Vote for your Favourites!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Hi Guys!

I've been a bit absent these past few weeks! There was lots of birthday stress (Mother and Boyfriend), then Christmas stress, and then house buying stress (but the house fell through). I haven't got much sewing done, but I've done some secret Christmas crafting :)

I've also been very social these past few weeks, and I'm in the middle of a massive post about what I've been up to :)

Until then, I just thought I'd remind you guys to vote for you favourites in Tilly's #sewingfrancoise competition.

It closes at 6pm, so you have just under 4 hours to make your decision - and there's many pretty ones to choose from! There are 10 amazing prizes - how exciting to win something nice just before Christmas :)

BOOM! The Rigel Bomber

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hey Guys!

I invite you to bear with me as I attempt to photograph a completely black outfit! This is of course Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber jacket, and I'm in love!

This wasn't a pattern I was immediately drawn too, but after seeing Clare's version, and a few more popping up about the place I was hooked. I definitely wanted to go stash for my first try (to be honest I should be going stash for EVERYTHING because honestly it's gone beyond a joke. I can see like 7 pieces that have come in for this one getting out. And I have some of this left. AGHHH!)

The fabric is a black cotton twill I got at Rolls & Rems in Lewisham. I do really like the selection this shop has, but I do find that I'll love a print, but not in the fabric or vice-versa. And of course there's the slight chaos that is their cutting/paying procedure but we won't get into that.

I would love to shop in one of these places I've heard of that let you cut your own fabric. That would be amazing.

As soon as I put the jacket on I did a happy dance in the sitting room, and I've worn it a ton since. Oh and I'm sorry but - welt pocket anyone??? I fucking love these pockets. I put them off for ages and ages because I was scared, but what do you know, first time and perfect. I should've practised really, but I worry it might give me a false sense of security and I'll make mistakes because I'm cocky!

It's definitely a good idea to get a few good wears out of something before you launch into another version. I've noticed a few niggly things I may move to adjust in the next one.

I sized down as I wanted the more fitted look, so shockingly cut the XS. And it fits fine, but I find it a touch snug in the shoulders. For the bust and waist I'm happy with the ease. The arms are only *just* long enough - so if you have long arms beware! They do slouch naturally in regular arm positions thank goodness but if I reach for something I notice it.

I definitely would like to make the pocket bags bigger. I can get over that my arms are higher up in pockets than is natural, but it would be nice to be able to comfortably fit said hands in the pockets. Or, you know, be able to put my phone in my pocket without fear of it coming crashing out!

The other thing is that you really need a zipper that's short enough. I ordered a selection in marginally different sizes (like a dumbass ordered some that were close-ended) and this was the only one that would work. You can probably see it was a touch too long, and I'm getting a small V at the centre front. Oh well, I think I got away with it mostly.

Doesn't help that you don't know what supplies you need until the pattern arrives, but I managed to find out on Twitter. I wouldn't chance longer unless you're lengthening the pattern. To be honest I would err on slightly shorter next time as mine was a 14" and I think they recommended a 15"? Correct me if I'm wrong

Glasses are going on and off! I like them but the lenses aren't anti-glare and most pictures had light reflections all over them! I like how the jacket fits through the back though.

Oh, and BOOM!!!

This is basically my favourite thing about the jacket! The lining is a poly-satin (probably) from when I went to Minerva Crafts back in June. The colour is much more saturated in real life, but I was having light issues - which is why it took me a couple of weeks to get decent photos.

Drafting the lining wasn't too bad in the end. I just lined up the facing over the centre front pattern pieces and drew where a lining would intersect + seam allowance. I lined the sleeves also, so I sewed it up like the jacket, sewed it to the facing, sewed the facing to the jacket and flipped it all in. Handstitch down the hem and sleeves and Bob's your uncle.

Everyone keeps telling me they wish I'd put a reversible zip on so I could wear it inside out, but if the lining was to snag I may kill something. It was awful to work with for me. I don't do drape and I don't do slippery. I'm sure it was no where near that bad but it was to me. I had to french seam it due to the fraying, but the hem and sleeves were raw when I handstitched so fingers crossed they hold their own.

If anyone's thinking, 'um, you realise you don't wear trousers Emmie, never mind Jeans?', then you would be correct. I do not. I wore this exact ensemble out to dinner the other night, and when I stood up people said 'I thought you were wearing a dress!' I had been wanting to try this brand of jeans on for ages and finally found a real life pair (not stocked many places!) which fit like a dream. SO that's why I'm so broke this month. These are the Ton Up jeans by Freddie's of Pinewood. I did also buy the Classics and the Dungaree Dolls. And I never thought I would ever say that I owned a pair of dungarees. Ever. I didn't want to like them but they wormed their way in to my psyche.

The rise is almost perfect, a smidge longer would be absolutely perfect (but mostly for sitting down). I like the streamlined look of the front. And the detail I love so much is that the fly front is IN THE POCKET. Just under the side button. How awesome is that. 


I'm *slightly* obsessed with Nicki Minaj's Anaconda. I don't care if people feel it's inappropriate or derogatory, I just can't shake it. And I'm sorry but her waist/butt ratio is amazing. That yellow skirt in the Bang Bang video? Oh and I don't often like my behind in jeans but I do in these!

So there you go. I'll leave you with the picture of my ass. That's how I roll tonight.


Emmie xx

Vintage Guts Part.3

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hey Guys!
I've had a super productive weekend! I finally managed to trace and muslin a By Hand London Charlotte skirt and cut out another  in fabric to add to a dress bodice (which happens to be a wearable muslin of a previous make!). 

My Papercut Patterns Rigel also arrived in the post Saturday morning (perfect timing!) and got traced and cut out in a black twill (and overlocked!). I also cut out my ribbing too. This will probably be my only decent pre-Paris make (oh, did I mention I was going to Paris??), and there's nothing I need more than some more jackets and a decent coat. 

Trying to decide whether to make a coat or buy one. If I manage to see one I like I'll buy but we shall see. I would start putting one together now, but I've realised how much fabric is required for a coat - every one I like in my stash needs between 3 and 5 yards and I don't have that much foresight! Plus, by the time I make one It'll be next Winter.

I also finally I redrafted out some of the excess in my Coppélia pattern and I'm planning on cutting that out too!

Oh and finally I took a bunch of the picture for future destashing on Etsy. I know, I know - shirink my stash by filling yours!

Now, what I'm here to show you today is another Vintage piece. I picked it up in New York, in a little Vintage shop in the East Village shortly before we left. I think I paid about $40. it was slightly more than I wanted to pay, especially because I'm not usually a fan of such a high neckline, but I fell in love with the Bead/Lantern design on the fabric and I couldn't leave it behind!

There's a large all-in-one facing that finishes the neckline and armholes. It looks pretty obvious here, but it's less obvious when it's worn. It opens with a long metal zip down the back.

It has quite a boxy shape, so there's no issue getting the top on and off. It just about tucks into a skirt, but there's somewhat of a risk it can pop out if I bend forward!

The seams are finished with overlocking (apart from the back seam for some reason), but there's nothing else fancy in the production. The neckline and armholes are understitched.

I've tried to find out about the brand, but nothing's coming up in my basic search! The top is a size 16, so ties in with normal vintage sizing.

I love this fabric!! I would buy the bolt if I could! I love embellished fabric like this. As you can see, the neckline is quite high, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be when I wore it.

The hem is blindstitched, and is hardly visible from the outside.

I can't think of much else to say! This one is short and sweet! I'll leave you with a picture of me wearing it that you may have already seen :)

Back soon!
Emmie x

Mr Tailor Man - The Finale!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hey Guys!

In my blog hop post, I harked back to my series of Mr. Tailor Man posts. You know, the one's I never finished? For those of you who are having a little trouble remembering, there was a tailor in my town who was retiring, and I basically bought the bulk of his remaining stock and equipment off of him!

So, I thought maybe somebody out there would like to see the final few bits. Ironically, I've hardly touched most of it, so they are basically where I left them! But I though some of you guys might like to see!

So the first thing is some tailor's wax crayons, which are like tailor's chalk - but wax! They leave a slight mark and I think it irons out of most fabric.

The next thing I got was a bunch of silk thread for hand-stitching. You can pull a single stand out of the packets, and it's super strong so that your stitching won't break. Who doesn't hate that 'pop' sound? I picked up one of each of the colours he had.

Then there were some shoulder pads! Not sure if I'll ever get to use them, but more jackets have some sort of padding in the shoulders than I think I realised!

Then there were some anchor buttons (similar to what we saw in the JPG exhibition) and some braided cord. There was also what I think was seam binding but the picture came out a bit fuzzy!

Now these I loved (and I didn't really get these for very cheap!) - some vintage spools. I look forward to displaying these properly somewhere!

Then we have some dress shields. These can be stitched into the underarms of a dress, so as to protect the garment from any sweat/deodorant, etc. As most of us know, this can otherwise end up in a beloved piece of clothing being damaged or stained.

I got a bunch of random zip. Strangely they were mostly green!

Then I got a bunch of suit buttons. Some are really beautiful! And I have matching small and big ones for the green buttons which is nice.

Some things I got for free were remnant pieces. These are small pieces of lining. most of it doesn't appeal to me as its a bit polyester-y but the pink piece at the bottom is really lovely - I wish I had more than the smallish piece!

I also got a bunch of suiting scraps, all smallish pieces.

Then there was the bigger suiting pieces. It appears past Emmie was very productive and measured them all! They are full width and the top few pieces ranged from 44cm to 78cm in length.

Then we have the beautiful velvet remnants. I love stroking these. I have no idea what to do with them but I might make a patchwork cushion cover to stroke. I love the deep red and the grey especially.

Then there were some smaller wool remnant pieces.

This is where I keep the significant fabric lengths I got, a couple of which you have seen before(and I won't point out), but most you haven't. On the final day, when he was closing he told me I could have whatever was left in the fabric section for £50. Included in this was a bunch of stuff I didn't really want, but it was sort of an all or nothing deal! The only thing I knew was missing from the first time I came in was some Harris tweed, but it wasn't a colourway I was super fond of so thats ok!

There's more wool, wool blend, and suiting.

 The most "god knows what I'm going to do with this" piece of fabric is this 100% Silk Italian suiting. Not sure how much is there (most of the stuff is a max of about 3 yards), but it's apparently worth over £300 if I remember correctly.

Then there's this bumblebee fabric, which I think was used for butler uniforms? Some sort of uniform. Its actually quite a blue-navy and yellow up close. I think there's a couple of flaws, but he has noted the total length and unflawed length.

Then there were more wool blends.

And of course, where would you be without your own bolt of hair canvas? Everyone needs a bolt of hair canvas in their stash. Like, duh! I use this in, like, every project. All I hear every day is Mr.G saying, "God, I think you really need to think about stocking up on some more hair canvas".

I think the only thing I left behind that day was a bolt of nylon pocketing, which was ick to be honest. I actually left the hair canvas initially but then Lauren did her tailoring posts and I had to turn on my heel!

SO that's your lot. No more Tailor Man :(

But there's always more fabric :)

Emmie x

Autumn sewing starts... Ultimate Wrap Dress

Friday, 3 October 2014

Ahhh Summer...

It feels like it was a million years ago now! This photo was from the Sew Over It Summer party, where we all had a great night making lampshades (which are awesome, and mine has been in use ever since!).

On the night, I finally got my hands on the pattern I had been lust after for quite a while - the Ultimate Wrap Dress (which can also be taken as a class). Although I also spent most of the night lusting after Lisa's Doris dress (that's Lisa in the grey on the far right - as if you didn't know!).

It didn't take me long to get to tracing this pattern, and it was one of those makes that just flowed out of me, with no major issues or unpicking. I had the bulk of it sewn up in the last hour of sewing club!

The fabric is a Black/Grey animal print knit I bought quite a while ago from Minerva Crafts. I think it's a heavy jersey or ponte. It's very stable, and was a dream to sew with!

I wouldn't normally wear something like this without tights at this time of the year, but I felt they were obscuring the dress for photos! I've been wearing the dress with black tights and heeled lace-up ankle boots. Which I wish I had taken at least one photo of, because they are awesome boots. Next time!

It fits perfectly around the bust line, but I like to keep my cleavage covered, so I've popped a plain black cami underneath for modesty. There would be a lo of bewbage otherwise!

I'm seriously trying to remember what adjustments I made before I started. I'm pretty sure I tried to get the most out of using a stretch fabric but making it all pretty simple. For the front pieces I cut a 14 for my bust. I was going to grade it in at the waist, but decided instead to take the excess width away from the under and over wrap edge instead. I thought this would ensure that it wasn't too big at the under wrap - the worst would be if I couldn't pull in for a snug fit. I cut the back as a 14 bust/12 waist.

I could probably afford to add a little more on the underlap with no issues, but I think it's pretty good! It's a comfortable fit, and as I said - the bust fits well. I could probably lengthen it a smidge, I think I traced a piece off wrong because the front pieces turned up shorter than the back- so of course I ended up a little shorter than I meant to be. I'll check my pieces before the next try.

I was warned the ties are pretty long. I stupidly didn't cut them on the fold, so mine are pieced at the centre and therefore slightly shorter. I tend not to knot them, or even double knot, as the ponte is a bit thick and it stands off my body a bit bonkers. The fabric has enough grip to not unravel so I'm safe! If I was making it in a ponte again, I might consider making the ties marginally thinner.

I'm sure I must have shortened the sleeves, but I love having sleeves that finish where I like them for once in my life! It's awfully exciting. The only tricky sewing bit was sewing the curved front edges of the hem. I took it nice and slow with my machine's triple stitch. One went fine, but one was a bit more difficult for me! They were coming out a bit wavy, but with a good steam they flattened right out!

I used the facing pieces included in the pattern. I was going to give bias binding a go as an interior finish but I didn't have any premade stretch binding (and I was too lazy to make some!). I decided that the facings would probably stay put okay with this thicker fabric, and I also topstitched 1cm from the from edge to keep it in place. I used the triple stitch again here.

The only mistake I made sewing up the pattern was the placing of the wrap ties. They really need to be in the perfect position for the turn out. I didn't really consider perfecting the placement before I had my first crack at it and ended up with the seam ripper!

My tip would be to ensure you have measured down 1.5cm from the top edge of the wrap, and ensure you're not sewing into the wrap tie before you pivot the corner. Because if you do, your tie will be all sorts of buckled at the top. Oh yes! I did consider this before I did it but I didn't listen to my instincts!

All in all, I'm really happy with how it turned out overall, and my Mum loved it too. Although you wouldn't have thought it with the face she made at me when she realised I had made it. Sometimes she's so impressed, she's disgusted, haha!

This is the beginning of my comfy day dresses, and it's working out well so far. There will be many more of these popping out! Has anyone else fallen into Autumn sewing yet??

Emmie xx

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