Tag Archives: colette patterns

Me Made May 17 – week four round up

That’s the last full week of Me Made May – only a few more days to go!

Day 22

The sun was out in full force so I finally got to wear one of my favourite me made summer dresses – the Rosie dress that was free last summer with Simply Sewing Magazine. I bought this gorgeous fabric from John Lewis – I still have some left so need to think of something else to make from it.

I also wore my me made yoga pants and Star Linden top to my dance fit class in the evening.

Day 23

I had woken up to the news of the awful terror attack in Manchester this morning so I felt very strange and frivolous posting a picture this day. I wore one of my Colette Patterns Moneta dresses in this lovely jersey from Sew Over It.

Day 24

I wore my kitty hearts blouse with contrast lace yoke – the pattern is the 6107  by New Look patterns and I bought the fabric from Miss Matatabi fabrics. I paired the blouse with my Tilly and the Buttons Clemence skirt, which is made from a navy stretch cotton.

Day 25

Today I wore my other favourite Colette Patterns Zinnia skirt in this lovely Russian Dolls fabric. I wore it with a self drafted cropped top made from an ivory broderie anglaise. This skirt height is perfect with this top so that I don’t actually flash my tummy!

Today was also a really happy day as I managed to get tickets to the Sewing Weekender, which is an event at the start of August run by The Fold Line and English Girl at Home. There were only 50 tickets up for grabs and I just happened to check on them before I left for work and got lucky. I can’t wait for a lovely weekend away in Cambridge meeting lots of new sewing friends.

 

Day 26

The sun was still out in full force so I wore my other Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress in this beautifully soft chambray from John Lewis. It’s the perfect dress to throw on in the summertime and I definitely plan to make another soon.

Day 27

I was head to toe in Sew Over It today! I wore my denim Erin skirt from the City Break capsule wardrobe, paired with one of my Silk Cami tops in a lovely Liberty lawn. I did change into another me made outfit in the evening as I went out to my other half’s EP launch gig but there was no time to take pictures! I wore some ginger jeans and a cross back top.

Day 28

I had a lot of sewing to do today so I did spend the majority of the day in me made pjs but I did get changed for a trip to the shops! I wore my latest Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top in the light blue loop back jersey from Guthrie Ghani. You may notice that I already have this top in the navy and that is because I love it!! I wore it with my Kommatia patterns denim braces skirt, which I was a recent pattern tester for.

All in all, this week was very blue themed, with a couple of exceptions. I’ll try to branch out colour-wise for the last few days!

Me Made May 17 – week three round up

Three quarters of the way through Me Made May and we are on the home straight!

Day 15

Despite a brief glimpse of sun last week, we were back to pretty much constant rain by Monday. I wore by navy striped ponte Sew Over It Molly dress from their City Break collection. This is another super comfy dress that is so easy to throw on. Bonus round though, I went to my dance fit class in the evening and wore these fab leopard print leggings that I made from the  Simplicity 8212 pattern.

Day 16

Keeping with the leopard print theme, I wore my batwing dress that I pattern tested for  Kommatia Patterns. Jasmine got in on the action that day too!

Day 17

I wore my fab Tilly and the Buttons Zadie dress with contrast colour blocking on Wednesday. This is another super comfy dress that is really easy to wear and dress up or down.

Day 18

Finally the sun came out on Thursday so I decided to wear my self drafted rayon maxi skirt with one of my Colette Patterns Sorbetto tops. I lengthened this version and used the beautiful border on this broderie anglaise as the hem.

Day 19

I don’t work on Fridays so wore my Thread Theory Lazu trousers to run some errands in. The weather was nice again so it was good to get some sun on my ankles! I also got some sewing done and made the Sew Me Something Rosalind pyjama bottoms in a lovely cotton lawn. I will photograph these shortly!

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Day 20

I had a very productive sewing weekend. I made four tops and my pj bottoms and cut out two skirts ready to go! Not sure where all of this sewing energy came from but I made the most of it. Probably my favourite make of the weekend is my new Grainline Studios Linden sweatshirt. The fabric is the softest Robert Kaufman double jersey that I bought from Sewn in their closing down sale. The reverse is a cream colour and I used this to appliqué a star on the front of the sweatshirt. I did lots of testing as I wanted to make sure that the jersey wouldn’t stretch out of shape. I love it so much that I have just bought up the last of this fabric so that I can make a replacement, should anything happen to this one! (Anyone else do this?!!)

Day 21

I had another lovely day of sewing and wore one of the tops I made on the Saturday – it is a vest based on the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top. I love the fit of the Agnes and as I usually find vest patterns don’t fit well, I used the Agnes top as a jumping off point. I scooped out the back by three inches and curved in the arm holes. I omitted the neckband, as I wanted to try out my new coverstitch machine. It worked out really well and I think I will make lots more in navy and black. The fabric I used for the toile was from Girl Charlee. I wore the vest with my Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans (when I wasn’t wearing my pjs!)

Not including all of the new things I have made this weekend, I still have tonnes left in my handmade wardrobe that I haven’t worn yet this month. I’m really hoping the weather stays nice so I can get out my summer dresses next week!

Me Made May 17 – week two round up

Week two of Me Made May is officially over and what a week it was!

Day 8

I started my new job today so decided to go in reasonably smart until I knew what the dress code was. I chose my latest Colette Patterns Moneta dress, in the autumnal leaf print as I can wear it with tights, it looks smart but is one of the comfiest dresses in the world!

Day 9

I opted for my Kommatia Patterns black Palazzo pants that I recently tested, teamed with my Sew Over It Silk Cami in this fab black and white rayon. My grey Driftless cardigan was a big staple this week too.

Day 10

As the girls at work had been having a look at my blog, there was definitely some interest in the Toucan Zinnia skirt that I recently made. I paired this with another Silk Cami top in this stunning polyester silk from Sewn. This outfit definitely is a conversation starter!

Day 11

I was lulled into a false sense of security due to the previous day’s lovely weather so got my legs out in one of my Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dresses. I adore this pattern, especially the pockets! The fabric is a double gauze that I bought from Miss Matatabi fabrics. I did manage to avoid the tropical thunder storms luckily!

Day 12

Friday was the day of the Dressmakers Ball, an event put on by the lovely Sarah and Freya of Crafty Sew and So, in Leicester. I travelled up there with my sewing buddy Amelia, and we got all glammed up in our me made finery! I decided to give my McCalls 7154 birthday dress another outing, as it was such a labour of love to make and definitely needed to be worn more than once! I also took my gold sequinned dress to get changed into for dancing! The event was such a lovely evening, where I got to meet lots of Instagram friends in real life and spend the night cooing over fabric, gossiping, making new friends and dancing!

Day 13

Due to a lack of sleep from the ball and a day of travelling, I get it casual in me made yoga pants and my lovely cat print blouse. Again this fabric was from Miss Matatabi and is the prettiest, softest cotton lawn.

I may have also slightly broken my not buying fabric this month pledge, as there was a closing down sale at Sewn and some Robert Kaufman jersey that I had had my eye on for months was too good to resist!

Day 14

A day of life admin and visiting family meant double Tilly and the Buttons! I think the the Agnes top and the Cleo dungaree dress work perfectly together. This was the first Agnes I made, from the gorgeous Sugar Skulls fabric from Fabrics Galore.

So, we are halfway through and I have still got lots more outfits in my handmade wardrobe to get through. Let’s see what the weather has in store!

 

Hemming a circle skirt tutorial

I was asked by a few people how I hemmed my Paris dress so I decided to film a quick tutorial while I was hemming my latest Zinnia skirt by Colette Patterns.

I used the toucan fabric that I bought in Paris for the outer skirt and lined it with some of the grey lining that I bought on my recent trip to Birmingham. I added pockets made from the contrasting pineapple fabric, and changed up the skirt waistband so that I created two pieces, rather than one folded over piece, and put the pineapples on the inner waistband too.

I found some bias binding that matched the orange on the outer fabric perfectly, so I created a bias bound hem on the lining, that is just visible when twirling!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial – I hope to do a few more of these in the future too, so please let me know if there is any specific subject you would like me to cover.

Hop on over to YouTube to check out the tutorial!

 

 

 

2017 Make Nine

A massive welcome to 2017, I have big plans for you!

2017 Make Nine

Instagram has come up trumps, once again, in the form of a nice achievable challenge for this year – 2017 Make Nine. The idea being that you identify nine items that you would like to make during 2017. Easy, right?! Instagrammer rochelle_new came up with the idea and I have to say, I really like it. While I think that sewing nine items in a year is completely achievable, what I like about it the most is that it has allowed me to really think about what I want to make this plan it out, rather than just flit about. I was given the Maker’s Workbook by Creative Industries for Christmas last year too, and that will also help me plan and keep track of projects.

I have decided to continue to build up my handmade wardrobe this year, adding wearable pieces for both work and play. I am pretty sure of my own sense of style and what suits me, so here are the pieces I have chosen:

1) Rise turtleneck by PaperCut Patterns

I have found myself wearing more turtlenecks this winter just as a real wardrobe staple and a stylish solution to being cold! This fab pattern comes with two variations, a looser top and a more fitted version. I have ticked this one off the list in early January – I made the rise version, which is the more fitted of the two, in a purple and white striped jersey from Girl Charlee, and I just love it! It’s great with jeans or under a Cleo dress. I can definitely see more of these in my future.

2) Ginger jeans by Closet Case Files

I have already made a couple of pairs of the lower rise Ginger jeans and I absolutely love them. I decided that I would like to try out the high waisted version, as my only issue with the low rise ones, is that they are a little too low and I have to wear a belt with them to prevent a nineties-style visible butt crack issue!! Anyway, I have already ticked this one off the list too! I made these up in one day – I had three sewing machines on the go at once (one for normal stitching, one for top stitching and one for overlocking). I used an indigo stretch denim from Fabricland with a pretty floral cotton from John Lewis for the pockets and a contrast mustard Gutterman thread for topstitching.The fit was pretty much spot on out of the packet, I just reduced the seam allowance below the knee slightly as they were a little too skinny.

3) Cleo dress by Tilly and the Buttons

My next make will be another Cleo dungaree dress. I have already made one in stretch denim and have some lovely fine needlecord from myfabrics.co.uk in a dark grey with a star pattern that will be perfect for this quick and easy make.

Linden and Cleo

4) Audrey dress from Simply Sewing Magazine

I fell in love with the free pattern that came with Simply Sewing’s December issue. This dress is very similar to a Kate Spade dress that I bought four years ago on a trip to New York and is right up my street. I have already bought some lovely plain navy and mushroom fabric for this one from Fabricland and can’t wait to get started!

5) Lazu trousers from Thread Theory

I have been on the hunt for the perfect cropped trousers for a while now and I think I can call off the dogs, as these look just right! I spotted them on The Foldline’s latest vlog and they are just what I am looking for. There are two variations but I am definitely going to start with the cropped version. I am going to hunt down some navy crepe de chine for these. I love the buckle detail and will definitely be including this.

6 Albion coat by Colette Patterns

I really feel that my handmade wardrobe should include a coat and 2017 is the year, my friends!

I bought the PDF of this pattern years ago and have never got around to making it. I think I will probably go with a navy wool blend with a fun contrast lining. I just need to find the perfect fabric and then will aim to get this one made up in time for the Spring.

7) Rosa shirtdress by Tilly and the Buttons

This is another pattern that I bought when it first came out but haven’t actually made yet. I haven’t even printed out the PDF but the end of last year got busy and I figured I wouldn’t really get much wear out of this in the Winter so I think I will get this sewed ready for Spring. I think I will try and find a good fairly thick stretch cotton for this shirtdress and will definitely have pretty contrast collar band and may even add the piped seam option. I haven’t decided on the colour yet but will see what fabric catches my eye.

8) Silk cami by Sew Over It

I made a couple of these last year and I just love them! I think they are great wardrobe staples and look fab dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a skirt. I will definitely be making more of these this year. I’ve got some lovely Liberty cotton lawn and a soft periwinkle blue rayon that would be perfect.

9) Moneta dress by Colette Patterns

I already have three Moneta’s in my wardrobe but I really feel like I need another! This is a super flattering dress and is perfect for work. I have already bought the fabric for my next Moneta – a gorgeous charcoal grey ponte from Sewn.

So, while I am sure these won’t be the only items I made this year, it is a definitely a good start. Right, I’m off to cut out another Cleo…

Me Made May – Week One

 

I arrived a little too late to the party last Me Made May and certainly didn’t have enough wearable every day clothes in my handmade wardrobe to participate fully.

This year, however, I am embracing the challenge of wearing handmade clothes whenever possible throughout this month. When I first started sewing, I would make occasion wear and party dresses which hardly ever saw the light of day, but since last year, I have made an effort to make items that really are wearable in every day life.  This has also meant that I have spent hardly any money on ready to wear clothes.

The MMMay challenge has also inspired me to work on a few new outfits and finish some items that have been hanging around the sewing room for quite a while.  I seem to have spent every spare minute this week sewing and I can’t tell you how happy that has made me.

I have finished my cropped trousers, altered a couple of necklines to make things a bit more wearable and made a bag, my third moneta dress and my first ever pair of jeans!  The ginger jeans pattern by Close Case Files is really easy to follow and I am really happy with how they have turned out.  I just need to add the belt loops and rivets but it is late and both these activities require a hammer and I’m not too sure my neighbours would appreciate that right now!  More to follow on these soon.

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MMMay has also meant that I have dusted off a few handmade items that I had almost forgotten about. There may have one or two trips to the fabric shop too for some new projects.

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Week One has included the following me made items:

  • 1st May – I had to skip this day as I was staying in London for a meeting and had completely forgotten it was May already!
  • 2nd May – dove grey Moneta dress by Collette Patterns
  • 3rd May – strawberry Belcarra blouse by Sewaholic (which I even adjusted during the day as the neckline didn’t sit right)
  • 4th May – blue chambray Matilda blouse by Tilly and the Buttons (featuring pink satin bias binding and pink buttons)
  • 5th May – brown Zinnia skirt by Collette Patterns
  • 6th May – patterned Moneta dress by Collette Patterns (only made this week)
  • 7th May – white yoga pants – pattern by me!  I also have my handmade elephant bag in this picture.

Now, if only the weather would cheer up a bit, maybe some of my summer dresses will get an outing!

A sheepish hello

Moneta

I have wilfully neglected my blog of late – it is now May and this is the first real post this year.  I have been very busy – just see my instagram feed for evidence but in terms of blogging – must try harder!!

It seems to me that May is a productive and creative time for me.  It was around this time last year that I began to really ramp up my dressmaking and started this blog.  I wonder if it is more to do with the renewal of Spring or the fact that there are no good shows on TV at this time of year!!

It is also the start of MeMadeMay, which, for those who don’t know, is when the dressmakers of instagram make a concerted effort to wear their handmade creations for the month of May.  I only caught the tail end of it last year but I think it is a really positive and creative idea and am already meeting lots of new virtual sewing buddies!

All of this has contributed to a very productive couple of days for me.  I made my third Moneta dress by Colette Patterns.

I bought this stunning lightweight jersey from Sew Over It a few months ago and have been waiting for inspiration to strike.  I decided on another Moneta dress as it is just so easy to wear, super comfy and can be either dressed up or dressed down.  It also has pockets and I love a pocket!

Elastic shirring

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The shirring of the elastic at the waist was no bother at all (goodness, if I think how hard it was the first time around) and the twin needles didn’t create the awful tunnelling that they sometimes are prone to.  I did use wash-away stay tape and that seemed to do the trick.

I then decided that I would finish off some of the UFOs (unfinished objects) that have been hanging around the sewing room, gathering dust over the past year.

To do list

I changed the neckline of my Dahlia dress so that it follows the curve of my neck and doesn’t gape out anymore.  This involved unpicking all of the bias binding and regathering the neckline to bring it in slightly.  I had to do this twice as I took too much in on the first go and it distorted the plaid pattern too much.  I split the difference on the second try and it is much better now.

Dahlia

As I had no cropped trousers in my wardrobe, I decided to make some last summer.  I did everything but hem them before the weather turned colder and they were relegated to the UFO shelf.   I also realised that they needed to be taken in on the inside leg and front seam as they were just a bit too baggy.  I had forgotten that I had already pinned the adjustment when I went to try them on today leading to a game of pin versus foot (the pin won).  Errant pins aside, the trousers are now better fitted, hemmed and ready for a sunny day.

Cropped trousers

I wore my Belcarra blouse from Sewaholic today as well for MeMadeMay.  I love the strawberry print cotton – it’s very summery and cheery.  I’ve never been quite happy with how the neckline sat though and managed to find a quick way to bring it in which improves the fit dramatically as well as adding extra detail to the front.

BeforeAfter

That’s quite a lot of sewing in my book!  It was really lovely to have an indulgent, creative weekend and the great thing is, there is still one more day to go – gotta love Bank Holidays!

I may have accidentally bought the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case this evening.  I may also have printed it, done the PDF jigsaw/sellotape game and cut it all out.  I may also just casually swing by Fabricland tomorrow and see what they have in the way of stretch denim…maybe!

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Sewing with knits

Grey dress

Apart from a suspect maroon sweatshirt that I made in textiles class as school, I have always shied away from working with knit fabrics.  The preconception is that they are far too difficult to manipulate and will stretch out of shape if so much as looked at in the wrong way.

Colette patterns’ latest design changed my mind and encouraged me to try working with jersey and I have to say, I was more than pleased with the results.

I would add that having my own overlocker and array of stretch and twin needles really helped.

The Moneta pattern, as with all of the Colette patterns that I have used so far, is beautifully designed and easy to follow.  It was my first experience of buying a paper pattern from Colette.  I have previously opted for the downloadable PDFs, for ease and convenience, but having recently found a UK stockist and I don’t think I will be going back.  Apart from not having to print out and construct the huge jigsaw puzzle from the PDF, the physical patterns are just beautiful.  They come with a gorgeous booklet, with the pattern pieces tucked into the back pocket.

I had some teal medium weight jersey in my fabric stash and decided the dress would look great in that.  I opted for the longer sleeve dress as am blessed with the joys of air conditioning at work!

Jasmine being helpful

The teal jersey was actually quite stable and easy to work with so cutting out the pattern pieces was no problem, once the cat was out of the way!  I did try, once again, to use my rotary cutter and mat but I am just not a fan – I much prefer the pinning and cutting method.  I can’t seem to get a smooth cut with the rotary blade and always end up going over and over the same area and having to cut bits with scissors eventually.  It also doesn’t help that I am left handed and my cutter is right handed so I can’t see the blade properly.  So until I buy a left handed version, shears it is!

The pattern was very easy to use and I had the bodice made in no time.  I made a schoolgirl error when it came to inserting the pockets into the skirt though.  I didn’t overlock the pieces separately first and waited until the pockets were in, leading to me cutting a slight chunk out of one of pockets with the serger blade.  Not a massive drama as it wasn’t on the skirt side and was easily fixed with some darning.

Next came the challenge of inserting the elastic into the waistband.  I have to say, this part was really tricky at first and I did have to consult my sewing books, youtube and google before I got it right.

I couldn’t get the fabric and elastic to move through the machine at first, leading to a clump of stitches on top of each other and lots of time with the seam ripper!  I then decided to use the overlocker and see if that helped – it did not!  I ended up cutting into the top of the skirt by nearly a centimetre

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After the initial horror of having ruined my dress died down, I realised I could just take off a centimetre from the top of the entire skirt and reduce the hem slightly.

Phew, crisis averted!  So, after three unsuccessful attempts and lots of unpicking and ruined elastic, I finally found the technique to use.  I hand-sewed the elastic into the waistband at eight even points and then after securing the first couple of stitches under the machine, you need to hold the back of the fabric (behind the needle) as well as holding the first hand-sewn point and stretch out the elastic and fabric so that it lays flat and fits into the skirt.  Hold tight and don’t let go and sew slowly.  You really need to guide/pull the fabric through from the other side of the machine.

Using clear elastic

This video tutorial helped me immensely from FashionSewingBlogTV.

Once that was done, it was all plain sailing for the rest of the dress.

IMG_2110 Teal dress

I love the fact that each new sewing project teaches me new skills to use.

Things I have learned from this project:

  • Sewing with knits is not scary!
  • Using twin needles for hems is great and gives a really professional finish.
  • Serge pockets separately before inserting into garments (I knew this already, I just didn’t follow my own rule)
  • Even if you think something is ruined, it might still be salvageable – just walk away and hopefully the solution will come
  • I don’t like my rotary cutter and that’s ok.
  • Instagram is great!

Since getting some great feedback on the dress, I then decided to make it again with some beautiful dove grey lighter-weight jersey that I bought online from Guthrie Ghani.  It was much easier to make the second time round and I whizzed through inserting the elastic like a dream.