Thursday, 15 February 2018

Chalk and Notch Fringe top

After making the Fringe dress I've been keen to make a top.  I've had this rayon in my stash for a while and thought it would be perfect.

I'm going to the Queen/Adam Lambert concert tomorrow night and will be wearing this with jeans.  With day temperatures around 28-31C at the moment this will be lovely and cool.

Friday, 9 February 2018

More lingerie adventures

Continuing my journey on learning lingerie making I've made my first slip.

This is the Ruby Slip and is a free pattern from Pattern Scissors Cloth.

I added a bow and beads after taking the photo above.

The main fabric is a peach stretch satin.  It has a chocolate and cream lace on the bodice and a chocolate lace on the skirt.  The skirt is finished with a shell tuck hem.  The side seams and seam attaching skirt to bodice are all french seams.  It has rouleaux straps.

This took me ages to do.  I've made complicated dresses in a shorter time than this, but I really enjoyed making it.

I changed the pattern slightly.  The original has all lace bodice.  I wanted lace trim only at the top of the cups.  Their website describes how to change from an all lace bodice to the lace trim.  I'm not sure if I didn't follow their instructions on how to change it, or if the instructions need a bit of tweaking.  I found that the front overlap was huge.  I ended up chopping off about 2 - 3 inches off the middle.  This meant my careful mirroring of the lace in front was all for nought.   I also had to put a couple of 1" darts in both of the lace side cups as they were gaping.  With the adjustments the bodice now fits well.  According to the size charts I should be a size 14 so made that, but find it a tad tight for a slip.  Next time I make it I will add 1/4" to all of the side seams.  It is also quite short,, falling just a few inches below my butt.  So next time, depending on the purpose I may lengthen it, or shorten it into a camisole.

Other changes I made were to add the lace inserts into the skirt and do a shell tuck hem.  For the straps I had some bra strap from an old camisole that I put on the back so I can adjust the length of straps if needed.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Itch to Stitch Vienna tops

I had just enough fabric left over from dresses to make a couple of Vienna tops.



The first one is left over blue rayon.  The yoke is a pink fabric overlaid with black lace.
The second one is left over viscose.  Love both of them, and they didn't cost me anything!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Another Anza

My third Anza.  This was viscose fabric left over from the Fringe dress by Chalk and Notch.  There wasn't quite enough fabric so the front facing was made using a rayon remnant and the waist casing and tie belt were made from some poplin in my stash.


I went shopping yesterday for lingerie/bra making supplies and bought home this beautiful stash.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

2nd Anza and a notebook cover and some panties

I really like the Anza dress pattern by Itch to Stitch.  This version is in a linen and I used the patch pockets on the blouse.

I also made a notebook out of the same fabrics I made my bag and purse.  This is to hold my e-reader which at the moment is in a boring vinyl cover.  The vinyl cover fits reasonably well inside the notebook cover.  This design is from Kreative Kiwi.

My goal for this year is to start bra making.  I thought a good way to get used to handling lingerie elastics would be making some pants.  These are the Nixie briefs by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  These are all made out of some left over ITY. 

I tried different elastics.  The top one is fold over elastic and the bottom 2 are normal lingeie elastic.  Definitely a learning curve, my stitching on the 3rd pair was much better than the first two.  I've worn these already and they are very comfortable.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A skirt, a bag and a purse and a mini purse tutorial

My first make of 2018 was another Itch to stitch Vientiane skirt.  I made a Sirena dress from this cotton sateen and had enough left over for this skirt.

I've always liked the quilted roses bag by SweetPea so finally got around to making one for myself.

Contents are kept safe with a zip in the top.

And handy pockets inside.  A zip pocket and a double pocket that holds my cell phone.

Of course it needed a matching purse.

I knew what I wanted in a purse but couldn't find a design that matched what was in my head.  I wanted plenty of credit card slots, plus a zippered coin pouch, and a place for notes.  I also wanted it so when I opened up the purse everything faced the same way.  So many of the purse/wallet patterns have them facing opposite ways and when you open them one side flips down so all the cards fall out.  Ask me how I know!

this purse has 8 card slots.  4 are on the side you can see and 4 are on the other side of the coin purse.  There is room for notes to fit behind the coin purse.

So my design hat went on and I designed my own.  The following is a very mini tutorial so I can repeat this another time.


1st card pocket,  2 x 6 3/4" x 7 1/4"
2nd card pocket 2 x 6 3/4" x 8 1/4"
Zippered pouch 2 x 6 3/4" x 11 1/4"
Lining  1 x 6 3/4" x 12"
Outer 1 x 6 3/4" x 12"

Nylon zipper
Snap fasteners

Sewing is done with 1/2" seam allowance

1.  Interface lining
2. Insert snaps on outer card pocket (6 3/4" x 7 1/4").  Put these 1" from bottom edge and 1" from side edge.
3.  Fold both  zipper pouches in half.  Fold long edges under 1/2".  Insert zipper into folded edges.
4.  Baste card slots to sides of zippered pouch.  Stitch centre line down all card slots to create compartments for cards.
5.  Place the pouch and pockets on top of the outer fabric.  The outer fabric should be facing up and the snaps facing down (facing right side of outer).  Place lining on top of pockets, right side down.  The pockets should now be sandwiched between the outer and lining fabric.
6.  Sew all layers together, leaving an opening for turning.
7.  Turn right side out, you will need to turn the pouch and pockets twice.  Press, then top stitch 1/8" around all 4 sides, turning the unstitiched edge under.
8.  Insert snaps into the outer/lining.


Sunday, 31 December 2017

Last 2 dresses for 2017, Year in Review and Aspirations for 2018

I have 2 more dresses to share.  The first is the Anna dress from By Hand  London.

This was my Christmas Day dress this year.  I love the skirt. 

The second dress is Itch to Stitch's Anza dress.

The By Hand London dress is made of rayon from SmartDress fabrics.  I love the fabric, I don't think I've ever had an almost totally white dress before.  It feels lovely and light for summer.
The changes I made to the pattern were to lengthen the skirt by 3".  When I was trying it on for fit I pulled the tab off the zipper.  Even though the zip was pinned in I couldn't unpin it so ended up wriggling out of it.  This led me to realise I didn't need a zip to get in and out of it, so instead I made a button loop closure at the top.
Although I'm happy with it, I'm not sure I'll make it again.  I love the skirt, but not so much the bodice.  I may see if I can mash the skirt with a bodice from another pattern.

The other dress, Anza, is also from Rayon from Spotlight.  It is one of the Gertie range and is a lovely fabric.   Changes I made to the pattern were my usual bodice changes  added 1" to the length and lowered and shortened the bust dart by 1".  I lengthened the skirt by 3 1/2 inches.  The only thing I didn't like about making this was inserting the elastic and a drawstring into the casing.  It was such a tight fit that it took an hour to get the elastic in, then another hour for the drawstring.  Although I have a device for inserting elastic, it was too wide so I had to use my smallest safety pin on the end of the elastic/drawstring to pull it through.  When I was pulling the elastic through the safety pin opened up  when I was nearly all the way around and I couldn't move it backwards or forwards as the open end caught on the fabric, so I ended up having to open up some of the stitching on the casing.  Next time I'll try slightly widening the casing.

2017 review
36 garments completed
16 tops
9 dresses
4 pants
2 jeans
2 jackets
2 cardigans
1 skirt
Total spent on fabric 525.67
average per garment 14.5
Patterns by
15 BurdaStyle
7 Itch to Stitch
4 style Arc
3 Love Notions
2 Jalie
1 Colette
1 Vogue
1 Simplicity
1 Chalk and Notch
1 By Hand London

Did I achieve my targets?  Last year I posted that in 2017 I wanted to:
So what lies ahead for 2017?
As mentioned earlier,  I want to make a quilt this year.  This means there will be less time for dressmaking, but I'm still hoping to make around 3 items a month.  

I have again joined the Burda Challenge for 2017 run on Pattern Review.  You set your own challenge.  For me this it to make 12 garments from magazines that haven't previously had any items made.  To the end of 2016 magazines I own, but haven't made anything from are 2/2015 and April, August, September and October 2016.  Of course there will be all the 2017 issues to come.  I also need to keep in mind to keep my wardrobe casual, now I am not working there is very little need for a dressy wardrobe.  I also want to only buy fabric when I have something specific to make with it and use up some of my stash.  Of course sales and hospice bargains will derail this plan!

I want to continue my machine embroidery growth and try new things.  

Quilt - WIP.  I got sidetracked in the second half of the year.
Aimed to make 3 garments a month.  I made 36 this year, so right on target.
Burda Challenge.  Failed miserably.  Although I made 15 BurdaStyle garments, only 5 were from magazines I hadn't previously used.   I struggled to find things I wanted to make from this years magazines and decided not to renew my subscription when it expired in October.
I wanted to keep my wardrobe casual.  I think, for the most part, I achieved this.
Only buy fabric when something specific.  Well, sort of.  I do think I've become more discerning with what I buy and not just buying because it is on sale.
Continue machine embroidery growth.  I've definitely done that - and really enjoyed it.

2018 Aspirations
This year
Finish my daffodil quilt
I'd like another pair of jeans - in light denim
Another denim jacket - this time in light denim
Make leggings, and get more into tunic type tops that I can wear with leggings.
I really want to try bra making, reading lots of tutorials at the moment
Possibly an anorak - possible the Closet Case Kelly.  

Happy crafting 2018