So that was 2014…

Hi Readers!

 

This is the year end and also the end of my first year of blogging. Thank you to all of you who have stumbled onto my blog and read, commented and liked my posts. It means a lot to me to realise that somebody out there is reading what I have to write about.

Since this is the end of year round up time, I’ll summarise my findings:

What I’ve learned this year -

  • Got better at making and fitting pants – both regular trousers and jeans
  • Made a few muslins of shirts for both myself and the husband – just need to polish up my collars and plackets and make them in some good fabrics.
  • Made lots of active wear – all by Fehr Trade patterns – leggings and tops.
  • In general got better at fitting myself, sewing knits, manipulating patterns to suit my own taste.
  • Spent a shit load on patterns and fabric.
  • Spent very little money on RTW clothing

Plans for next year:

Keep working on all of the above!!

 

 To catch up on the last few months sewing:

I made a list of garments I wanted to make – my Autumn/ Winter list see below:

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I’ve ticked off most of these items – mainly due to the fact I have had very little paid work since Halloween – silver linings! A few have got finished over Christmas since we have been all too sick to eat and in isolation from visitors!! (more silver linings).

 

I decided, after some welcome interactions in the comments on my last few posts that I needed to make a few shirts and trousers for work. Thanks to GC Couture  who recommended the Burda JJ Blouse. I got this to fit with a few tweaks – my usual broad back adjustment. I made it in a chambray that will be great for summer or under a cardigan.

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I also made a shirt from KnipMode magazine, My collar leaves a lot to be desired but Ive found some good tutorials since and think I should be able to improve on my next one. I dont have a photo of the finished blouse but take my word on the collar. Its got princess seams in the front – easy to avoid an FBA ;)

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I got the Grainline Archer shirt during the recent Black Friday sale. Its next on my sewing list (the one in my head). Have to muslin it first but hoping to get it all done before the end of the christmas break.

 

I made pants – I started with the Simplicity Amazing Fit pants pattern and made numerous changes to it incorporating elements of Sewaholic Thurlows and the schedule of sewing of the Jalie Jeans pattern. I made them in the beige stretch cotton and they are a great fit, a bit mumsy looking but will be great for light fieldwork.

I made another pair in navy corduroy but I was a bit short of fabric and cut the legs out in opposite direction, wow – disaster!!!! I’ve learned now never to do this with corduroy!! They will be going in the charity bin.

 

Now I’m working on another pair of Jalie Jeans in dark blue denim. I hope they turn out as good as the pair I made a few years ago, I don’t know why I’ve only recently started wearing them regularly but I now love them. I will post a proper photo wearing them when I get the chance. ( I have finished them and they are comfortable – still need photo).

 

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Just before Christmas, I got some Scuba fabric from Ebay. I made the Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress with it on christmas day. It was a quick 2 hour dress, I’ve already used this pattern to make a nightie (and another on Boxing day) and a few t shirts. I like the raglan sleeves and the neckline on this dress. The pattern placement worked out well and thats purely by accident, I tried to see if I could line it up somehow but gave up.

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Some other items I’ve made since my last post:

Bluegingerdoll Violet dress made in knit fabric from Michael H at the Knit and Stitch show in the RDS, Dublin. I had to take a lot of the fullness out of the skirt as I cut out the bodice first and almost ran out of fabric!!

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Burda Cocoon cardigan in a light sweater knit I picked up at the market in Holland:

 

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My biggest disaster this year was this:

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Burda coat : If i had made it a straight size 42 and not made any alterations like I did (added 1cm to seams, did full back and full bust adjustments) it probably would have been ok! I showed it to my sister as it was like this on the dressform and her initial reaction was uggh…poxy… looks like  a grannies dressing gown! So maybe its just as well it didnt work out :’/

 

Right Now:

As in today, its been very cold the last couple of nights and the shed is beyond trying to warm up so I have brought a few lengths of fabric down to the house with patterns and I am in the process of a cutting marathon. I’ll be ready when temperatures climb above sub zero for a sewing session.

I also intend to make a page of photos of all my 2014 makes. I will aim to do this in January.

To Finish up:

Tis a while since I last posted. After the initial flurry of frequent posting I feel I’ve run out of steam. I started the blog in January of this year and recently I’ve been considering giving up. I actually prefer socialising with the Sewing world by twitter and IG. Or maybe its just a case of the winter blues set in- so for now I will keep an open mind and see what pans out…

Hope you’ve had a good Christmas and best wishes to you all for 2015 :))

Autumnal sewing update

Well. Thanks for the suggestions after my last post – I’ve added a few extra projects to my Autumn sewing plans.  Mainly shirts and trousers to wear while attending site visits and meetings and maybe just for wearing ;).

After being at home / working from home for so long I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing jeans and trousers.  Knit dresses and leggings are my outfit of choice these days.  But after the last six months of regular part time work, I’ve identified a hole on my wardrobe. I put it out there in my last post for advice How to Fix This.  The general consensus was for more trousers and button down woven shirts / blouses.   Probably the two items of clothing I am most afraid of making!!
Anyway the Burda JJ blouse was one of the suggestions so I have muslined it  and think I’ve sorted out the fit.  This pattern is great – just a few cent and it has seam allowances added if thats your thing!
I’ve picked out a chambray for the blouse – which I’ve cut out and started sewing up.
I also have a knipmode shirt pattern I muslined in the Spring that I could also make – I’ve cut it out in some purple shirting I had in the stash.

 

I started muslining trousers – Simplicity amazing fit 2860, I kind of got carried away over the last few days working on these and I settled on the size 16 – average front and curvy back. I’ve drafted front pockets and back pockets based on the pockets from my Jalie jeans pattern so now I don’t know whether to go ahead and cut it out in some beige cotton I picked up for a few euro in the market in Holland or should I muslin again just to be sure??

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In other news I’ve had great success with my first Jenna cardigan by Muse patterns and the buttons and button holes went smoothly not shown here – need better photos.  Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time wrote a great blog post earlier today about her Jenna cardigan. Its really a great basic and has lots of potential with the variations included.

 

So there you have it, I’m trying to stick to the plan even though it may be evolving a bit.

 

The Knitting and Stitching Show is coming to Dublin at the end of the month – I’m looking forward to that. I didn’t buy any fabric there last year – but enjoyed the day out and all the inspiration.

Going a bit off track today

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Greetings. I’m sitting in a wood pondering the week that has past while the boys and friend build a gruffallo trap.

I had a work related meeting yesterday and as usual had the ‘what the hell am I supposed to wear’ dilemma. See I work for myself,  by myself most of the time either in my home office or out on site which can involve mucky fieldwork clothes or site safety gear and weatherproof clothes at best. So nothing very glamorous is required except when I have a day like yesterday.

 

Now with the benefit of hindsight jeans and a handknit cardigan or sweater would have done the job.

But i opened the wardrobe and I got out a tweed a line skirt I would have liked to wear with tights,  purple jeans and my – never before worn in public – navy Thurlow pants.

The Thurlows won out in the end with a portrait blouse and cardigan. I would have preferred to wear the skirt but chickened out. Now I’m glad I didn’t as I was freezing by the end of the meeting.

 

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I’m not a fan of shirts of the button up variety on me and find them a drag to sew even though I muslined a princess seamed shirt earlier in the year. I think it’s the thoughts of all those buttonholes.

So what I am asking myself/ thinking out loud is: what do I wear to these sort of meetings?? I don’t think there is any kind of dress code in my line of work as long as I am clean and presentable.  But I would like to have a few outfit choices I can turn to without sifting through the wardrobe at the last minute when I’m trying to get the boys out to school.
I feel self conscious wearing skirts and dresses in this environment even though I have a few appropriate skirts – a line knee length that would work with cardigans and sweaters. I have one pair of trousers – the aforementioned Thurlows and jeans. My dresses are mainly knit casual dresses and probably not quite right for this job.
So should I be brave and wear the skirt? make some more pants? Muster up a few work appropriate dresses in sombre colours?

All suggestions welcome please…..

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Sewing plans

I’m trying to get back to blogging get more regularly but because I’ve been spending so much time at the computer working the past few months I find it hard to bring myself to do it for fun. I’ve started using my phone to type up my posts whenever I have a few spare minutes and it’s working out great. I typed most of my previous post and this one in snippets here and there.

Let this be the signal to be more productive blogwise.

Ok. So. Sewing plans…..

These were my early summer sewing plans back in June or thereabouts:

Tillys Miette skirt ✔

Made with blue linen but unfortunately have no photos of it and its put away for now!

Sewaholic Crescent skirt✔

Made with tie dyed stretch denim type fabric from Minerva Crafts

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Dixie DIY Ballet dress✔

Made with cheap market fabric from Holland. This dress cost €5. I had to gather a rectangle for the skirt as 2M wasn’t enough, (must go back to buying 3M at the market). I lined the bodice with some nice Black Cotton Lycra from Tia Knight for a bit of support and warmth. I tried gathering the skirt with clear elastic but could not manage it so got some regular thin woven elastic and it worked with much less stress. The sizing I’ve been using to make this dress (my third so far) is small at shoulders, medium at waist and grading out to large at hips. Cos I’m a big pear.

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Hudson pants✔

As last post

 

Julia cardigan✔

 

 

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Made with striped Ponte knit I can’t remember where I got it from. Its a nice squishy soft knit with grey / black stripes. This is my first attempt at this cardi, I didn’t muslin just went ahead and made the Size L. Next time I will make the size xl for a bit more room, this one is quite fitted on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So 5 completed projects wasn’t bad for my busy summer of although 3 of the five were made in September!

I’ve made a list on a whiteboard in my sewing room for my current autumn sewing plans. It looks realistic:

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So far I have muslined the Named Dakota bodice. I like the fit and I’ve discovered Named patterns are designed for taller women. The only fit adjustment I’m making is my usual full back adjustment and in this case raising the armhole a cm.

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I want to make it in ponte but my stash has run out so I’ll have to wait til I feel I can order more fabric. My last credit card bill was a wake up call. I went a bit bananas ordering stuff in August and a lot of bad decisions were made. But it’s in the stash for a rainy day. I will make this dress during October as part of  Froctober but maybe not according to the official schedule. (Depends on fabric shopping ability)

 

I’ve made the purple workout tshirt for my Pilates class over the weekend.

 

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Next up is the Ottobre jacket in a flocked ponte (above) I picked up last spring from Minerva Crafts. A girl in my book club gave me a pile of Ottobre magazines to mind for her (use as i wish) as she won’t have time to use them at the moment. I prefer the A/W issues as the clothes are more practical. There’s a good few items I’d like to make mostly out of one magazine.

So if the day job doesn’t take up too much time and energy I should be able to keep to my plans, it also doesn’t take account of possible deviations like another Ballet dress in fabric I have in the stash for some instant gratification.

 

Anyone out there have any solid sewing plans??

 

Autumnal sewing plans

Well hey there dear readers. It’s been a while but I’m plotting away on my sewing plans for the coming weeks and months. I’ve had a good clear out of my wardrobe after reading Paris Letters by Janice Macleod.  I highly recommend this book, it’s basically a story of how one burnt out advertising executive decided to pack her one suitcase, leave the rat race and end up living a quaint life in Paris.  How she whittled her belongings down to one suitcase and bolster her bank account is inspiring.
Back on planet Maeve meanwhile, during said clearout,  jeans were relocated that still actually fit (yippee), and lots of room was made for new garments to be produced in the little old shed.

So I’ve already made a couple of basic patterns such as Capital Chic sweatshirt and True Bias Hudson Pants.

 

 

The sweatshirt I made from some cornflower sweatshirt fabric I picked up from Minerva Crafts in the Spring.

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I finished the cuffs and bands in midnight ribbing I ordered from Plush Addict. I had also ordered the ribbing in cornflower but it was a few shades off the main fabric colour and I thought the contrast of the midnight colour looked better. The sweater turned out a bit big but is super cosy for wearing around the house etc. If I make it again I’ll make it a size smaller ( I have a striped knit in the stash in mind for the next one).

 

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Hudson pants – I made these in size 16 and lengthened the legs by 4 inches and the crotch to waist by 2 inches. I used a heavyweight sweatshirt fabric also from Minerva Crafts. I ended up taking them down at least one size at the waist and hips. I left the width of the legs as is as I liked them a bit roomy. Next time I will take one of those inches off at the waist.

 

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The seams at the waist and pockets were very bulky and nearly banjaxed my overlocker – I ended up sewing these areas with just the machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Overall I love these pants. They are just regular track pants but fit very well however I’ve been told by my darling hubbie that I should stick to wearing them in the confines of the house. Probably not the ideal pants for my shape but they are very practical and functional.  I’ll wear them to Pilates class and at home.

 

Apologies for lack of me modelling photos but I’ve caught the man flu from hubbie and am really not in the mood for it.
So that’s me caught up with new makes. What’s in the pipeline?? Well check back in later to find out…..

 

For now here is a nice blue sky Irish country scene with bonus dog photo:

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Other business : I will do my Liebster award post soon. Just need to have a think about it.

I’ve not gone away you know!!

Well, Its been a mental few months.

 

Since May I’ve taken on 3 different jobs which have turned out to be twice the work I had initially estimated. I’m self employed for the past 10 years, but due to the recession and having my boys I haven’t done a lot of work in the past 7 years but this year its all picked up again. I’m not used to juggling my full time mother job and my part time paid job. The boys have had school holidays since the 24th June so its even harder trying to get quiet time in the office to get these blasted reports written. My parents have taken them for little holidays which has been great and they can amuse themselves in their lego room in the shed for a while most days. So I am getting there. I seem to be working 6 – 7 days a week though which is getting me down, I mean I’m barely getting 8 hours work done in any one day but it s continuously on my mind and when I’m not working I feel guilty. Its messing with my sleep too and creating all sorts of vicious circles. But, anyway thats my whinging over with.

 

I have started doing a bit of sewing again and this week cut out 3 items I aim to finish before we go on our annual holiday to the in laws in The Netherlands in August. First is the Anda Dress a Burdastyle pattern . I made it a few years ago in a knit but thats gone in the recycling bin. I’m making it from a poly / viscose fabric I picked up in Utrecht market last summer. I love the colour and pattern on the fabric.

Anda dress

I muslined the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt 2 weeks ago and have cut a real one out of a tie-dyed denim from Minerva Crafts.

 

Crescent skirt cutout

 

Lastly I had some cotton floral print I got in a fabric shop somewhere – I thought Id get a Sewaholic Alma out of it but only enough for a Sorbetto, but thats ok I can wear a cardi with it.

 

That will be the sum total of my summer sewing, if I have time later I might do a roundup of everything I’ve sewn. This includes a Sewing Cake Tiramisu, Miette skirt (Tilly) and the Paula Pleat Skirt (Maria Denmark) I managed to sew earlier in the Summer before the crazy work really got going, a pair of burda easy skinny pants – made as cut offs. Sorry have no good photos just snap taken for IG.

Paula pleat skirttiramisu

In other news: Louise from not sew simple has nominated me for a Liebster Award. I will blog this later on when I have time to think about it. Its very exciting getting an award and my little blog is barely 7 months old!!

 

 

And, and, and, after reading a review on ANgela’s Blog I ordered this little beauty, I’ve only had a chance to glance through it but when I get time in the Autumn (hopefully) I’m going to experiment.

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Ok, Back to work, weathers beautiful so I’m going to skive off for the afternoon and bring the boys to the lake for a dip!!

 

Hope you are all enjoying your summer…