Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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Pattern review: Sew Over It Clara blouse

First things first……I love my new blouse!!

This is the latest release from Sew over it which I bought last week as I’m a member of their pdf club (10% off pdf pattern releases and access to patterns before they are released, all for £5 a year plus a free pattern of your choice!)

This fabric was from my stash, it’s a liberty print of umbrellas bought at Livingstone textiles in Yeovil last summer for my birthday. I had plans to make a soi 1940’s tea dress but my husband asked me about the era of this print and prompted me to find a 1940’s print instead of this 1920’s design!!

I did a quick piece of research on this print and discovered it was designed by Winifred Mold in 1919, you can read more about it here.

This was a relatively straight forward make but with lots of stages so a slow Sew for me compared to my normal jersey makes. It took me about 6-7 hours in total over a few evenings to complete.

I constructed the pleats, neckline and side seams in one sitting.

I hemmed it and added sleeves on another evening and then finished the cuffs on a third evening.

The cuffs are what convinced me to buy this pattern. I love the finer details on patterns you buy from independent pattern designers rather than the big four.

I used star buttons from my pot of buttons from the makery.

The instructions were very long and detailed for this pattern..over 50 steps!! In my opinion they were so detailed it became more confusing! I kept re-reading sections not understanding and then would skip a couple of sections in the photos and realise they were just asking me to bias bind the cuff opening or sew the interfacing on. Things I didn’t need step by step guidance on. It would be interesting to know how a beginner would report on the instructions, maybe I just don’t read them properly any more and this level of instruction caused me confusion.

I would say this pattern was for an advanced beginner/ intermediate dressmaker due to the fiddly technique on the cuffs and facing.

I cut a straight size 10 based on my bust size and needed no alterations 😊

This is a great pattern with lovely details and will definitely be replicated in other prints in my wardrobe this year.

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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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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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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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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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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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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 🙁


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 3

Another week completed and no repeat outfits yet…. I need to figure out if I can find 11 more outfits!

I have a half completed Nettie bodysuit (that doesn’t fit so needs to be hacked ☹️) and fabric ready for a pair of flint trousers to make this week. I also picked up the new free tank top pattern from itch to stitch to fit in this month.

Monday 



Top – Megan Nielsen briar top – fabricland 

Dress- vogue v8667- fabric from an independent shop in a little village 

Tuesday 


Top- sew over it Ella blouse – fabric land

Skirt – sew house seven alberta street skirt – fabric land

Wednesday 


Dress – simple sew Kate dress – girl charlee 

Thursday 


Top – sew over it Molly top – fabricland 

Skirt – simple sew 2in1 skirt – fabricland

Friday


Top – Tilly and the button Agnes top – fabricland 

Saturday 


Top – Tilly and the buttons Agnes top – girl charlee

Dress – self drafted – fabricland

Sunday 


Dress- pattern from love sewing magazine- fabricland

Leggings -RTW 

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