Robert Kaufman Aster Blouse

I feel like it’s been a while since I made something I didn’t totally like, so I guess I was due a ‘meh’ make and unfortunately it’s made from some beautiful Robert Kaufman fabric (called Storm Drown I think) which I got from Guthrie and Ghani when I went shopping in Birmingham a couple of months ago.

I definitely think part of the problem was my fabric choice – it’s quite a stiff cotton, and I think the Colette Aster would do better in a fabric with a bit more drape – even a slightly more drapey cotton would probably improve things.

But there is also the problem that I obviously did something rather wrong when sewing the button bands as the blouse ended up really quite big on me – hence the sad/perplexed photo below! You can also just about see in this photo that the neckline does not go to a point, but is flat where the button bands meet. It is not meant to look like this.

Of course, since it’s not a super fitted make, I didn’t try it on until I’d totally finished it – lesson definitely learned for next time! I made the size 6.

I did realise, though, that it fit much better – like the darts were vaguely near my boobs which they hadn’t been before – if I folded the button bands back by each band’s width (if that makes sense?!). I think my mistake was to not turn them back on themselves enough times, so the shirt ended up too wide.

So after finishing the whole blouse, I took off the buttons and turned the bands on both sides back on themselves and top-stitched them again! I then re-did the button holes – which was super fun given how much my machine enjoys sewing them, not! Then I stitched the buttons back on and there was definitely an improvement.

I don’t think the neckline sits very nicely on me, though. Again, this could be because of my fabric choice, I don’t know. I don’t generally wear or make things with v-necks so I probably could have guessed this might not be the best shape on me,  but I was seduced by the versions in the pattern photos, particularly the long-sleeved (I think) chambray one – it looks really chic on the model.

I dislike the back neckline less than the front, though it does look a bit weird to have all the shirt shapes like a yoke and pleat, but no collar!

I did learn a new skill making this blouse, though, and that was to make my own bias binding using a great tutorial by one of my sewing crushes, Helen from Stitch My Style. It meant I had loads of bias binding, so I’ve still got some to use next time I’m making something and don’t realise I don’t have any shop bought stuff and can’t be as lazy as usual! I don’t have one of those gadget things for making bias binding, so that is definitely now on my to-buy list!

Aside from the neckline sitting a bit funny, one of the other things I’m not super keen on with this pattern is the sleeve length. For some reason they feel a bit frumpy – they’re not proper short sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves, they finish literally at my elbow and I don’t know why, but I don’t really love it 😦

I’ve been wearing it (yes, even though I don’t love it, I’ve still worn it a couple of times for work) with the little cuffs folded up and I feel like even that little change makes a bit of a difference – it’s probably all in my head, but never mind!

So all in all this was a semi successful make, which I don’t think is helped any by my looking quite washed out and tired in these photos! Luckily I have some of the fabric left so hopefully I can make something a bit more successful from the leftovers – it’s a shame to waste such lovely fabric on something I don’t totally love. And to think I was moaning that I didn’t have much to say about some of my recent makes, because they’ve been relatively simple and successful. I guess the lesson is be careful what you wish for!

 

Outtake! Mid-blink. And what is my hand doing!?

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July Makes and August Plans

I had a week off work in July, so I’ve had quite a productive month – though some of the makes haven’t made it to the blog yet. But my main project for my week off was to rebrand my blog (and all social media), which took longer than I thought! But it was good I had a week off so I could spend a few days blitzing it – I probably wouldn’t have got around to it if I’d been trying to do it during weekday evenings!

I seem to have recently mostly made tops! First I made this pink striped In The Folds Collins Top, and I love it! I’ll go into more detail in my post about it, but I’ve already got fabric in mind to make another version!

I also made this cropped Named Inari Tee out of leftover fabric from my Marianne Dress. This was sort of a wearable muslin, but I think it turned out okay!

My last make for my week off (I seem to have not made much outside of my holiday from work!) was this Colette Aster blouse. Again I’ll go into more detail when I write it up into its own post, but I’m not totally in love with this and I’m not sure why!

Now onto my plans for August – I don’t think I’ll get much made this month because I’m home visiting family next weekend and in the middle of the month I’m going to the New Craft House Summer Party so I won’t have a huge amount of sewing time this month.

My first job for the month is to make something to wear to the New Craft House party, which will almost certainly include this shiny silver fabric I was given for Christmas:

I’m thinking another Inari Tee, though probably lengthened by an inch or two so there isn’t so much of a risk of exposing my midriff, which I don’t really like. I’ll need to also make something to wear with the top, or I may cause a sensation! I’m thinking some culottes from the Butterick pattern which was free with (I think) Love Sewing magazine. Any other ideas?

If I have any spare time in the rest of the month, I really do need to make a start on  jeans. It’s been sooooo many month of me planning to make them that it’s getting a bit ridiculous now!

I know it may not seem seasonally appropriate to make jeans in August, but with the British Summer, it will probably be the perfect time!

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June Makes and July Plans

Well, another month has come and gone! I made a few things in June; after a quiet May, my sewjo definitely returned. I did spend a couple of weekend days cutting out lots of projects (as I like to do every couple of months) so I’ve got lots of things ready to go when I have time to sew. Yay! Future me will be happy with past me!

I mostly made 2 garments for myself in June, including my black Roberts Collection dungaree dress, which I still love.

The ‘mostly’ part of my finished garments is my greyish blueish melilot shirt. I’ve finished it apart from the buttons, because my sewing machine does not enjoy sewing button holes, meaning I don’t enjoy sewing button holes! I might get some snaps or something instead, as I’d have to buy buttons anyway. Any thoughts?

The final thing I finished this month was a penguin pyjama case for my nephew. After the success of the monkey one for my niece, I made another one!

And now onto my plans for July – these are all things I’ve already got cut out, yay!

The first is for when it gets hot again in the UK – though it’s actually been quite warm since the weekend, which is good! It’s a stripey In The Folds Collins Top. The fabric is left over from a banksia top I made years ago, and required some tetris to get all the pieces to fit. Luckily I wanted to have the stripes going in different directions, otherwise I definitely would not have had enough fabric!

I’ve cut out the lovely Robert Kaufman fabric I bought from Guthrie and Ghani in Birmingham into a Colette Aster blouse. I do have buttons for this one, so I’ll have to suck it up and sew the button holes.

My final definitely plan for this month is a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse from the amazing Coral crepe I bought, also from Guthrie and Ghani.

I actually have a week off later in July, so my main project for that week is to actually finally make a start on making Jeans. I have now pre-washed both my denims, so it should be all ready to go, though I haven’t traced the pattern yet!

Have you got lots of summery things on your to make list at the moment?

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My sewing plans for October

I’m going to try to get back to blogging regularly – and sewing again after everything that has happened in my family in the last month/ 6 weeks. I actually got my sewing machine out for the first time in 2 months last weekend! If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen this photo:

sewing-machineI didn’t actually do any sewing that day but it was nice to set up my new little space. I’ll do a full tour of my sewing space – I have dedicated storage for the first time ever, which is pretty exciting if I’m honest! Our flat is definitely coming together and we’re on the final push to get things sorted so I might share a full tour if anyone would find that interesting? I have a couple of home-related sewing projects planned, so they will no doubt make it to the blog at some point 🙂

Since I’ve moved house twice in the last 6 months I have become aware of just how many clothes I have. I had clear outs on 2 separate occasions before we left London – I sometimes need some time to come to terms with getting rid of things. Anyone else? Just me? Anyway, the crux of the matter is I have a crazy amount of clothes, but probably like most women, I wear a fairly small proportion of them  – though this percentage has undoubtedly gone up. With this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to be more mindful about what I make and the fabric I buy. I made quite a few things during the couple of months before I found a full time job so I have used quite a bit of my stash, which is good, and I want to try to buy as good quality fabric as I can afford and for specific projects if possible from now on.

I pretty much think I’m all set for patterns at the moment too – which is hard because new, great patterns are released all the time by all the amazing indie designers out there at the moment – and I want to support them by buying their stuff. But until I’ve worked through some of my plans for both work-wear and casual-wear, I’m going to try to use patterns I already have. I’m sure I’m not alone in having quite a few I’ve not made yet. Please say I’m not alone! I think in the past I tended to buy patterns when I didn’t have time to sew, so my collection is definitely quite big.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I want to try to be more careful in planning what I’m making to add to my wardrobe. I’m going to do a monthly post about my plans – and reviewing the success (or not) of that planning for the previous month – to try to keep myself accountable to……myself.

So onto my October plans…….

The first thing I want to finish is a Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt I cut out and started before we moved out of The Boyfriend’s parents’ house. The fabric is something really slippery and probably really synthetic, but I think it will look nice as a Melilot.

october-planning-melilotHere’s a close-up of the fabric (in an obviously carefully arrange pile!):

october-planning-melilot-fabricThe Melilot is (kinda obviously) a work garment, and I could also do with some more smart trousers – I haven’t worked anywhere where I couldn’t wear jeans and trainers for ages so my office-wear wardrobe is a little lacking. So I want to have a got at my very first pair of trousers! Exciting and scary in equal measure! I bought this Simplicity pattern (1696) with a voucher I had, after doing some searching for cigarette-type trousers. The fabric is some navy blue suiting I got at the fabric swap at the Sew Brizzle meet-up I went to a couple of months ago. I’m going to try not to over-fit them as I don’t want them to end up looking like skinny jeans. Watch this space!

october-planning-simplicity-trousersAnother part of my new planning mindset is to manage my expectations of how quickly I can sew and finish things. So my 3rd and (probably) last make for October will be a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt (from her book, Love At First Stitch). The fabric is another one I picked up as Sew Brizzle – you can’t really tell in the photo but the lighter flecks are silver so it looks really nice in real life. I think this could be a good skirt for Winter as the fabric is relatively thick and could be good with thick tights and boots!

october-planning-delphine-skirt

My optional 4th project for October is to join in with Rosie Martin‘s #SewDots initiative. If you haven’t come across this yet, it’s a month where you sew something with dotty fabric to raise money for the RNIB because of how important Braille is to the blind and visually impaired community. I have 2 lengths of spotty fabric already but they’re both quite thin so I’m not sure how suitable they are for Autumn/ Winter sewing!

october-planning-sew-dotsThe pink on the left is woven and the grey on the left is jersey. They’re both quite drapey. I was thinking of a Colette Aster for the pink or a GBSB drapey knit dress or slouchy cardigan/ kimono for the grey. To be perfectly honest I’m not sure I’ll get time to make something for #SewDots, but I’ll still donate to the fundraising page Rosie has set up.

Do you plan your sewing or do you make what you fancy when you have time?

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