Saturday, 1 December 2018

Hello Tiger - SOI Cora Top

The perfect woven top pattern is something that I've really struggled to find. I always see people on Instagram looking effortlessly chic with their woven tops, but every time I made one it would get as far as my boobs and then fall straight down, making me look all boxy and stiff which is just not a good look. I really wanted the Scout Tee to work for me because it's one that so many people rave about, but I just can't get it to look flattering on me!

When I saw that Sew Over It had released a new woven top pattern I thought, "Could this be it? Is this the pattern I've been searching for?" My head went for 'maybe' which is good enough for me! πŸ˜‚ It has a V neck which is always a winner for me so I bought the pdf, printed and assembled it and went on the hunt for the perfect fabric.

I was at the Birmingham Rag Market during sew Brum (this seems to be a theme in my posts recentlyπŸ˜‚) and as I floated between the stalls, I saw some fabric hanging up at the back of a stall and I became the literal heart eyes emoji! It was perfect! But how did I get it?! I started rummaging through the piles of bolts of fabric on the stall until I saw a little tiger poking out, I FOUND IT! I immediately hauled it out of the pile and got straight in the queue to get it cut.

Isn't it just glorious?!
I got cracking on the construction and the theory is pretty simple, but the slippery fabric did test my patience a few times. The front has a kind of folded pleat at the point of the neckline which gave it a bit more floatiness (if that's even a word?) Like most woven tops, it's still on the boxy side but because the fabric is so soft and floaty it wasn't as bad and I went for a little partial tuck in when styling it which I think made all the difference.

I am the Tiger Raptor!!

I didn't stitch the pleat as it stated in the instructions because I felt that the fabric was a bit to lightweight to stitch right across it so I just hand stitched it in place.

I don't know if the perfect woven top pattern exists for me, but I think this is pretty close. I reckon I would make it again as long as I could get the same weight of fabric (and another amazing print wouldn't hurt!)

Saturday, 24 November 2018

And she emerges from her cocoon like a beautiful butterfly!

A proper slouchy comfy cardigan is something that I've been looking for a quite a while and as didn't really want to rely on the high street because inevitably I would find the right shape but the wrong colour or worse, I could find the perfect cardigan and it gets discontinued and I can't get any more. So I searched far and wide across the internet for the perfect pattern and I just couldn't find the right thing until I came across a free pattern (yeah, you heard me, FREE!) from True Bias.

I decided to use the instructions to make a paper pattern rather than just measuring and cutting straight into the fabric and I had some fabric leftover from a previous project so I used that to make a trial run of the cardigan. I loved the trial run so much that I needed more!

I was going to Sew Brum so I put this cardigan on my fabric list. I knew that I needed 2m for it, but I didn't want to spend too much money on it and as luck would have it I found the perfect fabric in the rag market for a mere £2 per meter! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ I also didn't realise when I bought it that the fabric is almost the exact same as the fabric in the tutorial πŸ˜‚

Once I got my head around which bits of the pattern go where, it was really easy to make and I will definitely be making more of them in different colours.

It's a great length for covering up without looking like a big bag of frump and can just be thrown on top of your outfit and can be dressed up or down depending on the rest of your clothes, accessories etc.

It's cosy...
...and fun!

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out and even happier with the fact that it only cost £4 to make πŸ˜‚ If you want to make yourself a cocoon cardi (or 10) to get yourself through the winter then head over to True Bias for the tutorial.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Jingle ALL the way! Nobody likes a half-assed jingler! - A simple Christmas stocking tutorial

It's Christmaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssss!!!!

 Well no, it's actually November, but in the crafting world November is actually quite late to start Christmas projects πŸ˜‚ But this simple Christmas stocking project can be whipped up super quickly, I promise!

You will need:

0.5m of your outer fabric
0.5m of your inner fabric (I just used plain calico)
Matching thread
Sewing machine or the patience to hand sew it!

Here’s what you need to do!

Draw out your basic stocking shape or just Google stocking template like I did πŸ˜‚

Draw out a rectangle that is as wide as the top of your stocking and as tall as you want the cuff to be (mine is 18cm x 10cm)

Take your stocking template and cut out 2 of the outer fabric and 2 of the inner fabric

Take your cuff template and cut 2 on the fold of your outer fabric

I've shown the cuffs with one folded and one unfolded just so you can see it :)
Take 1 of your outer stocking pieces and pin it right sides together to one side of your cuff and pin 1 of your inner stocking pieces to the other side of your cuff with right sides together making sure that your stocking toes are both facing the same way. Sew them together, press your seams open and do the same for the other pieces.

Pin your pieces together with right sides facing ensuring that the seams at the cuff match up. Sew around the stocking ensuring that you leave a gap at the bottom of the inner stocking to turn them the right way out.

Don't forget to leave a gap!
How many pins is too many pins?

Trim your seam and turn the stocking the right way out through the gap in your lining. Fold the raw edges under and either zig zag stitch them together on your machine or if you’re feeling fancy, you could hand sew it closed using a ladder stitch.

I ain't fancy :)

Stuff your stocking lining into the outer shell and turn the cuff down.

Et voila! You now have a beautiful stocking to give as a gift to family and friends, donate to charity or just keep it for yourself (Mine has festive daschunds on it!)

Alternatively, if you love these stockings but have neither the time or the inclination to make one, then pop on over to my Etsy shop to buy one that’s already made!

Sunday, 30 September 2018

New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket

The pattern for this cheeky wee jacket up came with one of the first patterns I ever attempted which was the top that I made in a really cheap floral polycotton and was too big all over, the neck was all stretched out and the seams left a lot to be desired πŸ˜‚ but even though the top is long gone, I held onto the pattern in the hope that I would go back to it one day and that day has finally come!

So I picked up the fabric about 6 months ago in Glasgow without any concrete plans for it (quelle surprise!) I had a wee flick through my pattern stash and came across the New Look pattern and decided to make the kimono style jacket as the weather was still quite hot.

It was super easy to construct! Literally just a back, a couple of front pieces and the band for the edge. It needed a jolly good press before wearing, but since it was still about a million degrees at the time, I left it hanging on the back of the chair until the following weekend when it was cool enough in the morning to break out the iron.

 I think its casual enough to just wear about the house, but still dressy enough to wear to work or dinner, or whatever it is that adults do.

Obviously the weather cooled down as soon as I'd got this together, so hopefully the kimono style doesn't become incredibly unfashionable by next summer πŸ˜‚

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Tessuti Lois Dress - A tale of desperation

Recently the UK (and most of the rest of the planet) was in the midst of a mental heatwave that I, as a pasty Scot, was totally unprepared for. I have very little in the way of summer clothes, mainly because I don't have the legs for shorts, I don't like to have my upper arms exposed too much and I ALWAYS have tights on under my dresses. So all of these problems combined with not liking many RTW clothes these days, meant that I had to really think about what I would actually be happy wearing.

I came across the Tessuti Lois Dress and thought this is the pattern for me! It's got enough of a sleeve that I wouldn't be uncomfortable having my arms out, and loose and long enough for me to not be too hot or too exposed. I had the pink fabric in my stash from when I attended the Hobbycrafts show in Glasgow in March and it was the perfect weight for this pattern.

I managed to get the PDF pattern printed and stuck together and the fabric cut out before the room got too hot so I had to leave the actual sewing until the next morning when it was cool enough again. The construction was pretty straight forward, I found the darts a bit unusual because you actually cut them as a V before sewing them together. The only real issue I had was the insertion of the side zip. I had never done one before and it had to be inserted within the side dart of the skirt which I really struggled with and ended up with the bottom of the zip making the skirt stick out.

 But even with the dodgy zip, I really liked this dress. It's soft and floaty and shows off my best assets πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It kept me cool and comfortable while having a nice wee wander round Glasgow Fort with my wee maw πŸ’–

 And now that I have something in my wardrobe that's actually suitable for summer, the sun has now of course, gone away again πŸ˜‚ Ah well, there's always next year!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

P4P Brunch Blouse aka My Favourite Pattern

As you may have read in a previous post one of my resolutions is to try more indie patterns including this one in particular. I like Patterns for Pirates because they have lots of good basic patterns that I would actually wear on a regular basis, I settled on the Brunch Blouse because it's something that I can just through on in the morning and head off to work and still be comfortable all day.

Back in March I was at the Hobbycrafts show at the SECC in Glasgow and found a GREAT stall from M. Rosenberg & Son that sold loooooads of lovely fabrics, I had to actually limit myself because the fabrics were so lovely and so well priced that I could have gone on a mental spending spree πŸ˜‚ Anyway, it's where I bought the lovely navy poly-viscose bird print that I made the first version of this dress.

The pattern was really easy to put together, I skipped out on the breast pocket, and made it a round neckline to be more work appropriate. I finished the neck and hem with satin bias so that it had a nice clean finish and threw it on to see how it looked. I LOVED IT! It's comfy, work appropriate and still quite casual.

I thought it was the perfect little dress to have several versions of so I had a rummage through my fabric and found the brushed cotton tartan that I bought last summer and was waiting for the right project and as luck would have it, I had the perfect amount for this dress! So I set about making another one and I loved this one just a little bit more because I love tartan and it reminds me of home πŸ’—

This is genuinely how much joy tartan brings me

I had another look through my stash to see if there were any other fabrics that would suit this pattern, but alas there was nothing else that I thought was the right look, buuuuuuut during a weekend visiting family in Glasgow, I came across this mental sixties-esque print which is the perfect weight to make a third one!!

Unfortunately, I had a bit of an argument with the neck of this one and tried to iron it out, which made it worse πŸ˜‚ If anyone has any suggestions to fix it, please let me know, otherwise I'll just have to make it part of the style!πŸ˜‚

In short, I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone looking for that perfect, throw it on, no effort involved dress and Patterns for Pirates in general (and they also have some free patterns!)And if I keep going at this rate then I can just have 5 variations for every day of the work week! πŸ˜‚

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Cotton & Chalk Dungarees AKA The outfit that almost never was

So I've wanted a pair of dungarees for ages and I even had the pattern ready to go , but I just couldn't find the perfect fabric that just leapt out and said "Look at me! I'm everything you've ever wanted, let's run away together and live happily ever after!" So after literally months of checking every fabric shop under the sun, I thought, maybe I should just keep it simple and make them in a plain colour, since that would be sensible and I'd actually get more wear out of them. So I thought about different types and different weights of fabrics and I decided that black cotsat would be the ideal fabric because its not too heavy or too light and has that liiittle bit of stretch to make them extra comfortable. So off I went on my hunt again and searched and searched and searched but I just couldn't find any for a decent price! So I went into the Birmingham Rag market looking for alternatives and I described what I was looking for to one of the stall holders and lo and behold he had it!! I said I need 2.7m and he said he would do me 3m for £13! What a bargain! So I bought my fabric and went on my merry way 😁

I got all my pieces cut out, stitched the bib together, assembled the trousers (complete with pockets) and thought I'd better try them on just to be sure, and they were bloody massive! They were what can only be described as 'enormous clown trousers' πŸ˜‚ I couldn't believe it! I had followed the sizing and the instructions to the letter and they were just unwearable, I know that they are designed to be a bit loose and casual looking, but they were just ridiculous. So after a fashion, I decided to resize them completely, but did I have any tracing paper left? Nooooooooooo! Of course not! So I had to order more tracing paper and wait for it to arrive, trace the legs two sizes smaller and re cut them. Which I did, but by then the whole country had been dropped into Satan's oven and it was way too hot to sit in the south facing sewing room and actually put them together.

Accurate representation of my sewing room

 Cut to a few weeks later, it's finally cool enough to sew them up so I crack on and get the trousers and straps assembled, throw everything together and get the trousers rolled up and pressed in place (with a lot of help from my long suffering husband) and they are GLORIOUS!!! I bloody love them! And no jokes about MC Hammer from certain colleagues (James, I'm looking at you) will change how much I love them ♡

They even have beautiful Liberty cotton pockets (leftover from the robe I made for my Mum) in the trousers and lining the bib pocket πŸ’–

My only problem I have with them is the same problem I have with all dungarees and jumpsuits, you have to practically strip off to go to the loo! πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ But in all seriousness, these are incredibly comfortable and that dreaded word practical 😱 and I can just roll the legs down when it gets cold!πŸ˜‚

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

FREE PATTERN! - Did ye, aye? Cross stitch pattern

Hi guys! I've had a wee go at designing some cross stitch patterns and even have some for sale in my Etsy shop I've decided to give this one away for free because it's one of my favourite phrases especially when it's said with just a hint of sarcasm πŸ˜‚

Here's the link for the pattern, it should take you to the pattern on Google Drive, but if it doesn't work then let me know and I can email it to you :)

If you stitch it up, then please send me a picture because I'd love to see your work!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Me Made May 2018 - The Results

So I decided to take part in Me Made May for the first time this year and I pledged to wear handmade at least 3 times a week and identify any gaps in my wardrobe which I actually did! I also took pictures of my outfits as I went along and posted them on Instagram. I discovered that I had some things I would only wear on occasion and others that I wore constantly.

In terms of identifying gaps in my wardrobe, I discovered that I don't have many work appropriate handmade clothes, which I need to work on since that's where I spend most of my days. I also want to work on more casual wear outside of dresses as they're not always practical and maybe some more PJs because they are life πŸ˜‚

It's also encouraged me to start sewing for myself again, it had been a while since I had made anything for myself because I'd been so busy making things for other people, but I love wearing clothes that I've created myself and can't wait to get cracking 😁

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Wardrobe By Me - Haute Curvy Pants

Alrighty then! I'll keep this one short and sweet, I made these jeans several months ago and then they lay unworn and forgotten about for ages until I rediscovered them a couple of weeks ago and thought that the Me Made May challenge would be the perfect time to actually start wearing them :)

So let's start with some thoughts on the pattern, construction and fabric. I had never used a Wardrobe By Me pattern before, but it had received really good reviews and I'm all for a trouser pattern that will work with my ample behind πŸ˜‚ I went to the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham to stock up on denim and got to work. The pattern was easy to follow and the trews came together nice and quick! I overlocked all the edges before sewing them and when inserting the zipper, decided to forgo the hook and eye at the top because I didn't think it was necessary, HOWEVER, after wearing them for a few hours I discovered that the tops of zips are very itchy and annoying so when a pattern tells you to insert the zip a couple of centimeters from the top and insert a hook and eye, you do it!! πŸ˜‚ I also think that the denim I chose may be a tad on the heavy side and could do with some more stretch in it. I placed the pockets (which are of a very good size) where the pattern indicated, but I think they could do with being moved up a couple of inches because the point of the pockets ends up sitting at the top of my thigh.

So overall, I think they're a perfectly wearable pair of trousers, but the next time I make them I think I'll use a lighter weight and slightly stretchier fabric and move the pockets up a few inches :)

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Oh, Baby!

There must be something in the water, because every time I turn around someone else announces they're pregnant πŸ‘Ά it all started with a lovely girl at work who is expecting her first in the summer so I wanted to make something special for the baby. She found out it was a boy so I decided to make a little baby blanket in blue and grey to go with her colour scheme for the baby's room and found this lovely chunky yarn in Hobbycraft and settled on doing a corner to corner crochet blanket as it was quick to work up. I used the tutorial from the Crochet Crowd and started crocheting away. I finished the blanket and was really pleased with how it came out, I used four and a half balls and the blanket is 30"x30".

Now I could have stopped there, but now I had the bug, I wanted to make other things for him! So after plenty of time rummaging around in my books and on the internet I made a set of (really soft) hats using Hobbycraft's own baby yarn in blue and grey.

Aaaaand I could have stopped there, but I had some beautiful Peter Rabbit fat quarters that I'd had for a couple of years, but the right project had never come up....until now! It turns out you can get 2 bib fronts out of every FQ, so I decided to do a set of three to go with the 3 hats. I knew that it was much cheaper to buy decent quality towel and cut it up rather than buying toweling from a fabric shop, and as luck would have it, an ASDA extra soft hand towel is just the right amount to cut out 3 bibs 😁 They were so easy to make, all I had to do was cut out a front and back, sew the right sides together (while leaving a gap at the bottom) trim the seams, turn it right side out and zigzag around the entire edge and then just sew a wee bit of velcro on. They took no time at all, but be warned, if you cut up a towel, you'd better have your hoover handy because the fluff goes EVERYWHERE!!

But wait, there's more! I bought a little grey basket from Home Bargains to store it all in and thought it looked like it was missing something. baby should start life without a cuddly best friend! So I dug out some grey yarn and got started on a cuddly elephant. This actually took longer to make than any of the others because it was a small hook (3.5mm) and a lot of rounds of stitches that involved continuous counting. But when I finally sewed it all together, the result was totally worth it, he's so adorable!


So off he went into the basket, but something still wasn't quite right. So I went in search of the finishing touch, I thought maybe some ribbon would do the trick until I found soft tulle on a roll! AHA! I exclaimed and took it home to finish the job ( I will note that I did actually pay for it πŸ˜‚) Everything was bundled up in the tulle and even the little elephant got a pretty, little bow round his neck.


Now everything was just right! I was so excited to bring it to work the next day for the recipient and thankfully she absolutely loved it πŸ˜„

Now I get to start crocheting and sewing for my favourite cousin who is having her first in Autumn πŸ‘Ά I can't wait to get going!

Hello Tiger - SOI Cora Top

The perfect woven top pattern is something that I've really struggled to find. I always see people on Instagram looking effortlessly chi...