Sunday, 28 May 2017

Stripey Eurovision Top

Hello all! This top was born purely because of Eurovision. For the party I was going to we were required to dress as a country and as I already had the perfect outfit for France I thought that it was a no brainer. However, the stripey top I had planned to wear was in the washing basket, with no hope of being washed or dried in time. Luckily I had some spare fabric left over, and just enough time to whip up a new top. This one is decidedly more summery than the last, and I'm in love.
I used the Noelle bra pattern as a vague vague guide for neckline and armholes, and then I just extended the armhole to a point so I basically ended up with a trapezium. I finished the front neckline first and then bound the side edges from the bottom up so that they could extend into straps. The hem is also bound and the ends extends into straps to tie at the back.
I ended up just making some pleats at the front just to get the fit a bit tighter at the waist. Sometimes when worn, there is a bit of gaping at the sides and I wonder how best it would be to fix it. Darts at the side of the bust would ruin the stripes.
It was planned as a halterneck but after a while I decided that life was too short for that amount of weight on the back of my neck so my good friend Amy tied those straps to the waist straps for me.
It makes for the perfect summer top. Elegant, cool to wear, but covers what needs to be covered.
Thanks very much for reading and to Bethan for taking these photos!
Lauren xx

Friday, 19 May 2017

Floral Trousers

 Hello all! This months Minerva Make is a very fun pair of trousers. Slightly clown-like perhaps, but fun nonetheless.
Thanks for reading, to Minerva Crafts for providing the supplies for this project and to Bethan and MK for photo taking!
Lauren xx

Friday, 12 May 2017

Floral Kelly Anorak

Hello all! I've been meaning to make another Kelly since I made my penguin shower curtain version. I thought that I'd make a slightly more practical one, but how practical is floral? I'm going to say very.
 The fabric is a heavier weight cotton, I think it's upholstery and it was a lovely birthday gift from my friend Esther a few years ago. It's a bit heavy for a dress I think, but perfect jacket weight.
As it's quite a big project I found it easiest to sew a step at a time to keep motivation going. It took a Sunday afternoon, and an hour or so each evening during the week. Everything went pretty smoothly and I'm really pleased with the zip.
 The insides make me happy because the majority are flat-felled which makes for a very neat finish. The neckline is finished with some bra channelling because that's just what I had on hand. The only raw edge is the armholes which I haven't decided how to finish yet.
 I didn't use any hardware because I didn't think it really went with the floral vibe. Instead I used Velcro to close the cuffs, as I did for my penguin Kelly. I've just seen the new expansion pack which has sleeves with no cuffs. In hindsight that would have worked just as well.
 My only deviation from the instructions was to leave the drawstring on the inside of the coat. I'm really pleased with the quality of the finish of this jacket, and as a result am pretty proud of it. It's had quite a bit of wear over the last couple weeks since I finished it and I look forward to wearing it into the summer.
Thanks very much for reading!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 7 May 2017

More adventures in bra making

Hello all! As you can see, I've made another soft bra. Pretty much the whole of the design of this bra is down to the supplies I had on hand at the time and so it's very basic and minimalist.

I traced the cup from a soft bra that I already had, pinching out some excess where I knew that it gaped a bit. This gave me all of the pattern that I needed to make my bra. I decided to make the cups from the fabric of my old prom dress, which is a blush coloured crepe back satin. It is a woven fabric and the cups of my original bra were made from a jersey knit, but I was convinced that if I cut the pattern on the bias, all would be well.
The first step was to sew the darts, and then I encased the top edge of the cup in foldover elastic, stretching slightly as I went so that the cup wouldn't gape.




The next step was to encase the edge of the other side of the cup, starting at the bottom and working upwards. The foldover elastic then continues as a strap.


Using the existing bra as a reference I measured how much plush back elastic to cut, which acts as the band. The cups were then sewn onto the band and I pinned down the straps, again referencing the existing bra. I only had wide hook and eye clasps so I ended up just trimming them so there was 1 row of hook and eyes instead of 3, and zigzagged the raw edges.  I tried on the bra and ended up unpicking the band right in the centre so I could cross over the cups just a teeny bit more for a better fit.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I quite like the juxtaposition of the sporty elastic and the luxurious fabric. I think that the cups did stretch out a bit at the top edge which isn't ideal. It is really comfy to wear. I'd like to try this pattern again, perhaps with some black lace for a completely different look.
Thanks for reading!
Lauren xx


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Whale Print Cleo

Hello all! This is my second Tilly and the Buttons Cleo and my April Minerva Make! I saw this striped whale embroidered seersucker on the Minerva website and thought it would make the perfect whimsical pinafore dress. You can read all about the making process here.
Thank you very much for reading, to Edward for dragging his camera around Nottingham so we could take some pictures and to Minerva Crafts for supplying the materials in this project.
Lauren xx

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Floral Cleo Pinafore

Hello all! So it appears that I have jumped upon the pinafore bandwagon and I'm not even sorry. In regards to trends I love to hate them while they are in fashion, and as they are being pushed out the back door my brain has just started to come around to the idea. However, all of the pinafores I have seen look really quite comfy, and I was intrigued to try a new, less fitted silhouette than I am used to. When deciding on my next few Minerva makes I thought it was time to experiment and I included the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pattern in one of my kits. This version is a test run.
The pattern took no time to cut out at all with only 5 pieces (excluding pockets). I cut the front and back pieces on the fold, because the seam was a straight line and I didn't want to disrupt the print. This made the sewing process even faster.
 Construction was pretty quick and straightforward. I under-stitched as much of the facing as I could to make the topstitching easier. I left off the pocket, but I might add one later. I'm not sure it needs it with the busy print though. The mini length was pretty short on me so I zigzagged along the raw edge and turned it up 5/8inch and topstitched it into place.
 I didn't make any adjustments to the fit at all. It looked alright to me, but I'm not really sure how a pinafore is supposed to fit. It's definitely not the most flattering view from the side, but I wonder if that is just the bulk of the jumper?

All in all, this Cleo was a very good experiment. I look forward to wearing variations on a crop top with it as the weather gets warmer.
Thanks for reading, to Edward for taking the photos and to Minerva Crafts for the pattern!
Lauren xx

Friday, 17 March 2017

Cropped Clare Jacket Hack

Hello all! Today’s Minerva Make is quite an interesting one, if I do say so myself. When I saw this fur backed suede fabric online I thought it would make a perfect cropped jacket. It would be super cosy and I wouldn’t even need to line it, because the fur is there already! Easy peasy. As with all projects, it ended up being a little more complicated than I first thought, but I worked on this project in short bursts of time over a couple of days which give me time to think the next step through. I started with HeatherLou of Closet Case Patterns’ Clare Coat as this jacket was inspired by her version with an exposed zip. You can read all about the making process at the Minerva Crafts blog here.

Thanks for reading, to Minerva Crafts providing all the supplies used for this make and to MK for taking photos!
Lauren xx