Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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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.ย 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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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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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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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 ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ.

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 ยฃ50 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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Ultimate black skinny jeans and a Mimi blouse


I actually made jeans!! I blogged about these Trousers here when they were on my disaster list, but I persevered and now I love them. 


The zip got replaced and although the lapped part of the zip doesn’t sit as flat as I would like, it doesn’t bother me as I am not likely to wear cropped tops any more!


Obligatory bum shot to evidence the fit I managed to achieve. I think I would put the pockets on a little lower next time but they are still deep enough to put my mobile in when necessary.

The fabric is a black stretch denim from fabricland. It seems pretty good and the knees don’t bag out even after a few wears but there are signs of tiny elastic threads showing against the black which is frustrating. I also failed to note any of my adjustments as I was pinning and sewing as I went so not sure how I can replicate these ๐Ÿ™


This shirt is the mimi blouse from Tilly and the buttons book. I really like the look of this top with the little collar and riches back detail. However, I think I picked the wrong fabric.

This red polka dot cotton is a bit to stiff and doesn’t drape well so I feel the collar sits off my chest too much. I might make another in a more viscose fabric as I keep seeing lots of lovely versions and a bit disappointed with this one. 

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Me Made May week 2

Another week down and found it easier than I thought to wear two or more me Made items to work or at home.

I love participating in me Made May as it makes me think about wearing clothes I have made ages ago but keep pushing aside.

Monday 

Top – TATB Agnes top- fabric from fabric galore 

Skirt – RTW from marks and spencer

Tuesday 


Jacket- Grainline Morris blazer – fabric from Minerva crafts 

Top – TATB Agnes top – fabric from girl charlee 

Skirt – sew over it tulip skirt- fabric from fabricland 

Wednesday 


Cardigan – RTW from next

Top- Sew over it silk Cami top – fabric from fabricland 

Trousers – Tilly and the buttons marigold – fabric from fabricland 

Thursday 


Dress – simple sew Lena wrap dress – fabric from girl charlee 

Friday 


Jacket – Grainline Morris blazer (again!!)

Top- designer stitch Kat top (again!!)

Skirt – itch to stitch Lindy petal skirt – fabric from girl charlee  

Saturday 

Top – Megan Nielsen briar top – fabric from fabricland 

Trousers – adapted sew over it ultimate trousers – fabric from fabric land

Sunday

 

Top- Tilly and the buttons mimi blouse- fabric from fabric land

Trousers – soi ultimate trousers-as above 

The other thing this last fortnight has made me realise is that I have quite eclectic taste and a varied wardrobe….. and I’m terrible at blogging things I have made. I have a lot of makes to write up!

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Week 1, MMM17

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I am determined to be more dedicated to me made May this year and take photos every day, and post once a week with the full weeks outfits.
I am hoping this will help direct me to see my style and figure out the gaps in my wardrobe. Already after one week I can see a huge gap with trousers in my handmade wardrobe. I have a few pairs of ultimate trousers but I am not happy with the fit on one and the fabric choice on another. I have found a lot of lovely looking patterns on the foldline.
Do you have a favourite trousers pattern to recommend?

Monday

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Kat top – designer stitch – fabric from girl charlee
Jeans – RTW from next

Tuesday

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Cami top – sew over it – fabric from fabric land
Palazzo trousers – burda magazine – fabric from fabricland

Wednesday

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White top – McCall pattern ( I think) – fabric from fabricland
Kimono – sew over it – fabric from fabricland
Trousers – Rtw from next

Thursday

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White t shirt – Kat top from designer stitch – fabric from fabric land
Cardigan – named saunio jacket – fabric from fabric land
Skirt – grainline moss skirt – fabric from fabric land

Friday

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Jacket – grainline Morris blazer – fabric from Minerva craft
Top – designer stitch Kat top – fabric from sew over it
Trousers – RTW from next

Saturday

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Top- closet case files nettie pursuit – fabric from fabric land
Jeans – RTW from next

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Jumper- Sew House seven toaster sweater – fabric from girl charlee
Being photobombed by my 11 year old!!

Sunday

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Jacket – grainline Morris blazer – as above
Top – designer stitch Kat top – as above
Trousers – RTW jeans from next

Well that’s one week down…..I own a lot of jeans from next which is probably why I am not driven to make my own as I am happy with the fit from all three pairs.
I need more white tops and more vest tops in neutral colours, and I need more trousers…..tatb marigold trousers almost finished as I type.

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Aggghh…….

I made myself a pair of jeans,  actually a hack of the ultimate trousers from sew over it in black denim so no front fly, but jeans none the less!
I added a zip guard, bias binding around the facing edge and altered the fit several times to get the fit I wanted….I was so happy!!  Until I tried them on one last time to decide on the length to hem them….. And the zip broke 😭

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It had been a bit ‘sticky’ at times during fitting but this time it just jammed and then completely separated. I could cry, as I now have to unpick all my neat finishing and try and fit a new one.
Luckily we have dogs. How does that help you ask?!

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Just look at that face….a quick cuddle with this beauty and the world is a better place again! Time for bed, ready to tackle that zip another day!

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Top 5 Goals for 2017

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This one overlaps with my 2017 nine makes post but that does allow me to add five more things to my wish list.

1. A fitted jacket
I’ve added the Jackie o jacket to my list but I quite fancy the grainline Morris jacket.

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2. Underwear
I have bought very little RTW items this week but underwear escaped this rule. I have found a few bra designs I like the idea of and have the advantage of not being very busty.

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3. Jeans
I have been watching more and more of the blogging community whipping up jeans and I’ve yet to be brave enough to take he plunge. I like the idea of ginger jeans but also the jeans that come in the sew over it e book.

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4. Selfless shirt
This is double edged; firstly considering a project that won’t be quick and needs to be executed week for the recipient to consider wearing it; and secondly the recipient not being me…..I can do this!!

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5. Trendier kids clothes
Our 10 year old daughter went to a disco the other day and really struggled to find something to wear. She likes to be different and didn’t want to wear black like all her friends but then everything else was leggings and t shirts! I need to search for more Indi girl’s patterns that keeps her my little girl but trendy for her mates. Plus find some nicer boys patterns.

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