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. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Perfect Coco Dress

This dress is the dress that I have unknowingly been waiting for forever... It's a stripy Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress and I love it! It's one of those garments that I never knew I needed, and then once made I've worn it constantly (or as constantly as a five-days-a-week compulsory school uniform allows stripy dresses to be worn!). The Coco sewing pattern is definitely one of my most used patterns, although this is the first time I've made the dress version. This dress is probably most similar to my stripy Coco top, which I've worn a lot too.

The fabric is from Stoff and Stil, I mentioned it in this post. I think that it is seriously one of the most incredible knit fabrics that I've ever seen/felt/sewn with. It's so soft, thick enough for autumn/winter, but not too thick, the perfect colour, the most wonderful stripes... and the list goes on! I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with dresses, in that I adore them, yet rarely get a lot of wear out of them. This is why more casual dresses, such as this one and my Rosa shirtdress, are perfect for me. One of the many things that I love about this dress is that it's perfect for autumn (yes, I've finally admitted that it's autumn!) when worn with tights, and it will hopefully also work really well in the winter, spring and maybe even the summer depending on how much layering is added.

I'm really pleased with the pattern matching on this. For me, stripes have to be pattern matched. I love the professional look it gives off, and I don't mind taking the extra time when cutting to ensure that the stripes will match perfectly. However, I've never actually pattern matched with anything other than stripes, so before I declare my love of pattern matching I should probably try some more complicated prints!

In case you haven't guessed by now, this dress is a complete winner. The pattern, as always, was really easy to sew up, and I like to be able to have patterns that I'm so familiar with they feel like old friends! All I can say is that I'm clearly going to have to make more... So many different versions are already coming up in my head!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Stoff & Stil

One of the best parts of my summer was my visit to Stoff & Stil, one of the most incredible fabric shops. It is truly amazing - it's huge! It was extremely exciting, and I bought quite a bit of fabric, which I'm sharing as part of my fabric shopping series. The best part was definitely their outstanding selection of knit fabrics, something that I can't find so much as home. Here are some of my finds:

The first is this lovely grey and white stripe knit fabric. I've wanted to make a Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress for a while, and I was looking for the perfect stipe fabric, and I found it! I really love this fabric (so much that I've actually already made the dress!) it's exactly what I was looking for.

Other than the fabric above, I wasn't really looking for anything in particular. I quite like wandering around fabric shops and being hit with inspiration for a sewing project when I see a certain fabric. The next fabric is another knit, it's really gorgeous. The background is navy, and is has flecks of pink, purple, mustard and white on it. I've bought enough to make some pyjama shorts for my sister as well as a Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt for me.

This one is actually for another Linden Sweatshirt. I want to make a super cosy jumper for the colder weather that's creeping in, and this fabric is just perfect. It's quite thick, and is navy flecked with white, exactly the kind of autumnal fabric I love!

Finally, I also have some navy crushed velvet. I've never sewn anything with velvet before, and I don't have very much of this, but I'd like to make a simple skirt. The fabric hangs very nicely, so I think that it would work very well as a skirt.

So here are all the fabrics together. I'm very excited about all of these! Despite having bought them in the summer, I think that the muted colours show more of a leaning towards autumn, which is good as I'll be able to get a lot of wear out of the garments.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

5 Handmade Clothes for the Summer Holidays

Going away in the summer is always a great opportunity for me to get a lot of wear out of my favourite me-made clothes, and I thought I'd share some of my handmade clothes that I wore the most on holiday. These weren't the only handmade clothes I brought with me, but they were the ones that I enjoyed wearing the most and managed to grab pictures of!

For the days spent wondering around cities, this outfit was perfect. A lot of European cities definitely scream 'stripy top and yellow skirt' to me! It's always nice to bring some smart outfits on holiday too, and this skirt ticked all the boxes; it was also good to put on in the evenings.

This was particularly worn at the start of my holiday, which consisted of much warmer weather than the end. I love how summery it feels, and the ruffle sways very nicely in the breeze. Although I didn't spend a lot of time on the beach, I do think that it would be perfect to throw on over swim-wear, the elastic at the top makes it easy to put on and its very comfortable.

For some reason, I love the irony of wearing a top with raindrop fabric on it on a sunny day! T-shirts always get the most wear when I'm on holiday, so it's always good to have ones which are slightly more interesting, like this one. It's always great to have a garment which is comfy and easy to wear but feels a bit more special than a plain shop bought t-shirt.

Again, any t-shirt which is that bit nicer than ready to wear is a win! I wore this top a lot on holiday, it's perfect with jeans for the slightly cooler days (you can probably tell that it was very windy from my hair in this photo!). Also, pineapple fabric is un-beatable!

Yes, pineapples again! I wore these trousers over and over on holiday. They are so comfortable, I honestly don't know why I didn't make a pair sooner. They are also perfect for cycling, something that we did quite a bit of.

I know that this is number six, but five sounds better than six and besides, pyjamas don't count as clothes so much do they?! Finally, my Liberty pyjamas were absolutely perfect to bring with me. They feel so special to wear, and were perfect for warm nights.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Danish Design Museum

A few weeks ago, as part of my holiday, I was lucky enough to visit the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen. It was incredible! They had two fashion exhibitions on, one permanent one called Fashion & Fabric and one named I am black velvet, (which is there until January 28th 2018) about the haute-couture designer Erik Mortensen. Both were really good. I took a lot of photos (it was really hard to narrow them down to just these!) and I wanted to write about as it was really a very good exhibition.

Starting with the Fashion & Fabric exhibition, this dress was the first one that caught my eye. I love the elaborate sleeves, it must have looked stunning being worn down a cat-walk. This was an evening dress designed by Erik Mortensen in 1986. The sleeves are made from artificial ostrich feathers, and the dress is covered in sequins and rhinestones. 

Looking at fashion sketches are one of my favourite things to see at fashion museums. I love seeing the dresses drawn and then created. The sketch in the bottom right is of the dress above, it's amazing to thing that something that started as pen on paper finished as an incredible garment.

The next dress is a wedding dress made out of silk. I love the close up shot of the embroidery - so much detail! It's amazing. The dress must have taken so long to make, and the embroidery is exquisite. I also love how this was worn in 1768 and I was looking at it 250 years later!

Moving on to the I Am Black Velvet exhibition. These are all designs from the haut-couture designer Erik Mortensen. A lot of his works were in black, hence the name of the exhibition. These two dresses are made from black silk and velvet. I like the long train surrounded by ruffles, it hangs really nicely.

These two outfits caught my eye because of the metallic gold machine embroidering. The first is a long jacket with trousers and boots, complete with a turban. The whole outfit left me completely in awe. The dress next to it is another incredibly intricate design, adorned in gold ribbons and beads.

These outfits are made from off-white wool. They are trouser-dresses with jackets and wide belts. The jacket's yoke is decorated with rouleaux and the belt is made of glove leather. I particularly like the details on the cuffs.

The next two dresses are long evening dresses made from silk satin. The appliqu├ęd flowers are slightly crazy yet still strangely elegant. I love the shape of the black dress, and the bright colours are lovely.

Finally, a few more sketches, selected from a few of Mortensen's collections. It was really an incredible exhibition to go to, if you have the chance I would highly recommend going. The Design Museum also has lots of other exhibitions, there will definitely be something for everyone.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Me Made of the Month - August 2017

August always means that I get to wear handmade clothes for pretty much the whole month, as no school means no uniform! It was hard to choose just one favourite thing that I wore, but I've wanted to talk about my Rosa shirt for a while and this is the perfect excuse! So the me made of the month for August is my Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt. It might seem strange to pick a shirt for August rather than a summer top, but the weather has definitely not been the greatest where I've been! I think we got all our sunshine at the end of June. This is one of my absolute favourite makes, partly because it was the the make for me that made me realise that I could sew anything.

My favourite part of this shirt is the contrast facing, which I made in a Liberty print. I love how the bright pink is secretly there, I'm a huge fan of secret details! This photo also make me happy, as being able to make matching bracelets to wear with handmade clothes pretty much sums up why I make things! The gorgeous chambray fabric is from the Village Haberdashery, I received it as a birthday present along with the pattern and online course last year.

The Rosa shirt is probably one of my favourite patterns. Since making this shirt in October last year, I've also made the shirtdress, and I'm planning another one at the moment. I love all the details from the princess seams to the topstitching. It's a great learning curve, especially making the collar and the button holes. My Rosa shirt is definitely one of the most special garments that I've made, and I really love wearing it.