New Look 6388: DIY Girls Cotton Lawn Summer Dress

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New Look 6388

Hi Friends,

A quick review today of a dress I made for Kezia (who is currently a tall 8 year old approx. 140+ cm height) using New Look 6388. This is a basic dress pattern but one which is limited only by your imagination. I just wanted to make a simple, lightweight summer dress for Kezia, and she picked out this soft printed cotton lawn. The bodice is lined with poly cotton.

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New Look 6388

One thing to watch out for is that the “waistband” is not actually a waistband (even though I have sewn it as one, joining the bodice to the skirt). The instructions actually have you sew the “waistband” on top of the bodice, rather like an emblishment, rather than a true waistband. Other than that, this is a pretty straight forward sew.

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New Look 6388

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New Look 6388

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

This party dress for Girls features high low skirt with overlay or sleeveless dress with contrast waistband and lower band, both with bow in back, and short sleeve dress with ribbon or sleeveless dress with shoulder bows.

I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 16

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. The only thing to be aware of is that the “waistband” is not actually a waistband (even though I have sewn it as one, joining the bodice to the skirt). The instructions actually have you sew the “waistband” on top of the bodice, rather like an emblishment, rather than a true waistband.

I cut 2 waistbands, one from the lining fabric and one from the outer fashion fabric which was interfaced, and used the waistband to join the bodice to the skirt.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the finished garment. It is a simple pattern but one which can easily be adapted to all kinds of fabric and for all occasions. I am not sure if the fabric requirements are correct: I used a polycotton to line the bodice but I think I would have struggled to self line the bodice using the suggested fabric requirements.

Fabric Used:

Cotton lawn outer with polycotton lining for bodice.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • My daughter is a tall (140cm+) 8 year old. I cut a size 10 through the bust and shoulders, grading out to a size 12 at the waist.
  • I shortened the bust dart by 1″.
  • I cut the skirt at the size 10 length.
  • See above for my comments on the “waistband” and how I treated it.
  • I ended up letting the side seams out by about 0.25 inches to gain a further 1 inch all round.
  • Used an invisible zip.

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

I did the sensible thing and traced this pattern so yes, I could see myself making this again. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

Great basic girls dress pattern to have in the stash. Lots of potential with this one.

I will leave you with some pictures of my beautiful, confident girl 🙂 have a great week everyone.

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New Look 6388

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New Look 6388

 

 

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Simplicity 8295 and Closet Case Patterns Ginger Skinny Jeans: DIY Linen Lace Up Eyelet Tunic and Skinny Jeans

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

Hey Friends,

Hope you are all doing well. Today I am sharing a me-made outfit that has already had lots of wears. Neutral coloured pieces in great (breathable) fabric that can be mixed and matched with other pieces in my wardrobe are winners in my book.

Let’s start with the top: Simplicity 8295. This is a great pattern with some lovely details/ options. The only thing I would be wary of is, IMO, it is cut quite straight through the hips, so whilst its fine as a top, if I was making this again as a dress I would have to widen the hips.

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

The fabric is a linen/ cotton mix purchased from Fabworks. Unfortunately it looks like this particular fabric is sold out but they have lots of other linens at very reasonable prices. I just love the fabric!

Here’s a close up of the eyelet/ lacing detail. I used eyelets I already had in my stash. I couldn’t find any twill tape in a colour I was happy with so I ended up making my own lacing in self fabric. I find that in order to get eyelets that are really robust and not going to fall out you really need to experiment with your particular fabric to find out how many layers you need to support the weight of the eyelet. I interfaced scraps of the linen so it would be the same thickness as the placket and then experimented adding further layers of linen behind the eyelet to get an appropriate thickness. So behind every eyelet, inside the placket, there are extra squares of linen to take the weight of each eyelet. My other tip would be don’t make the size of the hole for the eyelet too big: better it is slightly smaller to hold the eyelet in place.

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Simplicity 8295 Linen Tunic – eyelets and lacing detail

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

You can see my first pair of Ginger jeans here. They were the first pair of jeans I made and they looked great when I was standing up….but my gosh they were so uncomfortable when I was sitting down, and I think that was largely down to the pocket stays that I had included (cut from a firm woven cotton). As a result, I think I have worn those jeans about twice. This time around I eliminated the pocket stays and gosh, what a difference! These jeans have already been worn so much. The light colour is great for summer, they are smart enough to wear to work without looking like they’re jeans and, whilst I will probably only ever wear them with longer length tops, they are just so much more comfortable. The fit still needs some tweaking (see my notes below), but these are a huge (wearable) improvement for me. The fabric for these jeans was purchased locally to me.

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

Pattern Review Simplicity 8295

Pattern Description:

This tunic or dress Inspired by Project Runway features optional lace up or trim at the neckline. Make the tunic length to wear over skinny jeans or dress length for a casual event.

I made view C with the collar from 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?

Yes, although I used my own techniques for a neater finish.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Love the finished garment. Love the eyelet/ lace up detail. Nothing to dislike as such, although I would say this pattern is fairly straight cut so if you are making the dress length I would say you might need to widen somewhat at the hips if you carry weight there like me 🙂

Fabric Used:

Cotton/ linen blend.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I did a 0.5 inch FBA
  • I shortened the bust dart by about 2 inches
  • Next time around I might lower the bust dart just a smidge
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, adding removed length back to hems
  • Shortened sleeve length by 1.5 inches. I don’t think I will ever wear the sleeves unrolled, but if I wanted to on future versions I might add some length back again: the cuffs are actually quite narrow
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment
  • Cut 2 back yokes and used the burrito method for a clean finish inside
  • Took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at hips
  • Increased length of side slits by about 2.5 inches (making them 8 inches in total)
  • Flat felled the sleeve seams so it would look neat when the sleeves are rolled up
  • Took 1.25 inches for the hems

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

It’s quite a distinctive look: don’t know if I need another one right now, but never say never. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

Love the detail on this top, which elevates it somewhat. Great summer piece.

Notes on Ginger Jeans:

  • Added 0.25 inches at front and back sides and 0.5 inches to waistband
  • Removed pocket stays
  • Scooped out front and back crotch by 0.25 inches
  • Removed 3 inches from length
  • Let side seams out fractionally at knees
  • Next time around I need to remove some length above the knees
  • Still not happy with some of the wrinkling in the inner leg: need to play around with this
  • For next time I am going to raise the back pocket position up by 1 inch
  • I have already made a 0.5 inch full calf adjustment on the pattern for next time, tapering back to the original width at the ankle

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Happy sewing!

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

 

The Great British Sewing Bee Live: Tickets Giveaway Winners

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Hey Everyone,

Thanks to those who entered.

Without further ado, here are the winners, as selected by random number generator:

  1. Faye Ward
  2. Hazel
  3. Camila
  4. Diane Hall
  5. Anne G

Edit: Anne G cannot make it so Jane – you have been selected.

Edit number two: sorry Jane and Faye – I did leave replies to your original comments informing you that you had won but as neither of you got in touch I have had to redraw. The last two tickets have now gone to Shauni S and Diane G. Well done ladies.

Please can you all get in touch with me (my email address can be found under my “About” tab in the header at the top of this blog), and let me have your full name, address and which day you would like the tickets for.

Thanks again for entering and hope you all have a wonderful time!

 

The Great British Sewing Bee Live: Tickets Giveaway

GBSB Live CMYK

Hi Friends,

This year marks the first year of The Great British Sewing Bee Live, which is going to run from 21 – 24 September 2017, at ExCel in London. I have been lucky enough to be offered 5 pairs of tickets to give away for either Thursday 21st September or Friday 22nd September. It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing event, featuring:

  • Comedienne Jenny Eclair hosting 2 live shows a day featuring Patrick Grant and Esme Young, as well as past contestants from the show

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  • Patrick and Esme sharing some of their tailoring and dressmaking tips
  • Members of the audience and former contestants putting their sewing skills to the test live on stage (there is still time to apply to be an audience contestant I believe!)
  • 250+ workshops and demos

Janome sewing machine workshop

  • Dressmaking drop-in clinics
  • A make at home fashion catwalk
  • Garment and vintage galleries
  • 200+ dressmaking and sewing suppliers
  • An exhibition of archive Liberty pieces presented by the London Fashion and Textile museum

Sounds like an amazing day to me and I am very sad I won’t be able to make it 😦

To be in with a chance of winning one of the 5 pairs of tickets for either the Thursday or the Friday just leave a comment below and tell me, what’s your favourite pattern or item to sew in 3 hours or less? Winners will have to get up on the stage infront of 1000+ audience and prove it at the live event*.

Patrick Grant & Esme Young 2

*Patrick: Oh Esme, that made me chuckle. Esme: yes, I mean, we would only give them an hour!

Terms and conditions:

  • Comments must be left directly on this blog post by midnight GMT on Sunday 23rd July 2017
  • 5 winners will  be picked at random. You can specify whether you want a pair of tickets for either Thursday 21st September or Friday 22nd September
  • You must use a valid email address to leave your comment, or check back for the follow up post which I will publish next week to claim your tickets. If tickets are not claimed within 3 days of me announcing the winners I will re-draw.
  • Winners are responsible for all travel costs incurred

Good luck everyone and I look forward to hearing all about it.

*This giveaway is now closed*

 

 

Vogue 1496: DIY Sandwash Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Hi Friends,

We just got back yesterday from a weeks holiday in Cornwall. It was great. Warm weather, beautiful beaches and fresh seafood. I am dashing off first thing tomorrow morning for a 3 day business trip to Barcelona, where temperatures are currently soaring. I made this dress a couple of weeks ago with Barcelona in mind, and we snapped a few pictures of it on the beach in Cornwall. This is Vogue 1496 by Sandra Betzina. I have made my version in a delicious charcoal grey sandwashed rayon challis, kindly sent to me by Stylish Fabrics. This fabric is beautifully soft, drapey and perfect to wear in hot weather conditions.

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Not a tremendous amount to say about this pattern that I haven’t said in my review below. I do like it a lot, and it will be perfect for hot weather dressing, and you can easily dress it up or down. The only thing I dislike about it is that the facing is flapping around a bit and I am going to topstitch it into place I think. Other than that, this is a really interesting shape and the way it comes together is fascinating. It’s made from just two pieces (front and back), plus pockets and facings. You might just be able to make out in the rear view picture a (flat felled) seam which joins the front to the back and creates the armholes. There are no shoulder seams in this dress.

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Very loose-fitting, tapered, pullover dress has V-neckline, optional pockets (stitched in place), front extending into yoke back, no shoulder seams, back armhole openings with narrow hem, and stitched hem. A: Optional neckline inset.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

Sizes A – J.

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 are easy to follow but 1. as other reviewers have mentioned, the instructions have you use Steam-a-seam on virtually every seam. I didn’t bother. 2. There is no mention of finishing any seams (apart from the facing) and for that I chose to use my own preferred method of obtaining a clean finish on the facing, sewing the interfacing to the facing right sides together, then turning and fusing in place, rather than just overlocking. Instructions are given on how to raise the (very low) neckline and also how to pick your correct size.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really like the finished garment. The ease of wearing and interesting shape. Don’t like the way the facing wants to flap around. I am going to topstitch in place.

Fabric Used:

Sandwashed rayon challis.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Based on my measurements, I should have cut a size E through the bust but, based on the finished pattern measurements which are given for bust, waist and hips, I cut a size D through the bust and waist and graded out over the hips.

I raised the front neckline by 3 inches.

I am 5’3″. I actually cut the view A length and added 1.5 inches at the hems.

I finished my side seams before sewing the flat fell seam that connects the front to the back piece.

The pattern and instructions don’t seem to indicate how high to make the side slits. I made mine 3 inches high.

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

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

Conclusion:

Breezy, stylish and something a little different. The husband didn’t say anything negative so I guess it has a little allure 🙂

Great week everyone!

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Simplicity 8341: DIY Pineapple Print Cold Shoulder Ruffle Front Button Up Shirt

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar (worn with Butterick 6331 white denim boyfriend style jeans)

Hey Everyone,

Today I am excited to share my review of this Simplicity 8341 pattern by Mimi G. We have had a spell of wonderful hot weather and this shirt has already been worn lots. It’s made from a fine, soft viscose voile and it’s been perfect for keeping cool but with an element of coverage.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

This was not a fast make: there are a lot of narrow, rolled hems to sew on both the upper and lower front ruffles, as well as on the sleeves. My fabric was quite challenging to work with but it worked out ok in the end. Less confident sewists might want to try a more stable cotton shirting. It’s important to take the time to ensure the front plackets and the points where the sleeves join the yokes match. Speaking of which, I think that possibly larger size sewists may find that their sleeves don’t match the yoke points. The only reason mine match in the front is because I pinched out a 0.5 inch dart at the armhole (and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart), but in the back the sleeves are about 1 inch lower than the yoke. (See also this picture on my Instagram account which shows a definite pattern discrepancy). I decided to just live with the discrepancy in the back on this version, but if I make this up again I would have to do something to address that. FYI I cut a size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out through the waist and over the hips.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

My overall conclusion is that I love the finished blouse. It’s an absorbing sew which keeps you on your toes and very on trend. Check out my full review below for full details of adjustments made – note that I deepened my ruffles!

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Mimi G Style shirt dress and top pair perfectly with high waist leggings. The button-down top and dress have a collar and feature cold shoulder with ruffle on the sleeve and across the bodice.

I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 24

I cut a size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out over the waist and hips.

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 especially like the way the hem is formed. Neat. Also, I think the collar instructions match those given on the Four Square Walls blog, which is my preferred way to sew a collar. The armholes are finished with bias tape.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished garment, especially in the fun pineapple print viscose voile I chose. It’s so light and breezy and this style is very on trend.

I think that possibly larger size sewists may find that their sleeves don’t match the yoke points. The only reason mine match in the front is because I pinched out a 0.5 inch dart at the armhole (and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart), but in the back the sleeves are about 1 inch lower than the yoke. (See also this picture on my Instagram account which shows a definite pattern discrepancy). I decided to just live with the discrepancy in the back on this version, but if I make this up again I would have to do something to address that.

Fabric Used:

Pineapple print viscose voile.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Deepened upper and lower ruffles by 1 inch to account for my larger bust. I thought the proportions would look better, and I think they do.
  • Lengthened sleeves by 1 inch to match ruffles.
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, with removed length added back to hem.
  • Shortened bust dart by 1.5 inch and moved bust dart down by 1.25 inches.
  • Pinched out 0.5 dart at the armhole and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart.
  • Changed direction of grainlines on neckband, sleeve band and collar to preserve direction of print.
  • Instructions don’t seem to mention interfacing the sleeve band, although it’s shown in the cutting layout.
  • Added interfacing to the button placket area.
  • Note that only single yokes are cut but I don’t think it would be too difficult to cut double yokes and use the burrito method to clean finish the insides. I overlocked my sew allowances.

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

I might sew again. Like I say, it’s not a particularly fast sew. I do recommend, although maybe to more confident sewists.

Conclusion:

Love the finished top. It’s an absorbing sew which keeps you on your toes and very on trend. Make it fast before the trend disappears!

This top is being packed to take with us for our holiday next week in Cornwall. Here’s hoping for warm weather. Have a great week ahead everyone.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

 

Pauline Alice Eliana Top and Butterick 6331: DIY Gauze Peasant Style Top and White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans: Stylish Fabric

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

Hi All,

Today I am so excited to share a perfect summer outfit made using fabrics from L.A based Stylish Fabric. They got in touch with me recently and asked if I wanted to try out some of their fabrics. The fabrics in this post were provided at no cost to me, but as ever, my opinions are my own.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top.

The blouse was made using this gorgeous cotton and rayon gauze in blush colour. This fabric is delicious to wear and was easy to sew. I was expecting it to fray like mad, but it didn’t. I overlocked all my seam allowances. One thing I would say to watch out for is that I think this fabric shrunk quite a bit in the wash (unless I wasn’t sent as much as I initally thought?) I asked for 3 yards but I think I had about 2 yards (?) to play with. So, yep, not sure why that was. But, no matter, I ended up with a beautiful blouse that I will be happy to wear in hot weather.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

The jeans are made using this white denim (currently 60% off). This non-stretch denim is the perfect weight for denim jeans, and is, I would say, ever so slightly off white. It washed, pressed and sewed beautifully. I used a Schmetz jeans needle and Gutterman top stitching thread, even though you can’t of course see the details. Full details on patterns below.

Top:

  • Made using Pauline Alice Eliana Dress pattern modified to top length. You can see my first version of the top hack here.
  • Moved the bust dart up by 1 inch.
  • Added 3/8ths inch to side seams at hip.
  • Made narrower self bias tape to bind the neckline and sleeve openings.

Jeans:

  • Made using Butterick 6331. See first version of these pants here and my floral version here.
  • These white denim jeans were actually version number 2, so see my first version for details of pattern amendments. Even though I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern from version number 1, these feel very different. Amazing what changing the fabric can do. These are boyfriend style, so fairly loose fitting, but still quite slim I think.
  • I essentially followed the Closet Case Ginger Jeans instructions to make these.
  • Interfaced the fly.
  • Omitted interfacing in the waistband.
  • Used lining fabric for the pocket bags to cut down on bulk.
  • Added back pockets, fly shield and topstitching.
  • Extended length of waistband by about 5 inches (much better to have too much length IMO that can be shortened as required).

Thanks to Stylish Fabric for the opportunity to add some really versatile pieces to my wardrobe. Sometimes plain basics can be the most valuable thing you can make!

Happy sewing!

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

 

Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress: DIY Fixed Wrap Jersey Dress

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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

Hi Everyone,

I am probably one of the few sewists out there who has yet to find a wrap dress pattern they love. I kind of came to the conclusion that maybe true wrap dresses were not meant for me (constant fiddling/ fear of coming undone), so when Pauline Alice was kind enough to send me a copy of her Aldaia dress I was very happy to see that one of the bodice options offered was a surplice design. Coupled with the option to have a 6-gore skirt, I decided this was as close to my dream wrap dress as I was ever going to get.

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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

There is not much to say about this dress which I won’t cover in my review (below), except to say I genuinely do LOVE this pattern! I made virtually no changes (at least not the “major” standard changes that I typically have to do), and I love the fit and finished dress. Couple of things to note:

  1. I think I sewed two of my front panels the wrong way, so the centre panel is on the side, and a side panel is in the centre. Shhhhh.
  2. The pattern instructs you to twin needle around the neckband. I tried this and it was a hot mess (in hindsight I wish I had used my walking foot, as I did on the hem). No matter, I unpicked the twin needling around the neck band and left well enough alone.
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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

The most amazing thing about this pattern is the number of different options which are included: 3 different bodice styles, 3 different skirt styles and 3 different sleeve styles. You can mix and match all the options to create your dream knit dress. I am now desperately searching for printed jersey fabrics that I like, and I am definitely going to try this out in a ponte knit and a wool jersey for autumn. Another winning pattern from Pauline!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

The Aldaia dress is designed for knit fabrics, with no closure so it can be pulled up easily. Front princess seams and back darts make the bodice easy to fit. You can mix all the different necklines, sleeves and skirts options to make a unique dress.

View A: V neck, elbow length sleeves with bands and short panelled skirt.

View B: wrap style bodice, sleeveless and below-the-knee pencil skirt.

View C: jewel neckline finished with facing, short sleeves and 6-gore skirt.

I made the wrap style bodice from view B, the 6-gore skirt from view C and the elbow length sleeves from view A.
Pattern Sizing:
Size 34 to 48
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I LOVE this pattern, and all the variations that are included with the pattern. 3 different bodice styles, 3 different skirt styles and 3 different sleeve options. I love the fixed wrap bodice that I chose to use – so flattering and a perfect fit for me right out of the envelope. No gaping. Love the 6 gore skirt option that I also chose to use. Just love! Nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
Cotton jersey purchased locally to me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Shortened sleeves by 1.5 inches
  • Slimmed the arms and bands down by 0.5 inches
  • Shortened the neckband by 1 inch. For next time I have also removed a further 0.5 inch from the centre back of the neckband
  • Lengthened skirt by 2 inches

I did not have to do a FBA, sway back adjustment or full arm adjustment on this dress!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Totally yes I want to try this dress is jersey again, but also in a ponte knit and wool jersey. Yes I recommend.
Conclusion:
It doesn’t happen often and it might not happen for you, but for me, this dress is just so easy to fit, sew and wear.

Have a great week ahead everyone! We are currently enjoying a spell of warm, dry weather. Long may it continue!

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Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

 

Butterick 6331 and Simplicity 2446: DIY Floral Twill Trouser Suit made using Spoonflower Fabric

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Worn with white cotton Grainline Archer.

Hi Friends,

No, I am not entering a Chris Evans look-alike contest (British reference there). Today’s post features fabric kindly sent to me by Spoonflower. I am sure many of you have already heard of the eco-friendly custom printing firm. About 1.5 years ago they opened a second factory in Berlin, and to celebrate they asked a few British bloggers to be part of a Blog Tour, and make items using Spoonflower fabric. You can see the list of bloggers here on the Spoonflower Blog. The fabric I have used in this post was sent to me for no charge by Spoonflower, but all opinions are my own.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

I have never ordered fabric from Spoonflower before. The choice of already uploaded designs on the Spoonflower website is vast (of course the option is also there to upload your own design), and somewhat overwhelming. I searched using key words of prints I have a passion for (like dark florals), and elected to go for Jungle Passion Floral Navy by Joan McLemore, printed on to the lightweight cotton twill (58″ width).

Because of my own indecision, Spoonflower ended up sending me this fabric in two separate lengths but I was not able to detect any differences in the colours between the two lengths. I think the colours are a pretty good match to what was shown on screen when I was making my selection. I also liked the fact that, at least for the design I selected, previews were provided of the fabric made up into a cushion and a dress, so I could guage the scale of the print.

I did run the fabrics through a hot (60 degree) pre-wash before cutting out and did not notice any running, bleeding or fading. This particular fabric was easy to cut, sew and press. It’s a good weight without being too heavy and bulky. Full disclosure: will I ever wear these two pieces together? Probably not, but as separates in my wardrobe I love them and how individual and quirky they are. I already have lots of things which these items will go with.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

Some details:

The trousers were made using Butterick 6331. This is actually my third iteration of these pants (I haven’t shown you version two yet), but you can see my first version here. For this version I took on board what some of you said in the comments and scooped out the back crotch by 0.25 inches and added 0.5 inches to the upper back thigh. I know it’s hard to see in this busy print but overall I think it’s better. Other changes for this version:

  • I fully interfaced the waistband.
  • I had to let the side seams out a touch from the waist down to the bottom of the pockets.
  • I hemmed the bottoms by hand.
  • These are trousers but with some jeans details like additional topstitching, jeans button and bar tacks.
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Butterick 6331 Floral Twill Trousers – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Topstitching detail.

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Butterick 6331 Floral Twill Trousers – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Inside view of waistband and (modified) fly facing.

The blazer was made using Simplicity 2446, which I first made in wool ponte. I do love my first version, and since going back to work, have worn it a few times. But the shoulders are too big (although I did go back and alter them to be smaller). So for this version I made sure to do a small shoulder adjustment.

  • I did a 5/8ths inch small shoulder adjustment.
  • I shaved 0.25 inches off all the shoulder princess seams above the bust.
  • I added a centre back seam for shaping.
  • I shortened the pocket bag length by 1.5 inches.
  • I added small ready made shoulder pads but omitted sleeve heads and chest reinforcement.
  • You can see a picture of the internal interfacing here on Instagram if you want.

My previous two blazers have taken me approx. 3 weeks each to make: I slaved over this blazer to get it done in a week! Gosh it was tough but overall I am pretty happy with the finished result.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Front lapel detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Welt pocket with flap detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Welt pocket detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Sleeve vent detail.

Like I say, being honest, I don’t think I would be brave enough to go full on head to toe pattern,  but as individual pieces I think these are going to get worn lots. I am also very proud of how far I have come on with my sewing techniques tackling things like the welt pockets and sleeve vents and even the trouser fitting and sewing.

Happy sewing everyone!

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

 

 

McCalls 7543: DIY Off the Shoulder Top

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McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top – worn with Simplicity 8019 Denim Skirt

Hi Friends,

Today is a quick review of McCalls 7543, view A. This is a great little pattern which sews up fast with minimal alterations and has some good variations included in the envelope.

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McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

I think I am with a lot of fuller busted women who feel they perhaps can’t partake in the off the shoulder look because of bra issues: or rather we hate to wear strapless bras. I wanted to try this particular view out because it has straps which I hoped were bra friendly. And on the whole they are. The way you are instructed to sew this top is to attach the straps in the back of the top first, before creating the casing for the elastic. The straps are sewn to the front of the top at the last step. So whilst I was able to move the straps over in the front of the top, in the back it hasn’t been quite as successful. That’s not to say I won’t wear this top because I do like it, but if I make this top again I know I need to move the straps out, and by how much.

The fabric, BTW, is from my stash. It’s a cotton with an embroidered/ cut work scalloped border. The border just ran along one side of the 2 metre length of fabric I had so I just had enough to cut the front and back pieces. Maybe I should have had the scalloped edges along the sleeve hems but it is what it is. A fun piece to wear on hot days (if we ever get them!)

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McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Pullover tops, tunic and dress have elastic on shoulders and sleeve variations. A: Straps. C: Shaped hemline.

I made view A
Pattern Sizing:
4 – 26
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 like the finished top. It comes together very quickly with little fussing. I like the option to have straps. I widened mine slightly but I need to alter the strap position in the back of the top for next time to cover my bra straps better. The straps are sewn in place in the back of the top first before the casing is created and the straps are secured in the front of the top as the final step, so it does make altering the back strap position more difficult. But we will call this a wearable muslin. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
A cotton with an embroidered/ cut work scalloped border along one length. I cut the fabric on the cross grain to utilise the border.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, adding length back to hems.
  • Used 0.25 inch seam allowance to sew the straps so the finished strap width was 1 inch.
  • Moved the straps out on the front of the top but need to do this for the back next time round.
  • Shortened straps by approx. 1.5 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might. I like the other options that are included. Yes, I recommend.
Conclusion:
Cute and fun, I will wear this top if we ever get hot weather but I will alter the back strap position for nex time.

Until soon!

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McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

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