Ohhh Lulu Ginger Bodysuit: DIY Leopard Print Contrast Panel Swimsuit

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit
Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit and Simplicity 1896 Kimono

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit and Simplicity 1896 Kimono – ugh – morning hair

Hello Dear Readers,

We are back from our short city break to Barcelona and enjoyed the Spanish sights, shopping, sun and food. I had a couple of opportunities to wear my new swimsuit and overall I was very happy with its performance. Here are the details.

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit

The pattern that I elected to use was the Ginger Body Suit and Separates pattern by Sarah of Ohhh Lulu. I actually bought this pattern more than a year ago, and I have just checked and it doesn’t seem to be available at the moment in her Etsy shop. But if you love pretty, feminine handmade lingerie then check out her shop…sooo pretty!

I decided to use this pattern and not the Bombshell pattern because I thought this pattern would allow more bust support. That’s not to say I might not have a go at trying to make the Bombshell pattern more bust supportive, now that I have more of an idea what I am doing, but the lines of this pattern just seemed to suggest easier modification.

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Bodysuit and Separates

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Bodysuit and Separates

Let’s get down to the real business. I need a G-cup. Yep. And there are no swimsuit patterns drafted, that I know of, that cater for the larger cup sized woman. I am guessing we are in a minority, but it is frustrating, and the thing I dislike the most about finding attractive RTW suits. (BTW, Mary just wrote a great post on this very subject over on the Curvy Sewing Collective blogsite). So, the first thing I did was purchase a G-cup bikini top from eBay. I did this because I wanted to make sure the cups were going to be chlorine resistant. I mean, there would be no point in spending all that effort and time making a swimsuit for it all to disintegrate after the first few wears, right? I figured that purchasing a RTW bikini top in my size would hopefully give me something which would be fairly chlorine resistant.

Cups purchased (and unpicked from the RTW bikini – it was an underwired one…I have kept the wires for another project), I then set about modifying the cups on the Ginger bodysuit pattern. In the picture below you can see I used the actual foam cups to make the increases to the pattern. I found this method worked very well for me. The Ginger cups come in two sections: upper and lower. I pinned the upper section in place and found it matched the upper part of the foam cups quite well, so I decided to increase the lower part of the cups only.

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

In this next picture you can see I have added height to the lower cup section to fill in the gap.

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Here you can see I have added height to the lower cup, but the length of the pattern cups are not quite sufficient to cover the sides of the foam cups.

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

I decided to slash and spread the lower cup as you can see in the picture below, adding a wedge in to the lower cup (sorry I would have used different coloured paper if I have thought about it). I did the same to the upper cup too,  although I did end up pinching out a little bit on the lower cup where I felt the paper was gaping away.

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Here’s what I ended up with. You will notice I also decided to split the lower cups into 2 sections, using this tutorial from Amy at Cloth Habit.

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

Increasing cup size of Ginger Bodysuit

So that is how I increased the cups on the swimsuit. You can read about the rest of the modifications that I did in my review below.

Some other points:

  • I pre-washed my fabric (I generally pre-wash everything…just paranoid about shrinkage and the ensuing frustration/ heartbreak).
  • I used my rotary cutter to cut the swimsuit fabric….not a general fan of using a rotary cutter on fabrics but this time it made things so much easier.
  • I made a muslin (using some cheaper swimsuit fabric). Totally worth it. I couldn’t have perfected the fit otherwise.
  • All my fabrics, including the power mesh that I used to line the front of the suit and the (chlorine resistant) elastic was purchased (online) from Fabricland. Yes, this site is messy and I don’t like their system of not having set postage charges, but they have a great selection of swimwear fabric.
  • I constructed most of the swimsuit on my serger, but zig-zagged the elastic on (to the wrong side of the leg holes, top of front and back), folded over so it was concealed and twin-needled it using my regular machine.
  • I also added a band of 3/4″ wide elastic beneath the cups for further bust support. In combination with the cups, it worked.
Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit - back

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit – back

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit - inside front lining

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit – inside front lining

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit - inside back lining

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit – inside back lining

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

The Ginger Bodysuit is a bodysuit, which you can also turn into high waisted briefs and/ or a bralette. I elected to make it into a swimsuit. There is a basic (but adequate, probably more suited to slightly more experienced sewers) sewalong to turn the bodysuit into a swimsuit on the Ohhh Lulu website.

Pattern Sizing:

From bust 32″ to 42″ (C cup), and hips 33″ to 42″.

I ended up enlarging the cups to accommodate a G-cup.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, I think so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I managed, so yes. I did have to re-read some of the steps a few times to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the opportunity for colour blocking and the lines of the pattern make it easy to adjust. Nothing to dislike as such, although I thought it was hard to get the V-point at the front of the swimsuit accurately sewn, and it was also very hard to get the cups sewn in neatly. This might improve with practice?!

Fabric Used:

Swimsuit lycra for outerlayer; swimsuit lining for back and cups, powermesh for front lining, chlorine resistant cups, and elastic for openings, straps and underbust support.

Note: I wish I had doubled up on the powermesh. I felt I didn’t have enough support on my tummy. Or I could just cut down on the chocolate :-)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Lengthy!!

  • Increased cups of swimsuit from C-cup to G-cup.
  • Increasing the cups meant I had to carry this increase down the front seams.
  • Following on from the above point meant I ended up removing a total of 6 inches from the back seams, tapering to nothing at the waist, effectively doing a sway back adjustment as well.
  • Removed a total of a further 4 inches at the side seams.
  • Pinched out 0.25″ at the front seams, at the mid thigh.
  • Converted the lower cups of the swimsuit into two pieces.
  • Added 3/4″ chlorine resistant elastic as underbust support and also in the strap tubes to give futher support. The pattern has you effectively flat lining (underlining) the entire swimsuit. If doing again I would sew the front lining separately, add my elastic and then sew to swimsuit, as I think it would be tidier.
  • I wish I had doubled up on the powermesh. I felt I didn’t have enough support on my tummy.
  • I concealed my crotch seam during construction.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might sew again. Yes, I would recommend.

Conclusion:

I am so proud of myself for making this pattern fit and sewing it up. It feels well made and secure and it’s another step forward in my sewing journey.

 

In case anyone is wondering, the chiffon kimono style cover up is adapted from Simplicity 1896. I used the top part from View A and lengthened it down, along with the band/ facing. I did rolled hems on my serger. I don’t love it, but it served a purpose.

Simplicity 1896 Kimono

Simplicity 1896 Kimono – Bet Lynch has nothing on me!

Congrats if you made it all the way to the end of this rather lengthy post! Have a great week and see you all soon…

Bra Making Workshop Review

My first completed underwired bra!
My first completed underwired bra!

My first completed underwired bra!

Hello Friends,

At the start of this week I attended a day long bra making workshop at the Birmingham School of Sewing, run by the owner, Sheila May Green. As promised, here’s a review – all opinions my very own honest ones!

The course was actually held in Sheila May’s home in a quiet residential area in the centre of Birmingham not far from the University (where, incidentally I studied for my undergraduate degree). Sheila May has a room specifically set aside for teaching, and there was plenty of space for us to work and all equipment and materials were provided.

Interior of Birmingham School of Sewing

Interior of Birmingham School of Sewing

Interior of Birmingham School of Sewing

Interior of Birmingham School of Sewing

In this day long course we made an underwired bra, which was most definitely not made to my size! This is a course in which you will learn how to make an underwired bra from start to finish, including cutting the materials out, but the bra is not fitted to your size. The pattern used (one that Sheila May has drafted herself) is not even for a particular band/ cup size. But don’t let that put you off. I was very happy with everything I learned on the day, which included how to sew the cups together, and insert them in to the cradle, how to apply elastic to the band and armholes of the bra, how to attach the hook and eyes and how to attach sliders correctly. In short, I now feel confident enough to go away and make my own underwired bra in my own size…it’s just a question of finding the time…!!

Assembling the bra

Assembling the bra

Close up of finished bra

Close up of finished bra

Close up of finished bra

Close up of finished bra

I discovered that making a bra is not that difficult: it requires fairly accurate, precision sewing but with practice anyone can do it. For me, the day long course was more (time) convenient. I normally get fitted for my bras so I have a good idea of what my size is. I hope to eventually purchase a pattern in my size and have a go on my own. Doing this course also gave my an understanding of what kind of materials I need to purchase to make my own bras.

Back of bra

Back of bra

Overall I highly recommend this to anyone who wants an introduction into underwired bra making.

I have just finished my swimsuit…and I kind of wish I had completed the course before I started to sew it up, but overall I am still pleased with the final result. Review to follow, but it will have to wait as we are off to Barcelona on Monday for a week.

So until we meet again, have a great week!

McCalls 6696: DIY Navy Linen Shirt Dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress
McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Hello Friends,

Good morning from a sunny corner of Cumbria. A few weeks back I attended the Minerva Meet Up. I am sure from other blogs you would have already read details of the day. It was a well organised and well attended event, and it was great to finally meet some other bloggers, readers and sewists in real life. The Minerva Crafts store itself is laden with amazing fabrics and of course I did end up buying some fabric, including this navy blue 100% washed linen (at least I think it is that one…that’s the only one I think it can be from the website).

The fabric is gorgeous. It has a wonderful weight to it, and was a pleasure to sew. It was a considerable purchase, which is why I wanted to go for a fairly classic design. This is a dress I hope I will wear for many summers to come.

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

The pattern is McCalls 6696 (you remember I made the slip from this pattern in my last post). I love the finished dress, although I don’t know if I need to do a very slight FBA next time around (even though this is one of those patterns that has multi-cup sizes, which generally work well for me). I love the pleated skirt and the waist band. I wish I had added the belt loops (I had even cut them out), but left them off last minute because I thought it would restrict what belts I could wear with this.

Here’s the back view: I removed 1.5 inches from the centre back pattern piece, which was then cut on the fold, thereby effectively eliminating 3 inches in total.

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Unusually for me, I kept the pockets in :-)

In my last shirt dress review, I tried using Andrea’s method of attaching the collar…and had mixed feelings. Well, I tried it again, and have to say this method has definitely grown on me….the results are much more precise.

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress - collar close up

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress – collar close up

I just serged the insides for a clean finish (3 thread wide overlock).

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress - serged seam

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress – serged seam

Check out the full review below.

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Dresses have collar, collar band, self-lined yoke back, close-fitting bodice, and band. A: carriers, purchased belt. A,B: pleated skirt, side pockets. A,C: purchased bias tape finishes armholes. D: sleeve bands. C,D: semi-fitted through hips, side front pockets, stitched hems. Bias, close-fitting slip has shoulder straps and very narrow hem. A/B, C, D cup sizes.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished shape, with the pleated, full skirt and the waistband. Great for my figure. There is a fair amount of hand sewing involved in this dress….normally I would have topstitched everything, but with the linen it just didn’t look right, so hand sewing it was. I wish I had added the belt loops.

Fabric Used:

100% washed linen with a great weight to it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Minimal, although next time round I don’t know if I would do a very slight FBA or just cut the next cup size up. The only changes I made were to add an inch to the length (though probably not necessary), and do a 1 inch sway back adjustment. Oh, and I removed 1.5 inches from the centre back pattern piece, which was then cut on the fold, thereby effectively eliminating 3 inches in total. I had to get creative again with the cutting layout, just squeezing this dress out of 3 metres of 137cm/ 55 inch wide fabric. I ended up cutting my waistband in 2, so it has a join in the centre back. I used the burrito method to attach the yoke, but did do all the other hand stitching as required.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I would consider sewing this again….maybe the straight skirt view (view D).

Conclusion:

I have made the slip, now I have made the dress…and I am still not done with this pattern. Highly recommend, especially for curvy ladies.

I have 2 weeks to sew a swimming costume, a cover-up and attend a bra making course next week. Eek! Stay tuned to see if I can complete all my sewing before we head off to Barcelona in a couple of weeks. Until next time….

 

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Simplicity 2444 and McCalls 6696: DIY white eyelet dress and slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip
Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Hello Readers,

back again…so soon, you say? This dress was actually cut out and largely  sewn up before my last blog post (the Vogue jersey maxi). I don’t often start another project before finishing one, but somehow I was craving a maxi, so this one was left to be hemmed. Also, having decided to make this dress unlined, I need to make a slip to wear under it.

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Let’s talk fabric first. This fabric is pretty special to me, because a) I love eyelet (especially white eyelet) and I find it very hard to find and b) I actually bought this fabric in Paris (as talked about here, last year). I was waiting for the right weather/ pattern etc, and finally settled on the hugely popular Simplicity 2444.

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

As mentioned above, I decided to leave the dress unlined (a decision I really dithered over), but I love the flirty, airy feel of the fabric. BUT this meant I had to make a slip of some kind. That’s where McCalls 6696 comes in…not only does it have a great (still to be sewn) shirt dress pattern, but it has a slip pattern as well. Very handy.

McCalls 6696 slip

McCalls 6696 slip

Overall, I love this dress and how I feel when I wear it. That’s not to say the fit is perfect. I think the front waist needs to come down a tad. But that won’t stop we wearing this dress. And the slip is the best fitting bias cut slip I own (all others being RTW).

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Pattern Review:

Simplicity 2444

Pattern Description:

Inspired by Project Runway. Misses’ Dress sewing pattern with collar and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:

4 – 20.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I think so, but I chose to do my own thing – see below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the final outcome. Nothing to dislike really.

Fabric Used:

Cotton eyelet purchased last year in Paris.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I added about 1.5 inches to the sleeves. I can’t stand tight sleeves at the best of times, so forget during hot weather.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I omitted the pockets – this meant I didn’t follow the provided instructions, which have you sew the front bodice to the front skirt, and the back bodice to the back skirt before sewing the front to the back at the sides. Instead I constructed the bodice (sewing front to back and sewing side seams), constructed the skirt (sewing front and back together at side seams) and then sewing the bodice to  the skirt.

I used an invisible zip.

I added 1.25 inches to the length of the skirt, but TBH it was not necessary.

Next time around I would bring the front waist down a tad.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I might sew this again. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

I am very pleased I made time to sew this pattern – I can now see why it has been so popular.

 

McCalls 6696

Pattern Description:

Bias, close-fitting slip has shoulder straps and very narrow hem.

(Note: this pattern is for a shirt dress and includes a pattern for a slip. I sewed the slip only and so this review relates only to that).

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I think this is a great pattern to have on hand. The fact it is included as part of a shirt dress pattern is a bonus. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

Fine cotton lawn.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I would strongly advise sizing down, to account for the bias cut nature of this garment.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment by pinching out the required amount, tapering to nothing at the side seams.

Shortened slip length by 2 inches before cutting out.

I used a Schmetz 70 needle for fine fabrics.

I used French seams to sew the side seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might sew this again as required. It is a great pattern to have on hand: I highly recommend. Be warned there is some very delicate sewing on this project: rolled hems at the armholes/ necklines and the hem, and I made my straps with my rouleau turner. But I am very pleased with the finished garment.

Conclusion:

A great basic. This slip fits me better than any other bias cut slip I own (all RTW). We are lucky people to be able to sew for ourselves :-)

 

Until soon, and have a great week!

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

 

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress
Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Last year I made a chiffon maxi which I have worn a couple of times. I do like it, but I don’t like the fact my boobs feel like they are falling out of it. Plus, you know, the hubby said it was not flattering. Pah! What do heterosexual men know of women’s fashion? :-)

So this is this years attempt. An oh-so-easy-quick-and-breezy jersey maxi dress, made using Vogue 8921. This is an FAST pattern to sew up…it took me a morning to sew (plus, like an hour to cut out?) The fit is not perfect. But it is more than wearable.

Here’s the line drawings first:

Vogue 8921 - line drawings

Vogue 8921 – line drawings

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Here’s a close up of the fabric (a light cotton jersey). Phil did say this version was nice…but the colour is “dowdy brown”…..hmmmm….I like to think it is a neutral colour, that I can pair up with lots of different accessories.

Vogue 8921 - fabric close up.

Vogue 8921 – fabric close up.

The dreaded back view:

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Dress has fitted bodice with waist and front shoulder pleats, and back zipper. Necklines, drape B, sleeves B and C: narrow hem.

I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, but I did my own thing. See below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the finished dress. It is very easy to sew. The neckline is very low. And for me, it was very long.

Fabric Used:

Cotton jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I raised the neckline by 3 inches. I don’t know if this was too much (?) but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable exposing my bra, and I hate wearing camisoles under dresses.

I shortened the length of the skirt on the pattern by 2 inches, but ended up taking a further 3 inches off the length. I am 5 foot 3 inches and with some clever laying out of pattern pieces I was able to cut this dress out of 3 metres of fabric.

I ended up chopping out a huge 3 inch wedge from the centre back (after I had sewn the dress up), tapering down to nothing at the front before hitting the pleats in front, as a kind of crude sway back adjustment. If I want to sew this again I will have to adjust the paper pattern.

I chose to overlock my edges, turn them over and stitch down rather than doing narrow hems.

I set the sleeves in flat.

I shortened the sleeves by 2 inches.

I omitted the zip.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might, and yes, I definitely recommend.

Conclusion:

Quick and easy project with great results. Great for a beginner too!

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Vogue 8921: DIY jersey maxi dress

Back soon with more summer sewing….

 

Butterick 5926: DIY Floral Print Scuba Fabric Blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer
Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Hello Friends,

How are you all? I am doing ok. I have been busy working on this jacket on and off for probably the last 10 days or so. For an “easy” rated pattern it had it’s challenges. Let’s talk in detail!

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

So, I have wanted a knitted blazer style jacket for the longest time. I had an RTW one which I have since given to charity because it was just too short and I never felt comfortable wearing it. I bought Butterick 5926 a while back and I actually have some gorgeous navy wool jersey in my stash which I had planned on making this up in, but then I stumbled across this floral print scuba (neoprene) fabric online, and decided this would be a wearable muslin and I liked the idea of the printed jacket (I know, harder to wear)! I like the idea of a knitted blazer style jacket because I think they can dress an outfit up, are supremely comfortable to drive in, and are perfect for travelling with.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Anyhoo, Butterick have rated this jacket as easy. It is. But if you want a decent looking jacket I don’t think their instructions are adequate. IMO. Full review below.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Ok, so I didn’t make things easy for myself using the scuba fabric. This fabric does not like to be pressed. I used a high heat, lots of steam, my silk organza press cloth and my clapper to try and slap those edges into submission. BTW, this fabric was fairly easy to sew. I used a 80/12 Schmetz universal needle and a regular stitch at 2.2 length, with 2.8 for the topstitching. I used a wide three thread overlock to finish the edges inside. Cos, yes, this jacket is unlined. Not so happy with that. But then I am kind of glad I didn’t go all out and line this jacket. Here’s an interior shot. Ignore the dirty smudge at the top. I also added a hanging loop. It is not lopsided in real life: I still don’t have a dress form.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer - inside back.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer – inside back.

In terms of print match: I didn’t. Except for I tried to get a match at the centre back and on the pockets.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Fitted, unlined jacket has collar, pockets and stitched hems. A and C: purchased trim. Designed for moderate stretch knits.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Essentially, yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

If you follow the instructions I think you may end up being slightly disappointed, IMO. The instructions are fine up until the point where it tells you to attach the upper collar and facing to the jacket and undercollar (step 20). Getting your head around that takes some effort! I found Sherry’s RTW tailoring sewalong invaluable for this step.

Additionally, the pattern does not make any mention of understitching. I know I didn’t take the easy route by using the fabric that I did, but given that the suggested fabrics for this jacket include sweatshirt fleece and wool jersey, I think the understitching is fairly crucial to try and get a decent looking jacket. Again, Sherry’s RTW tailoring sewalong was invaluable.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I think the fit is true to size and I like the overall shape. This pattern includes a separate undercollar piece, bust, back shoulder and elbow darts. I think the instructions are not brilliant.

Fabric Used:

A floral printed scuba (neoprene) fabric. This fabric does not like to be pressed. I used a high heat, lots of steam, my silk organza press cloth and my clapper to try and slap those edges into submission. BTW, this fabric was fairly easy to sew. I used a 80/12 Schmetz universal needle and a regular stitch at 2.2 length, with 2.8 for the topstitching. I used a wide three thread overlock to finish the edges inside.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I think I shortened the sleeves by 3.5 inches. I did a half inch sway back adjustment. I did a tissue fit first and from that established the roll line. I then taped the roll line: easing the jacket front to a pre-shrunk length of twill tape using a catch stitch.

Taping the roll line on jacket front

Taping the roll line on jacket front

One of the major things I did differently to the instructions was the additional understitching I did. I understitched the seam allowances to the jacket facings below the roll line break point; I understitched the seam allowances to the jacket front above the roll line break point; and I understitched the seam allowances of the back of the collar to the under collar. These were all done in an attempt to make the lapels and collar of the jacket roll and sit nicely. It’s not perfect. The collar on the left hand side is trying to flip up slightly and I would like another attempt at joining the collar to the undercollar. But it was a great learning experience without going all out on a fully tailored jacket.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might still sew this for autumn in my navy wool jersey. It is a good pattern, but probably not one for an absolute beginner. I would recommend to intermediate/ experienced sewers.

Conclusion:

This is a good pattern, with mediocre instructions. Maybe my next attempt will be closer to the mark.

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Butterick 5926 floral print scuba fabric blazer

Have a great weekend everyone, and look forward to meeting some of you on Saturday!

A sewing meet-up, a sewing course, and a sewing class.

i-am-attending

Hello Readers,

I wanted to share some exciting sewing related activities I have planned for the next few weeks.

First off, I am going to be attending the Minerva Crafts meet-up, on 14th June in Darwen, Lancashire. This is about 2 hours drive from my home, so I am planning on setting off early(ish!) in the morning, aiming to be there for the 11am “Introduction to the Day” session. I am definitely looking forward to meeting some of my favourite bloggers in person….and just being with other people who are as passionate about sewing as I am :-)

Secondly, I have booked to go on a bra making course!! I have long been admiring the bra-making efforts of the sewing community. Not least, Very Purple Person, Cloth Habit, and, more recently, Sewaholic. I decided I really wanted to learn how to do this, so I have booked a one-day course at the Birmingham School of Sewing, on the 8th July. Whilst you are not fitted to your own personal measurements on this course, you do make an actual underwired bra during the day, and that’s what I need to know. I think learning how to work with the wires will also be useful for sewing my sewing costume (we now have a short break booked to Barcelona mid-July…no more excuses!) and even adding boning to dresses.

Thirdly, I have been asked by my local craft haberdashery, Fun2Do in Carlisle, to teach a dressmaking course! So I will be teaching a small class (of 4) how to make a simple skirt on 27th June. It will be my first time teaching a class. Fingers crossed it won’t be my last!

Looking forward to meeting some of you soon.

Back soon with a jacket I am currently working on.

New Look 6097: DIY Pink Ponte Wrap Dress

New Look 6097
New Look 6097

New Look 6097

Hello Friends,

Happy Sunday. Today I wanted to share my latest make; my version of New Look 6097. My version does look a little different to the version on the front of the pattern. That’s because I swapped out the skirt that comes with the pattern (more fitted with pockets), and replaced it with the flared skirt from my Lady Skater Pattern. The end result is, for me, a supremely comfortable and flattering dress that I love the silhouette of.

New Look 6097

New Look 6097

Let’s talk about the fabric. It was supplied by my sponsors, Click Fabrics, and is this one. It’s described as being a “cerise coloured, medium weight, 2 way stretch, soft touch double jersey”. The colour is…vivid….what do you think? Initially I was not sure, but now I love it. It is essentially a ponte knit, but is very soft with a good drape to it. It feels wonderfully soft to wear, and sewed beautifully, using a mixture of my sewing machine and overlocker.

New Look 6097

New Look 6097

Now onto the pattern. This pattern was voted in at number 5 of the Best Patterns of 2013 over on the Sewing Pattern Review website. (As an aside I have 7 out of the 10 voted; and still haven’t got round to sewing 2 of them – I MUST make the BHL Anna dress sometime!! How many of the 10 patterns do you have in your stash?) Anyway, now that I sewn this pattern up I can see why it featured in the Best Patterns list: this is a great pattern.

In my experience, the fit of the bodice is great. I really stabilised both the left and right bodice front edges using twill tape, and they are SECURE. I wore this dress to church this morning, and was looking after 3 babies in creche, and the faux wrap felt so secure, I didn’t have to adjust it once. I think it helped using the double jersey rather than a thinner weight knit. I also also got away with omitting the elastic at the waist. Check out my review for full details.

New Look 6097

New Look 6097 – close up of bodice wrap

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Workroom from Project Runway, misses’ belted knit dress with neckline and sleeve variations. New Look Just 4 Knits sewing pattern.

I made view A, without the collar, but changed the skirt to a flared one.

Pattern Sizing:

10 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Probably not, because I swapped the skirt out for a flared skirt from my Lady Skater Pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, although I changed the order of construction somewhat. I set my sleeves in flat and then sewed up the sleeves and bodice sides in one.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I LOVE the silhouette of this dress, the comfort, fit and how secure I feel in the bodice. It doesn’t gape or needed constantly adjusting. I did stabilise the left and right fronts of the bodice using twill tape. Nothing to dislike as such. I didn’t think the skirt would be a flattering style for me so changed it. I was in two minds about the sleeves. Next time round I may adjust the length. If I was using a thinner jersey I might size down.

Fabric Used:

A soft double knit fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I changed the order of construction and inserted the sleeves in flat and then sewed the sleeves and side seams up.

I changed the skirt for a flared one.

I stabilised the left and right front bodice edges using twill tape.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I omitted the elastic at the waist.

 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I would love a dark coloured version and a printed one too. Love it! Highly recommend.

Conclusion:

I now see why this pattern was voted at number 5 in the Best Patterns of 2013 on PR.com. It is a great, simple to sew pattern which is flattering, comfortable and a great addition to your stash.

Have a great week ahead!

New Look 6097

New Look 6097

 

 

 

Children’s Book Review: Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi

Who Makes That Noise? by Ruth Bushi
Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi

Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi

Hello Readers,

Back again, with something a little different today. This is a post about a children’s book which my sister, Ruth, has written and illustrated by herself, so if reading about children’s books is not your thing, turn off now! But if it is, or you are looking for something a little different for your own children/ grandchildren/ nieces/ nephews/ godchildren/ pupils etc then read on!

Who Makes That Noise? is a brilliant, fun book suitable for all children up to the age of 4. I think the “coloured version” of the book (read on to see what I mean) is really fantastic…bold and colourful…and the children are engaged from the outset, trying to guess “Who Makes That Noise?”, as well as imitating animal noises and playing along. Here’s a couple of pages as an example:

Who Makes That Noise? by Ruth Bushi

Who Makes That Noise? by Ruth Bushi

Who Makes That Noise? by Ruth Bushi

Who Makes That Noise? by Ruth Bushi

The book is 32 pages long and my daughter (who’s currently 5) thought is was great. It’s something I would have definitely considered buying for her when she was younger.

BUT wait! There is MORE! There is also a unique opportunity for children to make this book truly their own as there is also a Colouring Zoo….that is, a black and white edition of Who Makes That Noise? featuring the same illustrated animals and characters for children to colour in. Just imagine…not being told off for writing in your story books. Yeah! The Colouring Zoo could be bought as a standalone book, or as a follow-on to the coloured version.

Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi - Colouring Zoo

Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi – Colouring Zoo

Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi - Colouring Zoo

Who Makes That Noise? By Ruth Bushi – Colouring Zoo

Who Makes That Noise? will by available in print from next month (June 2014) from online retailers, including your countries Amazon and Barnes and Nobles site. It should also be available from your local book store – you can always ask them to order it for you if they don’t stock it.

In the UK you can also order directly from The Goldman Press.

I think it’s a great concept, and it would be a fun, educational gift to give to any little boy or girl. My sister has worked so hard to make this happen – and it shows! I really hope you will support a talented, independent author.

Until soon….

 

Vogue 8847: DIY Doggy Print Dress

Vogue 8847
Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Hello Friends,

This is Vogue 8847, made in a dog print cotton lawn, that I was told was ex Barbour fabric. Maybe it was the ex Barbour part which swayed me to buy it, because, honestly, I am not a pet person. But anyway, this is great quality cotton and there was something about the print which I liked. Here’s a close up.

Vogue 8847 - dog print cotton lawn

Vogue 8847 – dog print cotton lawn

First off, let me say I had to genetically mutate some of the little puppies on my dress. By that I mean I did not even attempt to pattern match the dog print. There are a few two headed pups/ dogs with two sets of hind legs and no head etc. That’s because the dogs on this print go in alternate rows, facing left then right and also, there are three different sizes of dog (large, medium, small), and coupled with the gathered shoulder and back yoke seams I just felt there was no point trying to get a match. I am cool with that. I did, however, match the red wavy lines. Have a look, and at the same time you can check out the shaped hem.

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

I finished the sleeve seams, the side seams and the setting in sleeves seam with french seams. So the insides are very neat and tidy (you will have to take my word on that; sorry no picture).

Read my full review below for all the dirt on this dress.

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Very loose-fitting, pullover dress has collar, self-lined yokes, side pockets, sleeves with barrel cuffs, and belt. A: cut-on crosswise grain of fabric, shaped front hemline, and narrow hem.

I made view A, but had to change the direction of some of the grainlines to account for the direction of my print.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is such a great, easy to wear, pull on dress. I like the gathers at the shoulders and the shaped hem option. I might take out some of the fullness out of the back next time. I would have liked some other sleeve options perhaps.

Fabric Used:

An ex Barbour cotton lawn with dog print on it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I cut a size smaller than normal on the bust/ shoulders. It fits fine overall….but I might make the bicep circumference approx. half inch larger next time.

I ended up grading out 3 sizes larger (than the bust) over the hips. Next time I could probably just make that two.

I added 1 inch to the length because I figured I would be more comfortable doing that if I wear this bare legged in the summer, plus I knew I would wear this belted. If I was making a non belted version (would I?) I would probably shorten the length.

Because of the direction of my print, I had to change the directions of the grainlines for the collar, sleeve band, yoke front and yoke back. I don’t know if this threw my collar out slightly, because I ended up having to shorten the length by approx. 1 inch.

I cut all my pieces in a single layer and omitted the pockets.

I french seamed the sleeve seams, the side seams and the setting in sleeve seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes. When I was doing the school run today I saw another mum wearing an almost identical shaped dress, but in an animal print georgette with a sheer black back yoke. I might have to copy….

Yes, I would recommend. No button. No zips. Perfect for a beginner.

Conclusion:

Very easy to make and wear. I would like to experiment with other fabrics with this pattern.

Until soon…..

Vogue 8847

Vogue 8847

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