Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

Welcome to my world of craft!

Inspiration planning

How do you organise your thoughts and plans for sewing?

I’m not very good with technology, mainly due to having a rubbish mobile with no memory space (due to my Sew Awesome app which held all my sewing patterns but alas is no more after my husband “fixed” my phone).
I prefer to have something physical to hold but not adverse to solutions to help me find patterns, a bit like kindle vs book, and similar to that debate I fall somewhere in the middle.

I have a lot of patterns, and even more now I have gotten over my fear of pdf files and what if I lost them or couldn’t download them!
I print my pdf patterns off and put them in clear a4 wallets to hold the instructions and cut out pieces and actually quite enjoy the process of sticking the pattern together, safe in the knowledge that I could share print out a new one of I needed to.

Recently I have tried to review my wardrobe to make it more cohesive and increase my ability to wear a fully me made outfit (which I love the satisfaction of telling someone if they ask where I bought it from).
I am finally winning on this challenge, although I need to look towards spring and summer and keep the momentum going, I now have an answer…..

…..I use croquis images to draw outfits combining already existing makes with ideas based on stashed patterns or other Indi based patterns I have saved in my ever growing favourites list on the foldline.

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I am not the best artist in the world but enjoy sketching ideas and colours while watching tv on an evening. Combining pattern ideas and thinking about what I already own and what colours I am missing.

How do you plan your sewing?

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Me Made May 2017

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I, Jenny of http://www.craftysewandsewindorset.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear a minimum of one home sewn item of clothing each day for the duration of May 2017

I have joined in this challenge a few times now but feel this will be less of a challenge to me this year as I have made far more basics in the last year.

A few years ago most of my makes were dresses and not always in very practical fabric which would restrict where I could wear them. Now 75%of my wardrobe is handmade.. . T-shirts, skirts, trousers,  sweatshirt,  coats.

My biggest problem will be photographing my outfits each day and posting them on here but I will do my best.

If you are interested in joining in then check out Zoe’s blog.

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Make Nine Update

I thought I should review how my make nine sewing is going now we are in April (already!!).
I have completed a few of my makes, with a change to some of the final patterns, but not got round to taking photos!

You can read my original blog post here

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I have managed to make both of these sweatshirts here and here .

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I have made the palazzo trousers but from the burda magazine instead of the GBSB book. These are being worn as I type but are yet to be photographed.
I have almost finished a swimsuit but not this version. I was asked to pattern test one from seamstress Erin which I can’t blog about until after its release.
I haven’t made the coat yet and debating about making the Kelly anorak for the summer instead, just building up the motivation to take on another coat.

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I have now made three pairs of these trousers, which is a lot for me as I rarely find a TNT pattern as I get too excited to go onto the next project. I made a black velvet pair which I love; a pale pink stretch fabric which I’m not keen on as they don’t fit well with the level of stretch; and I finally finished my black jeans version which are my favourite. I altered the pattern to have a higher waistline and tapered the leg for a more fitted skinny jeans look. I also amended the rise to get a good fit, blog post coming soon once the sun comes out so I can get decent photos.

I haven’t made any of the selfless patterns yet (shame on me!) but vow to do these in the summer.
I also haven’t started on my Jackie o jacket or dress pattern and think they might be completed later in the year as I have too many other sewing plans first…..

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Tulip skirt from sew over it

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I feel the need to apologise now for the photos in this post. I’m so behind on blogging things I have made because I haven’t managed to get decent pictures that I resorted to the selfy stick I was given by my aunt at Christmas.
I have little need for a selfy stick in my life but then I thought about this blog and became very happy for my gift!!
Any way, back to the sewing……

I joined up to the sew over it pdf club a few months ago which gives you 10% discount and advanced access to monthly pdf pattern releases for just £5 a year, and you get to choose a free pdf pattern worth £7 when you join. I picked the tulip skirt as I have been looking at this for a while now.

In an attempt to make a more capsule and cohesive wardrobe (read plain and basic and not all patterned fabric) I decided I needed to make a few black and navy tops and bottoms(which I have, but not blogged….jeans, skirts, t shirts).
I am wearing my tilly and the buttons Agnes top with the skirt in these photos and really love being able to wear a whole me made outfit, coat included!

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This is a really simple design skirt with pleats at the front and darts at the back.

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The other great thing about this pattern is that it has pockets!

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I made this skirt with black cotton blend suiting fabric from fabricland, so overall a pretty cheap skirt to put together in about 2 hours.

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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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World Book Day Totoro

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I thought I got away with world book day this year, my son announced that he was going as a dinosaur from Tyrannosaurus drip. He has a crocodile costume in his wardrobe and was happy to wear this and my daughter was convinced that her middle school wouldn’t ‘do dress up’.

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Then we got an email on Friday last week stating that she would be joining in and immediately asked to go as Totoro.
Our daughter is obsessed with studio ghibli My Neighbour Totoro. At Christmas we bought her Totoro pens, Totoro hat, Totoro pencil case etc!!
It feels like a bit of a cheat as it’s a film rather than a book but she stands by the fact that a film that is almost 30 years old must have some accompanying books!!

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The hat and scarf was a Christmas present so I only had to sort the top and trousers….off to primark we went ( don’t judge me!!!! They had posted up directing you to look at ethical primark, but £2 for a pair of leggings does feel wrong!).
In case you don’t know who or what Totoro is, here’s a photo:

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There are lots of Totoro sweatshirts for sale so easy to get an idea on how to make one (mainly in adult sizes strangely!).

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I started by making a template for the white belly.

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Checked it looked big enough.

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Cut it out of white fleece on the fold to ensure they were the same size.

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Then I cut out seven little v shaped pieces out of grey fleece, splitting one between the two semi circles.

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I pinned these on and sewed around the edges on my machine for speed.

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Before sewing the semi circles on the front I pinned the pockets out of the way with safety pins so I didn’t catch them.

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Ta da finished!!

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With her little pencil case.

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Field trip top by Oliver and S

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My son really needed some new tops so rather than go shopping I started to search online for some pattern ideas.
I have seen lots of Oliver and S patterns in the past but thought they were for little kids and my two at age 8 & 10 were now too big. They actually go up to age 12 so I bought the field trip top as a pdf file for instant gratification and got a skirt pattern for my daughter which was offered at a special price.

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Just in case you are interested,  I store all my pdf’s printed in plastic wallets with the instructions and pattern pieces tucked in behind.
I have since downloaded the little sunny day shorts that are free on their website.

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I took my kids to my local fabricland and asked my son to choose some fabric.  He was not interested in the slightest and randomly pointed to the green and black! I cut a size 7 for him even though he is quite a tall but skinny 8 year old. I added a little length to the body but the arms fitted well.
When we were at fabricland my daughter insisted that I make her one as well and went straight for a jersey aztec design.

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As you can see she is very pleased with hers and happily modelled for me!

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So much so she told me that the top was worthy of a “dab”……whatever that means!!

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Originally we were going to have black arms but decided to put the pattern on the sleeves as they were different weights. She asked for cuffs that she could put her thumbs through,  so luckily I remembered that Emily posted on how to create this so had a quick recap.
This was made this morning ready for a birthday party at lunchtime so it’s a really quick make.

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Five years old today

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Wow,  wordpress just sent me a message to say craftysewandsewindorset is five years old today!!
Thank you to everyone who follows me and appears to actually read my posts from the lovely comments you leave me. 
Here’s to another five years!! 🙌

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Sew my Style Saunio

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The Saunio cardigan is the second offering in the sew my style capsule wardrobe challenge.
I bought some fabric for this design back in January but didn’t get round to looking at this pattern until this week. I actually bought some scuba with peach lace overlay to make this cardigan but then looked at my original fabric and decided to try it with that first.

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I am so pleased with this design and the fabric is super soft to the touch and much nicer than I remember.
The sewing was completed in about 1 1/2 hours, the paper pattern on the other hand took me a head scratching 1 1/2 hours on its own!!!

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This was a pdf pattern which meant that it did have the seam allowance included (1cm instead of 1.5cm) but to save paper on the printer they overlap all the pieces. Once you stick it together you then still have to trace each piece and cut out again!! Grrrr! And some of the overlaps made it a challenge for my head to trace after a long day at work and trying to get kids into bed!!

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Any who, once I got going this was a dream to sew up. Just look at that pattern matching on the side and arm (if you can even spot them!)

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I interfaced the facing and stitched it from the outside on the furthest edge to stop it flapping open and looks really tidy from the outside.
I will definitely make another one of these but not sure my scuba will work so need to think of another pattern to use that on.
I made this in size small which is great for this light knit fabric but would go up a size in anything thicker. This is meant to be oversized and it’s not on this version but I am happy with that as looks smarter for work.

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Simple Sew Lena dress

It’s finished…. With sleeves! (thank you to all you girlies who offered views and sold me on the sleeves!!)

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This is the Lena wrap dress that came free with love sewing magazine,  I don’t own a wrap dress as not sure if it would suit my bodyshape (read no boobs to fill the wrap section 😣) but this was advertised as a false wrap so thought I would try it out.

The fabric is from girl charlee from their bargain lot section: turquoise black Diamond cotton spandex blend knit fabric for a steal at £7.90 for two metres!
It’s super soft and super stretchy. So much so, that this post was almost titled “a

stretch too fa

r”!

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The top half was simple to put together but the instructions offered no assistance!!

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Note that it tells you to join the lining and bodice together at the neckline and armholes….. But you don’t sew the armholes and if you do you can’t complete the next 3 steps! Luckily I spotted this and ignored but feel for a more novice sewer who might not spot this.

I binned the guidance at this point and figured it out on my own and used a mixture of my overlocker and normal machine with walking foot to join seams and finish the inside.
After I finished the wrap section with my overlocker I tried it on for size and realised I had stretched the neckline fabric to resemble a saggy mess 😭
I steamed it over and over on my mannequin and miraculously it seems to have worked..  Phew!
The pattern has notches for matching the wrap sections but this was miles off for me but simply making each point join the seam line fitted a treat (and possibly helped the sagging front!!). I also added a tack stitch on the lining to hold the front together and avoid me pulling it up throughout the day.

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I didn’t want a separate band at the bottom so cut this into the main a skirt piece, only to cut it off again at hemming stage as it was about 10cm too long for my liking.
This dress now sits just above my knee and the sleeves are just above my elbow.

I was unsure about adding sleeves but encouraged by many of my blogging companions I did add them…..and you were all right! This length sleeve means I won’t need a jacket in the office during spring and summer.

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