Kielo Wrap Dress

It turned out even better than I expected, the tiny cap sleeves work really well and the fit is so flattering. I used a crepe from Weaver Dee with maybe 20% stretch which allows me to cross my legs. The only alteration I made was to lengthen the split, if the fabric had more stretch I probably would have left it as it was.

Seeing as I’ve not left the house in around five month I took any excuse to wear my lovely new dress. My sister and family cam round for a socially distant picnic. Thankfully we are both out of the local lockdown zone so she could pop round before heading off on holiday. Look at how well my little niece is social distancing!!!

I’ve been working on making some sturdy face masks with nose wire and fabric flush against the skin to minimise the risk of catching a virus. Jesse Killion has produced a comprehensive pattern based on a template from The Fabric Patch, they have a link on the page to the the fitted instructions and templates. The Jesse is designed to fit to the face. It’s been a fascinating experience making up different sizes for my inlaws and husband. The masks are split into three categories, average, narrow and wide. Apparently I have an average sized face.

I took a day trying to find this pattern, there are almost too many out there. The written instructions were way too complicated for me so made them without. I altered the pattern a little, firstly adding an inch to the side seam to create a folded channel for ties, secondly I added a filter pocket for extra security. Im planning on writing up a set of simple instructions for my version of this mask so watch this space.

Thanks for reading, hope you are staying safe out there. Don’t forget to continue to support black businesses, pester your MPs and sign petitions. For ways to help go to Black lives matters.

Dresses & Shorts & Slippers, Oh My!

A migrain struck once again. I am getting pretty sick of these. The weather has probably had big impact, muggy days followed by thunderstorms. There’s still an aura circling the corners of my eyes. The heat needs to break with another storm. Anyway enough of my complaining and onto the makes!

A full photo of my Cardamom Dress! It’s gorgeous and summery, the fit is mostly good, the only thing I will do differently next time is add a couple of inches to the bodice, as my waist falls a little lower than the pattern allows and lengthening it will also ensure there’s no pulling about the chest.

I originally brought the fabric to make a kielo dress, it’s still in the works but I had a desperate need for shorts this week. Happily there was enough left over to whip up a pair of Flint shorts. They are perfect for this weather and came together in only a couple of sewing sessions.

So I pattern tested these for Crafty Sew & So. Utterly incongruous with the weather but adorably never-the-less. I’ll be writing up a blog post for Crafty which should be coming out in about august alongside the kit.

I cannot go into much of what i am doing with this fabric as its going to be part of a present. however I couldn’t resist showing off this stunning Ankara Fabric from Dovetailed London. It’s a fabric shop across using the Shut up and Sew Vendor/Shop List its a collection of BIPOC and Allied sewing businesses curated by Jacinta Green aka @pinkmimosabyjacinta. If you’re interested I narrowed down the list to retailers in the UK, It’s in the menu above.

Thanks for reading, I wanted to add It’s important for us all to keep the momentum of Black Lives Matter going. Be it buying from Black businesses, signing petitions, writing to your MP, educating yourself or speaking with family we cannot let the world slip back to “normal”. For more Information on how you can help check out Black Lives Matters.

This is not a moment it’s the movement.

My Shot – Hamilton

We are Not Going back to Normal

This week i discovered a wonderful resource for all your sewing needs. Shut up and Sew Vendor List, curated by Jacinta Green. The layout is a little tricky for me to read as I am working off a tiny laptop so I made a list of all the UK Based Allied and POC businesses Jacinta has listed in a way I can go back to time and again. If you want to know more about how I am personally taking responsibility for the damage my privilege can cause, take a look at my sister blog, Today I Wrote. All links will open in a new tab, I hope you find it useful.

I’ve ordered some beautiful wax printed fabric from Dovetailed London. I’ll be making a present with it so it’ll be a little while before I can show it off. I hope I have included all the UK stores but my eyes got a bit tired after a while so I may have missed a few. Now on to a couple of my latest makes.

Jelly Roll Cushion

Firstly a bit of patchwork. My step-dad mad a little bench during lockdown for my niece and nephew. We’re all getting a little creative whilst stuck at home. It was so much fun using a bunch of left over jelly-roll strips to make a super cute patchwork cushion. I used some quilted jersey whcih ive had for ages as the wadding. It gives the cushion a good sturdy feel. However it was a bit of a nightmare to sew through.

Cardamome Dress

I absolutely love my Cardamome dress. The cat buttons finish it off beautifully. It fits very well about the chest and neck! I was worried the neck would be too tight or the buttons would pop open but it works really well. The day I finished my dress the weather changed so I haven’t had a chance to get photos of it on me. I’m currently working on a Kielo Wrap Dress from some gorgeous stretch crepe. Hopefully I can get it finished by next week!

Thanks for reading, please check out the list of makers and take a look at #blackmakersmatter on instagram, we all need to work to make the sewing community more diverse.

Muted and Listening

I’ll be silent on social media for a week in order to amplify melanated voices. Please support where you can. Resources are available through blacklivesmatters.carrd.co. Many do not require any monetary donation.

My Final Makes Of Me Made May

Life has been heavy the past few days, my mind caught up in worry and stress. So, I did not have the mental energy to appreciates many of my makes. But I shall share what I’ve got nevertheless.

Day 24: Cardamom Shirring

I mentioned I got the hang of shirring in my last post and this is the result. It’s my first attempt at shirring a garment and I am so happy with it. I had to unpick a couple of rows as I forgot to lengthen the stitch or had the needle in the wrong position. Once I got the hang of it the bodice came together beautifully. I highly recommend using shirring. I have a brother machine with a top loading bobbin, most of the tutorials assume a side loading bobbin which recommend a low tension for the top stitch and high tension for the bobbin. I don’t have the ability to change the bobbin tension on my machine so I got a bit muddled. As soon as I followed the Brother instructions on their website it worked like a charm.

Day 25: Moneta Dress

I made this dress recently, I wrote a post in April, Moneta In The Sun. The subtle metallic sheen in the fabric really makes this dress something special. I’m drawn to prints with faces or figures. I’m not sure what it is but many of my recent purchases have depicted images of women. This design has a wonderful energy to it. Shame it was the last lot from Crafty Sew & So.

Day 30: Joni Dress

This is a real treat to wear. Only finished yesterday and I couldn’t wait to swish about in the garden. The finishing of the neckline really bugged me on the first Joni I made. the fabric stretched about the twist so i had to add elastic, also the binding was way to thick and heavy and the top stitching just didn’t work well through all that fabric. This time I added binding to the lower section and the front part of the neckband before I twisting the top. All my seams are beautifully hidden and the jersey won’t have a chance at stretching out. I’m delighted with the result. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the finishing I still adore Tilly’s book, Stretch. I made the fluttery sleeves from her tutorial and it was a lot easier than I thought, i’m very much looking forward to altering more sleeves from various patterns to recreate this look.

Thanks for reading. I’ve really enjoyed this month of makes. It’s good to have a thing to do everyday during this time. I’ll try and stick to weekly posts on what I’ve made. It’s gratifying to look back on what I’ve achieved.


Stay safe, stay kind, stay home if you can

Me Made May Week Three

My roundup of the penultimate week of Mmmay. The month has flown by, it’s been a treat to see everyones makes. a little sprinkling of normality in this time. this is going to be a super quick post as im not feeling all that great.

Day 15: Agnes Tee

I’ve made a few of these but this is by far the comfiest. It’s made from sumptuously soft japanese jersey. definitely secret pj’s. I altered the pattern in a couple of ways, firstly bringing the hips down at least three sizes. I tend to find Tilly and The Buttons patterns have generous room for hips so I’ve taken to altering all of her patterns this way. Secondly I added bands to finish the sleeves and bottom hem. I much prefer this look to the turn and top stitch.

Day 17: Self Drafted Skirt

Ok so I missed day sixteen this week. I can’t remember why but there was probably a very valid and reasonable excuse. This is my first box pleated skirt, it was the end of a roll so i had to work out the width myself. There’s a subtle textured pattern which you can just about see here, love the fabric weight and the way it holds pleats.

Day 18: Joni Dress

It’s hard to see much of the design here. There is a super flattering twisted neckline. the skirt is nice and full. Again as this is a Tilly pattern I had to reduced the hips. However, I forgot another issue i sometimes have in the shoulders. As my bust is on the larger side I often go conservatively by going for a bigger size, but my shoulders are pretty narrow. Before I make another one I want to figure out how to narrow the shoulders. Anyway, this month is about appreciating my makes! So i will just say that this is a beautiful and flattering dress.

Day 19: Self Drafted Top

So this is the top that I was working on in the previous post. It worked…eventually. there are many problems i could dwell on but i shall not. Okay the good things, I am delighted with the fit around the arms and neck. Most tank top patterns do not work well for me. The straps are either way too long or I end up showing a lot of bra with gaping underarms. This is perfectly respectable and has a pleasing neckline.

Day 20: Fabric Trays

These were so much fun to make, honestly came together in less than fifteen minutes and are super cute and useful! I am no doubt going to make many many more. All you need is a few scraps of fabric and some wadding. I used some pretty lightweight cotton wadding and they still feel sturdy. I used A design from A Spoonful of Sugar, the tutorial uses a charm square but I made mine a touch bigger.

Day 21: Shirring!

Somehow I got this so very wrong the first time I tried. The problem was the instructions id found were all for side loading bobbins, mine is top loading. After a week or so I tried again using the instructions on the Brother website. Et Voila. I have accomplished shirring. I shall be making the Cardamom Dress from Deer and Doe.

Thanks for reading, I plan to try and post weekly after this month, though I imagine they’ll be a bit shorter.

Stay safe, stay kind, Stay home if you can.

Me Made May Week Two

Another Week of Makes for you all. still trying to keep to the pledge of appriciate one make everyday.

Day Eight: Coasters!

So on day seven I had a frustrating time trying to figure out how to use shirring elastic. I think it’s something to do with the top loading bobbin. So after over an hour and a lot of wasted elastic I gave up. I shall be asking some sewing friends for advice. I gave up and decided to make a couple of super simple coasters instead. Got to love a bit of top-stitching. I’ve made a pair of pj’s in this fabric so will pop it on my bedside so I match.

Day Nine: Pj Shorts

Super comfortable shorts. I actually wore these and a tank for most of the day as i was sewing up a top and wanted to be able to pop it on for fit. I made these with Seersucker so they are really light weight and worked perfectly for a sunny day. I actually added a cute little turn-up with a button but it seems to have vanished in the bright light.

Day Eleven: Mathide top

Now you may have noticed that I missed day ten. I suffered with a mini migraine. there was nothing mini about the pain but by some luck it only lasted around seven hours. My average attack lasts at least two days. I didn’t use to suffer too much but recently it’s been more of a problem. Anyway onto my make. Its a Tilly and the Buttons Pattern which is actually out of print now. I’ve made it a couple of times but this viscose version is my favourite, it works best in a very lightweight fabric. I have to adjust the neckline a little but the basic pattern works pretty well. This month is me want to dig out my older patterns.

Day Twelve: Fabric Basket

A handy little fabric basket made from some pastel tie dyed calico. Not much to say about this make. I just love the colours. Ive got a zipped make up bag somewhere made from the same fabrics. If your interested in the pattern check out the kits from Crafty Sew & So (full disclosure I volunteer with them)

Day Thirteen: Camas Blouse

This fabric is drapes beautifully with a little bit of stretch. The Camas from Thread Theory has a the look of a smart blouse but comes together very quickly. There’s no collar and you can have faux buttons and simply slip it over your head. The mustard top stitching was actually a happy accident, I ran out of red thread. I think Ive made four of them at this point.

Day Fourteen: Simple Tank

More of my face. I’d crop it out but then it would just be a shot of my bust so…no. I do not remember the pattern. This one of my very first garments, it’s lasted well. I’m working on a sweet cotton tank this week. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of next week.

Thanks for reading, stay safe, stay kind, stay home if you can.

Me Made May 2020

Here we go again, a month of celebrating handmade makes. It’s a little odd without leaving the house but a good excuse to show off things I’m proud of. My Pledge is to appreciate one make each day, I’m often negative about my makes so I will strive to notice what I like about each item. Here’s the round up for week one.

Day One: Bedside Tidy

This was really nice and quick to come together. I used My Poppet’s bedside caddy basic design and altered it for the amount of fabric I had. The original pattern calls for quilted cotton and as I didn’t have any I had to make my own. I’m pretty happy with how it came together. Love the harry potter prints. However it was a bit rushed so there are a few messy bits. nothing I can’t fix later and as you can see it’s very useful.

Day Two: Frida Skirt

This is a hack of two patterns, the waistband is Jessica from By Hand London but with the back panel split in two so I could use a back zip instead of side. The main skirt is the pleated version of All The Cute Skirts from My Handmade Wardrobe. As it was a bit of a hack I had to really focus on ensuring the pleats matched the seams of the waistband. There was a fair bit of maths and unpicking and resewing of the pleats. that’s one of the good things about having darts, it’s easy enough to change the size if necessary. I took this project slow and am pleased with how it turned out. Also It has pockets!

Day Three: Face Masks

Another simple project, I used a free pattern from Sew Much Moore.it was surprisingly tricky getting the right fit. I had to alter the length of the elastic on both of the masks for my inlaws. If I were to make another set I would grade between medium and large at the nose as it looks a little loose. I’m feeling a little useless despite all the requests for sewing projects from hospitals as I can’t go to the post office due to being a vulnerable person, it’s not worth anyone taking unnecessary trips either. Making these for my in-laws makes me feel a little more helpful.

Day Four: Camas Top

Now this one is an absolute favourite even though I had a bit of trouble making it. The Camas Blouse is designed for stretch fabrics, I thought i’d be alright just making it sleeveless. what i didn’t consider what that the neckline is designed for stretch, After fanagleing some darts at the shoulders and manipulating the button placket I made it work. I love the red strip of binding along the yoke. it’s ablong the back yoke too.

Day Five: Flint Pants

Another Wardrobe Favourite, Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen. These are perfect in those transitional days between seasons. A real simple make without just two buttons for fastenings. the fit is really flattering. I lengthened the pattern by maybe three or four inches to make them full length trousers. I look forward to making more of these when I get back home and have hold of all my patterns and fabric. I am noticing a theme with my favourites, it’s pleats, also there are very few patterns which I have not altered in some way.

Day Six: A Pattern

Not sure if this is a cheat or not. It’s a pattern I drafted a while back copying a Zara top with one pleated shoulder, pleats again! I made this up in a wearable toile and the back was a little tight, as it was a toile i just added a triangle of fabric to give more room. I since added to the pattern however after cutting this fabric out the back is way too baggy. My solution…..a box pleat along the back. I’ll get this pattern sorted one day. I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out.

Day Seven: Jumpsuit

I think I made this jumpsuit last year from a New Look pattern. Unfortunately I can’t remember the number. I had to be pretty frugal with the fabric as it was a remnant. One detail I’m proud of is the top stitching it really highlights the blue flowers. Next time I make this it will be half a size bigger. Just to give a bit more space about the the tum.

Thanks for reading. I aim to post a round up once a week but given my track record I make no promises.

Stay safe, stay kind, stay home if you can

Moneta In The Sun

My Moneta came together beautifully. Just in time to frolic about in the sun. Most of my cooler clothes are at my house (still undergoing renovations) and due to the pandemic it looks like I won’t be seeing them any time soon. Perfect excuse to sew up a summer wardrobe.

Both cats decided it they would help with this make. They are my ever present assistants. As with most jersey projects it came together quickly. It doesn’t hurt that this is possibly my fifth moneta. The sleeveless version has a fully lined bodice, it gives the single jersey a bit more structure and ensures a nice neat finish. The collar hides the seams and looks super cute! I believe I trimmed the lining a little more than I should have as the end result was a tiny bit snug. A lesson for next time.

My In-laws garden is a wonderful place for photos, especially as the warmer days are coming in. Whenever I wonder outside one or both of their cats follow. The cutie joining me on the left is Jenny, aka Fluffy. I feel bad that my cats can’t enjoy the sun outside, but being in a new place, it’s not worth the risk of them getting spooked and running away. Hopefully we’ll back in our house soon so they can enjoy the garden again.

I started writing this a while ago but for some reason didn’t have the motivation to post it. I’ve suffered from a series of migraines and asthma issues and am attempting to get back into a routine now. It feels as though as soon as I form structure in my day my body fails me and I have to start all over again. Fingers crossed I stay healthy for longer than a week this time.

So, Zo...': Me-Made-May 2020!

Me Made May is here again and I have made my pledge. To appreciate one of my creations everyday. This includes garments, crafty makes and any other unfinished projects I’ve been working on. The sewing bee is a great inspiration, as are the Zoom chats with my sewing buddies on thursday evenings. In my next post, health permitting, I will be showing off my new box pleat skirt and handy bedside caddy.

Stay safe, stay kind, stay home if you can

x

Three Blue Jumpers

So it’s been a while. one day I’ll start a post without saying that. It only took a viral pandemic would get me back to blogging here. I shan’t be dwelling on Covid 19 here. There are plenty of thoughts on the matter over on my other page, Today I Wrote. I hope to start a new schedule of posting here once a week. One of the things that prevents me from doing this is the lack of photos. Routine is the key, take photos on a makes on a wednesday, take photos on a thursday and post on a friday? It’ll probably change as I figure things out in our new world of social distancing.

On to the Makes. Blue is the colour for me right now. In fact my last three makes have been blue jumpers. The first was a Southbank Sweater by Nina Lee, out of some lovely fleeceback jersey. I don’t have a full photo of it but here’s a little gif I made of me and my little sister before the outbreak.

The next is a super cute Fraser Sweatshirt by Sewaholic, I had a little bit left of the faces jersey after making my best friend a Christmas present. This combined with the remaining fabric from my Southbank made a real cosy and comfy jumper. I got the fabric from Crafty Sew & So. Freya, one of the owners took this photo. My expression is a little manic but I’m happy so who cares.

The final make is an Agnes from Tilly and the Buttons, made with a sumptuously soft japanese jersey, again from Crafty Sew & So. Perhaps not technically a jumper but close enough. It’s so nice to wear, my own secret pj top. There are a few other colours available, I may well make myself a whole set.

As the weather is warming maybe my obsession with making jumpers will ease off. I have few things planned for the week. A cute Moneta from this single jersey. Yes! It is from Crafty. I tend to get most of my fabric from them. I volunteer in the shop and just adore the fabrics they choose. As they are still open as an online store I ordered this amazing Frida Kahlo Canvas.

It’s hard not having that regular contact due to social distancing. Handily Sarah will be hosting a facebook live Sew-along to make a headband for NHS workers at 8.30 GMT tonight. Very much looking forward to it.

Image may contain: one or more people and close-up

Thanks for reading, please stay safe, be kind to yourself and others.

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