Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Raincoats and pledges

I've been meaning to make a coat for Faith for a while now but never quite got around to it. I picked up some fabric for her a while ago and with the weather getting nicer (lasted all of a week!) I felt bad that the only options she had were a too warm winter coat or a not warm enough hoody so I dug the fabric out and two nights later had this done:

I found the pattern on one of my increasingly regular trawls of sewing patterns on etsy. The fabric print is busy so I wanted a simple coat with a hood and this 5berries pattern fit the bill perfectly. I made a size 6 so she had a bit of room to layer up and it fits really well. I decided against the cuffs but think I could have done with making the sleeves a bit longer - they sit perfectly at her wrists now but she grows so quickly.

I've made a few coats with ripstop fabric or similar before and they have a tendency to stick to the foot and wrinkle when sewing the seams, with this in mind I dug out the walking foot I bought before Christmas and immediately threw in the bottom of my sewing box because I fell out with quilting. I was going to put it on ebay but I am so glad I didn't get round to it - it was a godsend. There was no wrinkling, no sticking, and no swearing!

I am by no means an expert on this, but I had a bit of a conversation on twitter about waterproofing the seams so this is what I do:

  • Use a small, sharp needle
  • Set the machine to a longer stitch length
  • Hold fabric together with paperclips instead of pins
  • Use a walking foot (or teflon feet are meant to be good too - I do actually have one but haven't used it yet)
  • I know you can get seam sealant but in the five waterproof coats I have made now I've never used it - it intimidates me a bit (hot irons on nylon? Eek!) and it looks like a bit too much of a faff. I'm not sure whether this is an actual thing or whether it's just in my head, but I always try and do flat felled seams or at least turn the seam to the side and topstitch rather than having seams pressed open just because I think it probably offers a bit more protection.

Finally, Me Made May starts on Thursday and this year I'm upping my game. Last year got me wearing more of my me mades more often and after a big purge at the start of this year the majority of my wardrobe is now me made but I'm still no good at making basics or buying fabric that is going to go with the rest of my things. With this in mind, here is what I am pledging this year:

"I, Sally of Sally bee makes..., sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear only me made clothing (with the exception of underwear) each day for the duration of May 2014 but will allow myself the use of one ready to wear clothing item once per week. I will also finish one WIP each week."

It's going to be tough, but I'm looking forward to it.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Style Arc Ziggi jacket

Biker jackets are something I've always liked the idea of having but neve really thought would suit me so I've left well alone but when Maris announced that she and Stacy were hosting a sewalong of the Style Arc Ziggi (a pattern I had already seen and admired) I did a bit of umming and ahhing then threw my hat into the ring. I don't feel like I've really challenged myself sewing-wise for a while so I went for it. Unfortunately I then fell out of love eith sewing for a while and procrastinated so much that I went into a bit of panic when I realised I only had a week to finish it! (The deadline was then extended to the end of the month, phew!)

I had only got as far as cutting out the patten pieces, but luckily it was the easter holidays so I took Faith round to my mum's and hid myself away in her conservatory to cut fabric. The fabric is some wool type stuff I bought a couple of years ago for a coat that never happened and some satin, both from my stash (the saintliness of using my stash fabric was cancelled out by a late shopping spree though, oops!).

The jacket was surprisingly easy to sew, with a bit of guidance from the sewalong posts, but it was only after I had sewn the front pieces together that I realised I'd forgotten the zips on the pockets. Never mind, I like it without the zips there, they always rub on my hands anyway.

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out. I didn't muslin it but it fits pretty well as is, next time I just want to take it in at the side seams a bit to make it less boxy.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Feeling flirty in Flora

Those By Hand London girls are miracle workers - this is the very first full skirt I've made or bought that Stuart likes - he even agreed I needed more of them!  Plus, they got me out of my sewing funk!

To be honest, I wasn't that fussed about the Flora when it was released (I don't tend to wear full skirts) but the more versions of it I saw, the more it grew on me and when the girls posted a tutorial on how to change the straps to rouleau straps, I had a brainwave and took the plunge. Rather than just changing the straps, I chopped off the back bodice under the arm and added rouleau straps in a criss cross pattern (I need to add a couple of tacks to keep them neat).

I was a bit concerned once I'd cut the fabric out because I had forgotten to add any length to the front skirt (a few people have said it is very short) but I'm glad I forgot - it is shorter than I would normally have my skirts, but I love it.

The obligatory spin

The fabric is some African wax print style cotton I got in Abakhan when I went to Wales last summer. I had been saving it for a maxi dress but when I got it out a few weeks ago I realised that the pattern was for stretch fabrics only which was a blessing in disguise because I think it suits the Flora much better.

This is actually my second Flora but the first didn't turn out so great so I wanted to save that until I'd done one I had fallen in love with. Will post the first next week.