Lots of Little Lizards - Elliott Sweater

Let's talk about lizards... ::pushes glasses towards end of nose::

These guys look like little geckos to me, cheeky beasts with sticky little toe pads.

This wonderful french terry was found in Anglia Fashion Fabrics when we had a 'fabric lock-in' last year with Norwich Sewcials. I love a bit of yellow and love a bit of reptile, so I was fairly easily persuaded to part with my cash when this was pointed out to me.

(To possibly your astonishment, there was also a turtle print but I chose this one instead!!)

This pattern is the Elliott Sweater by Helen's Closet. It's been doing the rounds on the interwebs for a while now but I only just got round to sewing it up. It's a time traveler top - cut out in 2018, sewn up in 2019. 

The pattern put me at an L-XL so that's what I went for, and turns out that was spot on. (As was the Blackwood!)

I tend to find that roll-necks bother me a bit and irritate my neck however in an attempt to step into a different style I did try this one. It's a great neckline as its actually quick wide and I cant even feel it on my neck, although its lovely and cosy. Admittedly this is the 'half neck option' - the 'tall neck' was a bit extreme for me and I probably would have just had my nose poking out of the top. 

I love the step hem and the long length which gives coverage where needed. It was a beautifully simple top to sew up and took under an hour to complete (after cutting). I'm surprised at how effective it is and how much I like wearing it. Since the cold weather started I've worn it absolutely loads as you can layer a good size t-shirt under there aswell without it being seen.

This pattern is incredibly similar to the Toaster Sweater although I think the main difference is that this has raglan sleeves, a steeper step-hem, no cuffs and a super turtle-neck option. I'd love to see if anyone has done a Toaster v Elliott comparison. I really like both patterns but I have to say I've worn this one more. I wouldn't rule out making it again if the right fabric cropped up either so that's always a sign of a good make :)

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The Coram (Jail Bird) Dress - Allie Olsen

A little palette cleanser project today!

I know I said I shouldn't be making simple t-shirts all year again, but there was something about this Coram Dress that just called to me and I wanted to make it immediately. So I did. 

This was my first attempt at getting out of my leggings rut. Comfy dress and comfy tights good for winter, and I'm sure it would be a good hot weather option too (ahhh the sun, a long distant memory). 

The pattern is the Coram Dress and Top by Allie Olsen. It's not one that had been on my radar before and only found it a few weeks ago during the 'crimbo limbo' as someone described it. 

The pattern is a 'boxy woven top or dress with cuffed raglan sleeves and shoulder and bust darts for shaping' according to the description. For me the hem shaping, belt and cuffed sleeves were the attraction as it looked a good contender for comfy chic.

And I was right.....

Awesome boots from Joules in sale

I cut a size 14/16 out of some printed jersey from my stash (woo!). I believe the fabric was originally from Girl Charlee - I've had it years and it very nearly went in the donate pile but it's moment of glory arrived and was the perfect amount for this project.

It reminds me of the arrows on prison uniforms...(Fun(ish) fact: Broad arrows on prison uniforms in UK were to denote government property in 19th century)

For a relatively simple make I did have quite a few fitting issues. The sleeve pattern pieces have shoulder darts, which I thought I had done according to the instructions. Something must have gone wrong, although I can't figure out how, as the neckline came out huuuuuuuggggeeee. Unfortunately I didn't really notice until I put the neck band on. Therefore this dress now has an epic boat neck.

I only actually picked up on this when the neckband really had to stretch to fit, and I cut another slightly longer. Its not unusual (try reading that without singing it in your head) that I sometimes do this for other knit tops so didn't think much of it at the time. I had to do a quick fix by pinning the dress in at the shoulders and creating new, larger shoulder darts and shaping them down to the cuff. Not ideal but it worked.

I love the fact that this has bust darts to give a semi-fitted appearance although the top could still do with being a size or 2 smaller to avoid so much blousing when worn. It's so causal though that it doesn't really matter. Still wearable :)

The pattern suggests top-stitching all the seams which was a nice touch. I'd like to make another version of this in black as a bit of a classic go-to piece.

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Happy New Year - Make Nine 2019

Happy New Year all :)

I wish I could report that I'm all refreshed and raring to go for the new year but truth be told, I'm knackered and still crawling out of my cave like a bear with a sore head. I think I need to join Clyde in his hibernation and wake up around March time!

Made with vinyl decal and traced pics of the torties
Now it wouldn't be a sewing blogger new year post without a quick round up of the 2018 Make Nine 'challenge'. I use that term loosely as it wasn't really a challenge, so much as a nice idea of what I fancied making. Last year I picked out:

As you can see, the majority got made with a few exceptions. Top left were some cropped trousers however I bought some RTW ones for like £10 in the sale and saw no real need to sew any just for the sake of it.* Similarly with the Morgan jeans - I already had that style so making them seemed a bit daft. I am annoyed at myself for failing on the activewear front though - I have Melissa Fehr's
leggings from the 'Sew Your Own Activewear' book all drafted out since February but they never got made! I pretty much live in Lycra aswell so not sure what went awry there.

*Not sewing related as such, but in 2018 we did the Marie Kondo method of Japanese tidying and it was AMAZING. It took a long time, was hard work and surprisingly emotional but afterwards it was so worth it. Everything has a home, there's no clutter about and its so easy to maintain the house. It also gives you a fab indication of what you actually need/want in life and from your clothes. I'd highly recommend it :) Just FYI there's now a show on Netflix about it 'Tidying Up'

Also - I absolutely LIVE by her method of folding and storing clothes. Game changer. 

2019 brings a different kind of sewing for me hopefully - I had tied myself last year to an epic 'to do' list which I felt I had to work my way through. I've ditched the list. Instead I have a few 'ideas' to work from however there's no chronological order to it and I'd like to sew more things, that I just feel like making at the time. In that respect 2019 Make Nine is also just an ideas board not a 'challenge' to get them all done :)

Fingers crossed a lot of these can be made from the stash however fabric shopping is a joy, so let's not get rid of that too strictly ;-)

Here's my choices for this year:

Left to Right:

The Deer & Doe Melilot blouse was something I had already attempted to make, but due to poor fabric choice ended in the recycling. Try again!

The Kelly Anorak could be a good one as I'd like to try more challenging makes this year.

I found this cool Calyer pattern from French Navy - not a company I've every tried so again something new and perhaps a different silhouette to try.

Activewear! This has to be tried this year... leggings of dreams.

A.......wedding dress???? Long story but I haven't yet found anything that I love. I'm aware that making one may add enormous stress levels however at least I could wear something personal and...me. 6 months to go....

A bright yellow dress. I've popped the Megan Neilsen River dress here although open to others. The point is I want it bright yellow. If anyone knows where I can find fabric suitable for that let me know!!

SOS Pants - I've recently discovered Patterns 4 Pirates and oooh-arrr sign me up. If I can make those bad boys, my trousers woes are over.

Carolyn PJs - made them before but I have some beautiful fabric (err yes also bought in 2017 with good intentions) as shown that is begging to be posh pjs.

Hey June Halifax Hoodie - because I love them. And this sweater fabric from Sew Me Sunshine in the stash is perfect...

How are your plans shaping up? Share your thoughts!

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