Sunday, 30 August 2015

Fabric Shopping 3

Hello peeps,

I hope you are all enjoying a lazy Sunday morning - I am currently writing this laid in bed before I get my glad rags on and go for a Michelin started lunch - cannot wait!!

Anyway I know I said I was going to try hold off of anymore fabric shopping trips until my stash was smaller, well, I changed my mind! An early finish from work on Friday and an unexpected wage rise (only small but allowed me to justify spending!) Saw me getting the tube to Walthamstow and seeing what I could find. I tried to be very strict and only bought things I'd definitly wear as a top and bought 1.5m of each.

Powder blue viscose £3/m
I have seen this print in a shop somewhere but not sure where...more viscose £2.20/m

I have bought this before and made a mess of it as clemency skirt but I love it so when saw it again I couldn't resist _ £2.20/m

This is my total bargain of the day, a poly at 50p/m !! Got 2m of this as not as wide but I really love it

Another viscose £1.75/m

Ooops - forgot to add this in my post - this is a soft turquoise viscose again - £2.20/m

I am so happy with my purchases - now to crack on with my top pattern fitting so I can use these pretty fabrics!

The next time I go fabric shopping I will force myself to only buy some complimentary plain fabrics which will allow me to do some colour blocking and use up scraps, we,'ll that's the plan anyway...

UPDATE - I have added the other fabric I bought and updated the Fabric Stash page - it is getting pretty long now!

Enjoy the long weekend lovelies
Kristy xx

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Simplicity 8523 Muslin - Round 1


Here is the start of my Made Up Initiative pledge to sew a top that isn't boxy and I will wear, a lot!

I have started with Simplicity 8523. This is my first time using a Big 4 pattern, so far all my attempts have been an Indie pattern company. I cut view F in a straight size 16 (I think, it may have been a 14 - the pattern envelope doesn't actually tell you the size) as this measured against my bust perfectly so I thought I may escape the FBA. I did lengthen by 5cm on the correct lines as I hate short tops.

I have previously done some toiles in polycotton sheeting, so I bought some more. I find this the most economical of fabric but I have to bear in mind that is it stiff fabric (suppose I could pre-wash it) but as it is double width you get loads for £3.98 a metre - it was from Forrest Fabric which with free delivery is a steal! Also was delivered within 2 days of paying - will defo order from them again.

Anyway - muslin number 1 - please excuse terrible mirror shots and seeing my underwear through...

The good - from the bust down was happy, not boxy (wooop), comfortable when sat down and a really good length
The bad - V-neck way too high (even when taking into account turn under)
The ugly - gaping armhole and wide shoulder

First step was to try fix the gaping armhole, I followed the Burdastyle tutorial of creating a dart then transferring the dart from the armhole to the bust dart, I actually had to do this twice as I think I was a bit conservative the first time.

Please pretend you cannot see the state of my floor - it is all patterns and tracing paper and sheeting fabric, was all cleaned up once finished. Promise.

I then deepened the V trying hard to keep some modestly and brought in the shoulder line.

I then copied this onto some royal blue fabric I had and made an absolute mess of it. The fabric (blue linen) was a sheer, loose weave - this made it hard to cut, hard to mark, and I had the bright idea of self lining and I just made a total mess out of it, I seam ripped a lot due to mistakes, ripped the fabric fabric, pulled the fabric out of shape, due to double fabric the seams were bulky, the fabric wouldn't press and just looked horrific so it went straight in the bin without a picture (sorry). 

One thing was obvious though, when transferring the new shoulder line to the back piece of the pattern I have taken it from the inside of shoulder not the outside (stupid mistake) but it made the neckline gape at the back and the top hang funny. The armhole also was way too high.

Things to do on my next muslin:
  • retrace the pattern and start again
  • do a small FBA to hopefully stop the slight pulling from bust to waist
  • Before sewing up make the V slightly deeper
  • change the shoulder line before cutting
  • do another change to the gaping armhole
  • keep fingers and toes crossed all the changes work!!
  • I may need to lower the armhole and redraw shape once the darts have been altered
  • do not get inpatient and want to cut into real fabric before being happy with the fit. 
  • brush my hair and put on some make up so I can take real photos for my blog instead of headless mirror selfies!
I really need to work on my patience levels and not expect perfection on the first (second, third or fourth) attempt. This top definitely could be a staple, IF I am patient, get it right now and can make it a million times, in different fabrics, colour blocked and dress it up, dress it down, basically use it a lot. It is worth the effort. I think I am finding it more frustrating as I just want to sew not do all this, but it is part of the process. 

I really need to hurry up and make some progress on this as the end of the pledge is 2 weeks tomorrow, I have a couple of things on this weekend (including a Michelin starred meal - nom nom nom) but it is a long weekend so should squeeze in some sewing but next weekend I am on a hen weekend. I am in London though so can squeeze in sometime Sunday if not feeling too hungover!

Also, is it a muslin or a toile? I use the terms interchangeably, maybe because I read a lot of UK and American blogs?

Anyway, thanks for reading this long post!
Kristy xxx

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Searching for the perfect woven top...


No actual sewing here today to show you but I just wanted to show you what I am aiming for in my sewing!
So basically I went through the Warehouse, Coast, Dorothy Perkins, French Connection, Joy and Hobbs websites to see if there was anything that jumped out to me and saved the picture (I also did it for Oasis but the pictures wouldn't format in the collages). I limited this to woven tops as this is what my next make will be.


In a dream world this is what my top selection would look like and what I would buy on the high street, you know if going shopping didn't make me want to kill myself as my boobs so not fit in ANYTHING in any (except Dotty Ps) of these shops unless it is jersey.

It is quite obvious I like a certain silhouette! These kind of tops (if fit the lady lumps) are loose over my belly so not self concious but look feminine and can get in gorgeous fabrics.

I said in my previous post that I am going to try making muslins for these patterns:

SBCC Mimosa Blouse
Simplicity 8523
Angel Sleeve Top

And I really cannot stop looking at the Sutton Blouse by True Bias 

but I will try the above three first before buying anymore patterns! Even thought there are so many nice versions out there......

Can anyone suggest any different patterns that maybe match some of my chosen pictures above?

Thanks for stopping buy!


p.s. Have you seen my new blog background? Pretty huh?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Made Up Initiative

Hello Everyone,

How was your weekend? Mine was nice and relaxed with a couple of muslins cut out but not sewn together yet.

I am assuming you are all avid readers of Karen's lovely blog Did You Make That?

Well, if you aren't then head over there ASAP, its always a good read and she is turning her passion for sewing and her passion for literacy together for a good cause.

Made Up Inititive

This project came up on my newsfeed directly after my last post regarding how much I spend on sewing, it made a valid point to me, so I joined up!

My pledge is to sew a top that fits well before the 10th September. I want a fully fitting perfect top to be able to make many times in many fabrics, one that isn't boxy when stood up but isn't tight when sat down - and most importantly one that will fit into my every day wardrobe. I want it to be stash busting and my pledge included that I want to use my current stash for it.

Plans for the pledge: unfortunately I don't think the Grainline Scout Tee is for me after my last attempt, and I wasn't completely sold on the muslin I did of Colette Laurel either, I am going to try a couple more and see how it goes, pick the best and get stash busting. I am definitely going to muslin Simplicity 8523, and the recently acquired Mimosa Blouse from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chic (this has been recommended through the Curvy Sewing Collection forums to be not so boxy around the stomach when stood up, I also have my eye on the Salme Angel Sleeve Top that I have had a copy of for years and never touched. This is a lot of muslins but if I can get a top that fits I will be VERY happy.

This is a really good inititive, there is no recommended donation amount, just what you can spare and there are lots of amazing prizes for those that complete the challenge - many have signed up and donated on JustGiving so why not click on the button at the side of this page and give it a go?

This is my first ever challenge so would be good to see you there!
Kristy xxx

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The cost of a handmade wardrobe

Two posts in one day? No nothing is wrong with me but I have just wasted my morning by fiddling around with the costs as promised on my previous post.

There is now a total of 5 pages on my blog:

Home - self explanatory
My Handmade Wardrobe - pictures with links to the successes of my labour
My Handmade Fails - pictures with links to details of my fails
My Handmade Wardrobe Costs - breakdown of costs for each item I have made - this will be updated each time I make something
Pattern Stash Costs - it is wayyy too easy to keep buying patterns, but the more I buy the less economic sewing becomes surely? This is a way to keep an eye on it and see what I use more and more
Fabric Stash Costs - I think this spirals out of control for a lot of sewers, could quite easily happen to me so I am aiming to keep an eye on this (plus small flat means less storage space) but it nice to know how much I am spending for it to just be sat in a draw.

Thanks again for reading and apologies for hogging your blog reader...

Kristy xxx

Miette in Gingham

Happy Thursday Lovelies,

How are you? I hope your working week has been as pain free as possible and you have a fun weekend in sight! I have a friend coming to stay Saturday evening so am looking forward to that!

I managed to get some sewing done last night - unfortunately these are not completely finished pictures as the skirt needs to be hemmed but I cannot see me getting any better pictures in the near future so this is what you are getting!

 The Miette...

So this is another Tilly and the Buttons pattern and it is actually made from fabric bought from Tilly's stash sale.

I found the instructions clear but somehow I have got the wrap the wrong way over, I am not sure what I did but it really doesn't make any difference to how it looks.

When I first tried this on I have to say I wasn't happy, it is very much a shift in the usual silhouette I wear and even though I am tall I felt like it really made me feel stumpy which was new...and then I thought I would try it with heels and instantly felt much more chic! I got the Mr to take some photos (please excuse the messy house, the coffee table was moved to get a full length picture!). The pics really shocked me as it looks much nicer than how it feels so I am going to stick with it and hem it.

I am going to add either some press studs or buttons to the waist band though to make it feel a bit more secure as not sure if it is the wool fabric, me being rubbish at bows, or the fact I could have gone down a size but it doesn't feel the most secure tie.

I cut a straight size 8 but I think that if I make again I would go down to a size 7 to make it a bit more snug around the waist.

Not great back view but I really like the shape of the skirt

This pattern really would show off some fab fabrics.

All in all this is a WIN!

Do you all take notice of the cost of your makes? Obviously we all get immense enjoyment from sewing and it can cost a fortune when have a pattern and/or fabric addiction but does cost factor into your sewing plans?
I have decided to start documenting my costs on my blog, mainly to try keep things neat in my head but it always intrigues me how much people spend on their makes. Traditionally home sewing was a way of keeping costs low but with the Primarks and cheap high street stores literally everywhere I don't think always the cheapest option (this is not taking into account any ethical issues) so hopefully as time goes on it will become more and more interesting. This will be on a new page on my blog and I will let you know when it is live.

Thanks for reading as always!
Kristy xxx

Monday, 10 August 2015

I am still alive...


Just a quick note from me to let you know I am in fact still alive but unfortunately no sewing has taken place for quite a while!

I have been hit with some sort of series of illnesses, the latest is being full of cold, not debilitating as such but a sheer lack of energy!

I have cut and semi sewn up a Miette

I haven't finished any seams etc yet and this wool blend (actually bought from Tilly in her fabric stash sale) is very thick and drapey. I cut a straight size 8 but I have a feeling will be too big once finished so will have to take in at the sides, I also have a feeling I have put the wrap on the wrong way. I will get this finished as soon as I can and let you know the outcome!

I have also decided to start a hexagone quilt. This will be an ongoing background project that I am not anticipating to be finished anytime soon.

I want to use scraps and will only use 5 maximum of each fabric - unfortunately I don't think the viscose I have are much use as too drapey but was worth a go.

Not much else going on around here, hopefully can get back into sewing soon as I am missing it - again!

Anyone seen the 50% sale on Simplicity and Newlook patterns over at Weaver Dee? I really shouldn't be looking but when I won their competition and bought from them their customer service was so good, makes me want to go back! Stupid really as I have lots of patterns that I haven't yet used!

Thanks for reading such a non-existant post!

Kristy xx

Song of the day? The best live performance ever? Enjoy

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