Sunday, 29 March 2015

Daisy Daisy, Give me your answer do....

I was going to post about a skirt I made back in January but I'm so god darn excited to share this one with you, I just couldn't wait. 
I'm the first to admit that I'm generally a bit slow out the old starting blocks on most things and this one is no exception- the Elisalex dress from BHL  has been around for sometime now, with many a fabulous example out there.                  
The fact that I've sat on this pattern for a whole year is shameful, especially after acquiring it from the winnings of Stitch 56's Sew Dramatic, Sew Gablorola competition-  my entry here    
So why sew it now? Well it was all a bit by default really, getting slightly side-tracked in the fabric store (Barry's) (as you do) I totally fell for this sequinned daisy lace; after much deliberation...about a nano second, it was cut and coming home with me, along with this gold duchess satin. 
Initial plans was to make Vogue 8766 yet a niggle in the back of my head told me the weight of the two fabrics wouldn't quite work. Like a pig snuffling in a trough, I plunged into the ever growing pattern stash...hmmm I wonder, a refresh of internet reviews ...sold! The Elisalex dress was shown the light of day.
Now I was still very weary about this pattern, lets face it - the shape...lets make our hips and arse's bigger girls...really!  Then just to add a little more pressure I wanted it made in 3 days time!!! you see, It was my birthday in the week and having such fabo fabric, my mission if accepted was to get it knocked up ready for a night out - you just have too, don't you?  

Well, fopaux number 1 and a Bridget Jones the pattern sizes carefully!   I ended up tracing and making up a toile (thankfully) in an American size 12 UK 8!!! Hmmm  a tad tight you don't say! Three toiles later and I was fairy happy with the fit; 

Alterations consisted of: 
  • FBA on princess seams by 2 cm 
  • Forward thrusting shoulder 1 cm 
  • Small back and gaping manipulation = various  
  • Bodice lengthening 3 cm 
  • Reduced skirt length by 19 cm 
So we are now Saturday morning and due to go for dinner that evening...#GBSB had nothing on me haha! how they do it I never know. I sewed and I sewed (a 40 minute break to do the dance run interrupted at one point) and I sewed. Lace sleeves had been planned but hey, needs must when against the clock and I actually prefer the finished result without.   

So here it is my birthday suit on its first outing - I totally LOVE it; if you have not got, done or simply over looked this dress, then  it's a big fat MUST. There are some adorable features to this dress 
 Stitching the lace seams proved quite tough on the poor over-locker, breaking 3 needles in the process, so had to go incredibly slow over the sequinned daisies 
The lace mesh was trimmed away around the hem, level with the satin, leaving the daisies to "flutter" as a half over hang.
I was pretty chuffed to get the back fitting as well as it does and oooooo those deep box pleats - so stylishxx
 I love this dress pattern so much I already have another one half cut out as a day version with sleeves this time, guess what I'm using too ...a curtain!
So long for now then -I will post the curtain make asap - in the meantime have a super weekend or what's left of it, seem's we have lost a precious hour of it here in the UK with British summer time moving forward a hour 
Love Amanda  xxx 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Go wild for the basics

I'm doing my damnedest to keep up with the posts but when you can whip up one of these skinny t-tops  in a couple of hours, well it just don't help the situation! 
Simplicity 1325  is my new best-friend, having already made the tunic-dress and the T once before. 
Don't know about you, but once a pattern has been made-up, there's  always modifications that I think ..." ooo next time..." and the T was no exception.                                                                                                     

First time around, I thought the neck was a little high, the arm length OK (it didn't help my messing up the cuff and having to shave off an inch!) and the the fit ..well it fit! 

So this time round, I dug out this beautifully soft pink jersey out of the stash and decided to give it a gentler more relaxed look, to tame the animal side of it.
I traced off the pattern, did a FBA to give the boys some room, lowered the neckline and lengthened the sleeves by 3 inches! 

It was so quick to put together, as construction took place on the over-locker. 

 I was really chuffed with the neck band and approached it slightly differently to the pattern instructions. I know I should have taken pics for those of us who are more visual learners and will do next time around making this but here's the wordy version.  

  • Over-lock on long edge of neck band
  • On inside apply an inch wide band of stretch fusible interfacing around the neck edge
  • Stay stitch on top along the seam line 
  • On right side, pin raw edge of neck band along stay stitching (start at centre back ) 
  • Join the band at centre back 
  • Stitch band on 1/4 in away from stay stitching
  • Cut away seam allowance to 1/4 
  • Turn over band so finished edge is on inside and covers the stitch line 
  • From right side stitch in ditch catching the underside of band ...

 Voilà- one neat neck band  

I love the slouched cuff effect 

The only downside to this top ( there has to be one doesn't there! :( )
was the pattern placement- I just didn't have enough fabric to be able to get the print down the centre back - boohoo - I can live with this as I cant see it - and everyone else says that unless pointed out it not obvious ( to the untrained eye!)
So there we have it folks - one very easy to construct and easier to wear T-top 

Thanks for stopping by - till next time XX Amanda XX

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Spring time Simplicity

It was love at first sight, the minute I clapped eyes on this....what would you call it  a dress.. tunic? anyhow, I just knew it could (will) become a staple piece for the new career change wardrobe (my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!) 
The pattern - Simplicity 1325 my dear sewers' was sent to me by an angel..
I kid you not.. the highly gifted, talented and OOber kind  Annie Hanks  from The Enantiomer Project sent me not one, not two, but a wooping FIVE pattens back in the autumn;  Why? well apparently to make me smile!!! 
the Cheshire cat got nothing on me; never thought I were capable of somersaults- but when these babies dropped through the mail box there were triple salchow's flying !! well in my head - a fair bit of mummy dancing! think that counts :)))) 
Here we go then - pattern review 

six pattern pieces, if you count pockets and facings
Check out that pattern matching between skirt and top! whoo 
I felt the need to bring Spring time into play, with a business trip planned to London last weekend- so this heavier weight cotton in pale green (the over exposed pics don't really do the colour justice), adorned with birds and Morceau sheet music fell perfectly for the job.  

The pattern isn't lined but has a front facing- me,  I just had to incorporate a lining throughout and used the most delicate of peach Georgette- well if a girl can't have luxury when she makes her own clothes.. none?
I was really pleased with the tiny winy rolled hem achieved. Normally these go askew - either eaten up or spat out by the roll hem foot! To over come this I ran a line of stitching (reduced in length) along the hem line and then another row 6mm away from the cut edge; these two rows seemed to stabilise the fine fabric when it was fed through that hook bit on the foot. When the over locked seams came close, I unhooked the rolled fabric and stitched slowly and carefully hand rolling across the seam, once past the seam the fabric was fed back through the rolled hook and off we went again; resulting in a very pleasing finish! 

The rest of the construction is seriously straight forward - joining shoulders, sides, popping in pockets and joining top to skirt and insertion if invisible zipper.

It's a great item to wear, it has that ability to be both dressy and casual; I have clear plans to make this again( and maybe again) in plain fabrics - I think even a firm ponte jersey knit would work well. 
I have have been really impressed with this pattern pack, having completed this and the skinny knit top twice here in the animal print and again a second time not yet blogged. 
I'm sure the jacket and trousers wont be too far behind.  

 I leave you with this strange out-take- little Wyatt was holding me to ransomed over taking the photos! Hmmm starting young in the bribery and corruption

Thanks for dropping by - What are you sewing for Spring?

Amanda Xx

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Launch into Springtime with a Discount Code

Hello there my fellow stitcher's, fabric-lovers or plain fabraholics! Can you believe it's March already, was wondering have many of you dared to turn your thoughts towards the onset of Spring- you-know ...
  • Lengthening days, lighter evenings  
  • Removing the odd layer of clothing 
  • OHHHH perhaps the  hint of a warming sun light to kiss our cheeks... 
Al-right, maybe got a little carried away there, but we need to dream, especially here in the grey England-shires. Seriously though, it will be here before we know it- I was sifting through the stash at the weekend looking for lighter weight and cheery cloth and matching patterns its amazing how a simple task can lift the spirit and soul don't you think? can be just what the Dr ordered at times, any how it also struck a cord that if we get hit by a  freaky hot spell over has before! I wont be ready! 

Well if your stash aint supplying your prescription, then look no further;  I am so very squeeely excited and pleased to announce that The Sewcial Studio web page is now officially launched, with a fabricrooney 10% off on all orders through March (extended till 31st)  

Just Simply apply the code  So Sewcial in the cart and it will apply the discount before checkout and with £3.00 flat shipping rate...well rude not too!  (if you are international postage, please contact me and I can provide a bespoke price)  
Vouchers are also available for those crafting, sewing friends & family members- perfect with special times coming up like mothers day and Easter. 

These are a couple of my personal favourites that I have ear marked! What's your favourite?

post again soon  Amanda  xx

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Show-Stopper V Wrestling Glamour

Update are a couple of commissions I've been working on and just had to share with you. Hope you likey. 
First up is this dress alteration and serious "flounce-up " is there such a word?? The commission was for the birthday party of my client..Sue. It was to be a red-carpet glitz 'n'glamour through the era's theme and she had a clear vision of  a 20's look of what she wanted to achieved for herself. 
This beautiful navy lace evening gown was to be the basis of the look and had been purchased from a boutique in Ireland, Initial fitting alterations were required to create a perfect fit, so with a deep breath and a little Dutch courage the back zip was taken out and reinsert, bust darts added to eliminate the risky gaps at the side and with three layers if fabric this equated to 6 in total! and finally shortening the hem ..all three layers.

Then came the fun part... 1000 crystals, 2 pots of  glass beads, 2 meters of blue netting, 8 pheasant feathers 6 meters of diamanté trim later this was the result...

The crystals around the base of the gown were hot-fix so relatively straight forward, just had to watch the placement on the lace as they would slip through to the under layer  if not careful; the glass-beads on the bust and chiffon waist panel were hand sewn!! whoo somewhat time consuming but once a rhythm was found I was on a roll. 
Well, she asked for a show-stopper - do you think I delivered? 

Next up ... oooh hold your breath.. steady your pose - wrestling gear!! It's a burden I fear, but alas someone has to dress these fit young guys! My brief was a robe like Ric Flair - nope I'd not heard of him either but quite au-fait now. Well-known in the wrestling world for his flamboyant robes a recreation or as near to one was the spec of the day.   

Butterick 5537 gave the basic format and I really do mean basic- It could have been easier to have drafted a pattern from scratch after the front lapel was redrafted to produce a wider and pronounced collar as was the sleeve to create a fabulous bell flare and the overall length slashed at two points to provide over 20 inches in length. 
This boarder embroidery design was used to edge the entire robe - each one took 35 minutes to align, load and stitch-out, 32 were completed in-total.. yowsa!  

An array and close to 1800 crystals were applied throughout along with these awesome crystal and bead appliqué motifs, which were sourced on a trip to a recent trade-show; these did however have to be hand stitched on due to their sheer weight and the thick pile of the velvet would never of with-stood or stayed put with fabric glue.  

Completion of the robe was cut fine to say the least -  hemming the bottom at 5.30pm as it was due to debut at 7.30pm! just in time I think that's called! 

So without further ado, let me introduce to you in all his glory Eddy Woods  - 

Last but not least is Adam Idol I was asked if I would make him some tights, and on agreeing and giving a rough estimate of meterage required, the pair of them went off fabric shopping! I would so of loved to of been a fly on the wall for that shopping trip - I was presented with a bag of fabric containing  pink, black and sliver velour Lycra- my mission, appliqué  pink over original singlet, apply name to leg and hands to the butt! Oh yes, I can confirm they are my hand-prints and placement was required through fitting. 
Understandably, I have had a ball creating these outfits. I was utterly proud to see them both in action when sat in the front row, think I have found a new interest in slam wrestling. 
I leave you with this action shot!