Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Bye Bye Birdie Arum Blouse

When Fiona from Faberwood contacted me and asked me if I would like some more of her gorgeous fabric, I said yes, of course! Faberwood is a really lovely online fabric choice, with a carefully selected array of stunning fabrics. I chose the Bye Bye Birdie by Atelier Brunette, a really lovely black cotton with origami-like cranes on it. It took me a while to decide what to make, but I think that a blouse was the perfect pattern. I chose the Arum Top by Deer and Doe, a pattern I've made several times before. The pattern is really simple, but the shape of it is lovely, with princess seams smoothly  shaping the back and coming in slightly at the waist.

The Arum Top has kimono sleeves, which is a feature that I really like, as the looser shape is nice and it also makes it a quicker sew. I did put a pocket on the front, although it's difficult to see as the fabric is so dark. The neck is finished with a facing, my favourite type of neckline finishes, as I like the crisp  and neat effect. The fabric was really nice to sew with, and it has a really lovely soft feel to it.

Again, the seams on the back are hard to see due to the darkness of the fabric, but I love how well it fits. For me, this top ticks all the boxes, and I know I'll be wearing it lots! I'm thinking that it will go especially well with my aubergine Delphine skirt...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Purple Soda Cushion

A while ago, I made several Ice Cream Soda blocks in different colours. Since then, the blocks have just sat on my desk, as I've been unsure what to do with them. The Ice Cream Soda block is an English Paper Piecing design by Tales of Cloth, and the idea is that they then come together to form a quilt. However, I wasn't that fond of the different colours I used put together: a teal, a pink, a purple and a red. Even though the colours are lovely on their own, they just don't match each other. Also, although the blocks are really fun to make, I didn't really feel the want to make a quilt. So the blocks just sat there (although they were at least looked at regularly, the individual colours are really lovely!) until the other day when I decided to sew a cushion for someone's birthday. I wanted to  make them something special, and my mum had the idea of appliquéing on of the Ice Cream Soda blocks onto the cushion! I found the lovely charcoal fabric in fabric land a while ago, and decided that the purple bock would be the best one to use (and yes, the other three blocks are still sitting on the desk, but I'm getting there -  slowly!).

The cushion has a zip in the back (a detail I really like, because I tend to just hand-sew cushions closed, although I know don't know why; zips are super simple and so much more practical!) and there is also piping around the outside. The piping was actually a bit of a spur of the moment decision, but I'm so glad I added it. It was my first time making and using piping, but it was really easy. Although I didn't use this tutorial for the whole cushion, I did use it for making the piping, and it was really useful. I think that piping is one of those things that you build up to so much, you keep putting it off, but it's actually so easy and it looks so lovely! This cushion is being given away, but I'd love to make some similar ones to put in my room!

Even though there was a new technique in this (piping) it was a really speedy sew. The longest part was probably taking the papers out of the English Paper Piecing, a process I find annoyingly fiddly! The block is appliquéd on with a simple zig-zag stitch around the edge. I love how adding the extra details of piping and a zip to a really easy make can make it seem so much more special!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Aubergine Delphine Skirt

Needlecord is currently my favourite fabric to sew with. I love how smooth it is, and I think it makes a garment look really lovely. It also keeps its shape well, and I found some in gorgeous colours. Basically, a win-win on all accounts! Also, once you actually sew with it, you realise it's really not scary at all! I mentioned here that I had some aubergine needlecord as well as the burnt orange, and I decided to make a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt with it. As mentioned above, needlecord holds it's shape really well, so it was an ideal fabric to use for an a-line skirt.

I absolutely love this skirt! It was my first time using the Delphine pattern, although why I waited so long I don't know... I'm dreaming of so many more versions already! The pattern comes in Tilly's book, Love at First Stitch, but the instructions and pattern are just as good as any other. The skirt is a really simple and speedy sew. I would like to add a lining to my next one though, just to make it into a slightly more luxury garment, but it is tempting to not bother and simply finish it quicker!

The main thing I'm proud about is the fit of this skirt. I've struggled to fit skirts, but this is the first time that I've really done anything about it - and it was really easy! All I did was sew the seam allowances on the waistband differently, going into a kind of triangle shape so that it was narrower at the top. The skirt closes with an invisible zip, which is one of my favourite types of closures as I like the neat and professional finish of it. I know I say it a lot, but I'm so happy with this make, and I know I'm going to be wearing it lots!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Blue Pyjamas

When we came across this shop, I was completely entranced at the wonderful things it had on offer. It sells both hand-made children's clothes and fabrics, as well as accessories such as bunting, bias binding and purses. Its quite a tucked away shop and we stumbled upon it entirely by accident, but my whole family then spent a wonderful time looking at everything it had to sell. Unfortunately, all of the clothing is for small children, but luckily it also sells gorgeous fabrics, and after seeing a mini-pair of pyjamas, my sister asked me if I could make her some, to which I accepted, of course!

You can see a photo of the front and back here. The back has a pocket on the right hand side, which is a detail that I love. The pyjama shorts were really easy to make, all I did was trace a pair of my sister's existing shorts and I then vaguely followed this tutorial, which I would highly recommend for anyone speed sewing! The main feature of this shorts pattern that I like is the fact that there is no side seam on the outside, and the way of doing this is explained in the tutorial.

Here is a close up of the pocket, my favourite feature! I love extra details on patterns and this ticks all the boxes. I always love sewing with beautiful fabrics, despite the fact that they are sometimes nerve wracking to cut into. The fabric that my sister chose is this one, and we also bought some orange bias binding to go with it for the top of the pocket, which is a feature copied from the one in the shop. (By the way, they also have a great selection of coated cottons). One of my favourite things about pyjamas and other lounge-wear (ish) items is that you can go for what ever fabric you like, it doesn't matter how bold the print is! Pyjamas are also a great thing to make out of quilting cottons. I'm really happy with these, as is my sister, it was a really fun and fast project.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Burnt Orange Cleo

I've wanted to make another dungaree dress for a while, and I was on the lookout for some needlecord. I originally wanted some aubergine needlecord, but when I found this burnt orange colour I knew it would be perfect! I did also come away with some aubergine/bordeaux needlecord, but for a different project which will also hopefully be finished soon. One of the things I love about this fabric is the colour, I haven't really seen anything quite like it. I'm really happy with the fit of my Cleo dress, and I love the centre front seam and the pocket. I decided to only use one pocket, on the front, but next time ( because there will definitely be a next time!) I'd like to put the two pockets on the back on too.

It was the first time I've sewed with needlecord, but I found it relatively easy, and Tilly and the Buttons have got some top tips for sewing with corduroy on their blog. My main tip is to press very little - I hardly used the iron at all for this project (I left the facings un-interfaced) but did use some steam. The facings are one of the things that I love about the pattern, they not only stabilise the top and make hemming easier, but they also make the dress seem so much more luxurious, a bit like if it was properly lined only a much easier and less time consuming version.

This is another make that ticks all the boxes, and like everyone else I love the cleo pattern! It was really quick to make, and I'm already planning more versions... I'd love one in a black denim or maybe a light denim with a contrast pocket!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Rosa Shirtdress

The Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt and Shirtdress is one of my favourite patterns. Its a wonderful project to get sucked into, I love in-depth projects that you can spend time making perfect. Although quick projects are great too, I find that I sometimes spend less time finishing all the seams exactly or pressing everything wheras in a project that I know from the start will take time, I don't mind spending time on all the details as much. Anyway, I loved spending all time on all the details of the Rosa Shirtdress, such as the topstitching, the mockfelled seams and the buttonholes.

I've already made the Rosa Shirt, and I followed the online workshop that I got for my birthday, so it was suprisingly quick to sew. This time, I wanted to make the dress to wear in the spring and summer. I love the version on the sewing pattern, so I replicated the light denim and golden topstitching. I love the classic look it has! The fabric I got from Fabric land, so it was really good value. Its a lovely chambray and it was really nice to sew with.

One of my favourite details of the Rosa Shirtdress is the contrast facing. I spent a long time choosing the fabric to use on the contrast, as well as the buttons, but I'm really pleased with both. The buttonholes are another thing that I'm really happy with, despite having sewn quite a lot of buttonholes before, I think that they are one of those things which are always quite daunting, but these went pretty smoothly!

Look at the topstitching on the yoke! Overall, I'm really happy with this dress. Although I don't wear dresses loads, I really love them, and this one will definitely be getting a lot of wear over the summer.