Thursday, 31 August 2017

An Alex Shirt from Sew Over It's My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

I feel like I should start this post with an apology, but I'm going to try not to. Life has been busy recently and to be honest writing this blog has felt like a chore I just didn't fancy doing. For most of us at least, blogging is still a hobby and if sometimes we don't feel like doing it, that's okay.

The good thing is whilst I haven't been blogging about it, I have been sewing! So I've got lots of (relatively) new makes to share with you. If you don't already follow me on instagram, check me out at @emilykatemakes. Whilst sometimes writing a blog post can take quite a while to get right, sharing a picture on instagram takes just a few moments, so I try and share bits and bobs of my makes in progress, along with daily life, as often as I can.

So onto what this post is really all about, the Alex shirt from Sew Over It's book, out last year, My Capsule Wardrobe. When I first looked through the patterns in this book, the Alex shirt wasn't one I was sure I was going to get around to making. I already have a couple of shirt patterns, did I really need another? After another slightly disappointing version of the shirt pattern from the first Great British Sewing Bee book, a fellow sewer suggested the Alex shirt as a great pattern to try. I have made some great shirts I wear all the time from the Wenona pattern from Named, but the Alex was different enough that I thought i'd try it.

My first version is actually a sleeveless one, not something I had exactly intended, but I had been a bit stingy on the fabric buying and couldn't quite manage sleeves. I used a purpley, floral cotton lawn I found in my local fabric shop.

The pattern I found straightforward to follow, even understanding how to sew the yokes on, which I can never remember no matter how many times I do it! If I had to be critical, I would say that the instructions are less detailed in capsule wardrobe than in individuals patterns from Sew Over It, so if you're a complete beginner you may find it harder to follow.

The only thing I would change about it is to maybe have buttons up to the top, I do like the option to button a shirt right up, particularly if I'm wearing it under a jumper. I added an extra button, as the first one being on the bust meant that I was occasionally showing a little more than I intended, and when my day job includes teaching teenage boys, that's really not a great idea.

To make the shirt sleeveless I completed the whole shirt, avoiding the sleeve area, even sewing on the buttons. I then tried it on and with a bit of help from Mr Makes (seriously don't try it alone its very difficult!) worked out where I wanted the empty armholes to stop. I then used bias binding made from my excess material to finish off the armholes edges. I also took in the side seams under the arm, grading back out to the bottom.

So I would definitely recommend this as a shirt pattern you need in your collection. I think I definitely need to make a long sleeve version, as really my wardrobe is full of sleeveless shirts, which aren't so great when it comes to winter. Perhaps a tartan one for autumn...

Emily Kate

Monday, 24 April 2017

At last...A Linden Sweatshirt

It's been a while hasn't it chaps? What can I say... Life has been busy. We've been working on doing up the house and furniture projects, and honestly, I've just not been feeling the sewing vibe. But now my sewing room is almost finished, and my wardrobe is looking pretty bare.
So I figured it was about time to get stuck back in. 
Way back in December 2016, I finally got around to printing a pattern I've had on my list for some time, the Linden sweatshirt from Grainline Studio.
I put together the pattern, cut out my fabric, then Christmas got in the way and it wasn't until this week I finally got to the actual sewing. 
Why, oh why did I leave it so long?! In the end it probably took me around 2 hours to sew, and what a great little project it is. It's a great staple that you could easily fill your wardrobe with. (and I will!)
It's just the second Grainline Studio pattern I've sewn, after my Morris blazer, but I won't be stopping there. I already have my eye on the Driftless Cardigan. just love the simplicity of their patterns but how wearable they are too, with any body shape.
The fabric I used is a lycra/viscose blend with lots of stretch, and thick enough to actually keep me warm. I cut out a size 10 according to my measurements which gave me a nice relaxed fit. For a closer fitting sweatshirt I think I could easily use the size 8 without any fitting issues.
I did have to get quite ingenious when it came to getting all the pattern pieces out of just a metre of fabric, so ended up forgetting to cut two hem band pieces. I decided to just cut the one hem piece in half widthwise so I would have a narrower hem, and did the same with the sleeves to match. The extra hem length might have been nice but I think the sleeves are the perfect length. 
I used the main fabric for the hem and neckline pieces, but I think a bold print like this would also look great with a contrasting black ribbed neckline.

My go to outfit for work at the moment is black skinny jeans with a shirt and jumper, so I'm planning to make a few more Lindens to wear! I've already got an idea for the next one, maybe featuring a little embroidery...

Emily Kate.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Sew Over It - A Lola Coat

When I was invited to take a sneak peek at Sew Over It's new eBook 'My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break', I loved the look of the Lola coat (and the name!) but I wasn't overly convinced its style was very 'me'.
I had vague notions of sewing a beautiful 1950's pattern double breasted coat this year, but when it got to November and I hadn't even begun, decided I needed a quicker plan to stay warm this winter!
The Lola coat has a relaxed fit, so although you need quite a bit of fabric, there's no tricky fitting issues. I used a textured wool blend fabric I found at Calico Laine. It is quite weighty, but still has the bit of drape needed for this project. It is much warmer than I thought too, keeping me pretty toasty in the icy mornings we've had recently.
The seams are visible when the coat flaps open so if I was to make another I think I would consider bias binding them, like in the Robson coat construction. As I'm yet to invest in an overlocker I didn't have much choice but to zigzag stitch the edges terribly as best I could.
Its definitely an item of clothing that has really grown on me. I love the relaxed, comfy style of it, but it also feels smart enough for work wear. I usually wear it with a belt to keep any cold air out and cinch in the waist a bit.
And the best thing about it? The pockets. I can keep my phone, car keys, lip balm, humongous purse full of receipts, name badge, chocolate stash, kitchen sink all in there and there's no chance of the phone falling out and smashing. As has happened once... or twice before.   
Mr Makes had the clever idea to take some photos in our new sewing room/spare bedroom at the top of the house (or he just really didn't want to go outside!). The back wall is already a different colour now though, and we're almost able to tick off one room!
Emily Kate.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A New Year!

So readers, it's been a while.

2016 was a pretty amazing year for me and Mr Makes, but one where my blog and often my sewing had to take a back seat at times.

It was the year we moved across the country (and twice more after that), finally tied the knot, and just a few days before Christmas... became homeowners!

Despite not managing a great deal of sewing, it was also the year I made my wedding dress, most definitely my proudest sewing achievement.
So what are my plans moving forward for 2017?

Create my sewing room.

Now we have more space than we know what to do with and no plans for swinging any cats, I finally get a shared my own sewing room/study. Decorating starts in earnest this weekend, and I already have plans for a peg board and ingenious storage solutions.

Increase my shop stock

After reopening my shop a few months ago orders are trickling in nicely. I still have a huge list of skylines I've yet to design and frequent requests, so hopefully 2017 will be the year I finally hit my aim of 50 skylines.

Sew my 'Make nine'

This is a new challenge for me, but something I noticed other sewers doing on instagram this new year. The idea is to come up with 9 projects you're planning to sew and tell the rest of the sewing community. Mine are:

Emily Kate.