Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Heather: August Sewing Roundup

August seems to be the month the sunshine forgot, so my sewing hasn't been the floral explosion you might have expected! Still lots of nice makes on this month's roundup, and glad I've finally been able to get out in this end of summer sunshine to take some pictures. I've been doing quite a lot of sewing for family this month, including a jacket, skirt and jumpsuit for my sister-in-law. Maybe she will let me share some pics in the future!

I decided to make some more Ginger Jeans this month. You may recall I made my first pair as my 'piece-de-resistance' at the end of my first year's challenge. I wear that pair all the time, so when Sew Essential announced the same denim was available in black, I jumped at the chance to make a second pair. Unfortunately, the path to good jeans did not run smoothly and I, rather over ambitiously, made the new pair a size smaller than the previous, to account for the amount the first pair stretched. Having had an exceptionally successful few hours at the sewing machine (who knew you could make jeans in under 4 hours?!), I was absolutely furious when I reached the first fitting stage, and they were so tight that the zipper broke (seriously, even the teeth fell out) when I tried them on. Lots of seams let out, a new, and repositioned, zip later and they are a pretty good fit, even if they did cause me some serious stress at the time. 
Doing my best teapot impression in my new Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

I added some metallic top stitching to the pockets and some detail areas, and was very impressed with how well the Gutermann thread showed up on the dark background. (Still furious about the zip though!)

I stumbled across the Nina Lee London Kew Dress entirely by accident, and I had purchased this lovely parasol print cotton lawn with the intention of making a(nother) Sew Over It Vintage Shirt dress. But I immediately fell in love with the sleeves, and the slight high-low hem ,and the buttons and... well, you get the idea. So I laid the pattern out at about 4pm one afternoon, went to bed at 11pm and stitched the last of the buttons on before work at 6.30am. Mad? Maybe. But totally worth it for such a nicely fitting dress, and lovely to use up a good chunk of my inherited button stash in one go.

Nina Lee Kew Dress in floral cotton lawn

I liked the Kew Dress so much that I also decided it was the solution to my disastrous Seamwork Veronica Dress. I think you'll agree it's much improved?!

Here's my version of the Colette patterns Sencha Blouse, made for a work "away-day" as a smarter top to wear with jeans. The finished garment is actually much altered from the picture I have shared because, on completion, I realised that the bust-to-shoulder length was far too long and actually ended up strangling me a bit. Plus the difference between my bust and waist measurement is only a few inches, so I had to grade and move the majority of the darts to make it work. I actually ended up taking the back darts out completely.  I'm pleased with the finished top but it's very unlikely that I'll make another one. 
Colette patterns Sencha Blouse in printed linen from Weaverdee.

I'm totally head over heels for my next make; the Parrot dress, otherwise known as Butterick 6318. The pattern was free with Love Sewing last month, and I nearly didn't keep it. Undeniably the pattern is lovely, but I've had a few 'misses' from that kimono sleeve (see Veronica Dress above) and I didn't have a piece fabric 'in stock' for the 3m requirement. I spotted this parrot print cotton entirely by chance on the Fabric Guild Facebook page and chanced buying 3 yards (yes, yards, be careful when you place your order...!). 
I made quite a few adjustments to the pattern, shortening the bust to shoulder length on the front and back by an inch, shortening the skirt by 3.5", and cutting the skirt as a single piece, on the fold.
 Changing the skirt cutting layout was the biggest fabric saver, and despite the fabric only being 45" wide, I do have a small panel left at full width. The fit is excellent and I've worn it a few times already!

I've seen a few other blog posts about the lovely new Sew Over It Coco Jacket. It knew it was just exactly what I wanted when it was released with the PDF club this month, and I found the most beautiful wool remnant, just a metre, at lovely Fabric Corner which was made for this. I knew immediately that I wanted to take this with me on our upcoming holiday but also that I would want to be cosy enough to go without a coat. I decided to add a zip to my jacket, also cutting the centre front lining piece in the outer fabric to act as a facing. I'm already cutting out my second version of this in a gorgeous orange crepe which I'm looking forward to sharing with you!

Finally, I had a go at making the Jennifer Lauren Laneway Dress. You may recall I made a lovely dress in a pineapple print cotton earlier in the year, which was really lovely but didn't fit well at all; in fact I've only worn it twice in nearly six months as a result. 
I attended a funeral last week with a "no black" theme and decided that a remake of the pineapple dress would be a good option. The make itself was straightforward enough. I took a lot of measurements and decided not to alter the bust length, though in hindsight I definitely could have taken an inch out at the shoulder. The back length was spot on and no bulging zip, which is my bugbear. It was ideal for the funeral as it had nice big pockets for my tissues, and I will definitely think fondly of the person every time I wear it!

It actually looks much nicer on me than on the mannequin!! 

That's all for this month! Next month's roundup will feature a fabulous holiday wardrobe. Hope you're looking forward to it!

Last thing to do is to introduce the September Dressmaking Blogger Challenge. Of course, the only possible theme for September is... Back to School. 

As usual it's a just-for-fun challenge and you can share your makes on the Dressmaking Blogging Network Facebook group, or by using the hashtag #dressmakingbloggerchallenge. 

If you're coming along to the September Sew it Yourself Meetup (9th September), the challenge this month is "Zero Waste" so have a go at making a project that uses every  last inch of the fabric!

Happy Sewing!

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