Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Outfit-Along 2016: My Completed Outfit

Hey guys!

I am exceptionally late blogging my completed garments for the Outfit-Along, but I only just got around to photographing them. Whilst I did finish both pieces before the deadline, unfortunately I never uploaded a picture on time for it to count in the competition! However, for me the real prize is that it inspired me to create an entirely new outfit, including a knitted jumper! For someone as slow at knitting as I am, I feel really proud of this accomplishment.

For the first part of my outfit, I (rather unsurprisingly) chose to make a dress. I had an absolutely beautiful length of Liberty Tana Lawn in my fabric stash which I'd been delaying using for fear of something going wrong! I decided the competition was the push I needed to create something from it though, and chose my favourite tried and tested pattern, the Sewaholic Cambie.

I made up the Size 0, which is standard for me, and didn't come across any fitting issues sewing it up. The whole of the dress is fully lined as well, including the fully gathered skirt.

I absolutely adore this pattern, which can be seen through the amount of times I've sewn it up! I have seven Cambies in my handmade wardrobe, the most times I've used the same pattern. 

Here's a close up of the bodice so you can have a better look at the beautiful fabric! I know that Liberty isn't for everyone, but I've been somewhat of a super-fan since the moment I stepped inside the store in London. Even the building itself is gorgeous, fitting to house such exquisitely designed fabrics. I have been known to spend more than an hour on the fabric floor, doing nothing but walk round and feel the buttery softness of the Tana Lawn. Whilst expensive, I do love the fact that I'm not able to sew with it for every project; the rare times I'm able to get my hands on some Liberty, my project feels that little bit more special.

Now moving on from my ramblings about my love of Liberty, let me show you my finished jumper! Whilst not perfect, I am really pleased with the fact that I managed to finish it at all, as I am definitely more of a machine sewer than a slow hand knitted project kind of girl. But I am glad I persevered!

For this garment, I used a pattern I found on Ravelry - the Coronis Jumper by Emily Ringelman. It's knitted in the round from the top down, which for a beginner knitter like me seemed perfect. My only regret is that I didn't follow the yarn weight instructions, using a thick aran instead of the recommended double knitting, so it's come out quite bulky. But, it's all a learning curve! And the finished jumper is still perfectly wearable.

I do love the yarn I used though, despite the fact it's a little weighty. It's a deep navy colour with little white specks, perfect to match all my dresses! I'm sure it'll see some wear come winter, as it is really warm and cosy.

Aaaaand here's the completed outfit! A Sewaholic Cambie dress and a Coronis jumper. I'm so pleased with both garments and happy that although I didn't get everything uploaded on time for the deadline, I've furthered my knitting skills and come away with two new items of clothing to wear.

Did you take part in the Outfit-Along? If so, I'd love to see what you made!

I hope you all have a fabulous week and, as always, thank you so much for reading,

Beth x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Backless Emery Dress

Hey guys!

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally got round to photographing some of my more recently finished makes! I've got so much to share with you, so I thought I'd start with my absolute favourite, a hacked version of the Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.

From the front, the dress looks like the Emery Dress as drafted. I cut the smallest size, using View A for the bodice but omitting the bow at the waistline. As is typical for me, I used a simple gathered skirt, which I lined. It's the back of the dress which is a little more interesting!

I bought a ready-to-wear backless dress from New Look this summer and fell in love with the style of it, so I wanted to experiment and see if I could replicate it. Using the back piece of the Emery bodice as a starting point, I simply got a pencil and drew a line down from the neckline, curving in towards the centre back as I reached the waistline.

I didn't bother to line the bodice, simply gave every visible raw edge a narrow hem, which worked out fine. I then added a little strap at the back just for some security and inserted the zip like normal. I'm so pleased with the finished result!

For the fabric, I used a lovely length of something I picked up in Abakhan in Chester, only I don't know what it is! It feels like a soft version of cotton canvas, or something similar? It's quite a heavy weight, but with a beautiful feel to it. I love the print as well! Navy floral? Yes please! It was a dream to work with, as it pressed really well and didn't fray.

Here's a close up shot of the back. It is quite dramatic! As I was making alterations to the paper pattern, I was just winging it really - I've never hacked anything in this way before. I just drew my new shape directly onto the pattern and cut it out, as it's a PDF file so I can just print off another copy if I ever decide to make another non-backless version. I do want to continue my experiments with backless though, perhaps a slightly less full version next time - have the scoop finish higher up my back and bring the sides round into my shoulder blades a little more. I do love it the way it is though, it's a real statement and I've worn it loads this summer.

So, that's my new Emery! I have loads more to show you though, so keep your eye out for more posts from me which should be up quite soon.

I hope you all have a fabulous week and thank you as always for reading,

Beth x

P.S. For the very observant amongst you, you may have noticed I've had a new haircut! I got bored of my curls and full fringe, so I've had a side parting and side fringe cut in instead, and have been experimenting with straightening! I'm still a bit undecided as to how to wear it full-time, but for the meantime I like it like this.