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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!

Visit my Youtube channel!

Visit my Youtube channel!
Visit my Youtube channel!
Catch up with The Crafty Pinup on YouTube!

Catch up with The Crafty Pinup on YouTube!



Hi pinups!

Things have been super busy here over at The Crafty Pinup and I haven't been blogging as much as I previously had. You may have noticed I've shifted a portion of my content over on to YouTube. I'm really enjoying the experience so far and will be pursuing this avenue!

I've got some really exciting things coming to my YouTube channel and I've been busy plotting with lots of fabulous brands to create some awesome sewing related content. I've also invested in some studio lighting and hope to improve the quality of my videos from now on.

Thank you for sticking with me whilst I figure out my schedule and how to fit this all in to my life! I really hope you're enjoying my content so far and stick around for what's to come. Below are my videos from the past month, if you haven't already caught up! Please do leave a thumbs up and a comment and don't forget to subscribe!

>> Subscribe to The Crafty Pinup YouTube Channel! <<


May Sewing Plans ft. My Birthday Dress, Wedding Guest Dress & More!
See what I'll be sewing the month of May, I've got A LOT to do.


April Sew & Tell
Check out everything I made in April, including the must have sewing pattern of the season!


Easy Retro & Vintage Inspired Sewing Patterns for Beginners!
Try my simple retro sewing patterns.


>> Subscribe to The Crafty Pinup YouTube Channel! <<

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 - The Ultimate Retro Summer Dress!

Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 - The Ultimate Retro Summer Dress!


Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 - The Ultimate Retro Summer Dress!


Talk about a 'must have' sewing pattern! The new Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 dress pattern has taken over sewist's Instagram accounts since it launched last month. Since it's US release, I've been stalking UK stores to get my paws on it. Luckily Sew Essential came to my rescue once again with their super fast stocking of new patterns and beautiful fabric ranges.

Here's a peek at the pattern:
Two gorgeous variations!
I chose a vintage style ditsy floral cotton fabric for my first B6453 dress (I say 'first' as my 2nd is on the way...). It's the perfect fabric for the dress and really lends itself to the vintage vibe! The pattern is very much like the popular Pinup Girl Clothing 'Jenny' dress and is a great summer staple, I know I'll be making lots more of. The fact that the dress is nice and simple too, certainly makes it a dream to sew!

Every gathered skirt deserves pockets!
This pattern is lovely and straight forward, I would certainly recommend it for beginners. The dress features flattering princess seams, a full gathered skirt, pockets and a lapped zipper. This was the first time I have sewn a lapped zipper, and I feel silly for avoiding them as it's far more straightforward than I thought. I'll be sewing them a lot more in the future that's for sure!

Finally achieved a great fit!
The only complication for this pattern, for me, was needing to do a full bust adjustment (FBA). This won't be the case for everyone but it is for me. I've never done a FBA before and certainly wasn't looking forward to doing one. I didn't need to do anything major, but after the disappointing too-tight bust on my Kim dress, I thought I should stop avoiding it and do it!


I'm hoping to film a video on my FBA and talk about my fit details and adjustments in more detail on my YouTube channel. I have mentioned a little about it my April Sew & Tell video and will update this section with my FBA video when it's live.


Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6453 Dress Pattern

Fabric: Small Rose Print Cotton Poplin Fabric - Turquoise Blue

Notions: 14" zip & 2 x Hoops and Sliders

Sewing time: A day with my FBA.

Modifications: Full bust adjustment.

Fit: Great! But I'll be shortening the waist and altering the straps next time.

Difficulty: Nice and simple - a great make for beginners.

Watch out for: Even waist gathers and creating a tidy lapped zipper will make a big difference to the final look!

Make Again?: Yes! I have another one lined up and look forward to tweaking it further and trying different styling.

No longer fearing the FBA!
Overall, I'm totally on board with the hype of the B6453 pattern! Its simple, sassy and quick to make, the perfect project for getting my creativity back on track. Have you tried this pattern yet? What do you think of it?

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

P.S. Thank you for bearing with me whilst my blogging schedule has been inconsistent. Between here and my new YouTube channel, I've been trying to balance my content better to fit in with my work schedule. I'm currently aiming for one post a week here (at the start of the week) and a new video every Thursday. Please do subscribe to my channel HERE.

Disclaimer:
The fabric & pattern were supplied to me free of charge by Sew Essential. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

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Me Made May 2017!

Me Made May 2017!



Hi pinups! Just a quick one today to announce my Me Made May pledge for 2017. I started my sewing blog and dress making for myself last April, and my pledge for last year's Me Made May was pretty feeble as I only had 5 handmade items in my wardrobe. Read last year's pledge HERE. However, like last year's pledge, I'm lucky enough to still be self employed and my uniform of pjs and jumpers hasn't changed too much.

I do, however, have far more handmade items in my wardrobe including great everyday casual pieces alongside my fun vintage style dresses. Like last year's pledge, I'm also involving my birthday which is on the 17th, and will again wear a me-made dress on my birthday!

I, Abi, of The Crafty Pinup blog, pledge to wear at least 3 me-made outfits per week the whole month of May, including a handmade dress for my birthday.

Whilst it's certainly not a requirement of the initiative, I will be posting outfit and styling snaps on my Instagram, so if you'd like to have a nosey at my Me Made May progress, make sure you're following me @craftypinup. 

@craftypinup

I'm hoping my pledge will inspire me to make more effort with my appearance when I'm working from home and to incorporate my handmade pieces into my everyday life a little better. I also hope it challenges my styling and helps me discover new ways to wear some of my beloved pieces. Along with the regular day-to-day outfits, I'll be sewing a dress for my birthday in my aim to continue to wear a handmade dress, which I started last year. You can see what I ended up making last year HERE.

Find out about Me Made May and sign up HERE.

Are you taking part? What's your pledge?
Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

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Sew Your Own #1 - Tilly and the Buttons - Coco Dress with Ruffle Sleeve Hack!

Sew Your Own #1 - Tilly and the Buttons - Coco Dress with Ruffle Sleeve Hack!


Sew Your Own #1 - Tilly and the Buttons - Coco Dress with Ruffle Sleeve Hack!
Hi pinups! As promised early this week in my Sew Your Own Introduction post, here's my first make in my new blog series. All about how I've recreated some of my favourite ready-to-wear/high-street/online looks myself with handy sewing pattern choices and easy hacks.

The dress in this post is inspired by the Joanie Clothing Suri Dress. As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted one. I love a comfy, simple jersey dress and they're great for this time of year when the weather is sunny one minute and raining the next. However the Suri dress reminded me instantly of a pattern in my collection and with some recent jersey added to my fabric stash, I thought I'd make my own instead!


To recreate the Suri dress I used the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress and top pattern. The body shape is near identical. Along with the simple rounded neckline, pull over style and sleeve options. 

Here's a peek at the pattern:

A sewist's essential pattern!
I chose to make my version out of this gorgeous floral jersey I picked up at Barry's in-store in Birmingham (I've not seen it anywhere online for a while sorry!). Watch my fabric haul video for Sew Brum trip HERE. I already have a few me made stripe jersey items in my wardrobe and didn't want to make another and this stunning floral was calling me...

Which do you prefer?
However if you want to create a your own near identical version, here are my navy and white stripe fabric picks:



Coco & ruffles - a match made in sewing heaven!
The only difference I made for the Coco pattern to get the Suri dress look was adding ruffle/bell sleeve. These are super fashionable right now and I'll be doing a video tutorial this coming week on how to make your own. I didn't think ruffle sleeves were for me but now I see many more in my future!

Watch my DIY Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial to see how I made mine!


Let me know if you try them!

My hacked Coco vs the Joanie Suri Dress
I'm really happy with my finished look. I think it's a great take on the original dress and it's a style I can see myself making again. I've worn this dress a couple of times since I made it and it gets so many compliments. Sometimes simple is best! This dress only took me an hour or so to make, and with the fabric only £2.95 a metre and the pattern already in my stash, it was a fraction of the price to make. I love how choosing your own fabric and patterns makes you feel like a fashion designer!

Perfect for comfy & smart Spring dressing!
Sewing Summary:


Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Coco Pattern with sleeve hack (see above).

Fabric: 1.5 (ish) meters of floral jersey bought in-store at Barrys in Birmingham.

Notions: Ribbon for the shoulder seams.

Sewing time: A couple of hours.

Modifications: Ruffle sleeve hack (video TBA)

Fit: Spot on, looks just like the dress it's inspired by.

Difficulty: So simple, it'd be rude not too!

Watch out for: Even gathers on the sleeves.

Make again?: I have another ready to go!

A staple for Spring!
Overall, I am so happy with this dress! I'm forever looking at RTW clothes and thinking 'I should make that', and I'm glad I've finally started. I hope my Sew You Own blog series will also inspire you to start recreating and do let me know if you try this one!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

Disclaimer:
This post contains affiliate links.

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Introducing the 'Sew Your Own' Blog Series!

Introducing the 'Sew Your Own' Blog Series!


Introducing the 'Sew Your Own' Blog Series!
The Pretty Dress Company, Vivien of Holloway, Marks & Spencer, Tara Starlet, Joanie Clothing
Hi pinups! Today I'm launching my brand new blog series 'Sew Your Own'. Sew Your Own will be all about how to create looks off the highstreet and make them yourself at home! I put a post up on Instagram a week or so back and it had a really positive response when I pitched the idea! I do love a lot of online and highstreet stores, especially the retro fashion shops which are cropping up online. But since I've started sewing regularly, I really don't shop much at all anymore, I even resent it a little bit.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanders into shops, picks up a dress and thinks 'I know the perfect pattern for that' or 'I can totally make that!'. And that's what my new blog series is all about!

Suri Stripe Frill Sleeve Dress - Joanie Clothing

I've sewn a couple of items recently inspired by high street designs, so I've already got two posts lined up with ideas for lots more over the Summer. I'll be sharing my first post this Sunday all about how to recreate this cute jersey dress with ruffle sleeves from Joanie Clothing. 

The Sew Your Own theme is also great for when you love a highstreet design but hate the fabric or the print. Which is something I did with the dress above. I really didn't need another stripe dress in my wardrobe but I did have this beautiful floral jersey that I picked up on my recent fabric shopping trip to Birmingham (watch my fabric haul idea from this trip HERE) and knew I wanted to whip it into a chic every day jersey dress.

Here's another look at what's to come:
(and who doesn't need a sassy slash neck jersey top!)

Slash Neck Top - Vivien of Holloway
I hope your looking forward to my new blog series! I've got some great makes and high street sewing inspiration coming up, most of which are super simple! Like I said, my first Sew Your Own post will be up this Sunday, it might be a monthly series as there's lots coming to The Crafty Pinup blog this Summer, but we'll see (it might be a bit more 'as and when'). See you then!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Butterick Patterns by Gertie - B6130 Slip

Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Butterick Patterns by Gertie - B6130 Slip


Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6130 Slip
It's time for April's Minerva Craft Blogger Network make! I've been wanting to try Gertie's retro slip pattern for a while now, and after seeing some of her own versions on her Instagram recently, I bumped it to the top of my sewing queue!


Sewing Summary:

Notions: Nylon Lace Trimming Red, Fold Over Elastic & 2 x Hoops and Sliders

Sewing time: About an hour!

Modifications: I swapped the elastic for fold over elastic.

Fit: Perfect!

Difficulty: Nice and simple - a great make for beginners.

Watch out for: Make sure you make use of the different cup size patterns for the best fit!

Make Again?: Yes! I'd love to make all versions of this pattern.



For my full pattern review and images, CLICK HERE!


You can see this slip in my March Sew & Tell YouTube video HERE!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo


Disclaimer:
The post contains affiliate links
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The Cocktail Hour Sew-Along - V8943 - 1950s Inspired Prom Dress!

The Cocktail Hour Sew-Along - V8943 - 1950s Inspired Prom Dress!


The Cocktail Hour Sew-Along - V8943 - 1950s Inspired Prom Dress!


I'm really excited to share my make on The Cocktail Hour Blogger Tour! A super fun (and glamorous) sew along hosted by McCalls raising money for The Eve Appeal through the sale of each Vogue pattern selected for the sew along. Stay tuned until the end of this post for my video of the dress in action AND the delicious cocktail recipe!

"You can join in with sewists from all over the country to help raise funds and awareness for The Eve Appeal charity by sewing one of the dressmaking patterns from the Cocktail Hour collection. Monies raised from the sale of each pattern will go towards helping The Eve Appeal achieve better detection and prevention of women’s cancers."

The Fold Line have put it far better than I can, read HERE.

"As the year progresses you can see what everyone else is making by searching for #sipandsew (hehe!) on Instagram and Twitter and of course share your makes too. Post a photo with the hastag #sipandsew and copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram.  Find out more details from McCall’s about Cocktail Hour here."

--


A fancy dress AND a cocktail recipe? Count me in!
I'm not going to lie, I had a pretty hard time choosing from the patterns! I have a wedding coming up in June and I had an idea in mind for the type of dress I'd like to make for this occasion. I don't get much of a chance to sew occasion dresses, so I hoped to combine the two!

I decided on the V8943 dress pattern.
Here's a peek at the pattern:


This pattern appealed to me because of the lace overlay, bodice shape and full skirt. I knew I could use this pattern with tulle fabric instead of lace to create the vintage 1950s effect I wanted. The pattern is made up of two separate garments, the sheer overlay and a slip. I opted not to make the slip, and instead focus on the dress.

board on Pinterest!

Feeling straight out of Mad Men!
So I decided, if I was making a posh dress, I was going all out. You certainly won't miss me coming your way in this bright red! I searched high and low and found a delicate polka dot tulle on eBay and paired it with THIS stretch satin fabric. I think the combination works perfectly, and the stretch in the satin allowed me to make a super fitted bodice, whilst remaining comfy and soft across my bust. If it were made in a non-stretch fabric, a full bust adjustment would of been needed.


Even though my dress looks quite dramatically different from the pattern, the alterations are actually really simple. The only difference on the tulle layer is that I removed the hip seam. I thought this would look unflattering on me so to keep with the retro vibe, I altered the skirt to a full circle skirt.

I also haven't finished the edges on the tulle and have neatly cut it instead. The fabric doesn't fray and I think it provides a delicate looking finish. I finished the inside seams with my overlocker. However, sewing an invisible zip into tulle is not for the faint-hearted and I will be re-doing mine in time for The Dressmakers Ball.


The dress underneath is made from the same skirt and a bodice pattern with exactly the same darts. Leaving a neat finish when the layers are worn together. Whilst I didn't follow the pattern's instructions too closely, I love the design and am really pleased the V8943 pattern enabled me to live my Grease party dress dreams!

As I said, I hope to wear this dress to The Dressmakers Ball and I will be making a couple of alterations to this dress for the event. I'll be redoing my tulle zip with a longer zip as the tulle dress was a little tricky to get into for this shoot! I'll also be shortening the tulle sleeves to just above my elbow as to not stretch the tulle on my elbows when bent. And lastly, I will be shortening the satin dress slightly, as it falls a touch longer than the tulle which is not what I wanted. I also hope to make a little satin bow belt to finish the look. Then I'll be very happy indeed!

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Vogue 8943 Dress & Slip

Fabric: Polka Dot Tulle & Red Stretch Satin

Notions: 2 x invisible zips & hook and eye for the tulle.

Sewing time: I made this dress in bursts over a week

Modifications: See above!

Fit: Great! Fabric choice with stretch meant I didn't need to do an FBA. Phew!

Difficulty: It had some challenges, due to my alterations. Great for confident sewists.

Watch out for: Too much to mention! Mainly working with tulle.


Make again?: Whilst I love the dress, I don't think I need another in my wardrobe! Or at least maybe a subtler version perhaps...

Delicious!
Why yes I am holding a delicious looking cocktail in this photo shoot! And 'yes' you can make it yourself! Check out my video below to see my dress in action and how to make this super tasty cocktail!



Be sure to let me know if you try the cocktail!

--

Overall I had  a great time making this dress. It's been lovely to participate in a sew along with a meaning (and a cocktail!) and I really hope I've inspired someone to try the V8943 pattern to create a vintage inspired dress of dreams! It's so fun to wear and whilst it had it's challenges, it was worth it.

Will you be taking part in The Cocktail Hour? You totally should do! Sewing a fancy dress, raising money for a great cause AND a tasty cocktail recipe? Hell yes. Shop from THIS selection of Vogue patterns to take part. Don't forget to use the hashtag #sipandsew and tag @McCallpatternUK!



Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo
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#EasterSpringDress2017 - Sew Over It - Vintage Shirt Dress #2!

#EasterSpringDress2017 - Sew Over It - Vintage Shirt Dress #2!


#EasterSpringDress2017 - Sew Over It - Vintage Shirt Dress #2!


Hi pinups! I love a good sew along and I don't need much tempting into sewing a new dress, especially when the theme is Spring. When I saw Akram's Ideas and Judith Dee's Easter Spring Dress 2017 sewalong I couldn't wait to get involved.


I teamed up with the lovely Harriet from Hobbling Handmades and we decided to sew the dreamy Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in pretty Spring florals.


This was my second time sewing this pattern and I really do like it. It's reasonably simple to follow with a flattering shape and a sweet rounded collar. This time around I made a smaller size. Whilst my first one certainly fits me, I wanted a more fitted waist. There was a point I didn't think it was going to fit across my bust, but hurrah it does and I'm really happy with it. For once, I think I might have found my perfect fit for this pattern.

You can read my full review of the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress HERE.


This dress cost me about £5 to make which makes me feel pretty smug. I know that doesn't account for sewing time. But I hope that this shows you don't need to spend a lot to sew a pretty dress. My fabric came from the Birmingham Rag Market and cost £2 a meter, and my pink plastic buttons are THESE super affordable ones from Minerva Crafts.



Harriet chose to make the sleeveless option (I made self drafted rolled up t-shirt sleeves) and she chose a super pretty fabric from Sew Over It too. The style suits Harriet so much and I love the waist tie she made. I'm jealous I don't have enough scraps to make one for mine!


Check out Harriet's post on Hobbling Handmades HERE.



Overall, I'm so happy I got the chance to sew this pattern again. I'll be wearing this dress well into Summer and I'm sure this one won't be my last!

See this dress in action in my reveal video below:


Thanks for reading, pinups!
xo

P.S. Don't forget to follow Hobbling Handmades on INSTAGRAM and YOUTUBE too!
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