Monday, 21 March 2016

Completed: Grainline Hemlock...

Hi all, jumping in with a quick and speedy project today, yet another Grainline pattern,
(sorry not sorry.) I love Jen's patterns and they are a slightly different aesthetic to my closer fitting makes but man, I love every pattern of hers I've ever made and most of them are worn regularly 
(Archer, Hemlock, Scout, Moss and Tiny Pocket Tank are all on my completed list.) I am turning slightly fangirl with Grainline but hey, they work for me!
Hemlock is a FREE! pattern that was released a little while back, just in one size which for someone like me (Size 14 on top) strikes horror into my heart. I printed this out and put it on the back burner for a while thinking I would have to grade it up but when I bought 3m of this ahhhmazing grey and neon pink jersey from Fabric Godmother. I knew I was going to have to make myself a top (or three.) I knew it wouldn't be as drapey and oversized as it is on Jen but I wanted to test the water with a closer fit anyway, I'm not sure if off the shoulder is for me.
 I measured the bust of the hemlock pattern and realised that with the stretch in the jersey I'd probably be ok. I had it cut and sewn in a couple of hours! All in all the fit is pretty much where I wanted it.

Now I'll go back to my original comment about my aesthetic. My bust and hips are wide. They are balanced by a proportionally smaller waist which I take full advantage of. This top doesn't allow me to do that, as a loose (ish) fitting shape does nothing for flattering curves.
That being said I really enjoy wearing this top and the drop shoulders are a style feature I really like, maybe this style is something I could warm to? Its so comfy and I wore it all weekend so I can see it being in regular rotation.
There are a couple of changes I might make:
Being such a shortarse the sleeves just hit my wrists instead of mid forearm, I prefer this and might lengthen them a smidge more to get the balance right with the dropped shoulder seam. I may try it graded up larger to see how I like the drapey effect, I don't think its worth skimming in at the waist as that would take away from the style of the pattern. I could potentially shorten the hem as I did quite a wide invisible hem and it drags ever so slightly. I think my next incarnation of this pattern may be in a plain colour, it could be luscious in a dark indigo blue silk jersey! This could work really well with a really large loud print too!

Fabric: 3m of Grey and Neon Pink Striped Jersey £7pm in Fabric Godmother Sale £21
(still loads left!)
Notions: Thread Fabric Godmother £1.75
Total: £22.75
Wearability: 8/10 I love wearing it, but the shape might have to grow on me a bit! I'll make sure not to count any more yardage of this fabric if I make something else with it, if I can squeeze 3 tops out of it then this top is more like £8.75 to make which is probably a bit less than I would've paid for it on the high street.
Have you made Hemlock? How did it work for your body?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Fabric Godmother Dream Wardrobe: Grainline Scout Tee

Hello Lovelies!
Remember my last post on Fabric Godmother's Dream Wardrobe? Well, my Grainline Scout Tee Josie picked out for me is done and I love it!
A woven t-shirt is not something I've worn very often, its a newish silhouette for me. I have a couple of Boden tank like tops that I wear to work in the summer (more like a Tiny Pocket Tank) but nothing like this with sleeves. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like this look. Its certainly much less fitted than I go for but its a really great pattern to show off a really special fabric. The fabric Josie picked is a lovely buttery viscose. It washed beautifully and although it did need ironing (never a good thing in my book!) it softened under the iron to an almost silky hand. The print is a lovely blend of indigo, turquoise, sky blue and hints of mustard on a parchment like background. All colours I love and wear often. In fact I've been hunting for similar fabrics as its inspired me to planning a swap around this colours!
(Here is my fabric and pattern just after Josie had picked them for me, along with a couple of other suggestions!)
I had a bit of a go at editing my photos for Scout differently this time around. I decided to crop closer and use our outside wall. I've still got some work to do but I've been reading up on Gillian's Better Photo's Project and I've been bugging Piemaker about getting me a tripod. (Partly so he doesn't have to act as photographer all the time.) so I can get the details and practice in to do nicer images.
Still not into posing though! I'd have loved a closer photo of the fabric to give you an idea of how beautiful it is. This felt like a really luxury item for me. Simple construction, but I focused on doing it well. Next time I may go for French seams all round but with this version I overlocked in a tight overcast stitch and hemmed.

I did make a version of this as a wearable muslin which I will blog at a later date. I made some quite dramatic changes to this one but I'm much happier with the fit. I narrowed the shoulder seam and sleeve head by 1.5 inches each! A total of 3 inches out of the top of the armhole. I needed the space in the sleeve itself but in the first version the sleeves slid way to far off my shoulders. This is much better and makes the shirt sit correctly. I also sliced into the waist taking 2 inches off of each side of my waist. Like my hemlock, it was just too loose. I suppose I could've cut a smaller size and done an FBA but the bust was a nice fit as was the neckline and I thought I'd overcomplicate things.
If I made it again I might lengthen it, the overcast hem is nice but if I folded it over and hemmed it the traditional way I think it would be a touch too short for my liking.
 (That's one of my pet hates in rtw tops too!)

Fabric and Pattern: Provided by Fabric Godmother with a discount in return for review
Wearability: 10/10

This top is 100% going into my honeymoon wardrobe, cool, breathable and with a truly stunning print!

Don't forget you can buy Josie's Dream Wardrobe tailor made experience from her shop £39 per month and Josie will handpick you a fabric and pattern.
 You can choose how often you want it from just a one off to a monthly treat for a year!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Review: Fabric Godmother's Dream Wardrobe (With 10% Discount Code!)

Nestled in beautiful Hove is the headquarters for the UK Online fabric store "Fabric Godmother." Owned by the lovely Josie. From the studio she runs small classes and enable sewers everywhere with beautiful, quality fabric sold with copious love and great advice!
I was thrilled that Josie was so nearby and I'd just read up on her brilliant new service "Dream Wardrobe" I got in touch and Josie invited me to try the service from her lovely bright studio. 
The studio (converted from an old school classroom,) is a bright cheery space with fabric to catch your eye at any angle! 
I particularly loved looking at the sample garment rail. Also how cute is the Periodic Table of Sewing Elements? 
I need one of these!
The idea of Dream Wardrobe is that the customer does a short questionnaire online, enclosing a photo of their favourite outfit and perhaps a Pinterest link to their style board. From this Josie really is your personal fabric godmother, picking a pattern and fabric specifically tailored to you and then given to you at a greatly discounted price of £39. These can be bought as a monthly treat for up to a year. 
(A free month if you go for that annual option!) Some of her fabrics are in excess of £25pm and so you really can get a great deal even on her designer fabrics!
Josie is one of those people who I felt at ease with straight away. We sat with a cup of tea and went through the questions for Dream Wardrobe in person, but Josie assures me you get this same style of service through emails directly to her. Josie takes into account your job, lifestyle, Body shape and personal preferences within the questionnaire. This allows her a good rounded idea of your likes and dislikes, she also checks what patterns you've made recently as not to double up!
When we finished the questionnaire I waited as Jodie thoughtfully wandered from shelf to shelf pulling fabrics and patterns that she felt fit my personality and style.
She spent a lot of time considering these and if I was to do this through the website I would be safe in the knowledge that Josie really takes time and thought over what to pick for her clients. Josie picked 7 different options for me, she tells me she likes to give people options. 
I have to say I was delighted with her choices! Not all of them were garments I would've picked for myself but her pattern and colour combinations were inspired! She pulled out a varied range of pattern designers including Casmerette, Colette, Grainline and Sewaholic. The fabrics she chose were divine! I had a very hard time picking just one! She talked me through how this works as an ongoing subscription too. Saying she likes to work so that the packs she picks will work with each other. So as an example she picked a purple ponte Morris Blazer, with a viscose Scout tee and a berry crepe Hollyburn skirt as three potential packs for me. 
This is how I love to work and is reminiscent of the 3 and 6 pac options sewn by capsule wardrobe sewers.
I eventually decided on a Scout Tee as  my love for Grainline is well documented in a beautiful buttery viscose. This was inspired by Josie's beautiful version up on her blog. I can't wait to sew this!
i'm sure it will be up on the blog soon!
Josie showed me a sneak preview of the newly delivered fabrics, boy are you all in for a treat! She has kindly offered readers 10% off fabrics at Fabric Godmother with the code BEEBEE10

Overall this was a great experience, Josie told me that she has an open day now and then for people to come and see the studio. I'll definitely be going to the next one!

*Josie was very kind and offered me a discounted one month for this review

Friday, 12 February 2016

Completed: Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank, Sans Pocket...

Can you tell I'm desperate for Spring yet? This is a Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank sans pocket in a lovely light airy silk lawn. I used the same fabric for an Archer just in a different colourway. I bought masses of it years ago from Ditto in Brighton and I'm glad I did. I could live in this stuff! Soft and buttery with a lovely drape...

I'm finding myself picking more subdued, simpler shapes these days. I find a good fabric does the talking for itself and you can't get simpler than this top! I love Grainline patterns. The styles just speak to me and I always seem to make multiples of anything they release.
I know I'm slow on the uptake with this one but I can see plenty more in my future. I own a Boden top in a similar style and I wear it a lot for work. This is a little too sheer but it will be great for warm days.
I was always conscious loose airy tops weren't for me and you remember me saying I was concerned about that pale pink? Well it strikes again! I'm pushing myself out the comfort zone on both counts with this one. But the pattern allows the fabric to be the star and I like that. Not to mention the yardage is fairly minimal, (Just watch the bias tape though!) This came together in an evening and will be perfect for our honeymoon. I do feel more comfortable wearing it with a cropped cardigan. It just needs some waist definition. I may bring it in slightly at the waist but I don't want to mess with the silhouette too much.
As per usual Pixel wanted to be involved Its pretty impossible to take a photo without him popping in just at the right time!
Fabric: 1.5m of Silk Lawn bought at Ditto 2010? Definitely stash
Notions: Stash
Wearability: 9/10 Its a fabulous top! So comfy, fits my aesthetic right now perfectly and I will be wearing it all summer! It has to have a really good press before wearing and that knocks it down a point.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Completed: New Look 6922

Stevie? Finished something?! Surely not!
Surely yes! I have actually got a backlog of projects for the first time in ages but the miserable British weather is not conducive to beautiful sunny photos right now. These will have to do. I just realised you haven't seen my new glasses. I'm still not 100% sure about them but hey. There is just a distinct hit of Deirdre Barlow.
So anyway, this top NL 6922 I made 100 years ago and loved it. I wore it to death. (Version  1 here) I also forgot that I hacked at the pattern in my more na├»ve days. Turns out pattern hacking was a bit too zealous that day. I dropped the shoulders and didn't adjust the neckline. I was also a few stone heavier back then and I didn't really account for that either.
With that said I do like how comfy this top is and it will do for lounging around the house. Its a lovely pale pink colour I used to avoid like the plague. I loved it I just felt it wasn't flattering.
I've now decided I don't care and I'm building my collection of pretty rose coloured tops!
As this is a wadder of sorts I only bothered to edit two photos. I liked the fabric but it was cheap from fabricland and its not thick enough the be flattering. I won't be using this pattern again unless I can re purchase it as I need to do an FBA and can't be arsed to figure out what the hell I did to the shoulders at the time. I still use the cardigan and pants pieces from this pattern so I'm sure it won't be the last time you see the number.
Stats Time!
Fabric: Fabricland special £2.99pm lets say 1.5 m
Notions: Stash
Wearability: 3/10 It will do for pyjamas.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Core Style: It ain't what it used to be...

Today I'm talking about Core Style. I've been reading through Colette Pattern's blogposts on Wardrobe Architect and one of the key excercises is working out your core style. This basically means the clothing that you like to wear most that you think fits in with your personal aesthetic and lifestyle. Think Cake vs Icing debate from a few years back? This is the cake.

Its amazing how different your style can be from one year to the next. One of the beauties of sewing your own clothes is that you can create a version of yourself apart from the rest of the world if you wish to. I felt that way when I started blogging all those years ago but now I see sewing as a tool to enhance fit, more so than as an alternative subcultural statement. Here is an old blog image of a skirt i'd made back in 2012. Back then it was about looking different. My lifestyle was that of a University student and I could wear pretty much whatever I wished.
Nowadays I would say this kind of outfit sums me up. Add a chunky cardigan and that is pretty much my day to day uniform. Just add jeans for the weekend and tights for Winter. With this in mind I came up with a few outfits on Polyvore that best suit my style.
With these core style set ups i've added patterns that I think could be used to replicate the look. This is something i've found infinitely helpful recently, its jumpstarted my sewing and spurred me on knowing that I will have useful and beautiful items in my wardrobe that suit me.
The first outfit is a weekend outfit. I tend to live in jeans, a nice top and an oversized cardigan. 
In this instance I've used Deer and Doe Plantain Top
Ginger Jeans and Seamwork Magazine's Oslo Cardigan
 I've noticed that I don't use accessories as much as I used to and I've decided to work on that in 2016. This outfit is likely to include leggings or tights underneath but the concept is the same. I've just sewn a replacement Mabel in the same shade as this one below. My unblogged version has been on weekly rotation since I made it. You can't beat a neutral skirt dont'cha know!
For this I thought Colette's Mabel and New Look 6922 made a nice pairing.
 This is a more modern departure for me, based on Sarai Mitnick's style. Again I can't fault an oversized cardigan. I'd create this look using Aurora and Oslo by Seamwork teamed with ginger jeans. If I could find a decent Kimono pattern I may swap Oslo out.
 Finally I went for a winter themed outfit. I live in dresses and tights in the cold. So much so that when I went to work in trousers one day a colleague was shocked and told me she had never seen me wearing trousers in the whole time I'd been working there. This is Colette's Moneta and you've guessed it, Oslo.
How would you define your core style?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year: Seasonally Inappropriate Archer...

Happy New Year Lovelies! I'm back and hopefully here to stay. My resolution this year is to go back to doing things I love and making time for things that make me happy, (that involves mainly sewing and gardening!) I was a bit poorly towards the end of the year culminating in an unexpected hospital stay, so now i'm on the mend i'm focusing on the year ahead. 

With that in mind here is my last make of 2015. A sleeveless Archer.
This is a Chambray i've had in the stash forever and I did intend to make a long sleeved Archer with it. Indeed, I still have the sleeves cut out somewhere but I realised that practically I wear shirts  under cardigans for work and they generally fit better when the shirt is sleeveless. If I had thought that through beforehand I would've made the correct pattern adjustments to the armhole but ever indecisive, I ploughed on regardless. I will live with it how it is for now and work out if its too uncomfortable. But rest assured I will be making more of these! 
This is my third Archer and I love both my others! Its such a classic shirt and the back detail seen here is really pretty and feminine. I have a soft spot for Grainline patterns. I love Jen's laid back styling and minimal fuss. Its amazing how we evolve our style isn't it? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have said that when I started blogging! But practicality in my day to day wardrobe has taken over. Gone are the days of wearing cocktail dresses to do the food shop!

So here are my stats for my lovely new shirt!
Fabric: Chambray from stash i'm guessing it was around £8pm so say £16
Notions: Stash £0.00
Pattern: Third go at Grainline's Archer Shirt already in stash £0.00
Wearability: 7/10 I'm not 100% on how comfy the sleeves are going to be but as a wardrobe workhorse you can't beat a Chambray shirt!

I'm starting to find some TnT patterns that work well for my style and my wardrobe and although its boring from a blogging point of view its a real bonus for my wardrobe. I'm pretty proud of the finish on this shirt, I'm generally not that patient when it comes to sewing, due to my limited time these days but the slower I go the better the finish and I need to keep that in mind this year!
I'm hoping to participate in Artisan Square's SWAP 2016 as I did in 2014. I really enjoyed the process and I could do with enhancing my wardrobe with useful pieces this year.

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a healthy and happy new year!