Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Jam Jar Patchwork

This is actually a project that I finished a very long time ago, but I wanted to share it here because I just love it! The idea came to me for doing a jam jar patchwork after I made the bag from the front of this magazine (issue 15) , and I realised that the same technique could be used. I drafted my own pattern, which did take a long time, but it was definitely worth it! The hardest part was probably sewing with pieces of fabric that measure about 2cm x 1cm!

You can see the construction a bit more clearly from the back. Pieces of fabric are sewn together to form long vertical rows, and the rows are then sewn together to create the overall collage. The hardest part of this is making sure that all the seams match up (for example, the bottom of the table-cloth).

Two of my favourite things about this are the labels and the lids. I love how they turned out! The 'lids' were appliqu├ęd on afterwards, and I think that they add a lovely finishing touch! I also had a lot of fun choosing different 'jam-coloured' fabrics - purples and pinks are really lovely colours! One of the things that I like about patchwork is that you can choose fun prints that just wouldn't look right in dressmaking. The frame is also something that I really like - it's an embroidery hoop, but I think it works really well and is a creative alternative to just framing embroidery in it. The overall patchwork stands out really nicely against a white wall.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Fairfield Button Up

I actually finished this project in early February, but have only just got round to photographing it. It's a shirt! A proper button-up men's shirt! I am so, so pleased with it. I've wanted to make a shirt for my dad for a while, but never quite felt brave enough. I finally decided to make one for his birthday, and I am so pleased I did! It was a challenge for me, but I succeeded, and he was really pleased with it! To create a garment for someone else that they can actually wear was a first for me, so I was quite nervous, but it means that I feel even prouder.
The fabric for this shirt I bought from Sewn. Its a really lovely Robert Kaufman chambray. For the pattern, I used the Thread Theory Designs Fairfield Button-up. I would definitely recommend the pattern (although there were a lot of pieces to cut out and trace!) the instructions were very clear, and I was able to learn a lot of new skills. I went for a mix of variations 1 and 2, so my shirt includes back darts rather than a pleat, and cuffs on the sleeves. 

The cuffs are definitely one of my favourite features. I'm really proud of them, as it was the first time I have sewn cuffs. I'm also pleased with the button holes (I've sewn button holes several times before, but every successful one is a win!). Overall, I am really happy with this shirt. My dad was really pleased too, and it's projects like this which remind you that you can do anything!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pencil Case

I always seem to have a million and one things that I'm supposed to be sewing, which means that when someone else asks me to make them something, or I want to make something for another person, I do have to ask myself if it really is going to happen... But, it is all about priorities, and although it meant taking a bit of time off from the project that I'm currently on, this was definitely worth it! I made this pencil case for an old teacher of mine, and the project was quite special, so I wanted it to be just right. I feel confident making pencil cases now (this is my fourth!) so I was able to make this in a couple of hours, which is always a great feeling.

The tutorial that I use is this one. I find it's really good, but I use my own measurements. These are: a 10" zip, 4 10"x5" pieces (2 outer fabric and 2 lining) and I box the corners in by 1". The pencil case comes together really speedily, but if you are making one, make sure you read the instructions twice! I would also recommend using the tutorial even if you know it by heart, as I have made mistakes despite having made so many. I chose some lovely grey fabric for the outside which I found in France. The fabrics that I've used are all water-resistant, and rigid enough to keep their shape. 

One thing that I love about using subtle colours is to add a pop of something bright! I've added in a bright pink zip tab on here. Another lovely thing about making this pencil case is that I was able to add one of my 'Handmade by Anna' labels! It was such a fun thing to do, the finish felt so professional too! Overall, I'm really pleased with this pencil case. It always feels really special to be able to give someone something you've made.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Raindrop Top

A few weeks ago,  Faberwood very kindly contacted me and asked if I would like to sew something out of one of their gorgeous fabrics. Of course, I said yes, and after much 'umming' and 'errring' I settled on this jersey Aime Comme Marie fabric. It is absolutely gorgeous! The fabric feels so nice, and the pattern is really cute, but at the same time not at all childish. Also, some of the drops are glittery! So what's not to love?

For the pattern, I decided to do another pattern hack. I knew that I wanted a raised hemline at the front which then dipped down at the back. As usual, I used the Tilly and the Buttons Coco pattern as my base. I then cut a curve in the pattern which turned out not at all as I had immagined... However, with a bit of tweeking I got the curve just as I wanted it, and I love how its turned out. 

You can see from the picture that the hem follows a curve (the fabric has bunched up in the photo but the curve is smooth!). I really love this side view, I love the proportions of the top. Another detail that I added was the make short sleeves and turn up a small cuff on the end. The fabric is lovely and smooth on the back, so it works really well on the sleeves. The pattern doesn't go through to the back either, which was a bonus for what I was trying to do.

Overall I am so pleased with this top! It's different, which I like, but I am thinking of doing some more versions. The fabric was such a joy to sew with, it really is gorgeous! I have some left, so I'm hoping I'll just be able to scrape another top out of the rest! Thank you so much to Faberwood for sending it to me, your fabric is lovely!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Day Dress

A few weeks ago, Lisa from The Avid Seamstress contacted me and asked if I would like to try one of their patterns, The Day Dress. The pattern is a really lovely classic dress with a gathered waist... and pockets! I really love the pockets, they add an extra flavouring which just tops off the dress! I excitedly said yes, and got to work sewing. 

When it came to choosing the fabric, I thought for a while. I didn't want to choose a fabric which looked too formal, as I want to be able to wear the dress to lots of different places, dressed up with a cardigan or down with leggings. I went to Fabric Land at first to see if I could find anything nice. I wasn't sure that I would find anything, because I think that there isn't always the right fabric, but if you do look close enough, you can usually find something good. And I did! I found this gorgeous blue-grey velvety fabric, heavy enough weight, but not so heavy that it doesn't have enough drape.

The construction was fairly simple, as the instructions were really good and clear. Each step has a detailed diagram and instructions. The only thing I had to look up was how to add the elastic into the waist, as it wasn't something that I'd done before. However, there is a youtube video that Lisa made which explained it perfectly. The hardest part was probably the sleeve, just because it took a long time to carfefully ssew round the curve, but I was able to do it with a lot of pins!

The dress closes with an invsible zip in the back, which is one of my favourite ways of fastening clothes. Even though invisible zips are also one of the hardest fastenings for me, it went in surprisingly well, which I'm really happy about. I also really like the waist darts, at the back and the front. The small features like this come together to create a really elegant shape on the bodice.

Overall, I'm really hapy with this dress. I think that the fit on the dress is really good, I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern but it fits well. I'm looking forward to wearing the dress more as Spring approaches. Thank you so much to The Avid Seamstress for sending this pattern to me, I've loved making it. Happy sewing!