A year in my sewing life, and introducing #sewgoodintentions2019!

My make nine projects 2018

So it’s been a while since I blogged, and I wanted to round-up a year of my sewing progress in 2018 – for me it’s been an incredibly clarifying experience. I have discovered that:

I value quality over quantity. My sewing priorities change with the seasons and I am drawn to dress patterns, above separates. My head is easily turned by that exciting new sewing pattern release or a new fabric I fall in love with. Ultimately I want to look at the finished garment and think “Wow! I made that, it looks amazing and fits so well”.

Before 2018 my sewing was never really quantified, I rarely thought too much about setting challenges. I picked up a pattern and made it, and often disregarded the skill level. I now understand that what is most important to me, to be spontaneous – sewing should be fun and I don’t feel I want to be tied down to my sewing wants six months ago. For me, sewing is a hobby and it should not feel like a chore.

To that end, I have decided to set myself some Sewing Intentions – a list of five areas I want to focus on to grow my sewing skills in the new year. You can also join in on Instagram by using the hashtag ‘#sewgoodintentions2019’. Simply set yourself no more than 5 priorities for your sewing, so that you can focus on making an improvement and take the time to finish your garments to your best standard…

My #sewgoodintentions2019 are:

  1. To improve the finish of my garments inside and out by learning new techniques (linings, interlining, finishing hems and sewing french and princess seams) – conveniently to include watching the ‘Great British Sewing Bee’ and taking notes;
  2. To sew and fit a pair of trousers, so that I have a pattern that suits my body shape which I can sew on repeat;
  3. To sew a skater style coat;
  4. To improve my topstitching accuracy on all my me-made garments;
  5. To sew a jersey project with a twin needle.

I hope that this will be a great challenge for sewists at a range of skill levels, to identify their priorities for the year ahead, share their progress whilst working on them and to review them at the end of 2019.

My make nine 2018

Looking at my #makenine2018 projects pictured above, I made 1) a Sew Over It Molly dress, 2) an Ultimate shift dress in Fox print Crepe from Minerva Crafts and 3) the Tilly and the buttons Margot pyjamas from my original list.  I also made 4) another Cleo dungaree dress (I live in my denim version) – a kit from Tilly and the Buttons and 5) Delphine Skirt whilst watching Stranger things btw (instead of the Deer and Doe Chardon).

I  almost finished the 6) Great British Sewing Bee Tea Dress – rather than the full-skirted dress (just a concusion-related zip issue to rectify!) and a hem to sew in the new year. The Cocoon coat was not really my style on reflection, the excitement of making a coat ran away with me, but I would love to find the perfect skater style coat pattern to make.

By the summer I had gone off list and made a 7) Simplicity K6459 in cream and black polka dot fabric given to me by a lovely lady who sold me my Singer Overlocker. Followed by 8) an Origami Shrug with fabric and pattern from Make at 140, Plymouth. Finally, I made a Sew Over It ‘Silk Cami’ for my sister for Christmas and cut out another for me!

What a year – I am certain that the new year will include more sewing for me, probably with fewer patterns and possibly making some of the more successful patterns again! (a coat and the Cotton and Chalk jumpsuit are definitely high on my list).

Wishing you a very happy year of sewing, and please tag me @shelovestomake.uk if you’ll be taking up #sewgoodintentions2019!

Emma x

 

 

Good golly Miss Molly!

 

The #SOIMolly dress pattern had been on my to sew list last year, and made it to my #2018makenine patterns. Having sewn the Tilly and the buttons Coco in a dressmaking workshop in 2017, I decided that I would try out a Sew Over It jersey pattern (I have mostly been sewing Tilly’s patterns for a couple of years now and wanted to explore some other independent pattern companies).

I fell in love with this Chevron print fabric on a trip to my local fabric shop with my friend and fellow sewist @kellyloupreece. The fabric is so heavy and soft that I was convinced it was a Ponte di Roma, also it was such a bargain! When I brought it home and started to work with it I soon realised it had a substantial amount of viscose in it. In fact I think it probably is a heavier weight viscose stretch jersey. I was so passionate about my vision that I ploughed on regardless, and in the end I feel like it was worth it. It certainly kept me occupied through the recent blizzards of Storm Emma, or as my friends tell me Emmageddon! I actually quite like the idea of a storm in my name, it’s a very powerful metaphor.

I cut the Size 10 top, and added some additional drafted pieces for some width at the hip. My dress form was really useful for fitting the dress, I took it in twice and I think the shape works really well – given the fabric has more drape than a Ponte. I can certainly see myself making another Ponte version of the dress, perhaps in a spot or floral print with the spring on it’s way.

Sadly the fabric does not photograph well, I have included a close up of the dress so that you can see how cool the chevron print is, and the true surface of the fabric. The dress is so soft on my skin, and it fits like a glove.

The pattern was really easy to follow, and Sew Over It include the stitches, widths and lengths that are most effective when sewing with a stretch fabric. Sewing the neckline was my biggest challenge, I found that the instructions were very clear, when altering the neckline and fitting it correctly. I really was stunned at the results I achieved with this pattern so soon. My personal points for improvement, are my topstitching around the neckline and the finishing on the hem. Although I think all of the above would have been easier in a heavier jersey with cotton, this fabric was certainly very slippery to feed through the machine. I would definitely try, where possible, not to get so fixated on a fabric that I disregard the pattern’s fabric recommendations. The dress is great, but ultimately it would have looked more effective in a Ponte.

I know that I will wear this dress to work often, and I could definitely wear it out at the weekends. I think it would look good with a black heeled ankle boot, I am sure I have a pair somewhere… I’m off to find them!