Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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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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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 ☹️.

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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.

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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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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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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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My #Sewtogetherforsummer prize 

Last month I was picked as a winner for my sew over it Florence dress (you can read about the dress here) and the lovely Sew Hayley Jane gifted me a surprise box as my prize.

The parcel arrived beautifully wrapped with string tied around it and a note attached.


I was given the summer garden party box which contained so many lovely things.


Look at all those goodies!! In the box I got:

– four fat quarters to make bunting

– pretty bias binding tape for bunting 

– prym wax for hand sewing 

– white gutterman thread

– a lovely notebook

– a cute jar of jam

– a few metres of gorgeous white eyelet fabric!!

I had already thought about joining in with #anorlaaffair on instagram and  decided that I would use whatever fabric Hayley sent me and I think this fabric will be perfect.


You can download the Orla dress free following this link. As part of the line up of posts Allie showed her version in white eyelet with a yellow slip underneath which looks beautiful. 

Being a tad obsessed with pink I have bought a stretch cotton in bright pink to line mine (as the white was a tad sheer and holey to not be lined!!).


July is turning out to be a very productive month so far. I have a pattern testing top to finish this week for Sinclair patterns (20% off if you join her Facebook page) and then I can get on to this dress! Plus I need to make my daughter’s play suit and my Megan Nielsen darling range dress for sewmystyle!!

A huge thank you to Hayley, Sarah, Suzi and Monika for organising this sew along and for my gift 😘

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Indie pattern month – dresses vote

I’ve been shortlisted for week one ‘dresses’ over at the monthly stitch.


Please could you lovely peeps have a look and vote for me (club Tropicana).

https://themonthlystitch.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/ipm-2017-dresses-let-the-voting-begin/
😋

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Summer sewing plans 

I had a bit of a sort out of my fabric stash this morning; removing small pieces of fabric remnants from previous projects and deciding what patterns to pair with fabric. 


I think I need to accept I am a fabric hoarder. If I have a piece left over I think I could use to make a top or shorts for my kids then it goes back in my stash pile, but then I end up buying new fabric for a project!

I have now sorted out 11 sewing plans (all from my stash!!).

Here goes:

1.


I picked up a free copy of the elisalex pattern from By Hand London from my love sewing magazine a few months ago. I bought this stretch cotton from fabricland a very long time ago for a pair of trousers but when I made a toile I didn’t like the design so it has sat in my stash. You can read about this dress here.

2.


My daughter agreed I could make her an outfit and selected this tween pattern from new look and wants view b. The fabric is black with mint green spots and is a viscose polyester so should be okay if the sun comes back again!

3.


This is part of the sew my style line up and due to be sewn for July. I have tried a few Megan Nielsen patterns now so confident that this will fit well. I didn’t want another chambray dress so I am going to see if I can fit the pattern on to this Tula pink fabric (originally destined to be a Collette ginger skirt). Again, I’ll omit the sleeves as prefer sleeveless in the summer.

4.

This was another free pattern from itch to stitch released on Mother’s Day in the US. I’m going to try it out on my stash jersey and might make a few of these for the summer if it works out.

5.


I made one pair of these flint trousers on chambray but keen to make a button up pair on black crepe for a smarter look.

6.


This was from last summers list!! I won this pattern in last years indie pattern month on the monthly stitch but never got round to making it. I think this might be more of an autumn make…..

7.


This is jersey from the girl charlee sale at Easter time. I’ve made a couple of briar tops now but fancy another brighter shirt in my wardrobe.

8.


This will be my third attempt at this pattern. My first was in black rib which came out okay but a bit too much stretch. My second one was in pink jersey but not enough stretch so I had to alter into a tshirt!

9.


This is another pattern that has sat in my stash for a year. I have made a couple of jackets recently and they are not as difficult as I think so need to get on with this.

10.


This is the August pattern for sew my style and I failed to use my imagination and found fabric like the photo!!

I also have a few other patterns waiting such as the paper cut bowline sweater, French navy orla dress and chalk and notch farah top!! 

I think they should see me through to autumn!!!

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Florence dress

Firstly I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts on my blog….. I found instagram and got a bit hooked on there. Plus felt that I was sharing with less effort / words but I will try harder to do both ( @craftysewandsewindorset )


Anyway, onto my blog post. This is the Florence dress from sew over it, released early via simply sewing magazine. I bought this fabric from Ikea ages ago for £12 for 3 meters pre cut and thought it would be perfect for this maxi dress even if the pattern requires fabric with drape!


The magazine planned this to be a slow sewing challenge as the patterns were in two issues but I just don’t sew like that. Therefore I waited until 2 days before the second issue before I started sewing!


I decided to omit the sleeves, mainly due to the 30 degree heat wave Britain had (note had sadly!!) been experiencing. I made my own bias binding to edge the sleeves using my little bias binding tools.

I originally decided to add poppers as I had bought a new prym tool for this very job, however tiredness and cider made this harder than it sounded!

I eventually gave up after several back to front connections and punching a hole in my dress and added buttons!

This cotton worked so well in the heat so will definitely become a holiday favourite. 

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Final 10 days of May

And it’s done!! A whole month of me Made outfits, some days I actually managed to wear totally handmade which was really surprising.

What this month has shown me is that I have lots of work clothes and basics like tshirts (which is why the challenge was not as hard as I thought) but really need to focus on more difficult makes such as jeans and dedicate more time to the process!

I also realised I have no where enough summer makes!! The sun came out in Britain last week for a few days, reaching 30 degrees and I was starting to struggle to find me Made outfits. I have a few Cami tops, a play suit (but no good for work!!) and one maxi dress. I need to get on with some shorts for the next bit of sunshine…. you never know when it’s coming or for how long in this country!!

Monday


Jacket – simple sew notch collar jacket- fabricland 

Top- designer stitch Kat top – fabricland 

Trousers- burda palazzo trousers- fabricland 

Tuesday 

Dress – Mccalls m7351 – fabricland 

Wednesday 


Jacket- grainline studio Morris blazer – Minerva crafts

Top- closet case file Nettie bodysuit (as a tshirt) – fabricland 

Skirt – sew over it Erin skirt – Ikea fabric 

Thursday 


Top -Kwik sew 3844-  fabricland 

Trousers- new look 6900- Amy butler fabric

Friday 



Top – sew over it cami top – fabricland (spare from my kimono)

Skirt -RTW from Boden 

Shoes – prym espadrilles kit- fabric from fancy moon ( that doesn’t seem to exist any more 😩)

Saturday 


Sweatshirt- sew house seven toaster sweater- fabricland 

Top – Megan Nielsen briar shirt – fabricland 

Jeans – RTW from next

Sunday 


Repeat outfit alert!! But the first in a month!!

Moss skirt with Agnes top, plus RTW next cardigan 

Monday 


Top- soi silk Cami top – fabric peachskin from soi

Trousers – began Nielsen flint trousers- fabric chambray from fabricland 

Tuesday 


Top – soi Anderson blouse – fabricland 

Trousers – soi ultimate trousers- fabricland 

I now have about a dozen makes I realise I have never blogged about…..

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