Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:
For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.
I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).
Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside
Sewaholic Granville modified –
The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.
The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t bothered. But that’s ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s okay.
I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yetto do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.
The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).
I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.
For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.
Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.
I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.
I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.
Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.
Yellow Maxi Skirt
For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.
I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.
I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!! The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂
So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….
Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,
I can’t believe I only made my first Renfrew top early this year around February time. Now I have 6 versions – with still more to make.
Renfrew Pt 4
Made in polka dot poly jersey that’s been a stasher for yonks (since stash began actually) and it makes for a drapey lightweight top. I made this for the SewDots challenge, but I didn’t submit it because I decided I wasn’t particularly keen on the prizes.
Renfrew Pt 6.
Made from some John Kaldor fabric left over from another project. I just manged to squeeze in the scoop neck version with three-quarter length sleeves. Not bad for about 3/4meters of fabric. I am happy with this. I really quite love the dramatic floral print.
Renfrew Pt 5
Made in a ponte weight fabric bought in early days. I only had one meter but I was determined to make this a cowl neck version. After much messing about – I got it to fit but had to sacrifice the cuffs and have a narrower hem band. In lieu of same colour cuffs I colour blocked with a lovely contrasting grey. I wear this a lot as layer under stuff. Rarely on its own though.
That will do as far as Renfrews go for this year. Will I make more Renfrews in 2017? We will have to see………Have you made 6 of one pattern this year too?
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!
I have only gone and made another of my favourite skirt sewing pattern. Since giving away my denim Holyburn back in April (it was a bit big ), I needed another one.
A true TNT pattern it took me just under 4 hours to make from start to finish including cutting.I normally expect a Holyburn to take me less than 3 hours but the addition of an exposed zipper complicated things somewhat.
Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch (I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).
Medium weight indigo denim fabric. I used a hammer a few times to flatten seams. The waistband lining is Cupro left over from my tailored jacket V8601. I used grey bias binding on the hem. Old shirt for pockets. An exposed zip using Lladybird’s tutorial. I wasn’t planning on an exposed zip but when Lauren posted her tutorial it bolstered my confidence to give it a go.
I should also mention that I started this skirt for the OutfitAlong OAL2016 challenge of which the counterpart is a Chuck sweater that I started knitting and still haven’t finished….yet. Anyhow pictures 🙂
I love this skirt! I am so grateful to the friend who insisted on wanting the old Holyburn. If she had never asked (and persisted), I would not have had the chance to make a much better fitting and better sewn skirt. This giving away my me mades malarkey may yet have some benefits 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. I guess the denim skirt can count as the beginning of autumn sewing? 🙂
Have you started on your autumn sewing yet ? I will be back soon with my autumn mood board.
I decided to join the One Week One Pattern (OWOP) challenge when CinderEllis announced it on her blog. The premise of OWOP is that you select one pattern that you have made and you pledge to include that garment in your daily outfit for the week. It tends to be a lot easier if you select a pattern you have made more than once.
It didn’t sound like a great premise to me at first because well, why would I want to wear the same thing for 7 days when I have so many handmade things in my closet? Well, the beauty of this challenge, as I discovered, is that it really pushes you (at least it did for me) to find ways of overcoming wardrobe ennui. When wardrobe ennui starts to set in, the best way to beat it is with clever styling tricks. So I’d say that OWOP is more of a styling challenge rather than a wardrobe wearout challenge which inevitably happens with something like MeMadeMay.
Can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of having to style them everyday for a week. So much that by the time the 7 days were up, I still had an appetite for more. Big thanks to Hannah for taking the time to host this challenge. I was so inspired by the many people who participated and again my fabric and pattern wish list has grown!
So here are my ways of wearing the Granville shirt. Enjoy 🙂 Picture quality is not the best – some days there was better light than others.
I reckon I did OK with my sartorial choices but next time I would like to be bolder in my styling :-). I learnt that button-down shirts like the Granville can be dressed up or down and can be styled in countless creative ways.
Are you the proud owner of a Sewaholic Granville (or any) button-down shirt? How do you prefer to style yours? I’d love to hear!
I took a rather unexpected break from blogging. Actually it was forced upon me…its summer holidays and the kids have been wanting to play a new PC game they got as a present. Wrestling for control of the computer when you are a significantly outnumbered as I am means that I have no access to write up my blog posts :-(. I need a laptop <sigh>.
Still I have managed to bribe them with extra morning PC time in exchange for 30 mins to write up this post. Please forgive any typos and remember that Done is better than Perfect :-). I am running behind on posting my finished items and these were finished over a month ago actually. OK here goes…
I bought the Oakridge pattern a long time ago but never got round to sewing it up . I even started it but never finished it off. In a flurry of productivity I decided to tackle some of my UFOs after getting back from holiday in early May and these 2 were in the pile. Continue reading →
Another day another Renfrew top. This one a simple scoop neck version. Fabric is from Fabsworks in Dewsbury. I squeezed this out of leftovers from making a Lady Skater dress (post coming soon).
I love it! Now if only I could find a solid colour fabric in my stash. It turns out that I am not a fan of solid colours so much. My only issue with this is that I cut the cuffs on the wrong grain so they don’t stretch as much as I’d like. As a person who rolls up her sleeves a lot, this is a tad annoying.
I really cant stop gushing over how much I love these tops (see my love letter here and here) . But I shall spare you and just move on to the pictures :-).
Happy Wednesday! All good things happen on a Wednesday – at least thats what I like to tell myself. My good thing is I have time to post one of my latest makes – another beloved Renfrew top. After falling hard and fast for my first one (link here) I immediately cut out another using Spoolette fabric. This stripe was from Lucky Fashion.
So I didn’t actually have enough fabric to make the cowl neck but I REALLY wanted this fabric to be a cowl neck. So what are you going to do? Well one part of the cowl neck is on straight grain and the other is on crossgrain. Its seemed to work :-).
My stripe matching is still in its infancy but its wearable. There is nothing I can add to the construction of this top that isn’t in the excellent instructions already. My next one is a scoop neck in a plain solid colour. Ali suggested making a dress using this as the top half and I am thinking of using the Moneta dress bottom…..creating some sort of Coleholic or Sewalette………I digress..
Right. On to pictures….(this past weekend was so gloriously sunny that I had to wear my sunglasses because I was squinting so much!)
I really cant stop gushing over how much I love these tops. But I shall spare you.
When I first saw you I paid little attention. You looked pretty yes, but my eye roved elsewhere. For months you came and went from my radar yet I never quite comprehended what it was about you that kept coming back to haunt me. Was it your scoop neck that was neither too low, nor too high. Or your seductive cowl? So much has been written about you yet though I bought you home, printed, taped and traced – still I tarried left you sitting for months -nay – a year even!
Will you forgive me darling Renfrew? For now that I have made you I am both ecstatic and desolate! Ecstatic because sewing you was so simple. Desolate because I have wasted all this time without having such a wonderful staple in my wardrobe.
It is true what Seth Godin says:
The eyes cannot see what the brain is not ready to comprehend.
Where have you been all my life. Love you so much. So quick and easy to make. You took me as I am with no alterations. Size 4. Perfect for me. Thank you Renfrew!
For me few things look more together than a quick pairing of jeans (preferably clean) and a well fitting shirt. Having discovered a shirt that suits my lifestyle, I may have made a 4th Granville shirt :-).
The floral fabric was purchased from Ebay over a year ago and I cant say what sort of fabric it it. Its definitely cotton – not fine enough to be lawn and not heavy enough to be quilting cotton.
I have already regaled with the details of fitting here and made 2 further ones in paisley and floral so there is not much else to add.
Perhaps construction wise I made it a lot faster. I can’t imagine making a shirt without using flat felled seams. There is an almost meditative joy in flat felling for me. For the buttons I used repurposed Crew Clothing Co from an old old old shirt.
Some pictures taken a while back.
I quite simply love the Granville.
In other news I have realised that sewing is one of my favorite ways to refresh. When I am not doing things that I love, that feed my soul then…….well I’ve learned from experience that when I am depleted, I’m not the wife, mother, or friend I want to be. The more I feed my own soul, the more I have to give out.
The only problem is time. Since I can’t clone myself a la Multiplicity ( a great movie if you haven’t watched) or simply wish for more hours in a day – I must make the time.
We all know that doesn’t happen automatically. It needs to be planned, especially if you are responsible for the daily care of kids among other things. I find these stages of constant giving can be draining. I haven’t yet quite figured out how I will do it but my thinking hat is on. Just the realisation was a huge shift for me. I now know I dont have to feel guilty about spending money on patterns or fabric or time in my sewing cave. Because it actually makes me a better person. On that note many thanks for reading this far into my ramblings.