Most worn so far this year…

Are my jersey makes.

R0024094

R0023981

I really really love the dress, I wear it with jeans and without and have worn it lots!

R0024503

So I think I can conclude from this that I’m most comfortable in jersey. I try to look stylish but top of my agenda nowadays is comfort. Gone are the days of wearing clothes that I had to continually adjust and fidget with. Its comfort all the way now and I don’t care. Well I sort of do obviously as I still want to try and look nice.

I’ve also used this bag a lot. I love it!

R0024358

I have been looking in my wardrobe and am trying to sort it out and take out the stuff I haven’t worn much and being honest with myself and admitting they don’t really work, such as…

R0024153

I should never have shortened the length or the sleeves, it was fine as it was, now I don’t like it anymore and feel uncomfortable in it.

R0021420

The fit on this went a little wrong and isn’t as comfortable as it should be, so thats been taken out. As have most of the cotton Mathilde blouses. Gone right off them. I still love the dress versions though.

R0020212

I love the fabric on the above top, but it has become tight across the bust I feel and once again is not comfortable. Shame as I really do love the fabric. There a re many more and I won’t bore you with them all.

So I’m learning what suits me and what fabrics I like best and will hopefully start to make better decisions regarding what I’m wearing, but don’t hold your breath.

Have you learned what suits you more since starting to make your own clothes?

Does your mood affect your sewing…

Mine does. I haven’t made anything since July! I just haven’t been in the right head space to feel creative I’m afraid. I have had and do have many ideas of things I want to make but I’m just not feeling the flow of creativity to my hands. So I apologise for a lack of sewing blog posts at the moment. I have just bought a truckload of fabric so hopefully having some lovely new fabrics will help inspire me.

Here’s some pics though of something I did do this last weekend. SAILING! yes, I went sailing. haven’t been for nearly 5 years. Stopped enjoying it, had one too many bad experiences. However recently I’ve been feeling the call to sea again. So I went out with my husband, who has been single handing since I stopped going with him. which is just as well  as I can’t remember a damn thing about boats and what do to do with all those ropes. So I was just a passenger.

And luckily/amazingly the weather, wind and sea state were all in harmony for once. THIS NEVER HAPPENS, NEVER! Well at least not to me. But it was amazing and wonderful and I loved it.

R0024802

The above pic is when we were heading out, and below was when we’d tacked and were heading back.

R0024829

My Husband, the Skipper.

R0024813

Perfect sea state.

R0024825

Look at that beautiful sparkly sea.

R0024818

Above and below, looking towards Beachy Head. Below you can just about see another couple of boats. It was quite busy out there, lots of people taking advantage of the glorious weather.

 

R0024798

We were only out for a couple of hours, but believe me it was quite a triumph for me to overcome my fears and actually make it out of the harbour. So I am very pleased with myself.

We moor the boat in Eastbourne Marina, where she has been for about 8 years now. And on a sunny day you can easily believe you’re in the Med.

R0024846

Above and below are views from the balcony at the Sovereign Harbour Yacht club. In the pic below you can just about see our little boat, she has a purple towel hanging. Just in front of the pale blue building to the left of the pic.

R0024838

 

And of course a little bottle of Prosecco or two doesn’t hurt…

R0024858

 

And then there are the gorgeous sunsets…

R0024862

We spent two nights at the Marina on the boat and its like a little holiday. Especially when the weather is good.

So thats one of the things I’ve been doing instead of sewing. The other it seems is work, and I don’t have any pics of that!

 

A wedding…

Went to the wedding of my middle Niece Kim last month. I wore this..

R0024507

Which I wore to a wedding reception at the beginning of the year. Very happy to have worn it more than once, as its the most expensive fabric I’ve bought yet!

Here’s a pic of the lovely Bride and Groom and the Brides aunts my Sister and I, and our other halves.

R0024564

And the beautiful Bride and her Groom. Her dress was stunning, I especially loved the skirt. Was not made by me!

R0024549

It was a fabulous wedding. Been so long since I’ve been to a family wedding and it was much fun. Looking forward to the next one now and wondering what I’ll make for that?

A striped bag or two…

I’ve been wanting to make a new bag for a few months now. I had an idea of how big I wanted it to be and how long I wanted the handles. However I was procrastinating over this idea for the longest time because I knew I was going to have to draft the pieces myself and I’ve been spoilt with using patterns now (you might recall if you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning that I used to draft all my makes myself) and even though I was still going to be using a very simple shape I was feeling too lazy to do all the measuring out that I used to do when making a bag. also the bags I used to make all had several layers and this was very time consuming. Plus I hadn’t really come across any fabric that I really wanted to make a bag out of recently. Until the striped denim from Merchant and Mills, that I’d made a top out of. I had a feeling it would work really well as a bag.

I cheated with the cutting out and took a bit of a gamble. I didn’t mark anything out at all. I just used my tape measure to guide me, and cut along it. I also folded the fabric so I’d only have to cut out a piece once. This seriously reduced the time it took. And for the most part the pieces were pretty even, so I was quite happy with that. I didn’t line this bag as the denim is fairly robust and sturdy and I also like how the fabric looks on the reverse.

I used some grosgrain strapping that I’d had in my stash for a while, also bought from Merchant and Mills. I like how the straps contrast nicely with the bag fabric.

I’m very happy with my lovely new bag and I was right, the fabric does work really as a bag.

R0024358

R0024371-1

I think I’ve finally got the dimensions and strap length right for a very useful bag. Its comfortable on the shoulder and holds a lot of stuff.

Here I am wearing it with dress and necklace also made by me. Walked into town on one of the hottest days of the year so far, back in July, and I was very comfortable (within reason ) in dress and carrying bag. Not too heavy, even when full of shopping.

R0024503

R0024499

My Niece loved it too, and so I made her one. Hers is a little different and also a bit better made than mine. Although mine is not badly made, but it had been a while since I last made a bag. So making a second so soon after meant it was all fresh in my mind and therefore I feel I did a better job of it.  I also managed to get some of the selvedge to show, which I had tried to do with mine but it didn’t work.

R0024658

Loving that edge seam.

R0024650

I added my label to hers too. I never think to add a label when its for me.

R0024655

And here’s a modelling pic of my lovely Niece Zoe with her exclusive bag!

R0024713

She’s very talented and has her own Etsy shop, Meemalz, where she sells miniature clay animals, and takes custom orders for your very own miniature pet. Follow the link and take a look.

 

 

Apron for my Mum…

So my Mums Birthday was coming up and I had not got a clue what to buy her. After giving it some thought I decided to make her a new apron, she loves her aprons and is always wearing one.

I quite enjoyed deciding on what fabric to get and finding the matching thread and strapping for the ties.  Took me ages to make a decision. I ended up with a gorgeous grey and cream spotty fabric, which works really well as an apron.

I find it a very satisfying thing to make actually. Took me about 4 hours, and this one is even neater than my first one. I’m quite proud of it I have to say. And my Mum was very happy with it too!

Below are the pieces, cut out and ready to put together.

R0024272

I zigzagged all the edges first, this fabric was quite good at fraying.

R0024280

Very happy with the curves at the sides.

R0024278

R0024276

R0024281

Inside out.

R0024290

R0024296

 

R0024298

R0024283

Cost me more to make it than it would to buy one, but I feel you can see the quality in the fabric and the finishing, even if I do say so myself!

From disappointment to joy…

I bought some gorgeous 11oz stripey denim from good old Merchant and Mills and silly me I didn’t realise till I got it home that the stripes ran vertically and not horizontally. I don’t know why I was surprised as its happened several times before. Anyway I was slightly disappointed as for some reason I’m really not keen on vertical stripes, and was wondering if I could get away with using the fabric so the stripes would be horizontal, but decided against it as I felt there would be no give in the fabric where I needed it once it was made up.

Oh and just as an aside I had planned to make something different. I was going to make the Merchant and Mills Union dress, I have the pattern. So as I’m lucky enough to live not far from Rye I am able to visit their lovely shop quite often. I tried on 2 of the Union dress samples in a size 10 and 12, and well lets just say it did me no favours. A bit like the Top 64, which I made and hated. So I’m afraid for now I’m sticking with the Trapeze pattern. I did however get to see a toile of their newest pattern offering and let me tell you its gorgeous! And I didn’t end up wasting an awful lot of time making something that I was never going to wear.

On the way home I became a bit concerned about the weight of the fabric too. I’ve already made the Trapeze up in a denim, firstly an 8oz denim and a 5oz dress weight denim. The 8oz is quite sturdy and results in a fairly structural garment whilst the 5oz is a lovely soft denim which drakes a bit better. So I suddenly had a moment of panic about the 11oz, thinking it was going to be too rigid. I managed to allay my fears until the moment I got it out of the washing machine when it felt like very stiff cardboard! It had somehow felt a lot more pliable and softer in the shop. I was a little unhappy with my decision and wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to make a Trapeze with it. Plus I was stuck with 3 metres of the stuff!

Next day though I decided to plough on. I’d had the fabric cut into a 1 metre and a 2 metre piece to save me from trying to wrestle a 3 metre piece of fabric in my living room. I started with the 1 metre piece and made a Trapeze top. And I have to say that although I wasn’t exactly excited about this project the denim was a  joy to work with. It behaved and went where I wanted it to go and did what it was told. The thin stripes were a little bad for the eyes at times though, I have to say.

Now considering I don’t like vertical stripes on clothes and the fabric was a little too thick in my opinion, I ended up quite pleased with it.

This is one of the nicest crispest necklines I have ever produced. And I’ve become rather taken with those stripes, looks a bit like a humbug.

R0024225

R0024229

Back of the neck.

R0024228

And because of the vertical stripes, pattern matching wasn’t much of an issue. Which is always a plus in my eyes.

Look at the side seam.

R0024230

And the centre back seam looks almost invisible, particularly at he top.

R0024231

Now for rest of the pics.

R0024221

R0024220

It does have quite a structured look about it still, but I like it.

R0024222

I love that it holds its shape.

R0024224

R0024219

Unfortunately I still haven’t mastered putting in smooth sleeves, there are tucks and puckers, Patrick Grant and Esme would be horrified! But I put up with it.

It was a pleasure to wear and I felt really good in it.

R0024268

R0024262

I am now a convert to the vertical stripes, but not sure if only like them as they are very thin. And from a distance the fabric almost looks plain grey. And now instead of despairing that I have 3 metres of the stuff, I’m looking forward to making another one for sure but maybe a third too. Not sure yet, might end up making a bag. I think the fabric would work really well and look good as a bag.

Tie me up…

I added ties to the black crepe rectangle top I made a while ago, was just playing about to begin with to see if I could add shape to it. And it worked.

Before…

R0023205

R0023208

R0023200

R0023194

And after…

R0024131

R0024130

R0024135

R0024139

R0024142

Wore it on a girls night out recently, only I ended up wearing it with flat sandals, didn’t take any pics unfortunately as I didn’t think I looked any good, but on reflection I didn’t look any worse than anyone else there that night. And I was comfortable.

I simply cut out two strips of the fabric the same as the top, and zig zagged all the way round the edge, then sewed them to the side seams. Simple yet effective.

 

Oh flipping heck…

Shortened another dress. This time the grey Trapeze dress. Only not exactly shortened but decided to hem it properly, so it was shortened by about 1.5cm.

R0024177

R0024179

R0024178

I think it shows the way the hem dips down to the back more clearly. I’m very happy now. Loved it before but wasn’t happy with how frayed it looked even though I’d zig zagged the edge.

R0024001

Its only a slight difference, but above is before and below is after.

R0024351

Two, in one weekend…

So I made two jersey striped Trapeze tops in one weekend! Yes I did. So am I ready for the Great British Sewing Bee? I don’t think so! How the hell they make anything more complicated than what I made in that weekend is beyond me. I timed myself from start to finish and I made it in one go, so no stopping, on the Sunday, which means from ironing, cutting out the fabric and making it. And it took me 3hrs 15 mins. And thats a simple top that I’ve made many times over. So how the Sewing Bees make the likes of the Chinese style top in the international episode in 3 hours or so completely bogles my mind! Hats off to them I say.

I loved the first striped jersey Trapeze top I made so much I really wanted to make another. However the fabric on that one pills like mad, I’ll still wear it but it does’t look its best now. However the next lot of jersey fabric I bought from The fabricgodmother.co.uk was a little different, I’d already made the stripey Trapeze dress, and I got the feeling it wouldn’t pill as bad, if at all.

So now I have three stripey jersey Trapeze tops and they are lovely and so comfortable to wear. And just wash, hang up, dry and go. Perfect!

R0024185

So what you see there is two very similar stripe tops, the one on the right is the first one and although you can’t tell in the picture its very bobbly. The one on the left is the new one and its a much smoother feeling fabric. I’m hope it won’t pill like the first one. Also the stripes are slightly thinner on the one on the left.

R0024097

R0024094

Here I am wearing the one I made on the Sunday. Stripe matching was once again terrible but I don’t care anymore. Almost looks like its supposed to be like that!

So for a very quick and gratifying make I can’t recommend a jersey Trapeze enough.

 

Gigi Trapeze top…

One of my work colleagues was going home to India last year for a visit, and I asked her if it wouldn’t be too much trouble and she had the time, if she could possibly bring me back some fabric? She was unsure as wasn’t sure what I would like or what sort of colours I like. I said I really didn’t mind anything, but can’t do Yellow! So she said she’d see what she could do. I of course said I’d pay her, and I didn’t mind what cost, we discussed what I usually paid for fabric here and she seemed happy she could probably find me something. I was just excited at the possibility of something different, maybe something I wouldn’t pick for myself.

And boy did she deliver. I loved it when I first saw it. The pattern was quite different to anything I might have picked for myself, so I was pleased about that. However it did take me nearly a year to make it into something.

And guess what I made?  Oh yeah you don’t need to its in the title. DOH!

R0024057

There we are, a lovely Trapeze top. I’m not sure how much fabric there was, but I think at least 2 meters. One of the reasons it took me a while to turn it into anything was I wanted to make a Trapeze top but didn’t know if I’d have enough, as the fabric was about 115cm wide. Unfortunately I lost the pic of the pattern pieces laid out on the fabric, as there was only just enough, and it was lucky I wanted to make it with short sleeves.

R0024053-1

Took me a while to decide which way up I wanted the pattern to be, but I think really its a no brainer that the red is at the top. At first I could see a sort of abstract flower design in the pattern but rather disturbingly it turned into a red devil wearing a black suit! What do you think? Anyway I love it, and Gigi wouldn’t let me pay for it as she couldn’t remember how much it was! So I’ve named it the Gigi top.

R0024051

Not sure if the necklace goes or not?

R0024238

Pattern matching didn’t happen as it was too tight a fit to have the luxury and also I’m rubbish at it…

R0024240

I love it, the cotton is so so soft, feels like I’m wearing a cloud. It will be perfect for when/if the summer ever gets going.