• My first handmade jacket

  • Victoria blazerOllo loveliest everyones!

    I’ve been away from the blog pretty much for the last month – mostly due to crazy house move activities and going on holiday.  It was a much needed rest and relax in gorgeous sunshiny Marrakech.  I took with me a couple of books + a shed load of magazines – one of which being the most recent Sew Magazine.  I got so inspired reading it – and so frustrated because I couldn’t get to my machine to sew!  But the project ideas are backing way up now!  Amongst other things I have a bomber jacket next on the list of makes, followed by a dress to wear to a wedding reception… exciting times anyway!

    And what about the Great British Sewing Bee eh?!  Did you watch it?  Did you love it? Did it give you push to pick up sewing/dressmaking?  I knew I loved Claudia anyway, but love her even more now… want to keep her!  And I’ve realised that I pretty much have similar hair… just a gingery version…!  And congrats to Matt – what a deserving winner – he absolutely smashed the final challenge.  Now I’m left with a void in my Thursday evenings – so better get on with some more sewing! 🙂

    So I wanted to show you all photos of my very first handmade blazer jacket.  I was a tad nervous about making this, I guess because you think of exact precise sharp measurements and clean professional finishes when thinking about jackets.  So this one was a bit of a gamble if I’m honest.  I didn’t want to use super fancy fabric either, as I kind of thought I might stuff this up!

    Victoria blazer

    The pattern was one I had been given for my birthday in November – a By Hand London Victoria blazer.  So I had comfort in knowing that I had previously made 2 different By Hand London patterns, and both worked out very successfully.  The pattern (as expected) was super clear and easy to follow.  And I love By Hand London’s sewalongs on their website.  It gives really in-depth instructions to follow when making any of their designs.  So even less chance of me screwing it up!

    The fabric I chose was just a plain navy blue drill from John Lewis in Cambridge.  In hindsight I wish I had maybe used a more medium weight fabric as the cotton drill was probably a bit thick for my liking.  But you live and learn (as my mum always tells me!).  The lining I find is the most exciting fabric choice for a blazer jacket.  I just LOVE opening up a jacket to find a super jazzy exciting coloured lining fabric!  So with this one I wanted to contrast it up with either a yellow or orange fabric.  I ended up opting for a cotton shirting from my local, Backstitch.

    Victoria blazer

    The whole pattern was really simple and a real pleasure to sew!  It totally inspired me to make a Victoria jacket in lots of different patterns/colours – for every time I go to go out and moan about having to wear a boring plain black jacket.  Don’t get me wrong, I like black but it’s really not ‘me’ to have to wear something so boring ALL THE TIME.  And jackets are so useful for work too – I obviously can’t get away with a crazy neon one there, but it would be lovely to have some plain ones – as I can always go to town on the linings!

    Victoria blazerVictoria blazerVictoria blazerVictoria blazer

    Anyway, hope you like this!  More projects to follow soon!

    Peace and love x

  • The Pac-Man Shirt Dress

  • Pac-Man Dress

    Howdy!  So I’ve been suffering badly with the dreaded lurgy lately – which has been a bummer, to say the least!  It’s taken me so long to get on and actually finish this dress.  I think I started it at the end of November…  wow… just worked that out myself.  It DID take me ages!

    The pattern is the Cami Dress by Pauline Alice.  I was a very lucky girl for my birthday in November, and got given a bunch of different dressmaking bits.  This pattern was one of the presents – bought from my local, Backstitch.

    And the fabric for this dress was picked up from Backstitch too.  This wasn’t part of my birthday present – instead one of my cheeky lunchtime purchases.  It’s called Cosmic Blue by Atelier Brunette.  The design on the fabric is amazing, and can only be described as tiny Pac-Men printed all over!  The colour is quite stunning too – very eye-catching.

    I have to say I am pretty bloody proud of myself for finishing this dress.  Making it involved learning quite a few new techniques.  So I’m pretty pleased that everything turned out ok and wearable!

    New techniques were:

    • Buttonholes and buttons
    • Gathering fabric (for skirt)
    • Inserting a standard zip
    • Making a collar

     

    To learn each of these techniques I used a combination of checking through my selection of dressmaking books, and also searching through YouTube videos too.  One of my favourite books at the moment is Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes (of Tilly and the Buttons). Such an amazing book, which includes some patterns too.

    Pac-Man Dress Pac-Man Dress

    Pac-Man Dress Pac-Man Dress Pac-Man Dress Pac-Man Dress Pac-Man Dress

    This is going to be one of my work wardrobe staples now… and I can’t wait to get on a fabric buying spree to make more!!!  The only thing I think I might change is to make it a bit larger on the bodice to allow plenty of room for boobies 😉

    On that note…. THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT!

    Peace and love

    Jen x

  • Summer wedding number 2 guest dress

  • Flora 2

    Evening lovelies!

    Tonight I give you another very gorgeous By Hand London Flora dress.  This is a dress which I made in super fast time to wear to a very special wedding in August last year.  It was like real life Great British Sewing Bee!!  I try to avoid making things in a rush to a deadline, because it kind of takes the enjoyment of sewing away… I guess it can become a bit of a chore.  But with this dress I didn’t mind at all.  I made this in a few days (evenings only) and was just a weeny bit proud of myself!

    I figured that if I was rushing a dress then I ought to follow a pattern which was familiar to me.  I had just made a Flora dress for a wedding earlier in August, so it made sense to make another one.

    So to start the project… the fun task of fabric shopping! I knew I wanted a nice lightweight fabric – probably slightly lighter than the Flora I made before.  So I opted for a gorgeous Cloud 9 voile from the Palos Verdes range, called Miraleste – bought online from M is for Make.  Shipping was very fast – which was ideal seeing that I was under massive time constraints!

    Flora 2

    Pattern pieces were very quick to knock up, as I already had them cut out from the last dress – including the adjustment to the back to stop gaping.

    Flora 2

    I had a minor punch up with the invisible zip – and have to say that this tutorial on the By Hand London website was an absolute lifesaver!  I think I ended up in a straggle because I was rushing so much.  But I got there eventually!

    Flora 2

    Because the voile is lovely and lightweight, it is that tiny bit sheer and see-though.  And I didn’t really want to scare other wedding guests(!), so decided to line the dress fully.  I just used an ivory poplin from John Lewis, which worked beautifully.

    I also decided to shorten the back of this dress.  The pattern gives quite a deep dipped (not to be confused with deeply dippy – god bless you Right Said Fred) hem circle skirt.  But I wanted to alter that for this dress, just to have it slightly different!

    I was really so pleased with the finished dress. The fabric was a pleasure to wear!

    Anyway, enough from me!  Here are photos so you can see for yourselves 🙂

    A little glimmer of summariness on this Blue Monday!

    Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2

    Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2 Flora 2

    Shoes are from Kurt Geiger, and my favourite necklace ever (was a birthday gift from Husband) is Alex Monroe, bought from Liberty.

    Peace and love

    Jen x