Monday, 25 May 2015

Merchant and Mills Factory Dress

So, I have had this sewing pattern by Merchant and Mills since it was first released.  I have always been drawn to their patterns and have made a couple of versions of the Dress Shirt (since departed as worn to death), 2 Camber tops, a Camber dress, a Top 64, and the Panel dress.  I do really like their style, but somewhere in the back of my head I wonder if their style is really me or suits my shape.

That's probably why I trailed my feet over making the Factory dress, but it is now finished.

I chose to use a denim shirting fabric by Croftmill and this fabric is really beautiful.  It's more on the lightweight side fr a dress, but not too light, it still has some body and is lovely and soft and great to work with.  They stock really lovely quality shirting fabrics and Pima cottons.

As I have very broad shoulders but narrower hips, I had a bit of a dilemma over the choice of size to make and with the pockets I wasn't sure of the best way to taper it in, so as expected the skirt part is probably a bit on the big side.  I think the size is a good fit in the bodice though.

There are nice design features in the pattern that do set it off, the breast pocket, the collar, the turn back cuff on the sleeve and the little pleats on the skirt actually give it more shape than you would think.

I chose my favourite Liberty fabric of the moment (Hampton wedding) for the pockets and for the collar facing which always looks nice, I think, especially with a plain denim colour

I wore it yesterday for the first and I 'm surprised at how much I like it, it's certainly very easy to wear and very comfy, would be light and breezy for very warm weather, double gauze or linen would be great for this pattern too.

So whether it is totally my style or not I'm not sure, but like all my Merchant and Mills clothing, I'm pretty sure it will get worn to death and that's probably a true test of good design.

I have just received their new book and I really love it, the  patterns, as always, look very simple in style, but have lovely little design elements that make them very professional and a great finish.  In particular some of the garments are cut on the bias which could really work for me.  I would call the style timeless, clothing that is classic and less likely to go out of date.

Some of my older Merchant and Mills makes.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Linen and Liberty Lisette

There have been so many great pattern releases this year and it's only May and I could have quite a long list of things I'd like to sew.  I am, however, trying very hard to be very selective in what I make, so that I don't go too over-the-top and I want to try and stick to my Project 333.

So one of my most recent choices was the Sewlisette patterns (Butterick 6182).  There were four of these patterns released, three of which I just had to purchase.  (I know, that's not very restrained) but I particularly liked this one.

I chose to make the top first, it's a simple boxy style top and although it is boxy there are centre front horizontal and vertical darts which give it shape.

The fabric is the cornflower blue biolinen from dragonflyfabrics.  It is a little bit on the pricey side but it is really lovely, one of my favourite colours and I think it will only get better with wear and washing.  I will probably have to invest in some more at some stage.

The sleeves on this top are kimono style with quite deep sleeve bands and for this I used Liberty Tana Lawn Hampton wedding tana lawn.  I actually bought 1 metre of it especially for this top, which is a bit extravagant, but the colours are so lovely I thought it was worth it.

I also used the Liberty for the bias facing on the neckline.  This sewing pattern could be made in lots of gorgeous ways, pattern fabric on the body with plain cuffs, black and white contrast, floral with stripes - the options are endless.

It's a very simple make and I think I will certainly make it again, although I would probably add a little length.  I'm slightly past the 'showing your midriff' look and, of course, there is also the dress option.  For now though I am concentrating on that lovely 70's style skirt.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Me-made-may '15, half way through.

Day 3, Tilly & the buttons, delphine skirt, Made-by Rae Josephine blouse.

So, half way through May and more importantly Me-Made-May.  This is my third year of taking part in Me-Made-May and my fourth year of sewing.  I have personally gotten different things out of taking part in Me-Made-May every year.  There is obviously the inspiration of seeing what others have made and what patterns they have used, thus adding to the list of 'things I'd like to sew', there is also the inspiration of seeing what fabrics people have used and the new releases of fabric designers.  It sounds potentially vain, but it's also good to see your own makes in photo form, after all there is nothing like a photo to bring home to you how something looks on you, good or bad as they may be.  I also love seeing the background of photos, what people are up to and seeing different countries.

Anyway, incredibly I have gotten to the stage where an awful lot of what I wear day to day is me-made.  That was certainly not my intention whenever I first put scissors to fabric 4 year ago, but that's what happened.  So this year, for me, my main reason for taking part was to use May as a time for putting together my Project 333 for the summer months (June-August).  This is where you have a total of 33 items for 3 months and this will be my 3rd time doing it.

So for Me-Made-May there has been a bit of a mish-mash of garments, some were dragged out that hadn't been worn much for various reasons in an attempt to decide whether to hang on to them or not, others are stalwarts.  Normally I wouldn't be wearing completely different things every day for a whole month, so it's a little bit unrealistic.  Interestingly, I haven't liked it from that point of view, I have too many clothes in my bedroom and I can't wait to get back to my 33 items.  I'm definitely hooked now.  So, I won't bombard you with all of my outfits, I will just pick some of them.

Day 1, had to wear my newest make, the Camas blouse by Thread Theory

Day 9, Merchant and Mills Top 64 & handknit cardigan

Liesl & Co Cappuccino dress in Liberty Lantana, one of my current favourites.

Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke skirt and linen top from Lisette/Butterick 6182
Me-Made-May definitely 'encourages' you to make more of an effort, I'm trying to wear skirts more often and this one is a favourite.

Day 14, Merchant and Mills Camber dress
I like this pattern in the top format, but somehow I hadn't worn this dress very much.  I realised there are three reasons for this, firstly I'm not fussy on the colour of the fabric (a bit too much lime green), secondly the fabric is itchy and third, it was an unflattering length on me and now I have taken three inches off it and I think it's better.  It's amazing how the length of a garment can make a big difference between flattering and unflattering.  Overall, the jury is out on this one.  It has a surprisingly high neckline, so if you're making one for summer, I would advise making it in a lovely soft, comfortable fabric.

The last hoorah for the Wiksten Tova.

I dug this one out, I've worn it a fair bit (I also made another dress and top) but have decided the style isn't really me, it certainly doesn't go with my flare jeans.  Bye, bye Tova.

See- Me-Made-May is a good way of making you realise what works and what doesn't, it's all good experience anyway.  Anyone got any black bin bags?

Let's see what the second half of May brings.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Thread Theory Camas blouse finished.

Thought I better share my Camas blouse from Thread Theory.  I did have a couple of problems with it, mostly my own fault, but now where I know where I went wrong, I think it will be a really useful pattern for me.

I apologise for these photos, for some reason I either look petrified or half asleep in them and I thought I was smiling too.

Anyway, the pattern is by Thread Theory which mostly provides sewing patterns for the males in our lives.  I haven't tried any yet, but with two teenage sons and a hubby, they look rather appealing.  Anyway I spied this and really liked it as it is very like a rtw blouse that I have and get a lot of wear out of.  It is designed for knit fabrics, but the yoke can be sewn in woven fabric, which gives you loads of possibilities - also a good way of using up those little odd ends of fabrics.

The knit fabric I used is Geometric Bliss Knit, spherical buds in aqua which I purchased in The Village Haberdashery, it would appear that it is sold out though.  It's a lovely weight although I did have some tricky issues with it.  It basically crept as I was stitching on the placket, even though I had interfaced it with knit interfacing and had it really well pinned.  So instead of the placket being longer at the bottom, the main body ended up longer.  I ripped it out twice and it still kept happening, so horrors of horrors I had to trim the hemline to make it fit.  If anyone can tell me why & how I avoid this I would be very grateful.  I have sewn a lot of knit garments and that has never happened before.

The woven fabric I used was a white broderie-anglaise-fabric from Clothspot.  It wouldn't normally be a fabric I would go for, but it seems very poplar this year and I thought a little bit, in the form of a yoke, would be fine.  It is lovely fabric and very nice to work with.

As I intimated in my last post I made a faux-pas initially and stitched the collar facing on the wrong way and as I had accidentally used an extremely small stitch, it was a tedious nightmare to undo.  If it seems to go on perfectly you have probably done it wrong, there is meant to be easing to make it sit flat.  The pattern states it clearly, I was just rushing.  I got there though and it was worth it.  I'm happy with the way it turned out and I really like my buttons which I bought locally.  After the previous problems I wimped out with buttonholes and just stitched the buttons on through both plackets.  As it's knit fabric, it works fine and it's a good fit.

I wore it on Day 1 of Me-Made-May and it was lovely and comfy, I think it will be made again, perhaps in the autumn.