Rosie and Mabel go to work

Lookin awkward

Lookin’ awkward

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged something I made, I have entirely forgotten how to stand in interesting and flattering angles. Not that I was very good at it, but I was making a small amount of progress that is now forgotten. So apologies for the pictures of me looking like a sack of potatoes. The things I am blogging here are actually quite nice. I made some things I can wear to work and look sensible. Obviously I wear everything else I have made to work as well, but this stuff is actually workplace appropriate. I’m shocked!

Still awkward

Still awkward

I have made three Colette Mabels of late: I love a tight stretchy short skirt. They are all weirdly and wildly different. And two of them came up waaaay too big. And the other is very snug. Fabric choice matters folks. This one is made in some lovely embossed scuba from Fabric Godmother which is super comfy and lovely to sew with. Also: it doesn’t need hemming! JOY ALL ROUND.

Scuse knees, look at lack of hemming

Scuse knees, look at lack of hemming

I did something weird with cutting it out (I think I cut half the version with the button placket and the waist band without or something) and so I added an odd waist pleat in an homage to my Imagine Gnats skirt but I quite like it.

Room for expansion

Room for expansion

The Mabel pattern is great and I will make many. The first one I made was a quicky using less than a metre of left over fabric from the cardi I made for my Granny . I really didn’t have quite enough fabric so it is hemmed with the most miniscule hem and has gone all wavy

Wavy

Wavy

Also, it's REALLY short

Also, it’s REALLY short and my shirt has gone see through with the flash and my tights are very shiny

I put the centre strip thing (version 2) on this one, but the pattern is so busy you can’t see it, and I couldn’t be bothered to sew any buttons on because the hem is so wavy, and its really a bit too short to wear to many events. Or at least for being workplace appropriate.

I think my most successful one is my black quilted one. I wear this all the time , and as you can see, the cheap (£2.99 a metre from Minerva crafts) is beginning to pill, but I will wear it until it falls apart. It’s got wooden zebra buttons OH YEAH.

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It has a snazzy contrast facing at the waist which I made no attempt to get to sit inside as its snazzy and I wanted it to peek out. As you can also see it has a bit of blue jersey binding at the hem as this fabric frayed loads but was also bulky so I didn’t want to double fold it. This is a bit less stretchy than would be ideal, but looks a bit flash.

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This is a much better length and I like it a LOT. I bought loads of this quilted stuff in burgundy and black, and though it is disgusting to work with (it frays, its sticky and feels more like melted plastic than fabric) I’m going to make a matching raglan sleeve sweatshirt in it. It’s lovely warm and stretchy and looks ace.

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The top I am wearing with the blue Mabel is the Style Arc Rosie. Well I had to make a pattern with my name all over it didn’t I? Also I really like the style. It’s simple but interesting. As usual, the instructions are basically non existent, but this is quite simple and easy to work out. I definitely didn’t do the shoulder and neck facings quite right as they stick up and have too much fabric in both the versions I made: I think I should have done a lot more grading. Or at least some grading. Oh well.

Bum bustle

Bum bustle

It has a neat little inverted pleat at the back which I like a lot. I love this top: they are ideal for work. Smart but comfortable and not too traditional. The white on actually has very tiny flowers printed on it in a slightly whiter white than the fabric, but you can’t really see it in these photos.

Can you see it here?

Can you see it here? Not really!

I also made a version in some turquoise kona cotton I had bought before I realised quilting cotton was for quilting. D’oh. This actually works well for this type of simple top (apart from the bulky shoulders) but I think I look like I am wearing scrubs!

Doctor in the House

Doctor in the House

Oh and the neck has a pretty little button fastening.

Ain't that cute?

Ain’t that cute? Me being me, I had to use a contrast orange polka dot ribbon instead of the recommended self fabric.

So there we are. I made lots of clothes that I can wear for work with a cardi and look pretty smart. Maybe not my most interesting makes, but it can’t all be gold lame dresses sadly.

Have you made a work wardrobe?

I’m still here

Me on telly

Hello!

I have fallen waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy behind with my blogging. Ordinary old Life has taken over, and the longer you stay away from the blog, the harder it is to get back into. Also, I really need to dust off the old husband photographer and get him to take some pictures of my new things. I also need to make some more things. But conveniently, I appear to have entirely run out of money two weeks into the month, so the rest of it will be spent indoors, eating gruel, and sewing my way through my stash and blogging about it. So watch this space…..

I hope you are all FINE and DANDY out there in the ether and that you have all the sunshine and all the sewjo wherever you are

Rosie

xxxx

Happy Christmas! (Yes I am this far behind with my blogging)

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

So Zo What Do You Know has a very strict rule about not apologising for not blogging for a while. She is quite right about this, as blogging is not a job, I’m not paid, and it’s supposed to be a fun and enjoyable hobby, not a chore. However, me being me, I feel bad. I know no one is hanging on to my every word, it’s not that, it’s just I started off so strong with lots of blogging and now I have stalled. It’s frustrating. But life really does get in the way, and I have been sooooo busy at work and at play. A Dry January didn’t slow me down one bit. And having little spare time, I have chosen to sew rather than blog. I have made lots and lots of things, and I will blog about them soon. I just need to get my husbandtographer to take some pictures in the two hours of daylight we get at weekends. And then sit down and write some accompanying twaddle.

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In short, I have made a baby romper, a terrible second Blue Ginger Doll Violet that looks like a nightie, two Style Arc Rosie tops, 3 Colette Mabels, and I am working on some awesome Thread Theory Jedediahs for my husband. But the thing I did longest ago was to make my friend Anna a dress to wear to a winter wedding. Anna is an amazingly creative person who did all the decorations for our wedding.

Anna's decorations at our wedding. Photo by http://www.simondewey.co.uk/

Anna’s decorations at our wedding. Photo by http://www.simondewey.co.uk/

Anna was doing some more decorations for another friend’s wedding just before Christmas and asked me to make her a suitably festive dress to wear to it. I usually say no to requests like these as I don’t want to become a tailor, but I was very happy to give it a go for Anna. I warned her I was by no means pro yet, and she was happy with whatever I made. So much faith in me did she have that she asked me to have another go at making the Madonnatits dress.

Swit swoo

Swit swoo

Anna chose the fabrics and we did a fitting in muslin first and nipped it in at the waist and lowered the neckline. Oh and lowered the extremely indecent slit at the back. I managed to avoid the awful dart placements, and I think it turned out pretty damn ok.

A decent derriere

A decent derriere

Posin'

Posin’

As you can see (through the blurriness, sorry, this is what happens when I take the pictures instead of Robin!) it was made in quilting cotton so is pretty prone to creasing, but the golden snowflakes can’t be resisted.

Festive

Festive

I was so nervous making this, as it was FORMAL WEAR and really concentrated on sewing precisely and carefully. It as really good discipline for me and I was really pleased with the results. So was Anna, who got lots of compliments at the wedding. HOORAY!

SEE YA!

SEE YA!

April Rhodes Staple Dress: Nailed.

Are you suffering from Januaryitis? I know I am. I feel like shell of my normal self. All I want to do is sleeeeeeeeeep. I should be making myself pyjamas and bed jackets, but instead I have been steadily making lots of summer clothes in the depths of winter. I made these dresses just before Christmas and wore the chevron one on Christmas day: I actually find a light cotton dress with shirring round the tummy is ideal for being stuffed with food and drinking sherry. I have promised myself to make more seasonally appropriate clothes from now on. At least I will do when I have the energy to sew something. This is terrible. I think I must be ill if I can’t muster up enthusiasm for sewing.

So in my current state of extreme laziness I will just post up loads of pictures. It’s a great pattern. I recommend it. Also, I did my first shirring and it’s REALLY FUN.

Under a railway bridge in Birmingham. Perfect modelling location.

Under a railway bridge in Birmingham. Perfect modelling location.

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Here I am modelling the frock (and freezing my tits off) on a dodgy side road in Elephant and Castle. I’m not sure why it looks so pointy round the boob area: despite the cold those really aren’t my nipples, and there are no darts. I think I just didn’t pull it down properly.

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I don’t know why I look so unimpressed here: look how excellent this dress is! (It’s in Michael Miller quilting cotton: Chic Chevron).

Three whole lines of super fun shirring!

Three whole lines of super fun shirring!

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I added a couple of inches of width into the biggest size in this version (I made the floral polycotton one above first, and it was a bit tight around the bum when I put my hands in my pockets) and a couple more inches of length into the bodice.

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It works with or without a belt though I think with three lines of shirring I prefer it with a belt. I only did one line on the polycotton below as it was already a bit short and the shirring was pulling up length. I think that version looks better beltless.

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate my amazing cardi? My mum knitted it for me for Christmas from a vintage pattern she found in a charity shop (she has a plain burgundy one for herself too) and it is the best. I have only taken it off since I got it for washing. I love it, and it goes very nicely with this dress. I love my mum ❤

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Thanks Mum!

The pattern is great and goes together easily. I will definitely be making more next summer.  It does look nice with a thin long sleeve t-shirt underneath for coldr weather, in an awesome kind of 90s indie way which I wholeheartedly embrace. I will however try and make some clothes that are more suitable for winter from now on. Or at least I will when I am cured of Januaryitis. But for now back to bed……… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

zzzzzzzzz

zzz

Nautical Imagine Gnats Alder Skirt and a made up top

Jaunty

Jaunty

What’s an alder? Loads of patterns seem to be called alder. I don’t think anything is called alder in the UK.

Nautical!

Nautical!

Anyway, I made an awesome if slightly unflattering skirt from boat print fabric. I used the Imagine Gnats alder pattern and some lovely chambray and a bit of some handwoven cotton for the contrast fabric. I made it with the bulging pockets because I was fascinated by them.

I can put EVERYTHING IN THESE!

I can put EVERYTHING IN THESE!

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They do make your waist look smaller, but they also make you generally wider, and my mum kept thinking I was wearing an apron. I don’t mind that, but I think next time I make it, and I will make it again, I will make the flat pocket version. I like the triangular inverted pleat at the front: there is a version you can make without it, but I think it’s a cute detail.

awkward selfie to show off pleat

awkward selfie to show off pleat

When I make it next, I will also cut a size smaller: it comes up HUGE! I used a much smaller piece of elastic at the back and gathered the fabric a lot more than I was supposed to but it was still massive! I did secretly like being too small for something though 😉

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I will also make it about three inches longer. The pattern has options for doing this, but despite being tall I ignored this. It came up a bit short (even with me adding decorative contrast binding round the bottom which isn’t part of the pattern but which I like) so I will make it a bit smaller and longer.

All the topstitching

All the topstitching, neat in places, not in others…..

All the seams are topstitched which I think is super nice. It’s a really cool pattern: hooray for Imagine Gnats. I like how the patterns have ample opportunity for playing with patterns and colours, and am looking forward to making the Bess top soon.I also like the large size range (the skirt goes up to 22 which is what this is) and the fact the sizes come up large. I reckon size 24 to 26 could fit in this with the elastic at the waist.

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The top is sort of self drafted, ok it isn’t. I copied an RTW vest I liked and then attached the Moneta sleeves to it. The joys of knit when you can just bodge things into place. The sleeves didn’t quite fit so I added a couple of pleats at the shoulders to poof them up a bit and give me the shoulders I wasn’t born with! It’s made from the same fabric as my first successful Moneta, and it very snug and very useful.

'Drafting' LOLZ

‘Drafting’ LOLZ

And there we are: a jaunty summer outfit just as it starts to get really cold. PERFECT!

Doing the polka with Violet

IMG_1740Hello!

I made a BlueGingerDoll Violet to go back to work in. I thought, if I’m not exactly feeling dotty about going back to work after two weeks off, I can at least look dotty. Here she is!

All the dots

All the dots

And here am I modelling her in a stairwell…

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Pretty awesome hey? I used some super cheap super interesting double border print knit stuff that is as light as candy floss and sticks to everything with any kind of rough texture. It’s kind of like the soft bit on velcro. I found this out when I got it stuck to the scratchy bit of a piece of velcro. Boy did this stuff grip on. As you can imagine it was pretty horrible to sew with, though not as horrible as I feared. I guess I’m used to sewing with cheap floppy slippy knits now! As per the very good instructions I reinforced shoulder and some other seams with stay tape, though I used clear plastic elastic instead of he recommended unstretchy tape for the waist band seam: a girl’s got to be able to eat lunch you know. I cut size 20 at the shoulders grading to size 24 at the waist and hip which was good. The waist is actually about 5 inches too small technically, but I like a snug fit! I didn’t lengthen the bodice piece which was silly seeing as I am 5 foot ten with a long torso and big boobs that the fabric has to travel over, so I ended up adding in a three inch piece of black ribbing at the bottom of the bodice piece. I like this, it’s like a belt without a buckle and looks quite slimming. When I make this dress again, I would add about 3-4 inches into the bodice piece.

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As you can see I had a lot of fun playing around with the double border print fabric using its shrinking and growing dots to a pretty ‘jazzy’ effect! The Violet has lots of different pieces (i.e two yoke pieces, a bodice piece and a skirt piece on the front) which allow you to colour or pattern block like crazy. I used different size dots for different pieces using the smallest ones at the middle to hopefully optimistically create a sort of  slimming effect. One thing that I found very off about this fabric was that it stretched lengthways instead of horizontally, so there is very little ease/movement in it when sewed up using the dots as I did. It would look odd to have the dots getting smaller or larger horizontally wouldn’t it? It works though, and hasn’t stretched downwards yet.

Deformed shoulders pose

Deformed shoulders pose

I combined the back yoke and back bodice piece to make one piece at the back, so it wasn’t too fussy. (Ha you say, are you kidding yourself? It’s got aaalll the dots all over the place!).I did a ribbing t-shirt style collar binding to match my tummy ribbing, though you can use the main material. My neckline had stretched out rather a lot in the handling of it so I would definitely recommend stay stitching it at the beginning, especially if you are using a light weight fabric. I didn’t actually bother doing the signature ruching at the bust because I thought it would make the neckline too low for work. I will do it in the next version but I will make the neckline slightly higher and cut a slightly thicker bit of ribbing for the neckline binding.

Twin needling on this fabric was pretty horrid, especially because I didn’t want the skirt to be too short so used a tiny hem allowance. The hem is a bit wobbly in places….

Please avert your eyes

Please avert your eyes

But the fabric is busy enough to let me get away with it. I really like this pattern and will definitely make another. I have one MAJOR problem with it though. It comes with different sleeve lengths and a pencil as well as full skirt option (this is the full skirt, long sleeves option, obvs). I was surprised to see that even with full sleeves and full skirt, this pattern was said to only need 1.6 metres of 150cm wide fabric. I had this in a different ikat style jersey print, and folded this on a double fold as the pattern recommended, and there was NO WAY my pattern pieces would fit on it. The skirt piece would not fit on at all, let alone have room to spare as the layout suggested. I ended up using about 2- 2.5m (hard to tell as I cut it up weirdly due to pattern placement). Has anyone else had this problem??

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Otherwise, I think the Violet is a grand pattern. I feel very smart in the dress, and it is super comfy. If you haven’t already….Make one! And tell me about it!

Oh, can we just take a moment to appreciate my pretty new shoes….

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Thanks bye!

Happy New Year wonderful people!

Wahey it's 2015!

Wahey it’s 2015!

Hello!

It’s a whole new year! I wish you all the very tippety toppity best for a marvellous 2015. I am not going to do a year in review post as I have only really been sewing for 6 months of that, and quite frankly, I couldn’t choose which of my ‘creations’ I like the best, and I couldn’t describe any of them as ‘misses’. They are all misses in one way or another because I am a beginner with a lot to learn, and I am already looking at my earlier makes and laughing with horror at the seam finishes and bodges I made. But on the flip side they are all total hits to, because well, I MADE THEM! And that’s so fucking awesome! I have learnt sooooooo much in 2014 and my sewing has come on in leaps and bounds. And I am well and truly hooked. That’s a real hit! I haven’t ever had a hobby that has appealed to me as much as sewing does: I usually pick up a new fad, get really enthusiastic, and drop it again in a couple of months. Sewing looks like it is here to stay. I certainly hope it is: I have a looooooot of fabric now……

The heaving box

The heaving box

Which leads me on to resolutions. Half of me wants to call this ‘resewlutions’ but the other half of me hates myself for being so naff. Anyway, here they are…..

1) DO NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC UNTIL I HAVE USED UP AT LEAST HALF MY STASH

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LOOK AT IT! And that’s not nearly all of it. I can say that I stuck to my aim of not buying any more clothes until 2015. I’m proud of this. What I’m not so proud of is that I have just replaced my clothes buying addiction with an even more extreme fabric buying one. It’s got out of control. A new parcel arrives with a shiny new fabric every few days. It’s embarrassing. I’m a complete magpie. I decided a few months ago that I wasn’t going to buy any new fabrics in 2015 until I had used up a lot of my stash. Very good you might think, but what this led to was even more frantic hoarding over the last couple of months. “But what if I need to learn to sew with denim in 2015?” KERCHING! Bought. “Will I be able to cope going all year without knowing what double gauze is like to sew?” KERCHING! Bought. “I’ve got so many woven fabrics, but not nearly as many stretch knits and they are the comfiest. Are you really going to spend all year in starchy wovens?!” KERCHING! Bought. And so on and so on. So I am now NOT BUYING any more fabric until I have SIGNIFICANTLY reduced my stash. There is too much to even count, so I will judge that I can buy more fabric when I have wmptied out that big trunk and a couple of shelves. Exceptions to the fabric stash fast: I can buy lining fabrics etc if, and only if they will be used to create an item using stash fabric that can’t be made without them.

This will be emptied

This will be emptied

2: If and when I do buy more fabric in the future, I will try to only buy good quality, preferably ethically made fabric, or even better buy fabric second hand from charity shops.  In my crazy fabric buying sprees, particularly in the early days, I bought loads of cheap polycottons and things that were cute, and a bargain, but not very nice to wear. So My new motto will be quality, not quantity. I don’t won’t to build up another stash like this and I want to sew with nice fabrics.

My first quilt square in progress

My first quilt square in progress

3: I will use up my scraps. I took a quilting course at Beyond Fabrics the other day for this very purpose. It was very pleasing and I have a metre of wadding to play with. I’ll either make a throw, or some more padded quilt squares to use for serving food etc. I’ll also make lots of clothes for small people, and pants, and other small things. I can’t bear to throw my scraps away, so they will be put to good use. I’ve got a lot of them…..

Two big boxes of these scrappy beauties

Two big boxes of these scrappy beauties

4: I will improve my hand sewing. I have booked myself onto an embroidery course at Hampton Court Palace (swish!) to try and find a love of this. And now is the time to say A HUGE THANK YOU to a mystery person who gave me my Secret Sewing Santa present. I don’t know who you are, but you are SOOOO thoughtful! I got an embroidery hoop, gorgeous coloured embroidery threads and muslin and this cryptic card…..

So thoughtful, so mysterious!

So thoughtful, so mysterious!

Thank you SO MUCH secret santa! And thanks also to Lisa from Stitched up from the Start for organising such a nice thing 🙂

5: I will perfect the art of grading up patterns. As a plus sized sewer, this is still unfortunately a necessary skill as most patterns don’t come in my size. I have a pattern cutting course starting in a couple of weeks which I am hoping will give me some real insight into how patterns work, and how they can be amended. Wish me luck!

6: And finally, I will sew: trousers with a zip, a coat, and a proper shirt with buttons. Also, I will sew some nice things for my very patient husband who takes all my blog photos and allows me to commandeer the dining room table with all my sewing things. Robin you are awesome, and I will make you those jazzy shorts xxx

And that’s me! What are your resewlutions (I did it!) for 2015?? Tell me all!

P.S, this is me, in front of my stash, showing how I really feel about not being able to buy more fabric. BUT I WILL BE STRONG!!

Poor me. No new shiny things.

Poor me. No new shiny things.

HAPPY 2015!!!

2014 in review:this is neat

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Green Style Laurels aka the world’s most comfy frocks

Just passing by

Just passing by

Hello!

I’ve been away from the blog a while because you know, life, but I have not stopped sewing! I’ve been doing some more making things for others (photos of which to come soon) and now I have had quite enough of that thank you. Though I love giving things to people, I don’t like sewing for others.  I get crazily perfectionist and stressed, and I don’t feel that I am skilled enough to be doing it yet, but people ask All. The. Time and I find it hard to say no. But aaaanyway, I’m having a break from sewing for others and getting back to being entirely selfish. Hooray! After finishing a woven dress for a friend to wear to a wedding I decided that what I needed to do next was definitely stretchy. I had seen the Green Style Laurel on Pandora Sews and snapped it up!

Pleased as punch

Pleased as punch

I’m so glad I did, this pattern is HAMAZING. It’s super simple and there are so many variations. I made two back to back, but I fully intend on making lots more. You can have four different sleeve lengths (short, elbow length, three quarter and long) and three different dress lengths (tunic, above knee and below knee). As you can see it looks enturely different according to what fabric you used. For the colour blocked red one I used a thick but gorgeously soft  ponte roma from Plush Addict (I’m in love: it’s like being swaddled in marshmallow: they are seriously under selling how lovely this stuff is) and an ottoman rib jersey from Minerva crafts  in a wine colour to add some texture and colour contrast. You can’t see the colour contrast so well on the sunny pictures so here is a dodgy camera phone one.

Please ignore the odd fringe

Please ignore the odd fringe

Both fabrics were quite stiff which showed the nice pleats and design lines off well and means the final product looks a bit crisp clean and futuristic. I love it!

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The second one I made in a much flimsier jersey I had originally bought to make some monochrome leopardskin leggings with (oh yeah) but it was way too stretchy and thin for that. So, not learning from previous attempts to make dresses and shirts from thin, stretchy jersey, I decided to make a Laurel. It wasn’t too bad as the Laurel is a very easy pattern with few pieces and no complicated stuff. The bodice doesn’t even need elastic to join it to the skirt, just a zig zag stitch, which I did as a triple stitch just to be sure. As I was so in love with my red ponte roma I made a contrast cowl and pockets. I also added a bit onto the length, which I later chopped off as I realised it made the skirt too heavy and it was really dragging the bodice down. I also lengthened the bodice a little so it went further over my boobs. Excellently the pattern already comes with short, regular and long bodice lengths, but as the bodice is empire line, as you can see, this basically means ‘your boobs don’t stick out much’, ‘they stick out a regular amount’, and ‘blimey, they really stick out!’As it can see, it looks quite different in a lighter fabric.

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Wahey, red pockets!

Wahey, red pockets!

It’s sooooo comfy. It’s like wearing a nightie, but it looks smart. I only want to wear these dresses from now on please.

Here is the back.

I like big butts and I cannot lie

I like big butts and I cannot lie

So there we go. I think I like this more that the Moneta!! (SHUSH don’t tell anyone) The darts are super flattering and I love the cowl having previously thought I don’t like cowl necks. There are loads of options for customisation: I think it would be great as a tunic, and without the cowl and with a different type of collar. Green Style: your name sounds a bit hippie, and I don’t like the font on your packaging, but I think you have made my favourite pattern yet!

Not a hippie pattern

Not a hippie pattern

Oh, can we also take a moment to appreciate my amazing backdrop. I was on a trail round where I live: some artist types have made a little ‘blue plaque’ trail of famous former residents and painted the shutters of closed down shops in homage to the people. Apparently Peter Davidson, formerly known as Doctor Who used to live here. Oh yeah. So bye for now: I’m off in the tardis!

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A cardi for Granny and a sneaky one for me

swooshing in swoon

swooshing in swoon

I’m doing a lot of sewing For Other People again. I sort of enjoy it but it’s also really stressful. I’m much more perfectionist when it comes to other people, so I can’t merrily bodge along as usual. On the other hand, my sewing improves a lot when I’m sewing for other people, precisely because I can’t bodge along as usual. I decided that my 100% awesome granny would look really nice in a Swoon scarf neck cardi and that this should be what she received for her 93rd birthday last week. Now because she is brilliant, and because I am much more perfectionist about sewing for other people and because it was a gift I wanted it to be really nice…..

So OBVIOUSLY I had to make one for myself.

Checking it works

Checking it works

IMG_1383 IMG_1375 IMG_1388This is a brilliant pattern, and it is FREE. I have had a lot of compliments on this and I wear it all the time. It makes me feel so chic and swooshy. I used a black and white ponte knit thing from, erm, somewhere. It only uses 2 metres of knit fabric but feels like you are wearing metres of it as you swoosh around. In fact, if when I make another I would make the XL instead of the XXL as it is pretty capacious, especially on my non existent shoulders. It has princess seams and a pointy hem. It goes together really easily apart from one bit at the back of the neck where you have to join a curve to a square. I still don’t understand why this is.

This is not what you join a smooth curved piece to

This is not what you join a smooth curved piece to

This doesn't make sense

This doesn’t make sense

I think maybe its to give the neck structure? It’s weird and feels all wrong though. Has anyone made this? Can you tell me why?

You can also see that this cardi has French seams. The pattern calls for it, but I think in both cases my knit fabric was a bit too thick for this. I think it would work on a very thin jersey like the pattern calls for, but not so much with the fabrics I used. Being a beginner who slavishly follows instructions, I did it anyway. It is fine.

Fine from the outside anyway

Fine from the outside anyway

For bulk reasons I decided not to hem either mine or my granny’s version (in a lovely knit from Fabric Godmother) but to finish them with bias binding which I think looks rather jaunty. There is a LOT of hem on this cardi though: be warned you need about 5 metres of bias binding!

So I managed to take the worst ever pictures of my granny wearing it: I assure you, it does fit her properly, she loved it and it looks lovely on her.

Here we are with our cardis on all wonky (like grandmother like grandaughter). Please note scones though: she still makes them herself every time we visit.

wonky

wonky

And here she is doing her ‘model’ pose, which is a little hulkzilla! And the cardi is even more wonky.

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She’s a beauty though eh? Here she is looking gorgeous in duck egg blue with my Dad and very fabulous stepmum in (fake) fur out at a vineyard to celebrate being 93. What a wonderful woman.

<3