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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Me Made May 2016 - my pledge

I, Alex Howard of and @adventuresinfabric on Instagram, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one me made item each day for the duration of May 2016

How exciting - my first Me Made May!  I've been keen to take part for a couple of years, but life and stuff has got in the way of me participating.  I'm really looking forward to the challenge and will let you know how I get on x

Monday, 25 April 2016

A new wardrobe staple - the Susie blouse

The Susie blouse pattern was released as a pdf pattern only last month by Sew Over It. Having had success with the Joan Dress and the Ultimate Pencil Skirt patterns, I bought it straight away. It's a pretty versatile pattern with three sleeve lengths that can be worn for work or more casual with jeans. As the pattern was on special offer, I treated myself to some lovely cotton lawn from Maud's Fabric Finds to make my first version with. 

The one downside (and I think it's quite a big one) is that it is only sold as a pdf.  I used to buy pdf patterns when I first started sewing to save money, until I realised I would happily pay a few extra pounds to save myself the hassle of printing, cutting and sticking together with sellotape. It took over an hour of my precious and limited sewing time just to get the pattern together. Once I'd finally done this, I was unsure about which sleeve length to make, so I asked Thomas (age 4).  He was very clear that I should make the long sleeved version, so that's what I cut. 

I found the fabric lovely to work with, as I have with other cotton lawns from Maud's. The blouse is a pretty quick project with no fastenings and only darts at the bust. I ended up having to fold and hand stitch the facing together at the v-neck as it kept poking out, even though I followed instructions. The long sleeved version includes a cuff at the wrist, so involves slightly more sewing than the other versions, but not much. 

When I first tried this on with jeans, I felt like the body was too baggy and was actually unflattering. However, I tried it tucked in to a pencil skirt and loved it. My Mum and Sister have also recently made versions of the Susie blouse, and they said the same. I will definitely be making again, probably as a work wardrobe staple, but I'd try it in the next size down to wear with jeans. 

Here is the finished result:

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Birthday presents - the Anya bag

There are a couple of people with birthdays in April who I wanted to make presents for this year. I bought the Anya Bag pattern when it was released before Christmas by So Zo. Although it was a bit late for any presents last Christmas, I thought it would be the perfect make for quite a few people I know. I love the retro styling and the fact it doesn't use much fabric. 

I bought some fabulous and ridiculously cheap fabric last time I was in Ikea specifically to make a few of these bags. I hadn't intended to even look at the fabric there and Gareth was amused that I had found yet another place where I could add to my stash. I've got some black cotton lawn I bought ages ago with a project in mind (I can't remember what now), but never got round to making it so its ended up being lining fabric for quite a few other projects and I used it again for this. 

I cut the pattern out including the button tab twice (to make two bags), and earmarked two buttons from my collection for the closures. The fabric was really thick and I found it hard to sew straight lines as the grain of the fabric kept distorting the stitching line. For this reason, the button tabs ended up looking awful and I decided not to use them as they are optional anyway. 

I really enjoyed sewing this bag as it was a pretty quick project and the instructions were clear - an ideal make for a present. I'm pleased with the end result, I hope the two lovely ladies I've made these for like them too. 

I'll definitely be making more of these - they don't use much fabric so can be a great stash buster and the bag is a good size so very practical. Here is another pic which gives an idea of the size: