Thursday, 28 August 2014

Diy pompom kimono- New Look 6217 pattern review

Apparently, the kimono jacket is the garment of the summer (2014). What exactly was the garment of last summer I cannot tell you. Indeed I definitely did not invest in whatever was last years garment was, unless it was flowery frocks, when I did. In spades.

But on the plus side, kimonos are a trend that lend themselves perfectly to the DIYer, not least because they are so ridiculously easy you can knock one up on your sewing machine in an afternoon. So that's what I did.

I decided to buy a new pattern for this project as my existing kimono pattern, New Look project runway 6072, used a huge amount of material, with two options for the front panels- either a tie closure (no thank you) or massive drapey panels (again, no ta). I decided I wanted to make a cropped cute kimono sleeved jacket and so bought this New Look pattern, 6217, which has caught my eye previously thanks to the cute styling on the packet- most unusual! I did however alter the pattern slightly so it was about 3 inches shorter than the original pattern had intended. 

New Look 6217 pattern review!

Inspiration: Jessa!

Pattern Description: 
Misses' kimono style jacket and tee have an easy extended sleeve and bias binding at neckline. Pencil skirt and slim pants have side zip. New Look sewing pattern. It says it has bias binding on the neckline but it is actually faced.

Pattern Sizing: UK 10-22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes I think so, but shorter but then that's my doing completely! For once, aforementioned, I actually like the styling on the pattern envelope and would not mind looking like ten photograph.

Were the instructions easy to follow? As always yes, although I barely looked at them as it was pretty straightforward to say the least- a huge benefit to sewing kimono jackets is no sleeves to insert (yay!)

Likes and dislikes?
 I like the simplicity of this pattern and can imagine perhaps making another in a less bright fabric to wear over garments in the winter, almost like a waterfall cardigan but SO not a waterfall cardigan, you know?...

Fabric Used: a very lightweight Fuscia pink paisley viscose, which looked so beautiful and crisp when pressed and steamed!

Pattern alterations or design changes: I shortened the kimono purely because I felt frumpy when it was long and bf agreed it was not flatterning. This was probably a combination of factors including (but not limited to) a) my smallish size, b) my inadequate height, c) the crazy brightness of my fabric choice! I also added pom-poms, just because...

Styling ideas: I will be wearing my kimono with short shorts and baggy vests, and possibly little straight mini skirts. This may also look stylish as a coverup on coolers evenings.

Would you sew with it again? Yes, I think so! Definitely in a nice fluid fabric like this one though, a stiff fabric would make a terrible choice for a kimono jacket.

Conclusion: a lovely simple pattern, perfect for 'wardrobe building' (whatever that entails) and of course making pretty kimono jackets! I have already promised my lovely pal a yellow kimono as a welcome home present when she returns from her summer nannying abroad- so check back for round two! 

Thanks for reading and happy sewing! X o x o

A pleated button down skirt for my third ever customer!

Sharlyna is a stylish friend of mine who came with a very detailed request for a skirt resembling the Modcloth 'living the dream skirt', check is out here

Apparently, on Modcloth they give each garment a lengthly and flouncy blurb detailing your life when you own the garment. This skirt will improve your life in the following ways:

Each day when you dress for work or school, you feel so fortunate to be doing something that you love. It shows in the way you meticulously, yet effortlessly, choose an outfit every morning. Today, you’re wearing this chambray skirt. The indigo and white weave fabric is casual yet sharp, and the addition of the classic brown belt, button-up front, and flared pleats make this skirt a wardrobe staple. Wear with a simple white top, cardigan, and cork wedges, or a novelty tee and colorful canvas shoes. However you style it, you'll rock this day!

Wow. All that from just one skirt! Sharlyna told me how she had been looking for a skirt in this style for awhile but had found that on the highstreet they were all too short or had an irritating and awkward lining.
So she asked me to make her a made-to-measure version, and this is what I came up with. I chose to use a grey poly crepe with a lovely weight instead of the chambray used on the original skirt as (in the words of John Snow) winter is coming! I bought the buttons from fabricland and I think they add a really lovely finishing touch to the skirt.

That's all for today, thanks for reading and happy sewing! X o x o

Monday, 25 August 2014

Two pieces for my second ever customer! The Amanda dress and the nautical circle skirt

So, as mentioned previously I have started my own little line in bespoke skirts and dresses, and having been away for afew days in Finland (expect a post on Finnish sewing and fashion ASAP!) I thought I would update the interwebs with deets of my latest custom ordered makes.

These are both for the same customer, the lovely Amanda. The first piece I have called the Amanda dress, as I designed it for her with no guidance whatsoever! She simply asked me to make her something, and I had no idea where to start! Creative freedom can however give rise to some original ideas and the Amanda dress was born, cute and casual for her work at school. I chose this lovely grey cotton floral print as I felt it would go well with her blonde hair.

After Amanda had seen the dress, she asked me to make a nautical knee length circle skirt, a far more specific brief, which turned out like this:

That's all for today, hope you like Amanda's new wardrobe additions (and incidentally I hope she likes them too- she hasn't seen them yet!), get in touch if you too would like some handmade additions to your wardrobe! 
Thanks for reading and happy sewing
X o x o

Friday, 22 August 2014

My first happy customer! The midi just-a-peek skirt for Maria!

I recently made a decision to use some of my summer holidays to try my hand at sewing for other people. In some weird alternate universe I would love to sew clothes all day for a living, but alas this has yet to become a reality for me, and luckily I enjoy my sensible job as a teacher just fine! But that will not stop me making some lovely things for other people...

Ever since my GCSE and Alevels in textiles I have really enjoyed working to a specific brief. My lovely friend Maria came with one such brief!
She saw my recent  post on my just-a-peek skirt, and asked me to make her a midi version.

Inspired by this lovely pic in Pinterest:

This is what I came up with:

And here is the beautiful Maria modelling her new skirt:

I gave her the skirt during a lovely day together, lunching in South Kensington, wondering about Knightsbridge and spotting Made in Chelsea stars in Sloane Square. We found some incredible wedding shoes for Maria's wedding in Harrods too, dahling!

Potential groom outfit:

Wedding shoooesss

The skirt!

Hope you like my first made to measure garment, where will my new enterprise take me!?!? Only time will tell!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing x o x o

Friday, 15 August 2014

Simplicity 2116- pjs for my favourite boy

I recently saw this amazeballs fabric in ye olde faithful Fabric Land across the street, and couldn't resist making some pjs for the bf in it- how much fun!

I bought a new pyjama pattern (Simplicity 2116) as I foolishly cut my original one to a women's size 8, and needed one for an extra medium man. I cut a medium, he is of for all intensive purposes of medium size, and they fit very well. Very baggy on the legs, but no more than pjs should be. I may even be borrowing them myself!

Hope you like, I'd do a pattern review but they are so ridiculously simple, and the same as all other pj patterns, that it would seem rather pointless.

Just look how flexible they are!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing! X o x o

Thank you flowers <3

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Simplicity 1382 pattern review- heart cut-out and triangle cut-out dresses

Here is my little review of Simplicity 1382!

I've been seeing lots of interesting backs to dresses recently, and I thought it might be fun to mix it up a little and combine a simple, classic 50s style summer dress at the front with an interesting cut out at the back. Being a girly girl through and through, I also really wants a heart, obvs.

Pattern Description: 
Girls' and girls' plus dresses; sleeveless with heart cutout and contrast skirt option or sleeveless or short sleeved with triangle cutout. Back of bodice buttons and back of skirt zips for easy dressing.

Pattern Sizing: this is technically a kids/teens pattern in ages 8-16, but upon reading the envelope the measurement go up to roughly a UK ladies size 12. I erred on the side of caution and made the largest size on the pattern but regretted this as it came out way  too big  for me and I spent more time adjusting the fit on this pattern than I did actually making it in the first place. The proportions are of course slightly different. To an adult ladies pattern but this was very easy to adjust for within the seam allowance.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes it really did, I was especially pleased withy the finish on the beautiful heart at the back, so lovely and crisp!

Were the instructions easy to follow? As always, yes. Well done simplicity! 

Likes and dislikes?
 I think this is a lovely simple little dress with lovely details at the back. Upon sewing both the heart and the triangle back openings I think the heart is a much better fit. The triangle back did not sit quite right on me and needed lots of adjustments, although I do have a 'sway back' and often need to make adjustments in the lower back area.

Fabric Used: BEAUTIFUL Westminster Fabrics cottons, from the John Lewis sale and bought with my lovely end of year vouchers. 

Pattern alterations or design changes: As aforementioned I needed to adjust the triangle back as it did not sit flat and also of course had to make it far smaller, but that's my fault for being. Over cautious with my lovely fabric! 

Styling ideas: As with all my summer dresses, I like to wear them with simple brown leather sandals and a pretty canvas bag.

Would you sew with it again? Possibly, maybe the triangle back dress, with adjustments, could make a good party dress for autumn/winter.

Conclusion: Overall, a lovely pattern and I do think the heart cut out dress would make a lovely dress for a bridesmaid, made in a nice pink, yellow, green or blue satin. 

That's all for today, thanks for reading and happy sewing! 
X o x o

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Multiway dress-Burda 7352 pattern review

Wedding season is upon us once again! And my Pinterest is plagued by pastels and multiway bridesmaids dresses. 

I was interested in the construction of these dresses and watched many interesting tutorials on Youtube explaining the ins and outs of multiway construction. However, they all seemed to be just a little to revealing for me and so when I saw this Burda pattern I was excited to try to out for myself! I really like the idea of making just one dress and being able to customise it and wear it in lots of different ways, and liked that this one included a bust panel when most similar multiway dresses rely soley on the 'scarf wrap' element to cover up the boobs.
The pattern is essentially a tube for the bust, an a-line skirt and two long scarves joint under the bust. Simples!

Inspiration: wedding fever baby!

Pattern Description: 
Strapless dress with slightly flared skirt. Incorporated elastic guarantees wearing ease. Scarves, caught in the front seam, offer various styling possibilities.

Pattern Sizing: 6-18. I made an 8 and found the bust too short, which has literally never happened before to me and my small boobs.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes I think so, although I don't like the idea of using contrasting scarves for the wrap around pieces. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Burda instructions are notoriously tricky to follow however as this garment is basically a combination of rectangles the construction was not a problem at all, easy peasy.

Likes and dislikes?
 I really like just how simple the construction of this dress is but also the variety of ways you can style the dress makes it really interesting to me. However it is pretty dressy and I was hoping it could be styled for more casual occasions but I think that may be a no go...

Fabric Used: a beautiful pink cotton Lycra jersey blend which I adore. I would recommend using only stretch materials for this dress (as recommended) but ensure they have some strength and body to them with some Lycra or elastane. Otherwise you may end up revealing more than you intended.

Pattern alterations or design changes: I have yet to change this but the bust panel is way too short and I intend on buying an extra half metre of fabric and cutting a new bust piece which allows for greater coverage. This is very strange and hasn't happened to me before as I have hardly any boobs, so if your bosom is ample be warned before trying this pattern! I also left the zip out as it simply pops over my head (phew).

Styling ideas: with pink flowers in my hair of course! Perhaps with little heeled sandals and a contrasting clutch bag. I really don't do formal wear, so verging on as casual a side as possible.

Would you sew with it again? Possibly, should I ever require some bridesmaids!

Conclusion: A simple and easy way to achieve a wide range of formal looks, with the added advantage of no zips! Just be sure to adjust for a fuller bust. For tips on how to tie this dress look no further than the wonderful youtube! 

Here are a couple of ways I have tied my dress:

Strike a pose!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and happy sewing! X o x o

Summer Aztec Harem Style Trousers- Simplicity 1887 pattern review

Now although my standards are low when it comes to heat, most people would agree that it has been pretty stifling in London as of late. And hot weather brings with it a whole host of additional grooming demands, such as the shaving of legs, which I frankly can often really not be doing with! Thus the project of the summer trouser. I have been admiring many women looking cool in their loose fitting summer trews, they look far less try hard that a skirt or dress and I have found them really handy for work as I can move around freely without fear of revealing my knickers to the school, double win! 

I chose to use Simplicity 1887, which has been knocking around my stash for some time now and is perfect for a summer trouser.

Pattern Description: Misses' pants (trousers) in two lengths with cuff variations, shorts and skirt in two lengths. Simplicity sewing pattern. Designs by Karen Z- who is Karen Z?!?

Pattern Sizing: 8-16. I made view A in a size 8, but it came up far too baggy around the waist and needed some major taking in despite the elastic.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes, I think so. I particularly like that the elasticated part of the waistband is only at the back and the front waistband is entirely flat.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were well written. I always find Simplicity patterns really easy to follow, I think they are my favourite pattern brand as they generally end up as you expect them to from the pattern envelope. 

Likes and dislikes?
 The style is very current and similar to trousers I've seen in many highstreet shops recently. I also naturally like that the pattern has no requirement for a zip to be added and the construction is super simple. I really like the comfy fit and especially the pockets! I have had many compliments on these trousers from people at work as well as friends. Recently I wore these badboys for nearly 24 hours straight on a day out to Pride in London. We first went to the march, then onto a pub, then a club (yes, in the afternoon) then out to dinner, onto a gig and finally back home at about 5am. So I guess you could say they are also super durable :)

Fabric Used:  A cotton jersey in an 'Aztec' sort of printed pattern. I think that this pattern is best made in something drapey or light weight to maintain it's casual and comfy shape. The fabric cost £3.99 per metre from Fabric Land

Pattern alterations or design changes: I took these in massively at the waistline and used a far shorter length of elastic. getting the waist to fit correctly took a couple of attempts but I am happy with the fit now.

Would you sew with it again? Most definitely! I love these trousers and have already bought myself some lovely paisley blue viscose  to make a second pair as soon as I break up for summer. I would really like a couple of pairs to wear to work when I move to reception in September (4-5 year olds) something comfy, practical and washable I feel will become my work staples.

Conclusion: Love this pattern, I am also tempted to try out the shorties or maybe even the skirt.

That's all for today, hope you like my summer trews and are enjoying the heat this summer!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing x o x o