I just about managed to complete my challenge to sew nine garments in 2017. I’ve been updating my original post, but I wanted to reflect a little bit more on the clothes I’ve made this year.
The nine garments I’ve made are very different from the nine I had in mind a few months ago when I decided to take part. This fact underlines to me that I am a very flighty maker- I should avoid stashing fabric and cutting out patterns unless I plan to start straight away.
I’m sad that the Liberty print shirt I’m planning isn’t included here, but I’m going to try not to let that stop me from making it. On the flip side, I’m proud of finally finishing my Macaron, which is made of fabric I bought when I was travelling in Indonesia. I cut out before I had a sewing machine and I’m glad that I finally sat down and sewed them up. It’s quite demoralising to have loads of half-finished stuff lying around.
It’s so funny how craft life goes at times. I was really close to finishing the challenge in August, when I got some good momentum on my second Day Dress. After that point, life threw a lot at me that ate up all of my spare time. Just after booking onto the classes to make the 1960s coat, I was asked to appear on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas. The coat class then became all-consuming, but I was unable to finish it due to my thumb injury. It started to feel like I had so many projects on the go, but very little to show for my efforts.
Not long ago, I spotted that Julia from the class at Sew Over It had posted a picture of her finished coat on Instagram. I was instantly inspired. Maybe if she could finish her coat, I could. One day when I was too full of a cold to do anything else, I sat down to the enormous amount of hand-sewing required to finish the coat. And, in less than a week, it was done!
I really think I’ve grown as a sewist this year. I’ve gone from only ever working with woven material to makes using some tricky fabrics like jersey, wool and viscose.
I was going to make a separate post about my knitting in 2017 until I realised that I have only finished four things! (That I can talk about).
A real positive is that making my jumper for Kirstie weirdly seems to have reawakened my love of knitting. When I was furiously knitting away on Silver Island, I felt that it was going to have the opposite effect. Thinking about it, I feel like the coat class gave me a bit of sewing burnout whereas the sweater made me remember what I enjoy about knitting.
Now to decide what I want to make in 2018!
Posted by The Crafty Crusader in Sewing Tags: 2017makenine, bettine, cleo, clothes, clothing, Colette, colette patterns, day dress, dress, fabric, fashion, grainline studio, lark, macaron, making, patterns, pineapples, prints, process, progress, Sew Over It, sewcialist, sewing, sewingbettine, sewingcleo, sewist, sewists, skirt, SOIshowoff, SOItulipskirt, Southport, The Avid Seamstress, Tilly and the Buttons, true bias, tshirt, tulip skirt
Me Made May this year coincided with a long weekend away in Hamburg. It was nice to be challenged to wear some of my handmade items on holiday. I tend to be a bit more careful with my handmades than my RTW clothing, so it was nice to give some of them a fun outing.
I travelled in my jersey Bettine dress. My flight was after a busy day in one of my secondary schools, and the stripey dress felt smart enough for work, but was also very comfortable for travel.
On Friday, I was keen to wear my pineapple skirt. My main post contains some more pictures, but here she is being worn while I posed with my friend Becci on a climbing frame. We were both too scared to climb any higher!
On the second day, my raindrop Bettine matched the weather better than I would have hoped! In this picture you can see the Hold Tight clutch I knitted a couple of years ago, which was quite handy for my essentials. I am just not a clutch bag person, so I have a leather strap attached to it.
Sunday was the nicest weather of the weekend. I almost wished that I had taken one of my pairs of shorts with me. In the end, I made do with my Cleo dress, which was also well-suited to travelling home. I do think I will lengthen the hem on this dress by an inch or two when I get a chance. Although it looks fine in front of the mirror, the corduroy has a tendency to creep up.
I think that incorporating my handmade wardrobe made an already-fantastic weekend even more fun. I can be very lazy about clothing and accessories, and knowing that I would be taking pictures inspired me to think more carefully about my wardrobe.
Thanks to Isie and Becci for being wonderful photographers, as well as awesome companions.
Posted by The Crafty Crusader in Knitting, Sewing, travel Tags: bettine, cleo, clothes, clothing, fashion, fun, Germany, Hamburg, handmade, hold tight clutch, knitting, me made may, minibreak, mmmay17, patterns, prints, Sew Over It, sewingbettine, sewingcleo, SOIshowoff, street art, style, Tilly and the Buttons, travel, vacation, weekend away, wool and the gang
I finished sewing my second Bettine dress! I’m so pleased with this project, especially considering that this is my first time working with jersey.
I detailed the changes I made to the pattern here. I’m very happy with the alterations I made from my first go at this dress. I think the Bettine works really well in a knit. I’m really pleased with the fabric, too. The jersey feels heavy and of great quality, but because it’s cotton, it’s also breathable.
When I tried the top and skirt on before constructing the waistband, I realised that the tulip skirt looked a bit silly on me in this heavy jersey, so I reduced the curve.
I love the way the neckband gives the dress a more t-shirty look. I would agree with others that a jersey Bettine is basically secret pyjamas.
Somehow this dress seems a little on the short side. My raindrop Bettine seems around my standard dress length, whereas this one is only just long enough (for my personal taste) to wear to work without tights. I made the hemline exactly as instructed so may lengthen by a centimetre or two if making in jersey again. I am only 5″4, though I do have long legs.
Slightly random note, but this project uses a lot of thread. I bought a new spool of turquoise polyester thread and had to get a second one to topstitch the hem. While I did a fair bit of unpicking, I didn’t finish any of the edges (apparently you don’t need to with jersey) so I was surprised that I got through so much thread.
I’ve always been very apprehensive about working with a knit fabric, so I’m relieved that I was able to do it. I did really take my time with this project, which helped. I’ll see how this dress wears, but I can definitely see more jersey Bettines in my future.
Pattern: Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: 2m cotton jersey from Sew Over It
Posted by The Crafty Crusader in Sewing Tags: bettine, clothes, clothing, cotton, craft, dress, dressmaking, handmade, jersey, nautical, Sew Over It, sewing, sewing bettine, stripes, Tilly and the Buttons, turquoise
I finished sewing my Bettine dress!
I made a few alterations to the pattern, including a full bust adjustment. I included a bit more information about the changes in my previous post.
Overall, I think this is a great pattern. The only minor comments I would have is that my neckline gapes a little, and I find there is a bit too much ‘blousiness’ in the bodice- I will shorten it in future.
Although I’d read that double gauze can be translucent, I thought I’d be alright because the double gauze I bought from the same supplier before was solid. All I can say is, white makes fools of us all!
I think the biggest issue is likely to be that the fabric creases quite badly. I’m just going to have to live with that as I seldom iron when I’m not sewing!
Pattern: Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: 3m double gauze, 108cm wide
Posted by The Crafty Crusader in Sewing Tags: bettine, clothes, clothing, cotton, craft, double gauze, dress, fashion, handmade, making, pattern, print, rain, raindrop, sewing, sewing bettine, Tilly and the Buttons
I’ve loved Bettine pretty much from first sight. I was unsure about buying the pattern as I read a few blog posts that weren’t entirely positive about it, but I finally took the plunge last year and picked it up with three metres of beautiful double gauze. It’s by the same people that made the fabric for my unicorn top.
I had hoped to make this dress for my Brazil trip last year, but I bumped it in favour of my spur-of-the-moment zebra shorts
After reading even more blog posts, I decided to make some modifications to the pattern. This involved tracing a pattern for the first time ever. It took ages, but it’s nice to know that I still have the original pattern if my adjustments turn out to be a disaster.
The first stage of the dress is constructing the bodice. This is fairly straightforward. The neckline stitching is a little fiddly. I found the most difficult bit was easing the side seams, which is only necessary because of the FBA. However, having tried on, I’m very happy I made the adjustment.
I’ve also constructed the pockets. This material is quite transparent, so I’m going to have to buy or make a half-slip to wear underneath. As you can see, I managed to mess the left pocket bag up slightly. I’m hoping that adding another centimetre to the front seam allowances in that area on both sides (marked by the pins) will fix this as it would be very time-consuming to rectify this error.
So far, I’d say that this dress has mostly lived up to the promise of being a straightforward sew.
I’ve been seeing quite a few Cleo dungaree dresses (pattern by Tilly & the Buttons) on soc meeds since the pattern was released. At first, I wasn’t sure about the whole dungaree dress thing (despite the obsession I developed over the Lazy Oaf Catafore, which led me to create my Cateralls). But, as often happens, the more I saw, the more I liked and I have now jumped firmly onto the bandwagon.
I decided to make the patch pockets out of plain black needlecord to break up the pattern a bit. Even though I think the mushrooms are adorable, they are very bold. I ordered the plain black needlecord online, and was disappointed to find that it is less black than the background of the mushroom cord. However, I couldn’t find any needlecord IRL in west London, so I will be proceeding nonetheless.
I dithered for a while over whether to cut a size 3 or 4. According to the measurements given, the 3 could potentially be on the small side. However, a lot of the Cleos I’ve seen online look like they err on the large side, and I mostly wear a 10 in RTW clothing. So I decided to go for the 3.
Due to the crazy fabric plus my laziness, I will not be doing the front and back seams on the dress pieces. You can just about see in the pic below that I marked off 1.5cm from the centre of the front and back pattern pieces to account for the seam allowance.
I was hoping to gain access to an overlocker for an hour or so to finish the edges of the pieces before I proceed. In the end, I used my trusty overcasting foot.
I also considered adding in-seam pockets to this dress, but no one else seems to have done this, and I was concerned there was a reason not to. In the end, I couldn’t be bothered but it may be something I consider if I make another version of this dress.
Posted by The Crafty Crusader in Sewing Tags: cleo, cord, corduroy, craft, cute, dress, dumper, dungarees, fabric, fairytale, making, mushrooms, needlecord, pinafore, print, sewing, sewing cleo, Tilly and the Buttons, toadstools, WIP