4 Jul 2014

Colette Sorbetto number 2 AKA (Happy Sewing Sorbetto)

In my last post I mentioned I had made a sorbetto.  Well this is it and I love it.  I love it so much that I wore it to the NYLon 2014

What do I love about this.

I love that there is a fabric store just down the road from me that I can but cotton prints.  Up till now I have had to have fabric shop binges as there wasn't a fabric store nearby with cute fabric (nearest 20 miles away). So I love that I can make another one of these soon.

I love that its a bit longer. The first one was just a bit too short

I love that my grading adjustment fits so well - no gaping armholes and back or tight across the bust.  I have worn this top so many time and it always cheers me up 

But most of all I love that it will always remind me of the NyLon 2014 and all the lovely bloggers I met. Thank you to Rachel (House of Pinheiro)for organising such a fun event. Next time I will remember to take some photos in between fabric shopping (got a bit carried away) Howeverhere is a photo of everyone from the day taken the lovely Kitty Wong. Our very talented official photographer for the day.

source Kitty Wong

25 Jun 2014

part 2 The sleeveless woven top

So the next make I made was this - well actually it wasn't I made a Colette Sorbetto before this one.  The only problem was it didn't fit at all. Will discuss the successful one next week.

I made it using navy polka dot material (which was left over from my ByHand London Victoria) and it only took a few hours to make although I think after making one, future Sorbettos are much quicker.

The problems with my navy Sorbetto is that it is too tight around the front and far too short for my personal preference.  I definitely would not be able to raise my arms.

It fitted around the back fine and the pleated front is a really sweet and simple to do feature.  I used plain navy bias binding for the neck and arms.  Really love the navy spot and will make another as it would be so versatile.  I plan to make further Sorbettos but longer and  more generous around the front.  There are also so many variations of this pattern and the best thing of all its completely free and instantly available as a printable download.  This did however allow me to practice and so although not wearable, as a toile it worked really well. So I'm counting it as a success.  I also got better with practice making neat binded seams.

9 May 2014

The wonderful, wearable handmade wardrobe. Part one

If I'm to have a wonderfully wearable handmade wardrobe I needed to start sewing again.  I set about thinking how to do this and came up with an idea.  Since I started sewing I have only bought two tops so I tend to wear the same things all the time.  Taking on board ideas from Colettes Wardrobe Architect I came up with the following list.

1) A sleeveless dress
2 ) A sleeveless top
3) A short sleeve dress
4) A short sleeve top
5) A skirt

I also decided that I could double this list if I made a woven and a knit of each.  Starting with the wovens.  So that means I already have 10 projects to make.  I would also like to make some PJ's, a coat and some trousers, but these will have to wait for now.  I plan on using up my stash of fabric first if possible and any patterns that I have already.  This part is more difficult as I love seeing new patterns and especially as Tilly and the Buttons book Love at First Stitch has come out this week.

Part One Wovens
First pattern was for a sleeveless dress - I had bought Colettes Hazel last year but had not made a successfully finished one.  I had some beautiful blue floral cotton lawn last August and decided that this would be put to good use on this pattern.  I chose not to do a FBA on this as LLadybird suggested it wasn't necessary. I cut a 2 bust graded to a 6 at the waist and hips.

 This is the best fit I have ever had on a strappy dress.  I also love how they cover over the bra perfectly.  I was not able to put the invisible zipper in as neatly as I would like and I'm not sure I really understood this part of the instructions.  I love a dress with pockets and cannot wait for the sun to come out so I can wear it.

 Although the floral print looks good I would love to make another where the bodice is a contrasting colour as this looks really dramatic.  I will be making another Hazel in the future but next time I think a solid colour or chambray version.

Me Made May 2014

This is the outfit I wore for the first week of Me Made May 2014-  I am trying to wear one handmade item each week.  Week one Sewaholic Alma -  Really pleased I wore this as I got compliments about it.  Much better to wear it than have it lurking unloved at the back of the cupboard.

I had hoped that the rain would stop to allow for the photos get done will add them asap.  I have also updated the about me  and contact me sections of this blog.

Next week Colette Sorbetto...

2 May 2014

Hello again

So where have I been hiding?
This is my first post in almost two months and I'm really sorry that I've been away, but I have been sewing.  I went on a quest to get a better fit.  I was looking back at all my makes since I started sewing and found that they all had the same problem.  There was always a lot of extra material in the back.  I always measured twice (and sometimes more), checked the packet  and chose the appropriate size yet my makes were only looking good from the front.  So this began to bother me.  What was the point in spending all that time making something if ultimately the fit would be better from ready to wear.

Well I decided that I needed to understand pattern making better and drafted myself a skirt using Cal Patches book.  I know, when I look back I can clearly see that having a well fitted skirt pattern was not going to solve the problem that was affecting my tops and dresses.  The process was really fun and I did create my own skirt self drafted pattern.  This taught me a lot about basic construction which led me to realising that the measurements I was taking averaged out the circumference of the body (the body could be split into quarters - not literally ouch) My body would need significantly more fabric for the front than the back.  This was a proper light bulb moment.

Well I then looked into narrow back adjustments and FBA and in one post  realised that there might be a blogger  body double (by this I mean someone who is a similar shape to me) who I could look up when I make patterns to see what adjustment they made - clever huh.  Well imagine my excitement when I realised that my body shape is not that far off Lladybird. This is cool because not only is the stuff she makes similar to my style but also she is so prolific and adds loads of information.  I feel that Lladybird may become my spiritual sewing guide - or at least  it would mean that I will have a wearable wardrobe.

I have also ordered a book that I can use to help with this issue - well loved by the blogging community.  just hope it turns up soon.

Me Made May 2014

Well its also near Me Made May time and I know that I have very few items that I could wear.  My pledge 'I, SewSleepy sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one item of me made each week for the duration of May 2014'  

By Hand London Fabric Competition

The exciting news that by Hand London had achieved their Kickstarter goal was only partly eclipsed for me by the launch of their Secret Garden Competition to find a fabric design that would be put up for sale on their site.  I did enter with this design below.  It wasn't shortlisted but was so fun to make I will be making up some more. I thought you may be interested to see the design I did.

Well thats all and if you made it this far thank you.  I will be reviewing Hazel by Colette patterns in my next post.

7 Mar 2014

Grainline Scout

As you may remember I had planned to make a top that looks like the top on the left using an independent pattern.
I chose to use Grainline Scout for woven fabric. I used a poly cotton in navy and white floral. Navy is a favorite of mine.  I wanted to make the top following the pattern before hacking it to be more like the top on the left.  The pattern was easy to make and came together very quickly.  I also - for the first time - graded my pattern as I am between sizes and this worked well.  I chose poly cotton as this year I am wanting to discover more about fabric and what I like to wear.  Polycotton is very cheap and readily available as well as being easy to cut so a good place to start but a false economy if I don't wear it.
I actually made this sometime ago but today was nice and sunny so I took pictures.  Still not overly confident about having my picture up it is on my dress form - maybe I should name her.    The one thing I have changed is I have added 3 inches to the hem as I felt it a bit short so now it is a wearable toile.  Off to start on the black star poly cotton and net version.  nervous as I have never strayed away from a pattern so far.
Have a great weekend

Also a big Thank You sooooo much if you voted for my Valentines design I came 2nd and am very very happy.   

17 Feb 2014

Wouldn't normally ask but...

Hi, I  know I've been quiet from blogging but thats because I've been sewing lots, fabric shopping and designing.  The designing part is new to me and really part of a career shift. Well I entered a competition and the deadline is fast approaching and I was wondering if you would like to vote.  The competition was to design a card and gift wrap for Valentines Day.  I entered a design and I'm currently in second place with a typewriter themed card.  I know Valentines Day has passed but if you still would like to share some love (see what I did there) then please vote for the design you think is best.  Thank you Link

10 Feb 2014

Great British Sewing Bee Season 2 excitement

wow .  It starting soon and more episodes already very excited .  Also they are looking for contestants for seasons 3 .  Looks like sewing is here to stay yay!!!

31 Jan 2014

New Year Sewing plans - delayed by one month oops

Well just managed to get this in before the end of January (unless you are based in Australia or nearby).  My plan sounded achievable at the beginning of the year, and it is, if I hadn't got sidetracked by knitting so I have decided that rather than trying to play catch up I will just move everything round a month - sneaky huh.  So this month - by that I now mean February my sewing plans are to make two tops.


Well I started with inspiration from Ruche which do modern vintage and normally have some cute stuff.  For February my two designs are below.
Inspiration from Ruche

I do not intend to make something identical to these, this is just my starting point.   Looking at the white top I choose to make it using Grainline's Scout pattern, but as yet do not have a pattern that is similar to the second top - ideally it will be from an independent designer.  If you know of a pattern please let me know.
I've not made this pattern before so will make a simple toile first to check the size and become used to the pattern- that said from what I have read it is not a difficult pattern.  

I also want to become more familiar with different fabrics as my knowledge is extremely limited at present.  My toile will be made in good old polycotton  So now I've written about it I have no excuse but to get on and make it.

If you have any suggestions for a pattern for the second make please leave a comment below.

30 Jan 2014

Knitting update - Promise more on sewing soon

Yes I know this sewing blog has been taken over by knitting.  Normal service will be resumed soon.  Well the good news is that I have completed my January plans and have made both a hat and scarf.  The scarf was made with double knit wool and involved 20 stitches cast on and then knit until I felt it was long enough then cast off.  Very easy and a great starting point to get confidence up.   I like the stripes that just knitting gave the scarf. The hat was a success in that it is indeed a hat but I don't think I will be wearing it. It also included more skills so cast on knit decrease and cast off but also sewing together to form the shape.

The knitting for February is a flower and a childs cardigan.  This seems like quite a leap but I will may close attention to the wool I buy as I think that the hat was less successful as this was odd ball of wool from the back of the cupboard so I'm not really sure what it was maybe too stretchy.

Well with the weather getting colder here at least my neck will stay warm.

17 Jan 2014

New Year Knitting Schedule January


New year and new challenges.  Having seen some beautiful cardigans and hats recently,especially LLadybirds and Tasia's Owls I have decided that it would be good to be able to knit, especially as I love to be warm and wear cardigans almost everyday.  So having been given a knitting book by my Mum aimed at beginners - yep thats me I'm a complete beginner - I have decided upon a rather ambitious schedule.  All the designs come from the book, which has perfectly placed them in order of difficulty.  There are a few designs that I will not be making either because I do not need them (baby booties) or I'm not keen (ZigZag scarf) but there are many that I can see myself not only making, but wearing.

So the schedule (January -April) is as follows and I will try to keep up with it.  Each month has two projects.

January Scarf and Hat
February Flower and Childs Cardigan
March Cable stitch project bag (to keep my knitting in) and lace wrap
April Mittens and Wrist warmers

I will post up as soon as I have completed each make - Not much of January left so need to get a wriggle on wish me luck.

9 Jan 2014

Review of 2013 The wearable scrapbook

Well when I think that at the start of 2013 I could not sew (I did own two sewing machines though - another story) I feel very proud of how far I came and also of every item I made. That's not to say they were all good but each one reminds of the time I made it and its like a wearable scrapbook.

 So it all began from a Google search and a longing to be creative and ended with a really cool hobby and a daily addiction to reading sewing blogs.

  So first there was Alma - which taught me I don't like peter pan collars and that chiffon sari scarf fabric is not the easiest first sew fabric. I also fell in love with independent patterns and invisible zippers.Then there was Ginger which taught me that with single sided fabric it is really important to fold the fabric wrong sides out before cutting - My coudroGinger was actually cut to have the coudroy on the inside and required some - ahem bodging- to get it to work but it is wearable although kicks out a bit in a strange /un ginger like way. It also introduced me to Colette patterns which I fell for big time.

 There was two Laurels - one knit and one strange sparkly sari blue. The knit I've worn lots and lots. I also entered into a competition with these

There was a really wearable Mathilde - which also ended up being my most read post of last year after Tilly retweeted the photo I sent her - Thanks Tilly This I've worn to several friends birthdays and also my trip to London to buy fabric.

  There was a beautiful Hawthorn - in plaid that kinda matches up that i wore to my daughters 2nd birthday

 A made-by-rae buttercup bag - think i need the bigger pattern though as I like to carry a lot of stuff

 There was a Staple dress that I wore to see Matilda the musical with my mum and other daughters 8th birthday. This i always wear with a chunky belt so it may need more elastic next time - shirring is so much fun

 Then there was my last project of the year Victoria Blazer - which I loved making but think I need a more tailored - less eighties style pattern and that i need to have more adventurous fabric choice - it was a bit dull. I had hoped to make an avocado hoodie but that is still to be made and will probably have more adventurous fabric as the choice I had in mind was a bit dull - see learning from my blazer mistake.  What I really love about all these is that I remember not only where I have worn them but also when I made them and what we were doing at the time. Some clothes remind me of the film that I watched whilst sticking the printed pattern together or the music I was listening to whilst assembling it   I have learnt so much in a year and wonder what I will have achieved by this time next year. Next post I will tell you about my plans for 2014 until then thanks for reading

5 Jan 2014

eek!!! that was a rather long time, sorry

Hello Happy new year, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Halloween. Well that's me up to date now. Sorry for disappearing on you all, but I am safe and well just took some time off. Well I think after making the Victoria Blazer, I realised how much I still needed to make to reach my challenge and well gave up. Now the coast is clear and the year is over I can start sewing again. I still plan to only sew independent patterns though as I love them. Anyway, My next post will be a reflection of last years sewing