Tag Archives: dressmaking

Me Made May 2016 – round up!

1 Jun

This has been a great challenge, I set myself a few goals, some of which I’ve achieved, others I haven’t. However this challenge has got me sewing again (the fear has subsided) it has also made me re-assess my wardrobe.

MMMay16 Round up IG - Nettynot Blog

It wasn’t my intention to necessarily post a picture every day on IG (@nettynot) but I got into it, I enjoyed seeing everyone else so much that I thought why not (this is a little collage). It didn’t feel like a chore but I did put a little more thought into some of my outfits and I now know some of the areas of my wardrobe I need to improve. I want to make some more everyday dresses and skirts as well as more versatile and flattering cardigans.  I hope when I do this next year I’ll have less duplicate outfits and will feel/look less awkward being photographed (we’ll see).

Pink Mrs. Darcy Cardigan - Nettynot Blog

On old cardigan, the first garment I ever knitted – at least 8 years ago, has had a lot more wear recently as a result of MMMay16, a dark pinky-red colour it goes with loads of things and I love the brightness. It’s in a acrylic mohair yarn it’s very warm (too warm a lot of the time) but a slight breeze and it’s too cold as it’s such a loose knit. There’s a lot that I don’t like about this cardigan, I sewed the seams too firmly, they look neat, but the arm holes are too sung and it looks very strange when buttoned up and the sleeves are too short (but wearable with the cuffs folders back). But I’m still proud of it and I’m glad it got some more wear, though it’s likely to be worn less now the challenge is over and I’ll soon have another knitted cardigan….

Cross Pockets Progess - Nettynot Blog

I have made good progress on my cross pockets cardigan, though it’s not finished yet, it is much closer; sleeves to finish and then a little bit of sewing up, a block and it’s done. I have set myself a new target, I want to be able to wear it on 18th June which is worldwide Knit in Public day. I have also got carried away and been inspired by all the lovely knit wear that popped up on IG over May and I have just bought myself another Andi Satterlund pattern, Vianne. It’s lovely and this time a DK weight yarn which it a bit more appropriate for summer. I can’t wait to cast it on which has been me more incentive to get a wiggle on with my cross pockets.

Mini Blouse Progress - Nettynot Blog

I have also started a sewing class; because I can already sew and I know how to use a pattern I have struggled to find a course that aimed at my level, I can find loads of beginner classes so had temporarily given up my search then came across all things creative and found a class perfect for me. I can take along whatever project I want to work on and there’s a very knowledgeable tutor on hand to help you along the way. So I have been working on my Mini blouse, each week, a fair bit of progress has been made but it’s not quite there yet, one more week and I think it’ll be finished – this course has been great for me, it’s rebuilt my sewing confidence. There was a definite moment while working on this that had I been doing this at home on my own I’m sure the whole thing would have gone in the bin, but with help on hand, it wasn’t a problem and I just got on with it.

Sorbetto Tops - Nettynot Blog

I was saving my mini blouse to work on at me sewing class which is once a week, however as the sewing bug bit I felt the need to do some more sewing at home too. I had spotted several nice Sorbetto tops on IG so thought I’d investigate. I downloaded the pattern and made one straight away. Fortunately I already had enough fabric in my stash to make a couple of these. My practice one it a little large and also too short (I always have to shorten everyone by approximately 1’’ as I have a high waist and short torso) so I automatically did this, however it wasn’t needed. The second one I made I did a size smaller and longer version which fitted much better, I’m also keen to do more.

Refashion dress - Nettynot Blog

I have also fixed a skirt that was too big for me and completely refashion a once loved dress (I’ll post about the dress separately).

Coco Top - Nettynot Blog

I turned my unfinished Coco dress (which I’d deemed unflattering) into a top so that I could wear it, photographed on a lovely day up in Cumbria earlier in the month with a newly fished necklace too. I have tackled a few jewellery other items too, thought I got too carried away by sewing to do as much as I anticipated, but I don’t really mind about that, I was also aware of the over ambitious challenges I set myself.

Emery dress and Fabric - Nettynot Blog

I have also bought some lovely light weight denim fabric to make an Emery dress (which I can then wear any colour knitted cardigans over & it will work). I have had the pattern for a while and have been really inspired by the many variations I’ve seen on people’s blogs and on IG that I thought it was about time to get one with it. I had previously bought some ruby red polka dotty fabric for this pattern, it was only cheap so I thought this could  be my toile and just hope it’s wearable too (I hate putting all that effort into a toile to not be able to make use of it). So once Mini is finished this is my next project as well as making some simple skirts from my fabric stash.

I’m full of enthusiasm and inspiration which is wonderful and just what I needed. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Thanks for reading and feel free to post your blog link below if you also joined in – I’ve loved seeing everyone’s outfits!

Me Made May 2016

30 Apr

In May 2014 I was in awe of all the wonderful Me Made May photos popping up on Instagram, at the time I was very much of the opinion of “wow, I’d love to do that… but I don’t have enough handmade items, or the time to do it!” Then May 2015 came round and I there were lots more lovely handmade and inspiring outfits cropping up. However last year I thought, this time next year, maybe I’d join in…!

The knitters and sewers at Knit In Notts have spoken about it a few times with no real commitment being stated so when I saw that Jem Weston had shared her pledge on Instagram (@jemweston) last week it gave me the kick up the bum to also join in!

This is my pledge – stated over on  “So Zo…What do you know?” blog (the creator of the MMM challenge).

 ‘I, Steph Gibbs (nettynot.wordpress.com @nettynot on Instagram), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear a handmade garment, each day for the duration of May 2016, as well as finish some UFO’s!’

MMM16

I feel I need to remind myself that a challenge, which Me Made May is, should test me, if it’s too easy it’s not a challenge. I do not own enough items to wear a different handmade item every day, however I’m already looking forward to being more creative with my outfits. I intend to include garments that I’ve customised in some way too, as that’s always a useful skill and a nice way to rescue clothing or make then your own. I also hope that this challenge will make me more productive and think about how I’m using my time in the evenings, so I can be more efficient and finish some UFO’s.

I’m going to address a few different areas of my handmade wardrobe for this challenge….

Sewing – I’m going to look at all the handmade garments in my wardrobe, mostly skirts, that just require slight adjustments to make them wearable again.

Knitting – I’m going to wear more of my hand knitted garments, I have several that I don’t make the most of, which is madness when I think about the amount of time spent making them.

Jewellery – Almost all of my jewellery I have made myself (occupational hazard) and have so many necklaces and bracelets, yet I always wear the same few on rotation. So I’m going to wear more of the vast array I have (& maybe cull the items that I’m not going to wear again – it is the right time for a Spring clean after all).

There’s a few specific things that I’d like to do during May and this challenge (I am aware I’m being a little ambitious, but if I commit them to computer screen, they’re more likely to get done) and it’s not as though once May is over I’m not allowed to keep challenging myself, right?!

Mimi
I have already cut out all the pattern pieces (about 6 months ago) to make the Mimi blouse from Tilly and the Buttons – Love at first stitch book, I have suitable fabric that already washed n ready to go. I intend to complete this by the end of May!

Cross Pockets
I have brought the problematic Cross Pockets Cardigan out of hibernation and ripped it back to the waist ready to re-knit and hopefully fix the issues I had – I want to complete this by the end of May too!

Mini blouse fabric - Nettynot Blog

Coco
I stared a dress version of Coco last summer, however when it got to the trying on stage I realised it just wasn’t going to be a flattering fit. Disappointed and slightly annoyed with it, it has sat in a cupboard out of sight ever since. However that’s no reason why I can’t turn it into another Coco top, which again I’d like to achieve before the end of May.

Mending/Fixing
As well as fixing and adjusting any handmade items in my wardrobe that don’t fit I also intend to tackle my pie of broken jewellery/not quite finished jewellery.

I’m not a huge fan of a selfie (also I’m pretty rubbish at photographing myself) however I do endeavour to record at least some of my MMM16 progress over on Instagram (@nettynot) if you’d like to follow.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Lilou Dress

16 Aug

I have recently got into what I would call ‘proper’ dressmaking, actually following a pattern and making considered decisions, rather than just making things up and keeping my fingers crossed. I think my problem was I was getting a bit over whelmed and found the idea of adjusting a pattern very daunting. However with the wealth of information on the internet from blog and helpful hints on Pinterest it’s far less intimidating.

Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch - Lilou Dress - Nettynot Blog

The pattern I choose was the Lilou Dress from Tilly and Buttons – Love at first Stitch book, I thought the style should suit me and having previously sewn a Coco top, the Megan dress and the Margot pyjamas, steadily building up my confidence I thought I’d be alright having a go at the most complex pattern (though not actually too difficult) from the book.

Not knowing how well the bodice would fit I very sensibly made a toile (something I’ve never really bothered with before – rookie error I know). I measured myself, in case I’d changed since my last project, my measurements came out as bust 34’’, waist 29.5’’ and Hips 39.5’’, not quite fitting a single size (as usual). So I initially made one adjustment on the bodice and made the side seams go from size 3 under the arms out to a size 4 on the waist. The skirt pattern I cut out at a size 4 (closest size for my hip measurement).

I completed the bodice, including adding a lining (I wanted the practice), in some floral fabric I inherited from my Gran in a similar weight to my dress fabric. The first bodice was a terrible fit – well it just didn’t fit. I was determined not to get put off even though I was a little frustrated as I’d checked the measurements and everything seemed to go well. It was a little loose on the waist, the back was baggy, there was way too much space across my bust, the straps stuck out and it was too long. I started thinking about how to address each issue. I’ve read about FBA (full bust adjustment) and SBA (small bust adjustment) when I first attempted the hawthorn dress (which I got too overwhelmed by and couldn’t face tackling at the time – it is currently hibernating). So I took a deep breath and starting googling SBA. I came across this great blog post Hungry Zombie Couture – My Cup Does Not Runneth Over I was relieved to find these wonderfully wise words, as I believe the lack of information and “just reverse a FBA” is what put me off tackling previous patterns. So taking on the advice of Shannon before getting too involved in my adjustment, I tried decreasing the depth of my bust dart; I traced off another bodice pattern this time all at size 3, making the waist smaller, then decreased the bust darts by 2cm but kept them the same length, I also shortened it by 2cm and tapered the straps towards the shoulders by 5mm. I also trimmed a little fabric off the bottom of the arm holes as they’d been a little sung. I tried it on at this point without the lining and found the fit on the waist and bust much better, there was still extra space in the back so I just added an extra 5cm in the length of the back darts and that did the job, I then made the lining and attached it so that I could make sure it all worked together and it did – phew!

Lilou toile - nettynot blog

I hadn’t done a toile of the skirt, I knew I’d easily be able to adjust it if necessary, however I did have to retrace the pattern as I’d changed the waist size to a 3, so I needed the top of the skirt to also be a size 3. I also lengthened the skirt by about 5cm so it hit my knee and I’d feel comfortable wearing it without tights in the summer.

Invisible zipper foot - Nettynot BlogI decided to treat myself to an invisible Zipper foot – it’s amazing! It made adding the zip so easy, I don’t know why I haven’t bought one sooner (well actually I do it was £19.95 – it made a nice Birthday present to myself).
Once I fitted the zip (before I finished attaching the lining) I tried the dress on and discovered that it was overall a bit big *huge Sigh*! I unpicked the zip and trimmed 1cm off each side of the back edge (including the edge of the lining) and reattached the zip – it did the job and fitted *relaxed sigh*! I hastily finished everything off, including leaving a raw seam in the back and a crude hem as it got to 10pm the evening before I needed to wear it to a friend’s wedding. No one noticed and I can now sort that out while not having a deadline looming over me.

Finished Lilou Dress - Nettynot BlogEek – looking at this makes me realise just how pasty I am, I’m almost blending into the white pebble dash here, I’d also like to point out that these were not the shoes I wore to the wedding, I wore posh navy shoes. The brown summer flats were all I had with me when I got my Mum to take the photo.
Front darts and pleats on Lilou dress - Nettynot BlogI was impressed with how neatly the darts and pleats met at the waist and having never lined a garment before I quite enjoyed discovering how easily it all went together. Overall it has definitely been a great learning curve, as frustrated as I got at points I kept my cool and persevered (including the point when I got the lining stuck in the zip at the final trying on stage – eek). Even though I now have a pattern I could re-use I’m sure about the idea of making this dress again, there’s still a few, minor, fit issues. Although having said that I have decided to make the toile (which isn’t too bad really) into a finished dress with a gathered skirt, I might as well, especially given how much time I’d have spent working on it.

I realise this is yet another lengthy blog post, however when searching for people who’d written about their Lilou dresses I wanted to know more, what exactly they adjusted and why, I decided it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to give a blow by blow account of my journey with this pattern and show that it’s doable for even a relatively novice dressmaker (& if I do ever make it again I’ll have a record of what I did). I’m eager to do more sewing now, I need to practice my button holes, maybe the Mimi blouse would be a good warm up and even give me the confidence to attempt the Hawthorn dress again.

Thanks for reading, I’d welcome any hints & tips to help with my dressmaking adventures!

Made a dress in a Day

4 Jul

So the past few weeks have been rather busy, busy in a perfect kind of way for someone who can’t sit still for too long without knitting or a sewing needle in my hand. I will try my hand at most things crafty so I’m always keeping my eye out for courses & new opportunities to try things.

So when some of the girls I worked with mentioned they’d bought a ‘make a dress in a day’ workshop through groupon, I looked it up & was delighted to discover it was at the wonderful Textiles workshop in Sherwood, a place I have done many workshops in the past. So I bought a place & got booked on.
Full shift dress
I imagine putting together a workshop like this for a reasonable number of people (I think there were 12 of us), to complete in 6 hours is quite a challenge, nevertheless it was organised well & the few complete beginners on the class got to grips with everything really well. I must admit I’m far from a beginner (not wanting to big headed) but I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. I have made garments before & I’m always adapting things (see my previous posts) & I love a bit of patchwork. What I struggle with is how to adapt patterns so that they will fit
my shape. The last dress I made from a pattern, did not turn out well & it completely knocked my dressmaking confidence.

The dress we made in the workshop was a simple shift dress with a little shaping & darts on the bust. I chose a cheap polycotton to make my dress from, treating it as a practice run as I didn’t know whether the finished dress would actually suit me or not, or if I’d wear it, so being cautious I didn’t want to spend loads on the fabric.

bust darts

I learnt how to adapt the pattern before cutting the fabric by shortening the torso, making the narrowest part of the dress actually sit on my waist (which if often a problem I have) & I also learnt how to make diamond darts in the back of the dress for a better fit.

diamond darts

I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I got out of it exactly what I wanted, which was confidence to have a go at other projects, which I’ve been shying away from for a while now.

Rebecca the class teacher was very patient and gave everyone the appropriate help & advice they needed. She also gave us peter pan collar patterns for a lovely added feature, which would give a great vintage feel & also make the dress look I little more finished (if you know what I mean).

neckline interfacing

contrast bias binding finishing

The finished dress does look a little handmade, which I don’t mind, I do wish I have gone for a more wearable fabric, as I’m not sure bright blue is quite for me (in fairness I thought I was getting a darker turquoise fabric when I bought it online) though I do like the flash of contrasting colour I added with the bias binding. However I do want to make this dress again in a softer lovely patterned fabric, with a peter pan collar, worn with a skinny belt I think this would make a great outfit. I have certainly gained a bit more confidence with my dress making abilities. I’m itching to get going with more projects 🙂
vintage pattern and fabric
One of my next projects will definitely be a dress I bought a vintage pattern for a while ago, it’s a princess style dress that I’d love to make in some great fabric I inheriting from my Grandma’s stash.

delightfultones

One girl's creative adventure.

livjaa

making things.

WhipStitchDesigns

Exploits of an art fair kid, all grown up.

sylkotwist

Just another WordPress.com site

Jane Makes

Stitched & Baked

Stitch and Purl

Welcome to the Stitch & Purl Blog. knitting, sewing, arts, crafts, cooking, baking, seasons, mamahood. love.

Thread Carefully

Share our enthusiasm!