Trying Out Watercolour Painting

As most of us have had a lot of extra time on our hands, what with lockdown and all … I’ve decided to try out a couple of new ‘hobbies’! The first one being watercolour painting …

I’ve never been a lover of painting to be honest … art was never my favourite class at school but I fancied giving watercolour painting a go as I’d seen so much beautiful inspiration online. I knew I had my old watercolours from college as well as some paintbrushes and a beautiful sketchbook that has been calling out to be filled!

The paints that I’ve been using are in two different forms – 1 solid palette and 1 set of tube paints. At the moment I don’t think I have a preference but it will be interesting to see if I do develop a preference as I go on…
They’re not super professional and to be honest I’d love to get some other palettes with more of a range of colours but for now these are fine.

So I logged onto my free trial of Skillshare and found a watercolour lesson to get me started … this was a huge help! I started from the beginning and was taught how to test all the colours. This was surprisingly useful, I learnt how to paint each colour to see the variation of shade you can make from each colour just by watering it down. They also taught me about how some colours are more opaque than others and this is shown by painting over a black line and assessing how much you can see the line through the paint.
It was really interesting to see how the colours came out differently when used and as they said, it has become a really useful resource when choosing what colours to use.

Next up they showed how to create a mixing chart … again another very useful exercise! By mixing every colour with each other I managed to create a full chart showing how they look when mixed. So when I’m deciding what colour to use I can refer back to the chart and find what colours mix together best.

So once I had finished all the experimenting with colours I moved on to trying out some actual paintings. I went straight to Pinterest and looked at ‘watercolour painting for beginners’ and there was so much inspiration! I tried lots of different images from leaves and flowers to bumble bees and avocadoes! All with varying degrees of success …

I couldn’t believe how relaxing it was … I genuinely spent 2 days just painting and felt amazing afterwards. It was wonderful learning and trying out the new technique and I can’t lie, I’ve been looking at more supplies online ! I really want some bigger paintbrushes and maybe another palette of different colours but at the moment I’ve not ordered any … maybe I should try and wait until we can visit shops again where I’ll be able to look around a bit.

But in the meantime I’m going to keep practicing and see what I can create … be sure to follow me on Instagram as I’ve been posting lots of stories when I’m painting !

Cricut Joy is Here!

So just before we all went into lockdown made a very naughty purchase … the Cricut Joy! I’ve had my eye on a Cricut for ages but resisted as it was such a lot of money. But then they released their new machine ‘Joy’ which was much cheaper (still a lot of money but a bit more within reach). I still resisted but then the world went crazy and I needed a something new to get excited about! So I ordered one along with a few accessories (I already had lots of vinyls!) and I’ve not regretted the purchase since!

As soon as it arrived I unpacked it and got experimenting ! It comes with a little sample piece of smart vinyl and a piece of card which was great. It was fun just testing out a couple of little designs to see how it all worked.

Fortunately I already had quite a collection of iron on vinyl … a combination of Cricut own brand which I won before Christmas and beautiful selection from Happy Fabric. So I have a good range … that is particularly pink/turquoise heavy !!

Then I got planning some proper projects … I had been trawling through Instagram and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration so had lots of thoughts. First off I found a cute narwhal image on google with I uploaded and cut out in some lilac iron on vinyl that I had won with Cricut before Christmas. I cut out the words ‘mr narwhal’ too. I went straight in without thinking and cut it out with the carrier facing up … which I soon found out doesn’t actually work (thank you Joy for helping out with that!! ). So I recut it the other way and it worked perfectly! Don’t worry I didn’t waste the first piece and cut out some spots and hearts to use on another project.

I was then inspired by my favourite band – The Beatles. I knew I had some black glitter iron on and could imagine their logo on a white t-shirt! Again I made another mistake and forgot to mirror the image … I only realised this once I had weeded it all! However most of the letters are actually reversible so I just had to recut 3 letters and we were good to go. I’ve actually finished this t-shirt now ( a Tabitha T-Shirt from Tlly and The Buttons) and it is definitely going to be one of my favourite pieces of clothing !

I got a bit adventurous with my next make … I wanted to create a moomin but making it in just white was going to result in just a white blob! So I uploaded the moomin twice, once as a solid shape and once as an outline. I then cut the solid shape in white and the outline in black … and I love the result !! I put it on a cute pink t-shirt (another Tabitha tee!) which I think the little moomin looks great on … Another new favourite piece of clothing !

Since then I’ve made cute slogans for t-shirts that I’m making, glittery stars for another t-shirt. I’ve made a drawstring bag for my cousin with a dinosaur themed quote … but I’ve also made a shiny pink butterfly for a banner or my auntie, little lilac hearts and spots and a few other designs which I’ve no idea what to do with !!

I think I got quite carried away so I just need to have a think about what to put the different designs ! I’m thinking tote bags, maybe add little designs to existing clothes, homewares like cushions and fabric baskets. Cue more scrolling through Instagram for inspiration …

Another amazing thing that you can do with the Cricut Joy is create beautiful greetings cards! With all the craziness going on I decided to send out a few cards to cheer people’s day … there are so many designs on Cricut’s app (especially if you sign up for Cricut Access … I’m currently trying out the free trial and will then decide whether I want to continue paying for it !). I chose some cute motivational, happy designs that I hoped would make my friends and family smile …

I’ve absolutely loved experimenting with the machine and can’t wait to keep going – it’s certainly been a worthwhile purchase !
I’d love to hear what your favourite Cricut/Happy Fabric makes have been … let me know below or on Instagram !

Bertha Cardigan(s)

As soon as I saw the new Tilly and The Buttons’ Make It Simple book I knew I needed to make the Bertha Cardigan! I love the unusual shape and giant pockets – because every garment needs pockets! And I’m a sucker for a cosy cardi so I couldn’t resist…

When we visited The Stitch Festival I went on a search for fabric … and I stumbled upon a wonderful range of sweatshirting from Sew Me Sunshine. I instantly bought the navy as it was one of the colours on my list … It has little multi-coloured specks on the navy which adds a bit more depth to the fabric. I also bought it in another colour as a gift.
I made the navy cardigan up and proceeded to live in it ! So I went online and ordered the ecru version of the same fabric ready to make another one…

I cut a Size 4 which is the same size I always use for Tilly’s patterns. It seems to fit perfectly and although I have considered making the Ecru version in a size down I actually think I’m going to stick with the size 4 as I quite like how it sits on me. I was also going to shorten it but forgot ! And actually it seems about the right length … I’m 5ft2 for reference.

The pattern pieces seemed really strange as they are crazy shapes … so I made sure to mark all the notches (not something that I always do … sorry!!) and keep the pattern pieces with the fabric so I knew what piece was which.

I made it in an afternoon and was amazed at how quick it was to construct. I did most of it on the overlocker and it was so easy! I suppose that’s the point of the book !!

As I mentioned I made the version with the pockets which is amazing … they are huge and so cosy. However it is one thing I’ve changed for the Ecru version. The pattern tells you to sew two pocket pieces together so they are lined, but as my fabric is pretty thick they have turned out quite bulky. So for the Ecru version I’ve not lined them and have just used 1 layer of fabric to avoid the chunkiness! I definitely prefer the look of it in this fabric – I expect a thinner fabric would work fine double layered but this fabric was a bit too thick for that.

Another issue I had was that the band running from one hem, round the neck and down to the other hem seemed a bit short. On my navy one it seems to pull up a little and turns out to show the inside a bit. It’s not a huge issue but it’s something I’ve tried to solve on the Ecru version by making the band slightly longer. I added about 2 inches (if I’m honest I just guessed!) and it has worked much better. I might unpick the band on my other one and add 2 extra panels on the bottom of each side.

Of course I had to finish them with some Kylie and The Machine Labels … I love how each of them look again the fabrics!

I definitely recommend making yourself one of these cardigans as it’s super cosy, comfy and looks really great. It seems to go with everything … particularly jeans and a top! I love the idea of colour blocked versions but decided to go with plain ones to start with as I thought they would be more versatile. Who knows maybe I will make one of those next !

Sewing Plans

It’s been a couple of weeks since I popped up a new blog post but with a busy week at work and then everything else happening at the moment in the world (which I’m not dwelling on as too much is getting into my brain and stressing me out at the moment!) it’s just been too much! But my brain has a little bit of space to think and I decided to sit and write this …

I’ve had a recent run of beautiful fabric purchases so I thought I’d do a little run down of what they were and what I’m planning to make with them. The last few months have seen quite a few fabric purchases/gifts and I’m excited to get some of them sewn up asap … so I won’t feel as guilty that they are sitting there!! P.s that’s only a small percentage of it !!

First up is one that I’ve actually made since taking these photos … but this is something I’ve been wanting to make for a while as there have been some gaps in my cardigan/jumper collection!
I bought this sweatshirt fabric from Sew Me Sunshine at The Stitch Festival as I was searching for a navy knit fabric to make either a Tilly and the Buttons Nora cardigan or the Bertha cardigan from Tilly’s new book.
It’s so beautiful as it has lots of little multi coloured specks to break up the navy. The fabric has a cosy fleece back but it’s not too thick meaning that I should be able to wear it all year round !
I actually love it so much that I’ve bought it in a stone colour to make another one …

Next up is a pattern I’ve been desperate to make ! As soon as the Tilly and The Buttons Bobbi skirt was released I knew I needed it !!
… I won this floral denim from Gather n Sew last year and I think it’s going to be the perfect skirt to wear with tights and boots but also bare legs and sandals in the summer. It’s cut out and ready to go so fingers crossed I’ll be able to make it as soon as possible!
And there’s also a wonderful khaki green needlecord which I’d like to make another from – I actually won this one as well but from Felicity Fabrics ! Inspired by Purple Sewing Cloud I want to try adding a scalloped hem as I think it would look so beautiful with the deep khaki …

This make is another one that I’ve managed to finished before getting this blog up … I made a Freya dress this time last year and had some of this wonderful whale cotton jersey from Fabworks leftover. I’d been saving it for some pjs and when I saw the Shortie version of the Juno Pj’s in Tilly’s new book I couldn’t resist! I was planning to use white jersey to make the top but actually I had enough of the whale fabric to make both… they don’t take up that much fabric which is amazing.

Ever since I made my first Indigo dress I’ve wanted to make a floaty viscose version … when I went to The Stitch Festival I couldn’t resist this beautiful viscose. I love a stripe and a floral and this one combines the two ! I want to make the dress version (which I’ll probably have to shorten!) probably with the exposed gather and I want to try and make the sleeves work this time.

A couple of nice quick projects are these two beautiful jerseys that I’m planning on making into Tabitha t-shirts. I found these both at The Stitch Festival – the space one from Sew Me Sunshine and the Leopard print is from Fabric Godmother. I can’t wait to make these … I’m also planning some plain ones which I’m going to add iron on transfers to! I bought a Cricut Joy and have been experimenting so watch out for lots of design ideas (spoiler I’ve already made a little moomin, a narwhal and some Beatles themed designs!!). Actually as I’m writing this I’m wondering what I could add to these two fabrics too …

I can’t resist making another Mandy Boat Tee and this pastel orange stripe (from Girl Charlee before they closed in the UK) will be perfect! I don’t wear a lot of orange but I’m excited to try it out. And you can’t go wrong with a stripe !!! This will be another simple make particularly as I have made 3 already !

I’m desperate to make these dungarees from Tilly’s Make It Simple book, but trying to decide on fabric is proving tricky !! I can’t decide whether this fabric will work … its a textured viscose (from Gather n Sew … they don’t have this colour but do have it in mustard here). I was planning on making a dress with it but I’m really loving wearing trousers and skirts at the moment so wondered if this was a better use of the fabric. But then it’s lovely and drapey so to me is calling out for a dress … I’ve got some double gauze so might give that a go instead…
Does anyone else struggle with committing to making with certain fabrics ?

These three have been in my stash for a while and I love them so much! However I’m so undecided on what to make – I think they would make lovley tops as I only have 1m of the greens (both remnants from Holm Sown) and 1.5m (I think) of the floral (again from Gather n Sew). But which ones … I found this pattern in my stash which I might have a go at, particularly the scalloped edge ones! I also really want to make the Hannah Wrap dress as a top so am wondering about using the floral cotton lawn for that. I also love the All Well Workshop Box Top as it’s a beautiful simple pattern …
What’s your favourite top pattern? Leave your suggestions below !

So there’s most of my plans … although I have got a few other bits that I’ve started or have planned since I took all these photos! Be sure to follow me on Instagram as I’m posting more and more stories whilst everything is going on and I’ll be showing progress on there.
Hopefully I’ll be back very soon with another blog as this was actually really nice to write once I sat down … Speak you soon !!

A Day At The Stitch Festival

On Sunday I went to The Stitch Festival held at Business Design Centre in Islington after winning tickets from @ooobop on Instagram ! I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday constantly watching everyone Instagram stories and feeling so jealous. I was so excited to see all the wonderful businesses and maybe make a few cheeky fabric purchases … I’ve never been to the Knitting and Stitching show or any of the other sewing fairs before (although I do love The Handmade Festival!) so was interested to see what it was like. And it definitely didn’t disappoint !!
It was an early start for a Sunday but it was such a beautiful day … we (my friend and I) sat on the platform waiting for our train and the sun was so warm (who remembers what that felt like!?!). We arrived at 10am ish and straight away got stuck in visiting Higgs and Higgs, Fabrics Galore and Sew me Sunshine/ The Fold Line. A fabric lovers dream !!! It was so lovely being able to stroke all the fabrics and feel the quality.

My first purchase was some dreamy navy sweatshirt fabric with multi-coloured specks throughout it. It’s going to be either a Nora cardigan or a Bertha Cardigan but either way its going to be ridiculously snuggly. I bought it from the lovely Harriet from Sew Me Sunshine who was so helpful! In fact we ended up at the Sew Me Sunshine stand many times during the day … you know you’ve bought too much fabric when the stallholders recognise you!! Harriet had 2 lovely helpers with her too, Louise who I love watching on Pattern Pals and was so willing to pass on tips and tricks! And Harriet’s godmother Gael who was so warm and welcoming every time we came to the stall.
I also bought some burgundy sweatshirting from the same range but that’s to make a gift! Shhhh …
And the final thing I bought from Sew Me Sunshine was this absolutely dreamy jersey … I mean look at those beautiful planets !! I think it’s a cotton jersey and feels so lovely, perfect for making a cute tee shirt – probably the new one from Tilly’s book

I also bought another cotton jersey but from Fabric Godmother … it’s a really pretty turquoise and yellow leopard print which was so unusual that I couldn’t resist! Again I think it will be a basic tee like the new Tilly pattern from the Make It Simple book!
I’ve always really loved Fabric Godmother’s fabrics and have bought many online before but it was really nice to be able to look through the wonderful range they had on display. Also they had decorated their stall in that amazing yellow tile style print that just looks amazing whenever anyone makes something with it !!

My Indigo Dress

You’ll start to learn that I’m a massive Tilly and the Buttons fan … I love their patterns and when the Indigo dress was released I was so excited! Gathered waist dresses always draw my attention and the interesting features of the Indigo made it just that little bit different.

I bought the pattern straight away and using a Hobbycraft gift card that I received for my birthday I purchased some lovely Blue/Green tartan cotton. It’s really lightweight but is still not see through and has washed and worn so well!

The pattern has a few different versions … which I mixed and matched and changed !! Going from the finished measurements I thought that the top version looked like it might be long enough for me as a dress – I’m 5ft2 and wear dresses quite short, normally above the knee. However when I had got to the point of trying it on I found it was a little short so I added a panel along the bottom which meant it was the perfect length, and I actually really like the look of the additional strip. Originally I did add a lace panel in between the skirt and fabric strip but I think it was too lightweight as it didn’t sit very well so I scrapped that and opted for just the fabric!

Another thing I changed was the sleeves, I had cut out the sleeves and actually attached them. However when I tried it on there was just too much tartan ! I don’t know what it was but it just didn’t feel like the dress was balanced with the sleeves … I think also it was partly due to the fabric as it doesn’t have much drape so the sleeves sat a bit odd. So I took them off and instead of making them short I just decided to get rid of them all together – in hindsight short sleeves would probably have worked really well but for some reason it was all or nothing at the time !!!
To finish the arm holes I used some satin blue bias binding which was great, it means that when I wear it over a top the armholes don’t cling and drag.

I did go for the exposed gather which I thought was such an interesting feature … it was a much more involved process but so worth it ! I would definitely use the technique on other gathered dresses as it really looks beautiful.

Something else that I added were waist ties in a navy viscose that I had in my stash. As with many people who made the Indigo I was inspired to add waist ties by Joy from Pink Coat Club, and it really does make a difference as it just pulls in the waist slightly. I would definitely make sure I added them to future versions too …

I’ve had so much wear out of this make and it’s definitely been a winter staple … the fabric has washed really well and I can’t wait to mix up how I wear it as spring and summer arrive ! I’ve mainly worn it with long sleeved jersey tops underneath, thick tights and boots but think it would look equally cute with trainers and bare legs with a denim jacket.

I’ve been meaning to make another Indigo for a while … I really want to make a viscose version as I think the drape would really suit the pattern. These three from Guthrie and Ghani are very beautiful so maybe I need to go fabric shopping !! I am going to the Stitch Festival this Sunday so that might be something I look out for …

Have you made the Indigo ? Tag me in your versions as I’d love to see them !!

My Handmade Coat !

Last autumn I decided I needed a new winter coat … I bought a snuggly rust orange puffa coat which I have lived in ever since. However there have been a few occasions when I really needed a smarter coat that is still warm but just looks that bit classier. So I tried on a few long length woollen coats in the shops and was surprised to find they actually did suit me … but the fit was a real issue with the majority of them!
I’m 5ft 2 – so many were too long. I’m normally around a size 10 but when I tried them on they swamped me, and if I tried on a smaller size they were too restrictive. At the same time many of the more fitted shapes were huge on my narrow shoulders.
So I started considering making my own … arghh scary !

I had seen the Cocoon Coat by Sew Over It before and really liked it. It has quite a relaxed fit which definitely appealed to me as a first coat project. I also really loved the shape of the collar and the fact that it had pockets! It’s only available as a PDF so I bought it – and very helpfully Sew Over It had a 20% off discount code at the time!

Then I needed to find fabric … this was tricky as I didn’t want to spend loads, mainly because I didn’t know how well it was going to go. So I started scouring the online fabric shops to try and find the perfect fabric … and as so often happens Holm Sown came up trumps !! Rachel had a range of Herringbone wool mixes which were reduced to just £5 a metre (£1.25 per 1/4 metre) and I fell in love with the burgundy/red colour way (there’s also a black and a brown version). So I ordered 3m which only came to a bargain £15 – the pattern requires 2.5m but I think I was a bit worried about messing parts up or not having enough fabric so bought a bit extra! And I’ve actually got about 1.2 metres left so considering making a cute skirt or pinafore with the remaining …
For the lining I was a bit stuck, I didn’t want to use lots of polyester style lining as I wanted it to still be breathable. Tamlyn from Sewn on the Tyne recommended contacting 1st for Fabrics and they were so helpful! I explained my situation and Kayleigh sent through photos of potential options, she then sent me a few samples so that I could hold them against the coat fabric. We decided on a black and white spotty viscose for the bodice, with a deep red coat lining for the arms. I love clashing prints and these two went really well!

Cutting out the pattern was simple – although I opted for scissors to cut the wool and my hand was dying by the time I finished !! There aren’t too many pieces so it didn’t take ages (much quicker than assembling the PDF pattern!!). I did have to be careful with the wool fabric as it’s quite a loose weave and the edges did fray if messed with too much.

In general I found the whole process really quite simple … the pockets were probably the trickiest part as I had never tried making welt pockets! But I worked through it, watched a few videos and once I got my head around how it worked it wasn’t too bad … and the end result looks really good!

I really struggled with what size to make and mid way through making the coat I did have a mini panic that it was massive! I made a size 12 as it was a bit bigger than my actual measurements and I knew I would want to layer underneath it …

However when I put the sleeves in and tried it on they were huge – I removed them and tried taking in the shoulders but it didn’t work. At that point I then looked at other peoples versions and realised that the pattern actually had dropped shoulders … so I reattached the sleeves and gave them a good press to flatten them and it was much better.

There was also quite a bit of excess fabric on the back under my arms … I considered taking in the side seams however the pockets were quite near the side seam so I didn’t want to take too much out! So I decided to add two darts to the back to try and minimise the bulk. It did work and ended up looking quite neat after pressing! I wonder whether if I made another one I would make a size smaller … or even grade down to a 10 on the body and hips, keeping the top at a 12.

Attaching the lining was pretty simple too … the instructions are really clear and guide through each stage. I had a few issues pinning and sewing the hem but that was mainly because I wanted to shorten the coat a bit. I only shortened it by around 5cm but it threw off the measurements so I had to wing it a bit!

I tried to finish all the edges with my overlocker as the edges did fray quite a bit as I mentioned. I didn’t want any seams to unravel when worn! Another finishing touch I added was a Kylie and The Machine label and ribbon hook to hang it by. I have recently got quite the selection of labels so it was tricky to work out which to choose – I went with one from the limited edition pack which says Made With Love in pretty pink metallic thread.

I’m so happy with this make and super proud that I managed it without any major issues ! I can’t wait to wear it out and about – I think it may well make an appearance when I visit the Stitch Festival ! I’d definitely recommend it as a great entry level coat pattern as it is straightforward, no tricky fastenings, an easy to attach lining and it would look different in different fabrics.

Mindful Doodle Embroidery

I was going to wait to do this blog until I had created a few more pieces but I thought why not post one now and then a progress one later on !
I love sewing – obviously – but I hardly ever sew if I’m not at the machine. And like many I struggle to sit in the evenings without doing anything with my hands (and brain!!) so I’ve been meaning to start some cross stitch, embroidery or similar for aagess!

On Instagram I’m constantly drooling over beautiful embroidery and recently saw @SewYeah creating amazing pieces which she called Mindful Embroidery … and I loved it so much! So eventually I gave it a go …

She uses little shapes and off cuts of vinyl ironed onto a piece of fabric. I bought some Happy Fabric vinyls last year at The Handmade Festival and also won some Cricut vinyls (available at Hobbycraft ) before Christmas and have been stuck on how to use them … so I’m so glad to have found a use! Especially for all the little pieces that you get left with when you’re cutting out for other projects!
I used a variety of colours and textures including flocked, glitter, holographic and solid colours too … I think it create a really interesting look.
I also used my Cricut Heat Press that I won – it was my first try using it an it’s so simple and effective!! I’ve used it a lot since tis project as it’s really simple to use and the regulated temperature helps hugely with the vinyl transfer …

Once you’ve arranged these on the fabric and pressed them into place the embroidery begins !

I’m not that experienced when it comes to hand embroidery as I’ve always done more freemotion machine embroidery but I was eager to give it a go. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to do any stitches in particular places so you are free to make little mistakes as it won’t be hugely noticeable!
So I tried to be as free as I could without thinking too much about the embroidery … just choosing a colour and sewing! I hoped that this would help me create a more random, doodle like piece.

The finished hoop turned out really lovely … I just love the combination of different textures and colours! And it seems that somehow I managed to create a little fly like creature as part of the design!!
To finish it I just trimmed the fabric down and used running stitch around it to draw in the fabric. I’ve now got it sat on my shelf and I love seeing it as I walk into my bedroom!

I really enjoyed the process … it was so much easier than I expected which allowed me to relax and not concentrate on it! I can definitely see it being a craft that could be done on the train, in the car and, as I do, in front of the TV. I enjoyed it so much that I have already started another … this time a slightly bigger piece which I’m going to make into a cushion (below) ! I also had a brainwave that I could add patches to clothes – I think it would look super cool on denim maybe on a skirt or denim jacket … the world is my crafting oyster !!
I’ll be sure to post photos of my finished pieces on Instagram and maybe I’ll write another blog soon …

My favourite pattern of 2019

Last year was most definitely a year of ruffles in my wardrobe (and let’s be honest it’s going to continue in 2020!). I think I first saw the Mira dress by Fibre Mood on Instagram, I remember seeing Self Assembly Required’s beautiful version and knew it was one I needed to make !
So I headed over to their website and discovered they had an offer where you could get a PDF pattern for 1 euro … so obviously I jumped at that and purchased the Mira Dress straight away!

If you haven’t seen the pattern before it’s a beautiful shape. It has a cropped, high waisted bodice with 2 full ruffled tiers for the skirt. It has flattering 3/4 length straight sleeves and a high neckline. I’m 5ft 2 and don’t think I had to shorten it at all which is very unusual ! In fact I made no changes which is great – I have quite narrow shoulders but it sits perfectly.

First off, for both versions I made a size 38. They both fit really beautifully, however I would be interested to try making a size down just because I have seen a few people’s Mira dresses which look much more fitted. It’s worth noting that you have to add on seam allowances to the pattern pieces so watch out for that !!

Ok let’s start with my first version which is show above left …

I bought this beautiful viscose on holiday last year when I visited Holm Sown in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway (Rachel still has it in stock so grab it while you can!) . It’s drapey, a lovely weight and a really unusual print. The colours are so vibrant and as there are so many different colours in it I can pair lots with it !
Obviously pockets had to be added … this was really simple as the dress has side seams so I could just add them in. This version has plain navy pockets as it meant that I would possibly have enough of this beautiful fabric to make a top !

As you can see it’s one of those dresses that you have to twirl in … the ruffles hang so beautifully in this fabric that you can’t help but swish around !!

The second one is possibly even more beautiful !! I didn’t think it was possible but this fabric is just the most lovely, flowy fabric ever… It is an Atelier Brunette fabric called Posie Viscose Dobby in Blue. I bought it on sale with Minerva Crafts as a treat and it didn’t disappoint !

The fabric was a little sheer so I decided to line it … I lined the top except the sleeves and then made a straight underskirt as I thought too many ruffles would make it too weighty. The lining is just a plain navy viscose but its super soft and floaty!

I was so surprised at how easy the pattern was. I’m very guilty of sticking to the same pattern companies – I’m basically an expert in Tilly and The Buttons patterns ! So trying Fibre Mood felt a bit scary but honestly their instructions were really clear and the dress was so simple to construct …

I’d really like to have a think about how I could hack the pattern. The top fits beautifully so I may try lengthening the bodice to make a top, possibly with a ruffle but even just straight would be really lovely ! You could even lengthen the bodice right down to make an a-line/straight mini dress – that would look really neat especially with trainers and a slouchy blazer ! I also would like to make it midi length as that’s a style I want to start wearing a bit more.
I might even make a version in double gauze as I saw soso.sewing made one and it’s beautiful !! Perfect for summer and I won some powder blue double gauze from Sew Hayley Jane which would be super cute …

Ooo so many ideas … I’d love to hear if you’d made a Mira dress, what did you think ? Tag me in your versions as I always enjoy seeing different versions !

2020 Plans …

This year I’ve decided not to do a make nine as last year the 9 garments that I chose weren’t really practical makes! And by the end of 2019 they weren’t my style … so all in all it didn’t work that well!
So this year I’m going to choose a few garments along with some resolutions …

1. Sew more basics!
I have a lot of T-shirt’s, long sleeved tops, cardigans etc that I’ve had for years and now don’t wear quite so much. This is either because they’re getting a bit old or they aren’t my style. So I’d like to make some key basics.
The Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti Fabrics was a great starter as I love the style! I need to find a basic tee that I love too – maybe the Tabitha t-shirt from the new Tilly and the Buttons Make it Simple book. And I also want to make a few Nora cardigan hacks or even the Bertha cardigan from the new book!

2. Try something bigger/trickier …
I’ve already taken some steps towards this ! I’ve bought the Cocoon coat from Sew Over It along with some beautiful herringbone wool mix fabric from Holm Sown (It’s in the sale and comes in 4 colours ! A proper bargain!) … I just need some lining and then I’m ready to get making. I want to get started with this as soon as possible so I can wear it during Spring.
The other trickier make that I want to try is the Libby shirt from Sew Over It … again I’ve got the fabric ready to go. It’s going to be worn mainly for work so I’ve chosen a pale blue cotton but if it works I would quite like to make some more casual versions too!

3. Shop my stash!
I’m not going to ban myself from buying fabric but I’m going to concentrate on using up my stash! There are lots of fabrics that I’ve had ideas for but just never got round to deciding and making … so I will do that in 2020.
This one links to the next resolution …

4. Plan More
Along with shopping my stash I want to plan. I’ve always been someone who buys fabric because it is pretty and then I decide what to make with it after … so I’d like to try and pause more before buying! I’m going to think about what to make and whether it is necessary in my wardrobe.
Writing lists is something that I like doing so if I try to be stricter in sticking to the plans hopefully that will help with using up my stash and making a more useful wardrobe.

5. Wear more skirts and maybe trousers !?!?
I very very rarely wear trousers, for some reason I don’t feel as ‘me’ in them ! However I have been loving so many tops which would look best with jeans or even some skirts … so I’d like to try and expand the range of outfits I have to choose from in my wardrobe.
I wore jeans the other day with my Mandy Boat Tee and actually thought it looked quite nice so I’m excited to try mixing things up more!

6. Salvage some of the garments I’ve abandoned !!
I’ve got a pile of makes that haven’t worked for whatever reason – normally it’s a fit issue or the style doesn’t suit me … but I want to make them work! A few of them shouldn’t take too long – for example a Nora gathered waist dress just needs the waist raising and then hemming! Simple! Others are a little trickier, like the button up dress by In the Folds (Peppermint Magazine), I need to unpick the facing, take in the princess seams, shorten considerably and then add snaps … hopefully then it will fit and become a useful garment!
I’d also like to stop creating this pile !? Surely that’s not too difficult right !

And then I’ve got a few garments already planned – these are the most immediate ones I want to make …

A new work skirt out of some chunky ribbed ponte
A new work shirt as I mentioned earlier
A By Hand London Hannah dress is definitely needed – possibly a wearable toile top first!
Another Indigo dress but maybe this time in viscose
I’ve also just bought the Bobbi pinafore and skirt from Tilly and The Buttons and can’t wait to make that!

And of course my Cocoon Coat in beautiful burgundy herringbone wool mix … wish me luck with that !!

So hopefully I’ll be able to follow these resolutions to make myself more productive and stop excessive buying/making. Fingers crossed anyway!

I’d love to hear about any of your plans/resolutions – head over to Instagram or comment below!