Sunday, 9 September 2018

Simple Sew, Veronika Dress

The Veronika Dress from Simple Sew follows suit quite nicely from the lovely Lucille dress I stitched up back in May. Like Lucille, Veronika has two different skirt options a full circle skirt or a pencil skirt option. I opted for pencil skirt again as there is something that bit more wearable about them for me. The capped sleeves on the pattern look super cute but again not quite my thing so chose the sleeveless version.

The fabric was this fabulous flamingo print from Doughty's, a cotton lawn similar to the fabric I picked for Lucille. I chose a shimmery pink lining from Hillsborough for lining the skirt.

My initial toile suggested I need to take some out of the front bodice shoulder area. I cut a 10 but the bust was still too roomy (I swear they are getting smaller??). The back fit well so instead of taking it out at the shoulder seam I pinned out the excess on the front bodice. It was a good few inches but I'm small in the shoulders and the bust so a common alteration for me.

I took in just enough so the bust darts pointed to my widest bit of chest and the neckline lay flat without gaping. As this affected the armhole size I increased the seam allowance at the back of the armhole, then made sure to add this amount back on to the underarms of the facing.

My next alteration was in the skirt. Firstly I reshaped the hips a little and then set to work on changing the back darts. I have a tiny lower back so am quite used to having to faff about with these. It felt a bit flukey, but I got a good shape pretty quickly, extending the darts slightly and making them wider in the middle.

Due to the slight alteration in the side seams, I pinched a tiny bit out of the bottom side of waistband where the notch for the side seam is. This changed the shape from a straight line to slightly curved.

For once I didn't alter the length! I was really happy with the length, I think it looks dead classy!

It seemed to take an age to cut out all my pieces. I took extra care with pattern placement to make sure that my flamingos weren't all clumped together!

After that sewing up was simple! I love the fabric and the pattern and my alterations! I added a little extra interfacing around the front and back necklin to ensure they kept their shape.

I have just enough fabric left to make another bodice so tempted to make a Veronika or Lucille bodice with plain black skirt, maybe a franken-pattern of the two :)

Hopefully will get at least one wear out of it before Autumn steals away the sun...!


Location: Home Sweet Home
Currently listening to: Consoler Of The Lonely, The Raconteurs

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Love Sewing Magazine, Kimono

I've made this pattern a few times now, there's not an awful lot more I can say about it!

I wanted a slinky cover-up for all this lovely summer weather we've been having and have had this fabric in my stash for about 2 years!! The blue tones in this silky fabric cool me off just by lookin!

I cut a size small and used spray starch in attempt to stop my fabric slipping around. It helped a little but overall it did just do whatever it wanted. This wasn't too dramatic thanks to the shape of the kimono being all pretty oblong.

I took extra care on my hems. They are pretty wide so took care to measure accurately for once! I then pinned pressed and even tacked to make sure they didn't go awry!

Instead of following the instructions for the neck band and hand stitching it, I decided to overlock. Sure it was a bit of a cop out but I did do it super neat (I swear!).

This fun quick make has been jazzing up my summer weekend outfits :)


Location: Agden Reservoir, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Simple Sew, Shannon Shorts

I'm always over-buying fabric. This month I found myself with a surplus of black drill from John Lewis that was too full of potential to stuff in a bag and worry about later. It's shorts weather and I've been wearing my Denim Simple Sew Shannon Shorts every weekend. The sturdy structure of my drill fabric lends itself to another pair, the only question being- how can I jazz these up?

To follow on from my #SewingLeftovers post, I decided to use some scraps for the pocket panels on the shorts. I had a good think about what was left over that I could use and it was a toss up between this pleather from my self-drafted skirt last year, or some scraps of suede from my Rosalie Dress. This was swiftly decided when it turned out I did not have enough suede to make one pocket let alone two!

I had a few more idea for jazzing the shorts up a bit. I bought these little black and silver press in gems from Prym ages ago with a project in mind that never happened. They've been kicking about since without a real home and thought they would be just when I need for a bit of extra zing in these shorts.

I was also tempted to make some back pockets with fancy embroidery, but when I tried the shorts on I was totally in love with the back darts that I really didn't want to cover them up! Sounds like a cop-out sure but it's true!

Making the shorts was easy. I am so in love with that waistband pattern that I've hacked it to use on skirts too. The only alteration I made to it was to take in about 1.5cm from the sideseams at the top then grade back out. I guess this means I took out about 6cm from the top! Sounds a lot but they fit pretty nicely now.

I decided to top stitch my crotch seam as well as the side seams and pocket seams. This adds a more professional finish to the seams. I added a little bit of interfacing into the pocket opening so that it would not lose its shape.

The shorts are the length as the pattern but turned up three times then secured with a few stitches. There is an invisible zip hidden in the sideseam.

Love that I took the time to make these shorts a bit more personalised. The fabric really is perfect for the job and those pleather panels make things a bit more exciting. It's sunny again today so gonna get lots of wear out of them.

❤ Summer


Location: Stockport Town Centre
Currently Listening to: Nadal vs Djokovic, Wimbledon Semi-Final

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sewing Leftovers, Stretch Skirts

Weather is weird, and being prepared for it is hard. I just about tore my wardrobe apart looking for the perfect thing to wear for my trip to Manchester I'd planned just before my Birthday. I was meeting a boy, naturally I wanted to wear something memade, casual, but not too casual. The forecast said hot, but also rain. I'd decided I wanted to wear a skirt, but suddenly they all seemed too short to wear without tights.
I had one day to go, so decided the best thing to do was raid my fabric stash and knock something together that ticked all my boxes.

That's where #SewingLeftovers comes in. The lovely Shauni over at Magnificent Thread has set up this great little challenge that really helps us to be more considerate with what we are throwing away. #SewingLeftovers is about thinking creatively to make the most out of every last scrap, making memade fashion both more sustainable and more economic. I have had this red and navy stretch fabric in my stash for ages. It made its first appearance on my Tilly and The Buttons Megan Dress and since then it's been sat there teasing me.

I have a few go-to stretch skirts that I've found in charity shops that I've been wearing more and more for work, but also add a bit of class to a night out. With my leftover fabric I drew around my two favourite stretch skirts, one just above knee length and one just below. The great thing about these is no darts or shaping needed! Just a nice hip curve and an elastic waistband and you can't really go wrong. Make sure you add a bit of seam allowance on. The front and back of both skirts is the same pattern piece so you could cut on the fold, but instead I cut singular so I could make sure the pattern of the fabric all lined up perfectly.

I wanted to attach the elastic straight onto the top of my skirt, no folding or tucking or faff. To do this I marked down 1cm from the top of my skirt then lined up the bottom of my elastic with this line and stitched with a twin needle right the way round. EASY.

To hem I just turned up the bottom of the skirt so the diamonds all lined up in a straight line then twin needled around the bottom. So super quick I was able to knock together both skirts in a morning. I'd covered my bases, the shorter skirt with tights if it was overcast, the longer with bare legs if it was sunny. A very satisfying use of leftovers and a little bit sexy for my trip.

Anyone else got the hots for geometric patterns?

Ps, update! It was hot as hell and I went with the longer length and tightless. Neither skirt could prepare me for the massive downpour at 2:00pm, but he was a gent and he gave me his jacket ;)


Locations: Quantum Leap, Shrewsbury
Hillsborough Walled Garden, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Cactus, Teleman

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Simple Sew Patterns, Lucille Dress

It's taken an embarrassingly long time for my Lucille dress to reach completion. The dress comes with two different skirt options- a lovely 50s style circle skirt or a sexy fitted pencil skirt. As much as I was tempted to go vintage and swish around in a circle skirt I knew that I would get more wear from the pencil skirt and also that it was about time I focussed on fitting those back darts down to a T.

Choosing the more fitted option meant I had no choice but to toile up first. I grabbed my calico and got cracking. Toile making however coincided with the Easter Bank holiday when we had yet another freak outburst of snow and my heating broke! It was so cold in my house, prancing around in my underwear trying to make adjustments to my summery dress was just too much for me!

Luckily the weather didn't last and the following week I got my toile into some form of assemblage. I instantly fell in love with the neckline. The pleats on the bust look really effective and professional, but they were really super simple to put together. If you make sure you cut your notches then the magic really happens when you line up your centre fronts and the overlap creates this sexy plunge.

I found the cups a little too roomy so I pinned out some of the upper bodice before the shoulder seam. This made my arm holes significantly smaller so had to increase the seam allowance at the back arm holes to allow for movement. I took also pinned a little out from the underarms making the bodice a little more fitted around the bust.

I like the use of pleats instead of darts on tHe centre front skirt, but you have to be super precise otherwise it is REALLY obvious if they aren't symmetrical! I changed the hip shape in the skirt a little to allow the pleats to sit nicely, then in true Angela fashion I make the whole thing about 4 inches shorter haha!

I keep on putting off fitted skirts because I absolutely hate adjusting the back. I have a tiny back compared to my front so always end up having to play around with darts which is dead hard when you're wearing it! So further delay was caused when I spent a good two weeks redrawing various different dart placements with pure guesswork. In the end I called on my good friend Aimee of Wrong Doll, the best sister in stitch anyone could ask for. In less than 24 hours from my panicky text I was in her flat with a cup of tea talking about boys and getting my back darts SORTED. Now she'll say she didn't know what she was doing but the results suggest otherwise. I was SO much happier with the results than anything I'd come up with in my room.

With new adjustments fresh in my head I got home and altered my paper pattern. My next toile was cut from an old bed sheet which was a similar weight to my lush fabric sent over from Doughty's Online. Over the course of time it had taken to get to this point (feels like we've been through allll the seasons!) I'd been working on getting my body into shape and building some core muscle. This caused even more fitting adjustments as I went along! Every day seemingly a different shape! No wonder toiling was taking so long!!

Finally I took the plunge and made the cut into my beautiful bird fabric. I think a few of my Insta followers were holding their breath too! I decided to line the skirt, as the cotton lawn was quite thin (though I must add wonderfully sturdy), and I really wanted to build a bit of form in the skirt pleats. I faced the bodice using the same fabric, adding a lightweight interfacing, again to add some structure.

I used a dark navy satin from Hillsborough Fine Fabrics to line the skirt. I made the lining about 1.5cm shorter than the dress and did a double turned hem.

Thankfully I didn't come up against any more major hitches, no more snow, no more body changes and no more fitting drama. I tweaked a few little areas as I went along but nothing major.

My favourite part of this dress has got to be neckline on the bodice. Now that I've got those cup shapes perfect I'm keen to make a few tops using the same pattern and maybe insert an underarm zipper.

So glad I got this guy all finished the week before my birthday! Got a few nights out planned and can't wait to show Lucille off!

Has anyone else made a Lucille? What fabrics did you use? Next time I would like to use something a little sturdier to add a little more form to the skirt shape. Loving my summery florals though!


Location: Redmires Reservoir, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Stop, Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club