Thursday, February 26, 2015

GBSB Week 3

Have you ever been so excited and engrossed in a project you basically forget to take pictures of it!

Well.  I was just that person.

I have made, ohhhh maybe 75% of what I said I would for the GBSB Challenge I've set myself.

I made a lovely blouse.  I did.  In a fancy slippery (but seriously soft) fabric.

If you could wear it, you would never want to take it off.

Sheer fabrics equal ultimate comfort.

Ultimate comfort, less easy to sew.

So, I made a blouse over the weekend.  I made the Mimi Blouse out of the book Love at First Stitch as it was a lovely blouse pattern that I had enough fabric for.

As a side note, I know I bang on about that book in half my posts, but you should know, its clearly not just me that thinks its amazing, it won the best Sewing Book in the British Sewing Awards 2014.  So...just sayin'

Anyway, I traced out the pattern on my new super transparent tracing paper (which was great), and then cut that out, then cut out the fabric.  All this cutting is quite the process.  I did it in my living room in front of some old cheesy chick flicks (She's All That or something).

After it was all successfully cut out, I went to bed (I managed that after work on Friday) with the hopes that Saturday I would be a diligent little sewer and sew it all up.

I did start off that way - I woke up at a decent time (8:30am, you should be proud), and had a cuppa tea and started the sewing adventure of flimsy floppy fabric.

It was going really well, although slow,  and I managed to get quite a lot done.  There is a lot of stay stitching, and then some gathering on the front body pieces, and the back piece, and the arm shoulders.  I love a little gathering.  Just a few pieces make the blouse look so sweet.

And then Husband came home.  And Husband needed to go into town to exchange a birthday gift he was given and he also wanted some food.  So I put down the sewing to head into town to help him exchange and then eat a delicious pizza from Pizza Express.  I also made Husband come with me to get some fabric (and dress pattern, because I did say I would try to make a dress AND a blouse over the weekend).  By the time we got home Husband was sleepy (he was up at 5:30am for work, as he does shifts) and wanted a nap on the couch.  Which means I can't sew on the machine as its right beside the couch.  So I let him nap and I went and binge watched some more netflix.  My 30 day trial period has turned into a subscription, as I can't stop!

I managed to stop and take a picture of the mess I made......and you can see my yarn stash trying to break free of its confines in the cupboard there...

Here it is (mostly) done.  I just needed to hem the bottom

And a lovely shot of me wearing it AFTER a full day of work.  I got a few compliments (although this is the usual now that the entire office knows I wear a me-made garment every Monday, and usually the garment that I've sewn the weekend).

It was comfy.  So soft.  I would make everything out of this flowy type fabric, but it takes longer to sew.

And because Husband took a nap, I didn't finish the shirt until Sunday afternoon, which left me with no time to make the dress.


I did purchase a pattern for a dress, and I have also been good and putting it together slowly over the course of this week.  Here's what I've done so far.

Here is the pattern.  It's a McCall's 7081.  Doesn't it make you want to own a blue gingham dress?  It makes me want to own a blue gingham dress.  I'm less keen on the pinked stripe dress they've used....

Took a photo of my crumpled measuring tape.  You would think, that  by now, I would know my measurements off by heart. I measured up

Compared to the packet

Looked at the fabric requirements (I actually already had my fabric, but I still looked anyway)..I guessed and bought enough fabric for up to a "size 12" so...I was going to be fine

That is the style of dress I want....find me some dark blue gingham please!  (I have green polka dots for my version)

Out comes the tissue paper!

And my tracing tools

And traced out all my pattern pieces.  I can't bear to cut into the tissue paper.  I just can't.  I am sure this will pay off in the future.  

I should also say, I have now also cut out the majority of the pieces.  I just need to cut out the skirt.  But I messed up the placement of the pattern pieces (boohoo), and I'm not sure I have enough fabric to cut the skirt pieces out.  BUT, I may be able to salvage this.  And I'll tell you why.  I'm a pipsqueak.  I got short little legs.  So, typically unless I buy a petite pattern I have to shorten hems, and shorten lengths.  So I am going to see how long the skirt pieces actually are, and then possibly shorten them so that they are an okay length.  

Keep you fingers crossed for me.

GBSB is on again tonight.  I can't wait to see what they are making this week.

I have my eye on a new pattern (its a jacket), and I purchased the pattern (I have an addiction okay).  And I purchased the fabric.  Lookit.  Oooohhh and Ahhhhh with the prettiness.  

I got a nice light blue lining fabric too.

This is gonna be super cute with any spring outfit no?

What is on your wishlist to make?


Friday, February 20, 2015

GBSB Week 3

Was anyone else in love with the 50's theme of the week?!

I was.

I felt sorry for the contestants having to sew items up on those old sewing machines.  That would be just enough to make me want to cry!

But what they sewed was so cute!  And I have been loving the 50's/60's/70's style of dress.  Well, some of the more timeless pieces, less the bell-bottom trousers that I have been seeing lately.

So what do I make?!  I need to make things to keep up with my making the items that the contestants make.

While I enjoy the idea of making a "Walkaway" type dress, I am not sure it would be wearable in my day to day life.  What I will do, is head down to C&H tomorrow to see if I can source a equally cute 50's themed pattern (wrap around of sorts) and make something similar .

These dresses are undeniably cute.  And I am imagining (at least in my head) that these are also comfortable.

Since I started sewing I have been slowly working my way away from pencil skirts and really tight fitting clothes.

The other item that was made was a blouse out of sheer type fabric.  While I have some of this in my stash (amazing right), I think I'm going to make the Mimi Blouse from Tilly & The Buttons book 

It is a super cute blouse and i have the best fabric for it.  I am rather excited.

Looking forward to my trip to town, and a good weekend of making items!



Monday, February 16, 2015

Carolyn Pajamas

You guys!  I think I am one of the cutest/classiest lazy bums around!

I made this super cute (albeit a little tight) pair of Carolyn Pajamas

This photo was taken before I hemmed the top, and before I added the additional piping and end to the sleeves

After adding the sleeve details and hemming the bottom of the shirt!

I learned SO many new things making these.

I followed this blog post  and some scrap fabric I had from making my (not yet finished) Granville Shirt to make my own bias tape and my own piping (see little rope above).  That was neat!

I also played around with some of the feet for my machine.  I sewed on a button with my machine

Needless to say, although it was fun, I either need to read more instructions on this, or ... something, as 3 out of the 5 buttons i machined on popped off before by the next day (and yes, I did wear these to bed the same night I finished them).

I would still be wearing them now, but my husband thinks I need to look nice as we've got potential buyers to come view the flat (we aren't selling the flat, our landlords are).

Anyway, I re-sewed (by hand) the lost buttons, and secured the other two buttons.

I also made 2 sacrifices to the Sewing Gods.  A button, and a needle.  

Before you ask, These were separate incidents.  The needle broke a good 10 minute after the button.

What a sad day - bye by needle.  I guess that is one way of getting me to change needles after a project.

I am really happy with these pj's.  And I think I should be.  I was very careful cutting it out, I laid it all out on my floor, following the lay out pattern included in the instructions, and cut with a matt and my rotary cutter (which i think also needs a new blade).  

You can see the scissors, but they are just there as a paper weight (don't think I'm telling tall tales).

I did this all in my bedroom while binging on The Good Wife (addicted much?)

The pattern says these can be made in quilting cotton.  Do you know what that means guys?!  Super FUN patterns!  As in....pattern on cloth!  Quilting cotton always has the FUNNEST things printed on it.  So while I plan on making some more classy pj's.  I also plan on making some FUN pjs.  This way, I can clear out more of my closet of some of the ratty icky old oversized not nice teeshirts I save for bedtime wear.

Believe it or not, I actually dragged Husband along to do this fabric shopping trip.  He (almost) helped picking out the fabric for these, but then definitely helped picking out the thread and all other items.  He also picked out this...

In the spirit of doing more sewing (which I love), and entering more contests (which is fun, and I recently won tickets to The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show) I think I am going to enter this.  I am going to think really long and hard on what to make, and not rush this one.  I rushed a sewing contest before, and I don't think it did me many favours.  So.  Slow and steady, thoughtful sewing for this lovely competition.



Friday, February 13, 2015

3 Things I Never Thought I Would Sew

When I first started sewing, I knew I wanted to make my own clothes.  I knew I wanted to have things that fit me, and that were unique to me.

Too many times, I had arrived to work in my corporate office wearing either the identical thing, or something very similar to a colleague.  Either it meant I had great taste in clothing, or it meant I had the taste of a lemming (aka just following the crowd).

In my mind I thought there were going to be 3 key things that I might never actually sew.

1) Bras and Panties.

Why?  I don't know.

Well - thats a lie - bras seem so crazily intricate and detailed and just something that might not be something I could make.  Panties.  It was a possibility.  They seemed easy enough.  4 Pieces of slightly stretchy fabric sewn together.

2) Tights and Leggings

Again, the stretch, the fact that when you buy these RTW (ready to wear, yes I had to google that acronym) they come as one piece.  I never knew you could sew tights.

Leggings, well, although I knew they came sewn up, like a normal pair of trousers would, but tight.

3) Jeans

Sewing Jeans just sounds so....intense doesn't it?  And scary.  But then, when you buy RTW, someone sews them up right?  Someone has to put them together and stitch them up.  It's not done by magical machines (I know this), so it should be totally possible shouldn't it?

They are just so, technical!  All that top stitching.  And zippers.  And Buttons.  Wowzers.

This week, I spent money on 3 new patterns.

Granted, I spent money on a classy pair of pajamas this week.

But, I have actual sewing patterns for a Bra and Panties set, a leggings/tights set, AND now jeans.

Can you actually imagine?

I can't.

I also can't wait to start!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The GBSB - Week 2

Kids Week.

I knew this week was going to happen.  They are often making sweet little pieces of clothing for their cute little children dummy forms.

My issue?  I don't have children!  My nephew (cutest thing in this world IMO) is half a world away.  Canada!  So anything I do make, I can't quite size on him, and will have to be shipped.

But, a goal is a goal.  So I am going to sew 1 item of clothing for him (the waistcoat), and then opt out of the 3D Sewing Challenge on the basis that I have already made him at least one 3D item.

I mailed out quite the collection of little crochet hats to him last week.  One of which, was a little baby deer, which has very 3D little antlers.

You can't deny it, he is cute!  He has also received a sock monkey hat, and an owl.  His new sibling (my sister in law is expecting a baby at the end of May) is in receipt of a lovely hippo hat.  My nieces/nephews will have an endless supply of hats and crocheted items.

All of the above were handmade lovingly by myself!  So i don't feel too guilty for opting out of the 3D sewing challenge.  If anything, I might make the little fella another hat, or possibly make a new hat (a Giraffe) for the newest gender unknown addition that is coming.  I mean, how cute is the hat! (I made one for a friend who was going to a baby shower).

See!  Cute!  And 3D!

I sell versions of these items and more on my Etsy Store

I've managed to make and sell Owls, Monkeys, Hippos, and Giraffes for people at work (so not through Etsy) and sell a Hippo and Monkey via Etsy.  There are something I love making.  They give such instant gratification, for which, I am a junky!

Anyway.  Back to the GBSB.

I need to make a waistcoat for my handsome nephew.  So...I will whip one up.  I might make a couple, maybe some less fancy ones than what they made on The GBSB.  I can't see the Nephew needing a fancy one anytime soon.  Since I am making this for him, and probably won't make another for a while (unless there is a wedding/baptism/anything) I did a quick Google search.  And found a free pattern for my waistcoat.

Now, I just need to grab some supplies and then we can be on our way!  Wahoo!

Just gotta grab some super fun Fat Quarters, and then I can make that cutie a lovely waistcoat!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Oh No She Didn't (snap snap snap)

Is it just me?  Or is anyone else wishing that instead of The GBSB airing one time per week, that it aired EVERYDAY!

It's probably just me.

It's also probably because I like to binge watch my favourite TV shows (why yes, I think I will demolish 3 seasons of The Good Wife in 2 weeks, thank you very much).

Well.  I am not-so-patiently waiting for this weeks episode of The GBSB, mostly because it will choose which patterns I sew up over the weekend.

In the meantime, I have to have things to work on to keep my hands busy (while watching The Good Wife), and have been not-so-diligently crocheting a new item of clothing.

I posted (on Instagram) the colours I'm working with for my new piece of crocheted goodness.  And I am actually looking forward to this being done, and able to wear.

Oooo pretty colours

And the above picture, is what the lovely pattern will end up being once it is all crocheted together.  Cute no?  Imagine it with a homemade button down top!  (To which I have the pattern from the lovely Sewaholic...well, if I ever master the button down that is).

I've also ordered the yarn (my poor stash is bursting at the seams) so that I can make myself a crocheted DRESS.  Insert happy clapping here!

Look how hipster she is reading a book on the cold hard floor while leaning up against the comfy couch with her massive specs and bright tights!  So what actually I ordered is not the bright orange.  Orange isn't my colour.  I went for Grey and then a blue highlight.  Blue is definitely my shade.  Although, I do have the hipster thick glasses, I will not be sitting on any floors where a comfy padded seat is available.  My terrible lower circulation means if I sat like that for more than....2 minutes, my lower legs would go all tingly and numb.  Pass.

I've also gone and invested in a couple of new patterns.  

One, I think will be super cute.  I lounge around all day (when I'm not at work dressed like a professional).  I like to lounge in pajamas (ask my hubbers, he is plenty familiar with my bright coloured pajama pants).  And I think maybe it would be nice, if while lounging in my comfy clothes, I wouldn't be a total embarrassment when answering the door.  I mean, a super cool as bright blue fleece trousers are with lots of little dancing penguins on them, I do get funny looks.  

Insert Carolyn Pajamas.  These look super classy.  Check out this blog post the creator of these pajamas did.  How classy are these different styles of pajamas.  If Ryan Gosling tells me I need these, then well, I need them.  

I might not be one to venture out into the world (or office) in a pair of PJs, but lounge around classily at home, yes I will do that.

The other pattern I purchased I did at the same time as my Carolyn Pajamas.  They are Ginger Jeans.

Does this intimidate me?  Totally.  Am I excited?  Definitely.

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately for inspiration, and these jeans have come up again and again.  

And they look incredible, and, apparently, have magical butt properties.  They make everyone's butt look amaze.  I'm all into that.  I love a good butt.

Look at Lladybird's  fabulous pair.  Aren't they amazing?  Sallieoh made an incredible pair of jeans too, I mean, look at dat ass!  There are just so many great pairs.  This has the potential to be amazing.

Anyway - these are my two newest purchases, and I am looking forward to crafting them.  I have a feeling both will be essential.  Especially if, at work, they bring in Dress Down Friday every single Friday, rather than just a the end of the month.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed for that!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Damn Girl!

My workspace was a mess today!

But, in an effort to squeeze in a good sew, sometimes you need to make a mess.

This is a heavily doctored photo of me, home just after the "end of season" party!  We had a little awards ceremony, where people in the office voted and nominated people for awards.  My memademonday creations inspired an award for "best dressed female" in the office!  No pressure going forward! 

I'm the spirit of trying to follow along with GBSB I needed to make a pair of trousers and a dress of sorts.

I mentioned briefly about my fabric buying fiasco in an earlier post.  Turns out my fabric was 115cm wide, and I only got 160cm of it.  I'm hanging my head in shame! What a dummy I am!

Well. That lovely flower fabric will hang out in my stash.  I already have a plan for it.

So. Trousers.  The first thing I did when I woke up today is wash my fabric (arent I good) and then hung it up on a radiator to dry real quick.

Then the usual lay it out and cut it out ensued.

I was extra good cutting it flat with my rotary cutter and using my quilting squares as added weight.
Then out comes the carbon paper, tracing wheel, air soluble fabric pen (super cool, it disappears after 24-48 hours).  I've got my tailors chalk, but I didn't use it this time as I was too busy playing with my pen.

Marking away those darts.

Then sewing.

If anyone who isn't a sewer wanted to see, I took some pictures of my invisible zip foot.  It's what you use on a concealed zipper to get it to hide away, like it's just a seam.

Getting it out of my foot collection 

There it is!  Ready to be used.  I was a little slack on the photos after this.  Sewing trousers is actually easier than one would imagine.  And quite fun!  

These were all pre hemming the bottoms.

Damn girl!  Look at that butt! 

Well.  These are just great!  I cannot wait to rock them on Monday!

What about the dress you ask!

Well.  See fabric shopping fiasco.  I didn't make a new "summer dress" per say.  I did however make another Coco by Tilly & The Buttons (I can't hyperlink as I'm typing this all out on my iPhone from my bed).  It's lovely.  It's comfy!  This pattern is the best thing ever! 

Because this is my third (WHAT) Coco I didn't take a single picture of my sewing it up.  I've nailed this down to an hour and a half of sewing, from cutting to wearing.  

I have 2 Cocos that I can wear in public (see washing fabric before sewing item), and 1 Coco that's for house lounging slash bedtime only (the bottom of my bum cheeks peek out it shrunk so much since I didn't pre-wash).

In saying that.  I barely had the length for this Coco, I always buy the right amount, but maybe for any future knits I should get some extra yardage, in case of shrinkage.  Any thoughts on that?

So those are my two GBSB themed projects.  A pair of trousers, and a lovely knit dress (which I'm going to wear ice skating/bowling tomorrow).

I can't wait till next week!

While I'm working hard, I made a sale on my Etsy store for another Monkey Hat, so here's a little treat of a crochet project on the go!

Yes, from bed!  While watching The Good Wife.  


Friday, February 6, 2015


Oh, my, gosh!

The sales!

So I went to John Lewis to pick up some fabric for my lovely planned trousers and summer dress in the fashion of The Great British Sewing Bee, and the sales were incredible.

Beautiful fabric for only £4/meter?  Don't mind if I do!

So, on my lunch break, I took some time to dig out the patterns (that yes, I brought to work) so that I could write a shopping list of everything I needed.  I don't like to bring in the patterns (I don't know why), so I just wrote down all I needed.

For the trousers, I needed some iron on interfacing, an 8 inch invisible zip, and 1.25m of fabric (if it was 140cm wide).  Cools.

Purchased.  I'm branching out with patterns on my fabric these days.  It's very unlike my wardrobe.  My clothes are typically an ocean of black, navy blue, white, and plain solid colours.

So.  Here are my trouser fabrics without further delay

I do feel very brave!  I picked up my matching invisible zip (though still unsure why these are matching since they  

And then I had to choose a fabric for my Summer Dress.  AKA Simplicity K1699 pattern.  I went for another floral.  Darker, but lovely.

Isn't it lovely!  I actually cannot wait to sew the dress up.

I know my trousers are going to be easier, if only because some of the prep has been done.  I've made these once before, and so I have already traced and cut out the pattern pieces.  I'll have to get home, wash my fabric first thing, then hang it up on all my radiators to dry out.

Although, silly me.  When I was writing down all the items on my list, I ended up writing down the length requirements for a different item that is included in the pattern package.  The fabric requirements for a TOP!    Well, I'm no young thing anymore, and I like my dresses to fall just at my knee.  A peplum top is well above knee length.  I ordered 1.5m of the fabric, and I think the lady (who was quite new) gave me more like 1.8m.  The pattern calls for 1.6 so hopefully I will be able to scrape it through!  Cross your fingers for me.  Otherwise, I may only come out with a lovely little peplum top.

Anyway, lunch break is over - time to go back to the lovely world of income tax.  Boo.