False Start: Rigel Bomber

I declared my love for the Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber after seeing Sophie's amazing spotty one on CirqueduBebe and I have just now seen another super version pop up on Jolies Bobines instagram feed. The thing that struck me was how polished they look and neat on the inside. Really neat.

So, with the fabric I won in Gabrielle's giveaway, I started dreaming of a spotty bomber. I traced and cut and marked and then, oh dear, the first thing to make is the welt pockets.  FAIL.  It's not so much that they are bad - which they are - but I could iron them within an inch of their lives and probably get away with it. It's the inside of the jacket where the pockets are. Urgh. They just look messy.  Really messy and I am only showing the less awful one which hasn't been finished. How have the others done it so it looks so schmick?  What's the trick?  When/how do you overlock the pockets - before or after?
Disheartened and knowing that my dreamed of spotty bomber was destined for the scrap heap, I continued to sew it up just to see what the sizing was like.  Now I really just want there to be a Rigel Bomber Sewalong that shows me how to get a really professional finish on the inside.

Failing that do you have any tricks for making a lovely finish on a welt pocket with a flap? I've seen a few tutorials about just doing the pocket but no-one seems to show how to get a schmick finish on the inside.

There is a sale next weekend at Addicted to Fabric so I might look for some more bomber jacket material...

In other news, yesterday I sent off this little sock monkey that I'd made a while ago for Softies for Mirabel.  And yes, I got to wear my new dress to work!
Little sock monkey for Softies for Mirabel 2013

FINISHED! An Icelandic Malvarosa

I've just finished Pauline Alice's latest pattern, the Malvarosa.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for a drop waist so when this was released I was very quick to buy it.
Malvarosa Dress in Liberty of London Ranga
This Malvarosa is made up in Liberty of London Ranga A, which is from the Liberty Art Fabrics AW 2013 Seen Collection.
From the Liberty website:
This collection was Inspired by William Morris’ poem; ‘Iceland First Seen’, the Liberty design team travelled to Iceland on an exploration of the senses in search of their own ‘Earthly Paradise’. A sense of sight, the most complex of all the senses, is what took the team there. 'Iceland first seen' was written by Morris depicting his feelings for this wild Northern landscape, a fitting title for a series of designs inspired by sight.  Ranga shows a townscape of hand painted Icelandic buildings. 

The Malvarosa is a lovely simple pull on (no buttons, no zipper yay!) dress in either short or 3/4 sleeves.  For this version, I' chose the short sleeves, but I'm keen to give the longer sleeves a go. The sleeves on this are very cute and have a sweet little built in 'cap' which is part of the bodice pattern.
Malvarosa Dress in Liberty of London Ranga
I made up the 36 but thought the armscye was too big so ended up taking it in down the sides just over an inch rather than the 5/8 " seam which helped reduce the gaping.  You can see that it is still a little bit gapey, but is ok.  The way the dress makes up means that this type of adjustment is super easy as the skirt is added and then the side seams are sewn.

Both the neck and arms are finished with facing.  I put in a few stitches to hold them down as there is a risk that they flap out.
Malvarosa Dress in Liberty of London Ranga
Lastly the pockets in the skirt are a really cute feature. I feel like mine might be hanging a little bit - so next time I make it up I'll make sure when I attach the pockets I will keep skirt piece firm. I also wasn't sure how to finish the seam nicely at the skirt attachment. I ended up overlocking the pocket tops (once they were sewn onto the skirt top and then overlocking the whole thing once the pockets and skirt were attached.
 Malvarosa Dress in Liberty of London Ranga
I'm just looking now for some lovely hot summer days as this will be a perfect Summer dress and the unexpectedly Christmas-y fabric will definitely make it a perfect Christmas dress.
    Malvarosa Dress in Liberty of London Ranga

In the works - A Malvarosa dress

Have you seen the latest pattern by Pauline Alice, the Malvarosa DRess?  She was inspired by the babydoll dresses by Balenciaga.  Oh, it is such a cute pattern and one that looks nice and easy and straightforward with no complicated closures. And just check out those hidden pockets in the skirt!

I've just cut out the sleeveless version in Liberty Ranga A from the Liberty Art Fabrics Collection AW 13 Seen.  This fabric is unexpectedly Christmasy so it might turn out to be a perfect Christmas lunch dress... nice and loose:)

I agree with Kathryn that cutting out really is the worst part of a project.  But it's done and now I'm on to the fun part. 

It will be so nice to be back sewing in Liberty after two jersey projects.  Jersey really isn't my favourite fabric.  I may have also bought some more Liberty on Sunday from Tessuti... woops!

FINISHED! The lime line Mandy boat tee dress

I love this fabric from Tessuti and I know a lot of you also have it as it is sold out now online. The lime lines really have a great fluro pop to them that isn't evident from the photos which is set off perfectly by the light grey..
It is lovely and soft and drapey. But really.. what was I thinking.  These are not the colours for a pasty 'blond'.  It really does NOTHING for me.
Mandy Tee Dress
Oh but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I am picturing a lot of swimming during Summer and have been wanting to use this fabric as a loose summer dress to wear to the pool and the beach. I had plans of making up another one of my square cut and sewn tees but I just couldn't find any buttons that worked well enough with the fluro lime (despite the helpfulness at Tessuti).  After seeing Mandies at bimble and pimble and floating world I thought I'd give this free pattern a whirl.
Mandy Tee Dress
This is a great pattern and I highly recommend it.  I really love the slim line sleeves that balance out the volume of the body.
Mandy Tee Dress
I even matched the stripes perfectly on the sides (despite what this photo looks like). The problem for me with this make is that it is a one size fits all and I am on the smaller size of the range so this make, as you can see, really needs some adjustments.  This gaping at the neck (at the back because how I'm wearing it)  is all bad. I should have made the adjustments at the time but I wasn't sure how it was going to work with the sleeves, so lets just say this is a bit of muslin.  I need to take quite a few inches off the sides for next time and the neck in by a couple of inches.  I could probably also reduce the width of the sleeves by 1/2 an inch.   I reinforced the shoulders but the top is so big so it doesn't sit on the shoulders ..
Mandy Tee Dress
Overall, great pattern, great fabric (but colour bad on me), should have made adjustments and next time I'll choose a fabric that suits me. Will there be a next time? You bet. I love using that twin needle and I still need that dress for summer.


Patterns galore (pattern pyramid) winner

Thanks everybody for entering the patterns galore (pattern pyramid) giveaway
The winner is.....
The patterns will be heading back over the seas to Amy T of Almond Rock. I can't wait to see what she decides to make from the bundle of patterns.  

See you soon with a finished Mandy Tee Dress!

FINISHED! A sequinsy sewing dare (except for the official wear)

By now, you know the story...back in August I decided to take on a sewing dare from Gillian "To draft a pattern using a new to me fabric and then find an occasion to wear it ".
Nani Iro C
I finished the skirt and a version of the top last month, but I wasn't at all happy with the top. Thankfully when I got that jersey from Tessuti, I also received some additional jersey in a slightly darker grey to play around with.  This darker jersey goes better with the finished skirt. Originally I had planned for the skirt to be lighter, which was why my disaster top was in the marle, but I had a cutting mishap so I ended up using the darker sequins.. so it was meant to be.

After my less than successful top, I went back to the drawing board and started trying on every top I owned with the skirt to see what would work.  My favourite turned out to be a Nani Iro pattern of which I've made many, many versions, my favourite of course being the one using Liberty Ornithology.  It is a loosely fitted top that tapers ever so slightly in.  It always looks big, but for some reason I love this top on.
For a while I debated whether or not to just wear the skirt with Ornithology and of course, I may well just do that in future, but that wasn't the dare and the failure of the previous top sort of egged me on.
Tuesday afternoon after school pick up I usually have about an hour to mess around and sew, so I did. I quickly cut this out and overlocked it together. It's only two pieces with kimono sleeves so it wasn't hard.  I tried it on and loved it.  But how was I to hem it and finish the sleeves and neck?  I kind of liked it without a finish with just the raw edges, but thought I'd better finish it.

I simply turned all the edges and sewed them with a twin needle.  This turned out to be super easy as I first stay stitched in from the raw edge  and then turned it over so that the line of stitching was just under the fold.  Soooo much easier than trying to wrangle the seam. The hem could maybe have used a bit of intefacing but with a good press it's fine.
Nani Iro C
Anyway, I like it. It doesn't look much (at all!) in the photos but it is exactly the slouchy kind of top I was looking for to pair with the skirt.  It falls any which way and It feels great to wear and the whole outifit feels very me.  I'm going to wear this outfit for birthday drinks at the end of the month.
Nani Iro C
Onto other sewing now... I'm sure you've all seen the new patterns from Papercut Patterns and in particular the very cool rendition of the  bomber jacket by Sophie at cirque du bebe.  Well I think I have a plan for those big dots I won from Gabrielle!  Can't wait for that pattern to arrive.. but for now I'm projectless.
Oh and don't forget the patterns giveaway!! Just leave a comment on this post - winner announced Friday and I'll post anywhere.

FINISHED! Iris shorts in giveaway denim

It feels like it's been a while since some selfish sewing, so I'm happy to introduce you to my Iris shorts in giveaway denim.
Iris Shorts in giveaway denim
Giveaway denim? Well, a couple of weeks ago I was the lucky winner of some fabric from Gabrielle which she was giving away to celebrate 3 great years of blogging.  I was ecstatic!  I had been searching for denim like the one offered for ages and here it was. Only  0.6 x 1.3 m of it, but just perfect.  A heavy light blue denim. Oh and how about that fantastic YSL colouring book that came with it!!
So I didn't have much denim to work with, but I was convinced that I could get a pair of shorts out of the fabric.  Enter the Colette Patterns Iris shorts.   I had just enough to make the size 6.  I had to do the waistband facing and the pocket lining in Liberty. You can imagine how much I hated that!!?  I got to use up some of Tom's Jets fabric which was great.
So here they are! I love them. I know this pattern has been around for a while and it's not really news, but the pockets are too cute in that front seam.  The denim provides a great retro feel to them. I'm wearing it here with Pattern W from Les Couleurs Francaise made up in  Liberty of London, Wiltshire.
Iris Shorts in giveaway denim
In the end the 6 was a bit baggy around the waist so ended up taking them in on the sides. Next time I'll make the 4 up in maybe a slightly lighter weight fabric as the invisible zipper doesn't really like going over the waistband seam. It was a straightforward make, although like all my easy makes I did rush them a bit. I could probably make some further adjustments but for a first attempt I think the fit is pretty good. 
Iris Shorts in giveaway denim

Patterns galore - a giveaway

I have had a little bit of luck over the last couple of months by winning some great giveaways!

Ages ago I won a fabulous bunch of patterns from Claire at I want to be a Turtle, who won them from  Flossie Jamieson. It was ages ago and I have been horribly remiss in not thanking her and hosting my own giveaway.

Well now that Mad October is over and I can start back to some serious selfish sewing I've decided to dust out the the patterns and given it's November which means birthday month, it's time for a giveaway!

Just have a look at these beauties!
I really love the beach cover up and the  vogue shirt dress.

I have snaffled this one Style 4582 for my own collection

But I've added these two into the mix.
Just leave a comment if you are interested. I'll draw a lucky winner Friday 15 November. I'll post worldwide!

Despicable Me Party

Aaaah, the relief.  Crazy October officially finished today with Elliot's 5th birthday party.  Yesterday we had the last of the school fetes (but I'll post on that later).
The purple minion pinata. Photo now because it could go all wrong once he's up on the tree. #5yroldpartymadness #despicableme
Elliot had a Despicable Me party this morning and for those of you who haven't seen either of the movies, do. They are fun and cute. They were animated in France which Ben says is why the movies are so good.. I think the soundtrack is wonderful, but I am a fan of Pharell Williams, so perhaps a little bias.

As with most parties these days there are resources galore available on the internet and I did my fair share of internet research for this party.  The highlight of my research efforts was my 'purple minion' pinata, idea borrowed from Tonya Staab.  It isn't nearly as good as hers but the kids loved it.  They especialy liked the hair and when that fell off there was a mad scramble for the kids to get it and pretend to be purple minions.
As usual the cake didn't live up to the vision in my mind,  but I surrounded it with smarties in a hope to hide the dodgyness.  I also quickly gave the kids jelly (yellow and blue for the good minions or blue and purple for the purple minion) which distracted them and the adults.

Party food was all displayed using minions.  My personal favourite was the cookie robot.
#despicableme #5yroldpartymadness #cookierobots
Of course we also played a few games - the best was the simple game of Boogie Robots inspired by this scene in the movie.   The kids (and me too) really got into this (really just  Musical Bumps - dancing and when the music stops you have to sit down). The kids showed some great boogie style.