Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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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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Dorset Meet Up 2017

We did it…..a group of us from instagram met up in real life to go fabric shopping together and talk sewing over lunch! It was an amazing day!

Left to right:
@patternographer (Nicky) @dogsinstitches_and_me (Sue)
@craftysewandsewindorset (Jenny/me)
@lynsey_makes (Lynsey)
@charlotterunswithscissors (charlotte)

We were a small but friendly group and had such a lovely time chatting away like we have known each other for ages. The online world is so strange like that and something I am still adjusting to having not grown up with it. It offers so many opportunities.

We met up at Hansons in Sturminster Newton as a central location for most of Dorset. They helped us with designing the logo and advertising.

It really is an awe inspiring place to go shopping for fabric. They stock tonnes of beautiful quilting fabric plus so much dressmaking fabric it's hard to know where to start. Plus they had 20% off everything and a stash of fabrics at 50% off!!

I bought 6 different fabrics plus a small sample of ripstop for my daughter to make her barbie a raincoat:

The yellow fabric is to make a farah top to replicate one I took back to the shops as I couldn't deal with the extortionate price tag.
The light denim was originally bought with a pair of Morgan jeans in mind but have decided to make another Sew over it Erin skirt (following an instagram vote):

I need some decent pjs in my life so the plaid cotton is destined to be a pair of Carolyn pyjamas.

I relented and bought the Cleo pattern from Tilly and the buttons last week in the summer sale, so I will use the pale blue cord for that.

The whale fabric and seaside border fabric are for my daughter. She wants shorts from the whales and another Flo dress in the border fabric. The pattern only goes to age 6 so I have had to scale it up and squeeze it on to the fabric.

After exhausting the shop we walked up to Stur of the moment for a delicious lunch.

After we had eaten and taught Sue how to use instagram we swapped some patterns.
I walked away with three new patterns including a sewaholics Minoru jacket pattern:

Lynsey left with a bag of leftover patterns ready for another meet up.
We have set up an instagram group for @Dorset_meet_up or look up #dorsetmeetup
We have over 40 followers already so hoping the next meet up will be bigger and better each time!

Hansons have another sale in January so we are thinking about another meet in the new year…..maybe with a themed sew along or theme to our outfits??!

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Dorset sewers meet up 

A quick shout out to all Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire based sewers……we are planning a meet up on Saturday the 22nd July at Hanson craft shop in sturminster newton at 11am.

#dorsetmeetup is on!! 🤗

A post shared by Jenny Smith (@craftysewandsewindorset) on

They have a 20% off sale throughout July, so the plan is to shop for fabric, haberdashery and wool then wonder into town for lunch etc. 

Search for #dorsetmeetup on instagram or my link @craftysewandsewindorset to keep up to date with plans and car shares etc .

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