Thursday, 26 January 2012

Getting shirty about shirts

I had started to write a step by step guide to sewing the Burda JJ 6009 pattern because so many people had noted how complex / unhelpful the instrutions are. I had made a really good start, but then every bit I did has been wrong when I've taken it back to my dressmaking class, so I've given up. Only on the tutorial though, I'll leave that for someone far more adept than me!

In the meantime I thought it'd be a good time to post up another one of my shirts, another 'challenge'! This one was made using New Look 6693. I was attracted to the label of 'Easy', and the informal styling.

In the end I went for view C - It looks shorter in the body, and is a little more my style. I ended up chosing a heavy weight cotton, Itsy Bits by Andover Fabrics - I think it's a craft cotton. I paid a fortune at John Lewis, £18 p/m but it's been a learning experience... Half the price on the internet! I've never bought from Tudor Rose, but they're selling it for £9 p/m at the moment.

I also chose some mother of pearl buttons from John Lewis, though they don't match perfectly, I think they work! Back then I hadn't realised the importance of doing pre-washing to prevent shrinkage, but luckily I'd made it a little looser and it doesn't seem to have shrunk in the wash.

I've been told it's very 1940s, which sounds good to me! The cotton is so soft, the shape is relaxed, but formal enough for work - actually it's one of my favourite makes so far. Hopefully I'll get a better photo of it soon, styled up but until then here's just a snap on my little camera :) What do you think of the final product?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Next project

So, I've already made one of the items on my list, a gift for my friend's little girl. Details will have to wait though as her mum may come across this little blog!

I've started to work on my next project, a blouse based on the Burda free pattern JJ #6009. I bought this beautiful fabric from Shaukat back in November last year, and I've been eager to find the right pattern ever since! It's a beautiful poplin in pale blue, with cream flowers. Hopefully this fairly weighty cotton will be ok...

I've decided to stick fairly close to the pattern, but I think I'm going to drop the ruffles because there's just so much detail in the fabric. I've left enough fabric though, just in case I change my mind later.
It's taken me a whole day to cut the pattern, stick it back together and cut out the fabric. Hopefully sewing will go more quickly than the other blouse I've made! (Photos will come at some point)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Gift making

So this year for Christmas I made a few gifts, trying to do presents as local and handmade as possible. I'd given most of them on Christmas day, before I thought of having a blog and making photos, however there were just a couple left which I finally gave this week.

I made this cushion for 'Baby A', a lovely little boy. It's a 12" cushion with Curious George fabric that I picked up from Abakhan's. I used the sewing machine for most, but did the zip by hand for convenience last minute (Well more like last hour!). On the outside it looks fine, but I really missed not having an overlocker to finish the seams on the inside, especially, as it's for the little fella I can imagine it needing to be washed a few times to keep it clean. I ended up with a compromise of having the two sides facing different directions - to make sure that the zipped side would be less likely to fray I used the serged side to put the zip on.

This iPhone cover was made for Baby A's mum, using a super straightforward tutorial. I used some fabric that I had left over from my Summer block dress because I knew it's completely her style - she's a real Lulu Guiness girl! The finished product wasn't exactly as planned - it was just a little long, and you can see the left hand hasn't matched up perfectly. Still, not bad for sewing it without an iPhone to hand!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Upcoming projects

So, I've got a list of new projects to get stuck into for this new year (and new term of sewing classes). Here's my little list of plans
  • Finishing two pairs of trousers based on an old pair from Betty Jackson studio. One's green, and the other is grey
  • Making a Chantilly dress from Colette patterns for an old friend's wedding in early summer
  • A gift for a friend's daughter's birthday 
  • Using some beautiful Liberty print poplin to make a striking blouse
  • Using some fantastic dinosaur print cotton for either gifts or for me! 
  • Figuring out some ways to use left over fabric 
Wow, I don't even think that's it!! It's definitely time to stop buying fabrics for a while, finish some projects. I'd love to buy an overlocker once I'm done with this term of lessons so it's time to save up now. 

New Year New Blog!

I've just decided to start a new blog to chart for myself my sewing progress. If you've happened across my blog - hello!

I'm going to use this blog to document my sewing projects so far, and to help me plan out where I'd like to go to. I'm a novice sewer, but have done 14 lessons so far and made a few items. As I get them on the internet I'll post links to them. For now, here's my Block summer dress that I made last summer. 

You can catch me on Twitter @Liverpool_Fi