The Restyling Exchange 2018 is here!


Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m about to say it… the second edition of the Restyling Exchange is here! Last year’s Restyling Exchange was such a great success – with over 40 participants from all over the world. How could we not bring it back this year?!

Our hopes for this year’s restyling exchange is to get even more participants, raise awareness for refashioning and being sustainable in our sewing practice, as well as add a few fun new elements to this years challenge.

There are a few new additions to this year exchange to make it even more inspiring and fun. This time round, we’ve created a dedicated pinterest board packed with refashioning ideas and stash buying patterns, and we’ll be of course sharing inspiration on our IG feeds.

Last year’s refashions where so amazing/beautiful/radical/breath taking that we felt we should include some sort of named prizes just to make it even more fun, so… there are the categories for this year:

  • Most radical
  • Biggest transformation
  • Best before and after picture
  • Best modelling
  • Least left over fabric – take a picture!
  • Amy’s fave
  • Pilar’s fave

These awards are to encourage everyone to really have fun with it and challenge yourself!

Without further ado, all the details are below, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY before signing up, especially if this is your first year joining us!

 

 

The Restyling Exchange is a global fashion swap connecting restylers all over the world to promote the value of refashioned clothing, deepen the online sewing & crafting community, and challenge your creativity.

How did it start?

Well, last year I did a refashioning swap with a friend just for fun and I posted about it. It was just so lucky that Amy saw this post and left a comment on it. But mind me, not just a normal comment, it was the kind of miss-a-heartbeat kind of comment suggesting to do a refashion global swap, wouldn’t this be amazing? Well, as you can see I couldn’t resist the idea!

If you’ve come across Amy before, you’ll know she is not only mad into refashioning, but she’s made some works of art this way, including restyling this stunning wedding dress. Her blog is definitely and endless source of inspiration, so do head over with a nice cuppa in your hands and get lost in it. She is just the perfect partner to host the exchange with because she’s got heaps of knowledge on the matter and I’m just so glad we got this going. Last year’s exchange was an overwhelming experience for both of us because it surpassed any expectations we may have had. It was just so amazing to see how much people cared and “stalked” their restyling partners to really grasp the essence of their style… resulting in truly beautiful garments.

Why during Fashion Revolution Week? We thought this week would be the perfect week to launch our project to coincide with Fashion Revolution week, which was created in response to the Rhana Plaza collapse in April of 2013 that killed 1138 people, mostly garment workers. Fashion Revolution is a movement that calls for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. You may have seen the posts and hashtags: #who made my clothes. Its an amazing week that raises awareness of the damages of the fashion industry to our planet and it’s people. Refashioning your old clothing, or second hand clothing is a great way to contribute to the eco fashion movement. It not only reduces waste, but reduces the need to consume more new, unethically produced clothing. Click here to learn more about Fashion Revolution week, and how else you can get involved.

 

 

It’s quite simple really! We all have that pile.. you know the one I’m talking about. Clothes that you never wear but cant seem to get rid of, that skirt you picked up at the thrift store because you love the fabric and were going to refashion it but couldn’t think of what to make it into, that tiny bit of vintage trim you can’t seem to find the right project for.. yup…. THAT pile!

After signing up, you will go into that pile and pick out either one garment or a couple items that you would like refashioned. If you choose multiple items it is assumed that they will be used to make one “look” – you will not receive multiple refashioned items in return.

You then will mail off these items to your Restyler (assigned by us based on your location and size). At the same time, you will be someone else’s Restyler (not necessarily the same person that has you), and you will receive a package of garments from them. In order to keep postage costs down, you will be assigned someone in your own country. We will also do our best to match people of similar size (you will enter your measurements in the sign up form).

Everyone has about three weeks to restyle the garments and send them back to the owner.

At the end we have a big instagram party sharing our before and after pics of what we’ve made and what we’ve had restyled.

This is the perfect opportunity to have someone else make some magic on that garment you are struggling to find inspiration on.

 

 

Just to make sure we are all clear.. here are a few guidelines!!

WHO CAN JOIN:
– The exchange is open to everyone that has a public Instagram account AND feels they can restyle and give a new lease of life to an unworn garment. Deadline to sign up is April 28th (sign up link below!).
– Again, you will be matched up by general size & location (no one will have to pay for international shipping).

GARMENTS:
– You can include more than 1 garment as long as they are intended to be restyled together. Not for sending 20 garments to get the 20 refashioned!
– Please do not mail valuable or precious family heirloom garments.
– Please ensure that the items to be restyled are clean.
– We encourage you to print, fill in and send the downloadable questionnaire (found below) along with the garments to be restyled. That way you’ll let the other person know a bit more about your tastes and preferences. But don’t include specific instructions, the end result has got to be a surprise!
– You are welcome to use fabric from your stash in addition to the garment(s) sent to you to be restyled, but we like to encourage you not to purchase anything new for this project.
– There are no limitations to how you restyle the garment you are sent. Go all out as if it were your own! You can cut, paint, dye, embellish… the possibilities are endless!
– It may help you to have a little browse of the owner of your restyled garment’s social media accounts to get a feel for their style.
– Check out last year’s hashtag #restylingexchange2017 and our pinterest board (link) for more inspiration!

MAILING:
– The pieces to be restyled must be mailed by May 7th, 2018 at the latest. The sooner you send them, the more time you’ll allow the restyler to plan and refashion your pieces.
– The finished pieces must be returned by June 8th, 2018. Please post them back to their owner as soon as they are ready.
– No one likes getting mail lost in the post, so we encourage you to keep on the safe side and send it with tracking & signature required. If the packet did get lost in the post, either before or after being refashioned, neither the sender nor the recipient can be blamed for the loss.
– By entering, you are committing to pay for any post costs involved in this exchange.
– In the odd chance that only one person was to sign up from a given country, and was not willing to cover international postage, then we may cancel their request to join in the exchange due to a lack of restyling partner in their country.

SHARING:
– You can use the hashtag #restylingexchange2018 throughout this time to keep us posted about your process. Maybe you want to post about the garments you’ve mailed off for restyling, or maybe you want to share your creative process and how you are approaching the refashion. Before and after shots are also very effective, don’t forget to post yours!
– We will be having a dedicated weekend so that we can all share and see the restyled garments at once, so even if you’ve been posting about your make, don’t forget to join the community over the 22nd, 23rd, & 24th of June.

All of that sound good to you? Click to sign up NOTE: Please only sign up once!! –>

 

Thinking sustainably about your #makeyourstash project

A massive thank you for showing so much enthusiasm for #makeyourstash! We have been totally overwhelmed by all the love and we are very excited to be hearing all your thoughts and later on seeing all your makes. After reading all the comments, we have put together our sustainable sewing planning tips for this challenge in case you haven’t started planning your project yet. The key thing to remember is that there is oodles of time, so there is really no rush! Here goes:

  1. Sort out your fabric stash

Some really neat storage solutions we have seen recently:

  • Folding fabric in a pile and storing it inside a hanging shoe storage along a wardrobe rail. Or dedicate some shelving space to it inside a cupboard (then you won’t see it!)
  • Hanging each piece of fabric on a coathanger along a wardrobe rail.
  • Wrapping each piece of fabric around cardboard and labeling the tops so you can see what you have (like you would see fabric on a bolt in a shop) then filing on a bookshelf.

Courtesy of @madegoods.makegood

I confess that personally I am Mrs Disorganised. I live in a small 2 bedroom house with a toddler so my solution is 3 giant storage boxes stacked next to my wardrobe. This is obviously less than ideal, but hopefully one day we will move and I will be able to try some of the ideas above.

  1. Decide what you would really like to have in your wardrobe for the season.

How often do you clean out your wardrobe and assess what you really want and will wear for the season? If you are doing #makenine this year, how closely did you think about what you wanted to make? We think wider wardrobe considerations are important when doing #makeyourstash or any other sewing for that matter – there’s not much point making something out of fabric that you happen to have if the colours, fabrics or style does not make you happy to wear it! You could also go RTW window shopping and to try things on. Then you can assess what you like before spending a load of time and effort on sewing.

  1. Make just one thing

Are you a planner or do you sew on a whim when inspiration strikes? Do you know how many clothes you own? The point is that you probably don’t need anymore clothes, though it is of course nice to sew and enjoy the things you have sewn (that’s why you are reading this right?) But we think it is perfectly fine to pass on the new shiny dress pattern that is all over Instagram and you don’t need to keep up with anyone. The state of your wardrobe and how much you sew is not a competition.

  1. My fabric is too precious to cut

We have had some people say to us that #makeyourstash is giving them motivation to finally use that piece of fabric that holds a lot of meaning and association for them. It is a scary thought to dive right in isn’t it? Especially if you have complicated plans with lots of things that could go wrong. The suggestion here is to make a toile if it is a new pattern, or go back to a TNT. If it is not possible to make a toile, I will generally make the usual adjustments on my pattern, cut a size larger then normal in iffy areas, then keep trying and fitting as I go.

Liberty silk definitely feels too precious to cut 🙂

  1. Take it easy and sew slowly

The ethos behind the challenge is to help you think about your sewing footprint and reduce it just a little bit by asking you to use what you have. We know some people sew quickly and some sew slowly – but as we said before, there is really no rush and it is not a competition! Take the time to make your garment beautiful on the inside, do some handsewing if you like it, and enjoy the process.

Till next time, happy sewing

Kate and Pilar xx


This post was written by lovely Kate, and I dressed it with some pictures 🙂

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Introducing #makeyourstash – not your usual sewing challenge

Today I am very happy to be inviting you to use a new Instagram hashtag that Pilar and I have come up with: #makeyourstash! We would love for you to sew with us this spring and summer using this hashtag. You will have guessed that the clue is in the name, so we will be using #makeyourstash when we follow this one rule:

We will make garment(s) that we will love and wear, using fabric that has been in the stash for more than 6 months  

Who are you and why should I join you?

We met on Instagram and discovered that as well as sewing we have a mutual interest in sustainability, using less and wasting less. The number of sewists connected on Instagram means there is an endless source of inspiration. But the intensity can be overwhelming and we don’t think we are alone in buying a lot more fabric and making a lot more clothes that we would otherwise have done.

So we have decided that we are going to start using what we already have and we would so happy if you would join us. Need a reason? Here’s a few:

  • You will make a dent in your stash, which probably takes up too much space.
  • You will have a garment that you will love to wear.
  • It costs you nothing except time, and it helps the planet just a tiny bit.
  • Its great to be a part of the Instagram sewing community.
  • Finally, and best of all, sewing with us does not put a spanner in your sewing plans!

We know there are a lot of sewing challenges out there. Which is why #makeyourstash is designed to be combined with any other sewing you have planned and any other sewing challenge that you are participating in, as long as you follow the rule.

Sounds great, is there a “sewing challenge” bit?

The purpose of the “challenge” is to sew thoughtfully – our starting point is using what we have. However, to encourage you to join in with us, we have teamed up with sponsors who share our passion for sustainable sewing, consuming less and reducing our waste.

Between March and May, we will monitor the #makeyourstash hashtag and randomly draw a prizewinner at the end of each month. The winner will receive a pattern (or two) from one of our sponsors. Entering is simple:

  1. Make something following the fabric rule above.
  2. Upload a picture of the finished garment to Instagram using the hashtag #makeyourstash. Please tag @timetosew and @pilar_bear so we don’t miss your picture.

Our sponsors are:

 

 

But wait, there’s probably not much in my stash I like anymore…

We would suggest taking the time to really look at your stash and see whether there is in fact something usable that you think you would like. We don’t encourage making something just to use something up. Wendy Ward has a great article on shopping your stash  which you can use as a starting point.

That is it from me today, hopefully see you on Instagram! For now, sew on!


This post was written by my lovely partner in crime, Kate. Her blog is a gem on sustainable sewing so do grab a cuppa and head over for a good, insightful view on the matter.

The Restyling Exchange is here!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m about to say it… the first Restyling Exchange ever is here! After a few weeks of thinking, preparing, scheduling, designing, etc… this project is finally ready to see the light and hopefully it will become a yearly community-wide event for many many years to come (can you tell we like dreaming big??). This global refashion swap has been lovingly organised by Amy and me and we are just so so excited to bring it to all of you guys. The best thing about this exchange is not just that you’ll get a restyled garment at the end of it, but also you’ll connect with other seamstress around the world, you’ll get loads of inspiration for future restyling projects and all of this whilst being eco-friendly! So it’s an all round feel good – do good project, don’t you guys think?

 

 

The Restyling Exchange is a global fashion swap connecting restylers all over the world to promote the value of refashioned clothing, deepen the online sewing & crafting community, and challenge your creativity.

I must acknowledge that I am fairly new to restyling garments and I only got into it last year after reading Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion, the widely acclaimed book by Elisabeth L. Cline, as part of the Colette Book Club. This book had a great impact on me, and although the mention of garment refashioning is just that, a passing mention, it was enough to really get me thinking about this process and its endless possibilities. The first ‘victim’ of my restyling attempts was my baby boy (and my husband’s ever diminishing wardrobe) resulting is this supper cute dungarees. I was hooked!

Once you get interested in restyling, then you’ll surely come across Amy’s IG feed sooner or later because she’s got plenty of stunning examples, and therefore inspiration, including the most beautiful and delicate refashion of her mum’s wedding dress. Then, our paths crossed again when she took part in the Pilar Bear Pattern Share (a worldwide pattern exchange project that I started a few months back) and got lucky enough to get her hands on the pattern bundle. This way, we got to know each other a bit better and have been following each other’s posts much more closely.

As part of another IG initiative that I started with my Insta friend @katerelton, we swapped garments in order to get them restyled and then returned to each other. I posted a picture of what she had sent me to restyle for her and explaining what we were up to, when Amy quickly saw the potential and left an innocent (but highly motivating/exciting/can’t-believe-what-we-are-about-to-do) comment saying: “what about doing this community wide?” Both my brain and my heart immediate went ‘Oh yes, we must do it!’ and I message Amy with some initial thoughts on the project. I think we were both amazed at how much on the same page we were! I love that about the sewing community, it just seems like sometimes we are just one big soul, but I guess that happens when your do something out of love and passion.

We decided to launch during Fashion Revolution Week because we feel that raising awareness on refashioning and giving a new lease of life to unworn garments is a powerful message that resonates with this project’s moto. The Fashion Revolution week was created in response to the Rhana Plaza collapse in April of 2013 that killed 1138 people, mostly garment workers. Fashion Revolution is a movement that calls for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. If you can’t take part on the Restyling Exchange for any reason, we still encourage you to get involved in the Fashion Revolution week by asking brands #WhoMadeMyClothes over on social media. It’s about time we realise that the £5 top that we pick and then never wear has serious consequences that we fail to grasp, mainly due to lack of awareness.

 

 

Well, this is the fun bit! Unless you are Marie Kondo, I’m sure you’ll have a few (or a lot?) of clothes that for whatever reason you don’t wear. Maybe they got passed down from a sibling and they’re not really your style, maybe you love the fabric but not the shape of the garment, or they simply don’t fit anymore. Well, it’s time to get those out for a ride!

Once you’ve signed up (big pink sign up button below), you can start going through your not-quite-my-style pile of clothes and pick one or two items. You then will mail off these items to your Restyler (assigned by us based on your location and size). At the same time, you will be someone else’s Restyler (not necessarily the same person that has you), and you will receive a package of garments from them. In order to keep postage costs down, you will be assigned someone in your own country. We will also do our best to match people of similar size (you will enter your measurements in the sign up form).

The sooner you mail them off, the longer your restyler will have to think about and transform your garments, but they idea is that each restyler has a minimum of two and a half weeks to work on the refashion and then post them back to their owner.

After that, we will be having an Insta Party to show off all our restyled garments! I’m already excited about the amount of inspiration that will be floating around over that weekend and also to ‘hang out’ with like-minded people from around the Globe. And the best thing, I think by then we’ll all have been bitten by the refashion bug and will never look back!

 

 

Just to make sure we are all clear.. here are a few guidelines!!

WHO CAN JOIN:
– The exchange is open to everyone that has a public Instagram account AND feels they can restyle and give a new lease of life to an unworn garment. Deadline to sign up is April 30th (sign up link below!).
– Again, you will be matched up by general size & location (no one will have to pay for international shipping).

GARMENTS:
– You can include more than 1 garment as long as they are intended to be restyled together. Not for sending 20 garments to get the 20 refashioned!
– Please do not mail valuable or precious family heirloom garments.
– Please ensure that the items to be restyled are clean.
– We encourage you to print, fill in and send the downloadable questionnaire (found below) along with the garments to be restyled. That way you’ll let the other person know a bit more about your tastes and preferences. But don’t include specific instructions, the end result has got to be a surprise!
– You are welcome to use fabric from your stash in addition to the garment(s) sent to you to be restyled.
– There are no limitations to how you restyle the garment you are sent. Go all out as if it were your own! You can cut, paint, dye, embellish… the possibilities are endless!
– It may help you to have a little browse of the owner of your restyled garment’s social media accounts to get a feel for their style.

MAILING:
– The pieces to be restyled must be mailed by May 6th, 2017 at the latest. The sooner you send them, the more time you’ll allow the restyler to plan and refashion your pieces.
– The finished pieces must be returned by June 2nd, 2017. Please post them back to their owner as soon as they are ready.
– No one likes getting mail lost in the post, so we encourage you to keep on the safe side and send it with tracking & signature required. If the packet did get lost in the post, either before or after being refashioned, neither the sender nor the recipient can be blamed for the loss.
– By entering, you are committing to pay for any post costs involved in this exchange.

– In the odd chance that only one person was to sign up from a given country, and was not willing to cover international postage, then we may cancel their request to join in the exchange due to a lack of restyling partner in their country.

SHARING:
– You can use the hashtag #restylingexchange2017 throughout this time to keep us posted about your process. Maybe you want to post about the garments you’ve mailed off for restyling, or maybe you want to share your creative process and how you are approaching the refashion. Before and after shots are also very effective, don’t forget to post yours!
– We will be having a dedicated weekend so that we can all share and see the restyled garments at once, so even if you’ve been posting about your make, don’t forget to join the community over the 9th, 10th and 11th of June.

All of that sound good to you? Click to sign up –>

Beyond in love with my Moneta and endless fun at the Moneta Party!

Hello everyone!

Last weekend was pretty intense. I am not one to be glued to my phone all day, let alone to social media, but the #monetaparty… well, that was something else. I guess it should have been called a Moneta rave since it lasted for 3 days non-stop! I wasn’t sure how an IG party was going to be but it definitely passed all my expectations. I was just so amazing to see all the different monetas made by sewists around the world! Different fabrics, different body shapes, different alterations, different styles… it was just unbelievable! So many good ideas, so much inspiration… but the most amazing thing was all the kind words that went around from seamstress to seamstress praising the goodness and beauty of their dresses. That was the real party to me, a party where kindness and encouragement was celebrated, where there was a place for everyone, and where even those who sadly got to it a bit too late, still could share their beautiful makes.  I can’t but thank again @sewpositivity, @rach_wain and @sewabigail for organising such a fun, delirious and heart-warming party.

Apart from attending an amazing party (can we do this every Saturday night, please?) this dress doubled up as the mommy make for this month’s @sewingmamasproject, and I’m so glad we joined the party because mamas not get many chances to do that often, do they?

Before I got making my Moneta, I spend a couple of quiet evenings to put some thought on the dress. I don’t really wear anything remotely vintage-y, mainly because I don’t feel it suits me, so I tried to keep the Moneta style with a slightly spotter look to it. After quite a few sketches, I decided on going for a ballet inspired dress, which allowed me to keep the style lines pretty much as they are but giving it a twist that felt much more like me.

My mods were very simple:

  • Raised front neckline by about 2 cm so nothing is on show (because there is nothing to show)
  • Lower back neckline up to the lowest point I could without my bra showing
  • Cut the skirt two sizes bigger than the waist for extra fullness on the skirt
  • Lengthen the skirt to mid-calf

In my opinion, these simple adjustments really transformed the style of the dress whilst keeping true to the original shape.

I recently discovered the pleasures and the skill of mixing sizes within a pattern so actually fits, so this dress it’s the first one in my sewing life ever that I feel it’s the right size all around it. I cut size XS for the bust area to ensure a snug fit around the bust and back and avoid gapping on the back scoop. I think the lined top of version 1 really helps to keep everything in place around the back area, especially with such a low scoop. Then I graded to size S around the wait. And then I cut size L for the skirt.

Fabric wise, I used a grey cotton jersey with tiny glittery blue spots to add a bit of sparkle to this affair. For me grey jersey is a synonym of sportiness, so I think the fabric choice really helped to create the style I was after. For the lining I chose a electric blue powernet to keep it in tune with its sporty/ballet nature.

By this point I was totally nuts and deep into thought and love with my Moneta that I had the “brilliant” idea of wearing my old ballet pumps to style the shoot. When I took them out of the box where they were, I loved seeing their handmade bag that I cross stitched and made for them when I was only twelve. That was a real trip down memory lane and it just made me realised that my passion for sewing had started way before I thought it had. The not so good thing about this wearing-my-pumps idea is that they are flipping painful!! How did I ever managed to dance for hours on those? It will always remain a mystery.

If you’ve read all the way to here, then we must be very good friends because this post turned out much longer than I intended! Thank you so much for reading everyone!

Loads of love!

Pilar

 

Baby Chef Outfit (with a Smurf twist)

Hello everybody!

I can’t believe it’s the end of February already, I thought NYE was just yesterday! The good thing about being the end of the month is… that it’s time to reveal my makes for this month’s Sewing Mamas challenge!

So in this occasion, lovely Kate and me decided on a Let’s Pretend theme for the little ones, which I loved because it is just such a broad concept that left room for pretty much anything we wanted to make for them. In my case, and since the Three Wise Men got Mateo a lovely kitchen for Christmas, (and he spends so much time playing with it) I decided on making him a Chef’s outfit.

I originally planned the outfit as a set of apron, hat and trousers, but unluckily this month my sewing time was veeery limited and I just managed to make the apron. To compensate, he just happened to be wearing a blue tee and white tights when I took these pictures so I guess he could also pretend to be a smurf cook.

I self-drafted a pattern for the apron and I added adjustable ties that I fed through the to layers of fabric that make the apron in a way that it was easy to get in and out and also future-proofing it a little while. I also added a big pocket for extra keeping-things-in-it fun.

Hopefully I’ll be finishing the rest of the set this weekend, so I’ll make sure I get him to model the whole outfit!

 

Thank you for reading!!

Pilar

Baby Blanket PJs – a total winner

Hello!

A bit more love than in my previous post, I am thrilled with the blanket PJs I made for my “baby” boy for this month’s Sewing Mamas challenge.

So what is a blanket PJs? Yes, it’s exactly what you are thinking. I made a PJs out of the million baby blankets we got given when he was born. I don’t know about yours, but my little boy moves as if it was going out of fashion when he sleeps, so he’s usually lying on top of the duvet after about a minute of falling asleep. Worried (like mums do) of him being cold, I thought of making a PJ with a blanket so he keeps warm through the night. Genius!

For this project I wanted to use just fabrics and bits that I had so I chose this stripy blanket and I use an old baby grow to do the cuffs and the neckline. I also had the right length zip, so this was a total stash buster! As per the pattern, I chose a PJ pattern from one of my very dear Ottobre Magazines.

I sewed pretty much everything with the overlocker, except cuffs, neckline and zip, and it came together very nicely and very quickly. The only changes I made were the exposed zip instead of  an invisible one, and I added a little bit of fabric at the top so the zip didn’t scratch his little beautiful face. This fabric turned out to be quite tricky to sew mainly because the fluff keeps you from seeing the actual edge of the fabric so I had so re sew a couple of bits that I didn’t catch with the overlocker. Probably next time I’ll sew everything first to make sure there are no little gaps here and there and then overlock the insides.

 

Oh, I’m so glad I made this, it’s been so cold here in Zaragoza and I think I slept a little bit better safe in the knowledge that my little angel was nice a warm. As I write this, I can’t help but think of all the kids that are not nice a warm, because they don’t have a home, or because they had to flee, and I think of their mums and I admire that they are some how pulling it together for their little ones. We should never forget how lucky we are and help those that we can on the way.

Thank you so much for reading!

Pilar

African Fabric Malvarosa Top – heartbroken

Hello everybody!

It’s 31st of January with means… I get to share my makes for the Sewing Mamas makes! If you don’t know what that is all about, make sure you check this post.

So for this month we went a bit nuts and instead of suggesting a garment as we usually do, we set the fabric to use instead. I know, it’s totally bonkers! My lovely Kate had mentioned a while back that she like to make something with African fabric since she had seen the awesome stuff that Vicky from SewVee usually posts about, so we thought what better than gloomy January to embrace colours and patterns to bright up our days? And there we went.

I chose some lightweight cotton fabric from my stash. It was actually quite lucky that I had some from when I lived in England because here in Spain is actually quite difficult to find (or at least I don’t know where to get it). I love the stripy pattern on this fabric and whilst it’s quite bold it’s also not too crazy.

For the pattern, I chose the Malvarosa Dress pattern, but with the intention to make a top instead of a dress. I had been wanting to sew this one up for a while and I thought the busy fabric with the simple lines of the top would marry well.

The pattern itself it’s easy to follow and it’s pretty straight forward, but there is one thing that made me fell out of love with it pretty much straight away: the facings. In my opinion, the facings are way to big and way too ugly. They overlap at places and it just makes the garment to feel so clumsy finished inside. I know it is perfectly wearable, but I probably won’t because of this and I’ll just take this make as a toile. I may even shed the cap sleeves off if I make it again and just try to line the whole thing instead of using those damn facings. I’ll also try to do French seams next time just to make it a bit prettier in the insides.

And this is how it looks from all angles:

So overall, I enjoyed sewing with the African fabric, but I’m just gutted that it’s not going to be something I’m going to wear. I’ll probably give it another go, but with a different pattern.

Hope you enjoyed the post even though it’s a sewing failure one!

Thanks for reading!

Pilar

A SOI Molly Christmas dress

SOI Molly dress

Hello everybody! Happy Christmas!

Today is the day to be merry, have lovely food in great company and… reveal my makes for this month’s sewing mamas project! If you remember, Kate and me proposed Christmas related makes for this month, a dress to wear on Christmas day for the mommy and a toy for the little one.

Choosing a pattern for this make was especially difficult and I toyed with different project ideas before I committed to this one. Since this dress has been made to be worn on Christmas day it had some very specific requirements to meet: first and most important, it had to be warm! Since we are over in England for the holiday period, my main concern was keep warm no matter what, so long sleeves were compulsory. Secondly, it had to be forgiving in order to fit (and disguise) all the Xmas foodie excesses so it could not be a fitted dress. And thirdly, it had to be a dress that I could wear after Xmas and that adapted to my full time mommy life, so it couldn’t be something too dressy or seasonal.

After much umming and arring, I came across the Molly dress pattern from the SOI City Break e-book and I knew I was onto a winner with this one. It had the long sleeves (and oh man I love those sleeves, so flattering!), it called for jersey fabric and I could definitely wear it after the merry period. Since the pattern itself is quite simple and comes together in a breezy, I decided to face all my fitting fears and decided it was about time that I (at least) attemped to fit the pattern to my actual measurements. As I said, since it is quite a simple shape, I thought it would be a great starting point to step into the unknown world of fitting.

I started with the sleeves because every single sleeve of every single pattern is massive on me. I never considered my arms especially thin but it turns out they must be to judge by the sizes they come in most patterns. I think the baby lifting has definitely help 😉 So I chose size 10 for bust and shoulders and I graded the sleeves down to size 8 (keeping the length for size 10).

Also, I wanted more of an A-line dress so I graded the dress out from 10 to 12 at the waist and to 16 at the bottom hem. I do realise that these adjustments are super basic and far from complex, but to me they felt like if I was doing magic and the result was a lovely fitting dress that didn’t make me look like a ghost in an oversize bed sheet (that’s how I used to feel in my makes before I started fitting them).

Fabric wise, I choose I green bottle super soft and warm ponte from my local fabric shop. I tend to be notoriously bad when choosing fabric for a project, but this time it seems like I got it spot on.

Result, I LOVE my dress!! I find it both super flattering and super comfy, so I can foresee many more Mollies populating my wardrobe in the coming months 🙂 Maybe a summer version?

So how was your Xmas? What did you wear?

Thanks for reading!

Pilar

 

 

Nani Iro Linden Sweater love

img_1146Hello everybody!

Today is a very important day because… it’s the last day for our Sewing Mamas November challenge! And this means that I can finally share with you my makes for this month. If you remember from my previous post, the projects to sew this month were a jumper for mama and a dungarees for the little one, and well, here there is one of them: my lovely Linden Sweater by Grainline Studio.
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The Linden had been on my sewing list for far too long and it was about time I gave it a go, and I love it! I can foresee many more Lindens popping up in my wardrobe over the next few months and years. It’s definitely become one of my go to patterns.

To be totally honest, I had been brewing this jumper for a long time. I had bought some quilted knit jersey from Miss Matatabi. Then I realised how beautiful it’d look mixed the the Nani Iro quilted cotton fabric. And then I just left everything in a draw being too afraid of cutting into my lovely fabric. I believe this happens to many of us so I don’t feel to guilty, but when Kate suggested we made a jumper as our first project for the challenge, I knew straight away it was time that I cut into those beauties.

Another thing that concerned me is the fact that the Nani Iro quilted cotton is a woven (a pretty stiff one too), not a knit, so when I started to cut and sew my Linden I had already come to terms with the fact that it may just be a disaster. I did modify the lower end of the jumper and avoided the elasticated band at the bottom. Instead, I lengthen both front and back of the main pattern pieces and finished them with a straight hem. Also, I just overlocked the Nani Iro fabric because otherwise it would have been the bulkiest of seams. You can see the detail in this pic:

Nani Iro Linden Sweater

The back is all made in knit jersey:

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Another adjustment that I had to do was reducing the bulk in the front seams. Since the Nani Iro fabric doesn’t adapt very well to the body, I decided to readjust the front seams so they fitted a bit better. I found a great tutorial on Madalynne and it is a simple adjustment to make:

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Nani Iro Linden Sweater

What else can I say? Well, that I am totally in love with my new jumper. It is soft, it is cozy, it fits me, it’s flattering, it’s made of beautiful fabric, it’s unique and… it’s mega warm!! I’m never cold when I wear it, and that’s to say a lot from someone that is pretty much always cold.

That’s it for now! And don’t forget to check the second make for this month’s challenge, some very British baby dungarees! Here you can see both 🙂

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Thanks for reading and hope you join us in our Sewing Mamas monthly challenges!

Pilar