Earlier this year, I was approached by the lovely Sarah Gunn from Goodbye Valentino and Julie Starr to contribute some of my projects to their upcoming book. I had been taking part in the 2018 RTW Fast that Sarah organised, and posted some of my garments in the Facebook group, I was well chuffed that they wanted to feature me. And what do you know, a few days ago my copy arrived in the post, so I could not wait to share my review with you. Also, I’m very pleased to be able to offer one lucky winner the chance…
If you're thinking about making a few little gifts this year, and need something quick because once again you've left everything to the last minute (just me?) there are quite a few fun, free patterns out there that are quick, multipurpose, and don't require any fitting at all.
Hello CSC! November was a great month for me. I hope it rocked for you too. If the creations in the #cscmakes hashtag are any indication, you did! Check out the rest here, because these are only the highlights!
No one will have noticed, but I basically took all of November off from Sewcialising as I was on a work trip. The trip included a couple of different places, but most excitingly (from a fabric perspective) we went to Singapore.
I live in Australia, so I was hoping that Singapore would be reasonably different in terms of fabric available (and price!). I used Fadanista’s post about fabric shopping in Singapore as a guide (thanks Sue!), and ended up visiting both Arab Street and People’s Park Complex based on her recommendations.
My haul is above. I tried to pick things that were... [read more]
For those of you waiting for the results of the jeans! They’re done, worn and I’m rather happy with them! I have had my fun and games trying to chose the right size to make, initially going purely with my measurements and toiling the 31 in the slim leg version in some left over pieces of denim in the stash. The toile fabric wasn’t quite stretchy enough, but I figured with the proper stretch, that the 31 was just fine. But I was wrong – so wrong!! They were like leggings, but without the amount of stretch that leggings have – I felt like I was back in the late 80s again, having to wiggle and jump into my jeans! So if anyone out there would like a pair of slim leg Ash jeans in size 31 – I have a pair looking for a home!
It was tricky to figure out which size to actually make. In the end, I retraced all the... [read more]
What a beautiful Theme Month we have had this November! Thank you for taking part and sharing the myriad ways we can give to other people, animals and our communities. Each and every one of them was the perfect way to #givesewmuch.
Here is a round up of the makes shared for The Giving Challenge, but as always bear with us if Instagram glitches and human error means your amazing make hasn’t been shared. Just drop us a message and we will add it on!
Enjoy these makes and do keep the giving spirit going!
Sometimes you see a pattern, you buy it and you sew it up in a blink of an eye. Well, this did not happen with the Perth dress. It only took me 7 months from buying the pattern to finish it. I can’t remember when I saw the Perth dress for the first time but I remember that I was immediately intrigued by the design of it. Especially by the front closure. A search through my pattern files learnt me that I bought the pattern last March. I intended to sew it for my late spring wardrobe butotherprojectsinterfered with that plan!
Eventually, I cut out the pattern in June. I took the pieces with me to the Sewingweekender at the end of August and I nearly finished it there; except for the collar and front closure. During the mid-term break at the beginning of November, I could finally finish this beautiful dress. Alas, we are in Autumn now, therefore, I have to... [read more]
Welcome to the #SewingTop5 for 2019! After hosting it here for 7 years, I decided it was time to shift the series over to the Sewcialists. I’m blogging less than I used to (gone are the years where I did two posts a week religiously) and with what time and energy I have these days, I’m focusing on keeping Sewcialists rolling.
Usually I find it so hard to narrow down my top 5 hits… but since I did so little sewing and blogging in 2019 due to my concussion, this year is a little easier! My #SewcialistsMiniChallenge knit jumpsuit!
I love sewing under a time crunch, and I love how this jumpsuit turned out! It’s the Zadie pattern that was so popular this year, but of course I sewed it in a knit instead. I think the liverpool knit works really well in this pattern, and I always felt cute and put together... [read more]
It’s time for some end-of-year fun! I’ve been hosting the #SewingTop5 on my personal blog, Crafting a Rainbow, since 2012 – which makes it one year older than the Sewcialists! This year, we decided that it would be a perfect fit here instead.
What is the Sewing Top 5?
It’s a chance to look back at your year of sewing and celebrate! Before you rush into another year of sewing, think back on what worked or didn’t, what else you accomplished, and where you want to go next.
So, how can you take part?
On your Instagram, blog or other social media, post about your top 5 in each of the following categories:
Top 5 Hits: The 5 most worn or most loved makes from your year!
Top 5 Misses: Not everything works out, so this is your chance to share the 5 projects that didn’t turn out, never got worn, were accidentally destroyed in the wash, or were... [read more]
Thank you for all your lovely comments on recent posts. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to every one of them. It’s been a tough transition with my new job. I will get to replying to them when I can, though. I appreciate and read every one of them.
Last Thursday was my birthday. I celebrated in a *very chronic illness* TM way by busting my knee and being in bunches of pain. That said, it was actually a really good birthday for me. My brother visited and he gave me some wrist warmers he knit and I made cake and had wings for dinner. My husband took me to a Brazilian steakhouse on Tuesday (since we knew my brother was going to visit) and he gave me a huge bottle of one of my fav kinds of tequila. While my chronic illness and pain can often offset my plans, I’ve learned to relax a lot of my expectations and listen to my body when it says I need to rest. It’s... [read more]
I like her version the best. It's almost just like all the real ones I've seen, and she gives you the instructions for assembly.
But this is hard to see.
And there's a free pattern for a similar thing, which we're going to borrow. But let me make this clear, this is Mad Housewife's Idea. This is.... the children's book version.
If you combine her ideas with their pieces, you get a pretty nice collar for free. Her recommendation to stretching the smaller undercollar and showing the results is sweet. Go read it on her page! Then come back.
Making Fabric Jewelry / Marthe Le Van NY: Lark, c2012. 144 p.
This month I'm going to be featuring some craft books with quick, easy, but also nice last minute gift potential projects in them. This is a book I've had on my shelf for quite a while, and I think there are many fun ideas in it, from extremely simple to a bit more complicated.
You can start with the covered button bracelet, which is exactly what it sounds like. (image on the 20+ projects bubble on the front cover). Get a bunch of button forms, cover them with adorable scraps, and string them together into a bracelet.
Or go a little bigger with a wire wrapped teardrop earring which requires more materials and more expertise with wire work.
You can even transfer images to fabric and use those to make brooches and gewgaws! I'd love to try that one.
There are some familiar ideas, like a... [read more]
Everything I may or may not have mentioned up til now, and what DIDN’T work out… PROBABLY the last panto post, you’ll be relieved to know!
the parrot costume. After Billy Bones hands over the treasure map and dies, the actor was thrust back on stage to act as Long John Silver’s missing parrot for a while… cape made from stash, feathers freehand pinked from appropriate stash remnants, parrot features copied from this tutorial in felt from stash. Elastic wrist loops and ribbon ties for the hood. It went down a storm!
2. The sailor suit. This was made from another of my not-large-enough-any-more duvet covers, which JUST HAPPENED to be white with blue ribbon trim and pintucks, so I cut to use them to their best advantage. This was one of my rare attempts at draping on the body, so a sort of freehand bit of work made to look... [read more]
Almost all the characters need britches, and I started by digging through my copy of ‘Patterns for Theatrical Costumes’ but ended up using it for other bits and bobs.
I made fall-front breeches from S4923 for the Captain and Ben Gunn. The captain’s were from a fabulous textured blue velvet from the Rag Market, which was only £4/m. It has a shot effect with a gold thread in it, and lit beautifully. Cheap as chips, but a bit too flimsy so had to be completely flat lined with some of the sheets I used.
I added shiny buttons at the knee, and they looked great! [The coat was from the Lolita pirate pattern S8285, for a more womanly shape, the long waistcoat from this one, made in a cream curtain damask from my stash]
Ben Gunn got the same pattern in a stained old cotton from a bolster cover, pre-aged as it were, and some rips added. I... [read more]
Spotty bloomers for the dame, in cheap-as-chips tacky polyester with weird holographic plastic polka dots, from Barry’s Warehouse, on the £1/metre heap. This is a great source for costume fabrics, when all you want is effect and nothing has to be massively sturdy or long lasting. All good dames need horrible bloomers to flash, so these jumped out.
It all frays like hell, so I used the overlocker both for speed and neatness, and prayed that those plastic circles would not over stress any needles. At least they’re usually sturdier in the overlocker!
I’m typing this all up after the show and am wracking my brains to remember what pattern I grabbed to cut these out…I suspect it was one that was to hand, so probably the New Look K6351 I used for Pirate Hands’ stripey drawstring trousers and jacket- made... [read more]
Just 9 cast members, most with one costume only, still means a fair few shirts.
Requirements- Long John Silver, Cap’n Smollett [my Gentleman Jack inspired outfit], Jim Hawkins [going with the Harry Styles look], 2 sidekick pirates [one ‘snobbish’ one ‘sexy’], tattered for Ben Gunn, scruffy for Bones, plus two wenches [one for the Dame]
So I got cracking, having scoured the local charity shops for curtains with useful linings and some sheets:
Ben Gunn got a very nicely faded, very softly washed striped shirt from a charity shop, ripped appropriately. Half an hour snipping off tabs and adding tears, sorted!
Simplicity 4923 seemed like a good investment, shirt, waistcoat, breeches and coat, and even FAIRLY historically... [read more]
Stashbusting is good this month! I have finally, finally used a piece of viscose that I honestly cannot remember buying. It’s been in the stash for what seems like ages, just waiting for the right project to come along (another of those!). It’s a lovely drapey weight, closely woven, unlike some cheaper viscoses. And the little feather print is lovely, without being too cute! Really, I’ve earmarked this fabric to many a pattern over the last few years, but have always bottled it at the last minute. So what happened this time? Who’s the lucky pattern?
Well, it’s actually a vintage Vogue, from 1956. I’d always liked this pattern, the front is interesting with the dart pleats at the neckline. But, I wasn’t the right size… Thank goodness that’s all changed, and now I have a variety of 50’s Vogue patterns, jackets in particular, that I can make! I’d come... [read more]
Another repeat pattern! November is 'Nother month I guess ;) I first made this Very Easy Vogue 9022 in 2014, and really loved it. But my mom came to visit and tried it on, and looked so great in it that I gave it to her. But I started to miss the dress so have remade it -- exactly the same dress, in the same colour & material -- a red ponte that is similar to the original, but a little heavier weight.
And the biggest change was that I had to adjust the sizing just a little more to fit right! My pattern only goes up to Medium, so I had to grade out to about a large in the hips; I added just a smidge more this time around. I also added a touch of shaping to the back seam to add a 1/4" more width across the posterior. I think it worked out. I also shortened the sleeve as usual, since I prefer a 3/4 length -- that also helps to fit it on to your fabric since a long cut... [read more]