Another Trapeze…

Love love love this one. 8oz washed denim from Merchant and Mills.

R0022203

R0022206

R0022209

R0022215

R0022217

Not much to say, went together beautifully again, just have trouble getting the sleeves in smoothly but still looks good slightly puffy. hangs and drapes wonderfully in the denim, a little softer than the canvas.

Just adding a mod pic for reference. Cropped head out as had major bed head hair! I usually  start sewing before I make myself presentable.

Just adding a mod pic for reference. Cropped head out as had major bed head hair! I usually start sewing before I make myself presentable.

Who doesn’t love a TRAPEZE artist…

Or dress for that matter?

After the disappointment of the Top 64 I decided I was going to make the Merchant & Mills Trapeze dress, properly. I bought this pattern in the pre-cut cardboard, size 10, about 2 years ago, when I first started sewing as I thought it looked nice and easy. And after getting it home and reading the instructions I realised it was far from easy, got scared and put it away. And then I made a simpler version of it (although I don’t think I can remember how I did it).

R0016945

Now, more than 2 years later i’m finally ready to give it a proper go. I’m using the cotton canvas I originally bought for the Top 64, I think it might be a little thick for it, but I just have to use it, I have a feeling it will work.

The pattern pieces laid out. I had to put the back on upside down to fit. Yes it does mean the nap on the back runs different to the front but its not too noticeable.

The pattern pieces laid out. I had to put the back on upside down to fit. Yes it does mean the nap on the back runs different to the front but its not too noticeable.

I loved how quickly this came together. I’m making the straight sleeve version, decided not to put the added bit in the sleeve which makes it flared, I think they’re a really lovely shape as it is. So there are only 4 pieces to cut out which is always a bonus. In the instructions they suggest laying out the pieces on the fabric and drawing round them but as I don’t have a large enough hard flat surface I’ve opted to just cut round them, using tins as weights.

Neck facing.

Neck facing.

This came together so quickly, I reckon if I'd started at 9am I'd have had it finished by 5 or 6pm that day.

This came together so quickly, I reckon if I’d started at 9am I’d have had it finished by 5 or 6pm that day.

Looks a bit like a tent at the mo...

Looks a bit like a tent at the mo…

Even more from the side.

Even more so from the side.

The next day I put the sleeves in. They went in beautifully except they are supposed to be smooth and mine didn’t work out quite like that. The thread snapped when I tried to gather in the sleeve head so left me no choice but to make them puffy. But I quite like them like that.

Sleeves in.

Sleeves in.

Next came hemming of sleeves and skirt hem! Sleeves were painless, but the skirt hem was a little trickier, because of the curve and the amount of fabric you have to fold up. I looked up several different methods for doing it neatly, but ended up not using any of them. So whatever you do if you see me wearing this dress don’t look at the underside of the skirt hem, please.

I was a bit worried before I hemmed it that it was looking a bit too voluminous, but once hemmed it looked so much better and hangs beautifully. I love the structured shape the fabric gives it.

Pinned in place.

Pinned in place.

completed.

Finished.

Just look at that lovely neckline.

Just look at that lovely neckline. One of the neatest facings I’ve ever done.

R0022153-1

R0022155-1

The fabric looks quite creased here, I have worn and washed it already.

R0022156

I really really love the shape of this dress.

I really really love the shape of this dress.

R0022118

Happy happy me :0)

Happy happy me :0)

I thoroughly enjoyed making the Trapeze dress, the fabric was a dream to work with (am now thinking the Strand coat in this fabric would be divine) and the pattern was also a joy to put together. I needed a good project after my last disaster and this was perfect. I. Will. Be. Making. More.

Would like to attempt the sleeveless version sometime but that does look a bit complicated believe it or not. And even though M&M say this dress is good for beginners, there is an awful lot of fabric to handle which can be a bit daunting if you are new to sewing. Or maybe thats just me.

 

 

 

The best things come in 3…

So I now have 3 garments in the grey daisy fabric from Merchant & Mills. All based on the same pattern, Tilly and the Buttons “Mathilde”, but all quite different. The latest is the short sleeve top.

Here come the pics

This pic is just cos I like seeing the pins.

This pic is just because I like seeing the pins.

I know I've said it before but I can't believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I'm never sure I'll like it at this point.

I know I’ve said it before but I can’t believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I’m never sure I’ll like it at this point.

R0021168

Boom!

Boom!

Looks so much better now.

R0021171

R0021170

R0021174

R0021271

R0021272

 

And now here come the other two garments in the same fabric.

Dress.

Dress.

Long sleeve top.

Long sleeve top.

Loving them all.

Feeling a little blue…

I bought 3.5m of this utterly gorgeous blue indian cotton. I found it at the sewing parlour in St Leonards-on-sea. More of a workshop than a retail shop but they are working on it, and have a gorgeous selection of fabric. I had a chat with a very lovely lady in there about my favourite subject, sewing. She was very friendly and full of good tips and ideas. If you’re ever in the area I strongly advise a visit.

R0020576

I have a green and white spotty blouse, that I’ve loved for years, from before I could make my own clothes. And since starting to make my own I’ve been dreaming of making something similar. whilst what I’ve made is a long way from resembling the green blouse due to it having a button fastening down the front and peter pan collar. My version does have short sleeves which are similar and spots. That really is where any similarities end. However I am very very happy with my version.

Usual shot of pattern pieces.

Usual shot of pattern pieces.

I’m trying to get more of an A-line shape to my tops so I’m improvising a bit.

I've angled the pattern piece slightly away from the edge of the fold.

I’ve angled the pattern piece slightly away from the edge of the fold.

Its just a small bit, but it does give a slightly looser fit.

Its just a small bit, but it does give a slightly looser fit.

At some point I’ll do another pattern hack myself and draw it up on paper.

R0020666

R0020691

Its got just the right amount of floatyness for me.

R0020692

R0020696

R0020704

R0020701

This really is beautiful fabric. Feels so good to wear. And the blue is a great shade too, goes well with everything. Think this top has become one of my favourites. I have enough fabric left to make a dress, which was my original plan, but I don’t know I might end up making another top. Haven’t made up my mind yet. It would make a lovely dress…

I received a compliment on it from a stranger the first time I wore it. And for once I resisted the urge to say I made it.

Do you always say when you’ve made something when you get a compliment on it?

Daisy daisy…

What can be better than a black and white daisy block print top? I’ll tell you, a black and white daisy block print dress thats what! Fabric from Merchant & Mills. I just love this fabric so much I had to have a dress in it. I think I bought 3 meters of it with the intention of making two short sleeves tops, but then I wondered if I might have enough to make a dress and a top. I don’t think I would have if I’d only had the 3 meters but I had some scrap fabric left over from when I made a previous top. So yippee!

Showing the pattern layout for dress and top.

Showing the pattern layout for dress and top.

Pattern layout for the dress.

Pattern layout for the dress.

R0020466

R0020468

R0020473

I made it a little bit shorter than the green dotty dress as I just didn’t think it looked right being the same length. I wasn’t happy with it at all. So taking off a about 2cm made all the difference. I think it might have something to do with the colour, something about it being lighter made it look not as good as the green one.

Longer version.

Longer version.

Shorter, only a little bit.

Shorter, only a little bit.

R0020479

I said there would be more of these dresses…

Think I might have enough…

For a while at least!

7 lovely blouses.

7 lovely blouses.

This does not include the first 2 I made. So they make 9, and there’s the 2 dresses I’ve made too. Which is a total of 11 garments made from variations on the Mathilde pattern. Although most of them don’t really resemble the Mathilde too much at all anymore.

4 short sleeved blouses.

4 short sleeved blouses.

I do particularly love the short sleeved version.

A wardrobe full of self made tops :0)

A wardrobe full of self made tops :0)

I can’t remember the last time I bought an item of clothing, the only clothing (I’m talking outer clothing, not underwear) I’m likely to buy now are jeans, as I have no intentions of ever making any. For me there are somethings that are best left to the professionals, and jeans are one of them. I might have a go at trousers one day, when I find the right pattern, but not jeans, no sir.

Contrast colour dress…

I really feel like I’ve come a long way from the rectangle tops I was making last year. I still love them, but I’m so happy that I’ve moved on a bit. I know I have a long way to go before I’m anywhere near as talented as half the sewing bloggers out there, but at least I now know I’m not scared of curves and sleeves or facings.

Anyway back to the subject in hand. After making the Liberty fabric dress, I wondered if I had enough of the Merchant & Mills black dress weight denim to make another dress. You might remember that I’ve attempted to make dresses with this fabric twice before, but that was in my rectangle days and they never quite worked out and would end up as tops. I was not daunted by having another go, now knowing the possibilities that the Mathilde pattern opened up for me. I checked my fabric stash and sure enough I had enough fabric to make a dress.

I then had the idea that maybe I would make the bottom section in a contrasting colour. Basically turn the fabric over. The other side of the black denim is a gorgeous light grey. So this is what I did.

R0019323

 

 

Nice pic of the bust dart.

Nice pic of the bust dart.

After doing that I started having ideas that maybe the sleeves should be in the contrasting colour too. But I was also thinking I could be getting carried away and it might just look horrible. I ran the idea past a friend and drew her a little sketch, and we both agreed it could look really good. So I went for it.

Oh yeah, looking good!

Oh yeah, looking good!

Loving it!

Loving it! Please excuse foot & PJ’s

R0019385

Bottom panels don't match up exactly, but I think I can get away with it! May & Patrick wouldn't approve i'm sure...

Bottom panels don’t match up exactly, but I think I can get away with it! May & Patrick wouldn’t approve i’m sure…

R0019387

So loving the sleeves.

So loving the sleeves.

Modelling pic.

Modelling pic.

R0019342

I am so pleased with this dress. Looks fab with jeans or tights and boots. Love it love it love it! When i first finished it, it didn’t look quite right to me. I felt it was just a bit too long, so I took off about 2cm and now its perfect.

Even looks good on the hanger

R0019344

Time to reflect…

I know its only the end of March, but I want to reflect a little on the turn my sewing has taken so far this year.

In January I made my first Mathilde blouse which was also the first thing I’d made using a proper pattern. First time I made sleeves too. I was so damned happy and pleased with myself.

Another pic of me wearing the 1st one. I can see me making lots of these as this is perfect for me.

I might not look it but I am.

Then came another one in a different fabric.

R0018783

 

I got a bit carried away with myself after that and thought I could make a coat!

Here it is on me.

Here it is on me.

And that was January…

February saw me back to making Mathilde blouses and variations of it. I wanted to make it longer, so I just added 5cm to the bottom of the front & back bodice pieces.

Like so.

Like so.

Perfect length, I love it.

Perfect length, I love it.

Then came another one the same length.

Really is the perfect length for me. Thats what I love about making your own clothes, you can adapt things to suit yourself. So you get what you want.

Really is the perfect length for me. Thats what I love about making your own clothes, you can adapt things to suit yourself. So you get what you want.

Next up comes the Liberty dress. Which is the dress version of the Mathilde, my style ;0)

Modelled by Gerti...

Modelled by Gerti…

And that was February. Its now nearly the end of March and I have another three garments to share. Coming up soon…

 

Liberty print dress…

Went to Liberty a few weeks ago and as a treat bought myself 2metres of this totally gorgeous fabric

R0019144

So pretty, and so many lovely colours in it. I love the background colour, which is a sort of khaki green. Think this will go with nearly everything.

I was going to make another Mathilde blouse, but once I’d cut the pieces out I saw I had a quite a bit left over. Not enough to make another garment but enough that it felt like a waste. I decided to see if I could add the fabric to the bottom of the back and front panels and make a dress.

Yes I can.

Yes I can.

I attached the bottom to the top using french seams. I’m really pleased with it and felt it worked well. I remembered to  graduate the side seams outwards. Gives the dress a bit of an A-line shape. Now for the pictures and as usual there will be lots.

R0019176

R0019180

I love that you can barely see the join.

I love that you can barely see the join. I think I managed to pattern match quite well.

I just adore french seams, and look at that lovely dart.

I just adore french seams, and look at that lovely dart.

The inside is almost as pretty as the outside. So I had to take some pictures.

R0019208

R0019211

R0019182

Back to the outside.

Can't see it too well but I have a daisy on the cuff on both sleeves in almost exactly the same place!

Can’t see it too well but I have a daisy on the cuff on both sleeves in almost exactly the same place!

Modelled by Gerti...

Modelled by Gerti…

Modelled by me...

Modelled by me…

One more, just cos I love it so much.

One more, just cos I love it so much.

I”ve done some of my best sewing so far, on this dress. I didn’t rush it, took my time. And made it as close to perfect as I could. I’m really happy with the gathering on the sleeves at the cuffs.

I can never manage to get all the creases out of my fabrics, think I might need a new iron.

I bought something else whilst I was in Liberty. These gorgeous Baby bow scissors, by Merchant & Mills. I look at them every time I go to M&M but wasn’t sure I really needed them. And then I saw them in Liberty and decided I had to have them. They are the best things ever. They sit on my sewing machine whilst I’m sewing, so are within easy reach for snipping any annoying threads and such like. Means I don’t have to keep my larger pair next to the machine all the time.

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

July 2014: Liberty print dress. Three stages to the perfect length…

I made a top.

Here it is.

Here it is.

Wasn’t happy with it (can you see the look on my face?), felt it was too short, and simply not good value for money. At £22 a meter I thought it a bit expensive to be a short top. So whats a girl to do? Add some length,

length added.

length added.

thats what……..

I liked it better with the added length, but decided it was now too long, so I took a few inches off again……..

R0017342

Now I’m very happy with it, although it might not look like it from my face! I finally settled on this length as being perfect for me after wearing  a beach dress that was this length and being really happy and comfortable in it. So there you have it. Three stages to the perfect length dress for me!