Monday, 21 August 2017

Off the Shoulder Top

 

This is actually something that I made way back in December; that’s right, I made a summer top last December! The reason it’s only just made its way onto my blog is that it’s only recently been warm enough to actually wear and photograph. But it was so worth the wait! I absolutely love it. An explanation for making it is December is deserved, but there isn’t really anything to say, other than I really wanted to sew something, and the only fabric I had on hand was an old shirt of my Dad’s. Re-fashions are really fun to make, but the cotton fabric wasn’t suitable for winter and there also wasn’t enough to make anything with long sleeves, so I decided to make an off-the-shoulder top. The good thing about using an old item of clothing as fabric is that I wasn’t too worried to be making it up slightly as I went along, because I wasn’t wasting any precious fabric.


To make this top, I used mainly this tutorial. However, if you'd rather make one without a ruffle, I'd recommend this one. It was so easy to make! Because I used a shirt I didn’t have enough fabric laid out, so the ruffle has a few extra seams in it, but the great thing is that these don’t show as the fabric is gathered. I used the front of the shirt for the back, and the back for the front, and then the ruffle is made out of the sleeves. This is the first time I’ve actually properly re-fashioned a piece of clothing, and I really enjoyed doing it.



Because a shirt has buttons on it, I decided to make them a feature rather than sew a seam in the fabric. The back of my top has buttons going down it, and I love this feature so much! I would have probably added them even if the shirt didn’t have any already, but the fact that it did meant that I didn’t need to sew my own buttonholes, making it an even quicker make! The fact that I re-fashioned an otherwise unwanted garment meant that I was able to sew something that was slightly outside my comfort zone because it wouldn’t have mattered it I’d never worn it. I’m so happy I did though, as I love it. It’s really good to sometimes use pieces of fabric that you aren’t worried about wasting as it allows you to have so much more freedom with what you make.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Pineapple Trousers


This project is definitely an example of something that I never thought I'd wear, and in fact absolutely love! When I received this stunning pineapple fabric from Faberwood a while ago, I wasn't sure what to make out of it. I had originally thought of making a blouse like this one, with a metallic zip in the back, and while I think it would have looked really nice I just didn't need another blouse, and I actually already have a top with pineapples on it. And so the fabric lay un-used for a little while (far from neglected though, don't you worry, I gazed lovingly at it very frequently!) until a couple of weeks ago, when I brought it downstairs to look at with my Mum. Making trousers had never occurred to me until my Mum mentioned it, but it didn't take me long to decide!


My main worry about these trousers was wether or not they would look like pyjamas. However, I have seen a lot of patterned trousers recently, and the fabric would be far to luxury in my opinion to sleep it! I just adore the print, the perfect balance of fun and sophisticated. To prove how much I love this fabric you can see this top that I've made in the same print but in a different colour. I've sewn pyjama trousers before, and the actual construction of the trousers was really simple. I wasn't sure which pattern to use, and although I saw lots of lovely trouser patterns online, I decided to hack a pattern that I already had, to save both money and time. So the pattern that I used was the Tilly and the Buttons Margot pyjamas, from Love at First Stitch. The main things that I changed was taking the seams in quite a lot at the side and adding elastic at the bottom to gather it. If I had had more fabric I would have liked to have added pockets, but I managed to just squeeze these out of 1 1/2m!


Overall, I really love these trousers. They are exactly what I need for my holidays, which will involve quite a bit of cycling, and are a style that I grow to love more and more every time a wear them. Also, they are so comfortable! So the moral of this make? Risk it! Try a new pattern, a new style that you usually wouldn't dare. It might not be right, but there is a fair chance that you will discover a new much loved style.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Bottle Holder Tutorial


Look at these wonderful bottle holders! I absolutely love them. They provide a soft place to grip a bottle, a fun decoration and a lovely little project! You can whiz up your own very quickly, supplies are easy to get hold of and you will be sure to fall in love with them. I'm definitely going to be making many, many more!

You Will Need:

Batting/Fusible Fleece
1x Outer Fabric
1x Lining Fabric
Velcro or some other kind of fastening
A Bottle



Right! Lets get started. To begin with, measure around your bottle using a tape measure. Then add on 5 cm to the length (mine was 20cm, so total was 25cm). For the width, I decided 10 cm was around the correct length for my bottle, but depending on your bottle size that will need to change too. Cut one piece from your outer fabric (so mine was 25cm x 10cm) and another piece from your inner fabric. If you are using fusible fleece, cut it 1 cm smaller on all sides, but if, like me, you are using batting, cut a piece the same size as the pieces of fabric.






Ok, time to create a 'sandwich'. You should have three layers: the outer fabric, the inner fabric, and your batting. Put them together like this: inner fabric face up, outer fabric face down, batting on top of the outer fabric. Make sure the order is correct! Double check before pinning.  Sew around your three layers, making sure you leave a hole at the top.




Once you have sewn around your fabrics, turn the rectangle the right way out. Your batting should be in between the outer fabric and the inner fabric!! Tuck in the edges of your hole and iron it all flat.







Time for some top stitching! This has a double bonus: not only does it look lovely, but it also covers up your hole very neatly, so you don't have to slave away sewing it up with a needle and thread! Make sure you keep your stitching in a strait line (I lined my fabric up with the inside edge of my foot). You can use a colour co-ordinating thread, or you might decide to go for a nice contrast!





This is the final step - wasn't that easy?! To fasten your bottle holder, stick your velcro onto the outer fabric of one side and the inner fabric of the other. Make sure to line it up right, so it isn't too loose or too tight. I used sticky velcro so I didn't sew around it, but if you are using normal velcro make sure to sew around using a matching thread.


Or:



For my other bottle holder, I used poppers to fasten it (this meant that I didn't make it as long at the start). To make sure your poppers are straight, use an iron-off pen (frixon works well) and draw four little dots where the poppers are going to go, and then hand sew them on.








I hope you enjoyed making these bottle holders! They make lovely gifts to go with a drink, or you could stock up yourself for summer!







Saturday, 29 July 2017

Liberty Pyjamas


I am so excited about this make; It is none other than Liberty pyjamas! Sewing with Liberty for me, like many people, is a huge luxury, so I'm very pleased to have a pair of Liberty pj's. I got this Liberty fabric from the Birmingham rag market for just £8 a metre (I talked about all of my fabric purchases from Birmingham here if you're interested) which was an extremely good price for Liberty! However, gorgeous as it is, Liberty fabric is quite bold, and I knew that if I made it into a top I would rarely wear it. I didn't want it just sitting in the cupboard for ages though, so I cut into it soon after I bought it, and pyjamas solved the problem of what to make!


I don't have any 'proper' pyjamas, as in button down shirts, and that was what I wanted to make. I 'drafted' the pattern for the shirt which is something that I'm quite proud of as I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. When I say 'drafted' I mean I copied the pattern from an existing shirt, but I still had to make sure that each piece fit together and was sewed in the right order, so it counts as drafted in my books! Extra details that I added are a small pocket and pink flower buttons, which although you can't see very well look very lovely! One of the benefits of not making a garment to wear outside is that you can add fun extra details like buttons in the shape of flowers (which also happen to fade in a pink gradient as you get to the bottom of the shirt!). This shirt was actually really quite to make, compared to say my Fairfield button-up or my Rosa shirtdress. For a shirt it is actually incredibly easy, with just a few pattern pieces. I didn't interface anything as I wanted the pyjamas to be soft, and I added button and collar facings, which I think adds a nice touch of luxury. If you're looking at making pyjamas like these but would rather buy a pattern, I'd recommend the Carolyn pyjamas by Closet Case Files, the pattern that I would have bought had I not felt that I'd be able to draft it myself, which is much cheaper than buying a pattern. This is definitely not going to be the only one of these I'm going to make, and I'm longing to add piping in my next one!


For the shorts, I used the Margot pyjama pattern from Love at First Stitch, and hacked it to make shorts. I wasn't sure which fabric to use for the shorts, but my Mum found this perfect black lobby fabric by Robert Kaufman at John Lewis. It doesn't show up on the photos but it has a lovely texture to it. To add some interest, I put some bias-binding made with the Liberty fabric around the bottom hem, as well as a Liberty drawstring at the front. On the back I added a pocket with a Liberty trim around the top, which is similar to on these pyjamas that I made. I really love this pyjama ensemble, they are just perfect for the summer and it feels very special to sleep in Liberty!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Me Made of the Month - July 2017


This month's me made of the month is another make that I made a while ago. It's the Deer and Doe Arum blouse. This blouse is one of my favourite patterns, the silhouette is gorgeous. I made this blouse a while ago, but I haven't really worn it much. However, I've  worn it a few times recently and I've really loved wearing it. The fabric is really gorgeous, it's a double gauze from gather here and make something and is gorgeous. The fabric is actually double sided, and luckily I have quite a bit left, and I'm hoping on making something that would put that to it's best.


The only bad thing about this fabric (and this top) is that it frays horribly. Despite the fact that most of the seams are finished, the princess seams on the back are falling apart a bit, which is really frustrating! This was the first time that I made the pattern (I've made it since, you can see it here) and at the time I hadn't sewn a lot of things. This is a great pattern to start off with, as it's really easy to fit and sew. It also teaches good techniques such as sewing a facing. 


I love that I'm now able to come to a point where I can re-discover old makes and put them on. A lot of garments that I made at the start make me feel really happy to put on. It's really nice to wear old makes, as well as to see how much my sewing has improved.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Another Linden Sweatshirt


That's right, it's another Linden Sweatshirt! After last weeks linden, I made one for my Mum. The fabric is from Guthrie and Ghani, I mentioned it in this post. Already, the Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt is one of my favourite patterns. Not only is it super quick and easy to make, it also is really comfortable and and looks good. My Mum thought so too. She chose the fabric and the pattern, and all I had to do was sew it up. I love sewing things for others, and it's even better if you see them on a weekly basis after you've given them away!


I made view B of the pattern, and added three quarter length sleeves, rather than short or full length ones. I really like this pattern with that sleeve length too, and I might add them onto my next one. Despite having made two jumpers with exactly the same pattern (other than the sleeve length) they look completely different because of the fabric. This fabric was a lot harder to sew with than the other one, mainly because of the amount of stretch that it has. I sewed it up using a zig-zag stitch and a ball point needle, but I think that using a walking foot was what made it possible and I would highly recommend it, it made is so much easier!


Finally, I've started to realise just how much blue clothes I've been sewing! These are my Coco top, my Belladone dress and this jumper. I love wearing blue, but I didn't quite notice how many of my handmade clothes are of that colour! Not that I regret making them, but taking this photo made me smile at how predictable my wardrobe is! 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Mustard Linden Sweatshirt


This is my first make from the fabrics I got from Guthrie & Ghani that I mentioned in this post. It is the Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt... And I'm in love with it! I absolutely love everything about it: the colour, the fabric, the style, the fit. It was such a quick and easy make and I'm very happy with it. The fabric that I used is a gorgeous mustard knit fabric, which is perfect for the pattern. As you may be aware, mustard and navy is my absolute favourite colour combination right now, and I am shamelessly wearing outfits of those colour in constant rotation. This jumper is the perfect edition.


What makes this pattern special are the raglan sleeves, which I really like. The pattern comes in two views (I chose view B). You can either decide to make a classic sweater, including cuffs and ribbing, or more of a top, which is slightly cropped and has shorter sleeves. This is the only version I've tried out so far, but I'd like to make the other too sometime. I really like the neckband on the design too, I'm always looking for different techniques to try out. Sewing the neckband in this fabric was really easy, so I was happy to have started with this one, as I have also made one for my Mum (which I will blog soon!) which used much stretchier jersey and so was a lot harder to sew.


Another thing I love about this pattern is the hem-line. I love a good high-low hem (as you may know from this top) and this pattern is perfectly design to sit in exactly the right place. I really like the side view of this jumper, the hem looks lovely. To finish off the hem, I sewed a double row of stitching. I love double stitching, and I don't mind taking the extra time to sew it twice rather that using a twin needle. Although I would like to try one out sometime, I didn't bother with the extra expense, and I have also heard that they aren't always accurate. I do need to test out a twin needle though to find out if this is true!


Overall I'm really pleased with this super simple and speedy sew! The Linden Sweatshirt is almost certainly going to be a pattern I use over and over, the shape is so lovely and it's just so quick and easy to make. Have I mentioned I love this fabric?! Although it's not coming out in the pictures, it actually has flecks of red and blue on it as well as some different textures, which adds a lovely twist to a classic colour. This is definitely going to be getting a lot of wear!