Sutton Blouse - mini disaster

Time to share the one that didn't work!

I have seen this pattern all over the web and really liked the simple style as it is something I would probably wear over leggings. The Sutton Blouse is the product of True Bias who now has a few patterns of her own and they are fab.

There is a brilliant sew along which gives clear and concise instructions for every step of this garment. Yet I still managed to bodge it up.

First mistake was that I picked some not so floaty crepe fabric from the stash - I was in a rush to try out the pattern and thought it would do - turns out its way too thick and doesn't hang all that well. I HAD tried to get drapey crepe fabric on the Internet (lack of fabric shop near the new pad) however could find nothing at all remotely interesting that wasn't plain. So I ended up wasting money on fabric I have no idea what to do with :-( The second mistake was picking stretch lace for the yoke - because that's the only kind I had. Fool I am.

The pattern itself though is wonderful and actually very enjoyable to make. There were some new techniques here including using bias binding to finish the neckline and french seams for every join. It's a very neatly finished and professional garment (if you do it right of course - ahem.) The bias neckline I would definitely try again at some point as it looked very neat indeed.

I lengthened the pattern about 4 inches so I could wear it more as a long tunic over leggings, gotta have some coverage folks.

If I made it again - which actually I would like to - I would make the neckline a little lower though, maybe an inch or 2 as I felt a bit covered up. HOWEVER this could be the fact that half way through sewing I put a massive hole in the lace at the back and had to shave off about 2 inches from the back yoke to correct the mistake. So I may have lost some dimensions along the way.

It also turns out I'm quite bad at pleats aswell. Sigh. Although again pure laziness and rushing stopped me from getting the iron out and pressing the back pleat in properly - lesson learnt :-(

I wore it for dinner and that's probably about as much wear as it is going to get - not because of the pattern in any way, that is brilliant, but due to my shoddy skills and thick fabric! Please also excuse the lack of general ironing pre-photo!

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Slippery Bird...

I was rather blinded by the sale price and bird print of this fabric and bought 2 meters of it... Birds good, £2.99 per metre good. (Bought from Minerva Crafts) Then I started trying to create a dress and realised why it was probably on sale. I like the result but it was a bitch to cut and sew.

Due to the crazy slippery nature of this fabric I just needed a super simple pattern to cut and minimal seams to sew! This is basically just a large pillowcase with a head hole! Think giant oversized t-shirt shape held in with a belt. 2 pieces sewn together with the overlocker at the sides and shoulders. I overlocker all the raw edges then just straight stitched all the hems. Whack on a belt and ta-dah! Dress.

Oh yeah, this was also mega see-through so I had to put a little black slip on underneath - very handy garment!

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The Half Circle Skirt - Love it or Hate it

I have been a bit obsessed with a purple skirt and stripe t-shirt after seeing a photo on Burdastyle on their blog section ages ago. I looked all over to find one online but then had a word with myself and realised I could just make it.

Now I'm not ordinarily a fan of circle skirts and they are a bit too girl for my liking however I think the look I was going for called for one in this case. I have however toned down the twirl by making it a half circle instead. It takes out a bit of the fullness but leaves movement.

Now I love a bit of maths so this was great - remember C=2πr?? No? Shame on you.

You need to crack out the Pi formulae to create circle skirt patterns, but they are so simple to draft and sew up its a good beginners project.

C= circumference. ie. Yours. Around your waist. 

We are after r (radius). The length you need to draw out your circle.

r = C / (2π) This is for a full circle skirt by the way. For a half circle use: r = 2C / (2π)

OR you can use this rather fabulous application from By Hand London!

Take a sheet of paper and from one corner draw out your radius. See how long you want your skirt to be, add to the radius and draw another massive quarter circle. Voila - your pattern. Take your fabric and fold it in half (fold down he left hand side). Pop on your pattern, pin and cut. You have one massive piece of circular fabric with a waist! I wasn't going to do a tutorial as there seem to be a million of them out there including here. However should anyone want a step by step tutorial doing by all means I will - just pop a comment in the box at the end! x

I used an invisible zip and also lined the fabric with anti-static lining so I can wear tights underneath in this cold weather. The fabric is a beautiful heavy crepe fabric from Minerva.

Sun in eyes NOT a Forsyth impression

I also acquired a pair of these rather marvellous Pamela Mann tights first seen on RetroChick's blog to go with it.

Comments welcome below and on Facebook, Twitter or Bloglovin too xxx

Happy New Year! Sewing room sneak preview...

Happy New Year to all - I hope 2015 is treating everyone well so far.

It has been a lovely long break here and the sewing room is all up and running and functional thanks to some much needed time off over the holidays. I just thought I would share some pics as well as some lovely little sewing related gifts I was very lucky to receive. A mega trip to Ikea resulted in a fully Swedish based kitted out room!

Sewing room sponsored by Ikea
These Kallax cabinets are very useful indeed for stashing away all that accumulated/hoarded fabric and the green shelving stores books nicely and is a haven for hiding messier items and UFOs away.

The dress form is in with a long mirror for adjustments. Couldn't resist the ladybird seat. To be fair its a kids item but whatever - this was much encouraged by my sister who I believe said 'do it man - people could, you know, hang out on it'. Sold. Giant ladybird seat is surely an essential piece of furniture right?

This bit of space invader wall art is an incredible gift from a very talented friend indeed :-)

How great is this for organisation?! Again I was very luck and grateful to receive these beautiful little pin boxes. I believe they are from Next.

Full of treats!

Another fabulous friend Angie kindly got me a lovely sewing machine hand painting on a 100 year old book print (as well as a banana case which happily houses all my machine tools and presser feet!). Mason jars proved a handy home for stray buttons and the master piece - this could not have been more perfect - a measuring tape tortoise frame!!!! I may have to add a photo of Clyde shortly - he's in hibernation now and we miss his little green beastie-ness around. 

I have been having a great debate as to whether to continue with the blog or not this year - I think I will carry on for now and see how it goes - never sure if I'm just chatting away to myself :-) If you feel like saying hello or anything at all comments are all welcome! Don't forget I'm on Facebook, Twitter or Bloglovin too xxx