Sunday, 30 April 2017

Rocking the 1930s

As soon as Megan Nielsen released the Flint trousers I bought them. I just loved the style and the details and I had to have them!

I'd never actually made one of Megan's main patterns, although I have made the free Veronica circle skirt a couple of times; here and here. I was interested to see how the pattern came to together and how clear the instructions were on a more complex pattern. I was impressed! The whole thing was a breeze to put together, although really the only complicated bit is the opening.

I made this in some unidentified fabric that was a gift from a friend of my mums. I'm not a 100% sure it's a dress making fabric but so far it seems to be working. I cut a size x at the hips and size x at waist and it fits perfectly.  I so into making trousers at the moment.  For years I gave up on wearing trousers, mainly because I couldn't get ones that fitted.  It's so much fun being able to include trousers in my wardrobe again.
My mum and sister both had the same response to these; that they liked them but that they should be an inch or two shorter.  Actually I think the pattern might be meant to sit at about this height so maybe they have the designers eye!  Update-when I washed these they shrunk upwards so they are now a couple of inches shorter, hows that for the ultimate lazy fix!

I wore these on a trip to Eltham Palace with a friend a couple of weeks ago, it is the most incredible house done in 1930s art deco style.  I completely fell in love with the lobby of the house and have decided that if I ever get married, I want it to be there (although I say this every time I find a beautiful venue).
How awesome is this???
 And these doors!

Anyway we found some opportunities for dressing up and I tried on this gorgeous hat, which made me want to run out and buy one to wear on a daily basis.  This whole visit completely reaffirmed my love for the 1930s and when I got home I had a little search for some 1930s patterns.  I did not find any that I could actually afford but I realised how period appropriate my outfit for the day at Eltham Palace had been!

Anyway I loved the Flint trousers so much I've got plans for several more, including a jumpsuit hack for an event I'm going to next week so watch this space...

Sunday, 23 April 2017


Hi All.  It's been a little while but I've been completing my doctoral thesis and when I needed a break, the last thing that I wanted to do was to stay at my computer writing more words.  Also, trust me, none of you wanted to see pictures of me during this period!  However, I was doing a fair amount of sewing in my breaks, so have a bit of a backlog of stuff to show you.

First up are the Mia jeans from the Sew Over It capsule wardrobe ebook. I bought this as soon as it was released and any of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen that I made the Alex shirt, but found it way too oversized, although I like the concept so I may make another one in a smaller size.  I've just spotted that the petite passions has had the same issues with this shirt and they have been resolved by making a smaller size so I think my plan is made. However, one of the main reasons that I bought the ebook was because I wanted a fairly easy intro to making jeans.

The pattern really didn't disappoint.  While most of the instructions are really clear, Lisa's video for the fly front really aids with this step, although I still didn't get it spot on.  These came together really quickly and easily and I couldn't recommend the pattern enough.  I'm made up with having made my own jeans.  I'm particularly happy since I went shopping this weekend and when trying on trousers had my regular issues with them not even remotely fitting me.  It was so nice to put my properly fitting jeans back on again afterwards.

The denim that I used was this one from Sew Crafty and it was perfect for the job.  In fact since this version is perfectly wearable but far from perfect, I'm going to order some more to make a better version.  They have it in jade and pink too which are tempting, maybe I need jeans in all the colours! I love the red topstitching on this version and I think I'll repeat on a future version.  The topstitching was no where near as difficult as I thought it would be but it's not totally straight everywhere and I had this irritating mismatch where all the legs seams meet.

I made a size 14, grading to a 12 at the waist and essentially it fit me perfectly with very few adjustments.  I had to let it out slightly at the calves (clearly my running and heel wearing has built up some hefty calf muscles) but the generous seam allowances make this really easy to do.  I should have lengthened these jeans as they've come up too short, while they're fine worn with boots, I'm going to get chilly ankles if I wear them with shoes and I have very strong feelings that no part of me should ever be chilly.  I'm trying to decide if they are just a smidge too high waisted and there's some excess fabric which I think would be removed if I cut out cm or 2 from the length between crotch and waist.  Feel free to chip in with your thoughts.  I'm going to wear them a bit more to decide before the next version.

Anyway, it's good to be back chatting about sewing again. See you soon! 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Jazzy embroidery

I bought this top in a charity shop on a trip to Bristol a last year. It fitted well, had a decent proportion of wool and cashmere in it (important for perpetually freezing people like me) and was only about £3.
However, when I got it home I found it just a bit boring so I decided to update the look a little.  Lots of people who's skills I really admire like Elisalex and Sally having been posting great makes that they have embroidered (although weirdly when I went to look for photos of their makes, I couldn't find any, so actually maybe it's just my imagination conjuring them up) so I thought I would give it a go too. Ta da...

I went about this in my usual gung-ho manner and basically launched in!  I decided that I wanted a peacock design so went online and printed off some line drawings and basically just pinned them onto the top and started stitching through the top and paper.
I forgot to take a picture of the main design pinned to the front but this is essentially what I did with the main design too.

There are loads of embroidered garments around at the moment and ok, they will have been machine embroidered but there is no way these things should be being sold at the prices that they are, EMBROIDERY TAKES FOREVER!!!!  I had been stitching for weeks, with more time off than on, but still, a long time and this was the point at which I found myself:
Luckily I thought that the design was starting to look awesome, otherwise this would have been a seriously upsetting point; lots still to embroider or a lot of unpicking to do!
To achieve the gorgeous peacock effect, I  just used a selection of all the blues and greens and I knew that I wanted to include some gold thread to give the peacock a bit of that vibrant sparkle which makes them so attractive.  I'm really pleased with the effect but man, that gold thread was a serious pain to work with!  It shredded and split so easily, even when I kept the lengths that I was working with quite short.

Anyway I hope you're all enjoying your bank holidays (if you're in a part of the world where you're lucky enough to have the day off) and have a great week to all.