Tuesday, 11 March 2014

New Look 6068 and McCalls 6503- an adaptation for Spring 2014!

Yes, I have done this pattern to death and the tissue paper is disintegrating from over pinning, however, when it fits this well and is so easily adapted into so many different styles why the hell not :)

As you can see I changed the pattern almost unrecognisably from the original design, and included bits of one of my least favourite pattern, McCalls 6503, for the flounce along the bust. 

I also cut the long front and back panels at the waistline, added seam allowance and reattached them both to create a casing for some thin elastic through the middle. The finished look is rather sweet and simple and I am excited to wear this dress when the weather warms up!

This fabric is a designer cotton print from the John Lewis Sale and the dress used 1.5m of fabric, costing a total of £10. Very affordable and these cottons launder so beautifully I know this dress will look lovely for the next few summers.

Dodgy back view

Flounce detail

Close of up fabric on the back of the neck

Thanks for reading and happy sewing! x x x

An Unseasonal Summer- Simplicity 1755 in Vintage Cotton

I have fallen in love. Not just with my lovely bf (naturally) but with a new pattern. Leanne Marshall's design for Simplicity, 1755 was love at first sight for me and it did not disappoint.  

I loved the use of lace on the pattern envelope and it came with a petite option which was fab for me as I always need to shorten dresses in the waist as I am squat through the middle.

As far as sizing was concerned I found this perfectly true to size when cut in a petite size 8, which is unusual for me as I usually have to adjust the shoulders and neckline of most garments I sew.

Misses' & Miss petite dress has pleated skirt, tie belt and buttoned neck slit opening with collar. Below knee length A has halter top and is made in lace; knee length B has short raglan sleeves. 

I was inspired by two lovely creations before embarking on this dress, the first from Dixie at Dixie DIY:

And the second inspiration came from Nicole at The Travelling Seamstress

Make sure you check out both of their lovely versions!

This pattern sat in my stash for about 6 months after buying it, until Christmas when I was given some beautiful vintage hexagon print cotton from my mum which I felt was perfect for this dress. I made myself proud with my attention to detail, as I created little thread loops for button holes, what felt like hundreds of tiny pleats across the bodice and skirt, inserted an invisible zipper with my new favourite toy (my invisible zipper foot!) and also lined the bodice. Overall I am really pleased with the finish on this garment and it felt wonderful to wear in the unseasonal 19 degree mini 'heat-wave' we enjoyed this Sunday in Richmond Park.

Dress front- love this vintage print!

Bust pleat detail and split

Collar and little button loop

I'm sorry, but check out that awesome pattern matching on the centre front! May Martin would be proud... :)


Back with some attempt at pattern matching!
Who doesn't love a bow?

Close up of attempted pattern matching on centre back

Contrasting waistband

Front view

And now for some lovely lake shots in Richmond Park, courtesy of my lovely friend Z mentioned last time (totes bff obvs)

Here are some lovely pics of our lovely sunny Sunday picnic by the lake

Beautiful besties

Tanned (jealous? Moi?)

Le Lake

Welcome to the 'How-Picturesque-Are-We?' competition....

Sunny pubbing 

Erm, wrong way...

So that's it for Simplicity 1755 in the sunshine. I really am proud of this finished garment and would highly recommend this pattern to anyone with a little sewing experience as you can get a really lovely professional finish.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing x x x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee Series 2 Episode 2 Review

Yay week two of eight!

The theme this week was pattern and saw the contestants challenged to mix and match patterned fabrics in a variety of  ways.

The first, the pattern challenge, was simple but no particularly to my taste- a box pleat skirt. Just not particularly interesting to me, however there was some really beautiful pattern matching on those box pleats! My favourite was Tamara's skirt as it had a really beautiful  finish and the fabric was just beautiful- a lovely posh cotton print. And obvs nicely matched :) This has indeed made me reconsider my own slapdash pattern matching.

But Tamara was not the winner of the pattern challenge this week, it was Heather (again!) with her admittedly beautifully finished and matched yellow patterned skirt.

Challenge two, the refashion challenge, reminded me of my own Shirt Dress Refashion Tutorial I posted last summer where I turned two men's shirts into a shirt dress. The contestants chose from a hideous selection of second hand mens shirts and the results were massively varied. My favourite was Cerina's little sailor dress, it was just so original and adorable! It inspired me to dig out my old vintage sailor dress I found in Paris a couple of years ago and  come over all nautical (but nice!)

But again my favourite was not to be the winner, it was Tamara who won the second challenge (again!) with her interesting skirt made from two of the most hideous men's shirts known to man. Not to my tastes, but clever none the less.

The final challenge was mens pjs. Now I have made several pairs of pj trousers but never a pj top and it did look rather a challenge! They all, bar Chinelo, chose pretty much the same pattern but my favourite was definitely Cerina's (again!) but they may have been influenced by her beautiful choice of Liberty print cotton and the gorgeous model :)

The winner was Lynda with her very smart and nicely finished striped pyjamas, with beautiful binding.

I apologise for the lateness of this post, which is being written whilst watching episode 3 (oops) but today marks the end of the longest two weeks of my working life, with big meetings, two parents evenings and a school trip resulting in more hours spent at work than I can bare to consider! But expect the review for episode 3 asap as life gets back to normal again (whatever than means...)

Thanks for reading and happy sewing! Let me know which were your favourite pieces x x x