Saturday, 28 June 2014

A summer dress completed!

I made this lovely summery dress using New Look 6262 that I mentioned here. I love the style of this dress. I chose to make view C which has a v neck and cap sleeves. I made a straight size 14 with no alterations to the pattern.  It's a good fit too although the top is perhaps a little roomier than I expected.  The material is a polycotton mix that I bought on the market in St Albans.

The dress was surprisingly easy to make now I seem to have mastered the invisible zip!

Really pleased with this one, so much better than my first attempt that I wrote about here. The real trick I think is ironing the ziptape on a low setting before hand. It unfurls it so that you can get closer to the edge somehow.  I finished the edges first with a zig-zag stitch and the pressed the seam-line so that I had a straight line to follow.  I am  now desperate to get an overlocker of my own as I think that gives a much better finish. I used french seams for most of the other seams which gave the seams a nice neat finish.

I managed to more or less match up the waistline seams at the zip.

The cap sleeves are eased in by sewing a gathering stitch. I found this a little tricky but pleased with the results as I can't see any puckers or gathers showing on the right side.

I love the full gathered skirt!

Here's the front view...

 And here's the back...

And now I have a lovely summer's dress to wear.  Just a shame about the weather today!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

New Look 6212 - complete at last

Finally finished this sleeveless shirt that I posted about here and here for my daughter. I used New Look 6212 and made view B minus the front pockets.

New Look 6212 - front view

What do you think?

New Look 6212 - back view

The pattern was a bit challenging as I've never made a shirt or blouse before but the instructions were fairly clear to follow. It's certainly not perfect but not bad for the first attempt.

I'm particularly pleased with the buttonholes as I've finally mastered using the four step buttonhole foot on my machine.  

My daughter chose the blingy buttons!

New Look 6212 - blingy button
New Look 6212 - blingy button

I seem to be one short so will have to make a trip back to the shop I got them from in the hope they still have them!
New Look 6212 - front placket
New Look 6212 - front placket

I hope she likes it :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A patchwork pincushion!

Over the last couple of nights, I've been making a patchwork pincushion. I made these as a child and thought it was time I had another go at making one as I was in serious need of a pincushion!

The pincushion is made using the paper piecing method.

How to make a pincushion:

Draw or print a template for one inch hexagons and cut the paper hexagons out.
Pin the templates to the wrong side of your chosen scraps of material. 
Then cut the hexagons out from scraps of  material about one centimetre larger than the templates.  
Fold the edges down over the paper templates and tack the edges down around the hexagons
Join the hexagons together piece by piece by over-sewing the edges, right sides facing. 
Once both pieces of the pincushion are completed, sew the two pieces together again with  right sides facing, leaving open three edges.
Remove the tacking and the paper pieces. 
Turn right side out, pushing out the corners and then stuff firmly. 
Finally over-sew the remaining edges together.

I think I might have to investigate some other pincushion ideas. Do you have any good suggestions?

Friday, 13 June 2014

My first ever skirt!

I made my first ever skirt!

My finished skirt

I used the Delphine pattern from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons fame. I used a medium weight blue denim from John Lewis and I also bought a 8 inch invisible zip. This is the first time I've used a zip let alone put one in a skirt!

I found the instructions clear and easy to follow although on a couple of occasions I did wish the pictures were a little larger! It's a simple pattern for a super cute A line skirt and perfect for a beginner like me. The skirt has a waistband and an invisible zip. There are also ideas for adapting the skirt such as adding belt loops or decorating with buttons. 

The zip was actually easier to insert than I thought it would be although it's certainly not perfect. It took me ages to work out how to attach my invisible zipper foot to my machine though! 

Not invisible but not bad for my first attempt!

I made a size 5 (Tilly's patterns go from size 1 to 8 rather than using standard sizes) based on my measurements.  The finished skirt came out about an inch and a half bigger than the finished garment measurement listed in the book so it's a little  on the loose side. If I made this pattern again (and I think I will!), I'd go down a size as I think this skirt looks best more fitted at the waist. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Ooh look what I've just bought!

I made a quick trip to John Lewis tonight to buy a red invisible zip for my summer dress that I'm planning to make.
New Look 6262
Sadly there were no red invisible zips to be had, so looks like will be purchasing off the internet. Where do you buy all your sewing bits and bobs? I'd love to hear.

But it wasn't a wasted trip as I bought this button making gadget! How cool. I love covered buttons but do find them a bit fiddly. Hopefully this will work like a beauty!

Prym tool for covering buttons and  15 mm buttons

And I also got a metre and a half of this lovely floaty material, half price in the John Lewis clearance sale. It's a polyester fabric, and has a beautiful drape. I'm thinking this will be perfect for the Lottie blouse pattern that I got free with Love Sewing magazine.

My pretty new fabric! 
Lottie Skirt and Blouse

Definitely worth the trip!

Monday, 9 June 2014

This week's sewing!

Finally managed to get a bit more sewing done this week! This is what I've been up this week:

New look 6212

Managed the front plackets, neckband and the collar. My tip is to definitely tack the placket before stitching close to placket seam on outside, catching in the pressed edge of the facing on the inside  otherwise you could end up unpicking where you didn't manage to catch it the first time! The same applies to the neckband. I hate unpicking things, so do think it's sometimes worth taking a bit more time tacking things first, especially when you are still learning like I am!

New Look 6212 - now with collar and front plackets!
New Look 6212 - the collar!
Just applying bias binding to the armholes and the buttonholes left!  May use mum's machine to do the buttonholes as she has an automatic buttonhole foot where as mine is the four step buttonhole, and I find I constantly have to refer to the manual when making a buttonhole. Have found this pattern a bit challenging at times but pleased with the overall result - it's certainly not perfect but not bad. Will she wear it? We will see. 

Delphine Skirt

Pieces all cut out and ready to go!

This time I took Tilly's advice and washed the material first. I suppose this makes sense as if your material is going to shrink then better to do so before you make the garment up. I'm using a medium weight denim material from John Lewis.

This will be the first time I will use an invisible zip. Hopefully with Tilly's advice I'll manage it!

Delphine - front piece
Dephine - back pieces
Delphine - back waistband and facing pieces
Delphine - front waistband and facing pieces

New Look 6262

I also bought this pattern that I mentioned in my post on my sewing summer want list. Going to make view C I think but still not decided 100 percent. Which would you make?   

New Look 6212
What do you think of the material I have chosen? From the stall in St Albans' market (again!)

My daughter is away for the week so I hope to get lots of sewing done and maybe even a bit of tidying up, but sewing is much more fun! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Love Sewing issue 2 - free Sew Simple sewing pattern!

Not much sewing has happened this week, nearly finished the plackets on the new look shirt I'm making though.  I was pleased when I went into H & M this weekend to see loads of shirts in that style hanging up in the shop -  I thought wow, I'm making that myself!

Anyway popped in to my local Tesco at lunchtime and picked up this gorgeous magazine.

Love Sewing - Issue 2 
There is a free Sew Simple sewing pattern for the Lottie Blouse & Skirt included with the magazine plus a free tape measure and a few other bits and pieces.  The pattern itself is labelled as suitable for the adventurous beginner, so hopefully nothing too challenging!

Lottie Blouse and Skirt

There is so much in this magazine - looking forward to having a good read later. I'll post my thoughts on it when I'm done!

Love this blouse - think I will be making it!

Hope you like the pink spotty material. This is what I'm planning to make my Mimi blouse from Love at First Stitch with!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

My summer sewing want list

Having recently had a clear out, my wardrobe is looking pretty sparse to say the least! There is nothing worse than a wardrobe full of things you don't wear, either because they no longer fit, are worn out or out of fashion. Having done this, I then thought it would be a good idea to evaluate the clothes I already have and think about the things that are missing from my wardrobe. Turns out most of them I could make myself, so this is my summer sewing want list:

1. Pretty summer dress

Mortmain dress
I love this dress from Gather

2. Simple shift dress 

Shift dress
 New Look 6095. Looks pretty easy! 

3. A line skirt

Ginger Skirt

This skirt by Collette Patterns is super cute. You can buy it here.

4. Pretty gathered skirt

New Look 6872
Great with wedges and a strappy top. 

5. Mimi blouse
Mimi Blouse from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

I'm itching to get started on this one! 

6. Forties style tea-dress 

New Look 6069
Lovely retro look. Or how about maybe this one. 

 New Look 6183
Maybe I should make both!

7. Wide leg trousers

New Look 6873
Are trousers too scary to have a go at? 

8. And finally another pretty summer dress!

New Look 6262
What's on your summer sewing want list? I'd love to know.


My Sewing Machines

Today I thought I'd share my sewing machines with you! My original machine is a John Lewis JL125 that I got for my birthday from my...