Firehose

Hi All!

This is what I have for you today:



So I think the title of my post says it all, but let me just briefly expand that statement for you.  I love scuba because its:
  • thick yet still light
  • does not cause my sewing machine any grievances, which in turn keeps me happy
  • does not need to be hemmed or have the seams finished
  • and last but certainly not least... DOES NOT STICK TO TIGHTS in the winter (or any season I'm sure).

Seriously where have has it been all my life??  I can answer that quickly for you right now.  I was scuuured.  I may have previously been under the impression that scuba was going to be a pain the bEhind to work with.  Where did I get that impression you ask?  I have no frikin' idea.  Seriously, every blog I've ever read a review of scuba on has had good things to say about it, and there's always a fair amount of designers on project... [read more]

Tailoring, Fairy style: I’ve never been trained, don’t own any sewing books, and basically either make things up as I go or use good old t’Internet.  So this is a  combination of laziness, excellent blog posts [eg Gertie’s] and good old ‘needs must’.  I’m more than happy to be informed of better methods, I’ve bled for this!

1.The peachskin collar was looking very limp.  It will be fairly well supported by the  firmly interfaced undercollar, but I wanted it to have more oomph.  It isn’t really a ‘proper’ tailored collar, there is no roll line as such, just folding back on itself roughly where the seamline is, but it is also meant to be poofy-ish, as it’s styled for fur fabric.  So I knew I wanted to add some body to it. [Not somebody, that would be weird.]

While rummaging for the sleeve head stuff, I found [well OK dropped several times] a roll of bag... [read more]

If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen quite a few of these little grids of nine popping up since the end of last year. #2017MakeNine is something Rochelle of Lucky Lucille came up with last year but this is my first time trying it. It’s exactly what it sounds like really, you just pick 9 patterns that you’re going to make this year and I thought I’d share my plans here too.

They’re not in any particularly meaningful order, just what I thought looked the most balanced – which I spent waaay too long faffing about with. They are all patterns I already have and I’m going to use fabric from my stash for all of them too.

1. Knit pencil skirt from McCalls 7331 – Black and white striped ponte

Jen from Gingerella mentioned this pattern to me when I asked for cardigan pattern recommendations and not long after I spotted it as the free pattern with Dressmaker magazine so... [read more]

Sunday Lately Header

Sunday Lately is a fun way to share a little more about myself while reflecting on the past week.

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Searching… for a solution. Our barely three year old microwave broke beyond fixing and newer models won’t fit into the space without removing tiles from our backsplash. We are not home DIYers, so…ugh.

Relying… on my hubby. It’s time to find a kindergarten and I don’t know if it’s laziness or I just can’t deal, but I can’t bring myself into the tedium of researching schools. So happy that the daddy is doing the work and doing it well.

Addressing… It’s been one of those weeks where there are a lot of tasks to be done and we’ve been addressing those.

Praising…in my heart my aunt B and her granddaughter. They’re joining the Women’s March on Washington this weekend. It’s noteworthy that someone who has never done anything like it, is moved to be... [read more]

Today I am sharing a recent sewing project that I worked on for my niece's upcoming second birthday. In a couple of weeks, we will be celebrating with her at her Minnie Mouse-themed party, and when my sister said she could use some 2T summer clothes, I thought I could spend some time sewing up an outfit for her rather than heading over to my local Carter's shop again. I'm glad I did, and I

Tribe Patterns Billie Dress

Hi all, I’ve been quiet online lately, but haven’t been totally absent from this sewing community of ours! Last Saturday, I attended a meet-up organised by Crafty Sew & So in Leicester (blogged by Crafty Sew & So and by Sew Positivity), I’m planning my next moneta for the Moneta Party, and I’m popping to my parents’ house today to check the fit of a toile dog jacket on my brother’s dog, Rupert, before cutting into a tweed to make Rupert a jacket for my brother’s wedding.

Tribe Patterns Billie Dress

This is one of the dress variations from the Billie Collection, the first pattern from Tribe Patterns, and a collaboration between The Fold Line and Rachel Pinheiro. The pattern contains dress (with and without contrast at the shoulders), top and skirt variations. The Dress includes some lovely features, including open ended fish-eye darts to create the skirt pleats, and squared shoulders and... [read more]

This is my first make as part of the #sewmystyle community sewalong. If you don’t know about it, then you can check out the initiative at Bluebird Fabrics or on Instagram with the hashtag, where there are a ton of Toaster Sweaters to peruse. That’s because the challenge involves sewing one collective garment a month (completely voluntary) from now until the end of the year. I plan to be sewing 9 out of the 12 (one, the Saunio cardigan simply will not suit me and two of the others I have alternative patterns for already). This is the Toaster Sweater #2 (there is a quite different #1 version too) from Sew House Seven and it’s the first pattern I’ve sewn from this company.

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This is, in essence, a very simple sweater as it only has three pieces. The neckline is really what sets it apart. It’s a shallow boat-neck and it’s this that had initially... [read more]

I am not a morning person. Unless I plan ahead, breakfast tends to be forgotten on weekdays. Unfortunately, I also tend to have fairly low blood-sugar levels anyway, so if I don't have breakfast, it has a hefty impact on my mood and productivity for the day.

As a result, I have some pretty definite criteria for my breakfasting choices:

  • Low-GI (to avoid mid-morning sugar crashes)
  • High protein (to stay full until lunchtime)
  • Fast and easy to prepare, without involving a stove or any washing up other than a quick rinse before slotting into the dishwashing (we have cats, and wrangling them out of the kitchen is a step too far when you're trying to get ready for work)
  • Fast, easy and portable to eat (I often find it difficult to actually eat until I've been awake for a little while, so I prefer something I can easily bring to work... [read more]
  This little lady turned 3 last week (#cuemommytears, #stopgrowingup) and my aunt bought her this cosy sweatshirt knit. Little did she know that my stash contained matching fabric (#stashisuseful). An idea was born and my sewjo was kicked back to … Continue reading
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Earlier this week, I finally got around to cutting out my first ever pair of handmade jeans. I ended up crawling around on the floor underneath our dining table because I had to cut in a single layer, and that’s the only place I could lay the whole thing out. My knees haven’t forgiven me yet.

Then I almost ran out of fabric because I’ve already made a few flat alterations to the pattern.

I used the tutorial in the Closet Case Files E-book on sewing jeans to convert the original skinny/stovepipe leg pattern into a flared version. (You can now buy the flared version as a pattern expansion, but I opted to save  $7+printing+sticking hassle and do it myself – it wasn’t tricky.)

I graded from a 16 at the hip to a 14 at the waist, and added 1″ to the crotch depth. Lastly, I enlarged the inseam and side seam allowances by a further 3/8″ to give me a full 1″... [read more]

Long seams all done, and a quick try on for the missus [very happy indeed, much strutting and swishing], so on to the sleeves.  Unusual drafting and assembly here- remember that odd cuff design?  It’s a tapered pattern piece, so that the short cuff edge meets the long cuff edge.  Not acceptable I’m afraid Simplicity!

First I joined the shorter of the two sleeve seams, and made it nice.  See how the bottom edge is just a diagonal?

I’ve cut the cuffs very simply, just finding that seam point on the pattern piece, and mirroring it.  It didn’t take much tweaking to get it to sit nicely.  I’ll have to be very careful to get the long cuff edge to match up when I stitch that.  Having got the cuff shape right, I cut off the excess sleeve fabric

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Here’s the cuff pattern piece overlaid on my ‘M’ shaped adaptation, pinned onto the sleeve.

From the right side,... [read more]

The long seams are all sewn and pressed [that was very hot sweaty work], and slow but sure, they’re also being caught down to the underlining.  This really does make a difference to the finish on special projects, and is not too boring as long as I have an audiobook to listen to.

While I was doing tidy work, I also pinked all the seams allowances in the lining, because it was fraying just hanging there waiting to be used.

I don’t mind hand sewing, I just cut loads of lengths of thread, wax them, and then thread several of my precious Black Gold needles at once.  I’m addicted to these now, but they are so light and fine, that I regularly go into tantrum mode after dropping one.  Bloody invisible unless trodden on.

I think I have gremlins in the sewing room today in any case- I prepped and waxed a dozen lengths of thread just now, turned round, and they had ALL vanished.  Baffling.

Do you get frequent gremlin attacks?

Sleeves next!


This is my 3rd make of the Colette Patterns Dahlia dress, love this pattern, :). I used version 1 again, my my other make is posted here. This time I chose not to line it and used a pretty navy blue with white polka dot polyester silky fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I also added pockets! Used the in seam pocket piece and instructions from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.

I used the size 10 pattern pieces with a  3″ FBA, more details on my original post with link above. Other than adding the pockets, nothing new to add. You can read about using Gertie’s pocket pattern and instructions more when I added them to my Wren dress here. I made my own bias tape again which was a little trickier with this fabric but I still managed to make it work, :). I wanted to use my bias tape maker but it was not designed to work with this particular type of fabric. So I just sewed it on using a... [read more]

So it has taken a silly amount of time for me to get around to posting these jeans. But I'm actually really pleased I've left it so long as my opinion on them has changed with wear! These are the Mia Jeans from the Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook which Lisa asked me to test at the end of the summer. I made these soon after my first pair of Ginger Jeans (which had it's benefits as the sew-along for the Gingers is so thorough I picked up lots of tips to help with these) and if I'm completely honest I didn't like them as much as the Gingers at first. But I've been surprised to find over the last couple of months that these are the jeans I've been reaching for without thinking and wearing day in day out. They are so comfortable I forget I'm wearing them. They've actually featured in a couple of blog posts already as they look... [read more]

Late to the party as always I made a Morris blazer from Grainline studio.

I actually won this pattern during the Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month in 2016 but it had been on my to buy list for a while.  I just didn’t prioritise this during my fat pregnant days or my dress like a slob maternity leave days. Thankfully now I’m restored as part-time grownup office worker I have an excuse to make and wear lovely clothes like this again.

This was also on my capsule wardrobe plan as I attempt to rationalise my wardrobe and make things that allow me to create real actual outfits that don’t make me look like a loon due to my attraction to mental colours and patterns.

So to make a simple, classic blazer out of a plain navy ribbed ponte is a serious departure for me. And yet I bloody love it.

I reckon it’s fully possible to sew this in an evening if you know what... [read more]

Good Morning Denizens of the Sartorial Jungle! I’d like to dive right in today with a frisky little number in zebra from cdhar2 on Pattern Review! Its the Cleo pinafore and I’m really thinking I need one too! How cute is she in this??? Thank you for letting me share it!

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Pennylibrarian is back! Please remember to send all excess fabric straight to me!!!! MEEE!!!

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Grr- pet, pet! I need this dress, Thimberlina!!

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I love me some tropical jungle prints- Siobhan needs a mai tai right away after her hard work on this!!

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Linda– you are making me so proud with your cats!!

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Oh Fadanista– you had me at props!Extra points for the hat!!

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Last week the every so sassy Artfulblasphemer shared her saturday shopping goals and it was all a jungle princess could hope for!! Check it out!

Remember Ladies- it’s up to us to inspire others and keep cheetah out of the wrong paws!

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photo... [read more]

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My second project is live over at Minerva Crafts today – it’s January so it seemed the perfect time to make a cardigan!

Find out more about my Grainline Studios Driftless Cardigan over at Minerva Crafts – all the details are here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Looking for something to do with all the scrap fabric you have laying around? Try these easy to love Valentine’s crafts to make heartfelt handmade gifts for your loved ones.

This easy Bursting Heart Applique Pillow from Blue Susan Makes uses paper piecing to get crisp, clean points.


Go the extra mile and make these easy Valentine’s goody bags for your kiddo’s classroom. It’s so simple, even little sewists-in-training can make them!



This Patchwork Heart Pillow Tutorial from Imagine Gnats uses cutout applique to showcase your sweet quilting skills, and just look at that perfect point created using freezer paper!



This five minute craft is perfect for the practical valentine: Fabric Heart Coasters!



Whether... [read more]

A lot happened in 2016, in my little sphere, not just the world in general.

The blog was previously hosted on a server that took a career turn. Everything went off line then could not be brought back. Not really sure when that happened, but it was sometime after April.

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I didn’t really notice as I worked all year on writing my Masters thesis and finally submitted it on December 19th. The thesis really dominated the second half of the year and took over almost every part of my life.

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I sewed a little bit, and stopped cycling for a while. I had to give up skating due to time and financial pressures.

I took lots of photos and posted them on Instagram. Now that the thesis has been submitted I can return to non-academic writing for fun! I can also get back to cycling, sewing more often and possibly even skating again.

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The next few weeks will see me posting some of the things I did last year.

 


Looking at my everyday wardrobe as well as my inspo from week one and pinterest boards, I can see that I have three basic silhouettes that I enjoy wearing: mid-thigh to knee-length a-line dress/cape/coat, a full knee-length skirt with a defined waist, and slim ankle pants with a boxier top half. Here's a few examples from my closet:



Last week's slim pants and boxy jacket fit under that third silhouette, and there are even more of the other two on my blog: any of these fit and flare dresses, or this mid-thigh a-line look. I'm drawn to these shapes so it make sense that I would have some of them living in my closet already. Another separates option would be this outfit featuring a full skirt

As far as patterns go, for dresses, I feel like I really hit my stride last year and found two patterns I absolutely love: Simplicity 4475 is a raglan sleeved... [read more]
Right, this is it.  Never mind the inauguration of The Trump as President, this is much more important. It’s time for me to (wo)man up and put up or shut up.  The shelves are stocked, the till and card machine are working and the Nespresso pod holder is full, so I think I’m good to go. The shop officially opens tomorrow (21st Jan) at 9am and I have had, on average, 4 hours sleep a night since I came back from the good ol’ U S of A a couple of weeks ago.  Sleep is way overrated anyway and is, to be perfectly honest, for wimps.  There is a strong possibility that if you’re planning on coming tomorrow that I will be slumped over my counter a broken woman, but I will try my best to remain alert at all times. To prepare for the Big Day, I actually held a cheeky little Preview Evening last night for a couple of hours for everyone on my mailing list, which I thought went really well! Everyone seemed to…
I love a cute pair of Cigarette pants, and add some cute heels and top and you have a jazzy outfit.  I made these pants several months ago.  I love them to I can casual them up on or down.  The Cigarette pant is prefect for my body style.  Not much booty but a curvy hip helps give me a silhouette.



I paired my Cigarette pants with a simple white tank top and sleeveless cardigan I made years ago. The pumps are chose are from Goodwill and they are too a couple years old, I don't even know the brand.  

Another Styled option.  With a Dolman Sleeve top I made with Slit sleeves and matching pumps. The pumps are thrifted as well. 



 Happy Sewing!

Chris Perkins isn’t the only one who gets to wear a gorgeous gold dragon!

The scarf below was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. It is a hand-painted silk scarf that she commissioned from a local PNW artist, Sage Hen Designs.

The dragon’s wingspan stretches across the scarf and wraps around me when I wear it. So far I’ve only been wearing it around the house because the cold weather has called for warmer scarves when I go out. But keep your eyes peeled for this scarf being paired with my springtime wardrobe.


Hello I'm Janelle, it's nice to meet you! Hey peeps Eryn over at Stylesewme Patterns is at it again. She just released her third pattern in her collection. The Janelle Skirt, it's a sexy skirt for grown folk. I was happy to whip this up along with the other ladies on the blog tour for this new release. Here is the link to the other bloggers on the "Janelle" Tour! Mori was all over that high split skirt.
Now as you can see this skirt is not a complicated project, it has 4 pattern pieces and you can adjust that split according to your taste. This is the perfect skirt for amazing fabric. You can keep it classy or your can bring on the drama. I was going for a little drama right here. This is not a skirt that's going to make the work wardrobe but would be perfect for night out on the town.

The sizing was pretty good. I just had to figure out where to... [read more]
Last year when the Spoolettes got together down Dewsbury for a day of sewcialising I ran a little competition/giveaway and prizes were awarded to 2 ladies who guessed the closest to the total mileage of how far everyone had travelled. Tialys (international winner!) guessed 655 and Sam (UK winner) guessed 666.  The total mileage was 671. This year there will another giveaway with the same format, but the prizes will be different.  Attendees are taking part in a goodie bag swap and quite a few have said they will bring something extra on the day for the Giveaway Prize Goodie Bag. So I will make up 2 Goodie Bags … one for a UK winner and one for an international winner.  The contents of the goodie bags are totally unknown at the minute, but I imagine they will be totally amazing! After the meet up I’ll open up the giveaway and you’ll be... [read more]
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