Sewing: That Little Red Dress

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With the run up to Christmas and so little time to do any sewing, I’ve not managed to even start on this dress.  I’m sorry.  I am quite disappointed.

I am intending to make it for my birthday night out, which is at the end of January.  There should be more than enough time to do it for then.  I have all the materials and decided on the pattern finally.  I know, It’s like a month behind but better late than never!

All the dress reveals have been amazing.  I’ve been trying to keep up with all the blogs/vlogs and Instagram reveal as they are released but I’m sure I’ve missed a few!

2017 is going to be there my sewing room will be put to use.  I intend to also start a vlog and I’m looking into that as well.  So you know that the reveal of #thelittlereddress will probably be aired on youtube!  I’m super excited but also very nervous.

The Pattern

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This is the final decision as I’ve been indecisive when it came to patterns before now.  This has been a firm favourite for a few weeks so it will be getting cut tonight (so no flippin changing my mind now!).

Because it’s labelled relaxed fit and I love the shoulder details, it’s “tea dress” skirt and the waistband (there are too many reasons why I shouldn’t change my mind now!) this pattern is rocking my world.  I’ve got the material and all the notions, so I’m going to get cutting it tonight.  I’ll give you an update as I go!

The Material

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Beautiful red satin from Edinburgh fabrics – you’ve seen this before in my last fabric haul post.

So there’s my plans for the little red dress/ birthday dress (see smart goals) … As I said, I’ll update you with proof that I’ve cut it out and pinned it!

See you soon!

Emma

Update 3/1/17

Pattern pieces cut out!

SEWING: SMART GOALS FOR 2017

So, a few days ago I added a picture on my Instagram, showing off the projects I intend to do in 2017.

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As you can see there is still space for another two patterns/projects but I’m still deciding which ones from my stash – yes I’m trying not to buy any patterns.

I get quite a few free patterns from my sewing magazine subscriptions.  I have 4 – yes four! It’s definitely one, two many, so I’m deciding which one I don’t need.  It’s actually harder than I thought.  It’s like going through a break-up.  Which one should I ditch?   They overlap each other on some degrees, so I have to make a decision. Geez, it’s tough!

Right, back on to the free patterns, yes I have a good stash of patterns, paid and free and I ought to put them to the test and also put myself to the test of actually making a few things.  So the Granville skirt and the waterfall jacket (free with this issue 25 simply sewing mag) are on the planner.  Simple Sew’s Bardot dress (free with love sewing) is also up there (I swear I’m going to make this red dress, even though it might be past it and out of season!).  Sew Over It’s Ultimate Shift Dress is finally up there too.  If anyone knows of any exercises to get rid of middle fat on hips (FAST) – please let me know – it will avoid me altering the patterns hugely.  That being said, I’m going to hit the swimming pool this year to try and work it off.

There I go again … always going off piste with the chat!

On the topic of SMART goals and because it’s actually the title of this blog post here are my SMART goals for early 2017.

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Next topic, fabric.  Urghhh Ummm, yes I have a confession.  I bought fabric in December when I specifically said I wouldn’t.

Moving on swiftly – ha ha  …

Vlog time.  I’ve been canoodling over this for a wee while.  I’ve done a rough draft (yes it was fairly rough as I bed head and I was still in my pj’s so that’s not going to go viral) so next is to re-do it and get a little less uncomfortable with the camera.  That way I can show you the latest fabrics and talk you which projects I’m going to try in January/February.  See what I did there RE: Moving on 😀

I’ve set up my YouTube channel – you can, of course, subscribe to it so, you instantly get notifications of when the first vlog goes live!

I got a few sewing goodies for Christmas too – one of which was on my last blog that I did and that was the sleeve board! My Brother In Law wasn’t too sure about getting me this as he thought it was too do housework but I said it’s fine it’s for sewing!

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See you soon!  And Happy Hogmanay when it comes to you all!

Emma

Sewing: Project Deadlines 

How many of us try to set up a deadline and never actually finished the project on time? I’m one of these sewists that really find it difficult to get things done on time. To be honest, it’s maybe more than a month for certain projects (or even a year) to get finished and modelled.

This dress has be shamed so many times since all I need to do is the darn hem!

I’m scratching my head and really thinking if I will actually take part in the #sewmystyle challenge – one it’s sizing for most patterns (my hips are chunky and my back is short) and two, its timing. 

Yes, know you can adjust patterns but there is only so much give on the patterns themselves before you have to move darts, calculate where else it needs to be adjusted and then “lose” it. There is definitely a couple of patterns from #sewmystyle I’d love to try. Maybe not pressuring myself to a deadline might be a wise decision. So many things tend to go wrong when I rush and material is precious! 

My favourite Patterns from the #sewmystyle challenge. 

The Toaster Sweater

I’m definitely thinking with going to try and kick my “never worked with jersey” box if I do this one. 

These dresses just cry out at me! I love this style … yeah I will do this one. I personally like the back! 

 Dresses always get my appeal first – probably because I don’t have to think about separates until this blouse / such a lovely piece – yeah the dresses can wait on this one! 

So after purchasing the “Bennett Dress” – I now see another Megan Nielsen dress that gets my heart pulsing! 

I have the “Anna Dress” already, so I won’t have to get another – I love the look of this pattern – it’s screaming “make me, make me”!

So if I’m going to do any challenges, if may not be the whole thing unless miracles happen but st least I’ve tried some and hopefully can wear them too as well as maybe learn other sewing skills from them – who knows?!! 

Another deadline and it’s coming to unveiling it very soon –  is the little red dress. 

You bet right, I’ve not even started cutting the pattern out! Argh – what is wrong with me! Then again, I have been rather busy with other life adventures and usually exhausted before I get even near the sewing machine! Mmmm, lets see if I can do this in a week, which will be interesting, very interesting!

Sewing: Simplicity 4789

It’s week 4 at Fabric Focus’s Beginners Dressmaking class and I’ve not had to unpick a single thread – woo hooo!

 

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Simplicity’s 4789

 

Amazingly I’ve not had a tantrum with pockets (Simple Sew’s Sophia Skirt has the blame for that). It went a bit like this with the skirt hitting the floor and scaring my husband in the process. It went a bit like below!

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So moving on (quickly) (in fact, the speed of light quickly)… I’m seeing this cotton fabric is quite slippery whilst getting it on the sewing machine.  I’m still in love with it despite it trying to escape the sewing needle.

Darts are now in the front with the front part of the pockets attached.  I’m going to attempt to attach the back pockets on the back bodice/panel then tack the sides together.

Remember in my first project I said I wasn’t going to go full steam ahead of the rest of the class, well I’ve kept the pace – woo hooo (again)!

Also, I’ve learnt how to do tailor’s tacks, which I will be using from now in my sewing!

I’m still collecting fabric and patterns, that won’t stop (now that would be weird if I did) and in a few days time, I will release a post about my November Haul!  Plus there will be a post on the #SewScottish / #ScottishBloggersMeetup and also on my visit to Dovecot Gallery.  Plenty of reading for you to look forward too (plus lots of photos!!).

Only 2 more days until #SewScottish / #ScottishBloggersMeetup (at the time of this post-release) Woooooppppppeeee!

Over and oot!

Emma

Disclaimer: All images are my own and opinions are too, in no way are they sponsored!

Fabric Haul: November 2016

As you know I do like to keep topping up my fabrics for all of these projects I have in mind. But Boy, the list is now bonkers – I don’t really have a list on paper as most of the ideas are in my head!!

Most of you know I’m doing the #thelittlereddressproject by the lovely running with style’s Renata and finally I’ve got my fabric – woot-woot! To date the PDF still has to be printed, which I’m concerned about as time is tick, ticking, tocking away – should I opt for a pattern I already have? The answer to that one should be a yes, now the big question- WHICH ONE? I think it should be a nice easy number, something that’s straight forward but party bound.

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Next, we have some gorgeous cotton and it’s a John Lewis own brand. I instantly fell in love with it as it has lovely wildflowers on a dark green background. It was £14.99 per metre but it’s totally gorgeous and has a lovely feel to it.

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I also bought the rather Christmassy Nordic fabric at the same time as the green John Lewis fabric. It was reduced to £5 per metre, so couldn’t say no to the bargain. Plus I actually need it to back my homemade advent calendar. And on that note, I’m still looking into wadding as I don’t want polyester wadding. I got a metre of the Nordic fabric to back the advent calendar. Looking at the date, I better get this done and dusted. Might have some time this week to sew it up. Might. Otherwise, I’ll be sewing it for next year 😂😂😂

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Next up, is the fabric I bought from Susie D Designs Shop in Penicuik on her most recent open day. See post for more details about her shop! I have a soft touch for geometrics and this called my same. I bought 2.5 meters of it so it will be a dress! It’s an Art Gallery Fabric, 100% cotton and a lovely feel to it.

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Fabric focus has this gorgeous suede in both Khaki and tan colours.  I opted to go for the Khaki.  Got 2.5 metres of it.  More than enough for a simple shift or CLEO!

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Erm … I added something else and that was the trip that the Lovely #SewScottish Meetup and this was some more lovely suede polyester material.  At £9 a metre from Edinburgh Fabrics, it has a lovely texture.  I thinking another classic shift style dress , perhaps the Bennett Dress from Marilla Walker.  Edinburgh Fabrics has a good range of colour with the suede – it’s worth checking out. Also, I bought matching thread but now I’m thinking contrasting thread and with that i would have to ultra careful of stitching!

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BENNETT DRESS by MARILLA WALKER – Gorgeous in suede!

Not only fabric lies in this “Haul” but some niche little tools have been purchased also …

 

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Awing tool

 

 

Corner tool

Both purchased via amazon. And a bargain as under a fiver each. I picked up from a youtube video by Last Stitch

 

Some tailors chalk … I seem to lose mine quite quickly and no idea how!

This handy box should keep the chalk from getting bashed!

Patterns on my radar …

Yes there are always patterns on my radar, don’t  you know I have a list? Ok now you do and boy it is long.  It only seems to be getting longer 😂

And to add to the list is the cute “Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree Dress” by Tilly and the Buttons – isn’t it just adorable? I ❤️ it! I’m head over heels for the dungaree dress 😍!

With Black Friday looming Cleo was quickly purchased with a nice 25% off!

And then ALIX from By Hand London was also snapped up in PDF form!  SO WHEN THERES A NICE DISCOUNT – it’s just impossible for me to say no.  Impossible.

 

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ALIX from BY HAND LONDON – so in love with this dress.

 

And then there are all the Seam work patterns that I have in my library – eek, I just love seam work (I actually did a wee post about them a wee while ago and all about why I love them). The “Kennedy” and the “Mesa” are the top two favourites to try first from seam work. And I’ve just heard that you can now use your credits to buy Collette patterns- Eeeeek!   YES, YOU READ RIGHT!!

Seamwork’s Kennedy
Seamworks’ Mesa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding to my stash of patterns and these were from the swap at the #SEWSCOTTISH meetup –

With these patterns came two bits of fabric – I may have to ask who put them in to the haul and also if they remember what it is … I have a mind like a sieve!

 

Then there’s this month’s gorgeous pattern from simply sewing magazine – well I think the Audrey dress is stunning and at one point I will try and make it.

So not just fabric, notions, patterns and tools have been added to the haul but also books 📚! Yes, I am also a sucker for a good sewing book.

The most recent one is “The better bag maker” by Nicole Mallalieu. One of my many projects is to make a bag, a weekender bag specifically and this book shows you how with handy techniques, tips and tricks. It’s got loads of lovely bag to make as well as a weekender.

I spotted it via Instagram and I’d say it’s a good find judging by all the hashtag #thebetterbagmaker attached photos!

Beautiful makes from various instagramers.

Next we have

Couldn’t put this one down …
Love the look of these garments!

I was just in Dobbies and spotted these two and somehow they managed to be brought home with me … mind you total bargains!


Talking of bargains, the buttons below were too. I bought them from a stall at the North Berwick Quilters Exhibition. I will post more on the actual exhibition very soon on the blog.  The buttons were £1 plus a book, which was also £1 too.  I’m hoping this holds a couple of good shortcuts for garments.

A little less of a bargain were these buttons bought from Kathy’s Knits on Broughton Street – there’s a nice selection to choose from and are vintage finds! The thicker metal ones are ideal for a jacket!

Remember I said I have a mind like a sieve.  Let me reinstate that dramatically – I received this “Simple Shift Dress” Sew Over Pattern yonks ago with a magazine subscription, only now I realise it has actual fabric in the box – total revelation and I realise I’m quite ditsy at times!

So for December, I’ve decided no fabric, no books, no nothing unless it’s interfacing or lining for projects.  We will see how long I last … Day 3 and still nothing bought!

That’s all for now,

Emma

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I was not sponsored in any way, shape or form. All copyrighted pictures are my own.

 

#thelittlereddressproject:Update 2

Well, I think I’ve found the pattern for my LRD in regarding to #thelittlereddressproject …. Cue the drumroll everyone … meet Alix, the new pattern from By Hand London. 

Alix is only available in PDF form, so I’m going to have to get my skates on if I want it printed out by a print shop (i.e. I can’t be bothered sticking numerous amounts of A4 pages together!) buts it’s such a me dress! I love the long length as well as the short length so at the moment I’m toying with the final chosen length! 

The Alix is looking gorgeous in red 😍

Short Version of Alix
Long version of Alix

Ohhhh which one!?!? Because I’m short, I think having it just below the knees will suit me best and I’m pretty sure if all goes well I might even do the long version!

“Light to medium weight wovens will bring out the best in Alix – cotton lawn, voile, chambray, annel, double gauze, cotton silk, sandwashed silk, silk noil, wool crêpe, viscose crêpe, rayon and cupro.” 

Oooooh – cotton lawn? Chambray? Silk? Crêpe? 

Which should I choose? 

I think 💭 Alix will look stunning in red silk … but I haven’t worked with silk before – eeeek! 

What is sand washed silk? Silk noil? That’s something I’ll have too look up and see if it’s a viable option x

Until next time

Lessons: Fabric Focus

Yeap, I’ve signed up for a block of lessons: Dressmaking for beginners at Fabric Focus, Edinburgh. Ok I’m no beginner but I’m no expert. I think confidence is the key but it’s always good to pick up tips and tricks for future projects and gain that extra confidence and experience to make a garment. I’d say I was a borderline novice. I’m happy to go at the class’s speed and not show off. Plus it’s always interesting to see what other sewers are using for both fabric and pattern! I’ve already noted a McCalls pattern which I like the look off! Yes, I AM A PATTERN MAGPIE! 

Lesson one:

We were all sat down and guided through our hand outs. Abi introduced us to our surroundings and what we would cover in our classes. 

Lots of room in the sewing room!

There is a sheet for marking all your measurements in the handout, which will be handy for the project and for future ones too. Our task was to take our measurements and jot them down – Hips, upper hips, waist and bust are the important ones for this now as I’m making a simple shift dress, Well at least I’m hoping too!

Grading the pattern – my hips are wider than my waist, which is seriously annoying sometimes. Abi showed me how to do this for the front and then I did it for the back. We then all cut out our patterns according to our sizes. 

Abi has sent us all home with strict instructions to pin the pattern pieces to the fabric for the next lesson. This includes ironing the pattern but absolutely NO CUTTING! I’m chomping at the bit, I will NOT CUT THE FABRIC

Next class we will cut the fabric and start sewing! 

I’ve chosen this beautiful Vintage blue cotton twill digitally printed fabric (see image below) from The Cloth Shop.

I can’t wait to wear this!

It’s a simplicity number for the pattern and it’s good value being the “easy-to-sew wardrobe elements” pack as I’m eyeing up the coat to do next. 

Great value with Simplicity’s 4789!

I’m going with the “simple” shift dress (option C) for classes. I just want to be able to finish and wear it!

I’ll continue to update you with my lessons as I go to each one! 

The Little Red Dress Project: Inspiration & Research (1 of 4)

So I’m scrolling through my instagram feed and there’s this image of a lady wearing a little red dress with @runningwithstyle ‘s handle and a hashtag #thelittlereddressproject and I’m immediately intrigued.  And before I question it, I’ve signed up – eeeeeeek!


Why on earth would I go for red? It’s not a colour I would normally opt to wear but it’s probably because I’ve haven’t found that perfect red shade. Well now’s the time to change that then! Positive thinking and all that jazz.

So the dear old Pinterest came out and I’ve made a board … yes another board of umpteen ideas of ooooohsss and ahhhhhhssss! 


The biggest problem at the moment is choosing the pattern.  I have a love affair with the Butterick 5748 as I’ve made a emerald number (which needs hemmed) a navy number (a tad more work) and a summer number (skirt bit done) – there is a pattern with the 5748 pattern and I’m determined not to not finish the red dress. It’s a great challlenge, so why would I not want to finish it?!! It’s a stunner of a dress but there a few other contenders …

Flippin’ sew the hem Emma!
The good old classic option navy here!
Summer colours here with a contrast purple for the top part
Butterick’s 5748, a firm favourite!
 

Next pattern – contrast to go there or not to go there? I’ve not worked with lace before, like ever. So is this the challenge to do such a thing? So I’d love to do something in lace but I might just hold my horses and do a simple number! 

Ooooh nice contrast with Butterick’s 6280
Beautiful lace from Remnant Kings
Cotton stretch sateen from Remnant Kings
 
I’m still floating back to a cotton stretch sateen. Perhaps because I’ve worked with it before. I would love to add a black edging to give the dress an extra element but I’ll see how I cope! 

Then it’s actually hunting down a red that I would like to work with and wear. I’m going to troll the local fabric shops in November as I’m off for a week then. I’ll also order a few samples from online fabric shops and then I’ll decide from there. I’ve not came across much online though … it’s quite meeeeh. I’m thinking of going for a wine red but if forced to do a red like in the image above, I will. 

Patterns, patterns, patterns … I’ve still not homed into my final choice but here’s just a few of my options … 

Butterick’s 5748
Butterick’s 6280

Another easy option with red drawing me in towards the dress!
Another lace option with B ? I don’t make it easy for myself, do I?
I’m liking this option C – it floats but I think it’s too long for a LRD?
Something cute for the back detail with option C!
Grading up option A would be nice!
Should I go all retro with option B?
I love C – but is it because of the Red?!
It would have to be C or D for this one!

That’s all for the moment but I will give you an update on my final choice!

#SewScottish – let’s meetup!

The last 24 hours have been whirlwind but it’s all good.

Here’s the thing, both Lesley (sew_sleep_deprived) and I know that there are fantastic sewing blogger meet ups south of the border but we’ve yet to see anything in our bonnie land. As Lesley mentioned, Leeds meet up and The Fold Line are now well and truly established. 

We are both excited to start something off in Edinburgh with fellow sewing bloggers.

 

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Come on all you budding #ScottishSewingBloggers!

I’ve got a great feeling about meeting #scottishsewingbloggers and talk all things #sewing over cake and your chosen cuppa! 

How could you turn down cake and sewing talk?

Come on, let’s embrace this as it would great to exchange tips, news, hidden gems and also celebrate our talents!
Both Lesley and Myself are open to suggestions, so please contact us!

Would a WordPress site be a good place to start as a central base for meetings and chat?

Meanwhile please spread the word by using the hashtags below and #sewing #scottishsewingbloggers #meeting and of course,  #sewscottish !

Ooooh excited for #SewScottish

The Big Day is Sunday 27th November.  The venue is yet to be finalised, but at least we have a date!  All you need to be is a sewer, be it novice, beginner, intermediate or professional and have a current sewing blog!

I’m hoping we can build a community just like Leeds and The Fold Line but have our own niche! 

Super excited to meet all you lovely Scottish Sewing Bloggers!

Sewing: Sequin Time with Simple Sew’s – #017 Sophia (Update 3 of 4)

When I decided to cut out the sequin fabric with my rotary blade I had no idea how tough it was going to be, but that didn’t stop me from doing just that! Actually was that wise?

I did it.  But I’m sure my rotary blades will now a) need a sharpen with tin foil or b) need a new blade.  Oh well – a lesson learnt there.

Talking of rotary blades I may be purchasing a new one for ease of use. Spotted a fiskars blade that looks a little less fiddly in Biggar Stitches!


So after cutting out the front and back of the top I then pinned it all together and  tried it on.  I knew that I had to put darts in because I made up a toile earlier, so I did just that and then had to get my mum to straighten then up whilst I wore it!

Now I just wished I removed the sequins along the seams to ease the job for my machine (I’m sure it felt pain when stitching the sequins – I did).


Sewing the sequins was nerve racking (my first time doing sequins).  My Brother did the job, the top does need a press as the darts haven’t got the finesse finish I wanted.


I’m glad I added the lining – less jaggy!

Time is running out and rather get into a state like below, I’ve opted to wear a “bought dress” – fear not the dress will be completed for Christmas and worn then!

Trying the homemade garment on was a near death experience as the pins scratched my arm – ok, maybe not near death but still, beady sore!

The backup garment: Katya Kimono Wrap Dress

At this point, the top needs hemmed and finished off.  The skirt still needs the waistband on (which itself needs interfacing applied!! (Note to self: you need to buy blinkin’ interfacing!!)), zip applied, possibly now lined and then hemmed.

The final update should contain a picture of me wearing it! Watch this space!

Happy Sewing!

Some places I went to online for advice:

http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/sequin-savvy