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Dressmaking, Featured

This week I decided to give the Hemlock Tee a go from Grainline . I wanted something easy, comfortable and wearable to get me through January. And this one meant I could switch the colour of my threads out on my over locker (excited by the small things).

I already had a striped knit set to the side that worked brilliantly. I whizzed through the pattern like a breeze – only complication was that I have octopus arms and the sleeves were a weird length on me. So I kinda created 2 cuffs and overlocked those to the end of the sleeves – almost perfect :)

Hemlock tee

I did find with this knit that it had a lot of give in it and became huge around the waist, so after these pictures I ran it through the overlocker again taking off 4-5cm from the sides. It now sits really nicely on the hips while staying loose and slouchy around the neck.

Hemlock tee

Hemlock tee

It took 2 evenings to prepare the pattern and throw it together – so quick that I’ve got my sister making one too. Before hand she said she was scared of sewing machines….few hours later she’s flown through it! :)

If she’ll let me, pictures will be shared when finished.

Dressmaking, Featured

Archer shirt

I’ve seen the pattern all over the web and thought it was time to have a go. I’ve never done a sew along before (I’ve always done my own thing) but decided to join in with the step by step walk though. And loved it :)

I didn’t realise it when I bought it at Christmas – but December was also Archer appreciation month! Good timing eh.

The fabric that I bought from Morocco seemed perfect. Maybe a bit soft but I bought it with a blouse/shirt in mind and there were no fabric shops open on boxing day to be distracted by!

Its been a while since I’ve sewn anything like this so I started with a toile first just to get familiar and gage the size as I could see myself making more than one of these shirts. It was good job because even after measuring the inside arm before hand, the sleeves ended being a good couple of inches too short.

Archer shirt - cutting table

The thickness of the muslin meant it was really easy to throw the shirt together. The edges met nicely, corners turned perfectly, and the pressure was non existent as this was a practise run.

For the second attempt I added an inch to the length of the body and 3 inches to the length of my arms. I have freaky arms.

Archer shirt - Rotary cutter

The cotton was a slightly different story. Just getting the grain nice and straight was the first problem as it distorted really easily. The next issue was pulling the grain when using scissors, so I had to give up on that idea and got out the rotary cutter.

Top tip : stick a bit of masking tape to the wrong sides of your pieces

Archer shirt - wrong side

My right sides had a slight sheen but it wasn’t always easy to identify. I stuck some washi tape to all my wrong sides and that saved loads of time – just remember to remove it before you trap it inside your yolk!

The cotton was very fragile so I had to be careful applying heat/steam. Where possible I used a second off cut of the fabric as a barrier for the heat but the iron allowed me to mould my pieces really nicely for a clean finish.

Had a couple of issues with the collar which I’ll avoid next time but was very pleased with my sleeve plankets this time. Jen eased the nerves in the sew-along.

Archer shirt - sleeve planket

The pockets where the last additions. In the Archer walk through, Jen put the pockets on at the start, but I decided to see what the shirt looked like without first. Hmm plain….

So I decided these needed so be featured up a bit. I’ve really enjoyed the top stitching on this project so I went for couple more diagonal lines on the pockets  - just ’cause I could.

Archer shirt Archer shirt Archer shirt

So that’s it – my first Archer. I’m sure there will be more. Very little amendment needed, really clear instructions and nice looking result. You can buy the download from the Grainline shop.

Now I’m off to look at everyone else’s on flickr….

Nicole @ beaufrog

 

Featured, Inspired, Update

Morplan-Mannequins

This week I spent 3 days down in London training on anew exciting tool we’re implementing at work. Of course, when training finished at 5pm it was then my time to hit as many shops as possible before they close!

Just round the corner from where I was staying was Morplan – a shop I’ve order online from before. Great for all your sewing equipment like Patternmasters and Set Squares. They sell the most beautiful dressmakers mannequins I can find in the UK. But at £700 for a K&L, I just took away a photograph instead!

I then ran down Oxford St to catch 10 minutes of MacCullock & Wallis. Was a bit disappointed as I was greeted with a moody voice saying “we’re closing, you’ll have to be quick” and I thought “yeah I know…I’m out of breath from running here and theres 15 minutes of shopping time left!” But anyway,  the shop was beautiful and you could easily spend hours mooching through the 2 floors.

MacCulloch-and-Wallis-Window

On my second night I visited Liberty which is just beautiful…the pictures speak for themselves -

Libery-fabric-department

Libery-print

Libery-patterns

Libery-buttons

 

Libery-print-dresses

I’ve now got my eye on some stunning John Paul Gaultier fabric for my living room…how nice is this…!

Liberty-home

I love shopping in the designer and vintage sections as you can pick apart unusual tailoring and learn lots. The ball gowns as SO heavy and the blue Chanel dress was effortlessly constructed.

Libertys-Vintage-Chanel

Stella McCartney pleats and Carven dresses are on my imaginary shopping list.

Libertys-Craven-and-Stella

And finally I fell in love with an Urban Outfitters coat and floaty vintage dress in Top Shop. Could have spent a LOT of money but remained very sensible.

Urban-Outfitters-and-TopShop-Vintage

It was great to get all inspired before my Oscar dress challenge this weekend.

I’ve set myself a task to watch the Oscars and then work through the night and the next day to complete a version of one of the most photographed dresses. Wish me luck! :)

Or get in touch if you’re doing the same thing :)

Nicole @ beaufrog

Dressmaking, Featured, Update

This week I attended a sewing class in aid of #WatchYouWasteWeek hosted by the guys at Stitched Up. It was all about raising awareness of recycling and sustainability in fashion.

It’s the first time I’ve given one of these workshops a go and wasn’t sure what to expect. Everyone had a bag of old clothes with them and had ideas on what they wanted to achieve. Me – I didn’t have a clue what to do with my old rags, I’d just thrown a bag together without a thought the night before.

After toying around with the idea of turning a shirt into a skirt or a baggy blouse into a fitted tank, I decided to keep it simple and rescue a skirt out of a badly fitting dress. We only had 2 hours so I got started on ripping the seams.

The skirt already had a row of buttons down the front and two pockets, I just rescued a tie that goes around the waist and created a hem. With time left I turned the top half into a crop top but that turned out a bit dodge, won’t be seeing daylight anytime soon!

In all it was a lot of fun – if not just to mix with other cotton lovers like me. And of course, I have a fab new skirt in my wardrobe that didn’t cost a penny!

Nicole @ beaufrog

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Featured Posts

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

I made an Archer Shirt

I made an Archer Shirt

Fabric Dash Around London

Fabric Dash Around London

Dress to Skirt Up-Cycle

Dress to Skirt Up-Cycle

Make A Pleating Board

Make A Pleating Board

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