A Bit (Lot) Stuck

So, I’ve managed to sew one garment since I last spoke to you and have taken no photos of it!  I’ve also cut out one pattern and got no further – the fabric is still a big piece of fabric.  So this is going to be a wordy rather than pretty post I’m afraid.

Basically – I feel a bit stuck.  I have all these plans of what I’d like to make (as you know from my last post) but I’m…  I don’t know really…  Confused?  Not sure?  Long story short – I’ve recently been living in my maternity jeans from five years ago and a couple of vest (singlet) tops and a maternity top that’s also five years old.  Don’t get me wrong – they’ve got plenty of life in them and they don’t need replacing at all but…

I like dresses.  I like woven dresses.  I like dresses that make the best of what I have and I’m not sure how to do that at the moment.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore being pregnant (and everything that it brings!) but I’m not sure how to express who I am through my clothes at the moment.  I’m also in that slightly odd transition phase where I don’t fit into my clothes anymore but don’t really look pregnant at the moment (although I’m told I’m starting to ‘pop’).

This leaves me wanting to sew but not having any real clue WHAT to sew!!  I’m in the middle of making a quilt but even that isn’t scratching the itch at the moment.  I want to sew something for ME so that I feel less casual and more put together if that makes any sense at all?

It’s a weird situation and one I wasn’t in when Boy was a bump.  I didn’t sew clothes then and having found out so late, a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of tops got me through the few months when I did know about it (and went from not looking pregnant to looking very pregnant in a very short space of time) – I didn’t have time to get frustrated about what was on offer on the high street and quite honestly I didn’t project myself through my wardrobe in the same way!  I’m so grateful that I can do that through sewing but it’s a bit of a mind bender at the moment…

Sooo…  I’m getting used to the idea of (nearly) everything in a knit (I’m not a fan of the draped look although I know some people can pull that off brilliantly) as I still like to have some definition where I can.  Sewing knits is not a drama at all on my two machines either.  

So I don’t know what my problem is:
Is it what to sew?
Is it how to project who I am through who I sew?
Is it simply that I need to wrap my head around this transitional period and just sew something!

I think I’ll go with option three…

PS – Boy starts school on Thursday…  How on earth did we get to that stage already?!

Plotting and Planning But Not a Lot of Sewing… Yet…

I’m not even keeping up with my ‘one post a month’ target at the moment am I?!  But hey, tell you something you don’t know – right?  I promise I’ve had my reasons though, the main one being this:

Fidget

Meet Fidget, mostly known as ‘our baby’ if you ask Boy.  It’s earned the moniker as during the dating scan earlier this week they did not want to stay still and have their measurements taken, or give the sonographer an easy first appointment of the day!  Hence the face down, slightly blurry image!  Everything looked good though and the blood tests have come back as all being well.  We’ve also made it out of the first Trimester so are starting to feel a little less worried and able to share the news.  We’re hoping to meet Fidget in mid to late February.

I’ve been too tired to sew and the be quite honest, not even sure WHAT to sew!  Bed time has been 9pm for weeks, which basically means no sewing.  Sleep was the priority!  Instead I’ve been hoping, dreaming and making some vague plans – what to wear being one element.

I’ve had fun sketching in my Fashionary and come up with a few ideas that I hope will work in the coming 6 months or so as well as afterwards, and some may even have a longer ‘shelf life’.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Butterick 5860, which is a wrap dress.  I’ve got some fabric earmarked to make at least two of these as I suspect they’ll become my uniform at work.  I have a colleague who had the most chic and pulled together maternity wardrobe during her recent second pregnancy and is the inspiration for a couple of pieces in my planned wardrobe…

Staple Dress by April Rhodes but with the shirring falling just under the bust and with a bump accommodating adjustment.  This is currently in progress.  I’ve just got to get brave to make the bias binding from a very silky rayon.  I’m gonna have to face that soon as I need it for a wedding in just under two weeks!

Papercut Patterns Circle Top as this will work now and well into the future!  So far I’ve got a navy and a purple version planned.  These will be in solids to give maximum wearing potential and are in two of my basic colours.

Maria Denmark Day to Night tops (why do I always want to type Knight when writing about this top?!).  I’m going to use Zo’s maternity alteration on these as I need some tops to go with the maternity jeans I had when pregnant with Boy.

I’ve also found a gorgeous French company called Deuxieme Arrondissement which make some gorgeous maternity patterns.  I’ve bought two:  The Duo 13H and Robe Minuit.  I think the Duo 13H will be perfect for a wedding we’re going to in December.  They’re completely different to any other maternity patterns out there, and whilst they’re entirely in French, I have faith in my language skills…  They’re printed on lovely thick paper and I’m looking forward to using them!

I’ve also hacked Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi and am wearing a maxi skirt from a slightly failed experiment as I type.  I basically used a double knit and whilst I compensated for the lack of stretch everywhere else, with my changing chest size, it was a tad snug up top!  So I lopped the top portion off to turn it into a skirt.  I will probably revisit though, armed with a more suitable knit and again use Zo’s tutorial.

Finally, I’ve bought Burda 7239 with the express intention of recreating a top I wore when pregnant with Boy.  It was basically a cropped wrap cardigan with a false top underneath it made of a very light weight cotton.  It was fabulous to wear and my only splurge on maternity clothing with Boy.  It came from Mamas and Papas and cost me close to £40.  I wore it to death.

What I also need to do (and this is going to have to be interspersed by other projects) is crack on with my Papercut Patterns Milano Cape.  This was also inspired by my colleague, but it seemed wrong and tempting fate to do too much work on it whilst trying and then in the early stages of pregnancy.  Call me superstitious or plain daft, but after previous experiences I didn’t want to be presumptuous.

As for Fidget – well not a lot planned there at the moment as we’re not going to find out whether they’re a he or a she until they make an entrance into the world.  We’ve also got the vast majority of what we need for the early months from when we had Boy.  He was also an unknown so all our early baby stuff is neutral!  I think I may have a go at adapting Dog Under My Desk’s Day Tripper bag to be a more fun changing bag as the one from the days of Boy is a very man friendly grey!  Oh, and I’d love to make Boy and Fidget matching quilts…

So, some ‘quick’ projects (I hope) and some more involved…  Time will tell if I manage to get even half of them done!

Spring Sewing Swap

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I really have to say a massive thank you to Kerry for organising the Spring Sewing Swap.  Through this bit of selfless shopping and fun I discovered teafortwodiary written by Jen and Elena.  My swap partner was Jen and I had an absolute blast shopping for her!

She also did some truly epic shopping and stash diving for me!  Look at the loveliness that I received!

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There’s 3m of that beautiful poly – from Paris no less, the cutest little buttons, trim from Cloth House a dress which provides an interesting bodice for infinite skirt variations and a lovely card.  I think the fabric is destined to become some sort of maxi – I just need to decide on a pattern!

I have done a little bit of sewing too, in the last month.  I made a shirt for Boy’s best friend’s birthday – covered in dinosaurs but as I was attaching buttons the morning of said birthday I don’t have any pictures (bad blogger!) but he loves it and it got a ton of unsolicited compliments when it was worn to the Dinosaur Park!  His parents seemed to love telling people that it was a one of a kind and their friend made it for him!  I also got the biggest hug – I hope they don’t get ‘too cool’ for unique clothing anytime soon…

I’m also a hem and some binding away from finishing the Staple Dress that I bought as part of the last Pattern Parcel.  Shirring wasn’t too bad but my machine made some really strange noises whilst doing it – I think I may actually have to mess with the bobbin tension settings next time I take any shirring on – screeching squeaking is not good!

Oh and just to give you all a giggle, we took the rabbits in to have preventative fly-strike treatment and saw a rabbit specialist nurse.  Turns out Buzz is a boy and Woody is a girl.  48hrs later, Buzz became an ‘it’.  Hopefully we won’t get anymore surprises with those two!

So, you never know, I may leave it less than a month to make a reappearance here…  See you soon?!

Hi

Ah, another poetic blog post title!

I wish I had something amazing and couture to show you all, but in reality I’m just checking in.  Sewing is still pretty much non existent (but scheming… Oh my, the scheming!).  I’ve basically managed in a little over a month to make a teeny-tiny baby dress for my new niece with some matching baby bloomers, cut three shirts for Boy, order some fabric for a friend’s little girl who was born Saturday morning, order fabric for Boy’s friend’s birthday present shirt at the end of this month, lose a stone and a bit, start another course for another exam and still have a partially completed Mad Max Flora in a heap in the sewing room.  Sigh.

Hi

So, a lot to tell you but nothing to show I’m afraid (and this really is a space to show and tell!).  Having said that, by the weekend I may have assembled the new rabbit hutch for Buzz and Woody (who we have learnt are girls) if it’s arrived and be able to show you our latest project in the garden.

I’ve also recently done the summer bedding plants and I have enjoyed choosing the hottest, brightest most obnoxious, bratty colours I could find.  Cerise, purple, hot orange, lime green…  There’s going to be a riot of colour out there soon…

Anyhoo, hope you’re all well and sewing when you get the chance or just enjoying life in general.  Hopefully I’ll catch up again before another month as sped by…

Real Talk

I am in a funk. I’m not entirely sure why, but I am in one.

When I’m in this weird mindset, I want to buy all the fabric and eat all the things. One is no good for the bank balance, the other is no good for me.

I’m also stupid busy. Finding time to sew is just not happening and quite honestly this is adding to if not causing the funk. I’m fantasy sewing all the time in my head – my stash has been cut and sewn several times. Time is not on my side though, or at least it feels that way.

Work is busy, Husband’s business is busy, Boy is amazing and frustrating and life is what it is. I just need to find some equilibrium and some time to just be creative. To create and enjoy the process. Me and my machine, that’s my calm and happy place (unless I’m repeatedly attempting a sleeve or zip – then, not so much).

That’s why the blogging has become sporadic. I have so much I want to say, I have things I made a while ago that I haven’t blogged. I’m starting to put some crazy pressure on myself, which isn’t helpful. I’m just not sure where to start and my time is limited and there are a lot of things I want to do with it; blog, exercise, sew, sleep!

Please bear with me, once I’ve worked out how to get a bit of balance back, I hope to be back here a bit more. And not just rambling at half past nine on a Saturday night!

Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic

Hello my lovelies!  I’m so excited to share with you the Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic!  Back in February I got an email to ask if I wanted to test the pattern and after doing a little shimmy of joy I sent back a very happy ‘yes please!’ to Tasia.

You’ve seen the Belcarra Blouse quite a bit on the Sewaholic Blog already as Tasia was wearing it to model the Gabriola maxi skirt.  It is such a quick make but has some lovely details that really set it apart from your usual knit T’s.

Belcarra 2

View A is a simple raglan sleeved top with bias cuffs, View B has the cute pleat / tuck details and View C has the little pocket.  Me being me just had to overload my tester version with all the details so I made View B with the addition of the pocket from View C.

There are no darts in this top so it’s quite a loose fit but to accommodate the bewbs I did need to do an FBA (Full Bust Adjustment).  I used the ‘Fit for Real People‘ Method which adds a side dart.  I did consider rotating the dart out but this added more fabric to the front and that’s not a look I’m a fan of.  However, Stitches and Seams has an FBA method that gets rid of the side dart and that extra fabric.  I’m going to give this a go on my next version.

Whilst I love the fabric I made this top from (a japanese slubbed cotton) it is probably a little too stiff for this stort of top – something much more liquid and flowing would give softer lines and would not crease nearly as much as mine does!  As a result of my fabric choice, my version looks far better tucked in than it does left out.  I wear it a lot to work with this Rachel Comey for Vogue 1247 skirt that I made over a year ago which is another wardrobe staple.

Belcarra 1

In the defence of my fabric choice, because of the slubs in the weave it makes it really easy to find the grain line and also makes the bias areas (cuffs and neck binding) a bit more interesting than just a change in direction of the print.  You could have a lot of fun with stripe placement on this top!

This is a really satisfying and fast make.  It has the potential to be a wardrobe staple depending on your fabric choice and it wouldn’t surprise me to see people with multiples of these in their wardrobes.  I have a number of future versions planned including one with lace sleeves (omitting the pleats and cuff) as I think that will look really cute with a solid coloured bodice.  I have a couple of other drapy fabrics in the collection that are destined for this top now too, particularly as it’s not too fabric hungry – mine came out of less than 2 yards of 44″ fabric.

Who knew that something as simple as a T could be made so interesting?!  Thank you for the experience of pattern testing for you Tasia, I loved every second of it.

There’s a Fine Line Between Being a Fangirl and a Stalker

I’m a little bit scared that Sew Dolly Clackett may have tipped me over that line.  The whole point of this little frock-fest organised by Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones is to celebrate the marriage of Miss Muldoon to Dr Nic in May.  The sewing tribute was announced eons ago and entries could be made between the 23 February and tomorrow, the 23 April simply by posting your photos over on the Flickr page specially set up.  And whaddayaknow.  It’s the 22 April and I’m typing this post whilst still needing to finish the never ending hem on my Dolly Clackett Dress and take the photos despite having plotted this dress since the announcement.  Actually since before then because as I said, there’s a fine line between fangirl and stalker.  But, I’ve done it.  And there’s photographic evidence to prove it!

Georgalex 1

I’ve always loved Roisin’s style.  She makes lovely dresses in the best prints ever.  In all seriousness, without her inspiration I’d still be using sensible colours in everything I make.  Roisin’s given me the courage to wear something a little brighter and a lot more fun!  Whilst there is certainly a time and a place for a sensible wool dress, there’s also a lot of fun to be had in wearing something bright and colourful and a little irreverent too.  When I think of a Dolly Clackett Dress I think of Alexander Henry fabric, full (preferably a circle) skirt, a fitted bodice and amazing shoes.  When I think of Mr and Mrs soon-to-be Clackett I think of Paris, Gin, Kate Bush, Pizza and a blue front door.  Does a blue garage door count?

Georgalex 2

I knew exactly which fabric I wanted to use as it has been sitting in my collection for over a year now waiting for the perfect dress.  It’s preciousness brings out in me Gollum like tendencies.  This was no time for a ‘suck it and see’ dress if I was going to use my ‘Home Sewing is Easy’ fabric.  This had to be something I’d love.  And what better than to use a fabric I love in tribute to two people who I’ve had the pleasure to (briefly) meet, annoy online and who are so fabulous?

Georgalex 4

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the Floralex.  Hey, if you’re making a dress inspired by Roisin, By Hand London has to feature as does a pattern mash up!  As I mentioned, I didn’t want the hassle of fitting and I like the way the Elisalex bodice fits me.  Splice on the dipped-hem-circle-skirt-with-pleats from the Flora pattern and you have a lot of fun out of 3m of fabric!

Georgalex 3

 

I may have committed a minor misdemeanour in that the front of the skirt has a seam running down its centre but that was the only way I was going to get the skirt out of 44″ fabric.  It’s not that obvious on first glance and damn it, I love this dress!

I cut everything out on a single layer to make sure I got the pattern placed where I wanted it and then lined the bodice using a plain white cotton and I underlined the skirt in the same.  I then did a kind of flat felled seam thing to make the side seams in the skirt disappear.  I was going to wrap the centre back seam in white bias tape to magic that away too but changed my mind.  It’s behind me so isn’t going to be that obvious (I hope).  And yes, I realise that the side seams are even less conspicuous…

Georgalex details

 

I know the preferred zip insertion at Clackett Towers is that of a hand picked lapped zipper and that is what I have done on this dress.  The canary yellow zip is carefully concealed by the lap and went in quite smoothly.  I did briefly consider an exposed zip but it just didn’t seem right with flirty skirt.  The hem is pressed up and then hand stitched to just the underlining layer so that it’s invisible from the outer edge.

Then, of course, you’ve got to accessorise.  Something Roisin is known for is her shoes and her Instagram outfit shots showing a slice of skirt and the shoes.  Did I mention the shoes?!  These Mel shoes are a direct and blatant copying of a pair modelled by the muse for this whole dress.  I had no idea that Mel shoes are so comfortable.  Seriously – you have no idea your in heels when wearing these things!  And I had to pay a little tribute to Paris and these earrings from Betsey Mae on Etsy are perfect.  I bought a necklace too but it got lost in the print – it’ll be worn though!!

Accessories

So, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses to Miss Muldoon and Dr Nic.  I wish you both a lot of love, laughter and happiness in your future.  Love you guys x