Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Roberts Collection Redcurrant Dress

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have heard me wax lyrical about this pattern by Marillia Walker before. The Roberts Collection is a set of patterns for a jumpsuit, dungarees, a Dungerdress in two lengths, and a top.



Before now the only thing I've made from this pattern are the dungarees - and I've made no less than 4 pairs to date. My first pair I made from the dark denim that Marilla suggests in her blog post here and wore for my birthday surprise trip to London in February. I added pockets and contrast top stitching for a retro feel.



The second pair I made from a floral stretch twill (which unfortunately shrunk in the wash after one wear - I've now learnt my lesson to pre-wash!). 



The third pair I made from a gorgeous floral crepe jersey from the Textile Centre on EBay. I didn't know how these would turn out in jersey, but they are actually my favourite pair, they're so comfy! 



The last pair I made in the summer were from a 6oz light wash denim from my local fabric shop at the time, Kayes Textiles. I wanted a pair I could wear on sunny days without getting too hot, and the lightweight denim was perfect. I distressed the fabric in places with sandpaper and I really loved how they came out.



When Autumn started rolling in, I stocked up on some autumnal fabrics from my favourite online fabric shop - Fabwork Mills. One of the fabrics I got was the redcurrant sparkle wool/silk suiting fabric. I wasn't too sure what exactly I would make with it at first, it's a far more saturated colour than I would normally wear. I thought I'd try stepping out of my comfort zone completely and make the shorter version of the Dungerdress. Seeing as I loved the Dungerees so much, I figured I couldn't go too wrong with the dress.

In regards to construction, I made it as per the instructions, which are very straightforward and easy to follow. I self lined the front bodice and back bodice. For the pockets I lined them using this gorgeous cotton which is actually from a duvet set that I got from a charity shop. The colour is the percent match for the Redcurrent suiting. The Redcurrant suiting itself is really lovely to work with, it has body but is still lightweight enough to get a good drape on the skirt. It'll be perfect to wear with a roll-neck, tights and boots in the colder months, and with a tshirt and Birkenstocks in the summer. Far more versatile than I originally banked on.




A note on sizing. I cut a size 5 which is what I normally cut in the Dungerees (bar the lightweight denim pair which I cut as a 4 as I'd lost a little weight in the summer). It is a little more snug around my hips than I would normally like, and the front of the top seems a little big. I think this is just down to my body shape really. I'm slightly pear shaped (my hourglass was compromised after growing two babies!) and with this type of garment I don't think it would look right to grade it in at the waist. Maybe I could have chosen a size 4 on top and graded out to a 5 on the bottom half? I also could have gone with a heavier fabric. If I'd gone with a denim, it would perhaps sit better on the top and hang better on the bottom. Maybe it's just me being overly self critical. I never wear a-line skirts, or skirts of this length, or colours like this, so maybe it just needs some getting used to. For the photos I wore my cat print Rio tshirt from my previous post (the photos were taken in a rush on the same day and didn't have time to think about a different top), but I don't think it's the best choice to go with the dress.



Overall, I like this dress. I still prefer the Dungerees, but that's just my personal preference of trousers over skirts. I will probably try this dress in a denim at some point in the future and add pockets, which is more my usual style, but it's good to try something different. One thing I love the most about sewing my own is that I get to play around with fabrics and styles and really work out my own personal fashion vibe.




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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Me Made - Woven Hudson Pants & Seamwork Rio Tee

The best thing about having a separate sewing space is that I can fit in little bits of selfish sewing here and there between sewing orders and before I know it, I've managed to finish up whatever it is that I'm working on.

This week I've managed to sew my first pair of woven Hudson Pants and a cat print Rio Tee. Here's the details:

So let's start with the top. The Rio Tee is a pattern by Seamworks. If you're not familiar with Seamworks, it's a monthly online sewing magazine and each month they release two brand new patterns. I subscribe for around 6 dollars a month (I think) and for that I get to read the new issue each month and get two credits to downloads any patterns from the Seamwork collection. This my friends, is a bargain. You can of course purchase the Seamwork patterns without subscribing to the magazine, but why miss out on such a great read?! I got the Rio tee pattern a while ago and haven't gotten round to using it yet, but figured it would be a great staple. The fabric I used is a cotton jersey from EBay (the textile centre to be specific) which is a nice neutral colour with a black cat print. 

My measurements are a little hit and miss and don't usually fit into one size. My waist is small in comparison to my hips and my boobs are big in comparison to my waist. Bit of a nightmare. I went with the size that fit my bust and then graded out to the next size up at the hips. This was my first tshirt, and I was really surprised at how simple it was to sew. I used my over locker on most of it and a twin needle around the neck, sleeves and bottom hem. 

Overall I really like this pattern. It's a little long for my liking, even though I have a long torso, it's still reallllly long. Next time I'll chop a few inches off. Other than that it fit well, it's quick and simple to sew and I can see myself making more of these!




Now onto the pants. The Hudson Pants by True Bias is one of my all time favourite patterns. I've made a few pairs in jersey already and live in them. When I went fabric shopping on the Goldhawk Road a few months ago I fell in love with a navy moleskin fabric which had a lovely stretch to it. I instantly thought that they would make a gorgeous pair of smart Hudson's. It was more pricey than I would usually go for at £14 a metre, but it was worth it, it's such a nice fabric! I bought 1.5 metres and it was the perfect amount.




As I was making from a woven fabric I sized up two sizes. I forwent the cuffs as I wanted to be able to roll the trousers up, and I added in self drafted pockets to the back. But other than that I made them exactly as per the instructions. In hindsight I needn't have sized up two sizes because although the fabric was woven, it did have quite a decent stretch. When I tried them on they 'bloomed' a bit under the waistband, so I decided to add in a couple of pleats in a very unconventional manner. I literally folded in a pleat and hand stitched it down along the waistband seam so it was invisible. Not perfect but it worked and I really like the pleats there. I didn't hem the legs and just over locked the raw edges because I knew I'd be rolling them up anyway. 



All in all, I really like these trousers. They're super comfy and they're a little smart looking which is exactly what I was after. The fabric is lovely and thick and feels really expensive. I'll have to carry one of those lint rollers with me whenever I wear these though because all the fluff sticks in the pile! 



So here's my Me Made outfit, complete with a Lucky Muthah nursing bra peeking out, and my obligatory socks and flowery DM's. 




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Monday, 7 November 2016

Growing and Learning

In the last 6 months, Lucky Sew and Sew has really grown. I don't just mean on a monetary or social media level. I mean it has matured and settled into itself. Perhaps that's an echo of how I'm feeling, as I guess I sort of feel the same about myself. As a woman, a mother, a business owner - I feel comfortable. Lucky feels comfortable. I feel like it's found it's feet, and so have I.

I've learnt a lot in the last 6 months. Running a handmade business isn't all about the making of the product, a massive part of it is the stuff that you don't even think about. I've never thought of myself as much of a business minded person. I'm not very good with numbers and technology. Or maybe I'd just never flexed those muscles much before. From the conception of the idea for the Lucky Muthah collection to now, when I sit and take it all in, I'm pretty amazed at how many different skills I've had to learn and utilise along the way.

Aside from the bits I'm used to (designing the bra, pattern grading, sewing etc) there are so many new things that I've had to learn/blag along the way with this collection. Working direct with factories and wholesalers to order large quantities was new for me. Sourcing suppliers and dealing with them as a business owner was new. Designing products in Photoshop was new (and something I actually really enjoy!). Setting up photoshoots, modelling, editing photos, typing and distributing a press release...basically treating Lucky as a business and not a hobbie.

There's also the technology stuff which I still struggle with such as a website. I've finally worked out how to host my blog on my own domain. I've just set up a new email address for the website (hello@luckysewandsew.co.uk) and I've been looking at how to get a new layout for the website. Something more simple and sophisticated. It'll probably take me a while to figure it out! The aim is to merge the blog and a shop on the website so that I can sell direct through the website as well as via Etsy. I'd also LOVE to create a PDF sewing pattern for the Lucky Muthah nursing bras so that people can sew them themselves. But unless I find someone who can help me do that, it probably won't happen as it seems a bit too involved to be able to teach myself! (Shoutout to all techno wizards to get in contact now).

I think running a business is a constant learning curve. I'm going to share anything I've learned with you - I don't see the point in being selfish with knowledge. We should help each other out, right? I made up a little thing in Photoshop last week which is a print out for a 'Shipping Log'. I use it each time I go to the post office to keep a track on what I've posted and when. I'll upload it onto here next week for you to download and use as you wish. Hopefully it can help you organise your shipping like it has helped me!
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Viva España

Hello (or should I say 'Hola'?) from my new life.

I'll tell you a secret - I did actually write a blog post last week and then I forgot to share it and now it wouldn't really make sense...typical, really. Never find the time to blog and then when I do I forget to share it. Doh!

Anyway so a little catch up is in order. Myself, a Mum and the kids are now in Spain with Rich and my Dad in our rental place. We had a few days off when we first got here as it was Logan's 4th birthday and we wanted to settle in and enjoy it. Then straight back to it on Monday with a trip to Ikea so we could buy some furniture for our new home studio, plus obligatory meatballs. Home studio sounds so fancy but let's be real - it's just one of the back rooms of the cave part of the house (yes I said cave - this house was originally a 400 year old cave house but now it has been modernised with an extension and stuff. This means our room and the kids rooms have no windows and are made for tiny people. Rich is forever bumping his head. I however, am finally thankful for never growing taller than 5'4") with super bright light bulbs in. But a studio it is none the less!

The special offer we run last month to celebrate being in Gurgle magazine was massively successful and we had more orders than we did in our pre-order month which I never thought would happen. So we started work Tuesday morning with over 80 bras to sew. We managed to sew 16 and ship them yesterday. It was a bit of a weird week to be honest and we didn't get through as many orders as I'd hoped. We spent a lot of time moving things around in the studio and getting into the flow of things. I had a lot of admin type things to do as well which seems to be taking over life right now. I literally go to sleep thinking about work, dream about it, wake up in the night and make notes on my phone, then wake up in the morning and start work before I even have breakfast or brush my teeth. Intense.

Postage is a little more than I originally thought so that is something I need to look into. I'm also in the process of adding gift certificates to the shop ready for the festive season,no just need to finish editing the pictures.

Currently thinking about:
-fabrics for bikinis/swimsuits for summer next year
-bringing in a nude/light choice for the nursing bras
-PDF sewing pattern of the nursing bras (which won't happen unless I magically become less of a technophobe)
-the collabs I have coming up (which are very exciting)
-new patch designs I've been sketching up

I'm off to finish up watching The Secret Life of Pets with the wildlings and hoping I can sneak into the studio later to finish the dress I've been sewing up. Enjoy your Sunday!



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