Thursday, 31 December 2015

So how did 2015 go?

Incredibly it's the end of another year and that time when we take stock of things.  My aims were to sew less (in quantity) but sew better and, in general, to have only items in my wardrobe that I love and get worn regularly.

So what did I make?

For the husband:

2 pair of Liberty pyjamas (for Christmas)
Pair of 3/4 length Thread theory Jutland trousers.
Liberty shirt

I enjoyed making the Jutlands especially, because I learnt some new techniques, such as sewing flat-felled seams, there were a lot of details, such as various types of pockets etc so there was a sense of accomplishment on finishing them, added bonus hubbie like them and they fit!

For myself

In total:

7 dresses
1 trousers
1 culottes
1 skirt
8 jersey tops
8 woven tops
1 jacket

So, in terms of quantity, I definitely made less, so that's good and I also took more time in finishing items.  The most successful makes were from Liesl & Co/Lisette, Merchant and Mills (the Workbook and individual patterns), Papercut and Sewaholic.  I haven't used any of the big 4 sewing patterns for ages.

So which have been my favourites?

 -Two pussybow blouses.

Sewaholic Oakridge blouse

Sewoverit Pussybow blouse
-The Liesl and co Maritime top pattern - I made 4 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve!

- The Liesl and co Girl Friday Culottes pattern, pictured above and worn quite a bit since I finished them.

 - The Liesl and co Cappuccino dress pattern, made in Liberty Lantana fabric

 - The Lisette B6182 patterns

Worn loads during the summer.

 - The Haremere jacket from the Merchantandmils Workbook

There have been a few disappointments in that some of the items that I thought I would wear a lot just didn't get worn very much.  The OliverandS Gallery dress was one of these, I think I should have gone down a size, especially in the bottom half as it just feels too big and baggy, but I might try it again and do some adjustments.  The same with the Merchantandmills Factory dress, it just feels too big and baggy.

It hasn't been an easy year, started with my husband having a very nasty accident with a circular saw, which put him off work for six weeks.

He was lucky and thanks to a brilliant surgeon he came through not too badly.

Also, my lovely dad has been very ill and, unfortunately, we've been told that his condition has advanced with no further treatment options. (Prostate cancer)  There have been almost daily hospital visits as he has had repeated infections, so that has been hard.

I do, however, have an awful lot to be thankful for and keep optimistic for 2016.  The husband and I will both be 50 in 2016 and it will be our 25th wedding anniversary.  We hope to travel to Iceland in the autumn so lots to look forward to.  Both of us are losing weight, so might try making more fitted things in 2016.  It's also my eldest sons last year at school, so it could be a year of change for all of us.  I will have to go and make a plan now for 2016.


Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Girl Friday Culottes and a pussybow blouse

So, a year late, but I finally got the red Girl Friday Culottes finished.  I had started them last November but couldn't understand why the waistband wouldn't fit the culottes.  Turned out there was a small error in the pattern and I kinda abandoned them.  I probably should have twigged on myself, anyway I couldn't face ripping it out at that stage, so I left them.  So coming up towards Christmas this year, with culottes still very much en vogue, I decided to return to them.  In the end they were very straightforward.

As you can see, they are pretty full in style, with front and back inverted box pleats, also front pleats and back darts, so not short on detailing.  They also have hidden in-seam pockets and a side zipper.

The fabric I used was a red heavy weight, but drapey crepe fabric from Clothspot.  The red seems to have gone but there are other colours.  It's ideal for these culottes and quite cosy too.  I'm pretty pleased with them, I toyed with the idea of going knee length, but I'm glad I didn't, they are meant to be calf length and definitely need to be worn with heels.

So the other bit of my 'Christmas outfit' this year is the Sewoverit Pussybow blouse, which has been out for a while now.  It's quite a simple version of a Pussy Bow blouse in that it's an over-the-head job, no closures to do, other than the loops at the cuff.  Mine turned out extremely tiny (even though it warns you in the pattern - doh!) so I just rolled them up slightly.  I used Atelier brunette fabric, halo from misformake.  This link is the blue, mine is a darker version and it is a viscose fabric, more on the heavier side, which is great for this time of the year.
Just to prove they are culottes.

So there you go, my 2015 Christmas ensemble, already worn a few times and hope to get a lot more wear.
Sew Over It Pussybow blouse.
Next up - the 2015 summary and aims for next year.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Two turtles and a Haremere

Thought I would share some recent makes that have been getting a good bit of wear lately.

The first is the Papercutpatterns Rise and fall turtlenecks, let's face it if you are a fan of layering and you like turtle/polo necks you really need to have this pattern.

I've made version version 1 which is a slightly more fitted style with a lower turtle neck.  The one above is a teal modal/silk jersey fabric from which as you'd imagine is incredibly soft and silky with a good bit of stretch, absolutely perfect for this pattern.

 The second one is the same version but in a Liberty jersey which is completely different from the teal one.  Being a cotton jersey with just a little elastane it is more rigid and disappointingly it seems to have shrunk, even though I pre-washed it.  It just doesn't seem to work as well as the more stretchy fabric above.  Amazing the difference choice of fabric makes, also the Liberty jersey seems to stick to itself a lot.

I do love the pattern and these turtles are very useful as they are fine enough to be worn under a blouse, which gives your blouses a bit more seasonal longevity.  Turtles are also very 'in' at the moment for you trendsetters out there.

I plan to make the second version, which is more drop-shoulder style, less fitted at the waist and a deeper turtle neck, it would probably suit a knit/merino fabric better.

My other recent make is the Haremere jacket from the Merchantandmills Workbook.  I'm getting through this book rightly and I must say everything I've made from it has been very wearable, including this jacket.  It's a longer length jacket with a shawl type collar, two buttons and lined at the shoulders and sleeves.  I used a cotton jacketing fabric from, I think it was in the spring and they don't seem to have it now.  It has a tweed-like appearance and is actually quite cosy and being navy it goes with a lot of my wardrobe. 

It is a loose-fitting style, I made the Medium and I would say it's turned out quite big on me, so if you are of a petite stature (I'm 5'5") you would have a bit of fitting to do or it could drown you.

There are two lined pockets, which are a good size and are place over the side of the jacket.

You can see the dart detailing on the shoulder above.

I finished all my exposed seams in bias binding as my fabric was fraying like mad, it also makes the inside look pretty.

It's the type of jacket style that you can wear with trousers, dresses and skirts, sort of a 'throw-it-on' type jacket.  It's a bit longer than my ideal jacket style, but I actually quite like it.  As regards sewing it up, probably the trickiest bit was stitching the collar and the lining on at the shoulders, there is some easing which you really need to take your time with, but otherwise it's quite straightforward.

I used an Atelier Brunette fabric (Cosmic Blue) for the lining of the shoulders and sleeves, which is perfect for it, I love the way it looks.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen top

I'm a little behind in blog posts, life has a habit of taking over sometimes, but there has been some sewing going on, so I will share some with you now.

This is the fancytigercrafts fen pattern which I purchased from The Village Haberdashery, the fabric is Liberty cord which I also purchased in The Village Haberdashery, here.  It's a beautiful , fairly lightweight fabric (I am now wearing a lightweight turtle neck under it), perhaps not completely perfect for the Fen.  I say this as it is inclined to pop out at the front, so perhaps a more drapey fabric would work best.

Teal, lime and black on ivory background.

Fancy Tiger Crafts, Fen top and dress

I opted for the V-necked, long sleeved, curved hem version, it is a very straightforward pattern, made in the way a jersey t-shirt would be made.  The neckline is attached and just top-stitched down.

There are also round neck options and and a different shirt-tail-type hemline and, of course, there is also the dress version, which has a gathered waist and pockets.  I daresay I'll be giving that a go sometime.

So there you have it, a quick and easy tunic, not a lot else to say really, other than I like it.

I'll be back soon to share some other makes, a bit of catching up to do.