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my latest sewing pattern reviews

my latest sewing pattern reviews
my latest sewing pattern reviews

try my pattern hacks!

try my pattern hacks!
try my pattern hacks!

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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Butterick Patterns by Gertie - B6453 Fitted Dress

Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Butterick Patterns by Gertie - B6453 Fitted Dress



Hi pinups! After taking a break from the network in May, I'm back with a super sassy make for June. If you follow my blog, you'll know I've already sewn a version of the Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 dress. I've tried the full skirted version, but for June's Minerva Craft Blogger Network make, I've opted to jump out of my comfort zone and try the fitted pencil skirt version instead (eek).


Go 'Behind The Seams' of the B6453 pattern in my latest video!


For my full pattern review and images, CLICK HERE!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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Simplicity 6446 - Jumpsuit

Simplicity 6446 - Jumpsuit



Hi pinups! It's been a while since I've done a regular old pattern review and this make was 100% selfish! I know I talked on YouTube and Instagram about my birthday outfit plans, it was part of my Me Made May pledge, long story short I wanted to keep up the tradition of sewing a me-made outfit for my birthday in May. (So you can see how late I am with this review!).

My birthday week ended up being a total wash out, so the nice summer-y dress I had lined up to sew became an unrealistic prospect! It was so wet and windy in the days running up to my birthday, I needed a back up plan. Now this Simplicity New Look 6446 jumpsuit pattern may seem like an odd choice for me. It's not particularly vintage or pinup style, but something in me said I needed it!

Here's peek at the pattern:


Being only 5"4, I opted for the cropped trouser version, halfway between being a jumpsuit and a playsuit. I certainly had my reservations with this pattern being curvy, I was pretty sure it was going to be horribly unflattering, but non the less, I gave it a go. I combined it with a floral viscose I picked up at the Birmingham Rag Market a few months ago.

I also wore the jumpsuit in my May Sew and Tell video below:


The construction of this pattern was surprisingly straight forward, and I don't remember having any difficulty making it or following the instructions. It was also a pretty speedy make, taking me an afternoon. 


As well as the nice and simple construction, I'm pleasantly surprised by the fit. I did no FBA or alterations and I couldn't be happier with the final result! Shocker.


Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity  6446 

Fabric: Floral viscose from Birmingham Rag Market & lining

Notions: Ribbon to stabilise the underarm seams, elastic.

Sewing time: An afternoon

Modifications: None

Fit: Better than expected!

Difficulty: Pretty straight forward, suited to a confident beginner and beyond!

Watch out for: Getting a good fit around the bum, fabric with a bit of stretch would be great.

Make Again?: I'd love to make a light weight denim version.


Overall, the Simplicity 6446 pattern was a surprise winner for me! I've worn it so often since I made it back in May. It's comfy, stylish, practical and can be dressed up or down. I like to wear mine styled with a t shirt underneath with converse for an everyday look.

I'm certainly very happy to have left my sewing comfort zone! Have you ever sewn a jumpsuit?

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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Behind The Seams | Butterick B6453 Fitted & Full Skirt Dresses + My Cheat's FBA!

Behind The Seams | Butterick B6453 Fitted & Full Skirt Dresses + My Cheat's FBA!



Hi pinups! I want to get into the habit of sharing my (usually) weekly YouTube videos with my lovely blog readers. This week I shared the first video in my new 'Behind The Seams' series. It'll be a vlog series giving you a closer look inside some of my favourite makes. Along with having a close up look at the insides of garments (eeek), I'll be talking about any adjustments I made to the pattern. 



My first Behind The Seams is all about my favourite vintage style summer dress, the Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 dress! In the video below, I'll be showing you the inside of my first full gathered skirt dress as well as giving you a first look at my fitted skirt version, aka My Jayne Mansfield dress!


This video also features my full bust adjustment! Although, there's a reason I'm calling it a 'cheat's FBA' as it was sooo simple. I don't need a large adjustment so I opted for a super simple, quick technique to create a great fit. Don't believe me? Well there's also a (unavoidable boob) close up of my final fit on my latest version, proving this technique sure worked for me!

Watch now:
Behind The Seams | Butterick B6453 + My Easy Full Bust Adjustment!


I hope you enjoy my first Behind The Seams video! Let me know if there's any patterns I've sewn that you'd like a further look at or suggestions for me to try in the future.

Thanks for reading (and watching!), pinups!
xo
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Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Plans for the Next 3 Months! June - August

Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Plans for the Next 3 Months! June - August



Hi pinups! You may have noticed I skipped May for my Minerva Craft Blogger Network makes. My month filled up so quickly and I literally couldn't fit in any more sewing! But I'm back and starting with June, with 3 gorgeous vintage inspired summer dresses on the sewing menu - my favourite! See below for my plans from June to August and links to buy all my supplies....

June:


After making the full skirted version, and battling with the wind during our unreliable UK weather, I thought the fitted version in a casual cotton would make a great summer time day dress.




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July:


I knew I had to have this new Sew Over It Eve dress pattern as soon as I saw it. Then following all the lovely versions cropping up online, I had to snap it up as part of my Minerva Craft Blogger Network makes. Paired with this gorgeous floral with a hint of tropical, I'm hoping for a winning vintage style combo!





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August:


When I spotted this stunning fabric 'new in' at Minerva Craft a couple of months back, I just about died and went to fabric heaven. I had no idea what I was going to make, but I knew I needed it. I've settled on a 1960s dress with a full skirt to show off that gorgeous floral print. Someone invite me to their wedding so I can wear it??





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If you want to check out my previous makes for the Blogger Network, you can check out my profile HERE. I hope you like the look of my plans (blimey these months fill up with sewing plans fast!), stay tuned!

Thanks for reading, pinups.
xo
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New Season Simplicity 8342 Pattern GIVEAWAY!

New Season Simplicity 8342 Pattern GIVEAWAY!



As part of my role of Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador I'll be giving my lovely followers a chance to win the vintage and retro patterns I sew too! Simplicity have generously offered 3 copies of the 8342 pattern for me to giveaway!


I decided to sew version B, the capped sleeve jersey top.


I'd recommend this pattern for adventurous beginners and beyond! This top pattern contains some great skills to expand your jersey sewing knowledge. But if you're not sure, don't forget I filmed a handy 'Stitch by Stitch' sew along video to help you along the way!

Click the image below to be taken to my tutorial video




This is my new favourite me-made jersey top and it's a great way to dress up jeans for days out and about. I'd also like to make myself a plain 1950s style circle skirt to pair with both my versions of this top. 


For your chance to win one of 3 copies of the Simplicity 8342 pattern, which includes 2 versions of this tie front top, a super sassy pencil skirt with a fun ruffle hem and chic cigarette pants for a pinup perfect look, here's what you need to do...

Head over to my Instagram page @craftypinup and find the above image on my profile, then follow these steps to enter:

- Repost this image to your profile (using a repost app or simply screen shot the image & post it)
- Tag me @craftypinup and Simplicity @simplicitynewlook in your post 
- Use the hashtag #SimplicityThroughTheAges 
- Tell us about which garment you would make first! (I'm nosy!)

Terms:
- All the above instructions need to be completed for a valid entry.
- Your profile must be public for us to be able to see your entry.
- One entry profile.
- Open internationally.
- 3 winners will be selected at random on Friday 9th June and winners will be announced on my Instagram profile at 10am.


Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback on my first Stitch by Stitch sew along video so far, I'm so happy to hear it's useful. Please do enter my Instagram giveaway, and good luck!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

P.S. The make up in this photo-shoot was kindly done by my best friend Sam Flockhart, a professional make up artist. Please do check out her Instagram and Facebook page for more information and bookings. She's fab!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simplicity & Girl Charlee but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Simplicity 8342 - Rockabilly Tie Front Top + Sew Along!

Simplicity 8342 - Rockabilly Tie Front Top + Sew Along!



In my previous post I announced becoming Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador, and this is my first post in the series! The 8342 Simplicity pattern is part of the new season range, and whilst not vintage or reproduction, you can't deny it's sassy, rockabilly, 1950s appeal. I jumped at the chance to get my paws on this pattern and knew just the jersey fabric to go with it!

For my first version I used THIS gorgeous Girl Charlee striped jersey fabric to create Version B, the capped sleeve top pattern.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

I love all the options that come with this pattern, I can certainly see myself making the cigarette pants next to complete the pinup look!

I'd certainly recommend this pattern for fellow busty girls, as the top has a really flexible fit. I find that when sewing jersey garments I don't really need to do any full bust adjustments, and even more so with this pattern as you can tie the front to suit you. Perfect!


I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the top was to sew and it didn't take more than a couple of hours. The fit of the top is really good and I love the overall style. My only negative would be that personally, I'm not sure I find the cap sleeves very flattering on me. I think they make the proportions of my arms look bigger. I'd love to make a version omitting the cap completely, or perhaps the cute halterneck version instead.

Like I said in my previous Simplicity Vintage Ambassador announcement post, I've filmed a super handy sew along video to go along with this pattern. Which also meant I got to make another version of this great summer staple top!



Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity - 8342 Sew Along


In the video below, you'll be able to follow along as I sew my second version of this top, along with a first look at my floral make in my first 'out-and-about' photo shoot. I really hope you find the video helpful and inspires you to try this gorgeous new pattern!



If you have any questions about the making of this pattern please do leave a comment on the video!


Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity Ladies Sewing Pattern 8342 Knit Tops, Cropped Trousers & Skirts

Fabric: Homestead Life Saloon Stripe Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric by BOLT by Girl Charlee

Notions: Ribbon to stabilise the underarm seams, elastic.

Sewing time: A couple of hours.

Modifications: Just a slight shortening of the straps.

Fit: Spot on!

Difficulty: Straight forward, beginners shouldn't be put off sewing this pattern - there's some great techniques to learn in here.

Watch out for: Take extra care sewing the cap sleeves for a nice and tidy finish.

Make Again?: I already did! See my video above for a first look at my floral version I made in the sew along video or here's a peek below...


Next up, I'll be sharing my images from my first outdoor photo-shoot featuring the above 8342 top AND I'll be hosting a giveaway for people to win 3 copies of this pattern!

Overall, I am very pleased indeed to have these new pinup style tops in my handmade wardrobe. They're easy to wear and comfy whilst remaining stylish with the ability to dress up jeans or pair with circle skirts for a true 1950s look. I really hope you've enjoyed my first post as Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador. Stay tuned for lots more sewing fun. Will you be trying this pattern?

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simplicity & Girl Charlee but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I'm Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador!

I'm Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador!



I've been holding on to this announcement for a couple of weeks and I'm so excited to finally share it with you! I really excited to say I'm Simplicity's Vintage Ambassador! Which essentially means I'm going to be helping Simplicity celebrate their amazing 90 years in the industry by sewing lots of their iconic vintage and retro patterns, sharing them with you and creating lots of sew-alongs, hosting giveaways & more!

I'm honoured to be working with such an iconic brand and even more so to be sewing such a wide range of their reproduction vintage patterns. I'll be sewing patterns all the way from the 1930s through to the 1970s, demonstrating all the ways to sew these patterns and to bring them into present day with my fabric and styling choices!


I'll be bringing you my usual sewing pattern review of each style, with an extended look at a second version, hopefully with more editorial style photo shoots to show you how I style the garments out and about too. Along with helpful photos and reviews there will be full 'Stitch by Stitch' sew along videos on my YouTube channel! Showing you how to sew the garment from start to finish. On top of all that awesomeness (if that wasn't enough for you already!) there will also be giveaways to win the patterns too!


I really hope you'll enjoy following along with me on this exciting sewing venture. And a huge 'thank you' to Simplicity for letting me be a little piece of their history! I can't wait to share my first make and see your gorgeous versions too.

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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Sewing Real Talk: How to Get Your Sewing Mojo Back

Sewing Real Talk: How to Get Your Sewing Mojo Back



I've been really touched by the wonderful response my first 'Sewing Real Talk' blog post had, all about sewing for mental health, a subject brought to light again recently due to Mental Health Awareness Week (May 8th - 14th). With such an overwhelming response to the post on social media, another post under the topic is well overdue. This time I'll be tell you how I deal with bouts of zero motivation. A seriously crappy experience when you have a business to run.

Can Sewing Improve Your Mental Health? 

Having no motivation impacts everything. I run a creative business, and The Crafty Pinup is turning into my second (which is amazing). Having no motivation to sew or work means literally nothing moves forward. No new garments are made, nothing is ready to publish, customer orders build up around me and I start drowning in a work load I have essentially made for myself. Once I've reached the point when my motivation is at a complete stand still, usually when there's the most amount to do, I have created a strategy that works for me and which sooner or later gets me back into the swing of things!

Workspace

Keeping my workspace tidy and organised is fundamental to my productivity and motivation. I know people have their 'creative mess' but I'm a little OCD when it comes to organisation. If things are messy around me, my mind feels messy, I can't focus on anything but the clutter building up around me. When I find myself at a sewing stand still, I will clean my studio until my mind also feels clear again.

Each to their own of course, but having a tidy and clear work area really affects my mood and the amount of work I am able to complete. At the end of each day I will get the room back to just how I like it, ready for the next day.

Simple Sews

In regards to selfish sewing, a simple project always gets my creative mojo back on track. I'll still feel productive and creative but the project won't give me a headache or take up too much time. I turn to simple sews when my business workload is heavy and I want a little selfish sewing time. I'd recommend the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress or the Butterick B6453 dress for stylish straight forward makes.

Inspiration

To keep me focused on what I'm doing and why I'm doing it (an essential for the self employed, especially when times get tough & the self doubt creeps in) I like to surround myself with inspiration. Whether that be in the form of physical moodboards in your office, motivational artwork or a collection of Pinterest boards. When I'm lacking motivation I'll check out my faves on Instagram and scroll through Pinterest and in no time I'll be fired up to get creating again.

Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes, it just 'aint gonna happen. I can't force myself to sew, when I hit that wall, there is no point in trying to force it. I'll start making mistakes, becoming increasingly frustrated and ending up in a far worse mood. Personally, I know when to spot these signs in myself and have learnt the hard way to just stop. Take a break. Go for a walk. Go make an awesome lunch. Just take some time out. For me, that'll usually mean getting as far away from my desk or my sewing machine as possible. And that's okay. After that break, whether it be an hour or 2 days, I know I'll be ready to go back to it and knock it out of the park!

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Losing motivation in the things you're supposed to enjoy the most can be a really frustrating emotion. I chose to create my business and to sew the projects I sew, and to feel like you don't want to go near those things is a whole bunch of crappy emotions. But at the end of it all, these emotions pass and the good thoughts outweigh the bad. Sometimes, you just have to stop and see how far you've come and to count the good things in your life. With my sewing mojo strategy, I've learned how to spot my own work slumps, how to avoid them and how to conquer them. I hope you can too.

If you have a story about your sewing mojo you'd like to share, please do in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

For more information and help concerning mental health, please visit www.mind.org.uk
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[name=Abi] [img=https://i.imgur.com/dqVT8HA.png] [description=Hi! I'm Abi, a twenty something retro lingerie designer from the UK. Blogging and Vlogging about my dressmaking, pattern hacks, sewing tutorials and more, usually of the vintage persuasion.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thecraftypinupuk/) (twitter=https://twitter.com/craftypinup) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/craftypinup/) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/crafty-pinup-13589271) (pinterest=https://uk.pinterest.com/craftypinupuk/)

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