Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Saturday Sewing Session

There's one kind of bittersweet feature of this blog.  The reason for it is my best and worst distraction from sewing!  Given that it's going to be the story of the most important dress I'll ever make it's inevitable that my spare time is now spent with my boy.

However, this weekend was one of the first we've spent apart for quite a while.  We're still temporarily 300 miles apart but try to do weekend about at each others part of the world.  It was strange but, on a completely selfish note, good because it meant I had a nice Saturday Sewing Session!  I've been really good lately at growing my stash but not so good at powering through it.  Well all that changed this weekend.  I managed to get 6 different projects cut out and prepped for sewing and two of 3 of them actually sewn up.  Two of those I wore today and loved both the look and comfort of it.

The top was made using Tilly & The Buttons Orla pattern.  I've had it in my stash since it came out before Christmas and made a Christmas version but wasn't overly keen on it.  However I think that was more down to my fabric choice of a novelty print craft cotton.  I was eager to try it again in something with a little more drape to see if I liked it a little more, so this print was ideal.  I picked it up at The Rag Market in Birmingham when I was down a few weeks ago.  It was the first time I'd ventured in and got to say, I wasn't overly impressed (but that's another story).  It was only £1/m and my fashion eye recognised it as being from Peter Pilotto's collab with Target from a couple of years ago, you didn't have to ask me twice if I was buying!  I figured since I bought 4m if I didn't like the top it was no big deal as I would have some left over.

So luckily I loved it!  I put a little extra room in the front as I don't like too close fitting a top but tapering out from the neckline.  Apart from that I made no changes other than to use a shorter zip on the reverse as that's all I had in my stash.  I think the end result looks pretty good.

The bottom half of my outfit is the new Starboard Jeans pattern from Papercut Patterns.  As much as I loved my Ginger Jeans, I felt I had to butcher them to make them skinnier, however I now realise why.  I thought the Starboard jeans looked exactly like what I wanted but once made up they too were baggier through the lower leg than I wanted.  I think I've come to realise that is more down to my legs than the patterns!  You see I'm bigger round my middle so I always accommodate for that, but I'm not particularly large in the leg or bust, where I need to make the most alterations, proportionately.  I had to take them in about 2" at the ankle through to 1/4" above the knee.

This aside, the rest of the pattern is great, after wearing them all day though I'd possibly take in the back seam a little and the legs slightly more as they stretched out with wear.  The fabric I chose was one of our new Pique's from work.  It's 98% Cotton, 5% Spandex which is outside of the stretch requirements for the pattern, but I thought it would work fairly well.  It did in terms of fitting, but as I said they stretched out a little with wear and I think a larger spandex content may have helped a little with combating this.

I didn't want these to look overly casual as I'm lacking good black trousers, which is why I chose to omit the zips and top stitching.  But for my next version (I'm definitely seeing more in my future) I think I'll add these.  I love the shape of the front pockets and the easy fly insertion, although I did manage to mis-read the instructions and grade back the wrong front side, so my fly is the wrong way round and I have interfacing rather than fabric showing there.  But I'm pretty sure if anyone is down there looking, I have a bigger problem than that!

The fabric is super soft against the skin and looks great as both a casual and as a more formal fabric, which was one of the reasons we chose it.  We've brought it in from one of our favourite European suppliers in safe colours, brights and in two colorways of a print (coming online soon).  I think it would make an amazing jacket as well as a trouser, and the stretch content is always a bonus when it comes to comfort and fit.

Both of these were great projects to spend the weekend working on, one simple and easy.  The other a little more involved with some good techniques.

All I've got to think about now is what my next Saturday Sewing Session will bring...

Friday, 18 March 2016

Pretty Girls Sew - RAE Challenge 1

I had initially aimed to have this blog more up and running by the time I had to submit my first challenge for Pretty Girls Sew 2016 Rippin' Ain't Easy Challenge.  A competition bringing 9 seamstresses together to compete on some amazing sewing projects.

We submitted our first project last Thursday and voting opened and closed on Saturday - fortunately I made it through to the second round!  I was pretty worried when I seen my competition, there were some amazing dresses submitted.  The first challenge was to use Vogue 9077 to create a dress that represented us.
I chose to use some tartan (Scottish, obv.) but specifically McQueen tartan to tie me to my beloved fashion industry.  There is no more synonmious tartan in this industry that immediately makes you think of luxury and one of the great designers of our time.  I used leatherette for my contrast panels, which are actually not panels but sewn in to the seams and sit on top of the main fabric.  I love leather look details on garments and knew this is what it had to be.

Finally, I swapped the front button closure for a zip as I always like a twist.  What possibly makes this most like me though, is the attention to detail.  I spent so much time and care pattern matching that tartan!

Our second challenge is to create a military inspired jumpsuit using McCalls 7330.  I've got all my supplier, I just need to get making now!

Wish me luck!

Hazel x

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


Hello and welcome to my new bloggy project Diary of a Dress.  You might know me as Hazel from Disaster in a Dress, or more likely as Hazel from Remnant Kings but if you're really lucky, you might even know me in real life!  Hah just kidding!

Having previously blogged my sewing adventures in Disaster in a Dress, I inadvertently took a year out from blogging.  Why you ask?  Well I met a boy, fell in love and on Hogmanay 2016 he asked me to marry him.  Obviously I said yes.  The first few weeks were a buzz and one question that kept coming up was would I be making my own wedding dress.  I started to feel like it was so expected of me that I didn't have a choice.  But after a good long think about it, I decided that I probably wouldn't be happy without some input to my wedding dress and so began this new blog, Diary of a Dress.

My aim is to not only blog my wedding dress creation, but all the other makes in between.  Cause let's be real, every new make only allows me to be a better seamstress and in turn, forms part of my wedding dress story.  I'm not going to promise that I'll be blogging regularly, but I do promise to blog all the important parts.  So I'm glad you're here to join me in this journey.

Hazel x