Collarful Coat



The thing I love most about sewing is that it is a never ending, learning process. There are always new skills to learn and you can always get better. The way I have learnt to sew is to continue to make garments or try techniques that I haven’t before.
With this in mind, I’ve made another coat. Not feeling so adventurous, I chose Simplicity 1067 which is a pretty simple pattern with only one closure. I’ve taken to researching patterns on instagram before I make them and many people who tried this pattern in fleece seemed to report that it felt very dressinggown-esque! So I went with a red tweed that I got from Ebay. I was really pleased with this as I wasn’t sure whether it would feel a little too upholstery but it’s quite light.



See the source image




Anyway, I went with View A, and opted for pockets but not a hood. The optional pockets and the front pieces come together first and then the back. The large collar is made using a big piece of facing, which I hand sewed in to place. In order to make the insides neat, I used Hong Kong seams on all the visible seams, using a black, floral bias binding to cover the edges of the fabric. I was worried that would make it feel a bit stiff but because the fabric has a little natural stiffness, it has worked out quite well. I used the bias on the edge of the facing and that nicely covered the insides of the collar. It needed quite a bit of pressing but I was really pleased with the how it neatly came together.













I inset the sleeves (still my least favourite job) but these worked out quite well, I think this was because there is a bit of natural give in the fabric. I then used bias binding on this seam as well. I topstitched the seam to the sleeve opening, which is not in the pattern but I think it looks quite nice.




The hem is created by sewing the facings to the front and then continuing the line which is created all the way round. It suggests hand sewing this and the sleeve hems but by this time I had spent a lot of time on this coat and ready to move on to new projects, I hemmed it with my machine. I sewed the little clasp in place and voila! She is complete. I absolutely love the style of this coat, it is roomy but stylishly so, the collar is such a statement which is so me and I’m so pleased with the colour. I can completely see how this would eaily feel like a dressing down so for anyone who feels they might try it, definitely stick to more structured fabrics.

I have literally not stopped wearing this since I made it, I absolutely love it, it’s so practical and so me. I love it when sewing plans come together to be exactly what was planned!

Sade Blouse

Hi everyone,

This is my first make of the book that everyone is talking about, that is, of course, Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing! I wanted to leisurely look through it and carefully select a project, however, I got immediately distracted by the first pattern I came to, which was the Sade Blouse. I got the book for Christmas, from my lovely brother and I did some research on the patterns. There are so many amazing versions already and if you are thinking about buying the book, DO IT! You will not be disappointed!

Anyway, The Sade Blouse is designed to have open sleeves and an open back with ties at the hems. It is obviously made for drape fabric and I dug out this gorgeous mandala style print that I got last year from My Fabrics. I carefully traced the pattern, I could tell from researching it that the blouse came quite short so I added 3 cm to the length. I think I would add even more If I made it again. I also completed a full bust allowance change to the front pattern piece, something I am so glad I took the time to do with this pattern. I thought that I might be outsized by the book but the biggest size does it for me as long as I FBA it would seem. 🙂 The pattern pieces are quite large and because they overlap, it uses quite a bit of fabric. I had a metre and a half of wide fabric and JUST fit it on.

It is a satisfying make, in that you prepare all the pattern pieces first, completing 1 cm hems on all the edges of the pattern pieces, then you tack these pieces together and complete the top as normal. It takes quite a bit of concentration not to twist pieces or get confused. I felt like I had lots of bits going on. The sleeves are inserted on the flat and then it is all sewn together with large hems for the sleeves and the hem. The neckline is finished with bias binding, which is a winner for me, as I am not a facing fan.

I finished my sleeves with black ribbon but chose to omit the tie from the bottom hem, as I didn’t think the shape would be flattering. If I make it again I would lengthen it further and would still omit the bottom tie. I have seen some makers use elastic in the sleeve hems and I think that’s a great idea!

I hope you like it and if you have the book – enjoy!

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Kielo Wrap Dress

Hi everyone,

I have seen soooo many Keilo dresses in my research before making this dress, but I’m so pleased with my recent make, that I had to show it off.

The kielo wrap dress looks like it would be unshapely and has a really odd shape, however, due to the amazing long ties, which are cleverly concealed within the seams of the dress, it wraps exactly at the waist, taking the fabric around you and creating a lovely, flattering, silhouette.

The Kielo is made to be a maxi dress, however, I know for past experience, that I rarely end up wearing a full-length dress so I shortened it significantly to a knee-length dress. I found that due to the shape, it requires quite a lot of fabric but I did expect this. I bought some lovely, crackle look black jersey from Sewlicious and went ahead.

Picture of Metallic Bronze Gold Splashes on Black - Jersey Fabric

There are surprisingly few pieces to cut, just the front and back and the ties, though I cut the back in two pieces due to fabric restraints. I also included sleeves as I don’t like to not have sleeves. Named Clothing have released sleeves to go with this and I couldn’t be bothered printing them out but I used my familiar Moneta dress sleeves and it worked perfectly.

The dress calls for darts at the bust and the back. I have rarely sewed darts in jersey and found it a bit challenging to be honest but it was completed and I continued. I inserted the sleeves and everything else on the flat, which is my favourite way to sew and then you essentially sew up the sides. Easy. The neckline is simply folded and sewn as a hem.

When I make this again (there will be an again) I will lower the bust darts slightly and I would also lower and round-off the neckline but I love it. I cannot believe I left it this long to make it!

This was a good choice of fabric by the way, it feels really glamourous whilst still being a jersey and I love it!

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One Week One Pattern 2018

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. You know how life is, super busy and mine is also currently filled with Christmas sewing!

Anyway, having not successfully taken part in a instagram, Sewing related challenge, I decided to give One Week One Pattern #owop18 a go. Originally a Tilly and the buttons venture, it has been valiantly ran by the lovely Sheona at Sewisfaction this year. The idea, of course, is that you make the most out of you patterns and wear the same pattern every day for a week.

I obviously turned to my trusty Moneta, which I have made several times as many of you will know. It turns out that I don’t actually have 7 though… So this was a perfect reason to sew a couple more! They are so quick.

Monday: I’ve used some Black Jersey from Pound Fabrics to whip an easy one up. I lowered the back neckline slightly and extended the sleeve length to full length. I pleated the fabric at once centimetre intervals instead of gathering, using a cheaper fabric as an excuse to experiment and it has worked brilliantly. Every girl needs a comfy black dress.

Tuesday: I wore my Paisley Moneta which I wear a lot. Now I’ve been sewing a while, it’s made me realise how long the clothes you make can last. I made this in summer 2017 and it’s still going strong.

Wednesday: I made this version last christmas. I used a block burgundy colour for the top and a ditzy, black Jersey for the bottom, which gives it a different look again and is a perfect stash buster.

Thursday: this was my second weekend owop make. I used another border print jersey from Ebay. I tried to use the border print to my advantage. I made the skirt much longer; it’s midcalf. I also extended the sleeve length, an easy but satisfying hack. I also lowered the neckline and used to strips to make a cris cross effect at the back.

Friday: This is my version in brushed Jersey, which is beautifully super soft from Sew Me Sunshine. This is the original pattern, with pockets.

Please see over on instagram for the daily updates.

Whilst I’m showing my Monetas, I though I would share a few tips from my experience. I always add an inch to the inside of the neckline because otherwise you end up showing your bra. I personally lengthen the bodice an inch so it doesn’t finish too low under my bust. I always overlock my neckline before I sew so that I can turn it under neatly.

I’ve loved watching everyone take part and feel really inspired by the way people have used the patterns they love in different ways. Thanks to Sheona for organising. If you want to see more Monetas, Amy also chose Monetas for their Owop.

I’ll be there for you… For Sewing the Scene 2018

I love the #sewingthescene challenge which Jo (the unfinished seamstress) organises over on instagram. I think it is a brilliant way to be inspired. I find it really gets creativity going and I have a pinterest board dedicated to it, if anyone is interested.

I made an outfit inspired by Louisa Clarke from Me Before You last year and replicated it as closely as I could.

This year, I have used a bit more creative license as I was inspired by 90s Rachel Green from friends (the first series!) I knew what I wanted but it turns out that Rachel didn’t wear a dress like the one I have created but I would like to think that with all her tartan and pinafore wearing during the 90s, it could easily fit in her wardrobe (assuming she went up about 6 dress sizes of course!) I took these two elements and created my ideal pinafore dress.

I got some tartan from Ebay and used the Tilly and the buttons, cleo. I have made this twice previously and once for my brother’s girlfriend. It meant I could make some adjustments, to taper it in a little at my waist. I made it slightly longer than my previous versions too.

My favourite part of my Navy version is the big pocket so I added one to this, being careful to pattern match. I love sewing with squared fabric like this as it makes matching and hemming etc really easy. Anyway, the dress comes together super quickly. I added buttonholes and buttons instead of the pinafore fastenings and I was done.

I styled it with a black tee, black tights and ankle boots and my new Sewing Club pin badge from the gorgeous Sew in the Garden for a weekend trip to the garden centre. A Cleo is just perfect weekend wear!

Hubby always make me laugh!

recently went to Friendsfest with my sister and wish I could’ve wore this but it didn’t exist yet!! However, I am still happy that this would fit quite nicely in Central Perk!

2 year Bloggiversary and Giveaway!

Hi everyone,

It is so hard to believe it has been 2 years since I started my blog. I feel like I’ve abandoned it slightly recently and I hate that because I know when I read blogs and they suddenly tail off, it makes me sad. Fear not… It’s only temporary as I have been moving and trying to keep up with my masters at the same time. I am more in love with making my own clothes than ever and my machine has been unpacked so keep on watching this space.

Anyway, last year’s anniversary blog post went so well that I decided to do another one. I wanted to use it to make a popular pattern that I have not yet made and I chose the TATB Bettine.

As a firm fan of Sew Me Sunshine, I wanted to use their fabric to celebrate and the gorgeous Harriet said she would sponsor my giveaway- amazing! Anyway, I chose this gorgeous Jungle tropics cotton lawn and got started. I quite literally had to get my machine out of it’s box and dust it down.

I’ve been a bit skeptical about the Bettine as I wasn’t sure it would suit my figure. I thought it might not be flattering for a bigger bust but it is just so popular that I was ready to give it a go. I cut the size 8 and added about an inch to the front bodice for ease. As it’s an all in one piece with no darts it’s tricky to do a proper FBA but I just added it to the centre and did the same for the skirt but graded down. Anyway, the all in one bodice made it pretty easy to sew up so it’s pretty good. True to celebratory form, I added all the extras, making the cuffs and little tabs.

The bottoms half is a little different to construct because of the big pockets but as usual Tilly has it covered and they came together wonderfully, with neat finishes all round. Then all there is to do is sew the middle seam and add the elastic. There’s no tricky fastenings and it sewed it up in about an hour an a half. I thought it would be pretty fabric hungry too but it uses less than 2 metres and less still if you leave out or contrast the pockets. I kind of feel that I should have chosen something slightly more challenging for my bloggiversary but I love it.

When I put it on, I still wasn’t convinced about the shape and resorted to be trusty belt but then I went with it and oh my actual goodness, nothing could be comfier and I actually felt pretty nice in it. I wore it to a family gathering and it was perfect for the occasion. I will definitely be making more so any hack suggestions would be appreciated.

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I styled it with my brogues and another seamstress Pin. I have them in every colour and the lovely Joy of Pink Coat Club is giving one away to celebrate!

Anyway, no celebration would be complete without a good giveaway so… To be in with the chance to winning 2 metres of Cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, AND a pin of your choice from Pink Coat Club make sure you follow me on here and comment below. For an additional entry, head over to instagram and make sure you’re following me and Sew Me Sunshine and Pink Coat Club and comment over there too. I am so so grateful for these lovely ladies for sponsoring my giveaway.

T&Cs:You will be able to chose 2 metres of Cotton Lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, which will be sent directly from them. You will be able to chose 1 pin from Pink Coat Club, which will be sent directly from them. No private accounts or accounts solely used for giveaways will be entered.

The giveaway entries end Thursday 30th August 2018 at midnight British time. And it will be drawn and announced in my post on Friday 31st August. Good luck everyone!

Me Made Portugal

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve had chance to do a holiday series… I’m not complaining, I’m lucky that I go on holiday quite often usually but this is our first and only this year so I’m making the most of it. We’ve come to Portugal with my lovely in-laws and of course, my me mades have come too!

Day 1 – I never blogged this top as I was meant to be a Toile for my bee Kalle tunic but I actually wear it more than the second! It’s perfect for travelling and I would definitely make more. I wore it with RTW secret pyjama pants!

Day 2- although I had cut the new costume by Cashmerette, I didn’t get chance to sew it… So they’ll be no pictures of me in my cossies (I know, what a shame!) However, I did make this tote bag which is self-drafted using this fab vintage swimmer remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used rectangles to construct it and tapered the corners. I included little pockets inside and a little coin pouch. Perfect for the beach!

Day 3- we visited Loulé Market today so I wore my new Ultimate Trouser shorts. I made the trouser pattern a while back and was instantly hooked. It’s such an easy make and I got these out of a remnant of 70cm of this lovely stretch cotton (perfect for ultimate trousers) from Sew Me Sunshine. Quite a lot of my holiday makes are made using remnants from when I have a bit of a splurge! I wore a RTW vest, I have recently bought the ogden pattern but I’ve not had much time to master it yet! I even found a fabric shop, which made my day!

Day 4- another lazy day on the beach but I did wear these awesome trousers for dinner. They are Self-drafted wrap trousers, which I saw at a craft fair some time a go. They were selling for £45 (queue brain saying ‘pfft, I could make those’) and I made these up super quick in 2 metres, for a grand total of £4! I would really recommend making some, they are super flattering. It is essentially 2 rectangles sewn together using a semi circle shape for the crotch which you then tie at the front and the back. I proudly wore them with my new Pink Coat Club Me Made necklace.

Day 5- having fully intended to make a plethora of Ogden Camis for the holiday, I only actually made this one. I used this fab grey fabric with neon splodges which I stashed from a craft fair last year. Perfect teamed with white jeans.

Day 6- saw the return on my Velo Cullottes,which I wear a lot. They are made in a silky soft peach skin from Sewisfaction. The pattern is perfect and a great fit. Plus, they have pockets!!

Day 7- I made another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress, I’m afraid! I love this pattern and find it so flattering. I won’t blog about it separately having already made 2 but the fabric is a block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and I feel I’m really perfecting the fit now. I wore it with my new Sewing Machine necklace from Sewalicious. Cool. Or. What?

Day 8- I wore a Deer and Doe Datura hack to Vilamoura for a meal, which I will blog fully soon but I LOVE it!

Day 9- we visited Faro, which was the best day ever!! I wore a Sew Over It, shortened Florence Dress in this tropical print from what is now Pound Fabrics. It’s a super easy pattern and really cool to wear.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that I have gotten a little rounder over the course of the holiday but the food was truly amazing. I have never been anywhere with such amazing food. I realise that mine is a sewing blog but I just wanted to quickly share some of the amazingness. Really yummy! And whilst I fully promote curvy sewing, I have left Portugal feeling a little bit too curvy for me so thank god there’s no Portuguese steak around!!

See you soon for some individual makes! Don’t forget to check my. Instagram where I update my currently wearing quite often!

Update

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update… We’re finally in the new house but the sheer amount of work needed on it means my machine is still in a box. Fear not… I did get quite a bit of sewing done before my machine was packed up. However, being organised as I am, most of this was for my holiday. Guess what! It’s holiday time! This means I finally get to share my lovely makes with you. I will do a holiday series, especially for Portugal, like I have done before here and here and here and I’ll also blog the individual items because they are so worth it!

Also coming soon: my blog is 2 years old in August, so watch out for a special anniversary post and Giveaway which has been sponsored by the ever lovely Sew Me Sunshine some time in August. ☺

Honeycomb and Me Made May confessions

Hi everyone,

I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve really tailed off at the end of Me Made May. It’s the end of another busy half term, I wasn’t too well at weekend (my most hated online moan but it’s true!) and I think I’m just in need of a little online switch off.

I have used that time to get stuck in with my sewing machine and I’ve been making lots of holiday makes (not the easiest to model). I thought I was losing my sewjo a little, which wasn’t helped by the most recent make I’m about to share but I think I’m back on my game!

Anyway, I’m not usually overly enamoured by Cocowawa patterns, I feel they are definitely made for a slimmer frame but I thought the tie sides of the most recent Honeycomb dress would flatter me so I wanted to give it a go. I will just have one more moan though (sorry, last one I promise) – I was really disappointed to find that most of the pattern testers for this were significantly smaller than the size 20 the pattern claims to go up to… which doesn’t seem very inclusive.

Anyway, undeterred, I carried on with it. I made a few changes, obviously I made the chest pieces bigger (possibly should have been even bigger and also longer as you will see), I also omitted the collar and created a bias binding instead and I lengthened it to create a maxi. Also, contrary to my instincts, I made it sleeveless, in acceptance that not all of my summer clothes can have sleeves.

I used the lovely birdy viscose from Adam Ross fabrics. Whilst, I’m really happy with the neat finish on my dress and I’m loving the self covered buttons, I’m just not sure it is quite me. What does everyone think? I’m wondering if it’s the sleeves, the fit on the chest or the colour. I may dye it. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m making a very promising Datura hack dress which should be lovely.

Maxi Appleton

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been missing for a while, I’m extremely busy at the minute and when me and hubby have been stripping walls and garden sorting, I can’t bring myself to replace my scruffs for my lovely new makes and insist he takes photos!!!

The Appleton dress was made for me by the lovely Lhizz from New Zealand last year as part of the hand-made dress swap. As she didn’t feel the pattern would suit her, she kindly sent the pattern with the dress she had made and I have made it since for my sister’s baby shower last year.

As the pattern is tailored for curvy, chestier girls, I couldn’t leave it there as I feel it had a great fit and it’s super flattering. I have seen a few people hack the dress in to the a maxi, so I decide to do the same thing. I was also inspired by the Sew Together for Summer wrap dress challenge, which is always great for inspiration!

From making it before I know that it uses a lot of fabric and, in a very unlike me move, I decided that patterned fabric would be too much in a real shoulder to toe dress so I chose a plain, purple jersey for this make. My inner pattern lover struggled with this decision!!

The construction of the dress is a real joy (usually) – for some reason, I had lots of problems with this, the jersey is super stretchy (though I have worked with the same make before) and it just seemed that if it could pucker or snap or anything else to go wrong then it did. This was increased by the fact that there was so much fabric and it actually made it a bit more difficult to work with on the whole.

Anyway, due to my absolute frustration with this dress, I expected to get it on and hate it because it wasn’t really a pleasure to make in the end. However… I absolutely love it. This amazing pattern has done it again, I think it fits a treat (no gaping at all across the chest, which means no strategic safety pin!) and it is super flattering. I would really recommend this pattern for anyone who has a large pair of boobs to accommodate and for anyone who wants to up their jersey making game but still doesn’t want to deal with buttonholes or fastenings.

I’m not sure I can get away with another, but I’m thinking of making a sleeveless one (in a brighter print) for over my swimsuit – what do you think? Would that work?

Me Made May Week 2

Day 1 – I wore my Sew Over It Nancy Dress which I made last year and although I wasn’t entirely convinced with the shape, I still wear it often as its bright and fun and cheers me up (that and I needed a bit of a looser shape after an indulgent bank holiday weekend!)

Day 2- I wore my much worn Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This was my first make in Ponte Roma and it has really stood the test if time.

Day 3 – Having felt a bit sluggish this week I decided to brighten myself up a little so I wore a green RTW t-shirt with a self-drafted skirt. The fabric is a vintage buy from my favourite shop up in Northumberland.

Day 4 – This is where Me Made May has stepped my game up a little and made me dive in my wardrobe. The is the Rebecca Page Arabella Skirt skit which I made last year and i have to admit, I haven’t worn it since. I love this retro tapes fabric from Flamingo fabrics and I really don’t know why I haven’t worn it much. Teamed with a RTW white blouse it was perfect for work and added a bit of colour to my day. This one is definitely being brought to the front of the wardrobe now!

Day 5- I wore two outfits today. I wore my hacked Datura blouse with RTW jeans to have my hair cut. (I haven’t blogged this but I love it!)

I then wore my Joni dress out for tea for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday meal. I absolutely love this dress!!

Day 6- my husband and I had a drive out and I wore my super comfy Peak T-shirt which I made from Wendy Ward’s book Sewing with Knitted Fabrics for Minerva Crafts.

Day 7 – today I thought outside the box and wore my Style Arc Italia Shirt Dress which I made for Sew Me Sunshine, tucked in to a plan black self-drafted circle skirt.

Thoughts for this week:

  • I am still very much in need of blouses for work.
  • I wear too much blue!

Joni Dress

Hi everyone,

Thanks for votyung earlier last month for my make for The Monthly Stitch. It’s complete and my post is also over on their blog.

I approached the Joni with some trepidation as it has a twist at the front, which looks quite complex… I love makes like this though, when you feel like sewing magic has happened! The instructions made it seem super easy and it came together really well. You attach the pieces at the shoulder, then turn one of the pieces fully and then sew up the front. It truly is sewing magic. I haven’t got masses of experience working with Jersey but I found this worked out really well.

I find it sits higher than the picture as suggest but looking at others, I think this is about right even though I usually have to FBA.

The fit of the skirt is quite flared and because the bodice finishes quite high, it makes for a really flattering fit and everyone I’ve seen in it looks great! I’m really pleased with mine.

This is a really satisfying pattern, which has something a bit different but still comes together really quickly. I love attaching sleeves on the flat! Best, quickest sewing ever!

You will notice that I didn’t ask voters to chose the fabric for this one and that’s because I just had to use this amazing Parrot Jersey from Sew Me Sunshine for it and I’m so glad I did. It’s so different and bright and I absolutely love it!

I wore it for a family meal and felt really bright and cheerful in it.

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