I have been craving a jump suit for ages. I don’t know whether it is the 70s / 80s retroness or the ease of which it is to wear but I have wanted one. And when I want something this badly, then I know I have to make it. Of course I have no idea how to make a jumpsuit, but that is what the internet is for isn’t it.
Firstly I searched for the style I wanted. I settled on a shirt top with flowing trousers, and I wanted to make sure that there was no middle seam around the waist. Then I had to figure out what type of material was appropriate. The internet told me a woven material and so I listened and order 3 yards of black cotton knit fabric. Then I stared at it for a while as the weeks went by. Finally I decided to do it, I had a weekend all I needed to do was cut. Once I start to cut I know that I won’t stop until I have made at least something.
I lay on the fabric to get an idea of length and know from trouser making that you need some extra fabric for the bum and what type of shape that is. I also knew that I would need 4 pieces for the trousers and so I folded the fabric in half and cut. I cut straight up for the top as I figured I would shape that later once I had got the trousers together. I tacked up the trousers outer seam and sewed up the inner seams, tried it on, it felt ok and pined the top together a bit. I then tacked up the outer seams up to the arm holes and the back, then pinned the shoulders so I could get an idea of the shape. Once I was ok with that I sewed those seams.
Then I watched a lot of youtube videos.
I learnt how to sew the button fastenings for the front of a shirt, I learnt how to sew a collar and I learnt how to sew cuffs. The main thing I learnt though is that I had very little fabric left over from my three yards at the end. I attached the arms and made a belt and refitted the side and back seams a bit and put in some pockets. I love pockets and try to put them in everything, it is so much more practical when you are actually wearing the garment. And so it was finished. I lost the belt though, so have a temporary one until I can order some more material to make new one. I am immensely proud of my creation and can’t wait to wear it out.
In order to get me to come to the wood store, my husband offers me the chance to also go to this tiny indian fabric shop between an overpass and a main road. I have been twice so far, each time there is no one there except the lady behind the counter. I fight my way pass the shelves full of colourful bracelets and matching necklaces and earrings sets so sparkly I am momentarily distracted from my main mission. But there at the back of the shop are floor to ceiling bolts of fabric, in this small space I spent a good hour discovering the many beautiful options available.
When I saw this pink shiny fabric with large flowers all over it, I wanted it so badly I practically threw the fabric at the lady to cut it.I am a sucker for pink, I LOVE IT! The colour came to me later in life, I don’t ever remember wearing pink as a child. It is incredibly delicate as it is woven and so soft. I knew immediately I wanted to make a dress, I ummed and erred a lot over the shape and I settled on this one, to be honest I wanted a swisher skirt but I cut the fabric wrong for that, I will just have to do it on the next dress I make. I decided to a visible zip on the back of the dress to tone down the shininess a bit and of course put pockets in, I love dresses with pockets. It is now a staple in my wardrobe, perfect for the autumnal weather.
I ordered some flannel by mistake, well I say by mistake I knew it was coming but I thought it was going to be a flat cotton that I could make some summer shorts out of. I am quite excited by “city” shorts. Well really anything I think I can get away with wearing at work. To be fair to my work they really are very lax about what we actually wear, I might take it a little far sometimes though. In DC it is hot in the summer and I am a firm believer to dress as appropriate to the weather.
Anyway here I was with grey and purple plaid flannel and there was only one thing to do with it, I had to make it in to some pyjama bottoms. Luckily I had order 2 yards which it turns out is just enough material for pyjamas if you really fit the pattern in. This is the sixth pair of pyjamas I have made two pairs were for other people with various levels of success. With these ones though I think I have mastered it. The only thing I forgot to do was french seams.
I sewed these in 90 degree heat which seemed a little crazy at the time, now however the summer heat has finally broken and I can finally wear them without feeling like I am sitting in a sauna. The flannel is incredibly comfortable and I love the colours and the pattern. These are going to be perfect for the coming autumn and I can’t wait to cosy up in them on weekend morning sipping my coffee and faffing on the internet.
A tutorial is on its way for making these pyjamas.
For a long time I have altered clothes to fit me. Mostly because I love a bargain and in general when I get clothes from charity shops, markets, consignment stores it is more for the fabric than the item itself. The consignment shop near me has a $2 bin which is ridiculous for a magpie like me. I am in there every weekend trolling for bargains. The top that I altered here was just a cheap buy from a store. I liked the idea of the holes and how I can put really colourful tops underneath which will show through. It is also grey and apparently I love grey at the moment as it seems to be the colour I am dressing in everyday (it is very easy for work).
I didn’t like the shape of this top/dress so I simply chopped the bottom off and did a quick sew around to hem it again. I found that the bit I had cut off was quite large and so I hemmed that too and am going to wear it as a scarf. I am quite pleased with both of them.
When I moved to the US my now husband made sure I had two things, he was actually quite insistent. The first was a bike. I used to bike everywhere in Bristol, London and Nottingham, it is my favourite mode of transport and I really missed my silver blue Raleigh racing bike when I left Nottingham. The second was a sewing machine. It turns out he knows me rather well. These are in fact, aside from my camera, my two favourite things in the world.
We searched on craigslist for both and there was a huge amount of choice but the one that really stood out was the Bernina. After a quick email we hopped in the car exchanged some cash and I came home cuddling my new sewing machine. I have had it now for 7 years and it has been wonderful. A few weeks ago I realised that my machine had come with lots of different feet. I have only ever used 2 feet that came with the machine, the straight forward #1 straight stitch and the #3 which helps to put in invisible zips. I couldn’t imagine what the other feet were for.
The internet of course came to the rescue and wow, what a revelation. It turns out these feet do amazing things. Amazing! I have tired a few out and they have changed my sewing life. It turns out my machine can pretty much do anything and everything. I have a top stitcher, an invisible hem foot, an appliqué foot and a button hole foot. I am so excited to use them on my sewing it is incredible. In order to remember how to use each foot I will make a little tutorial for myself and post it up here when I have done it. For now though I am going to revel in how amazing my machine is and what it can do!
Over christmas last year I made my first ever pair of trousers. It was a bit of trial and error and there was quite a lot of tittering from my family due to the material I chose (it was very much like something my granny might have created something out of). Finally I figured out what to do and I have become rather addicted to making my own trousers. I love being able to dictate their shape, and have become keen on very narrow legged trousers of late.
A lovely lady at work had some amazing yellow chord trousers which I have been craving ever since, however I have the material but chord is hard and so I wanted to make another pair first as a practise pair. I bought some remnant material from my favourite fabric store ($2.99 a yard!) and got to work.
The material is woven and I think cotton, there is a nice amount of stretch in the fabric which made fitting the trousers much easier. They were a little pyjama like when I first tried them so I decided to put polka dot ribbon down the side. The bottom of the trouser leg has zips so that I could make it narrow and still get my feet in and the fastening at the top was my first ever fly. More about that in a later post. These were pretty successful and I think I have the confidence to chop the yellow corduroy and get making pretty soon!
Hello! My name is Annie, I have started this blog to document my sewing adventures and as a reminder of the exciting things I am learning. I was blogging at nimble fingers and steady eyebrows with my lovely friend Laura for a good few years, but just as she did, I finally decided to break out on my own. She now blogs at circle of pine trees , a beautifully written and fabulously photographed blog I am sure you have all popped over there but in case you haven’t do take a look, it is the stuff dreams are made of.
This blog is going to focus on sewing, all things sewing, well and maybe some knitting if I ever pick up my needles again. I have grand plans when it comes to things made and more often than not they work out, sometimes it takes a few adjustments though. I am not really one for patterns, for one thing, I don’t know how to read them and for another I tend to get bored and just go off on my own anyway. I love the act of creating, I love the challenge of construction and more than anything, I love to make my own clothes, they fit, they are in fabrics I adore and I feel so happy when I am wearing them.
I hope you enjoy the blog, I love chatting about craft related things and am looking forward to documenting this new journey.
Oh and as for the name, well, I really do try to be a smart sophisticated dresser but really all I want to do is drape myself in colourful pom poms and dance about in a tutu.
*some fierce modelling poses (I do smile I promise) and some of the clothes I have made so far.