It’s my Top 5 of 2014!

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

There’s no time like the end of the year for some peaceful reflection/anxious soul-searching, so I was keen to participate in Crafting a Rainbow’s Top 5 of 2014. This year’s been a cracker on the sewing front. After a year of making clothes, I took the plunge in July and decided to stop boring my nearest & dearest with the offspring of my Janome and instead let them run free and wild on the internet. Since then, I’ve grown my little backyard plot of cyberspace into a happy place with some lovely new internet chums.

So without further ado, here goes… The Hits:

Clockwise from top left, this Tilly & The Buttons Mathilde in chambray was an early make and has been well-loved. It must have been beginners’ luck as my pattern moderations resulted in a slimmer fit and short sleeves with no tears shed. Oh, and did I mention that it appeared on Tilly’s blog?!

I’ve made four Colette Moneta dresses, including the polka dot and black ones shown here (the polka dot snap also proves that I do occasionally step away from the fireplace!). There’s something about this pattern which results in a perfect fit and finish every time. It also represents my early foray into sewing with knits. I have worn all four versions as many times as it’s polite to, without people wondering if you ever wash your clothes!

That just leaves my Emery in crazy loud £3 fabric, and the Sureau in Liberty Tana Lawn. I spent considerable time getting the fit right on both of these, and it paid off. I have to remind myself of this when I’m in the grip of a sewing frenzy and am desperate to get to the finish line.

So it’s a frock-heavy selection. Next year I’ve vowed to make more casual clothes so I can incorporate handmade in my non-work life. I’m already dreaming of a corduroy Grainline Moss skirt, a chambray Archer, a denim-linen Sureau and of course some Ultimate Trousers. After seeing some fabulous Bluegingerdoll Bonnie sweaters by Handmade Jane, Kelly of Make Sew Do, and Marie of A Stitching Odyssey I am lusting after one of my own.

So those are the Hits. Next up: The Misses!

What were your Hits of 2014?

 

 

A Liberty Robe Sureau

Deer & Doe Sureau

I may have found my new, most favourite pattern – the Deer & Doe Robe Sureau. This blustery, autumnal weather requires a lovely trans-seasonal frock in dark floral to wear with woolly tights and leather boots.  What better fabric to use than this delicious Liberty Tana Lawn in Edenham Navy, which I was shocked to find at Simply Fabrics. Being somewhat thrifty (and wanting to buy a whole stack of other Liberty bargains) I only bought 1.5 metres. This turned out to be just enough to cut the pattern, minus one sleeve.  So I had to track down another piece from Shaukat. If you have never been, and have a weakness for Liberty, this place is truly amazing.

Liberty Robe SureauWe are well-served in this part of South London for fabulous sewing supplies and venues. Afterall we have the SewOverIt Sewing Cafe, the Tilly and The Buttons HQ for sewing workshops, the ever fabulous and unpredictable Simply Fabrics and the hidden gem that is The Wimbledon Sewing Machine Shop in Tooting Bec. Yet, when overcome with the urge to buy buttons on a Sunday, the only place I could find south of the river was Morley’s in Brixton, which has a decent haberdashery. I was pretty happy in the end with these lovely vintage-style floral buttons but it took me a looooooong time to decide.

Sureau ButtonAfter the success of getting a good fit on my Emery dresses (here and here) I made up a toile bodice for the Sureau in a size 40, grading the waist out to a 42. Despite Deer & Doe drafting for a B cup, this combo seemed to yield the perfect fit, so no further fitting was required. The neckline has a tendency to gape, which was something I’d read about in a few different blogs. I’m not sure if it’s because I stretched the neckline out when i top-stitched it, or whether I need to follow Paunnet’s tutorial for a gapey neckline from the Sureau Sewalong for my next version. It always takes a few goes to perfect these garments!  I’m so happy with the finished garment – it’s got a lovely vintagey feel to it. The skirt isn’t as full as the Emery, so I don’t feel quite so much as though I’m going to work in fancy dress!

Deer & Doe Sureau