Tag Archives: sewing

Agnes top and Me Made May 2019

29 Apr

I recently attended a workshop, at Sewing Belle, several friends had attending classes recently I told me how good they were and, for me importantly, very affordable (something that Elaine who runs the classes wanted to ensure when starting up). I signed up for a Tilly & the Buttons workshop, I chose the Agnes top as I wanted more practice with jersey fabric. The pattern and workshop was £30 (fantastic). I found nice but not too expensive jersey from The Little Fabric Bazaar (£11/pm), I always worry what the quality of the fabric will be like when buying online and more to the point, if I messed up my top I didn’t want to have wasted very expensive fabric.

Agnes Sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I needn’t have worried about the fabric, it was lovely quality and recieved many compliment. I also remembered to wash it before the workshop.

Using the sizing chart on the pattern I knew I’d have to do some grading (as I usually do). I started at the shoulders with a size 2, then to a size 3 at the underarm and bust, size 4 at the waist and out to a size 5 on the hips. I also shortened the pattern by 3cm at the waist (again which I usually do on all patterns) I have a short torso.  I learnt a great couple of tips for speeding up cutting out a PDF pattern, we used rotary cutter on just 2 side of the paper and used a glue stick to attach to the next page – much easier to match up all the lines and re-adjust if needs be (I used to cut them all out and use tape on the back – very fiddly & tidious).

One of the main reasons I signed up for this class in particular was to get to grips with an over locker, I’d not used one since I was at school. I was concerned I’d go wrong, and cut into the fabric. However I just took a deep breath and got on with it, and it went really well (I did do a little test on some scrap fabric first). It made the process so much easier. I also learnt how to use the cover stitch machine for my hems. Both machines made sewing up so much easier, and have given my garment a much more professional finish!

Agnes Top - neckline - Nettytnot Creates

I’m incredibly pleased with the result of this top, I will definitely be making more! I was also impressed that I did the whole process, from cutting out paper pattern to completed garment with ends sewn in, in just one day, 10am – 5pm (with a half hour-ish break to eat lunch). I think that in itself is quite an achievement, and something that I think I could only acomplish at a workshop, away from distractions and with the use of the wonderful over locker! I will definitely be returning for more workshops and to utilising the machines at their drop in sewing sessions.

Finished Agnes top in black and white - Nettynot Createslooking awkward in my agnes top - Nettynot Creates

This has also lead me to join in with Me Made May 2019! (You can find out more about this over on the So Zo blog here) and maybe even get on board yourself…

Me Made May 2019 - So Zo Blog

The whole reason I wanted to get back into sewing several years ago was so that I could make clothes that actually fit me. Clothes shopping is not an enjoyable experience for me, rarely is anything a good fit for my body shape. I don’t actually mind my body, it is what it is and I have accepted that is is mine, which was made much easier by just simply giving up on clothes shopping and substituted it for sewing pattern perusing and making my own clothes! My sewing journey has been rocky, I have made several things that I probably won’t ever wear again, due to the fit not being quite right, or uncomfortable. That said I have learnt a lot from the process!

I really enjoyed Me Made May when I joined in back in 2016, I had less handmade clothes than I do now. However I enjoyed the challenge and it did inspire the makes I went onto create and reignited some love for past makes…

My pledge

I, Steph Gibbs, sign up as a participant of Me Made May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment everyone day in May, with the intention of putting together new combinations from my existing handmade wardrobe and to use this to form a “to be created” list of staple items missing from my wardrobe.

I’ll do a round up on the blog, maybe during, but definately afterwards. I’ll post photos over on my instagram feed @nettynot if you’re interested in what I’ve made wearing.

Thanks for reading.
Steph

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Make Nine 2019

2 Jan

I always like perusing everyone’s “makenine” instagram posts, in the past it has inspired additions to my favourites or even my queue on Ravelry. However I have never listed 9 makes for myself before. I don’t like the idea of putting that pressure on myself, creating a wonderful list of complicated inspiring garments that, let’s face it, I would have to spend every spare minute making to complete in a year.

However, I have decided to make a list this year to help keep my focus. 2018 was a year of knitting what I fancied, not finishing things before starting other projects, which has left me with a fair few WIP’s.

I am using my #makenine2019 as an opportunity to create a list of aims, made up for of WIP’s, knits I have already bought the yarn for, 2 sewing projects I have already bought the fabric for and a few projects I have been intending to do but as yet haven’t. AND do you know what, if I don’t do them all, it’s fine! No one will die, it won’t be the end of the world and I can make them in 2020 instead! However wouldn’t it be nice if I did complete them all….

Make Nine 2019

I have detailed them here as a reminder to myself (or if you’re interested) and so I can keep track of things.

(Top 3 left to right)
1. Crochet – this will be a new one for me, I haven’t ever crocheted a garment before, but I do love the look of this & it’s been a topic of discussion at Knit group!
Pattern is Granny Rocks Jumper by Iron Lamb
2. Socks! I have a pair to finish, and yarn for at least three more. I want to learn new technique and get the perfect fit!
3. My Maan shawl by Natasja Hornby an on going WIP, started in October 2017 that I really would like to finish!

(Middle 3 left to right)
4. Sewing; I have wanted to make a Moneta dress by Colette Patterns, for ages, I didn’t find time in 2018 despite buying (and washing) the fabric.
5. My Arboreal jumper by Jennifer Steingass was started on holiday back in February 2018, I knitted the colour work yoke and it have been hibernating ever since, for no other reason than getting distracted by other projects, though I did pick it up again over Christmas.
6. Another sewing project; as soon as Tilly & the Button released the Zadie dress I knew I wanted to make it, the style of the dress tends to suit my body shape well, though at the time my sewing ability was a little wobbly. So 2019 will be the year to tackle this.

(Bottom 3 left to right)
7. My summer wardrobe is missing a lighter weight, v-neck, 3/4 length sleeve cardigan (in a lovely berry-ish shade), ravelry searches have failed to reveal the ideal cardigan, so I may well make design my own.
8. Diesis by Alice Caetano, I fell in love with this jumper on the PomPom stand at Yarndale in 2017 and bought the magazine based on this design alone. However I’m yet to start and I’m I keep wondering whether I’ll get enough wear out of it, I imagine it’ll be very toastie.
9. Glenfiddich by Annamária Ötvös I bought this pattern for my Mum to knit me a cable cardigan for Christmas 2017, I’ve always found cables a bit frustrating. However since my Mum didn’t get on with the pattern and ended up knitting a different cardigan. I thought this would be the perfect time to bite the bullet and get to grip with cables. It is such a lovely cardigan, and one I can image getting a lot of wear out of. I have already have the yarn too!

I am quite sure I will veer of this path a little, I have given myself a get out of jail free card on number 8.  I have already been um-ing & ah-ing over this pattern for a while. I’m sure I’ll change my mind more than once about these projects throughout 2019. I will be interested to see how much of a detour I take when I look back this time next year!

Here’s to a creative and productive 2019.
Thanks for reading.
Steph

Sew Organised

25 Jul

I’d been thinking for a while that I needed a better way to store my sewing scissors and related paraphernalia (isn’t that such a lovely word). I’m constantly moving everything on and off my table and it all ends up piled up in a bit if a jumble.

Wire Basket - Nettynot Blog.jpg

So when I was recently having a tidy in my garage and rediscover this wire shelf and hooks I use to store and hang my jewellery from, I had a wave of inspiration. The hooks are a perfect size for scissor handles, however the reason I stopped using it was the awkward gaps in the wire shelf, I used to loose things through them and get bracelets stuck between the wire. So I thought I would just make a little fabric cover to sit in the shelf to stop items dropping though. This idea brewed for about a week until I had a bit of time to sit down and actually make it. In that time the idea had brewed into a small piece of patchwork.

Cut fabric - mini patchwork - nettynot blog

I kept it simple with straight forward squares (I cut 2” x 2”), to make a 9 by 6 square mat. I made it a little longer than I needed so I could tuck under the edge which would be visible from the front.

Sewn fabric - mini patchwork - nettynot blog

I often wonder whether I’m a bit crazy for keeping so many small faffy bits of scrap fabric, however they came into their own for this little project!

Fabric scraps - Nettynot Blog

I think as long as I limit it to just this one box I can justify it (the lid does fit on, honest)!

Hooks in Sewing Room - Nettynot Blog

I think the finished shelf and hooks look great, I like it below my colour collage, and will be so handy right above my sewing table.

Finished hooks - Nettynot Blog Post
Sewing Table - Nettynot Blog

It’s not the most attractive sewing table, however it is perfect for what I need, my sewing space doubles as the spare room, so I need something that is a sensible size, can fold down small, is pretty solid, I don’t mind about scratching and I found it in a local charity shop for £20!!! One of my best finds, I had a little sand underneath to see if I could remove the dark varnish and it looks pretty good under that horrid finish, so maybe that’s a project for the future!

Side note…

I did also sort out storing my ever expanding jewellery collection sometime ago with another flash of inspiration! I simply hammered large nails into a piece of wood I’d painted, then glued buttons to the heads of the nails (to make it look less industrial), it’s not perfect but very functional and I love it. Having this much jewellery is unavoidable when you work at a Bead shop and design jewellery as part of your job (that’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it!)


Thanks for reading!
Steph

Patchwork Cushion

9 Aug

I have written a whole blog post about the chair I made this cushion (it was a slight tangent, but a lovely nostalgic one for me). However my original intention was to write about the cushion. I have made many things over the years and not documented them, I used to be able to remember the majority, however I find I stumble across old photos and think, oh I’d forgotten all about that skirt/bag/jumper I’d made. So I’m making a more concerted effort to document things, which Instagram has made easier to do, but I also like to use my blog as a notebook to myself as to the challenges/issues I encounter and had to resolve along the way. That said, although I do plan most of my project, at least to begin with, there is a considerable degree of  let’s just give it ago and see what happens.

I love a bit of Patchwork, and although it’s time consuming I do really like English paper piecing, which I hadn’t done for while after finishing the mammoth task of my Mum’s quilt. However I thought this would be a little project. I sketched a few ideas quite small to begin with and once I found an idea I was happy with I enlarged it and drew it out on some wall paper lining. I quite enjoy the Maths involved with patterns and pieces, I probably enjoyed this process as much as the actual making.

Paper piece template cushion - Nettynot Blog

Once I had my piece draw, in theory all the same shapes should be the same size, so it shouldn’t matter which pieces I sew together along as they are the right pieces, however learning from previous mistake I knew I really needed to be putting the pieces back together in exactly the way I cut them up, as it only takes a few of them to be a millimeter or so out to make it really awkward sewing them together later on (& I’m only human after all). So I numbered each piece and took a photo on my phone, for reference, before cutting up the template.

I often struggle to find enough time to get stuck into a project like this in one big chunk, so I decided I’d try to do the tacking and sewing of 1 set of shapes each evening for a week, so that it didn’t feel like it took too long to complete.

English Paper Piece - round Cushion cover - nettynot blog

It took me longer to decide what to do with back and get my act together to complete it. That didn’t go quite to plan, but I made it work in the end (sort of). I think the errors here were not measuring and cutting properly. I sewed strips of fabric together and made a cardboard template for the triangular shape, which really isn’t accurate enough when using a rotary cutter  (lesson learnt).

Cushion Back - Nettynot blog

The seams didn’t match up on the back terribly well, so I unpicks a couple of seams and tweaked it enough that it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, but in the process it had the central two hexigans wonky, I would have prefer them to be symmetrical as intended however it’s not too bad and everyone (hopefully) will be looking at the front and not the back. That said I did get the invisible zip in evenly, though not so invisible with the fabric stretched slightly.

Cushion Back with zip - Nettynot blog

I do like the finished result, and it is the bold eye catching design I had in mind, influenced slightly by the leather 70’s pouffes seen in many retro and vintage shops. However if I was going make one again I would make the cover larger, whenever I make a square cushion cover I make it slightly smaller as it makes for a better plump finish, no one wants floppy cushion, I applied the same principal here, wrongly as I think it looks a little too tight and puckered at the edge. I think even just an extra half inch all round would have made a nicer fit.


I also might try to be clever next time and make a convex shaped cover to eliminate the puckering on the back…..hmmmm the cogs are whirring on that one already.

Thanks for reading.
Steph

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 🙂

My Liberty Fix

30 Aug

I was recently disappointed to discovered that one of my trusty tee shirts came out of wash with a split in the yoke seam. The thin decorative fabric meant I wouldn’t have be able to sew it up very neatly.

Sad hole in a favourite Tee Shirt - Nettynot BlogI had thought it’d be a good excuse to do something a little creative maybe sew some buttons on or embroider over it. It’s been sat on my ‘to be fixed’ pile for a few weeks while I pondered about it, then a week or so ago, while reading Very Berry Handmade blog post Vintage Look Liberty Hexies my minds started racing with ideas.

I love a hexie, whether it’s crochet, knitting or patchwork. I’ve been working in small scale recently making some fabric patchwork necklaces – still a work in progress, and still very much enjoying the experimenting stage (hopefully I’ll be writing more about this venture soon too).
Patchwork Necklace - Nettynot BlogAnyway back on topic, my holy top, having decided to add some liberty fabric and create some mini hexagons to cover the hole, I made some small paper pieces and started sorting out exactly what I was going to do.
tiny paper patchwork pieces - nettynot blogLiberty Fabric Choice - Nettynot blogPicking fabric – I do have a fair few Liberty Fabrics in stash and it was tricky to narrow down the selection, then deciding whether to go complimentary or contrasting…eek. The bluey fabrics match very well, however I thought that was too safe, plus as soon as I laid out the ever so slightly neon pinky/red fabric with blue crosses I knew that had to be the one. The pattern also lent it’s self to framing the crosses in the centre of each hexagon.

Patchwork placement - Nettynot blogPlacement – then all I had to do was figure out was the arrangement, I played with a few ideas first before settling on the one I was happy with.

They were a little fiddly to sew together, but I actually quite enjoyed it, I think knowing there were only six to sew made this less of a challenge. I decided that since they were so small, I’d make my life easier by using some bondaweb, secure them to the tee shirt first, (I thought it would also make it stronger and hopefully wouldn’t sag when I wear it).

Finished Liberty Fix - nettynot BlogI then hand stitched around the outside and along the small seams and then as a finishing touch I swapped the old small shell buttons for some blue ones to match the tee shirt fabric and used contrasting pink thread to tie them into the liberty fabric.

I’m rather happy with the result and may well introduce some patchwork finishes to more of my sewing projects.

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