Sewing: McCalls 7381

So with little over a week I decided to start the dress that I planned to not only have finished but moved on to the the project.

As you know life doesn’t always allow you plans to go swimmingly well and time can just drown with you realising how little you have left!

I bought the Lady McElroy Cotton lawn “Brushstrokes” from StitchyBee a while back.

When I saw the McCalls 7381 pattern that I received free with Love Sewing Magazine a while back, I knew it would be a simple quick make providing I followed the instructions correctly.

Building the whole thing went brilliantly well until it came to me wearing it. It was huge, it was a tent on me. Where did I go wrong?

I had one resort, take it to class! So I did! Thankfully Abi saved the day but it meant me taking in at the waist (a lot!!). But I did it, It only took a few hours and a few swear words.

So where did I go wrong? I only went by the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope and not the ones on the tissue. I can definitely go down one size on the bodice (woop woop) next time. Also for next time I’m considering sleeves and the next version in viscose. So no I’m not put off – yeah! It’s so comfortable to wear as well, especially when it comes to eating a lovely German buffet and cheesecake because of the ease and the elastic!

A big thumbs up to M7381!

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Sew Shop Local: The Sewing Studio, Dunfermline And The Fife Sewists Meet Up!

A week on after the #SewScottish Afternoon Tea another group of lovely ladies held a smaller but equally nice meet up in Dunfermline.

We all met at the Heaven Scent Cafe, which is set in the new building beside the abbey. The cafe has a lovely selection of cakes and hot drinks on offer but as the weather was so warm I opted for a cool fizzy elderflower juice.

We sat round a couple of tables for about an hour exchanging information about patterns, materials, fabric shops, discount codes and a little bit about our wonderful selves. It was a lovely chilled out affair and “suited me down to a t” as I had been up at 3:30am that morning for a 4:45am start at work!

After some much needed refreshments we headed up to the newly opened Sewing Studio. The Sewing Studio is a fantastic extension of Sew Yarn Crafty after locals were giving feedback back to owner, that there was a massive dressmaking following and they wanted more fabric choice and classes. It all came together pretty simply as there was a property available to extend into and that’s how it all happened.

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been up to Dunfermline and checked out Sew Yarn Crafty. The last time I’d took a trip up was with my mum and my aunt. Mum was not that great at that point but wanted to get out the house and always supported me in my hobbies. That woman was always pushing herself, where she got the strength from was unbelievable.

Anyway before I go to a dark place … (everything connects!!)

Aileen, the owner of Sew Yarn Crafty and The Sewing Studio and myself!

The sewing Studio has a great range of fabrics and independent patterns (TATB’s, papercut, cashmerette, Sew over it and a couple of others.

I actually saw quite a few fabrics that I really wanted but I had to refrain as I’m only a week in from making that (damn) pact with @Sew_Sleep_Deprived so I wouldn’t buy anymore fabric – urghhhh!

I was stroking them and crying ūüė≠. It was tough. I did refrain from fabrics but I bought two cashmerette patterns and a book about drafting dress and skirts.

The weather was on it’s truly best behaviour as it was gorgeous. I really need to come up and check out the Abbey.

So all in all, it was a lovely afternoon out and I’m looking forward to catching up with the girls again. Hopefully I’ll have made a few me makes by then and I can show them off!

Sew Scottish

It’s so nice to be part of a group of friends that get you when you talk sewing, isn’t it? ¬†I mean they really get you and your geekiness when you starting going on about Pdfs or seam allowance and what’s the pattern craze of late.

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Credit to Kate Gray

I’m super proud to co-host the Afternoon Tea and Frocktails Events alongside Lesley over at @sew_sleep_deprieved, to which she has written an awesome blog post on her view of the recent event. ¬†It’s amazing to see the group grow and bloom the way it has, ¬†we’ve got such a diverse range of lovely talented ladies.

The afternoon tea was overwhelmingly a success at Casa Angelina, no cakes were left. ¬†I’m still dreaming of slathering cherry & rosemary jam on these fluffy scones with a thick layer of clotted cream!

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Would I host the tea again? Oh heck, YES!! In a instant, but for now REST!

Again, I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of people. ¬†The pattern and fabric swap was phenomenal, by that I mean everyone walked away very happy with some things they loved! ¬†Whilst we had a lot of excess left over and it’s currently sitting in my car ready for a beloved charity shop, so everyone is a winner.

I snapped up a lovely piece of classic denim, a pattern, a couple of notions and 3 books. ¬†I was quite brutal with myself fabric wise as I has loads. ¬†I’m still sticking to my “NO MORE BUYING FABRIC” pact that I made with Lesley on the bus homebound, mind you it’s only day three!

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I’d just want to say (and so I will!) Thank you to all for your support and generosity over this year. ¬†It’s been a tough one, but I’m thankful I have so many lovely and caring people in my life – BACI (kisses in Italian)!

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Here’s to Frocktails (there are details coming!) but for now it’s holiday time!

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Love, Emma

P.S If would you like to host (go on – if we can, you can) an event for Sew Scottish, please get in touch and we’ll set you up with the contacts and the logo to get you started xx

A year on …

Reader warning: this is an emotional read!!!

It’s almost a year since I lost mum. I’ve been contemplating writing this post probably because of all the emotions that are going round in my head, good enough reason right?

I really don’t know where the 11.5 months have gone. This year has went so quickly, I’m super surprised it has. I thought it would drag, I thought I would have to drag myself out of bed. Where I found the strength to carry on and move to a store for more hours, loose a mother-in-law (again, cancer), get a puppy and most importantly, grieve, I have no bloody idea!

There hasn’t been a day where I’ve not thought about mum, who was a good coffee and cake buddy, good chat, best friend and sister all rolled into one person. It’s the chats I miss most – that advice was priceless no matter what it was on.

There’s certain places I’ve not managed to go to, just because it’s hard to face it without her. Places like the secret herb garden and the potting shed were popular eateries for us.

I’m almost finished the coat that she started making for me. It took a while to summon up the courage to get the pieces out of a back and press them, almost 5 months on and it’s nearly there. I’ve been doing it at class on Monday evenings with the guidance of Abi, my teacher. Mum did a Thursday afternoon at the same class, so Abi has overseen most of the process.

Last week it kind of hit me hard because the process of making it and finishing it is almost at its end. It’s funny how it’s worked out because it’s coming up to the year that she passed. One whole year.

I’m not sure how I’m going to feel on the actual day of the anniversary itself, probably all over the place. It’s true I do hold a grave face with a smile most of the time but I am still going through the grieving process. I’ve not yet came across anyone saying “get over it” or “not again” to my face where I have heard others have. I think if anyone who knows me well if they’d be struck of the friends list immediately without hesitation. I feel my friends haven’t seen half the tears I’ve cried because I tend to save that to the privacy of home and me. That’s just how I’ve dealt with it and how I’m still dealing with it. I’ve yet to actually “see” or “speak” to a professional but I’m still sitting on the fence with that. Some days are worse than others but I know that and I can deal with that.

There’s lots of things that remind me of mum and I’m seeing that more of a positive. Hard to believe, I know! Mum used to make a comment on the way I “arranged” my flowers by just shoving them in the vase. Now I make a conscious effort in arranging them! I think one of her ideas was to get into floristry was taking me to a workshop. We had lots of fun that day and I learnt a lot! I’ve not really taken it any further in workshops but have practiced!

5 things I wish I knew before I started sewing.

1. It’s ok to mess up.

We’ve all do it.¬† We’ve all piled so much pressure on ourselves and when something went wrong we left the unfinished garment in a crumpled mess on the floor in a corner.¬† I’ve admitted defeat on one or more handmade garments.¬† I’ve still got to pick them up and see what I can do to rectify¬†the mistakes but for now, they sit it a small pile away from my view!

At the moment I’m amending¬†a shoulder sleeve due to them being lopsided¬†– don’t know how I managed¬†but this is going to be worthwhile in the long run as it’s one of my favourite makes so far despite the sleeve issue. Making mistakes is also learning from them, how else are you going to learn and stretch that skill base?

2. Ask for help.

I’m very lucky to have such a good teacher at the sewing class that I go to.¬† I also have a couple of very good sewing buddies I can bounce off ideas and problems with alongside a fantastic community¬†on Instagram too.

3. Measure yourself.

Pattern sizes¬†are completely differencing to ready to wear sizes (RTW).¬† Please don’t buy a pattern and go on you RTW as you’ll have a garment that won’t fit once you put all that time, effort and lovely material (and dosh!)¬†into it.

Measure yourself. Take that tape measure (grab a friend if you need help!) and jot down your measurements.  Pattern companies can differ in finishing measurements, so check each new pattern before you start the project!

Remember this: Don’t beat yourself because it may seem you are going up a few sizes from the RTW to the pattern sizes and also your finished garment will fit you better if you take your time to measure yourself correctly ūüėė

4. Seam allowances matter,

Again. Check, check, check!  Read your instructions a couple of times before you even start the process of cutting out. Highlight the seam allowances on each step.

Get yourself¬†a seam guide¬†and test to see if your seam allowance is really 1/4‚ÄĚ.¬† Same with 1/2″ and so on.

When you find the spot on your machine that is 1/4‚ÄĚ mark it with¬†washi or masking tape¬†that way you won‚Äôt forget where it is.

5. Invest in a basic sewing kit.

Scissors (Straight, pinking, little snippers for cutting little threads and ones for paper), Measuring Tape, chalk, pins and a seam ripper is all a good start and then you can add more, such as hand sewing needles, extra bobbins (make sure you get the right ones for your machine as there are not universal where as are machine needles are), pin cushion (homemade or bought). This list could go on for miles (trust me!) but get the basics and add from that, which should keep you right!

My Sewing Room

Having “had” to sew in living room because of my lack of tidying up mojo of the sewing room this week I’ve been focusing trying to find the floor of it.

I had a great idea last year to wash all of my fabrics, iron, fold away whilst measuring and recording them. It was such a monumental task, it all became quite overwhelming to dealt with. It was all very well in idea form but when you decide to get a puppy all things and plans go out of the window. I’m not blaming the puppy nor myself here, I’m simply addressing the matter that I took too much on and something had to give.

Move on 4 months and I finally can sneak up to the sewing room and finally get to grips with the hoarding of fabrics and goodness knows what else! Don’t think for one second did the puppy stop me from buying fabric nor the billion bags of fabric already up in the S.R. Ha!

I’m seeing a clear path now. It’s looking pretty organised now. There’s a plan to go through all the magazines and pull out projects that I might get round to. I’m going to be stopping my magazine subscriptions as I’m finding I just don’t have the time to read them just now and feel I can keep up to date with other methods. Plus I’ve got to keep the momentum up with my make nine and need space to concentrate on that!

Here’s some photos of the progress so far – sorry don’t have any “before photos” but just imagine lots of bags on the floor!

Loom there's a Floor! Just a couple of pieces ... Ohhh more fabric...And more fabric!Even got the overlocker out of it box ūüď¶ (finally!!)<<<<
ks for popping by!

Happy Sewing xx

Sewing Plans: My #MakeNine2018 Choices

DRUMROLL PLEASE …

So, it’s taken me until now to get my shit together.¬† Yeah I know I’m already slipping!

However, rather than ramble on anymore to delay it even further here are my choices for #MakeNine2018 …

1.  Cleo РTilly and the Buttons (TATB)

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Cleo by TATB

2.  McCalls Top 7360

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McCalls 7360

3.¬† Seamwork’s Mesa

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Seamwork’s Mesa Dress

4. Penny Dress By Colette

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The Penny Dress by Colette

5. Toaster – Sew House 7

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The Toaster by Sew House Seven

6. McCalls 7536 Dress

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McCall’s 7536

7.¬†¬†Colette’s Moneta

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Colette’s Moneta

8.  The Washi Dress РMade by Rae

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The Washi Dress – Made by Rae

9. The Scout Tee by Grainline Studio

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Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee

I’ll be able to match them up with Fabric without purchasing anything new.¬† Most of the patterns I’ve also got.¬† You may know That I’ve already sewn a Cleo and the McCalls 7536 but definitely attempting another of both!

Once I’ve dug out my fabric choices, I’ll do another post.

Here’s a sneak peak of my 2018 Sewing BuJo too, which I’ll¬†leave you with!

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My #MakeNine2018 in my #SewingBuJo

 

Thanks for visiting!

Emma

 

Sew what’s ahead?

So it’s the first of January and we’ve all made these new year resolutions, right?

I haven’t. Yesterday I made a pact with myself not to set massive goal posts that I simply can’t fill. Instead I’ve decided to make a promise to myself to look after me.

Last year we had two massive and devastating blows when cancer told hold of both our mothers and they past away. Both gave it there all to fight the horrible disease but unfortunately there was no miracle in both situations. Cancer sucks big time, right?

Life has been somewhat mental as we went all in and got an adorable puppy, who’s now five months. Adorable but mischievous and a boundless amount of springer energy!

Sewing has definitely taken a step back as I’m trying to really have the almighty clear out of possessions that I no longer need nor remember that they existed. It’s going to take a few charity runs but at the end of it less clutter in the house.

I’ve been trying to get my sewing room in order, but ever since I did a massive “wash all my fabric” it’s been sitting in bags waiting to be ironed, folded back into board and put away. Of course I want to take a photo and enter it into my Cora app and that takes up more time.

That being said sewing hasn’t ceased altogether. I’ll be back at my Monday class, which I enjoy immensely. Not just seeing but socially too. Abi is a great teacher and keeps me right! I’ll probably finish the coat mum started for me but never managed to finish. Hopefully I’ll make a good job and I’ll get some wear out of before the weather gets warmer (here’s wishing!).

I don’t think I’ll be putting myself in for #sewmystyle this year but I’ll try #makenine2018. I’m trying to narrow things down so I can actually finish challenges! So I’m just doing #makenine this year and trying to think carefully at which patterns I’m going for as I’m definitely aiming to step onto different garments but I do love a dress! Really want to add a couple of tops, jackets, skirts to the handmade wardrobe, maybe even jeans before the year is out.

So in order to do this, I’m going to carefully sieve through my pattern collection and see what I’ve got and try and make use of the fabrics I’ve got (boy there’s a lot!) and that can some make space in my sewing room. Don’t worry I’ll put my selection into another blog and Instagram it!

Having the journal last year was enjoyable but I overspent in time on it. This year is going to be basic and more to the point. It will still have the illustrations and the doodles but I’ll be looking at what worked for me and what didn’t.

Another thing that I want to start using is my fabric cards. I’d just like to see what I’ve used and what I’ve got as a record (perhaps it’s double the work as I’ve got the Cora app but having a swatch of fabric is slightly different than just a photo).

Not sure if I’ve missed anything in my sewing plans for 2018, but I’m sure you guys will keep me right!

I hope you all have a full on sewing and Fun filled 2018!

Till next time x

Sew Shop Local: Rejects, Kirkcaldy

Kirkaldy has fond memories for me as I used to study at Adam Smith College back in 2008 and completed my Higher Diploma in Interior Architecture there.

Rejects was a go-to place for the velcro we needed for the back of our display boards at the end of year exhibit of works but I had never explored the fabric section or knew of it.

So when it came to meet the lovely Carol, who I’d¬†been chatting too via Instagram, it was a perfect date to explore the fabric department and have some fun with Carol.

We met in the cafe first off for a much-needed coffee and cake and a good old chin wag. We then skidadeld¬†up to the fabric department, where I was wow’ed. ¬†I had to hold on for dear life as I wasn’t expecting this awesomeness!

Are you ready?  Here come the photos!

 

Crafty things.

 

Rolls and Rolls …

 

and more rolls of gorgeous fabrics 
Check out all these gadgets!
Need I say it?
Boom! More rolls ..
Plenty of craft fabrics too.

 

So there you have it. A good insider of Rejects.  I saw lots of beautiful fabrics and in case you are wondering if I did buy any fabric, then yes I did!

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Here’s a map and the address…. now go go go!

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Rejects, 123 St Clair St, Kirkcaldy KY1 2BS

Emma