I made this dress using a birdy fabric that I had bought some time ago but was quite precious about it. The challenge was just perfect – it made me brave enough to cut into the birds :-). I had bought the viscose jersey from B&M Fabrics in Leeds.
I wanted a simple pattern with few seam lines to maximise the impact of the birds. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.
The dress is meant to be a mini but I maxified it for full impact 🙂 Sewing it up was so fast and took less than an hour to sew up. I opted to sew a neckband for a t-shirt look.
The dress is so comfortable and I love it.
I can’t help but feel like lifting off and flying when wearing this dress. Thanks for this challenge Kat and Mel! Now, I need to go finish my Apron challenge make :-).
I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.
My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.
Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.
I actually first made this toile in June 2015 – I know because I have a log of the picture of the muslin.
Vogue V9112 is an asymmetrical seam detail dress design by Marcy Tilton. Loose-fitting, pullover, sleeveless dress has single-layer, pleated, stand-up collar, seam detail, side pockets, bias neck and armhole facings, shaped hemline, and narrow hem. Wrong side shows on collar and hemline.
Here is the cover picture:
….and the line drawing which shows all the lovely intricate seams:
I was put off this pattern by how much ease it had after making the toile. I cut the size medium based on the pattern size recommendations (this was before I figured out the lack of finished garment measurements). Needless to say it sat around in the UFO box for a while then I picked it up again determined to fix it as I liked it in principle. However, I was very ruthless in removing ease and ended up with something that barely resembles what the designer intended. I am okay with that though as I made it work for me.
I took it in by a lot on the sides and the back seam. I omitted the pockets as this was a toile. Although now, with hindsight, I should have just added the pockets since its turned into something wearable. Being linen – it if of course lovely to wear. It’s the sort of thing I will throw on when its nice and hot and I want to be unfettered.
I will be giving the pattern another go definitely – in linen again maybe with some Sashiko embroidery on one of the curved pieces.
The final result is something much more fitted at the bust and loose-fitting everywhere else. I finished the armholes with bias binding. The only thing I need to change now is the colour – I am thinking of dyeing it a deep violet colour.
Verdict – worthy of a second shot at it because despite the fit issues (based on personal preferences only) I still like it. I do need to remember to be careful when cutting it out as it is all cut single layer – I got away with it because I was using a plain solid fabric but with directional fabric I would have messed up.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy sewing!
This weekend saw some delightful weather in Yorkshire which prompted me to get busy in the garden. Actually something else prompted me- apart from my love of gardening. Little person number 3 who is 4yrs old had to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. The operation was on a Friday in March. It went well and I had to stay overnight with him as they needed to monitor his oxygen levels. Being in a hospital for 48 hours and surrounded by illness especially in young children (the ward we stayed in had quite a few long-term patients). It gives one pause for thought to appreciate how lucky one is to have healthy children and indeed to be healthy enough to not be in and out of the hospital. It’s something that is easy to take for granted. During the night as I slept on the cot bed next to my son’s bed, I couldn’t help but think of the stress and anxiety I felt in the lead up to, during and after the operation – seeing your little one knocked unconscious and slump down as if all life has been snuffed out of them is a test of fortitude. Readers I am not a crier (except when I am pregnant and hormonal) but I did in that moment. As I was struggling to sleep, I kept thinking how incredibly privileged we are here in the UK to have the NHS. The mere fact that I didn’t have to worry about whether I could afford for my son to have an operation for his sleep apnea shouldn’t be taken for granted. I was vigilant in thanking the staff for looking after us and wrote a letter saying as much. I am proud that my taxes and National Insurance contribute to such a vital service. It’s not perfect but still worth it. Thinking about it while I was there I see it like this – the NHS is like a firefighter who saves you from a fire but while he/she is carrying you out of the burning building your head gets bumped against the door frame; yes your head hurts but at least you didn’t die in the fire. With that in mind I left the hospital with a firm resolve to involve myself in any Save the NHS campaigns.
In other news Brooklyn Tweed released their Winter 17 lookbook a while back and I am smitten with the Kirwin here. Perhaps it is the colour that calls to me but I think it’s a lovely design. When I get round to it, I will probably try to go for the same deep red the model is wearing.
I also came across the McCall Pattern YouTube channel and saw this video with some of their winter releases.
Isn’t it funny when you don’t notice a pattern until you see it on someone in motion? The Paco Peralta long tuxedo jacket appealed to me. They are now on my wish list for when Vogue next go on sale in the USA. I am lucky that my FIL visits us twice a year and he is happy to be a sewing pattern mule 🙂
….well The Collection was a major letdown and that is all I will say about that. Thank goodness I was always knitting when I watched it otherwise I’d feel like I wasted my time. I have heard good things about The Crown – and though I am not a fan of the monarchy – I think I will use a Netflix free month to watch it , then cancel Netflix. If there are any other good things to catch on Netflix please let me know – because I intend to ‘sweat the asset‘ as they say in accounting speak. In more distressing news – I heard that GBBO is moving to Channel 4 and apparently there is a strong possibility that Sewing Bee will go as well since it’s the same production company that makes both shows. Only Paul Hollywood is moving with the Bake Off – apparently the others have decided to stay loyal to the Beeb. Though Bake Off was getting a tad annoying for me – I am not sure I like the idea of it moving to C4 – can you imagine all the product placement and the sponsored weeks? Things change I suppose.
I have been reading Outlander again – the first time I read them I was in a (Jamie) frenzy so this time I am taking my time with it and savouring it (Jamie). I have decided to be more proactive with my reading list in 2017 and will be making a list of 12 books I want to read. I have been wanting to re-read all the classics I love like Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre etc. I think I will make 2017 the year of the Classic book for me.
My oldest started high school in September and its been hard to realise that I have very little control over what he does. High school is so different to primary school and I am finding navigating it quite challenging. I have joined the PTA and a couple of parent organisations there so I can learn what’s what in high school. In fact, I recently went to my first ever parents evening in high school. It was chaos of the first order. To start with my darling hadn’t bothered to make any appointments for me (their system has the kids collecting the appointments) so I had to wait till a teacher had a free spot. Each slot is 5 mins in theory , however I discovered that on average it took about 15 mins each so all the teachers were so far out of schedule that it didn’t matter anymore. I also found, much to my amusement as I had to wait for 3 parents ahead of me to see the Math teacher, that the teacher more or less repeated the same stuff to each of us. I went by myself to the event, whereas almost everyone else had brought the OH and high school child in tow. Hence I had the luxury of listening in on conversations in a quietly unobtrusive way. It was fun – I havent had the opportunity to people watch in a long time. Anyhow – patience is not my strong suit so I abandoned it all after seeing 5 of the 11 teachers. I figured if there was something very wrong with my son’s progress they would get in touch with me. I nearly fainted though when I got back home and was mulling over the fact that I will have to do this every year. Then it hit me. My other 4 are 3 years apart. So there will come a time when ALL 4 OF THEM ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL at the same time!!! And I will have to do parents evening for the 4 of them. 4 kids x 11 subjects = 44 x 5 minute (in theory but really closer to 15 minutes) slots!!!! I had to sit down when it hit me. Many choice swear words swirled about in my head.
My last post on the self-drafted skirt led to this post on petersham. Naomi asked me to expand on petersham ribbon and I said I’d do a post since my reply was getting long.
But first this:
The first time I used ‘petersham’ I had actually been sold grosgrain. Since I had asked the shop assistant who very nicely showed it to me – I just assumed I had the petersham that I had read of. I recall even asking if it would curve and she said yes. As I was sewing, it remained suspiciously straight but I reasoned that maybe it had to be worn before it does its thing. However, after wearing the skirt a couple of times with no change in the shape of the ‘petersham’, I started considering the possibility that it wasn’t me who had made a sewing mistake. Continue reading →
This past weekend presented itself with some lovely weather so I was out on Sunday in the garden – cleaning the greenhouse, sowing seeds, etc. The etc includes taking in the beautiful spring sights.
I don’t know about you but I love the morning after a light shower. The flowers have the droplets clinging on to their delicate petals and its a lovely thing to see. I took these pictures using OH’s phone and I was rather impressed. Continue reading →
I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.
I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.
Pattern Description: Misses’ Knit Side-Panel Dresses with Yokes
McCalls M7430 is a fitted pullover knit dress with side panels (no side seams). It has a front and back yoke with neckline variations.The neck variation is a bound, round neckline or a turtleneck. The hem variation is a shaped hem or a straight hem. The dress may be made sleeveless, three-quarter sleeve or long sleeve.
Pattern sizing combinations are A5(6-14) and E5(14-22). I cut out a size 10 based on finished garment measurements and I thought it was not too far off the mark ease-wise.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made view D, using a black contrast stretch pleather with a pink and black cloque fabric. And it looked like what I was expecting based on the pattern cover.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I read through the instructions before embarking on this project and they were huge easy to follow diagrams accompanying the written instructions making this beginner friendly. This is a relatively simple dress to make anyway. It scores more points on the beginner friendly scale as there is a YouTUbe sew along by Anita Design . You can’t do much better that! If you don’t like reading instructions it’s worth checking that out.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like patterns with interesting seam lines. This has princess seams at the front combined with a front yoke as well which gives plenty of colour blocking options. There are endless possibilities.
I bought the main fabric during SewUpNorth in November last year. It is a bold black & cerise jacquard blister ponte (cloque). I have since found out that composition is viscose, polyester & spandex (which explains why it’s so comfortable). It has a beautifully-soft handle and a firm stretch with good recovery across the width and length of the fabric. This is the same fabric I used for my Lady Skater Dress <link here>.
What really drew me to the fabric was the easy flamboyance of the vibrant rococo-style pattern. In terms of fabric care: I machine washed at 30°C and tumble dried as normal.
For the contrast, I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from Leeds Market. The stretch pleather was bought to make leggings but I am glad I didn’t make leggings with it. I didn’t want stretch pleather on my neck so I used what little black ponte I had for the upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the black ponte for the side panels.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I took in the princess seams at the waist line to reduce a swayback issue. Swayback is a standard alteration for me but I skipped it on this because I had princess seams down my back to work with. Though for future makes I will do the adjustment on my paper pattern.
There is a little more ease across the upper back than there should be for a fitted dress- it was also slightly roomy for me around the bust area where I took in about 1” in total.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am making this again for sure. Its easy to both make and wear. Comfortable and practical. I would definitely reccommend it.
Here’s a tip. The back of the dress is almost identical to the front so much so that when sewing it up its easy to mix up the pattern pieces unless if you make sure to mark them – I didnt and honestly will never not mark them again!
And another thing; my biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head lines to line up with the yoke. My initial preference would have been to make this in a stripey main fabric. However, I realised that I had a bit of trouble with a solid colour – imagine trying to line up stripes! It is possible but its something to bear in mind when cutting out especially if one is fussy about perfect pattern matching.
It’s a good basic wardrobe staple. I may make a more summery one at some point with a shorter length, normal collar and no sleeves . this dress was on the shorter side – its fine for me but if you like more covereage there, pay attention to the finished garment length measurements before cutting so you can add length. I recommend McCalls M7430 if you are looking for a dress that is well-fitting and easy-to-make. Alternatively, shorten it to make turtleneck top.
Final point about the dress: if made in one solid color, the detail of the princess seam and yoke seam is lost which would be a shame. So if you make this I highly recommend using contrasting fabrics. I also I love the slimming effect of the contrasting side panels (especially when black is used like I did for mine) – but any dark colour will have a similar effect.
Many thanks for stopping by my little corners of the interwebs. Until next time, happy sewing!
This is an epic post for me because I actually started this project in October 2014! It took me 2 years to finish it!
Some background: Owls is an insanely popular pattern on Ravelry by Kate Davies. It’s actually one of the first Ravelry downloads I bought because it uses a chunky yarn. I thought that it would be a quick knit <oh the irony>.
I wanted it in red, Hayfield Bonus Chunky shade 977 Signal Red to be exact. Since I was just beginning I bought a cheap acrylic yarn. To be honest at that time wool scared me.
I knit my arms too long and I had to unravel a half done yoke when a friend mentioned the irony of completing a make you know you are not going to wear because of a known error that can be easily fixed by ‘tinking‘ – I hate it when pals are right! After sulking for a few days, I came round and set my timer. Surprisingly it only took 30 mins to get back to error point. I used a Russian bind off on the neckline. The cable pattern was very easy to read.
The yarn is acrylic so its machine washable. I enjoyed knitting with it actually. The colour is a an amazing fire engine red that if I got lost, a rescue helicopter could easily see me. I love it! I messed up my underarm grafting again despite my best efforts. Its perfect on the 4 grafted stitches but the holes were much bigger than that – there are gaping holes that I tried to ‘sew up’ but to no avail. In the end my ‘Done is better than perfect‘ mantra kicked in.
I just washed and dried it instead of blocking since its acrylic. I learnt from my Antler experience that I dont need to fuss with acrylic yarns when it comes to blocking. Its warm and lovely to wear.
Looking at fit – It has a good fit overall but I may have messed the back shaping as that’s ended up lower than my waist. I think I just knit to my prefered length with little regard to what was going on in the back. When I make this again (and I will) I need to change where those darts go or possibly move them to the sides – I am not 100% behind them. Oh and there was no way I had the patience to find and sew approx 32 buttons.
Best feature of this for me – the owls yoke. I love how they wrap around my shoulders. I can see why this is a popular pattern. No if only it hadn’t taken me 2 years to finish it!
Its been a marathon week for me catching up with my knitting blogging but I have enjoyed it and thank you all so much for reading, liking and commenting. I will be back with one last post tomorrow but until then, Happy Knitting.
The first of my posts in KnitWeek2016 begins with organising the knitting stash. I began in earnest in early October. I think that most of us in the sewing and knitting community are more of producers than consumers (only in the sense that we consume tools and raw materials to make an item rather than just purchasing an item ready made). As a consequence we collect tools and materials for production. With that comes the challenge of keeping organised. Luckily my knitting stash is much (much) less than the sewing stash so the task of organising it didnt seem too daunting.
Cataloging the yarn
First I emptied out all the yarns I had and proceeded to catalog them all on Ravelry. I have been in awe and super impressed with how incredibly useful the Ravelry stash feature is. If you enter all your details correctly it will show you which patterns can be made up with the amount of yarn you have for a particular yarn. Also seeing what other projects have been made using that yarn in your stash is so useful for giving you ideas when you are in a rut, or if like me you cant remember what you bought the yarn for :-). So now all my yarn is cataloged and my gosh it feels good. If you would like to have snoop around my stash you can find it here <link>.
I like to have my stash visible so I dont forget what I have, seeing as I am more of a more of an out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of person. The 80L plastic tub I use is great at keeping out yarn eating bugs, as well as keeping the stash visible.
So then while I was at it I thought that much as I like digging out all the 29 stash items I have, I wanted to easily browse what I had without having to unearth them all. So a simple idea formed to have strands on a page with name and details. I used a laminated card with a hole punch to make holes for stringing yarn samples through and voila – my yarn directory! Its kept in the same binder as my knitting patterns.
Next up I sorted out the patterns I have – printed and bought (Eeeeck I actually bought a couple of patterns from an actual bricks and mortar shop when I started knitting before discovering Ravelry). Anyhow those were neatified and filed in the binder.
Knitting tools and sundries
Next up my knitting tools – I have loads of circular needles, crochet hooks and DPNs. These were more challenging to organise. On the one hand I needed to have them all together but at the same time I need to look through by type quickly….for now my solution was to have them all in one old shoebox. I will be thing about how to improve on this.
I now enjoy the yarn in my collection rather than feeling overwhelmed by it. Having said this though I do realise I need to do some serious yarn stashbusting over the next year.
What are your favourite yarn stash organising tips? I will be back tomorrow with another knitting post sharing a finished knitting project. I actually finished some knitting projects guys 🙂
So I have been mulling a bit on my sewing plans. This last week with the sewing goddeses smiling upon me has meant I have been doing what I like to call intuitive sewing – which roughly translates to sewing without a specific plan. It rather entails stumbling across a fabric and thinking this could go with that other thing I am making and then I immediately cut it and sew it up and I look for some more fabric that could make something to go with the thing I just made previously…and so on….
More importantly – one of my new habits (that I am trying to form) is making sure that no remnants are left – if the left over bit is large enough for a top its gets cut immediately or if it is leggings for my twinks it gets cut and anything left over insufficient for a garment gets chucked. A very good thing for how it is depleting my stash slowly.
Anyhow I digress – the purpose of this post was to pull together my thoughts on what I want to proactively achieve over the next few months.
Pattern Review are doing a One Pattern Many Looks contest which I have decided to enter. In the past I have excelled at such a challenge based on how I did at IPM 2015 and 2016 One pattern 2 ways contest. See here the Giselle Maxis I made in 2015 and the Carme blouses I made in 2016. I haven’t yet picked a pattern but my cogs are turning. You can check out the PR details here.
I found out about the Little Red Dress Project over on Youtube – its not limited to vloggers – its just how I first came across it. Its a challenge to make a red dress in time for the Christmas holidays. I am realising that red looks good on me and I want to add more reds in my wardrobe so this is great for me.
Separately I want to make another pair of jeans. I have bought the Mimi G pattern during the Simplicity sale. I have the fabric and I just need to trace the pattern.
I signed up for Stitching Santa run by SewChet which I am quite excited about. To shake things up for myself I decided to go with knitting instead of sewing. This is my first time signing up.
I need to catch up on my Burda Challenge 2016 – I have done 8 garments to date but I really need to have a total of 12 (one pattern/month) to justify the subscription. I didn’t renew my subscription when it ended in August but I actually really like Burda patterns. Their fitting is pretty much perfect on me and they have some fun designs, so I would like to have a 12 month subscription for next year. My Burda makes so far here..
I have enrolled on the free class Fall 2016 Knitalong on Craftsy. Its focusing on knitting 3 accessories over the fall months : a cowl, a hat and fingerless mitts. The idea is one item for each month of fall. The class is free and it includes the 3 patterns. I am liking it so far since starting my cowl.
So those are some of my loose goals for the coming season’s sewing and knitting. In the meantime – I have been going through my fabric and pattern stash selecting ones that I will never use and taking them along to the Sew Up North meet up on Saturday 4th November. I cant tell you how excited I am to be going even though I know I am not going to be buying fabric (actually I have a teeny tiny £20 budget) but still I cant wait to meet everyone who is going to be coming and help out in any way I can. Plus just to soak up the feeling of being in the company of like minded individuals. More details over here at RedWSews.wordpress.com.
Is there anything else going on in the sewing community that I have missed?
Until next time – Happy Sewing! I will be back soon.
Remember in my last Ramblings post I mentioned our first camping trip? Well …it rained and rained, and then some more rain even when we were packing up the tent. Everything got wet. Basically the entire 3 days we were there, it RAINED! Not giving up though – I cant imagine it could possibly get any worse than that. The only way must be up surely.
I bought 2 sewing books while in the tent at night struggling to sleep in cramped quarters. Boundless Style and Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Looking through the books was fun the first time but I quickly realised it was unlikely I will be making anything from these books. I think buying them was a reaction to my dropping sugar on top of being stuck in a tent with 5 excitable kids.
Speaking of sugar -its been well over a month of being sugar free now and I can honestly say that I am past the cravings. I do not crave it anymore. I can walk past the candy aisle in the supermarket and not be tempted. I am now moving to the next stage which is swapping over my simple carbs for complex ones. Apparently our bodies treat refined flour like sugar so that means I am swapping to whole grain pasta and whole grain rice for now. I bought some quinoa and hated it. Brown rice was not too bad but too chewy – unsurprisingly the kids dont like either of those so I have to cook a separate portion for myself.
Knitting – why am I so bad at finishing knitting projects. I have 5 in the process. A Marion cardigan (needs blocking) , a Miette that was finished well over a year ago but is yet to be blocked. A green Antler cardigan for my third child. An Owls sweater for me. A purple chuck sweater…………..I wallowed. I threw myself a pity party – but I didn’t let the self pity settle for long (thankfully) and got tough with myself! So I set myself an ACTION challenge in which I just have to take any action with the knitting. The deadline being a blog post in first week of November. Don’t judge me – sometimes I need hard deadlines to push me :-). Knitting means a lot of TV shows in the background.
I have been watching an Amazon Prime original series called The Collection which is set in Paris fashion house just after the end of WW2. I was quite looking forward to it but have found it to be quite slow and indulgent. Perhaps I was expecting too much actual atelier insight – a true glimpse into the workings of a haute couture house. Alas it has disappointed me so far. I am still watching it in the background as I knit at the end of the day in bed just to see exactly what all this meandering has been about. Have you seen this too? Another show I have been watching and loving is Parks and Recreation. Been doing a lot of knitting to this and even got hubs hooked on it too.
The Knitting and Stitching show is upon us Northerners in Harrogate. I had promised myself last year that I would go but unfortunately due to my excess fabric and yarn stash – I have wisely deferred to next year. I now have a hard target to reduce my respective stashes so I can go next year.
I will be joining in on Sew Up North – a sojourn arranged by Redsews on 5th November. For more information click here – it is going to be an awesome day out. I will not be buying fabric though. If you are in the area why not drop by?
The Great British Bake Off – I had a funny conversation with my twins in the sewing cave. I snuck off to the cave while the whole family was catching up with GBBO. Less than 10 mins of blessed solitude later my twinks made their way up the attic stairs. They proceeded to upend my threads, pins and pattern weights to play with…..
Mom: GBBO is on downstairs…..
Mom: Why dont you go watch it downstairs?
Twins: No. We are girls.
I dont quite know what to make of that statement but the tone and finality of the stated fact immediately reduced me to acceptance of their presence in the cave. An hour later, satisfied with making 2 more Renfrew tops – my twins satisfied with building ‘Pin and Thread Town’, we left the cave. And that was that.
Oh and I usually like GBBO but I have been a tad annoyed with some of their challenges this year – they lost me at lace pancakes!!!! Imean WTF!! Who would seriously want to make lace pancakes? I love baking but that episode just felt silly to me. <maybe in time I will get over it and watch it before the season finishes>…..only time will tell.
I also caught Episode 2 of ‘The Apprentice’ on Iplayer last night and am glad that they finally stopped the pretense of being a show about real business. The contestants, as far I can tell (from the one episode), are crackers and will provide Big Brother style reality TV material. Nothing like how real businesses operate at all!
The sewjo goddesses are smiling upon me – I have never felt so motivated to sew and am whipping up so many items. I cant wait to do a photo shoot for the the autumn stuff I have made so far and share :-). How is your autumn sewing coming along?
Thanks for stopping by and I hope wherever you are in the world you are having/had a lovely day.