Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

Welcome to my world of craft!

March Sewing

I haven’t been as productive in the last few weeks even though I had a week off work – but we have got a new sofa and armchair (thanks Mum and Dad) and a new bed (Ikea purchase, bought and built on the same day without an argument).

I made 4 things in March, 3 of which were made to enter into some Instagram competitions.

1. Classic tee shirt from Love notions

This lovely cat jersey is from my local fabric shop ‘My sewing box‘ and was entered into their #mysewingchallenge contest on Instagram and won 🤗 I was gifted £25 which I used to buy some jersey for a dress for me.

2. Ogden cami

This was a complete disaster make ☹️ The pattern is in my stash and the crepe is from my fabric stash which matches a jacket in my wardrobe.

I ran it up in an hour and went to put it on my mannequin to photograph and it didn’t fit 🙈

The worst part is I think I made this mistake before…..I have a cut out pattern with the wrong bust size but keep forgetting to bin it!! I offered this to my daughter but it’s too big for her so not sure what to do with it now!! Anyone want a uk size 8 Ogden cami!?

I even used my Kylie and the machine label in the back as I can never work out which way round the top should be!!

3. Nautilus swimsuit from Tuesday stitches

This make was in my line up after having watermelon fabric left over from my leggings but pushed up the list due to the sewing contest on Instagram by @sewisfaction.

This is such a great pattern- clear instructions; clever details like the twists and back; and good bottom coverage.

I’m yet to use this in a pool to see how it holds up but as it was left over fabric it was good trial for fitting. I think next time I would add cups or lining to the bust for a better fit.

4. Betty dress from Sew over it

In March for International Women’s day Sew over it kindly offered a free pdf pattern for the Betty dress. This was so popular it crashed their website and they sent it out via Dropbox. I was really sad to hear that the company received angry and abusive comments from people trying to access their website and totally missing the generosity this company was offering.

As the pattern was free and took A LOT of pages to print and stick I used a local printers to produce A0 copies for me. The printing emporium only charged £3.50 a sheet and responded within 24 hours!

This pattern uses a lot of fabric as it has a full circle skirt so I went to Fabricland and managed to get some pretty fabric and zip for under £14!

This fabric was incredibly slippery and heavy with the volume of fabric- I ended up using spray starch to fit the zip which worked really well.

This fabric ended up too sheer to use without lining so I used some creme poly from my stash to line it.

I made this dress to attend a friend’s wedding but ended up missing the big day due to being unwell 🤧

After finishing it I am not sure it’s the right colour for me – the flowers are correct but the background colour isn’t quite right. The fit is great though 😊

Sewing plans for April

I have a pile of fabric ready for April, I have decided to invest a bit more in the fabric I buy and spend more quality for better quality.

1. Blue linen and Burnside Bibs

The navy linen is from My sewing box and the floral lining is from lovely jubbly fabrics.

2. Floral jersey and Heather dress

This was the fabric I bought with my prize from My sewing box and I have plans for a heather dress.

3. Jersey and classic tee shirt

It’s our daughter’s 13th birthday in April and I always make her an outfit for her birthday. She has picked this fabric from My sewing box for another classic tee shirt like the one made this month.

4. Lady McElroy fabric and Clara blouse

For Mother’s Day my husband took me to the local fabric shop and asked me to pick something. I bought 1.5 metre of this beautiful fabric from Lady McElroy to make a sew over it Clara blouse.

5. Floral jersey and Adrienne blouse

One of my Instagram friends surprised me with a copy of the Friday pattern company Adrienne top 😊

I went back to my sewing box in my lunch break and bought this navy jersey with flowers.

I promise I have left some fabric in the shop for others 🤣

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 4

Number of New fabric purchases: 2

Number of Stash Fabric used: 3 ( including lining fabric)

Number of New Pattern purchases: 1 (but free)

Number of Stash patterns used: 3 (1 not used before)

Follow my makes on Instagram under @craftysewandsewindorset

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February Sewing

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Some how i managed to make 8 items of clothing this month (the shortest in the year!) as i think having extra days off to use up my leave helped. I set a plan to make 5 items, 3 that were already cut and ready but only manged to complete two of these.

The first make was for my friend at work; New Look 6104.

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This was gifted to me with the pattern, fabric and buttons at Christmas as she had given up with sewing. It had been cut out in size 18 so i made it up in that size for her – turns out her daughter had cut it out who was bigger than her!! I am planning to take it in for her next week, luckily the bust area fits and just needs the waist tapering in.

Next was the Fairfield shirt from Thread theory – I started this back in November and finally finished it this month and he really likes it.

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Matching shirts

I bought the shirt for my son and my husband asked for one. This design is so well drafted for fit and quality of finish with flat felled seams throughout.

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Practicing his model poses

My third make was Named Kielo wrap dress. I have seen so many of these on instagram so when one was for sale in someone’s destash i jumped for it. I used cream and grey jersey from my stash bought from girl Charlee. This fabric was probably a little too thin for this dress but i just about get away with it and it will be perfect in the summer heat.

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Sorry about the footwear – not ready for sandals yet!

Fourth make are my Burnside Bibs from Sew house 7. I found these overalls in Seasalt but they were £80 and i thought “I could make those” and started to search for a similar design. It came down between these and the Roberts collection dungarees and picked the burnside bibs as they looked more flattering and fitted.

I used 2.25m of this linen type fabric from Fabricland – the pattern calls for 3m but i managed fine with what i bought.

I have plans for the view 2 version in navy viscous linen as i feel they will be looser fitted and be a great staple through the spring and summer. Check out #sewbibs over on instagram for a contest running through March.

Next is a self drafted dog coat for our saluki lurcher Ziggy – he loves the coat but is not a willing model:

I bought some polar tec fleece on E-bay and some parachute clips to hold it on around his midriff. I then trimmed the neck and edges with a gross grain ribbon – we are testing this one out for fit before I make his second one with Green fleece.

The 6th make of the month was for my daughter – her third Mini suzon blouse in this beautiful Lewis and Irene beach border fabric. I only bought a metre at the first Dorset meet up to make her a skirt and had thought she had outgrown this design but she asked for a blouse so who was i to say no! It was stretching it to cut the ruffle on the border and it’s actually 4 pieces sewn together and think i got away with it.

Next up is a TNT pattern for me, made quickly as my contribution to #sewmystyle which was t-shirts for february – the Megan Nielsen Briar tee. I made the longer version but shortened to somewhere between cropped and full length, in burn out jersey from Girl charlee.

It’s clearly a little see through so need to get a vest top to go underneath or save for beach wear in the summer. This fabric was tricky to work with as it kept getting chewed up by my sewing machine!

Finally, make number 8 is a pair of dungarees for my son. He has been asking me for some dungarees for a while but it seemed odd for a 10 year old but he has been insistent and I rarely sew for him so searched for a pattern and found I Dig Dungarees from Made By Jacks Mum.

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I had the Higgs and Higgs denim in my stash that i bought for Ash jeans but it didn’t have enough stretch. It was lovely to work with and might have to buy more for a second pair of Morgan jeans.

i added facings and pocket linings with Guardian of the Galaxy fabric from Lovely Jubbly fabric also in my stash.

Luckily these will be used for his world book day outfit next week!!

March plans

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 8

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 6

Number of New Pattern purchases: 3

Number of Stash patterns used: 5 (dog coat pattern was made up)

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January Sewing

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I have decided to try and be more dedicated to this blog as a means to track and share my making and not just use Instagram. The plan is to write one blog piece at the end of each month highlighting things I have made that month and plans for the following month.

This month I have made six items which is pretty good going as the whole family lost 10 days to the flu (one after the other like dominoes) and I managed to write and submit a 9000 word assignment to uni.

First up is my second Helen’s closet York Pinafore made in heavy cotton from Ikea – I made this version in the longer length and higher neckline so I can wear it without tights in the summer. I think i prefer the lower neckline and maybe a length somewhere between the two – I have a denim one in mind for the summer when it starts to warm up.

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Next up on my list is the Darcey Bra and Frankie pants from Evie La Luve – this was a Christmas present from my husband (sort of, i may have purchased and wrapped it for myself!!).

I have been wanting to try underwear for a while and decided to brave it after making swimwear which is a similar process. I got a kit with all the findings and fabrics as it was this part that put me off when this was the discounted pattern for #sewmystyle2018. I am so pleased with the finished item and fit and will be making more this year.

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Number three on my list of makes is the Cable knit jumper from Lauren Aston designs down in Exeter. My Parents bought me this kit for Christmas and the wool was truly gorgeous to use – it’s merino wool in hanks you need to roll into balls. I made the small version and although it is no where as roomy as Lauren’s in the photos it is a good fit on me and really warm. I would like to make another one in medium but searching for equally beautiful wool without wanting to spend a fortune!!

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Beautiful wool

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Back

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Back of Jumper

There is a little bit of piling from wearing it but hoping this will settle down and dreading the first time it needs washing for fear of shrinking it!

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I had enough wool left over to knit a snood which is so needed in this recent freezing weather:

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My 5th make of the month was for my daughter – a friend sent me a link to the Little legs website, who sells stunning kids jersey, to highlight some llama fabric (daughter’s current obsession).

We went through my patterns, as at almost 13 she is just about fitting the smallest sizes on most patterns with a few tweaks, and agreed on the Jarrah pattern from Megan Nielsen patterns.

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I had to remove 8cm across the width of the front and back pieces – add in 4 cm to the length as she didn’t want a waistband and i would’t have managed to cut one out of the 1m of fabric i had.

i had to shorten the shoulders and narrow the arms, basing the changes on an existing sweatshirt she has. The fit came out perfect and this was such good quality fabric to work with.

I have this pattern ready for me to make one in some Guthrie and Ghani jersey i have had stashed for almost a year!

Next up are my juicy watermelon leggings!! Sew my style 2019 set a theme for January of active wear so i went to my local fabricland and invested in this great fabric to make a pair of high rise Avery leggings from Helen’s closet.

I am yet to wear them for anything but lounging around and not sure I am brave enough to wear out to a gym class but i do love them!

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I had enough fabric left over to cut out a Nautilus swimsuit from Tuesday Stitches which i was aiming to enter to the Monthly Stitch ‘seasonally inappropriate’ – i might need to enter on the 28.2.19 for the Amnesty posts.

February plans

My plans for February have already started with this New Look 6104 pattern which I am making for a friend at work’s birthday. She gifted me this pattern, fabric and notions at Christmas as she bought them a few years ago when she went to a sewing class but could not get on with it and gave up. I love the pattern but this fabric is not my taste so I thought i would complete the project for her.

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I set myself these nine patterns for the Make nine contest on Instagram; i have already made the York Pinafore and Evie La Luve set.

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I have taken to cutting out my fabric ready to sew in batches this year so I have the following items in my basket ready to sew:

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 6

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 2

Number of New Pattern purchases: 2

Number of Stash patterns used: 3 (4th scarf pattern was made up)

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Dorset Meet Up September 2018

Happy 2019 everyone – i have seriously neglected this blog so much so that I have just realised I never blogged about the amazing Dorset Meet up event last year!

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Dorset meet up logo

So last year 16 local sewing fans met together in real life – we had arranged to meet at the Old Thatch pub in Wimborne/Ferndown area but a week before the event I popped in to talk about the space we could use to find it had closed down without any notice!! NB: this pub has since re-opened under new management.

i went into a panic but without any reason as the amazing  sewing community came together and all joined in to save the day; calling pubs in the local area and looking for alternative venues. Ellen saved the day by finding The Pure Drop and arranging everyone’s new food orders – things didn’t go quite to plan on the day with lots of drama over ordering and paying for the food by the pub owner but again every one who attended took this in their stride and didn’t let it effect their day.

i made myself a new Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress with stretch denim from my sewing box – paired with my stripy joules top for the big event.

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We took up a large space in the pub and had a whole table covered in fabric, patterns and wool for the swap and not forgetting the incredible raffle prizes – see my previous post for the details of the generous gifts donated. We managed to raise £140 for the MS society which was so great.

All who attended received a goody bag with bespoke badges from Girl Charlee with discount codes and some sweets.

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Good Bags

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My wins from the pattern and fabric swap

Due to the delays in the pub we had to revise our original shopping plans and aimed for 2 independent shops; Lovely Jubbly Fabrics in Ferndown and My Sewing Box in Wallisdown. A few people managed to squeeze in the Wool shop in Kinson and Fabricland also in Wallisdown.

The lovely Jade at Lovely Jubbly fabrics  – sale on at her shop this weekend – was very welcoming to the group and i think we all picked up some stunning fabrics from her shop. I got this Japanese blue twill below for a pair of Guise trousers.

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purchases from My sewing box and Lovely Jubbly

Angela and Amy over at the Sewing box stayed open for us, as we were running so late, and provided us with tea and coffee and free reign over their fantastic shop. They had just started to stock a new range of jersey which is dangerous for me as i am walking distance to this shop from work!!

i picked up the floral fabric above with plans to make an Alex shirt from Sew over it – see this post over on the Monthly stitch for details of the finished items.

Everyone had a great time despite the terrible weather and lots of discussions were had on what we can do at the next meet up. We have started discussions for plans across this year so if you are local to Dorset and keen to join in follow us on Instagram or on facebook.

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I just wanted to say a big thank you to all who came, those who helped find a new venue, the shops for waiting for us for so long, for the companies who donated prizes for the raffle and for Sue who gave me this fantastic picture below as a thanks for organising the event.

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Dorset Meet up -Summer 2018 plan

It’s happening again but this time it’s bigger, better and a lot more organised!! This is a long post telling you about all the amazing contributors to this years event so get comfortable……

We are meeting on the 22nd September at The Old Thatch pub for lunch followed by some serious fabric and wool shopping in the Bournemouth area 😊

Menus can be found Here

Due to the size of the pub and some of the shops we have had to limit numbers to 20 people and tickets are still left on Eventbrite….3 left when I checked earlier today!! Click here to get your ticket.

This year I wanted to use this event to raise money for the MS society as my mum was diagnosed almost 20 years ago and so much more research is needed.

I contacted some of the amazing sewing community and have been astounding by the generous response received….we now have 15 prizes up for grabs in a raffle to be held on the day 😊 and more prizes on reserve for the next time we meet up in 2019!

So here goes (tickets have to be bought on the day but if you can’t make it you can always donate directly to the MS society for support or ask a friend who is coming to get you some tickets 😉):

1. Minerva crafts have donated £50 worth of fabric and I have thrown in a book on making things with felt!

2. Girl charlee have kindly sent £25 gift voucher to spend online.

They sell some stunning jersey fabrics perfect for this hot weather…..fancy making a kielo wrap dress this could be your prize! They are also sending 15% discount codes for all those attending!

I bought this fabric today for a sweatshirt from girl charlee:

Mark from girl charlee also sent us lots of badges for our goody bags:

En-Dorset …….get it!!!

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Tilly and the buttons have offered an online course. I’ve never completed one of thee but there was an article in the current Sew magazine which highlighted a couple of their courses:

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Our fourth supporter is Kay from Clothkits in Chichester. Kay sent in two kits for the raffle so one is being kept for the next raffle and up for grabs this time is the Red wiggle A line skirt worth £29!

The write up describes it as;

Flattering cotton chambray a-line skirt sewing pattern. Wonderfully rewarding to make, and can be tailored to suit your shape. Fun, funky, flattering and practical too, what more could you want from a skirt? This skirt is also available in navy.

Skirt kit contains printed skirt fabric, an optional lining, easy to follow instructions, zip and high quality sewing thread. All beautifully folded and bound with a satin Clothkits ‘Tape Measure’ ribbon. Makes an inspired gift too.

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Up next is a prize for the active amongst us (or those who like their clothes to stretch!).

Melissa from Fehr trade has donated a signed copy of her new book ‘Sew your own active wear’.

I have a few of Melissa’s patterns and they all have special twists to make them interesting and not obviously handmade. Melisa told me at the Sewing Bee Live at the Excel that she adds features that make you think WTF at some point in the process!!!

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The first shop we are visiting on our little tour is Lovely Jubbly Fabrics.

Jade is offering all those attending on the day 10% off all full price fabrics as well as donating two generous gifts to the raffle.

First up for grabs are a set of her beautiful wash bags that jade sells under her other Instagram name @lovelyjubblydesigns_

These bags retail at £30 and could be used for your sewing supplies as well as your make up.

The second prize from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics is a jelly roll from Lewis and Irene called Welcome to the world.

I used one of these to make this mini cot quilt earlier this year:

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Our next stop will be HobbyCraft . The manager Mark at the local store has donated a £10 gift card to be spent in store or online.

HobbyCraft has something for everyone, whether you are interested in sewing, knitting, decoupage or drawing.

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Our next stop will be at the newest sewing shop in town- My Sewing box in Wallisdown.

Amy and Angela have offered a bundle worth £20 which includes fabric, a pattern and some haberdashery! They have some beautiful fabric in store including Liberty London and Lady McElroy jersey.

My sewing box offer monthly sewing boxes sent out with fabric for quilting and lots of courses in the store to make popular patterns such as Tilly and the buttons Cleo dress plus sewing social events.

They have offered us tea and coffee with room to sit and chat!

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The next two prizes work brilliantly together so you’ll have to buy plenty of raffle tickets to try and win both together!!

Sew over it have offered a pdf pattern of your choice to the lucky winner and Fabric magpie have donated 2metres of Lisa Comfort’s All the roses Fabric.

Why not make a Rosie dress with this beautiful fabric? You can always buy the fabric if you don’t win it!

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Lucy from Sew essential have offered a £15 gift voucher to spend online in their amazing store.

I know what I would buy….one of these fantastic button gauges!

There is bound to be something you need or want from their great supply of fabric, sewing patterns and quilting.

Still with me?! There’s been so many prizes offered it has been really overwhelming and I am super hopeful everyone will donate generously to the MS society when buying raffle tickets.

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Ana from Cocowawa patterns has offered two pdf patterns to the cause and has agreed that we will offer one this time and offer the second one at our next event!

You have the choice of any of Ana’s patterns which will be a hard call.

The chestnut sweatshirt would be my first pick but the Honeycomb shirt dress would be close second:

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Athina and Hattie from Smyly have been busy designing some stunning new patterns and have offered 2 patterns for the raffle. Like with Cocowawa, we have decided to hold one back until next year which gives you more chances to get your hands on one of their patterns if you join us again then!

The Abi jumpsuit is my absolute favourite, such a cute design.

If you’re not a fan of the all in one jumpsuit then maybe something like the Samantha dress which shares the same wrap top half:

You could always top up the prize and purchase the add on packs to link the two patterns together!

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Local shop owner Caroline from Sew La Di Da vintage based near Lyme Regis has sent two patterns for the raffle and once again we are reserving one for next year!

Up for grabs this year is the 1950’s Rose Sewing pattern:

This would make a stunning dress for a Christmas party in sequins or satin.

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Our final prize was a personal gift from Maxine who works at Fabricland. I approached the shop,also on our agenda for the day, for discount but was advised that they are not able to offer any above the ones they offer periodically. However, Maxine asked if she could donate a prize personally and has sent us a very generous prize of £20 gift voucher for Next.

I am so excited about this event and hopeful we can raise some money for the MS society and receive done fantastic prizes in the process.

Tickets are £1 a ticket and only available on the day but please feel free to donate more for each ticket.

On top of the raffle we have a great line up of shops to visit, some offering us additional discount:

lovely jubbly Fabric (10% off)

HobbyCraft

– my sewing box

fabricland

– the wool shop (20% off)

We have also been offered 20% off the sewing chest online and 15% off girl charlee .

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the sponsors of this raffle and for everyone else that is helping me with organising this event.

Looking forward to meeting so many new people who love food, sewing and shopping!!!

follow us on Instagram @dorsetmeetup for more details and up to date information. Remember there are three tickets left so still time to join us…..

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Pattern Review: Kalle shirt from Closet Case Patterns

This is the third item in the 2018 #sewmystyle line up; the kalle shirt dress from Closet case files.

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while now so was excited to see it added to the sewing list and knowing I would get some discount on the pattern.

I made two versions of this shirt. One for me and one for my mum for Mother’s Day.

The fabric is a lovely and soft cotton lawn from fabricland- although it creases terribly after a wash and always needs a good iron.

The first version was cut in a size 14 in the popover design. The button placket was a first for me but the instructions were so clear I managed it with ease. I used some pale pink buttons also from fabricland.

I chose the band collar as I know my mum does not like fussy or low cut necklines and felt this would be comfortable with just the top button undone.

For the back I chose to do the inverted pleat and tunic length shirt.

For my version I stuck with the band collar after seeing Lauren Guthrie’s version on YouTube.

I opted for the cropped length, adding 5cm again as suggested by Lauren on her YouTube video. This is the perfect length for me and without it would definitely be too short!

The high low hem works well and I tried out the box pleat on my one, which I think I prefer.

I used the hidden button placket on my version which was another first. I got really confused with this the first time round…..

….my husband came in from walking the dogs to find me looking very annoyed at the ironing board and asked if he had done something wrong 😂 Basically I ironed the concertina folds the wrong way round so then it didn’t fold together. I ironed flat and started again and worked it out!

The pdf pattern was huge!! I laid it all out and cut and stuck a Piece at a time. I don’t generally mind that part of the process but worth bearing in mind if you are one of those who hate cutting and glueing….one for the print shop maybe!

The instructions were really clear throughout, especially for the burrito roll technique. I took photos to show the process in case anyway was stuck:

After sewing the two shoulder sections to the main body like a sandwich and then layout as above on a flat surface.

Roll the two body sections together towards the shoulder sections until you can see the shoulder section on the bottom.

Pin the two shoulder seams together and you’re done! I tend to add a couple of pins further down as well to ensure I don’t catch the shirt when I sew the shoulder seams.

This is my finished Kalle shirt with my newly finished Morgan jeans (blog post coming soon!)

I hope you are all enjoying seeing everyone’s versions of this shirt over on instagram- look out for me on there under the same name @craftysewandsewindorset

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Pattern review: In the Folds Slouchy cardigan

ANOTHER FREE PATTERN!!!! Download here from Peppermint Magazine.

This pattern replaced the 3 hour slouchy cardigan from the GBSB book in my make nine line up due to buying VERY expensive fabric and the original pattern not having great reviews on how it was drafted.

I bought this mohair/wool/ polyester mix fabric from Hanson’s last month during the Dorset meet up. It was £22 a metre, which is a lot compared to my normal fabricland prices but was too beautiful not to buy and it was 20% off!

My first challenge was whether or not I could wash my fabric without it shrinking as I wanted a daily cardigan and not a dry clean only coat.

Luckily with wool washing liquid and a wool cycle my test samples came out the same size (thanks to Instagram buddies for their advice 😊).

I cut out all my pieces and sewed the body and sleeves together. This was a super easy make, all completed on my overlocker and no fitting issues as it’s designed to be oversized and slouchy.

I tried it on at this stage and decided it would be too itchy without a lining so popped down to my local fabricland for some cotton fabric.

I only bought a metre of this fabric which only covered the body so had to raid my stash for some poly lining fabric in cream for the sleeves.

I made up a second version of the cardigan from the two fabrics, again with my overlocker, and then machine tacked it to the outer shell.

I made a small pleat in the lining at the back and then overlocked the two layers together onto the neckband and cuffs.

To neaten the inside I then topstitched the neckband joining the overlocked hem to the lining.

The two layers makes this cardigan so warm and cosy to wear.

I would definitely recommend this pattern and I get lots of compliments on my finished cardigan. It’s a simple make for a beginner and it’s free…..and it has pockets!!

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Pattern review: Sew Over It Clara blouse

First things first……I love my new blouse!!

This is the latest release from Sew over it which I bought last week as I’m a member of their pdf club (10% off pdf pattern releases and access to patterns before they are released, all for £5 a year plus a free pattern of your choice!)

This fabric was from my stash, it’s a liberty print of umbrellas bought at Livingstone textiles in Yeovil last summer for my birthday. I had plans to make a soi 1940’s tea dress but my husband asked me about the era of this print and prompted me to find a 1940’s print instead of this 1920’s design!!

I did a quick piece of research on this print and discovered it was designed by Winifred Mold in 1919, you can read more about it here.

This was a relatively straight forward make but with lots of stages so a slow Sew for me compared to my normal jersey makes. It took me about 6-7 hours in total over a few evenings to complete.

I constructed the pleats, neckline and side seams in one sitting.

I hemmed it and added sleeves on another evening and then finished the cuffs on a third evening.

The cuffs are what convinced me to buy this pattern. I love the finer details on patterns you buy from independent pattern designers rather than the big four.

I used star buttons from my pot of buttons from the makery.

The instructions were very long and detailed for this pattern..over 50 steps!! In my opinion they were so detailed it became more confusing! I kept re-reading sections not understanding and then would skip a couple of sections in the photos and realise they were just asking me to bias bind the cuff opening or sew the interfacing on. Things I didn’t need step by step guidance on. It would be interesting to know how a beginner would report on the instructions, maybe I just don’t read them properly any more and this level of instruction caused me confusion.

I would say this pattern was for an advanced beginner/ intermediate dressmaker due to the fiddly technique on the cuffs and facing.

I cut a straight size 10 based on my bust size and needed no alterations 😊

This is a great pattern with lovely details and will definitely be replicated in other prints in my wardrobe this year.

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Pattern Review: Copen dress by Made To Sew

FREE PATTERN ALERT

I came across the Copen dress on the foldline website searching for a simple shift dress. I’ve been considering the sew over it ultimate shift dress for a while but it seemed quite an expensive pattern for something so simple.

The reviews on the Copen dress were great and as a free pattern I couldn’t go far wrong.

I bought the fabric a couple of years ago with plans to make a Designer stitch Jenny dress but decided it was too thick for the wrap at the front.

I had a conference at work that I needed to present at so really wanted a smart dress that would be comfortable to wear all day. This was a super quick make that has you finishing all the edges before sewing together so you can press seams open.

I used my overlocker for finishing the edges and a straight stitch on my machine for sewing together.

The trickiest part for this pattern are the darts: 2 busy darts and then front and back ones which can be a little challenging to a beginner.

The instructions were great and contain tutorials at the back for each stage for inserting darts and zips etc.

I lost a couple of days sewing from burning my hand cooking 🤦🏼‍♀️ so ended up rushing the finish the night before the conference.

This meant my zip insertion suffered and didn’t lay flat. I wore it as it was on Friday but have redeemed myself by unpicking and re-sewing this weekend.

I blended two sizes from bust to waist/hip which made for a perfect fit first time (lucky with my time constraint) and used the dart markings between the two sizes and these sat just in the right place.

I didn’t manage to get any photos of me wearing it before I left in the morning and too tired when I got home.

Someone took this photo of me wearing it at the conference though.

And a photo of our beautiful location had to be thrown in.

I would seriously recommend this pattern and there is a Facebook page – search for Copen dress- to see other finished versions.

Thanks Made to Sew for a great pattern 😍

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Make Nine Update

I have already made a change to my make mine list one month in!! I read up on some reviews for the GBSB 3 hour slouch cardigan and they weren’t great.

I understand there are errors on the pattern and instructions which I could probably work around but I bought some beautiful cashmere wool mix at the Dorset meet up and don’t want to risk it.

Blue wool fabric at the bottom of this photo

I had a search on the foldline website and came across a free pattern from Peppermint magazine in the folds slouchy cardigan with great reviews.

This magazine has a few free patterns that look lovely especially the jumpsuit.

I have already made 3 of my nine patterns; Carolyn pyjamas, Jenna cardigan and Nettie bodysuit.

I need to blog about all of these but I’m aiming to make a second pair of pyjamas so will probably wait to see these before blogging.

I’m trying to pace my sewing this year (not very well looking back over January 🤦🏼‍♀️) so planned to make the Ogden Cami and Copen dress this month; along with a bigger project to make a Sew over it Lola coat.

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