Monday, 24 June 2013

Indie Pattern Month - Finished: Elisalex!

Modern Vintage Cupcakes is hosting Indie Pattern Month this month so I've jumped all over that bandwagon and want to share my most recent make in celebration of all the independent pattern designers out there. Since I've started sewing again I've pretty much only sewn indie patterns and there are still lots on my list to make. There are just so many nice patterns out there and they just keep on coming.

The majority of my patterns (and wish list) are Colette Patterns, I've made a couple of Sencha's and Sorbetto's and also have the patterns waiting for the Violet blouse, Lady Grey coat and currently on my sewing table is the Anise jacket. I'm also a little in love with the likes of Papercut Patterns, Sewaholic and Grainline Studio to name but a few.

But, my favourite at the moment is By Hand London and the Elisalex dress. This is my second go at this dress, the first was made for my work Christmas party in December last year. I really liked my first attempt but after a couple of wears I've come to realise that the fit really needed some work so I tried hard to get it right this time. I made it for another work related party which gave me a tight deadline again but I was determined to do my best!

The size 12 on the pattern are my exact measurements but the bodice was really tight across the chest and shoulders. On my first dress I did a square shoulder adjustment (that I quickly realised was pointless) and took the seam out a little on the princess seam. On this make I decided to do an FBA and adjusted it by 1cm on each side. This amazingly seemed to do the trick, although it still makes no sense to me. I also did a 1cm forward shoulder adjustment as the shoulders seemed to be falling back.

The fabric is a poplin weight cotton sateen from Stone Fabrics and I love it! It's really too drapey for the  tulip skirt but I did it anyway and I think it just about works ok. I shortened the skirt length quite a bit too, I think the finished skirt is 23 inches from the waist. I fully lined the dress in the hope that this would give it a bit body, not sure if it did but it looks lovely inside anyway (except for the hems, I had to rush the night before the party so they need redoing, I was even hand stitching the lining to the zip on the train journey there).

Woop woop! Check out that full lining! (But don't look at the hem).

We had some good news at work recently and so instead of celebrating with a bottle of fizzy wine I decided to treat myself to an invisible zip foot instead, (I might have had a drop of wine too!) and so I did my first ever invisible zip! I don't know why I've put it off for so long, it was easy peasy and looks amazing. I used this tutorial from Colette and it made it really straightforward to insert.

And the best bit? Look at my waist seam matching!!!

I'm sure there's still more I could do to the fit but I'm really pleased with this dress and have plans to make more variations. I really do love that there's so many amazing independent pattern designers out there and it's great to be celebrating them this month and sewing up a great wardrobe too!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Me Made May - The round-up

Well May flew by and June is following in its footsteps making this round-up post very late indeed! In addition to the lateness of this post I feel guilty about tailing off towards the end of May and not posting any photos. FAIL.

I did however succeed in the other part of my pledge, and despite lack of photo evidence I can assure you that I did wear two handmade garments every week throughout May! HURRAH! In fact on some occasions I exceeded my pledge and found myself wearing a lot of handmade stuff although a lot of it was on repeat.

To make up for the lack of my awkward photos here is a compilation of the makes that got an airing last month.

Sencha's no. 1 and 2!
Kelly's no. 1 and 2!

Oh look, 2 Sorbetto's!

Spot the difference between these Moss Skirts

I had hoped that May would bring with it a flurry of sewing that would result in lots of basics to wear such as the Renfrew I've banged on about for a while but this was only partially true. I managed to whip up two Kelly skirts in quick succession and two sorbettos but that Renfrew still eludes me! I've also got two (identical) Moss mini skirts...can you see my M.O. emerging? I'm like the Noah of the sewing world and my wardrobe is my Ark.

So, what did I learn during Me Made May? Well I really need to slow down this Noah's Ark business and take the time to wear the garment a bit first to get a better handle on fit and what it's like to actually wear. The problem I've found is that although I often think something fits at first or that it's only minor so I can put up with it, with wearing things more regularly fit is a real issue. And I'm ending with two garments that don't quite fit instead of taking the time to think about and remedy the issue in the second attempt.

This is also partly a result of sewing more and also reading Fit For Real People. I always thought I had broad shoulders but it seems I also have a swayback, high round back, forward shoulders and who knows what else! The moss mini skirt is a good example, I made this with no alterations as the sizing was exactly mine. I thought the fit was perfect but after a couple of wears I've realised that I get a funny ripple of fabric across the back and also (probably as a result of stretch) it's a little big and sits much lower on the hips than I really like. And I've got two skirts like this! But am I going to fix them? Probably not.

Well anyway, that's enough words from me. I think my point is that I'm going to take my time and work on fit. I've already implemented this plan and have something pretty good to share with you later this week!

Monday, 17 June 2013

THE Birmingham Meet-up

I was planning on posting my late late Me Made May round up today but after having the lovely pleasure of attending the Birmingham meet-up on Saturday this has snook in instead!

I should start by saying thank you to Marie, Kat and Claire who amazingly organised the whole day. Organising 32 people traipsing around the centre of Birmingham looks like hard work! Especially including the lovely touches such as the ace rosettes we were all given, name badges and I hear I may have missed some baked goods too!

Being the brilliant blogger that I am I failed to take any pictures of the day, I was far too busy being overwhelmed by all the fabric and mad swaps. There are lots of great photos popping up on the other blogger's sites though so do go and search them out. What I can show is the (relatively small) haul of things I picked up from the ginormous swap and the Rag Market.

I'm fairly certain I was the only person that didn't buy anything from Barry's super super store. My two mistakes here were firstly not having a plan (I was amazed how organised most people were with lists of things they needed to find), and secondly spending £45 on fabric the day before in London! 

After lunch we took over three tables in Cafe Soya and swapped all manner of fabric, patterns and notions. There was some great stuff that people were trying to get rid of and I managed to pick up some tweedy mix fabric and some silk lining. I haven't really examined it yet but I'm have plans to make a lovely Charlotte skirt (good name by the way!) with this. I also managed to get a Very Easy Vogue dress pattern with jacket. I thought I had been pretty successful but then right at the end the lovely Lara offered to give me the spotty chiffony type fabric that she had picked up from the swap. How ace is that!!

Vogue V8491, polka dot fabric and tweedy mix and silk lining!

After lunch we headed to the rag market where I managed to part with some cash and bought 2 metres of a really nice floral viscose for £3 a metre and some green suiting fabric also for £3 a metre I think. I can't wait to get sewing with all this!

Two dresses in the making

It was really nice to meet lots of sewists and bloggers and I look forward to more meet-ups in the future. I now got lots of new blogs in my reader that I hadn't come across before and I've found even more via those blogs!