Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Complete: A Christmas Cambery

Q. What do you get when you cross the Sewaholic Cambie bodice with the Christine Haynes Emery skirt?

A. A Cambery dress of course!


so here is my Christmas Cambery dress, a combination of patterns that I am sure to use again.  This pattern combination came about due to an engineering challenge that i set myself...failure to buy enough fabric for the really gathered and voluminous cambie skirt!

I have made up the cambie before however can't really wear it because of 'slight' errors that were incorporated when assembling the pdf pattern - somehow the waistband ended up about 15 mm too short and thus leaves me with a dress unsuitable for christmas dinner. I do really like the dress so after the festive season i'll throw some pictures together.


So based upon my previous cambie make I decided that this would be my Christmas dress of choice this year and when I saw this fabric decided that they would make a great match. I had enough to make the bodice and a skirt and some of the lining. The fabric was bought here at the village haberdashery and was £4 per fat quarter so that helped persuade me that only 1.5 m would be enough for a dress. Which it was, just not the Cambie.
The awesome lining material used for the pocket bag
In terms of changes, I removed my usual wedge from the back and made the dress up as per instructions only using the slightly different skirt and only one pocket...BIG mistake! I miss my second pocket :'(. The front two lining panels and sleeves are made up with the reindeer fabric however the back two are the same fabric as I used to line my minoru. There's still some left which will make an appearance soon no doubt!
I think I need a hook and eye here...

In terms of changes for the next time, I plan on removing 1 cm from the back length.  The bodice bunches a little however nothing compared to my coco so not such a drastic change. I love the sweetheart neckline and think it hits just at the right height.

I love a good christmas party dress especially now I can make my own  :-)

I hope everyone is having a great party season I went for my second Christmas dinner the other day - a Japanese restaurant in Glasgow's merchant city, last official trip into town completed! I'm  kind of glad that i'm avoiding town right now after such sad events yesterday - the only thing to take from this is that we as a city will get through this - we always do. People here have great community spirit and look out for each other no matter what.

Take care guys. Stay safe.
Jen xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Completed Coco

To prepare for my impending trip to London I decided that I would make up a new Tilly and the Buttons Coco.



The Coco dress pattern turned out so much better while using a heavier ponte knit than the really drapey ponte that i used the last time. I liked the fabric however it most certainly was the wrong choice - that being said I have had a lot of wear out of it!

This time though, instead of cutting the size 5 and  taking it in I cut out the 4 straight off. This size seems to fit exactly how I would like it to in terms of ease. I omitted the pockets and cuffs - this dress had more structure than the last so I didn't need to add interest in form of the cuffs.

Another change which I made during the construction of this dress was to include a seam on the Centre back. As the pattern stands, you cut both front and back on the fold. In this case in an effort to minimise the fabric used and to try and squeeze in a skirt from the scraps I cut the back piece on the straight grain not on the fold adding 5/8 inch to the seam allowance on each side. I think this worked well. Using 60 " wide fabric I managed to get the front and rear pieces next to each other on the same width of the fabric. I never redrew the pattern piece though with the seam allowance in so I'll add this in to my pattern now that I know it works so well and saves a ton of fabric.



In making up this dress I realised that in actual fact when making any subsequent versions that i will have to shorten the back length as the back kept wrinkling due to the fact the waist as I had sewn it wanted to sit higher than it hit on the garment. I couldn't tell from the last version that this would be an issue.

In terms of the fabric used for this project, I used a flocked ponte knit - it came in about £7 /m from Remnent Kings. I was told at the time 'do not machine wash or teh flocking will come off' I totally failed to take heed, washed it anyway and this was the result. Hence my coc was constructed using the wrong side of the fabric as the outside. However I care not. I got a nice dress out of it :-)

This is what happens when you don't listen to washing instructions
So all in all a succesful project. I'm 100 % confident that next time i'll have a coco that chanel would be proud of ;-)

Have a good weekend guys -  I'm off to a friends for pre christmas drinks :-D. What is anyone else up to?

JCS xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Completed: Minoru Jacket

Hey Hey Hey y'all

I totally think I have a new favorite Me Made :-D

I've finally finished my Minoru coat :-D and just in the nick of time it would seem!!

The fabric I used for this jacket was a deep blue cotton drill from Mandors - it was quite cheap at about £6.99 /m and for the lining I used the silver version of the red paisley used here. This was slightly cheaper at about £5.99 /m.Based upon the instructions I bought about 3 m of each however next time I'll scrimp and buy less as I had enough leftovers to easily fit in my Delphine skirt. The zips for the jacket did work out a little more expensive than I would like however to be totally honest  itison had a promotion for mandors so I ended up with £20 off the total for the jacket :-D
We went across the road to take these photos - theresa huge park next to the motorway with a number of interesting features including this fountain

I didn't want to make a muslin for this because after the delay with the skirt project, I wanted my coat NOW!!! So using what was probably a bit of a foolhardy method of sizing I based the size to cut on the Robson Trench I made for my mum a while back. The majority of that was made up in a size 8 and as it was a little too tight I went for the size 10 and it fits (mostly) perfectly!
There is a litle excess fabric sitting just abouve the waistband

One thing that i have definately noticed this year and especially recently since I have paid more attention to fit, is that I seem to have a short back length (enquiries would pin the blame on the paternal side of my family!). This wasn't an adjustment I made for this coat and after wearing it a bit is definately one that ill be making in the future - not a huge adjustment maybe only a 1/2 an inch but enough for the waist to sit right.

I have to admit that i was a bit daunted about inserting the elastic into the waistband here but I shouldn't have worried. the instructions were really clear and the sewalong was there to reassure that all steps were followed correctly!  
This pic is totally an out take - I wasnt so aware that this was being taken!!

In terms of changes to the pattern, I added a lining to the hood and that's the extent of deviation. I remember seeing a post somewhere about adding a hood however didn't realise there was instructions in the sewalong until too late... the result was I folded the hood over like the instructions and just slipped the lining in underneath. Another change ill make the next time is shrinking the hood a little - pictorial evidence below!

One other change which I will make up the next time  is that ill add side seam pockets. i keep going to dip my hands in there and there's nothing :-( haha. I'll probibly just use the robson pockets as they work quite well for a jacket.

So all in all a great jacket that has received a number of compliments and even disbelief from some that I would venture into making a jacket. I really love this jacket and definately think it shows me how much I have improved over this time last year.

Thanks for reading and hope everyone has had a great weekend. I went to my gran's advent fair on saturday and ate my bodyweight in scrummy cake! Did anyone else do anything fun?

Take care
JCS xx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Spoils of Goldhawk Road

Just a quick post today while i'm waiting for my next natural light photo op...

I thought that I would share some of the fabric which I picked up while in London last weekend. While this trip wasn't dedicated completely to fabric shopping I managed to squeeze in an hour before we somehow ended up spending all afternoon in Harrods ( the Christmas windows were epic and we did loose a good 40 mins to outside the shop....!)

While it is possible to obtain a large number of fabrics here in Glasgow I have never come across wax print cottons. That is not to say they don't exist however I just haven't found them... so without further ado:
All 4 wax prints
 I picked up 4 in total all 6 yards long and rather narrow.


This one said it was Kim Wax and is probably my favourite - no prizes for guessing what I'm planning on making with this one...

 Slightly larger pictures of the other 4:

 I really love the vibrant print of this one and think the blue and pink would make a great party dress.


I'm really looking forward to working with these cottons and hopefully will have used at least one by Christmas :-D
 As I said - just a quick post today. hope you guys are all well and enjoying the week :-)

Take care JCS xx

Friday, 28 November 2014

Muslining of Dahlia

Hi Guys

Just a quick wee post from me this evening - I have been super busy with work recently and the light has been so bad that photo ops have been getting few and far between!



As I mentioned at the bottom of a previous post, as soon as the Colette patterns dahlia came on sale I purchased the portable document format version ahem pdf. As yet I haven’t got around to making up the full finished dress however I have had time to make up a first muslin and make some changes based upon said muslin.

I initially cut the size 10 for the bodice and then 12 for the waist and skirt. It became quickly apparent after even just sewing the skirt pieces together that the 12 was going to be too damn big. This was further confirmed when I added the yoke.


After attaching the bodice pieces this confirmed my suspicions that I would have to make a narrow shoulder adjustment and that I would also have to remove a wedge from centre front and centre back.
The fabric that I used wasn’t by any means a good choice for this project however it was really cheap (£3/m) and allowed me to confirm my fitting hunch. I had that much confidence in the first run that no two seams are even facing the same direction… haha.
Some beautiful contrast stay stitching...

So based on what I have and the quality of the muslin that I was able to make I made the following adjustments
* 1cm narrow shoulder adjustment on each side
*1 inch wedge removed from centre front and back
These were both carried out using the instructions on the sewalong page here
So hopefully I can create a second (wearable) muslin based these adjustments using more suitable fabric. Ill share the results of the next iteration when I get them :-)

Take care guys and have a good weekend
JCS xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

Ohio Star Quilt

Today I have a mini quilt table topper to share :-) - although it seems to have come out a little bigger than I was intending!


This mini quilt came about quite by mistake - when I was in buying fabric for the advent calendar I shared the other week - i bought a 50 cm (x 60" wide) length for the back but it was too narrow! The lighter holly print was originally destined for the back. But when I was in that day an additional print caught my eye. The red was in a precut fat quarter sitting at the till and was bought out of complete impulse! Taking all this into account the total outlay was £7  or £0 as I prefer to think of it because I salvaged a mistake.

I wasn't entirely sure what I would make with these however as i had a good length of both i reckoned some good could come out of them if used together - so after losing a few hours to pinterest I decided that an Ohio Star would be awesome!


I followed the instructions in the August edition of Sew magazine and used my own dimensions cutting the 4 red and 4 white squares to 6" square and the remaining squares to 6.5" square making each up into two 6" HST's.

Some of the points don't look so pointy after quilting...

Usefully I had a length of wadding left from the advent calendar as well as a good amount of the awesome green Christmas print which was more than enough to use for the backing and for the binding.

The binding was cut 2 inches wide and not on the bias - I hate making this stuff enough as it is!! Haha. I think the method I used here was the French binding method... I pinned 1/4 inch from the raw edge of both the quilted sandwich and the strip of binding and folded out in the opposite direction from the quilt at the corners and then back over on itself and along the new edge. I then spent a few hours waiting for the hungover boyfriend to surface hand stitching 1/4 from the raw edge on the back with the raw edge tucked under. My hand stitching won't win any awards but I'm pleased with the results and far prefer this method to my previous topstitching method.

Some squinty lines of quilting and some of the better slipstitched binding
For the quilting part I used the stitch in the ditch method following the piecing lines on the top. I did however find out how to drop the feed dogs so I think the next time I quilt something I'm going to give it a shot. This is also a pattern I want to try again only this time with a repeat and for a double quilt size. Maybe only with one print too
The Corner needs a little work but im pretty happy

I hope you guys like my most recent project - I have no idea what to do with it though right now it's just sitting on the settee casually chilling after being photographed! Also would you believe that my phone takes better pictures in poor light than my camera? Have a good week guys
Reverse of the Quilt

JCS xx


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Completed: Victory Patterns Lola

So heres another finished make I have to share with you all - my Lola sweater dress.



I actually started this well before my sewing machine broke (the first time) and then ended up with the WIP pile of doom! I then completely forgot about it because when I was looking for something else I found the part assembled pieces. Just at the right time it would seem I'm quite digging long (3/4) sleeves at the moment.

The finished dress is not quite as good as I'd hoped but I handled the neck a lot and I think it stretched out a bit so the neck looks stretched I also think it may be something to do with the fact I neglected the wee triangle that you're meant to add for that authentic jumper look- that's why I have a sneaky scarf on hand ...

So I started this that long ago that I can't even remember what the composition of the fabric is - I know its not many % cotton as its got that shine that only a poly blend will give something... what I do remember is that I purchased it at remnant kings and it cost like £8/m. I must have bought about 2.5 m as there is still about 1m left so I'm thinking a mabel or perhaps another sugar plum? I'm also wondering if I could make a snuggly Bronte jumper....?



When constructing this dress I cut a size 8- I think it fits mostly OK apart from around the waist where it seems a bit baggy - which is strange as usually I need to grade out for this area... If i make this up again (I'm totally torn as there's a few knit jumper dress patterns that im feeling right now) I think ill grade down a size here and keep the rest the same size.

The dress came together really easily - apart from noted issue with the neck however I'm not really feeling it - I love the pockets and the sleeves give me an option for the cooler weather I just feel that there are other patterns that I love way more. (who knows maybe if I fix the neck it would be a different story...). That being said it has been worn rather a lot over the last two weeks.

Hope everyone has a good weekend - Im off to the football tomorrow night (Scotland vs Ireland) which should be good - it's a handy match for us because Celtic Park is only about a miles walk from our flat to the turnstiles

Take care guys
JCS xx

Monday, 3 November 2014

Completed: A Tilly and the Buttons Coco

One of the problems I have been having lately is the lack of light to photograph projects. It's dark i.e. pitch black by 5:15 and I usually return home around 5:30. Not useful. I did have a spare few minutes to capture some photos at the weekend though. So meet Coco.


I know exactly what everyone means now when they say that this dress makes you feel like you're wearing jammies!

I made up the dress version in the size 5 with cuffed sleeves - and promptly took it in to a size 4 - definitely glad i made it up big though, its far easier to take things in than let them out again!


I think I had a bit of a fabric fail on this dress - the fabric I used was this ponte roma which I bought from Fabric Godmother - this was not my prize fabric - or pattern, I promise i'll share those soon. I say it was a fabric fail - but this dress has had more compliments than any other that I've made and worn out. I think the fabric is a little too drapey and maybe not the right colour for my skin tone...? These are the main reasons for wearing it with teh belt - I think the belt helps break things up a bit?

What fabric has anyone else made this up in? I'm thinking of making up another variation in

In other news I handed in the first chapter of my thesis for review on Thursday. Deadlines are becoming a little scary!

Have a lovely week guys

JCS xx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Completed: Advent Calendar

Hello world;

Just a quick and easy make from me today - a quilted advent calendar. I really love making these things. I made up a whole pile last year but I felt that my dad was missing out as he was the only one without after last year production line efforts!


For this advent calendar you buy the panel which comes with a number of doors which you cut out and sew on yourself- I really love all the designs and it was really hard to choose which one I wanted so it was a proper 'close eyes and choose at random" effort!!

I think this was a great project too to see how my sewing has progressed over the course of the year:
The boxes are far less wonky than anything I put together last year.

 These boxes aren't so square (although they're not all that bad) however the quilting is definately neater around the window and the tree


 I think the detail which goes into these panels is fantastic :-)

The only thing which was difficult for this particular panel was which lines to pik out and quilt? I decided to go with the windows adn the tree and the tree trunk...which you can see on the back of the quilted panel..

 I made a bit of a mistake when buying backing fabric for this so this was the second fabric I chose - which i think is good because I like this one better. The designs are brilliant - especially the stag which really stands out.

 I even have a little left over to use on another project

as I mentioned in my last post, this weekend I went to the hobbycrafts christmas fair - to be honest I was a bit disappointed with the offerings this year - I only came away woth 1.5 m of fabric plus another 3m which has been put away for me for christmas:

This is a poly viscose I picked up at the Remnant Kings stall (£6.99/m) - im not usually into this type of fabric but this one had a fantastic drape :-)


I also picked up an awesome pair of earrings at the Christmas crafts fair that was running in conjunction. I know they're not sewing related... but they're awesome

Has anyone else started sewing christmas gifts yet?

Have a good week all
JCS xx

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