Sewing Fail :(

Have you ever make something and it’s just all wrong? I have……..

This is my trusty Grainline Scout Tee. I have made this so many times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), you would think I couldn’t possibly do it wrong! But you would be wrong. As you can see below, the neck band was a bit of a disaster.

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This was the left over fabric from my first Colette Laurel dress and I thought this could be another Breton-style top to add to my Plantain tee. I cut it out ages ago and then sewed it just after Christmas (so this, along with my pink pencil skirt, was my last make of 2015). I don’t remember why I cut out the back in 2 pieces – I don’t know if this was on purpose because of a lack of fabric or if it was a mistake!

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I carefully sewed french seams for all the seams. I didn’t even realise I hadn’t hemmed the sleeves until I went to take pictures – this was just shoddy all around.

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At this point you might be thinking ‘well it doesn’t look that bad’ but there is a reason I am not modelling this tee. It ended up really small and really short! Here is it compared to one of my earlier versions of the Scout Tee – I did make them the same size!

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It’s particularly short at the front – no idea why! I think some bad cutting out is to blame….

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For an even more hilarious comparison, here is is next to my Dear Creatures Scout. I did make this a size bigger than all the others, but it looks about 3 sizes bigger here. This version feels a little too big in places, so I think what I need to do if/when I make it again is to use the sleeves and armscyes and length of the larger size but the width of the smaller size.

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At lease I didn’t waste any expensive fabric or too much time! Have you every had something turn out completely unwearable?

Best Makes of 2015

So since it’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d do the obvious thing of looking back over the last year and seeing what I’ve made and done. This was inspired in part by the Instragram #2015BestNine hashtag.

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I’ve made myself 14 garments, which isn’t really that many – I have felt like I haven’t had as much time for sewing as I would have liked.

I particularly like my BHL Victoria Blazer, and definitely feel smarter when I wear it instead of a cardigan.  I like my Merchant and Mills denim Dress Shirt, too.

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I made a few things with knits, for the first time this year: a Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi Dress; a Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress; and a Breton-style Deer and Doe Plantain Tee.

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I have also refashioned 7 things, so I’ve been a bit more productive than a first glance might imply!

My 3 favourite refashions were my ugly skirt to Grainline Scout tee (which I unfortunately shrank in the wash, boo!), my Refashioners Dear Creatures rip-off and, probably the one I’m most proud of, my ugly coat which I remade into a Freemantle Coat.

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I’ve made 6 non-clothes things, including my first (pusheen) and second amigurumi (a Minion), and my first scrapbook, for my Dad’s 65th Birthday.

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But my very favourite non-clothes thing (and probably favourite out of everything I’ve made) was the felt allotment I made for my friend’s daughter for Christmas 2 (which happens in January so this was made this year). This was one of those things that I saw on A Beautiful Mess and knew I had to make it, and then was super excited to see my friend’s daughter open it! I was almost too excited to wait until the present exchange, and wanted to open it as soon as I arrived for Christmas 2!

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This is the anniversary of this blog, too – I had an old one but transferred the content over and focused just on sewing and crafty things (I had previously written about food and books too), and I’ve introduced a couple of new regular posts – style inspiration and fashion history. I’ll continue with these I think, as they help me to cement my personal style and guide me what to make next! I’ve also reviewed some books, events and shops. You can see the archive of all these posts here.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog this year and I hope you’ll come back in 2016. xx

Breton Style Plantain Tee

This has to be one of my thriftiest makes ever. It’s the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee, which is a free to download. I downloaded and assembled the PDF quite a while ago but only just got around to making something from it. I had this little bit of stripey fabric in my stash for a few months – it was only £1.50 and was from Rolls and Rems (where else!). There was juuuust enough fabric to make this tee and I love it!

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The stripes are actually navy blue, though they look black in the photos.

With my new haircut (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), and in this tee shirt, I definitely feel like I’m channeling Jean Seberg!

circa 1965: Promotional portrait of American actor Jean Seberg (1938 - 1979) sitting barefoot and cross-legged on a stool, wearing rolled blue jeans and a French-striped sailor jersey pulled off one shoulder. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)(image source)

I made this tee in the size 36 and changed the neckline. The classic Breton Tee has quite a high neckline (probably a boat neckline would be best), but the Plantain has quite a low scoop-neck. I raised it to just below the back neckline. I also didn’t bother with the neck band, partly because I would have had to work out a new length for it, and partly because I wasn’t entirely sure from the instructions how I should attach it! So I just turned the neckline under by 1.5cm and stitched it with my twin needle.

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The sleeves are 3.3cm longer than the short sleeve length. I would have made longer, 3/4 length sleeves, but I didn’t have enough fabric – there was literally just enough to cut the front and back, then squeeze the sleeves from single layers left over after the other bits were cut out. I hemmed the sleeves with the twin needle too, turning under a tiny amount so as to preserve what length I had managed to eek out.

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I think the original hem is a little curved, but I straightened the bottom, using the stripes as a guide. Then I turned up one white stripe and stitched the hem with the twin needle.

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I think I’m starting to get the hang of sewing with knits. I matched the stripes on the side seams (but then, of course, forgot to take any photos) and I quite enjoy the professional look a twin needle gives to the hems. This is the thickest and most stable knit I’ve sewn with so far, and I like the fact that this is quite thick. I think I need a bit of a tweak in the armpit area to get it to sit better – I’ve had this before with other patterns, so I wonder if I have something that makes me atypical in the armpit/ sleeve area – I’ll try to make some changes if I make this pattern again, which I suspect I will. Any ideas what the issue is and how I can fix it? I think an armscye that extends lower than the pattern originally does.

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I’m trying to make more basics for my wardrobe, so I think there’ll be more and more t-shirts and basic things like that coming up on the blog! Also skinny jeans hopefully!