Double Vintage

I dragged my Mum round some vintage shops in, Stockport, the town where we were brought up a few months back and picked up some vintage paisley silk feel fabric. I got 3 metres for £9, which was a bargain.  I stashed it for a bit and then decided to return back to my 1970s Maudella dress. I love the fabric, the colours are so Autumnal.

Like last time,  I missed the collar out and put the zip in the side instead of along the front, which is much neater,  I might add. I graded it down slightly in the waist, as I felt I needed it last time.
I also made the sleeves a little larger just to make it more comfortable and I made them a bit shorter.

It needs lots of ease in the sleeves, but I like the effect.
It was the first dress for my dressmaker dummy too, which was fab to use, it made the hem length really easy. I have named her Suzie. I did the hem a bit longer than last time so it falls below my knee, not Suzie’s, she doesn’t have knees!

That’s it! I love this super quick make and I’m really pleased I chose a vintage pattern for my vintage fabric! I wore it to have a minichino with my lovely niece!

When your photographer is 5 years old

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Statement Collar Vintage Blouse 

I have been enjoying stitching up some modern patterns recently like My Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress and My Simplicity Christmas Dress but I fancied going back in time to some more vintage makes so I had Vintage Butterick 5601 dated 1969 in my stash. It has a blouse,  jacket,  trousers and skirt within it but I was eyeing up the blouse,  which has a proper statement collar!

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I made no changes or adaptations to the sizing of the pattern, considering it is a vintage, although it is a bit snug at the hip. There are lots of darts,  which I quite enjoyed putting in. The fabric is a thicker,  floral purple chiffon from my local market and was surprisingly easy to handle.

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 I shortened the sleeves as I didn’t want to have the big puffy ones the picture shows. I also used binding instead of facing, which I do as much as I can get away with,  though I have started making friends with facings more recently!

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I love the fact that it is a zip back blouse instead of a button front.

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And I absolutely love the collar, it’s like a pussy bow blouse but really chunky so it looks more like a cravat. It’s fab.

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I haven’t had chance to wear it yet but I’ll post some pictures on instagram @emmaandhermachine and twitter @emmasmachine when I get chance to!

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Blogger Recognition Award

Today, I have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by two people; Green Eye Crafts and  Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I Made It, who I love chatting to and does a great Designer Copying Competition, which I’ll be entering soon!

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I am really pleased to have this because I haven’t been blogging long. When I first starting blogging, I didn’t expect a community which was so expansive and welcoming and I’m really pleased to be part of it; being able to chat and get inspiration has fuelled my passion even more. I don’t know anyone in the human world who sews and this was the reason I started blogging.

My advice for new bloggers is to get involved, everyone loves a comment on the blogs they have taken the time to write. Secondly, be yourself, people are much more likely to like you!

Some of my favourite blogs are: (sorry there isn’t 15, I am not that established yet!)

Jenny of Crafty Sew and Sew in Dorset

Megan of Pigeon Wishes

Sewing a la Carte

Rosemary of Thimble and Threads

Jenny of Today, Jenny Stitched

It’s Always Autumn has some fab ideas!

Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea

And I love being part of The Monthly Stitch

If those I’ve named choose to participate, the rules for receiving this award are as follows:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

Please don’t feel obliged, it’s only a bit of fun and I’m sure plenty of people have seen things like this before, I just wanted to join in as I’m so pleased that people have thought of me! My usual Friday post will be up tomorrow!

The Overture Set

Following the successful make for her birthday, I wanted to make a dress for my sister for Christmas, she has a very different style from me but when I saw the Overture Set which came with Issue 20 of Simply Sewing Mag a few months a go, I knew that would be the one.

The Overture Set
picture from Simply Sewing Mag site

I bought this amazing silk feel fabric from the sale at Abakhan and I thought it would be perfect for this as the dress looks nice and floaty. I read through the instructions before I cut the pattern out and was very quickly overwhelmed, I had never done a collar before… I was in two minds, one said, try it or else you’ll never learn, the other said, you’ll never be able to do that. I went with the latter I’m afraid folks and decided to leave the collar out. I might have tried it if it hadn’t been for a gift but I want it to be lovely.

The fabric, whilst beautiful, was an absolute PAIN to sew. I haven’t done much work with slippery fabrics like this and what a nightmare! I had to use about a million pins and even then I couldn’t be sure that another piece of fabric was slipping in from somewhere… It also slipped off my desk constantly too.

It was my first time working with a yoke and that was even  more difficult because of the fabric. I don’t think I did this right because the seam allowance looked a mess… so I used a bit of bias binding to hem the seam allowance on the yoke. It looks quite neat now but I need to learn how to do this properly. I have since watched this video on how to sew a yoke by Sew Over It and I think I’ll be able to do this next time! I used it more successfully in this shirt for my brother.

I was tempted to also ignore the pockets but as I blatantly cast aside the collar, I felt I best try these at least. I did have to unpick two of them completely though because I lined the wrong notches up but I was determined by this point. The pattern comes with really good instructions on how to insert the pockets whilst maintaining the French seam, which was really useful to learn.My next challenge was the arm hole binding and the hem. I wanted a neat finish that would not look bulky or ruin the flow of the dress, this is really tricky on silky fabric so I used a black ribbon as I thought any other binding would be too restrictive. The neckline doesn’t sit as perfectly as I would like,  I maybe need to consider using facings next time.

I also used a thicker black ribbon to bind the hem, which is longer at the back than the front.  I thought it would make a neater finish and I was right because I do feel it is neat and quite modern looking.
Overall, it’s got a lovely shape,  thanks to the pleat in the back,  which is a great feature, and I was pleased with it. My sister loved it and says she can’t wait to wear it on her holidays, but for now I had her pose in front of Mum’s Christmas tree for me! (last of the Christmas pics now,  I promise!)

Pockets

Mini Dungaree Dress

A couple of months a go (Sew Saturday in October) I bought some of the Michael Miller Magic fabric range with the intention of making a dress for my niece. I love this range, the fabrics are so pretty and bright; perfect for little girls. The lovely lady in the shop told me a metre would do one of the pillow case type dresses you see for little ones but I wanted to try something different.

She loved the dungaree set I made in October so I decided to make one similar but draft it myself… I used a circle skirt pattern by I Think Sew because I didn’t feel confident drafting one myself after my last one didn’t fit. I did draft the waist band though as I wanted to put elastic in the back to make it child friendly and comfy.  I measured her waist… and her height and her head and everything else she insisted I measured whilst I was at it. I’m 168cm if you’re interested! I then added 4 inches extra to the measurement needed for the back piece to allow for the elastic and gathered the skirt slightly to fit.

I then used the Sunday Set pattern by Cotton and Chalk to draft a tiny version of the top half and the straps. I was going to do a pocket but I literally used all this fabric!

It all came together nicely. I used French seams as I wanted it to last and everything else was stitched right sides together and then top stitched once turned out. I hate hemming circle skirts though so I made a binding out of the tiny bit of fabric I had left so I had a neat finish.

I finished it off with some bright green buttons,  anything pastel just seemed too blah… I added some buttons holes and I was done. I think it is the cutest thing in the whole world and I wrapped it with some white tights…  It’s winter after all.

She loved it and wore it to our Boxing Day party, gorgeous or what?! She’s easily my favourite model! 

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Sorry for the Christmas themed pictures but I needed to share this… It’s just so sweet! 

Mine,  all mine, Ultimate Shift Dress 

This is my second shot at the ultimate shift dress from Sew Over It, the first being for my Mum. It’s a great,  easy pattern so I wanted one for myself. I know from making my Mum’s that it is tailored for quite a small bust so I referred to the Sew Style Bookazine,  I have because I was featured in it, to take the pattern out to account for my chest or an FBA as I have since learnt. 

I made it in denim,  which I bought because I haven’t used denim yet but it has a brilliant white embroidered lace detail on the bottom of it. I knew I wanted to use it for the hem, so I cut it to make the most of the pattern. I also made it a little longer as I wanted to embroidery on my knees, not above them. I only used it on the bottom and cut the sleeves from the rest of the fabric.

The dress goes together really easy and there isn’t much else to say apart from, check out the amazing bit of pattern matching I have managed to do on the lace…  Yay!

I wore this for New Years Eve. We don’t do anything big,  just a chilled night of games and food at my sister’s.  This dress was perfect for it,  lovely and snug. I cinched it with a brown plaited belt and my brown brogues with a blue beaded necklace. I’m definitely making more of these! 

I probably shouldn’t mention that the new denim turned my skin bright blue, even with the pre-wash… It was even worse than washing off the New Year I spent dressed as an alien (don’t ask)!

After watching many YouTube vlogs by Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It,  I was sold on trying out the ultimate shift dress. She says it’s great for stiffer fabric and also fabrics with big prints so I bought some lovely grey with white lillies,  which is more of an upholstery fabric but I just love the colour and thought it would make a really grown up and smart shift dress for my Mum for Christmas

I feel really proud of this make for a few reasons, one because it all came together so well, all the notches lined up and I didn’t have to make any changes.

Two because it was the first time that I have really flown through a pattern and the instructions without having to look things up or getting confused,  which I think shows how much I am improving; all the practise is paying off!

Thirdly, look at my fabulous facings…  I wanted to try them as I know the shift dress has quite a smooth look and I didn’t want to ruin it by using binding.   This is quite literally the first time facings have EVER worked for me.  They sit nice,  they pressed nicely and they joined really well at the split in the back. I don’t know if this is because the pattern is fab, the fabric was so easy to work with or because I’m just getting better,  either way, I’m chuffed to bits with my little shelf!

That’s all there really is to say about the dress,  which has a really simple construction. I intend to try a top version of it, possibly in a light denim I’ve just gifted myself for Christmas. I have also just bought some ponte roma with poppies along the edge so I can try using a fabric with design for my next try at this so watch this space!..

My Mum loves it, she said it is really smart and she is going to wear it when we go to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in January! (our gift from my sister- exciting!)

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The back lined up great too, I managed to keep the pattern direction going.

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I also put this lovely, cute little ‘made with love’ label in.

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A plethora of pressies.

I don’t really think doing a round up of my blogging year will be worth it as I only started in September but I’m loving it and hope to continue. I’m offering a quick round up of my handmade presents instead. 
I love, love, love Christmas! I usually start thinking about it pretty much as soon as I get back to school in September. Therefore, I’ve spent the last few months sewing and making pressies for my amazing family without being able to blog about them or show anyone.

So here is a round up of this year’s pressies:

Personalised Calendars: I found this fab photo calendar template from It’s Always Autumn and set about making it pretty much as soon as it was released. I did one for my husband and one for my Mum, using lots of fun pictures and trying to roughly match them to months. So simple and super smart looking.

Patchwork Infinity Scarf: This was something I wanted to try for a while. I made gorgeous infinity scarves for my Sister-in-law and cousin following the Patricia Infinity Cowl Tutorial.

In the tutorial she uses fat quarters but a few of the pieces I wanted to use were fat eighths so I matched up some fat quarters and just cut those in half. It’s a simple but really effective make, which allows you to chose different fabrics to clash and compliment each other. As I made this for Jade, I was thinking of her style and colouring as I put it together. My cousin LOVES foxes so I got some super cute Fox fabric for hers.

Cork Christmas Tree: last year I made my Mum a Christmas tree from wine corks. My sister loved it so much that she asked me to do her one. The pair of us collected corks all year (such a hardship!) and I used a polystyrene cone and my trusty glue gun to stick them all in place. I then glued some red beads to add to the festive feel. If you wanted to make something like this start saving NOW. I’ve used 41 corks and it’s only a small cone!

I also made a fab book Christmas tree for myself,  which was so easy to make and used the inside of my Pride and Prejudice I used to make a book clutch earlier in the year.

Recipe Tea Towel: I shared this make back in November but it’s so cute, I thought it was worth a mention. It’s a tea towel made using a hand written recipe and a patch work binding for my Dad and his wife.

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Graces Pyjamas: I made these Sew Simplicity Children’s pyjamas for my niece in a super cute pink gingham. I made two at the same time and customised them using  pockets, buttons and iron on letters. The patterns as super easy to use. For more on these click here.

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Hot Water Bottle Cover: I bought some super soft grey faux fur fabric to make the hot water bottle cover that was in Issue 23 of Simply Sewing Mag. I used a purple cotton with lavender print for the stag’s head applique. This was a really quick sew but messy, furry fabric malts like crazy as you sew it. It’s a lovely, snuggly gift for my mother-in-law though.

Overture Set: I made this Dress for my sister; it’s the Overture set from Issue 20 of Simple Sewing Magazine,  the style is very her.  I love that I’ve been able to make her something proper to wear, it was a complex make and I will blog about it soon. 

Shirt for My Brother: This was easily my most complex and proudest make ever. I loved giving a present that I knew I had really put blood, sweat and tears in to. For more information on the complexities: click here.

Ultimate Shift Dress: I made this Shift Dress for my Mum. It is so smart and fits her a treat.  I loved working with this pattern and was really pleased to make something personal for my wonderful Mum. I’ll blog about this (and a selfish make shift dress) soon. 

Mini Dungaree Dress: I self-drafted a Dungaree dress for my niece using some beautiful mermaid fabric by Michael Miller, she looked so cute in it.  Making small clothes is so quick and easy.  She’s always guaranteed a home-made pressie! I’ll blog about this soon too! 

I also make some more PJ bottoms,  some in red poppy for my friend and some in blue checked brushed cotton for my father-in-law, who has put an order in for more! 
I think that’s it for my round up of Christmas presents. I’ve really enjoyed giving my family the things I have made and everyone has been so lovely and pleased to receive their gifts. It was stressful though, especially the shirt…  Best start on next year’s now. Happy New Year everybody!! 

 

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