The Great Fayma F**k Up

Sliding into Sunday today with an absolute disaster of a project which I thought I would share to demonstrate it's not all sunshine and roses on the sewing front!

Also just noticed the bird is upside down!
 You made have seen pattern company Fayma (who are also now Hobbycraft Made to Measure) - you take a load of your own body measurements, along with some photographs for analysis, and a 'made to measure' pattern is created. 

Lovely job - so I thought. I didn't expect it to be a perfect fit, but a 'good enough' fit to tweak would have been alright. This was so far off the mark it was untrue. 

Just for clarity - before I wrote this I had the lovely Fabric Wrangler (and all round sewing Oracle) check my measurements that had been input, and they were all fine.

First of all I had a little gripe with the paper wastage. Every single pattern piece is printed separately - even the reverse pieces such as collar, under collar, top collar, another top collar piece. I get that you may need two of everything if measurements differed on your body however the collar piece was formatted across 3 pages of A4 set at 'portrait' when it could have easily fit on 1 page landscape. It's auto-generated pieces so I suppose the layout is a bit how you find it.

I set about cutting a 'wearable toile' from some stash fabric which I envisaged as a nice wafty summer shirt. Immediately we (I was in class at the time) spotted that the yoke was really small so had to extend that by 1/2" each side to extend the shoulder a bit. No big deal.

Then came the back piece. It was a whopping 6 inches too small to fit the yoke. I ended up cutting a stripe of extra fabric and inserting that to fit. Well that went wrong - although I'm not one for bothering to pattern match, a headless bird was even too much for me. 

I then had a 'make it work' moment and created a little back panel for the remnants. 

 Next up was the collar - and there was no way that was fitting (even with endless snips and wrangling) as it was 3" too short so I had to re-draft the collar myself in it's entirety. That should have fit as I hadn't
made any pattern changes to the neckline.

The sleeves actually went in really well so I was hopefully the shirt may be saved at this point.

I popped it on and immediately felt like I was an I.T advisor ready to tell someone to 'switch it on and off again'. Definite Jeff from Accounting vibes. Actually if I popped on a goatee I would have been David Brent. 

It was then I noticed there was some epic 'weirdness' on the back sleeves where they were sticking away from my body like wings. Again, a trip to the Oracle confirmed that it was just plain bizarre and we tried to pin out the shape to at least make the shirt 'one for gardening in'.

Well I think this thing was cursed because as soon as I tried to tidy up the edged my overlocker decided to eat the sleeves and pulled it all under. Out of fabric and out of patience I called time of death on the shirt.

The only part I actually like was the birds anyway, so I set about harvesting the cranes like I was on some kind of conservation project. 

The shirt is now suitable for a bit-part on The Walking Dead and available for audition. The birds are awaiting release back into the wild. 

Where I went wrong I have no idea, and I'm not sure I care either as I won't be making it again. I'd love to read some more reviews of these patterns though. Have you have any experiences?

I do have the Fouette trousers downloaded from Fayma and I'm now nervous to start these! That being said my friend Claire from class had some great success with the Fayma Boyfriend trousers fitting almost straight away. Fingers crossed for the next one.

Update: I made a Melilot Blouse in some fabric from the Hayley Jane Outlet as a kind of 'palette cleaner'. By fluke the colour was a match for the birds!!

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A Yarn of Spring Chickens

I thought I'd go for a mini Easter theme post today and share this cute little chick called Puddle. A super cute knitting pattern from Sincerely Louise. Made in some fluffy yarn he is absolutely adorable and really fun to make. 

 Here is how he came to be.

In March I got the chance to attend the first ever East Anglia Yarn Festival. It was such a great surprise to hear this was taking place and to see so many local makers and yarn dyers showcasing their talents. Plus a few from further away. What's best is that it didn't involve a massive trip to London or Birmingham. 

It was held near the airport. Yes, Norwich has an airport. Yes it's every bit as shit as you would imagine. 

The festival however was excellently put together by The Lonely Knitter, Noodle Soup Yarns and The Fibre Fox - and I am informed that next year March 2023 will be a massive event at The Norfolk Showground. Dates for your diary. And your wallet. 

I have a bit of regret about not snapping up some sock yarn from the Curated Yarn Co. as it was just so beautiful!

I did make a few little purchases whilst I was there and these were mainly from Sincerely Louise. I was a bit of a fan girl and went over for a picture and chat with Louise and her partner who were both absolutely lovely.  I picked up some patterns and fuzzy yarn to make Puddle and of course, I also went for a tortoise pattern (still to be made up).

Wishing you all a lovely long weekend (if you're having one) and if you need cheering up for any reason. Just look at this little face!!!!

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A Spring Journee at Makers Festival

Each year Norwich is host to Norfolk Makers Festival at The Forum which showcases so many different crafts and skills including embroidery, painting, knitting, printing, weaving, sketching, sewing, quilting, spinning, crochet, paper craft, cake craft, wood name it they probably do it.  

This year was no exception and our community sewing group Norwich Sewcials were asked if we would like to take part again - well of course who wouldn't want a creative day out! 

Not only that but we also had the opportunity of exhibiting some work. Gasp. Cue several months of panic that whatever I made would not be worthy or good enough. (Have a word with yourself luv.)

The brief was 'stepping into spring time' and after several failed attempts at making a Vogue dress (not even worth writing about) I reverted to a tried and tested pattern - McCalls 8110 Journee.

While I am happy with the outcome this was NOT an easy or pleasurable journey. The pressure of making something 'to be seen' absolutely got to me. I procrastinated for weeks, sewed seams the wrong way round which had to be ripped out and restarted and basically - it wasn't all that fun. It was probably a bit of a vanity project as I was so chuffed that someone wanted to display our work I felt that 'no' wasn't an option and it would feel nice to display. It was, but probably not worth the unnecessary anxiety. Lesson learnt.

Now that it's all finished and rounded up I can actually enjoy the make! After it was returned I popped it on for a little photoshoot in the sun. 


The fabric is some embroidered tulle from eBay (as is the belt). The hot pink dress is made from the Greenstyle cami tank lengthened to knee length. The best bit of this is that the cami has an inbuilt shelf bra and foam inserts so no bra straps on show under the tulle. Fabric for the slip dress is 'luxury' stretch viscose from Minerva (bought not gifted). I ended up with the 'luxury' version as a previous order failed and then I couldn't find a colour match anywhere else so I had to re-buy the entire length. Another faff!

The dress is being borrowed by my sister for a summer wedding so at least it's getting some wear in the wild!

The Makers Festival itself was good fun - we had our own stand showing different dressmaking techniques but we also got to have a go at the other activties available. 

There were some great lino printing templates with Hatchley at Stellabox who talked us through the process. I do want to get one of her kits or do a workshop at some point now!

I also really enjoyed story stamp printing with Julia Triay whose work was so delicate and reflected endangered nature. Plus I tried indigo dyeing for the first time with Jen at Fibre Workshop who knows about everything natural fibre and sheep!

A great initiative by The Forum and worth attending to learn something new if you're in the area.

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Uvita - You've Got to Meet Her

Despite having made a few of these lovely tops I have not mentioned them on the blog here. So today is the day that the Uvita Top gets a little love. 

The Uvita Top is a free pattern - yes people, FREE pattern - from Itch to Stitch. I am a fan of Itch to Stitch and have actually made a fair few of their patterns, all of which I have found to be well drafted and well fitting. This free version is no exception. 

Uvita looks a heck of a lot like the Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti - which I have tried and failed 3 times to make. The Mandy Boat tee just isn't for me as the sleeves are too tight for the body proportions on my shape. Uvita however...

 I love the relaxed fit and easy nature of this shirt. It's surprisingly economical with fabric allowance too and can squeeze the pattern pieces on well. The smaller sizes could easily fit onto 1 meter.

This is the size 14/16/18 graded as per the chart. (Size ranges for this pattern are from 0-20 but the paid patterns go up to a size 40).

There's not much to say other than it whizzes up nicely on the overlocker and the sleeves are dropped so super simple to add in as its a straight seam on each arm attached on the flat. 

If you are after a quick and satisfying make this one could be a goer. 


Also handy if you are taking part in #SewFrugal22 over on Instagram and Youtube - grab a piece of jersey from your stash and this freebie pattern and you're well away. 

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