Thursday, 6 December 2018

December at Plush Addict and Eternal Maker

I wanted to get my monthly sponsor post in early in December so there was still time to order and receive items for Christmas. I've chosen a mix of quick gifts you might want to make,  quilting and dressmaking suggestions that you might like as a gift, or make for yourself (or others), plus some fabric that you just might need to have!

Plush Addict

  1. Dashwood Geo Forest 7 FQ Bundle.  Lovely colour palette and a mix of geometric and woodland designs. 
  2. Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top Pattern.  A relaxed fit jersey top with lots of variations from T-shirt to sweatshirt style, with and without a neckband.  This Ponte fabric would give you a more structured long sleeved Nora with neckband and is quite a stable stretch fabric so an easier knit to cut and sew.  This Cherry pattern cotton/elastane jersey would be good for a softer long or short sleeved Nora.
  3. Quantum 28 FQ Bundle (also available as individual yardage).  All the saturated colours from Giucy Giuce, geometric patterns galore! 

Eternal Maker

  1. Robert Kaufman Navy Plaid Tahoe Flannel. Thick brushed cotton flannel.  This would make a super snuggly check shirt like the Grainline Archer), dressing gown or pj pants.  Or a simple scarf or pillowcase.  Also available in a lighter Cream Olive Plaid colourway.
  2. Perfect Rainbow Kona Bundle (15Fqs).  Always have the perfect Kona colour to hand!
  3. Sweet Ton of Tags Kit.  Baby blankie tag kit, easy-to-sew kit to make a baby's first Christmas present.
  4. The Bear Necessities Cute animal print by Como Tex, hard to resist those bears...

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Assembly Line V-Neck Dress in Chambray

As promised, here's my second The Assembly Line make: the V-neck Dress.  I was 
 attracted to this style by the narrowness of the V-neck and the back neck collar, plus I knew I'd enjoy working through the collar construction. I used some Robert Kaufmann medium weight Chambray Dobbies Hash that I've had for three years waiting for the right project and it turned out to be a winning combination!

The standard seam allowance on Assembly line patterns is 1cm (3/8") so I made a rough toile of the top part of the dress to test the depth of the V and fit around the sleeves.  I went for quite a close fit and ended up raising the V point by around 1/2" which also brings the neckline in slightly and added a rounded back/shoulder alteration which is standard for me.  Fitting for this style is all about the neck, shoulders and bust; getting those areas to fit well avoids the sack-like potential that can easily happen on a dress with optional waist definition.   

 My other alterations were to move the end of the bust dart upwards by 1/2" and redraw the dart,  and I also extended the dress hem by a couple of inches. Otherwise, I cut the pattern in size XS and the combination of the fabric and instructions meant the construction was a joy.  I love it when details like exactly when to overlock on a trickier section are included as it makes for such a neat finish.

The tie belt has an interfaced centre section so there's a little extra body against your back and I think it helps it to stay in place too.

If I'm working at home, I take the belt off.  It's a relaxed fit but not voluminous.  I'm really happy with it!  It's quite a quick make so I'm planning my next version,  I've got some lovely Intermix chambray from Plush Addict which is a soft woven in a medium weight and I'd like to try the sleeves at full length and add a little extra length in the lower skirt.  The boots are Sanita Puk, I sold a few bits and pieces and bought myself these and I love them!  There's nothing like the sound of clog boots. 

It's such an easy elegant style to wear, another win from The Assembly Line.  The Apron Dress is next...

V-Neck Dress Pattern: Draper's Daughter, or go to The Assembly Line Shop
 Fabric suggestions: Quotes Chambray at Eternal Maker

Friday, 30 November 2018

A Very Vintage Christmas Sew Along: Vintage Pinwheel

Welcome to my second post for the A Very Vintage Christmas Sew-along! with Fat Quarter Shop and Lori Holt.  Catch up with all the SAL info including the schedule here.  

You can read my book review and Gingerbread house block post here.
As with my first block, I turned to the Vintage Christmas Projects section of the book which includes a tablerunner, place mat, two pillows and a Merry Mug mat.   The mug mat uses a 6" block with a little extra fabric for sashing and the side pocket- perfect for a cake fork or a small pair of scissors!

I made two: one for me and one as a gift for my daughter so she can get into the Christmas spirit with her uni friends- they have already started on flat decorations!  It's a quick make and an ideal gift if you are making presents for friends or sewing swaps.  Each year,  I find that part of getting into the mood for this time of year is making a few extra Christmas themed items and Vintage Christmas is perfect for this.  

Fabrics Used
Aqua, Robin, Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey for Moda
Pink, Little Joys, Elea Lutz, Penny Rose Fabrics for Riley Blake
Green (pocket), Little Joys, Elea Lutz, Penny Rose Fabrics for Riley Blake 
Binding, Color Theory Selection, V and Co for Moda- Ta Dot in Ceda by Michael Miller

Vintage Christmas is available at The Fat Quarter Shop (USA)
In the UK, stock has arrived  but is selling quickly. It's due to arrive back into stock here at Patchwork Dreamer.  Currently sold out at Sew Hot maybe contact them to see if more are due?

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Assembly Line: Cap Sleeve Top in Manchester / Double Gauze

I first saw The Assembly Line shop patterns on Instagram a few months ago and was instantly smitten.  They are a Swedish pattern company and shop and Karen from Draper's Daughter was quick to stock their patterns.  Initially, they were only available as single size paper patterns, this has recently changed to multi-size which is great news as they are at the upper price end.  I started with the easiest pattern, The Cuff Top.

I was almost embarrassed to spend so much on something so simple and I did fear it may be too boxy but actually, it worked really well and it's a basic that I will make multiple versions of so well worth it.  I traced the pattern and made a toile version in a very lightweight linen.  I am very flat on my upper bust area so I ended up reducing the extra fabric below the front neck by pinning darts in the excess and then taking these alterations to the pattern with scissors and washi tape.  The first version was made in Manchester yarn-dyed cotton (now sold out at Eternal Maker, but there are lots of colours available at M is for Make.   This fabric is soft with a bit of drape and works well for this style.  I omitted the centre seam and cut front and back on the fold. I also fed elastic through the casing rather than sewing it directly to the fabric, I found this much easier to do!

The second version was sewn from a gorgeous Nani Iro double gauze remnant, bought from Eternal Maker's excellent destash account.  It's one of Naomi Ito's older Fuwari Fuwari prints; there's a hint of metallic and I love the colourway.  It's soft but less drapey so creates a different effect.  You can find other Nani Iro double gauze prints here.
The neck is finished with a facing and the instructions recommend using the woven label that's included in the pattern to help secure the back.  I find labels a bit scratchy so used bits of soft cotton tape from my stash and I like adding this sort of personal detail.  I made an XS and for sizing reference, my upper bust is 32" and full bust 33".  I've also bought the V-neck dress pattern and The Apron Dress so Assembly Line patterns are making up the majority of new winter wardrobe additions.  As I get closer to 50, I'm aware my style is changing and I really like how their aesthetic works for me.   It reminds me of Toast, maybe a little softer in style.  The instructions are straightforward- each pattern comes with an A4 size black/white booklet with clear diagrams.  The fabric requirements have been very accurate so far too, so much less wastage.  Seam allowances are generally 1cm or smaller for areas like necklines.  I'll share the V-neck dress next.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Black Friday Round Up!

Here's a round-up of the Black Friday 2018 offers from my sponsors...

Plush Addict is offering a range of discounts plus free goodies when you spend over a set amount from Friday to Monday inclusive.  Find the offers now on this page!
  1. Kam Press Bundle - Press, Die (size 20 only) - 500 snaps (5 x 100 sets in colours) - £115.50 reduced to £85.50.
  2. Gutermann Thread Kits - 20% off
  3. Queen Wadding - HL90 was £27.25, now £19.99
  4. Rose Gold Thimble Desk Tidy was £10.20, now £7.20
  5. Four Tier Cantilever Sewing Box was £88.99, now £58.99
Free Gifts*
  1. Free Madeira Thread Snips worth £3.99 with all orders over £25
  2. Free 21cm universal Fiskars scissors (in a choice of design) worth £14.95  on all orders over £100
*If you spend over £100 you get both free gifts

Eternal Maker is running a mega Instagram destash on Friday (follow @eternalmaker_destash to keep up to date and read how it works) and look out for Black Friday offers on the shop website.

Amy and Angela at My Sewing Box are offering 20% off all orders under £50, and 25% off orders over £50 plus free delivery over £50.  You'll need codes for these at the check out: BLACKFRIDAY20 for the 20% off, BLACKFRIDAY25 for the 25% off over £50.  They've got quilting, dressmaking and of course their sewing boxes packed with gifts and notions to chose from.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Sew Over It Dana Dress In Double Gauze

Back in September, I bought the Sew Over It e-Book, Work to Weekend and made the Dana dress, as we are heading towards December, I thought it was time I shared it!  It was still warm when I sewed it up and I made it for my birthday at the end of September.  I'm guessing next time I wear this it will be late spring.  The pattern fabric recommendations all feature drape - viscose and rayon wovens, crepe, georgette.  I find crepe and georgette a bit impractical for my everyday wear so I used a soft cotton double gauze, very similar to the fabric used for this dress which I wore repeatedly during the summer.  I picked it up as an end of roll from Stitch Fabrics at Festival of Quilts so I only had 2 metres (wide width) and had to cut very creatively.  This included piecing strips to make the belt, to squeeze the dress out of what I had and there were only tiny scraps left over.  This fabric has more drape than a Nani Iro/Kokka double gauze and is very soft.

I made a straight size 8, no changes.  I usually find I am a size 8 in less fitted SOI patterns and a size 10 in those with less ease.   The fit is good apart from the V which is too low for my small bust- too much rib revealed!  It's a relatively straightforward make with added interest from the covered button placket.  I hadn't sewn one of these before and this fabric was a little bouncy for creating the extra pleat that lies over the fastenings, but I made it work. 

As the V-neck is generous, the dress fits over my head without needing to unfasten any buttons so I omitted the button holes and stitched shell buttons through the placket layers.  I hand stitched the V where the front pieces crossover to secure it.

My only addition was a belt loop at each side seam.

It's a very informal style to wear- I really liked the patch pockets, especially in this fabric and the sleeve length is flattering.  I also liked the tie belt- I cannot bear anything restricting around the waist at the moment.  However, the belt also has a touch of dressing gown about it which makes me wonder whether this style has staying power in my wardrobe.  I'll have to see how much wear it gets next year, maybe it was a bit of an Indian summer fling!   

Friday, 2 November 2018

A Very Vintage Christmas Sew Along

Welcome to my post for week two as part of A Very Vintage Christmas Sew-along!  with Fat Quarter Shop and Lori Holt.  You can read all the SAL info including the schedule here.  Before I get into details about my make (Gingerbread House block made into a Snowglobe cushion) I'd love to show you a little more from Lori's brilliant new book!

I don't know how Lori does it.  Her books are packed full of makes - quilts and small projects - and her designs have such wonderful retro references; she must never stop sewing to make all the things, and as with her other books, the photographs are beautifully styles.  This book one is obviously Christmas themed, but many of the blocks and projects could be used for other times of the year, and as with her other books, it's spiral bound for easy use and the blocks instructions are for both 6" and 12"finished squares.

I especially liked the Vintage Christmas projects.  These are quick useful makes and I can never resist making more Christmas things, even when I already have quite a few!

The two colour quilts caught my eye, book marked as a future project maybe!?

The Gingerbread House block was fast to sew up.  Lori uses her tried-and-trusted technique of drawing diagonals on the reverse of squares and rectangles to create the 45-degree angles that make up details like the window awning, chimney sides and roof.  I like to tick the cutting list as I prep the fabric, as well as using a design board to lay all the pieces out before I sew.  The Snow Globe cushion used the 6" block and it only takes a few pieces of background fabric to create the snow globe effect.  I cut my red background slightly wider to produce a cushion bigger than the 12" square size in the book.  Mine is approx 16" square.

For the chimney smoke, I drew the line on removeable marker, threaded my machine with Aurifil 12wt in the top thread/50wt in the bobbin and stitched slowly, tying the ends in on the back.   A larger needle size helps with this.  I used a 100/16 Superior Needle.

Fabrics Used
Chimney/House -Kona Wheat
Roof- Riley Blake?  It was given to me and I'm down to tiny scraps.
Window/Door Glass- Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey for Moda
Door and Window frame- unknown scraps
Window Awning- Red Hatch from Day Sail, Bonnie & Camille for Moda
Grass and Path, Eat Drink and Be Ugly, Sandy Gervais for Moda
House/Globe Background- Sevenberry Dots blue on white
Globe Base- Cosmo Cricket Early Bird for Moda (I really miss Cosmo Cricket fabrics!)
Red background - Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey for Moda
Binding- Ta Dot in Ceda by Michael Miller

The Vintage Christmas book is available at The Fat Quarter Shop (USA)
In the UK, it looks like stock is still arriving but these shops usually sell Lori's quilting books: Patchwork DreamerSew Hot, Hulu Crafts.

I'll be back later in the Sew Along with a Vintage Pinwheel block!