27 May 2016

Llama Llama dress!

How frickin' awesome is this dress! Seriously who doesn't need a dress with llama's on in their wardrobe?

Lets start with the fabric because lets face it that's all you really care about in this post. Its Michael Miller 'Packmates' 100% quilting cotton. How cute are their little llama faces! I struggled to find this fabric but I did manage to get a couple of meters from Ebay so hopefully you can find some too. I hope you can its totally amazing! I've talked before about pink and orange being my favourite colour combo so this is just awesome.

The dress pattern is By Hand London's Kim dress, now you can see why I needed to do a mock of this dress before cutting into this fabric. I made the straight neck version this time and its a lot better to wear, much less boobalicious, so I actually feel I can wear this in the day now. This dress is the ultimate summer dress. I made the hem a little longer than I usually do, because its cotton I wanted to be able to wear it without tights in the summer so I thought it best to air on the side of modest.

I actually think I have got the fit of this dress spot on now, especially at the back it fits like a glove.

I actually need to fess up though with this dress. Its a total copy of a dress by my new favourite source of inspiration which is Katie Makes a Dress in Australia who I found via Instagram. She basically made this exact same dress, but what with the cost of the dress, the shipping from Australia and the fact that I am not an 'out the packet' size I thought I would make my own version. Its obviously a different pattern but I love it all the same (sorry Katie). But if you want your own version of a dress like this and your not a wizz on the sewing machine totally go and buy one from her, they are so awesome and she manages to find the most amazing fabric prints.

I have always been a bit cautious about sewing with quilting cottons since making a couple of skirts which were just so full and just totally unflattering on me. But seeing Katie's amazing dresses and skirts pop up on Instagram all the time I thought I might as well give it a go. Also I have a couple of bought cotton dresses which I really like so I guess its more about finding the right pattern for it. This pattern works really well, I think the fitted bodice helps to flatter my shape with the fuller skirt. I want to do a search for a dress pattern  with more of a fitted pencil type skirt to make to try with cottons so if you know of any tried and tested patterns then shout up.


13 May 2016

Me Made May 2016

May is a special month for sewcialists (internet/social media sewers) in that it is Me Made May, where the idea quiet obviously is to wear handmade clothes every day in May. You didn't really need me to explain that did you!

 Knit dresses: Wren and Lady Skater

So I suspect you expect this post to be about me telling what I wore every day for MMM16, well its not! I don't have near enough clothes to do that yet (or I do but I would have the washing machine on near constantly and it would very boringly be the same clothes every week). So instead of actually joining in on MMM I thought I would just use it as an excuse to have a look at the things I have made that do actually get lots of wear so that I can see what things I like and also see what I want more of, where my wardrobe is lacking and see if there are any trends in the kinds of things I do wear.

Summer Viscose Dresses: Lilou and Kim

Lets start with the dresses. I know every home sewer always sews dresses and I'll be honest I never used to wear dresses but that's mostly because I am 2 sizes bigger in the bottom than I am in the waist so they either clung way to much to my wibbly bits or looked a bit like a sack on me. I love that I can now wear dresses. They are so easy, just wack em over your head and go! I have a lot of fit and flare but the shape is so good for hiding that post baby belly whilst still making a feature of my waist. Lovely, I see many more of these in the future, but I am actually on the hunt for a more fitted dress pattern, something with a pencil skirt, that I can tailor and make nice and flattering.

 Skirts: Zinnia and Clemence

Then on to separates;  I say separates but well I make a good few bottoms but really only ever one top which is the Mimi parrots blouse. Skirt patterns are so plentiful though and there are loads of nice ones to choose from. I think its also because I enjoy a pretty skirt but actually just tend to wear jersey vests on top, and well they are so cheap to buy why would you need to make them. I am all for handmade but I sometimes think there are some wardrobe basics which should just be bought: Jeans, jersey basics, leggings to name a few. I am sure there will come a time I will attempt them but for now I am happy to play with more fun patterns. I do have a plan to get the Agnes tshirt pattern (mostly to make a dress out of) so there will probably be a few long sleeved tshirts in here by Autumn. 

 Chataigne shorts

I think you can see a definite theme here in terms of colour/pattern choice in the clothes that I actually wear. Animal Print, Monochrome, pink, coral, blacks and whites. I have learnt over the past couple of years that there are a lot of clothes that I have made which I don't really wear. Some of that is down to the fit or shape not suiting me, but actually its mostly to do with poor fabric choice. It really is worth thinking about the colours that suit you, and that you like to wear as it really does go into making a better wardrobe.

Mimi blouse

So that's the wardrobe which I enjoy to wear. There are obviously things which I haven't included here. Looking back on this there is actually a lot less than I realised, I guess when mixed in with your bought wardrobe you don't consider what you have made and wear and what you don't. I really should think about sorting out the things which I don't wear and either charity shopping them or hacking them into something new. 

If you are taking part in Me Made May 2016 how have you found it? And if not and you haven't heard of it before go and have a search for #mmm16 on instagram and see all the gorgeous outfits people have lovelingly handmade themselves.


6 May 2016

Neon Skulls Kim Dress

There seems to be a bit of a neon theme going on here at the minute but this dress is a lot less gawdy than the tutu outfit I posted last week! I totally wasn't sure about this fabric when I bought it but I actually really like it now its turned into a dress. Also, before we carry on can I just address the fact that I bloody love my shiny Dr Marten Mary Janes, they literally go with everything.

This was a mock up test version of By Hand London's Kim Dress. It's the first time I've made this dress but I was looking for something with princess seems so it fit the bill. 

A couple of things to say about this dress before I go into a bit more detail. I really like the sweetheart neckline and the full skirt, especially in this viscose, the skirt is lovely to wear but my god it's a bit boobalicious! You cant really tell from these pictures but when I am sat and look down they are all I can see! I had the same thing with my last by hand London dress so they obviously like a low neckline but I'm struggling to wear this in the daytime! I think It's going to have to be an out to the pub dress rather than a chilling at home on a summers day dress.

The fabric was some viscose which I got from ebay. There is lots of it on there so you should be able to find it, I also think its one of those lovely cheap fabrics you are likely to find on your local market stall so certainly very inexpensive. I have started to really love viscose. Its so easy to wear and really cheap to buy. The only issue is it can stretch out of shape quiet easily when sewing and also it frays A LOT. but if you can get over that you can make some lovely summer outfits out of it. The reason I used this to make a mock up is because it was so cheap. You can see in the photo below there is a bit of excess fabric in the front bodice and this is due to it changing shape and ending up bigger than the cotton fabric I used to line it but its totally fine to wear.

I re-took my measurements before I made this dress and matched them up against the pattern and I fit the size 12 exactly (35, 28, 36). I sat there and I thought how can I have the exact measurements of the pattern but know even before I begin that if I sew this straight from the pattern pieces its not going to fit me? What I realised was that my back is proportionally smaller than my front and that what I need to do is cut out the size 12 but take a % out of the front and equate that into the same in the front as a full bust adjustment. I made a 3/4 inch adjustment to both front and back but actually I think that maybe should have been a whole 1 inch but again its a better fit than it would have been.

I started off making this dress really fast and rushing through it because I have another version planned which is the one I really want to make. I have spoken before about how when you take your time over something you are much more likely to enjoy the result but I was totally ignoring my own advice here. Thankfully Karen over at Did You Make That made a very well timed post about learning sewing patience. I really needed this. I think I sometimes try and make things really quickly to have something to blog about but what she made me realise was that actually you can have some very useful things to say as a blogger without always having to blog about something you made. So I thank Karen for the great outcome of this dress for making me slow down, take my time and enjoy the process. And do you know what, it really worked. I do love this dress (I've had it on for 2 days) and I think its totally down to the fact I took some care over it.

 So that's it from me for this week, I hope you like my new dress :) I am going to have to sign off because I can hear master Fox has woken up. But as a closing thought have you ever read any non sewing posts which totally inspired you in other aspects?

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