Sunday, 25 October 2015

Autumn/winter sewing plans

Ah back to the lists again! When I posted my summer sewing plans I kind of thought they were quite ambitious and yet, here I am, doing the same again. What can I say, I like lists! The summer list had 10 items on it and I got 3 finished. Those 3 items have already had a lot of wear though so I'm happy with that. I made my Marilla Walker sailor top, Dress 'D' from the Stylish Dress book, and the geometric Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank. I also made other items not on the list - two VERY quick jersey pencil skirts and a Victoria Blazer which had been a work-in-progress for about 2 years - all of which have quickly become favourites.

Woven fabric sewing plans

So, onto my Autumn/Winter sewing list.

Woven fabric  - clockwise from top right: Navy geometric fabric (from my summer sewing plans) now destined to be a Marilla Walker Maya top; the blue/beige & brown/orange prints were both lining options for the bottom left - a gorgeous terracotta/brick coloured wool or wool blend that is going to be a full length, long-sleeved, Victoria blazer. I've decided to go with the orange/brown print fabric as it matches so perfectly (so now I need a project for the lovely pale blue/brown fabric which I think is a voile). Last but by no means least top left is a lovely pink twill to be made into a Brumby skirt.

Jersey fabric sewing plans

Jersey fabric - clockwise from top right: The navy and burnt orange jersey are going to be combined to be a Jalie drop pocket cardigan. The purple and purple printed jersey are going to be Plantains. I just can't decide whether to make the printed fabric into a plantain dress or just a top, I need to have another feel of thickness of the fabric to decide if it's suitable for a dress.

And that's it, ha! If I even get two of these things done I'll be happy so we'll see how it goes. What are your autumn/winter sewing plans, or spring/summer if you're in the Southern Hemisphere?

Monday, 12 October 2015

Dress 'D' - Stylish Dress book

This Japanese pattern book was a lovely spontaneous present from my husband, just because he thought I would like it.  He was right and I've looked and dreamed of making up the pattern since he gave it to me about 2 years ago. When I was pregnant there were a few smock top and tunic styles I thought would be good but of course I never got round to them.  However a trip to Merchant and Mills in Rye on a weekend away with pals a few months ago led to me coming home with 2 metres of dark blue chambray, perfect for a version of the dress shown on the cover. I am so pleased with the finished dress, I've already worn it 3 times since I finished it last week which is a sure sign of success!

First wear, a trip to the local park

My Dress 'D', Stylish Dress Book

Sleeve close-up of my Dress 'D', Stylish Dress Book

I love the style of this, and have seen so many great versions, particularly on Instagram (if you search for #stylishdressbook lots of versions of Dress D come up). I also admired Louise's versions and these versions - it seems to be a pattern people love to make multiple versions of!  What do you think of this style? It is very loose-fitting and billowy, a style I don't usually wear, but it's so comfy and I think it looks pretty stylish too. Have you sewn with any Japanese patterns?

Pattern used: Dress D from Stylish Dress Book

Size cut: S

Fabric: Dark blue chambray at £7 a metre from Merchant & Mills, bought 2 metres. I still have enough left for some toddler clothes too, yay!

Issues/changes I'd make:

  • As you can see in the image above, the instructions are pretty sparse! Now when, like me, you're used to the detailed instructions, photos & sewalongs most indie sewing pattern companies treat us too, this can be a bit intimidating at first. However I did find that the diagrams provided helped a lot and there were only a few moments of head scratching.
  • Next time I would go down to an XS to make it less billowy & lower the neckline as it's already a bit higher at the neck than I'd like.  
  • Both my front & back facing pieces were too short. I couldn't work out why as I checked and I'd definitely traced the right size & added seam allowance. Luckily it wasn't much of a gap so unstitching the facings and using a smaller seam allowance gave me enough room.
  • Add length if I make this again. There's a nice deep hem on this which I wouldn't want to sacrifice but I would like a bit extra length so I'd need to add this on.
  • The pocket placement seemed a bit off to me. They seem to be placed really far to the sides and I wasn't sure about the look of this. However I've realised maybe that is the style as I've seen a few high-street tunic style dresses with side patch pockets recently.
Cost: The pattern was a present and the thread was left-over so the total was £14 for the fabric.