‘Sew Over It’ Penny dress with Ruby Star Society Fabric

Lisa's cotton dress with piping...

Hi there!

Wow it feels like forever since I was last here.  I hope you are all well and managing to stay safe in these weird, unexpected times and are finding happiness and relaxation in your sewing adventures.  I know for me, it’s a bit up and down and sometimes I’m struggling to even think about sewing.  Partly because I’d over indulged during lockdown and gained a bit of the old weight so I didn’t feel like making pretty clothes for myself and partly due to the stresses of owning a business that isn’t yet allowed to open.

However when Sammy gave us the go ahead to start blogging again I knew I needed to get my act together and start making for me again.  I’d already started the healthy eating and lost almost a stone so felt a new dress would definitely be a celebration.

When I saw the Ruby Star Alma Faces fabric I almost immediately fell in love.  I was torn between the mustard and the one I chose.  Sammy had also posted over on Instagram the red button lips that I chose to use and I thought they’d be perfect as this month’s theme was fastenings.

 I initially thought it was black and white from the pictures so figured a pop of red with the buttons would work well with it and opted to make a fabric belt in red to accompany the buttons, however it is in fact navy blue and off white.  Not to worry though as I think it works pretty well with the navy and cream too.

I had a bit of a think and decided that I’d make myself the Penny Dress by Sew Over It London.  Now, if you follow me over on Instagram (you can find me on @sewlastminutelisa if you fancy a look) you’ll know that I’ve made 3 of these previously for my mum but not actually made any for myself. 

The fabric is only 43” (about 110 cm) wide and the pattern called for 140cm wide so I knew that I would have to take some of the volume out of the skirt.  I knew this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem so decided to go for it.   It has taken quite a bit out of the bottom of the skirt and made it more of an A line looking skirt rather than the fullness of a circle skirt.  However I really like it.

I felt like the belt might be a bit on the plain side so opted to have a play with the ribbon stitches on my Pfaff Performance Icon and jazz the red fabric belt up a little.  Now, if you’ve not seen these stitches before they are amazing.  It’s like plaiting ribbon.  You have the option to use 1, 2 or 3 ribbons with a combination of different stitches to hold them in place.  This is the first time I’ve had a project that I could really use it on and I have to say I’m really happy with how it turned out.  My only tip is to make sure you use stabiliser underneath the decorative stitches on your machine!

I managed to find a bit of red piping in my stash so decided to add this to the shoulder epaulettes to give a pop of colour in that area and add a bit of interest.  I simply pinned it as instructed in the pattern but wedged the piping in between the seam allowances and it was sewn together using my zipper foot and by moving the needle right across to the left of the zipper foot it enable me to get up close to the piping.

Again, my Pfaff always performs when it comes to doing buttonholes (except when its user error lol J) and it didn’t disappoint this time either.  I was a bit concerned with the shape of the buttons however, once they’d been pushed through the holes a couple of times they were fine.  I always make sure to use Fray Check whenever I’m doing buttonholes just to make sure there’s no fraying once I’m done.

Now, the hubby never really comments on the stuff I make unless I specifically ask his opinion (which, let’s be honest with 2 girls living at home, does his opinion really count? Lol!) However, he was quite taken with this little number and made sure to tell me how much he liked it and that it looked so professional so I’m taking this one as a definite win! 🙂

I wore this dress almost as soon as it was finished and have to say it was so so comfortable.  The fabric felt lovely against my skin (certain fabrics irritate my skin nowadays) and it was a dream to wash and press.  Overall I’m giving this one 10/10 – can you tell I’m gushing now :).  I’ve had so many compliments about the dress and the fabric when I’ve been out and about in it, it makes me feel great to wear it.

Let me know what projects you’ve been working on using this fabric!  I’d love to see them!  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and looking forward to seeing you again next month!

Take care, until next time

Lisa  x

@sewlastminutelisa

Debbie’s handmade wardrobe series – March update

How is everyone doing? What a strange month it has been! I never ever thought we would be in this situation. The upside is I’ve had more time for sewing and it really is helping to give my days purpose…think my make 9 will be more like a make 30 at this rate! 

I feel very lucky to have a hobby which gives me so much joy and distracts me from reality for a few hours a day and it’s making me want to try some new crafts while we have this time in self isolation. On my list is knitting, crochet and Macrame! Sammy has just uploaded some gorgeous macrame cord to the shop so once I’ve decided what colours I want I’m going to buy some and give it a go. There are loads of instructional videos on You Tube and also one on the blog here.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you an update on where I am with my handmade wardrobe so far…

I’m making myself a summer dress with the McCall’s M7950 (view C) With this lovely plaid cotton

I’ve made the bodice and have started on the patch pockets. I’m a little worried that the straps are too long so I might need to adjust them and shorten them, but it’s a fully lined bodice so I’m not quite ready to unpick it all just yet! I’m sort of whishing I’d made view D now which are simple tie straps which you can adjust yourself…next time!

I’m hoping this dress will look good with a t-shirt or long sleeve top underneath so I can get some wear out of it in the colder months too!

I’ve also made a True Bias Shelby dress which I’m really really pleased with. It’s a princess seam playsuit/dress. I made View C which is the playsuit version and it’s going to be super handy in the summer at saving my modesty when I’m riding my bike!

I love a polka dot so this Georgette fabric would work beautifully.

I couldn’t help but give it a real 90’s twist and add these adorable daisy buttons! At only £2 for a set of 5, you can’t go wrong! I wore this last night on ‘Date night’ (in the house with my husband and a bottle of red wine!) and I felt so comfy but also like I’d made an effort so I would highly recommend this pattern and i’ll be making a few more!

I also made the Fennel Fanny pack with the Flower Market Fabric from A Beautiful Mess

I’ll go into more detail in my dedicated post about this but I found it a really fiddly make and made a few mistakes with this one! It hasn’t put me off making more though, I think maybe I rushed it a little so next time I’ll take it slower, sometimes you just have days where everything goes wrong!! I love the result though, it’s the cutest little bum bag and wll be great on dog walks to store a few treats and poo bags! Who else has made this project?

That’s it for now! What are you sewing at the moment? Are you finding time to sew? 

Stay safe everyone and sending lots of love to you all. I love this fabulous sewing community and it’s really keeping me going at the moment.

The dogs are enjoyng the sunshine which is a bonus too!

Debbie x

10 Charity Craft Projects and Ideas

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Charity craft, another reason to get making!

One of the biggest reasons so many of us craft as much as we do, is to give. To pass on our heartfelt creations to the ones we love. Having a lovingly made project on the go constantly is a part of who we are, and knowing what and who we’re making it for just makes us work even harder to create something beautiful and full of love. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I don’t know about you, but sometimes I run out of people to make for. I’m a hobbyist so not interested in making en masse and selling on Etsy, but I would love to find a new outlet and reason for the amount I craft.

Hopefully I have stumbled upon the answer! Did you know there are charities, all around the world, whose main donations consist of handmade items that are craved by those in need. Hopefully one or more of these options sounds right for you. Let us know if you make anything and who you’re sending it to by telling us on social media – @sewcraftyshop – and using the hashtag #showcrafty x

1. Dress a Girl

charity craft sew crafty girls dresses dress

This wonderful worldwide initiative helps get adorable dresses to children in places around the world where they would normally never even dream of getting something to cute and just for them. With a great guide on how to make the simplest but best dresses, the types of fabric to use, and where to send your dress to locally to you – there are ambassadors world wide – as well as how to start your own Dress a Girl event and tons of photos of the kids looking adorable, this site just pulls on the creative heart strings and is something anyone can take part in.

Full info on the Dress a Girl website: http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com

2. A Gift of Quilts

charity craft sew crafty quilt

It’s a well known joke among quilters and those that love them that it’s an addiction. We’ve all got multiple quilts or beginnings of quilts surrounded by fabric, and here’s a new reason to finish! Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, A Gift of Quilts sources charities and hospices around the world that are in dire need of something warm and homemade to make people suffering feel better and loved. Head over to their website to see the list of “Who Wants What” and how you can get involved! http://www.agiftofquilts.co.uk/

3. Made 4 Aid

charity craft sew crafty

This brilliant organisation collects handmade anythings and sells them to raise money for Medicins sans Frontiers/Doctors without borders. It has a few criteria like the gift must be made by you, recently and be in good quality. But other than that the world is your oyster. Check out what other work they do and how you can get involved on their website now. http://www.made4aid.org/

4. Are you being bullied?

charity craft sew crafty

This lovely charity have a book they send out to schools and community groups explaining the importance of speaking out if they are being bullied. They have an adorable mascot called Percy the Pigeon who helps! The charity need volunteers to knit a Percy, following the pattern on their website, and send it in to be used during talks, and let’s children know they are not alone. Knit your own Percy with the pattern on the Are you being bullied? website now! http://areyoubeingbullied.com/

5. The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund

charity craft sew crafty

Another knitting one! The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund (RN&RMCF), the only charity dedicated to supporting children whose parents work for the Naval Services, is looking for knitters to volunteer their time and their spare wool to create small dolls for the charity. All the patterns, info inc materials needed are on the website – these dolls are so so sweet! Get involved on their website now. http://rnrmchildrensfund.org.uk/

6. Craftivist Collective

charity craft sew crafty craftivist

Craftivism as a concept isn’t new, but this website is certainly a breath of fresh air. Learn what you can do to bring craft into making a difference, a quiet creative protest for things that matter. With a whole heap of creative project ideas, you can get lost in this website and its inspiring ideas for weeks! Learn what you can do to make a difference with your craft, bit by bit, it’s all important. Something a bit different here but we love it! Learn more at https://craftivist-collective.com

7. Making for Charity

charity craft sew crafty sewing

This organisation encourages people to make sweet syringe driver bags for people who need to carry them around with them. Usually those in palliative care or cancer fighters. They also need small personal effects bags and small ring pouches for when belongings need to be safely returned to loved ones after someones passing. This is such a kind and unheard of idea, to me anyway, and a lovely way to give back and make someones day a little easier. Find the detailed patterns and info on how to get involved on the Making for Charity website now. http://www.makingforcharity.co.uk/

8. Snuggles Project

charity craft sew crafty cat

Animals need donations too! The Snuggles Project is a totally beautiful idea to connect crafters with lonely shelter animals that just need a snuggle. Make Snuggles following their patterns (knitting, crochet, sew, no-sew, toys etc), find a local shelter on their list, using the kitten symbol to show they a re participating, and send your donations in! Even if your local shelter isn’t involved yet (but lots are) let them know about it and become a part of a wonderful movement. Ah my heart. http://www.snugglesproject.org/

9. Love for the Elderly & The Forgotten Ones : International Card Exchange for the Elderly

charity craft sew crafty

It’s been so wonderful researching this post, and this one is great to end on. Create beautiful cards and letters to be sent to people who may never receive another card again. Let them know they are thought of and loved. Wish them a Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas. You don’t know how much one thought, one handmade keepsake, can really mean to those lonely and often forgotten members of society.

Head to this website for more info on what your card or letter could consist of, and find their general North American address to send your cards to. If you would like to look internationally, a world wide database of places you can send your cards and letters can be found on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thelonelyelderly/posts/483569565082163?fref=nf

10. Find A Great Charity That Needs YOU!

charity craft sew crafty lion brand

Lion Brand have this fantastic search form on their website. Type in the sort of charity craft you’re into, where you are and BOOM! Lots of needy charities just waiting for your goodies. http://www.lionbrand.com/charityConnection.html

Let us know if you know of ANY other fabulous charities gagging for our crafty donations, or if you already donate, and they’re not on this list, let us know who to! And next time you’re about to send something off, tag us on social media using @sewcraftyshop and #showcrafty so we can be extra proud of you.

Thanks for reading! xx

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