Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Me-Made-May 2014

So, Zo's  Me Made May 2014 is quickly approaching (tomorrow). My original pledge was:

"I, Lauren Digby, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one different item of me-made clothing for each day of the week for the duration of May 2014." 

However, I've been thinking about it and I don't see how that challenge helps me. It'll probably just get me incredibly stressed in the middle of exam season, which I really do not need. This is what I've changed it to:

"I, Lauren Digby, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made  item of clothing every day for the duration of May 2014."

This will enable me to see what I wear the most, what I need more of and the gaps in my wardrobe without getting me all stressy.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's outfits!

Lauren xx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Sewing Legacy

My Grandpa came down for Easter Weekend, and as he lives so far away we rarely get to see him so this was a real treat. To make it even more of a treat, he brought me piles and piles of fabric and patterns! Sadly, my Grandma passed away several years ago, but she was an avid seamstress and made most of her own clothes! Her collection of patterns and fabrics were just collecting dust so Grandpa brought them up for me to make some use of them. It makes me sad that I can't share my sewing with Grandma now, but I hope that somehow, somewhere she can see my sewing and be proud.
This skirt is not something I've made, but is rather something that my Grandma made years and years ago which has been passed on to me. Luckily it is fastened with a drawstring so was easily adjustable to fit me.
I'm ashamed to say that my first thought when I saw this beautiful skirt was that I'll just chop some of the length off and it'll be perfect. You see, as a rule, I don't wear particularly long skirts in fear of looking dowdy and old fashioned instead of a 17 year old. Now of course, I've realised that I sew my own things, and that I can wear whatever the hell I want! Just because all of the skirts in the high street shops stop just below the bum it does not mean that skirts I have to wear need to be that short. 
So now, I have no intention of shortening the skirt because, pardon me for being forward, but I think it actually looks pretty good. Not pretty good, amazing. I feel  so fantastic and empowered when wearing this skirt, not just because it helps me to remember Grandma, but because it enabled me to shake off what everybody else is wearing and just look at what I like, and what I think looks good, which is more important than anything.
 Thanks very much for reading, and to Ed who took these beautiful photos, 
Lauren xx

Monday, 21 April 2014

I did it! I drafted my own dress from scratch!

Hi everyone! This is my first self drafted dress using my own self drafted sloper! How cool is that! It also happens to be my entry for Sew Dolly Clackett because a) the fabric! and b) the silhouette. 
I drafted the bodice using my measurements and a pattern drafting book. After having a few hiccups and finding my bust size in the age 12 part of the childrens section, getting over the humiliation of that and guessing a few measurements it went okay. Ish. In my first muslin I took out about 2.5cm out of the centre front and a good 2cm out of each side and a wedge out of each shoulder. Hmm, I'm guessing that guessing measurements wasn't the best idea, but I got there in the end! 
Now I think I've got the bodice pretty much where I want it to be which is fab. The bust darts are a tad too high though so I'll alter that for the next version (because of course there's going to be a next version). The skirt is a half circle skirt which was calculated as usual via By Hand Londons app. Would you believe that I don't have a petticoat on underneath there? It is a tad short for my liking but I only had 1m and a bit to squeeze the whole thing out of. 
The fabric was one of the fantastic birthday presents from my friends (as well as other fabric, my own sewing labels, and for Christmas a vintage Singer, they are just THE BEST). I am a huge huge fan of penguins, a tad less enthusiastic about sport, but hey, this fabric is AWESOME! It's quite a stiff cotton which holds the shape of the skirt fantastically.
 The neckline, armholes and hem were all finished with varying colours and widths of bias binding and there's a white invisible zip inserted down the side.

Despite many family members going, "Are you going to wear that, outside?" I obviously am. With pride. 
Thanks very much to Sarah for hosting this amazing event, and congratulations to Roisin and Nic!
Thanks so much for reading and to Ed for taking beautiful pics!
Lauren xx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Black Half Circle Skirt

Hi everyone! Just quickly, sorry for the poses. I guess you can tell I don't do ballet. It's like a warped version of the YMCA. However, the best pics of the skirt were the ones with me doing stupid stuff with my hands so these are the ones you get to see! My teeth also look funny in these photos. This would be because I got braces on Monday so adieu to all of my favourite foods for an entire year. But it's okay, because it's worth it for the end result.
 Anway, onto the actual sewing stuff... This skirt is a self drafted half circle skirt, with the measurements calculated by the By Hand London App. For the waistband I cut a rectangle the length of the top of the skirt and overlocked that raw edges together, then turned right side out and top-stitched. It's secured with an invisible zip and hemmed by machine 2 inches from the edge because I do not have the time to hand sew it and the machine stitching is invisible on the black anyway. The fabric is cotton poplin. 
The drape of circle skirts just make me feel all fuzzy inside. And now for twirly photos.
 This was a great basic to make as it goes with practically everything and was sorely needed in my wardrobe in time for Me Made May. I'd like to knock up another in navy to go with the other stuff in my wardrobe sometime soon.

Until next time, thank you very much for reading!
Thanks Ed for taking the photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 6 April 2014

How I Lined my Pavot Blazer

Hi! As promised today I'm going to show you how I lined my Deer and Doe Pavot blazer. Just quickly, this was half guess work and is by no means the proper way to do it, but it is what worked for me.
First I cut out my lining using the same pattern pieces but adding fullness at the center back (an inch or so) to make a pleat and extending the sleeves 1cm to allow for movement.  Then I put the lining inside the outer wrong side to wrong side and sewed down the front, round the back of the neck and round the front again (basically where I've put my piping)
Then, turning everything inside out take the sleeves and match the seams, then pin and sew around the "hand hole".
When that's done, also pin the hem right sides together.
It should now look something like this:
When you've sewn all the bits you've just pinned unpick a 10cm gap in the middle of the sleeve which you then need to turn everything through. Now its time to interface the facing pieces and sew them together. I had to draft a new facing piece because I didn't need a buttonband but it's the same principle. I cut my interfacing smaller than the facing to make sure I wouldn't get any of the glue on the interfacing onto the iron.

When all 3 pieces are joined together the facing needs to be pinned and sewn to the coat/blazer right sides together. I didn't draft mine quite long enough so I had to add a bit to the end of mine, hence the weird seam at the bottom.
When this is done, clip the curves and turn to the inside of the coat/blazer and pin close to the edge. I then clipped the outer curves so I could turn the outer edge over to give a clean finish. 
The edge of the facing was then slip-stitched to the lining. Excuse the very green un-coordinating thread...

And now you can do this to random passers by..

Or not, your choice...

Hopefully that made sense! If it didn't don't hesitate to drop me a comment.
Thanks very much for reading!
Lauren xx