper rolled hem. Ooh, get me!

Well, when I say "proper" what I really mean is "wonky"

Lazy because I cut the back and front pieces the same size with the curved hem and then couldn't be bothered to recut the front piece shorter.

Hmm, does my bum look big in this?
Why, YES!

Monday, 20 May 2013

M to the power of 4: Week 3

Me Made May Mondays weekly roundup

Day 14: Maroon NL6808 top
and black cord NL6843 skirt

Day 15: Fake dotty day dress aka
Sorbetto top and S2215 skirt

Day 15: sun on my evening run

Day 16: Olive button back blouse
and denim Kelly skirt

Day 17: Maroon NL6808 top and
black cord pinafore dress

Day 18: Sleeved Sorbetto and
Cambie skirt (not yet blogged) 

Hmm, I think it's a tad long

Day 19: Washi

Day 20: Oh dear, it's
the Lydia top again

On Saturday I took my friend Katie (over from France for the weekend) on a fabric frenzy shopping spree. We went to the Cotton Patch, Guthrie & Ghani, the Birmingham rag market, Fancy Silk Fabrics and, of course, Barry's. Here are my spoils, bought just from the market and Barry's:

Clockwise from top left: a really soft, drapey, floral cotton (the bolt said "lib fabric" - does that mean Liberty do you think? - but it's not expensive enough!) £7.95 for 1m to make a blouse; another soft, drapey viscose with tiny blue/orange/black flowers at £3.95 for 1m again for a top; turquoise butterfly cotton jersey (to make pjs) £1.50/m, I bought 3m and lastly my favourite: a soft, flowy navy mystery fabric with white/pink/orange flowers  destined for a maxi dress (and a bargain at £8 for 4m!).

They have all been washed and dried and ready to rock!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Fake dotty day dress

Do you remember in October 2012, I first started my sewing class and chose the Simplicity 2215 skirt as my first make? Well, guess what? I actually, finally finished it eight, yes eight, months later!!


My class is only once a fortnight (with breaks over Christmas, Easter etc) and with five or six other members and a very particular teacher, the going was ssssllllloooowwww....

But, I am learning loads of techniques and it's such a laugh.Gill, the teacher, who used to be wardrobe mistress for one of the Birmingham theatres back in the day, likes us to do things her way and so I haven't really worked on the skirt outside of the classes.  Instead, I've just got on and sewn whatever I've wanted to get my fixes!

The reason I call this the fake dotty day dress is that the first time I wore it, I paired it with my Sorbetto made of the same fabric and with a belt on, it does look like a dress. I wish I'd done something else with my hair that day, it looks awful in the photos above. But it was a work day after all so it was a case of shoving it up into a messy bun and just getting on...

It does look just as good with a different top

Oh, it is definitely polka dotty, the
previous photos are blurry! 

Um, I'm going to let you into a tiny secret. Even though I was really careful and thought I had paid attention in class, the waistband is about 3 inches too big! Don't think I'll be getting an A star for that, right? Whoops!!

Oh and one other little thing - my design came third in the sewcialist logo competition! The winner was Joost, with an ingenious design that can be personalised with different colours - I've already got mine up on my sidebar. Go and get yours!

Friday, 17 May 2013

A blouse for Popeye's girl

Towards the end of last year, I bought some organic cotton dyed naturally to an olive colour. Unfortunately it faded to a sand colour after washing (something I was warned about by the company at the time of purchase - they say it's "only  for the creative and adventurous soul"). I used most of the fabric for another (yet to be blogged about) project but still had over a metre left. What to do, what to do? I didn't want a sand anything really. So I dyed it olive with some Dylon...

I've been wanting to try my hand at a button back blouse for a while. I think they're cute. Plus, cotton will be great for my upcoming holiday in Kenya. Oh, did I mention I'm going on safari?!

I was planning to use the Sorbetto pattern but after looking at it again, I decided it was a bit too boxy so I turned to NL6808, partly inspired by Amy of Almond Rock who made a fabulous one with some bird fabric. I do admit to stalking her blog post for a while as I was so jealous...!

My Mini helper...

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. No collar for one and I extended the shoulders out to give an impression of cap sleeves rather than putting actual sleeve pieces in. Although they seem to have turned into short sleeves rather than cap ones!

To make the button placket, I extended the centre fold of the back pattern piece by about 3 or 4 inches and cut the entire back piece into two along this line. I then folded the edges over three times making sure the the width of the placket would be big enough for my buttons. I found a link to a great tutorial via Adrienne of stitchingontheedge who recently made a button back Scout tshirt.

Look how neat I got the placket!

Can someone tell me why one edge of the buttonhole has way fewer stitches by the way? I tried every single setting on my machine and I could not for the life of me get it to look any different!

Anyway, very pleased with the final result - it looks great with trousers or a skirt and will come in handy for my holiday... and I'm finally getting the hang of modifying patterns to make different garments!

Monday, 13 May 2013

M to the power of 4: Week 2

Me Made May Mondays weekly roundup

Day 7: Mustard skirt (NL 6843)
with sleeved Sorbetto

Day 8: Black cord skirt (NL 6843)
I look pissed off as I was on call

Day 10: Green Cambie

I had to get in a photo of the heeled Brogues that my sis gave me (they didn't fit her) - I am in love with them! You must excuse the Nora Batty look of wrinkled tights though, it's def not the look I was going for!!

Day 12: Lydia Tshirt

Mr Sabs and I dismantled a neighbour's greenhouse on Sunday which is going to my Dad. I dressed for the part in my trusty boilersuit!

Day 13: Robe Sureau