Sunday, 28 July 2013

FO: The Gertie Portrait Blouse

Anyone who followed me during Me Made May will have seen this - It's become a wardrobe staple!

It is the Portrait Blouse from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing.  I loved this from the first time I saw it.  It's such a pretty style with very clean lines and shapes.  I am really getting into blouses after being a t-shirt girl for most of my life - I have several more planned.  This one feels very ladylike!  Maybe I fear the ironing board less than I used to since starting sewing?

For such a simple pattern, I did have to make a lot of adjustments however.

Of course, I consulted the fabulous #sewcialists on Twitter - there's always some fab advice available - and found that Katie had made it already so she gave me some great tips.

The sizing on Gertie's book patterns is quite different from usual pattern sizing - I made an 8, and added slightly (about 1/4" at each seam) to the waist and hips.  I have heard that the book is quite wide across the back which suits my broad shoulders and I think the shoulders fit well!

Gertie says in the book that it is a short style, so I knew I'd be in for some considerable lengthening - she wasn't wrong.  I lengthened by 4"!  I also did a small FBA.  For me, the neckline is perfect and I love the loose tucks rather than darts.  I did have to lengthen them quite a bit to get them to sit flat - the fabric would insist on poofing out above them, but I kept extending them until this stopped happening!  I suspect this was to do with my lengthening making the end points hit in the wrong place.

I also did a couple of new techniques on this make - narrow hems, following the instructions from the book.  It was fairly easy and looks nice and neat.  I also handpicked the side zip.  I don't know why I haven't done this before, as it made the zip so easy to insert neatly.  My only complaint is that the thread matches the fabric so well that you can't see my pick stitches!  As you would expect, Gertie's instructions on both of these were nice and clear with good photos and illustrations to help.

The fabric was a poly remnant with lovely drape that I picked up from the legendary remnants table at Ditto in Brighton (I love that table!).  I had just over 1m and I think it was the princely sum of £1.80.  So that plus the cost of the zip makes it a practically free make!  I've worn it lots and have a couple more in the pipeline (OK they are in my head but they'll get done sometime!).  They definitely smarten up my jeans!

And finally a back view for Nessa:

Friday, 26 July 2013

Simplicity giveaway - I made a mistake on the sizes!

I am a fool!

The Simplicity 1882:

 is actually a size 6-14.

The Simplicity 1606:
is a size 14-22.

Sorry!  If this changes the one you would like to win, please comment again on the original post!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Giveaway: Those lovely people at Simplicity...

I'm sure you will have seen on several blogs that you follow that the lovely Simplicity people are working with bloggers to give away some of their patterns.

Some people are blessed with the ability just to see the style lines of a pattern and see beyond sometimes dodgy envelope artwork/ fabric choice.  I am unfortunately not one of them!  I think this is why I sew a lot of indie patterns - I see lovely versions on bloggers with fabrics and styling I prefer.  So great initiative from Simplicity to get more involved with the community!

If you haven't done so already, tweet @SewSimplicity with your blog address to get involved with some of their plans!

Anyway, on to the giveaway!

We were asked to choose a pattern for ourselves and 2 to give away to our readers.

This was my pattern:

Source:  Pattern Review

The fabric choice on this is actually pretty cute!  I have loved this pattern since I saw Karen's gorgeous versions in teal and purple tulip print.  No idea which I like better - I can't decide!  I googled for some more pictures and came up with the wondrousness that is A Sewing Life's fabulous turquoise version. Great inspiration and a new blog to follow!  As the Spoolettes (Clare, Nicole, Sally, Roisin, Fiona, Alison and Rehanon) are planning a bowling trip to a gorgeous restored 1950s bowling alley, this version could have that perfect combo of bowling shirt/ diner waitress for me! Love the colour and the piping!

The other pattern was this:

Source:  Pattern Review
This was actually sent to me by mistake instead of 1609 (the shift dress Gertie has been obsessed with recently).  But it's a prime example of looking past the somewhat bridesmaidy fabric on the envelope to the line drawing:

Source:  Pattern Review
Leaving off the bow it's a cute princess seamed summer dress with the option to have a lace overlay - I'm seeing a fancy version of this similar to Zilredloh's fabulous Macaron.  Or a vintage style halter dress?

I have one copy of each pattern to give away - Simplicity 1882 in size 6-14 (edited to correct the sizes - see this post) and Simplicity 1608 in size 16-24 (Edited to correct the sizes as before).  Let me know in the comments below which one you'd like (and if you like, tell me what version and fabric).  It would be cool if you followed my blog, but you don't have to!  I'll choose a winner at random on 1st August.  Happy to post worldwide.

And hopefully the good hair/ good weather/ non-stroppy child stars will align so that I can get some pics of my lovely just-finished Simplicity 2444 to show you!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I'm so excited! And apologies...

Apology no 1.  Sorry for having neglected the blog so badly recently.  I;ve had a lot of personal stuff going on that some people are aware of, and I got my sewjo back but no blogjo (I think I might have made up a word...).  So I have a pile of stuff to show you!

Apology no 2.  Sorry for all of you who were expecting something far more exciting from my "I'm so excited" deliberate teaser (erm, OK, computer cock up!).  I had a few emails about it ranging from being a contestant on the new series of Sewing Bee, to pregnancy!  Sadly (actually not sadly - both of those are terrifying!) neither are true!

As the #sewcialists on Twitter know, I got a work bonus and decided to put it towards an overlocker (or serger, as it may be called round your neck of the woods!).

I went for the much loved and well reviewed Brother 1034D and I am very happy with it so far!

It makes everything look so real!  Even hubby commented on how good it looks, and can't believe how quickly things come together when you can finish the seams with this.

Would recommend if you are looking for a reasonably priced overlocker.

But I do have a question for you knowledgeable lot - do you sew the whole seam on your overlocker, or sew the seam on your machine and just finish the edges on the overlocker?

Ooh, and check back here tomorrow - I'm hosting a giveaway of Simplicity patterns, so try your luck!