Trick or Treat?

I was very excited to start my Halloween Sewing as it was the first thing I made with my shiny new amazing sewing machine!

I had a new sewing machine for Christmas (Singer Simple) however I’ve been really disappointed with it, I had numerous problems and Argos wouldn’t have it back as my husband hadn’t kept the receipt! I ended up reverting back to my 20 year old Janome which was very clunky but surprisingly reliable.

I looked at lots of you tube reviews and had a few machines in mind, but knew if I was going to spend ‘that’ much money I needed to test them out first.

I planned to go to the NEC stitching show, but that was on holiday, then I planned to go to a shop on Sew Saturday, but I knew with two bored children in tow that wouldn’t work well either! Then one lunchtime at work I drove past a see it machine shop and decided to pop in and have a look (had to be a sign surely!).

The lady in the shop was so helpful! I tried out the Janome M200 QDC and the Brother F420. They were both amazing but it was the Brother I fell in love with and I ended up going back to the shop on my way home and buying one.

I was lucky that I bought it when the special offer was on with the free quilting kit. I love the extension table and I’m sure the walking foot is going to be ever so useful. I ended up buying a new sewing table from Ikea so I can fit my sewing machine and overlocker on.

The first thing I made to try it out was some Halloween Bunting, nice and simple straight lines!

Once I’d got use to the controls and the speed I was well away and I’d soon made a Tilly and the Buttons Lilou dress with secret spiders.

I was very pleased with both the bunting and the dress for Halloween, the bunting looked fab and I wore my dress all day, including a trip to the market.

I think the Lilou dress is a fab pattern and I’ve now made three of them. I ended up lengthening the bodice by 2 inches and shortening the straps by 1 inch which has made the perfect fit for me.

Now time to start Christmas sewing I think!

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August Makes

August a little bit cooler, two weeks annual leave plus a bank holiday! Sewing Heaven, I’ve been very productive

1. Woody’s new bed

2. Teeny Tiny keyring purses and key fob

This was a free crafts tutorial I found via Pinterest. I made a teeny purse for my keyring, perfect for when you don’t want to take a bag and then the black on was to clip on Woody’ s collar so he can carry his own doggy bags when we go for a walk! The key fob was very easy and used up another tiny scrap of my flamingo fabric which I love and can’t find where I got it from (would love to make a dress out of it!)

3. Kefalonia dress aka Butterick B5488

You can read all about this on my Great Big Pattern Swap post

4. Little Miss Sew n Sew Easy Peasy Grown up dress

Wasn’t too sure about this one to begin with but it’s grown on me as it’s so comfy! The photo didn’t want to show the flamingo seersucker in all its glory, but this is an accurate representation of what my eyes went through whilst sewing!

5. New look 6023

My second make for the Great Big Pattern Swap, read all about it in my post

6. Handbag and purse

My third make for the Great Big Pattern Swap made a little purse to match

7. Woody’s Huggle bone

Made from and stuffed with our old clothes, he loves to snuggle up to it!

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8. Mice!

Made these mice for my friends new cat, I’m not very good with hand sewing so they are blind mice!

Looking forward to September and some Autumn sewing, I have a massive “to sew” list. Going to have to man up and change my overlocker thread to black as well.

Great Big Pattern Swap #3 -The Husband Bag (Butterick B4088)

There has been a fantastic swap/challenge happening on Instagram during July/August using the hashtag #greatbigpatternswap. The swap is hosted by Emma @thezipperfoot and Alice @the.polka.dot.palace and the idea was to list any patterns you didn’t want so people could request them. Then when you receive you patterns you’ve got until 18th August to make them and there’s a chance to win some lovely prizes

This is my third and final entry and I am calling this The Husband Bag! This is because I made it out of a pair of my husband’s jeans and lined it with his shirt (he had put both in a bag to be got rid of, honestly, I did not raid his wardrobe).

The pattern is Butterick B4088 which I was gifted by @rosielee_cupoftea. I made view A but had to make it slightly smaller so used the lining pattern for the outer bag also.

This was a really fun pattern to make and was even quicker as I used the shirt and the pocket from the shirt as the lining

The pattern suggested a magnetic clasp to fasten but I used a zip as I prefer my bags zipped up.

It came together very quickly, my only delay was breaking 3 needles sewing the straps on so had to wait for some more to arrive in the post.

It felt a little bit plain when it was finished so I decided to try making some flowers to embellish it. For these I used my Kirsty Cuttlebug which sort of cut through but needed trimming with scissors. I cut 3 pieces of denim and one from the shirt for each flower and riveted them together.

I placed 3 together on the corner of the bag and painted the top ones with frey stop.

I love bags so am really excited to be able to make my own now, I am pleased with how this has turned out, but I would make the straps longer if I made another.

I decided to make a little purse as well to go with the bag as I know none of my purses would fit in the bag. It was very quick to make and I embellished it with a flower to match.

This is definitely my last entry to the challenge, I have one more pattern to make, which is The Ultimate trouser pattern, but I have no fabric suitable at the moment so will be looking out for some on my fabric shopping trip next week and will of course blog when completed even though it will be too late for the challenge.

Great Big Pattern Swap #2 – New Look K6023

There has been a fantastic swap/challenge happening on Instagram during July/August using the hashtag #greatbigpatternswap. The swap is hosted by Emma @thezipperfoot and Alice @the.polka.dot.palace and the idea was to list any patterns you didn’t want so people could request them. Then when you receive you patterns you’ve got until 18th August to make them and there’s a chance to win some lovely prizes!

Here we have my second entry to The Great Big Pattern Swap, this one has tested my patience!

I have always liked this style of shift dress and have a ready to wear Long tall Sally one very similar which I have recently started wearing for work and love. I was sent this pattern by @jennylovestosew and knew straight away I’d make a work dress but in my head I had a wool type fabric in mind. However due to time ticking by for the challenge I decided to make a wearable toile from some navy patterned cotton fabric I had 5 metres of from the charity shop (which I got for a bargain £3!).

I made view D but decided to line the bodice therefore did not go for the neck facing as thought it would be too much. Everything went together like a dream and the bodice didn’t need much alteration just took it in ever so slightly at the shoulders and I added my standard two inches to the skirt length.

I was very pleased with the lining and I love the square neck. I also did French seams as I love the look they give to the finished dress.

Then I did my final try on and realised the skirt was too small around the hips!!! I could get it on but there was absolutely no chance I would be able to sit at my desk or drive my car wearing it.

I was very disappointed as I’d slowed down so much and made everything perfect. I could have easily given up, but no! The dress was not the boss, I was! Luckily I had the 5 metres of fabric as I decided (after letting out darts and trying to reduce seam allowance) that the only way was to cut the skirt in a bigger size!

I reduced the seam allowance on the waistband and graded it in to the bodice by letting out the sides slightly, which gave me enough room to add the bigger skirt. It took ages and doesn’t look as neat as it did, but I’m so pleased I persevered and feel like I learnt a lot with this one!

I still plan to make a wool version for work and hopefully will see something I like next week when I plan to go fabric shopping to Birmingham, which I’m combining with a trip to the museum so the boys can see ” Dippy the Dinosaur”.

My face reflects how long is spent messing around adjusting things!!

Thanks again to Emma and Alice, this challenge is certainly keeping me motivated,otherwise this would have got thrown in my work in progress pile and untouched for ages.

Great Big Pattern Swap #1 – Kefalonia dress (Butterick B5488)

There has been a fantastic swap/challenge happening on Instagram during July/August using the hashtag #greatbigpatternswap. The swap is hosted by Emma @thezipperfoot and Alice @the.polka.dot.palace and the idea was to list any patterns you didn’t want so people could request them. Then when you receive you patterns you’ve got until 18th August to make them and there’s a chance to win some lovely prizes!

My first make for this challenge is the Butterick B5488 which was sent to me by @pinball_widow on Instagram.

I had in my head exactly what I would make when I requested this pattern. Unfortunately we are not going on a summer holiday this year, and as a family who go on holiday a lot this has been tough, we moved to a lovely house last year though so just a temporary hold on holidays!

I have a picture of our last holiday in Kefalonia in my sewing room, Kefalonia is a beautiful place and the colours are truly amazing. These colours inspired my fabric choice and I chose to make a dress I can wear in Kefalonia next year (yes we’ve booked next summer’s holiday already).

I’m so pleased with the results! It was a really easy make and I have added some sparkle to the neckline with some silver studs which I had in my sewing stash.

It’s quite short and maybe could have done with being extended by an inch or so, but I think I’ll get away with it on holiday.

If not I can always wear it with leggings!

I will definitely be making another one of these. I could kick myself as I popped into the local charity shop yesterday and they had some black velvet and I didn’t buy it. It would have been ideal for one of these for Christmas, with some gems around the facing. I will have to go back and see if they still have it.

I’m definitely pleased with my first make, perfect colours for Kefalonia!

I’m hoping I’ll finish my other patterns before the deadline of next Saturday, wish me luck! Thanks again to Emma and Alice as this has been a lovely way to get to know some of the sewing community on Instagram and it’s good to know patterns that were gathering dust can be used by someone else. I’m hoping there will be another soon as I’m sure I have quite a few more patterns I could offer to swap, just need to sort out my cupboard.

Sewing Lilou and a trip to the theatre.

My initial sewing adventure aim was to be able to make a dress I was proud to wear in front of people! I had absolutely no idea at the start if the year that I would do this by May!

I’ve been searching Instagram and blogs for a suitable pattern, the material I bought back in January and planned to use it for a Megan dress. However, the more I looked at people’s makes I had my heart set on a lined bodice and a more fitted dress.

I started to make the New Look 6262 view A, but the toile bodice just would not fit right and I couldn’t get my head around lining it.

After a bit of a sulk I sat reading my Tilly and the Buttons Love at first Stitch book and realised Lilou was the dress for me! It’s amazing how my confidence has progressed as initially I was far too scared to even consider Lilou and that’s why I hadn’t clicked it had a lined bodice!

I went for a bright yellow lining to go with my butterfly fabric, very bold for me as I don’t do colour usually. The yellow was a bit too small so I jiggled it so the missing bit would fall in a dart! I had to add 2 inches in length to the bodice which was why I was short of fabric.

I’ve currently taken over the conservatory as my sewing space and I was making this dress during a massive thunder storm. I was so engrossed in it, it was only after I wondered how safe that was?

I was proud at the point I had the bodice all attached! I loved the colours and it felt so much nicer than anything I would buy! I made the Clémence skirt option with French seams which make so much difference to a garment!

The only crisis I had was with the zip, instead of using Tillys instructions I watched a you tube tutorial which wasn’t that good and I placed it a bit too low…not massively bad but enough to annoy me!

The part which slowed me down was all the hand sewing! I’ve hand sewn the bodice and hand sewn all the hem. I looks fab doing this, but I am messy and must try harder next time.

I am very proud of the results and how lovely the dress feels to wear, I managed to get it done in time for our first date night in a very long time and we went to a lovely little Theatre called Theatre on the Steps in the very pretty town Bridgnorth

There were storms and rain as we arrived so unfortunately I didnt get all the pretty outdoor photos i had hoped for, luckily I took one inside before we went!

Very exciting make and will definitely be making another Lilou soon, would like to go back to the New Look 6262 first and see if I can conquer that!

Then there were 3!

I have to confess over the weekend I made a 3rd New look 6532 pattern! Remember the Margot PJ trousers I started in January? Well, I never did finish them as they were a little (ok lot) tight and I had a big sulk over it. However, thanks to my new healthy eating and the little bit of running I’ve been doing they now fit! So pleased with myself that I celebrated by making a top as I had fabric left and really wouldn’t use it for anything else.

I just sewed the back pieces together and did away with the button fastening as I thought that would be uncomfortable in pyjamas.

I’m so happy with the results as you can probably see from this awful photo!!

I really do need to step away from that pattern and make something else, but as the pattern is traced and so quick to make it’s going to be tough! I’m keen to make a poppy Play suit and need a dress for a night out in a few weeks time so plenty to keep me busy.