Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Sew over it (not silk) silk cami

I have been searching for the perfect cami/woven tank for the stupidest amount of time. Well, when I say searching, I actually mean deliberating between the Grainline tiny pocket tank and the Wiksten tank. I literally could not decide between the two and didn't want to feel like I'd made the wrong choice, so when I noticed the Sew over it silk cami pattern recently I thought I'd just bloody buy it and stop floundering. I actually think they are probably all very similar in fit, but the thing that the 'sew over it' pattern offers that the others do not is facings to finish the neck and armholes. I've mentioned before that I'm less keen on bias facings, so this is a welcome addition, but as it happened I have only made one version with the actual facings, because I didn't have enough fabric!!! Oh well ;-)

I have made several versions since I bought this pattern a couple of weeks ago. What can I say, I have been thinking about woven tanks for a while!!! First up is my favourite one!

This is extended to midi dress length and also slightly flared at the sides to skim over my hips. I made some fit adjustments following an initial toile, but I'll cover those in a bit.

I suppose it's obvious, but I printed the fabric for this dress. I am in love with the texture and the scale of the print and will most definitely wear this to death (summer and winter). I didn't have enough fabric for facings, so did a bias facing instead.

I have been wearing this belted. I think if it was really hot outside then I could happily wear it loose with flats, but I prefer the look of it this way.

I added a pocket, because there is never a good reason to not add one!

This next dress is the same as above, but using the patterns facings, yay! The fabric is an absolutely stunning Melody Miller print that was gifted to me from the adorable Inna. Sewing people are so amazing and she has given me some beautiful fabric that I would never have had a chance to own otherwise!

I love the way the print was split, but I was drawn to the idea of having a contrast front and back, so cut the dress with a centre front and back seam to allow me to play with it a bit. I just about managed this from the fabric I had with a little section on the front grafted in, but I'm so pleased that I did it this way. I have two large wasps on my boobs too which is always fun!

Another pocket...

Back to the pattern as drafted and below is my very wearable toile. I made a size 14 based on my measurements and it is pretty much perfect.

The only change really needed was to raise the armhole by a couple of centimetres, because I dislike how low it is. I have fat arms, so low armholes are deeply unflattering on me.

Sorry, I have been wearing this and didn't iron it before photos. Pretty poor show I know.

I like the fit with my now amended armholes and have started to make a straight forward cami, but haven't finished it for this post and think I am probably boring you anyway with my many versions!!!

This last one has the flare of the dress and the raised armholes, so is not straight up, but so loose and flowy. Going to wear this a lot, lot, lot. FYI - more hand printed fabric (cotton lawn), but the other piece of this that was in my shop has sold already :-)

Verdict is that this pattern is soooo versatile. Unlike other sleeveless cami bodices I have tried, this does not gape at the neck and has wide enough straps to make me feel covered enough, especially with the raising of the armhole. I really love that it needed minimal tampering to make it work for me and is definitely a go to pattern. I think the fact that I made four and a half in quick succession of one another definitely makes this a clear favourite. This is what happened with the Linden and Hemlock and they remain up there with my all time favourite patterns. I'm clearly a basics girl at heart. Very well drafted and really great to use, this is giving me the motivation I needed to make a start on the ultimate trousers. I made a toile ages ago, but made the wrong size, so it's taken me a while to get round to reprinting the pattern in a bigger size. Expect to see trews round here very soon!!!

P.S. These are some old and unblogged trousers from a Japanese sewing book that were in my rework pile, but I threw them on today and decided I like the cropped wide leg, so may try to add the leg shape to the ultimate trouser top. These are elasticated, badly fitting and so irritating to wear unfortunately, but they will go on to better things. Is it bad to admit though that I'm so lazy about getting changed that I'm still wearing them? ;-)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

My print voice!

What have I been doing lately? Printing, printing, printing that's what! I have started listing bits in my shop and have even sold a couple of pieces (yay), so things are all good. There is always a process of development with any skill that you wish to take further which takes time and resources, so I guess I'm discovering my voice and confidence the more I experiment.

I am not new to print by any means. Textile design is my first love over anything else and is primarily what I went to university to study, but I have never truly immersed myself specifically in print like I am currently. It is taking me a while to loosen up and express myself in the way I wish, which is not an unusual feeling. I went through a period in my twenties of not drawing very much and I felt really clammy and tight when I tried to get back into it, like I didn't know how to draw. FYI, I think everyone can draw or enjoy drawing, it's just about finding your level of enjoyment.

Anyway, after starting out a little tight and restrictive with my prints I feel I am now finally starting to loosen up and express myself in a way that makes me happy!

I am currently combining techniques such as stencilling block and screen printing to create fun shapes and textures and am sourcing vintage fabrics to use as my base. Vintage materials offer the quality I'm after at a price that is not eye watering and also kind to the environment. I want my prices to be both fair to myself and the customer, so this is a great way of achieving that.
I've got some fun pieces in the pipeline. Some are really large and great for interior soft furnishings and other smaller pieces for dressmaking etc... Also, got a future sewing pattern in the works that I am mega excited about, but I have alooooot more work to do on that, so will be a little while before I can show you more.
I guess that's me for now! Happy Thursday everyone!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Apron dress and apron

I am loving all the pinafore everything that is about at the moment! I loved wearing dungarees and apron dresses when I was a teenager and have not really lost my affection for such things as I've gotten older. There is a dress in 'Stylish dress book - simple smocks, dresses and tops' which I have been eyeing for a while and was recently reminded of it when I saw Anna's version on Instagram. I had previously seen it made up by Maddie (very cute) and then promptly forgot to make it!

So here it is...

It is dress G in case you are wondering and it is super quick to make! I traced the pattern and cut my fabric on Saturday night and whipped it together within an hour of sewing last night.

It is loose through the body and was even a bit baggy under the arm until I removed a 1" wedge either side, but oh so comfy. I had an almost identical summer dress until very recently that was essential on very hot summer days. It was even a similar print and colour, so maybe that's why I subconsciously reached for this fabric!!!

No fastenings or tricky finishes makes this a breeze and totally suited to both thicker and thinner fabrics. Obviously I am imagining denim and cord, but maybe Linen or something more slinky would work too. Ooh, that's a good idea for a loose, posh occasion dress.

I made the length as per the pattern, but personally I would like to go either shorter or ankle length. I think the loose, beltless look is better without a top underneath.

I love the back strap shape!

There's also a cheeky back pocket for pocket lovers!

Some more pictures of the back and beltless look.

I think there's a lot of fun to be had with the length and fabric choice and I'm keen to make up some winter versions to wear with some shirts and thick tights. Makes me excited about winter sewing (behave).

Whilst I was in an apron/pinny type mood I cut and made up a really simple apron to protect my clothes when I'm printing. Too many accidents have prompted the need for one. I originally had an idea to make one like this, but new I would take an age to get around to making a pattern. It would also have used considerably more fabric, so I opted for a simple rectangle with bib shaping to the top. Pretty standard, but cute!

The linen I used is a beautiful duck egg green and cream stripe with heavy embroidery on the green (hard to make out). It is probably way too good for what I'm going to use it for, but it was 50p from a car boot sale and the only suitable weight in my stash that I was willing to sacrifice. I only used half, so have half to stroke, but it's a bit too fancy for me really anyway. I'm kind of glad to just get on and use it for something, even if it will get covered in dye!

Does anyone else just love how aprons look with jeans???

So, no signs of me easing up on the bib front sewing, but I'm enjoying myself so don't care! I hope you're enjoying sewing too! x