• A Cosy-Cute Woollen Sigma Dress

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    I finally feel like I’m getting on top of things after the upheaval of moving house *high five to that*! Good news is that this means that I’ve had the time to get making again… in my new sewing room.  I actually feel as though I was getting a bit cranky without being able to sew – proof that it is my therapy.

    I have had so many patterns and fabric purchases backing up and overflowing in bags and boxes. This one has been in my minds-eye for so long – so I’m chuffed to have had the time to finally get round to sewing it!

    The pattern is Papercut Patterns’ Sigma dress, and I chose to make a short-sleeved version 1. I used a wool fabric which I picked up from a M Rosenberg & Son fabric sale in Cambridge a few months ago.

    I spent ages reading up about pre-shrinking woollen fabrics, and after getting a bit scared with some of the methods others have tried, I just sent it to the dry cleaners. Downside to this was cost – but for my first stab at using woollen fabric, I didn’t want to screw it up before I had even made one stitch!

    The pattern itself was a breeze to use. The only alterations I made which were to narrow the back to stop the gaping neckline (as I do with pretty much all patterns anyway) and also changed the dress from long-sleeved to short.  I made the dress between sizes XS and S. XS was for the bodice and S for the skirt. I was pretty organised about making this dress so had previously stitched up a toile, so was able to adjust the paper pattern before committing to chopping up the fabric. I haven’t made a toile in a while, so it felt as though I was being very thorough with this make!

    I did make the long-sleeved version first, but when I put it on it just felt like it needed short/cute sleeves. I felt a bit naughty doing this because I wasted quite a bit of the fabric… but hey… sometimes I need to wear the garment before I get a sense of tweaks that I want to make.

    I am super pleased with how this has turned out. It’s another dress which I would happily wear to work with a jacket – or I could wear it as a day dress or even accessorised I could wear it out to dinner.

    I hope you like anyway 🙂 I am excited to be making again… so more to follow on here soon. Watch this space!

    Pattern: Sigma by Papercut Patterns

    Fabric: M Rosenberg & Son fabric sale in Cambridge

    Size made: XS/S

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    Obviously the fluffy one wanted some attention while we were taking photos!

    Obviously the fluffy one wanted some attention while we were taking photos!

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    Absolutely amazed that my hairdresser managed to get my fairly short hair into a halo braid

    Absolutely amazed that my hairdresser managed to get my fairly short hair into a halo braid

    Very pleased with my seam matching with inserting the (dreaded) invisible zip

    Very pleased with my seam matching with inserting the (dreaded) invisible zip

    Love my nude Springtime nails!

    Love my nude Springtime nails!

  • My very first jersey garment - A tie-dye Agnes top

  • Agnes

    Evening lovelies! So I have been facing a bit of a struggle over the past week or so – it’s been a real struggle to find any sewing time. This is all to be blamed on celebrations for my 30th birthday!

    I had the most amazing time though – and have crammed so much in. Much shopping, eating and drinking… I know, such a chore!

    Anyway, as of next week I am back on the sewing – and healthy eating for that matter…

    So I’ve had this top to blog for a while now. This was a really exciting piece to stitch up. Why you ask? Well, because this was my first ever venture into using jersey! And I think it all went pretty well 🙂

    This is a Tilly & the Buttons Agnes top made with a gorgeous viscose jersey from Backstitch.

    The pattern itself was another PDF, which I’m quite getting into using… perhaps even more so than paper patterns. I love Tilly’s patterns – they are always very clear and straightforward to use. And the fit of this was perfect!  I opted for the simple plain version.

    The fabric was a bit of a tricky one to sew – even just based on the randomness of the pattern. It has a tie-dye effect to the pattern, which runs in lines up and down the fabric, but not straight or even. I spent ages umming and erring over where to cut the top out. In the end I tried to find the most uniform secion that I could and kind of thought, oh well, it will be cool if it looks random!

    My first experience with sewing jersey was surprisingly pain and swear-word free. I already had a walking foot for my sewing machine, so I made use of that. And I am also lucky to have shared use of my mother-in-law’s overlocker too. I prepped myself before starting to sew the jersey by watching a couple of YouTube videos as well as reading lots of top tips. One thing that really helped was just making sure that the fabric wasn’t draped off of the sewing machine while sewing. I kept it all together and tried to keep any pulling around to an absolute minimum. And I think that using the walking foot really helped too, rather than a normal zigzag foot.

    I’m really pleased with the finished piece. I think it looks a little bit grungey, but with a lovely feminine fit. And I felt so proud for using jersey for the first time! High five to that.

    Have a lovely week ahead everyone.

    xxx

    Pattern: Agnes top by Tilly & the Buttons

    Fabric: Backstitch

    Size made: 2

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  • A very special Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress

  • Bettine

    Evening lovelies! Much excitement to show you my latest make. It’s a bit of a special one!

    The pattern for this dress was one that I nabbed during my shopping spree at The Handmade Fair in September.  It is a super cute Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons.  I was sold on this as soon as I saw Tilly herself wearing one of these while on her stand at the fair.

    And the fabric for this dress was very kindly sent to me from The-Stitchery in Lewes. It is a Kaffe Fassett cotton called Purple Ferns.  The colour is stunning – and the batik style to the pattern is really gorgeous and eye-catching.  This fabric was a dream to work with, as the cotton was so soft – and well behaved 🙂

    I found the whole pattern really easy to make, and took no time at all to put together.  There was one technique in this dress which was new to me though… inserting elastic.  I really love it when I come across patterns with techniques which are new to me. I just see it as a fun way to learn something new.  Anyway, inserting the elastic was no problem at all – especially as my mother-in-law had given me some little tools to insert elastic.

    The top part of the dress came out absolutely spot-on fit-wise, including the elasticated waist.  The skirt was a little more tricky and needed a bit of fitting. I made the dress in a size 3 (see Tilly & the Buttons website for detailed sizing info).  I could have done without having finished the seams of the skirt as it really needed letting out slightly around my lower hip/thighs.  And I did take it in a little near the top hip as it looked as though it was ballooning out a little too much.

    I loved choosing the buttons to attach to the sleeves too.  I went for bright, almost neon pink coloured buttons which kind of reflect the flowers in the fabric pattern.

    It is such a comfy dress too – one which I think would be perfect for going out for a girls lunch.

    I really loved sewing up this dress, and am thrilled with how it turned out.  I will definitely be making some more Bettines in the future!

    Pattern: Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons

    Fabric: The-Stitchery, Lewes

    Size made: 3

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    Bettine

    Bettine

    Bettine

    Bettine

    Bettine

    Matching nails!

    Matching nails!