Monday, 20 July 2015

K.O.M Lou Lou Dress

So le Tour has made it's from the high mountains of the Pyrenees and is heading for the Alps, so I have made a polka dot K.O.M. dress. 
The hem is straight, it's just I'm not!


Yes I know, the polka dot jersey is supposed to be red and white, but I worried about looking like Minnie Mouse.  And I could find any red and white polka dot fabric that I liked.  The fabric is a wonderfully drapey viscose from Direct Fabric Warehouse, for £5.99 a metre and I bought 1.5m of fabric.

The pattern is the Lou Lou Dress by Charlotte at English Girl at Home.  Doesn't it have a lovely pattern illustration?


I was one of Charlotte's pattern testers last year, so I was excited to make the pattern up again now that it has been released.  The new and improved version has a new option, version C, which is what I choose to make.  I tried very hard to find some nice drapey co-ordinating fabrics, but was seduced by the green and blue polka dot, but sadly could not find another fabric to go with it.  I choose version C because of it's waist seam, it was perfect for inserting little pockets (I have got to have pockets and felt that inseam pockets would effect the drape of the dress).


I drafted a simple pocket pattern piece and inserted them into the waist seam, added a little fabric loop and buttons from my stash.  I also borrowed  the short sleeve pattern piece from New Look 6069, to add little (maybe overly) puff sleeves.  Becasue I was adding sleeves I didn't line the dress, but finished the neck with bias binding.  

I do feel like go off piste completely and making up a knit version...watch this space.  Until then, here is my original test version that got a lot of wear in Autumn and Spring (when the heating was working in my office).

My original pattern testing version
This is an easy to wear and easy to make dress, and these will definately not be my only versions.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Compagnie M Julia Sweater

So my Mellow Yellow Challenge was meant to be a gentle easy going, not challenging challenge.  However, as le Tour de France leaves Belgium today, I did give myself a rather short self imposed deadline of posting my Belgian inspired creation today.

Here it is, the Compagnie M. Julia Sweater.


I'm not often a tucked in sort of person, by due to my self imposed short deadline, I am not 100% happy with the bottom hem band, hence the tucking in.  I think the problem lies with my not very stretchy jersey, making the bottom band a bit tighter than it has to be.  It's not uncomfortable, but I'm just not sure of the look of it.


Here I am demonstrating the dolman sleeves (they are not Batwing, I lived through the trauma of Batwing in the '80s).  The dogs really did wonder what I was up to.


I don't know why I have this look on my face.  We were trying to get a better shot of the colour, it looks like a tomato red, but it's really a lovely burnt orange.  I am glad the weather had cooled down when we took these photos as this long sleeve version is definitely a more Winter top than Summer.  The bottom half of the sleeves and cuffs are close fitting, which will help to keep the drafts out in Winter.

I had intended to make the top two tone, but inadvertently didn't buy enough of the lighter orange fabric (I see another colour block Coco or Plantain in my future).  I did make the split front version, to help mitigate the lack of stretch in my jersey, a contract piping would have helped show off this design feature, maybe next time.

It's nice to find a new Indie Pattern maker to go to, I definately have my eye on the Lotta skirt, but a need another skirt pattern like a hole in the head - didn't I say that when I bought the Vanessa Pouzet Fatale Sister Skirt.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

It may be an excess of Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch, but the start of le Tour de France today, got me thinking.  I am a huge cycling fan, I have to admit I'm not quite as excited about this years tour as last years, but then they're not riding through my home town this year.  Having driven (not walked or ridden) up le Cote de Jenkin Road, I can tell you it is an absolute bugger.  Anyway that's beside the point, but it did get me thinking about how I could combine my love of sewing and cycling.  Last year I made a skirt specifically to go and watch le Tour de France come through Sheffield, but what to do this year?

It helps that I'm currently obsessed with the Onyx Top by Paprika Patterns from the Netherlands, where le Tour has it's Grande Depart this year.


I bought this fabric last week in the John Lewis sale, half price at £8 per metre and the pattern only takes one metre.  I cut a straight size 5, but lengthen it by about 3cm and the fit is perfect.  I cut the lower neckline and bound it with bias binding made from the same fabric.


Hagrid like it, even if he doesn't like the heat.  This is him post paddle, in the very sunny Meersbrook Park.


The Jeans I'm wearing are also of Dutch origin, as they are my Knipmode Jeans, which if you don't know is a Dutch sewing magazine.

But this is a challenge, not just one outfit for one day, what else can I do.  Well the race is in France, so I can sew my french (currently I own 3) patterns, that's fine.  But then I looked at the route of le Tour and it starts in the Netherlands, then goes through Belgium before getting to France.  Belgium, what can I do for Belgium???

Thank you Google.  After a little searching I found out that Compagnie M. is a Belgium Indie Sewing Pattern maker.  So the Julia Sweater is now in my inbox.  A long sleeve t-shirt is perfect for this atypical British weather we are having.

So I can make up a Indie pattern from all the countries visited by le Tour this year.  I have some other ideas percolating, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself, this is meant to be a fun challenge.  Which is why I'm calling it Mellow Yellow.  For those of you not familiar with le Tour de France the leader of the race wears a Yellow Jersey (or Yellow Jumper as Ned Boulting would call it).

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Do I look like I'm wearing a tablecloth?

The photos for this post are not the best.  My photo shoot (or as the dogs like to call it their walk) was curtailed when the dogs decided to do a runner, squirrels are more interesting that watching me have my picture taken apparently.


This is the Brumby Skirt by Megan Nielsen.  I need another skirt pattern like a hole in the head, but I succumbed to the pockets.  They are HUGE.


I made View 1, but cut the front on the fold rather than adding a seam and top stitching.  I also added some extra length, but I can't quite decide if I added too much.  However, as the fabric has an embroidered border, if I wanted to shorten it now it would mean taking off the waistband, removing the zip and re-doing the whole lot again.  I think I can live with the length. I've had this fabric for a couple of years, I got it from the bargain section at my local independent fabric shop Fine Fabrics, I think I paid about £1.50 for it.


I cut a size L and the fit is perfect.  The main pattern piece for this view is just a large rectangle, but the pattern does have a lovely curved waistband.  I have a number of skirts with straight waistbands and I don't wear because of gaping issues, but this waistband I love.  The pattern does feature an exposed zipper at the back, but I just put in a regular zip, just for ease (and because it was what I had to hand).

I've made this Summer skirt at just the right time, because the weather has just got stupid hot.  I can hear the rumble of thunder as I type this.  I definitely have plans to make this skirt again, probably a straight up View 1, but maybe lined to wear in the Winter.

Now tell me truthfully do I look like I'm wearing a tablecloth?

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