Friday, 8 April 2016

Exciting Spoonflower announcement for European fans!

Most of the sewing community have heard of Spoonflower, the brilliant US company that prints your designs onto high quality fabric and ships it out to you, wherever you are in the world.  But UK customers can sometimes come a cropper when ordering goods from outside the EU, as parcels can get held up at customs, or even be "held to ransom" until the UK buyer pays a sometimes hefty customs charge.  Nightmare!

Spoonflower have addressed this issue by now shipping fabric from Berlin for European customers.  They are also adding VAT at the point of sale, to prevent any additional charges being added on by customs.  This is fantastic news, and will make it easier than ever to accidentally order a few metres of fabric with your pet's face all over it, to make into a dress.  Just me, then?

Read all about it on the Spoonflower blog.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The best kind of Easter present!

Since completing the overlocker course with Layla Totah at Guthrie & Ghani in March, I have really been getting down to the exciting business of sewing with knits - almost on an industrial scale! 

The first garment I sewed was a simple shaped t shirt out of floral waffle ponte roma in a lovely autumnal pink and taupe that I ordered from Abakhan.  It's still in stock if you like the sound of a textured stable knit fabric.  I sewed it for my mum for Easter, as she prefers clothes to chocolate!

Floral waffle ponte roma t shirt
Above is a photo of my mum wearing her new top whilst visiting friends in Australia.

She was so pleased with it, she wore it several times on her trip, and told me that she received compliments when she was wearing it.  So, for her wedding anniversary (38 years!), and to say thank you for her picking me up some lovely crepe in mustard and teal whilst she was in Australia, I decided to order more of the fabric, in the other two colourways Abakhan stocks, and make her two more tops.

Turquoise floral waffle ponte roma top
 Above is the top I made using the turquoise colourway

Cerise floral waffle ponte roma top
And finally, here is the top I made in the cerise colourway.

This fabric was so easy to sew with.  It's very stable, but with a good stretch with great recovery.  However, it is a poly spandex, so don't make the same mistake I did and accidentally melt the back of the neckline of the first top whilst trying to press it!  Luckily it was only a small area, and because of the style of the fabric it isn't obvious unless you run your fingers over it.  I still couldn't believe I'd done it, though!

Abakhan have currently got lots of fab jersey fabric in stock, in lots of fun prints, as well as solids, so they're well worth a look if you fancy sewing up a quick t shirt for spring.

Have you sewn any "basics" that you're particularly proud of?

Monday, 4 April 2016

A houndstooth Coco dress

One of my favourite patterns, Coco by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons, is a quick and easy make for stretch fabrics.  I have made a couple of sleeveless versions previously (as yet unblogged), but this time I actually managed to buy enough ponte roma to make a version with sleeves!  This houndstooth ponte roma is lovely and soft.  I can't remember where I got it from - possibly Minerva Crafts.

I used my overlocker (utilising my new found overlocker skills!), and so the whole thing came together really quickly.  I included the funnel neckline and cuffs on the sleeves.

Funnel collar - and look at the pattern matching!

Inside the sleeve

Overlocked and straight stitched hem

 I cut a 3 at the bust and waist, grading out to a 5 at the hips, and it is an easy fitting fairly smart dress for work.  It's also super comfy.  I suppose I could have cut a size 2 at the shoulders and waist, but as I wouldn't want to go any smaller than a 3 at the bust, and I am far too much of a lazy sewer to grade in and out and in and out, I can deal with it as it is.

Houndstooth Coco dress

If you haven't yet tried sewing a Coco dress - why not?!  It's a really easy dress to sew, and can be sewn on a normal sewing machine (my first two were both sewn on my basic Brother sewing machine).  Hop over to Tilly and the Buttons, and snap up a copy of the Coco pattern.  You won't regret it!  The instructions are really clear and easy to follow, so if you don't have much dressmaking experience, you don't need to worry.

I love the quick makes that offer almost instant gratification.  What's your favourite instant pattern fix?