#2018MakeNine and Plans for the Year

Now that it’s January 2nd (and I’ve had my first day back at work, boo!), I thought I would do a little post about my sewing plans for the year – I did the same last year but this year I’m hoping to stay a bit more focussed on my Make Nine and other plans for the year so I maybe do a bit better than I did in 2017!

After careful consideration, here is my #2018MakeNine:

There are some repeats from last year – of the patterns I still want to make! And like in 2017 there are a lot of Closet Case Patterns on my list!

From left to right in rows from the top the patterns are:
1. Carolyn Pajamas – Closet Case Patterns
2. Honetone Coat – Marilla Walker
3. Ginger Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
4. Morgan Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
5. Carnaby Dress – Nina Lee
6. Ebony Dress – Closet Case Patterns
7. Hannah Dress – Victory Patterns
8 Guise Pants – Papercut Patterns
9. Portobello Trousers – Nina Lee

I have all of these patterns already and the list reflects my need for more trousers and jeans in my wardrobe. I also really, really, want to make a proper Winter coat in the first month or two of this year as I don’t have a really good coat that’s warm. The Carolyn Pajamas are also on my list as I want o level up by using piping for the first time – I already have 2 fabrics in my stash to make them so I have no excuses!

I am also again sort-of-joining in with #SewMyStyle this year – I made one pattern from the 12 last year and this year I’m planning to join in with 3 months, though I’m substituting one of the patterns.

In March it’s the Closet Case Patterns’ Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress – this would probably have made it into my Make Nine but I’ve snuck it into my plans here instead. November is lingerie month and I bought a bra kit at the New Craft House Winter Party which goes with the Harriet Bra pattern by Cloth Habit so this will be good motivation to actually use the kit and make a bra. This is part of my plans to level up my sewing this year. October has a couple of tote bag patterns as the prompts and I still want to make the Colette Cooper bag so, again, I’ve taken it off my Make Nine and added it to the Sew My Style list instead.

In theory this gives me one thing per month to make, so as long as I keep focussed I’m hoping I can get all of this done. Listening to this week’s Love To Sew Podcast definitely helped me to think about what I want to achieve this year – mostly taking on more involved, advanced projects with a few easier sews thrown in. I would definitely recommend it if you’re struggling to narrow down your choices for Make Nine, if you’re taking part.

I have a couple of other things I would like to do this year – like take up knitting again, and make some clothes for The Boyfriend – but I am also going to try to be a bit easy on myself if I don’t get all of this done. I’m sure I would have time to do everything I wanted if I didn’t have to have a job, but then I wouldn’t be able to afford fabric or patterns!

What are your plans for the year? Are you hoping to grow your skills or your wardrobe?

Uses for Fabric Scraps 1: Tailor’s Ham and Sausage

Recently I’ve been thinking about the waste I create through my sewing – I think I’ve mentioned it on here before. One way I’ve decided I can reduce the environmental impact of my sewing is to use up all the scraps I collect. I keep all scraps of fabric from basically everything I’ve made. I took some of the larger pieces of fabric I knew I wasn’t going to use to the fabric and pattern swap at the Great British Sewing Bee Live but I still had a small bin bag (swing bin liner I think it’s called) full of all kinds of scraps. I’m hopefully going to share some ways on here that I am endeavouring to use up said scraps – though I suspect I’ll produce more at a greater rate than I’ll use them up.

My first scrap buster is a tailor’s ham and sausage. I’ve been meaning to make these for ages, and it definitely good timing that I finally got around to it since I’m planning to refashion a suit this month!

The patterns I used are free from Victory patterns – you can download the ham here and the sausage here. There is also a great tutorial on Tilly’s blog, if mine isn’t clear enough to follow!

I used some left over cotton twill from an Elisalex dress I made a couple of years ago (which I also made a 1960s coat from) for the top and calico for the bottom. I also did a layer of calico underneath the green stripes. I think to be a proper ham and sausage one side should be wool and the other side cotton.

You can see on the above couple of photos and the below one that there are darts in each corner of each piece.

So the first step is to sew all the darts, with the right sides of the fabric facing each other.

You can just about see the stitching here.

Here are the ham pieces with the darts all sewn.

This is what they look like from the right side, with the darts all pressed.

So then you put the 2 halves of the ham (and repeat for the sausage) with right sides together, with one half inside the other half, as below.

Pin most of the way around, making sure to leave a gap to stuff it/them.

This is what it looks like once it’s sewn most of the way around – with the gap for the stuffing to go in.

The main way this is a way to use up fabric scraps is that I used scraps as stuffing. I used mostly woven scraps, which were mostly cotton – I figured it shouldn’t be really synthetic fabrics in the stuffing as I thought they might melt if the iron was on a really hot setting. I cut all the scraps into smaller pieces – they ended up as mostly triangles. It took A LOT of fabric to stuff the ham and sausage as they have to be pretty hard once they’re done.

This is what they look like all full and round.

You then need to stitch up the gap, by hand. I made sure to double the thread to make sure it was strong enough to hold all the filling in, without bursting when it’s pressed with an iron.

Ta da! Here they are, all finished and fat and ready for my suit refashion – and for a coat or two when I finally get around to it!

Do you think you’ll use some of your scraps to make a tailor’s ham and sausage? Do you have other ways of using up fabric scraps, which are an inevitable part of sewing clothes?

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Book: Boundless Style

boundless-styleOne of the best Christmas presents I got this year was Boundless Style by Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns. I haven’t made any Victory Patterns yet, but I do love the Hannah Dress so I might have to treat myself to that at some point – when the weather warms up a bit!

Boundless Style is one of the cleverest sewing books I own – and I own an embarrassing number of sewing books! It has loads of patterns in, but they are separated into bodices, sleeves and skirts, allowing you to add together the elements you like the most to make things you love – you won’t be thinking ‘oh, I love that dress, but with these sleeves,’ because that’s the whole point of the book! You can also make the bodices with peplums, to make them into blouses and the skirts on their own as skirts. And all the patterns come on a CD in the back of the book – each different thing comes separately so you can just print off the bits you want.

These are all the bodices:

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I personally really love Billie, which is particularly excellent in the colour-blocked version on the cover. I also like Celine and I’m surprisingly drawn to Georgia, though I don’t normally like wrap/ crossover things.

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I love the fabric combinations used throughout the book, and pretty much want to copy this dress made with the Billie bodice, even though it probably wouldn’t suit my colouring! I think I’m falling back in love with collars.

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I’m slightly less keen on the Catrina, but I like the fabric choices and the use of piping to highlight the seaming. There a tutorial on applying piping in the front section of the book, too, which is great.

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I’m undecided about the Jackie and whether it would look good on me. I like how it’s styled here, with the peplum top and then a pencil skirt underneath. There’s also a version of this bodice which has a tie on the front. I think the thing that puts me off this one is how low the back seems to be cut – not sure if you’d be able to wear a bra underneath!

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I think my second favourite, after the Billie, is the Celine as there are various ways she shows you to style it: with contrast neckline, matching neckline, and with or without the tie at the neck. I think this one with the peplum looks particularly great. I need more work-appropriate tops in my wardrobe, so I’m thinking some of these peplum tops might be just the thing!

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After the bodices, come the sleeves. Again there are 5 to choose from. I particularly like the Monroe and Bardot; they both have some interesting pleating details. Some of the sleeves also come in multiple lengths, so there are really loads of options!

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After getting more into 70s style with my Alix dress, I might give the Farrah sleeves a go –  I assume they are named after the epitome of 70s style, Farrah Fawcett.

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I wonder if I love these sleeves because I love the colour-blocked dress on the front cover. Bit love them I do. I like the length as if I have long sleeves, I always end up rolling them up anyway, so just below the elbow seems like the perfect length for me! You can just about make out in the photo below that there are some lovely pleats just to the front of the shoulder on these sleeves.

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You can see the pleats a bit better here:

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The Bardot sleeves have a lovely big pleat on the top of the shoulder, which I really like.

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The last section in the book is the skirts, which all can be made in multiple lengths, including peplum, cocktail, tea and mid-calf. You wouldn’t think there were that many kids of skirt!
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I like the Ella skirt – and this seems like it would be the best option for adding peplums to the bodices.

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I also like the Lydia, and think the pleated skirt could look nice with several of the bodices.

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I think this dress which I loved in the front of the book is the reason I particularly like the Lydia skirt……..! Still thinking I might copy this. And I love the piping around the waist seam, I would never have thought of that myself but it’s a really nice way of highlighting the design details.

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You can also make the skirts just as skirts. And she shows you how to make linings for each of the skirts. There really is everything you could need to make a giant mix and match wardrobe of clothes in this book!

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I particularly like this page in the back, to show you all the steps you need to do to make any of the dresses, regardless of which bodice, sleeve or skirt you choose. Also hopefully means you won’t end up forgetting to sew a zip into the dress, which is definitely the kind of this I would do!

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I wanted to include this last photo, from the beginning section of the book about all the techniques you need, because I love how she uses crazy coloured fabric – and a different colour for each different section of the skirt – to show you how to construct things. I find it really irritating when you have photos telling you how to make something but you can’t tell which is the right side and the wrong side of the fabric, or which piece is which, so I think this is a brilliant idea!

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Do you have Boundless Style? Are you tempted to get it? What is your favourite sewing book? And do you make many of the patterns from sewing books? I always have plans to but then I forget they’re there sometimes.

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