Sewing Round-Up - 2023 Hits and Misses

 Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Let's hope 2024 is a kind one for all 💕

I'm just popping back on the blog again with a little round-up of sewing from 2023 where I thought I'd pick my top 3 and worst 3 makes of the year. If it's not your thing no worries - I'm going to attempt a return to sewing when I can. 

Also if you can't be bothered to read the rest of the post I'll save you from scrolling.

TOP 3

 WORST 3

I can't think of a 3rd so I'm going to give a special mention to a GREAT basic pattern which I made a few of this year:

There was a challenge over on Instagram for #mymakesforthemonth which I joined in with. This was a great way of collating some projects into easy view posts. 

January started off very much in the blue. 

Most worn: The Baa-ble Hat 

Least Worn: Greenstyle Valerie Tunic - mostly because I forgot I made it

Fail: A Tilly and the Buttons dress in the bottom right. Looked awful and got the chop into my most worn item for February.

February brought some different colours but only just.Whilst I was proud of the pink coat I haven't worn that either. Fear of standing out? No idea. I still have it so perhaps once I'm feeling up to it a return to neon may be made! The Alex Coat was also an absolute labour of love and an 'overall' winner.

Most worn: Friday Pattern Co Westcliff Dress 

Least Worn: Pink Butterick Coat

Fail: Some Style Arc trousers that looked fit for a clown

March was another mishmash of items including gifts for my sister and husband. 

Most worn: Kalle Shirt with hacked collar - by far my most loved shirt

Least worn: Yellow sun dress - never worn. It was a panic make for holiday.

April saw me do the usual pre-holiday sewing frenzy including a little foray into swimwear. 

There is an epic fail not pictured which was a lilac sequin dress for a gala dinner but WOW that did not suit me.I looked like tinkerbell on crack. It has been re-homed. 

Most worn: The black Ocean Daze shirt (bottom middle) which was amazing for layering on holiday and also saved me post-surgery when I was recovering in the heat. 

Least worn: One shoulder tank - mostly because it wasn't warm enough at the time

Fail: Hands down the saguaro set. What was I thinking.

May makes me a little sad as it's the last time I felt good about life and things were going well. However not to dwell on that the sewing was a fun one. The Nicks shirt was a gift for my mother in law, a fun dino repair for my husband's jeans and an Indigo dress was my sister's birthday present. 

Most worn: The Ruby Skirt - I absolutely loved wearing that outfit

No misses in May :)

June was quite fun in terms of makes but potentially the least worn items of all.The cardigan was too small but got rehomed. The succulent garden dress felt a bit 'off' and the sports bra was a toile. The pretty bra - well it was interesting to make but oh the irony. The bottom right is a Kalle space dress which was fun - but quite stiff and not my usual substrate of choice. 

Most worn: None!!

July was a sporty one as I was training for a fitness event, having even made the mascot (I am happy to report he supported the team even without me on it).

Most worn: Kalle 'dip in the lake' shirt - my absolute favourite wear this year.

Least worn: Style Arc Nova - although I actually love the dress I didn't really have anywhere to wear it after finishing it off

August brought some cheery colours and my first attempt at the Zadie Jumpsuit. 

Most worn: Gym wear

Least worn and fail:  Tessuti shorts (bottom right) - fit was off.

September was surgery month so I managed to make myself some nice PJs and joggers for recovery.

Lore Piar had me pattern test the Lenne Top and that's all that happened. 

Most worn: Carolyn PJs

Least worn: Everything else

Made a few bits in October. Another panic dress (bottom left) as nothing fit right after surery and I needed a quick win. 

Most worn: All-In-Easy-Fit Shirt with snakes (bottom middle)

Least worn: The panic dress (Tilly Buttons Indigo)

By November I was trying to get outdoors walking as much as possible so made a load of outdoor-activewear!

Most worn: Jalie 2795 (bottom middle) - damn that thing is warm

Least worn and FAIL: In  desperate attempt I made a frilly Dolly Top by the Dressmakers Closet. I should have known better.  

Special mention: Closet Core Kelly Anorak - so happy I got that finished.

There was no sewing in December just lots of sofa knitting. 

Once more another year of makes which I haven't really worn however I did found a little niche in making activewear and outdoor wear and thoroughly enjoyed that. 

My body shape has changed so much over the last few months I have no idea what sewing in 2024 looks like. I would definitely like to try and make trousers that fit and move away from leggings (although I fear you may have to prise them off me).

You can also probably put money on another Kalle Shirt! 

Do tell me what patterns you have really loved making and any recommendations.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. x

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Christmas Creature Crafting

 Hello all - just popping on with a little festive ridiculousness.

Sewing has very much taken a backseat as my chemo treatment started but I managed to do a little bit of knitting this month. 

Starting off with the obvious choice of 'what shall I knit today' - sweaters for frogs.

These 2 likely lads were treated to a new Christmas jumper each. 

Barnham the Frog sporting a sparkly white little number with adorned tree. There is a sequin star at the top but his roll neck hides it. Short neck problems.

Turner the Frog went for a striking red knit with felt holly berry motif and beading.

The frogs had a great ol' time decorating their mini Christmas Tree. Check out their slippers.

Dot Pebbles (aka Clare Garland) then released a new Reindeer pattern and of course, being a big fan of hers I had to make him immediately. 

Meet René the Reindeer. An absolute pleasure to create. He has a wire skeleton inside, wired legs and antlers making them all bendy and poseable.I love that all the patterns are anatomically correct and include all the hind leg undulations and features of an animal.

Which reminds me, I never shared the lovely Bat that came out at Halloween. Here is Cloud the Bat:


The next project was a quick little one but equally as cute. I usually make my friend's little girls a knitted treat at Christmas and this year we went for Robins!

These little cuties have long dangly legs and a tail at the back aswell. The roundness is adorable. Pattern from FluffandFuzz (aka Amanda Berry) called 'Jolly Robin'.

I hope everyone manages to find a bit of peace at what can be a stressful and weird time of year. 2023 can go and get F$%$*d in my opinion so here's wishing one and all a Happy New Year! x

Merry Christmas from the Crafty Clyde Crew!

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Jalie Jacket 2795 - Walking with Turtles

Following my latest venture into outdoor wear in the form of the Kelly Anorak I got a bit obsessed about making another jacket - with a bit of an 'outdoor activewear' vibe.

I'm trying to get out and about for a walk as much as possible at the moment and so it gives me the perfect excuse for sewing something up.  

Enter the Jalie 2795 Jacket. It doesn't have a particularly fun name but it did look quite appealing with all it's colour blocking potential and sporty looking details. 

Jalie have an absolute array of sizes in their patterns  which are given in alphabetical format rather than numerical sizing. This jacket comes in 27 different sizes and so you're likely to find a combination that fits. 

For reference I made a AA-BB (which means nothing really other than it being about a 44-45 in European sizing).

I made a toile for the fit as I wasn't too sure on Jalie and managed to use up a whole load of sweater scraps I had been hoarding. That felt very satisfying to get rid of them. Whilst not the prettiest of hoodies, it's a very warm wearable toile!

The pattern has a high cosy collar, with optional hood, blocked princess seams and some 'sort of' welt pockets. 

My toile was absolutely fine fit-wise so I brought out the big guns in the form of this stretch softshell from Activefabrics (also known as Aktivstoffe for the German site). 

I found it almost impossible to find softshell with any amount of stretch in it, in the UK. Minerva do some but I didn't like the muted colours available at the time and REALLY wanted cobalt blue.

This amazing technical fabric was found on a deep dive of the internet called Medea 4-Way. Water repellent, fleece lined and wind-proof.  

Hat is the Baa-ble Hat by Donna Smith Designs

The final version is a little snug around my hips which is annoying but not so much that it makes it unwearable. I was actually looking for a jacket that went to hip-length but couldn't find anything. Just after I cut this all out, Itch-to-Stitch brought out the Andes Jacket which would have been perfect! Ah well. This may be better with proper trousers.

The Jalie instructions are NOT detailed. There was a 2 page diagram and a few words and I struggled to understand how the welt pocket went together. A quick search of Youtube came up with the goods and it was actually not too difficult. 

The hood of the jacket is great, it actually stays put and has a little rain peak shape on it which is a nice detail.


I'm currently sporting a new 'hair do' which is acting like velcro so perhaps thats why it stays in place!


Having the high collar is a great detail and very warm. I wore the jacket out on a really cold and wet night and can confirm the windproof fabric worked wonders and it was very toasty. Bonus points for being able to fit a t-shirt AND jumper underneath aswell.

The fit is boxy so if you wanted it a bit more shapely, make sure you adjust your princess seams BEFORE doing all the flat-fell or topstitching of the seams. 

I think I have been spoilt by the immaculate instructions and construction of the Kelly jacket as a lot of the finishing on this one is a bit basic. Seams are raw and there are numerous places I think the edges could have been enclosed but were not. I overlocked all my inner-seams and tucked under the inner-collar for a neat finish. 

It was all looking rather plain by my standards so of course I had to add a little jazz to the sleeve. This way when I'm out and about I can take my turtle with me. 

 This little fella is from SisterMintaka by a company called Malicieuse and it's a beauty. I find they don't stick particularly well just with an iron so I did stitch around him for turtle-arm-security.

Photo from Sistermintaka - Iron-on patch

Thank you for reading - hopefully this is of some use if anyone tries the pattern :)

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Closet Core Kelly - Finally.

Well hello there. Remember me?

Feels like an age since I was last on here but in reality only a few weeks! I've been on Insta if you follow me on there. 

I've not done a huge amount of sewing these last couple of month but what I have done is FINALLY FINISH my Kelly Anorak. This has been 2 years in the making!! Well - it was probably put in the UFO pile for most of that time but here she is in all her completed glory. 

 Hands down the most complicated bit of sewing I have done. So many bells and whistles on this one. Zips, snaps, plackets, drawstring, flat-felled seams...you name it, it's probably got it.

The fabric I chose is a. Fleece Back Softshell and b. Can be seen from space. 

A safety jacket if you will. 

The best bit about Softshell is that it's water resistant, great for a coat, but also doesn't need lining because of the fuzzy fleece on the reverse.I struggled to find non-plain softshell and settled for this bright paint splatter one from Minerva. The rose gold findings are from the Trimming Shop and neon zip was Etsy.

It's quite thick and dense so a microtex needle and a walking foot are a must.

I cut this out and starting sewing it in 2021 at a sewing class. I had messed up the placket about 3 times and had to recut and unpick everything repeatedly, by which time class had finished and it was put in a bag to 'finish at home later'. That clearly never happened. 

After a big ol' sewing room clear out recently I found the bag and decided it was about time Kelly should get made up. After bodging up the placket a further 2 times (I still have no idea what I did wrong but it was too short to reach across the zip) it worked! Not exactly how it was designed but it works.

After getting over the placket hurdle the rest of the coat was fairly smooth sailing by using the Kelly Anorak Sew Along.

I had apparently cut a Size 16/18 and 2 years later god only knows if that was going to fit but I powered through. It's actually a really nice fit however I can't get a knit jumper under there. Just a t-shirt or very thin sweater.

The only adjustment I made was for the pockets. I didn't like the open nature of the ones on the pattern so made myself some square patch pockets that could be fastened with a snapper.


The marvelous thing about the Kelly Anorak is that all seams are enclosed and looks fantastic without any raw edges showing.  The neckline and armholes are bound with bias binding for a nice clean finish. The rest are either enclosed in seams or flat-felled.

The fun part was putting in all the S-Spring snaps. I have a 'Big Green Machine' and it makes short work of snaps and fastenings. About 5 minutes to do the lot!

I finished off the jacket with the only label that would possibly be suitable. 'This Took Forever' by Sew Anonymous.

Definitely worth hopping back on the blog for this mini-win.

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Last of the Summer Sewing Part VIII

 It's another annual 'Last of the Summer Sewing' post - andddd potentially the last of a bit of sewing for a wee while. More on that later.

But first - a little round up of bits and bobs that never made the blog! 

I am a massive fan of Sew Dynamic fabric as it's made from recycled ocean plastic pollution. Not only does it have that to it's name, the lycra is ridiculously comfortable, comes in fun designs and is perfect for a crazy gym outfit. Exhibit A:

This particular print is a load of chameleons! I was trying out the Greenstyle Power Bra and it is AMAZING. Massive recommendation for this one if you're looking for good activewear. Supportive, great coverage and true to size. 

Another wonderful print I picked up at Sew Dynamic is this beautiful seascape with a whale shark. For the leggings pattern both are the MyFit Leggings from Apostrophe Patterns


Gratuitous action shot to show how the print is when stretched out. Perfectly opaque and squat tested! 

Now for something entirely different - a summer space dress!

My Closet Core Kalle obsession continues into 2023 and in need of a little number to meet my hero Col. Hadfield I whipped up an A-line dress version. An astronaut dress felt appropriate for this event. I can confirm I was not the only person wearing 'space' gear.

The only adjustment to this was to extend the skirt out from the waist point. I used a belt buckle and a wide piece of elastic to make the belt just to break the print and pull it all in a little.

This amazing fabric was from Stitch Fabrics and I believe it's a stretch cotton sateen. Easy to work with but a little crispy to wear. 

Kalle also came out for my absolute favourite shirt in my wardrobe right now. A viscose Dip in the Lake by Lady McElroy meets Kalle. :: Chef's Kiss :: I feel very much myself wearing this and I love that feeling.


 I also started doing a Closet Core Nicks Dress however it was very oversized and the toile turned into a top for the MIL. I need to revisit that pattern as it was quite nice to make but size down a couple. 

And this is where most of my sewing, patterns and plans become a little defunct. 

Whilst I had some grand plans for sewing for an upcoming big birthday holiday, life came along and slapped me in the face. Well...boobs. Some of you may have seen my post on Insta however I've now got to clock off for a while.

I'll just repeat my post where I said that my near future involves a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However I'm not saying that for sympathy as many people have and are going through this. But obviously, my shape, and my sewing, are going to drastically change in the coming months.

So I think I'll be back on the blog :) Until then wishing you good sewing!

P.s. I found the perfect post-op t-shirt. You may laugh.

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Bright Blanche and a bit of Bagel

 It's a very colourful post for you today!

I'm continuing on the Style Arc journey with another little number called Blanche. Despite being named after an 80 year old lady who loves Bingo, it's a very stylish and modern take on a simple tee dress.

The Blanche dress fits my easy breezy criteria for getting dressed - minimal fuss but feel good. 

The pattern is described as a 'short sleeve pull on dress, below knee length with side splits'. 

The features included in the pattern are: 

  • A round neck band - which I did not do. 
  • Mitred corner side openings - which I forgot to do. 
  • A-line shape - which I had to change.

Needless to say me and Blanche went on a little journey. That being said I certainly enjoyed the destination. 

I went for a 16 which seems to be my new Style Arc size, however I did feel this was far too big in the bodice area. The sleeves were giving me a bat-wing effect and so I did have to alter that. The sleeves came out and I reattached them and took in the bodice about 1cm all around. In fact I think I basically just made a size 14. 


 

The style of this dress is an A-line and loose fit. Unfortunately just as the top was too big, the lower half was too small on me and I could have gone for an 18 around the hips to get that A-line silhouette. 

As it happened the shape did not like my booty and I ended up with a big sway back issue with fabric pooling. The pattern does have a lovely back seam which meant it was quite easy to nip that in and create shaping against my back. 

What I've actually ended up with is more of a semi-fitted tee dress instead of an A-line. I don't mind that at all, it's still comfortable and skims over everything it needs to nicely. 

How epic is this fabric by the way! It's a beautiful viscose jersey called 'Cleo the Leopard' from Mr. Rosenberg at Stitch Fabrics. If you've never cruised that website have a go... however I accept no liability for any money you spend.

The pattern also has a neckband however I chose to use mine as a binding on the inside for a slightly cleaner finish. The cat felt appropriate. (Labels from the Sarah Hearts - Animal Friends range).

I wore the dress immediately and decided I needed another as it was so comfortable. Curse of the second make again!!!!

Full Disclosure - Minerva kindly gave me this next floral fabric for free. It's a beautiful viscose jersey called 'pained bouquet' which I was enticed towards due to that pop of fuchsia pink on the tulips. 

Having made all my adjustments above to my paper pattern, I thought this version would be an absolute breeze. Not so. 

I whipped it up and initially it just looked....awful. I couldn't put my finger on it. Then I realized. I looked like Blanche. My husband confirmed it was giving serious old-lady Nightie vibes because of the florals. 

Not one to give up so easily, me and Blanche wrestled about for a few hours, tweaking, nipping, reshaping. A little bit of figure shape made all the difference, now I love it again!

 

I like the side slits as a detail I think that makes a great little feature on a fairly standard dress. This is demonstrated below as I saw the biggest spider ever run up into the bat house just as I did the photo!

During the process I had my little furry sewing assistant Bagel Cat to help out. Here she is with the fabric playing a game of 'who wore it best'. Hint - it was her.

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