#2017makenine – What I Plan to Stitch This Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas break. You may have seen my last post of the year – a round up of everything I made in 2016 – and for my first post of the new year I wanted to hop on the #2017makenine train and show you what I plan to make in the upcoming months. So here we go, and in no particular order:

2017makenine-sew-sensational

Top Row, Left-Right

1. MillaMia Elk Cushion – I bought this cushion kit at the Knitting and Stitching show a couple of years ago, and it’s very nearly finished! I’ve completed the fairisle front and now just need to slave away on the plain back until it’s done.
2. Sew Over It Silk Cami – I received this pattern as a gift, along with some silk bow-print material, so I look forward to it being a simple-yet-useful make for summer.
3. Burda 6849 Shirt – I’ve made a chambray shirt with this pattern before, and I have 2m of Liberty print lawn in my stash that is calling out to be used.

Middle Row, Left-Right
4. Merchant and Mills Camber Dress – A birthday gift, my husband bought me this pattern plus some linen-look geometric fabric with which to make it. A simple shape but a dress I’ll hopefully wear often.
5. Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt Dress I bought this pattern when it came out in 2016 and have a length of aztec, woven chambray that I just hope will be big enough!
6. Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress – my first make of the year for Minerva Crafts, this loose fitted dress will be made in a silky monochrome viscose and should be good for spring.

Bottom Row, Left-Right
7. Simplicity 1563 PyjamasThe second of my Minerva Crafts makes, I plan to make a pair of cosy, brushed cotton pyjama trousers with a matching jersey t-shirt.
8. New Look 6449 Shirt Dress
Another shirt dress and more chambray! And my final upcoming Minerva project, this time in a timeless charcoal chambray that will match with anything.
9. M&S Safari Crochet Kit – 
A fun Christmas present from my sister, this year I hope to learn how to crochet and make these cute zoo animals.

What are your plans for the new year? Are you making as many shirts/dresses as I am? Let me know in the comments!

 

A Dotty Chambray Shirt – Burda 6849

burda 6849 polka dot shirtGuys, I made a shirt. I actually made a shirt! That fits! I demand that you all go and help yourselves to a celebratory cocktail in my honour right now (or a celebratory cup of tea if you’re at work). The idea for this project came about when Minerva Crafts started to stock this amazing, incredible, fantastic polka dot chambray fabric. I think I ordered my 1.5 metres of it about 30 seconds after it went up on the website (side note – there’s also a stripy version which I’m trying my hardest to resist!) Because chambray looks rather like denim, I thought it’d be the perfect fabric with which to make a denim-look-a-like-chambray-shirt: enter Burda 6849, courtesy of the lovely Hannah over at Simplicity. The pattern back declares that ‘these blouses ensure a young and clean look’ and that the pockets and snap fasteners have ‘all the attributes of a classy blouse’. This sounds like the pattern of my dreams right from the off – and it turns out I was right! I absolutely love this pattern – whilst it’s at least 3 steps ahead of my normal ability, I actually out-did myself with this one (if I do say so myself). I think the key here is to take your time and measure everything very carefully: it took me a few weeks to sew all the pieces together but I’m glad I didn’t rush it. Shirts require a lot of clean lines and neat edges so it’s essential that you go slowly. burda 6849 dotty blouse I chose to make view ‘B’ – which has the slightly longer length – but with the details of view ‘A’, which simply means adding snap fasteners rather than buttons. Have you ever used snap fasteners before? I got some pearl-effect ones from Minerva and had a right laugh trying to insert them – if you plan to use them in a project of your own, be aware that you’ll need a hammer, plenty of space and a patient husband. I’m not sure what our neighbour thought whilst I recklessly hammered in 12 individual snap fasteners but, you know what, I don’t care. They look great! This pattern is definitely one for the more confident sewer as it requires a multitude of different skills – top stitching, vertical darts, pockets, pocket flaps, setting in sleeves, the collar, the cuffs, sleeve plackets, snap fasteners, a curved hem… I didn’t let that put me off though, and neither should you. I think as long as you follow the instructions word-for-word then you won’t have any problems – just take your time! I can’t emphasise that enough. burda 6849 details I really hope you like my finished chambray shirt as much as I do – I’m really very proud of it (if you can’t tell!) I even did French seams on the inside to keep it all neat and tidy – particularly because chambray has a tendency to fray. Have you ever made a shirt/blouse before? How did it go? Do you plan to make one now I’ve made it look like an absolute doddle? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

By the way – this post was written to run alongside the launch of the Simplicity Blogger Circle! You can find out more about the club below (go on, you know you want to join in too…)

Simplicity Blogger Circle

Blogger Network #5 – Betty Draper Gingham Blouse

burda 6924 gingham blouseJust recently, and perhaps a bit late to the game, my fiancé and I have spent night after night after night watching back-to-back episodes of Mad Men. I’d already seen the first couple of seasons a few years ago but, aside from lusting over the outfits, had got a bit lost with it – until now! I’ve always kept an eye on the Julia Bobbin Mad Men Challenges that keep appearing over the internet (if you’ve not seen them, be sure to check out the entries, they’re incredible) and thought that it was about time I had a go myself – but on a smaller scale!

So, for this month’s Minerva Blogger Network post, I decided to have a go at making a Betty Draper inspired blouse. Does anyone remember the little yellow gingham number that Betty’s been seen to wear in various episodes during seasons 2 and 3?

betty draper gingham blouse burda 6924

If you want to sew along with me then you can get hold of the blouse pattern here and the yellow gingham fabric here. They’re both super cheap too!

The blouse I made uses the Burda 6924 sewing pattern for a knotted tie blouse. I chose to make view A, which is the version without sleeves, to make it look more like Betty’s! And this is the first time I’ve ever sewn a collar, so I was a little hesitant and I had to get very friendly with my seam ripper (don’t look at me like that, we’ve all been there).

betty draper yellow gingham blouse burda 6924

The finished blouse is actually a lot better than I had imagined! When you’re constantly unpicking and re-stitching your work, you often give up a little, but half-heartedly yet gallantly continue to sew anyway. And I’m so glad I did. My finished gingham blouse fits perfectly and is definitely something I’ll wear on holiday or on a sunny weekend. Check out my marvellously squinty pictures too – it’s definitely a garment that looks best in bright sunshine!

Blogger Network #1 – Chinese Satin Kimono!

burda satin kimonoYay! I finally completed my first Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project! And, boy, was this an adventurous one for me to begin with. You can’t say I don’t embrace a challenge.

For my first make I picked this lovely, golden satin brocade and knew immediately that it would fit perfectly with the Burda kimono pattern I’ve been aiming to make this spring. And before I get started – if you’re interested to copy what I’ve made, you can buy the kimono pattern right here!

burda 7297 variationsThe Burda 7297 pattern comes with three different variations for you to choose from – I picked view ‘A’ on the picture here, which is shorter in burda 7297 kimono backlength and has a belt in the same colour as the main fabric. It also has a full lining (included in the kit) which makes it even more luxurious! The Chinese brocade I chose for the main fabric is absolutely wonderful too. It’s so soft and silky and literally glitters in the sunlight, as you might just be able to see in my pictures.

My Blogger Network kit also comes with some interfacing so that you can strengthen your fabric where needed (useful for the brocade because it doesn’t half fray!) and some matching Gutterman thread.

burda kimono blogger networkThe pattern itself has a fair amount of pieces for you to cut out – remember that you’re making a lining and an outer, so you’re basically making the kimono twice! Don’t let this put you off though. The pattern is easy to follow and I had no trouble matching up pieces and seams. I even learnt how to do gathers properly, which is always a plus!

Overall I’m actually quite impressed that I managed to make this pattern. It took me a couple of weekends to complete but my finished kimono is definitely something I’ll enjoy wearing when the evenings become a bit lighter and a bit warmer. You can read a bit more about this project, plus a few of my pattern tips, over on the Blogger Network website here.

And finally, here’s a tip that might save you a lot of time:

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