Tag Archive | sewing blogger

Kwik Sew K4111 and Burdastyle 06/2016 #140: DIY Green Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress and Girls Tie Front Blouse

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Friends!

This dress was born out of Instagram: I saw the fabric on Fabricgodmother’s feed, and I couldnt resist the super saturated colour (hard to capture the true colour in these photographs) or the floral print, so I ordered 3 metres a couple of weeks back. This was one of those rare occassions when, as soon as the fabric arrived, I was determined to sew something from it. I had Kwik Sew K4111 in my stash and I thought the crepe paired with the tulip skirt and feminine bodice would work well together. Also, I am no horticultural expert, but aren’t they tulips on the fabric? Seemed like a match made in heaven to me.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I am super pleased with the fit I got on this dress, which I tissue fitted. I love the tulip skirt. It is very secure, with the underlap being sewn into the side seam, so even if the front were to inadvertently blow up, you won’t be showing anything you shouldn’t. Also, I LOVE the facings and the instructions which showed you how to get a completely clean, machine finish all around the armholes. Magic! Be bored with several pictures just of the inside:

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – back facing (don’t ask me why I bought a purple zipper! It’s a good thing I am pretty good at sewing a concealed zipper in, because you can’t tell from the outside)

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – front facing

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – clean finish armhole

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I just love the finished dress, even if I am sad that the summer seems all but over for us and so I don’t know how much opportunity I will have to wear this until next year.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have bodice with partial gathers at waist seam, scoop neckline, back zipper, overlapping front tulip skirts with pleats, back darts and stitched hems. Neckline and armholes are finished with facings. Self-fabric belt. A: Sleeveless with neckline notch and topstitching at armhole. B: Self-faced cap sleeves.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:<

XS – XL

I cut a size L 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 particularly love the facings and the clean (machine) finish you achieve around the armholes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished dress. I love the tulip skirt – very feminine – and also very secure, with the underlap portion sewn into the side seam of the dress. As mentioned above, love the finish inside with the facings. Love the overall drafting. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

Polyester crepe.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Graded out slightly (total 3 inches) over the hips.
  • 1 inch FBA, rotating the formed dart into the waist for extra gathers there.
  • 5/8ths inch full bottom adjustment on the back skirt piece.
  • Lengthened skirt 1.5/8ths inch.
  • Used an invisible zipper.
  • Staystitched neckline – no mention of this in the instructions.
  • I think I did a sway back adjustment of approx. 1 inch?

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

I might sew again, maybe? I highly recommend.

Conclusion:

I think this dress is super cute and feminine. Sometimes that’s nice 🙂

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Now, there was a little bit of fabric left over so I thought, seeing as I had the machine threaded up etc, why not whizz up a little top for Kezia?

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

I used Burdastyle 06/2016#140 and there isn’t a great deal to say about it. It’s a simple, boxy top with cut on sleeves and incorporates a tie front. Of course the instructions were confusing and I think they intended for you to finish those front ties using a facing, but I could not be bothered to figure it out so I just did a narrow hem around the ties. It’s not my finest sewing but it works, and it will probably survive more washes than the time Kezia will fit into this top, the rate at which she is growing! Just for reference, this top was cut at the 140 cm height size.

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

Have a great week everyone!

Until soon.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Vogue 8882 and McCalls 6886 (modified): DIY Custom Printed Satin Full Skirt and Cropped Fitted Sweater

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

Hello Friends,

A little while ago I was contacted by a new to me company called Fashion Formula, who offer a custom digital printing service onto fabrics, wallpaper, gift wrap, cushions, aprons and tea towels. This was a completely new experience for me, and I am very grateful to Fashion Formula for allowing me to select a fabric and print of my choice for this project. The fabric was provided at no cost to me, but as ever, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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

Initially, I did toy with the idea of uploading a design of my own creation, using one of my watercolour paintings. But, I really wasn’t confident about getting the repeat on the fabric right, so in the end I perused their almost 1,500 fabric designs and selected this one, Asian Inspiration, by Botal. There are some stunning designs to choose from (already, since I selected I can see there are new designs which I love), and the only thing I would say you need to be wary of, if you are selecting a print for garment fabric, is check the scale of the design (all information is provided on the website), and make sure you are happy with that aspect. The website itself is well designed and easy to navigate and you are provided with a preview of the length of fabric you require so you get to see how the print falls across the entire length.

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

There are more than 40 different fabric options to print onto, including, twill, denim, velvet, scuba, poplin, sateen, bamboo, chiffon, organza, ITY jersey, various crepes, georgette, lining fabrics and organic cotton panama. Again, some of these options were introduced after I made my selection, but in the end, I decided to go for heavy satin. Why? I had a vision of making a skirt using Vogue 8882 which I had in my stash, and I have never come across heavy printed satin to purchase before. I can confirm that this fabric went through a hot 60 degree pre-wash and the colours did not fade or streak and the fabric was easy to cut, sew and press. Overall, I am really happy with my experience of using Fashion Formula and I would definitely consider using them again.

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

On to the pattern review! First I will say I made the top using McCalls 6886 and an acrylic sweater knit. You can see my previous versions of this pattern here, here and here.

The details:

  • Cut a size 14 (2 sizes smaller than usual)
  • Did a 0.5 inch FBA, rotating the dart back into the side seam
  • Cut off at the waist and added a 4 inch deep waistband
  • Cut off just below the elbow and added a 3 inch deep band
  • Added a neckband
  • Removed 0.25 inches from length at back before adding waistband

Initially, when I tried the sweater on, I really wasn’t too comfortable with how close fitting it is. But, after a lot of Instagram support, I have decided I do actually like it, and I wore it all day yesterday with a denim skirt.

Vogue 8882 Pattern Review

The main review is below, but I just wanted to point out the major issue I had with this skirt, which was in relation to the hemming. So, at least for view B, pattern pieces are included for you to cut nice deep hem facings, which are interfaced. The suggested hem interfacings are crinoline (like finding hens teeth in these parts) or buckram (duly ordered). I have used horse hair braid before very successfully (see here), and given the choice, if making this skirt again, I would probably use the horse hair braid. But, I followed the Vogue instructions and, boy, what a mess the buckram made! You can see the mess here. In the end, I cut the hot mess right off, and used a satin bias binding facing to finish the hem. It was neat and easy to do. I have since found out that buckram is usally only recommended for bag making etc. Why Vogue recommend it is beyond me, unless it comes in different weights?

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Vogue 8882 custom printed satin skirt – satin bias tape facing hem finish

Pattern Description:
Flared skirt (cut on crosswise grain) has waistband, pleats and back zipper. A, B, D: Interfaced hemline. C: Contrast waistband. D: Attached tie ends. E: High-low hemline, wrong side shows. C, E, F: Narrow hem.

I made view B.

Note that this skirt is cut on the cross grain.
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 NOT like the suggestion to use buckram for the hem interfacing – see below.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I actually really do like the finished skirt shape. I think it’s quite easy to wear and flattering. I REALLY DISLIKE the suggestion to use buckram as the hem interfacing.

So, at least for view B, pattern pieces are included for you to cut nice deep hem facings, which are interfaced. The suggested hem interfacings are crinoline (like finding hens teeth in these parts) or buckram (duly ordered). I have used horse hair braid before very successfully, and given the choice, if making this skirt again, I would probably use the horse hair braid. But, I followed the Vogue instructions and, boy, what a mess the buckram made! You can see the mess here. In the end, I cut the hot mess right off, and used a satin bias binding facing to finish the hem. It was neat and easy to do.
Fabric Used:
A custom printed heavy satin from Fashion Formula, based in the UK.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Absolutely no alterations made. If I was making this skirt again I would reduce the height of the waistband by about 5/8ths inch – it’s a little too high for me. I did substitute an invisible zip in as the back closure.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew it again. I do recommend – its a pretty easy sew – just don’t go near the buckram.
Conclusion:
I am glad to have this skirt in my closet because I think I can dress it up or down and it’s a perfect colour for spring.

At the beginning of May, after a career break of 5 years, I am returning to my former job as a project manager in the field of Animal Health Pharmaceuticals (3 days a week). So, blogging and sewing may slow down somewhat, and perhaps, stylewise, I may sew different things? Who knows. What I do know is I am too addicted to sewing to give up altogether. Here’s looking forward to a new phase in life! Happy Easter and happy sewing.

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

 

McCalls 7542: DIY Statement Pleated Sleeve Blue White Stripe Cotton Top

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top (worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style pants)

Hello Friends!

This year is, apparently, the #yearofthesleeve, and I decided to dip my toe into this trend by making up McCalls 7542 in a blue and white stripe cotton shirting (another trend of the moment) purchased from Fabworks.

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top

I have to say that I really had mixed feelings about the bodice for this top as I was making it, and I do think that for lots of people, some amount of adjustment may need to be made. But, having worn it for the day, I have to say I do love it and especially those cool pleated sleeves.

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top

Lets talk proportions for a moment, shall we? This top, as drafted, is quite short and boxy. I decided to add three inches to the length. This makes this top much more wearable for me. I can wear it just like I have done in these pictures over slim trousers or skinny jeans. But, even though I added some width at the hips, it felt too tight so I ended up adding slits to the sides. I also decided to lengthen the sleeves. Or rather, I used the piece for the pleats from sleeve C, but attached them to the sleeves which I cut at the longer length, as per View D. My reasoning for doing this was because I felt I wouldn’t want to wear anything on top of this top, and, for that reason, I wanted a little more arm coverage.

There was some discussion over on Instagram about whether I should have cut the sleeves shorter but I think the new proportions work. I actually think if I had kept the shorter length as intended, the fullest part of the sleeve would probably have ended at my bust line which would have made me look wider. As the fullest part of the sleeve now ends closer to the narrowest part of my body (my waist), I think it works. But hey, I love interacting with everyone over on Instagram and its always nice to have a second opinion.

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top (worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style pants)

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Semi-fitted tops have sleeve variations. Includes separate pattern pieces for A/B, C, and D cups.

I made view C but cut my sleeves at the longer line intended for view D.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes…my version is longer with longer sleeves.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I had some misgivings about the bodice as I was making it up. It is short and boxy as drafted. I made some adjustments to suit me (see below). There is a little tightness across the front of the sleeves when I raise my arms. I love the end result with the pleated sleeve. Very on trend.
Fabric Used:
Blue white cotton striped shirting.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut a size 18 through the bust, shoulders and arms and a D cup.
  • I added 3 inches to the length.
  • Inspite of me adding some width at the side seams at the hips, when I initially tried the bodice on it felt tight in that region so I ended up adding side slits.
  • 5/8ths inch sway back adjustment, adding removed length back at hem.
  • Dropped bust dart by 0.5 inch.
  • Shortened bust dart by 1 inch (don’t know if that was really necessary).
  • Cut sleeve length as per view D (but used pleated sleeve pattern piece from view C).
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment (adding the extra one inch to the pleated sleeve pattern piece; 0.5 inch to either side seam allowance).
  • Lowered back opening slit by further 2 inches. Be warned: some people may want to lower the neckline a bit. In the end I left it as is and its fine for me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I want too many of these in my wardrobe, but I might like to try another view and maybe try it is something with more drape like a viscose.
Conclusion:
Make this one up fast for summer because fashions come and go. Right now, I feel very on trend wearing this.

Have a great week ahead!

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McCalls 7542 pleated sleeve cuff striped shirting cotton top

 

Vintage Style Pattern 3247: DIY Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Hello There Friends,

This is the last of my unblogged projects from last year, and, I think, my first ever project sewn using a vintage pattern. The pattern used was Style 3247; you can see the (obviously aged!) pattern envelope below. (I wonder who Mrs. Clark was and which part of the world she lived in?)

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Pattern Envelope

The pattern actually has rather cleverly designed facings which mean the front buttons are fully functioning, and how the pattern intends you to get in and out of the dress. I decided that a double breasted look was not going to be the most flattering for me, and so I decided to omit the front opening and instead install an invisible zip in the centre back seam. I also ended  up adding some fish eye darts in the back to provide more shaping.

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Here are some inside shots. The pattern included facing pieces but as the outer fashion fabric is a wool/ cashmere blend that I purchased locally to me and is dry clean only, I opted to also add a full lining. The pattern made no mention of interfacing but I did add interfacing to all the facing pieces, as well as to the centre back seam where the zipper was being inserted. I also chose to draft hem facing pieces to finish the hems.

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – front facings and lining

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – hem facing

Pattern Alteration/ Sewing Notes:

  • Omitted front opening and inserted centre back invisible zip
  • Removed 2.25 inches from length and ended up taking 1 inch seam allowance when attaching hem facings
  • Drafted hem facings
  • Added full lining in addition to facings
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length being added back to lower back hem
  • Added interfacing to all facing pieces and to centre back seam
  • Added fish eye darts to back
  • Narrowed shoulder straps (removing approx. 5/8ths inch from outer edge of each strap)
  • If making again consider narrowing width at front neckline

So, anyway, after I saw the pictures….I don’t know…I just wasn’t sold on this whole look for me. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I feel like it makes me look broader somehow through the front? Is it the square neckline? Is it the lack of waist seaming? Maybe it’s one of those garments I just need time to play around with and style a few different ways? It is lovely and warm and I like the colour. But hmmm….at present it’s not a wadder, but just a bit meh.

That’s the last of my 2016 makes! Already sewn up a tunic style top and most of an Archer shirt in 2017…but this week I am doing a spot of pattern testing.

Until soon!

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

 

 

 

 

Simplicity 8213: DIY Floral Scuba Sheath Dress

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

Happy New Year Readers!

I am still trying to get caught up blogging the last of my 2016 projects: here is one of them. This is my version of Simplicity 8213, view B, made in a floral scuba fabric.

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

So, I have slightly mixed feelings about this dress. I think it is a great, flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has the waist seam and the A-line shaped skirt. I also like the fun front overlay. But the fit is not perfect. I cannot decide if I need to do a FBA or if I need to add length all around the bodice (including at the back). It just seems to be riding a little high to me? I would have liked to have made the flouncy sleeves (from view A) but as this scuba fabric has a white backside I didn’t want that showing on the flounces.

The instructions have you doing a fair amount of hand sewing. I just machined everything, including the lining around the sleeve flanges – don’t know if that has thrown the neckline off a little because it is not sitting perfectly flat. I did interface the hems and back zipper area and I did handstitch the hems. Only the upper bodice part is lined. I used a stretch lining from my stash.

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
These Inspired by Project Runway dresses are designed to work with fashion’s hottest fabric–scuba knit. Dress can be made with or without a collar. Neckline on collarless version is boat neck. Sleeve options are sleeveless with optional cap and tabs or half sleeves with optional ruffle. Optional asymmetric skirt front featured on view B. Simplicity sewing pattern.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
4 – 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think this is a really flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has a waist seam and the A-line shape skirt with the overlay. There is nothing to dislike as such, but I need to make some alterations to the fit if I make this again: the bodice feels too short. I need to decide if I need a FBA or if I need to add length all around.
Fabric Used:
A floral printed scuba knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Shortened bust dart by 1.5 inches. Note that I did not do a sway back adjustment.
  • Interfaced hems and back zipper area.
  • Ended up only taking 3/8ths inch at the back seams.
  • Machined lining at the arm holes and at the back zipper area. I don’t know if the machining has thrown the neckline out slightly because it is not sitting perfectly flat.
  • Handstitched the hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to tackle this one again after thinking about alterations. Yes, I would recommend. I think it has potential.
Conclusion:

Despite me not being 100% in love with this dress I still wore it quite comfortably on New Years Eve. I was cooking a big meal at home and eating lots, and it coped admirably. I think it’s a great shape: it just needs some tweaking for me.

Here is a family snap taken on NYE – whatever you did I hope you had a wonderful time spent with those you care about.

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My family – new years eve 2016

Until soon…

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

My Sewing in 2016: a look back and some things you might have missed

Hi Friends,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

I actually still have 2 unblogged items that I completed this year but I am not going to rush into blogging those before the year end. Instead, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the items I have made this year and also share some items that those of you who are not on Instagram might have missed (because I felt they were not worthy of a blog post of their own).

It’s been another great year of sewing for me. I feel like my skills are improving and I am getting more practised at refining the fit of garments – that’s not to say I always get it right – because I don’t! I think I am also more confident in my own sense of style and picking patterns that I think might work on my body shape etc. So all in all, 2016 was a successful year for me.

Here is the complete breakdown (not including the two unblogged items) with some pictures of things that have appeared on the blog before, as well as some pictures of items I shared on my Instagram account.

  • 4 coats – including one for Kezia. These are probably my most favourite items of all the things I have sewn. I have to wear a coat of some kind most days for at least 9 – 10 months of the year and reaching for these items makes me happy. I really enjoy coat making.

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  • 2 blazers – both huge learning curves for me. One was a hand tailored wool blazer and one was a wool ponte blazer constructed using fusible interfacings.
  • 2 jackets – one made from Linton tweed and fully lined (that was worn lots when travelling on planes in America) and one unlined kimono style.
  • 3 pairs of pull on jeans made using the Jalie Elenore pattern (my red pair got worn loads – see below for picture. My black pair are in the donate pile – fabric didn’t have enough stretch to make them comfortable).
  • 3 pairs of pants made using Simplicity 1167 – this pattern has become my go to pants pattern – for now. So proud of myself for making pants that fit ME!
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Simplicity 1167 pants

  • 2 pairs of culotte style trousers.
  • 2 skirts, both made using Simplicity 8019. I made a version in suede leather and then this (unblogged) denim version, which has gotten a fair amount of wear.
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Simplicity 8019 denim button front skirt worn with plaid Grainline Archer shirt

  • 1 pair of workout leggings
  • 5 shirts – including one made for Philip’s big birthday and a floral Grainline Archer made for myself from some soft cotton voile type fabric I purchased a few years ago in Paris that I LOVE wearing.
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McCalls 6613 striped shirt

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McCalls 6613 striped shirt

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Grainline Archer floral shirt worn with Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans

  • 11 further tops/ blouses/ workout top, including this modified McCalls 6886 breton style top. Sadly this has also just gone into the donate pile on account of the fabric not washing very well. It’s a shame as I LOVE the first breton top I made using this pattern and it still gets regularly worn (in a black and white stripe). Need to find the perfect fabric to make more!
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McCalls 6886 modified into colour block yoke breton style top

  • 2 cardigans
  • 4 shirt dresses

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  • 6 further dresses – one of which was a wadder. The wadder was  my attempt at turning the True Bias Sutton blouse into a dress with an elasticated waist. I made the top part way too blousey and I ended  up chopping the dress apart before giving up on it completely.

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True Bias Sutton Dress – wadder!

  • A gymnastics outfit for Kezia
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Erbsenprinzessin leotard – fabric purchased from Spandex house, NYC

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Erbsenprinzessin leotard (modified) and e+m leggings (modified to shorts)

  • 2 pairs of cotton pyjamas – made using Simplicity 2317. These have been washed and worn and washed and worn. I hope to make more (and more luxurious) versions next year.
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Two versions of OOP Simplicity 2317

  • 2 refashions: a blouse of mine which I no longer wanted refashioned into a top for Kezia and a denim peplum jacket made from 2 pairs of old jeans.
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Refashioned top into a top for kezia

  • 1 baby dress and pantaloons

Phew! Quite the list. I am proud and happy of all I have achieved this year 🙂

What does 2017 hold? I am not one to tie myself down with challenges/ resolutions or even firm plans. I like to run wild and free, haha. But….

  • More coats: a waterproof Kelly anorak, a trench coat of some kind and another blazer (still need to find my perfect one in terms of fit and style!)
  • Workout tops in the supplex I purchased in America this year
  • More pants! Maybe another pattern?
  • Feel like I need some new tops to freshen my wardrobe up.

Not going to think beyond that. I like to draw up a more specific list up about 3 or 4 times a year and edit as I go along.

So all that remains is for me to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my followers and to all of you who read my blog and comment. It’s great to be part of this community and also it was great to meet some of you in real life and make new friends. Actually, that’s something I hope I get more chance to do next year. I wish all of you health, happiness, peace and prosperity for the new year. Happy and fruitful sewing!

 

 

 

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