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 😘
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”. Same with 1/2″ and so on.
When you find the spot on your machine that is 1/4” mark it with washi or masking tape that way you won’t 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!
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!
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 – Tilly and the Buttons (TATB)
2. McCalls Top 7360
3. Seamwork’s Mesa
4. Penny Dress By Colette
5. Toaster – Sew House 7
6. McCalls 7536 Dress
7. Colette’s Moneta
8. The Washi Dress – Made by Rae
9. The Scout Tee by Grainline Studio
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!
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!
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!
I’m very happy with the finished results and now I can show it off.
Although I did not make the processes easy for myself as I forgot to shorten the back on the pattern pieces and you can just imagine the drama when I realised that. Hence I had a break (Cleo) and eventually I came back to vintage rose 4789, which I’m glad I did.
So I wanted to unveil it to the Hubby on our Wedding Anniversary. We went away to Loch Lomond & Loch Earn for a couple of days and It’s much easier for someone else to take a full-length photo!
We are celebrating eight years this year. It’s been a tough year with losing my Mum to cancer. I’m just thankful Hubby has been a tower of strength so far to me, helping me get through my darkest moments.
I think I will be doing 4789 again because I have some brown tweed-like fabric but not as heavy as tweed and it would look nice in a shift, plus I had the idea of doing some piping around the neckline, armholes and the hem.
The 4789 pattern is really handy as it’s got a couple more garments I’d like to make and for a pattern, I’d say that you are getting your money’s worth that way.
I love this vintage rose fabric it’s a cotton lawn and I bought it from The Cloth Shop by Remnant Kings, Edinburgh (£14.99 P/M). I’ve had quite a few compliments on it already before the dress was finished!
I’ve now started on another project and it’s a vogue pattern. I have a time constraint as it’s to be finished by mid-August for a birthday theme! The Vogue pattern that I am using is V1389.
Again, I’m going to have to shorten the back (this time I’m doing it on the pattern pieces, rather than on the actual fabric!!!) and because famously vogue only goes up to a certain size I have to slightly add a couple of centimetres to the skirt pieces.
Because there is a theme for the birthday bash, this cotton here was crying out to be shown off. I think I already had bought the fabric and the pattern before the theme was public (what a surprise)! The cotton is from Fabric Focus, Edinburgh (14.99 p/m ?) and has a lovely drape to it.
Fabric Focus is where I also go for my classes and I’m so grateful to Abi (my teacher) for keeping me right! I would wholeheartedly recommend the classes. This is my third session and it won’t be my last either. I’ve still got so much to learn and I really enjoy going along and spending a couple of hours with like minded people.
So there you have it – I’ve finished “vintage rose” dress and on the mission of the vogue “woodland” dress.
Keep stitching x
Disclaimer: All photos are my own, so please ask for permission before using them. All opinions are my own also!
When a chance comes up to get all glammed up I will jump at it. But then the overwhelming feelings that I’ve got to make what I’m wearing fit like a dream, it’s scary – REAL SCARY and It’s to be ready for Saturday the 2nd of September!
Speed isn’t my strongest point when it comes to making something. I look at all the Instagram feeds and see what and how many creations are made in a day and some people creative sometimes 3 or 4 in a weekend, which again scares me. The fact is, if I do rush things, then it looks rushed and not brilliantly finished.
So instead of me leaving the frock until the very last minute, I better start thinking pattern and fabric now.
Question, How glam are we talking about? (cause I don’t want to be under or over).
This dress must be easy to make. But it has to be wow (at least to me anyway).
Plus like Lesley of Sew_Sleep _Deprived, we also have a big fat zero of weddings to go to and feel the need to actually get dressed up. I am lucky that we have a social life due to having no kids though. And like Lesley, I am super jealous of the Dressmakers ball and the Sew Brum meet up, we really need to add a disco ball event for us Scottish Sewists!
So what am I thinking?
I love to do something with a lace panel. Maybe just the bodice and then the skirt and just flow.
So that’s the thought process at the moment, I’ll let you know how I get on with it later, perhaps leaving the big reveal until the actual #edinburghFrocktail date (yeah I know, I am a big tease)!
So if you’d like to come and join Lesley and the Scottish Sewists for a cocktail, please note your interest in the comments section on her blog post.
For those who know me, I like to venture out into the unknown, especially when it comes to fabric shops.
It’s also been awhile since I did a shop too. I like this series because It helps other find fabric shops they may not know about too.
How did I find out about Sew Yarn Crafty? Well, it was actually a customer at my now old work. He basically told me to go and check it out! I’m glad he did.
Based, in the town centre (on the pedestrianised part, don’t let google take you on a wild goose chase!) Sew Yarn Crafty was Dunfermline Sewing Machines and is now the new owner. They re-opened late last year after gutting and refurbishing the premises.
It’s a nice wee shop. Stop there. Appearances can be deceiving! Yes, it looks small from the outside but not only a ground floor but this shop has a basement too!
Sew Yarn Crafty stocks Tilly And The Buttons patterns – which is a tick in my book. They have a small selection of fabric for both dressmaking and craft. I’m going to say small because it was. The haberdashery is very well laid out and the button selection is enormous.
They also sell sewing machines, Janome, Singer and Brother were the ones on display.
Did I buy anything? Eh, that’s a silly question. It would be rude not too!
It’s a cute wee shop. Maybe out of the way for me but a lovely addition to the high street. There’s plenty of parking in the car parks surrounding the shop. If you need a cuppa and cake after spending some dosh, there are the usual chains and some niche indie cafes.
As you know I do like to keep topping up my fabrics for all of these projects I have in mind. But Boy, the list is now bonkers – I don’t really have a list on paper as most of the ideas are in my head!!
Most of you know I’m doing the #thelittlereddressproject by the lovely running with style’s Renata and finally I’ve got my fabric – woot-woot! To date the PDF still has to be printed, which I’m concerned about as time is tick, ticking, tocking away – should I opt for a pattern I already have? The answer to that one should be a yes, now the big question- WHICH ONE? I think it should be a nice easy number, something that’s straight forward but party bound.
Next, we have some gorgeous cotton and it’s a John Lewis own brand. I instantly fell in love with it as it has lovely wildflowers on a dark green background. It was £14.99 per metre but it’s totally gorgeous and has a lovely feel to it.
I also bought the rather Christmassy Nordic fabric at the same time as the green John Lewis fabric. It was reduced to £5 per metre, so couldn’t say no to the bargain. Plus I actually need it to back my homemade advent calendar. And on that note, I’m still looking into wadding as I don’t want polyester wadding. I got a metre of the Nordic fabric to back the advent calendar. Looking at the date, I better get this done and dusted. Might have some time this week to sew it up. Might. Otherwise, I’ll be sewing it for next year 😂😂😂
Next up, is the fabric I bought from Susie D Designs Shop in Penicuik on her most recent open day. See post for more details about her shop! I have a soft touch for geometrics and this called my same. I bought 2.5 meters of it so it will be a dress! It’s an Art Gallery Fabric, 100% cotton and a lovely feel to it.
Fabric focus has this gorgeous suede in both Khaki and tan colours. I opted to go for the Khaki. Got 2.5 metres of it. More than enough for a simple shift or CLEO!
Erm … I added something else and that was the trip that the Lovely #SewScottish Meetup and this was some more lovely suede polyester material. At £9 a metre from Edinburgh Fabrics, it has a lovely texture. I thinking another classic shift style dress , perhaps the Bennett Dress from Marilla Walker. Edinburgh Fabrics has a good range of colour with the suede – it’s worth checking out. Also, I bought matching thread but now I’m thinking contrasting thread and with that i would have to ultra careful of stitching!
Not only fabric lies in this “Haul” but some niche little tools have been purchased also …
Both purchased via amazon. And a bargain as under a fiver each. I picked up from a youtube video by Last Stitch
Some tailors chalk … I seem to lose mine quite quickly and no idea how!
Patterns on my radar …
Yes there are always patterns on my radar, don’t you know I have a list? Ok now you do and boy it is long. It only seems to be getting longer 😂
And to add to the list is the cute “Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree Dress” by Tilly and the Buttons – isn’t it just adorable? I ❤️ it! I’m head over heels for the dungaree dress 😍!
With Black Friday looming Cleo was quickly purchased with a nice 25% off!
And then ALIX from By Hand London was also snapped up in PDF form! SO WHEN THERES A NICE DISCOUNT – it’s just impossible for me to say no. Impossible.
And then there are all the Seam work patterns that I have in my library – eek, I just love seam work (I actually did a wee post about them a wee while ago and all about why I love them). The “Kennedy” and the “Mesa” are the top two favourites to try first from seam work. And I’ve just heard that you can now use your credits to buy Collette patterns- Eeeeek! YES, YOU READ RIGHT!!
Adding to my stash of patterns and these were from the swap at the #SEWSCOTTISH meetup –
With these patterns came two bits of fabric – I may have to ask who put them in to the haul and also if they remember what it is … I have a mind like a sieve!
Then there’s this month’s gorgeous pattern from simply sewing magazine – well I think the Audrey dress is stunning and at one point I will try and make it.
So not just fabric, notions, patterns and tools have been added to the haul but also books 📚! Yes, I am also a sucker for a good sewing book.
The most recent one is “The better bag maker” by Nicole Mallalieu. One of my many projects is to make a bag, a weekender bag specifically and this book shows you how with handy techniques, tips and tricks. It’s got loads of lovely bag to make as well as a weekender.
I spotted it via Instagram and I’d say it’s a good find judging by all the hashtag #thebetterbagmaker attached photos!
Next we have
I was just in Dobbies and spotted these two and somehow they managed to be brought home with me … mind you total bargains!
Talking of bargains, the buttons below were too. I bought them from a stall at the North Berwick Quilters Exhibition. I will post more on the actual exhibition very soon on the blog. The buttons were £1 plus a book, which was also £1 too. I’m hoping this holds a couple of good shortcuts for garments.
A little less of a bargain were these buttons bought from Kathy’s Knits on Broughton Street – there’s a nice selection to choose from and are vintage finds! The thicker metal ones are ideal for a jacket!
Remember I said I have a mind like a sieve. Let me reinstate that dramatically – I received this “Simple Shift Dress” Sew Over Pattern yonks ago with a magazine subscription, only now I realise it has actual fabric in the box – total revelation and I realise I’m quite ditsy at times!
So for December, I’ve decided no fabric, no books, no nothing unless it’s interfacing or lining for projects. We will see how long I last … Day 3 and still nothing bought!
That’s all for now,
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I was not sponsored in any way, shape or form. All copyrighted pictures are my own.
Yeap, I’ve signed up for a block of lessons: Dressmaking for beginners at Fabric Focus, Edinburgh. Ok I’m no beginner but I’m no expert. I think confidence is the key but it’s always good to pick up tips and tricks for future projects and gain that extra confidence and experience to make a garment. I’d say I was a borderline novice. I’m happy to go at the class’s speed and not show off. Plus it’s always interesting to see what other sewers are using for both fabric and pattern! I’ve already noted a McCalls pattern which I like the look off! Yes, I AM A PATTERN MAGPIE!
We were all sat down and guided through our hand outs. Abi introduced us to our surroundings and what we would cover in our classes.
There is a sheet for marking all your measurements in the handout, which will be handy for the project and for future ones too. Our task was to take our measurements and jot them down – Hips, upper hips, waist and bust are the important ones for this now as I’m making a simple shift dress, Well at least I’m hoping too!
Grading the pattern – my hips are wider than my waist, which is seriously annoying sometimes. Abi showed me how to do this for the front and then I did it for the back. We then all cut out our patterns according to our sizes.
Abi has sent us all home with strict instructions to pin the pattern pieces to the fabric for the next lesson. This includes ironing the pattern but absolutelyNO CUTTING! I’m chomping at the bit, I will NOT CUT THE FABRIC!
Next class we will cut the fabric and start sewing!
I’ve chosen this beautiful Vintage blue cotton twill digitally printed fabric (see image below) from The Cloth Shop.
It’s a simplicity number for the pattern and it’s good value being the “easy-to-sew wardrobe elements” pack as I’m eyeing up the coat to do next.
I’m going with the “simple” shift dress (option C) for classes. I just want to be able to finish and wear it!
I’ll continue to update you with my lessons as I go to each one!