“Sew me something”, Imogen pattern hack…

The last Imogen top I made if you remember I made about 8cm longer in the bodice and 11cm longer in the sleeves. I really really like those lengths on me so I’ve made an addition to the paper pattern to make it easier for me next time I make one (which will be soon).

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Well I’m on the second…

Imogen top. But this time I’ve lengthened the bodice by 8cm and the sleeves by 11cm, and it now it is perfect for me. PERFECT!

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Yep I used the same fabric as I really love it. It washes well and doesn’t crease too much whilst wearing. And it just feels lovely to wear. I still had some problems with the front placket and the whole construction of it, unfortunately the instructions are just a little bit too vague and if I was a beginner (which this top is recommended for) well I would probably have given up! I got there in the end and just hope I manage to work it out when I make the next one, as I will be making at least another one…

I still enjoyed the making process though for this top. Maybe its about doing something different and challenging myself. Might have to give that more of a try next year, but I can see this pattern in so many various ways. Think it would make a fabulous dress , or long tunic over jeans. I already have a short sleeved black crepe dress version in my head, watch this space.

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I wore it to my Dad’s 80th Birthday lunch and had a few compliments on it, and not one person asked if I made it. Which makes me think it looked that good it couldn’t possibly have been made by me!

A VERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS…

To you all. And a big thank you to everyone that reads my little blog! And I wish you all

A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Xxxx

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Shock, horror, I bought me a new pattern…

Yep, thought it about time I had a go at something different. Think I’ve made enough Trapeze tops for now!

I fell in love with the Imogen top from sew me something, as it had a neckline I liked. However The neckline turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

The pattern says its suitable for beginners, however I beg to differ. I do have sewing experience now, but I feel if I’d tried this as a beginner I would have packed up my sewing machine and just stopped. I feel the instructions could do with being a little more detailed and more pictures wouldn’t go amiss either. So despite the experience I do have I still managed to bugger it up! I was able to rectify it though.

Totally forgot to take pictures of the buggered up version, as I was thinking it was a right off and was feeling very despondent, I really liked the fabric and was unhappy about the waste. And then I checked in my scrap pile and found I had enough scrap left over to give the buggered up bit another go.

Basically I put the collar on upside down, simple mistake to make, I was looking at it like a facing as thats what I’m used to. I unpicked the upside down collar and started again. Of course I had to compensate for some fabric that had already been cut off, but it worked out fine.

I also had a little problem right at the start with the placket not fitting right. There’s a little V like cut out in the neckline and I believe when I cut the fabric out I must’ve somehow made the bottom of the V a bit wider than it should have been (if that makes sense?) And once I’d attached both the plackets they didn’t overlap like they should. I was almost ready to give up at the first hurdle.

And then because I thought I’d ruined it already I thought why not cut it down the middle through the centre of the V and put back together with a small centre seam? Why not indeed! So thats what I did, and it worked. So I carried on. Which partly made me more determined to sort out the upside down collar situation.

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I was able to get a UK size 12  out of 1.5m of fabric.

Below is the placket situation before I sorted it out. As you can see the placket pieces do not in anyway shape or form meet or overlap.

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Ta daa! Here it is, and I love it.

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Despite all my problems with it, I thoroughly enjoyed making this top. I learned several new things, not least how to insert elastic to make the sleeve cuff. It also had a different technique for sleeve insertion.

More pics

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See what I mean about the lovely fabric. Its a cotton denim coloured chambray with little stars on it. It wasn’t expensive, I just really really liked it. And didn’t want it to have been a waste.

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It has a lovely curved hem, and here you can see the elasticated cuffs too.

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In the picture below you can see little more clearly the slight mess of the plackets and that the collar still isn’t quite perfect. I had to zigzag the seam at the base of the placket neck opening as the seam wasn’t quite big enough for me to finish it off properly on the edges, so that looks a bit messy, but I can live with it. Also the placket isn’t sitting quite right, but again I can live with it. I also made the row of stitching that anchors the bottom of the collar to the bodice a little too high from the neck seam. I think it looks Ok and again I can live with it.

The top is perfectly wearable and after giving it a good press the neck sits pretty nicely.

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Anyone care to venture a guess on how many of these I will make? I can tell you now it will be more than one…

 

 

Sleeveless navy…

So I had some of the navy jersey left over. It was just enough to make a sleeveless top, which was somewhere in length between the tunic top and the regular top. Now I’m not too keen on the sleeveless look on me any more but I just couldn’t waste that amount of fabric so I had to go for it.

And I’m really glad I did.

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I could only manage to get a top out of the amount of fabric I had left because its jersey and doesn’t need a facing of any kind. and I do so love the seams don’t need finishing, as it made for a really quick make. 3 hours in total.

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I simply folded over the edge of the armholes and the neck by 1.5cm and sewed in place. I know a lot of sewers frown on this, but I say if it works why not?

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It hangs really nice. Its a lovely weighty jersey.

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Apologies for the headless pics, but had really bad bed head hair!

I’ve decided I don’t mind sleeveless on me when its in a plain fabric and a certain length. I think I might even try a sleeveless dress for summer.

 

In the Navy…

Lovely lovely lovely navy jersey that is!

I have Tweaked the Trapeze pattern again and now have the perfect length for a mini dress or a tunic top. The last post was about a mini dress this one is about a tunic top. Giving it a very small hem this time as this jersey fabric didn’t sit too well without.

I’ve made two now, the first one was Ok but the sleeves puckered up a bit, its wearable but not great.

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See those two giant tucks in the sleeves. I tried unpicking the sleeve on the left and redoing it, which improved it a bit. It was far worse before.

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The rest of it worked out fine though and I love the length. Looks perfect with jeans.

And below is the slightly better one, sleeves still not quite perfect but looks much more acceptable.

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The fabric was lovely to work with and feels gorgeous against the skin. Fabric came from Fabric godmother and was I think £14 a metre, quite pricey but it is quality stuff. I bought 3 metres of it and managed to make 3 items from it, so worked out quite cost efficient in the end.

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Works well with my jacket too.

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Wore it for a day out in London recently. Was very comfortable.

 

I haven’t forgotten how to sew…

Its just been a while since I’ve blogged about it. I was busy making bags for my little Etsy shop

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but now I’m back to the clothes.

I’ve tweaked my Merchant and Mills Trapeze pattern once again, to make a mini dress/tunic length. And the first thing I made from this new pattern was a dress for my works Christmas party. I made it from the textured black and white ponte roma that I made a top from from in the summer. I had a hunch it would make a good dress for a party. And I think I was right. Very happy with it indeed.

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It was a nice easy make. The fabric is a joy to work with.

Here it is as party dress, I hope I’m not too old at the age of 45 to be wearing a mini dress like this. Don’t worry won’t wear it without tights, that was not a good look!

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It also looks good as casual wear, worn with jeans and Uggs or Birkenstocks.

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I probably prefer it worn casually but then again I prefer casual wear now a days anyway!

Hope you like it, I do.

Xx

 

Been sailing, part 3…

We spent two and a half days in Cowes and I was very sad to leave it. However leave we must. So my Husband took me back to Gosport and dropped me off at the marina so I could get the train from Portsmouth harbour, so it was back on the Gosport ferry for my last trip, and on to a train home.

But before that I want to share some more pics.

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Me wearing another of my tops and using my bag. This was in the shower block at East Cowes.

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Coiled ropes!

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Watching my Husband on Kooshty motoring up the harbour as he sets off for home. He’ll take 3 days as he’ll not do it in one go.

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I love this picture. I was sitting on the Gosport ferry and thats our boat in the centre of the picture as he sails away!

And thats the end.

I enjoyed our little holiday very much and look forward to hopefully getting more confident and maybe going further.

I hope you don’t mind that the last 3 posts haven’t been about sewing, but this is my other passion.

Been sailing, part 2…

I last went to the Isle of Wight about 15 years ago and hated it! Have never felt the desire to go back. Oh wait tell a lie, have been to East Cowes twice on a boat but only saw a small bit of the town and still wasn’t very impressed. So the feeling that I wanted to go to the Isle of Wight took me by surprise. I think it had more to do with wanting to sail again and Cowes being the nearest to us. Anyway I was excited and anxious to go there.

Once we’d arrived, and I’d like to say what a good job my Husband does of getting the boat out of and into its berth on his own. I am still no use on the boat, I’m just company and the coffee maker. So hats off to him! So back to the story, once we’d arrived and freshened up we took a walk into the town of East Cowes, and found a very lovely esplanade, with fantastic views over the Solent and looking over to the main land and also of Cowes. We had a walk along the esplanade and watched the coming and going of all the nautical activity.

The next day we took the chain link ferry or the floating bridge over to Cowes. I loved this! I have a very weird love of these ferries that take people on a very short journey (in order to avoid what would otherwise be a very long car journey) to the other side of a river. And I get so freaking happy, I think my Husband worries about me a bit…

Here’s some pics of this wonderful thing. Its full of these interesting little art works that I loved.

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They’ve put a lot of effort into making it fun and quirk for the time it takes to get from one side to the other is probably less than a minute. However it takes cars as well as foot passengers and you probably wait longer to set off than it takes to cross, so these quirky little art works give you something to look at, if you don’t want to look at whats going on outside on the water. Seriously though I can’t tell you how much I loved this!

Once in Cowes I discovered a town full of charm and wonder. Cowes also has a fantastic esplanade which we spent two days walking up and down, with a lot of sitting and enjoying the views.

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Above is a wonderful place where we had a gorgeous lunch one day. The old shop front is just beautiful.

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Love the sign.

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The sea does like to try and get on land here. It was pretty much hight tide when we arrived and this is how it goes.

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I love the colour of the rust.

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I think this is called Egypt point, which is a nautical navigation mark, I believe.

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We found a pub with an even better view than the “Still and West” in Old Portsmouth. This was in Gurnard which is just along the esplanade from Cowes. We sat here for about an hour and a half just watching the sea and the boats and the clouds, it was really so peaceful. Didn’t want to leave…

 

Been sailing again, part one…

Husband and I had two weeks off back in September and so we trundled off to the Solent again. He went first taking our boat to Gosport and I hopped on the train the next day and met him there. I can’t tell you how much I love going to the Solent and the areas around there. I love love love Portsmouth and I love how getting from Gosport to Portsmouth is a little ferry ride away via the Gosport ferry. I love that if you live in Gosport and you have no interest in boats (but why wouldn’t you?) your day to day life still depends on getting on a boat to get you quickly from one side of the harbour to the other. Its the same in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, but more about that later.

Here I am in Gunwharf quays. It was really hot when I arrived and stayed like that for a couple of days which was nice.

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I do love a sunset picture with boats. Taken from the “Still and West” pub.

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On the pontoon at the marina. This dress came into its own in the hot weather. I can’t tell you how much I love it. And the bag is proving to be pretty damn useful too.

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Lovely night time view of the Spinnaker tower form our boat.

We spent about 4 days in Gosport/Portsmouth and then we moved onto Cowes. Now this is the bit that is a major achievement for me. Although I have sailed a couple of times now at Eastbourne, sailing on unfamiliar waters is a different story. It was only a 2 hour journey from Gosport to Cowes but I was still quite anxious. There is just so much traffic out on the solent. There are boats everywhere! Big ones, little ones, fast ones, slow ones. EVERYWHERE! You have to keep your eye on the ball at all times. You can be sailing along quite happily and if you’re not paying attention you look around and there’s a bloody great container ship coming up behind you. However we do keep an eye out so we saw the bloody great container ship when it was still a way off, but boy do they gain on you fast.

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I sort of relaxed into it after a while and started to take some pictures.

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I think taking pictures helps take my mind off it all, so I do tend to take a lot…

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I Love this one above.

And below is our little boat in her berth at East Cowes marina.

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She’s usually pretty much one of the smallest boats in the marina, but we love her.

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Can you spot her in the above picture?

Just realised I have many many more pics I want to share so will break this up into two or more posts.