My first forays into a Lilou Dress

I am awful at blogging, so I have decided to write this post straight after the last one, and then schedule it to be posted another day. I love being able to do that! I feel very organised! I may even do another one! (or not. but you will have to wait a couple of days to see if I have or if I have not…)

I have been busy though; I travelled back home for the Easter holidays, did some teaching, met up with some friends, reapplied for student finance, did a lot of shopping… so I have not been idle!

I have also painstakingly traced round the Lilou dress pattern from Tilly Walnes’ ‘Love at First Stitch’, which I got at Christmas. It took me forever, and I had monopoly over the dining room table for the best part of a morning, but I did get it done! (I thought I had photos of this, but apparently not. Not that they would have been particularly exciting photos mind you.. just image a lot of paper on a table)

This holiday I was supposed to be making a Ruby dress for my sister, however at the last minute she decided to watch the rugby instead of going fabric shopping, so I don’t think it will be done this time round. I did go shopping and pick up a lot of bedding (prettily patterned ones from charity shops) so that she wouldn’t have to leave the house to pick the fabric, but alas, none of them she liked. Her loss really! I found the nicest patterned one; white with pink and yellow and blue flowers; it is very summery!

I was planning on making my first Lilou dress with a yellow and white table cloth that my Nana bought me at the same time as she bought my cat lady material, but I have left it in Plymouth. I was a bit at a loss because I don’t have much fabric here (hence why my sorbetto is made out of very stiff cushion covering, and looks like something out of a children’s book), and I had really wanted to do some sewing.

That is when I put two and two together, and used some pretty bedding fabric to make my Lilou!

2015-03-27 15.53.30This is the fabric folded in two. It was a double duvet cover (thank goodness) and the underside was plain white. So I decided to do something different. I cut through both layers at the same time, cutting out a lining at the same time! I have never sewn with lining before, and it is a bit tougher on the old sewing machine so I am doing most by hand.

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Here is my attempt at doing a scalloped neckline… I don’t think it has quite worked, but I will see when I try it on! If not, I will just shear it off and no one will be any the wiser! (unless they have read this blog post which I doubt)

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I know I know, the photos are upside down etc etc but hey, I can live with that! Just look at the pretty fabric!

I machined-sewed the darts in the bodice, and the tops of the arms together, and the rest I am hand-sewing because I don’t think the machine can handle four layers of fabric, and I feel more in control this way anyway. The pleats have gone in, and everything is pinned into place so the next time I have five minutes, I can get straight to it! I have just ordered a zip from eBay, which will arrive when I am on holiday, so that is perfect. The pattern/Tilly calls for an invisible zip but hey. Why stress myself? I don’t want that extra hassle, and I’m sure an exposed zip will be fine….

That is it for now, after Easter weekend I will get back to it, and sew with renewed vigour, but for now, have a lovely break!

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I have a sewing machine!

Praise be!

To be honest, I have had a sewing machine in my loft at home since before Christmas, but it was languishing there unused, unloved, as I was unable to make it work.

Thankfully, my mother’s student is a sewing machine guru and had a look at it for me the other week, and it is working! Well. It was working. My dad had to give it a bit of a jiggle around and oil it some, as it was jamming. I haven’t tried it since, so I am unaware as to whether it is running smoothly, but I can always hope!

It is a Toyota model, so if anyone owns one, I will be in your debt forever if you gave me any tips etc. They would  be most appreciated I can tell you!

Anyway, I did some sewing on my machine before it gave up; I started making a Sorbetto top! I am very excited to announce that I have tried again at a Colette pattern, as that was one of my sewing goals (and four months into the year, I fear I have not accomplished many of them.. oops!)

2015-03-27 09.47.29I cut a straight six (Only because when I got the pattern out of the plastic wallet I had put it in at Christmas, that was what it was cut out as. I haven’t a clue if that is my size, but I am too lazy to check trust past Rhiannon’s judgement.

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Excuse the unironed fabric; it is some sort of bedding I think; there are cushions in my sister’s room which look suspiciously similar to this top.

I managed to machine sew the arm holes together before it gave up on me; I think the pleat stressed it out too much. I am actually quite unsure as to how I should go about sewing it down. I will probably do it by hand; yes it is slower, however I have so much more control over what I am doing!

Anywho, this is a bit of a boring post; I just wanted to update everyone on the fact that I now have a sewing machine! (Which is exciting stuff for me, if not everyone else!)

Have a happy week!

Knitting Square Ted

As you have probably realised, I have recently learnt to knit. I am very proud of myself, as it was a craft that I didn’t think I would ever get in to, as it looked too fiddly. But. Here I am! And I can officially call myself a knitter!

You may remember the bunny rabbit I knitted last month. Well, I set myself a challenge to make a bigger cuddly toy, and here it is!

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The pattern is from the same book as the bunny, and has a mini ted and a maxi ted, and I challenged myself to the maxi, which involved knitting over 100 rows. Which was hard!

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But I did it! you have to knit each section separately, so the body/head, both arms and both legs are stitched on after they have been sewn into tubes and stuffed.

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Unfortunately, I sewed one of his legs the wrong way, so the knitting is sitting the wrong way, and one leg is slightly shorter than the other one. Other than that, I am super proud!

Long Time No Sew…. Two Day Ruby Dress!

Hello hello,

the title of this blog post says it all really; it has been a really long time since I sewed anything, and I was really missing it! But I have had assignments to do (and still do actually), and was feeling very uninspired by what material and patterns I had, even though I still have my vintage pledge to do….

As I was scrolling through facebook yesterday morning, I happened across a post by ‘Love Sewing’, giving away their Ruby dress pattern for free, for a week! Driven by my love of free things, I immediately downloaded it, and while procrastinating one of my many assignment tasks, printed it out. And then put it together. And then cut out the fabric. And then sewed it. And before I knew what was happening, I had a half installed zip, and very very sleepy eyes.

At every stage, I was fully intending on letting it go, putting it into a pile to finish another day. But it just never happened! And I am so proud of myself!

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I was going to take a photo at each stage but I forgot (as per usual), so I will just talk you through my process. I omitted the front and back facings as I didn’t have enough fabric, and one of the back pieces of skirt had to be sewn together as there wasn’t enough to cut one nice big piece unfortunately. It is a bit messy, but it is at the back, so I think I will be fine! The material I used is a little mysterious; I think it was my Nana’s but I’m not sure; my mother was using it to clean or cover something while redecorating, but I thought it was much to pretty to be a cleaning cloth so I rescued it. It is very worn, and in places it has holes, so I will, at some point, go round and cover up the holes with extra fabric or something.

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I think the fabric choice looks very similar to the one in the thumbnail of the Love Sewing post. But I had this material in mind, and I am so happy that I used it! This is what it looked like last night, with the zip half installed. The fit is so good, I am so pleased! I graded from a size 10 on the top, to a size 12 on the bottom.

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I was just hemming the arm holes and casually looked in my diary and realised I had a meal to go to with my knitting society, which I had completely forgotten about. So I didn’t hem the bottom of the dress; I think I may try and find some lace or something to add a little bit of length. You can see my slip poking out the bottom, oops! At least I wasn’t flashing anyone!

I did look a little over-dressed for a Chinese buffet, but hey, I made my dress myself, that is reason enough to wear it!

Vinyl Pouch

Hullo hullo me again.

So. I did say that I would pace myself when it came to my sewing projects, as I have numerous assignment deadlines looming. However, when one of the projects was a birthday present, it couldn’t really be put off for much longer!

To remind you, this is a photo I took of my yet-to-be started project;

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I quite like that photo actually!

Anyway, quite a simple project, and only took me yesterday evening to do; it is already on the post, winging itself first class to my Nana!

I sewed on the zip, and up the two sides, and turned right side out (harder than it sounds; I accidentally sewed it shut by forgetting to leave the zip half open and I couldn’t quite reach the zip pull to open it back up… oops!)

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Vinyl is actually quite nice to sew; I was pleasantly surprised!

I then added a finishing touch by sewing on a ribbon all the way round, and tying it in a bow;

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I am very pleased with myself; this pouch turned out really well (even if I do say so myself) and my stitching was very straight up the sides (which is good as they are visible!), and the bow is cute, and I hope my Nana likes it as much as I do!

Happy week everyone!

Charger Pouch

Yet another project I did not plan on doing….

My cousin asked me to make her a pouch in which she can tidy her laptop charger in. I whatsapped her photos of all the fabrics I had, and she chose this lovely grey material for the lining. And this yellow material for the outer fabric. Sadly, I didn’t have enough left. But, I was resourceful, and unpicked the first pouch I had made. To be fair, it was not the best sewing I have ever done, and I wasn’t using it, so this made perfect sense to me.

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Anyhow, I decided to try and sandwich the zip between the inner and outer fabric, and I am really quite proud of myself! I also think that my stitching is rather straight.

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(well except in this photo….)

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The inside is pretty neat as well!

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So I have sent my cousin her new pouch in the post; fingers crossed she likes it!

Future Projects!

I have not been sewing any clothes for a while now, and I would really like to get back into it. However, I am worried that this will prove the perfect distraction from all the assignments I need to do before the end of March (all three of them). I am also slightly worried that I will not be able to complete my Vintage sewing pledge of sewing up two of my vintage patterns.

So in an effort to publicly shame myself into actually realising my sewing goals for this year, I thought I would share with you the projects I want to make! (I will probably regret this)

The first project is not vintage, however it is a birthday present which needs to be sent of asap.

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This is going to be a pouch for my Nana. I haven’t yet decided what ribbon to use to decorate the top of the pouch, not have I figured out how to make the sewing pretty as it will be seen through the transparent vinyl.. We will see!

The first of my vintage patterns is the one I am most excited for, but the one that will probably take me the longest.

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You may recognise the pattern as I bought it not long ago. The material, zip and trim I won in a competition, and I hope that it will all go together. I want to try a peter pan collar, but not sure what material to use, and not sure about sleeves or no sleeves… Fingers crossed this will not look awful, as it really is lovely fabric!

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The piece of clothing that will probably be done first is this tunic. I think the pattern counts as vintage, but I will have to check! The fabric comes from John Lewis in the sale, and looks quite Cath Kidston-y, don’t you think? I want to make view 4, which is the lady in the middle’s tunic, because I like to wear leggings, but always run out of tops to wear with them. Two birds, one stone, because I set myself a goal of making more tops. I am a bit worried that there won’t be enough fabric, but I am sure I can try to squeaze it all in… also it is cotton, which is not listed in the recommended fabrics….

So there. It is out in the open. I’ve put them in separate bags, to make sure I wont use the material for anything else. Now to find some time to sew again! I even found a mini sewing machine at the back of my cupboard (I had to do a sort out; I had a few very unequally balanced towers in there which toppled over at the slightest touch, so that had to change!) so maybe 2015 is the year I teach myself the art of the sewing machine (even though it isn’t really a real one)