Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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Dorset Meet Up Second Meeting

On Saturday 20th January we had our second #dorsetmeetup starting at the Sweet Pea Cafe in Sturminster Newton for breakfast!

We had a better turn out this time with 10 of us coming along; Lynsey, Nicky, Sue and me from last time (Charlotte was unable to join us this time) and six new people; Rachel, Stacey, Sasha, Karen, Helen and Joanne.

We had a fabric swap this time on top of another pattern swap.

We all went home with some beautiful fabric and patterns for free and after a delicious breakfast headed to Hanson’s fabric and craft shop.

This is my stash from the swaps; organic pink striped jersey (probably a coco dress), multicoloured knit fabric (for a Jenna cardigan) and some black and white woven fabric for a pencil skirt (pattern to be decided).

I was pretty reserved in Hanson’s knowing I already had some fabric in my car! I bought this beautiful mohair, wool and polyester fabric for a slouch cardigan and some crepe for another Ogden Cami.

I also bought some jean buttons for my Morgan jeans later this year and new dungaree buckles for a second Cleo dungaree dress. Plus some glass headed pins.

Follow us on Instagram either by hashtag #dorsetmeetup or the group itself to be informed when the next meet will be. There were discussions about hiring a mini bus to go to one of the sewing shows later this year!!

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Pattern review: Sunny dress by Friday pattern company

This pattern is the first in the #sewmystyle2018 line up and is such a simple but great tshirt dress.

I bought some textured ponte Roma from Fabrics galore in the January sales which only cost £6 for 1.5 m. This fabric is great for hiding any bumps from too many mince pies at Christmas but didn’t have a lot of stretch.

I cut out the back piece in my size according to the instructions but when I pinned it to my mannequin it only just reached the midline. I then panicked and had to adjust the front piece to ensure it would fit!

To widen the front piece I moved it in approx 1.5cm from the foldline rather than adjust the width on side seams as this pattern has quite distinct curves to get a great fit. This worked well on the fit around my body but think it had created an issue with the back neckline. It now rides up and although the pattern states you can wear this dress back to front this is definitely not the case for my one.

Talking to Lynsey at the #dorsetmeetup on Saturday it seems she had a similar problem so maybe it wasn’t my pattern adjustment!

This pattern has had some flack on social media groups for the lack of instructions and not even giving a drafted neckband; especially as this basic pattern was around £8. I was happy to pay as they do give a % of sales to charity but agree this should be great for a beginner as so simple but the lack of notches and guidance would hinder someone who is not used to sewing in jersey.

For an experienced sewer this is a super quick sew. I decided to time myself and challenge myself to complete it under 2 hours. It only took me 1 hour 40!!

I finished the hem and sleeves with my overlocker and twin needle. The neckband was attached with my overlocker and again twin needle finished to stop it turning up.

Although the pattern said it needed 1.5m of fabric I managed to make an itch to stitch Lindy petal skirt from the left overs of my fabric! Although I did have to sew two pieces together to make up one of the front sections but you can’t tell under the overlap!!

My final verdict: I’m happy with the fit of this dress apart from the back neckline. I would use this pattern as a base for a jersey maxi dress in the summer but not impressed with the pattern and instructions at the price it retails at.

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2018 Sewing plans

A year ago I set myself some sewing challenges and looking back I found them really helpful to direct my sewing plans and encourage me to try new Patterns.

I made a lot of clothes last year (32 items that I have photos of, plus a quilt, toys and dog coats!!) but I still don’t feel I have a complete wardrobe 🤦🏼‍♀️

This was my #makenine line up last year; a lovely collection of clothes but not coordinated or thought through. I failed on clothes for my husband….I now have two Patterns ready to make for him that I am confident the cut will work.

I made a swimsuit but not this one ☝️ and I didn’t make the coat or dress but lots if other dresses.

I did complete the sweatshirt as that was part of #sewmystyle of which I made most of the patterns.

I signed up to the Sew over it pdf club and bought some Patterns through that when in reality I didn’t have time to make them.

This year I have joined up to #sewmystyle and #2018rtwfast. I tried to give up shop bought clothes last year and did pretty well but failed at jeans, trousers and underwear so determined to master those this year.

My #makenine looks like this;

I just finished the Carolyn pyjamas today and the Nettie bodysuit last week so going well so far! I have a couple of these patterns already made so should be quick practical TNT makes plus a couple of new ones but crucially I own all the patterns already.

I also bought some folders to control how much I sew each month and plan out what supplies I need to get everything to coordinate and not just impulse Sew!!

I go back to university next month to start working towards my Masters so not sure how my sewing will fare against working full time, studying and family life….. then again I might need that time to keep sane!!

What are your plans for 2018?

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Happy New Year

Happy new year to all my readers sorry for the radio silence! I have really neglected my blog since I signed up to Instagram ( @craftysewandsewindorset ) as I’ve been able to share and enjoy others makes on there.

I have so many makes I have not blogged about I am not sure if I can catch up without boring you all! Therefore I have decided to write them up as pattern reviews to cover off a couple at once and hopefully be more useful to those reading.

These are just some of my sewing makes from 2017.

I’m a bit too late to the party to complete my top 5 highs, lows and reflections but I will let you know what my favourite makes were and some sewing highlights.

1. Having my colours assessed.

I arranged an evening at my church with my friends to have our colour tone assessed which was great fun. I was then offered a full consultation for arranging the evening and spent a morning with Colleen at her home. I have been assessed as a cool summer and now have a wallet of my colours…..it had transformed my wardrobe and sewing as I now match all fabric choices to my set of colours and know it will suit me and coordinate with everything else!

2. Megan Nielsen Flint trousers

These were great in the summer for work and home. Cool in hot weather and comfortable all day. I planned on making a full length pair on black crepe but now I’ve been advised to avoid Black I need to find another fabric to use 🤦🏼‍♀️.

3. Sew over it Florence dress from Love Sewing magazine.

This dress not only looks great and was another staple in my wardrobe over the summer; it also won me two prizes via Instagram!

I won the Love Sewing magazine competition and was given £50 to spend in Sew over it. I bought a few metres of orangey boucle wool to make a Lola coat. I’m planning on making this in February instead of the Rumana coat in the #sewmystyle line up.

My second prize was from the Instagram competition to Sew a shirt dress in the summer. I won a Sew Hayley Jane box of goodies and aiming to make a dress with the fabric when the sun resurfaces!

4. My kids sewing

My daughter has always shown an interest in sewing but this year she has been far more independent with her hobby and is showing real talent. She made this doll for her friend with minimal help from me, all I did was sew the body together on the fiddly hands. My daughter did all the designing, cutting out and hand sewing.

They two sided cloud toy is my son’s work of art. He has been learning sewing at school and wanted to make a bonus item to show his teacher. He designed the toy and helped to sew it together on my machine. It has been lovely to share my hobby with them both as they are getting older.

5. Meeting instagram Sewing friends in real life.

This year I created the hashtag #dorsetmeetup and with the help of local sewing shop Hanson’s in Sturminster Newton we now have a logo.

5 of us met up to go fabric shopping and then talking about our sewing journey over lunch. It was such good fun and amazing how 5 strangers can get on so well based on a shared interest.

We have our second meet up next Saturday 20th January during Hanson’s sale with breakfast first at Sweet pea cafe in town to swap fabric and patterns. I am hoping there will be 12 of us there this time!

6. Going to the Sewing Bee Live

This day was amazing!! I went with a friend after winning free tickets from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics in Ferndown.

There were so many beautiful fabric stalls and shows going on plus it was great to meet lots of online sewing community in real life. I really want to go again in June at the second show.

7. Making Cleo

I finally submitted and made myself a Tilly and the buttons Cleo dungaree dress in pale blue cord purchased during the Dorset meet up in the summer.

I altered the pattern slightly to make it more fitted on the waist and I really love it. I wore this to the sewing bee live (with 100 other people!!) and was really comfortable all day.

8. I made swimwear

I actually made two swimming costumes last year and realised how easy it is.

This was one of the things I never thought I could do and now feel more confident to tackle underwear and jeans in 2018.

I have a few plans for 2018 but will write another post for those!!

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