Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sew Hello

Right O', I'm jumping back on this here blog again. 

I've missed writing in my little space to talk. Ever since all of the changes of the past few years I just lost my blogging mojo and with this life changing so has the focus of what I want to chat about and show you.  I'm still as creative as ever, probably far more so, but the focus has switched very much to my dressmaking adventures and that's what I'll be focusing on here from now on, along with all the usual chat about stuff in general.

Over the past two, nearly three years since being made redundant from education I've had the luxury of more time to sew and I've been using that time most productively. You could almost say bordering on obsessive. What I would give to have an endless supply of all the fabrics and patterns I'd like to work with. But hey ho, patience Lisa, you'll get to them one day. So I've been busily stitching away for myself, for my loved ones and for my lovely customers. 

I've decided the best start would be to show you many of the clothes I've completed since I last posted and then I will start writing in more detail about just one thing. That's my plan. I've five posts all ready and waiting to go. Steadily, one at a time.

      The Celine Bodice and Sophia Skirt from Boundless Style by Kristiann Boos at Victory  

My first frock is a late winter make from earlier this year in a soft tartan.
The patterns in this book are downloaded from a CD ready to print so there is the cutting and sticking element involved. I've bought quite a few digital patterns now from New Zealand and American designers rather then wait an age for the postage and after the first few it doesn't feel like too much of a chore putting all those pieces of paper together. If you're impatient like me to get your hands on a pattern then I think it's a blooming marvellous invention. 

The book is split into sections for a choice of bodices, sleeves and skirts so you have the freedom to choose how you'll put your frock shapes together. To be honest I mix and match patterns hacking them together all the time these days. Often I don't like the skirt in the pattern, just the featured bodice so it means I can get exactly the shape I want.

The darts on the Celine bodice and the Sophia skirt are one of my favourite features in this frock. The bust darts radiate out from the keyhole and the skirt darts follow this same angle. This bust dart feature means I don't have to do a Full Bust Adjustment which is normally essential having a upper bust which is two sizes down from my actual boobage. I've still not worn this frock, although I love it. It got put away on the WIP pile as I need to bring the zip in as it's a bit too big then hopefully it will get plenty of outings this season.

My next make was a request from Millie for trousers for her GCSE Textiles trip to the Cambridge Botanical Gardens.

She described the shape she was after, then we went fabric shopping and she chose a lightweight jersey which has a lovely drape to it. 

We drafted up a pattern taking into account the fact that as we're all tall it's not just about lengthening the legs, but the front and back rise too.

This was all a bit last minute so I ended up sewing it up on Mother's Day for her to wear the next day.  Luckily they worked out exactly as she had planned in her mind and she was thrilled with them.

Unbeknown to Millie I was working on a couple of makes for her upcoming 15th birthday at the same time. She'd said she loved the Mary Dress when she saw it in a magazine and as she likes completely different fabric patterns to me I knew I would be safe with the choice of a black and white frock for her.

I opted for solid fabric sleeves for her version and lengthened the arms while I was at it. 
This was a beautiful dress to make in a lightweight wool, the only difficult part was the curved yoke on the bodice which meant lots of pinning and slow and steady stitching to get it laying perfectly.

She's worn this a few times already as she loved it.

I also made her a blouse in a flamingo print rayon. I'd made this pattern up for myself and as she had loved the shape I knew it would be another suprise winner.

I made mine up in a vintage fabric using a 1970's pattern I found in the charity shop. I altered the sleeves from floaty balloons to cap sleeves which suit me far more. I think it has more of a 1930's shape now which I far prefer.

Shirt making for my love still continues. This is the last shirt he requested in a plain black and now he would like a black waistcoat to go with it. I've made him a waistcoat already which I'll show you in my upcoming posts.

My final two makes for today are a blouse and a frock from the same pattern in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I absolutely love Gretschen Hirst's designs. She totally nails it with vintage style and fun in my opinion.

I'd been searching high and low for a pattern for a blouse with a rever collar. I tried a few, but they didn't work out how I hoped, then I saw this one in my much thumbed book. Not sure why I'd missed it before, but luckily I spotted it in the end.

I love clothes that are figure hugging and fit with my love of vintage styles from the 30's to the 60's. For this blouse I used a contemporary anchor print fabric that I'd bought to make a man's shirt. Instead it became a lady blouse. 

Sailor Blouse - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

This pattern is created from a dress bodice with the additions of a peplum and a lot of button loops to the front. I wish I'd mentioned it to my costumier pal beforehand as she gave me a great tip afterwards for making sure they don't slip and slide when sewing them all in place. Hey ho, I know for next time, if there is one.

As I loved the shape of the bodice so much I decided to make the full blown frock up too. 
I didn't buy any fabric specifically for this, I just used some charity shop cloth that had been hiding in my cupboard a while.

This dress has some really interesting features, piping on the sleeves, a waist stay which I'd not sewn before and the fabulous front zip which makes me feel all retro naughty nurse.

Zip Front Dress - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

This is a great shape and fabulous to wear, but the fabric puts me off slightly so I guess I'll be making this one up again in something cheerier. That's after the long list of other makes I already have in my head.

I've so many other projects to share with you before I'm all caught up and then I plan to start talking in more detail about each of the projects I'm working on if you'd be interested.

Until then. Tatty bye.


  1. Since changing your header there is no longer access to the Instagram photos you show each day....I am olden and have no instagram on my phone :) LOVE your sewing and makes!

    1. Oh I'm sorry Linda, I'll try and sort that out. Not sure how it disappeared really ☺💜

    2. Oh I'm sorry Linda, I'll try and sort that out. Not sure how it disappeared really ☺💜

  2. Nice to see you back on here lisa . It's where I found you first of all . Looove all your makes !! They are fab . Ssh don't tell I'm reading this at work ( ����) xxx

  3. So happy to see you back! Love the tartan dress, and the flamingo blouse, and the anchor blouse - no, I can't choose! All fabulous! x

  4. You have been busy! It is so good to see you writing again, I missed you.


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