A quiet book and a refashion

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, taking part in IG challenges is a great way of discovering new people and blogs to follow. It was during the Moneta party that I discovered the Sewingmamas Project organised by The Dancing Dressmaker and Pilar Bear. Each month they pick a sewing project for the little one and his/her mum. The projects for March  were a quiet book for the little one and a refashion of an RTW item for the mum. I decided to join mainly because I’ve always wanted to make a quiet book, so more effort was put in that than the refashion.

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As it happens with most of my projects, I had a lot of ideas for the quiet book and the problem is that I wanted to do all of them, so in the end I settled for an alphabet quiet book with removable letters and their representations. Of course I should have started making this probably last year to have it all finished by the end of March, hence I will only show you the beginning of it. All the materials are from my stash.

The only thing I bought was some velcro. I have tons of this grey bias tape, so I thought I’d use it as a finish, but it was a bit sad as a colour, so I treated it with some fabric paint. Still don’t like the result, so I think I will use a different finish for the rest of the pages, when I get to completing them.

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I did draw some of the things myself and some others were part of a samples book that a friend of Leandros’ grandma found in the rubbish and saved it. I love C & D pages.

When I drew the elephant balancing a ball on his trunk, I immediately thought of circus and my little elephant performing his tricks, so the curtains seemed very appropriate. I have also added some texture to the elephant ear.

I somehow thought that the little one was going to dismiss the book but I couldn’t be more wrong, he really enjoyed pulling out the letters and the animals, although I have to admit he was mostly obsessed with pulling the duck’s eye. He hasn’t succeeded so far.

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Now on to the refashion. This is a cheap dress I had bought at Asda. It was too big and I only liked the flowers. It ended up being a permanent resident of my wardrobe. I found it the perfect project for the refashion. At the end of the day, if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t miss it that much. And I can tell you it didn’t work.

I knew from the beginning, I wanted to make a top. so I thought I’d go for one of these parts that have been added to the stash and never quite made it to the top. This time it was the Simple Sew Patterns Key Hole Blouse that came free with an issue of Love Sewing magazine. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as I hoped. The hole was a bit too low which meant that you’d have to wear a top or something underneath, if you didn’t want the whole world to look at your boobs.

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I decided to try and fix the hole and after a few failed attempts, I simply covered it, with a piece of fabric that I thought worked as design element rather than a cover. A bit of hand embroidery, admittedly not very good and some mother of pearl buttons.

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However my modifications caused the fabric to pull around the neckline and the bias binding just doesn’t sit flat. It’s not monstrous but I don’t like it.

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I love the side view, but the fabric I have used at the bottom isn’t of the same weight and of a shade of black that looks washed out. I finished the hem with bias tape and I don’t like that either. Suffice to say I will not be wearing this top, there’s nothing I like about it and I feel I wasted my time by trying to fix it. In the bin it will go.

On another note, all you mothers who sew a lot, I don’t know how you do it, because every time (every night, I should say) I decide to sit in front of my sewing machine, some disaster will hit either me or the little man. I like slow sewing but this is beyond slow now. How do you do it? Btw, I’ve also gone back to my full time job.

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Moneta: Murder and Resurrection

With a stream of threads hanging from her clothes, the woman with red hair walked out of her front door and disappeared in the anonymity of a rainy day. If someone had noticed her, they would have seen the bags under her eyes, the look of both disappointment and frustration, someone might have even stopped her or laughed at her as she was still wearing her silk carolyn pyjamas, which didn’t really look like sleep wear bar the print of unicorns on them. But one of the advantages or disadvantages of the big city is that nobody notices you and so she carried on walking uninterrupted, towards the park and from there over the bridge, further and further away from home. She was carrying only her  credit card and one pointy object in the pocket of her Minoru jacket.

…………

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‘It was the husband, who found the child playing on the floor with the dissected body,’ said fashion detective Ariadne Overlock to her colleague sewing inspector Sophie Bias. ‘He claims that last time, he saw the dress in one piece on the dress form. Apparently his wife was getting it ready to go to some party, the Moneta party he said, at the weekend,’ she continued.

‘Where is the wife now? Why has she done this to the poor dress?’ Bias asked.

‘She’s disappeared. When the husband woke up, she wasn’t in her usual spot in front of the sewing machine and nowhere else in the house. He claims to have called her a few times, but there was no answer.’

‘Hmm, what has happened here?’ Bias said looking closely at the dress, she hadn’t even heard her colleague’s reply. ‘It seems, she started unpicking the dress but then gave up and simply cut the overlocked seams. The waist and the hemline look as if they had been tortured for hours. And the threads, they’ve been splattered all over the kitchen.’

‘Yes this is what I thought as well. If only the child could talk, he must have seen everything. The husband mentioned that he sits next to his mum playing quietly when she sews,’ Overlock added.

‘And the murder weapon, it’s nowhere to be found. Could she have taken it with her? Let’s seal off the place, send the husband and the child to the hotel and I will call the team to come for a more detailed inspection,’ said Bias and her mind had already moved to other matters like the coffee she still hadn’t drunk.

…..

It didn’t take long for the investigation team to arrive at the crime scene and get on with their tasks.

‘The murder weapon was definitely sharp scissors,’ said the coroner, I would place all my bets on Fiskars and I’m pretty sure they are still in the house. The seam ripper was only what started the torturing.’

A photographer took a picture of the stretched body and the ripped hem, whereas the rest of the team, were combing the house for the murder weapon.

‘I found it, I found it,’ shouted a man from the bedroom upstairs and he was soon seen descending the stairs, holding a pair of Fiskars scissors.

It was at that very moment, the front door opened again and the red headed woman entered her house. She didn’t immediately notice the yellow tape in the corridor, nor the man who had just come down the stairs. She did, however, notice all the people in the kitchen going through her sewing stuff. Moneta was still on the kitchen floor.

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‘What the he…’ she managed to utter before ten people turned round to look at her. The coroner reached for his phone and before anyone had the chance to move, had Bias at the other end of the line.

‘Hold her there, I’m on my way’ she said and hang up the phone. A little while later, she and Overlock were interrogating the woman with the red hair.

‘Why did you do that?’ Bias asked and pointed at the body.

‘She wasn’t good enough,’ replied the woman, ‘and in any case, I’m planning to fix her.’

‘I think, she’s beyond fixing,’ Overlock added. ‘Tell us what happened.’

‘A day ago, this poor soul, was a lovely dress hanging on my mannequin,’ the woman started without any protest. In her head she hadn’t committed a crime after all. ‘I was so proud of the dress, it looked so beautiful, until I tried it on. What mostly bothered me was the fact that some of the gathers were not sitting properly and they created weird pleats in the back that I really hated. Even if I oversaw the pleats, it was too short and I just didn’t like it. So I did it, I grabbed the seam ripper, and started unpicking, and because I had never been patient enough to unpick the overlocker seams, I took the scissors and simply cut them off. This of course resulted in the waist of the skirt becoming slightly bigger and the bodice slightly shorter, but only slightly so it was ok. I took some more of my clear elastic, gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice. Going back to it this morning to fix the short hem, I noticed that the seams were visible, and not hidden between the bodice and the skirt. I wanted to pull my hair, if I could see it, it meant other people, could too. This time I didn’t even attempt to use the seam ripper, instead I went straight  for the scissors and just chopped the dress. I showed no mercy, I was so mad at it. ‘

‘Where did you go after that?’ Bias asked.

‘I wasn’t planning to leave it tortured and dissected for others to find but when I reached for some more clear elastic to right all the wrongs, I realised in horror that I had run out, so I went to the local haberdashery to buy some more.’

‘And did you?’

‘No, I didn’t because as it usually happens, whenever I really need something they never have it.’

‘So you will not be able to fix the dress, which means you have to come to the station with us.’

‘No, no wait I will fix it, I will use the regular type of elastic, it won’t be perfect but it will be good enough. Please, I’ve been planning all week for this party.’

Bias looked at her in disbelief for a few minutes. ‘Ok,’ she finally said, ‘but under one condition, I will stay here and watch you.’

‘No problem, but I will need to be given my scissors back.’ The man who had found them, handed them back to her.

First she cut two pieces of fabric as wide as the width of the front and back bodice and as long as the length of the bodice she had chopped off. When she attached them together it looked something like this and she was quite pleased with it.

Having cut the size xs to start with and having chopped the waist twice, she had ended up with a much larger waist, that even if she wanted she wouldn’t have been able to gather to the original size, so she recut the skirt, sewed the pieces together and after gathering it with the white elastic, she attached it to the bodice. It wasn’t perfect but looked much better than the previous version. Then she hemmed it and finally attached the collar, in a contrasting fabric, as she had originally dreamt, but had failed to execute.

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When the husband and the child returned from the hotel, the police had sent them. The dress was no longer a corpse, it had miraculously amended itself.

‘Mummy will go to her party,’ he said to his son.

So she did and boy could that dress swish.

 

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Bell sleeve top and stash busting

Hello world again. How long has it been since my last post??? At this slow pace perhaps I should be changing the name of my blog to The Eternal Summer Stitcher, as I seem to be stuck in that season and you never know despite my efforts, it may be next summer before I post anything else, haha!

I don’t like making excuses (you know the usual, motherhood and life in general) I’d rather make things.

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And although I wasn’t actually making anything, I ended up thinking about sewing a lot, especially since the last months of maternity, being unpaid, means I can’t (rather I shouldn’t) buy any fabric. The latter hasn’t been necessarily a negative thing, as it made me look closer at the fabric I already own and how I could use it to satisfy my creative hunger. What you see in this picture is my whole stash, ( I know some of you are laughing now, thinking this isn’t a stash, but I tend to buy fabric with a project in mind) plus some garments waiting to be refashioned or mended. There is one order  in the post for a specific project, but apart from that I will not be buying any fabric, until I have sewn every little piece in these boxes and if I say I bought some, feel free to tell me off. There isn’t a time limit on this self appointed challenge. I do hope though that I will manage to go through most of the boxes during this year?  I have a feeling it will not always be season appropriate either, but we will see some winter in this blog eventually, perhaps during summer.  If  anyone wants to tag along ( I doubt it) and do the same, please feel free.

dsc_0837Not from the very old stash is this top, which I was meant to have finished before Christmas to wear at a special occasion, (my sewing went so wrong that I ended up buying a whole outfit for that haha) but I only finished it last week. It’s a wrinkled something fabric bought surprisingly   from John Lewes(the one close to me has a very boring collection of fabrics) for £12/metre. I bought only one metre, so I had to be a bit creative with the cutting.  As you can see there is gold in it, but it’s quite discreet to allow me to wear it outside the Christmas period.

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I have a thing about big sleeves, despite them not being functional when you need to hide them in coats during the winter, and the bell sleeve trend made me go a bit cuckoo. The base for my top is the Aime Comme Magellan top from Aime Comme Marie. Having sewn it before, I knew it fitted and possessed all the qualities I was looking for. I omitted the ruffles and lowered the neckline, I also added a not centred pleat, which didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to.

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I finished the neckline with bias binding, which also didn’t work as I managed to stretch the neckline a bit and now it doesn’t sit flat, maybe a heavy necklace will help keep it in place. A good steam, improved it a bit but to be honest, I’m not that bothered, it’s all part of the process. The hem and sleeves were finished with a rolled hem, the first one I’ve ever done kind of successfully.

dsc_0841The buttons are again there purely for decorative purposes as in my previous version. I love fabric covered buttons, they are a nice detail that adds a bit of class to any garment. dsc_0860

The actual bells are sewn by two pieces put together but thanks to the wrinkled effect of the fabric it’s hardly noticeable.

I haven’t got anything else to add about this top except for when something isn’t meant to happen it just doesn’t. I was going to sew this the night before flying to Greece, but guess what the little one decided that he wouldn’t go to bed before midnight. I came back and finished it in an evening, (with minor things having gone wrong) because  I didn’t need to wear it anymore haha. Do you ever get these moments of garments that they don’t want to happen, no matter what you do?

 

 

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Stripey aime comme Magellan and Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1105

So summer continues on my blog and this time it comes with another season favourite; stripes.

The hot weather this year caught me by surprise in terms of wardrobe. On the one hand a lot of things didn’t fit the after pregnancy body and on the other hand there was a lack of relaxed outfits, which is what I needed, since I didn’t have to be in the office every day,

I bought the Magellan top by Aime Comme Marie after being obsessed with this dress worn by Alexa Chung. I seriously wanted some ruffles in my life.

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This version is the third Magellan I made, because, as you may have suspected by now, this project was as problematic as the previous too.

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I initially cut a size M on a fabric with some stretch. Big mistake as it made the otherwise lovely Magellan hang like a sack, a size too big. Nevertheless, I called that a muslin and carried on sewing it, until I got to the sleeves. The sleeves feature two darts, which I found a bit odd but didn’t mind them as they were at least original. I don’t know if it was me or the pattern but the medium sleeves even on the stretch fabric, were uncomfortably tight, to the point where they wouldn’t go past my elbows. I decided to ditch them and do a sleeveless version. Unfortunately, I stretched the fabric while sewing and the whole top turned into one hot mess. Fortunately for you, there are no pics of that atrocity.

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I had recently purchased from eBay again, some candy striped cotton, in three different colours, (green, light blue, dark blue) with no particular project in mind, so I thought why not use one of them for the Magellan, the shorter one to be specific.  This time I cut a size S, and surprise, surprise, it was small, too small. I wanted to pull my hair at that point, as this was another garment I was sewing more than once, due to silly mistakes. I went back to cutting a new version, but I wasn’t ready to let go of the stripes. There wasn’t anymore of the fabric I had used, the second in length (green stripes) was mostly consumed by the Cynthia Rowley pattern, and the third was going to turn into a dress in my head. So as I normally do in these cases, I improvised. I kept, the already cut,small size for the part of the top over the ruffles and cut a small grading to medium size for the part below the ruffles, from what was left of the original fabric and the remnants of the green fabric.

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As you can see not only have I used every possible scrap of fabric, my stripes also follow every possible direction. I doubled the width of the ruffles, because in my head, I still had the image of that Alexa Chung dress, just not the right amount of fabric. My ruffles are constructed by three different pieces of fabric sewn together and if I had more fabric, I would have attempted an even longer piece, so that there is more of a ruffle.

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I didn’t even attempt to cut the sleeves this time and finished the armscye and with bias tape. I also hemmed the ruffle. The pattern requires only overlocking but I thought a hemmed version would look nicer. I love how these triangles of contrasting stripes turned out.

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Out of these three buttons, only the first one is kind of functional, in that there is a snap fastener underneath, the other two are there purely for decorative purposes. Yes, I somehow managed to sew the pieces, not close enough to each other to have buttonholes and needed to fix this somehow, hence they don’t completely align, but at least the buttons bring some consistency. I wore this top so much both here in the UK and in Greece and I got so many compliments, despite the obvious problems with it. I’m definitely making another one with sleeves this time. I even have the fabric for it, fingers crossed it will be enough 🙂

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And here is where the rest of the green stripes went. While pregnant I made the dress version of Cynthia Rowley 1105. I wore the dress only once because I decided that it wasn’t flatering, I already looked big enough and the fabric I used didn’t have enough drape, so it does look as if I’m wearing an actual tent. Despite that, I went ahead and made the top version of it.

dsc07612I liked it better than the dress and wore it a lot during the summer too. I omitted the ribbon at the back as I didn’t enjoy that feature either on the dress.

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Here’s me wearing it, colour coordinating with my son’s shorts in the middle of a wheat field, where we went at some point to fly the drone. My other half has hobbies too, haha! There is one more make before summer goes for good from my blog.

 

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Simplicity 1114 Jumpsuit

dsc07571One of the projects I enjoyed a lot last summer, was Jumping into June. I love jumpsuits and one is never enough, which is why this summer I made a second one. I should have made more than that really.  As sewing time nowadays is limited, I needed something with a simple design that would be comfortable, would see me through summer and be quick to sew. Simplicity 1114 was the perfect candidate. I purchased this with a bundle of other patterns, including some for baby clothes (just warning) from Weaverdee.

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This jumpsuit is marked as easy and it really is. There are no zippers, or darts, or sleeves. The pattern comes with three jumpsuit versions and a dress. I chose version B, with the wide legs. I like flowy trousers in the summer as much as I like jumpsuits.

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The top is very simple, with straps and an elastic encased in a tube, as well as an elastic waistband and a little belt. Another easy and quick make, you’d think. Well, I managed to mess this up too, luckily not as much as dress of my previous post. I blame it all on working during the night, when my brain should be sleeping.dsc07570To start with, I sewed the two back legs with each other, rather with the front leg. The previous garment had taught me well and I had overlocked all the pieces separately, so that I wouldn’t need to unpick those seams in the event of a disaster. Fortunately, I realised my mistake quickly and I didn’t carry on sewing the front legs with each other too.dsc07565

Next on attaching the top to the bottom, I attached the front side to the back and the back to the front. Seam ripper at hand and unpicking done, I re-attached it correctly this time.

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When I finished with it and put it back on, I realised that the straps were quite long. The problem was that they were encased in the elastic tube, which meant further unpicking. At that stage, I wanted the damn thing finished (how long should one be sewing something described as easy?) so I unpicked only the top seam, shortened the straps and sewed them again. If you look close enough there is a little seam where the straps join the top, but it’s easily missed in the print. I love the simplicity of this jumpsuit and how quick it is to make it, if you avoid making the mistakes I did. I know it’s not the most exciting of projects, I have shared but sometimes you need the uncomplicated every day wear. I perhaps needed to raise the crotch a bit, but I like my summer clothes loose, unlike the winter ones, so I didn’t mind that at all.  The fabric is viscose bought from eBay, I cut a size medium, but I think, I could get away with a small too. There is plenty of ease.

I’ve never had a winter jumpsuit. I currently have my eyes on the Eliane jumpsuit by Style Arc and House of Pinheiro, but it may be summer again by the time I make it. Anyone out there, who has sewn it?  I have the Kelly Anorak, the Pulmu Skirt, an idea for a top and a coat for which I have no patterns, plus a couple of baby things, plus invitations and other bits and bobs for a christening, plus, plus, plus, to make, definitely summer before I get my hands on another jumpsuit.

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Robe Frida Wear Lemonade

What is it with not having enough time but wanting to make a billion things at the same time? Four months after the birth of this lovely creature, I was itching to get some sewing and other crafting done. img_8335

Off to the internet I went and ordered a pattern from French brand Wear Lemonade, the Frida dress. I had seen a few renditions of the dress online and really loved it. It seemed quite easy to make and its relaxed fit was quite appealing at the time, since there was still baby weight to take into account.

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The dress features a boat neck, a gathered skirt, short sleeves and a belt. Sounds like a piece of cake right? Well, in my case, I don’t know if it was the permanent lack of sleep, the inability to focus or the midnight sewing, but I managed to make this as hard a sewing project as it could get. It took me a month to finish and another two months to have some photos taken and write a post. Anyone else wants to slow down their sewing? Have a baby, haha!

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And here you have me wearing it, next to the fridge like a good 60s model, promoting domestic appliances.

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As you can see the top is quite loose, which on the one hand is part of the design, on the other though it’s part of the sewing disaster this dress was. To start with, I used this quite thin and slippery fabric that I fell in love with when I saw it at a remnant’s shop in Greece. I thought it would be perfect for this pattern. I based the size on my measurements at that time and after making a muslin of the top, I cut into the fabric and started sewing. Due to the fabric being thin and frailing easily, I decided that the best approach was to French seam, everything. You see where this is going right?

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Some time went by before I went back to it, and trying it on, I realised I had lost weight and the dress was beyond loose fitting, it was huge and unwearable. I cursed my luck and started unpicking the french seams, while the baby was sleeping and at any possible break, I could get. I was determined to finish something. I didn’t unpick the skirt as I didn’t mind a bit of a fuller skirt. I cut a smaller size top and resewed it but this time finished it with the overlocker, I couldn’t bear doing french seams again.

I made a belt as well, but I will spare you the atrocity it is. As I don’t have a hole puncher, I made buttonholes instead and I will leave it at that. I’m wearing it here with my own belt, but since it doesn’t fit in the belt loops it’s not very stable, hence the hem of the dress looks completely uneven, but trust me it’s not. I didn’t use the neck and back facings the second time round and finished the neckline with bias tape, same for the sleeves. The skirt has pockets that I know a lot of you love, but I’m not crazy about them. I did add them though, although I think that if I ever make it again, I will skip them.

I finished this at the end of July and I put back on a couple of days ago when I took the pics and guess what, it needs to be a size smaller, but I will not touch it for now. If one day I find the energy and the time, I may go and unpick all the overlocked seams. I can wear it with my belt and swirl around for the time being. I also need to shorten that slip, I’m wearing.

Overall, I definitely recommend the pattern, despite the problems I had, it is a very easy make, the front and back of the bodice are exactly the same and it comes with a variation for a different neck line, I think it’s a tunic neckline. I would however recommend a more stable fabric, which is also easy to press (this was a nightmare in that department). I can imagine it in a lovely cotton print for spring, hmmm…

Hopefully, this is where I come back to blogging and sewing, both of which I have missed a lot. I have a few more posts with summery makes, before we enter the British winter and then fingers crossed, I will move into the current season. What is everyone making/planning for the next months? I’ve noticed the UK is getting colder by the day.

 

 

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10h00 Tunique Deuxième arrondissement

I wish I had discovered Deuxieme Arrondissement  much earlier in my pregnancy. They are a French company producing sewing patterns for trendy pregnant women. They have 10 lovely styles on their site that are very fashionable and had I not been that late in my pregnancy I would have loved to make all of them. I have chosen one though, which is the 10h00 Tunique

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The pattern comes in two versions, long and short. I went for the short one. I liked the shirt style of it with a more relaxed flowy shape to accommodate for the bump. This particular version is half refashion, half new. The khaki part is one of my fiancé’s old shirts that no longer fit. I salvaged this from a bag meant for charity, as I liked the colour.

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However, as it wasn’t one of the really large ones, there wasn’t enough fabric for the whole project, so searching for a suitable fabric to pair it with, I came across this lovely moss quilting cotton from The Village Haberdashery . Great opportunity to experiment with my favourite colour blocking.

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I kept the original pockets of the shirt on both sides as well as the button holes panel (hurrah no need to make any buttonholes) but did some fabric buttons in the moss colour for coherence. The collar ended up much better than any others I have made.

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For the back I used the back of the original shirt, but cut it to my size.

So much I liked this pattern that I made a second version this weekend.

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This time it was a complete refashion of a shirt, bigger in size, so more fabric and  one of my old jumpers which I was saving for something like this. And my belly, hasn’t grown bigger between the two versions, which were photographed on the same day but there was a little bit of breeze playing games with it.

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The front and sleeves are part of the shirt and have kept again the button holes. I replaced the original buttons with these fuchsia mother of pearl buttons from my stash. The collar was made out of the jumper. Because of lack of interfacing and the fabric being much softer it stands upright, creating a nice collar effect. Check out my Little Prince earrings, hehe!

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Again I used the sleeve cuffs from the original jumper on this version.

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The back of the shirt is my favourite part, as I wanted something like this for ages. I have kept again the original buttonholes, which I think combined with the jumper fabric create a nice style.DSC_0433

And since my new sewing machine comes with decorative stitches, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to try them on the hem. I was quite pleased with the outcome.

I cut the medium size for both versions and made no adjustments, perhaps I need to make a couple but at this stage the minor imperfections don’t seem worth dealing with. Pregnancy has made me a bit lazy. The instructions were adequate but all in French. I don’t think you need to speak the language though to figure out what’s going on. I highly recommend the patterns to any pregnant ladies out there. I will definitely be wearing this even after birth, as a relaxed spring tunic.

Have you made any pleasant sewing discoveries lately?

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A diaper bag attempt

I think I have reached that point where I won’t be making any clothes for the time being, unless of course I manage to finish a UFO and a crochet knit that’s half way done.

I’ve been looking at these really stylish diaper bags on Pinterest that are way out of my budget, or the amount of money I’m willing to spend on any of them and I decided to give it a go at making my own.

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As a base for my bag, I used this tutorial from A Mingled Yarn, which I found through a Pinterest search. It seems I turn to Pinterest for everything lately, haha. My aim was for my bag to resemble more the stylish ones, so instead of fabric I used some faux leather which I purchased from eBay. The outside pockets and general measurements are the same as on the tutorial, but then I made the front flap much shorter and omited the strap, that is permanently attached to the bag.

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I added instead a metallic loop on each side to be able to use a strap I already have from another bag, which matches the colour of this one, so I can either wear it sideways or on my shoulder using the handles.

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The front and side pockets are as per the tutorial but they fasten with magnetic clips instead of velcro.

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I lined the inside with a light shade of blue oilcloth, which I thought was a good idea in case there is a spillage of some sort. It will be much easier to clean.

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I also managed to make some compartments in it, admittedly not extremely successfully but they will do the trick and they will serve as dividers in the mayhem that diaper bags apparently are. I should have made them a bit higher …

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There is an extra pocket at the back of the bag, which went a bit wrong in my case, but it is very useable and will come handy despite its shortcomings haha.

The whole project looks slightly wonky but this is mostly down to the fact I have photographed it empty which doesn’t help with holding the shape of the bag. I would have loved to have a picture of it with me carrying it, but it was so cold in the garden that the thought of posing there with the tripod really put me off.

I am very pleased with it but I have to say it was a nightmare to sew, really thick at parts, which resulted in about five broken needles, it even broke the one that was meant for leather. I also need a proper walking foot for the Singer, as the one I had from my brother doesn’t fit. That would have made my job much easier. In any case, I’m planning to use the bag, which hopefully will not disappoint me.

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January hibernation

I don’t know what it is about January and whether it happens to other people too, but for me the month is synonym to hibernation. Is it the darkness, the cold, the realisation that the next natural holiday isn’t until Easter, the fact that the month is endless and pay day so far away? January as the beginning of the new year fills me with optimism and a need to get going with new projects on the one hand, but on the other hand the motivation to fulfil them is just not there. All I want to do is sleep, haha! I did start a few things this month, sadly none of which is finished.

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What I really wanted to show you today was this Burda jacket, which I had hoped to have finished by now, but halfway through sewing this, I managed to sew my finger on the garment. Not literally on the garment, but the needle went through it, so I ended up with this. I wasn’t very keen on using my sewing machine after the accident.

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However, I haven’t come empty handed.

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I’ve always wanted to make a mobile but it was one of those things I never got round to doing it. The baby though is a good excuse for projects like this. I love hot air balloons.

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The hot air balloons and the clouds are made from felt leftovers, from my more crafty days. It’s based on this tutorial that I found on Pinterest. As you can see the tutorial uses a more professional approach to mine, where the hanger of the mobile is made by wood. It does look great.

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Since I didn’t have any wood and wood craft isn’t one I will be trying anytime soon, I used a different tutorial, found also on Pinterest to make my hanger. This one uses fabric cut into circles of three different sizes and filled with toy stuffing. When put together, they create this fabric cloud. Again the fabric was leftovers from other projects, something that filled me with joy as I don’t know what to do with some of my smaller scraps, sometimes.

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I’m quite pleased with my hot air balloons as they are now hanging on the nursery room-to-be wall. It was a fun project that didn’t involve the sewing machine at all. 😉

And how is January treating you? I’ve seen some very creative beginnings in the inter webs.

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Handmade Presents

Hello everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and you have recovered from eating comas, while the eating,  isn’t over yet. At least we carry on in this household.

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While my blog feed is populated by the hit and misses of the sewing inter webs of 2015 and since I only managed to sew 13 items this year (moving house I curse you) I thought I’d show you some of the Christmas presents I made, there were not that many. First I decided not to use any paper wrapping and went mad with sewing these little bags and envelops for some of my presents. I thought it could be something that the recipients could use for storing shoes or other things, plus they looked more like Santa’s sack. In my usual habit of making everything last minute these were no exception and had I planned ahead, I would have probably made a better job of them. Despite that, they were very well received.

IMG_6536I’ve been meaning to make a fur scarf ever since I found these grey lace remnants at Simply Fabrics in Brixton, a present for myself. Well when I came round to actually doing it, I thought that my friend would probably like it, so I packed it for her. The fur is from weaverdee .

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Literally, last minute, the night before we left London, I decided that I had time to make one more thing, which was this fur cape/capelet for my boyfriend’s sister. It’s something I thought she might wear at some point, if not there’s always Halloween. The pattern was one of the projects with patterns on Burda Style website. It’s meant to be longer but I thought it was a bit too much with the fur, so I chopped it for a more wearable version.

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Finally, I made this jenna cardi for my sister, hoping it will at least fit her, there’s good chance she may not like it haha. I used two different fabrics, one I bought in Beijing, but since I knew there wasn’t enough, I bought a similar colour knit from e-bay. I really like how it turned out but it wasn’t without problems, one of them being the fact that the overlocker ate some of the fabric on the top-half creating a massive hole. This resulted in the waist band being much wider than the pattern commands.

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I was quite pleased with the neck band which looks much better than my own unblogged version but not so pleased with that top buttonhole. Still getting used to one step buttonholes on my new sewing machine.

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See how wonky that top buttonhole is compared to the rest of them? In an attempt to cover the overlocking I decided to sew some handmade bias tape around the neckline, button band and waist. The latter wasn’t a great idea, as adding non-stretch fabric to stretch, turns it unfortunately into non-stretch, so now it’s a bit tight but I think it will be ok for my sister. This isn’t her only present either, so if she doesn’t like it, it will not be the end of the world.

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This is my own Jenna Cardi, the test version, so you can see more of the wonkiness here. I’m planning to make another one in 2016, hopefully with better results than this.

I enjoyed making these presents and was pleased that they were received well, or that people at least pretended to like them haha, but I don’t think I will be making a habit of it, it’s great though making little things for family and loved ones.

If you don’t see me back here later, I will take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year and happy sewing in 2016.

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