Friday, 21 October 2016

Recreating Ready to Wear: Flutter Sleeve Dress

Happy Friday people!  I'm back today with another post in my "Recreating Ready to Wear" series, although this one is not as successful as the previous two, for reasons which I'll share in a bit.

This time I decided to try and recreate this dress:

I really liked the idea of it, but the neckline was a bit high for my liking and the sleeves a little full when I tried it on.  So I decided to make my own version.

There's a reason why you're seeing this modelled by Rosie rather than myself, and that's because it's too big for me, or the bodice is anyway. 

I made a rookie error - I chose a pattern designed for woven fabric and used a knit fabric to make it.  Nothing wrong with that in principle - I've done it before quite successfully - but I would normally size down and I forgot to. 

I forgot to size down because I used a pattern I'd used previously for a woven and just picked it up and started cutting!  The pattern is the Alison Glass Woven Essentials dress, and this is my fourth version.

The fabric I used is this absolutely gorgeous ponte roma kindly provided by Minerva Crafts as part of their blogger network.  I used the Forest colourway and would highly recommend the fabric, it is lovely to work with and lovely to wear.  Just make sure you use an appropriate pattern or make the appropriate size adjustments!

I needed to alter my pattern a bit to get the look I wanted.  Firstly I wanted to give the skirt a bit more flare, so I made adjustments to the A line skirt pattern to remove the darts and rotate the fullness out to the hem.  I did this by tracing the front and back skirt pieces and marking a line down from the tip of the dart to the hem.  I then cut up this line, and down one leg of the dart, leaving just a small hinge of paper. 

Overlapping the dart I moved the fullness to the bottom of the skirt, and filled this gap in the pattern piece in with more paper. 

I also wanted different sleeves.  I could have slashed and spread the sleeve pattern that came with the dress, but instead I decided to use the flared sleeve from the Named Clothing Lexi dress.  I've used this before and knew I liked the fullness.  I traced the sleeve head from the Alison Glass pattern and then laid the Lexi sleeve over it to get the angle of the side seams and hem. 

Once I'd made my pattern alterations construction was very straightforward.  This is a great pattern and it helped that I've made it three times previously. 

After finishing the dress I altered the sleeves slightly by creating a curved hem which is shorter at the front of the elbow than the back.  It looks more flattering like this and gives the illusion of more fullness.

In addition to making the bodice too big, I think I've made the neckline a bit low.  I did want it lower than the inspiration dress, but I think I've gone a bit far!  I do have a small amount of the fabric left, I just need to decide whether I've got the willpower to unpick the dress and remake it with a smaller, higher necked bodice!  I think it would be a lovely dress to wear if I do, I just need to get started.

So, as you can see, a bit of a mixed success with this one.  Great idea, poor execution on my part! 

Thanks go to Minerva Crafts for providing the fabric and notions to make this dress.   Minerva Crafts also stock the pattern I used, but I already had a copy. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Free Motion Embroidery Giveaway Winner

Thanks to all that commented on my last post and entered my giveaway for a piece of free motion embroidered jewellery.  The giveaway is now closed and I have drawn a winner.

I picked my winner the old fashioned way - slips of folded paper with each persons name and comment on. 

The winner is: ShelleyLou

who said she'd like a sewing machine in brooch form.  Shelley Lou, if you could contact me with your details using the email button in my sidebar I'll get a brooch made for you and in the post as soon as I can. 

As I mentioned in my last post I've been thinking about making these to sell.  Hopefully in the not too distant future I'll be setting up an Etsy shop, but for now I'm taking custom orders. 

I'll be offering the following options:

4cm round hoop necklace - £17.95

4cm round hoop brooch - £17.95

6.2cm x 3.4cm oval hoop necklace (either horizontal or vertical) - £18.95

6.2cm x 3.4cm oval hoop brooch (either horizontal or vertical) - £18.95

Prices include UK delivery, please contact me for international delivery charges. 

Please contact me by email for more information or to buy.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Free Motion Friday and a Giveaway

Hello there.  It's Free Motion Friday again, and this one is a good one... or at least I think it is!

I've been wanting to share this with you for a couple of weeks, but it was a birthday present so I had to wait until the recipient had opened her present before I shared it here just in case she saw it. 

May I present the tiny sewing machine necklace.


I have to say, I absolutely love this.  It's certainly the smallest free motion embroidery I've ever done, and I think it's possibly the cutest. 

I made it a couple of weeks ago for my friend Rae's special birthday.  She co-owns Fabric HQ with her mum and while I knew I wanted to give her something sewing related I knew I couldn't get the owner of a fabric shop actual fabric, or sewing notions.  So I thought laterally and decided to sew her a sewing machine. 

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember seeing this little teaser photo that I posted when I was making it. 

I built it up bit by bit, adding tiny scraps of Liberty print cotton for the thread spool and the fabric being sewn.

I normally stitch in black thread, but that looked too heavy for this tiny piece so I used gold for the machine body and a co-ordinating green on the Liberty scraps. 

I couldn't resist adding a little heart to the machine body. 

The hoop necklace came as a kit from Cloud Craft, they do various sizes and round as well as oval frames.  They come with necklace chains or brooch fastenings or without either if you prefer.  Delivery was really quick and I think a kit on it's own would make a great gift for someone crafty.  I got one last Christmas and loved it.

Because I loved making this so much I've decided to do a giveaway for another one.  Leave a comment below before Friday 14th October telling me what you'd object/image you'd love to see stitched in one of these necklaces - and whether you'd prefer a necklace or brooch.  After 14th October I'll pick one at random and if it's physically possible for me to stitch then I'll make whatever the winner has suggested for them. 

** The giveaway is open to anyone, wherever you are in the world.**

Please remember that these frames are REALLY tiny, this one was 6.2cm x 3.4cm!  You could also choose a 4cm round frame if you prefer. 

If you're not lucky enough to win but you'd still like one, then I'm thinking of making these to sell.  I'll post more about that when I reveal the winner of the giveaway. 

Friday, 30 September 2016

Is it too early...

... to be thinking about Christmas?  Sorry, I know that's a dreadful thought!

Most years I wouldn't even be mentioning the "C word" for another month or so, but this year I'm going to be teaching a few Christmas related sewing classes so I've had to make samples so the classes can be advertised.

I'm really excited about the classes, so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about them and show you what I've made, just in case you're mad enough to be getting started early on your Christmas sewing.

At Fabric HQ I'm going to be teaching a Party Frock class.  Over 4 Saturday afternoons we'll use the Alison Glass Woven Essentials pattern to make a party dress.  We've chosen this pattern because you can mix and match sleeve styles and different skirts to come up with a variety of different looks.  I've made two samples for this class, and they couldn't be more different. 

I made this dress first.  I used Michael Miller's Holiday Hostess fabric for this, and took the 3/4 sleeve option and the gathered skirt.  I actually ended up loosely pleating the skirt instead of gathering it as it looked far nicer that way. 

Given my obsession with piping, I couldn't resist adding green piping to the neckline and waist to pick out the green in the fabrics print. 

My husband hates this dress!  When he saw it hanging up in the bedroom his first words were "You're not going to wear that are you?"

However, he loves the second sample I made.

For this one I picked the short sleeves - shortening them even more than the pattern - and the A-line skirt options.  The fabric is dark navy satin with a black lace overlay.  I also made a belt from navy velvet ribbon.

This picture shows the navy under layer much better.  As you can see I used the lace on it's own for the sleeves. 

I think this will be a really fun class, and I can't wait to see how many different dresses we get from the one pattern.  I've used this pattern once before I made these two dresses and I know I'll use it again.  I've got plenty of hacks up my sleeve!

I'm also going to be teaching some Christmas themed free motion embroidery classes, specifically making this Christmas wreath.  I'm teaching this class in several places, Fabric HQ, Crafty Angel Sewing Studio and Niko Brown gallery on various dates in November and early December. 

For these classes, we'll be providing all materials needed, so all you have to do is come along with your sewing machine and have fun!  You can choose to make either a holly or a mistletoe wreath.  I love them both. 

Now I've got the Christmas word out there in the open, tell me, have you started making things for Christmas yet?  Are you going to?  I'd love to know what you're making.