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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Oooopsa lacy!

Since the 5th May I’ve been on a fabric ban but this Friday past I broke it and I broke it hard!

You see when you see something RTW and the stock is low in your size but you have the sewing skills (this does not include boning or lace!!) you go what the heck and go all in, pretty much head first.

So this is the RTW dress I’ve fallen IN LOVE with and just wanna swosh about in.

The RTW dress is a beautiful Monsoon one but as said a second ago, the size I was looking for had gone out of stock. I would definitely pay £139 for it but that’s if they had it. But I’m not going to buy that dress, I’m going to make it eeek!

Fabric:

After ordering several different swatches and doing a ridiculous amount of searches for “mint guipure lace” online I wasn’t anywhere forward. Locally I was starting to loose my confidence in getting what I really wanted. It was on the final straw that I took the tip from a previous co-worker to visit Fabric Focus. It should’ve been first choice – doh!Above the linings, there lay the beautiful lace guipure in exactly the colours and shade I was looking for and too even make my July better the lining was there to make it pop! It’s a-lot more minty than the photo suggests. The lining is a skin tone. But I may have to double it up with a cotton because of the boning!

The Pattern:The pattern was a lot easier to find and in the end the McCalls 7720 was a very close fit.

I’ll get the boning, hook & eye, threads and zip organised at a later date. I might make a toile and see how that goes before I start back at my evening classes in August if I get other projects finished! I can’t thank Kevin at Fabric Focus and his lovely Mum (who actually served me) enough for stocking this lace. You made a very happy lady. This is just a perfect example why we should support local shops like this!

Disclaimer: all opinions are my own!

Sewing: McCalls 7381

So with little over a week I decided to start the dress that I planned to not only have finished but moved on to the the project.

As you know life doesn’t always allow you plans to go swimmingly well and time can just drown with you realising how little you have left!

I bought the Lady McElroy Cotton lawn “Brushstrokes” from StitchyBee a while back.

When I saw the McCalls 7381 pattern that I received free with Love Sewing Magazine a while back, I knew it would be a simple quick make providing I followed the instructions correctly.

Building the whole thing went brilliantly well until it came to me wearing it. It was huge, it was a tent on me. Where did I go wrong?

I had one resort, take it to class! So I did! Thankfully Abi saved the day but it meant me taking in at the waist (a lot!!). But I did it, It only took a few hours and a few swear words.

So where did I go wrong? I only went by the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope and not the ones on the tissue. I can definitely go down one size on the bodice (woop woop) next time. Also for next time I’m considering sleeves and the next version in viscose. So no I’m not put off – yeah! It’s so comfortable to wear as well, especially when it comes to eating a lovely German buffet and cheesecake because of the ease and the elastic!

A big thumbs up to M7381!

An Open letter to Vogue Patterns

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When I first laid my eyes on Vogue #1353 I fell in love. Yes, it was love at first sight.  I’m still in love with the actual shape of the garment on the pack but for how long?  The reason behind this question is because whilst putting the front and side bodice pieces together my sewing teacher, Abi and I found a massive flaw in the pattern. annoyan

 

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HUGE GAP!

 

 

It’s definitely (the flaw!) in the F5 (16-18-20-22-24) edition, I’m not sure if you have come across the same problem in the smaller size pattern.

When you put the notches to match on the front and side pieces there is a HUGE frickin gap.  For sure there is is no way that you can stretch the front bodice piece with the dart in to match the side bodice.  BUT as soon as you take the dart out, it magically fits (yes I have a magic wand –  It’s Abi!).

I have to shorten the bodice pieces as my back is shorter that the standard.  But that shouldn’t affect the darts, notches and all, should it?

But then looking at the line drawing it does have a dart but the haven’t given enough of the front bodice to include that!!

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If ANYONE else has come across this fault, please let me know!

I’m pretty annoyed at VOGUE patterns right now.

  1. Vogue patterns are bloody expensive, so you expect no flaws AT ALL.
  2. Now I’ve removed the dart, there are tiny holes where the thread went through the fabric – my lovely woodland fabric!
  3. From what Abi has seen, the dart isn’t really needed as you have pleats on the front bodice anyway.
  4. You carefully take the time to put a dart in, making sure its pinpoint sharp, then realising after you need to take it out because it’s NOT required.   But if the dart is required and it’s on the line drawings then surely you should remember to get enough allowance for that so it that when you come to sew the front piece and side you don’t have a gap! ??!!

I’m hoping I get some correspondence back from McCalls/Vogue.  I sent a message via the contact form on their website.  I’ll update you all when I get an update myself.

Just so peeved right now. Can you imagine?!!  I bet some of you have been there!

NOW I’m going to take a deep breath and try to relax because I go near the pieces (need to go and get interfacing first, anyway).

giphy-downsized (2)

On that note: The pattern says for “sew in” but both myself and Abi thinks this might be too stiff, so might opt for the “iron on” – What do you guys think?

URGHHHHH!

Emma

 

Sewing: Simplicity 4789

Yes! I’ve finished it! Wooop!

I’m very happy with the finished results and now I can show it off.

Although I did not make the processes easy for myself as I forgot to shorten the back on the pattern pieces and you can just imagine the drama when I realised that. Hence I had a break (Cleo) and eventually I came back to vintage rose 4789, which I’m glad I did.

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So I wanted to unveil it to the Hubby on our Wedding Anniversary. We went away to Loch Lomond & Loch Earn for a couple of days and It’s much easier for someone else to take a full-length photo!

We are celebrating eight years this year. It’s been a tough year with losing my Mum to cancer.  I’m just thankful Hubby has been a tower of strength so far to me, helping me get through my darkest moments.

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I think I will be doing 4789 again because I have some brown tweed-like fabric but not as heavy as tweed and it would look nice in a shift, plus I had the idea of doing some piping around the neckline, armholes and the hem.

The 4789 pattern is really handy as it’s got a couple more garments I’d like to make and for a pattern, I’d say that you are getting your money’s worth that way.

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I love this vintage rose fabric it’s a cotton lawn and I bought it from The Cloth Shop by Remnant Kings, Edinburgh (£14.99 P/M). I’ve had quite a few compliments on it already before the dress was finished!

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I’ve now started on another project and it’s a vogue pattern. I have a time constraint as it’s to be finished by mid-August for a birthday theme! The Vogue pattern that I am using is V1389.

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Again, I’m going to have to shorten the back (this time I’m doing it on the pattern pieces, rather than on the actual fabric!!!) and because famously vogue only goes up to a certain size I have to slightly add a couple of centimetres to the skirt pieces.

Because there is a theme for the birthday bash, this cotton here was crying out to be shown off. I think I already had bought the fabric and the pattern before the theme was public (what a surprise)! The cotton is from Fabric Focus, Edinburgh (14.99 p/m ?) and has a lovely drape to it.

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Fabric Focus is where I also go for my classes and I’m so grateful to Abi (my teacher) for keeping me right! I would wholeheartedly recommend the classes. This is my third session and it won’t be my last either. I’ve still got so much to learn and I really enjoy going along and spending a couple of hours with like minded people.

So there you have it – I’ve finished “vintage rose” dress and on the mission of the vogue “woodland” dress.

Keep stitching x

Disclaimer: All photos are my own, so please ask for permission before using them.  All opinions are my own also!