Copycat: New York Fashion Week 2018

I was having a read of this month’s Vogue and it struck me how many looks (with a bit of imagination!) could be recreated on a budget. I’m in no way trivialising the craftsmanship that goes in to creating these fashion images; for me, walking around the designer floors at Liberty and Selfridges is like visiting an art gallery, but part of the brilliance of sewing is the ability to see a look, adapt it and recreate your own version. You may have seen on my Instagram stories some gorgeous fashion ads that I suggested sewing patterns for to recreate your own versions, so I thought I’d take it one step further and focus on New York Fashion Week which came to a close yesterday… Continue reading “Copycat: New York Fashion Week 2018”

Fly away on my (Deer and Doe) Zéphyr…

This blog post was written for the Sewloco blog, so go check it out there too if you fancy!

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I am very late to the Deer and Doe party. Their Hoya blouse, Mélilot shirt and chums were cropping up on my Instagram feed throughout 2017 and it was time I joined the fun. I played it fairly safe and went for the Zéphyr dress. It’s a knit skater dress with princess seams, so my hope was that it would be super girly and fitted but also comfy a.f., and it definitely fulfilled these hopes. This pattern is given a level 2 (1 being absolute beginner) and it really is perfect for those who are new to sewing and want to try a garment with stretch fabric. Princess seams could potentially be a bit daunting for beginners but these just glided together, and it was one of those makes that comes together really quickly once it’s cut. Continue reading “Fly away on my (Deer and Doe) Zéphyr…”

#2018makenine

Crikey how are we already at the end of January?! This is my first year taking part in the #2018makenine challenge on Instagram.

Over 2017 I picked up some brilliant fabric online, all from independent businesses (go, team!) and all in their sales! There are so many brilliant online suppliers now so I’m making a dedicated page on my site to show where I’ve shopped. The customer service and little touches you get from these businesses are what make shopping small so much more worthwhile (everything wrapped in ribbon from Sewloco, or a cheeky Maoam from the Crafty Mastermind, anyone?!), plus I have it on good authority that every time you buy from an independent business they do a little happy dance. Continue reading “#2018makenine”

If the boot fits…

I love a car boot sale; like fish and chips and panto (although maybe not together), they’re a British institution that are bloomin awesome. I recently found a huge length of gorgeous floral fabric at a car boot sale for just £3! I dithered for a while about what to make (toyed with making a Vogue V8788 or a Colette Penny dress) but then I came across the New Look K6391, which came free with Sew magazine’s Christmas edition, Sew Christmas.

I keep reading about the big fours’ sewing instructions being difficult to follow but I found this really straight forward, and I put that down to the instructions more than my brain!

For the fully lined bodice I used some leftover fabric from a bed sheet so this really was a super-thrifty make. I’m sewing on borrowed time while the baby is napping so there was no time for faffing, and this dress worked out perfect for straight-forward assembly, which was great; there was no unpicking needed or confusing steps along the way.

New Look K6391 bodice

Since giving birth in October my body is obviously not back to its ‘normal’ size, so I was really careful with measuring myself and checking the sizing given on the pattern instructions. I was trying on the dress as best I could while sewing, but as I’m sure you’ve found if you’ve attempted this yourself, contorting yourself to work out the fit of a back-fastening garment before it’s finished is really hard! So I went ahead and chanced it and put the zip in and finished all my seams – BEFORE CHECKING IF IT DEFINITELY FIT PROPERLY. The end result? It did not fit.

The whole bodice sat completely away from my body, and although the shape was really nice, it was just floating on top of my torso – not the desired look. Even though I was careful with checking my measurements against the instructions, it came up so large and was going to take a lot of adjusting to get right. I just need to recut the pattern and start from scratch, so I asked my sister if she’d like to try it, and it looks great!

Free pattern + car boot sale fabric = bargain!

Sharing for the win. A bit needs taking in at the back and it needs hemming, but other than that this fits and looks so much better on Ellen than it did on me, so I’m glad I was able to make a dress for a loved one, and save myself a load of unpicking and altering!

Breakdown of costs:

Fabric: £2 (only used 2/3 of the total fabric)

Pattern: free with magazine

Zip: from stash

Total: £2

Holidays are coming…

It’s November. Liberty has unveiled its Christmas window display. There’s an advert about a monster under the bed. It’s officially acceptable to start planning for Christmas.

All year round I see things I want, then when it comes to being asked what I’d like for Christmas I can think of nothing! Plus it’s my birthday in December so I’m double-y useless at coming up with anything. So this year I’ve been making a list of things to ask for as and when they pop in to my head!

xmas list 1

On the list we have (clockwise from top left):

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top, Jennifer Lauren Gable top, Simplicity 1613, Simplicity 1325, Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt, Victory Patterns Madeleine skirt

I’ve seen and heard such good things about these patterns, and my thinking is that they’ll be perfect for mixing and matching to build up a good all-round everyday handmade wardrobe (all the adjectives!).

Also on my wish list are these dresses:

xmas list 2Left to right: The Avid Seamstress The Day Dress, Colette Penny, Colette Moneta, Nina Lee Kew Dress.

I’m possibly the only sewist who hasn’t made an Avid Seamstress Day Dress or a Colette Moneta yet, they’re such good wardrobe staples so I’ll hopefully make a few next year.

I was very lucky and have already been gifted the Penny dress pattern, it’s so gorgeous! Let’s just stare at it for a little bit longer….ahhhh

Last but not least is the Kew Dress, a really versatile pattern with different dress options and a skirt option, so plenty of bang for your buck. I’ve got a wedding in May so will be making the version on the far right for the special occasion.

This is quite an optimistic plan for sewing in 2018, but these patterns will see me through the year and all work for different seasons and occasions. Really looking forward to getting going with these, then I can be really happy and gaze upon my armpit like the Moneta lady…

Colette Moneta 2 - jersey

Happy sewing, folks x