Sew Over It (not) Silk Cami

Sew Over It Silk Cami

You know that misconception that people who don’t sew have that sewing your own clothes is really cheap? Well this is one of those examples where it is true! Sew Over It’s Silk Cami only uses a tiny amount of fabric so I managed to scrape this project out of the scraps left over from my recent Kimono project. I also received the pattern free with a recent issue of Mollie Makes magazine (issue 44), the magazine is still on sale if you get in quick or you can purchase the PDF pattern from Sew Over It. The fabric is a John Kaldor polyester so not a silk (as suggested by the pattern name) but it has the required drape to work with this pattern.

Sew Over It Silk Cami

I love quick and easy sewing projects. Due to not having enough fabric left to cut out facings I actually simplified this pattern even further, scrapping the facings in favour of rolling the edges of the neckline and armholes and hand-stitching in place. I’ve actually developed a bit of an addiction for hand-stitched hems lately, everything I make is getting a hand-stitched hem at the moment regardless of how necessary it is. I’m going to claim this is due to hand sewing being relaxing, but it may also be due to the fact that I can do my hand-sewing while sitting on the sofa in front of the TV as opposed to having to walk all the way upstairs to my sewing machine…

Sew Over It Silk Cami

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Sew Brum Meet-Up: Raffle Prizes

During the SewBrum sewist meet-up taking place on Saturday 04th October we’ll be holding a raffle to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. The raffle will take place in the afternoon at Guthrie and Ghani in Moseley. Lots of lovely companies have generously donated prizes and I thought it was about time I showed them all off.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

OK, so Singer have donated a sewing machine! This is the Singer Talent, model 3321.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Simplicity have donated three patterns (1755, 1696, 1873) and their Simply the Best Sewing Book. I’ve seen great versions of all three of these patterns online, including Amy’s version of 1755.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Quadrille have donated both Great British Sewing Bee books.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Have you been reading Love Sewing magazine? They have donated a subscription to the magazine which features lots of dressmaking patterns.

The magazine also features a certain meet-up in their current September issue!

#SewBrum Meet-Up in Love Sewing Magazine

buchanan

Gather have donated a paper copy of their hot-off-the-press pattern the Buchanan dressing gown. I’m looking forward to seeing this pattern made up and I’m totally crazy about the artwork. (Image courtesy of Gather).

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

SewOverIt have donated two paper patterns, the Betty Dress and Ultimate Trousers. I’ve seen loads of great Ultimate Trousers popping up on blogs lately.

Hepworth-Back-Illustration

Hannah from Sinbad & Sailor has donated a Hepworth Dress PDF pattern. Have you seen Winnie’s lovely versions of the Hepworth? (Image courtesy of Sinbad & Sailor).

craftsySpotLogo

Craftsy have donated enrolment on a class of the winner’s choice. There are plenty of sewing classes to choose from – have you been reading Tasha’s recent reviews of a number of Craftsy classes?

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Abby from Blue Ginger Doll has donated a paper copy of the glamorous Ava Jacket pattern. Andrea made a very cute red version when the pattern was released.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize
#SewBrum Raffle Prize
#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Clover have donated three sets of sewing supplies. Each set includes: Magnetic Pin Caddy, Seam Ripper, Wonder Clips, Flower Head Pins, Bobbin Tower, Thread Tower.

I really love the magnetic pin caddies, especially in pink. Maybe I’d leave less pins lying around for Phil to sit/step on with one of these!

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Tuttle have donated two Japanese sewing books (in English) by Sato Watanabe. Basic Black which features a wide variety of patterns and Stylish Skirts which features a multitude of skirt patterns.

Pattern-Workshop-Logo1

Lauren Dahl  has donated a course enrolment to Pattern Workshop. I’m a Pattern Workshop student and highly recommend it if you have any interest in designing sewing patterns.

#SewBrum Raffle Prize

Prym have donated a sewing box and whole host of sewing accessories to fill it with.

dungarees

Pauline Alice has donated three sewing patterns of the winner’s choice. Perhaps a chance to try the new Turia Dungarees pattern? Pauline recently posted a round-up of some of the Turia’s that have shown up online so far.

Tickets for the raffle will be sold on the day at the SewBrum meet-up. To join us for the meet-up sign-up here.

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Hot Pink Kimono

Kimono

I’m very happy to be back at home after spending a week away for work. I read Christian Dior’s autobiography recently and he wrote that the best thing about travelling is how much you appreciate getting home. I misquote but that was the jist. Travelling regularly for work (I currently travel around once a month for varying lengths of time) does mean that work doesn’t get boring, but it also eats into your personal time & plans. I do manage to get some knitting done when I’m travelling (i.e. on the plane) but rarely get time to sew so I’m planning to make up for it this weekend while drinking lots of tea and catching up with the tv I’v missed (I’m looking at you Project Runway, Great British Bake Off & Masters of Sex).

Kimono

I’m also hoping to get chance to wear this kimono I completed a couple of weeks ago. It would be perfect for a stroll around the park if the weather cooperates. I got tempted by all the amazing kimonos I was seeing on other sewing blogs, so I made this using the Elle Apparel tutorial. It was a classic case of HAVING to make something that, until then, I never knew I needed! By Hand London have also recently posted a great kimono tutorial but the Elle Apparel tutorial suited my fabric better as it allows more flexibility on placement. This is a John Kaldor polyester and is a border print – I wanted to make sure I included the blue border at hem of the kimono.

Kimono

This was a very quick project but I took a little extra time hand stitching the hems while relaxing on the sofa. Hand finishing hems is such a perfect task for lazy evenings/afternoons while watching tv.

Hopefully there will be a few more warm days in the UK this year when I can wear it. If not maybe I’ll slouch around the house in it – it will certainly be more glamorous than my usual hoodie.

Kimono

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Better Late than Never Myrna Cardigan

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Sooo I started on this Myrna Cardigan by Andi Satterlund around May when Andi and Lauren announced their Outfit Along, and finally finished it at the beginning of August after the OAL deadline. I was a bit worried when I kept reading other bloggers saying it was a very quick project as I certainly wasn’t all that quick getting it finished!

It is only my second knitted clothing project (my first was my Owls jumper) so I’m not too concerned – I’m sure I’ll pick up speed with a few more projects under my belt. The other thing that slows me down is that I do most of my knitting while travelling. When I’m at home I tend to pick a sewing project. Most of this cardigan was knitted on planes and trains.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

It’s not perfect but I’m happy with it and the fit is fine. Phil is more of a perfectionist than me (which wouldn’t be hard as perfectionist isn’t a term I’d use about myself), and the first thing he said when I showed him the finished cardigan was that the buttons are wonky! Yeah, they are but they’re functional and life is too short in my opinion. On the plus side they have gold anchors on them:)

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

The wool used is the Women’s Institute brand wool now being sold in Hobby Craft stores, in Teal. The buttons are white with a gold anchor design and were purchased in the Birmingham Rag Market. The little necklace you can see in the picture below was a present to myself from Oliver Bonas.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

To strengthen the button band I attached ribbon to the reverse using this tutorial by Lladybird. It’s worked really well to stop the cardigan front stretching out.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

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Sew Brum Meet-Up: Interview with Lauren Guthrie

Are you signed up for the SewBrum meet-up taking place on 04th October yet? If it seems like an age since I first mentioned it on the blog that’s because it has been! I first posted about it back in July as I couldn’t wait any longer to break the news, but the meet-up is now almost upon us. Over 60 people (listed here) have signed up to attend so far.

On the day of the meet-up we’ll be meeting in Birmingham and (after a trip to Birmingham’s fabric shops) travelling by bus to Moseley Village, home of Guthrie & Ghani (On a side note Phil is finding the thought of 60+ sewists taking over a bus highly amusing…). If you haven’t visited Guthrie & Ghani before the shop is absolutely gorgeous and there’s been lots of exciting things happening at the shop this year – including becoming Liberty Art Fabrics stockists back at the start of the year and the impending release of Lauren’s book Learn to Sew with Lauren on 01st September.

Want to know more? Well you’re in luck as Lauren Guthrie found the time to answer a few questions:

Lauren Guthrie

Thanks for inviting me over to your blog for a chat Charlotte. I’m so excited for the Sew Brum meet up in October and to welcome everyone to the shop!

Could you tell us a bit more about Guthrie & Ghani?

I opened Guthrie & Ghani with my husband Ayaz in April 2013 after spending just over a year completely renovating the building the shop is in.
We stock an ever-growing collection of beautiful fabrics including cottons prints, jerseys, wools, ponte romas, viscose, and Liberty Tana Lawn. We have loads of deliveries of Autumn/Winter fabrics in September too!
We also stock hand knitting yarns and a huge selection of Prym Haberdashery, threads, bag hardware, indie patterns, books and magazines.

A lot of meet-up attendees won’t have visited Moseley before. Could you tell us why you decided it was the right location for the shop?

Moseley is a really lovely little suburb of South Birmingham. We are just in the centre – called ‘the village’ – and there are lots of really lovely cafes, bars and restaurants around.
The area has long been known to have creative vibes and lot of creatives from artists and photographers to actors and musicians all love living here.

Could you tell us about the shop team. Who will customers meet when they visit?

Including me, Lauren, we have Lucy, Vanessa and Rachael who work in the shop. Occasionally Ayaz, my husband, helps out too and tries to chat the chat. Try asking him a technical question just for a giggle – he always does his best to get down with the lingo!

Guthrie & Ghani

There are so many great fabric / pattern companies, how do you decide what to stock?

I decided to just stock indie patterns when I first opened the shop and over the past year we have really increased our collection. I think it’s really nice to support small businesses when you are a small business yourself. I always find the individuality of the designs much more appealing too and the online communities around that are great.

Do you have a good sense of what your customers will buy – do they sometimes still surprise you?

There are always surprises in retail – but that’s one of the really fun things about it. I’ve feel like I’ve got to know my customers much better over the last year but we have brand new visitors all the time too so there is always something new to learn which helps keep things really fresh.

What are you excited about in the shop right now ?

I’m really excited about sewing with thicker winter fabrics and getting my teeth into some projects that are slow burns instead of quick summer tops and dresses. I always get so cold in the winter and have to layer up – but want to try and keep it handmade this year!

Guthrie & Ghani

What are your all time best sellers?

The best selling pattern since we opened is the Colette Laurel Dress. I think it’s just such a great easy basic for people so newbies and more experienced peeps both love it.
Overall we sell more fabric than anything else and cottons with smaller pattern repeats tend to be more popular. The best selling Liberty Lawn we have had so far was the Jonathon print from last season. It was navy blue with white swirls – meant to be like pencil sharpenings inspired by the stationary department in Liberty.

Was designing sewing patterns for ‘Learn to Sew with Lauren’ a new learning experience for you?

I have manipulated and altered lots of pre existing patterns in the past, but starting from scratch is a whole different challenge. A lot of patience is required as there are so many trial runs and tweaks to be done until you get things just the way you had planned. I really enjoy it though and it appeals to the maths geek in me.

Do you still enjoy fabric shopping?

I get to fabric shop all the time when I buy the stock for the shop, but yeh I do still really enjoy going to other fabric shops too. It’s always nice to see new scenery and get different ideas and inspiration.

Guthrie & Ghani

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Ruching Covers a Multitude of Sins

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit
I’m very happy to finally be sharing a Bombshell Swimsuit on the blog! I’ve wanted to make a Bombshell since the pattern was released and I’ve even had the pattern pieces cut out for a couple of months – I was going to make it in time for Karen’s Sporty Summer Sewalong but missed the deadline, then I thought I’d make it for the Sewcialist’s Oonapalooza but  missed that deadline too… Anyway here it is at last, I finally got around to making it last week due to taking a few days off work.Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit
It took me a little while to find a fabric I liked as I knew I wanted something patterned. I found this in Barry’s Fabric. The fabric had a few large (perfectly cut) holes in it (they threw those bits in free) but there was just enough left on the roll for my purposes. I’ve actually used the wrong-side of the fabric for the body of my swimsuit as I loved the deep purple colour. I used the right-side of the fabric for the straps and the bodice tab.
Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit
My bombshell came together really well and it was looking like I’d have it made up in one day before Phil got home from work – then I got to the point of finishing the bodice and came unstuck. I attached my elastic at the bodice but found that the suit was rippling. Assuming that it needed to be tighter I attached a shorter piece of elastic to bring the suit in but just got more extreme rippling. At that point I decided to cheat; I went back to the original elastic length and then just pinched the excess fabric at each side of the bodice and sewed it down when attaching the straps. That is the joy of a ruched swimsuit – it hides a multitude of sins:)
Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit
The weather here in the UK has gotten pretty cool but I  braved a slightly cool garden to get these photos yesterday. Me and Phil were just back from a weekend in Cambridgeshire. We were there for a family (joint 30th) party and also managed to squeeze in a trip to Cambridge and to Burwash Manor, home of Backstitch. Backstitch has a great selection of patterns if you’re in the vicinity, and I did pretty well in the British Red Cross shop in Cambridge as they currently have loads of vintage notions. I came away with some lovely buttons, but they also had a great selection of belt buckles and needles.
Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit
Now I just need to take my Bombshell for a dip to see how it fares. Unfortunately I don’t have any exotic holidays planned so I’m thinking a local pool will need to suffice for this year.
Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

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Chunky Knitted Rug

Handmade Knitted Rug
Yippee, after a busy few weeks (including two work trips to Istanbul in two weeks) I’m on holiday from work so I’m finding the time to complete some projects. Back at Christmas when I taught myself to knit I bought all the supplies to knit a chunky rug featured in Makery by Kate Smith. I thought it would be a safe beginners project since the sizing isn’t too important. However I do most of my knitting while travelling and a rug isn’t a very portable project so the supplies sat around for the next 9-10 months and I knit a jumper and a cardigan (to be blogged soon) first. Oh well, what I learned knitting those made knitting this rug much faster!
Handmade Knitted Rug
This is a great quick & easy project. It’s knit in moss stitch and I managed to complete it in a couple of sittings while watching episodes of Project Runway (although I’m watching them online via mylifetime and they include so many adverts that you could probably knit a whole jumper during an episode…). The rug is going to be used in our living room and will replace the previous Urban Outfitters rug which is now looking pretty faded. I might knit another for our bedroom. It feels lovely and soft on your feet so I think it would be nice to have one beside the bed.
Handmade Knitted Rug
Supplies wise I used four balls of super chunky wool (I used Patons Fab Big 200g balls) and 20mm needles. The only down side to knitting with such big needles is that it feels more like wresting with wool than knitting. I found I was moving the wool around the needles rather than strictly knitting with them. Not the most relaxing knitting but certainly quick. I might knit a cushion next before starting my next jumper/cardigan. Not that I strictly need more cushions (I bought two this week as they were on sale in Habitat) but there are some lovely pattern in the Knitted Home by Ruth Cross that I fancy giving a try.

Handmade Knitted Rug

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