Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Purple Floral Skirt

I made a dress for my friend B from a remnant of fabric.
Someone had already cut a child's dress from the fabric plus it had faults so the scraps left after B dress were a peculiar shape.

However I loved it and was determined to cut something for myself from it.
To add to the fun it has widthways stretch and a directional print.

Here's what I managed to make!


To get a whole skirt out I had to have it only knee length. Also one pocket bag is upside down and the waistband is in 3 pieces, the joins being covered by the three belt loops.

I used the pockets, waistband and upper body of NewLook 6216 trousers
Morphed with the centre of the straight skirt from Prima June 2019
I plan to wear it in the Autumn with this Merino sweater, opaque tights and shoes/boots.
It will also hopefully extend into an Autumn 6 piece collection in the purple tones.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Wearing the McCall's 4394 Dressy coat

I earlier posted about sewing McCall's 4394.

Here I am wearing the coat, I have my hair up in a French pleat, Gabor shoes, makeup etc. Not my normal look, but felt smart for the wedding.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Dark Grey Stretch Trousers

Dark Grey Stretch Trousers (bengaline I think)

These used New Look 6216 again
I omitted the drawstring but added 5 belt loops.
They are a fairly boring basic, but I've worn the ink and sage versions a lot, so expect these to get lots of wear too.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Autumn Collection Plans

Technically Autumn doesn't start until 23rd September but 1st September onwards is often classed as Autumn, plus the weather has cooled and I've changed to a slightly warmer duvet (though not yet put the heating on) so seems practical to start planning Autumn clothing.

I'm thinking Deep Purple this year as a slight variation on the Burgundy and Berries I've done for recent years.

From EJVCs original plans
Skirt or trousers (neutral)
3 blouses/tops (1 to match, 2 to complement)
1 Layering top/cardigan (to match skirt/trousers)
Jacket (co-ordinating neutral)

Then in 2018 EJVC changed the plan slightly to
The basics of autumn:

  1. A jacket or cardigan in your neutral colour.  This layer sets the tone for the whole collection, so think it over carefully.
  2. A second lighter layering piece in either a tone of your neutral or your colour- cardigan sweater or shirt for example, or unlined jacket.  Autumn is tricky, it’s nice to have layers in two levels.
  3. Two tops – one neutral, one in the colour.
  4. Two bottoms — in two tones of your neutral.
I do try to sew 6 pieces but not always exactly as suggested.

So far I have

A dark purple merino RTW sweater.

A plain dark purple jersey. This will be a top.

Some scraps of the floral fabric from B's dress. Which might be enough for a skirt for me if I am very careful with single layer cutting.

Some dark grey stretch woven (bengaline?) this will be for trousers.

A plum coloured cable throw which will be cut up into a long coatigan.

A length of purple/various hounds tooth jacquard which will be a jacket or light coat.

It will be a lot of fun!

Sunday, 1 September 2019

McCall's 4394 dressy coat completed

Burgundy brocade coat from McCall's 4394 is completed. For this version I made the pattern as is, with some slight widening in the sleeve for a full bicep and shortening the sleeve lining by 1.5" so I could turn back the detail on the sleeve cuff.
Its fully lined with a floral satin. The lining was from deep in stash, bought I am sure from the roll end shop in Warrington. The brocade was from the curtaining section at the local Economy Fabrics and the pattern was from the swap box there.
I made a size 18. Its pretty roomy for going over a short sleeved dress. I could have probably sized down but I suppose it means I can also wear it over something chunkier.

It has pockets hidden in the front princess seams, they are hidden beautifully and don't interrupt the line.
For something with simple lines it has a lot of pieces and took quite a long time to sew up. The end result is fairly elegant though.
This is my wedding guest outfit, for a wedding which is in a traditional parish church and then has the reception and evening event in a nice hotel.
For the church I'll wear the coat and look appropriate, then later I can take the coat off to reveal the lace detailing!

I bought (not sewed) the dress which I'll wear underneath. It was from the sale at DP some months ago and its not available anymore. It has lace on the shoulders and sleeves and a keyhole back. The main areas are from the more substantial plain fabric.
The purchased dress is slightly darker than the coat.
Everything will get another press before the actual day.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

McCall's 4394 dressy coat in progress

Long out of print, I'm sewing this lined princess seamed coat to wear over a RTW dress for a wedding in 2 weeks time.

It has beautiful lines, but a lot of pieces so its taking time to sew and press the various panels and pieces together.
My version is in a dark burgundy zig zag jacquard outer with a floral watercolour style floral lining. Both fabrics fray a lot.
Let's hope I can get it completed in time.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Prima September 2019 Shift Dress

I made this simple shift dress for my friend B from the Prima September 2019 pattern.
(Prima is a UK women's magazine that includes a free sewing pattern for subscribers only).
I've used a remnant of stretch woven floral fabric. It was an absolute pleasure to sew. 
It has a 2" hem (hemmed with the blind hem stitch), armhole and neckline facings and a back neck opening with button and loop. I sewed a size 10 in the knee length with the boat neckline.
I was careful with the print placements, inspired by the far left example in the magazine.
The fabric absolutely makes it. There's a bit left over and I'm wondering if I could squeeze out something for me. A skirt would make the most sense.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Self drafted shrug

Here's a batwing shrug, which I drafted myself, using a similar but different RTW shrug as a starting point.
It is a one size fits many item, designed for a friend who has to wear a neoprene sleeve for lymph problems which makes it tricky to get jackets over the arm, but which she'd like to cover up when going out.

I love it and am very tempted to keep it for myself, however there is some fabric left over and I will make something for me from it, though maybe not exactly this.

Simplicity 4276 Sleeveless top

I used the top from this OOP Khaliah Ali pattern. To fit it on the scraps left from the other items I cut the lower bodice on the cross grain (instead of the bias) and cut it slightly wider to account for the loss of stretch. With serged and stitched neck and sleeves this didn't take much fabric.
Together these 4 pieces are being used as summer PJs/lounging wear.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Floral Top

This floral top uses the top pattern from Prima Magazine July 2019.
I've made View B with the front hem also rounded.

Re Prima magazine, this is a UK women's magazine from Hearst magazines, which has a pattern included in each magazine if you are a subscriber. As far as I know its only available in the UK.

The patterns are simple though so should be easy enough to find something similar in the envelop patterns from the Big 4 which are quite expensive here.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

New Look 6216 variations

I enjoy making variations on the same pattern, especially when its worked well for me before.
I've used New Look 6216 trousers lots of times now, with some minor alterations for my full seat.
The latest versions of these were sewn for the hot weather.

First I made some trousers from some duck egg blue cotton sheeting. These are made as per the pattern, except I have added a working elastic/drawstring waist, so the waist is truly adjustable. (The pattern has a full elastic waist and a non functional tie sewn on) Given the very casual nature these are being used as PJ trousers.
The second variation was an attempt to make some culottes from the same pattern using a pretty blue floral fabric. Here I cropped the length and added width, omitting the pockets but again made a functional elastic/drawstring waist.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Venturing into Instagram

There seem to be fewer blogs to read these days as I think people have gone over to Instagram.
So I've created a profile, but posted nothing so far. Also not sure what's good to follow, so open to ideas.

sew_ruth_style's profile picture

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Dark Blue Curtains

Dark blue curtains for B's house, very carefully measured to be above the radiator, but below the windowsill. Its a very old house so everything is interesting and not quite straight.
The pole is extra long so the curtains can be drawn fully back and not obscure the window, and then have more presence when closed as the window isn't really in proportion with the large room.

She's delighted with them, and they make the room nice and dark so great when a guest is using the sofa bed they should sleep well!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Sailor Boy - ReP-A-R-E #13 (RePurposing, Alterations, Repairs and Embellishments)

Sailor Boy - ReP-A-R-E #13 (RePurposing, Alterations, Repairs and Embellishments)

Another repurposing, this time a RTW polo shirt which never looked good on me to a new shorts and t shirt outfit for the mascot.
Same idea as the Rugby outfit, only the whole outfit is a bit of a neater fit as it was made from a large women's t shirt.
The print on the original tee was of tiny anchors, which are more to scale on the bear than they were on me

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

UFO sleeveless top (recut from a 1990s skirt)

I made a skirt in the early 1990s, with a waistband, shaped yoke and skirt front and back.
I wore it with a white blouse and light aqua green jacket for my graduation from University.

Sometime later I took it apart and tried to cut a top from the pieces. There was a front, a 2 piece back, only one short sleeve and some funny shaped bits. I stuffed it in a plastic bag in frustration.

More than 10 years later I pulled it out, pressed the pieces and discovered my dilemma. I still love the aqua green colour (duck egg blue?) so it was worth persevering a little.

I've learned a bit more about solving problems now so I decided to cut bias strips from the one sleeve and use it to bind the neckline of a now sleeveless top. I don't wear sleeveless tops much, but for the very hot summer days it could be useful.
I could add some ruffles at the shoulder to give a hint of sleeve if I don't wear it sleeveless.