Monday, 20 March 2017

MARGE / Tall Guides Design Challenge

I am equal parts excited and terrified to be participating in the MARGE and Tall Guides design challenge.

The challenge is to make a Spring / Summer dress using 2 fabrics generously gifted by MARGE clothing.  Having been the lucky beneficiary of MARGE fabrics before, I knew I couldn't resist the opportunity to sew with their stunning ethically made fabrics.  Who could?! 

I thought I'd try something a little different and introduce myself and my super high tech & glam sewing space (otherwise known as my kitchen table & 40 year old sewing machine!) with a little video:
Please check out the other fabulous participants in this challenge.  All of whom I'm trying to put out of my mind because I'm intimidated by their awesomeness!

Beth at www.sewdiy.com
Janet at www.diywardrobe.co.uk
Tiffany at www.prettytallsewnsew.com

I will update you on the challenge as it unfolds, so be sure to check back!  The winner will be announced mid May (*big gulp* that's sooner than you think my lovelies!!).

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

First Make of 2017! B6333

Happy New Year!

Despite the busy past couple of months (turning 40, best friend visiting from New York, Christmas, school holidays etc) I did manage to squeeze in some sewing.

My first make of the year is Butterick 6333, a classic shirt dress.

Overall experience:

The pattern says that it's easy, and it is.  Maybe not for a beginner, but an easy sew for those with some experience and a good way to learn new skills (collar and buttons) for newbies.

My adjustments:

I added 23 cm (9 inches) to the skirt length as I wanted it to hit below the knee.  Based on my measurements I added 1.5cm to the bodice length, however had to remove it.  Then I entered a sizing parallel universe...I cut out the size which corresponded with my measurements but it was huge!  I ended up taking out about 5cm (2 inches) on either side and bringing in the shoulders 2cm (almost an inch) as they hung off my reasonably average shoulders. 

Does this happen to anyone else?  You cut out your size based on the pattern measurements, but then it's huge?  Oh well, better too big than too small I guess!

Fabric used:

I used a gifted cotton lawn.  The fabric is very lightweight so I lined the front of the bodice (not in the instructions).  I possibly would have lined the skirt, but ran out of lining fabric!  After having worn it, I think it's fine without lining.

Would I make it again?:

Yes.  I love the timeless classic style and it has pockets (which, as you know, I add to just about everything but it was nice they were part of the design!).  Despite all the adjustments I had to make it was worth it and will be much smoother sewing next time. 

Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Muslin Magic!

Okay, so "muslin magic" is a bit of an overstatement for the title of this post!!

However, this is a favourite trick of mine when making muslins out of scrap fabric. 

When I'm using a new dress pattern for the first time the fit of the shoulders, bust and waist is most important to me.  Typically I'm making a full / flared skirt so my butt can be as big as it wants to be and the skirt portion will fit!  However, I have to more carefully consider the fit of my upper body (which is sometimes up to 2 sizes smaller than my lower half!). 

Rather than using up lots of fabric to make a muslin of the skirt, which I know will fit, I make just the top.  If the muslin works out I have a lovely new top to wear with jeans or a skirt.  If it doesn't work out, I haven't wasted many metres of fabric.

Here are 2 examples of my top half muslin making magic!

The first is The Rosie Dress by Cotton & Chalk.  I used a rayon purchased from my Church fĂȘte, sadly there wasn't enough to make a whole dress.  I was between sizes so went with the larger size.  Mistake!  It was huge, so huge that I think I lost some of the original shape taking it in.  The neckline is designed for a more endowed woman than I, so I had to take that in too.  All in all, if the fabric wasn't so pretty I'd probably discard this one.  I really don't see myself making the dress, which is a shame because I've seen fabulous versions of it on Instagram.  Who knows, maybe I will give it another go...

No idea what I'm doing here.  Clearly, I'm a professional model!

Pretty fabric!

The second top is The Olivia Dress also by Cotton & Chalk.  I was much happier with this one and have since made it into a long sleeved maxi dress.  For this muslin I used a cotton lawn which was gifted to me.  I didn't have to make any tall girl alterations for this one!

The shot everyone who sews can relate too
 - tucking in a loose thread!