Ikat Lodo - True Bias with Space Invaders!

You know a pattern is a great one when you make multiple versions... and the beauty of the True Bias Lodo Dress is that it only takes a couple of hours and results are glorious!


I've posted about this dress before when I made a classic stripe version so won't go on too much today but once more the construction of this is a thing of greatness. Check out the space invader insides! This was just some leftover cotton from the stash.




The fabric for this one was Ikat ponte from Girl Charlee UK  and one meter was perfect! It's a slightly thinner ponte that my stripe version however its lovely and soft and stretches well. 


This dress certainly meets my 'throw on and go' criteria that I love so much!

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Sewing Weekender 2017

This time last week I was lucky enough to be at the Sewing Weekender! Hosted by Kate and Rachel (The Fold Line) and Charlotte (English Girl at Home) this took place at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge.

I must have had a good time and been rather occupied as I seem to have a complete lack of photographs for most of the weekend!

This year's event was absolutely fantastic - there was nearly a sewing machine per person and the tables laid out in long rows this year which made walking around/chatting and general logistics much better. The fabric and pattern swap had grown so large it had its own room alongside Elle (Sew Positivity) who was doing embroidery machine tutorials!

I took a seat at the end of the room and was soon joined by the lovely Eliza Sew Little and Amy who are just wonderful human beings generally - in fact I was struck by how friendly and amazing everyone was, this sewing community of our really is something special.

On arrival we were treated to the biggest goody bag you've ever seen - thank you to the lovey sponsors. An alien and tortoise pattern! How perfect!


I had a bit of a *swoon* moment when Elena - my all time blogger-girl-crush-fav-sewer - of Randomly Happy fame came over and brought me some turtle fabric that she had found in the swap!!! Unbelievable times. I did however manage to maintain my chill this year which was a significant improvement on last...


One particular highlight of this year was an impromptu 'ninja challenge' whereby Melissa (Fehr Trade) and Fiona (Diary of a Chain Stitcher) were called upon to pick a pattern and fabric from the stash giving Liz and Sue 1 hour to complete it!


Both were incredibly good sports doing this, despite the apparent regret about 5 minutes in, However they produced fairly wearable garments in 55 minutes!! It was declared a draw...


I actually did a fair amount of sewing this time which was odd as chatting and tea drinking were a large part of Saturday! However I made my 6th Ogden Cami so that may account for speed as this has now become a bit second nature. And I wasn't the only one! Check out all these ladies who also made the Ogden!


I missed out on going to the pub dinner at night as by this point I was really struggling with a bad cold and the start of shingles :( so I made an executive decision to stay in my room and sleep it off a bit (not before getting Wagamama's on Deliveroo to the room haha). In fact Sunday morning I nearly went straight home but decided to pull myself together for the last few hours. I'm so glad I did as Sunday was one of my favourite days. It just seemed so chilled out, everyone in good spirits finishing projects and stopping for talks by Melissa Fehr on active wear and Elena regarding mindfulness and sewing.

These were both excellent talks as Mindfulness is something of particular interest to me and Elena's speech about remembering to breathe resonating with everyone there! Melissa was also modelling some excellent sportswear from her forthcoming book - can't wait to buy that and give it a go to make some fun yoga gear! I didn't manage to get pictures of the talks but you'll just have to trust me these ladies were beautiful outside and inside. Great women, very inspiring.

Despite Saturday being an absolute washout weather-wise - on Sunday the sun came out! I managed to get a quick snap of my project for the weekend. A 'faux' jumpsuit comprising of the Ogden Cami and some loose trousers very vaguely based on Carolyn PJs. Essentially I traced a crotch curve that I know works, then just winged the rest a bit. Straight legs that were big enough to go over my hips and an elastic waist band. To much surprise it actually worked!!

The fabric is from Minerva Crafts and is a beautiful soft tropical print viscose. I was kindly given some of this for an upcoming make for them in September (keep your eyes peeled) and I managed to squeeze this jumpsuit out of 1.5m of leftovers!! (It's very wide fabric ;-)


I went to try these on in the toilets and the cheeky Eliza Sew Little STOLE MY ACTUAL CLOTHES!! I was therefore wandering around in my faux jumpsuit for the rest of Sunday. No massive deal but I though the style was too trendy/cool for me however I realised that is ridiculous and just wore it. Talk about secret PJs. We later went on a walking tour of Cambridge at lunchtime and damn were these comfortable.


A massive thank you to everyone who set up, sponsored, helped, and attended at this event - it was wonderful to meet you all :)

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Tortoise News and Variegated Thread Testing with Minerva Crafts!


I was very lucky to get selected to test a product for Minerva Crafts and was send a beautiful box of variegated embroidery threads!  



In other news - I can announce that the namesake of this blog - Clyde - our beautiful Hermans tortoise has now got a brother! (Brother from another mother ;)

 We have welcomed Sammy into the family. He's very sprightly and settled in so well - despite the fact that he is over 100 years old!!!!!  


For more information on tortoise welfare or for caresheets and general advice please see the Norfolk Tortoise Club website and Facebook page.

When Ogden met Carolyn

Just a really quick post today which may not even be worth a mention but here we go anyway...

I thought I would just share how great a combination the True Bias Ogden Cami and the Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pyjama shorts are for some summery PJs! A match made in heaven...


I actually made the Odgen cami in this Minerva Crafts turtle print last year at The Sewing Weekeneder. Needless to say it did not get worn however I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. This print however lends itself rather well to PJs! Having made some winter Carolyn Pajamas I knew that the pattern fit well and so whipped up the shorts version at Norwich Sewcials Sew Day a couple of weeks back.

The best bit? Pockets of course!


The other little pattern hack I did which was seen on Instagram several weeks ago, was to make the Ogden Cami in drapey black viscose, and added a cross over back strap for detail. I love this version! This is my 5th Odgen! Made in a couple of hours it really is instant satisfaction...



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Beautiful Blue Whales - McCalls M6044

I am really excited to share this make with you as I'm really proud of how this turned out. It is of course the McCalls M6044 casual shirt.

This pattern is my go-to menswear pattern and I have already made several versions (octopus and lobster version, another octopus version) and now we have a Blue Whale version! Wait a minute....why are all these sea creatures??
 

This beautiful fabric is called 'Fred & Carrie' by Cotton + Steel from the collection S.S Bluebird and bought from The Crafty Mastermind. After its initial wash it turned gloriously soft and was a dream to sew with!

 I made this in secret as a gift and was astounded once more at how simple the construction is and how quickly it got whipped up. 1 day. All the steps are in lovely little chunks making it very manageable and none of it felt like a chore.


The inside seams are overlocked however the hem is a neat rolled hem and all enclosed. The plackets are super neat and easy to sew and the collar goes on a dream with this method - and the only method in my opinion! I even squeezed a little Crafty Clyde label on there!


Fortunately this present went down a treat and I imagine it will get a lot of wear :) You can't see in the pics but the buttons are a 'natural' colour giving it a bit of a beachy summery vibe. The top stitching is light blue.


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Kalle Shirt Dress - Closet Case Files


This woman can do no wrong.

Yet again...another genius of a pattern from Heather at Closet Case Patterns in the form of the Kalle Shirt Dress.

After Heather had blogged about her self-drafted shirt dress last year, looking gloriously styled and perfect in Barcelona, the comments section went crazy requesting this be turned into a pattern. I held out hope this would be the case, even listing this little number on my MakeNine list before it was released. Sure enough - beautiful breezy Kalle emerged! Well of course this was purchased immediately...even if there was some time lag in sewing it up. But her she is!!


Excuse the pics and how creased the dress is - I had been wearing the dress all morning by the time I got round to photos.

This loose and cool dress is the perfect solution for a super-hot day when you want to stay fresh and breezy. Ideal for running errands. Or for all-you-can-eat buffets.

I bought some navy viscose from Textile Express which was wonderful value for money - lovely fabric and didn't fray all that much which was good.

I cut a size 10 on top and graded to 12 at waist and hips and this seemed to work very well. I was actually 14 at hips on the chart but there is advice in the instructions that so much grading is not necessary due to the roomy nature of the design.

Curvy hem!

The instruction booklet is incredible and each step well illustrated and explained. I tried the 'burrito method' of attaching the yoke and shoulders and WOW why haven't I done that before?? The shirt is rolled up into a sausage, stitched and voila....all seams are neatly enclosed inside and out! There's also now a sewalong with full photo illustrated blog posts on each step which I think I would return to next time.

This was a great project to make in bits - snippets of 15 mins here and there as each step is self-contained. The bit that was fiddly was the bias binding on the hem. Viscose being slippery enough was one thing but the bias strips are really thin so turning and enclosed edges really was 'a bind' (::cringe at unintentional pun::)

Many creases.
I'm 5ft7 so fairly average height I think and found the dress length to be spot on - I was worried the front and high side hem would be a bit extreme but its just perfect. Of course.

Dress win. Of course I immediately ran to my stash to see what else could be used to make another! I do however love my navy version - classic and chic - and shall be intended for wandering around a French market!

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Evie La Luve Rosie Bra - Workshop with The Fabric Wrangler!


My partner in crime for Norwich Sewcials, the very talented Pippa (aka The Fabric Wrangler), has recently started her own sewing school and kicking it off was a workshop learning how to make a bralette!

As it happens a bralette was another tick off my Make Nine 2017 list so that felt rather satisfying to have tried something completely new.

The pattern in question was the beautiful Rosie Bra by Evie La Luve. It is a lined soft bra (non-wired) with adjustable straps and bra clasp fastening at the back - a gorgeous bit of lounge wear!


Pippa spent the day walking us through this pattern step by step which was a massive help - turns out its not easy! Elastic and a temperamental sewing machine made for some pretty tricky stitching.

The sizing of this pattern is very comprehensive. The measurements we took were underbust and bust so to get a good picture of which size would best suit us. The stretch nature of this makes this bra a very nice fit as there is not actualy too much shaping to worry about. The advantage of a small bust ;) I ended up cutting a Small.

After tracing and cutting out pattern pieces we were treated to a table full of lovely lace and elastics to choose from! These came from Evie La Luve and also Elise Patterns who both sell supplies. I went for a kit made of coral lace and dark grey knit. The straps were ribbed blush pink with rose gold findings....ooooooo........

The scalloped edge of the stretch lace is used for the top of the bra, and cleverly flipped to the opposite side of the lace to pattern match.


The initial construction took a litle time however this was because we were all going very slowly and carefully - perhaps a little nervous of cutting into these new beauties! It seemed very strange working with such delicate and small pieces compared to dressmaking!


Now I'm going to level with you - although the pictures look fairly decent - this bra is riddled with errors, mistakes and wonky stitching!! As you can see there is a centre front seam, however I sewed the underarm elastic on the wrong way round and so the raw seams were at the front - I tried to hide this with an extra strip of fabric and a bow!



My machine HATED the elastic and skipped stitches, broke thread and generally threw a hissy fit every 2 minutes. I actually ended up hand stitching the bra straps together as after atempt number 5 of the machine chewing them up it was time to end that trauma...


All in all though a good day was had and a completed bra finally materialised! It fits and it is wearable which is good to know - and as a first atempt into lingerie making it certainly was a great learning curve. This pattern is an excellent stash busted for any scraps of knit you may have around, especially as there are matching knickers/thong to choose from aswell. I think I will try another at some point - after the memory of shredded thread and elastic has faded...



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