Posted in Sewing

Completed – Rusholme Skirt #2

Remember when I made this skirt from Wendy Wards book, ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”? At the time I said that it would not be long before I made a second one.

Well that time is now. Here’s my second version of the Rusholme Skirt.

IMG_5862.JPGAs I said in my original post, I am a big fan of this pattern. It’s very straight forward to make and I think it is such a flattering and versatile shape. Much as I hate the term, it is a real ‘wardrobe staple’.

I never actually set out to make this skirt. I was just sorting through my stash one Saturday morning and noticed that I had a bit (maybe a meter at the most) of denim left over from my first Cleo dress. With a bit of unorthodox pattern piece arrangement (let’s not worry too much about grain lines on this one) I just managed to cut out the skirt. The fab floral fabric I used for the facing was a tiny scrap left over from when I used to make and sell cushions several years ago. I loved this fabric too much to throw the scraps away.

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The skirt was quick and easy to sew up, and I followed the exact same construction method as I did in my first version. I decided to do the top stitching (ahhh lovely top stitching) in red and also used a red centred zip. I really like the contrast of the red on the dark blue denim.

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Yet again, I am really pleased with this skirt. Wendy Ward is releasing a new book on sewing with knits later this year, I can’t wait to see what she does next.

In other sewing related news, Me Made May 2017 is now in full swing. I am really enjoying seeing the photos of everyone’s outfits over on Instagram. If you would like to follow my own Me Made May journey, you can do so here. I’ll also do a round up on here at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone taking part.

Posted in Sewing

Completed: Toaster Sweater 2

I have a few unfinished projects on my sewing table at the moment,  including some secret sewing for an exciting collaboration with the Minerva Crafts Blog that I can’t tell you about just yet, but aside from all of that I did manage to whip up a cosy little top this week.

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This is the Toaster Sweater 2 by Sew House 7 Patterns. It’s the January pattern for #projectsewmystyle, a year long sew-along resulting in a 12 piece capsule wardrobe.

I’m going to be dipping in and out the project rather than making all 12 garments, partly due to other commitments but also because a lot of the patterns just really are not my thing at all.

I can’t say that the Toaster Sweater 2 is my usual style to be honest, but I really love it. I made this out of a navy blue sweatshirt fabric and it’s warm and cosy and perfect for lounging in at home on a chilly night. It’s not something I’d wear out of the house though. Nothing wrong with it, just not me at all.

Making it was really straightforward… I am not a massive fan of a high/low hemline so I lengthened the front of the sweater so that it’s the same length as the back. Other than that, I cut a size M and didn’t make any other changes to the pattern.

It fits me really well but if I were to ever make it again I think I would take a large wedge of fabric out of the back and make it all a bit more streamlined.

Not much more I can say about this really. It keeps me warm, it looks cute, it was easy to make. The end.

Posted in Sewing

Completed: Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

I was back at work this week and finding it a bit of a struggle getting out bed while it is still dark outside. But, early mornings aside, I’ve spent much of the week sewing and drawing. Not that different to my holidays really except this week I have been sewing with children  in a classroom instead of in my living room with kittens!

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I decided to kick off my 2017 sewing with a nice easy project and one that I have been meaning to make for a long time now – Sew Over It’s Ultimate Shift Dress – made from a fab geometric print cotton from Minerva Crafts.

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I have sewn a couple of Sew Over It patterns before – the Ultimate Wrap Dress and the Ultimate Pencil Skirt – and I am a bit of a sucker for their retro packaging. The instructions are always really clear and it doesn’t hurt that I seem to fit their measurements perfectly,  so there are hardly any alterations to make.

The Ultimate Shift Dress is marketed as a beginner friendly pattern and it really is. Apart from maybe a Tilly & the Buttons Coco, I don’t think I have ever made an easier dress.

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There are a few style variations within the pattern, including different sleeve lengths and the option of turning it into a top. I went for the standard dress length, with short sleeves. Once again I found that this SOI pattern suits my measurements almost straight from the packet. The only alterations I made were to raise the bust darts by 2cm and to add an extra cm to the width of the sleeve to accommodate my chunky upper arms.

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It could not be easier to put together.

It is basically a front piece with bust darts and two back pieces, sewn together with a centre back seam. Plus set in sleeves and facings. There are no zips in the dress, but instead a hook and eye closure and cute little key hole opening.  I actually love this type of fastening. If you can pull your eyes away from my weird hairline,  it looks really elegant, no?

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I have quite a curvy figure and, being a medium weight fabric, the dress hangs off my boobs rather than skims my curves. So for me I think it looks a lot more flattering if I wear it belted. But for someone with less boobage I think it is such a great sixties shape when worn without a belt.

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This dress took about two hours to make – that’s including overlocking all of the pattern pieces and hand sewing the hem. A quick and easy make to start off the new year and the first of my #2017makenine projects completed!

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Posted in Sewing

Completed: Wendy Ward Rusholme A-line skirt

I was very excited to buy myself a copy of Wendy Ward’s new book ‘A beginners guide to making skirts’ this week.

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Whether they are aimed at beginners or someone with a bit more dressmaking experience, I love getting new sewing and knitting books. There is always something new to learn and/or lust over. In the case of Wendy’s new book, even though I am not a beginner, I figured there would be some good basic skirt patterns in there that I could adapt and use with my GCSE textiles class. img_2647

I was right. This book is lovely and has patterns and  detailed instructions to make 24 different skirts from 8 basic shapes. I decided to make the skirt featured on the front cover  – the Rusholme A-line skirt – out of a small bit of blue chambray I had left over from another project. I cut a simple version of the skirt – no waist band or pockets – with a centre front seam. If I was making this again I think I would like to add pockets – because pockets – but I just didn’t have enough fabric this time.

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I took my time over this skirt. I followed all the instructions exactly as Wendy gave them and let myself slow down and enjoy the process. I didn’t make a toile but I did take the time to fit it to my waist and hips as I went along, and the result is a simple skirt that fits me beautifully. And can we just have a moment to appreciate that topstitching.