Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Rosey posey dress

Back at the end of January, I went on a little day trip to Lyme Regis. It's been one of my favourite places ever since we had a couple of family holidays there when I was little, but this time I found something that makes it even better - fabric shopping!

I already knew that Sew La Di Da Vintage had a sewing school based there, but since my last visit they'd also opened up a shop selling their patterns, fabrics and other sewing goodies. It's not a big place, but I'd say would definitely falls into the category of "small but perfectly formed".

There were a couple of fabrics that took my fancy, but the rose & scissor poplin that I've used for this dress ended up being the one that came home with me.

This particular print caught my attention, because I'd already been eyeing it up in Sew Over It's online shop. I'd actually very nearly bought it before, but thankfully for me I hadn't because if I had, then I'd have paid more than I needed to - Sew Over It are selling it for £12 per metre, and I think I paid £7 (or it might have been £8) per metre. It's funny how prices vary between different fabric shops isn't it?

I'm not saying that Sew Over It are trying to overcharge people - there are a lot of different factors that go in to determining a price after all - but it's definitely worth shopping around sometimes. The lady in the Sew La Di Da shop did say that they were trying to keep their prices down, so I'll have to make sure I take more fabric buying pennies for my next trip to the seaside!

The dress that I've made here is my third one from the book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time (the first one's here, and the second's here). The book follows the current trend in sewing books for providing mix-and-match bodices, skirts, sleeves and necklines to create a whole array of different dresses.

This one's very similar to my other two dresses - it's the basic bodice, short sleeves and gathered skirt, but this time I used the V-neck option.

Being as I've essentially made this dress twice already, this was a nice simple project and there's not really anything to say about it that I haven't said about its predecessors. Unsurprisingly, I'm pleased with the result. Plus it's good to have a bit more pink to add to my wardrobe - I don't think I have enough of it at the moment.

I really should try some of the other different options from the book at some point, but there's a few other projects creeping up my sewing queue as well - I've got Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book to try out, and some treats from recent pattern sales, but top of the list is the new Doris dress, which will hopefully be getting stitched up soon. What sewing plans do you have at the moment?

Friday, 15 April 2016

Sew Over It Susie Blouse

I have a long-standing intention to sew more tops. It's a good intention, but it tends to get neglected in favour of the latest shiny new dress pattern, or the opportunity to sew another beautifully twirly skirt. All those skirts will end up being left in the wardrobe if there aren't tops to wear with them though, so when Sew Over It released the Susie blouse pattern recently, it seemed to be just the kind of top I was after so I took it as a sign and got stitching.

As the pattern description says, Susie is a simple but versatile everyday top. It's a loose fitting bodice, with a V-neck, collar and 3 different sleeve lengths (I made the short sleeved version). It appealed to me because of the lack of closures - while I love buttons in general, and I happily wear shirtdresses, I've come to realise that, after an initial burst of enthusiasm when I've just made them, my shirts/blouses that button up tend to get left in the wardrobe. I have no idea why that is, but there we go. Hopefully this little blouse will get worn more!

The lack of any form of closures also means that this is a fairly speedy project - I think I sewed this within a few hours.

This was also helped by the fact that the instructions are really easy to follow and detailed and, combined with the clear photos, make the sewing process a breeze.

In terms of sizing, I fall right between a Sew Over It 12 and 14 on my bust and waist, and between a 14 and a 16 on my hips. Based on the finished garment measurements, I decided to go with the lower of the two sizes, and made a 12, grading out to a 14 at the hips. The fit is spot on as far as I'm concerned - loose enough to be comfy, but fitted enough that it has a nice shape to it and isn't just a tent.

The fabric I used is a lovely spotty lawn that I bought about a year ago from Guthrie & Ghani. It's been sitting in my stash since then, which is a long time for me to wait to use a fabric. I originally bought it with the intention of making a dress, but when it arrived I thought that it was so lightweight that it would be better suited to being a top. It's almost become a number of other patterns over the last year, but I kept changing my mind about what to make. When the Susie pattern appeared, I decided to stop dithering and just use it. Thankfully, I think they suit each other perfectly so that seems to have been a good decision!

I'm happy with the end result, and I can see that I'll make more Susie blouses in the future - for starters, there's another piece of fabric that's been in my stash a while which would probably work well, although I'm thinking of trying a collarless version to mix it up a bit. I also treated myself to New Look 6217 in a recent pattern sale after seeing some pretty versions of the top online. Does anyone have any other good top/blouse patterns to recommend?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Another blue dress for the collection

Hello hello! How are you all today? Good I hope! Life's a bit busy around here at the moment, but I have a little backlog of projects to share with you still. I'll start with this patterned blue number (because clearly I don't have enough blue in my wardrobe already....)

If this dress seems somewhat familiar, that's probably because it is! This is the second dress that I've made using the patterns from the book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time by Tanya Whelan. It's the same basic bodice with scoop neck as I used for my recent spotty dress, but this time with a gathered skirt instead of a circle skirt.

I finished making this dress a few weeks ago now, and it's already been worn a number of times. For a while, it seemed fated to always end up being worn on dull, rainy days when any photos I took wouldn't do it justice, but then thankfully the sun came out so it can have its chance to shine. 

The fabric for this one was a bargain in the John Lewis sale in January. I bought it because it was obviously a lovely quality fabric, and the colours are right up my street, but I wasn't sure quite how the print would look once translated into dress form. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised when I finished sewing, and I think it works nicely as a dress. It's always better for it to work that way round, rather than having high hopes at the start and ending up disappointed by a finished project, isn't it?

This was another nice straightforward project, with very little to say about the construction that I didn't already cover for the spotty dress

One thing I didn't mention that time was that in both of these dresses I've only got a pocket in one side, because they have side zips and I was being a bit lazy and didn't want to fiddle about with trying to get a pocket and zip in the same place. I debated for a while whether it would be weird to just have one pocket, but then I decided that part of the joy of sewing is that I can make a dress with only one pocket if I want. And it turns out that one pocket is fine! It's not too lazy of me is it?!

The fit of the bodice is slightly looser than others I'm used to (mainly the Emery), but I quite like it that way. It's nice to have slightly different fitting options depending on how you're feeling (or how much you've eaten!), and this bodice/skirt combination definitely makes for a great everyday dress.

I've got another similar dress with a different neckline finished, so I think this book has already proved to be a very good present. I need to try out some of the other options soon just to make sure though! What have you been sewing recently?