McCalls 7688: DIY Sweatshirt Dress Featuring Custom Printed Fabric from CottonBee

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McCalls 7688 sweatshirt dress made using custom printed sweatshirt fabric from CottonBee

Hi Readers,

I liked the looks of McCalls 7688 as soon as it was released: ruffles and ruching? You know I was all over it, so much so I ordered it from the States in the Thanksgiving sales. It so happened that CottonBee Fabrics, a new to me custom fabric company, based in Poland, were also kind enough to get in touch at around the same time to ask if I wanted to try out some of their fabric. Thanks to them for providing the fabric for this post – as ever, all opinions are my very own honest ones.

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McCalls 7688 sweatshirt dress made using custom printed sweatshirt fabric from CottonBee

Let’s talk about the fabric first. I used one of the preloaded designs available on the website. There are literally hundreds and hundreds to chose from. I particularly appreciated the fact there are lots of modern, abstract designs to peruse. And of course, you can always upload a design of your own. For some reason, the particular design that I chose doesn’t appear to be listed: if I find the details after publishing this post I will update with a link.

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McCalls 7688 sweatshirt dress made using custom printed sweatshirt fabric from CottonBee

CottonBee were kind enough to send me a sample pack first. They print on to cotton jersey and interlock, woven fabrics such as cotton, linen, voile and satin and lycra and sweatshirt jersey, which is what I selected. This is a 90% cotton, 10% polyester non-brushed sweatshirt jersey, which is looped from the back. I prewashed my fabric first on a hot 60 degree wash and there was minimal colour loss. I found it easy to cut, press and sew and it is comfortable to wear. The only thing to watch out for is that the colour is printed onto a white base, so I don’t know how suitable it would be for very close fitting garments, if you chose a dark print. Communications with CottonBee, at least for me, were fast and friendly, and delivery, which was by courier, was fast and smooth. All in all, I was very happy; I think prices are reasonable and I would use them again.

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McCalls 7688 sweatshirt dress made using custom printed sweatshirt fabric from CottonBee

Now on to the pattern. This is a relaxed fit pattern and so minimal alterations were made. This pattern has you leave raw edges on the hem (of the view I made) and also on the sleeve ruffle hem (which I added from a different view). I know you can see the underside of my fabric…which is white…I just have to embrace it and move on…but in future I would probably try and use a fabric with two good sides. I still like the style a lot. It’s just a great casual pull-on-over-tights-and-boots-and-go kind of dress. And it’s a quick make. One thing I should mention which I am not so sure about is that the arm flounces don’t meet on the underside, and so you can see in the picture above: there is some curling and wrong side of fabric showing. I am guessing this is to minimise bulk at the underarm intersection. I am still undecided about whether to remove the flounces.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Loose fitting tops and dresses have sleeve variations. A, B, D:Sleeve and hem bands. C: Hood, hem band, pocket, sleeve casings with purchased ties. E: Sleeve bands, front casing with purchased ties.

I made view E but added the sleeve flounces from view D.

Pattern Sizing:

XS – XXL

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 really like the casual style and the ruching detail in front. If I am being honest I am undecided about whether to remove the sleeve flounces. Nothing to dislike as such.

Fabric Used:

Custom printed non brushed looped back 90% cotton 10% polyester sweatshirt fabric sent to me by CottonBee Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Removed 2.5 inches from the sleeve length.
  • Lengthened by 2 inches – including casing piece.
  • Twin needled around neck and stabilised shoulders using clear elastic.

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

I might sew again. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion: 

A fun and easy to wear addition to my wardrobe.

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McCalls 7688 sweatshirt dress made using custom printed sweatshirt fabric from CottonBee

This was my last make of 2017 and I wore it on Christmas day. All caught up now…onto 2018 sewing! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater: DIY Boiled Wool Sweater

 

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool worn with Vogue 1411 faux leather leggings

Hi Friends,

Still playing catch up  on makes from last year….there is this one and one more to come.

Anyway, this is the Talvikki Sweater by Named Clothing, made in a petrol blue boiled wool purchased locally to me. This is my first experience of sewing with this Finnish pattern company, and I am very pleased with the finished garment, although it did require some fitting adjustments.

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool worn with Vogue 1411 faux leather leggings

The back story to this particular garment is that I actually made an initial version to gift as a my office secret Santa gift. We have a £10 limit and as I already had the pattern all I had to purchase was some ponte knit. (We pick names out of a hat so we know who we are specifically buying for). You can see the initial version here on Instagram. Let me be clear, I wouldn’t make something for everyone I might get for my secret Santa, but this was for a good friend who I felt would appreciate it 🙂

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool

Anyway, getting to the point, for my friend, who is smaller than me, I decided to cut the size 12/ 14. But of course I couldn’t resist trying the finished garment on, and I decided that the 12/ 14 was the best size for me, with some modifications (which you can read about below). So take home point: this garment – which is designed to be oversized – runs large. I would probably have cut a size 16/ 18 for myself.

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool worn with Vogue 1411 faux leather leggings

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool

Can I take a moment to talk about the faux leather leggings I am wearing with the sweater? It’s my version of Vogue 1411, which you can read about here. Now, I really like these leggings and have worn them a few times, but I am not happy with the fit: I think they need to be slimmed down overall (I had to remove a fair bit of fabric when constructing them), but the main thing that is bugging me is the line of fabric above the back of the knees, which you can see in the photograph above. Any fit experts care to comment? Do you think I actually need a full calf adjustment? Would that release the fabric? Or do I need to shorten the length above the knees? I would like to make these again and improve the fit…

BTW, before anyone asks, I am absolutely fine wearing wool next to my skin so I don’t have any problems wearing this sweater (although I would probably always wear a vest or a shirt under it). But if you have issues with wool then maybe make it in a sweatshirting fabric, fleece or ponte knit instead?

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

  • Oversized and cuddly sweater
  • Turtleneck with darts on the neckline
  • Dropped shoulder and extra long sleeves
  • Deep vents at the sides, and an uneven hemline

Pattern Sizing:

UK 4 – 6 to 20/22

Pattern sizing is generous: I probably should have cut a size 16/ 18 but ended up cutting a size 12/ 14 through the shoulders/ bust (with modifications – see below), and graded out to a size 16/18 below the waist.

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, they are ok, but I was personally a little disappointed that given one of the recommended fabrics for this pattern is boiled wool that the instructions just talk about using an overlocker. I chose to press all my seams open and topstitch them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I am really happy with the fit and finished garment: it looks very contemporary and stylish. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

Boiled wool with stretch.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut a size 12/ 14 through the bust and shoulders
  • I raised the bust level by taking out 1.5 inches 1 inch below the armhole notch, using this tutorial on the wasted weekends blog
  • I did a 0.5 inch full bust adjustment using the Jennifer Lauren tutorial for a dartless FBA on knits 
  • I lengthened the pattern above the waist by 2 inches, which brought the vent position down by 2 inches
  • I graded out below the waist to a size 16/ 18
  • I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment and added the removed length back to the lower hem

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

I don’t know if I need another one of these in my wardrobe, but yes, I do recommend.

Conclusion: 

A very stylish way to keep warm.

Until soon…

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater in boiled wool worn with Vogue 1411 faux leather leggings

 

 

2017 Year End Sewing Review

Hello Readers,

Today I wanted to look back over my sewing from the last 12 months. It’s been another great year of productivity and making clothes that I enjoy wearing. This was the year that I went back to work after a 5 year hiatus and it doesn’t seem to have slowed me down too much 🙂 I have said it before, but I so enjoy wearing clothes that fit me better than anything I could buy RTW. I am getting older but with that comes more confidence in my style choices and fabric selections. Before I started to make my own clothes, probably 90% of my wardrobe would have been polyester, but now I luxuriate in being able to wear more natural fibres.

Here’s a list of things I blogged about:

  • 10 dresses
  • 12 tops
  • 3 skirts
  • 3 pairs of trousers, 1 pair of leggings and 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 jackets (1 blazer, 1 trench coat and 1 utility style jacket)
  • 2 coats
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 Indian outfit
  • A dress and a top for Kezia and a pair of jeans for Philip

Not blogged about, there is still a boiled wool sweatshirt, a sweatshirt dress and yesterday I finished up a wool jersey jacket (you can see all of them over on Instagram if you can’t wait for the blog posts). There was also a baby quilt, a secret Santa gift, a couple of zippered pouches and I am sure other small things which haven’t made it to the blog.

Here are some of my personal highlights:

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

I feel amazing everytime I wear this coat, and believe me, I have already worn it lots. Its so cosy and warm and the statement red just makes me feel happy.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

The same applies to this dress. I wore it for a valentines day date with Philip and it was…ok…but then I wore it for a meeting at work and felt brilliant wearing it. Total confidence booster.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

My Indian Lengha Gown that I slaved over to wear to a wedding in the States. Best fitting Indian outfit I own.

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

This linen tunic top: yes it rumples and creases but I just feel so cool wearing it, and it is perfect for (rare) hot weather spells. Also, I am just so happy that I have trousers in my wardrobe that fit me!

A couple of things which didn’t work quite as well:

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Vogue 8882 custom printed satin skirt worn with McCalls 6886 (modified) cropped fitted sweater

This whole outfit. I let the skirt hang, trimmed it, hemmed it, and then when I went to take it out of the wardrobe it had stretched out more….I have never worn the top either. The skirt has already been donated.

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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

You may be surprised to see this dress in my “misses” list, but hear me out. This is a great pattern and one which I definitely want to make again. I loved this dress but the reason it is on this list is because the instructions don’t make mention of, and I failed to do it myself, stabilising the waist to avoid over stretching. That’s a 6 gore skirt hanging off the waistline and I have found the dress has stretched out. So I will make another one, but will definitely add clear elastic to the waist. Sigh.

Other highlights from this year I have to mention:

  • Being featured in Love Sewing Magazine, modeling a blouse I had made, using the featured pattern that was included in that months issue. It was quite the experience visiting the studios and having a professional makeup artist and photography shoot.
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McCalls 7094 open back top

  • Being shortlisted as dressmaker of the year for the coat I made for Kezia last year. I didn’t win, but it was still an honour to make the shortlist. Just yesterday I took that coat out of the cloakroom and put it away (it’s too small now). I guess it’s one to pass on to the grandchildren 🙂
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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

 

All that remains for me to say is, as ever, thanks for joining me on the ride. I truly appreciate all of your likes, comments, questions and advice. I wish you all a prosperous, healthy, happy and contented 2018. May your bobbins always be full, your fitting challenges conquered and your dream handmade wardrobe achieved!

See you next year!

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Simplicity 8175: DIY animal brocade midi length skirt

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

Hey everyone,

As fast as I seem to get caught up with the blogging back-log, I  go and sew something else and the back-log’s back 🙂 Can’t stop, won’t stop sewing 🙂

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

Here’s a skirt I made recently using some animal brocade purchased from Remnant Kings. I actually first saw this fabric made into a skirt on Diary of Chain Stitcher’s blog, at the beginning of this year, and have been pondering buying the fabric ever since. I got lucky and nabbed the last 2 metres (sorry!) a few weeks ago. Its an animal print brocade, and a good heavy weight, perfect for winter wear.

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

For the pattern I used Simplicity 8175, which I have had in my stash for a while. I was inspired to use it after seeing Erica’s beautiful version. I have worn this skirt quite a few times already, but….something seems a little off to me…I can’t quite put my finger on what. I don’t know if I should make the slit higher? Or make the skirt shorter? Or peg it more? I don’t know. I had to take out substantial amounts of fabric from the centre back seam/ waistband/ side seams as it was, to make this skirt work for me. This could have been due to my fabric, which is one of those which seems to grow with wear. I did make the self belt, but have found I prefer the sleeker look sans belt. What do you think, readers?

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

Pattern Review 

Pattern Description: 

Misses slim and flared skirts each in two lengths and cropped pants with tie belt. Features include center front slits, flared mini plus yoke and pockets.

I made view B

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.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I have been wearing this skirt lots, and especially in the nice, warm, heavy brocade I used this is a great skirt for winter. However, something seems a little off to me…I can’t quite put my finger on what. I don’t know if I should make the slit higher? Or make the skirt shorter? Or peg it more? I did end up removing substantial amounts of fabric from the centre back seam/ waistband/ side seams as it was, to make this skirt work for me. This could have been due to my fabric, which is one of those which seems to grow with wear. I did make the self belt, but have found I prefer the sleeker look sans belt.

Fabric Used:

An animal print brocade.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 6/8ths inch full bum adjustment
  • I cut my pocket facing from lining fabric to minimise bulk
  • I cut my belt on the crossgrain due to fabric limitations, but prefer the look without the belt
  • I used 1.25 inch seam allowances from the hem upto the pockets at the side seams
  • I removed a total of 5 inches (!) from the centre back at the waistband, and tapered this down to the hem, so I lost another 1 inch on either side of the seam allowance along the centre back. I don’t know if I had to remove all these inches due to my fabric, which has a tendency to “grow”
  • I took a 2.25 inch machine hem
  • I added thread belt loops
  • I overlocked all my insides, but used a bias bound finish on the waistband

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

I might sew it again – I would like to see what it looks like in a more “stable” fabric. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a cute skirt….I just need to fall in love with it a little more.

Happy Christmas everyone!

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Simplicity 8175 animal brocade midi length skirt

 

 

Kwik Sew 4111: DIY Maroon Silk Velvet Tulip Skirt Dress

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Kwik sew 4111 silk velvet tulip skirt dress

Hi Friends,

Don’t be fooled by the sun in these photographs: it was freezing the day we took them, and we had to be fast! That’s why the opaque tights are out…not very glam but necessary unless you want frost bite, lol.

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Kwik sew 4111 silk velvet tulip skirt dress

This is my second version of Kwik Sew 4111, this time made in a maroon silk velvet I found on eBay. You can see my first version, made this summer, here.

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Kwik sew 4111 silk velvet tulip skirt dress

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Kwik sew 4111 silk velvet tulip skirt dress

There really is nothing new to add to the making of this dress that I didn’t cover in my first review. I attempted to lengthen the sleeves, and managed to add an inch to their length, but fabric limitations meant I couldn’t get them any longer. I do wish they were longer, but it is what it is, and it didn’t stop me wearing this dress to my office christmas party earlier this month. I also didn’t have enough fabric to make a belt.

All in all, this dress is so easy to throw on and wear and I think it will be a perennial christmas favourite.

See here for tips on sewing with silk velvet. I must say this silk/ viscose/ velvet was less shifty than the last one I worked with, and whilst I was dreading the hem along the curved edges, it worked out fine in the end.

Happy sewing everyone!

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Kwik sew 4111 silk velvet tulip skirt dress

 

Simplicity 8166: DIY shirred high neck line dress

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

Hey Friends,

Today I am sharing my version of Simplicity 8166. This is a little different style for me, but one that I have been wearing lots since I made it. It’s great to throw on over a pair of tights and boots, and layered with a cardigan if needed. (BTW, I think this pattern might be heading to OOP soon).

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

My version is made from a floral printed viscose. It feels very comfortable to wear. I did make some adjustments to the pattern (including some aspects of the construction – see below), and overall the fit is ok, but I should have done an FBA. The gaping is not that noticeable (only at one point), but if I made this again I will have to do that.

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

There are two main things to watch out for with pattern:

  1. The pattern has you creating narrow multiple channels at the neck and sleeve openings, and feeding narrow elastic through to create the shirred effect. Yuck! Who has time for that? I replaced all of that fuss by simply sewing lines of shirring elastic to create the same effect. Soft, comfortable and stress free.
  2. The length of elastic you are recommended to use in the pattern to create the button loops (8 cm) is way too long. I used the recommended size of buttons but used 5 cm long elastic strips.

Some close up details:

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – neck button loop details

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – buttons close up

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – shirring detail on sleeves

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Misses’ peasant style blouse and dress features a shirring or bow tie neckline to create a chic look. Pattern also includes skirt and pant.

I made view A.

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?

They were so – so. There are some things to watch out for, which I detail below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is a different style for me but I have been wearing this lots since I made it. I like the high collar and the shirred sleeves. Nothing to dislike – if you watch out for a couple of things.

Fabric Used:

Floral printed viscose

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • The pattern has you creating narrow multiple channels at the neck and sleeve openings, and feeding narrow elastic through to create the shirred effect. Yuck! Who has time for that? I replaced all of that fuss by simply sewing lines of shirring elastic to create the same effect. Soft, comfortable and stress free.
  • I added interfacing to my plackets – the pattern does not tell you to do that.
  • I made my collar facing 0.25 inches wider than the pattern has you do.
  • The length of elastic you are recommended to use in the pattern to create the button loops (8 cm) is way too long. I used the recommended size of buttons but used 5 cm long elastic strips.
  • I took a 2.5 inch hem.

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

I don’t know if I will sew this again, just because it is quite distinctive. If I did I will do a small FBA. Yes, I recommend – with caution.

Conclusion: 

If you favour the prim and proper victoriana style check this one out. I have been wearing this lots since I made it.

Hope you are all ready for Christmas! Here’s a shot of me with Kezia….no longer a baby (almost 9 years), but still excited for the festive season. Who thinks that this time next year she might be the same height as me?

Until soon…

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

 

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: DIY Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

Hey Readers,

I first made this Burdastyle sweatshirt pattern up 3 years ago – see here for my first version. I like the idea of a smarter looking sweatshirt, but the first version didn’t get worn too much because the fabric really wasn’t very good quality (started to pill after a few wears). Also, it is designed to be oversized, but I decided the fit needed refining some what.

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

I have to give full credit to Blogless Anna who made a Linden sweatshirt from the same fabric and who’s blog post I found invaluable in learning how to handle the Liberty fleece – go check her blog post out for all the details.

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

So, here’s the deal. I have worn this sweatshirt already a fair bit. It is colourful, cheerful, snuggly and warm. The fabric, as you would expect from Liberty, is very good quality. But, I think this particular sweatshirt pattern is not for me. In fact, I think I have decided that Burdstyle plus size patterns might not be for me – at least if I use them I think I need to do small shoulder adjustments and maybe even address low armhole issues. Like I say I have worn this sweatshirt already, lots, but I don’t think the fit is great for me. Here’s the adjustments I made to this version:

  • Removed 2.5 inches from length of sleeves
  • Shortened shoulder darts by 1.5 inches
  • Slimmed body down by 1 inch all around
  • Slimmed sleeves down by approx. 4.5 inches (!)
  • Shortened length of sweatshirt by 2.5 inches
  • Twin needled the hem
  • Gathered the sleeves in to a cuff

So this is a useful garment to have in my casual wardrobe, but I think I need to find a different sweatshirt pattern. Either I try the Grainline Linden, or I try one of the big 4 versions (I actually have McCalls 7688 on its way to me, cos, you know, ruffles).

Until soon!

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

Butterick 6157: DIY gold sequin woven tee top

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

Hi Friends,

Today I am sharing a top made using Butterick 6157, which I have previously made before in a silk velvet (see here). That simple silk velvet tee has been worn a few times since I made it last year. It is great to just throw on over a pair of jeans when you want to look smart but not too dressed up.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

This gold sequin fabric had been languishing in my stash for a couple of years? I am glad to have used it up. I have already worn this top a couple of times: once with my faux leather leggings, and once (for my birthday), just as I have shown here with heels and skinny jeans.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

I made no fit adjustments to this pattern. As the sequins were sewn on to a white mesh base I found a scrap of white pongee lining in my stash which I thought would be ok to line the top. I just made a second version of the top in the lining fabric (which I cut about 5/8ths inch shorter?) and sewed the outer and inner pieces together at the neck. I did find the first time I wore this top the lining was rolling out to the outside. I went back and added a second line of understitching and it seems ok…better than before. I finished the hems off using satin bias tape.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top: inside pongee lining and bias tape hem finish

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top: close up bias tape hem finish

There’s not a lot else to say about this top….I used my paper scissors to cut the sequin fabric, a normal size 80 needle to sew and my walking foot. It is a pretty full on look, but that’s why I think wearing something like jeans on the lower half balances it out. I think it will be useful around the festive season. I don’t know how much it will come out of the wardrobe post new year.

See you soon!

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

 

OOP Vogue 8887 – DIY fixed wrap pleated front oxblood wool crepe skirt

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe – worn with silk crepe de chine sew over it pussy bow blouse

Hi Friends,

I have got a few projects that I have finished and want to blog about before the year end so this is the first of those. Expect some brief reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

Long term readers of this blog will know that I went back to work about 6 months ago and whilst I was fine for clothes through the summer period, now it has become cold I am finding I would like more choice in my winter work wear. This wool crepe (I think) has been sitting in my stash since the early part of the year. I bought it from the remnants section of (local to me) Linton Tweed, as two 1 metre skirt lengths. It is a much deeper, richer oxblood colour than shown in these photographs. I prewashed the fabric so I can launder it at home myself.

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

The pattern is OOP Vogue 8887, view D. Full review below. Two things of note about this skirt:

  1. It is cut entirely on the bias. I don’t know if that has caused my back seam to stretch slightly (?) but the seam is not fully smooth over my bottom. I did interface the area before inserting my (invisible) zip.
  2. The waist is finished using grosgrain ribbon – treating the ribbon rather like a bias facing. Sorry, I have not taken a photograph. This is first time I have used this kind of treatment to finish a waist. I have already worn this skirt for two full days and it is very comfortable and doesn’t twist or move at all.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Mock wrap skirt has pleated overlay and concealed slit. Narrow hem. Slightly below waist, back zipper. Purchased grosgrain finishes waist. Semi-fitted, bias.

I made view D.

Pattern Sizing:

4 – 20

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

Yep. I think so. One thing to watch out for: the waist is finished using a grosgrain ribbon, rather like a bias facing. Don’t get me wrong, I have worn this skirt for two full days since I made it  and it has been supremely comfortable and secure, and didn’t twist or move. But I do feel the reason the front overlay looks longer is because the ribbon, despite being tacked down inside as instructed, can’t seem to fully take the weight of the front, hence it hangs a bit lower. The pattern envelope picture shows the same. It doesn’t bother me too much but I might go back and have another look at it.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished skirt. It’s very cute. I love the princess seams in the back: great fitting opportunity! The whole skirt is cut on the bias, and that, together with the waist treatment, makes this skirt very comfortable and wearable. However, I am not 100% happy with my slightly lumpy centre back seam: I don’t know if it’s due to the seam stretching out there, inspite my interfacing the area. Nothing to dislike about the pattern.

Fabric Used:

Wool crepe purchased from Linton Tweeds remnants section in store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I made all the vertical seams up to 1 inch for extra fit insurance. I used some of this extra allowance to sew the skirt up, but took the waist in to fit me.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment

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

Don’t know if I need another of these skirts in my wardrobe. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Cute, comfortable and smart. I am pleased to have this skirt in my wardrobe.

Back soon with more reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

OOP Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179: DIY Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Hi Everyone,

Trying to play catch up on blogging stuff I haven’t shared yet. I still like to blog and have a proper record of things I have made, but like everyone else, it’s so easy to just go with the flow on Instagram and get behind on blogging. Anyway, here’s an outfit I made in August to attend my cousin’s wedding in New Jersey at the beginning of September. It was a meeting of cultures (you may remember I made Simplicity 8292 to wear to the church ceremony), with my cousin marrying a Canadian. The dress code for the evening was Indian attire.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

So, the fabrics were all ordered online. The blue and gold viscose/ silk brocade and the plain navy blue dupioni silk were ordered from one particular ebay seller who shipped the silks to me from India using DHL. I couldn’t fault the seller on their shipping time, but actually, when I realised I needed more of the brocade (for pattern matching purposes), the seller didn’t respond. In fact, they now seem to have come off ebay, and appear to have set up a website, which you can see here. So, whilst I have no experience of buying through that website, certainly through ebay it was a smooth enough transaction.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Details on other materials used:

  • The sheer fabric at the top of the bodice is silk chiffon
  • The whole gown is lined using a navy cotton lawn purchased from Minerva crafts
  • The silk dupioni bodice is underlined using silk organza (from my stash)
  • I used Hemline Featherlite cotton covering boning for the bodice. It was very easy to cut, sew and work with
  • I cut all of the (8?) brocade panels in a single layer in order to preserve the pattern flow and get some pattern matching (at the centre fronts and backs). It turned out I didn’t have enough to cut all the panels that way, full length. So I ended up ordering some gold lame and created a 11 inch deep border at the bottom of the skirt. The lame came from Midland Textiles on ebay
  • The dupatta (the long scarf thing) that I have draped over my arms was part of a set I already had. I didn’t really want to have a dupatta, but it’s pretty much a standard part of most Indian outfits. In the end the colour was a good match with the border fabric
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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

To create this gown I used a combination of (OOP) Vogue 8849 for the bodice and Butterick 6179 for the skirt. I recommend both patterns. Really, I did minimal alterations to achieve my look, and I have never felt so comfortable in an Indian outfit. There was no pulling or yanking or tugging all night long 🙂 The Vogue pattern in particular is great because it is a multi-cup size pattern, so no FBA required.

Pattern notes:

  • I used Vogue 8849 for the bodice (view E), and cut a size 18 through the bust and shoulders, C cup, grading out one size at the waist.
  • I lowered the bust fullness by 1 inch (Tip: remember to do any fitting with the bra you intend to wear with the outfit. For me, that was a strapless bra).
  • I ended up removing 0.25 inch from each of the front princess seams at the top of the bust, and taking a corresponding tuck out of the upper front pattern piece.
  • The pattern instructions don’t seem to mention adding boning to view E, but I chose to add some for extra support.
  • I did a 6/8ths inch sway back adjustment on the bodice.
  • I used french seams to sew the sheer silk chiffon upper bodice, and did narrow baby hems 0.5 inches from the cut edge.
  • I did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • I used Butterick 6179 for the skirt (view B).
  • I added an 11 inch deep border to the bottom of the skirt, cut on the cross grain, from lame.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment and adjusted the skirt seams to ensure they matched with the bodice seams where necessary.
  • I added a 5 inch deep interfaced hem.

All in all, yes, this gown was a fair bit of work. Using well drafted solid patterns really helped me to achieve my vision. I loved how this gown fitted me, and the fact it was constructed from all natural fabrics (with the exception of the border). It felt light, but supportive, and fits me better than any RTW Indian outfit I have bought in the past. The day of the wedding I noticed there was a small tear where the sheer bodice had joined the silk dupioni bodice,  in the front. I ended up patching it together, and it held fast. I will have to go back and check it some time. The dress, and the wedding, were a grand success. Here’s wishing the married couple enjoy many years of happy married life ahead.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

 

 

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