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MAKERIST 2 DOLLAR SALE TOP PICKS

MAKERIST 2 DOLLAR SALE TOP PICKS

Merry Christmas everyone, you’re in your quiet boxing day slump…recovering from the big day. Time to treat yourself! Makerist is having a big 2 dollar sale, where so many of their patterns are just 2 dollars! The sale runs from Dec 26-30th. It’s a brilliant 

Pattern Review – Making the Lenaline – Alex Sweat, and learning to sew with wool cashmere fabric

Pattern Review – Making the Lenaline – Alex Sweat, and learning to sew with wool cashmere fabric

As my second Makerist project I decided to make myself the Lenaline – Alex Sweat but as an autumn jumper. So this was quite an exciting make for me and something that I might not have even attempted last year. This year I have been 

Pattern Review – Sewing the ‘Ready to Sew’ – Jeanne T Shirt

Pattern Review – Sewing the ‘Ready to Sew’ – Jeanne T Shirt

You might have seen via my Instagram that I recently became an ambassador for Makerist. This is a very exciting opportunity for me as I am being paid to do something I love – sew. As I am being paid these posts are treated as adverts. But please know that I have full creative control over the pattern, fabrics and opinions in any of these blog posts. Each month I will choose and test some patterns from the vast selection over on Makerist. Write up about how it went and share a few of my pictures. If you’ve made it too, let me know in the comments.

Ruby Rose wearing a leopard T shirt

Selecting a Pattern

In Oct I wrote a blog post on Makerist about the patterns I would choose for my Autumn capsule wardrobe. So, I decided I would sew some of them and make my dream wardrobe come to life. I decided to start with a classic wardrobe basic – A classic tee. I’ve previously made a Ready to Sew pattern before and enjoyed the process. I also really like the sizing and fit so chose the Jeanne T Shirt. Described as a casual, modern boyfriend fit it sounds perfect for my relaxed style.

Jeanne Ready To Sew pattern review

Jeanne T Shirt Process

I only made my first T shirt in the summer, for some reason I thought it would be complicated. As I’m less experienced with jersey and sewing with knit in general. I’ve now realised what a quick satisfying project a T shirt can be.

I’ve had this beautiful leopard print organic jersey from Good Fabric Store in my stash for a while now waiting for the perfect pattern.

One thing I don’t like about the Ready to Sew patterns is that each size is printed as a different colour. I like to print the A4 pattern pieces and tape together and I only print in black and white which can make it fiddlier to work out what’s what. But the PDF is layered so you can just print the sizes you need, so it wins point back again for that!

Ruby Rose Ready to Sew Jeanne T shirt

The instructions on the Jeanne T shirt pattern are really easy to follow and you do get 4 patterns to choose from. This pattern is marked as advanced beginner.

I made a size 36 which is a Small, as I knew it had a slightly oversized slouchy fit. It’s a nice simple one, and if you’ve made a t shirt before you know the general process. If you haven’t made a tee shirt before they have handy step by step photo tutorials of the trickier bits – sewing the sleeves and sewing the neckband.

As I was working with stretch, I decided to make the whole thing using my overlocker. Although you can do the same with a zig zag stitch. If you just use straight stitch it will no longer stretch and you’ll probably end up snapping the stitches. I sewed up the tee shoulders, sleeves and side seams.

I finally added the neckband, which I find is the fiddliest bit. But as long as you take your time and use plenty of pins it goes in fine.

Ruby Rose wearing Leopard print Jeanne T shirt

Adjustments

So, I ended up changing the way I added the cuffs to the sleeves. The sleeves are quite short, so I ended up adding them as you would a ribbed cuff on a sweatshirt. I’m still unsure if I should unpick and add like a turn up on the original pattern?

Jeanne Ready to sew T Shirt leopard print

Would I make the Jeanne T Shirt again?

I am really pleased with the way the Jeanne T shirt turned out, I love the slouchy shape of it. The organic jersey works really well for this, and I would definitely buy it again. I can tell it’s going to be a staple wardrobe piece for me. Interested in making the Jeanne T Shirt or any other patterns on Makerist use my code for 15% off RUBYROSE15

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

How to make more Sustainable Eyewear choices with Retro Spectacle

How to make more Sustainable Eyewear choices with Retro Spectacle

One thing I’ve always wanted to find out more about is sustainable eyewear. So one of the first things people notice about me is my glasses – they are right there on my face. I’ve always worn glasses, it’s one of my main features and 

Top Sustainable denim brands available in Europe

Top Sustainable denim brands available in Europe

Denim is an essential part of most people’s wardrobe. Ask anybody you know, and they will certainly tell you that they own at least a few denim pieces. Whether you stick with a few pairs of jeans or go all out, proper Canadian tuxedo style. 

Sewing with Hemp – A self drafted Skirt

Sewing with Hemp – A self drafted Skirt

I created my own pattern for self-drafted shorts many years ago. But have recently adjusted it to add a bit more volume with pleats and extra length. However, as I’m sure you can see from the photos, it didn’t exactly go to plan.

close up details of hemp fabric skirt

The Hemp Shop

After my previous post, Sustainable fabric spotlight hemp, I wanted to elaborate. I decided to create a whole separate post on my experience sewing with Hemp. I wanted to find a hemp supplier that had reputable sources, the same values as me and ideally were in the UK to save on shipping emissions. After much research I found The Hemp Shop.

The Hemp shop are one of the UK oldest Hemp specific shops, having been in business since 1995. Their website stocks everything hemp, foods, essential oils, clothing and natural beauty – but I was just interested in the fabric.

Hemp is such a versatile fibre that is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable of all-natural fabrics. It also grows very easily and organically, which means there’s no need for harmful chemicals. When many people think of hemp they think of a uncomfortable scratchy fabric, but over the years this has changed. Hemp can now be made into a soft linen like fabric.

The Hemp Shop stock hemp silk, hemp linen, hemp denim and mixed Hemp fabrics like Jersey. For my first hemp project used natural linen like hemp and The Hemp Shop kindly gifted me some fabric and eco reactive dye.

ruby rose wearing a hemp skirt and yellow jumper

Sewing with Hemp

I started by pre washing and then dying my fabric this beautiful dark khaki colour. It is just perfect for Autumn. With my newly adjusted shorts pattern I cut out the front and back panels and pocket pieces. I sewed the back darts and stay stitched the pleats so they held in place while I added the other pieces. As I was unsure of the finished length I added a few extra inches as I wanted these to be a bit more relaxed.

I then constructed the pockets so I had two complete front panels. When constructing pockets, I like to be generous with the pocket bags and at least have them big enough to fit my phone in. So many women’s ready to wear garments have very small pockets so this is one of the bonuses of making your own clothing.

ruby rose looking to teh side in hemp skirt

I then sewed the centre front and centre back seams, leaving room for a zip. As I didn’t have any concealed zips I decided to just go for a regular zip and button fastening. I then had a complete back and front and sewed them together before checking the fit. At this point the shorts ideas started to change. When I put it on, I noticed how good it looked as a loose mini skirt. I also realised that going into Autumn I might not have as much use for shorts. And I didn’t want to make something that I couldn’t immediately wear.

I decided to carry on with the idea of a relaxed mini, hemp seemed to really lend itself to this idea with the weight and drape of the fabric. Sewing with hemp is a dream as its weave makes it strong and solid to work with, and it doesn’t swish about like some fabrics. After adding the waistband and belt loops I tried it on again to check the fit.

To change the design from shorts to a skirt was fairly easy, I just had to pin and chop off the extra triangle of fabric that forms the rise seam. After doing this it was just a case of hemming and ta dah!… I had finished my self drafted shorts, now skirt. Sewing the hemp linen from The Hemp Shop was a dream to work with, I loved it. I would definitely choose it over regular linen and can’t wait to try some of the other forms of hemp fabric that The Hemp shop has on offer.

pulling up sleeves in hemp skirt

Please subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks

Ruby

Sewing – The Pietra Shorts

Sewing – The Pietra Shorts

As soon as I came across Good Fabric on Instagram, I knew we were a match made in heaven. An online fabric shop that only stock sustainable fabrics and patterns from small pattern designers – absolutely perfect. Good fabric has a growing selection of Tencel’s, 

Sustainable fabric spotlight: Hemp Fabric and its environmental impact

Sustainable fabric spotlight: Hemp Fabric and its environmental impact

Hemp clothing has recently been gaining a lot of popularity in the west. Once a fabric for the hippies among us, hemp has been going mainstream, popularised by sustainable fashion blogs and influencers. However, let’s not forget that in many other non-western countries, hemp fabric 

Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress

Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress

The Adele Apron dress was love at first sight. You know when you see a pattern and want to make it immediately, well I fell hard for the Adele Apron Dress. As soon as Alice and Co Patterns posted that they needed pattern testers I jumped at the chance! The Adele Apron dress is a cross between and apron and a wrap dress, cleverly cut to fit like a dress but with the traits of an easy to wear apron.

Why I Pattern Test

I really enjoy pattern testing; I enjoy the whole process. Recently, I was involved in a discussion online with some other seamstresses, where some felt that when you test you are taken advantage of. I don’t feel like this at all, in fact it makes me feel special! Alice and Co were more than lovely to work with, encouraging and enthusiastic about everything I did. They, like most pattern testers don’t put pressure on you, they understand you are helping them and sometimes other things can get in the way. I love seeing a pattern early, and giving my feedback and ideas.

Adele Apron Dress Process

So, this is a fairly simple, cleverly designed pattern, made up of 5 panels. All the darts and shaping over the bust and hips is built into the seams, which makes for a slick design.

I bought this fabric from Ikea some years ago, waiting for the perfect project. Side note – Ikea does high quality, vibrant and usually bargain priced fabric – I always buy lots when I go. For this pattern I decided I wanted to pattern match the check design of the fabric. I did this but picking a horizontal line on the print and lining the waist notches up with it, quite simple. I them slightly adjusted when sewing the panels together to get a perfect match.

For this pattern you sew all the panels together – encasing the pocket as you go. You also leave holes in the side seams to thread the ties through. I left all the holes so I could have different wrapping options. You end up with a large flat 7 panel piece. You then sew you ties and straps and turn them through. Luckily for me I have a really long metal ruler that was the perfect width for turning. At this point you can pin your straps on in different places and test the fit. This was a bit of a fiddle, as there was a lot of work with, and I was on my own. I’d recommend having another person here to help with the pinning and fitting.

Once I got it sorted, I topstitched all the seams and hemmed the top and bottom of the dress and attached the straps.

Adele Apron Adjustments

Once I topstitched everything and tried it on, I realised I’d done a bad job with my fitting, or stretched it top edge while sewing. So, I had to unpick a load and shape the top better across my high bust. So again, I will recommend taking it slow with the fitting part and getting some help. I also shortened the dress a bit to make it more of a mini.

Would I make it again?

One of the design features I particularly like is the topstitching detail on every seam. With the fabric I chose I think it got a bit lost. I’d love to make a plain version maybe in a linen or denim so you can see details more.

The Adele Apron dress pattern lauched last week and can be bought from the Alice and Co website. Has anyone else made the Adele Apron dress?

Please subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks for reading

Ruby

Good Fabric – Your New Favourite Fabric Store

Good Fabric – Your New Favourite Fabric Store

As you’ve probably seen from my more recent blog posts, I am trying to concentrate more on being sustainable with my sewing. Sewing in general is much more sustainable than purchasing new for many reasons: • You know the supply chain • You know know 

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company was the dress of 2019, so I’m quite late to the party. It’s been on my radar for a while but just haven’t had the right fabric…until now! I was recently contacted by Fabric Godmother, one of my 

Sewing The Basic Instinct Tee

Sewing The Basic Instinct Tee

This month I have mostly been sewing, The Basic Instinct Tee. During lockdown I have started to realise that I need more relaxed comfy clothes. I realised that I always made more complicated clothing and hadn’t really tried any basics. I decided a good starting point would be a standard t-shirt, nothing fancy. It’s been a while since I’ve sewn with jersey, I just used to make myself bodycon dresses in my 20s. So, although a basic it felt like I was going to learning from scratch.

Basic T shirt girl wearing striped tee

Selecting a Pattern

Usually I’m very picky when it comes to the fit of my t-shirts, so selecting the right pattern is important. I like the neck to be just right, not too low and gaping but not too high like a polo neck. I also don’t like a skin-tight fit on the body, but not overly loose either. So I’m not easy to please! As I guessed I would be trying a few different patterns before finding the perfect tee. So, I decided to start off with a free PDF pattern – The Basic Instinct Tee by Secondo Piano. You can download it if you sign up to her newsletter.

Ruby Rose Basic Instinct tee pattern

Basic Instinct Tee Process

The instructions on this pattern are really easy to follow and there is also info about matching stripes which was super helpful. This pattern is a nice simple one, just 4 pieces and available in sizes XS-XL. I chose to make a Small as I didn’t want it to be too fitted, just casual and comfy. I selected this amazing stripe cotton jersey from Minerva.

Its 95% cotton and 5% Lycra so it has the perfect amount of stretch to work for the Basic Instinct Tee. I really love the quality of the fabric, its medium weight so really feels great quality for making the tee. I hate it when you end up with thin flimsy jersey, or any fabric really.

As I was working with stretch, I decided to make the whole thing using my overlocker, although you can do the same with a zig zag stitch. If you just use straight stitch it will no longer stretch and you’ll probably end up snapping the stitches. I sewed up the tee shoulders, sleeves and side seams.

One of the last bits was adding the neckband which is more of a fiddle. Once you have a loop you carefully pin and stretch the neckband to fit onto the tee. I realised that I didn’t really think about seam allowances when sewing using the overlocker. Therefore, the neckband ended up being wider than it was supposed to be, and therefore didn’t lay perfectly flat.

Ruby Rose with a dog in striped tee

Adjustments

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, I wanted to start with the pattern as is and then see if I needed to make any changes. One did I did adjust was the way I sewed the sleeves. I folded them back on themselves and overlocked, then folded down to create a fake cuff style hem. I really like this finish and it ends up looking more professional as I don’t have a cover stitch machine.

Basic Tee close up red lip

Would I make the Basic Instinct Tee again?

Well, I started with a free pattern, the Basic Instinct Tee, to see how I got on sewing myself some basics. Turns out the pattern really is the perfect T shirt for me. The fit is perfect and its exactly what I wanted. I sewed it up in under 2 hours so I will definitely be making it again. I think I need some plain versions to go with my fun Pomona shorts.

Has anyone else got some favourite basics patterns I can try out? – send me links in the comments.

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

BIPOC Sewing businesses to support in the UK

BIPOC Sewing businesses to support in the UK

If like me you are struggling at how you can continue to support the BIPOC community on an everyday basis,. Hopefully this blog post is for you. I have compiled a list of Black owned sewing businesses, so I can make more conscience decisions to 

Top 5 sustainable underwear brands in Europe

Top 5 sustainable underwear brands in Europe

Where can I find sustainable underwear that will last and doesn’t cost the earth? Whether you are a long-time slow fashion enthusiast or a complete sustainability newbie, you have probably asked yourself this question. Finding good-quality ethical underwear can be a challenge and with this 

Pattern Testing – The Tulia Tee

Pattern Testing – The Tulia Tee

I recently took part in the testing process for Sewing Patterns by Masin for the launch of her new pattern, the Tulia Tee. This is a unisex jersey t-shirt with an oversized fit. It only has one view in the pattern but is open for hacks and adjustments. Which is always something I look for in a pattern.

Ruby Rose wearing striped Tulia Tee with arms wide stretched

Pattern Testing

So, now I’m basically a pro at pattern testing, okay I’ve done it about 4 times. You can check out the last time I did it for Sewing Masin, Pattern Testing The Dayo Blouse. I’ve trained myself to actually read the pattern instructions and pay attention to every detail. Luckily these are really well put together and have a lovely conversational style. Which makes it feel like Jasmin, the design is talking directly to you.

Lockdown had just started when I agreed to start pattern testing. So with the current shop closures I decided to just “shop my stash” and use what I already had.

Ruby Rose in a Sewing Patterns by Masin Tulia Tee smiling

Tulia Tee Process

The thing about the Tulia Tee is it is made up of panels, 5 to be exact. This means you can be creative with your fabric choices. Make it all in one fabric or make each panel different. This is perfect as I already knew my Tulia Tee was going to be a scrap buster experiment. As it is oversized, I looked at the measurements to decide a size. Also the examples of the versions Jasmine, the designer had already made to help determine my size. I decided to make an XS, so it was still oversized, but not massive.

I love using Instagram to find out more about patterns, if you search the hashtag #tuliatee you’ll see everyone else’s lovely inspirational makes.

Close up of the Tulia Tee in red and black and white stripes

So with this pattern I looked through my stash fabric and realised I didn’t have any large measurements of any of my jerseys. Therefore I decided to mix it up a bit with plain red and a striped jersey. As the Tulia Tee is oversized it can be made on a standard machine or an overlocker. The only part that needs to really stretch it the neck hole. I used an overlocker for all the seams and neck hole and once cut it was a super quick sew. Just sew up the front panels and back, should seams and then the neckband. I pinned the neckband at 4 points and overlocked it place. Then just the side seams, topstitching and done. One thing I did was topstitch the hem and sleeves in black which I’m not a fan of and will at some point unpick and re-sew in red.

Tulia Tee Adjustments

After much fiddling with my jersey pieces I realised I just wasn’t going to have enough fabric, no matter I’ll just make a cropped version. I fiddled about trying to work out where to crop it, but for ease of use I just used the lengthen/shorten lines already marked on the panel. This ended up making it about 24cm/9 inches shorter.

Ruby Rose in cropped tee pattern

Would I make it again?

This was a really quick sew and brilliant as a scrap buster project so I’ll definitely be making it again. Jasmin at Sewing Masin mentioned that one change she has made in the final pattern is to make the neck hole a little wider, which is a good adjustment and would like to try out.

I’ve seen this pattern hacked into a long sleeve version and a dress version, so I’m keen to have a go at those! The pattern is also unisex, so maybe my boyfriedn will be getting one too! The pattern is available now, you can purchase it on the Sewing Patterns by Masin website.

I’d love to here if any of you make the Tulia Tee – send me links in the comments

Stay up to date with my latest reviews and creative projects, subscribe to my blog mailing list up on the right there>

Thanks

Ruby x

Sewing with Wool – Making a Basic Skirt

Sewing with Wool – Making a Basic Skirt

So, before the lockdown happened, I had planned to make the perfect Spring work skirt. I have quite an active job, I am mostly on my feet and don’t get much time to sit down. I’m constantly moving about the studio and therefore need to 

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution week is a very important date in the calendar for sustainable fashion. Before I started to concentrate on a more sustainable ethical lifestyle, I didn’t give much thought to where my clothing came from. Clothes just came from Topshop and H & M 

Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps with Georganics

Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps with Georganics

Girl smiling with toothbrush pin image

Creating a zero waste bathroom is a new mission in my life. While on my sustainability journey I have mostly been concentrating on my clothing and fashion in general. But sustainability goes so much further than that! I realised it needed to apply to my whole life and there are so many easy things I can do to help this. In the kitchen I already think about the food I’m eating and source the majority of my fruit and veg from the local Brighton Open Market. We are also lucky in Brighton to have a number of zero waste bulk food stores that allow you to buy by weight. But that’s for another blog post once all the shops are back up and running after Covid 19.

I look around the bathroom and it is a collection of plastic bottles, and this is something I want to avoid. So creating a low waste home is high on my list, starting with my toothcare. I discovered Georganics some time ago and have been using their products ever since. I was lucky enough to be gifted the products featured here. Although not in exchange for a blog post, I have chosen to write this, all the opinions are my own.

collect of natural toothcare products by georganics

Georganics concentrate on not only creating a zero waste bathroom, but one without harmful chemicals. Especially with toothcare where you are actually ingesting synthetic chemicals found in the majority of everyday commercial products.

Georganics Promises

All natural – everything they use is actually natural, organic, pure ingredients

Sustainable – they create everything is smaller batches to reduce waste, and sourced as locally as possible.

Packaging – all packaging is designed to create no landfill waste

Footprint – the planet is at the heart of their business and environmental footprint is low

Not tested on animals – this makes all their products vegan friendly

Living wage – they are a proud living wage employer

If all of that has convinced you of what a great company they are, let’s check out some of their zero waste bathroom products.

toothpaste and mouthwash tablets by georganics in glass jars

Natural Toothpaste

This natural toothpaste comes in 6 different flavours but the one I use and prefer is English Peppermint. It is super mint and fresh and the mint oil used actually helps to kill bacteria in the mouth. Like all their other flavours this is SLS free, which for me is a big plus. SLS has been linked to causing mouth ulcers and as someone prone to ulcers, since making the switch I have had none!

I come with a cute bamboo spatula to help apply to your toothbrush, and then you just use like standard toothpaste. But unlike your regular plastic tube of toothpaste, afterwards you can recycle the glass and aluminium jar and compost the carboard box…perfect.

Natural Floss

Now this is a brilliant zero waste swap that is so easy to make, it’s so similar to the original. Natural Floss is available in 3 flavours, and I go for the charcoal. It comes in a reusable glass container with cutter on the top and you can buy refils in two packs on their website. It is strong and doesn’t fray when used. There are options with this floss you can get the 100% natural silk version but this is not vegan, or you can get the charcoal fibre and polyester yarn version but this contains a little pastic. Still a great low waste product

natural mouthwash tablets and a glass of mouthwash

Mouthwash Tablets

These are a favourite of mine as I’ve never seen another product like them. You just disolve in water and use the same as any other mouthwash. Each jar has 180 mouthwash tablets so way more than your standard bottle of mouthwash. Also takes up loads less space so perfect for travelling. These are also available in 6 flavours, like the toothpaste, but I have only tried the spearmint. I’d love to try out the orange, but not sure how ‘fresh’ that would be. Top tip for using these, start disolving before you brush your teeth so they are ready to use once you’re done!

Beechwood Toothbrush

Finally the sustainable bathroom swap that everyone can easily make is to the beechwood toothbrush. Made with sustainable FSC beechwood, every tree cut down is re-planted. The best bit is that once you’re done just snap the head off and compost the handle. You can then collect up the heads and wait until you have 10. Then just send back to Georganics as part of their zero to landfill scheme.

So if you haven’t realised already I love Georganics,! Their brilliant products have me well on my way to a Zero Waste Bathroom.

For more tips on a Zero Waste bathroom, Optimized Life has a great blogpost.

If you interested in other natural alternatives check out my natural turmeric dye tutorial.

What swaps have you made?

Thanks for reading

Ruby x

Pattern Testing – The Pomona Pants

Pattern Testing – The Pomona Pants

I was recently asked to be part of the pattern testing process for Anna Allen Clothing’s latest garment – the Pomona Pants. A versatile pattern that comes with 3 different views, shorts, wide trousers and tapered trousers. I love Anna Allen’s patterns, they are just 

Colieco Lingerie – Ethical Fashion

Colieco Lingerie – Ethical Fashion

This week I am focusing on one of my favourite ethical fashion brands, Colieco Lingerie. A bit of a different blog post, it’s me in my undies!! Sadly our holiday to Tenerife was cancelled because of the Corona Virus, I was hoping to show this