This month has been Inktober, I’ve been teaching myself to draw throughout lockdown and decided to join in. Inktober happens every October and is a chance to practice ink drawing everyday with an interesting list of prompts. I thought I would share my highlights here. The first four are those that were given the most liked on Instagram
These next few are my personal favourites but didn’t get as much love in social media. Its been so much fun drawing every day, I hope to continue, but maybe two or three times a week.
I decided to only use black and white and played about with shading. One of the lessons this month has taught me is to not be afraid to be messy. I look forward to using more colour instead of just black ink pens. A while back I brought some inks and brushes but they are somewhere in my house which is still disorganised from all the renovations.
I am ever so happy with my Closet Core Pouf, as is my cat Theo. He is ever so grumpy with my when it’s time to add more fabric to the inner.
This was not a quick make, though could very easily be made so, all you’d need to do is use a full circle for the top and use a solid strip of fabric around the sides, though I did enjoy matching different odds and ends from previous projects. The piping is also optional but I like the professional finish it gives.
I am not the most precise sewer and somehow ended up needing to add a panel to the top and side for it to fit together properly. It’s just a bit bigger. This project is perfect for anyone who hates throwing away fabric, you can also put old clothes in there if they are too scruffy for the charity shop. This is maybe a year’s worth in there. I’ll be making another one in the not too distant future.
I finished my Flint culottes just in time to get a few wears out of them. Autumn has well and truly set in now and they will be packed away until spring.
Flint are the make I can sew time and time again, be it linen, crepe, cotton or viscose I am never being disappointed. I made these with a lovely cotton lawn, measuring them up to hang around the knee. There’s a fairly thick hem and two large brass buttons that you can’t make out on these images.
I’ve got a few projects on the go at the minute, with no images of any of them yet!
Simplicity 1950’s Jacket 1319: I’ve been working on the vintage jacket for over year, it seems I’ve been spoiled with independent patterns as the instructions from simplicity confused me a lot.
Simply Sewing The Audrey Dress: This was a free pattern from Simply Sewing which happens to fit me perfectly, I’m working on a fully lined version as I’ll be using some gorgeous Broderie Analgise.
Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit: I’ve cut out the fabric but may wait until I’ve got my overlocker back to sew it together. I feel like the pattern would benefit from an sturdy overlocking stitch.
Crafty Sew & So PJ Bottoms: I shall whip this one up in no time, Crafty Sent me some beautiful lemon cotton to make a sample set for the shop. I love this make as it’s nice and simple to put together and very comfy to wear.
Thanks for reading and wish me luck! I promise not to start another project until I’ve finished at least two of these.
I have been desperate to share this for some time, now my little sisters birthday has passed I can at last. The Range Backpack from Noodlehead. It’s the first complex bag I made on my own. I’ve created a few totes, shopping bags before but this one had so many more pattern pieces! I actually made a matching Carry All Bag from Crafty Sew & So but forgot to take a photo! To be perfectly honest I was thinking I would never make a bag again by the time I cut out and interfaced all the pieces. However, when I got to the sewing I was absolutely in love with the process.
The fabric was a mix of Ankara wax fabric from Dovetailed London and quilting cotton from Crafty Sew & So (i mention Crafty a lot in this post, full disclosure I do volunteer with those lovely ladies though none of what I’m writing is sponsored). Everything is interfaced! The waxed cotton with mid-weight fusible interfacing and the lining with light weight fusible interfacing. I decided to make things difficult for myself by adding Bosal In-R-Form single sided fusible foam to the contrast base and back panel. I’m glad I did because it gave the backpack a sturdy and professional feel, though I did break a needle and bend pins whilst sewing the two foam pieces together. Top-stitching was a delight for this project and truly makes the bag unique. Quilting the back panel with different colours was super fun. I recommend buying a couple of reels of high quality thread for top-stitching as you’ll be going through a fair few layers. Despite the time it took the bag was simple to put together with clear instructions. I assumed it would be difficult using the hardware but the directions took me through it step by step, the adjustable straps look so professional!
My sister was very happy with the result! I had just enough fabric to create a face mask, this is the 3D mask pattern, Crafty Sew & So have a pattern with written instructions and video tutorial by Marie of Stitch Odyssey. This is my favourite mask to make and wear, even better than the fitted one I mentioned in a previous post. the way the mask is designed ensures it stays put even when talking, yawning etc. Personally I add fusible interfacing to the main pieces as it give the mask a bit more structure and keeps the fabric from being pulled in by a sharp breath. the other benefit of this design is the small amount of fabric required, an excellent scrap buster and super quick make
I’ve a few more makes on the go, including more masks a pair of Flint culottes and Closet Core Pouf to make use of all those fabric scraps.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.