Ness and Nora

I finally have my sewing room back and although I left a few projects and plans in my to-do box, in the said sewing room, I thought I would restart my sewing with an exciting new project and Tilly’s new patterns seemed ideal. I immediately fell in love with the Ness and didn’t think I would bother with the Nora top but as part of the launch, they were bundled together so I went with both.

I bought the patterns from Sew Me Sunshine along with a beautiful thick, striped jersey for the top. I then treated myself to a pink Cord from Sewalicious. I’m not usually a pink girl but I thought this Skirt would be fab in this colour and they would go really well together. I also bought a super cute little bee iron-on for the top.

Nora: this top is a super satisfying and quick make. I am so glad that I decided to go with it. I don’t work much with stripes so paying attention to the stripe matching, it still only took me about an hour of sewing time. Perfect for me. The sleeves are super easy to sew and a really relaxed style. I thought the style might be a little lose for me but I’m really pleased with the result.

 

 

I have since made another in waffle jersey from Sew Me Sunshine, which I’m in love with. I couldn’t resist a patch for this one either. I’ve been getting my patches from Koo Style and they’re a great way to brighten a garment!

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Ness: The Ness Skirt is a jean style skirt, which would work well in denim as well as cord. I love that the pattern comes with little tips, for example, it tells you to use a lower tension when sewing through cord and I really found this helped. As the skirt is like a traditional denim-style skirt, it has lots of jean-type elements in it. Such as the pockets, which I lined with this fabulous Beauty and The Beast fabric, I’ve been stashing. I also happened to be working on my pockets on the day that Tilly released the free coin pocket, so I added that too.

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The fly zip comes with a very detailed and easy to follow video, thank goodness, as I thought it was tricky and definitely out of my comfort zone. I say this a lot but I love that there are always new skills to learn in sewing. Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out and I would like to try it again at some point.

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The waistband was pretty simple after this and I then added 5 little belt hooks, it is little details like this which I would usually leave out but I’m so glad I didn’t! I’ve enjoyed taking this skirt as a really slow sew and I have worked through it in stages.

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I am so pleased with the way the two have gone together and I definitely think that Ness and Nora are a match made in heaven. What do you think?

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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!

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.

Sewing Freya

I know, I know, everyone’s making it but it’s another Tilly and The Buttons Freya (in fact it’s another two!) but until you try this pattern you will not realise how amazing it is to make and wear.

It has a soft mock roll neck, a roll neck or a cowl neck and comes with two lengths, multiple sleeve lengths and an optional frill at the chest, which I think really mixes it up but this will not be happening in my life as I have no need to more fullness across my chest!

I pre-ordered the book and I was so excited that I got to work straight away and had a dress version of the Freya sewn up before the book was even officially released! Obviously, the book is called Stretch so you can use jersey or ponte. I went straight for a red jersey I had in my stash which had been patiently waiting all along for a project like this.

I chose the mock roll neck and made the dress version. The instructions, as always, are super easy to follow and the construction is really quick, I can see this becoming an easy wardrobe staple, especially as roll necks are so great for layering.

I didn’t want to miss out of the chance to ruffle it up so I cut two 3 inch strips the length of the fabric, stitched them in to a loop and gathered like mad! I then attached this to the bottom of the dress to make a bit of a feature. I’m in love with it!

After this success I decided I needed another in my life. I ordered some amazing rainbow stripe jersey from Sew Me Sunshine and got to work on another – again with a mock roll but this time in a top version. This one did not come together as easily because I chose stripes, I needed to make sure that they matched up (well as much as I could anyway). I don’t sew with stripes much but it was nice to take extra care to get it right and I’m really pleased with it. I feel a little bit like a wannabe as Tilly herself has made one very similar but I don’t care because I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It’s the perfect, bright, pick-me-up t-shirt. It also goes with ALL of my Pink Coat Club pins!

One more thing, I have had problems with the fit of TATB patterns before but this fits an absolute dream, I haven’t had to take out for my chest and I feel that it isn’t too tight. The vote for my April challenge seems to be the Joni Dress too so you’ll soon see another Stretch make on the blog hopefully!

Sewing Cleo

Hi everyone,

I’m massively late on the bandwagon with this one… But I’ve made a Cleo! The pattern, by Tilly and the Buttons, (incase you didn’t know) has been made by pretty much everyone, in every shape,  size and hack going but I was convinced it wasn’t for me. I didn’t think the shape would suit me.

Then, the black Friday sales rolled round and I could resist. I saw so many sales on pattern kits from some of the bigger companies and thought, I’m going to see how much it would cost me. Here goes :

Cleo pattern: 25% off in the sale: £7.13. 

1 metre Needlecord: 20% off in the sale by Sewmesunshine.co.uk: £8.80

Prym clips: also 20% off by Sewmesunshine.co.uk: £3.28

Total: £19.20 – a bargain when many of the bundles come in at £40!

This Needlecord is from Sewmesunshine.co.uk, she always has great offers on Instagram,  with themed weekend specials too.  Harriet who runs it is full on amazing!! 

Even though they have a pink Needlecord too, it had to be the navy, I knew I would get more wear out of it. An unusually sensible decision for me!  I got my Prym clips from her too.

Anyway, I wanted something a little bright so I dug out a small piece of Liberty Strawberry Thief that I had ready for the facings and got started. 

I bought a metre of the Needlecord and you get the pattern out of a metre easily, which I love! I buy my interfacing by the metre and the odd shape facings really seem to eat in to it, not life changing but something I’ve noticed! 

Everyone says it’s easy to do and it really is. As with all Tilly Patterns, even though I’ve had sizing issues with some, they’re so easy to follow and come up good everything. There isn’t many seams or many hems, you don’t have to insert anything and the facings are easy to use. I think when I make another one, I could have it done on an hour. I can totally see why people have several. I can see it being a win for some of the thicker upholstery type fabrics I have. 

This needlecord was a pleasure to see and it means I could practice a bit of top stitching without worrying; I think it’s come up quite neat. ☺ 

I’m so glad I have my overlocker too because it makes the insides look so neat!

I thought I might use buttons for the straps but I’m glad I went with the clips, as they look really professional. 

I’m so glad I changed my mind and went with all the lovely ladies who have made this! I think it’s such a reliable wardrobe staple and I’m actually surprised to find it’s not horrendous on my shape like I thought it would be. What do you think?

I’m thinking a green cord one next with another splash of colour in the facing! I love sewing plans!! 

Scuba Zadie

Here it is! I’m so excited to finally be sharing my Zadie Dress with you! When Fabric Styles said they wanted to work with me, the latest from Tilly and the Buttons was the first on my list of suggestions because it’s perfect for trying different fabrics and swapping and changing them. 

Fabric Styles do some amazing prints; I used their Galaxy Print for my Moneta and I absolutely love it. There’s so many colours and the fabric was a dream to work with so I jumped at the chance of using more of their fabrics.

I chose this gorgeous black floral scuba with a plain black to make the contrast panels, I’ve never worked with scuba before and I wanted to try it as there’s so many vibrant colours and I like a challenge! 

The Zadie calls for jersey or Ponte fabrics but I figured scuba would work too. Thank God I was right! 

I’ve done a YouTube post on the Fabric Style’s channel about working with the fabric and how I found it. So check it out if you’re a scuba newbie like me (or even of you’re not!) Here’s a snippet of me chirruping away! 

In the interest of not being repetitive, I’ve written more about the actual construction here! 

I had a metre and a half of the floral fabric and a metre of the black which is what the pattern calls for and it fit perfectly. Though if you wanted to try the long sleeves, they’re quite big pieces so you would probably need another metre. 

There are some odd shapes going on in this pattern. If I was a real newbie I think it would have really confused me… It takes a bit of thinking about to make sure you’re cutting the right fabrics for the contrast you want. The PDF is a bit of a challenge too! 

I followed the Sewalong on the website. It is really comprehensive and I fully recommend using it if you make one. It makes it so so much easier! I tried to take my time. Even though it looks quite complex, it’s actually quite easy and a joy to sew because it’s so different. It comes together relatively quickly too, which suprised me. I think it’s because the fabric doesn’t fray. 

Coming along nicely

It was all coming along nicely until the neckline. The pattern says it has 10% ease and that you have to stretch it. I would argue that you probably need to make it a bit longer because I REALLY needed to stretch it to make it fit, which worked for Scuba but might look puckered in jerseys. You can see how much of a gap there was in matching up. 

I did mange to match it up though, using a lot of determination. It does make quite a nice neckline. Sadly, because I had to stretch it so much, the join of the neckline band moved and it’s now at the front of my dress, which is not ideal but I couldn’t unpick it all. I don’t think it would’ve taken the stretching again! 

If I was to make it again, I would probably make the neckband a little thinner too but that’s just personal preference. 

Another first for me was the raglan sleeves but they came together super easy too. If you know me, you’ll know I like a sleeve so the cap ones are a little short for my but I would have needed much more fabric for the long ones. Definitely next time! Speaking of next time, I think next time I need to cut it much smaller. I used my measurements and cut the size 8 (18/20) but it was massive. I had to take it in by 2 inches on both sides, which ruined the nice joins on the skirt pieces, which the tutorial says is the most tricky bit. Here’s how it looks before I had to alter it. 

It did once all line up, honest!

I was rather proud of myself but then I had to take it in, the size is so far out. If it was jersey I might have thought it has stretched but there isn’t enough stretch on the scuba to justify how big it was. I haven’t heard of anyone else having problems with it and I’m really not sure how it could be so off the mark. This is what I took off the sides . I then curved it in to my waist a little more too. 

I also had to take it in along the raglan sleeves at the back to take then neckline in. I still feel that it’s a little big but. I didn’t want to take it in too much in case the scuba got to clingy. 

The hem was also hugely long so I took about 4 inches off this; without this I would’ve looked very frumpy. 

So after many changes…  here she is. I wore this to Port Sunlight with my lovely hubby. If you don’t know it, it’s a lovely picturesque village, which was a purpose built village, which aimed to give workers of the Lever Brother’s factory quality houses to live it. It’s so beautiful. 

Pretty pleats 

We went in the Lady Lever Art Gallery too

I’m not sure I would rush to make this one again, it isn’t as flattering as I expected. Though she did grow on me throughout the day as I wore it, what do you think? 

 The scuba I would definitely use again though, I’m thinking of this nice green floral for a skirt for spring. If you want to hear more about the fabric check out YouTube here

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