• Candy Cat Cushion

    The reason that my Rosa took so long this month is because I got a little distracted by Jo Hart’s (aka Unicornharts) Candy Cat pattern that can be found for FREE on Craftsy right here.  Jo has some lovely Foundation Paper Pieced (FPP) patterns on there to buy as well as a few lovely free ones.

    I found out that Schnitzel and Boo were having a quilt-a-long over on their blog and I decided to have a go at a block. It’s been a good year since I did any quilting or patchwork for myself, other than to make samples for teaching it to a class, so it was great to just sit down and make a cat block. I used a selection of Kona solids, some from my stash and some from the Skep Knitting and Stitching shop in Leeds (soon to close down, boo!)  as well as some of the Meow range from Riley Blake for the backgrounds.

    Candy Cat

     

    The Candy Cat QAL is still going on over at Schnitzel and Boo and Unicornharts has made a cute Mr Squeak mouse and a fishy bones block to add to it too! I decided to add sashing to the Candy cat block and then an envelope back to turn it into a cushion cover for my sewing chair. I’m going to make a Mr Squeak block and turn him into a pin cushion at some point soon. For now though, I’m back to making my #everydayeverymonth item along with a better fitting Paxson for Mr Bobbins.

     

  • Rainbrella Rosa

    I’ve finally completed my first #everydayeverymonth item and sewn myself a Rosa shirt in some lovely AGF Charleston Rainbrella shadow fabric, which I’m calling Rainbrella Rosa! I have both in stock and given that I’ve got a long torso, long arms and am ample in the boobage area, I figured Rosa would make a perfect start to increasing my everyday wardrobe with an item that I struggle to buy. Rainbrella Rosa shirt

    For a change I made a toile and I’m glad that I did as I did loads of adjustments to it! I’m incredibly lazy with doing this step usually and I just usually fudge my way round the fitting as I go but with the collar and all the mock flat fell seams I thought this might not be a great idea. My measurements had me between a 5 at the waist and smack bang between a 6 and 7 at the hips but that toile showed that this was really loose fitting and I prefer a more fitted look. I cut a 4 from the top to the waist and a 5/6 at the hips and then did an FBA to make room for my boobs (no popping buttons here!). Idle Fancy has a fab tutorial on FBAs for princess seams here if you’re interested on how to do that. The shirt is actually really long in the torso so I didn’t add any length to it whatsoever, but if you’re a regular sized woman rather than 5’10” like myself, you might need to shorten it a fair bit. Rainbrella Rosa shirt

    I’m happy with the results although I’ve got to spend some time this weekend adding the buttons as I didn’t have enough when I came to attach them. Even the inside looks pretty with all the overlocked edges and mock flat felled seams! I will however, do the optional longer cuffed sleeve when I do a flannel version of this later in the year. These sleeves are quite loose fitting and because they’re 3/4 length, a cardigan or sweater over the top makes them bunch up a bit underneath.

    As per usual with Tilly and the Buttons patterns, the instructions are lovely and clear so I had no issues at all despite this being the first time that I’ve done a full collar and stand.

    Rainbrella Rosa shirt

  • Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt

     

    Another catch-up of the last few months here and this time it is the Megan Nielsen Kelly skirt. Now I’m not really a skirt wearing kinda girl usually, I live in jeans and sweaters in the winter and the few days a year that count as British summer, I live in floaty dresses. The exception to this being work days when I tend to wear a lot of shift dresses and Coco ones too. So imagine my surprise when I found a skirt that not only complemented my little (ish) waist to big bum and hips shape! At the minute I’ve got the very similar Brumby pattern in my shop (it doesn’t have the buttons at the front though) but obviously everyone else agrees with me as they sell out regularly.

    I made this one from a cosy and thick moleskin fabric from Fabworks and although its really comfy and warm, it is a little thick to take the pleats around my bum without sticking out further than it should. I’ll be using a drapier fabric next time. More importantly though it was a quick make, was easy to add 4 inches to for my crazy leg length and ITS GOT POCKETS!

    Megan Neilsen Kelly

  • Sew Over It Betty

    Another one of the dresses that I’ve made in the past few months is the Sew Over It Betty. Betty has a fitted bodice, full circle skirt and is sleevless, making her the perfect party dress. I first made this lovely purple polka-dot version in cotton bought at Fabworks to wear at a friend’s wedding and I despite the blustery day I managed to avoid flashing my underwear (circle skirt issues!).

    SOI BettySOI Betty

    As per usual I had to make adjustments to the length, adding 5cm to the bodice so the waist fell in the right place and then another 5cm to the skirt length so it didn’t finish half way up my pasty thighs. Adding to the skirt brought up a few cutting issues with it being a circle as it no longer fits on the fabric easily if you add even a little bit of length and it can easily get quite wasteful. A bit of creative pattern piecing got me there though! I placed the skirt on first, cut it out and then refolded the remaining fabric to cut the rest out, being careful to stay on the grain still.

    Although I was happy with the dress as it pulls me in at the waist and covers up both my bigger thighs (damn you running!) and mummy tummy area, I found that there was some pulling over my boobs and it was baggy on my high chest. FBA definitely needed even though I technically only need to add 2″.

    The second version I made was for a charity casino night and I had every intention of buying a RTW dress for this as it fell smack bang in the middle of packing for the house move (as well as finding primary schools for the kids, applying for high school for the eldest, starting the Christmas shopping and finding a house to rent…). But of course I couldn’t find a dress that was long enough, fitted across my chest and hips properly and didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    So with 24 hours to go I bought some lovely and very slippery black satin and set about making Betty number 2.  I was still hemming the never ending hem that is the circle skirt with 30 minutes before I had to leave… Needless to say the hem is a little messy but enough that you can’t tell unless you’re looking closely!  I’m not happy with the zip insertion as it was moving about and I was rushing it so I’ve an area that is slightly baggy where it shouldn’t be. I’ve decided that rather than correct it, its going to become a circle skirt as I’ve enough material in the bodice to make a waistband and enough length that I can slice off the dodgy hemline without having to unpick it all and resew it properly. The FBA prevented the pulling on the boobage area and bagging across the neckline at least.

    Here’s (woah) black Betty (bam-a-lam).SOI Betty

     

  • Noodlehead Supertote The Supertote

    One of the patterns I’ve been using quite a bit recently is the Noodlehead Supertote, although I still need to make one for myself. I seem to like gifting this one! I made a version for my friend Helen as a birthday present over a year ago now and it was a sneaky geek product as she loves her geeky TV shows. On the outside its mostly just plain navy blue but on the inside and the top its all Star Trek themed. I made the internal pockets big enough for shoes as this was to be used as a gym bag.

    Noodlehead Supertote

     

    The most recent one I made was for my Mum’s birthday out of this gorgeous Cotton+Steel swallows fabric along with some denim and Cloud 9 scraps.

    Noodlehead Supertote

    This one has smaller internal pockets (they’re sewn into sections) as she goes lots of places with my Dad and likes to take her knitting and sewing with her. Noodlehead Supertote

    The bag works in most quilting cottons and canvas. I can’t wait to finally make one for myself!

  • Monthly Sewing Challenge

    Fancy a new monthly challenge? Over the past year I’ve gone from about 3 me-made items in my wardrobe to somewhere around 25, not including the ones that just didn’t work out or I’ve worn to the point of having to bin them. Now, like a lot of you, I went a bit crazy making gorgeous dresses. This is despite the fact that I rarely wear a dress unless its crazy hot outside (I live in England, enough said there) or if I’m going out for dinner or similar, which is a rarity.

    This year I’m setting myself the challenge of making some everyday clothes so I can properly join in with Me Made May and so that I have clothes that fit me properly all the time. I’m going to Instagram and Blog my monthly make and I’m hoping to learn a few new skills or perfect some that I’m less confident in as I go. I’ll be making other things on the way too, especially as I’m a sucker for wanting to try new patterns as the come out!

    So, who’s with me?

    Here’s my list if you want to join in with #everydayeverymonth

    January – Tilly and the Buttons Rosa

    February – Seamwork Patterns Skipper or Sadie

    March – Closet Case Files Kelly

    April – True Bias Hudson

    May – Grainline Scout Tee

    June – Sew House Seven Bridgetown Tunic

    July – Colette Moneta

    August – Grainline Lark Tee

    September – Tilly and the Buttons Mila

    October – Grainline Studio Archer

    November – Sew House Seven Toaster Sweaters

    December –  Victory Lola

  • Sew Over It Eve

    One of the dresses I’ve made for myself over the past few months of the blog hiatus is the Sew Over It Eve. I decided it’d be a good one to make for me as I can never get dresses that actually finish on the right part of my leg (the perils of being much taller than the average) and I can never get wrap dresses to finish across the right part of my bust without exposing half my bra (hello F cups…).

    I chose the version with flutter sleeves and a high-low hem and used this floral polyester crepe that I had in stock.  I added 2″ to the torso length, did a FBA using the trusty post over at Cashmerette, and added a further 2″ to the length of the skirt.

    Sew over it Eve

    Unfortunately the dress was still in 3 pieces when we suddenly sold the house and it became a UFO for a couple of months, but as soon as the sewing machine was dug out it was the first thing to complete. Obviously with a nice dress that didn’t flash my underwear, I then suggested that it was date night to the ever suffering Mr Kay!Sew over it Eve

     

  • Slightly Obsessive Coco Creating

    Coco-Loco?

    Well it has certainly been a long time since I blogged! In the last few months life got a little crazy as we sold our house and moved the whole family (and Bobbins too) all the way from Barnsley to Harrogate, which is about 45 miles. Doesn’t sound much but it was certainly busy and stressful! Anyway, we’re now all settled in and the good news is that I’ve got a fab new sewing room (the hubby claims its also an office. He’s misinformed) and Bobbins has a dedicated new space which means lots more sewing can be done!

    I’m going to have a bit of a catch up on the things I’ve been making in my blogging absence over the next few weeks, starting with my slight obsession with the Tilly and the Buttons Coco. I LOVE this pattern. I can sew one up, including cutting the fabric out, in a little over an hour and it is one of those secret pyjamas type patterns as it is so comfortable. I fully admit to making several last year! My latest is the top version in a lovely lightweight jersey, Tripixels Loud by Art Gallery Fabrics.

     

    Tilly Coco

    I’m 5’10” so I added 4″ to the length of the top and 2″ to the length of the sleeves. Here’s the finished article:

    Tilly Coco

    As a dress, I’ve also made a plain grey jersey and a navy and white spot ponte version, but my favourite is this one using Made by Jack’s Mum rainbow fabric:Tilly Coco

     

     

  • Long Island Star Cushion Long Island Star Cushion

    Well I’ve been a tad busy recently and I’ve not been getting around to posting, even though I’ve been busy making lots of different things!  I’ve finally finished the Long Island Star Cushion cover that I started a while ago.

    I made it using some Kona solids that I got as part of a magazine subscription last year as well as the beautiful metallic Succulence Everlasting Cacti Terrain fabric as background. I used some Morning Walk Limestone Feel Pitahaya fabric as the star points and envelope back from the shop.

    frontback

    It only takes a few fat quarters or scraps for the front and 0.5m/2 fat quarters for the back with no fiddly zips to add if you do the envelope back!  It was easy to piece and made a lovely sized cushion. I’ve stuffed it with a 50cm x 50cm IKEA cushion insert which only cost £4 and fits perfectly.

    I hope you like it.

     

  • Gallery Tunic + Dress

    This week I’ve been taking a break from the quilting and getting on with learning some new dressmaking skills with the Gallery Tunic + Dress pattern from Liesl + Co.

    I love this pattern for so many reasons! Firstly, it has amazingly clear instructions. With the exception of the collar (which was a new thing to learn to make for me), I found it to be really clear and easy to follow.  Now I know how a collar is attached, it’d be a doddle to follow next time. Secondly, it has step by step instructions on doing a FBA which is something I always have to do. Whilst I now know how to do it courtesy of following this post by the curvy sewing collective, it was nice to see the instructions included it for a change! Finally, it’s so comfortable to wear.

    The first thing that I did was trace the pattern off and onto some greaseproof paper. I love using that as it’s cheap, easily available and see through for tracing. I’ve traced the pattern rather than just cut into the provided one as I’m losing weight and running so much at the moment that my size keeps changing! If you look carefully on the left hand piece, you can see the minor FBA I did.

    gallery tunic pattern

    Here’s the small darts I added during that process too:

    gallery tunic dart

    I’m using some lovely soft brushed cotton that I got from the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Fair back in November.  It’s called by Paper Cranes by Kokka Japan.

    From start to finish, including all the FBA and some adjusting of the side seams as it had too much ease for my tastes, it’s taken less than a day to constructed. I’m really pleased with the result and can’t wait to make it again in some of our AGF prints that are lovely and lighter weight.

    If you fancy making this, you can find the Gallery Tunic + Dress Pattern in our shop.

    Update: A picture of the completed tunic on me (I’d apologise for the wet hair/no make-up look but it was after a run!). Such a comfy top.

    Gallery tunic liesl and co