Monday, 23 October 2017

An English Paper Piecing Project


I somehow haven't shared as many English Paper Piecing projects on here as I would have liked; I think it's due to the fact that as the process is much slower, projects take much longer to finish than dressmaking. However, I would like to write more about English Paper Piecing as it is something that I really love doing. If you aren't familiar with it, you can read a great post all about what English Paper Piecing here, written by Flossie Teacakes. Her blog is actually how I discovered what English Paper Piecing is (which I will shorten to EPP from now on as it is infuriatingly long to type!) so if you don't know what it is and would like to find out, I would highly recommend reading it. I started EPP about 1 1/2 years ago, and I loved it as soon as I started. I find it's such a relaxing thing to do, and it's perfect for evenings spent watching TV. It's also much more transportable than dressmaking (obviously!) and I can bring everything that I need for a project away with me in an empty chocolate tin or ice-cream tub.


I always have a lot of EPP projects on the go, but the one that I am currently working on is a very simple one, which uses hexagons, probably the most basic EPP shape. What inspired this project was the large number of scraps that I accumulate from fabric from leftover dressmaking projects. Scraps that are the worst size possible - those which are too small for another garment, but too big to throw away. This is why EPP is perfect, as it means you can use small scraps of fabric.
Fortunately (in some ways), my handmade clothes nearly all follow the same colour scheme - blue and grey! This means that although there isn't a lot of variation to my wardrobe, all my scraps from my dressmaking projects go well together. I selected 7 different fabrics and cut out hexagons from them. The main thing that I wanted to make sure of was that I was only using pieces of fabric that couldn't have been used for much else, and I left any larger pieces alone. You might recognise some of the fabrics from my pineapple trousers, my pineapple top, my black Arum top, my Dad's shirt, my navy blouse, my grey Arum top and my Rosa shirtdress. I think it's fair to say that I've succeeded in my mission to use just leftover scraps!


Like with a lot of my EPP projects, I'm not entirely sure where this one is taking me. You can see from the photo at the top of the page that all I'm really doing is just sewing hexagons together. I don't know if at the end I'm going to frame it like this one, or I might make it into a cushion. I like that I don't actually have to do anything with it, it's not following a pattern so there is no end to it. For now, I'll just enjoy sewing it all together!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Teal Linden Sweatshirt


I have yet another Linden Sweatshirt to share today, and it's also another that I've made for my Mum! This is her favourite pattern for me to sew for her, you can see the other Linden sweatshirt I've made her here. It's pretty much exactly the same as the last version: I sewed view A minus the cuffs and hem band, and with 3/4 length sleeves.


I really love sewing things for my mum! She plans each project herself and she bought the fabric for this when we were on holiday. It's a really gorgeous teal jersey fabric from Stoff 2000, it was so lovely to sew with. Adding little details is always my favourite thing to do with plain fabrics, and I love how much simply adding a wide double hem changes the finish of the garment.


My Mum really likes this jumper, and as I've mentioned before I love seeing her wearing clothes that I've made for her! I've now made her three garments that she wears quite regularly. My only regret is that I didn't buy some of this fabric too... I really want one for myself now!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Bell-Sleeve Gingham Top


I have my latest and one of my favourite makes to share with you today: a gingham top! I have seen so many clothes made out of gingham recently, and when Talia from Craft Cotton Company very kindly asked me if I wanted to sew with some of their gorgeous fabric I jumped at the occasion to make something out of gingham for myself. The pattern is self - drafted, and it is the same as this top, although without the zip. The only change that I made other than that was to add the main feature of this top - the bell sleeves!


I didn't realise how much a ruffle can add to an outfit - and how much I love it - until I made this top. It turns out that ruffles are amazing! I've been wanting to add bell sleeves to a top for ages, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. To do so, I used this tutorial, which is very clear. I did use a slightly different gathering technique though, I simply sewed two lines of basting 1/4" apart and then pulled the threads to gather it. I'm so pleased with this effect, I now really want to add them to all the garments I make.


Another detail that I really like is the closure. Gingham is quite busy, so I didn't think that a zip would be a good idea. I really like the effect of having a hole in the back (sorry, I'm not sure what the proper name is?)  and I closed it with a rouleau loop and a lovely black covered button, which I'm very happy with. This was also my first time sewing with gingham, and I am very proud of my pattern matching along the centre back seam! It was definitely not easy... 


Friday, 6 October 2017

Birthday Coco Jumper


One of my latest handmade gifts is this Tilly and the Buttons Coco jumper that I made for my Grandma's birthday. The Coco pattern is definitely one of my most used, and when I decided that I wanted to sew my Grandma a garment for her birthday I knew that this would be the perfect pattern. I've lost count of the number of Coco tops I've made, but among my Coco's there are my stripy dress, my pineapple top and my stripy top. So it's definitely a pattern that I could probably almost sew with my eyes shut! It's also such a speedy pattern to sew.


The fabric I bought from Fabricland. As always, I was unsure if there would be anything suitable (and the pressure is doubled when its for someone else!) but I think that the fabric I found is pretty good. I enjoy stripe matching (I don't know if that sounds strange?!) as I like spending the time to make a garment perfect. This stripe was different to any other I've matched as it's not consistent, and I almost made the mistake of not buying enough fabric, but added on a bit at the last minute, that I definitely needed. Whenever you give someone something you've made, it's always worrying to know it it they will like it, or in this case if it would fit! It was definitely a successful present though, my Grandma seems to really like it and it's nice to know that she's wearing something I've made her.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Great British Sewing Bee Live


As you may know, last weekend was the Great British Sewing Bee live, in London. The Sewing Bee Live was an incredible event and I was lucky enough to go with my Mum for my birthday. There were all sorts of things to do, from fabric shopping and pattern buying, to meeting the judges and looking at exhibitions and catwalks.


We had tickets to the morning show in the super theatre, so we went there soon after we arrived. It was an hour long show consisting of three previous sewing bee contestants teaming up with three members of the public and having 45 minutes to transform a dress. Given the time they had, they did such an amazing job! There was also an interview with Patrick and Esme, the judges, and a demonstration on different types of seams. It was fun to catch a glimpse of what it must be like on the actual show.


As well as the super theatre and the fabric stands there was also a Liberty fabric exhibition. I'm definitely not alone in my love of Liberty, and it was great to look at dresses made out of gorgeous fabric. There was also a catwalk, which was great fun. All the garments worn by the models were patterns that were available to buy, and it was really nice to see them in real life. 






One of my highlights was meeting Lexy and Katie from Tilly and the Buttons! It's no secret that I love Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns (I'm wearing my Rosa Shirt in these photos) and it was really great to see all of their pattern samples sewn up in real life as well as their beautiful stall. 


With so many wonderful pattern and fabric stands  it was hard not to buy the whole place, but in the end I came home with just these two gorgeous pieces of fabric! The one on the left is a really lovely needlecord from I think fabrics galore. I haven't seen many patterned needlecord that aren't too childish before, so I'm really glad to have grabbed this one. I bought enough to make a short sleeved zipper blouse, like this one. The other one is a lovely pale blue cotton from Higgs and Higgs, which was an amazing stand - my Mum and I spent ages there! It is so pretty, I'm thinking of making a shirt out of it, maybe the Kalle Shirt


It was really an amazing day. This was the first sewing event that I've been to, which meant that I hadn't seen any of the stalls other than online before. It's definitely going to be an event that I'll remember for a long time!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Me Made of the Month - September 2017


September marks the start of autumn, which marks the beginning of thick skirts and tights! One of my favourite things that I've worn is my Grainline Studio Moss Skirt, which is this month's me made of the month. I made this skirt just under a year ago, and although at the time I didn't wear it that much, I've worn it a lot more recently. It's made out of a gorgeous grey wool that I bought on my summer holiday last year, and I just love it!


This skirt was the first time I sewed a fly, which was slightly nerve-wracking at first, but there is a great tutorial on how to sew a fly by Grainline Studio, and the instructions are very clear. At first I thought it would be quite tricky to sew a fly, but it's actually fine once you get the hang of it. One of the things I like about this pattern are the details such as the pocket and the back yoke. Although I haven't made another version, I would really like to, perhaps out of denim.


So overall, I've really enjoyed getting this skirt back out for autumn. It's just perfect as the weather cools down, and I really like wearing it. It's nice to rediscover makes from last year as the weather cools down again, one of the few consolations for me once summer is over!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A Navy Linden Sweatshirt


It's jumper season! In this post, I mentioned that I was going to to make a Linden Sweatshirt out of a gorgeous, soft navy knit fabric with white specks from Stoff and Stil. The Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt is one of my favourite patterns, and I think it's just perfect for the cooler season that's fast approaching. This particular Linden is so lovely! It's really soft, it's so warm and snuggly.


This is my third Linden that I've made. The first is my mustard Linden and my second is the one that I made for my Mum. I've actually made another one for my Mum since, which I will take photos of soon. I also have plans for another for me, so it's definitely a well used pattern. This was the first time I made version A, which includes long sleeves, cuffs and a hem band. I wanted to make it exactly like the pattern without any changes, as I love how cosy it is. I also went up a size, making it bigger and therefore even more cosy and comfortable!


This is definitely a winner overall, I've already worn it a lot, as it's the perfect thing to just throw on when it's cold, as well as looking really lovely too! The white isn't showing up so much on the screen, but it is just the perfect amount of flecks in real life and adds a nice detail to the navy fabric.