Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Ok Stevie, You Can Stop with the Stripes Now...

Have you ever broke one of your cardinal fashion rules? I'm talking bulldozing right through that sucker, deciding that actually sod everyone else I want to wear it!
Mine was horizontal stripes.
I am not the thinnest pencil in the box. One of the cardinal rules I grew up with was that women over a size blah blah blah couldn't wear horizontal stripes.
I stared in admiration at Breton tops and cute stripey dresses wishing I was 'allowed' to wear them. Last year I decided enough was enough. Why couldn't I wear them? What was stopping me? Stripes looked cute on other people why not me?
The first top that broke the spell was my Stripey Renfrew. It was a meetup swap fabric from Zoe and the colours reminded me of the seaside. "This isn't so bad" I thought, I look like a normal person. Little did I know i'd turn into this crazy Stripe obsessed monster! Here's some evidence, just of stuff i'd made. I'd also been purchasing stripes like a woman posessed!
So after the stripe rule had been broken, a stripe binge had begun and oh my god do I own a lot of stripey clothes now! (11 in the top photo, not including 2 in laundry, plus i'm wearing one,) Seriously. I think its time to stop with the stripes now!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Fall Essentials Sewalong...

I know my history with sew-alongs has been generally poor since day one, but I've decided its my duty as a online sewist to suck it up and actually take part in one.
As I love Autumn so much I went for the Fall Essentials Sewalong, to keep me in check and make sure I get my wardrobe ready for the colder weather. A Month is a bit of a toughie but i'm hoping I can crack on and finish at least half. That way I'll have some useful layers and pretty items to boot!
Here's my preliminary plan!

  • Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather - Zinnia Skirt in Caramel Crepe. Ever since I saw this pattern I was desperate to make it! Therefore its been pushed way up the queue. I know exactly what yummy fabric I want to use, its a bit of stashbusting and a quick make so totally a bonus!

  • Chic Chemises for Cool Climates - Archer Shirt in Cerulean Chambray. This will be my third Archer and not my last! I've had the Chambray earmarked for this for a while. Its one of those classic pieces i've never owned but always wanted to.

  • Fabulous Frocks - Skater Dress in Plum Ponte. This is a lovely dress and another quick make. I've done a quick muslin and had to move the waistline up and shorten it lots but now I intend to make multiples and I have a stash fabric in mind!

  • Underneath it All -Virginia Leggings in Black Bamboo Jersey. Another pattern I had to have straight away! I never sew with black nowadays but I have a silky soft bamboo jersey that is begging to be made into lovely leggings!

  • Those Cosy Nights - Briar Sweater in Nubbly Navy Knit. I know this is my fourth Briar but a sweater knit Briar? Thats got to be an awesome idea right?
  • Baby its Cold Outside - Anise Jacket. This has been earmarked for way too long. I am going to tackle this jacket before I lose the opportunity to wear it in the cold seasons for another year. Not sure on what fabric yet though!

This is preliminary, but most of the patterns are simple yet effective. I may opt for similar projects that are already cut out but it depends on what ends up where in the neverending sewing queue of Stevie's life!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Completed:Seasalt Renfrew...

Yay another finished top! This one has been in the UFO pile for a little while but i'm glad I got it done in time for the weather to change. Did you guess by now this is the same photoshoot as the last two? Like I said I had an impatient photographer that day.
Anyhoo, this top reminds me of family holidays in Cornwall and wandering around Padstow watching the boats. Hence why seasalt.
I'm not going to say anything more about Renfrew as a pattern, its been covered. Needless to say this jersey is not the best quality and it isn't terribly flattering at the back. Nevertheless I'm prepared to wear a vest top with it as I really love the sky blue stripe. (Promise its a stripe, difficult to see on my monitor!) Pixel wanted to be in these photos and I kept the back fat one simply because he's copying my pose! What a professional!
 I then preceded to pick him up and have a cuddle but he just looked rather bemused...
Stats time!
Fabric: Cheap fabric from fabricland about £6.00
Notions: Thread in Stash £0.00
Total: £6.00
Wearability:5/10 Its ok for day to day wear but not the most flattering top i've ever owned. It should be useful for a season or two! I can't promise you guys there won't be any more Renfrews. They are just so damned useful!

Monday, 16 September 2013

My Favourite Season... Autumn Sewing Ideas

I have to say although summer is lovely, Autumn has always been my favourite season. Its the back to school feel, the cooler, yet still sunny weather.
Also the summer dresses go away and out come the comfy coats and jumpers and hand knitted socks! I know I pretty much do this post every year but there is something special about Autumn for me. I'm much more into layering than it all hanging out in the summer. I've been daydreaming about all the awesome possibilities there are for Autumnal outfits. Here's a few of the things on my mind sewing wise:
Shouldn't everyone own a hot pink coat? I think so! It reminds me of Kate Spade and it needn't be overly cutesy! I love the black buttons that contrast so nicely on this Boden Jacket!
Mustard is my favourite colour! If only I could find a sweater knit in this shade so I could make myself a Briar with it! I think i'd probably pair it with chambray Colette Juniper's too!
Or if I was going for layers perhaps some tights boots and this lovely henley dress. Could use McCalls 6747 and just flare the skirt a little! 
Personally I think i'd pair it with a pumpkin coat in a snuggly ponte knit like this one!
My final dream autumn outfit would be this sweater with neckline detail, paired with a Grainline Moss Skirt and perhaps a Chambray Archer underneath. 
Oooh how about a gold one?
 What Autumn outfits have you been dreaming up?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Completed: Basic But Special Briar...

Remember I said i'd made multiple Briar's? Well here is another. This is made from a funky manipulated jersey I picked up at fabricland ages ago. The pattern creates an almost shirred effect on the fabric, which is nice but i'm not sure its too flattering on a curvy lady like me.
I do like this shirt though. Again I lengthened by about an inch and I may in future do a teeny swayback adjustment just so it lies a little flatter.
 This is a serious wardrobe basic. I have a distinct lack of white in my wardrobe, probably because I am notorious for spilling stuff on myself and getting generally mucky. I still want more white tops though. I think its nice with my skin tone and goes with, well everything!
Here are the stats:
Fabric: Textured thin knit jersey from Fabricland £6.00 (may have been cheaper, can't remember)
Notions: Thread in Stash £0.00
Pattern: Briar used before so £0.00
Wearability: 8/10 Not the most flattering but totally comfy and wearable!
£6.00 is probably what i'd pay for a decent top in the sales but I don't think I would have got this unusual knit in a style that suited me. So in that way its a winner!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Plans for Productivity...

Heres a thought prompted by Lauren at Lladybird. She did a great post on how she is so damned productive, seriously the woman churns out awesome clothing over and over. It seems like she never pauses for breath! Turns out she does and has some clever little ways to keep her sewing at a constant and awesome level.
As Autumn is approaching I have, as usual a huge list of stuff I would like to sew. I'd like to think i've started sewing them just about on time this year. As lets face it, October is almost upon us! I've decided to try a few little ways of speeding up my sewing and hopefully it should leave me with a full wardrobe for when the chilly's come!
  • Cutting Projects in the Week and Sewing at Weekends - This allows me to cut at least a couple of projects a week and have them bagged up and ready to go when I get a chunk of sewing time. 
  • Sewing in a Production line - Making more than one of a pattern is a great way to build up some basics. I intend to pick at least two projects where I can sew multiples doing each process twice and ending up with two completed garments at the end.
  • Bulk buying supplies - Having what I  need for a project in advance means I can finish one thing and go straight on the next without that annoying wait for the fabric shop to open!
  • Work from the stash. Need fabric? Go stash shopping! There may be something in there you've forgotten about before jumping for your credit card.
As you can see, my next few projects are planned and bagged up with their relevant thread and notions ready and waiting to be sewn. 
What do you do to make sewing more productive?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Completed: Briar Love...

Well this could be my new favourite pattern. I caved and bought Briar and the Victoria Blazer not sure that either were my style or that they would suit me but i'm really loving Briar! 
This is my second version. The first may not see the blog as the neckline didn't want to play. But trust me there are far more Briar's on the horizon!
This fabric is a slinky knit I got at a swap recently. I really need to start writing down who these fabrics come from. But thank you to whoever donated this lovely to me! Its cream with gold feathers on it. Not easy to see and today I didn't have a very obliging photographer.
Due to its slinkiness i'm not 100% on the fit of this one, the neckband was a bit of a sod too, its also a little see through, but it'll be fine with a vest top underneath. This doesn't take away from the fact that I love it!
So the things I love about this pattern? The shaping! I loved the curved hem but being weirdly long in the body for someone of 5ft4 I chose to lengthen the front by an inch or so, just so it hit below my jean line.
I also love the ingenious construction methods. I can whip one of these up in about an hour after cutting. Especially with the sleeves sewn straight into the side seams. I find this restricts a little movement but not enough to worry about. This is my first Megan Nielsen pattern but its not going to be the last! I've got my eye on the Virginia Leggings now! Here's the stats for Briar No.1

Fabric: Slinky Metallic Jersey from swap 0.00 
Notions: Thread £2.50
Pattern: Megan Nielsen Briar £13 (Already used three times)
Wearability: 8/10 
Total: £15.50

I really love this top but its not the most flattering on me. Thats not to say I won't be making hundreds! I think in a thicker fabric it will make a fantastic sweater!
This is already a go-to comfy top in my wardrobe and for that I think it was well worth its price tag!