Thursday, 29 August 2013

Victoria blazer

What can I say, I absolutely love everything about my latest make!
For a while I had been shopping for just the right casual blazer without any luck, so when I stumbled upon the Victoria blazer pattern from By hand London I thought I'd try to sew one myself.

victoria 1.1

I've always been a bit daunted by the prospect of sewing a blazer because it's one of the more advanced garments to sew. But the Victoria blazer is so cleverly designed that construction is surprisingly easy!
I love how well it fits where it matters around the shoulders and arms, the sleeves are perfection and I adore the cuffs. This is such an easy to wear jacket I can see many more versions in my future!

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Pattern: Victoria Blazer from By Hand London
Fabric: Black suiting with small pin dots and black voile lining both bought local.
Size: 10 UK
Alterations: none

x Leila

Monday, 26 August 2013


Today you're eight years old.
You are growing up to be a bright young boy and I am so very proud of you.
You have a kind and generous heart and a talent for making others around you laugh.
You're smart, stubborn and an excellent dancer.
You still do not like kisses but you tell me you love me often which never fails to make my heart skip a beat :)
I am so immensely thankful that I get to be your mum.

Happy Birthday sweet Hunter!!

I love you more than rock & roll,

xxx mum

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Vogue 8870

I made a dress and I'm not sure if I like it! One minute I do, the next I'm a bit 'meh' about it.

Vogue 8870

I haven't quite figured out where my ambiguous feelings come from exactly because I like the fabric, and I like the style of the dress, and I do think it suits me. Perhaps it's the combination of fabric and  style that makes me wonder how often I'll wear it. Or it could be the lack of proper accesories. It needs a belt and I don't have one that goes well with it. Could it be the length, would it be better without the dropped hem? I'm tempted to chop the back off and make it all one length... Let me know if you have any thoughts on this!

Vogue 8870

Anyway, it was a pretty easy dress to sew which is what I expected from a pattern classed as 'easy'. It has a mock wrap front, raglan cap sleeves, an elastic waist, side seam pockets and a dropped hem. I found this silky soft viscose satin at our local fabric market. Not exactly the easiest fabric to sew with but I've had a little practice and it's worth the extra trouble. You should feel how soft it is!

Here's a few tips on sewing with slippery fabrics:
  • I cut everything on the rug in the living room rather than on the table so the fabric can't slip and slide underneath the pattern pieces. Pattern weights come in handy too, they don't have to be proper pattern weights either I tend to use whatever is in reach. Remote controls and toys work just fine ;)
  • Use sharp thin pins for pinning, this is not the type of fabric you want to use your flowerhead pins on!
  • Use a new microtex needle for sewing I prefer a size 60/8 -70/10. These needles are sharp and thin and leave minimal marks which is good in case you need to unpick a seam.
  • When pressing the fabric I often pin it to my ironing board to help hold it in place. I find this especially helpful when ironing the bottom hem for instance when the dress is constantly sliding off the ironing board.
  • Be sure to test a scrap of fabric to see how hot you can press it and to check if marks left from pinning and sewing remain visible after pressing.
  • I didn't bother with fancy pretty seam finishes. Besides being slippery this fabric frays a lot so I tried to handle it as little as possible and used my overlocker to finish all raw edges.
  • I've read starch can help stabilise the fabric but I did not use it myself so I have no thoughts on it other than I believe it should work. :)

Vogue 8870

Dress pattern: Vogue 8870
Fabric: Viscose satin
Thread: Gutterman all purpose thread
Needle: Microtex size 60/8

x Leila