#2017makenine review

Saturday, December 30, 2017

I hopped on board the #2017makenine train back in January, at the time these were things that I really wanted to make.  I thought it would be good to check in and see what got made, what got worn and what didn't even make it to the cutting table.


Closet Case Patterns Sophie swimsuit: This one didn't even make it to the cutting table.  It's still something I'd like to make, so you may see it in 2018.

Baste and Gather Birkin Flares: These are a work in progress (WIP).  In my mind I'll have them finished to wear on New Year's Eve, but that's tomorrow and I'm just not sure I'll get there.  I'm determined that these will happen soon.

Grainline Studio Cascade duffle:  Another one that didn't even make it to the cutting table but I love this coat and so I've added it to my #2018makenine.

Tessuti Patterns Ruby top/dress:  Made, but not blogged.  I have posted it on insta if you want to take a look.  It's a winner and will be coming to the blog soon. 

StyleArc Blaire top/dress:  Also made but not blogged.  My fabric choice wasn't quite right, it's a little too short and my collar looks sloppy - very 'home made' but in a bad way.  I'll blog it soon but think I'll just harvest the buttons and try again in a different fabric.

Silk fabric: Also a WIP, this is on its way to be a Ruby top.  I told you the pattern was a winner!

Orange Lingerie Montgomery briefs: I've made a selection of these and really like the pattern.  Fabric choice has a big impact on which pairs I reach for.  The microfibre and lace ones get worn the most, the other two I just don't reach for unless everything else is in the wash.

Evie la Luve Bella panties:  Totally addicted to making these!  I love them and they've become my undies of choice!  This pattern is a total winner for me.

Evie la Luve Esme panties: These are one of my recent makes (scroll down) and I'd like to make them again.  Next time I'll go down a size and use fold over elastic to finish the legs.

Not too bad - 5 made, 2 WIPs and 2 not started.  I'll post my #2018makenine next week, but if you want an early look you can check it out here.   How did you go with your plans/goals for 2017?

Simplicity 8228 bralette and bonus knickers

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

So I finally took my first step into the world of bra making and it's pretty fun.


I decided to start with a relatively easy project and chose Simplicity 8228, partly because it was a soft cup bra so no fiddling with underwires and partly because I love just about everything about Madalynne's aesthetic.


This is view A with a 36 band and a DD cup and I used a lovely kit from Tailor Made Shop so I didn't need to worry about finding all the bits and pieces.  My standard RTW size is a 34D but I went with the sizing indicated by the pattern.  I also noted that on Maddie's website she mentions that some people find the halter straps too short so I added around 3 inches in length.


This was so much fun to make - it's by no means perfect but it was a great starter project.  If you'd like to see a modeled shot take a look at this instagram post (scroll to second photo).


In the end I removed 2.5 inches of the extra length that I added to the straps, I also added elastic to the bottom of the band.  This wasn't included in the instructions but I noted that Ying had done that on her versions and had included enough elastic in the kit.  It certainly makes the bra feel more secure.  Unfortunately, my cup runneth over!  Despite making the DD, there's still not enough volume in the cups (conveniently, what you can't see in the insta photo is what doesn't fit in the cup!)


I actually bought a couple of kits to make this so I'm hoping that at least one of my teens would like the racer back version because I'm keen to sew it up.

Still on a lingerie bend I recently made these Evie la Luve Esme knickers.  They're a really quick sew and despite the front edges looking quite fluted in the photo below they sit flat when worn (there's no elastic on the leg edge, it's just overlocked and sewn down).


The overlap detail is really pretty and it's a great pattern for showing off a gorgeous stretch lace.  I don't think these will replace my beloved Bella's but they're a nice option to have.  I've got plans for a couple of other colour combos so there's likely to be more of these in the future.  Now I really need to go finish my work pants so that I have something to wear over these!


McCalls 6886 T-shirt dress

Monday, November 13, 2017

I'm way behind on blogging finished items, which is actually a good thing, because my mojo seems to have left the building.

This is McCalls 6886, which I've made before for my daughter (you can see that version here).  I'd always planned on making myself a version in black and I eventually added it to my August sewing plans list.


I'm pretty sure this is a size 14 with a little extra added at the side seams.  Surprisingly, given my long arms, I didn't need to add any length to the sleeves.  I cut view E with the neckline of view C. 


I made two minor changes to the pattern - I finished the neckline using fold over elastic and I added side splits to the skirt. 


My only regret is that I didn't alter the back, there is so much excess fabric back there.  I'm beginning to think that I need to do a short back adjustment, rather than a sway back adjustment.  Does anyone have any good references that they recommend? 


I like the fit of this dress, it's fitted without being too tight and is so comfortable to wear.   If I can get that back issue sorted I'd love to make a sleeveless or short sleeve, version for summer.

Striped Willow top

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Somehow several months have disappeared since I last posted but, such is life, right?


I had the chance to attend Sewjourn with my sister and some of her friends and it was amazing - I had the best time.  So for the first time ever I actually have a backlog of projects to show you, I just need to get them photographed.  I'm someone that likes to take photos as I wear the items so I have to hope that I have a willing photographer, daylight and that I've managed to keep my clothes semi-clean during the day.  Not always an easy combination for me to achieve!
 

This little top is a winner.  It's the Willow top/dress from Grainline Studio.  I've made a straight size 14.  I think my bust measurement was between a 12 and a 14 and I sized up.  I could probably get away with a 12 but I'm happy with the way this fits.


I've used a cotton/linen blend cut on the cross grain because I wanted the stripes running horizontally (sorry Mum, I know you hate that!)  I was inspired by this top on Pinterest.


There is no stripe matching on this top!  I can only assume the stripes were off grain because despite my best efforts there was no way I could get them to line up without skewing the top.  If you look closely you can see that even the bust darts end on a different stripe which just drives me crazy.


Fit wise I'm pretty happy with this straight out of the envelope.  I think the bust dart could be raised a little bit for the next version, and there will be a next version.  I've worn this twice in the last 7 days so it's definitely worth a second go.

August Sewing Plans

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I've had a couple of outfits in my head for a while now that I just can't shake so I'm putting them all into my August plans in the hope that I'll sew them up and get them into my wardrobe.  While we still have months of cold weather to go, I think most of these items should also be able to transition through to spring and even summer.

The first combo is the Birkin flares in a dark denim, Ogden Cami in a pale blue silk crepe de chine and an Esme Cardigan in an ivory merino.

Images via here here here and here
I'm also planning a Birkin flares, wrap blouse combo.  No pattern for the blouse but I'm thinking I'll use the beautiful floral fabric from Blackbird Fabrics (ditched my Archer plans - thought it would be too overwhelming on me).  I like McCalls 7627 for the wrap but it's not available in Australia and the pattern can't be purchased through Vogue/McCalls online either, so I'd have to go hunting on Etsy.  If I can't find anything else in my stash that I can use I might just have to go shopping!

images via here here here and here
The other combo happening includes the Esme cardigan again and McCalls 6886 in black ponte.  

Images via here here and here
There's two more items on my list, the Style Arc Rosemary blouse in red silk crepe de chine and the Vogue 1170 skirt that I included in my April sewing plans.  I put it aside because it needs some fitting adjustments and I wasn't sure how to approach it, but now I'm just going to keep trying things until I find something that works!

Images via here and here

So all up that's:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 cami
  • 2 tops
  • 1 knit dress
  • 1 skirt

I really doubt that I'll get it all done but it's nice to have goals!

A new work wardrobe staple - Style Arc Dotty blouse

Monday, July 31, 2017

Have you ever tried something on mid-make and thought that it wasn't going to work?  Well that was me with this top.  I tried it on before I attached the sleeves and thought it was pretty meh.  Even when it was finished I was undecided about whether I liked it or not.


Fortunately I packed it in my bag to take to a work conference and I fell in love with it.  This top feels feminine and classy.  I'm turning into a real Style Arc fan girl, their patterns are so good!

This is the Style Arc Dotty blouse in a straight size 14.  No adjustments or changes, I didn't even add extra length which is so unusual for me!  I've used a poly crepe from Darn Cheap Fabrics which has a great handle and feels really nice.


The pattern suggests adding a press stud to the cross over at the front but I've left that off, I'm happy wearing a cami underneath.  I did think that I could get away without a cami but when the wind blows you see everything - so maybe not!  It does need a silky cami though, I'm wearing one of those seamless microfiber ones and you can see that the fabric grabs at the top, particularly over the bust.


There's really not a lot to say about this pattern.  It's a pretty quick sew, goes together beautifully and I really like the gentle gathers at the back and on the sleeve hems.  The back neckline and yoke are finished using the burrito method which provides a lovely clean finish.  It's just a really great top, I've already worn it twice in two weeks so I know it's a winner for me.


July has been a massive month for our family - our oldest daughter turned 18 and we hosted two parties at our place for her, we've had house guests and we've had really crappy health news for my Dad and my brother-in-law so there wasn't much sewing time and there wasn't a lot of desire to sew either.

August is looking much better and I have plans to spend Friday sewing all day long, I can't wait to sew up that Vogue blouse I listed in my July plans post.

Style Arc Josie Hoodie

Sunday, July 9, 2017

I finally got some photos yesterday so at last I can blog one of my most worn items this winter.

This is another really nice pattern from Style Arc.  The funnel neck and curved hemline elevate this from your basic hoodie, the only drawback for me is the lack of pockets - I keep looking for somewhere to tuck my hands!


This is a basic raglan top with a hood.  The darts on the shoulders provide a really nice fit and I really like the funnel neck, it's just that little bit warmer than a regular hoodie.  I also really like the finish that the facing on the hoodie and hem provide.


This is a straight size 14.  My only changes were to leave off the draw cord on the bottom and switch out the sleeve hems for ribbed cuffs.  With the ribbed cuffs the sleeves are the perfect length for me. They add an extra couple of inches of length to the sleeve so that's something to keep in mind if you're a little taller.


I've made this up using loop back sweatshirt fabric from Spotlight.  It's all poly but feels really nice and they had matching ribbing so that was a bonus.  The only downside to this fabric was cutting it out.  My scissors did not like this fabric at all.  It was so hard to cut that I ended up with blisters on my fingers and it felt like my scissors were totally blunt.  As a bit of an indication I cut double layers of heavy duty denim after this and it was so easy - like a hot knife through butter.  I know this fabric was pretty popular, lots of bloggers posted it on IG so I'm curious to hear if anyone else experienced this too.

I managed to finish my black Ginger jeans yesterday and I'm halfway through my Dotty blouse so hopefully I'll have more to show soon, of course I have about 100 other things that I want to make too but I'm trying to stick to my list!

July Plans

Monday, July 3, 2017

I really want to blog my Style Arc Josie hoodie but I haven't had a chance to take photos, either the weather hasn't cooperated or it has been in the wash, so it's a planning post.  Hoodie coming soon!

My usual style is to make a list a mile long, that's not particularly realistic, and then get frustrated when I don't get it all done.  Crazy, right?  This month I'm going for something a little more realistic, just three things.

Style Arc Dotty Blouse 
This one's already cut out and ready to go.  I actually cut it out last month but then my mojo evaporated and I didn't sew a stitch.  I'm using a really beautiful ivory crepe like fabric from Darn Cheap Fabric.  I'm taking a risk here, the fabric is 100% poly - which I normally stay clear of - but this feels really lush so I'm giving it a go.


Vogue 9204 blouse
I've been feeling so cold at work lately so more long sleeve tops are an absolute necessity.  This top looks really versatile and I have a gorgeous green viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics picked out for this one.  I'm planning on making view B.

Ginger Jeans
My love for this pattern has no bounds.  I've lost count of how many times I've made it, and despite wanting a black pair of skinny jeans for months, I held off on sewing these up because I thought I should try something different.  Then I realised I was being silly - this pattern works for me so I'm making it happen.  These are already half sewn up.


This denim also came from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  I purchased all three fabrics (and a piece of lace I hope to use soon) back in May when my mum, sister and I had a shopping trip on my birthday weekend.  I've indulged in a little fabric retail therapy to kick start my mojo so I'll be really happy to see these plans become a reality and the fabric move out of my stash and into my wardrobe.

Finlayson sweater - a new winter favourite

Thursday, June 8, 2017

After sewing all those pretty laces I needed a change of pace.  I had planned on giving this to Wade for his birthday but just didn't get it done in time.  Given how often he's worn it since it was finished I think it's a winner even if I was finished later than planned.


You've probably worked out that this is the Finlayson Sweater from Thread Theory.  This is the second version I've made for Wade and I've made myself one too!  



This version is made up in a really nice merino fleece from The Fabric Store (Wade wanted something warm).  It's obviously the hooded version, which I've lined in nice soft grey knit.  Wade was happy with the hood - plenty of room and it stays on your head.


I've made Wade a large and the only adjustment I made was to trim 1 inch off the sleeve length and to reduce the seam allowance on the cuff as the fleece doesn't have a huge amount of stretch.
This is another easy sew.  The collar/hood is the only tricky bit but it's really not that bad.  The corners on mine always look gently rounded rather than nice and sharp but I like the way it looks so it's not an issue for me.


Wade does look like a bit of a criminal with the hood up but I thought I should lead with those.  He'd just decided to cut his hair ridiculously short and his bare head is almost glowing in the pictures with the hood down :)

I highly recommend this pattern.  It's great to wear (I made a size medium with no mods for me) sews up quickly and will be a real winter staple, in fact I'm kind of surprised how often I reach for mine.

I'm not sure what my next project will be but with the long weekend coming up I'm planning on spending a good chunk of time in my sewing room.

Miss Montgomery

Friday, June 2, 2017

Does anyone else always over estimate what they can achieve?  I knew I would have almost no sewing time in May and yet I still thought I'd get more done - not sure when I thought I'd be sewing!  I did get manage to sew up some more undies and ticked another item off my #2017makenine list so not too bad I suppose.


These are the Orange Lingerie Montgomery Briefs.  I've made up five pairs in a range of different fabrics. 


The pink lace and mesh version would be the prettiest pair, but the comfiest are the grey microfibre.  I've also made up two pairs using a beautiful soft lining fabric paired with different laces.  I only had matching lingerie/picot elastic for the black pair (and I didn't want to buy any more supplies) so I used fold over elastic instead and I'm pretty happy with the way these turned out.  I'm even happier that these were all made up using items in my stash.  How awesome is the elastic on the black microfibre pair - love it.


The design of these is really similar to my all time favourite RTW style (Elle McPherson lingerie from a few years back) and overall I'm pretty pleased with the way these turned out.  Some days you just want a bit more coverage and these don't leave a line under your clothes.
 

My underwear drawer is looking pretty gorgeous right now so I might take a break from making undies for a while.  It's only the second day of winter but I have been absolutely freezing at work so I think it's time to make up some warm pieces for work.

Lingerie love - Bella knickers

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

There's just something special about new knickers, they always make you feel good!


This is the Bella pattern from Evie la Luve (coincidentally all the lace and elastics used for these undies also came from Hannah's shop - great service and postage was quite quick too).


With four pattern pieces and fold over elastic for the waistband these come together so quickly, the slowest part was changing the thread over on my machines.

I actually made a test pair in a nice lace (you can see them here), wore them the next day, came home and immediately cut out these pairs.  There was only supposed to be three pairs but I accidentally cut two identical pieces instead of two opposite pieces in the lavender, so now I have a double up.


Pastel colours aren't usually my thing, but they're so pretty I'm glad I just went with it.  These are comfy and a gorgeous addition to my underwear drawer.  As a bonus I can put a big tick next to something on my #2017makenine list, my May project list and I'm living my Me Made May pledge.  I still get such a buzz from creating things that I love and wear like crazy!

May Plans and Me Made May

Monday, May 1, 2017

I'm really happy with the way my plans for April helped me make the most of my sewing time so I thought I'd do it again for May.

We have a lot of commitments in May so no weekend sewing time.  It's also the annual Me Made May challenge which I want to participate in, but don't want to feel pressured to take a photo every day or try to churn out new items just so that I have something new to share.

images via Tailor Made Shop
I'm generally wearing at least one item I've made every day, and it's just as likely that I've made my entire outfit so that's not such a challenge anymore.  Lingerie making has been on my to do list for a couple of years so I thought this was the perfect time to give it a go.  New undies can be sewn up pretty quickly and I'm told bras don't really take that long either.  I know I have a steep learning curve ahead of me but I'm excited to get started.

images via Evie la Luve
To get things started I purchased some bra kits from Tailor Made Shop (she has the most beautiful kits).  Top of my list is the Orange Lingerie Montgomery Briefs (check out Norma's Instagram feed for pure lingerie beauty).  I'm also really keen to try the Evie la Luve Esme and Bella undies.  The Watson Set is still something I'd like to sew up and I have a really lovely kit from Blackbird Fabrics that I want to use - time to stop stashing and start sewing.

So here's my pledge for Me Made May:
 'I, Robyn of Sew Love Red, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear at least two pieces of me made underwear each week and sew one new bra for the duration of May 2017'

I certainly won't be posting modeled photos of my pledge items but I will share the finished items.  Are you playing along?  

Tessuti Sydney Jacket

Friday, April 28, 2017

Have you ever looked at a pattern and thought 'that's not for me', then you see so many awesome versions you think you should give it a go?  When you finally make it up you LOVE it and wonder why you ever doubted the pattern?  Well, that's me and the Sydney jacket.


The Tessuti Patterns Sydney Jacket was hugely popular a couple of years ago.  I made one up last year (never blogged) and really liked it, but didn't use the recommended fabric (I used a double faced wool that frays) and almost immediately regretted it.  Not this time!


During the Christmas sales I bought this beautiful boiled wool from Tessuti.  I cut this out late in March but it was still warm so it sat patiently waiting in a corner of my sewing room.  I had a bit of excess energy after getting home from my daughter's netball game late one night this week and decided to start this.  Maybe two hours later and this was finished!  It's a seriously quick sew that makes a big impact.


My version is a straight medium and I've left off the pockets.  I know that I won't use them in this type of jacket and that seriously sped up how quick this was to make.  The overlapped seams aren't hard and with no hems this is such a simple, relaxing sew.


So the Sydney Jacket is totally me after all.  I'm sewing up patterns that I love but maybe thought weren't for me and I'm having fun with it!

Megan Nielsen Rowan Bodysuit

Monday, April 17, 2017

I pulled out my credit card as soon as I saw the latest releases from Megan Nielsen, I loved them both and the new packaging is so pretty!


The Rowan bodysuit was also one of my planned projects for April so I'm really happy to be able to tick it off my list and best of all I really, really like it.


I'm not certain what height MN patterns are drafted for (I think it's 5'5") which is a long way short of my 6'.  I've made this in a size L and added an extra 3 inches through the body and 1.5 inches to the sleeve length.  I also blended out to the XL at the waist as I'm pretty straight up and down.


I'm not dropping my pants so you'll have to take my word for it when I say that it fits really well around the bum too, not too tight but still has good coverage.


I'm too self conscious about my stomach to wear the bodysuit as I've shown it in these pictures, in all likelihood I'll layer it up under other shirts and jumpers, but I love it.  I've used a beautifully soft merino that I purchased from Tessuti a year or two ago.

I'm so happy that I've used one of the lovely fabrics in my stash, tried a new pattern and ticked a project off my sewing list.  I feel like I'm winning at the moment!