Lovely Lucia

This is actually the first thing that I managed to  sew after the arrival of little Toby, but it’s been waiting for the collaboration post on Minerva crafts to go live.  I decided to start off with something simple to ease into sewing in small doses- the Sew Over It Lucia.  This was made with some soft touch jersey from Minerva Crafts, so you can see the full blog post over here.

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I’m glad I chose something with so few pattern pieces.  This has just 3- a front/back, the sleeve and the frill.  Cutting out is my least favorite part of sewing so having just a couple of pieces let me get on with the sewing, rather than spending lots of time on the parts I don’t enjoy so much.  I think the finished top will serve me well into the autumn and winter too.

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It’s also great to be fitting some of my other clothes again! I’ve been wearing this top with my Moss skirt which will also be a good year long combo with tights and boots.

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Coming soon…

No new post today I’m afraid, but I do have a sneaky preview of a collaboration post coming on Tuesday.  This is actually the first bit of sewing that I did after Toby was born, so I’m glad that I chose something really simple.

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I do have some thoughts on sewing in a more limited time frame, so hopefully that will be a blog post on it’s way soon.  I have to say though, it is so lovely to have some time to just be me, rather than ‘mum’.

Post pregnancy sewing

During the last weeks of my pregnancy I didn’t want to stop sewing, but it didn’t seem very logical to keep sewing for my bump.  Instead, I thought I would start trying to sew for after the birth, though it was tricky to decide what size to make.  I thought that the best solution to that problem was to make something which could adapt as my size changed so I went with the Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt, which has a wrap waist and tie so it can be tied tighter or looser as required.

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This sew was made with fabric from Minerva Crafts– a lovely linen like blend of cotton and raime.  To see the full review and more pictures, head over to the Minerva Crafts blog here.

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I’ve also been wearing my handmade espadrilles a lot in this warm weather, especially as my feet seem to have swollen a little during pregnancy.  Read more about them in this post here.

Prym Espadrile Soles

Special Guest Post- Family weddings: Simplicity 1653

This is something very exciting for me- I get to introduce you to Ellen my cousin-in-law!  We took the opportunity at a family wedding to take some pictures of Ellen’s fantastic handmade dress.  I’ll let her tell you all about it…

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Hello, I’m Ellen and I’m delighted to be writing a guest post for Naomi Sews!

Our husbands are cousins which means that Naomi and I share a wonderful extended family. We live on opposite sides of the country, so we tend to see each other at big family occasions. I’ve been completely inspired by Naomi who, in the course of teaching herself to sew, started turning up to every family celebration in a beautiful, handmade outfit! Her enthusiasm and her blog have encouraged me to take my own sewing from straight lines (cushion covers and quilts) to the next step of dressmaking.

After I had sewn a few garments, we received an invitation to a family wedding and I was determined to have a go at sewing something to wear. It was a spring wedding with an outdoor ceremony by a lake, so I needed something that would work with layers for warmth, and would also be able to withstand any sudden gusts of wind!

I’m a big fan of wrap dresses so I went for a ‘mock’ wrap dress: Simplicity Amazing Fit Knit Dress 1653, which came free with Sew Magazine. The dress has a wrap top with a tie but a fixed skirt, so you get the nice ‘wrap’ shape without the potential for the skirt to fly open when it gets windy. I chose some navy and ruby jersey fabric from Sew Over It – it is pretty but very stretchy, and I think I may have over stretched it at times as there are parts which became slightly see-through.

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I prefer to use indie patterns as I like the instructions and the quality, but the Simplicity Amazing Fit collection is a real gift as it includes a variation of cup sizes. This meant I didn’t need to do my usual FBA adjustment so it made the process quicker than usual.

I had already taken a sewing class with stretch fabric to make another wrap dress, so this wasn’t the first time I was sewing with jersey. My Singer sewing machine belonged my mother before I was born, which means it is older than I am! It’s still going strong but it doesn’t have a stretch stitch. I used a jersey needle with a long zigzag stitch and it seemed to work well enough, although an overlocker or a sewing machine with a stretch stitch would have looked neater.

The dress was reasonably straightforward to sew and came together surprisingly quickly. My main issue was working out the direction of the pleats in the wrap tie section – I did them back to front the first time around. This may have been more to do with me than with the clarity of the instructions.

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The neckline comes down quite low and I didn’t have time to make the navy camisole I was planning to wear underneath it, so I ended up wearing the dress with a safety pin to avoid over-exposure. This shifted the neckline a bit but I decided it was better than the alternative! I have since made a camisole using the brilliant pattern from So, Zo, What to you Know which is a definite improvement on the safety pin.

The wedding was beautiful and the dress worked really well outside – a normal wrap dress would have been problematic. I got very positive comments from our family as well as from Naomi herself, who asked if I would like to write a guest post. She and Matt took me for a photo shoot during the wedding reception and we had a lot of fun. 

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Double-duty Dressmaking

This post comes slightly out of sequence because it has just gone live today on the Minerva Crafts blog. When I was offered some of their John Kaldor jersey to test I thought that this floral pattern was just beautiful and the drape of the fabric is great. At the time of sewing, my sewing time was a little limited because I had assignments to finish so I decided to combine a couple of different plans to make maximum use of my limited time.

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This pattern is the maternity hack of the Sew Over It ultimate wrap dress, a pattern which was one of the first to make it onto this blog. Sew Over It provide instructions to hack the standard pattern pieces into an empire line so that is can be fitted around a bump. I also sized up to a 12, rather than the 8 I made before, as I’m hoping to be able to use this dress for nursing, and I’ve changed size at the bust too. The flutter sleeves are another hack, so look back to my post from Sunday to see what I did, and the tutorials that I found helpful.

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This dress is also my entry for this years #sewtogetherforsummer community challenge, which involves making any wrap dress. I participated last year with my Alex shirtdress, and I’ve enjoyed seeing all the different patterns, inspiration and lovely dresses that have been made.

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Anyway, to see the full blog post with all the construction details and final photo’s head over to the Minerva Crafts blog. I’m hoping to keep getting plenty of use out of this dress once baby arrives- hopefully it will be practical for throwing on when I don’t have time or energy to work out what to wear!

Sneaky early preview!

This week’s post will be arriving slightly later than normal because it is another collaboration with Minerva Crafts and is only due to publish on their website on Wednesday.  I’ve been so exited to share this make though because I really am loving wearing it in this more summery weather, and I feel very sophisticated in it!  Full details on the blog later this week, but for  now I’ll show you the bit of pattern hacking that I did to create these lovely flutter sleeves.

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This pattern started out as the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress, one of the first patterns that I blogged about.  The dress has full length fitted sleeves- not very summery so I decided to make a few changes! Firstly, I worked out approximately how long I waned the sleeve to end up by holding it up against me, and I just traced off that much of the pattern.  There are some great tutorials online, and I followed this one on craftsy, and also found this one on sewing pattern review helpful.  You can see how the finished pattern piece looks very different to the initial one, but because none of the sleeve allowances or seam lengths have changed inserting it works exactly the same as before.

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I wanted to keep the sleeve looking light and airy so I didn’t want a heavy hem weighing it down.  It made it a great reason to use my overlocker’s rolled hem function which is much more dainty, and a very quick easy way of finishing a curve.  I think I will be using this sleeve hack again over the summer- the sleeves are just so lovely.  They aren’t restrictive or hot, but keep your shoulders covered when out in the sunshine!  Pop back on Wednesday to see the other changes that I made to this pattern.

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Wendy Ward book review and the Kinder Cardigan

This weeks blog post comes to you a day early as it is part of a collaboration.  I was given the chance to review and make something from Wendy Ward’s new book in coordination with Minerva Crafts.  As part of their book tour, lots of lucky sewing fans were given a chance to test out the patterns in the book with some of their fabrics.  I chose to make the Kinder cardigan in some great quality ponte in a muted ‘Denim Blue’.

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The book has loads of options for modifying the included patterns, and lots of good advice and technique.  I particularly liked how well drafted the patterns are, and how the construction process is really thought through to give a neat and professional finish.

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My full review is on the Minerva Crafts blog here, so check it out, and the reviews and makes by some of the other very talented bloggers.

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These Photos were taken quite a while ago, and I have got quite a bit bigger since then, but this cardigan is still going strong in my maternity wardrobe.  Versatility is always a winner.

 

 

 

Seamwork Paxton

It is a little unusual for me to be sewing for someone other than myself, but I spotted this teal dogtooth quilted jersey on Minerva Crafts which I thought would be perfect for Matt. The Seamwork Paxton sweater was one of my make nine plans for this year, and so I’ve sewed one up.

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It feels good to be making progress on some of my sewing plans! This is the third of my patterns ticked off my make nine list. I’ve already written about my Seamwork Oslo, and Megan Nielson Amber. Three from nine at this point in the year is looking good!

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The full review of my Paxton sweater and this fabric is up on the Minerva Crafts blog, so check it out here. Matt seems happy to be the recipient of some sewing goodies for a change, so that feels good too!

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Blossom Dress

Today I bring you another fabric test for Minerva Crafts.  If you have been reading my blog for the past couple of months you may have seen this fabric before in my hacked Anna top.  Well this is the main project that I used it for, a Sew Over It Blossom Dress.

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The full write up is over at here on the Minerva crafts blog, but I thought I would share some personal news with this post because the sewing social media followers among you might be thinking “but isn’t that a maternity pattern”.  Well it turns out we are expecting a new addition to our family sometime at the end of May next year. It has altered my sewing queue quite a bit to include some of the new maternity pattern releases from Sew Over It and Tilly and the Buttons, and a couple of hacks of other patterns which might be adapted for a growing belly.

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These pictures were taken a few weeks back when I was only just starting to get a bump, so the exaggerated dipped front hem is quite a bit long still.  I didn’t want to alter it though, because I’m hoping that this will be something I can wear right through until May, and perhaps alter it then to be less pronounced.

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Hacked Anna Top

I missed last month’s project SewMyStyle– the Hampshire Trouser.  I do plan to make them at some point, and I have some cotton twill prewashed and ready, but October ended up being a very busy month!  November though is a little less crazy, and I’ve managed to be a bit more organised.  The project for November is the Anna dress by By Hand London.  I don’t really have a need for a more dressy dress this month though, so I did a bit of research about how else I could use the pattern.  This is what I came up with- I found a really lovely pattern hack for a top.IMG_1353The pattern hack involves shortening the bodice a little so that it is empire line, and then adding a circle skirt.  The circle skirt calculator is really handy here to work out exactly what to cut.  I went with a half circle skirt, but kept the length a bit longer than I expected to need, because I wasn’t sure what length I was going to want it.  I ended up keeping all the length though, because this is really lovely at almost-tunic-length!IMG_1403The fabric is a beautiful self lined polyester crepe in a colour called aubergine.  I was given it to test by Minerva Crafts, and I managed to get this top out of the remnants of that project.  You should be able to see the end result of my main project in a couple of weeks.IMG_1364In the meantime, I will say that the fabric is lovely.  The colour is rich, it drapes and it seems quite resistant to creasing, which is a little irritating when pressing up small hem allowances, but is actually very handy in wear.IMG_1381This top is for me a great reminder to look beyond the styling, and the functionality of a pattern and look at what really matters- the cut and the lines.  I think I will have to look through my pattern stack with new eyes looking at what else I can hack to serve a new purpose.IMG_1341I have reached the point in the year where no matter what, I’m not going to be temped to take photos of short sleeved garments outside- hence the layering t-shirt, but I actually like it like this too.  It makes a put-together, slightly glam top more everyday wearable.IMG_1386