Sunday, 29 June 2014

My Multiple Liebsters

Hi All! Today I've got a bit of catching up to do. Throughout the last couple of months I've been nominated by no fewer than 5 people for a Liebster award: Sew Rachel, One Small Stitch, Sally Bee Makes, The Enantiomer Project and Design by Lindsay. So, I'd better get a move on and answer everybody's questions! I'll try and keep it short and snappy.

Sew Over It

1. Why did you start blogging?
Because I wanted to keep a record of everything I made.
2. How do you get yourself out of a sewing funk?
By starting a project that really excites me.
3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Hmm. Not sure.
4. Sewing for other people: love it or loathe it?
Depends what it is. And whether I'm being paid to make it. And who it's for.
5. What is your best feature?
My hair!
6. What is your favourite fabric shop?
The market stall in Leicester.
7. What is your biggest sewing sin?
Not pinning fabric when I cut it. (only occasionally)
8. If you could make any sewing process disappear what would it be?
9. Which other crafts, if any, do you do?
I bake cakes for peoples birthdays if that counts? If you want to see any of the cakes I've made for people feel free to browse my pinterest board here.
10. Cats or dogs?

One Small Stitch

1. What was your best holiday ever?
I'm hoping that it's going to be our trip to Australia this summer.
2. What is something that comes easily to you?
3. What is your favourite thing about your home?
My sewing room/bedroom.
4. Early bird or night owl?
Both. Have no choice in being an early bird because my first bus is at 7.21am...
5. Who was your first crush?
Ahem... too recent to divulge...
6. What two things do you want to do before you die?
Go to goldhawk road and to the NYC garment district. Is it bad that these are the first things that came into my head?
7. What makes you laugh?
My Dad. Every time without fail.
8. What was the best decision you ever made?
To start sewing!
9. What are you most afraid of?
Having an accident that wouldn't allow me to sew anymore.
10. What three wishes would you request from a genie?
Unlimited fabric money, a castle and a time machine (so I can have a lie in instead of getting the buses to school)
11. What is the most essential thing you've learned so far?
Mistakes are okay!

Sally Bee Makes

1. If you had an infinite amount of money that would disappear after one day, how would you spend that day?
Fabric shopping!!!!!
(the rest I've answered above)

The Enantiomer Project

1. Why/ How did you choose the name of your blog?
I was walking through the school gates one morning with my friend Lucy and I was talking about my blog that lacked a name. Apparently it was based on Sir Lancelot as she's a huge Merlin fan.
2. What fashion icon do you take inspiration from?
I don't have a particular fashion icon. I take inspiration from pretty much everyone and pinterest.
3. What is the most difficult fabric you have worked with?
This monstrosity of a 4 way stretch chiffon before I knew what 4 way stretch even meant. It did not end well.
4. What is your proudest sewing moment?
This dress

Design by Lindsay

1. What's one sewing fear that you've overcome?
2. What type of garment is your favourite to sew? Is it also your favourite type of garment to wear?
I love sewing dresses because they're easy to wear.
2. Do you prefer sewing with indie patterns or traditional patterns?
Indie patterns because they hold your hand more.

Questions for my nominees: 

Monica from Seams Right to Me and Margo from Creating in the Gap.

1. Your favourite childhood movie
2. What's your favourite colour? Is it  incorporated into your sewing?
3. Do you prefer the summer or winter months? And does that translate to your sewing?
4. Do you focus on projects that you NEED to make or projects that you WANT to make?
5. Why did you decide to start your blog?
6. How did you decide on your blog name?
7. How do you get inspired to sew something?
8. If you have a massive sewing list, how do you prioritize the things that you make?

I can't wait to hear the answers to my questions! Thanks so much everyone who nominated me for this award, I had tons of fun answering the questions and thinking up new ones.
Lauren xx

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Purple Culotte Playsuit

I'm a huge advocate of dresses. They are my favourite thing to wear. However, most of my social gatherings are spent on the floor playing monopoly and I tend to have issues keeping everything covered. This is where the miracle of culottes come in. Now I've made this playsuit, I'm not sure I'll be making a full skirt any time soon! 
I drafted the culottes from Helen Joseph Armstrongs book on patternmaking. It was really interesting to learn that you use A-Line skirts as a base for culottes as opposed to the trouser block. Weird, huh! For the top half I used the T-Shirt block from Sew U Home Stretch by Wendy Mullin. To make the culottes suitable to wear as a playsuit I lowered the crotch by 1/2 inch. I also slashed and spread my culottes at the top so they'd match up with the waist circumference of the bodice part. I then stretched elastic the size of my waist into the waist seam to bring it in at that point. Before the elastic went in, the whole ensemble just looked wrong.
For the neckline and the arm holes I cut strips of fabric 1 1/2 inches wide and not as long as the actual neckline and the arm holes, folded them in half width ways, overlocked right sides together and pressed upwards a la Lady Skater which worked a treat.
What makes this playsuit so comfortable is the knit fabric it's made from. I think it's a single jersey of some kind, a remnant inherited from my Grandmas stash. I think I got the whole playsuit out of 1m or so. What's interesting about it is that there's a plain side and a sparkly side. After a heated debate with myself I went for the plain side because I want to wear it as much as possible and I just wouldn't wear it so much if it was sparkly. 
The culottes were originally about 5 inches longer but it just looked wrong so I chopped it off. Perhaps if I made them fuller they would look more like a skirt and then they'd look okay longer. Something to try for next time, because of course there is going to be a next time.
And now I've said everything that I have to say about this playsuit and  I'm going to bombard you with the pictures Emma, Darren and I took last night and had so much fun while doing so. 

My grapes, please?

I bet you can't see me behind this tree...
3, 2, 1...
Piggy-back proof? Check.

Run Forest, ruuuuuuuunnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me and the photographers :)
Okay, that's it! Thanks so much for reading and to Darren and Emma for taking such brilliant photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lace Bomber Jacket

 Here is my lace bomber jacket as promised! Although, I think the bomber jacket look would have been a lot more successful if I'd used navy ribbing for the hem band and cuffs. I do like it how it is though. I used the same pattern that I did for my black hoodie which is based off the baseball tee pattern in Wendy Mullins book Sew U Home Stretch, omitting the hood.

 To make the hoodie cropped I folded the hem band to the width it'd be when attached, put it where the waist was marked on the front and back patterns and drew a line where it ended. I completely misjudged this, making it far too short so had to make the hem band wider than it was supposed to be. I also took it in a fair bit at the back because it was pretty baggy back there.
 And a close up of the lace which I am just so in love with. I ended up using around a metre of lace and a metre of navy ponte so I have loads left, so a lace lady skater has been planned for when it gets colder. All the seams were sewn with my overlocker making for a very neat finish inside. I hand picked the zip and slip-stitched the hem to make sure that they were just right.
I love how versatile this little jacket is. My favourite outfit combo is probably with the deck chair dress.

That's pretty much all I have to say about this little number! It's back to school tomorrow so less sewing time for me :( I did manage to do a whole load of it this week though which was good.
Thanks so much for reading and to Ed for taking half of the photos and to Iona to taking the other half!
I hope the week ahead of you is a good one!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Deck Chair Dress

Hi everyone, I hope you're having a good weekend so far! As my exams are now finished and I don't have to go back to school yet, I've been able to have a load of quality time with my sewing machine which has been fabulous. This dress was on my capsule wardrobe list which I though i'd better make a start on seeing as August is only a few months away. The fabric was bought at Leicester market for 3 pounds a metre. This dress used pretty much the whole of the 2 metres. In total including the bias binding I used to hem it and the invisible zip the dress cost around 9 pounds which isn't half bad really. The bodice is fully lined with an ever so soft white cotton that was in my stash courtesy of my Grandma. 

For the bodice I used my bodice sloper but played around a bit with dart manipulation. The pattern on the left is my sloper with the normal dart placement and the pattern on the right shows where the dart ended up to give the V shape on the bodice. I did this for the back as well.
Fitwise my sloper is getting there. I'm happier with the bust dart placement now, it was far too high before. The armholes are a bit tight so I'll take more off the pattern piece at the armhole curve. The skirt is basically a huge gathered trapezium. It hangs beautifully when the wind isn't pushing it around.
Now, stripe-matching-wise there were some good seams and there were some not so good seams. Funnily, although I'm doing the "check out my stripe matching skills pointing thing" I'm doing it to the seam that isn't quite perfect as opposed to the seam on the other side of the bodice where the stripe matching actually is perfect. Oh well. The stripes were actually running vertically along the selvedge and as I much prefer horizontal stripes I just cut everything on the cross grain instead which seemed to work okay.
Here's a gander at the lined bodice. The white is a bit see-through but that's alright, it does it's job of enclosing all the seams so it's fine.
This picture would be be twirling to show you the fullness of the skirt. However my sense of direction isn't at it's best while twirling so I'm twirling steadily out of frame. Whoops!

Next up I'm working on my lace bomber jacket and here's a sneaky peek at the fabrics I'm using. Isn't the lace just droolworthy?!?!

That's all for now folks! I'm off to enjoy my week of lie-ins and sewing.
Thanks so much for reading and to Dad for taking the photos!
Lauren xx