True Bias Patterns Sutton Blouse: DIY Upcycled Silk Kimono Sleeve Contrast Yoke Blouse

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk
True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

Good Morning Friends,

A lovely sunny, albeit little cool, morning here. Today’s post is something a little different for me. I don’t normally do upcycling/ recycling…but I had two silk pieces languishing in my wardrobe and couldn’t bear to get rid of the beautiful fabrics, so I decided to make a blouse. First let’s take a look at the original pieces, shall we?

Me circa 3.5 years ago, wearing a silk fit and flare dress purchased online from John Lewis.

Me circa 3.5 years ago, wearing a silk fit and flare dress purchased online from John Lewis.

The first silk piece came from this silk fit and flare dress that I purchased about 3.5 years ago to wear to a friends wedding. I have never worn this dress since then. Why? Truthfully the fit was never perfect, it was sleeveless (don’t like sleeveless) and have not had an occassion to wear it since then.

Me about 10 years ago wearing a silk saree.

Me about 10 years ago wearing a silk saree.

The second silk piece came from this silk saree. I know the colour in this photo looks very different to the colours of the blouse, but trust me, they are the same fabric.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

So the pattern is of course the Sutton Blouse from True Bias. I selected this pattern specifically for this project because I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the floral dress silk to make a blouse in its entirety. You can see I used the dress silk (cut from the skirt portion) to cut the main body pieces, and some of the silk saree to cut the contrasting yoke. The silk saree is probably closest to a crepe de chine. Before anyway points it out, I made the deliberate choice to cut the main body of the blouse with the flowers pointing downwards because that was the only way I could fit the pattern pieces on to the fabric. And I am fine with that.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

In terms of the pattern itself – check out my full review below. I was dubious before starting sewing what this pattern would be like but I have to give Kelli full marks for the instructions – they are brilliant. Don’t be fooled in to thinking this is a simple sew. It is a fairly simple design, yes, but Kelli’s instructions are written specifically with sewing fine fabrics in mind and the finish is wonderful. It was actually quite a challenging sew and I learned lots doing it.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk - inside finish

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk – inside finish – neckline finished with silk bias facing, yoke seams sewn with french seams and side seam neatened with overlocking.

Another thing I wanted to point out is that I pre-washed my fabrics. I don’t do dry cleaning, unless it is something I know I will only wear occassionally. I would not take a silk blouse to be dry cleaned every couple of weeks. So even though the dress was labelled as dry-clean only I pre-washed it, together with the saree using a silk specific detergent and a colour catcher sheet. I did get a little bit of bleeding but not that you would notice much. Don’t try and wash silk or wool with a detergent which contains biological enzymes – they will destroy your fabric!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
The Sutton Blouse is a loose fitting V-neck top with kimono sleeves, a one piece yoke, and a back inverted pleat. The back is longer than the front and includes slits at both of the lower side seams.
Pattern Sizing:
0 – 18
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?
Instructions are top notch. I am a fan of Big 4 patterns – anyone that reads my blog knows that – but if this were a Big 4 pattern it would not tell you how to finish the insides the way the instructions for this particular pattern do. The inside finish is beautiful. This is probably a slightly challenging sew simply because of the kind of fabrics you are likely to use to make this top, but if you follow the instructions you will end up with a beautifully finished and constructed piece.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished top – so light and comfortable and easy to wear. I didn’t like the fact that there were no finished measurements provided and also I would have liked a neck to waist measurement to be given. Kelli (the designer) tells me she is looking into adding the finished measurements to future patterns.
Fabric Used:
Upcycled silk from a silk dress and a silk saree.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Aside from adding 1 inch to the length of the pattern and maybe an inch at the hips – nothing.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Maybe and yes.

Conclusion:

Very pleased that these beautiful fabrics have found a new lease of life in a more wearable garment. Great easy to wear piece.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket: White Tree Fabrics Project

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket
Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Hi Friends,

First of all thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. At the end of that post I said I had made a jacket to go with the dress. Well, not exactly to go with the dress. But I felt a smart dress like that needed a smart jacket that I could throw over it if necessary. So, as my next White Tree Fabrics project, I decided to make a black satin tuxedo style jacket from Vogue 8958.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

I have to say that the satin is very hard to photograph without showing it as being incredibly wrinkled. I promise you, in real life it doesn’t look that bad!

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

White Tree Fabrics very generously supplied me with the pattern, this premium duchess satin and this premium viscose lining. I prewashed all the fabrics before sewing and I can testify they wash and sew beautifully and the end product looks very high quality.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – Inside Lining

The Vogue pattern itself is a great pattern to have in your stash. I think it is their take on the Le Smoking tuxedo jacket first shown by YSL in 1966. It’s just a classic pattern and I would love to make up view D sometime in a crepe. It also features 2 piece sleeves which give a great shape and are very comfortable to wear:

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - flap and button detail.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – flap and button detail.

I have quite a bit to say on the pattern: see below for full details.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Fitted, lined vest or jacket has collar variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and front button closing. A: button trim. B: flaps. C and D: side front pockets. B, C and D: two-piece sleeves.

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 – although I did some of my own things.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished fit (see notes below!), the two piece sleeves and the overall shape. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
Duchess Satin (not silk) outer with viscose lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
First thing to say is that I reckon there is about 3 – 4 inches of ease in this pattern. As I figured I would only be wearing this jacket to more evening type events over a thin blouse or dress I decided to size down by one size.

I think the instructions call for sew in interfacing? (Can’t actually remember now). I used iron on knit fusible interfacing. In addition to interfacing the jacket facing, flaps and under collar as per the instructions I interfaced all the hems and also fused a back stay.

I added a pleat to the lining at centre back.

I added 1/4 inch extra height to the armholes of the lining at the front, back and sleeves to allow more ease with the lining.

I shortened the sleeves by 3 inches.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I bagged out the lining. The pattern has you bagging out the body: don’t see why Vogue couldn’t have just gone one step further and instructed you how to bag out the entire jacket?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to sew view D sometime. Yes, I recommend, although this jacket is rated as easy and I thought there was quite a bit of work involved: it did take me a while to sew up.
Conclusion:

I am severely lacking in smart jackets in my wardrobe, so I am very glad to have this one as a start. I wore it over skinny jeans and a silk top (to blog soon!) on Friday night to a local fashion show and was very pleased with how it felt and looked.

Until soon and have a great week ahead.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8998: DIY Floral Silk Fit and Flare Dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress
Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Dear Friends,

I have finally finished Vogue 8998! This dress was started back in October of last year, when I hoped to complete it in time for my 40th birthday. Alas, I ran out of silk (ordered from a Chinese ebayer) and had to wait a considerable length of time for more to arrive. And then we moved house, and you know, I didn’t have an occassion to finish the dress for etc. But, thanks to my overlocker being in the shop, it forced me to pick this project up and finish it. And I am so glad I did!

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

There are, I think, 25 individual pieces to sew together to form the outer part of this dress. So multiply that by two for the lining and another 12 pieces or so to cut for the underlining. My outer fabric is silk, I underlined with silk organza, and the lining is silk cotton. All fabrics were purchased from 2 Chinese eBay sellers. I did perform a flame test on the fabrics and I am fairly confident they are the real deal. Note – it is worthwhile labelling each skirt piece so you know which piece is which, and which side is the right/ wrong side!

Vogue 8998 - silk organza underlining

Vogue 8998 – silk organza underlining

Vogue 8998 - labelling skirt lining pieces

Vogue 8998 – labelling skirt lining pieces

The hem of the skirt has horsehair braid (or what I could get hold of that is supposed to  be horsehair braid), handstitched to the wrong side of the lining of the skirt. The hem of the skirt lining is then sewn to the hem of the skirt (right sides together) and the whole thing turned right side out so that the horsehair braid and all of the seams are enclosed inside the garment.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress - horsehair braid at hem

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress – horsehair braid at hem

It does give a lovely shape to the skirt, and makes for a very swishy affair.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

You can read about changes I made to the pattern in the review below. One thing I wish I had perhaps done differently is that, it might not be that apparent from these photographs, but I do feel the waistband looks a little wavy. I think I should have used 2 layers of silk organza to stabilise and support the waistband more, but hey, we live and learn. No way am I going to change it now…it would mean taking everything apart. Also, I do feel the sleeves are quite wide…I did try and take them in a bit…if I was making again I would try and do something about them. (Perhaps the fact I underlined the sleeves as well isn’t helping with the “wideness”).

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lined dress has close-fitting, interfaced bodice with princess seams, inset band, skirt variations (horse hair finish on hemline) and back zipper. A: cap sleeves. A, B and C: skirt seam detail. D: collar. D, E and F: gathered skirt with princess seams, and side pockets. F: band and skirt overlays. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A, B, C, D.
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. I did deviate somewhat.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished shape and fit. And I love the feel and shape of the skirt with the horsehair braid in it. I think the sleeves are a little wide? I took them in by about 0.5 inch front and back, but if I was sewing again I would look at this. Maybe the fact I underlined the sleeves with silk organza is also contributing to them looking a little too wide? I think I would do something about the armholes being too cut in for my liking if making again.
Fabric Used:
Silk (maybe charmeuse? or lightweight satin?) for the outer; silk organza underlining and silk cotton lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I pinched out 0.25 inches either side of the front neckline (removing a total of 0.5 inches) to stop the straps from sliding off my shoulders.
  • I shortened the back bodice by 1 inch, tapering to nothing at the sides.
  • I shortened all the skirt pieces by 5/8ths of an inch.
  • I ended up taking a 1 inch seam allowance at the centre back seam.
  • I made the sleeves approx. 1 inch smaller in total.
  • I machined the waist band lining to the skirt lining, and didn’t hand stitch as the instructions tell you.
  • I installed an invisible zipper.
  • I underlined the sleeves.
  • I wish I had double underlined the waistband: I think the waistband looks ever so slightly wavy in places and I think it would have benefitted from more support.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I might sew this again…if I had a special occassion coming up. Yes. I recommend.
Conclusion:

This is a perfect pattern to sew for a spring or summer wedding I think. My version, at least, is so light and comfortable and makes me feel very feminine and elegant. Highly recommend.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Come back in a few days and check out the satin jacket I made to go along with this dress. Until then!

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan #8027 – DIY Sewn Woollen Lambswool Blend Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan
Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Dear Friends,

Yesterday it snowed. It’s April and it snowed. Yes, I know some of you in other parts of the world are also still awaiting real spring to arrive, but gosh, I was miffed driving through the horrible, wet, cold sleet. So I came home and decided to sew a cosy cardigan.

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

I chose Burdastyle’s Esther cardigan. The only modifications I made were a 1.5 inch sway back adjustment and to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches. I realise now of course that I should probably have left the 2 inches were it was, but I like the 3/4 sleeve length. Ok? And if I really want them full length, I just unfold the cuff. Like this:

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

The fabric is a delicious 25% lambswool, 25% cotton, 50% tencel blend, purchased from this ebay seller, whom I have used before, and describe themselves as an “Italian Textile Company”. I like the fact this seller carries a variety of different (including technical, performance) fabrics, all very high quality, and is happy to send out samples for no additional cost. I don’t think there is any more of this particular fabric left, but it is wonderfully soft, warm and definitely cosy.

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

I taped the pattern together, made my modifications, cut the fabric out and did my tailor tacks yesterday afternoon and sewed it together (all on my overlocker) over a couple of hours this afternoon. Once you have got your head around how the pattern pieces go together, this is a fast and easy make, although don’t rely on the instructions too much…I was able to figure out what to do myself but everyone else who has made this has said the instructions are rubbish.

Photographed just now in the grey, cold, windy evening.

Not the blog post I wanted to bring you, but it is just too horrible to photograph the stuff I wanted too.

Until soon…

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Burdastyle Esther Cardigan

Vogue 8952: DIY Silk Woven Front Wool Jersey Pullover Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top
Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Hi Friends,

It’s good to be back with you. I have been quiet on the blog for a little while. This is because my serger was in for a service/ change of both blades. Whilst it was being looked at, I started a couple (ok, started 2 new projects, picked up a UFO) of more detailed projects, which still need to be finished. When I got my serger back on Saturday evening I blasted through this quick make top (you know, just to make sure my serger was working ok :-))

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

This is Vogue 8952, which is actually designed for 2-way stretch knits. I used a very lightweight wool jersey (which has 2-way stretch) for the sleeves, back and neck band. The front is a silk crepe de chine. I cut the front on the bias to get enough stretch to make the pattern work. Also, I cut my regular size at the neck, shoulders and arms, but graded out a size at the bust and waist to account for the non-stretch fabric. All, in all, I think the fit is pretty good. I wore it all day yesterday and it felt very comfortable: lightweight but covered up and easy to move in.

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Pull-over tunic has shaped hemline, wrong side shows, and narrow hem. A: neck band. B: collar. A and B: close-fitting through bust. C: fitted through bust.

I made view A.
Pattern Sizing:
XSM – 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 have seen tops like this in RTW…jersey tops with woven fronts. I thought this pattern would be good to try that look out. I love how my top is casual but the silk crepe de chine front makes it feel a little more special and dressed up. Nothing to dislike. So quick and easy to make up.
Fabric Used:
Lightweight wool jersey for the neck band, sleeves and back. Silk crepe de chine for the front.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the sleeves by 2.5 inches initially, then shortened them further to add 2 inch wide cuffs. I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment. I cut my silk on the bias to get the greatest amount of stretch and cut my regular size at the neck, shoulders and arms, but graded  up a size at the bust and waist to allow for the non-stretch fabric. All in all, I think it worked out great. I also serged the hems and turned up once to hem.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Don’t know if I would personally sew this again up, but I do recommend.
Conclusion:

I love the smart casual-ness of this top. Great addition to my wardrobe.

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

Vogue 8952: Woven Silk Front Wool Jersey Top

See you all soon!

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Skinny Jeans: DIY Dark Denim Skinny Fit Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans
Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Hello Friends,

I am absolutely thrilled to say that I have finished sewing my first ever pair of jeans: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Skinny Jeans. And I love them! If I had any doubts at the start about the validity of sewing my own jeans those doubts have been well and truly dispelled. IMO, these jeans are comfortable, flattering and the perfect fit  – for me.

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

You can read my first post about these jeans here.

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

What do I want to say about these jeans?

Well, I don’t know what weight or percentage lycra my denim has in it. I would say, at a guess, it is a medium weight denim with not very much lycra in it (less than or equal to 2%)?

In the end I did spend quite a bit of time trying to perfect the fit on these jeans (in addition to making a muslin – see the first post). As the pattern suggests, I basted the jeans together and tried them on. They were too loose below the knees so I pinned out the excess from both the inner and outer seams, unpicked and cut the legs narrower. I then re-basted, tried on again, and decided they were a tad too small (!) around the ankle. Sigh. So I sewed them in that area with a 0.5 inch seam allowance and they are a perfect fit.

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

You can read the full details on all pattern modifications below.

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

The eagle eyed among you would have noticed I decided to do my bar tacks and button hole in contrasting red thread. I only used one machine to sew these jeans up (and my overlocker to finish seams – I decided against the flat felled seams in the end). So I was dealing with swapping between 3 different thread colours. But it personally didn’t bother me doing so. I also didn’t have any problems installing my rivets or button – but then I don’t think my rivets or button are the real deal heavy duty metal type. They are what I could source locally to me. Some detail shots:

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Back Pocket Detail

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Back Pocket Detail

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Pocket Stay and Bound Fly Extension

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Fly Topstitching

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Fly Topstitching

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Coin Pocket and Rivet Detail

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans Coin Pocket and Rivet Detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Classic 5-pocket jeans are given a fresh look with the Ginger Jeans sewing pattern. With a modern and flattering cut, this is the daily staple you’ll reach for again and again. View A features a comfortable low rise with narrow stovepipe legs. View B is sexy and high-waisted with skinny legs.  Designed for stretch denim, Ginger Jeans will hug you in all the right places.

Engineered to be as flattering as possible, Ginger Jeans feature subtly shaped back pockets to highlight the curve of the bum, slimming side seams and a higher back rise to prevent peekabooty.

I made view B, the high-waisted view with skinny legs.
Pattern Sizing:
2 – 18.
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?
The instructions are good but the sewalong is the bomb! These are the first pair of jeans I have ever made and they make the process painless.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
For me these jeans are the perfect modern skinny jean. There is nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
A dark wash denim of unknown weight or lycra percentage. Sorry :-) At a guess I would say these are a medium weight denim with less than or equal to 2% lycra?
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
To start with, I cut a size 16 at the waist and a 18 at the hips and thighs, tapering back down to a size 16 below the knees. I ended up keeping the ankle at a size 16, but removed a further 1 inch in total from each leg from the calf up to the knee. I removed the 1 inch from both inside and outside seams.

I ended up pinching out 2 inches in total from the waistband and making it more curved to account for my proportionally smaller waist and sway back. The waist is a perfect fit. No gaping. Amazing!

I initially shortened the length by 2 inches but ended up adding in 1 inch below the knee, because I like my skinny legs to be slightly gathered around the lower calf.

I added the pocket stays – they make such a difference to the tummy area! I cut my stays from a soft cotton shirting.I understitched the pocket linings.

I moved the back pockets over towards the centre back seam by 1 inch.

I ended up scooping the front and back crotch out by 0.25 inch.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I most definitely would. It’s just a question of finding the right denim. Yes, I very much recommend.
Conclusion:

I have avoided wearing proper jeans for around 3 years because of problems with fit. These jeans address all the previous problems I faced: no gaping waistband, no bulging tummy, no digging/ cutting in or riding up and just the right amount of fit on the calves. If you have the confidence to try this pattern you won’t regret it. It’s the perfect first-timers pattern.

I am entering these jeans into The Jeans Contest on Sewing Pattern Review, so head over if you want to see all the amazing entries.

Have a great week everyone, and happy mothers day (as it is here in the UK). See you soon!

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Skinny Jeans: Fit and Construction Post

Closet Case Ginger Jeans
Closet Case Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Jeans

Hello Friends,

I have started sewing a pair of Ginger Skinny Jeans by Closet Case Patterns, and thought I would share my thoughts on fit and construction prior to showing you the finished jeans (hopefully later this week).

Sewing jeans is, for most home sewers, a daunting task. I have never sewn a pair of jeans before (or even proper fitted trousers). Let me tell you I am so impressed with the detailed sewalong for this pattern, which really makes the process easy.

Closet Case Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Jeans

I did make a muslin. No, I didn’t make a muslin out of denim. I made it from a thickish stretch cotton sateen, more than anything to check the fit of the crotch. I am sure I read somewhere Heather saying something like the crotch on these jeans are designed to fit most people, and I read it and thought “yeah, yeah”, but for me, at least, they seem to fit very well. (Sorry I don’t have any muslin pictures). So the actual changes I made to the pattern are minimal:

  • I cut a size 16 at the waist, grading to a size 18 at the hips and thighs and grading back down to a size 16 below the knees. As others have said, even if you fall a couple of inches outside of the pattern sizing range give this pattern a try because the way it is drafted, together with the ease from your stretch denim, chances are you can make it fit.
  • I ended up pinching out 2 inches in total from the waist band, which probably brings it to a size 14, but, more importantly for me, curved the waistband round to account for my (proportionally smaller) waist and sway back.
  • I shortened the pattern by 2 inches but added an inch back to the final length below the knees. I like my skinny jeans to be slightly longer and gathered round the calf.
  • I have moved the back pockets over by an inch towards the centre back seam. The pockets haven’t yet been topstitched in place, just basted, so their position may change yet.
  • I added the pocket stay, cut from some soft cotton shirting.
Closet Case Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Ginger Jeans

In terms of construction the biggest tip I can give you is to either get one of those humpjumper attachment thingys to fit your sewing machine or just do what I did, fold a spare piece of denim up and place directly behind your machine foot when you come to sewing over thicker layer like the yokes or the edges of the coin pocket. It raises your machine foot to the same level as the fabric you are sewing so you don’t get those horrible skipped, uneven stitches. This is such a great tip to use on so many sewing projects, not just jeans….anywhere you have thick seams to get over.

Sewing over thick layers of denim using an improvised humpjumper

Sewing over thick layers of denim using an improvised humpjumper

I am going to baste my jeans together and have a final try on before the final sewing up. I think I will do the flat fell seam finish on the inside and outside leg seam. I never thought I would say that sewing jeans is very satisfying and hopefully the end result will be worth it.

Until soon, have a great week ahead.

McCalls 6829: DIY Girls Lace Peplum Top #GBSB

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top
McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

Hello Readers,

Who’s been watching Series 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee then? Wasn’t last nights episode great? Without giving too much away, the theme for the week was “sewing with challenging fabrics”, one of them being lace. The lace featured in todays post wasn’t sewn up by any of the contestants (I don’t think), but I think I did spot it for a few seconds being handled by Debra? Anyway, this lace is a very reasonably priced corded lace fabric in lilac, from White Tree Fabrics. White Tree Fabrics asked if I would make something up in this fabric to compliment their laces being featured on the program and I was happy to do so.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

The pattern I have used is McCalls 6829 which is sadly now discontinued (although some sites still appear to be selling it). This is one of the Fashion Star patterns, and although, personally I don’t think the envelope photographs do it much favour, it is lovely when made up.

I made view B, but basically decided Kezia has too many party dresses, and a top might be more practical. So I cut the skirt off at 8 inches to make a peplum top. I cut a size 7, but ended up removing a total of about 3 inches from the side seams.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

This top is fully underlined (except the yokes) and lined using this aubergine light weight satin (currently reduced to 50% of the original price!) The yokes were cut from this lilac shimmer mesh. I added a sparkly button from my button jar.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

The fabrics were easy to cut and work with, although I did use a microtex needle to sew through the satin.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

CHILDREN’S/GIRLS’ DRESSES: Lined dresses (cut on the grosgrain) have raised waist, pleated skirt and tie ends, ruffles attached to lining, back-button, loop (elastic) and zipper. A: overlay, sleeves and narrow hem. B: underlined, yokes, purchased flowers, trim and ribbon for tie ends. Designed for lightweight woven fabrics. SUGGESTED FABRICS: Satin, Linen, Peau de Soie; A – Contrast (Overbodice): Single Edged Scalloped Lace. B – Lace. B – Contrast (Yoke): Organza. Ruffle – Netting

I made a slightly modified version of View B.

Pattern Sizing:

3 – 14.

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

Yes, except I made a peplum top rather than a dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Nothing to dislike. I love the finished product.

Fabric Used:

A corded polyester lace, a shimmer mesh for the yokes and a lightweight satin to underline and line.

All fabrics were supplied by White Tree Fabrics as a promotion to tie in with this lace being featured on series 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I cut a size 7 for my 6 year old daughter and removed 3 inches in total from the side seams. I cut the skirt pattern off at 8 inches to create a peplum. Next time I might lengthen this slightly. She’s tall :-)

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

Yes! I think this is such a cute top and I could definitely see me making this again in fun cottons for the summer. Yes, if you can get this pattern (it’s now discontinued), I would recommend. It is perhaps a little bit of an older look, but made in cottons I think it will be very cute.

Conclusion:

My daughter’s very pleased with this. It’s perfect to dress up jeans or leggings but still practical to let her play rough and tumble at parties.

Until soon….

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6991: DIY Draped Wrap Cross Over Printed Top

DSC_7901
DSC_7901

McCalls 6991 Draped Wrap Cross Over Printed Top

Hello Dear Friends,

Another cold, windy, blustery day and another thin top to photograph :-) Hey, I am gearing up for spring!

This is McCalls 6991. If you like this pattern or have it already in your stash, get it out and sew it up soon! These mock wrap cross over front tops are in the shops right now, but I don’t honestly know how long this silhouette will be around. For this particular view (View B) there are 4 pattern pieces to cut. The whole of the front is cut from a single bias piece, with the left cross over front being formed from effectively twisting the fabric round on itself. So you do need a fabric which doesn’t really have a noticeable wrong side.

McCalls 6991

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

This is not my first time sewing this pattern. Some of  you may remember the saga of my beautiful washed silk. Yep, not done anything with that top (not worn it either). Any way, that was a different view. I can tell you this top feels extremely comfortable and secure: I have got a RTW top similar to this (see here) but I am always checking that top to make sure I am not exposing myself! No fear of that with this top, the cross over part on the underside feels very secure and the top is fastened with a lightweight concealed button.

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

I was concerned it would be too short at the front. I would possibly prefer for it to be ever so slightly longer at the front but it’s fine. If I was making this top again I would also add the sleeve tabs as I prefer this top with the sleeves rolled up. My fabric is a lightweight polyester. I used a microtex needle to sew it.

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

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 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 – although I thought the way to finish the neckline/ yoke was tricky to get right
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished garment – it is very much on trend right now. The key to getting this top right is fabric selection. You need something with drape and two good sides. This pattern runs large – check the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern. I sized down by one size and it fits perfectly for me. Also, beware: if you are making the sleeveless version the armholes seem very low. The one thing I didn’t love was the way the instructions told you to finish the inside yoke seams (lots of handsewing). I did all of it on the machine, but had to topstitch the upper seams. Next time I am going to see if I can machine it all without topstitching.
Fabric Used:
Polyester charmeuse.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1 inch sway back and shortened sleeves by 3 inches (probably I would prefer them slightly longer). If making again I would add sleeve tabs.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might….yes I recommend.
Conclusion:

This is a very on trend very well drafted pattern to have in your collection. Sew it up soon and enjoy wearing it.

Has everyone been watching The Great British Sewing Bee (Series 3)? My fellow White Tree Fabric blogger, Amanda, did a great job last night (and previous episodes). I won’t reveal how she got on, but well done Amanda.

Have a great weekend all!

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

McCalls 6991 Draped Cross Over Printed Top

Minoru Jacket Take Two: DIY Khaki Waterproof Hooded Jacket Anorak

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket
Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

Hi Friends,

At the end of 2013 I made my first Sewaholic Minoru Jacket, which you can see and read about here. At the time, I was very pleased with the jacket, and it did get worn quite a bit.

But, I was never fully happy with my fabric selections, and there were parts of the design of the jacket which irked me. Like the fact the collar was too high for me, the hood refused to stay on my head in the wind and the lack of pockets (I added in-seam pockets but they were too shallow to be practical).

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

It got to the point where I just stopped wearing it, and believe you me, life without a practical raincoat of some kind in this part of this world is, well, not very practical! So, I decided to have another bash at it.

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

The fabric is described as a water repellent super fine cupro and microfibre soft touch poplin, purchased on ebay (I swatched first). I used a microtex needle to sew it. It was hard to get pins to penetrate through the coated fabric, and I tried to limit pins to seam allowances only. I used my silk organza press cloth throughout. I didn’t use any special thread for the topstitching: I didn’t really want it to stand out too much so used my regular Gutterman polyester.

The jacket is fully lined with an acetate (I think) lining:

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - inside lining

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – inside lining

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - inside lining

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – inside lining

In terms of the changes I made, I made no changes to the sizing/ fit of the jacket from the previous version. However, I did the following:

  • Shortened the collar height by approx. 1 and 3/4 inches
  • Used a 28 inch (as opposed to suggested 30  inch) zip
  • Omitted the zipped section in the collar to store the hood: I never used this anyway. I sewed the hood directly to the collar/ neck seam of the jacket
  • As a consequence of shortening the collar, I also shortened the length of the plackets by 1 and 3/4 inches
  • Added single welt pockets placed on the diagonal to the front of the jacket. I used this tutorial from Craftsy: it was spot on. I did add anorak snaps to the welts, but they are non functioning (I didn’t add the corresponding back snaps)
  • Added a front zipper guard with snaps. The snaps were a b*tch to put on. I used this tutorial from no big dill, which helped. A little. Tip: buy double the number of snaps you need. You will end up using them all.
  • (Unintentionally) made the hood slightly smaller, and added an elasticated drawstring to keep it on my head
  • Omitted the wide elastic in the back of the jacket and instead added narrow elastic which is adjustable: make as tight or loose as you wish, and I think it’s more flattering (for me)

Lots of pictures:

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - zipper guard with snaps

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – zipper guard with snaps

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - elasticated hood

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – elasticated hood

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - back view

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – back view

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - back view on dress form

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – back view on dress form

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - single welt pocket and adjustable elasticated waist detail

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – single welt pocket and adjustable elasticated waist detail

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket - elasticated hood detail

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket – elasticated hood detail – BTW, the eyelets were also a b*tch to get in. Tip: interface your fabric in that area and consider adding a square of fabric behind to build your fabric thickness up: too thin a fabric and the eyelets won’t hold

So that’s me sorted for a casual raincoat and I am very pleased with the changes I made and the way this jackets turned out. Added bonus: Khaki is currently very much on trend. I think I am getting addicted to sewing coats of any description!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

Khaki Waterproof Minoru Jacket

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