Monday, 30 January 2017

Planning from the deep stash

I'm a member of the sewalongs and sewing contest group on facebook, and this quarter's theme is deep stash patterns.  As my pattern stash is getting out of control, this was an awesome theme for me.  My plan currently looks like this:

From left to right; Mia jeans, Ondee sweater, Various vintage patterns, I have plans for view 2 and 3 of Simplicity 5359, Vintage shirt dress, Anderson blouse, Brume skirt.  Most of these I've never made before and I'm looking forward to trying them out.  When I first started sewing, I didn't understand how other sewists had so many patterns that they'd never used in their stash.  Turns out the longer you sew and the more invested that you become in this hobby, the easier it is to just accumulate things!

However, since I have minimal follow through on my planned lists, I'm not convinced that my final makes will look anything like this.  The coppelia cardigan, opal shirt and multiple other patterns are also on my 'to make list' and may be subbed in.  In fact, this top pattern is currently obsessing me and I bought the perfect fabrics on a recent trip to Paris so my 'plan' really is incredibly fluid!

However, I can guarantee that the Vintage shirt dress will definitely be entered as it is finished already!  I bought a length of African wax print in December, with the main purpose of making my sister some ultimate pjs (and other bits and pieces).  However, since the fabric was awesome and I had quite a lot of the 5.5m length left, I made myself a vintage shirt dress.

This pattern was a Christmas gift last year and so far this is my third version.  It's swiftly becoming one of my favourite patterns and I love this version! As my second version was also in an African wax fabric, clearly I feel like the African wax prints and this pattern are a perfect match (watch this space for more, although since I don't currently have any in my stash so this would involve a shopping trip).  The African wax cotton is a bit similar to quilting cotton, although it's a bit drapier and is really easy to work with.  When I first started sewing, I would predominantly have bought this kind of fabric and slowly moved away from them.  Partly due to wanting to sew a greater range of garments and use different techniques.  However, I'm starting to feel a real lack of this kind of fabric in my stash and actually investing in some more.  Maybe it is time for that shopping trip.  However, just a word of warning, one of the big issues with a shopping trip for African wax print is that it is sold in 5.5m lengths and while it is not always essential to buy that much, your incoming totals can mount up quickly.

I did not have 8 suitable buttons in my stash so it did involve a trip to the haberdashery (which is always fraught with peril as there is just so much temptation to try to resist).  However, I was good and just bought these buttons which have a subtle circle design on them, to echo but not clash with the print on the fabric.
This dress makes me really happy, it's smart enough to wear for work but also bright and patterned enough to give a little boost to my day.   I hope you all have colour or sewing or something to make you happy for the rest of the week.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A winning winter dress

Last year I made a lady skater/Renfrew mash up and I loved it.  I wore it so much last winter that this year I knew that I wanted another one.  This one was made from a vibrant jersey that I picked up in Classic textiles on Goldhawk road.
Construction wise, this was really easy.  Basically you just cut the Renfrew off at the waist, taper so that it matches the skirt pieces for the lady skater and construct as normal. Sometimes you just need a lovely, easy to put together, jersey project to make all seem right in the world.

There are some patterns that just keep on giving and are so worth repeating.  The lady skater pattern is one of these for me.  For extra ideas you can see my hack post here.  This dress is so easy to dress up with tights and boots and I'm good to go for another winter.

These photos were taken on a walk when I was back in Ireland for Christmas and as well as photos of the dress, I got a couple of the views for your enjoyment.  We had wonderful weather this Christmas and it made leaving the house a lot more enjoyable.

Hmmm, this all feels like a very long time ago!  I hope your return to reality has not been too grim and that you're squeezing in some sewing.

Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Round up and 2017 Goals

Happy New Year!!!  Inevitably at this point in the year we all start reflecting on what we've done over the last year and making plans for the next.  Quite honestly 2016 has been a bit grim overall but there have been some good moments; I turned 30 this year and had the most fun celebrating in a variety of ways, including an amazing surprise trip to Amsterdam with my sister and a really great party with family and friends, I have also done a lot of travelling this year which has been awesome.

Travel, family and friends.  What could be better?

This year has been a bit manic, work and life wise but despite that I've made a number of things that I've been really pleased with.
I've loved the clothes that I've made from my vintage patterns this year, including my coat and 1960s knit dress, I'll definitely be signing up to the #vintagepatternpledge again this year.  Making trousers like these ultimate trousers makes me feel like a boss, having well fitting trousers is one of the awesome things about sewing my own clothes.  I profited from my birthday celebrations this year by making 2 dresses which can be seen here and here, gotta love a good dress! Being able to use some amazing fabrics have contributed to my love of certain items, like my Liberty top and my shirt dress, I'm embracing my love of super bright fabrics again!  This year I also managed to finish a quilt, which despite being a fairly easy quilt, felt wonderful to complete. I haven't done as many refashions this year as I have on previous years but I've loved doing them and this off the shoulder top was one of my favourite makes.

This year is going to be full of some fairly big events.  Hopefully I'm finally going to complete my doctorate, go travelling and start a new job, all of which may get in the way of my sewing time. However there are still some sewing goals that I'd like to achieve.
I'd love to make some more dresses this year, particularly ones I can wear in winter as most of the ones I have made this year are summer dresses.  I really want to make a pair of well fitting jeans, I'm going to start with the Mia jeans as I've already got the pattern and I know the ultimate trousers fir me well so hopefully the Mia jeans will be as good.  I really need some more tops and am still searching for the ultimate top pattern, particularly woven patterns so hopefully there will be a few more tops in the next few months.  I'd love to try and make another coat this year, maybe another vintage one or perhaps I'll try one of the new ones that have been released in the last couple of years.  A number of friends and family members are having babies this year and I'd love to make a baby quilt for at least one of them.  Finally, I'd really like to take on (and actually complete) a knitted jumper this year.

Right I'm off to stare at my stats now and pretend that actually I'm not dreaming of my upcoming sewing projects!  I hope 2017 is a very happy year for you and full of much sewing.