Summer Of Selfish Sewing

selfish sew

Does that sound bad? Probably but learning to be a bit selfish is not always a bad thing, in fact sometimes it is necessary but this isn’t a psychology post so let’s move on!

At the beginning of the year I set myself some challenges and then I got a bit overwhelmed because work too over, the last few months I’ve been busily trying to fill up my vintage shop and run down old handmade stock so that I can start work on my new shop which is concentrating on making stuff that is more me and less generic run of the mill goods which I feel that I’ve been making, we’re calling those the practice years. So this means I haven’t really had much time to do any sewing or making of anything and that’s why I joined the vintage pledge to help me get back into sewing.

I managed to squeeze in a custom order for someone I know but I was so under pressure that I made a decision not to take on any custom orders until I feel that I can properly dedicate time to it. Also I need to gain more confidence and practice in my knitting skills.

But I digress, just because I haven’t had time to sew doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to buy fabric, in fact a buying ban is now in effect, though I did preorder some lush and very expensive fabric from the Outback Wife collection which has been pushed back until June so I still have a bit of time to sew something and make space for that.

But yes a buying ban is in effect until after our holiday (at least) and I’m going on a stash diet because look at this work room!!!! And this is the ‘tidy’ corner!!!

craft room

This is a combination of work and personal supplies, the wicker shelves house most of my art supplies and I really should retitle this post the Summer of Selfish Sewing and Making Art because I’ve been promising myself far too long that I will start making art again. Some of he tubs contain work supplies and once I’ve finished the bulk of Etsy listing (because lets’ face it, it never really ends) I’m going to decide what to actually make with them! The great big spring clean has been extended to a summer clear out as I’ve decided to stop being that lazy person who sends stuff either to the charity shop or recycling centre and try to sell some of it first and if that doesn’t work, recycle somehow in my projects before sending it to the recycle centre!

To be honest using up my stash is a rolling project, every year I’m like I’m gonna clear all this out before buying anything and I get part way through and replace it with twice the amount of stuff, hence why we are now at critical mass and literally have no more room. So summer project is to sew myself that wardrobe I keep saying I’m going to sew and then putting it off for whatever reason.

I’m taking my time on the new business, I want my designs to be me and so I need time to work on these and produce work that I’m happy with. I also need to reduce my workload currently as I’m reminded that I am just one person running a business and forget that you have to take on all the roles of a business and not just the ones you like and then pass off the rest to an assistant which would be awesome right now but obviously unrealistic! But I need to find more time for personal time, so am keeping weekend work free because you have to set boundaries.

So I will report back at the end of summer and see if by some small miracle I managed to exercise some restraint and not buy any more fabric or yarn and also got my butt into gear and made something! Though I definitely will because I need to make some clothes for our holiday.

Alpha Beta Gaga Dress


lempi dress named clothing 2

I’ve been meaning to add some more black and white pieces to my wardrobe for a while now. I actually have this material in three colour ways, white and orange, white and black and black and white. I mainly bought it because it was pretty cheap and perfect for toiles. Most of my toiles end up wearable and although cheap, this fabric is pretty decent for its price. I’m not sure I’ll end up wearing the white and orange colourway but it’s getting good use for mock ups and experiments.

lempi dress named clothing 4

I bought this pattern a while ago, I think probably in the Black Friday sales. As you already probably know, shirt dresses are a particular favourite of mine and I’m always looking for new variations.  I also decided I needed to add in a lining which wasn’t incorporated into the instructions but turned out not to be as scary or as hard as I thought. It also meant I finally got to use belt hole puncher/rivet thingy I got from Lidls a few years ago!

lempi buttons and belt

Despite having tonnes of buttons, I don’t have a lot of matching buttons and had to go and get 9 large buttons for this dress. The belt buckle I raided out of my vintage stash which is why it looks slightly random.

lempi pockets

The side pockets were the fiddliest but only because I was attaching a lining. First I made sure I cut the front lining minus 5cm from the edge  up to the fold point, so that it would sit neatly in the button band. I also cut in a few inches shorter at the hem. The only reason I added a lining was because the material was a little too see-through, which is why I don’t really wear white.

I then secured in place when finishing off the button band and finally I finished off the belt and the hem line and sewed on the buttons. I made a bit of a hash job with some of the button holes, half came out fine, the other half not so great. Not sure what happened there but needless to say buttonholes are have gone on my nemesis list along with zips! These photos have also reminded me I need to add a snap button to deal with gapage due to too much boobage!

lempi dress 3

All in all I like this pattern, the instructions were easy to follow, there were a lot of pieces to cut out and iron interfacings on to in prep of making this dress but the actual construction was pretty easy. Adding a lining wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, in retrospect I should have attached the lining to the sleeves before attaching the collar but I’ll know for next time.

lempi dress 4

Things I would do differently next time are probably choose only one set of pockets, I think I prefer the outer pockets and would raise them up a bit. I might also lose the sleeves as I quite like going sleeveless, especially in the summer. A thought has crossed my mind that if I were to lengthen the sleeves this might also make a nice trench coat but that’s an experiment for later down the line.

lempi dress 2

This is officially my 5th item of the year. I was little apprehensive about this pattern especially with adding in the lining and I’m not sure 4 pockets are really necessary but it was definitely good practice. Also as you can see from the photos with this grid pattern, it looks a little better with just a plain black belt which I think helps break up the outfit a little.

I’m not sure I like the sleeves on the dress but it could just be the material and the fact that I usually prefer sleeveless dresses. I used a cotton fabric I bought for practice makes, this is technically a toile, so I’m not too fussed over the mistakes. I’m a little concerned it looks a bit too much like a funky lab coat or maybe that’s just because I’m not used to wearing white! Though you can see my love of grids has not waned.

And that is the Alpha Beta Gaga Dress, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of sewing up this pattern.

lempi dress named clothing

Pattern -Lempi Button down dress by Named Clothing
Material – 100% cotton fabric
Style -Modern
Size – 42
Post Title -Alpha Beta Gaga by Air

The ‘I love You Wade Wilson’ Dress

So I normally name my clothes after song titles but this one was inspired by Deadpool which I love and the fabric pattern just kind of reminded me of film, so I named it after the lead character. I also promise that I will start doing proper posts soon of me actually wearing the clothes I make but I won’t lie, I haven’t been feeling up to prancing around in front of a camera these last few months but I will get over myself and get on with. Plus I have some really nice makes planned and I’ll be talking about in my next post of some fabric I got recently, my wardrobe planning is taking a different direction.

I used a 1970s Maudella shirt dress pattern and made version #3, though I’m kind of tempted to make the suit version, even though I’ll probably never wear it! I wanted to make a belt but didn’t have enough fabric in fact I didn’t have enough material to do a full length version as I was working to my usual 2m of fabric, which I’ve now stopped buying as a standard length as it’s apparent most of my dress patterns need at least three metres! I’m now only buying fabric with specific projects in my mind and ordering to pattern requirements which should keep my fabric stash from growing too big and also cut down time choosing which fabric to use.

I like this fabric but it is a bit migraine inducing!

I did tone down the collar a bit because it was a tad too big for my liking and one gust of wind and I might take off!
This dress had been sitting in my WIP pile form last year. I think I started making it last summer and although it’s a tight squeeze it actually fits (just) even though I did adjust the pattern to accomodate my 40 inch bust, so by this summer I should be able to wear without squishing my boobs!
The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow and instead of standard darts, it has French darts which I had not done before but just requires a little tacking before sewing.I’ve also learnt that darts should really be pressed upwards instead of downwards!

I managed to sew the bias binding on the wrong side of both armholes! Thankfully and easy mistake to fix. Though my proudest achievement on this dress is the pockets.

Though the sleeveless version on calls for one pocket I decided to do two pockets and managed to do some near spot on perfect pattern matching. The smaller the pattern repeat, the harder it can be to match the pattern up I find. However, with a good steam iron to press the corners and a little patience in-between the pattern making me going boss eyed, I managed it. The left pocket is a little off but I’m still pretty stoked how these turned out!

And that my friends is my fourth finished item of the year and also a vintage pledge to boot! Though Vintage pledge is technically not running it’s usual format this year, there still is a pinterest board to pin this years makes to.

Pattern – Maudella 5749
Material -100% cotton
Style -Vintage
Size – 40 Bust
Post Title – Inspired by Deadpool

Me Made Clothing Round Up 2016

It’s that time of year for lots of round up posts, so here is the first this one which is my me made wardrobe post, specifically the actual goal which was:

♥ To make a minimum of 12 items for my wardrobe this year, that is one a month, I know people who make one or more a week.
♥ Make four new items never made before, a pair of trousers, a blouse, a coat/jacket

In regards to my Vintage pledge, I didn’t managed to make my one item per a decade pledge. But I’m carrying over the planned project that never got made over to this year anyway, as I always tend to have a rolling goal list! I did manage to make 4 items that I submitted to the Vintage Pledge. I even managed to get some projects on Kollabora.

So in total I made a total of 21 item which technically way more than I pledge! I’m definitely aiming to make a few more than that this year and will get a head start finishing last year’s unfinished makes!

  • 8 dresses
  • 5 skirts
  • 0 trousers
  • 0 jacket
  • 0 capes
  • 3 blouses/shirts/tops
  • 5 knitted items
 Love Cats Shirt
 Club Tropicana Dress
 Pretty in Pink Dress
 Release The Stars Dress
Call of Ktulu Skirt and Beneath the Sea Cardigan

 My God is The Sun Skirt using a self drafted pattern

 Picnic By the Motorway Dress using an old Simplicity pattern

 Where the Wild Roses Grow Dress using a retro Butterick pattern

 Beneath The Sea Cardigan using the Vianne Pattern

 Land of Sunshine cardigan using the Myrna

 The Nameless Cardigan using the Hetty pattern

 Green Hornet Cardigan using the Hetty Pattern
 Managed to also make something for The Goth, actually I made two shirts including another versio of this shirt with a purple collar and pocket.

 Last minute finishes!

 Day O Dress using the Belladonne pattern by Deer & Doe

 Black Bell Ocean Skirt using a self drafted pattern

 Golden Age of Grotesque Dress

A Snowcapped Romance Dress using the Belladonne pattern.

What did you make this year? Did you reach goal?

Picnic By The Motorway

Last week when things finally started to slow down in the sense that I’ve decided to let old stock in the shop run down before releasing anything new in January, so that gives me some time to tidy up and spend a little time of personal projects now. The WIP pile is currently sitting in a box on my work table, I’m not sure I’m going to get all finished before the end of the year but I’m going to try, I’ve already started on next year’s make list and it’s pretty long already!
In the tidy up I found some finished summer items I had forgotten to post about like this pink chequered dress and black and white rose print dress.

Picnic By The Motorway Dress

I actually got to wear this at VLV, I just forgot to take any pictures. The Christmas tree has currently taken over my photo spot and I’m just too lazy at the moment to doll up and take pictures but here is the dress.
It’s a simplicity pattern that is my go to pattern when I need to make a quick and easy sun dress for summer, I’ve decided to retire making this version as I have quite a few but I might use it to make mods to other patterns.

The cotton is a medium weight and it’s quite soft despite not being brushed and very comfy to wear,  and will get a lot more wear in the spring and summer.
Material –  Gypsy Girl by Lily Ashbury for Moda (pattern 11468)
Style -Modern Retro
Size -Bust 40
Post Title -Picnic By The Motorway by Suede

Where The Wild Roses Grow Dress

This is technically a vintage pledge pattern and I’ve used this pattern so many times before that I’m not sure why I decided to make the bust a inch too small! So it never made it to VLV19 with me! It’s now been stored with all my other summer dresses in the hope that it will fit next summer.
I’m adding a few more monochrome bits to my wardrobe for those lazy days where I can’t be bothered to match my wardrobe to my hair (whatever colour it maybe at that point, it’s currently green and yellow!)

There’s not really much more I can say about this dress except I really like this pattern. I already have a few versions of this in my wardrobe, so I guess it’s time to move onto the pile of new patterns I’ve been hoarding!

Material – Cotton
Style -Retro
Size – Bust 39
Post Title – Where the wild roses grow by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds