Portfolio Dress (Simplicity 2245) Front View

Recently I decided to see what Instagram is all about, and signed up (if you want, you can follow me @sewsmartuk). I stumbled across another sewists post regarding a pattern relay for Simplicity 2245.

Simplicity 2245, Lisette Portfolio Dress Pattern

Simplicity 2245, Lisette Portfolio Dress Pattern

Essentially the idea is that if you win, you trace the pattern (no cutting allowed so that it can be passed on to others) and then make up one of the views in a month. You then post your finished garment, and do a giveaway for the next person to make it up in a month. Well, as I think you may be aware, I’m not the fastest sewist in the world, and when I found out I had won, I was rather nervous about making up a garment within a month – especially over the school holidays, with work, children at home, and all of the other calls on time.
I decided that although it’s not my usual style, I just had to make the dress, so once the pattern pieces were traced, I started cutting the fabric that I had bought especially for this pattern (typically, I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash) which meant I just had to buy some of this gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn, from Abakhan.Continue reading

Girls polkadot dress front view

A couple of years ago my mother-in-law gifted me some beautiful cotton polkadot jersey to make a dress for my daughter. This fabric is so beautiful that I was scared to cut into it, hence it became one of my Use 5 2017 fabrics. I’ve got a couple of knit dress patterns in my stash, but both looked to be more wintery dresses, with long sleeves etc. I could have taken the sleeves off and adjusted the armscye, but I decided that probably the easier route was to copy a much worn RTW dress. I also thought the multi-coloured polkadots on white was rather summery and so a summer dress would be much more appropriate.Continue reading

A beautiful summer sky

So another three months have gone past, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve had all that much time to spend at my sewing table. I have been busy recently doing other things; work has been busy, I’m trying to do more work on our house, spend more time with the kids and get more exercise. I’ve never been all that keen on exercise, but I’ve always liked to do a bit, but I’m getting more focused – I am really enjoying challenging myself to run that bit further or faster. As a consequence, I am losing weight, which is also having an impact on my sewing; after all, I don’t want to sew something for me if it’s not going to fit me at the end of the process, and I think we are all aware by now that I’m not one of those sewers who can rattle something off in an afternoon.
So, now the excuses are out of the way, let’s just have a quick update on progress on my Use 5 2017 challenge:Continue reading

See & Sew 5704

OK, so here’s the thing; I love wearing pyjama bottoms – I’ve reached that stage in life where when I’m home and not entertaining I want to be comfortable. There is just about nothing better in the world than coming home after a busy day and changing out of work clothes into pyjama bottoms. You’ll notice though, I’m stressing the bottoms here – I don’t actually find woven pyjama tops all that comfortable, and I’m afraid my favourite pyjama tops are actually long or short sleeved t-shirts that have pilled (I’m pretty certain that’s the official way of saying “gone bobbly”) or are otherwise not suitable for wearing out of the house any longer.Continue reading

One of the reasons behind Use 5 2017 was to reduce some of the stash. It’s gone quite well so far, and I have completed a couple of the projects. That said, I’ve not done too well at reducing the stash. I’ve had a couple of work trips that have taken me close to fabric shops, and much as steel is attracted to a magnet, I am attracted to fabric shops. Additionally I needed to buy some interfacing, so of course I had to add a little extra to the online basket and get free shipping!

So the end result is that we’re only half way through the year and I’ve added the following beauties to my little collection.Continue reading

New Look 6150 in purple jersey

Hi, it’s been a while since I posted here. Sewing has been continuing, but not blogging unfortunately. Anyway, I’m really pleased to say that I’ve completed another project with my Use 5 fabrics. I started off with about 1.5m of beautifully soft drapey t-shirt fabric. I’m afraid I can’t be any more specific than that – I bought it from Abakhan’s from their “T-shirt” fabric basket. I bought the pattern a couple of years ago from Jaycotts, along with a load of other New Look patterns that just happened to be on sale when I was browsing. Unlike everyone else it now appears (just see the number of reviews on pattern review) I wasn’t particularly excited about sewing all the gathers; I bought it because I wanted to have a knit top pattern. When it came to making this top I was slightly concerned that I wouldn’t have enough fabric for view A, but I had more than enough for the simple top, so I decided to chance it, working on the theory that worst case I would end up with shorter sleeves, or possibly a sleeveless top. The one thing I didn’t like about view A was the 3/4 length sleeves. I find I fiddle with 3/4 length sleeves all the time when I wear them, so long sleeves would be ideal, as with a double layer of fabric in the front I didn’t think this would become a summer top.Continue reading

Use 5 - 2017

Well, somehow we’re already 25% of the way through the year. Spring has sprung and we’re right in the middle of March winds and April showers.

Spring has Sprung

I don’t quite know how we got this far, it certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas was 3 months ago. Anyway, I think it is time to see how I am getting on with my Use 5 challengeContinue reading

Navy Ponte Lindy Petal Skirt

I have been intrigued (and scared) of sewing knits for a good couple of years, never quite knowing where and how to start, but about 18 months ago I came across the Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch. It’s a free pattern, and looked to be a pretty good place to start – only 3 main pattern pieces plus a simple elastic waistband, and to top it off, in a style that I thought would work well in my office wardrobe. Once I had found the pattern though, I had to find the material…loads of things I’d read mentioned that Ponte di Roma is a good knit fabric to start with, but I had no idea what it was like, so didn’t really want to order it online, and none of my local fabric shops stocked anything in a knit, so I had no clue what sort of fabric it would be. That then, led to a big delay in actually doing anything about it, until my husband and I went away for a couple of days and found, just around the corner from the hotel, a branch of Abakhan’s! Wow! I was overwhelmed, and very pleased to find some navy Ponte di Roma for a reasonable price. Googling the fabric requirements, I popped in to Abakhan’s the next day, and bought the required 1.5m to make my very own Lindy Petal Skirt.Continue reading

Microwaveable Rice Pack

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a fan of the cold weather. In fact I have rather bad circulation to the extent that I frequently wear socks in bed, even in summer. I therefore would find the wheat packs that you can buy rather useful. But much as this makes me sound like a skinflint, I begrudge paying ten of my hard earned pounds or more on what is a simple pocket of material filled with wheat – so I live with cold toes! That is, until last week, when I decided that after my machine had been fixed I needed to undertake some very simple straight sewing to try it out.

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make my very own warming pack. I have loads of scraps of material from various projects, and loads of left over bits of thread, so this cost me the price of 1kg economy rice – in other words, about 50p! I consider that a win 🙂Continue reading

Perfectly Aligned Slots in Presser Foot and Needle Plate with a Nicely Centred Needle

Well, as I said, my sewing machine wasn’t functioning quite as it should have been. I managed to speak to a very helpful engineer at the manufacturers, who talked me through how to diagnose and then fix the problem, all for the cost of a 20 minute phone call. It’s only when you realise that your sewing machine isn’t working properly that you realise how much it means to you – I had visions of it costing a lot to get fixed, then having to make the decision of whether to buy a new machine or suck up the repair cost. What a relief to find that I didn’t need to make that decision. Continue reading