Behind The Scenes in Pictures #2

John Lewis Sewing Bee with Lisa Comfort

John Lewis Sewing Bee / thisblogisnotforyou.comMe and fellow sewing bloggers Roisin (Dolly Clacket), Fiona (Diary of a Chain Stitcher), Amy (Almond Rock), Clare (Sew Dixie Lou), Elena (Randomly Happy) and Emmie (My Oh Sew Vintage Life) spent Saturday at John Lewis Oxford Street, sewing up a storm together with the lovely Lisa, founder of ‘Sew Over It‘ at the John Lewis Sewing Bee (JL is celebrating their 150th anniversary!).

We all made a dress using the new collection of John Lewis 150 fabrics. Lisa helped us out with some sewing and fitting. We all had a blast and since we were just chatting away half of the time, no one finished their dress in time (except for Roisin of course, who sewed in super-speed mode, Dolly-Clacket-style). There will be a more detailed post with pictures later this week. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of my as yet unfinished dress:
John Lewis Sewing Bee / thisblogisnotforyou.com

Love at First Stitch

Megan Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I finally got my copy of Tilly’s new book. It directly moved from my wishlist to my bookshelf. At first I thought this book might be too basic and only for beginners, but I’ve already read it from cover to cover and absolutely loved it! The dress patterns are gorgeous and I already made a colour-blocked version of the Megan Dress which I wore on Saturday at the Sewing Bee.

Visiting Makegood Festival
Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.com

Last friday I was at the Makegood Festival and could check out some awesome new creative start-ups! Tilly was there, too, with the cutest stall on earth and I couldn’t resist getting a copy of the infamous Coco Dress. Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.comI also met the lovely Freya (Elise Patterns), who is launching her lingerie sewing patterns (hopefully!!) this week. I can’t wait to get hold of those knicker & Kimono patterns! Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.comI also really loved “Handmade by Bex” and bought one of her adorable hand-embroidered brooches! Aren’t they cute?Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.comMakegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sarah (Salt and Buoy) made these awesome linen cushions, embroidered with seaside scenes.

And…..the Fugglers!Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.com

And this notebook which I loved (for obvious reasons).Makegood Festival //thisblogisnotforyou.com

New Pattern in the Making

new pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Yep! While I’m busy with the sewalong for the Fairytale Cape, I’m already working on pattern #2, which I’m really excited about. Hopefully you’ll be, too. But you’ll have to wait a bit longer. 🙂

Twitter & Instagram!

This Blog joined Twitter (@tbinfy) & Instagram (@thisblogisnotforyou)! As I’m new to both, there’s still a lot of figuring out to do, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

    follow thisblogisnotforyou.com on instagram follow thisblogisnotforyou.com on twitter

NYLon Blogger Meet Up at the V&A

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Source: Kitty Wong

NYLon2014 was two weeks ago and epic! I noticed that I forgot to take pictures of that day. Luckily, we had Kitty Wong, a professional photographer, take pictures of us. You can find them on Flickr.

IMG_5497
Source: Kitty Wong

27 Dresses Challenge

27dresses challenge recap by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I finished my 27 Dresses Challenge! Ha! I’ve already fallen in love with a Janome overlocker I used on Saturday’s Sewing Bee…

Phew, after these past two weeks I’m absolutely exhausted! I took a break from sewing today (just pre-washing some fabrics), but I can’t wait to finish and show off my Sewing Bee dress. So sewing it is tomorrow, I guess. 🙂


Happy sewing!

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Project Sewn: Signature Style // Elisalex #2

Elisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,com

Elisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comWow, two garment posts in a row! Don’t worry, that’s not going to become a habit! I just wanted to squeeze in this dress, in time for this week’s Project Sewn sewalong. I wasn’t sure if we could take the pics on time because the weather in London was pretty crappy this week, but we managed to photograph the dress yesterday.

This week’s Project Sewn theme is “Signature Style” and what immediately came to my mind was: navy, white, polkadot, dress, chiffon. These are probably my favourite things (in terms of clothing) and although my closet is overflowing with navy and polkadots, I really was in the mood of making something that was totally me. I was lucky to find the right two fabrics in my stash (brownie points for stash dieting!!) and the pattern, BHL’s Elisalex was already traced and cut out from sewing my Floral Frenzy dress.

This time I made the dress without the sleeves (so much faster as you don’t have to sew on the whole lining by hand!). For the bodice I used white cotton with tiny black polkadots for the side panels and also for underlining my navy chiffon. I love how the little polkadots peek through the fabric in the front.
Elisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,com

This time I didn’t go with the original skirt pattern and simply made a gathered skirt which consists of two layers (the fabric was super see-through). The second skirt underneath is much shorter and ends above the knee.

For hemming the skirt I used a narrow hem foot which made the tiniest and neatest hem you can imagine. You can buy these for very little money (if your machine uses standard presser feet). It just takes a little while to figure the best way to hold the fabric while you run it through.

Elisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,com

Elisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comElisalex Dress by thisblogisnotforyou,comOur local pub had some veeeeeeery convincing signs outside their door when we went to the park. But after we had to walk there twice (don’t forget to charge the camera batteries!) in this shitty weather, we decided to go to the off-licence around the corner and get some drinks to take home. thisblogisnotforyou,comthisblogisnotforyou,com

Oh, and BTW!

This is dress #27.

Yes! Twenty-seven! Finis! The challenge is completed! I’m free to head off and get an overlocker pour moi! I’m over the moon…and completely broke at the moment, haha. But I will be starting a new job soon (hopefully) and then it’s time to go and get this friggin overlord.

In the meantime…

♥ You can vote for my dress over at Project Sewn’s link up. ♥
The voting starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday!

Merci.


Happy sewing!

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Vintage-Chanel inspired Shirt Dress & Bias-cut Slip

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hi ladies (and gents)! Hope you had a great week so far! Mine was super busy and fun and I am greatly looking forward to the weekend which will be full of sewing events and crafts!

What you see here is #26 of my 27 Dresses Challenge which means there’s only one more to go … in theory! Inofficially I’ve already finished garment #28, which I won’t call #28 because I don’t have to keep track anymore, ha! And I will do more refashion projects again (not counting them towards the challenge wasn’t very motivating!). The piles of thrifted garments to be refashioned are taking over the flat.

#26 actually consists of two dresses. As the dress is made from polyester, I had to sew a slip dress to wear underneath and keep the fabric from clinging to my legs like a toddler. This is why it took me so long to blog this. The slip-dress-less dress was hanging in our living room for weeks until I was sick of looking at it, so I hung it in the closet, where I almost forgot about it. (Luckily, summer in London does require some long-sleeved garments)

The inspiration for this dress came from my recent obsession with Gabrielle Chanel and the fashion she created in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I loved the wide, comfy loosely fitting dresses which seem so effortless. I also really liked the femininity of the dresses despite the fact that their details were inspired by gents’ clothing.

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Source: www.mydaily.co.uk
Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

1920s Chanel dress pattern repro 
(source: www.neheleniapatterns.com)
Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
1935, tailored suit by Chanel
Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
young Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel
Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
source: www.5-culture.chanel.com

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Those weird spots in my face are actually sunlight. I know, you don’t take pictures in direct sunlight, but believe me, when you’re living in London, you start appreciating any sort of sunlight. As I mentioned already, I used an off-white polyester fabric with blue stripes for the dress, combined with a navy polyester lining fabric (with a vintage map of the world print!)

The fabric was easier to sew than I thought at first. I managed to sew the layers without shifting or puckering – yay! The polyester was fraying like crazy, though. That’s why I used the french seam technique to get rid of all the fraying raw edges. The neckline is bound with binding (made from the same fabric) and the hem I slip-stitched by hand.

I used a Burdastyle pattern. I saw this cute ruffle blouse in the 03/2014 issue and was about redraft it to a shirt dress, when I noticed that Burda had already done this for me!

Burdastyle Long Sleeved Ruffle Dress 03/2014 #107
Burdastyle Long Sleeved Ruffle Dress 03/2014 #107

I wasn’t too fond of the seam down the front of the skirt at first, but I managed to match up the stripes quite well, so that was fine. The fit of the pattern was very loose, but that’s a good thing when it’s warm outside, I guess.

I used the contrasting navy polyester for the yoke and cuffs to avoid looking like I walked straight out of prison (if I had to go to prison I would totally add some ruffles to my uniform!).

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe dress has a casing for an elastic which cinches in the waist. (The belt is from Primark and it’s my absolute favourite belt on earth!..which is why it’s in almost every outfit picture.)

The 12mm off-white buttons are vintage and I had exactly four which was pretty convenient because this way I did not have to worry whether I should keep them for a later project.Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comOh! And the shoes are DIY, too! They used to be a dirty white bargain from Primark, so I painted them black. Remember the other pair I refashioned? I have two more pairs sitting in a corner, waiting to get a makeover.Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Shirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

To be able to actually wear this dress I had to make a slip dress. I did this without a pattern. I made the bodice pattern by draping it on my dressform first and then used the muslin to make a paper pattern. The skirt is just a simple A-line.

The dress is cut on the bias and therefore is stretchy enough to go without any fastenings. It’s very fitted and super comfy. I was scared of bias-cut garments, but I had no problems sewing this one together. You just have to be veeeeery careful not to stretch the edges out of shape.

The bodice is lined with the off-white stripe fabric I used for the ruffle dress.

The straps were easy-peasy. I just made a massively long strip of bias binding and started to bind off the edge at the centre back, going all the way up to the front, where the bias binding magically turned to straps which I sewed on in the back after cutting them to the right length.

Bias cut slip by thisblogisnotforyou.comBias cut slip by thisblogisnotforyou.comBias cut slip by thisblogisnotforyou.comBias cut slip by thisblogisnotforyou.comBias cut slip by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comShirt Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

While it was living on a hanger for weeks I didn’t like this dress too much. But having worn it outside when it was super warm I started to love it!

After this week’s crafting and sewing frenzy our living room looks shit, so I’ll have to get back to tidying up a bit! Am I the only one? Sewing is such a messy business!


Happy sewing!

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BHL Floral Elisalex

BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comHooray! The sun’s finally back out here in London and I bribed Mr Thisblogisnotforyou into taking some pictures of my recent makes. After almost a year I finally, finally managed to sew the Elisalex dress by BHL. I know, you have seen hundreds of Elisalex dresses last seasons and might not find it as exciting as I do, but I think it’s never too late to become an Elisalex owner. This dress is just soo fabulous.BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comNormally I complain a lot about what went wrong during the sewing process, but this time I really can’t complain about anything – except for my inability to stand straight on gravel when wearing heels. This is why I risked showing you the ugly front of our flat..ehh our neighbours flat, of course. We surely are not the ones with the pealing paint and empty flower pots. BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comI hadn’t made something with princess seams in quite a while, so I actually made a toile, which fit so well that I ended up using it as bodice lining – win! I cut out a size 10 – according to the BHL measurements it’s exactly, EXACTLY my size. Since the skirt is super voluminous I didn’t even have to grade up the bottom part. Another win!

I decided to make the sleeves and skirt shorter and after some squeezing I used up much less fabric than was recommended on the pattern. Whoop, whoop!
BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comAs for the fabric, well. I was inspired by this dress made by Marie from A Stitching Odyssey. I was looking for some heavier curtain/upholstery fabric with a similar floral print but couldn’t find any that wasn’t incredibly expensive (20€/m, seriously?). Three weeks ago I saw some floral curtains in my favourite charity shop, both together for 12pounds. I immediately had to think of the Elisalex and how much I would pay for 3m of upholstery fabric, so this was a no brainer. At home I began to doubt my decision because, well, I knew I wouldn’t wear a dress that looked like refashioned curtains. Mr Thisblogisnotforyou reassured me that it doesn’t look like curtains if you don’t know it. Plus, the dress is super comfy. So I might wear it after all.BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I had so much fabric (4-5m), that I experimented a bit with the placement of the pattern pieces for the bodice until I was satisfied with it. The fabric has vertical bands of flowers alternating with some sort of a chevron-style pattern in between. I used the chevron pattern for the side panels on the bodice and the front of the sleeves. Funnily they are placed exactly where the box pleats are on the skirt, so you only see a glimpse of them which I really like.BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I just love the shape of the neckline in the back. And hey, I really managed to match the pattern in the back!

BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.com

BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe bodice lining needs to be sewn on by hand which took quite a while, but you all know that I have a weird masochistic fondness for handsewing.BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.com

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like the shape of this dress. It’s perfect for making pear-shaped ladies look great. It accentuates the hips in a weird but also flattering way through the exaggerated curves at the hip which make the waist look really tiny and makes people think that there’s a very tiny bum hidden under all these pleats (that’s what I hope).

BHL Floral Elisalex by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe only drawback of the pattern is that the lenth of the skirt is acutally 77cm, which I find is way too long and unflattering. It’s also a bit misleading that none of the pictures on the By Hand London website show the acutal length of the dress, but only shorter versions. The inobservant sewer might buy and cut out way too much fabric and end up chopping off half of the skirt. But that’s the only con, really.

I love the Elisalex and will probably use this pattern (the bodice part for sure) for more dresses in the future!

I will also link this dress up to the Project Sewn’s Floral Frenzy themed Round 2!  You can now vote for my dress by giving me a heart here, I’m #45! Merci ♥

Now that #24 of my 27 Dresses Challenge is done, I’ll go have some coffee. xx


Happy sewing!

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Cowl Neck Wool Dress

Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

In January I was approached by the generous team of Minerva Crafts who offered to try out one of their fabrics (including a pattern). I was over the moon and super excited, and rummaged through their shop for quite some time as I couldn’t decide (as always). The fabric arrived promptly in the mail two days later. Now, three months later, my dress is finished.  What?! Three months? Shame on me! And why wait to finish a wool dress until it’s almost too warm outside to wear it?

Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The reason it took me so long was that I struggled with the pattern. I picked a very ambitous Donna Karan for Vogue pattern, which was super hard to fit and in the end just didn’t work with the fabric I had picked. Lesson learned. I will show you the disastrous toile I made another time.

donna-karan-vogue-v1361

I still love the pattern, but at the moment I’m still fed up with the fitting process and I will have to let some time pass before I can pick it up again. The main problem of the fit was that there basically are no side seams and A LOT of pleats which run diagonally across the back, side and front of the dress. Any alteration (eg. grading up to a larger size for the skirt) requires A LOT of thinking. Unfortunately, the lovely wool I picked was a bit too light-weight for this project.Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comCowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comCowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I picked three metres of a charcoal grey knitted stretch fabric which is 75% Acrylic, 8% Wool, 17% Nylon. The texture is amazing and works really well with more drapey projects, such as the cowl neck dress I ended up making instead of the Donna Karan dress.

source: Burdastyle.com
Burdastyle 10/2012 #118A

I eventually went with a Burdastyle pattern of the 10/2012 issue, #118 A. The pattern originally has a zip and is made for non-stretch fabrics, cut on the bias. I skipped the zip as my fabric was very stretchy, took the side in a bit and finished the project in one evening. That’s how fast is was!Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I love the cowl neck and the gathering at the waist and feel super comfy in this dress. I will probably not have too many occasions to wear it in the near future, as it’s a bit too warm for summer, but I see myself wearing this a lot in autumn and winter. It’s just so soft that I want to constantly hug myself (sounds a bit pathetic, I know).Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comI have a bit of the fabric left which will be just enough for a little cardigan! I’m also planning on sewing a little slip dress with some black spandex fabric, I’m a bit paranoid about the see-throughness of this fabric. And btw, this is #22 (actually it’s the almost unfinished #23) of my 27 Dresses Challenge! Five more to go! Cowl Neck Wool Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Will I ever be able to sew the Donna Karan dress? I’ll let you know, if I do.


Happy sewing!

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