Scout tee with block printed fishes

I've always had a bit of a thing about patterns and what with being a designer in my past life this was always inevitable. I spent most of my time at art college in the print rooms playing with the various print process available to me. I ordered a starter block printing kit which had a block of speedy carve rubber in it. Here is a little tester I did with a butterfly. It's a bit twee though so decided against printing it on fabric.

I carved a fish and printed it on a brushed red cotton I found in Boston on a  recent trip.

Sew Over it - Ultimate Trousers

I have been sewing since February but so far I've just made dresses and tops - trousers were much to scary. So I booked onto a course at Sew Over It in Islington to do their Ultimate Trousers course. The course teacher was Julie and she brought all her 40 year experience with her to the class. I finally conquered and invisible zip and learnt o fit the trouser pattern. 

Here are my jazzy trews! I'm pretty pleased with them. I think the fabric I chose was too light so I'll choose something more structured next time. 

Cross back top

I loved the look of this cross back top in Love Sewing magazine so a made it up in the floral viscose I picked up from Walthamstow. Its an odd one because it should fit perfectly but it slips arounds all over the shop. I do like the cross back shape though so might try this again in another fabric. The pattern asks you to face the arms, neck AND the backcross pieces. I'm not sure it was really necessary - the arms and cross pieces could have been hemmed instead and I still think it would have worked.

A maiden voyage to Walthamstow market

I had heard tell of a magical place full of fabric treasure troves called Walthamstow Market. I used a map I found on the internet to make sure I did't miss any. In actual fact I don't think you need a map. Just keep a keen eye out and make sure look behind the many stall for the fabric shops. I started off trying to take a photo of each stall and shop to help you find them but it was so hard because the stall and shops are so closely crammed in - but here's a couple. 

Here's my haul (approx 35m of it!) 

A juicy Bettine for International Watermelon Day!

This 80's watermelon print was part of my haul from Akhabans in Manchester. It was super hard to sew as it was so slippery but I loved the print so I persevered. The final dress (Bettine by Tilly and The Buttons) is a little bit see through but nothing that a vest and slip can't fix. I wore it to the pub quiz (which we won!) and a lady pointed out it was International Watermelon Day. it was fate surely?

Bettine Dress attempts one and two

Any dress pattern that requires no fiddly fastenings and can be smart or comfy is a winner by me!   This new dress pattern by Tilly and the Buttons is super cute AND has pockets! Be still my beating heart!

My first attempt was a test with cotton lawn from ebay - the fabric was much to stiff really and the bodice needed lengthening due my larger top half and the side seams needed taking in due to my lack of hips.

The second attempt was made using a viscose with the best palm tree pattern fadjng up to black that I found in Akabhans in Manchester. This time I lengthened the bodice and it drapes really nicely. Now I just need Tilly to show is how to make it out of jersey and I think I've found my new favourite pattern.

Ok this is getting silly - Washi Dress #5

Right, I'm having a self imposed ban on making this pattern any more - it's all getting a bit out of hand! I found this amazing print in Brighton whilst on a trip visiting friends (finding fabric shops is a legit way to spend time in a strange city right?). After some discussions with friends we decided it looks like an 80's sleeping bag - it's so joyfully colourful and 80's - I love it!


Camber set dress - the return!

So glad I attempted this Camber Set dress again. This time it made it up in a brushed cotton from Moda in a dark red and light grey with a contrast yoke and red pockets. I thin this patterns looks much better in a more structured fabric like this brushed cotton than a thinner lightweight fabric. It's so soft but also hangs really nicely -  a good combo.

Camber Set Dress in Cachette

Wow this pattern was really difficult for some reason, I had to redo the neckline, sleeves, darts AND hem. I Started with a size 14 which according to the pattern should have been a perfect fit but it came out huge and I ended up having to trim 1.5 inches off the sides, take the darts in etc. Basically it was a size too big and ended up a bit of a mess. Total nightmare. But I WILL not be beaten by a dress pattern! I'll be back to try this again. 


Mustang Fancy Sailor Top

I spotted this 'Mustang' fabric by (you guessed it) Cotton & Steel at a store in Ely and it was a must have. I turned it into a Fancy Sailor Top but this time I graded the size from a Large around the bust to a Medium at the waist and bum. This meant there is a lot less fabric floating around than my first attempt. This time I also followed the instructions on how to baste (I couldn't work it out before) and it meant the gathers were much more even and controllable. I also managed to complete the neat inside yoke by stitching in the ditch which was another skill I had picked up since my first attempt. 



Batik Print Bianca dress

This is my third Bianca because it currently holds the title for 'The most comfortable dress ever' in my wardrobe awards. This time I left out the V in the neckline as all the other attempts have ended up in a hole at the end of the V and the need for some well place binding. Sad face. ANYWAY I combined 'The softest fabric in the world' with 'The most comfortable dress ever' to make this beauty. * bows *



Batik Print Grainline Scout Tee

This was my first attempt at the Scout tee by Grainline so I chose an inexpensive batik print cotton lawn I found on eBay for £4 per metre. This is such a super soft fabric and the pattern is really flattering I think. I'm pretty sure I've picked the wrong size though and will take it down as is next time  - as the pattern is so busy I don't think you can tell it's too big but still.