Tuesday, 29 December 2015

My Christmas sew - a Tilly Mathilde top for my mum

So if you read my blog regularly or follow me on Instagram you ll know that most of my sewing is truly selfish.  I decided this Christmas that I'd sew my mum something - after all she got me into sewing in the first place and is the person who would most appreciate something hand made.  I chose the Tilly Buttons Mathilde blouse- I already had the pattern & hadn't cut it out yet, so it was great to cut firstly my mums size, then I can trim the pattern down to my size later.

I know she absolutely adores this Liberty Lodden print I have in my stash, she tells me every time she sees it - and I wanted to pair it with another fabric so it wasn't too full on.  Since  Ive not sewn for her before and asking for any measurements would kind of be a give away, I decided to combine with a knit fabric with some stretch so I could be more confident in the fit.  I planned to use the Liberty at the top yoke section & on the cuffs, then use the plain stretch in between.

I made a few pattern alterations to the back - I didn't want to use buttons down the back on the stretch fabric and I wanted to have some of the Liberty print also on the back, so I cut the back in 2 pieces, mirroring the Yoke from the front.   Its good to know the top went over my head fine without the need of a zip/button opening- I was going to add 1 button at the top if I needed to add an opening, but in the end I tried without and it was perfect.

I also added some ties round the waist to give definition & so mum can pull it in if its too baggy. I also thought adding this extra bit of the Liberty fabric was also a nice detail.  To do this I just made 2 long strips of fabric folded over & sewn, then just sewn into the side seams as I did them.

I sewed the cotton bits on the regular machine (french seams as per pattern) and then I  used the overlocker on the stretch elements (or to join the cotton and the stretch together).  This worked fine.  Where the cotton/jersey joined I sewed it on the overlocker, then pressed the overlock stitch down & sewed over it again on the front to keep it down & neatly in place- happy with how neat that looks actually!

I used the Liberty fabric on the cuff also...
And to finish I used a double needle on the hem which I m a big fan of on stretch fabric.

The pleats were the trickiest bit.  I'd be hesitant to do the pleats down the front again in a stretch fabric- they are not perfect and were really tricky to measure out & get them right- I think I would have faired better in a non stretch with those- which I ll try next time.  I should add that I m  not the most patient or precise person in the world so  I may also struggle with 'normal' fabric too- lets see.

 But apart from that I really like the balance of Liberty lawn and the stretch fabric both in terms of how it looks & how comfortable it is to wear.  Another great Tilly pattern that I would recommend- I really like it and its quite a flexible pattern that you can mix up a bit as I ve shown. Here is the finished thing...

Don't think there is much more to tell... apart from the fact of course she totally loved it!!!!  and more importantly, it fit!!  Phew!

Messyessymakes  x

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Too cute mini clothes!

Well finally I've done some non selfish sewing - the lucky recipient is my 1 year old, Seb.   So far I ve been put off making anything as he grows so fast I thought he would grow out of it before I d finished it, but recently I bought some oh-so cute fabrics from M is for make and now I ve caught the bug of mini clothes!!  I love the fact they sell small quantities- I don't need 1 metre of fabric to make clothes for a one year old and so many places won't sell you less!

Here are are my cute fabrics. mostly bought from .....

So I decided I d make little trousers.  I ve got some for him from Boden which I adore, so I roughly made up a pattern based on those.

Before cutting any of my new fabrics, I made some as a trial with some scraps  of pale blue cord I had left over.  They turned out pretty well!!

They are blue corduroy with some red details.  He looks super cute in them....

I was glad I made a trial run, there were 3 things I wanted to change for the next pairs...
- I wanted to line them
- I wanted to make more room in the bum/make them higher at the back to allow more nappy space, so I added in a triangle at the back (a la jeans) and cut the bit around the crotch a bit wider
- After a few wears the stitching at the back was pulling apart (apparently little boys give their trousers a hard time with all that climbing) so for the next ones, much stronger stitching on the seams- I used the overlocker to sew the seams, then sewed them down similar to how jeans are finished.  This seems to have worked much better.

Here we go, my second pair:

These ones are a lovely star corduroy, lined with Jersey.  I actually cut up a pair of maternity leggings for the lining as they were the perfect colour to match the waist band!

Here you can see the 'V' I added in the back and the oversewing.

And onto pair 3 to complete my hat trick!  This was my absolute favourite fabric & I was so excited to sew it and see him wear it.  Its very winter themed so I needed to get a move on before it gets to Spring or Summer ;)

 I used Polar bear fabric on the outside and a soft blue stripe jersey on the inside and for the pocket detail:

I used the navy ribbing again for the waistband but I had also a cool idea to sew a strip of this down the side - its super stretchy so I thought it gives more movement & flexibility for wear!

Here you can see how I double stitched all the seams (done again on over locker on the inside)

And here is a shot of the inside/lining:

 And finally the side view

So thats it!!  Super happy and can't wait for him to come home from nursery to get him to try on these new pairs ready for his Christmas holidays!!

Here a few shots of the trousers all together...

I want to make some tops/sweatshirt/shorts with the rest of my cute fabric....      in the new year ;)  I don't have any patterns for kids clothes so any recommendations welcome!

Messyessymakes xx

Saturday, 12 December 2015

My Missoni wool jumper worked out!!!!

I bought this Missoni wool on Goldhawk rd a few months ago and I adore it.  Its definitely not going to be practical and I had never sewn anything like this before so frankly, I was expecting a disaster.  I had a pattern that was in the Burda magazine from Oct 2015 that I decided to use.

I often make 2 of the same pattern as I find it efficient and in this instance, I wanted to do a trial run before cutting my beautiful wool!  I had a dark green sequinned boucle fabric I got really cheap online that I used for my practice run.  I cut it too short at the front, but apart from that I loved it !  Its a really easy pattern to sew too- I made this first one in under 2 hours.  The pattern has a side zip but I left that out.

So onto my Missoni wool.  I was holding my breath cutting this baby.  I definitely spent more time trying to cut it out than I did actually sewing it!! I wanted to use the lovely pattern to add to the jumper & I also wanted to use as much of the natural edge of the fabric as possible (so I minimised the amount of hems I needed to do as its not really all that hemmable!)

First up I created a V down the front which I m super happy with!  I got a square of paper, folded it in half  & put that at the top of the fabric to create the right angle to cut on to get it right.

So first job, sew this together well.....  result!!

I used a piece of the fabric edge for the end of the cuffs to save doing a hem & that worked out really well:

And then its just a case of sewing it all together..... Literally that took me 20  minutes on my overlocker!!   And because I had used the fabric edge at the cuff and the top of the neck, I only had the bottom edge to hem.  That edge is curved so I couldn't use the fabric edge (plus that wouldn't work with the angle I chose to cut the fabric) so for this I used a piece of navy jersey bias binding.  I wasn't sure how the fabric would react to this but it looks totally fine.

And here is me looking very happy with myself in my snuggly jumper!!

The back I just did the stripes going across- I didn't have the option of anything more fancy with what fabric i have left- but I do like the contrast with the front -and it makes it easy to put it on the right way around ;)
And with the scraps I made a wooly hat and scarf for my snowman for my Christmas jumper.... more on that to follow.

Really happy this worked out.  Another one that I m not sure will wash very well... hand washing only me thinks, but fingers crossed on that one.  x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

My Christmas dress

So excited.... Its time to sew my black and purple wool that I bought on Golhawk Rd which I totally love.  I promised to make it in time for Christmas, so here it is!

The fabric is stunning, its quite a heavy, stretch wool which is a 1.4m square repeat - black on one end, purple on the other with grading between the 2 in-between.  I spent quite a lot on this, so I really didn't want to mess it up!

I wanted to make the fabric the hero, so I wanted a simple shift pattern with no details at the front other than darts, so it doesn't interrupt the fabric.  I was originally going to use the pattern above, but I m not super happy with my previous makes using it (they were right at the beginning of my sewing journey so it may just be that I wasn't very good at fitting back then!) but in any case I bought a new pattern.  Really glad I did, this one was perfect...
t was really tight to get the dress out of the piece of fabric.  I didn't have a big enough piece left for the sleeves so they are 'striped' with sections that I had left sewn together - I think they work quite well given they were a creative solution to the problem!  This is a photo from the inside of the sleeve...

Here is how much fabric I have left.  I really did use pretty much every last bit!

Its a very simple pattern that could be sewn very quickly, but I spent a lot of time on the fitting of this dress.  I loosely sewed it together so I could really get the fit perfect.  I took it in quite a lot vs the pattern as given it is stretchy, I wanted a snug fit.   The pattern as is would be perfect for me in a non stretchy fabric.

I had a bit of an issue with the back- my own fault!  The pattern is for the back to be in 2 pieces with a seam & back zip.  I didn't want to do that as I didn't want a seam down the fabric, so my intention was to do a side seam zip instead.  So I cut the back out as one piece.  Only I forgot the take out the seam allowance for the back the back was much too wide.  I tightened it around the shoulders so it fits well there, then I decided to put  additional darts in down the back.  Its got 2, but they looked too far apart (largely because I didn't put the back seam/zip in) so I put an additional 2 darts in. I was wary about doing it, but I pinned it & measured it up carefully and it looked ok & I went for it.  It turned out very well and made all the difference to the fit.

As it happens, I realised I could get it on & off without a zip because of the stretch.  So I got out of doing the zip!!  I was a bit worried about it as I didn't want it to hang funny down the side because of the zip.  I ve done lots of good side zips before, but never on a thick, stretchy wool like this.  So happy to have dodged that!  This is not a fabric to unpick... trust me!  you can't even see the stitches to unpick them (I tried a bit on the sleeve, but ended up just cutting off the old seam & doing a new one - luckily I had a lot of seam allowance to play with because of the stretch  phew!

Here is a closer look at the dress details.  And because I used my overlocker the inside looks very neat so here is a photo of the inside, just to show that off ;)

Done with the details... Here it is, my Chritsmas dress.  So happy with it.  Its very warm, really easy and comfortable to wear and I think it looks fab!

Just really hoping it washes well.  Of course I was too enthusiastic to sew it to bother pre-washing the fabric.    I ll hand wash it and cross my fingers.  What are you making for Christmas?

Messyessymakes x