Merchant and Mills sewing class…

Back in early March this year I did a sewing class at Merchant and Mills. I was already to blog about it straight after as I really enjoyed it, and found it very useful. However I wasn’t hundred percent happy with the the garment I made. The class was for the Camber dress. I have been wanting to make this pattern for a few years, but have been put off by seeing others comment about some of the fiddly bits. And I have first hand experience of M&M fiddly bits! SO when I saw they were running a class for this pattern, I jumped on it!

It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. You get a very experienced tutor , and I think the most they have in a class is 4 people, so you get some very individualised attention. the  class I did we only had 3 pupils, which was nice. Also the workshop which is above the M&M shop, is gorgeous, and you get a lovely big cutting table to work with and all the bits and pieces you need to make your garment. Oh and they provide you with a very tasty lunch on both days. Yes it is a two day course.

I really enjoyed the experience and I picked up some great tips from Chrissie, our tutor. I also realised just how many gaps there are in my sewing knowledge, being self taught, I pretty much make it up as I go along. So when you come across a professional and a perfectionist, makes one realise just how sloppy ones sewing can be!

Now I have to say that my Camber dress is THE MOST PERFECTLY made garment I have in my wardrobe! It really is. I did have some help from Chrissie at times, she had to finish a couple of the steps for me, as I got a little frustrated at times with having to keep unpicking and redoing, and things were just getting worse, so I would look at her with eyes that said “help me” and she would have it done in a flash. If I’d been at home doing this, I would have stopped and started again another day. But I wasn’t and I really wanted to have a finished garment to take home.

I was the last to finish, but thats okay, it wasn’t a race.

As I said, the dress is the most perfectly made garment I have ever made, but once home and I tried it on, I really wasn’t sure I liked it on me! I decided it was too long as it was, it came to just below my knees. So I took off a couple of inches I believe, can’t really remember now it was a while ago. And I felt a little happier with it.

Here it is, worn with jeans after shortening.

I wore it once like that, but still wasn’t really happy with it. So I recently took it up a bit more. However I hadn’t worn it since that first time.

We went on holiday last month and I decided to take it with me, as I knew it was going to be hot and I wanted to take as many dresses with me as possible. I did wear it on one of the days, and I loved it. Felt really good to be wearing such a well made garment too. I was quite proud of it. And the Husband liked it too. Which is a nice, he doesn’t always like the style of the clothes I make.

Here I am wearing it on holiday

As I now feel happy with it, I thought it was time I blogged about it. I don’t have any pics of the details on the dress, as it was really tricky to take good photos of them. which is a shame, because this dress is deceptive. It looks like a simple shift type dress, which it is, but there are lots of exquisite little details that elevate it to a different level.

I will make another, not sure when. But I will.

 

Gone back to the beginning…

When short of fabric but you want to make something, make a simple rectangle top. I used the fabric that was left over from the maxi navy and white spot dress, but used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side. I really liked the way it looks, looks a bit like a faded denim.

No pattern required, just over two hours start to finish. And that includes ironing before cutting out.

Job done!

New dress for holiday…

Going on holiday soon and I wanted another dress. So happy that I can make what I want and not have to go trawling the shops for something.

Think I’ve finally discovered the perfect fabric for this dress. Its a viscose of some sort I believe, anyway its a lovely soft fabric which drapes beautifully.

This is another Trapeze/Marshmallow hack. Love it.

Nice and long.

Love it from side angle too. Can’t wait to wear it on holiday.

Best dress ever part II…

So remember this dress

Last year I called it the best dress ever. So I tried it on a few days ago, and decided it was now just that bit too short. I think having made the Maxi dress, this one feels short, and I like the way a longer dress looks now.

I still had about 2m left of this fabric, so I made the decision to add another tier.

Its a slightly different colour, as it fades with washing, and the dress has been washed quite a bit already. I think it works though. I also did the sewing of the seams with wrong sides together again so the seam is on the outside. I like the extra detail it gives.

Very happy with it and have worn it already. I felt good in it. I love that I can alter garments to make them suit me, as I change my mind about things.

A maxi dress…

I love this dress, and have been planning it in my head for ages. I’ve just been too nervous to actually make it after my recent disappointments. The fabric I’ve had since August, its a beautiful cotton poplin from Fabric Godmother. And I’ve been looking at it and wondering what to make. And when this idea popped into my head I just knew that I had to make it. after the alteration to my Trapeze dress I made last week I decided I was ready for this.

I got 3metres of this fabric, now normally I try to get 2 garments out of this much fabric. Thinking it makes more economical sense, but this time I just thought F*^@k it! Use it all on one garment.

So this is a Trapeze/marshmallow combination. Trapeze on the top with a marshmallow bottom. Oh and an extra tier for length. Very happy with it, really really am.

Lots of pics to follow…

Lovely neck line.

Sewed the tiers wrong sides together, to get the ruffle detail.

I can’t wait to wear this in the warmer weather! If we get any…  Feels amazing on.

A small detail…

Really can make all the difference.

I made another Trapeze dress back in March. Having made so many already I just assumed I would love it. The fabric was gorgeous, I’d used some previously for this top

The fabric feels wonderful against the skin, and is lovely to work with. And I was excited to make it up in a Trapeze dress.

So I was really bummed when I finished it, tried it on and was oh so underwhelmed. I did not like it. Couldn’t for the life of me work out why? At first  I thought it might be the sleeve length, I’d made short sleeves, but thought perhaps they could be shorter. So I shortened them by about 2cm. Hmmm was a little better, but still did’t want to wear it.

I left it in the wardrobe for a while.  Then thought I might be mistaken, tried it on again, fully prepared to wear it. But NO! It just looked plain and frumpy.

I put it back on Gertie so I could sit and look at it and decide what I might do, if anything. Contemplated shortening it into a top, or maybe just taking a few inches off to make into more of a tunic.

And then it hit me! I’d turn it up, but not cut anything off and make a sort of hem detail. Have done it once before by mistake, which I ended up loving, here…

I had nothing to lose, didn’t like the dress as it was. And if didn’t work I could unpick or cut it off anyway.

Happily it worked out perfectly and I now love it! Just this one small detail has made so much difference. I can’t believe it.

Unfortunately I was so uninspired by the original version that I didn’t take any pics for comparison, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I’m so happy I was able to resolve this. I loved the fabric and was upset that I might have wasted it. And it also really affected my confidence. I kept looking at my lovely fabric stash and feeling so nervous about making anything, in case I didn’t like it. On the same day I did this alteration, I started on a new project. And thats for another post…

Dress for a wedding…

So my niece is getting married tomorrow, and here’s the dress I’ve made for it. A navy Crepe Trapeze dress. I added about 7inches to the length I believe, might have only been 6, can’t remember now.  Its a mid length dress, and I love it. Feels amazing to wear and it moves beautifully, drapes really nicely.

Makes me feel elegant and sophisticated!

And with the bag I’ll be carrying.

Rediscovering old makes…

Bought some new jeans recently (one of the things I don’t make) and the style is a bit different from my usual skinny fit, Boyfriend style. Taken a while to jump on that band wagon. And the style of tops I’ve been wearing of late don’t go with them at all. So I’ve pulled out my old, Tilly and the Buttons ” Mathilde” blouses.

So happy to be loving them again!

I have many more too…

 

 

I’ve made a Linden…

I’m a bit late to the Linden party, but better late than never. This is a pattern by “Grainline  Studio” and its a sweatshirt and its been about for years!

I bought this pattern over a year ago. It can take me a while to get round to making a new pattern. I’m always put off by the effort of trying to work out what size I am. I still don’t really know how to do it properly and it usually ends up as guess work.

Fairly simple to put together, my only headache came when I tried to attach the neckband the first time. Had a couple of issues. One being that the instructions weren’t very clear and I wasn’t too sure how exactly I was supposed to go about it, however I worked it out. Secondly was that I was originally going to use the same fabric as the main body of the sweatshirt for the all the bands. And it turned out that the sweatshirt fabric didn’t have enough stretch. At first I thought I must be doing something wrong, so I googled for some ideas, and found a blog where someone else had done the same (can’t remember the blog name now), confirming for me that the sweatshirt fabric didn’t indeed have enough stretch. And she ended up using ribbing. So I had to go get some ribbing. I found some gorgeous stuff in Merchant and Mills, which has coordinated beautifully with the sweatshirt fabric.

I really didn’t like it when I finished it and tried it on. Its quite different from my usual makes. Its more fitting and quite snug around the hips. And at first I was thinking it was too small (it isn’t), and I didn’t like the sleeves. I made the short sleeved version, which have no cuffs. And when I tried it on wished I’d made the long sleeved version. Although they were hemmed, the sleeves looked unfinished to me.

So I took it off and decided that was that, and reconciled myself to a failure!

After thinking about it for a while, I tried it on again. Really wasn’t happy about it being a failure as the fabric was quite expensive and I took a special trip to Rye to go to Merchant and Mills and get the ribbing. Didn’t want it all to be for nothing (had toyed with giving it to a friend). However, when I tried it on again, I had a moment of inspiration, and decided to add ribbing to the sleeves. Luckily I had enough left from the neckband.

And thats what I did, and that small alteration made all the difference.

I made it with a split hem.

Just look at that lovely ribbing. I love the thin gold stripe running just above the grey stripe.

Its not perfect, nothing I make ever is, but I’m still pretty damn happy with it! Hubby says it looks professional :0)

Another reason I didn’t like it at first was the length of the body, I usually like longer lengths on me, but I’m embracing something different. And I’ve come around to it.

I’m also quite satisfied with the short sleeves, as I don’t often wear long sleeves, if I do I end up pushing them up anyway.

This is one of the first things I’ve made that I’ve worn on the same day I finished it. And blogged it!

Finally…

I made this in the second week of January, just taken a while to get round to posting it.

Had a trip to Brighton end of November last year and happened to stumble on a great fabric store, you’ve probably heard of it, I had heard of it, just didn’t know where it was exactly and had forgotten about it whilst I was there. If that makes sense? So my friend and I were wandering down the lanes and I saw this fabric shop, so had to go in.

It was filled with some amazing and beautiful fabrics and I had to restrain myself. I bought 2.5 metres of the most gorgeous cotton jersey. Oh and the fabric shops name “Ditto” fabrics. Do take a look if you’re ever in that area.

I made another fail safe, Marshmallow tunic top.

Its a gorgeous fabric, both to work with and to wear. I still have about a metre and a half left. Haven’t made up my mind what to make with yet. Actually I’m having trouble deciding what to make full stop, with any of my fabrics at the moment. I am feeling a bit crippled by indecision! I’m hoping that the new series of “the Great British Sewing Bee” will help inspire me again.