Archive | January, 2013

The Betrayal

26 Jan

Today is Saturday, I am off (bar an hour of flute teaching in the morning, but that’s nothing.) That makes Saturday a good day.

What makes Saturday a great day?

Pattern Post!

I went all out and finally bought the ever-popular Simplicity 1803. I have coveted this pattern for so long, but buying a new pattern for a tenner is like eurgh, compared to some of the pattern bargains I’ve had.

Anyway, I decided to go for it and finally make the dress I’ve been planning for aaaages.  I was a little disappointed- stupid postman ripped my envelope 😦 Luckily the pattern itself was fine. I opened up the envelope and look at this little treasure!


This was such a cute addition to the pattern and not one I’ve seen mentioned when reading discussions about the pattern elsewhere. Here’s a closer view:


I’ll be honest, it’s not something I’ll use since I already have a sketchbook with design plans in, but since the pattern focus is on ‘Project Runway’ I thought it was cute that they thought about the user designing their own clothes rather than using a pattern straight out of the envelope.

Then, after the instructions and the naked model were taken out of the envelope came the tissue. Ah. Remember a couple of posts ago when I said I hate pattern tracing. Sigh.

My Nan always told me to trace the patterns onto tissue paper or greaseproof paper, NEVER EVER CUT THEM OUT!!!

Nan, I’m so sorry.


It’s not my fault! I didn’t have any tissue paper left, nor did I have enough greaseproof paper and why trace just some? I couldn’t possibly have left it and missed out on a whole weekend of sewing, could I? You wouldn’t want that, Nan, would you?!

So my pattern is all cut out. I can’t start sewing the dress however as I have a whole load of business-related sewing that I absolutely must do before I do any fun sewing. 😦

Perhaps I didn’t need to cut the pattern out after all…


The floral knit

25 Jan

Ooo I’m being a bit updated this week aren’t I?!

So long, long ago I promised you I’d made something in my floral jersey that I got 3 yds for £5 at Walthamstow! I did make something, and then I made an additional something so it seems only fair to share it all in one big share fest.

Actually, what I made is kind of ‘boring’ in sewing terms, but I just wanted something I could lounge about in and feel comfortable but yet sling on some kind of footwear and feel comfortable wearing it to work. And so it became this:


Wonky of wonksville!

Looks a little plain, no? How about a bit of beltage?


Now that’s a look I can go out in. The former is perfect for lounging in though.

And then I had about maybe 0.5-0.75m of fabric left. And I squeezed out this:


Another comfortable little number and it really jazzes up a plain white t. Oh, and check out these pleated sleeves guy!


Both were made from adaptations of the patterns given in Sew U Home Stretch.

Speaking of patterns, check out my latest eBay hauls:

DSCF8528 DSCF8529

Total for both: £4.39


I love eBay! And whilst the envelopes may look  a little tatty, the insides are perfect


Well, perfect for patterns hailing from the 70s!

They’re a little small so will require grading up a size or two which I so cba to do yet, but they’ll turn into something someday.

Oh, can you tell I charged my camera batteries?!!

Black Swallows Dress completion!

23 Jan

Woo! Another post!!

I’m going to post a disclaimer now: I am not good at posting regularly. Actually, correction, I’m not good at taking photos. IF I took photos more often I would blog more often. SO, if you’re one of those people that needs a post every Tuesday at 12pm this blog is not for you!

Onto the actual post then shall we?

I finally have photos of something I completed! Or, photo rather.



The pattern is Eliza M’s Daisy pattern , which may I add, I got on eBay for £2.75 OH YEAH!!!! I’ve used this pattern so much because it’s just so versatile- just a basic dress pattern that can be adapted to so many other things. E.g, the collar I added to this one (pre-bought, on eBay 😉 ) which I think adds just a little ooh-la-la to what is essentially a black dress. I am, however, going to unpick and restitch the collar because silly me didn’t pre-wash it and it shrunk meaning it’s a bit out of shape.

Anyway the pattern has proven its weight in gold if only for the circle skirt pattern. I know it’s like one of the beginner, really simple, sewing for dummies things to sew but having a pre cut pattern piece for a circle skirt that automatically fits is just so time saving!! And all for £2.75 😀

The other good thing about this dress pattern is because it’s so simple it’s very easy to grade up and down to get an absolutely perfect fit.

(I promise I am not, nor do I work for Eliza M!)

I would also like to post another disclaimer: The mannequin is for display purposes only. I picked her up at a shop that was closing down but she’s a couple of sizes smaller than me so all my clothes look baggy and don’t photograph well. However, we’ve already waited two weeks for a photograph so let’s be thankful there is one at all!! .

I thought also randomly you may like to hear about a murder mystery party I recently attended. I am female. My character was a man playing a masculine woman. So I was a woman playing a man playing a woman who likes to pretend she’s a man. WTF?!!!!

Here’s how I turned out, along with Mark who was playing a French poet.


Would you be surprised if I told you I was the murderer?!

5 things I hate about sewing.

4 Jan

I know, this is a sewing blog right? So why am I bitching about something I love doing?

Because there are just some things about sewing I don’t like. These are as follows:

1. 5/8″ seam allowances.

Are you shitting me? 5/8″?! That’s like a whole metre of fabric a year that I’m wasting with poxy seam allowances.

Let’s remember that I used to not do commercial patterns, I used to draft my own. Let’s also remember that my main sewing consists of sewing pet beds whereby I again create my own patterns. My general seam allowance is 6mm- I just measured it. Sometimes I even do a 3mm allowance but absolute maximum, and this is only if I have a lot of layers, is 1cm. So imagine my surprise when every single commercial pattern I’ve bought has a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Just for reference here’s the difference in seam allowances:


Crazy! Who needs 5/8″ anyway?!

2. Pattern Tracing

This is one I know a lot of you will share; pattern tracing. I just hate it. It’s a dichotomy really, here’s the scenario:

Pattern comes through the post. My reaction: WOOOOOOOOOO! New pattern! It’s so prettiful, I can make so many wonderful things.

*I have to trace and cut it first*

Shit. Nah, I won’t bother.

Said pattern will then sit there for a few weeks whilst I remake other patterns because you know half the work is already done.

This is one of the many reasons I love buying patterns dirt cheap off eBay. People price them low because they think it’s not in pristine condition because they’ve already cut it, but that is an extra selling point for me because now I don’t have to. Woohooo!!! Precut pattern for 99p? Yes please!!

3. Hemming

This is also an odd one. I quite like slip stitching- to me when I finish slip-stitching a garment is well and truly finished. Except that unfinished hem hanging off….. let’s not talk about that.

I have so many UFOs and they are UFOs simply because they need hemming. Everything else is completely done but this blasted hem. I’m not quite sure why I hate it so much- it might link back to my pre-machine days when I had to hand-stitch the hem. Yes, hand.stitch.the.hem.  :O

4. Ripping seams open

I know, I know, technically this one’s my fault, most of the time. But the thought of having to rip open a seam can make me put away a garment for a few weeks, seriously. All that hard work just destroyed and not only that but it’s long! So long. Speaking of which I just had to rip open two darts 😦 You’ll hear more about those darts in a couple of post’s time, they’ve been nothing but a PITA.

5. The expense

There’s no way around it, sewing is so damn expensive! Even with my £1/yd fabric each dress is working up to about £8. Yes, ok £8 is actually a bargain for a well-fitted dress but that’s a rare occurrence to get fabric for £1/yd.

I usually limit myself to finding stuff on sale for around £4/m. So that dress is about £15. Occasionally I’ll splash out on something for £7/m (ooo, the luxury!) now we’re talking £20+ just on materials.

Then there’s the cost of electricity, machine repairs, servicing, rulers, new scissors, patterns, new rotary blades, pins and the cost of having to have a 2 bed house when you live only with your fiancé. Sewing is expensive!!

So now I sound like a whiny bitch. I do truly love sewing- hey if I didn’t love it I couldn’t bring myself to make a business around it. I don’t have a business around y’know, tennis or some shit because I don’t enjoy it. I would just enjoy it a heck of a lot more if these things were obliterated.

Happy New Year!!

1 Jan

Happy New Year everyone!
Hope you all had a fantastic New Year party/shindig/quiet night in. Whatever you decided to do I hope it was the absolute shizz.
Mark and I spent New Year with some family, played board games etc. Turns out I know more about Harry Potter than I thought. And I can name 3 things in a random category in 5 seconds.
Only, however, when I have been drinking it seems. When we played this a couple of days ago and I was stone sober I was sucky at the game, but add a couple of Crabbies and I’m in.
You know like that episode of Family Guy when Peter can play the piano?
Anyway, speaking of drinking, I thought my anti-sobriety would be a perfect opportunity to use a crummy phone camera and take photos of my most recent make. The pattern is McCalls 6503 in a navy polka dot cotton. It fitted me nicely when I first made it a couple of weeks ago but Christmas indulgence has made it a bit snug 😦
Before you scroll down please be aware that these are not pretty photos. You have been warned!

My serious face.


Nah, who am I kidding- it’s New Year. Rave! 20130101-020501.jpg

Look at the cute pin I picked up off eBay


In other news- remember that floral knit I got from Walthamstow? Well that’s been sewn into something. Just got to hem it. Stay tuned and have a fab 2013!!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

Sybil Q knits

going wherever yarn goes...

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

The Sew Convert

This is my blessed life. Family. Sewing. Travel. A simple blog by a sewing convert.

Sew Busy Lizzy

she sews by the seashore...

Tanit-Isis Sews

because my fingers itch...

male pattern boldness

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

A Makeup & Beauty Blog - Lipglossiping

One girl's rants, reviews and ramblings on eclectic cosmetic discoveries and high-street hunting.

Handmade Jane

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Rittles and Bittles

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Frocks & Frou Frou

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

The Dressmaking Diaries

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Vixen Vintage

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Tilly and the Buttons

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Did You Make That?

Leading UK sewing blog where we believe creativity is contagious