August 2021 Sew Diary

I can’t believe August is over already. I’ve already noticed the evenings getting darker soon and with that chill in the air it’s evident autumn is on the way. I, for one, can’t wait. I’m not really a sun lover so the few weeks we had of heat and sunshine are something I’d rather leave behind now. So, my sewing has taken a turn and I’ve started thinking about my autumn wardrobe; or, at least, transitional pieces.

My month started where July left off; with Charm Patterns.

Charm Patterns, Rita Dress

The Rita blouse was a pattern I never really picked up on as I don’t automatically jump on top patterns. And then one day I was talking to Lisa (@bobo_bun) who told me she thought the shape of the Rita would suit me and that I could just hack it into a dress rather than make a top that would go unworn in my wardrobe. I’ve written a blog post about it here so I don’t want to repeat myself but I think the fact I love it is very clear as I have made several this month and I reckon I’ve found another wardrobe staple, much like the Marguerite dress.

Sew Over It Marguerite

It should really come as no surprise that another Marguerite has made the sewing diary this month. I never got around to filing the pieces away after making it a couple of weeks back so I decided to sew up a wine double gauze I had in my stash – I think it will look beautiful with a pink cardigan and boots when the cooler weather comes in but I can wear it now, so it’s a great transitional garment.

A dog bed for Gatsby

This was great fun and a bit of a palette cleanser project for me. I basically took a large cushion (24″ squared) and made the bed around it – the precise measurements and a how to illustrated guide is in an earlier blog post should be interested in making one for your furry best friend – it comes highly recommended by Gatsby and his stuffed bear.

MadeIt Patterns, Spin Dress

I made two of these in a beautifully soft Art Gallery Fabrics jersey (gifted in return for a blog post by Minerva and you can find a full write up of the make on my Minerva profile page) for my good friends’ kids – it’s a really beautiful, classic fit and flare skater dress with a high round neck, pockets and a choice of long or short sleeves; with the summer coming near a close, I made the long sleeved version. How much fun would little girls have spinning in this skirt?

Butterick B6556

I used the bodice of the B6556 to make this Matryoshka print dress. It’s a Robert Kaufman print and it was gifted by Minerva as part of their Ambassador programme. I love the vibrancy of the print and took my time when cutting to make sure it lined up as well as it could (aside from where the darts shape it). I really didn’t want a wonky line of dolls across my skirt. The fabric wasn’t wide enough to make the pleated skirt of the pattern so I added a gathered skirt instead.

Friday Pattern Company, Adrienne

I made an Adrienne blouse a couple of months back and it has only been worn once so I decided to do a transformation.

I managed to order more fabric to make this a dress rather than a blouse. I basically cut the blouse at the waistline (plus seam allowance) and added a gathered skirt. I should add, it wasn’t as simple as it sounds; the skirt brought the bodice lower than I’d like (it was wearable but I was in a fussy mood which I regretted as soon as I had started but my stubbornness wore out) so I took it all apart, cut a LOT more off the bodice AND the skirt (it needed to lighten up!) and re-assembled. But I’ll wear it now so it was worth the effort.

Makeup Bags

After making the dog bed at the start of the month, I realised I really enjoy these little projects so have promised to take a break from dressmaking now and then so I made a few little cosmetic bags to gift to friends.

I’ve a lot of cute fat quarters and remnants from past makes in my stash and I’m trying to be more proactive in using them up.

Sew Over It London, Betty Dress

It’s a bodice that’s simple enough – but I still haven’t perfected it. it’s the shoulders, I think, that still aren’t quite right. Every version I’ve made I love – with different alterations every time – but I suspect the problem lies with the shoulders so I’ll focus on those next time. Still, I love this – it’s the V neck from the expansion pack which I choose to line rather than use a flimsy facing (after all, autumn is coming) and it is made from a gorgeous Art Gallery cotton which is why there’s a gathered skirt instead of the circle skirt as the fabric could not accommodate it.

Fitiyoo Mai Tai Boxer Shorts

I’ve slowly been building up my menswear sewing abilities, most lately making men’s underwear. This is an amazing, straightforward pattern; in French and English, the instructions are really clear and easy to follow. Really, you have to give this a try – it’s a great way to use up leftover jersey, too! Read more about the pattern here.

True Bias Hudson Pants (for men)

After the boxers (of which I have made a few more pairs after the first two using remnants of grey and back jersey from my stash) I moved on to making Simon a pair of sweatpants for lounging around the house in; i’s much easier to choose patterns for men; firstly, there’s less choice and most men’s styles are fundamentally made with a purpose in mind, not an aesthetic. The Hudson Pants were a really easy sew; I can’t say I learned anything from the construction of them; the only thing I would say is check the length – I compared them by flat laying them with a pair of trousers in Simon’s wardrobe but I could have done with shortening them a little. Saying that, they’re just a pair of trousers for pottering about the house in so it’s not that essential that the fit was perfect; so long as they are comfortable – which they are. The sweat-shirting I got from Jenny Stitches would almost make me want to wear them… almost.

Self Drafted Pyjamas

I was inspired by @elleandthestitches who is running a #RecyclingRemnants challenge on Instagram to use up little pieces of fabric; off the back of making the boxers I pulled out a couple of remnants in my stash I had acquired in a remnants sale – after pre-washing these turned up at 80cm and 85cm each, enough to make a little pair of short pyjamas.

Lansdown Patterns, Hadley Dress

I love trying out new indie designers and I loved the idea of this dress – I didn’t get on wonderfully with the fitting process (there’s an awful lot of ease to deal with) and you can read about it in a previous blog post. Saying that, if you’re a beginner sewist and you like a lot of room in your clothes, you’ll get on well with this one and there are lots of little features to make this your own.

Gertie’s Patreon Exclusive Rita Bishop Sleeve Expansion

All the autumn feels for my sewing are coming into play, and Halloween (as one of my favourite holidays) may have inspired this witchy make (but I’m a fan of a bit of the Gothic aesthetic all the year through). I used lace that was gifted by Minerva as a part of this make so I’ll be getting a blog post up over there soon so no full reveal yet.

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Juniper Cardigans

These are a staple in my autumn wardrobe – the cropped version works so well with my array of full skirted dresses. With the seasons about to change, I’ve been beginning to make a few more plain versions; this time a pink and teal to complement a lot of my me made dresses.

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