Saturday, 5 August 2017

Heather: July Makes

July was another lovely month at the machine with a few makes for friends and family as well as a few pattern challenges of my own. 

First up, a few months ago I bought some lovely geometric floral print cotton from the Craft Outlet at Springfields Shopping Village in Spalding. It was always intended to be a Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress, but I hadn't got around to making it yet. I managed at last to make it along to the Lincoln Sew it Yourself meetup (only the second time this year!) and the challenge was buttonholes, so I decided to get on with it. I've made this a couple of times before and I didn't make any changes this time around meaning I was able to run in up in about 2.5 hours. At some point I want to figure out how to take some of the fullness out above the bust, but as I now have three of these dresses it's not exactly at the top of the sewing list! 

Modelling my dress in the gardens at Springfields. The staff at the store were delighted to see the finished dress!

My next make is my new Sew Over It favourite, the Juliette Blouse. I made this the day it was released through PDF Club in a gorgeous leaf print silk crepe from Fabric Corner, which frankly was like sewing with water, but totally worth it for the end result. 

By the time the pattern was released to the public I had also hacked a sleeveless version in white linen! 

And used the rest of the white linen for a simple plain white blouse, from a self drafted pattern, that I've been meaning to make for about 3 years. 

In fact I liked it so much I used the back sections in a hack with the bodice of the Penny dress to make this lovely longline shaped blouse which is a dream to wear for work. Plus it has hidden flamingos, which gives it extra added blouse points. 

I also made the first of my garments from the patterns I picked up at Sew Up North last month. The lovely New Look 6224 is absolutely perfect for this autumnal viscose from Fabric Corner. 

I took a bit of extra time adjusting the fit as the pattern was a 10-20; a bit big across the bust for me. I decided to shorten the bodice above the bust by an inch, front and back, as well as narrowing the back at the shoulder by an inch, tapering in to the waist. I graded the bodice down a size between the bust line and shoulder to get a closer fit. And finally I added some pockets, because frankly O don't know why patterns are ever released without them! (I did run into a challenge with the side zip, but got away with it with a shortened zip.) 

The alterations were totally worth it because it's probably one of the best fitting dresses I've ever made! I've worn it three times in a week and already planning another one. 

Remarkably, all of my other makes this month have been for other people! My sister-in-law picked the most fabulous floral printed denim for a Cleo, and I also made her a bright pink Etta dress, but you'll have to wait for a good picture of that one! 

A visiting friend expressed an interest in making some cushions for her garden, which heralded an impromptu sewing lesson that I was more than happy to give. We had fun with the pattern placement! 

And finally, my first foray into Childrenswear. My very good friend recently had twins and told me she wanted some more dresses for them to wear over the summer. No further excuses needed, I found a newborn pattern in an old Burda magazine and some adorable Benjamin Bunny fabric from the new Beatrix Potter range that is widely available at the moment. I bought a metre of complementary coral fabric and managed to make them 4 little summer dresses. 

They weren't especially difficult to make but I wanted them to last and be comfy, so I french-seamed them throughout and secured the facings with machine tacks. The bias binding on the armholes was pretty fiddly and I think I'd just line them if I make this style again. 

There are 7 buttons down the back of each of them and I have subsequently invested in a good thimble and a button sewing foot! 

Don't they look adorable?! I've definitely got the children's sewing bug so look out, all those friends with small people!

And finally, your Dressmaking Blogger Challenge for August is... "Wedding Season". Whether you're the mother of the bride or a member of the wedding band, we want to see your celebration makes.

As usual it's a just-for-fun challenge and you can share your makes on our Facebook group or online using #dressmakingbloggerchallenge. 

With special thanks to Fabric Corner Lincoln for fabrics supplied for this month's makes.