Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Neon Stripe Lark

Holy Crabsticks! It seems like forever ago I made this Lark Tee! I've been terrible with keeping up with my makes lately. Great that I've been sewing more and giving vloggging a go (check out my channel here) but not so good for the blog. I have loads of stuff to get up on here! But without further gilding the lily,

I give you another Lark tee!
Ok. I know, another one. But I think i've got the fit just right now and I made it in this fabulous grey and neon pink knit I bought at Fabric Godmother eons ago. I have just enough of this left for one more thing, but its one of those fabrics I don't ever want to end!
For this one, I took it down to a 12 and a 10 in the shoulders, my normal shoulder adjustment just wasn't severe enough. I think its just right now.
I don't have an awful lot else to say other than I will still be sewing up a load more of these. I've been reading A Curated Closet and i've come to realise short sleeved t-shirts are in short supply in my wardrobe.
 I might give it a rest for a little while as I have TATB Agnes and a few other t-shirt patterns to try out. I'd like to get my Plantain Tee pattern adjusted to fit again too. 
This last photo made me giggle!
 Caption this competition? 
My entry: 
"Piemaker what do you mean I can't have any more fabric!?" 
He's probably right though..

Sunday, 20 August 2017

New Vlog Alert! Sussex Sewing Meetup and Fabric Haul!

Hi Lovelies, 

Yet another Vlog up today, all about the goodies I purchased at the Sussex Sewing Meet!

I had such a fabulous time, sewing friends really are the best!
What have you stashed recently! I'd love to know! Also don't forget you can subscribe to my videos as well as my blog! 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New Vlog Alert! Fabric Haul

Hi lovelies,
 Just popping in to let you know i've posted by second vlog. This is a fabric haul from a while ago at Ditto Fabrics.
I'm finding the video editing a little tricky to grapple with so if you have any hints or tips please feel free to comment. Even if you don't and you just want to chat about fabrics (my favourite subject!) please drop me a comment or like and subscribe.
Now on to the fabric goodness!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Closet Case Solved! Ginger Jeans. Including my first Vlog!

I know I said this with my Safran Jeans but that was a false alarm, you guys! I made real jeans! Traditional, topstitched, coin pocketed denim jeans!
This has been a holy grail for me for a long while. When I first learnt to sew, jeans were just never on my radar to sew. They were made by magical unicorn sewists in far away lands, I'd never heard of anyone making bras or jeans, end of.
90% of my clothing choices involve a pair of jeans and a top as i'm sure most people do. They are practical, comfortable (hopefully) and go with everything! I always had huge issues with finding the right jeans because of my stumpy carrot shaped bottom half. (Think small waist, huge hips and thighs tapering to quite narrow ankles on a 5ft3 frame.) That being said, I haven't cracked it 100% with this pair, but i'm on the way! I've also given Vlogging a go so my full review is at the end of this post!
I find with new skills I am a very visual learner and so as with my bra making craftsy class, I opted to purchase Heather's Jeans making class on her website platform as soon as it launched. Now as a disclaimer I want to point out the if you are in the EU there are taxes applied to purchases from Heather. I took advantage of the intro offer and discount code but the $50(?) cost ended up more like £60. I emailed Heather and she explained that taxes had been applied and that was why.
 It didn't matter in the long run as the class is so excellent I thought it was well worth what I paid.
As with bra making, jeans making is a series of small processes that make up a larger whole garment. Don't expect to have them sewn up in an afternoon but you certainly could do the pocket attachments and topstitching for the fronts! I estimate that it took me around 10/12 hours of sewing to complete these. A good few podcasts listened to! I used Heather's class for every single step. Her fly front tutorial is the best i've come across. Its clear, concise and makes it accessible to everyone. I struggled with this for Safran, even though I've done them previously on the Moss skirt and others, its never looked as fabulous as these did.

I opted for the midrise option offered in the class. I'm fairly happy with the fit on these now i've tweaked them. Overall they came out way too big. I cut a straight 16 but shortened them by 16cm! The 16 was the right choice for me at the hip but I ended up doing an awful lot of tapering in the legs and the waist is still incredibly roomy. My next attempt will be a shortened 14 and see how we go. I used a delicious crosshatched indigo stretch denim from Ditto in Brighton. The stretch was about 2% elastane 98% denim. I would stick to this for Ginger as the stretch was just about right. I think that i'd get more benefit out of the stretch when i've cut a 14. I also need a significant sway back adjustment and then the waistband would fit a lot better. Even with that in mind, they are a great wearable pair of jeans. Better on my chunkier days or for a big dinner!
I am fortunate enough to have two machines and an overlocker which made this process much easier. Its totally doable to have just a machine and an overlocker, but there would be a lot of swapping between topstitch and normal threads. Luckily you only need to change your top thread as the thickness of the thread would clog the bottom bobbin. I totally recommend that you buy 2 packs of jeans and topstitching needles. I went through an entire pack just for my topstitching. I was using my basic Husquvarna E10 as my topstitch machine and if it hit a thick/tough spot the needle snapped. Next time around i'll make that my seam machine and use my newer Janome for topstitch as when I swapped it appeared to handle it better. I've been thinking about adding Vlogging to my blog escapades for a while. I've really gotten into watching other sewists and its lovely to get a sense of the person behind the blog. Not to mention the way a fabric drapes or the way a garment fits 360. This is my first go and I did it portrait! Doh! The next ones will be better. I'm planning some fabric haul videos and if you click on the link you can subscribe to my channel from there. I'm super nervous about this so if you have any vlogging advice please let me know!
I'd also love to know if you've tackled jeans, i'm all for any tips and tricks! Here goes nothing!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Me Made May 17: The Review

We made it through guys! This is the first year I felt I stuck pretty well to the pledge and got photos most days. It was so inspiring using instagram but by the end my photos got more and more ratty, apologies about that I got photo fatigue!

So on reflection I'm pleased with a lot of the new stuff i've made recently. A few old favourites made appearances too and I gave myself permission to chuck away some of the unworn items and make space for new things! So a reminder of what I said in my previous post

What was your pledge Stevie?
I'm worked on making the most of what I have. I'm pleased to have a wider variety of garment types in my wardrobe than I ever have before, but some are from before my weight loss. I'd like to wear items and decide the fate of some that have been languishing too long, either because of fit, or the style is not quite me anymore.

So my main aims within May were:

  • Wear all the 33+ items of clothing I have in one way or another - There was lots I didn't wear. I don't think it means I have to chuck it all. But some of it can definitely hit the charity shop. I had some items that weren't season appropriate, or are definitely too ratty to be seen on the internet (Virginia leggings i'm looking at you!) 

  • Work out what needs replacing/ refashioning/chucking - So I've already put my Leopard print wrap dress, my brown Oslo cardigan of doom, my recently made burgundy Mesa dress along with a few t-shirts that were too big into the charity box. It feels good but they need to leave the house sharpish, lest I pull them back in!
  • Pick out and analyse some of my favourite RTW items - Why do I like them? Fit? Design? Fabric? - I did do this but I think it deserves a separate post. 
  • Colour analysis: What are the main colours in my me made wardrobe? Am I happy about this? What else would I add. - I love blue on me, I do not have anywhere near enough blue in my me made wardrobe! I wore my new Ogden cami a lot and my blue chambray archer that could use a long sleeved friend. Pretty much any tone of blue would be good but i've got lots of aqua in the stash I need to sew up! Particularly jersey tops. I'm happy with the corally tones I already have but they could be improved with more daytime wear. I have a few lovely pieces of coral fabric I could sew up!
In conclusion I definitely need more tee's! More jeans! More cardigans, I wore an awful lot of my recently made Lark Tees and Kirsten Kimono tees along with my two Driftless cardigans. I'm pleased to say I wore my Ginger jeans a lot (They will be blogged soon I promise!) plus I was wearing a lot of me made pjs and  I will need more fun garments and use some more prints!

How did you find Me Made May 17?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Evie La Luve's Top Tips for Sewing Lingerie and Bella Lace Knickers Kit Review, DISCOUNT CODE INCLUDED

Morning you lot!
I've got a jam packed post for you today. Hannah, the proprietress of Evie La Luve is popping by in a short little interview on what inspired her to start her online store and to give you some tips on sewing lingerie. I've also got my review of her Bella Knickers made from an ELL kit! 

*I purchased this kit and other supplies from ELL myself without any sponsorship, all opinions are my own but there is a cheeky discount code for you in this post!

So to kick things off!
Hannah is the brain behind Evie La Luve a pattern and lingerie supply online store. I'm forever stalking her site for beautiful inspiration and her tutorials on youtube are always great if your stuck with a particular lingerie problem. (i'm looking at you bra straps and sliders!)
So without further ado here is our interview and Hannah's tips for lingerie success!

Hi Hannah, Great to interview you! When/how did you become interested in lingerie making?
Beautiful lingerie is something I've always been interested in, it was one of the many things I considered designing/making after my fashion degree. I've always been drawn to pretty, lacy, very girly things and lacy lingerie, I think, is about the girliest thing you can make. I first drafted myself a simple, woven, pair of knickers and from then I was hooked. The amount of time it took me to create something (and complete it!) was no time at all, took very little supplies and filled me with so much joy. I was addicted from the start and began sewing more and more lingerie.

What was your impetus to start your craft business?
I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I've always tried to make money from things I enjoyed. I've had two previous small businesses before this one! I always knew I wanted my own business. My father and grandfather and great grandfather etc. have all had very successful businesses of their own so I guess you could say it's in my blood. It just came down to how I could turn my passion into my own successful business and designing/sewing/creating new things is my passion!

What is your favourite fabric to use for stitching lingerie?

I adore lace. I think thats what got me hooked on lingerie. It's so feminine and beautiful, how can something you make with it not be beautiful too?! On the flip side my new obsession is scuba fabric! Holds its shape, easy to sew, usually comes in awesome prints. Whats not to love!

Hannah's 3 top tips for sewing lingerie!
  1. Don't be scared of it. Its really not as scary as it can look. Lace is surprisingly easy to sew! 
  2. Sourcing quality supplies is half the battle. Its not going to make sewing elastic any easier if you use naff stuff! I try and stock some of the harder to find lingerie supplies in my Etsy shop. Things you can't find at your local fabric store. 
  3. If your new to sewing lingerie there are so many great blogs/vlogs around now all geared towards lingerie making! Get lost in the void of blog posts and youtube videos/tutorials and you'll learn so much along the way! I have a YouTube channel myself, full of tutorials on sewing your own lingerie and where to source supplies etc.

Thank you so much to Hannah for those top tips! I know i've used a lot of Craftsy and Youtube on my bramaking adventures recently. So here is my quick review of Evie La Luve's Bella pants kit that can be found on Hannah's Etsy store here. 
I ordered a few supplies, fabrics and a kit from Evie La Luve not long ago, you may have seen it on instagram.  I was really pleased with my purchases, which included some of those stunning rose gold rings and sliders!
I also added the Bella kit which contains everything you need to make them:
  • Stretch Lace
  • Fold over Elastic
  • Jersey scrap for crotch/gusset (I don't know which word is worse! *shudder*)
  • Teeny little bow!

You can also choose to include a paper version of the pattern, or if you have it at home you can just buy the kit. I opted for the pattern included and I was super impressed with the quality of the paper. It was like a very firm swedish tracing paper. 
I really loved this coral lace included in the kit, I bought extra to make myself a matching bra but i'm finding it tricky to get coral findings so if you've seen any please let me know in the comments below. I fear I may have to dip my toe into the dyeing trend! 
The lace is lovely quality, really good stretch and nice and soft on the skin. I've worn these a fair bit since making and i'm pleased with how they are holding up. I think sometimes we forget how tough we are with our lingerie, washed then only worn once and back into the machine again. I think lace in particular as I'm always clumsily putting my fingers through it!
 I made an L based on my measurements. I could have done a XL but all I really need to do is increase the rise at the back. This isn't immediately easy as this lace would just about accommodate the pattern piece width wise. If your making knickers make sure your lace width is wide enough. I think a 16inch or above is great for these kind of cut. I did measure all of my stretch laces and I had a real range from about 8inch width to 17inch so its definitely worth checking that if you want to make a specific pattern. (Especially Ohh Lulu!)
What is great about this pattern is that Hannah marks the edge where the scallops should sit. there is no point putting the scallops on the edge where the elastic will be going, but oh my! It looks so pretty on the legs and makes this knicker much faster to sew as no further finishing is required on the legs.
Overall I can see myself sewing up loads of these in an array of colours. I think its a great basic and would go great with a pretty lace bra such as Cloth Habit's Harriet or her new Fenway pattern. (Which i'm crushing on so hard by the way!)
Yay! Thanks for sticking with us to the end!
You can get 10% off in Evie La Luve's Etsy Store this week only with the code BEEBEE10
Thanks to Hannah for giving us an insight into her life as an Indie pattern designer and store owner!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Amy Butler Cabo Halter in Liberty

This is quite possibly the oldest UFO in my sewing room. Amy Butler's Cabo Halter in a stunning Liberty Tana Lawn.
This didn't fit very well before but I couldn't let it go. I bought and made most of it when I worked for Clothkits back in 2012. I only needed to sew the top and bottom together so i'm not sure what put me off really. 
The fit isn't ideal. You can see it here fitting fairly well on the bust but I've knotted the straps at the top of the V because it pulls it outwards and lessens the gaping in the cups. I don't think this is a personal issue, more a pattern thing as every halter top i've ever owned has done that. I decided not to add a closure as this just pops over my head and ties. 
I'm not usually one for outside photos as I find the light too difficult to manipulate, however the blossom on my little trees were too lovely to leave out! I love the blue/yellow combo of this fabric and of course its a lovely lawn to wear.  I'll probably keep it as is in terms of the knots on the straps, it adds some interest and gives me the effect I want on the cup. If you had a similar issue, I'd remove a bit of the fullness through the middle radiating down towards the cup. Amy Butler is best known for her quilting fabrics and patterns but this and a handful of other women's patterns came out a good few years ago. Its a nice style for holidays and I'm sure i'll wear it when its hot outside but looking back on her patterns now, they are a little too geared to quilting cottons for me. Great for beginners though!
I'd love to know if you've made one of these Cabo Halters! I couldn't see a huge amount of them online and i'd love to know your thoughts! Overall I think its a great simple wardrobe item but I don't think i'll sew it up again in a hurry. Then again it has taken me 5 years to get this one sorted!