Saturday, March 28, 2015
I don't really do animal prints, but a little touch here and there I like, so this ribbon had to be used to finish my silk lined Linton Tweed Maude Skirt.
I've been saving this tweed for a couple of years, and I'm so glad I finally decided to use it on another Maude Sample.
Maude is such a versatile skirt, I keep thinking of samples I want to make instead of getting on with grading and printing ready for my patient testers.
She is nearly there. Keep up with her progress on Instagram.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Spring Equinox was on Friday, so yay! Spring has officially arrived ! It is still a bit chilly here in the North West, but the sun is shining, the windows are open, I've even had laundry hanging out to dry this week.
So, time for a touch of spring colour in my wardrobe. My spring time Maude skirt, sample number three (I have yet to blog sample number two, but there is a sneaky peek here ).
She is bright and cheery this one, I'm very pleased with her, and am in the midst of grading ready for testing.
Made from a vintage sheet , unlined and finished at the waist with gross grain ribbon. I can see me wearing this lots over the coming months, and hopefully soon without tights!
In other news the Weekend Doris dress and sweater pattern is now back in stock (paper version), I underestimated how popular the paper version would be. Don't forget though, the PDF version is available as an instant download anytime, including a print at home an assemble file as well as a file you can take to your local printers and print on one sheet. My local printers charges a little over £3 for this service, but it's well worth it if you don't want to assemble the pattern yourself. Click the image below to go to my Etsy store.
Monday, March 09, 2015
I'm not one of those secretive types, I've always wished I were more enigmatic and mysterious, but it feels too hard, so I'm pretty much an open book...that means I talk too much and can't keep secrets!
This is the first draft of hopefully my next sewing pattern, I've named her Maude because the inspiration for the pockets came from my favourite vintage Maudella dress pattern.*
Maude is an A line skirt, divided into panels, with integrated pockets and a centre back zip. This version is finished at the waist with a gross grain ribbon facing, but I may give the option of a waistband.
I used up some plaid fabric scraps to make this version, and it's such a shame I didn't have enough to pattern match, but as a wearable toile it'll do.
I'm hoping to cut out another this evening in some lovely Linton Tweed I have been saving.
*I have been inspired by the pocket design on this pattern, that means I used my own basic skirt block as a starting point and then by cutting and draping worked out how I was going to make this type of pocket work in my design. wish I didn't have to explain that, but guess I do.
Sunday, March 08, 2015
|Corduroy Weekend Doris and my short hair!|
I hate the whole "busy culture", but I am the kind of person who needs to be busy. I don't cope well with boredom or being still. If I'm sitting down I'm generally knitting or making lists in my notebooks.
I often have several projects on the go at once, some work out and some don't. I never think the projects that don't work out are failures, they are just projects that didn't work, and chances are I learned something along the way.
The past few days I have been suffering again with my gall stones, which has meant enforced rest in bed all day yesterday and most of this morning on the sofa. I HATE IT!!!! There are at least a million things running through my head that I should be getting on with. Yesterday I wasn't even well enough to knit, I just lay in bed all day. Today I have at least made it to my desk and can post here.
I thought if I wrote a post about all the work I had managed to do this past week before I got poorly, I might cheer myself up and feel slightly better. So indulge me....please?
I've been playing around with lingerie designs again, which is fun. The knickers are fairly succesful, and I love the lounge pants, but the control body needs a lot more work.
I've stalled with this 1960's shift dress, I used a curtain , but had to do some creative cutting with so little fabric. I'm not certain about this one. I love the fabric, but the fit is off, and I'm not sure what I want to do about that, if anything, so it's adorning my dummy in the shed until I can decide.
I've also started work on my (hopefully) next pattern. A panelled skirt with integrated pockets.
I usually post most of my ongoing projects on Instagram I love the atmosphere on there amongst fellow crafts people, I have found encouragment and friendship there, and being a very visual person, it suits me well. Pop along and follow me if you'd like to keep up with all my "busyness"
Oh and something really rather fabulous happened this past week too; I won a sewing machine! Well actually Woody did. He enters loads of competitions and over the years has won several including a dish washer, a sky tv box, and a hamper full of scottish shortbread , but this week he won a sewing machine for me. It's a Janome Atelier 5 and it is bloody lovely! Just wish I hadn't been poorly all weekend and could've played with it. I feel very very lucky and very very grateful.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Launching my first womenswear pattern has been a steep learning curve, and I could not possibly have done it without the support of some very wonderful fellow sewists. These wonderful women not only agreed to test my pattern, but encouraged and supported me throughout the whole process.
I love each and every one of the garments they made with my pattern, I love how each person has adapted the pattern with fabric choice to make it quite their own.
First up is Jayne, an experienced and lovely seamstress. I adore Jayne's dress with the lace pockets and sleeves.
I have been inspired by several of my testers for this pattern, and this dress is definately one I'm going to copy. I already have the lace, just need to find some fabric to co ordinate with it.
Jayne also made two tops, (see photo at the top of the page.), they look fantastic on her with a mini skirt. Love this look.
Clare is next, how fabulous is this animal print version? Clare is a teacher, I hope her students appreciate just how cool she is.
She also made a plain back version in a similar cloque fabric to my yellow dress.
Naomi made this really cute blue marl version with contrast pockets. Naomi is a confident beginner sewer, and said she enjoyed making up the Weekend Doris dress.
Helen, better known to many of you as Justsewtherapeutic made up this totally gorgeous, Mad Men series 3 inspired Doris. I adore this, another one I think I may have to copy. Check out Helen's blog for more fabulous creations.
Finally, we have Marilla. You can read about Marilla's Weekend Doris here . Marilla has been a huge help to me while I have been working on this design, and I'm so grateful to her. I am also so going to copy her corduroy version...I have the cord downstairs on my dining table and will be cutting out today.
The Weekend Doris is designed as a short (or even very short) dress, but I include instructions with each pattern to lengthen the dress, as I know not everyone likes to wear short dresses. Marilla lengthened her dress, but kept the pockets in the same position. I think this has worked really well, and love the belt too.
So, if these have inspired you to make your own Weekend Doris dress or sweater, just click the image below to go straight to my Etsy shop. The pattern is avaialable as a PDF that you can print at home, but also includes a complete PDF for large scale printing at your local print shop. The paper version includes a master copy to trace your pattern as many times as you like.
Friday, February 27, 2015
My first womenswear pattern, the Weekend Doris Dress and Sweater pattern is now available to buy!
My testers have been beavering away at their sewing machines and running up so many fabulous examples, I can't wait to share them with you over the next few days, I'm sure some of them will be sharing on their own blogs too.
The pattern is inspired by the casual styles of the late 1950's and 1960's, specifically the kind of casual outfits Doris Day would wear. You can see my inspiration board on Pinterest
I like to relax at the weekends like most people, but I'm not a yoga pants and t shirt kind of woman, I still like to feel put together, just in a more relaxed fashion. This pattern is perfect for that retro inspired casual weekend.
The dress is short, with optional pockets and decorative exposed zip. Three quarter length sleeves and neckband.
The sweater skims the hips and looks great with casual capri pants and ballet flats.
Knit fabrics are recommended for both. I have made up both in sweater knit, vintage polyester knit, ponte and interlock. All work well and give a slightly different look each time.
The pattern is available as a PDF and as a paper copy from my Etsy store.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
My Weekend Doris dress and sweater pattern is out with the testers, I'm already getting some great feedback, and hope to have the pattern ready for sale by the beginning of March.
One of my testers wanted to know if it was possible to use a woven for the pattern. Stretch fabric is recommended, but curious I had a play and with a little alteration it is possible.
This Doris is made using some printed poly, a fairly lightweight dress fabric. I cut the front one size up from my usual size to accomodate my full bust, but graded down two sizes smaller at my waist and hips, for a hopefully slightly more streamlined dress. The back was cut in my usual size ,but again graded down at the waist and hips, with seam allowance added at the centre back to insert a zip.
The resulting dress works pretty well. The sleeves are slightly snug at the cuff, so if I wanted to do this again I would add more to the bottom of the sleeve. Others might find they needed to add more to the width of the sleeve along the whole length.
I wish I had interfaced the neckband, it stands up in a cute way, which I like, but would've been better with some body to hold it in place. The neckband could be left off all together, and replaced either with a facing or bias bound edge.
Maybe I'd add inseam pockets next time too.
Are you sick of these dresses yet? I'm sorry if you are, but there are more to come!