The first make of 2016!

Back in October, I outlined some of my Autumn/ Winter sewing plans. Two of the items I wanted to make were out of this gorgeous Liberty Sweatshirting (on the right – the cream fabric is poplin, and will make a gorgeous summer dress!!):

I bought this gorgeous, snuggly fabric with two items in mind:

  1. Seamwork Astoria for keeping me warm (and chic!) at work.

I made this back in October. It was a really quick and easy make! I think the whole thing took me about 3 hours.

I made a straight size medium. I’m really happy with the fit, but I think if I made it again, I would use a slightly stretchier fabric, as getting the waist over my shoulders when I put it on is a little challenging! I’m mainly worried about stretching the fabric out over time.

It’s really lovely worn with a high-waisted pencil skirt for work – I can only wear it on really cold days though as it’s really warm! As it’s a cropped jumper, I wouldn’t wear it with anything that wasn’t high waisted usually (unlike in these photos), as I wouldn’t want to get my tummy cold!! πŸ˜‰

Here it is ‘styled’ with my old jogging bottoms:

@colettepatterns #astoria nearing completion!

A post shared by Hannah E (@cinderellissews) on

Which brings me to my second project from this fabric:

2) New jogging bottoms!

My old jogging bottoms were getting very, very tatty and worn, with holes developing around the waistband and cuffs and the fabric was generally getting a bit thin. I decided it would be good to start my 2016 sewing with something I would wear a lot over the year, so this got bumped to the top of my list! I had originally thought I might make the True Bias Hudsons, but I really fancied making them on Sunday, and couldn’t be bothered with taping together the PDF, so I went for a little experiment instead!

As my old joggers were destined for the fabric recycling bin anyway, I decided to cut them up to use as the pattern for my new ones. They’re a very simple pattern, just two one-piece legs, with a seam on the inside leg. I traced the leg onto paper, then added seam allowance and an extra inch at the top to allow for the elastic. I cut the pieces out, and had to do a bit of wiggling and trimming to make everything fit together nicely. I also tapered the legs in about an inch at the ankle.

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Sewing these up took around 2 hours – with around half that time spent faffing around rethreading my overlocker! This fabric is fantastic to wear, but my overlocker was not overly happy with going through 4 layers of it at once (probably 2cm of fabric). Between the jogging bottoms and astoria, I broke 3 needles!!!

I sewed the inside leg seam, then the crotch seam. I then overlocked some wide elastic to the waistband and hem, before folding it over and stitching in place on my regular machine! Unfortunately, as I was stretching the waistband elastic out, it seems not to have pinged back to its original size, so the waistband is a little looser than would be ideal. I’m too lazy to change it now and it doesn’t bother me too much, so that might have to be a future fix if it does get annoying!

They’re designed for lounging so are not the most glam item ever, but they are so comfy and cosy, perfect for sitting at home in the winter – I love them!

I probably won’t ever wear these two together, but it’s certainly a statement, right?

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What have you been sewing so far?

2015: A stitching round-up

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing and fun end to 2015 and are excited about things to come in 2016! Before I get too involved in my new sewing plans, here’s a little round-up of my sewing in 2015:

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The last make of 2015 – another Lottie blouse, finished about half an hour after I was supposed to arrive at a New Year’s Eve party…

In January 2015, I made a Re-sew-lution to give up Ready-to-Wear clothing, instead choosing to sew, refashion or buy second hand. So how did I do? Well, I confess, I did buy a few things. BUT I didn’t buy anything I could have easily made myself! Other than the exercise kit and undies I got (which were allowed), the bits I bought were two cardis, a pair of jeans and a smashing new suit… For the cardis and jeans, they’re both within my skill set (I think), but it’s a challenge finding the right fabric. Until I can get my mitts on some decent denim and sweater knits, it’s going to stay that way! As for the suit… I needed something smart for interviews, and didn’t fancy adding to my stress levels by making something!

Although there were times this year that I didn’t feel like I was sewing that much, I still managed to make a huge number of items – 31 completed sewing projects in total!!! Here’s a summary, in a colour-coded pie chart πŸ™‚
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So, as you can see, I was pretty busy! Most of my projects have been on the successful end of things, but there have also been some failures:

Hits of 2015:

Seamwork Mesa Dress (made here, and twice here)
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I love every version of this I’ve made, and they’ve all been worn a lot already. It comes together really quickly, and is very, very wearable. I see many more of these in my future!

McCall’s 6696 (made here and here)
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This is a complete contrast to the Mesa when it comes to sewing it up – it’s a long project, with lots of detail! But, that makes it a very satisfying thing to make. I love the fit and style of this dress, and have several fabrics earmarked for this in the spring/ summer.

Colette Laurel (Version 1, Version 2)

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Another repeat offender πŸ˜‰ This is a fairly quick project, and it’s one where the fabric can really shine as the lines are so simple. I’m a recent convert to wearing this silhouette – it always makes me feel very glam and put together! Again, there are more of these in my future.

Simplicity 2444 (unblogged)

This was my Christmas dress for this year – I wanted a pretty dress for all the parties and dinners! I made it a little bigger around the waist than I would normally to accommodate all the extra seasonal food… I’m hoping to make it again for the summer, and will probably reduce the ease a little for a slimmer fit. (Photo taken mid-way through construction – the finished version also has sleeves, but I failed to take a picture when it was done! Sorry!!!)

Misses of 2015:

Though there were lots of successes this year, there were also some projects that didn’t quite go to plan…

Lady Skater Dress

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Ahhh one of my first makes of 2015! Sadly, this was also one of the first knit projects I did, and I made a fair few rookie mistakes when I was making it. The fabric did not have very good recovery, meaning it would stretch out over the course of the day. I also found that the half-circle skirt clung to my hips/ tummy in a way that I didn’t really like. The combination of less than perfect fit and bad technique meant that I didn’t enjoy wearing this dress, so it went to the big laundry bin in the sky. BUT, I did at least learn a lot from it!

By Hand London Anna

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The fit on this was never quite right – it’s a little tight across the shoulders, but loose in the front. Like with my Lady Skater, the fabric is also not the best. I could do with re-visiting this and trying to crack the fit, as it’s a lovely pattern. This version has gone to a new home, but maybe 2016 will be more successful for the BHL patterns in my stash!

Sewaholic Granville (unblogged)

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This was a traumatic make! Almost everything that could go wrong went wrong, and the end result is wearable, but far from perfect. There are several things I’m unhappy with – mainly the fact that the collar is completely wonky, but I’m giving this shirt a chance to see if I’ll wear it more in the spring.

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers (Unblogged, unphotographed, awful)

I really wanted to make Trousers happen in 2015… but failed. I actually didn’t think that the SOI trousers were that bad as far as fit, etc. but I chose a completely rubbish fabric which sagged almost as soon as I put them on. As I was still trying to get used to seeing myself in trousers, this was too much to cope with, so off to Oxfam they went.

Plans for 2016

I’ve got some exciting ideas about my sewing for 2016, but this post is already long enough! More details to come soon πŸ™‚

What are your project hits and misses from 2015? Thanks for reading!