Wednesday 21 September 2016

Bettine #2

Hello all! I'm back with my Bettine #2! 

I started this almost as soon as my last version was completed, and managed to get this finished just before setting off for our lovely vacation to Hong Kong and Bali! It was the perfect holiday, and this was the perfect holiday dress, if I may say so myself ;) 

Some action shots for you today:

Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray
The tide was coming in!
Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray

 Dramatic rock formations at the Blue Point beach
Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray

I hunted down a dreamy piece of Ships Nautique Chambray from Backstitch (still available here in case you were interested) for this dress, which had more structure than the soft and drapey viscose I used for the last version.  

Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray
I opted for the sleeve tabs this time, and finished them off with a pair of antique-look anchor buttons to complete that nautical look. 

Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray

I have to say, this project turned out exactly how I envisaged it, and I think I may prefer it to my last version! It is a hard choice, but I'm basing it on the level of warm & fuzzy feeling that I get from wiggling into them. That said, my viscose version enjoyed plenty of wear on this vacation, and I very much appreciated how comfortable, cool, and pretty it was.  
Tilly and the buttons Bettine in chambray

That's all I've got to say about my Bettine #2. Before I go, let me leave you with one of my favourite snaps from the beautiful island of Bali, and I hope it brings you as much calmness and zen as it does to me.  

Bali beach stone zen

Friday 26 August 2016

My first Bettine!

Who's loving the heat wave this week? The weather has been so lovely in the last few days, so much so that I felt inspired to make a summer dress! 

I wanted something comfortable and cool to wear, that could be thrown on without much fuss.You may also have noticed that I have not posted a sewing project for a while (since I've been busy doing up the house again!), so I wanted something straightforward to ease me back into sewing.  

Can you believe that this is my first Tilly pattern? And I have to say, I was impressed! 

Tilly buttons bettine viscose

I love the simple design of the Bettine. It is beautifully casual, and extremely easy to put together. 

I had a lovely piece of viscose in my stash, which was picked up in my Garment District trip over 2 years ago. The busy pattern of red and white striped, scattered by blue grey flowers was the perfect match for this relaxed little number.  

Tilly buttons bettine viscose

I made a few minor tweaks to the pattern/construction:
  1. I shortened both the bodice and the skirt slightly;
  2. I did not topstitch the facing as it was pretty flat, and I prefer it without the visible line of stitching;
  3. I did not bother with the cuff, and did a little hem on the sleeves instead. 
Tilly buttons bettine viscose

I'm really pleased with how quick it was to thrown together (it only took a weekday evening!), and how it turned out. I'm already sewing my next version, so watch this space! 

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine this bank holiday weekend!  

Monday 6 June 2016

MMM'16 Final Week round-up!

A little late, but here's the round-up of my last week of MMM'16. 

Let's begin with the Old Favourites Dress:
McCalls 2401 Old Favourite Dress

My Bottle Green Vintage Liberty strikes again:
Vintage Vogue 1137 Green Liberty Dress

 The Vintage Pleated Skirt:
Vintage Simplicity 6091 A-line pleated skirt

And last but not least, one of my McCalls 3830 in action: 
McCalls 3830 Pencil Skirt

So that's it for another year! I've found it really enjoyable to participate, and MMM has inspired me to make more of an effort to wear home made items for the rest of the year. 

Have a great week guys! The sun is shining here beautifully, and I hope you've got the same fantastic weather where you are, too! 

Friday 20 May 2016

MMM'16 week #3

It's time for our week #3 Me Made May 2016 round-up! 

Since I missed out on wearing any homemade outfits last week due to feeling poorly with a bug, I wanted to make the most of it this week. So here we are!

Tuesday (I worked at home on Monday in my PJs again!) -- first day back in the office, I needed a "feel good" dress. This TNT mash-up dress never fails to cheer me up :D
Wedding guest dress Elisalex McCalls 3830 mash-up

Wedding guest dress Elisalex McCalls 3830 mash-up

Wednesday daytime- in the office with my first version of Vintage Vogue 1137 

Wednesday evening - Back to Basics top
Simplicity 1106 rayon

Thursday - attending an all-day conference in London in my new Bottle Green Liberty dress. I met a dear friend of mine afterwards in an amazing little Thai Cafe near Waterloo. Just about to sip my Thai ice tea here -- one of my favourite drinks of all times!
Vintage Vogue 1137 Green Liberty Wool

 Dress-down Friday - Cheap as Chips Alma Blouse
Sewaholic Alma Top

The weekend is going to be filled with decorating and other home improvements, so chances are, my home made wardrobe will be getting a little well-deserved break :) Whatever you will be up to this weekend (hopefully something a little more glamorous than what I've got planned), I hope you have a great one! 

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Back to basics - Simplicity 1106 top

Hey guys! I hope you are all having a good week so far! 

After coming down with something a week or so ago, I had spent most of last week at home with a very nasty viral infection. As a real trooper, I managed to work most of the week, but not getting out of my PJs all week had meant that I had effectively missed week 2 of Me Made May! Thankfully I'm much better now, and am getting back into the swing of things. In fact, I'm trying to wear more homemade garments this week to make up for it ;)

Anyhow, I'm back with a new project to share with you. It's completely back to basics, but at the same time really rewarding as it was so quick to knock together. 
Simplicity 1106 rayon

The pattern is Simplicity 1106 - I made view D but without the cut-out in the back. 

I had been wanting to find a simple, dartless and loose-fitting blouse pattern for quite some time, and I'm really pleased to say that this is exactly what I have been looking for! I love the neckline, the little sleeves, the shaped hem, and the optional pocket. It's basic, and extremely versatile. 
Simplicity 1106 rayon

I need to give that pocket a better press! 

The fabric is a lovely, soft coral viscose/rayon that I have had in my stash for years. It's really comfortable to wear, but does wrinkle up rather easily. 

I finished the seams with a rayon seam binding in a light coral, which I picked up from my NYC Garment District trip a couple of years ago.  

Simplicity 1106 rayon seam binding

As this top cried out for a narrow hem, I got out my narrow hem foot, and gave that another go. Viscose isn't the most well-behaving fabric for this sort of thing, but I managed an okay hem by turning the speed limit down on my machine to the lowest setting. Did anyone see Jamie churning out narrow hems on his skirt on the Sewing Bee on Monday night?? One round down, I'm putting my money on him to win -- what a legend!
Simplicity 1106 rayon rolled hem

For a quick project, I'm pretty happy with how this top has turned out. I can see myself throwing it on for both dress up and down days, and the colour is perfect for spring. More importantly, I feel like my sewing prayer for a nice, basic woven top has finally been answered. Thank you Simplicity! I am already planning my next version in a beautiful piece of printed silk. 

Enjoy the rest of your week. I'm now off to check out all your week 2 MMM outfits!  

Sunday 8 May 2016

MMM '16 week 1 round-up

Lisette Traveler Simplicity 2246 Shirt Dress
It's time for the first round-up of MMM '16!

It's been a beautiful week here in the UK, finishing on a heat wave over the weekend reaching 26 degrees today! Unfortunately, I have been feeling rather poorly from Thursday night, with a super sore throat, a high fever, and an annoying cough, so couldn't quite enjoy the best weather to the full. 

My MMM wardrobe suffered slightly as a result -- I so wish I had me-made PJs for those unwell days! 

Tuesday -- the 1940s Sew for Victory blouse
Vintage Simplicity 2343 Liberty Lawn

Wednesday -- Alma Blouse with Peter Pan collar
Sewaholic Alma Blouse

I managed to get my bum out of bed this afternoon, as I was on the mend, and we drove with the roof down to the idyllic Sculpture Garden in a nearby village in Ockley. Isn't it just stunning? I dug out my summer wardrobe and put on My Little Lisette Traveler dress:
Lisette Traveler Simplicity 2246 Shirt Dress
That's it for week 1! All things considering, I haven't done all that badly. Let's hope the sun keeps on shining for week 2!   

Monday 2 May 2016

Vintage Vogue 1137 in bottle green Liberty

Hi guys! I hope your week/bank holiday weekend is going well! Thanks to the extended weekend here in the UK, I have managed to snap some pictures of my latest project today to share with you :)

Remember my test run for the Vintage Vogue 1137? More than 2 entire years later (!), I'm pleased to say that the "real deal" is done, and just as I envisaged when I picked up this beautiful piece of Liberty wool in an unusual bottle green colour from Goldhawk Road.  
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool

Long term readers of this blog will know that green is not a colour that I reach for very often; I can't help but think that the drawings on the envelope may have something to do with my fabric decision here. 

Thinking about it, I can't actually understand or explain why it took me so long to pick up this pattern again. My test run had gone really well, and the unlined cotton dress ended up getting plenty of wear, for its comfy-to-wear, easy-to-pack, simple-to-style qualities. What's not to like? In fact, it featured so much in my work wardrobe that the colour has even faded slightly in the wash!  

No wonder Vogue 1137 was one of my pattern picks!  

When I did eventually pick up this lovely pattern again, I felt very grateful to my younger self that I did not need to make any alteration to it. The only thing I did change for this version was adding a lining, and I sure didn't hold back! 
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty DressVintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Lined Dress

Oh how I so wish this dress was fully reversible! The bodice lining is a super soft watercolour viscose (I only had a tiny piece), and the skirt lining was the leftover aubergine polyester lining from my Ultimate Work Skirt

Now I want to make version #3, in something slinky and dressy!
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool Dress Lining

A couple of notes on the construction. First, as explained in my skirt lining tutorial here, instead of sewing full darts, I opted for tucks on the skirt lining to allow some additional ease (see picture above). It worked well, and I can move very freely in it.  
The second one is about inserting the bodice lining. I didn't follow the instruction for this, but instead, I used this super clear tutorial (based on the same pattern!) which let me get away with minimal hand sewing. It worked a treat! The only hand sewing that I ended up doing was stitching the lining to the lapped zipper, and finishing the dress with an invisible hem. 

The lapped zipper:
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool Dress Lapped Zipper

Remember these subtle but elegant V-necklines? Front and back?
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool Lined Dress
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool Lined Dress

I'm so pleased with how this dress has turned out (and in!), and am proud to have this addition to my work wardrobe. It was worth the wait, after all! 
Vintage Vogue 1137 Liberty Wool Lined Dress

Sunday 1 May 2016

Me-Made-May '16 -- my last minute pledge!

Hey guys! I thought I left it late last year, but somehow I managed to be even more "spontaneous" this year! It wasn't about the dithering so much this year; instead, I simply hadn't had the time to make my pledge until now. 

The first 4 months of 2016 have seen me pretty busy spending almost all my spare time on works on our house -- we've had our garden landscaped, upgraded our central heating and boiler system, completely refitted our cloakroom, ripped out our en-suite, and had our front door replaced, with a new back door on its way, too. I've actually enjoyed it all, especially picking up some new skills, but it has meant that my sewing (and this blog) has suffered somewhat. That said, I have got a few projects lined up to share with you very shortly, as soon as I get a chance to photograph them. 

Having enjoyed MMM '15 tremendously, I didn't want to be missing out this year! So here it is: 

I, Alice from Queen of Darts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear one me-made garment at least 3 times per week for the duration of May 2016

I shall look forward to seeing all the MMM outfits from everyone!

Sunday 7 February 2016

My very own Moneta!

Happy Chinese New Year, my dear readers! I hope the year of the Monkey brings you endless joy and happiness! 

I'm back after a few months of hibernation, with a satisfying project to kick off the sewing for 2016. I made my very own Colette Moneta! Why the break? I'm not sure really. A few months ago, I made the decision of only sewing when my sew-jo says so, and the same goes with the blogging. Ultimately, I sew and I blog because I enjoy it, and I didn't want it to become some sort of a chore. There is enough pressure and stress in modern life without becoming enslaved by one's hobby. Know what I mean? 
Colette Moneta Knit Dress

Anyhow, after seeing hundreds of Moneta popping up left, right and centre, my hands were itchy, and my sew-jo was flowing. I am so pleased to be finally joining the Moneta club. White Tree Fabrics kindly provided me with the pattern and the beautiful Art Gallery cotton jersey, which I felt in love with as soon I spotted it on their website. The fabric is even better in person - it is incredibly soft, and I have not stopped thinking about how I can make every inch of the scrap into underwear/leggings/PJs/tank tops that I can have the fabric hugging my skin all the time! 
Colette Moneta Knit Dress Gathered Waist
It's been over a year since my first encounter with knits; I felt slightly nervous yet excited as I dusted off my overlocker for project number 2.  

For an inexperienced jersey sewer, I found the Moneta Sew-along really helpful. I have to admit that I was a bit worried about the gathering with clear elastics, but it worked out a lot better than I had feared. The pattern was great, and truthfully I've had my eyes on it as soon as it first came out. It's a classic design - versatile, very wearable, with cute variations. I went with Version 3, as I liked the length of the sleeves. I didn't worry too much about the fit here, since sewing with knits is rather forgiving, but I did reduce the length of both the bodice and skirt to allow for my petite frame. 

I had  managed to equip my sewing cupboard with both 1/4 clear elastic (which I struggled to get my sticky fingers on previously, so I stocked up when I was in NYC last year), and some Wonder Tape. The tape sure worked wonders when hemming the skirt and the neckline, as it works by holding the fabric in the right places without stretching it out of shape. I would highly recommend it if you want to avoid a wavy hem or a gaping neckline.  
Colette Moneta Knit Dress

The whole project was finished in a couple of evenings, which has really made me appreciate how quick sewing with knits is. No facing, zips, buttons, or fitting issues, and the seams are already finished as you serge. Why didn't I enter the world of knit fabrics earlier?  

With this little project under my belt, you can probably tell that I feel a lot better about sewing with knits. What's next? I hear you ask. Honestly, I'm currently fighting against the urge of making another Moneta, with a heavier, warmer fabric. I think it will be back to basics next, either with the Linden sweatshirt, or the Lark tee, to help me build a more wearable homemade wardrobe.