DIY Pattern | leather look leggings

12.18.2014

sew your own DIY leggings pattern
Guys, I think I may have lost my mind. 

These DIY leggings are totally different to what I normally wear, but I've got to say. I. Am. Loving them.

They certainly make me feel bad ass. Which is pretty important when you're half asleep and covered in baby sick.

sew your own DIY leggings pattern
The fabric comes from the kind people at Funkifabrics. It's a leather look lycra with about 5% stretch.

I'll be honest - I thought a lycra like this might end up feeling a little icky on, but this fabric is really breathable.

Plus the fabric was super easy to work with. I just used some ballpoint needles and my overlocker and these were whipped up in about two hours - including cutting out time. Score.

sew your own DIY leggings pattern
I used my tried and true DIY legging pattern but changed the waistband. I wanted a separate waistband - something that made the leggings look a little more trouser-like.

I've included a step-by-step visual below in case you wanted to follow along.

sew your own DIY leggings pattern
Sorry for the crotch shot. Unfortunate hazard of a sewing blogger.
The only real question I have (apart from occasionally wondering if leather-look is too OTT for this mamma) is whether I should put two back pockets on the back.

What do you think? I have them all cut out and am just trying to decide whether they would work.

sew your own DIY leggings pattern
A little someone was pretty vocal about wanting to join in the photo session...
sew your own DIY leggings pattern
Overall I'm really pleased with how these have come out - especially since they're so different to what I normally wear.

I think the fit could be improved a little by taking in some of the side seams. But, you know, I'm trying to embrace the ol' adage 'good is better than perfect' otherwise I would never wear anything.

So what do you think? Would you wear something like this, or is it too much? If you would flaunt your stuff in a bad ass pair of leggings what would you wear them with - style ideas always much appreciated!


Wearing:

leggings | DIY pattern
fabric | faux leather lycra c/o funkifabrics
jacket | vintage
tee | H&M
boots |  Fat Face


Wardrobe | bye bye birdie grainline archer

12.09.2014

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
So, I've gone and surprised myself by falling in love with sewing shirts.

I'm not going to lie - sewing shirts can seem scary. But guys, you have got to get on board. This Grainline Studio atcher shirt is one of the most satisfying sews I've done in a long while. 

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
Sure I was intimidated at first (all those pattern pieces, button hole placement, sleeves - yikes!) but sewing Jen's Grainline Studio archer was really painless. 

Her instructions are ace and the pattern comes together really easily. Jen is my pattern hero.

I hardly modified anything - apart from bringing in the sleeves and sides. But that was probably much more to do with me selecting one size bigger than I needed (I'm always doing that. I need to learn to cut my size!)

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
I'm particularly in love with the details. Like the two pleats at the cuffs.

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
And the pleat at the back.

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
I'm a little less convinced about my choice of buttons. They're ivory and slightly sparkly. They look a little off to me. Looking at these photos it looks like I managed to misplace the buttons too. Drat.

Well, heck, it's sure not a bad attempt at my first shirt.

Grainline Studio Archer shirt in Atelier Brunette
And can we talk about this lush cotton fabric for a second? It's Bye Bye birdie in blush by the stunning French company Atelier Brunette. Swoon. It's got the most amazing drape. Really soft but holds up well. 

The only downer is that I'm struggling wear it. I don't want to cover it up with a sweater, but its too cold to wear on its own. I'm thinking I may need to wait till summer to really get the most out of it.

But, hey, now I'm addicted to making shirts. Which has got to be a good thing.

I'm already on the look out for my next archer fabric but struggling to find something that isn't too, well, shirty. Super business woman is definitely not my persona. Anyone know of any cracking lightweight fabrics with a lovely drape? 


Easy Project | 4 handmade gifts to make this weekend

12.04.2014

4 handmade gifts to make this weekend

Yup. This is me jumping on the Christmas bandwagon.

First off handmade gifts are brilliant. If I could I'd spend the rest of December making presents for people I would. Sadly, bambino and a to-do list of doom are stopping me from doing anything but the simplest prezzies.

Secondly, I have a few makes lined up to share, but the weather in the UK is pants which makes photo-taking tedious. So I thought I'd dip into the DIY archives.

Just click on the photos for the tutorials. All are free and almost all include a downloadable template (including those chocolate vodka labels).

And if you know of any great DIY gifts then could you share the link in the comments? I may not have a lot of free time, but 


4 easy homemade gifts


For the men in your life (big or small)

easy DIY handmade bow-tie

For the lovely ladies in your life

easy DIY handmade fold over clutch pouch

For the bambinos

easy DIY handmade baby leather mocassins

For everyone (or just you)

easy DIY handmade chocolate vodka recipe


Sewing | how to buy the perfect sewing machine (in time for Christmas)

11.26.2014

how to buy the perfect sewing machine

With Christmas round the corner I thought it was time I updated the advice I gave a while ago on buying a sewing machine

Buying the perfect machine for you (or that person on your list) is important since the relationship you have with your machine really does impact on how much you enjoy sewing. Get the wrong machine and you might just never get past beyond the first page in the instruction manual!

These are my 4 favourite sewing machines, but maybe you have another one you'd recommend? I'm always on the look out for good sewing machines or sewing gadgets to recommend.

So, on to the perfect sewing machine for you (or that person on your list). 


A sewing machine for simple projects


If you're totally new to sewing or the sewing machine will be used for simple projects - like the odd restyle, a hem or to, a few cushions - then I'd recommend a simple, no frills machine. 

This is a good basic sewing machine (so good I featured it in a giveaway last month) at a decent price too.


A sewing machine for the beginner sewer


You don't want to go all in on your first sewing machine. Especially if you're not sure how much or what type of sewing you'll really be doing.

I've sewn for years on my Janome J3-18 and loved it (it's the same one Tilly and the Button used too - sewing machine twinsies!)

It's easy to use, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's basic. I've made ball gowns, curtains, and a whole heap of clothes with this. Definitely an all-round winner. Plus it comes with an automatic needle threader which is aces in my book!


Sewing machines for the improving sewer


As an improving sewer you'll want to start to keep a look out for nifty features that will help you tackle bigger projects, or that will help you save time.

My mama has a Janome J3-24 which has a few neat features that are quite handy - a one step buttonhole function, stitch width selector and the ability to sew a button hole. None of these are necessary, but they sure are neat.

Slightly pricier is this Janome DC3050 which I was able to try out at the John Lewis sewing bee over the summer. This really is the mac daddy of sewing machines. I love the fact that you can programme it to stop with the needle in the fabric. Such an awesome feature. It's a bit more complicated than a manual machine so make sure that you (or the person on your list) has the time to sit down and read the manual!

(Gosh - it really does look like I'm pushing Janomes doesn't it? I promise I've not been paid to advertise them - they just happen to be the machines I've been using lately.)


What if someone already has the perfect sewing machine?


I have one word for you. Serger. 

Mine has totally transformed my life since I got it a month or so ago. It makes sewing with tricky fabrics (like scuba fabric) super easy and you can whip up knits in no time. 

Or if a serger sounds too pricey, how about a new foot? I'm starting to get really obsessive about sewing machine feet (you can read my post on it here) - a walking foot, rolled hem foot or ditch quilting foot are all pretty handy.

DIY Inspiration | my handmade capsule wardrobe

11.22.2014

So as you might have guessed from previous posts - I'm on a bit of a mission to create a capsule wardrobe. Not only that, but I'm aiming to make as much of it as possible. 

Am I crazy? Totally.

This is 100% bonkers ambitious (and totally crackers considering our little bambino has decided that sleep is for wimps) but I'm just really keen for my makes to really work in the real world. 

Maybe it's a bit self-indulgent to go over my wardrobe - at the end of the day, why should you care what's hanging in my closet? But I wanted to share with you my progress so far, and ask you for your advice. 

Because that's what friends are for, right? 


My handmade wardrobe


Inspired by Jen at Grainline, I thought I'd take photos of what I've made so far. Not only does this set out what's been made in a nice visual way, but it makes my makes look totally legit.

So here's the progress so far:

Tops


Lot's of comfy knits here. I live in all of them. Even the black scuba coco is becoming a firm favourite - even though the black is maybe a bit too serious.

I think I could probably do with one or two more long or 3/4 length knits. Definitely room for a woven t-shirt or two here to get a bit more variety, no? And I totally need to add some colour.

Patterns from left to right are: Hey June union st tee (c/o Indiesew) and Tilly and the Buttons coco (x 2).

Bottoms


Yup. A bit of a poor showing on the bottoms front. Just one pair of trousers and a skirt (yet to be blogged).

I really love the skirt. It's a bit on the short side, but it works with tights and boots. Sadly, I don't get much ware out of the trousers. Maybe it's the colour?

I definitely need more bottoms. I think the next major challenge is going to be jeans of some description. I live in stretchy trousers at the moment and would love to make a pair like these ones from Gap.

Patterns from left to right are: Sew Over it ultimate trousers and Grainline moss skirt.

Dresses


Totally missing here. Which is such a shame because b.b. (before bambino) I lived in dresses. At the moment, they're just not practical, but I'm hoping to make a party dress for the Christmas season.


What's next?

Tops

  • I've had my first go at making a shirt (a Grainline archer - post coming soon) and I really enjoyed making it. I'd be well keen to make another. Maybe in a navy print.
  • I'd like to add a few more coloured long sleeved knits to the mix. I'm on the look out for some nice jersey in burgundy or pink.
  • I'd also be keen to make a few woven tees. Maybe using Grainline's scout?

Bottoms

  • Another few moss skirts are on the cards. I'd like to make one in burgundy and one in some sort of wool or textured material (like corduroy) 
  • I'd really really like to make a fly front trouser in a stretch chino. I've only made one pair of trousers so far, but I do love me a fly front. Does anyone know of any patterns that might work?

Dresses

  • I'm super keen to make a Papercut sigma dress for Christmas parties. I've picked up a faux-silk mustard fabric in Italy.
  • Then there are a few other dresses I'd like to make (even though I know they're not going to get much ware!). I'd like to make a knit dress for work and I'm thinking of making a shirt dress, but maybe its too cold out?




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