Of sewing challenges and photo shoots

Summer is around the corner, and with all things bright and beautiful come a deluge of sewing challenges.

indie pattern

I’ve been a long time lurker on The Monthly Stitch. No better reason to fully embrace this wonderful sewing group by participating in #indiepatternmonth! I chose to enter the PDF sewing pattern swop, and in the round robin swop, got sent the lovely Jenna cardi from Muse Patterns while picking the Bonnell dress from Dixie DIY Patterns. I am super excited about this challenge. It never crossed my mind to sew a cardigan before, even though i’m in one practically every day. At first I thought it would be too warm to sew for June, but then the fabric suggestions included stretch lace. And why not!?

The great thing about choosing the PDF swop instead of hard-copy swop, is that it gives you access not only to the one you got sent, but also the one you buy for your swop partner. So once I’m done with the Jenna cardi, I’ll be getting down to the Bonnell dress.

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And then there’s the annual #Simplicity sewing challenge! I soooo wanted to do tihis challenge last year but got caught up in packing and packing more boxes for our big move. As a measure of how excited I am about this, I’ve applied for TWO patterns. The vintage make and the childrenswear.

It’s been a busy month for me, meeting and speaking to the lovely Sara from Rocking Horse Photography. My Etsy shop is up and running, but has rather slapdash photos courtesy of yours truly. When Elaine from Celebrate With Love got in touch with me about stocking some of my clothes on her website, I knew I had to have much better photos or risk my stuff look like rag wear. So I’m off tomorrow to do the still shots at a park in Canary Wharf. The sun promises to be up and shining tomorrow, and hopefully the photos will capture the heart and soul of what baby clothes are all about. God help us trying to get G (and others) to pose nicely next month for the model shots.

The #SewingBee is back on our TV screens! This week was children’s week and I got such a kick out of seeing this Liberty fabric in the studio haberdashery!

Liberty Hearts

Just to say that it can make a beautiful romper, but perhaps in this bodysuit pattern style rather than the #sewingbee’s babygro pattern which has a fiddly gusset. Now imagine pattern matching that!!

 

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The Agnes Top by Tilly and the Buttons!

Agnes Top

I sew a lot of jersey for my toddler but was still worried about embarking on the Agnes top by Tilly and the Buttons. Not least because of handling a lot more notoriously stretchy (and sometimes slippery) Jersey fabric, but also because I decided to splurge on an adorably beautiful jersey fabric from Liberty!

Agnes Top 2

It all began when I decided to head out to central London on a whim. It was a beautifully sunny morning and perfect for catching the clipper to enjoy the sights from the river. Bonus points for entertaining a toddler too when you can sing “London Bridge” while pointing out the actual bridge. It drizzled at one point and I decided to nip into  Liberty for some cover.

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It’s easy enough to find jersey fabric, but the range tends to be either plain, or in stripes or polka dots design. So when I chanced upon this vibrant Marble Hearts dufour jersey, I had to have it and the Agnes Top immediately came to mind espeicially as it’s become such an indie cult classic in the sewing world.

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The great thing about indie patterns is that instructions are just so straightforward and easy to follow. It was also such a delight to have a little booklet pop out instead of an A3 instruction sheet to open out and find the space to read and absorb.

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I decided to do the long sleeved version without the ruching. I wanted something quick and easy, as I was rather nervous about ruining more than 30 GBP worth of fabric!

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I had a little accident during the cutting, but oh well, no pain no gain.

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The pattern calls for a stabilizer for the back shoulder seams, which was easily done with a ribbon.

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And then it’s straightforward stitching back shoulder seams to front seams.

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A little tricky inserting the neckline, but nothing too complex.

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Once done, it’s down to serging the side seams and sleeve seams, hemming, and then trying it on.

Agnes Top 4

I am extremely pleased with my top. It fit perfectly and is so very, very comfortable. I did this top in a day, as I was a bundle of excited nerves and there is nothing like that sort of sewing Adrenalin to keep you going.

Agnes Top 3

I will definitely be making this top again. The pattern is drafted to end at the hips, and this is perfect for a mum on the run who needs to sit on the floor at playgroups and doesn’t want her bits and pieces poking out. It also allows unrestricted movement of your arms, and this is crucial for running about and picking up an energetic toddler. A fabulous pattern from Tilly and the Buttons!

You can also read about a sewing hack from Lauren Guthrie of Guthrie and Ghani.  In this tutorial, Lauren shows how to adapt the pattern into a maternity top.

Agnes Top

I look forward to sewing the ruched sleeve version next to welcome summer. Perhaps with another fun print!