New Indie Pattern Company: Itch to Stitch and Marbella Dress Pattern Giveaway

Marbella Dress Pattern by Itch to Stitch
Marbella Dress Pattern by Itch to Stitch

Marbella Dress Pattern by Itch to Stitch

Hello There Dear Friends,

First a quick update. We took possession of the keys to our new home on Tuesday and have spent the last 2 days cleaning it from top to bottom so it is all ready for us to move in on Tuesday next week. I love it! Hopefully  this will be our “forever home” and I am going to have an amaaazing sewing room. Pictures will follow (eventually).

On the sewing front, not much has happened. I have gone as far as I can with my birthday dress, Vogue 8998 (sneak peak here), and am now waiting for some more silk to arrive. Fingers crossed it will be here in time for  my birthday party on the 8th November. I suspect after that dress gets completed all other garment sewing is going to cease for a little while whilst I get some new curtains made. Yikes! Curtains!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a new to me Indie Designer called Kennis Wong. You can read all about Kennis and her company, Itch to Stitch, here. Kennis very generously offered me a copy of her new dress pattern, the Marbella dress, which I have to say, looks very elegant, comes in 12 sizes from 00 to 20, and also different cup sizes from A – D. (I also like the potential for colour blocking with the yoke).

Unfortunately, as I explained to Kennis, I just didn’t want to commit to sewing a dress right now with everything that’s happening with the move, other already scheduled sewing commitments, and Christmas (!) coming up. BUT, Kennis also offered me a copy to giveway here on my blog. So, Readers, if you want a chance to win a PDF copy of this pattern just leave a comment below telling me what fabric you might make this dress up in. I would love to hear your ideas!

As for me, I would love to do a plaid wool version of this dress…let’s see if I manage that before Christmas (don’t hold me to it!)

This giveaway is open until 12pm GMT Friday 31st October, after which I will randomly pick a winner.

Until soon…

Blog Hop – Why I Write

Good Evening Friends,

So, this Blog Hop thing has been going around for a while now. Whilst I do find it interesting reading other people’s answers, I admit, I am lazy when it comes to doing things like this myself. However, it’s that time of the evening when my little girl watches her 1 hour of cartoons, so here I am….writing.

First off, I have to say thank you to two people for nominating me. First is Beth from SunnyGal Studio. We all know Beth by now. Immaculate tailoress, pattern whisperer and teacher extraordinaire. Second (and for this I do feel bad!) is Sam from Stitched Up by Samantha. Sam asked me to take part in this Blog Hop several weeks ago and I fobbed her off with an excuse of being too busy. Sorry Sam :-) Anyway, I have met Sam in real life. She is a multi-talented lady, who is not only one of the Minerva Network Bloggers, but also knits and does beautiful free motion quilting.

On to my answers! Don’t expect too much waffle: I am a strong believer in why use 500 words to say what can be said in only 50. Haha

1. Why do I write?

Hmmm. By nature I am quite methodical and organised. In a former life I was a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry and writing large documents and reports was part of my daily life. In fact, I have kept diaries on and off since I was a young girl, and of course I wrote my PhD thesis. So what I am saying is that, writing of some kind has always featured in my life. Writing this blog helps me to effectively keep a record of everything I make, including any alterations etc.

But, more than that, I like to think that I might inspire and teach others useful tidbits. When I first discovered sewing blogs maybe 3 years ago I never thought I would, one day, write one myself. And it’s true, sewing can be quite an isolated hobby. I find it incredible to think of all the supportive friends I have made via blogging, whether I have met them in real life or not, it’s a great way to reach out and share your passion with other like minded people. So I guess that’s a great reason to write :-)

Me with Sam and Maria at the Minerva Meet Up earlier this year

Me with Sam and Maria at the Minerva Meet Up earlier this year

2. How is your blog different to others of the same genre?

Eek. I don’t think it is much different is my honest opinion. I try and be honest in what I sew and my pattern reviews. I am currently a stay at home mum so the things I sew, generally, reflect that. Just because you are a stay at home mum doesn’t mean you should lose your identity or sense of style. If there are things I feel are amiss in a pattern, whether Big 4 or indie, I will say that.

I am someone who likes to wear a variety of different styles and change  my look. I hope people coming to my blog will be inspired to try something new out.

Just this year alone I have sewn such a variety of things, and my abilities are improving with each and every project:

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Swimsuit

My first completed underwired bra!

My first completed underwired bra!

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Butterick 5683: quilted jacket

Butterick 5683: quilted jacket

3. What am I working on right now?

Here’s a sneaky peak: Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Next month is a milestone birthday for me: I am turning 40. So Vogue 8998 is going to be my birthday dress (hopefully). I am making it out of a floral silk. Handling this silk is something akin to trying to lasso a cloud :-) I have underlined the bodice with silk organza and it is going to be lined with a silk cotton. Today I came up against a problem: I ran out of fabric when cutting out the skirt pieces. Tomorrow I will have to order some more and pray it reaches me in time (I ordered it from a silk seller on ebay who is based in China!) More to follow…

4. What is your writing process?

As I am sewing my current project I will be thinking of what I have to say about it, make little notes, take any relevant photos and then, as soon as I have finished the project, at the first opportune moment (in terms of weather) I will make hubby (normally) take photos, and when I get the chance, edit and write the blog post. I have to do it before I can start the next project, just like I have to pack away the pattern and hoover my room out generally, before starting the next project. And I cannot wear whatever it is “in the real world” without taking photos first. haha. Don’t we have these strange habits? BTW, I also DON’T have UFOs and if a wadder is a wadder, it’s binned.

So, it appears I have finished. Phew!

I would like to nominate the following two bloggers if they would like too. I have not asked either of them (which is very rude of me), so I will not be offended in the slightest if they chose not to take part. (One is currently heavily pregnant, the other is about to start a new job…excuses, excuses…:-))

First, Amanda, from Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing. Really, not only is this lady a meticulous and talented seamstress, she’s a mum of 4 and expecting her 5th (have I got that right Amanda?) but she still finds time to sew incredible things like this jacket. She is one of the first bloggers I can across, and still remains one of my all time favourites.

Second, Debbie from Stitches and Seams. Whilst Debbie is a far more experienced seamstress than myself, I believe we have a few things in common, not least the fact that you can rely on Debbie for an honest review of a pattern and she sews things which suit her lifestyle. She’s someone else I learn a lot from.

You’re supposed to post your Blog Hop answers in 7 days…

Until soon my friends…

 

 

 

 

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: DIY Quilted Oversize Sweatshirt

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014
Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Greeting My Friends,

Today’s post may divide opinion.

First off, a sincere thank you if you voted this blog one of Burdastyle’s Top 50 Sewing Blogs. As part of the prize for being voted in the Top 50 I have been offered a choice of 5 free Burdastyle patterns. Interestingly, this sweatshirt was not one of those free choices. No, this was a pattern I paid for myself. Controversial? Maybe if you read Mary’s article over on the Curvy Collective Blog. (Don’t worry Mary, we are still friends :-)).

So, this is Burdastyle’s zipper sweatshirt. Sweatshirts are big fashion news right now. And this one may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it is (as described) “extra long”. It is also rather oversized. But I like it (The Husband is not such a fan). And I wanted my left shoulder to be able to exposed to a breeze if I so feel like it…shoulder ventilation is very important here in Cumbria, haha

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

I made no alterations to this pattern other than a 1 inch sway back adjustment. I also added about 10cm (?) to the width of the hem band.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

The fabric is from Minerva Crafts. It does come in other colourways. It’s interesting. It’s two layers of jersey which have been quilted together with some kind of foam inbetween the layers. Here’s a close up of the fabric and the cut edges so you can see the foam inside.

Minerva Crafts Quilted Jersey

Minerva Crafts Quilted Jersey

Minerva Crafts Quilted Jersey

Minerva Crafts Quilted Jersey

I can’t really see how you could sew this fabric without an overlocker to finish the edges, unless you were going to make something which was lined or bind the edges. But it does make a snuggly sweatshirt.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

As usual with the BurdaStyle instructions it’s a bit hit and miss (more of a miss). You have to draft the bands for the sleeves, the hem and the neckline yourself. It is not apparent with the measurements you are told to draft whether they include seam allowances or not. I assumed not (long story on my reasoning why not). Turns out I was wrong. The measurements do not include seam allowances. I found this out after I had serged the neck band in to place. So I had to cut the first neck band off and re-sew. It all kind of worked in the end.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014 - close up of neckband and exposed zipper for shoulder ventilation

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014 – close up of neckband and exposed zipper for shoulder ventilation

I found it best to baste the bands in to place first on my machine. Then trim out the middle layer of fabric and then serge the edges for a clean finish. Otherwise my serger struggled to cope with three layers of fabric. And I really struggled to get the cuffs to stretch enough to fit the sleeve openings. That could be due to the limited stretch of the fabric? In the end I had to gather the sleeve openings and baste to the cuffs.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014 - close up of cuffs

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014 – close up of cuffs

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Sewing Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Cuddle up in an extra long raglan shirt in quilted knit fabric or sweat shirting. It’s accented with an exposed zipper at one shoulder.

Pattern Sizing:

Burdastyle 46 – 52

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?

Burdastyle: don’t expect them to be easy to follow :-)

The main gripe about the instructions is that it is not apparent (or I thought the wording was confusing) as to whether or not seam allowances should be added to the hem, sleeve and neck bands (which you have to draft yourself).  Turns out they should be added.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the oversized look and feel. It may not be for everyone. It is extra long and the sleeves are long but I am wearing it as I type this and they are not falling down or hindering me in any way. Nothing to dislike really.

Fabric Used:

A quilted jersey from Minerva Crafts in the UK. I found it best to baste the bands in place on my sewing machine first, then trim out the middle layer before finishing edges on my serger. I also had to gather the sleeve openings to get them to fit the sleeve bands (the fabric didn’t have enough stretch otherwise).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I did a 1 inch sway back and added about 10 cm to the length of the hem band for a looser fit.

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

I probably won’t sew again. Yes. I recommend.

Conclusion:

If you want a cuddly oversized sweatshirt with an exposed zip and raglan sleeves sew this. It does what it says on the tin.

 

Oversized sweatshirts not your thing? Try the White Russian pattern from Capital Chic or McCalls6992.

 

Have a great weekend everyone…I think we are off to see Gone Girl.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

 

 

OOP Butterick 5871: DIY Black Sequin Cocktail Party Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress
Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Hello Dear Friends;

Yes, I may being a little premature bringing out the sequins when there is still almost 3 months to go until Christmas. But, before Christmas, it is my birthday. In November. And before that we also have to move house. And basically, this dress is a back-up dress (and a delaying tactic) to sewing my actual birthday dress. More on that to follow.

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Yes, in this light the dress looks a little see through, but I am unlikely to ever wear this in broad daylight. Also, what is the best light to shoot sequins in?!

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Here are the details:

I have made this dress before. Here.

This time around I added 2 inches to the length of the front bodice, the sides, and tapered to nothing at the centre back. I also added 1.5 cm to all the side seams to allow for the fact this fabric doesn’t really have any stretch to it.

Like last time, I bagged the lining, so there was no need to sew any potentially wonky hems. I ended up binding the waist seam with some satin bias binding I had in my stash (avoiding scratchy sequins against my skin) and sewed the binding to the dress to create a casing.

I also only shortened the lining by 1.5 cm this time (not as much as last time).

Overall, I am much happier with the fit. My only regret is not taking a bit of excess fabric out of the back neckline.

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Sewing this particular sequinned fabric was easy. First off the sequins are baby sequins, measuring around 1/8th inch. Second, I used a jeans needle to sew the fabric. I chose this particular pattern because I knew I could bag the lining out, avoiding the need to sew hems, there are no closures or sleeves to set in. Also, I pressed the fabric from the wrong side using a medium iron and my silk press cloth.

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

So that’s it from my end today. I am pleased with this dress. It took hardly any time to whip up and I needed a quick make after my last make (in which I was pattern testing for a project which took a considerable amount of time). I think that this will be a great dress to have on hand for the festive season. Just pull it on and go. What about you? Are you already thinking ahead to Christmas (or have you only just got started on autumn sewing?)

Until soon…

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

Butterick 5871 Sequin Dress

McCalls 6991 + Vogue 8936: DIY Silk Crossover Blouse and Leopard Print Pencil Skirt

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936
McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

Hello Readers,

Let’s get straight down to the business. McCalls 6991. I bought this pattern as soon as it was released. I have a RTW blouse similar to view B already in my closet (seen here), and I wanted to be able to tweak the pattern to make it easier to wear (i.e. less chance of exposing myself!) Plus I wanted sleeves.

For this particular version I made view C. I had some beautiful sandwashed silk in my stash and I thought it would be a good first project to cut my teeth on in terms of sewing with silk. The silk itself sewed like a dream. I used a microtex needle, glass headed silk pins and the finest “between” (quilting) needle I could find for the hand sewing. Yes, there is some hand sewing in this project.

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

Anyway, I would sadly consider this particular project a partial fail. It may even turn out to be a complete fail if it doesn’t make it out of my wardrobe. That remains to be seen. What is the problem? Let me stress that it is not to do with the pattern. I think the pattern (at least view C) is essentially sound. No, the problem is that for some reason I imagined this silk to be much wider than it actually was. I laid the pattern pieces out prior to cutting. All seemed well. I proceeded to cut out all the pieces with the exception of the front pieces. They were going to be cut last. Then I noticed the front pieces were cut on the bias. Oh yes. Much swearing ensued. My husband was enlisted to try and figure out the best way to cut the pieces from the remaining fabric. I consulted with Meg from The McCalls Pattern Company. In the end, I decided the fronts had to be cut on the bias, but the best way to do it with the meagre amount of fabric I had left was to piece the left front piece (as this would be hidden under the right cross over). Here’s the offending piece, with french seamed pieced patches (also cut on the bias). I think there were a total of 4 separate joins….

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 - close up of pieced left side

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 – close up of pieced left side

But that piecing…it just hasn’t really worked. I think the left side has come up a tiny bit small and so that side is just not sitting right against my body. You can perhaps see it better in the next couple of pictures:

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

Can you see the left side is pulling? And here with my hands at my side:

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

I would even guess that if I had cut that left side as I should have done, I might have got away with not having to (purchase) wear a camisole – and I dislike having to wear camisoles under anything!

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

Here’s an inside shot – sorry still no dress form. Everything was french seamed and the hem handstitched.

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 - inside facings

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 – inside facings

Oh yes, I even made self covered buttons. I think they really elevate the project to another level.

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 - self covered buttons

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936 – self covered buttons

Ah me, a lovely blouse and maybe in time I will feel differently about it. But just not right. What would you have done Readers, if you wanted to save that silk? Hmmm?

The skirt is made using Vogue 8936. I believe leopard print is going to be big this season and I loves me some leopard print. It was made in a couple of hours using some mystery double-scuba-knit fabric. I took a wedge out measuring a total of 5 inches from either side to get the shape I wanted. The only reason I used this particular pattern is that I already had it in my stash and I have made a top from it (here). I love the skirt but I have already given the top away to charity. So what I am saying is don’t rush out and buy this pattern just for the skirt. I see it is already OOP. But I really like the skirt. A lot.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Bias tops. A and B: very loose-fitting, pullover, mock wrap, self-lined yoke back, left front gathered to right side forming drape, narrow hem and conceal button closing. B: pocket, shaped hemline, wrong side shows on back hemline. C: button tab on rolled sleeves. D: collar. C and D: wrap, semi-fitted, front gathered into yoke, button/loop closing. B, C and D: long sleeves. Note: no provisions provided for above and below waist adjustments.

I made view C.

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 want to be very clear, the reason this pattern didn’t work out for me is because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the front pieces out (which are supposed to be cut on the bias). In the end, I decided I would cut them on the bias, but I only had enough to piece the left front piece. I figured it would be covered up by the right cross-over, so I pieced the left front together using 4 pieces (all cut on the basis). In the end it hasn’t quite worked out. The left side is pulling and the neck won’t sit flat against my body. It’s a shame but I thought I would still share the finished blouse with you.

The pattern doesn’t mention stay stitching the neck line or understitching the facing (both of which I did). I do wish I had perhaps eliminated the facings altogether and just done a narrow hem as you can see the facings through the silk.

Fabric Used:

A sandwashed silk. The McCalls blog gives some great tips on the kinds of fabrics to choose for this blouse.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I shortened the sleeves by 2.5 inches and did an approx. 1 inch sway back adjustment.

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

I am not entirely happy with this outcome, but I feel like I don’t want to be beaten by this pattern. So I might revisit it. It’s all about choosing the right fabric for this pattern. Yes. I would recommend. I think the right side is fine. It’s the left side which is causing me the pain….

Conclusion:

Love it or hate it I have a feeling you will be sick of seeing tops like this in the shops. Get on the bandwagon and have a go at making one.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope your sewing is going well for you. Sometimes we have projects that don’t turn out as we imagined or hoped, but in the words of Bram Stoker, “We learn from failure, not from success!”

Until soon….

 

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

And the winner is….

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Hello Readers,

Thank you to everyone that entered my Linton Tweed giveaway. Obviously this is one fabric that a lot of people aspire to sew with as there were 103 entries (one person didn’t want to be included in the draw so it brings it down to 103 from the 104 listed in the comments section). What an amazing response and I hope I will get to share a couple of Linton projects with you in the next few months.

Without further ado, the lucky winner (as selected using a random number generator) is:

Margaret M.

Margaret, please get in touch via my email address (listed under the about section), by Friday this week otherwise I will re-draw!

I hope Margaret might eventually share what she’s made using this gorgeous fabric.

In other news I have been sewing….or rather I have been struggling with McCalls 6991….it is finished but I have ordered a camisole to wear under it as it would be indecent otherwise. Oh Readers, I have a tale to tell about this blouse, and it is not the patterns fault but all my own….see you soon!

 

New Look 6847: DIY Child’s Cuddle Fleece Dressing Gown Robe

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New Look 6847 Child's Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child’s Dressing Gown

Hello My Friends,

Today is a quick post on New Look 6847, described as unisex loungewear.

I made view A, the gown, from the softest cuddle fleece you could imagine.

New Look 6847 - close up of fabric

New Look 6847 – close up of fabric

Kezia could not be more thrilled with the final garment, and I have to say that I am pretty pleased with the results. It went together very smoothly (and quickly; approx. 3 hours start to finish) and my serger coped brilliantly with the fabric, even though my sewing room was a mess at the end from the fluff and fibres. (BTW I sewed the seams on my machine first, then used the serger to finish them).

New Look 6847 Child's Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child’s Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child's Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child’s Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child's Dressing Gown - close up of stabilised shoulder seam using clear elastic

New Look 6847 Child’s Dressing Gown – close up of stabilised shoulder seam using clear elastic

During this project I could not help but question the sensibility of making this garment, when I could have probably bought this robe for less than what it cost to make (if you factor in my time). But, well, Kezia was happy with the outcome and I guess so was I.

Now, something else I wanted to mention. Burdastyle is trying to find the Top 50 sewing blogs, and I am absolutely honoured to be included in the list for voting. There are some inspirational blogs on the list, but, equally, I am surprised that some of my favourite bloggers were not included. I guess it’s perhaps like the X factor scenario when the favourite act gets voted off in a surprise result, because everyone thinks their safe, no-one bothers to vote for them? Anyway, if you want to go check out the list in full, find some amazing new blogs and vote, you can do that here.

Until soon….thank you and goodnight!

New Look 6847 Child's Dressing Gown

New Look 6847 Child’s Dressing Gown

Vogue 8784: DIY Wrap Dress

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress
Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress

Good Afternoon Friends,

Everyone talks about wrap dresses and how universally flattering and versatile they are. I have only ever bought one (true) RTW wrap dress, and was never happy with the fit. It has since been passed on to charity. A couple of years ago I made a wrap dress, using this same pattern, Vogue 8784. You can see that version here. Bear in mind that dress was actually the very first thing I ever sewed using a knit fabric, and it was pre-serger days.

I have worn the first version of that dress once. For half a day. I felt frumpy wearing it (due to the longer length), and I wasn’t comfortable with the gaping at the bust. Fast forward two years and I decided to re-visit the pattern and have another go.

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress

This time round I made the bust bigger and used twill tape to stabilise the bodice front edges. I shortened the length of the skirt and the sleeves (although I think if I made this again I would narrow the lower part of the sleeves down). The major change I made was I omitted the lining for this dress, choosing instead to use a bias tape (made from self fabric) as a facing finish. What a pain in the ar*e that was. I should have made the bias tape wider. I got away with it in the end, but it made the front skirt edges stretch out and curl horribly. Look:

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress - stretched out front skirt edges with bias tape facing applied.

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress – stretched out front skirt edges with bias tape facing applied.

I almost threw the whole thing in the bin. But, after sleeping on it for a night, the following day I used my rotary cutter to slice away the offending edge, bias tape and all, and serged the raw edge, turned and stitched. That is what you can see on the finished dress. Not ideal but much better. Next time round, if I don’t add a lining, I need to think about how I am going to finish the edges. Draft a facing for the front and finish the skirt edges before joining skirt to bodice?

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress - bias tape facing finish at collar.

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress – bias tape facing finish at collar.

So how do I feel about this version? I wore it for most of the day yesterday and I can report it definitely doesn’t gape. I know you can see a fair amount of cleavage here but you can’t see my bra. It feels secure and comfortable and I feel very…womanly…wearing it. In a good way. I can’t decide whether omitting the lining was a good idea or not. I believe Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses are generally unlined. But most of them seem to  be made of silk/ silk jersey nowadays? Is silk jersey likely to be more flattering than cotton jersey? BTW, this one’s my favourite at Selfridges. Hmmm, finding (printed) silk jersey in these parts is a little like finding hen’s teeth I fear….

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress

In short, I do like this pattern for the versatility it offers. You have the choice of the flared skirt or the more fitted skirt, and the fitted skirt has pleats over the tummy which I like, a lot. I think maybe I should try a different weight of jersey next time round. Or possibly just try putting the lining back in. The first time I made this pattern I used a pongee stretch lining, which doesn’t have a comparable stretch to the jersey used. I think that’s what I didn’t like. Next time I could use a tricot or stretch lining or even self fabric for the bodice at least and I think I might feel happier. Making this version has made me see why women rave about the wrap dress. Another version, a little more tweaking, and I might have the perfect pattern for me.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Lined, wrap dress has close-fitting bodice with front tucks, back princess seams, side opening for tie ends, and topstitching. A: narrow hem. B: semi-fitted, front pleated skirt, and stitched hemline/sleeve hem.

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, although I omitted the lining.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is my second time making this pattern. The first time round I wasn’t happy with the fit on the bust or the length (too long). This time I made modifications to address both those issues. I do like this pattern for the versatility it offers. You have the choice of the flared skirt or the more fitted skirt, and the fitted skirt has pleats over the tummy which I like, a lot. The first time I made this pattern I used a pongee stretch lining, which doesn’t have a comparable stretch to the jersey used. I think that’s what I didn’t like. So this time round I omitted the lining. If I made this dress again I might include a tricot or stretch lining or even self fabric for the bodice at least and I think I might feel happier.

Fabric Used:

Cotton jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I made the bust bigger relative to the first time of sewing.

I used twill tape along the front bodice edges to prevent gaping.

I stabilised the shoulders using clear elastic.

I set the sleeves in flat.

I omitted the lining, using a self fabric bias tape as facing.

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

Yes. Yes, I would recommend.

Conclusion:

Making this version has made me see why women rave about the wrap dress. Another version, a little more tweaking, and I might have the perfect pattern for me.

Vogue 8784 - DIY wrap dress

Vogue 8784 – DIY wrap dress

Have a great week everyone, and remember you still have until next Sunday to enter my Linton Tweed Giveaway.

Linton Tweed Fabric Giveaway

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway
Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Hi Readers,

I have  mentioned before that Linton Tweeds is in my hometown of Carlisle. To celebrate 2 years of blogging (which was actually at the start of this month), I have a special giveaway.

One lucky reader will win a skirt length of genuine Linton Tweed. It is (IMO) beautiful fabric. I would say this particular length is more of a winter weight. It is black in colour, with greyish white and metallic royal blue threads running through it. It measures 140 cm width x 1m in length.

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

It is hard to capture the true beauty of this fabric!

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Anyway, if you would like a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below. The giveway is open until 12pm GMT, on Sunday 7th September. I will then pick a winner randomly. The giveway is open worldwide.

See you all soon!

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Linton Tweed Skirt Length Giveaway

Burdastyle Placket Blouse (Plus Size) 01/2010#133: DIY Floral Print Pintucked Bib Blouse

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133
Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Dear Friends,

This blouse has a special meaning to me for two reasons. First of all, it feels as if I have undergone a rite of passion. This blouse was made using a Burdastyle downloaded pattern! And I made it, even with the crappy instructions!! Secondly, the floral fabric you see was sent to me by the wonderfully stylish Ange from Blacklabel blog. When Ange made this amazing Kimono, I admired her fabric, and before I knew it, she had sent me some in the post. How generous is our sewing community?

So let’s talk fabric first. This is a Ramie fabric. Ange tells you about it more in her kimono post. It has a light and breezy feel to it like cotton, but a little like the texture of linen. It does wrinkle somewhat, but hey, it didn’t give me any problems sewing it. I LOVE the print. It IS summer in fabric form, for me.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

So, I think Ange sent me around 1.5 metres of this fabric, and I could have gone for something simpler, but I have had my eye on the placket blouse pattern from Burdastyle for a while. Of course, I didn’t have quite enough material to make it, so I decided to make more of a feature of the bib and cut that from a white dobby cotton lawn that I had. In fact, I decided to use my pintuck foot and pintucked the entire bib area. This was done before cutting the bib pieces out.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: close up of pintucked bib and piping.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: close up of pintucked bib and piping.

I also made the piping myself from some lilac coloured cotton lawn I had in my stash. Making the piping (including making the bias binding) and doing the pintucking added on several hours to his project. I also cut the inner yoke, the collar and button bands from the same white dobby cotton. I decided to use the bias binding to bind the neck seam line.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: inner yoke and bound collar/ neck seam

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: inner yoke and bound collar/ neck seam

I used french seams on pretty much everything else. I decided to shorten the sleeves. Unfortunately I didn’t consider the fact that my elbows are considerably wider than my wrists, and to compensate for this I made the pleats at the cuff miniscule, and I also had to extend the cuff pieces by a couple of inches. You really can’t tell. I handsewed the hem. I tried machine stitching it at first, and it just looked terrible due to the curvy hem and trying to ease the fabric in.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: cuff detail.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133: cuff detail.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

A button placket outlined in contrasting piping gives just a hint of folk to this three quarter sleeve blouse. Pair it with boyfriend jeans and flats for a sweet weekend outfit.

Pattern Sizing:

44 – 52 Burdastyle sizing

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

Yes. Although I omitted the piping at the collar, and used a contrasting fabric for the bib and collar.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I managed (insert smug smile)! Burdastyle. ’nuff said.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I am happy with the finished blouse. It is the perfect summer blouse. I don’t know if the contrast bib makes me look a bit too busty. I don’t care because I love it :-)

Fabric Used:

A floral ramie. Sent to me by a special friend :-) Dobby cotton lawn for the bib, inner yoke, button bands and collar.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I pintucked the bib area before cutting it out.

I bound the collar/ neck seam.

I shortened the sleeves and ended up making the pleats as small as possible and extending the cuff pieces to compensate for the extra width needed.

No major changes needed.

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

This pattern is one I would like to sew again. Perhaps in a single colour. Or a plaid. Or a chambray. Limitless possibilities. I would recommend to someone with some experience who can puzzle the instructions out.

Conclusion:

The perfect summer blouse.

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Have a great week wherever you are. And if you are lucky enough to have a long weekend, enjoy it!

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Until soon…..

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