Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Ultimate Trousers #2 and #3

Hi all, long time no speak.

So I've finally got round to writing about my second and third attempt at the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. Both of these have been made in 100% cotton so there was no stretch to worry about, unlike my first pair. However, this also means they're not quite as comfy to wear as the other pair for that reason.


Anyway, I didn't change anything size wise as I'd made a muslin using non-stretch calico so it was just a case of sewing them up. As with all trousers, the sewing up part is super simple (it's just the fitting that can be a pain in the behind). I sewed them both up in the same weekend because they're so quick.

However, I'm still not 100% happy with the fit, so I bought the Sew Over It Ultimate guide to sewing and fitting trousers (partly to get the fit right, but also because I really like the Carrie trouser pattern). The plan is to start from scratch with the pattern again and go through all the fitting help on the course to see if I can get a better fit. Ultimately (ha, see what I did there), I'd like to make a higher waisted version using Lisa's pattern hack, but I don't want to do that till I'm totally happy with the fit of the basic pattern.

Version 2 was made from some ditsy cotton I had in my stash. I bought it for a summer dress years ago, but never got round to making it. I'm not totally convinced the colour / pattern works on these trousers as the fabric sort of makes me think pyjamas for some reason. Hey-ho, I've still worn them quite a lot this summer as they're nice and cool.


Version 3 was made from some navy floral fabric from Hobbycraft - and what a palava that was! I went in with the little one in the buggy, which is awkward since the fabric is upstairs. Anyway, I found the fabric and a lovely shop assistant said she'd cut off what I wanted whilst I made my way down in the lift again to save me waiting. Perfect I thought. I got straight home and - without really checking the fabric, which is totally my fault - I shoved it straight in the wash as I wanted to make the trousers ASAP. It wasn't until I hung it up to dry that I realised there was a massive, almost string like, sewing line through the middle of the fabric length where they'd sewn two bolts of fabric together! It was completely useless. Why the shop assistant thought that selling 2.5m of fabric, which was basically in two lengths, and not thinking to check if that was okay, was a good idea, is totally beyond me. Fortunately though, when I took it back, another lovely shop assistant totally understood and replaced the fabric without question - she even checked it was one continuous piece for me just to be sure! So it worked out okay in the end.


I much prefer the colour of these trousers. I think because they are darker, they look less like pyjamas.


So, all in all, two wearable summer trousers that I'm relatively happy with. Anyway, I've printed off the Carrie and Ultimate trousers for the course so I just need to tape them together and get going on improving the fit even more. So watch this space!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Me Made May '16: Week 3

Week 3 already? How has that happened?

Here's my round-up of outfits for the week.

Day 15: Broderie anglais Grainline top (never blogged) for a sport or gardening.
Day 16: Ultimate trousers in blue with white flowers (still to blog).
Day 17: Grainline T-shirt in mint.
Day 18: Ultimate trousers again - this time with a white top.
Day 19: Silk Cami and multicoloured spots
Day 20: Coco dress (not this actual outfit as I forgot to take a photo - this off the original blog post - but with leggings.
Day 21: Sense and Sensibility Swing Dress.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Spotty Viscose Sew Over it Silk Cami

Morning lovely people.

Another finished make today - and another Sew Over It Silk Cami. This time in a spotty Viscose I got from the Birmingham Rag Market for £1m (bargain).


Not much more to add in terms of making it up as I didn't change anything from the last grey version. Although this one was much more difficult to sew up, as it was just so slippery, so I don't think the finish is quite as good as on the grey version. But hey-ho, as I keep reminding myself,  no one else will notice the imperfections but me!



Given that most of my skirts / trousers (bar jeans) are patterned, this won't necessarily go with quite as much in my wardrobe but I love the pattern nonetheless. Plus, I'm planning to rectify that with some plain fabric makes:
A navy Sew Over It Tulip Skirt;
a black TATB Delphine skirt; and
some pink Ultimate Trousers - As I'm all about the trousers at the moment.


I have to say I am loving this simple silk cami top at the moment as they're perfect for the (hopefully) warmer weather, but they can also be layered up with a cardi in cooler weather (like today).


I've even bought some pretty white embroidered cotton lawn from Croft Mill to make another version.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Me Made May '16: Week 2

Morning all.

I'm a bit late posting a round up of my MMM '16 outfits, but better late than never right?


Day 8: An 80's dress I resized
Day 9: Sew Over It Silk Cami (yet to blog about it).
Day 10: Grainline T-shirt
Day 11: Embellished Coco top (yet to blog about it).
Day 12: Sunflowers top.
Day 13: Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers (Yet to blog about them)
Day 14: Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sew Over It: Ultimate Trousers

Afternoon everyone.

Today's make - the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers in a stretch cotton. I bought this fabric from John Lewis the other week, when I met up with friends for a fabric shopping session in Birmingham.


Like I said in my last post, I made the Ultimate trousers just over a year ago for the first time, in a lovely grey floral cotton. After making 2 or 3 muslins and adjusting the fit, I got it just right, only for me to find out I was pregnant, never get round to taking photos whilst they fit, and then be unable to fit into them after another month! Boo.

So I took my modified pattern pieces from last year and widened them out slightly to make them big enough for me. I made another muslin to check the fit and they seemed fine so I cut the main fabric out. 
Remember when I said I made these out of stretch cotton. Well, I made them up - all bar the facing, checked for fit and they were way to big at the back and front centre seams. the stretch cotton had obviously stretched out as I cut. So I ended up taking in a good 1.5" off the back, tapered round to about 0.5" at the front. That seemed fine, so I added the waistband facings. 

I tried them on again to decide on the length I wanted them and they still felt too big! Agh. 

So I'm not overly sure what to do now. They're wearable, but they just feel a little loose. Amy over at Almond Rock and Roisin of Dolly Clackett suggested spray starching the waistband to see if it stops the stretch so I might try that. If not, I may have to remove the facing, take the seams in a little bit more again and make a new facing to fit. 

However, can I just say that the invisible zip I added is probably one of the best I've done for a while so at least something worked properly! 


I have since tried on my muslin again and the fit is right so it's just because this fabric has stretch in it. I've got some hounds tooth fabric without any stretch so I'm going to make up a pair in that fabric as well - but with a waistband and higher waist using the instructions from Sew Over It on how to do that. Hopefully they'll work out all right, so stay tuned for updates!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Sew Over It Silk Cami

Morning lovely people,

Another finished make for you (I've been on a roll these last couple of weeks)!

So, I bought the Sew Over It Silk Cami pattern in pdf over a year ago now and never got round to sticking it together and making it up. But last week I got the tape and scissors out and went to work. I bought some grey faux silk from Sew Over It at the same time as buying the pattern specifically to make the top with so I dug that out as well.


The top is super simple to make with only 4 pieces in total and has a really nice way of sewing together the straps which means there is no seam allowance on show underneath. The main bodice and facing side seams are also all sewn together using French Seams which makes it lovely and neat looking inside.

This fabric was a lot easier to sew with that I thought it would be as it's not too slippery, however, it marks really easily. Drips of water from my iron whilst pressing left lovely looking water marks on the fabric! Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make the other half do the washing up if I'm wearing this top (shame).

I like the relaxed loose fit of this top - it works well both hanging out over jeans and tucked into a waistline for a smarter work look, although I'm more likely to wear it hanging out these days as I spend them looking after a little one and kneeling on the floor rather than in an office environment.


I definitely have plans to make at least one more version of this top (as I already have the fabric for it), but will probably make more of them in the future too as they're so versatile.

This is the second Sew Over It pattern I've sewn up (I made a pair of Ultimate Trousers last year but never got round to photographing / blogging about them and they currently don't fit my post baby figure annoyingly as I love them). Lisa's instructions are really clear and easy to follow - she used clear images in her booklets to support the written instructions - which makes the whole sewing process nice and enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend her patterns, she has so many lovely ones. I'd probably make them all if I had the budget!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Me Made May '16: Week 1.

So the first week of MMMay '16 is over. I thought I'd just do a quick round up of what I wore.

Day 1: Jersey Grainline tee
Day 2: Pendrell blouse in cotton lawn
Day 3: Sew Over It Silk Cami
Day 4: Sewaholic Cambie Dress
Day 5: Self drafted gather jersey skirt.
Day 6: Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers
Day 7: Tilly and The Buttons Bettine Dress.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Finished Project: Rayon Flowers Bettine Dress

Hello again.


So this is my second version of the Bettine Dress having added 2" to the bodice as well as the skirt. This time I used a rayon fabric I've had in my stash for a couple of years, not knowing what to do with it.


It's interesting to see how differently this hangs than the chambray version as this fabric is much more drapey. Having added the 2" to the bodice, I think I prefer it with less drape actually (you live and learn) so if I make it again, I'll remove the additional bodice length again. I don't think the extra drape round my waist is particularly flattering on my figure.


This time I went for a simple, basic version of the dress. No cuffs, tabs or pockets, as the fabric pattern is quite large and I thought pockets would break the pattern up too much.

Other than that, there's very little extra to say about this make. I used a contrasting fabric for the facings again, this time because I thought the light drapey nature of the rayon might make the neck line hand badly, so I used some cotton as it has more structure.


Safe to say, both my Bettine's will get some wear this summer, although this version is slightly less suitable for spring as I don't think it works quite as well with tights as the other one.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Finished Project: Sage Chambray Bettine Dress

Morning all!


I'm finally getting a chance to blog about this Bettine Dress I made a couple of weeks ago. When I saw this Tilly and the Buttons pattern I thought it would be perfect for a couple of spring / summer dresses, even though it's not my usual go-to dress style. I normally like fitted bodices and full skirts as I think they flatter my figure better but this dress looked like it would be lovely and comfortable to wear so I decided to make it anyway.

I used a sage green chambray type fabric from croft mill as I really liked the colour. I also bought a pale blue chambray at the same time which I'm thinking I might use for a TATB Megan dress from Love at First Stitch. 


I added 2" to the skirt as I have quite long legs and am not the biggest fan of showing off too much of them! This dress is about as short as I would go with or without tights being more of a knee length skirt kind of gal! 

Other than that I didn't make any other moderations to the dress pattern. I decided to go with the full 'bells and whistles' version with pockets and a cuff and a button tab on the sleeves. I also used a grey cotton polkadot for the facings rather than the sage green fabric for some added interest (not that anyone else will see the facings but hey-ho). 



As usual, Tilly's instructions were easy to follow - I really like the photos she includes in her instruction books - they make everything so clear to understand. Not that this was a particularly difficult make as it's aimed at beginner dress makers but there are some really lovely details in this dress that just finishes it off nicely. 

Having made the dress, I decided I should have added length to the bodice as well as there isn't as much drape in it as I think there should be. I've added 2" onto the pattern pieces now so will try it out with my next version. 


Other than that though, this is lovely and comfortable to wear, as I thought it would be. It works just as well with tights and a cardie as it does with bear legs so will definitely carry me through spring and into summer. I've got some lovely red flowered rayon I've had in my stash for ages to use for another version, so it will be interesting to see how the lengthened bodice and different fabric change the drape of the dress on me.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Me MAde May 16 pledge




So, I've been deliberating over whether to sign up for Me Made May (MMM) this year as my me made wardrobe is vastly smaller than it was due to the additional pounds I'm still carrying after having the Little boy at the end of last year. However, I've had a bit of a sewing streak recently and feel like I could make a good go of it now (I'm also slowly starting to fit back into some of my things), so I've decided to bite the bullet and do it.

So here's my pledge.

I Helen of Helen Made, sign up as a participant of Me Made May '16. I will wear at least one handmade or refashioned item a day for the whole of May. 

A simple pledge but that should be tricky enough at the moment.

So here's to another great MMM!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

FINALLY!!! Another finished project. Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt.

Hola Chicas! I hope I find yo all well on this sunny Wednesday!

I've finally been able to start and finish a sewing project. Technically this isn't the first sewing project completed since the little boy was born but the other project (A Gertie Pencil Skirt in animal print) turned out to be far too big for me after my post baby sizing adjustments, and I have yet to sort it out. Which is a shame because not only do I love a good pencil skirt (as seen here and here), but I also love the fabric.

Anyway, enough of the failed pencil skirt for now and on to the first finished (and wearable) sewn item post bubba. A Delphine Skirt from Tilly's book Love at First Stitch.


I made a trial version of this way back last year (never blogged) and found that I needed a sway back adjustment before it fit properly, because of the high waist. So it got put in the to be finished pile and forgotten about until a couple of weeks back when I decided I needed to make a few things that would actually fit me now as I was bored of jeans and t-shirt combos.

I took out about 1" from the back skirt piece at the centre back, tapering to nothing at the hips, by marking then slicing the pattern piece about 2 1/2 " down from the top.



Then I overlapped the pieces at the centre back by 1" and taped it down.


I also added 2" to the length because I don't like my skirts too short and I always need to add length because of my height. Other than that there were no other adjustments to the pattern. Tilly's instructions were, as always, really clear.

And because I can, so why not, I used some lovely yellow chevron fabric, left over from the boys quilt, for the facing.


The skirt fabric is some navy brushed cotton polka dot which I found at a charity shop a couple of years ago.


All in all a satisfying and simple make and one I'm sure I'll get loads of wear out of.


Up next (once the fabric arrives) is  TATB's Bettine Dress, using some sage green chambray fabric from Croft Mill. I also bought this blue chambray to potentially make another version, or some other summery dress.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Finished project: baby cardigan

Hello all. Hope you're well. I have a finished knitted make for you today. I've finally got round to finishing the Baba's cardigan from this Patons booklet.


I started it back over half term at the end of October and only had the button band and hood band to finish when he came along, so it got sidelined whilst I coped with being sleep deprived and keeping a little person alive. Finally finished it last night. Yay!

I picked out this green wool as I didn't know whether buba was going to be a boy or girl so it seemed to work for both. The pattern is called Corey.


I really love the ridged stripy effect the pattern creates. The make was quite straightforward once you got used to the pattern repeat and I was able to do a lot of it without constantly needing to check back to the pattern, which was a refreshing change for my knitting as I normally need to check constantly to remind myself.

I only did one button and button hole in the end as a rarely actually button up the cardigans I have already so figured I wouldn't button this one up either really.

Next up a crochet hat for him using this pattern. I'm going with a petrol blue colour and I'm going to add on a purple pom-pom for good measure, because, why the hell not!