Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Blogger swap

Once again I took part in the Blogger swap hosted by Martyna of Spoolish and Miche of Buttons and birdcages.  This time my partner was Liz of Western New Yorker

Look at the goodies she sent me:
1.Super cute New York journal (where Liz lives)
2. Really cute n Betty Johnson notebook and notecards.  I told Liz I love anything with flowers on and this is such a sweet set.  Also I really like sending actual letters/post to my friends so these cards will find their way to some of them really soon.
3. A dream catcher.  Liz told me that she is part American Indian and wanted to send me something that represented this.  I love dream catchers, this is going up somewhere it will tinkle away all summer.
4. A dress pattern (see below)
All parceled up in a cute little shopper
My personal favourite is this pattern.  I told Liz that I'm really into sewing with jersey at the moment and that I love dresses and look at the gem she presented me with:

I'm so excited about it.  It's no secret that I love my lady skater pattern and had planned to hack it to make a wrap around version and now I don't need to. I also have a favourite RTW in my wardrobe that is identical to view X and I have been thinking about trying to trace off a pattern from it, again, now I don't need to! Lazy me is screaming yes! yes! yes!

Thanks so much to Liz for my lovely gifts.  Check out what I sent Liz here.  And all of this months other pairs:
Buttons and birdcages and confessions of a refashionista
A bunch of radness  and Spoolish
Dash of rose  and Lemonade runway

Thursday, 24 April 2014

You've got my heart lady skater

This Easter weekend I went to meet my boyfriends family in the Midlands.  I was feeling totally fine about it (because, you know, obviously they're going to love me) and even a little bit excited.  Until a couple of days before I went and I had a conversation with my mum, who asked "have you planned what you're going to wear?"  No! Of course I hadn't! So, obviously I had a little freak out.  Mid freak out, boyfriend says "don't worry, they won't notice anyway!" (Men!) Swiftly followed by "well my mum's interested in the fact you sew so it might be nice if you wore something that you made", so now I had an even bigger wardrobe/packing dilemma.

However, it was lady skater to the rescue (again). I had this lovely turquoise fabric with navy hearts in my stash. And as I (and many other people) have testified the lady skater is a wonderful and super fast pattern. 2 hours sewing on Good Friday and I had a new dress, ready to show off.

This knit was really stable, more so than the knits I've used for any of my other lady skaters and I love the fitted slightly more structured look it gives. I now feel I'm comfortable enough with this pattern to start making modifications, so watch this space.

I nearly died getting the dress shots above, it was not warm enough to be playing in park with no cardigan or jacket so I kept them on for the rest of the goofy shots.

Hope you all had a very happy Easter with lots of chocolate.  

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Me made may!

So I've decided to be really foolish brave and participate in Me Made May!  For those of you who don't know, Me Made May was set up Zoe of So Zo "as a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to actually wear and love them".  I just like the idea of participating in such an amazing challenge and being there with so many other sewers that I admire! I have not been sewing regularly for all that long so I don't have very many makes so I expect there will be a fair few repeats.  However, with that in mind, I pledge to wearing me made or refashioned items at least 3 days a week in May and to post these on the flickr group.  I'm excited about challenging myself to take part in this but the biggest challenge that I want to engage with is posting things on flickr.  I've never done this and its one of my current resolutions to engage more with the sewing community, not just write up blog posts.

I love seeing everyone else's pledges, its so inspiring seeing what people want to give themselves as a challenge.  Good luck to everyone taking part. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bag pattern review

My backpack has fallen apart and sometimes a backpack is lots better than my usual handbag.  When thinking about replacing it I started thinking, hey I'm a sewist!  Maybe I should make one.  I got to thinking about how feasible this would be and about other bags I have made.

At Christmas I made 2 bags for loved ones.  The first was this weekend bag, pattern by Floop the coop:

And the other was this Kennedy bag, pattern by Sew Sweetness:

These photos are not great of either but I wasn't taking pictures to show on the blog and as they were gifts, I can't exactly ask for them back to photograph!

As two bags I made within the same time period its much easier to make a comparison of the details I liked and didn't like.  I'm going to state right now that one of these bags was a clear winner for me.  

The weekend bag pattern I bought at the knitting and stitching show in October.  I bought it from the Fabrics Galore stand but the woman who makes it also has an etsy store called floop the coop (link above although I can't actually find any current products linked to this brand.) The pattern cost me £6.  I also bought the fabric from the same stand, it's called postcards from Paris and I thought it was super pretty.  

The Kennedy bag is a free pattern that was posted on the sew mama sew blog and there are heaps of really cute versions out there.  I made it up with scraps from my stash, the geometric patterned fabric is curtain fabric donated to me by my grandma and the accents are in denim.

One problem that I had with both patterns was assembling the accessories.  Bag accessories can be a bit tricky to source.  Luckily my local haberdashery in Simply fabrics, Brixton had some of them but the rest came from ebay.

When sewing up the patterns I found the weekend bag instructions very poor, which is particularly sad as now I know the finished product, I can reveal that it's essentially an envelope.  The Kennedy bag while much more complicated had very clear instructions and was totally straightforward to put together.  I really recommend this as a pattern for anyone wanting to make themselves a cute handbag.  I really need to get on the case and make one for myself!  I've had visions in my head of a tartan and leather one for ages, although these are not super summery fabrics so maybe I need to make a summery one soon and a winter one after the summer.  Gosh, two bags plans already!

Although I love the end result of both of these bags, one caused me lots of needless stress and the other didn't.  I'm really tempted to try another of the Sew sweetness patterns as the first one was so straightforward.  I really need a new back pack so the Edelweiss backpack might be a contender but it doesn't look like it would be big enough to hold all my junk so I'm going to keep looking for a bit.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.