Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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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!!!

3.

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:

4.

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.

5.

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!!!

6.

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:

7.

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.

8.

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!

9. And 10.

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!

11.

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.

12.

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:

13.

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!

14.

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.

15.

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: 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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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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December and January Makes

I managed to squeeze in seven makes last month!!! I think I’m getting obsessed again with sewing!

In November and December I went through a bit of sewing lull and only started sewing again at the end of December to make some outfits for Christmas parties.

The dress at the top is the Sew over it 1940’s teadress made for Christmas Eve.

The sequin top is a true bias Ogden top for the works Christmas do and again on Christmas Day.

The black wrap dress (not finished fully in this photo) is from the Chinello Bally book and never got worn!! The works party moved from a hotel to a pub so this felt too OTT. I still need to hem the sleeves and I think it needs some bling on the waistband but that might happen nearer to next Christmas!!

This is my latest make, finished yesterday. It’s the Tilly and the buttons Rosa shirt made in linen type chambray.

It’s such a lovely shape and a good fit. I might size up on the busy next time as I sewed a size 3 graded to 4 on the waist and hip; the lower half is perfect but the bust is a close fit and not able to wear a loose top underneath.

This is the photo that inspired me to make a denim shirt and aiming to replicate this look at the weekend.

This is my muse pattern Jenna cardigan made in free fabric from the stash swap at the Dorset meet up the other weekend.

It’s a great fit first time; I opted for the version with yoke and 3/4 sleeves due to limited fabric and managed to squeeze it out of what I had. I’m aiming to try and make some from the left over fabric grimy heather dress.

This the Sew over it Heather dress in polyester knit jersey from fabricland. This is one of my favourite dresses at the moment, super comfortable, flattering and pockets. Sadly this fabric is not coping with wear and is getting bobbly already ☹️.

<<<<
ned up to see my style over on instagram and this is January's offering: the sunny dress from the Friday pattern company. I've already blogged about this one here.

<<<<
ally got round to sewing up the Carolyn pyjamas from closet case files. I bought this pattern in November in the Black Friday sales and have had my eye on them since last summer. These are made up from a ripped Ikea duvet and are so comfortable. I need to make the top a size smaller , I’m sure I’d read they come up small but this does swamp me. Trousers were a great fit!

<Nettie bodysuit from closet case files was on my make nine list (along with the Carolyn pyjamas and Jenna cardigan).

I ordered some floral stretch fabric from fabrics galore in the Black Friday sale and when it arrived it was more like swimsuit fabric. I made this low back scoop neck version and have enough left to make a costume in the summer.

<<<<
e are my two final makes for the last two months; a Kommatia Ferri bodysuit ( that I love 💕) and a Lindy petal skirt from itch to stitch ( free pattern!!) with left overs from the sunny dress.

That’s a lot of sewing for 8 weeks!!! What have you been sewing recently?

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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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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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The Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

I was lucky enough to win tickets for me and a friend to go to the sewing bee live from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics last week.

This is the first sewing show I have been to so difficult to make any comparison but I absolutely loved it.

This is the first version of this show and was held in one of the units at Excel London. We had a very long day leaving Bournemouth at 6.30am and then risking an Uber taxi across London (which took an hour to go 8 miles at 9.30 in the morning).

We grabbed a coffee as soon as we arrived and sat down to watch one of the catwalk shows.

It was great to see lots of other bloggers and Instagram people walking around. It was a little surreal waving at people like we knew each other although we had never met in real life!!

I was rubbish at taking photos and only have a few to share I’m afraid! There were loads of fabric shop stalls all aimed at dressmaking or quilting with so many beautiful fabrics.

We were very reserved and I only bought a couple of fabrics and patterns.

I bought some French terry jersey from girl charlee uk and have already made a Papercut bowline sweatshirt with it.

I bought a Rosa shirt dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons and some cotton fabric from Fabrics Galore.

It was so great to be able to sample the quality of the fabric from stores I can normally only access online such as Higgs and Higgs and Guthrie and Ghani. Lauren had some beautiful kits put together for linden sweaters and ginger jeans.

Apart from the fabric stores there were displays of clothing from Liberty and also from the contestants on the tv show. It was amazing to see the quality of the finish garments the contestants had made under such pressure. I have to admit I had assumed that they probably weren’t finished well but the ones on display certainly were. Especially Jade’s beaded finale dress.

We also watched a few of the contestants at the mini theatre demonstrating how to insert zips or Sew with jersey.

We sadly didn’t get tickets for the super theatre so didn’t get chance to see Esme and Patrick.

So who’s up for going next year??! Anyone interested in Dorset look up @dorset_meet_up on instagram as it looks like there might be a few of us!!

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Succumbed to the Cleo

Well I finally gave in to the Cleo dungaree dress from Tilly and the buttons. They had a sale and I couldn’t resist any longer (even though I discussed this pattern at @dorset_meet_up with @charlotterunswithscissors and agreed it wasn’t fitted enough to be appealing!!).

I bought this pale blue needle cord at Hansons fabric and craft during the Dorset meet up in July with plans to sew a dungaree dress but from my burda magazine.

I cut the pattern out at full length so I could decide what length to have when I could try it on. I decided to cut it back to the mini skirt version but can see me making another in denim at knee length with a split at the front.

This was a really quick make; 2 hours got me to the stage above including making bias binding for the facing. A further hour finished the hem and facing.

I edged the facing with floral bias binding and the same for the hem. I love these hidden details and this is definitely a satisfying make for little details, including all the top stitching on the pockets, straps and seams.

My original thoughts on this pattern were accurate. I cut a size 4 as this matched my hip measurements and it said that the waist was not fitted so not to worry about this measurement much.

When I went to try it on it was huge and gaping at the waist but fitted on the hips. I had to take off 3cm at each side at waist level and tapered down to the size 4 hip.

This fitted on and off okay but think I got away with it as I am quite small on top half.

I used prymm buckles bought from Tilly and the buttons which went on well without the need to hammer them on, just push fit.

I am really pleased with this dress and glad that I followed the sewing crowd 😊

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A Frilling Top


Back in June I braved the shops to find a smart top to wear to an interview. It was a painful experience even with the decent selection of shops available in Bournemouth for a couple of reasons; I had to find something plain and smart (no prints 😫); and I object to the cost when I know I can make it for less (even if I don't have the time!). I only went shopping this time to reduce pressure on myself before an interview.

So this is the top I settled on from Dorothy Perkins…. it cost £25!! For a polyester crepe top with a necklace. I got it home and looked at it and looked at it…the quality just wasn't there. The threads from the seam allowance were caught in the seam and the edge stitching wasn't very neat!
I decided I couldn't do it and it would need to go back to the shop….so the day before my interview I turned to my sewing machine and made a simple sew pussybow blouse.

The fabric was from fabricland (bought on the way home from the shop!) and the pattern was sent to me from Naomi after my last pussybow blouse was a disaster.

I still loved the design of the yellow top so I posted on instagram and Lynsey came to my rescue with a replica pattern.

https://instagram.com/p/BV1SuDmhvhx/


Lynsey recommended the Farah top from chalk and notch, which was a perfect match.
I picked up some mustard yellow fabric during the Dorset meet up with lovely drape that I thought would work well.

The fabric was lovely to work with, almost like a jersey.

The pattern is well drafted and ensures all edges are finished well with a mitred hem and French seams etc. It has a section to insert under the arm between the frills.

I am really pleased with the finished item and prefer it to the RTW version and only cost £8!!

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