Friday, 17 February 2017

Elephant Dress and Black Polo Neck

Hello all! For this months Minerva Make I wanted to use this fantastic elephant print jersey fabric. I then decided to make a black polo neck which would make a great layering piece for winter. You can see more photos and read about the making process here.
Thanks to Minerva Crafts for all of the supplies and to MK for taking photos and to Grace for directing.
Lauren xx

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A bra! Madalynne x Simplicity 8228

Hello all! A bit of a departure from the usual today, but when I saw New Craft House offering bra kits I wanted in. I sent a cheeky link to my Mum and 'lo and behold it turned up in my birthday present pile.
I was a bit smaller than the smallest size so I cut out a trial band to quickly check that all was okay. The fit seemed alright so I went ahead and cut everything out. I only just had enough lace, and definitely not enough to recut anything so just had to pray that I didn't have to. The powermesh was disgusting to cut with shears, and would have been a smoother process with a rotary cutter.

 Luckily the only adjustment I needed to make was to take in the band a bit at the back which was easy to do. I might take the halterneck in a tiny bit at the back for a little more lift and support.
 In the instructions I couldn't see any elastic joining the powermesh to the elastic at the bottom of the bridge, but I thought it would be worth doing, so did that anyway. I didn't add the channelling because I wasn't quite sure what purpose it served and instead pressed the seam allowances up into the cup and whipstitched them into place. I didn't topstitch the seam allowances down in the cups because I was anticipating having to alter them but they seemed alright so I whipstitched those down as well.
All in all, I'm very pleased with my first attempt at a 'real bra'. It was quite a quick sew and a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening. Please don't hesitate to give me any tips or advice because I'm very new to this side of clothes-making. In retrospect a darker coloured lace would have worked with my skin tone better, but the pale pink works very well as a neutral.
Thanks very much for reading and to Rachel for taking photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Metallic circle skirt

Hello all! My lovely friend MK gifted me this silver fabric for my birthday last month. It took a bit of umming and arring to decided what I wanted to do with it because it's very delicate. If stretched it ladders instantly.
I decided to go for a gathered circle skirt, which is a fairly simple make, and doesn't require any stretch. I used the circle skirt calculator from By Hand London to see what the biggest radius I could get was, while maintaining the length. Ideally, it would be a bit fuller at the waist and a tad longer but I'm quite happy with the gathers I did get.
The fabric was stabilised at the waistband with waistband interfacing and I put in an invisible zip in right to the top of the waistband. A light grey zip would have ideally been better than the black but it's what I had 'in stock'. After the zip was installed the skirt was somehow too big, so I pinched the room equally out of each side, sewing down the width of the waistband.
Then all that was left to do was the hemming! When I cut out the circle skirt the fabric was a nightmare, I couldn't get 2 layers to sit flat on top of one another at all. In the end I ended up cutting out just the circle for the waist and a centre back seam, then trimming the hem on a single layer after it was left to hang for a few days.
The fabric is very thin, and very static. You can see below the hem of my top forming a ridge. Perhaps a half slip would sort this out, or pairing it with a bodysuit would work fabulously.
The original plan was to add a bodice to the skirt, but everything I draped was just silver overload so I left it as it was. I wanted to wear it out on Friday night but everything I tried on with it just looked wrong! I do quite like it paired with this black polo-neck though for a more casual look. I'm intrigued to see how well the skirt would pair with a sheer white button-down shirt, but I don't own one of those at present so will have to keep a look out for the right fabric. All in all, it's very snazzy and I love it.
 Thanks very much for reading and to Rachel for taking the photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Minerva Makes: Metallic top and scuba leggings

Hello all! My latest project has a little of the party and a little of the practical about it. As a student I find myself 'going out' at the weekends to various pubs, bars and clubs with slightly nicer than normal dress codes. There isn't really anything in my wardrobe that I feel quite fits the bill, and I thought that this metallic fabric would fit the bill perfectly. You can read all about the making process here.
Thanks for reading, to Minerva for the kits for this outfit and to Edward for taking the photos!
Lauren xx

Monday, 23 January 2017

Batwing top patten hack, Sew Style, Essentials bookazine feature

 Hello all! Today I'm excited to share that I was in Sew Style's latest bookazine with a pattern hack. I started off with  Kwik Sew 3720 as a base pattern which is a basic batwing top.
I decided to really go for gold with the hacking and chop the pattern off at the waist, add a circle skirt and raise the batwing sleeves slightly. I'm really pleased with the resulting dress and I really think it demonstrates how versatile you can be with  a basic pattern.
The fabric is from Minerva Crafts and although I didn't think it was very me when it arrived, it's really grown on me. Plus, it's really soft and cosy to wear.
When I chopped the bottom of the bodice off, I failed to take into account the weight of the skirt, so next time I'd shorten it a bit in anticipation of that. I also didn't anticipate the fact that the elastic would stretch out when I sewed it to cinch in the waist, so next time I'd either cut the elastic shorter or make a channel with it to run through, instead of sewing it directly to the fabric.
I really like the length of the sleeves, although they are a tad impractical. At the time I cut the skirt as long as was possible, and I'm undecided on whether to shorten it or not.
Thank you very much for reading, to Sew Style for letting me feature in their bookazine and to Edward for taking photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Lark sweatshirt

Hello all! Today I have another Lark to share with you. You may think that you have seen this fabric before, and you would be correct. Dad went into the local fabric shop just before Christmas and bought me the same fabric that he did for Christmas last year! I made a pair of trousers from last years fabric, but they never got a lot of wear, so I was glad of another chance to do this fabric justice.
I decided to make a Lark, cropped sweatshirt style with cuffs and a bottom band ending at the waist. The fabric is a woven with a weird amount of lengthways stretch, as opposed to the traditional horizontal stretch and perhaps I was a little optimistic that the lengthways stretch would be enough to make the Lark tee.
It turned out alright I think, for the gamble I took. The sleeves are a bit short and a bit tight, and the band around the waist is just a little too short for these jeans. It might be worth just quickly sewing a smaller seam allowance on the sleeve and ripping off the band and adding a slightly longer one.
I do really like this jumper and I think it would be worth doing the alterations to make sure it gets worn. I can see myself wearing a black shirt with it and I love it with black jeans.
Thanks for reading and to Edward for taking photos!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Hello and a very Happy New Year to you all! Research was part of my dancewear module at uni and I couldn't help but want a tutu after seeing all of the gorgeous ones in my studies. I decided that the romantic tutu's are my favourite. They were popular in the romantic era, hence their name and were cut just above the ankle so that the dancers footwork could be admired.
Luckily my friends were having a fancy dress party for their birthday so I could make my ballerina dream a reality! If I was to make a romantic tutu properly it would be attached to a basque but I wanted mine to wear over the leotard I made last year so I simplified the process a lot.
I ordered 2 metres of tulle from eBay hoping that with a long width there would be enough fabric. This was then cut into 3 equal pieces and sewn into 3 tubes with an opening left at the top of each seam so I could get it on. These tubes were then gathered to my waist measurement and sewn onto a bleached calico waistband which is fastened with a giant snap.
I wasn't at all happy with the fit of the leotard so I made a few drastic alterations. The first was to cut a straight line at the neckline, cutting off the straps which always dug into my arms. The neckline was looking a bit baggy so I zigzagged a piece of foldover elastic down the wrong side of the centre front to ruche it a bit, which I think looks great.
I curved the underarm seam down into the back and used foldover elastic for the straps. The result is a lot more comfortable than the original. Don't look at the finishing on the inside though. That leaves a lot to be desired.
I was really quite happy with the overall effect for the party, but there really aren't enough layers of tulle to make a proper impact. One day I'd like to add at least another 3, or maybe scrap the waistband and do it all properly. It is very hard to find  information on making a proper romantic tutu though. All the tutorials are fashion based because it seems that tutus were all the rage a few years back.
It was very fun to wear, I must admit. An outfit such as this really requires a person to float around with shoulders back!
Thanks for reading, to Beth for letting me borrow her dance tights, to MK for the fabulous party and to Edward for letting me drag him to the woods for photos.
Lauren xx