Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Stripy Turtleneck

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through the Guthrie and Ghani website when I stumbled across this gorgeous black and white ribbed jersey fabric. I have a (slight) obsession with stripes, and instantly loved it! I ordered a metre (because I strictly speaking didn't need it) and for the next few days thought about what I wanted to make.

The idea of a turtleneck came into my head, because I love turtlenecks, and thought that the fabric would work really well in that style. For the pattern, I hacked my Tilly and the Buttons Coco pattern (yes, again!) and used a turtleneck that I already own to make any adjustments. All I had to do was raise the neckline, and make the turtleneck, so it was a really simple pattern.

The 3/4 length sleeves are actually a bit of an accident... 1 metre isn't really enough fabric to make a top, and I only had enough to make the sleeves cropped if the stripes were all going in the right direction. Luckily, I love it! I think that the length of the sleeves adds a bit of extra detail to the garment, and makes it a bit different too.

This was another really speedy sew, only a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. I have been working on the same project for a what feels like a very long time, so it was really nice to take a bit of a break from that and make something new! I've been looking at some of the clothes I own, and thinking about which ones I wear a lot, and at this time of year turtlenecks are a definite favourite, so I'm really pleased to have made one now.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Waterwheel Quilt

A few weeks before Christmas, I finished my English Paper Piecing project that I had been working on for months (I will hopefully get it up here soon!). And because the Christmas break is meant for lying around EPPing, I wanted to find a new project to work on. The waterwheel quilt by Tales of Cloth caught my eye, and I knew I wanted to create something like it. Personally, I prefer framing things to quilts, not just because they take less long, but also because I feel like I will enjoy them more framed - does anyone else feel this way? So I decided to make a block that I could frame.

To be completely honest, I didn't have much of an idea of what size I wanted when I started! I'm not used to not planning things through completely, so it was a bit different to what I would usually do, but I actually loved just making it up as I went a long. The only dis-advantage was that I ended up unpicking a few hexagons as I didn't like the colours together, but it didn't take too long, and was worth it in the end. One of the lovely things about this project was that other than the background fabric, I challenged myself to use only fabrics from my scraps basket - and it worked really well! I really love being able to look at it and think 'ooh, that was the fabric from my dress!' or 'that was the cushion scraps that I made last year!'. Its really nice to make a project with scraps, because every piece of fabric has a history.

This was such a lovely project as it was really relaxing, and I did a lot of sewing over the holidays. As I said, I didn't have a set plan, I just stopped when I wanted to stop and added pieces for the border. It just grew bit by bit, and I took my EPP with me to various different places and so I sewed it up in different settings too.

I'm so happy with the frame! My mum is brilliant at framing things, and I think she picked just the right colour card. I've hung it up where I can see it a lot, and I just love looking at it! Overall, a fun, fast and pretty fabulous project!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dungaree Dress

The Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress is definitely the pattern of the moment, and I know I'm not alone to have fallen for the pattern. I actually made this a while ago (sorry for the delay) and have already worn it loads!  When it came to fabric choices, I hesitated between needlecord and denim, as I really like both of these styles for a dungaree dress, but I couldn't find any needlecord I liked and I also had some denim already in my stash. Plus, I just love the contrast topstitching! This Cleo dress also uses contrast topstitching, but it's made from a softer lighter blue denim, which is another option for next time. On the topic of fabrics, I have been searching without success for mustard and/or aubergine needlecord... please let me know if you know where I can find some!

Some of the features that I really like include the the pocket and the double row of topstitching down the centre. I also really like the dungaree clips, I think they add a more professional finish to what is actually a really easy make. I spent a while placing the pattern pieces because I didn't have a huge amount of fabric. I have also made a skirt from this denim, and I think that the two garments are some of my most worn me-made outfits! (You can see an instagram photo of the skirt here) After using every last inch, I got two successful garments out of about 2m of fabric! 

This is a really bad photo of the back (sorry!) but it basically just has a curve going down to the hips. I'm really pleased with this overall, I've got a lot of wear out of it already. Perfect for turtlenecks in the winter, and I'm looking forward to wearing it with short sleeved tops in the spring/summer. I've also worn it with my coco top - who doesn't love denim and stripes?!

Monday, 9 January 2017

A New Jacket

I'm definitely hoping to fast-forward the seasons, but I am still really pleased with my new jacket! A few weeks ago I went to Fashion Fabrics in Bath and bought a metre and a half of this lovely woolly (not 100% wool, but it feels like wool) fabric. I really love the fabric, and after a bit of researching I decided to make a jacket. There are lots of tutorials and patterns for making bomber jackets and other jackets, but I decided to hack a pattern that I already owned. 

 For the pattern. I hacked the Tilly and the Buttons Coco top. I love this pattern (here is one of my recent Coco's) and it was a really simple hack. All I really did was to cut the front piece about 1/2" away from the edge of the fabric where it says to place on fold, and then to cut down the middle of the fold so that I ended up with two identical front pieces which were slightly overlapped. I sewed it up exactly the same, apart from I added a zip in the middle. I went to fabric land and bought the amazing metal zip, remember to buy an open ended one if you'd like to make your own jacket! For the collar I measured around the neckline, cut a strip of fabric which was this wide by 3", folded it wrond sided together, cut a slight angle at each end and sewed the ends, and then I pinned it along the top of the neckline, stitched it down, and then topstiched it to keep the seam allowance in place.

 Of course, I had to add pockets to my jacket! I used the side seam pocket pattern from Tilly's book Love at first stitch, what I love about them is that the awesome fabric is hidden unless you open the pockets slightly! If you'd like to make your own jacket, the Bomber Jacket tutorial by With Wendy is a really good video to watch, and I have my eye on the Hey June Evergreeen Jacket, which I'd love to make some time too! I'm super happy with this make, and I know I'll be wearing it a lot as the weather warms up.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Peg Bag

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Christmas already feels like a long time ago - I can't believe that this time last week it was new year's day! I have lots of sewing plans for the upcoming months, but today I'd like to back track a few weeks to November. I like to sew a lot of my Christmas presents, and this peg bag is one of the presents that I made. A long time ago, I made a peg bag for my Grandpa, which has now completely fallen apart, and I wanted to make him a new one for Christmas. I knew that he would like most fabrics that I chose, but I really wanted something just right, and I found this really lovely fabric with pegs on it from Poppy Patchwork. I also decided to line my peg bag, as I know from experience that they can get very battered about! I lined it with a plain cream calico that I think goes quite well with the peg fabric. 
When it came to making it, I know that there are a lot of peg bag tutorials on the web, and I looked on Pinterest for some ideas, but in the end I just made it up myself. One thing that I did take from Pinterest though was the curve at the top, which I really like. The construction was really easy, I just cut three pieces (one back and two front) from both the lining and the outside fabric, and sewed them together to make the bag. I also used tracing paper to make a pattern, should I want to make one again. It was a really quick and easy sew, and I'm really pleased with the result!

I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my previous sewing... Above you can see two peg bags: one that I made when I was little, and the other that I made this (well, last - 2016 - ) year. Hmm... The sewing on the first one is not great, I clearly didn't know about sewing things right sides together when I was seven! The bag has also completely ripped at the seams, and the pegs were falling out, so it was definitely about time for a new one! Having said that, though, there is something really lovely looking back at the (terrible!) sewing that I did when I was young, and knowing how proud I was when I made it! Isn't it lovely looking back at things that one made when one was younger?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Stripy Coco

I've been craving a stripy top for so long, and looking everywhere for the right fabric. But it seems to have been too blue, too white, not blue enough, not white enough, too expensive... etc. And then I found some after what has felt like months of searching at my local fabric land! I think that fabric land is a bit of a risky shop, you might find something awful, you might find something brilliant, and I found something brilliant, which I'm really happy with. The fabric is really lovely, it has a nice drape and feels soft, as well as looking good.

After buying the fabric, I wanted to get down to the making as soon as possible. I heasitated over the pattern: I ideally wanted to use one I already had, but did consider buying the Agnes pattern. In the end, Agnes was outruled for the low neckline, and I went with my much loved Coco pattern, which I think was the right decision to make. I really love this pattern, the top came together so quickly, and it was nice to practice some pattern matching!

For the sewing, I used a ball point needle and a walking foot (which, to be honest, I'm not sure how I'd live without!). The neckline is finished with a zig-zag stitch which I repeated on the hem, and I'm really happy with how that turned out. 

Another detail that I'm really pleased with are the cuffs. I was going to trim the sleeves and then  hem them, but my Mum encouraged me to turn them up, which I did, and then put in a couple of stitches to keep them in place. I think it's a really nice little extra detail (which shows I should listen to my Mum!). Overall, I'm really pleased with this top, it was a speedy sew which has already become a wadrobe staple, I know that I'll be getting lots of wear out of it.