Saturday, 8 July 2017

Sew Together for Summer


I first came across Seamwork magazines Adelaide when I was looking for a shirtdress pattern for sew together for summer. This was was an Instagram photo challenge with the easiest and most inclusive set of rules I'd come across: Sew up a shirtdress and post a pic between the 15th of March and the 21st of June. Sarah, Monika and Suzy were the hosts and the winners were to be drawn randomly so from the novice to the professional alike, we were all in with a chance of a prize! 

Seamwork describe Adelaide as a tank dress, but with its centre front snap closure it fit the bill as a sew together for summer shirtdress. I particulary liked the idea of using snaps as I had yet to get to grips with button holes!!



I'm not always very imaginative when it comes to picking pattern and fabric combinations and all too often get swayed by the styling of the original garment publicity shots. This was no exception as all I could think to make Adelaide in was an Ikat design fabric. Imagine how pleased I was when I came across this single border print tie-dye style fabric!


If Adelaide and Ikat hadn't been swimming around my head this is not something I'd of normally been drawn to.  It was great timing then that a lady was using this fabric at the sewing class I attend. I instantly wanted it and at only £3.50 a metre from the textile centre this 100% cotton was a bargain buy!
   
So I used Aprils Seamwork credit and downloaded Adelaide. This time around I didn't print the pattern off A4 but used an online copyshop. Id come across netprinter after seeing lots of recommendations on Instagram and for just £10 (including p&p) I was able to get 3 patterns printed on A0 paper, so no cutting and sticking needed!

I was pleasantly surprised how easy Adelaide came together. The trickiest part was deciding how I wanted to orientate the pattern of the fabric on the dress. I eventually decided to have the solid blue border running the length of the front right and left (where it fastens) and the back featuring just the ikat pattern. I also "attempted" to pattern match for the first time (with varying success!).

Then it was time to attach the fastenings. Despite picking this pattern for its use of snaps I soon decided it was high time to tackle buttonholes. I had also come across an online treasure trove of buttons at textile garden and figured what better reward for conquering my buttonhole fear than to treat myself to some pretty buttons! 


Turns out buttonholes aren't all that bad when you have an automatic buttonhole on your sewing machine. Good thing when you've got 13 to sew and here is where I made a mistake...Id only bought 12!! Luckily the final button hole was far enough down to do away with. Next time I'll double check before purchasing, maybe!

Here is the finished dress and what do you know the next day the sun was shining and it almost felt like summer.



I really love this dress, so much in fact that I was already planning another. I'd been eyeing up  some liberty cotton poplin in Fabworks.


This liberty Carline print was priced at £13 a metre so I had ruled out buying it as ideally I wanted to make a dress but as dresses in my size tend to require 2+ metres I didn't feel I just justify the purchase. After I'd made my first Adelaide it occurred to me that this pattern is really economical with fabric. I laid out the pattern pieces and as long as my chosen fabric was 150cm wide I could get the body of the dress and belt loops out of 1 metre. Result! I wouldn't be able to squeeze the tie belt of 1 metre but a contrast belt could work I figured.


Again I wanted to post this make as a sew together for summer entry so I had to get cracking to make it in time for the 21st of June deadline. As I was pushed for time I didn't have much choice regarding the colour of bias binding to use as the colour range at my local haberdashery is limited. I deliberated and eventually went for a dark green that was a match for some of the foliage in the print. I also bought  a wider length of this same coloured bias binding to make the belt from. 

Despite my best efforts this wasn't finished by the contest deadline but I posted anyway as I was really pleased with my effort. 


I still needed to hem using bias binding and sew up the belt. Which I did the next day. 


Although I wasn't 100% sure about the contrast bias binding and belt when the dress was finished I felt it broke up the pink floral pattern nicely.


And my new pink Lotta's were a perfect match!


Another Adelaide and another one that I love and can see me wearing a lot.

This is the first time I've gone straight back to a pattern to make another. Which are your go to patterns?










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Monday, 3 July 2017

2017: The sewing story so far...

How is it July already! It's been a little over 6 months since I sewed my first item of clothing so thought I'd post a round up of what I've made so far this year in the hope that it will point me in the direction I want my me made wardrobe to go.


First up in January was the tilly and the buttons Cleo. This dungaree dress really appealed to me as I'd seen them in clothes stores but couldn't find one long enough. A me made version would solve that problem as I could make it the perfect length to suit me!


I chose to make the mid length version with centre front split in purple needle cord. Upon wearing this a few times I seem to have torn the front split despite bar tacking as advised in the instructions. I obviously must take long strides everywhere!!



My monetas were next up in mid February for the moneta party. These were the first time I sewed with stretch and I'm so glad I jumped straight in because there are so many great patterns for knit fabrics

I didn't manage any makes in March but did stock up on fabrics in the fab works easter sale. 3 months into my city and guilds course I made my first full size piece; a simple elasticated waist skirt. For the skirt I used a border print and I'd love to make another but have struggled to find a print that I really like at a decent price.


In April I had a wedding evening reception to attend and loved the prospect of making my own outfit, this coincided with my first month's subscription to seamwork magazine. Upon subscription I had a free pattern in my library, Kenedy. This trapeze dress with added flutter sleeves and statement tie back seemed a perfect party dress.


Mays make was another seamwork pattern, this time adelaide, a shirt dress with belted tie. I'd seen the the adelaide on seamworks site made up in an ikat design print and when another lady from sewing class brought in a similar fabric I had to know where she'd bought it as I immediately thought adelaide! This was my first attempt at button holes and the automated button hole on my Janome DKS100 made life so simple!


At the end of May I finally got around to making a pair of trousers I'd seen in love sewing magazine months earlier!! I'd printed the PDF Pattern when I'd first bought the mag but had been putting off a trouser make.

And then it was June, my most productive month so far. Yet more seamwork patterns were made in June; an Ida and another Adelaide. Seamwork patterns are probably my go to place for patterns due to affordability and being easy to make!



In June I also finished my tilly and the buttons Arielle that I had been making as part of my sewing course. Unfortunately I made a school boy error and had made it too small for myself, confusing finished garment measurements for body measurements!!


Just as June came to a close I managed a top and skirt in one day. The skirt was another tilly and the buttons pattern, this time Miette a wrap around skirt. The top was a cami that I'd been fancying making for a while, the true bias ogden. I couldn't believe how quick these makes came together.


So, what next? My makes so far have been dominated by dresses. I think I should try to work on separates more. I also have been shying away from zip fastenings, which is really something I must rectify. As well as learning zippers I'd love to do a course/workshop on fitting.

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