Bowling shirt ::The great British sewing Bee::

BowlingShirtFront1

Are you familiar with the program “The great British sewing bee”? If not, I encourage you to take a look. I have to say that it motivated me a lot on continuing sewing. The program is smart and educative. In each program there is a history section on fashion, sewing machines, fabrics, … interesting facts that I didn’t know! What I liked the most is that I realised how little time it takes to finish a garment. Full lined jackets in 8 hours, t-shirts in 2 hours, …. If I could sew this fast, I could make a full new wardrobe in a matter of weeks! For me finishing a project takes weeks.

As a present I was given the second book of “The great British sewing bee: sew your own wardrobe”. The book has nice pictures, explanatory graphics and a good command of the fabric.

GreatBritshSewingBee

One of the first projects I tried is the Bowling shirt. The shirt has two front bust darts and two back dobule-point darts. As the shirt is not super fitted to the body, it was really easy to sew the four darts.

BowlingShirt-GBSB

I used a blue dotted fabric (polka dots) for the body and contrasting yellow fabric for the neckline and cuff. I like the combination of colours. A nice cheerful colour block shirt.

BowlingShirtFront

What I found a bit odd was the number of buttons required. The pattern calls for 9 of them just for the front. I am not really fun to make buttonholes, my machine has a 4-step buttonholes which is fine. However, I find it hart to make totally identical holes. So I decided to use less, I used a total of 6 in the end.

BowlingShirtSleeve

BowlingShirtBack

This bowling shirt was a perfect present for one of my aunts that loves blue. I am determined to sew one for me. Hopefully I will show you soon!

Many kisses for my lovely model!

Pattern review:

Bowling Shirt :: The great British sewing bee::

Pieces: 5 (front, back, sleeve, collar and cuff)
Darts: 4 (two front and two back)

Rating (1-5): XXXX
Level: beginners
Sewing time (hours): 2-2.5

In few words: quick and easy to put together, 
loose-fitting.

Tote bag :: Ted Baker copycat ::

TedBakerHearder

This is the first post related to the copycat section on this blog. I am happy to announce the tote bag inspired by a design of Ted Baker. My goal was to make a hard tote bag to carry books and other stuff to class. So the size is such that a sheet of paper fits length wise.

 

TedBakerComp

On the left,  you can see Ted Baker tote bag with its lovely flower print. The background of the fabric and leather strap colour is black. In my case, I chose a fabric that had a blue background and I got a blue faux leather for the straps and borders.

When I was buying the faux leather, I was concerned about the weight that the bag had to carry so I chose the thickest and hardest I could found. However, I didn’t account for the fact that my sewing machine could not take so many layers at that thickness. Sewing the edges of all the bag was a real pain. I had to help the machine to get going. And since the faux leather is made of some sort of plastic, the holes from the needle remain. Believe me, I didn’t want to make mistakes.

TedBakerInside

This is the inside of the bag. The inside was up to me, I didn’t add the same pocket as in the original. In my case, I added this big pocket to fit pens in a contrasting fabric and another pocket on the opposite site to have easy access to cards. For the hard look, I used a thick fusible interfacing all over the bag and I added a plastic layer to the bottom. Now I can carry heavy books and the bag retains its shape.

TedBakerPattern

I really like the fabric. It is a combination of red, brown, yellow, white and golden dots with a blue background. The bag is really easy to combine thanks to the combination of colours.  For the fastening clips and the strap rings, I reused them from an old bag.

TedBakerOpen

The part that took me a lot of time to finish is the straps. I am not happy with their final result. I attached them in a hurry at some point to be able to wear the bag. If they break, I will have to think of a better way to attach them and make them more secure.

Overall, I am happy with the result. I love this bag and I use it almost everyday!

Y blouse :: Stylish Dress Book ::

YBlouse-SDBYBlouse1-SDB

Recently I bought four books on Japanese patterns in English. One of them is the Stylish Dress Book #3, see below. Some of the patterns are really cute and I like the pictures, simple and minimalist.

StylishDressBookAs you can see, the book has already colour tags on pages with patterns I want to make. I will post them in due time. This book has a nice combination of dresses, pants and blouses. Each pattern has an alphabet letter, so it gets quite handy to find the pattern in the pattern sheets.

YBlouse-SDBThe first patter I tried is the Y blouse you see above. This is a crossed blouse with a bow tie to join both pieces. Each sleeve is made out of two ruffled layers. Although I liked how it looks in the picture, I wanted a softer ruffled sleeves. For this reason, I choose a blue chiffon with multi-colour dots.

YBlouse1-SDBI have to confess that the pattern was really easy to assemble. The book contains nice graphics on how to do things but I guess that it is not for beginners. The instructions are on the short side so you need to have an idea on what to do.

I could have finished the blouse in about two hours but my choice of fabric didn’t help to speed up. I am not used to sew with slippery fabrics. To solved it, I used extra amount of pins to secure better the fabric and it worked perfectly well.

YBlouse2-SDB

One down side of this blouse is that you need to wear a tank top. While wearing it, I realised that the V-neck gets quite low so I am considering to add an extra pin to secure it in place.

By the way, I found an interesting site where you can see how sewers have made the Japanese patterns you want. If you want to see pictures of the Y blouse I made, click here http://japancouture.canalblog.com/tag/280-y.

From this book, I am thinking that my next project should be this G dress, see http://japancouture.canalblog.com/tag/280-G. Which is the pattern that you like most from the Stylish Dress Book #3?

First post

Hello readers!

after a long time thinking, I have decided to start a blog about my sewing projects. I hope this pushes me to finish sewing projects because I am eager to hear your opinion and comments. Also I am one of those with a box full of meters of fabric and a pile of patterns to test. So by writing this blog I hope to speed up the process of creating my own wardrobe.

My sewing experiences come from a long time back. While living with my family, I was always surrounded by sewing. My mum has made many fancy dresses and in her early times, she also followed tailoring courses.  My grandmother sewed all her clothes in her youth and she made me many wool sweaters. I remember my first real sewing project was a long time ago. In 2006, I sewed a bag for my first laptop and to carry papers. I used my mum machine, an old Singer!, (which in reality was from my grandmother). Later I did small projects but nothing serious.

Last year I bought my first sewing machine, a Janome Jem Gold plus, and since then I am sewing pieces of clothes for me and the people I care for. As I have a “fancy” sewing machine, those people give me little jobs like shortening trousers, arranging zippers, buttons, … I believe you also have experienced the same, right?

Janome

Why do I want to sew my own wardrobe? There are two main reasons. First, I want to personalise my wardrobe and have unique things. I want to be able to choose my own prints, patterns and styles and also have pieces fit to my body rather than Prêt-à-Porter. Second, I want to appreciate clothes differently. With current prices of garments and production quantities, people consume lots of clothes without regard.

If you started to sew your own clothes, do you shop for your clothes in the same way? My answer is No! Now when I go to a store I check every seam, cut, button, hem, fabric quality, … Most of the times I come home empty-handed thinking I can sew that better, would fit me better and with a better fabric.