Going big screen!

In case you haven’t seen my stories on Instagram, I’ve got some really exciting news.

It’s all in the title you see.

Yes, I’m going to be filming for my YouTube channel again after a long period of no videos. It’s been far too long and truth be told I’ve been stuck on the idea for a while.

It’s all going to start with a wee introduction from myself. I’ll talk a little about me and my sewing background and what I’m working on just now.

I’m aiming to get two videos out a month. I’ve got a few ideas lined up.

My plans and what I’ve seen will be the main topics. As I’m not working just now (thanks, Pandemic!) there won’t be massive or any hauls unless it’s an ad/gifted (which I’ll be quite humbled to do with the right circumstances), instead I’ll be “shopping my stash”. I’ve got a really good collection of fabrics, so it’s high time I made a massive dent in that and get sewing more clothes.

I’m also hoping that my blog will see more content with the YouTube channel being reignited, here’s hoping. I think it might be good if there’s some written posts on what plans I’ve got and what I’ve made, don’t you?

Whilst I’m restarting my YouTube channel again, I’d like to thank anyone who is going to subscribe and already has subscribed, it’s very much appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCohccPQbD6QrdrFz16VIqQA

As I’m building the channel, I would like to make sure that I’m giving you good quality videos with content that has good sound and picture. Firstly, I’ll be starting on my iPhone, I know not the best but I do have a DSLR camera that can take videos, I just need to get a microphone and a couple of SIM cards … for that I’ve set up a Kofi Account. Any amount is greatly appreciated as I’m not working but please don’t feel you have to donate if you haven’t got the funds. Details of the Kofi account will be in the first video.

Ok, I’ll guess I’ll go and do a bit of practicing talking to the camera and I’ll see you soon if you want to watch ☺️

Thanks again for reading!

Valentine Wildergown (a collaboration with The Rag Shop).

It all started when I saw By Hand London’s  sample of the Jessica Skirt in this Valentine Red and Pink viscose … it was love at first sight!

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I thought the chances of sourcing it would be second to none but what’s the harm asking? The worst answer would be no or sorry we’ve ran out, so with that in mind I did some digging! You guess it, long story short I found some at The Rag Shop via pigeonwishes shop.

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Yay! So I contacted Steph at The Rag Shop to let her know that I was doing a blog post on the viscose and she kindly gave one meter in return for the blog post (I already purchase two metres) so having that extra meter allowed me to play about with more options.

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The Wildergown by Friday Pattern company has been on my sewing list for ages, I just love the fluidity of the dress. The Valentine Viscose and the wildergown dress would be a beautiful match!

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I choose the xl according to the finished measurements but I could’ve gone up an extra size on the skirt but I might come back to that as I’ve still got some fabric left. Obviously, I was going to go on the full-on gown – I think it would have been be rude not too!

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Ok, for adjustments I shortend the bodice because I’m only 5’3″ and my torso isn’t long at all. I went for even layers in the skirt but on hindsight, shouldve keep the top tier longer and the bottom tier shorter – but nevermind.

Sewing with the viscose was a dream.  I didn’t find it too slippery to work with either.  I did use a light weight needle just to be sure it didn’t punture the fabric whilst sewing it.  I’ve been reading that even using a microtex needle can sometimes still lead to tiny fractures in the fabric (in some makes more than others) which is quite nerving wracking after you’ve made that investment.

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Before I started putting the pieces together I overlocked all the edges to stop them fraying.  Of course, I could always try french seams to finish the seams but let’s be frank here, 1. I’ve not got the patience to do that and 2. I’ve still not got the patience.

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I really wanted to try and pattern match some of the lines of the grids and this worked out better than expected even with the gathering. For gathering I used lots of pins … LOTS of them and I tend to use the Prym glass headed pins now, just my preference.

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I’m still sitting on the fence if I should add waist ties just to give a bit of shape and I may shorten the bottom tier to be just below the knee.  I think it’s all to do with my height but I may leave the length as it is if the waist ties help.  I’ve heard that Julie Uzor has a great tutorial on her Instagram for rouleau loops via theminisewist (but I’ve yet to find it).

However I’m slowly falling in love with the dress as when I first tried it on, I was like “what have I done?”.   For me it’s a bold change with the grid lines, because I’m short and rather curvy I think it accentuates certain features.  But everytime I’ve tried it on I’m feeling more confident.

To add to the love of this wildergown I am loving the drama of the neckline.  The pull tie that gathers the neck and gives the shape is such a simple yet clever design feature.

For the finishing touches I added one of Paige Joanna’s “Cute as a Daisy’ labels which I bought last week and thought it was quite a cute match!

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Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and Happy Sewing!

Emma x

 

 

 

Fabricsabbatical 2020

Already into a month of lockdown and I’ve been buying fabric left right and centre from little independent fabric businesses across the UK.

It’s good that I’m buying though but seriously I have no more space. I keep trying to tell myself this, but now it has to happen!

Anyway, as you probably guessed by the title of this post is that as from May 1st, there will be no more buying fabrics for at least three months and maybe even longer.

Reasons for going on this fabricsabbatical:

1. I really not NEED any more fabric!

You’ve seen pictures of my 20 odd boxes bins and counting full of knits and wovens! Metres and metres of used but beautiful fabrics!

Some of the gorgeous fabrics in my stash just itching to be used!

2. I’ve managed to do three months last year as part of slow fashion season, which started in June.

Admittedly, it was hard but I stuck at it and miraculously I survived unharmed. The original idea was to get 10’ 000 people not to buy ANY clothes for three months. I did both – pat on the back for me!

Last year’s challenge.

3. Another destashing will be coming to the destash grid.

Soon. Once this horrid pandemic is over. Once the Royal Mail gets back on its feet. Just now it’s slow and as I keep saying there’s no point putting more pressure on it with me adding more parcels. I’ll be putting the fabrics on the destash grid and you can have a mosey, Just don’t expect me to sell it to you right there and then. Let’s keep it simple! I’ll be just posting piccies of fabrics with zero, squad all details until the destash opens, don’t freak – I’ll be notifying on stories when it is going to live! Oh @sdie_destash is where it’s happening.

The Destash!

4. Another reason to stop buying fabrics is to actually see what I’ve got and record it!

That’s right, I’m going to record what I’m going to keep! It’s simple, it’s not technical either. It’s in black and white on “flat white” recycled cardstock! Kudos to Anna @annatriestosew for letting me know how she did it. Why not trello? Hmm, it’s way to meh to start with such a massive stash. And I get to keep a “touch and feel” of the fabric too!

My Stash records!

5. I won’t have a job come mid May.

My contract ends on the 13th, which is really sad as I enjoyed working with fabulous colleagues. I have to say that these 3 months which turned out to 9 nine as they kept renewing my contract, has been the best! I don’t have any bad feeling against the company especially in the current climate for their decision not to renew my contract, just a bit of anxiety for what will happen in the coming weeks, if not, months for me and my future job. I won’t be the only one in this situation.

So I’m going to have to tighten up the purse strings and I’ve got plenty of fabric to see me through many years.

Before I finish, I’m allowed haberdashery items, such as interfacing, buttons, trims and all that jazz, just not Fabric meterage!

Haberdashery items are allowed 😄

Well, here goes … fabricsabbatical 2020!

Myosotis Dress by Deer & Doe

Although I’ve published my photos on Instagram, I thought it would be good just to have my thoughts on the pattern and fit here for my first myosotis dress.

So before I started I check my back measurements according to the pattern piece and shortened the bodice. I think it’s a tad too short in this version but hey ho I’ll still wear it. For my next version I’ll definitely used the for bodice piece and original length. I cut the largest size and instead of 1.5cm/5/8” seam allowance I went for 1cm. The bodice fits really well.

The skirt has no real issues and was fairly straight forward although I only cut one of the lower ruffle and had to do a last minute panic of “ok where’s the remaining pieces of fabric” – which was fine. I pattern match this piece because there’s an extra seam at the back of the dress now because of this rookie mistake!

I think my favourite part of the dress is the sleeves. I’m just loving the ruffles and to me that’s something that’s surprising to me!

The fabric is a Lady McElroy Cotton “Marlie” lawn. The print is digitally printed onto the fabric. The print itself is called “Shades of Autumn – Midnight”. I bought this from The Cloth Shop by Remnant Kings, Edinburgh a good year ago for a myosotis dress and who knew it would turn out so well! I’m pleased it didn’t have too much time in the stash.

I found the collar to be a bit of a nightmare though. The instructions aren’t clear to be frank and if you follow them it leads you into a fiddle. So conferring with my sewing buddies, I’m advised to go and have a look at Professor pincushion on youtube and hey presto, the dress lives!

So there you go – my first and not last Myosotis Dress by Deer & Doe patterns. Thanks for reading and see you back here soon!

Making Kalle

Hey all!

It’s been an age since I wrote anything on here but now that we are in lockdown for this Convid-19 I have a bit more time to make and blog!

I’m currently making a few things, one of which is the Kalle Shirt by Closet Case.

I’m doing version A, the cropped shirt in a liberty cotton lawn. This is the first time I’ve tackled a shirt!

I’ll add more pictures and information as I go but in the meantime I’ll get going and hopefully soon I can model it!

The many faces of Moneta

So you might gather I’m quite a sucker for the “Moneta” by Colette Patterns and the fact that it’s been a few months since I’ve last wrote a blog post, would be too good an opportunity to miss to give the wee blog a bit of a boost!

So in no order here’s my “Moneta Collection”

🧵Fabric from Pin & Sew

🧵Hacked neckline and sleeves from Seamwork Alice and added a polo neck!

🧵Fabric from the Edinburgh Dress Fabric Company

🧵Hack – scoop back

🧵The Moneta that started it all!

🧵Fabric from John Lewis

🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus

🧵First scoop back hack

🧵The Scoop back with petal sleeves dress

🧵Fabric bought from Fabricate Mirfield

🧵Made it for my 39th Birthday

🧵Fabric from Sewisfaction

🧵Scoop back – ooo er.

🧵Made this for going out to dinner for our 10th Wedding Anniversary

🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus

🧵Scoop back hack

🧵Fabric from Holm Sown

🧵My Christmas Day 2018 dress

🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus

🧵Scoop back & 3/4 length sleeves (must be my favourite combo)!

Would it surprise you if there a few others that are works in progress? Once they are completed, I’ll share them on Instagram @sewdoitemma.

Ok, well hopefully it won’t be as long as last time until I write a blog, but until then … see you soon!

Seamwork’s Skipper Sweater

This Liberty fabric has been sitting in my stash for a wee while now. I knew it was going to be a sweater but was unsure which pattern I was going to go for.  I think originally it was going to be a SH7’s Toaster but changed it for the Seamwork’s Skipper purely because it was going to be in my size range for hips.

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Seamwork’s Skipper

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Sew House Seven’s Toaster

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“Heketh” (Snowdrop) Liberty Sweatshirt Fabric

The fabric was bought online from @FabricsGalore a while ago and now is no longer stocked (sorry!) although you might be lucky and see if eBay has it.  I bought 1.5m of it, it was £11.00 per half a meter, so not cheap.  Although the pattern asked for 1.7 for my sizing, I managed to get all the pattern pieces out of the piece of fabric – PHEW!

The humble snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis is my birth month flower (January) and I always look out it at this time of year, so this jumper will always fill me with joy.  When I was born, the snowdrops in my Gran’s garden came up and my gran always referred to me as “Granny’s little snowdrop” even when I was thirty!

“Already now the snowdrop dares appear,
The first pale blossom of th’unripen’d year”

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “The Snowdrop” (1835)

My Gran & Grandad lived up in the Cairngorms, so any school holiday we (Mum, my Brother and I) were up walking, orienteering, ski-ing (both cross-country and down-hill!) and get our bit of fresh mountain air, not forgetting engulfing ourselves with Gran’s fudge and gingerbread cake and listening to Grandad’s tales of Billy Gruffs and Trolls!

Right, better skip back to Skipper.

Cutting the pattern out was really straight forward. I graded it from a 20-22 bust & waist to a 24-26 hips as i didn’t want the top bit to be too big.  I left the pocket out as I thought that the busiest of the fabric pattern would be spoilt.

Constructing the pieces was a dream and this was my first sweater pattern, so was super surprised how well I coped. I found Cheryl from Stitchy Bee’s tutorial a real help doing the neckline.  It’s also a really good vlog on how different materials look different in the same sweater pattern (Cheryl used Grainline’s Linden).

So hear it is …

 

 

 

Simplicity 8262 Coat AKA “ONE OF A KIND”

It’s taken a little over a year and half for this make. It’s made up of a heck of raw emotion plus skill since my Mum started making it for me but never got the chance to finish it because cancer decided to take hold on her (f£&* cancer in every form).

The coat itself is made of Harris Tweed bought from Fabric Focus alongside the silver paisley lining.

Kevin, the owner of fabric focus has been eager for me to finish the coat but understood how emotional the make was. He always asked when I was going to finish it, very gently pushing me to do it!

Sometimes I felt like working on the coat and sometimes not. When it got close to her Birthdays, Anniversary of her passing or Mother’s Day, I just had to put the coat down and only started working on it when I felt I could. It’s a bit like counselling (not that I’ve managed to go, nor feel quite ready for) but I know I’m working with mum on this on each step.

It’s quite nice finishing it now just before this year’s “Mother’s Day”.

Mum did most of the tacking (thank *%&@!) I hate tacking, I know it does wonders but I still actually hate doing it.

Bagging the outer and the lining literally to played tricks on my mind but wanted a neat finish. Making sure that the outer and the lining were all level was time consuming but boy does it pay off!

I don’t think finishing this coat would’ve been possible with the helpful tips and excellent guidance that I received from Abi, sewing teacher to both my mum and I, so thank you Abi for helping me on this journey.

By adding little details such as the Kylie and the Machine “one of a kind” and Harris Tweed labels it really finishes it off.  Also “One of a Kind” kinda puts a nice touch on the memory of my mum.

Not to forget to mention the beautiful frogs that make that statement piece, also sourced from Fabric Focus.

So here it is, in all its glory!

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Sewing is for everyone and everybody

Hey, I’m Emma and I have a blog over at www.sewdoitemma.com and I’m on instagram as @sewdoitemma.

Firstly, I want to thank Tammy aka D&H Fabrics Co for giving me this opportunity to speak as part of the “Sewing is for Everyone” initiative and for gifting me some wonderful fabric, which I will talk about later on in the post.

From my earliest memories I’ve always had something craft related going on. My Gran briefly had me into machine knitting with a mini version of her machine. Seamstress and a Tailor run in my mum’s Paternal and Maternal family tree, which is quite a humbling feeling. Any craft hobby that I’ve tried has been quite thearaputic for my well being, especially since I lost my Mum to cancer almost two years ago.  Losing someone that close, leaves a void that just can’t be filled.

In the last couple of years my dressmaking has accelerated after not really touching a sewing machine for most of my adult life.  I was spurred on by getting annoyed with the fit and the quality of material used in retail fashion stores, especially the plus sized ones, at least in the UK.  For example from season to season the fit would change, so I would find a fitting pair of trousers one season and the next season they no longer would, this was quite annoying.

My acceleration in dressmaking would not have been the same without the phenomenal group of ladies that make up @Sew_Scottish.  The foundations of this group were laid down at a meeting on a cold Sunday morning in November 2016, where after a brief conversation between myself and Lesley @sew_sleep_deprived, we both realised that we wanted to get a group of Scottish sewists together after seeing so many brilliant events being created South of the Border. Well, we managed to make it happen, and over the years we’ve organised a number of events and we’ve all gone on to become friends. It’s great to have a lovely group of people with which to talk all things sewing.

Below is a snapshot from my wardrobe which is all handmade and I’m quite surprised at how much I have sewn.  The RTW garments are slowly disappearing to new homes!

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Sewing has helped me gain confidence with my body shape.  I’m about a 46′ bust and the same for the waist and then it just gets annoying with my hips being 57″ which means losing out on a lot of patterns both Indie and some of the Big 4 (but really 7, if you count them up!).  Usually my bust and hips fit most patterns but the hips do cause a bit of a problem when I like a long top.

In the last couple of months there has been a really important conversation about size inclusivity and how there is a feeling of being excluded from the indie patterns.  I’m glad things are now slowly changing and I’m happy to be a tester for any pattern designer who wants to make a positive change to their brand and to other sewists’ lives.

It hasn’t been easy though, this major topic was the starting point of so many different conversations, we all had to be mindful of keeping the main focus on the sizing issue and that voices were being heard.  There were so many excuses why bigger ranges of sizes weren’t being done but often they didn’t stack up as there are pattern companies like Cashmerette that have been able to cater to a broader range of sizes, which has helped them gain a massive following.

I know the feeling of being excluded all too well as I’m hard of hearing.  Yes, I wear hearing aids but often when I have a lot of background noise the main conversation that I’m trying to keep up with gets lost.  For example; take a busy bar add loud music and people trying to talk over it and then you see me with a dazed look on my face because my head is about to pop from the concentration that I’ve been giving trying to keep up with the groups’ chat. It all gets a little “under water” and “cloudy” for me after a while and hence that’s why I go quiet!  I am generally up front to everyone about my hard of hearing and most people are brilliant, once I say that I’ll try to read their lips if they are face to face in a noisy situation.

So that’s my story. Now without much further ado here is my make.  Using the “Summer Time Poppy’s” cotton with the Amy Nicoles’ Roski Top I made this.

In hindsight, (yah, it’s a great thing hindsight, isn’t it?) I should’ve used a Georgette or Challis for this pattern and not a woven as I feel it’s too stiff to allow the desired drape.  But that won’t stop me wearing it when we hopefully get some warm weather in Scotland! And yes I shall be making another in the required fabrics!

Emma

 

 

But it’s not Moneta, it’s …

Myrtle Dress by Colette Patterns!

Yes I finally cracked my Moneta obsession, don’t worry there’s plenty more of them coming with hacks but for the moment I’m trying out different patterns and I have a few exciting things that are happening but I can’t tell quite yet!

Ok, lets talk Myrtle:

Do I like and will I use the pattern again, if so will I make any changes?

I love it, especially the cowl neck feature.  I’d definitely use the pattern again but I would shorten the shoulders to avoid the embarrassment of showing of my assets too much!

Where did I get the fabric from?

I bought the lovely viscose jersey from fabric focus this winter, unfortunately for you I took the last 3.5 meters (sorry but not sorry) in fact, originally i bought 2,5 meters realised I didn’t have enough and the luckily there was 1 metre left when i went back to the shop – phew!

Myrtle needs quite a drapey jersey and lightweight I’d say and for me it was a good skill builder. This was the first time I did a cowl neck and used the main fabric for a lining on the front and encased elastic in the skirt.

For a quick make, once you’ve done it once it makes sense.

Ok here’s the fun part – PHOTOS … Hooray!

Now, where I’m I going to fit in time to do a woven version in this pattern? I love how this pattern is versatile like this!