July update and what’s next

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Hi all,

I’ve had quite a busy period over the last couple of months, so you won’t have heard from me much. Holiday, family birthdays, life – sometimes you’ve just got to go out there and live it. But mid July, my good friend Sarah from Like Sew Amazing setup a popup shop so that you could go and have a good feel of her fabrics and see all her haberdashery and patterns. She hopes to open a real shop one day, if the online business does well enough for her, but in the meantime these popup shops are such a great idea. In the run up to her big day, I made a note of anything I wanted to start making soon, and saved up, deliberately not buying anything until that day. I did my homework beforehand, and went through her website but it’s always good to have a feel before you buy really isn’t it?

I spent a lot.

I wanted to start venturing into new colours, off the back of the colour consultation I had in mid June. So the first port of call was to take a look at her My Hearts Reverie yellow jersey, to see if it worked for me, and I was really pleased to say it did. I’ve always gone on the notion that yellow was a bit bright and a bit much for me – closet goth – but I’m actually really excited about adding this cheerful colour into my wardrobe. I also saw that she was selling the True Bias Nikko pattern. I want to make the top from this pattern, which is basically the dress you see on the pattern front, but shorter. 🙂 I think it’ll be really cute. This one I’ve not made yet, as I have quite a few jersey makes under my belt this month, and I really want to crack on with something new – I’ll go into that later.

Second fabric I bought was a cream jersey with black feathers. This is so elegant as a design, I just fell hook line and sinker a while ago, and I was really excited to be having pretty much the last metre or so from her, before it sold out. Phew! This one I very quickly whizzed up into my favourite Drape Top from Simply Sewing magazine. With previous makes of this, I’ve thought the shoulders didn’t quite meet up properly, but actually, they do when you finally turn over the front shoulder piece, in order to finish the hemming. I feel like I’m getting better and better at binding edges now too. It’s kinda becoming my favourite little neat feature. Who needs fancy coverstitch machines when you make a lovely arm hole look this neat?!

The third thing I made was a bit of a whim, but I had been quietly considering it. Sarah had some cute grey jersey with cats’ faces on them, and the eyes glow in the dark. Grey, as we’ve established, is not my friend, and I’m not into novelty prints myself, but I showed the fabric to my little boy when we were at Sarah’s popup shop, and he really liked it. So I decided to make him a little pyjama top with it. There’s some left that I could probably make some matching shorts out of too, but I’m up to my eyeballs for a while now.

I had planned on just drawing around the edge of an existing tshirt of my son’s, and had actually made a little toile with some black remnant jersey. The sleeves were an odd shape though and the neck was definitely too small for his head. (Sorry I didn’t photograph the toile) Whilst I was planning to just make some adjustments to the little pattern I’d drafted, someone on Instagram highlighted a challenge that was starting with a pattern house called Misusu, who do kids clothing patterns. So I immediately downloaded the free pdf for their Rowan tee, and made it that day. It was lightning quick to do and my little boy adores his glowing jim-jams!

I bought one other jersey fabric, not from Sarah, but from Sew Sew Sew UK. It’s a lovely teal colour – definitely my palette – and I had been given a pattern free through an Instagram challenge known as the Great Big Pattern Swap. If you receive a free pattern from somebody, you pay it forward by giving away one too – then you make your garment up to enter into the challenge. Well I received two patterns and gave away nearly 20! I was surprised people wanted a lot of them as they were those you get on the front of magazines mostly. But I love a bit of re-usage so I was really happy to find them more loving homes.

The pattern is a really gorgeous 80s style batwing top – it could be even worn as a short dress, maybe with some thick tights in the autumn. It’s by Kwik Sew at McCalls and they call it K3720. I whizzed it up in absolutely no time at all, so I see why they’re called that now. I like the look of a few other bits of theirs – nice easy but interesting looking little tops and things. Will see in the autumn if I fancy one or two more things of theirs.

I had real fun doing the photos for this shoot. It was the first day of cooler weather since this massive heatwave has burnt the grass to a crisp. I had to wait till then as it’s not a summer top, this one. I fully channelled Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan for this! 😁

The final fabric I bought from Sarah was some indigo stretch denim. So this is where I am now, looking at pattern pieces and yes, I’m going to be attempting to make the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case. I want to make them ahead of the Sewing Weekender, which is a big meetup of sewers held in Cambridge near the end of August. I’m madly excited and want to feel really good about wearing lots of my own made simple separates to that.

The Ginger jeans are naturally skinny jeans, which I just don’t like wearing. However, they’ve got a pattern add-on for flares. I’d rather make myself something in the middle, a kind of bootcut style if I can. I’ve been printing out patterns today and comparing the flares to the skinny, to see if I can trace off both patterns and meet in the middle for the lower half of the leg. I’m going to make lots of toiles and do what I did with the Landers by seeing what fit adjustments I might need. The Landers needed a full tummy adjustment and I can see these being no exception. Most trousers that I buy ready to wear don’t sit right on my belly and I’m forever hitching them up or putting a badly fitting belt around them.

So it feels ambitious but exciting to be venturing into making jeans, but I definitely feel ready. Here goes nothin’!