Spring Sewing Pattern Wish List

With Spring springing I have been giving my Spring/Summer wardrobe a little thought. There’s a few patterns that have been in my notebook for a while which I am thinking could be great wardrobe staples this Spring/Summer and I am keen to get my mitts on them. Here’s my round up of the patterns which I want to get in my stash asap!

1) Grainline Studios Driftless Cardigan

driftless cardigan

This pattern is a new release from Grainline Studios for 2016. I love the relaxed fit of this cardigan and think it would be great in my wardrobe sewn up in black with deep pockets for work, or a nice bright colour for summer such as coral or turquoise. The only reason I haven’t bought this one yet is I am contemplating whether I can pattern hack my Seamwork Oslo cardigan to do the same job … hmmmm … You can never have too many cardigan patterns right?

2) Grainline Studios Maritime Shorts

Maritime Shorts

I have been looking for a good shorts pattern for a while now as I live in shorts in the summer! I would love a pattern which I could adapt to make a pair of denim shorts out of and I think this might be the one. I love the pocket detail and the fact that these have a waistband (an essential after my disastrous foray in to the Sew Over It Ultimate Shorts pattern which really didn’t work for me!) I’m slightly concerned these might be beyond my skill level, as I have never done a fly closure before – if I don’t try I will never know though right?!

3) Grainline Studios Moss Skirt

Moss Skirt

Another one from Grainline Studios – what can I say, they seem to have my summer bottoms sorted?! I really like the design of this skirt – it has been well blogged and photographed and it seems to work well in all manner of fabrics for winter and summer! I would like to make one in denim for summer and corduroy for winter. All I need to do is get that whole fly closure thing down now right?

4) Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Hollyburn

I really love this skirt from Sewaholic! It would be my first pattern purchase from Sewaholic, but I am keen to give them a try! I love both the long and short versions of this skirt – the pockets look like a dream come true! I think this would be a great pattern to have in the stash as it could be made up in a whole host of fabrics and colours – a new look every time!

5) Vogue V8909

V8909

I love a floaty pair of elasticated trousers for the summer and think they can look really chic when paired with the right shoes. The ultimate comfort for work on a warm day or something nice for chilling out in on a summer’s evening – I think these could be a hit! I would just need to find the perfect fabric ….

So there it is – my Spring/Summer pattern wardrobe! Team these with some tanks, Tees and cardigans and I think I have my Spring and Summer sorted! Bring on the warm weather and long light evenings!

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Easter Agnes

Today I set about a little sewing project using a couple of things that have been in my craft stash for a while. My lovely friend Kaitlyn kindly gave me a voucher for two Tilly and the Buttons patterns of my choice for birthday last year (she knows me so well)! I was so excited, I took the opportunity to indulge in the Agnes top and the Orla top.  Unfortunately though I had such a busy end to 2015, I didn’t actually get to using them until today! As today is a bank holiday, I finally had the time to make something from my project pile and decided that Agnes was the lady for me. With just 4 pattern pieces, she was exactly what I needed for a simple afternoon of sewing.

I’ve got a selection of suitable jersey fabrics in my stash that would have been great for this pattern. In the end, I narrowed it down to three choices – black jersey, dark grey jersey, or bunny print. Seeing as it is Spring, I decided it had to be bunnies (even though this probably wasn’t the most practical choice)! How could I resist these cute little faces though? I’m ashamed to say that the bunny choice also had something to do with the fact that I couldn’t face rethreading my serger … I just wasn’t up for Serger trouble on a wet bank holiday!

Hello cute bunnies!

I was a bit worried about the fit on this top as it is very close fitting and I always have trouble with fitting up top. I cut a size 8 on the sleeves, neckband and bust, grading to a size 5 on the waist and hips. This actually worked out really well, despite the fact it looked a bit crazy on the pattern pieces. I was a little worried the sleeves would be too big, but I think they are drafted quite small as they came up quite well on me. I could have taken them in a little on the lower arms, but I decided in the end I quite like the comfort of how they were fitting.

I chose the most basic version of the Agnes top- omitting the ruched arms and gathered bust. I don’t think I will ever make the gathered bust version – I’m not sure I need to draw any further attention to that body area! I may however return to the gathered sleeves – I think they look quite fun and might make a plain colour version a bit more interesting.

As I made the most basic version, the construction of this top was an absolute dream. Having a serger meant that it came together super quickly and I love the professional finish on the inside. I didn’t have any issues on the thread tension and all of the pieces fitted together perfectly. A lot of the credit on that front goes to this amazing fabric – it’s a rather expensive cotton jersey made by the same company that made the fabric for my Birdy Bettine. It’s great to work with and so comfortable to wear.

So here she is … my finished Agnes:

Overall I am delighted with this make and will definitely be making more of these. They are a really simple sew and something I wear regularly in my day to day wardrobe. I plan to make up a selection of these in long and short sleeve versions – they are great and comfortable for both work and the weekend! In the past I had always bought these tops as basics from H&M or Zara – I’m happy knowing I can now make these myself and add them to my Me Made Wardrobe!

Minkrea Spencer 10004 Baby Dress

As there is such a wealth of free sewing patterns for children online, I don’t normally buy sewing patterns for children’s clothes (especially as I don’t actually have children!) However, on my recent trip to Frau Tulpe in Berlin, I couldn’t resist this gorgeous little baby dress pattern from Dutch pattern company Minkrea. The pattern is a super easy make, and with so many customisation options, it just seemed like great value to have in the stash for making baby gifts.

I made this dress over a series of evenings – it was so easy to dip in and out of as a project. I think I may have found a new love for making baby clothes! The pattern only requires 50cm of fabric, and I picked up some really cute thin grey corduroy with little roses on it as a remnant from a recent trip to the fabric market. It was quite a simple sew, although you do have to pay serious attention when sewing around the curves!


My favourite feature on this dress are the matching fabric covered buttons. I’d never made fabric covered buttons before, but now it is going to be my new favourite pass time! It’s a good job I finally made friends with my button hole foot! After looking through my vast button collection, I had decided that really the only buttons that would look good with this fabric would be matching buttons. Luckily I found this post from Sew Sew Easy which showed just how easy it was! I ordered myself a little kit and before I knew it I had perfectly matching fabric covered buttons. A dream! This was also the first time I had actually used my button hole foot to make button holes on an item of clothing. They turned out just fine! I don’t know why I had been so afraid of them. I can certainly tick it off my 2016 Sewing Goal list!

The only thing I am not sure about with this dress is the fact that I decided to add the pocket detail. The dress was looking pretty cute beforehand! The pocket looked like it was going to be great, but I totally underestimated pressing and sewing that curved seam. I just could not get it to curve well, even after cutting out a cardboard template a la English Paper Piecing and trying to press around that. I sewed it on to the finished garment and I think it looks ok, but I’m not sure if I preferred the dress better before! What do you think?

I made this one as a gift for my little niece. At the rate she is growing, I hope it still fits her! I’m sure she won’t notice the wonky pocket – I hope not anyway!

How about you? Do you like sewing children’s clothes? Do you have any other baby pattern recommendations for me to try? I’d love to hear from you!

Scrappy Quilted Cushion 

I have finally finished my quilt top for my latest jelly roll quilt and I’m so excited to baste, quilt and bind that bad boy! In the meantime though I was looking for a nice Saturday afternoon project so thought I would use my leftover scraps. When you make jelly roll quilts there are always these little leftover ends where you have squared them off, and with prints as lovely as these there was no way they were going in the scrap bin!

I decided that a quilted cushion cover to match my quilt top would be the best use of my leftovers. I particularly love the fact that this entire project is made of leftover fabric and leftover batting – something beautiful and all from bits I had lying around!

This was quite an easy make from a patchwork perspective as my squares were already sewn in blocks of three where they were leftover from the strip sets. I made 3 rows of 7 strip set ends and then joined them together. I then added some white sashing to mimic the design of my quilt top. If you read my blog often, you will know that I’m not really an accuracy person. This too was a bit of a fudge – I guessed how many squares I would need and let the sashing take care of the rest. It actually worked out pretty well!

One of the reasons I was so keen to make a quilted cushion top was to have an attempt at doing some quilting which was more dense than just quilting in the ditch. A cushion cover is great as its not too unwieldy under the machine and much easier to control. I stuck with straight lines as my free motion quilt foot and I are not yet best buds – I am looking forward to my course with Andrea at Quiltmanufaktur to improve on that front! I actually think the straight lines work well with the geometric prints on this cushion though, so in the end it was a good choice!

I quilted straight lines in a square pattern half a centimetre apart. This took much longer than I expected – mid cushion top I was starting to question the wisdom of choosing quite such a dense quilting pattern! They are also not the straightest lines in the world – not that I really mind though, you have to look pretty closely to notice!

I’ve not made any cushions with binding before and have to confess it felt rather strange to sew wrong sides together instead of right sides together. I trusted in google though and the results are just fine! I bound the cushion using some leftover jelly roll strips from the bundle.

All that remained was for me to hand sew the binding down to the back of the pillow and then add it to the mountain of throw pillows on my bed!

I absolutely adore this pillow! It’s become a new favourite! I love the structure and the texture of the quilting. Now I can’t wait to get my quilt finished and the matching set will be complete! This set is extra special for me as it is going on the couch in my craft room when we move in to our new apartment! I can’t wait – 5 months and counting!

Happy crafting people!

Fabric Shop Tourism

Oo you beautiful fabric haul!

As I mentioned in my last post, last week I was lucky enough to take a whirlwind trip up to Berlin for work! Berlin is one of my favourite cities in the world. I used to live there for a brief time and I had the time of my life. Going back to Berlin is always a mix of nostalgia for the way things were and excitement to see what has changed. However, this time I had a whole new dimension to explore – the fabric scene!

As Germany’s capital city, Berlin is naturally larger and has more to offer than Frankfurt in terms of shops. In addition to being Germany’s political capital though, it is also it’s creative capital! Over the years some neighbourhoods have become decidedly trendy and whether you are for or against gentrification and hipsters, for fabric lovers and creatives, the growing mass of independent shops can only be an advantage! With this in mind, I did a little google search before my trip and happened upon Frau Tulpe. The shop is conveniently located near Berlin’s ever trendier Rosenthaler Platz, which is not too far from my office. As I knew I only had time to visit one store, after perusing the goodies of the online shop and watching their super cute video tour, I decided this was the store for me!

My incredibly patient friend Melissa let me crash our dinner date with pre-dinner fabric shopping. She was amazing as I oo-ed and aa-ed at all the pretty fabrics and the wonderful creations on show. This has to be my favourite thing about the store – the inspiring little handmade bits and pieces on display which just give you an insatiable itch to sew. I left the store overflowing with ideas and 24 hours after my return from the trip I’d already sewed up these Utsensilio‘s similar to what they have on display in store.



So what did I buy? I’m not sure whether a more suitable question would be, what didn’t I buy?! First up, this adorable pattern from Minkrea. I have to say, I’d never heard of Minkrea before I saw them in this store, but their patterns are gorgeous. They are really high quality, multiple language and very simple with great little adaptable add on features. Baby niece is going to look great in this little number. Just got to sew it up before she gets too big!

I also bought some gorgeous bundles of geometric print fat quarters (featured on my utensilios), a couple of funky and decorative lace zips which I’ve not seen anywhere else yet in Germany, a Moda charm pack (fabric line gooseberry), some cream and mint green spotty heavy weight cotton for a weekend tote bag, and the most gorgeous oriental blue floral cotton. I am still deciding for the cotton whether it will become the funkiest blazer you’ve ever seen or some kind of pleated circle skirt. What do you think? I also got some gorgeous fabric covered buttons, which has sort of inspired me to try to learn to make my own. All in all an epic haul! Even better, as my haul was so epic, they gave me a free fabric carrying bag to tote my haul about in AND a loyalty card. What’s not to love?! Here I am with my swag in store (photo credit to the ever-patient Melissa!).

Swag Happy!

  
How about you? Do you know of any fabric stores in cities that I should add to my fabric tourism list? Are you a fabric tourist too? I’d love to hear about your adventures!