Fifi

Attaching lace to summer PJs or slinky undies!

Hello!   While I was making my second pair of Fifi Pjs I thought I’d take some photos of what I did to add the lace to the top of the cups & also to the shorts’ hems. This was really to remind me how I did it, but look, I can share and maybe it’ll be useful to you too?  Maybe you bought the Fifi boudoir set, or have another pattern to make summer PJs.  This method could also be used for a special camisole & french knicker set.

We will start with the shorts as they are arguably more complicated but will get you in the swing for the camisole top.

First of all press the hem allowance on the shorts with a single fold.

Attaching Lace to PJs 1

Open out the fold then pin lace right sides facing the right sides of the shorts with the edge of the lace 2mm across the fold – 2mm closer to the raw edge of the hem than the fold itself.  Does this diagram below help at all?  The lace is on top of everything, but I’m showing where the folded edge sits in relation to the top of the lace.

 

lace diagram

Join the lace before you attach it to the shorts. To do this you will need to just about pin your lace around the edge of your hems so that you can see how long it needs to be. When you get to the join, unpin a little each side and pin your lace together to join it, right sides of the lace facing each other. Play around with the pins to make sure that the seam you sew gives you the right size of lace circle to sit nicely around your shorts hem.

Stitch this seam  in your lace, trim the seam, then re pin the lace circle back to the 2mm from foldline of your shorts.

Time to attach the lace to the shorts!

Attaching lace to PJs 3

You should still be looking at the wrong side of the lace, it should be sitting on top of the shorts’ right side of fabric. Use a small narrow zig zag to attach the straight edge of the lace to the shorts’ hem allowance.  This will be a very narrow seam.

Attaching lace to PJs 5

Trim the seam allowance close to your zig zagged lace hem (maybe about 0.5cm).

Attaching lace to PJs  6

Refold the hem allowance along the original pressed hem fold & with a straight stitch on the right side of your shorts, edge stitch really close to your hem fold, making sure you catch the remaining trimmed zig zagged seam allowance – you don’t want the zig zagged edge to be visible through the lace hem.

attaching lace to PJs 7

That’s it! Repeat for the other side :-)

Attaching lace to PJs 8

For the camisole top, you just need to get your edge stitching ready. I finished off the cups as per the instructions for making Fifi- with a narrow double hem. I then attached the lace so that its straight edge was about 2mm behind the rightside’s edge of the cups & edge stitched it to attach it. When you come to attach the cups to the bodice, you can see there is an overlap of the lace at the centre – all it needs is a little diagonal seam to join the two pieces of lace together neatly. Pin it until you are happy with it then stitch on your machine, right sides together.

Are you going to give it a go? Will you be spicing up your summer Pjs with some ooh la la lace?

Cushions

Motivated to sew cushions?

First of all, I would like to help spread the news that there is an open day on August the 15th at the Fabric Godmother. Check out Zoe’s blog for more info. I’m not able to commit due to house selling stuff, but would love to go if I could, sounds oodles of fun- sewing friends with plenty of fabric goodness ( special discounts too).

But onto today’s writing…

vintage barkcloth cushion

Everyone who has been following me for a while has either heard me decry sewing anything but clothing or else will have noticed a distinct lack of home decoration projects.  I only sew for my home when faced with the bitter truth that the cost of doing otherwise is far too outrageous when I have the power, skills ( and access to far more exciting fabrics) to do so myself. It’s just not something that floats my boat.   …. or is it?

However the curtains and blinds I have made fill me with joy, probably because they are made from vintage curtains, tracked down on eBay, delivering the vision, colour and style that I conceived.  Cushions fill the same barren place in my sewing heart.  Easy to make but not exciting enough for me to make stacks.   I’ve not got one of those sofas where you can’t move for cushions- just a couple will do to support better comfort ( my sofas are a terrible investment – leather – yuk- and so uncomfortable!).  However, once again house selling has kicked me up the proverbial to whip up a couple of cushions to ‘complete the look’.  Guys, cushions are so quick to make! It’s ridiculous. We all know it, but somehow clothing is far more exciting to make & Silly because now I’ve made a couple more cushions I get a huge amount of pleasure every single day.  And that doesn’t happen with the dress that gets worn once a fortnight ( or more likely every blue moon).

So first of all look at what is possible in less than an hour. Yes, it’s crazy that this luscious barkcloth cushion was that simple.

Envelope back cushion

It’s got an envelope back and I referred to the instructions in the Sew Over It Vintage book just to overcome any slowness caused by a faulty memory.

Sew over it Vintage book cushion

However, I made this using one long strip of fabric, folded in the right proportions, as opposed to three pieces so that the only seams needed were the side seams. This is the fabric that I have used for blinds in my bedroom but it so suits the colours in my living room too. Love it. Simple way to showcase the awesome vintage greens and turquoises & crazy huge flowers.

But let me tell you more about this cushion!  It has an awesome secret.  Well, not really a secret, but it reveals an awesome function- only really of interest to fellow sewsters I suspect!

Cushion

This is an idea that I had years ago when I was practising bound buttonholes (erm, looking back it appears that this took place in the summer of…..2012!!). At the time I was referring to Karen’s Ebook but without a garment to make buttonholes for. I thought that if I chose the buttons (some special wooden ones bought at a craft fair) and made the buttonholes for them on a big enough piece of fabric, they could form the closure for a rather nice cushion.

Bound buttonholes

The buttonholes were executed rather splendidly in several hours (three years ago.  [cough in embarrassment]).

bound buttonhole

And I had these wonderful felt flowers given as a gift ( also far too long ago, but at least they are being used now).

felt flowers

They were such a thoughtful gift along with some sweet beaded felt beads, so I decorated the front of the cushion with the flowers and used the beads to make tassles for the corners.

tassles

I’m so pleased to finally put the beautiful felt decorations to such everyday glory- this took 20 minutes to sew the cushion and an hour in front of the TV sewing the decorations. And it keeps on giving me smiles!!

So do you think you’ll put your bound buttonhole practice to good use ? Or do you leave them on fabric scraps? Do you also think that there is a greater return on ‘sewing time’ with sewing projects for the home when you get pleasure from them all around you? For me, as long as I can get them over and done with as quickly as possible I am more than happy to benefit from the inner sewing glow they deliver.  But my house will never be over run with home made table runners, cushions, bedding and the like, much as I like the idea & much as I probably collect such idyllic images on Pinterest….

Strawberry patch

Shorts! New Look 6100

Gosh, it’s been a whole week since I have blogged!  I know exactly where it’s gone – the final whirlwind of last minute DIY and paranoid cleaning before my house is on the market.  I missed sewing, desperately but at least it’s all done AND I managed to not let week one of Marathon training slip, which was all accomplished to plan, so at least I wasn’t thrown completely off track by house-selling craziness.

Anyway, here’s July’s Minerva make that I have finally got round to posting.  With the amount of rain we have had over the last three days it’s laughable to be blogging about shorts!  However, shorts are shorts & are always needed when the sun shines in my badger wardrobe.

shorts

I love a nice pair of shorts & had bought New Look 6100 – a Workroom pattern from the Project Runway collection a while ago, having been intrigued by the more flared version (B), and the pockets of course. The pattern has a yoked waistband with a side seam invisible zip. I had been an admirer of Dottie Doodle’s “Happy shorts” also made using New Look 6100, so I bought the pattern when there was a special offer on New Look patterns (of course !). And this being my July make for the Minerva network seemed like a good idea.

shorts

I chose the very popular polka dotted chambray in sky blue, and when it arrived I was super pleased. This chambray is cute! And it sews like a dream – nice to press too.

shorts

So I wasn’t sure what size to make these shorts up as, and actually think that next time I will drop a size, but as I will never wear them with anything tucked into them, being slightly roomy makes them feel almost culotte like, and I like that! There is definite culotte-ability going on with the width & flare! But I do admit that they could look better smaller!

Making them up was straight forward – you kind of know what you are getting with a New Look pattern, much as the other big pattern companies.

I did however manage the invisible zip & yoke facing differently. The instructions would have you sew the invisible zip through all layers of the yoke, facing & all once you have sewn the yoke facing in place on the inside waist edge. I did not sew the yoke facing down until after inserting the zip so that I could make a neater finish at the top of the zip.

shorts

I took this picture to show how irritating invisible zips can be – sometimes they go in right first time, and then other times it feels as if you are forever fiddling around with getting the alignment to seams – & this was even when I marked the waistseam with a pin.

shorts

I am not sure what else to say about these flirty shorts! Just don’t laugh too much at the top-tucked-in photos – I feel a bit of a dork! But with top out I love them, there is plenty of scope for wearing in all sorts of environments – but for now I have enjoyed them being garden wear.

So if you fancy giving these ago, you can even buy the pattern through Minerva if you wanted to get it altogether!

Now as a sneak preview the vest is a new addiction.  I have now made three of these- Jalie 3245– when I need something to make in an evening with minimal challenge but big satisfaction.  It hs a racer back & has involved me making some easy to wear undies too….watch this space.

Hawaiian

Simplicity Star Sewist- the winners

I have been wondering how to write this, but at last worked out how …Remember the Simplicity Star Sewist contest ?

Well the winners were announced at the beginning of this month.  Check out these lovelies!

BEST VINTAGE MAKE

Using Simplicity 1364 

 Winner:

Sew and Snip – gorgeous fabric choice, but some neat drafting skills to alter the back.

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Highly Commended

Not Sew simple’s beautiful fit & fabric

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and another to admire here with that intricate neckline finish – Moodycatcrafts

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BEST NEWCOMER

using It’s So Easy 2286 sewing pattern

Winner:

Not quirky, not kitsch, Just stitch

Seriously, if this lady is like this as a newbie, just what will she be making in the future?!

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Highly Commended:

Living on a shoestring

(not one but two gorgeous entries!)

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Roses and Petticoats got creative with contrast pockets and ribbon to make a really sweet little skirt.

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Oodles of craft got her fabric choices spot on to create such a perfect contrast hem…

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OK, onto the next category…..the one that I entered ….

BEST DRESSMAKER

Using NewLook shift dress 6145

Winner: 

Scruffy Badger!

I know!  Shock!  It is me!  My Necker Island / Elemis Hawaiian two piece dress got me through to the top spot, against some beautiful dresses.  I am so thrilled and have the badge now on the side of my blog.  [Blushing].  Let’s have a look at the others…

Highly Commended

Sewing at Damgate has made the cutest tartan dress, with some beautiful details…button back, v neck.  In fact I am coveting this big time for the Autumn …

 

Then look at All About the Sew’s awesome version with a bow at the waist and adorable fabric!

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I’ve really enjoyed catching up with the competition, there is a Pinterest board with all the entries on it, go have a look if you fancy some more inspiration!

Fifi

Fifi summer PJs, aka Boudoir set

Hello my darlings, the word ‘Boudoir’ brings on a different writing style & makes me feel as if I should slow down, & maybe flutter my writing eyelashes at you.  Purrrrrrr….

Fifi

Here, for your perusal, are two sets of Fifi summer PJs- the latest from Tilly and the Buttons.  On Barbarella I should add, no way will you see modelling shots of these by yours truly.  As mentioned in the last post I was a tester and absolutely loved making summer PJs- the timing was just perfect & let’s just say that I could become addicted, and have been wearing them in constant rotation ever since I snipped the last threads.

Fifi

A caveat in that these are from the tester patterns and I am not aware of any of the changes that Tilly may have made as a result of feedback.  But they will give you a good idea I hope.  They are obviously made up of a cami style top with french knicker type shorts.  The top has gently  gathered bust cups and uses bias binding to finish much of the top edge and create the straps.  A beautiful detail.  The front is also cut on the bias with the back, princess seamed in three panels.

Fifi

So I used some fabric I bought from my local fabric shop years ago as a double act – thinking of using the two together ‘at some point’.  The smaller floral design fabric is possibly a little more stiff than the bigger print but just about handles the gathered cups – but I think you want a lovely soft fabric to make these- avoid starchy crafting cotton!!

Fifi

I made the second pair using a silk/cotton mix that I had also been saving for something small & pretty- underwear or sleepwear, so was very glad to be able to bring it into circulation.

Fifi

I bought some lace to decorate it and it was quite expensive, but worthy of the adornment it would provide.

 

Fifi

 

Raves about this pattern for me have to be the cups (so pretty!) but also the way the elastic is attached at the top of the shorts- neat !  There is no elastic threading, but a two step zig zag operation which is perhaps one of the reasons why this is classified as an intermediate pattern – requiring a little more sewing experience to make – sewing on the bias, French seams and working with bias binding, but you can bet Tilly provides full & comprehensive instructions if you want to extend your sewing.

I love wearing both of these sets.  I do not ‘lounge’ in them!  But I wear them to bed & am impressed by the way the cups fit around you & almost helps anchor the top to stop it swinging around too much.

Fifi

And of course they complement my very luxurious dressing gown perfectly …

PS Don’t forget the special offer for this week only to get Bettine and Fifi as a bundle. :-)

bettine

Bettine dress

Tilly and the Buttons has released her summer sewing patterns – there is a dress, Bettine, and some summer PJs, Fifi.  I have been involved as a tester for both of these and today I am going to show you the tester version of Bettine.

Bettine

Laughably it seems as if I chose very similar fabric to the modelled shots on the pattern (NO- Tilly did not think my version was so super ace that she begged to use it.  Hahaha!)

So I had this length of kind-of-chambray-but-with-unknown-polyester-perhaps-content that I bought for something silly like £2 per metre from a shop near Goldhawk road known to Jane and Janene….and when the drawings came out for Bettine, I knew it was a match.

 

I don’t want to spend too long on sewing chat about Bettine, as Tilly may have changed some elements from the test version you see here- but you need to know that this is a gloriously comfy & easy to sew summer dress.  I think there is something of the “Seasalt” style to it with its Kimono sleeves & blousey bodice & gathered waist.  It would look good with a long sleeved top underneath as a layering dress too.  And I have worn it with dotty leggings on cooler days.

Bettine

I made the version with pockets just to put the pattern through the testing, & of course I’ve ended up with rather a lovely casual (but practical) dress.

Bettine

It really is easy to make & wear.  I love the tabbed sleeves and the way that the waist is gathered with elastic.  I have made dresses with a waist elastic or a drawstring that are a pain to mark the position of the elastic/ drawstring casing.  Tilly’s design is genius in that the casing is made by the seam that joins the bodice to the skirt.  Simple!

Bettine

All in all a successful test, maybe I need a slightly bigger size in my upper chest however, something I would look at next time.  Forgive the slip making itself known at the hem & the creasing – let’s say that if there is polyester in this fabric there is not that much!

Bettine

This week only you can buy a bundleBettine with Fifi!  Wowser!  I’ll show you my Fifis (if you show me yours….!  No, sorry couldn’t resist) I will show you my Fifis later in the week.

 

sewing room

I love my sewing room

I have been meaning to show you my sewing room for a while now, but it seems particularly timely as life has suddenly taken on a new whirlwind – as from last weekend I am planning to move.  Gulp.  A mixture of emotions as it is a positive in terms of my future, but I absolutely adore my light, bright house, its west facing garden, my neighbourhood on top of the hill which has a different climate than the city, and also my lovely neighbours.

sewing room

I’m not able to listen to any sad songs – isn’t that funny – it all has to be upbeat & cheerful!  And having just got my sewing room how I want it, I am now having to face the prospect of leaving it.  Wherever I move to will HAVE to be large enough to house my sewing equipment in a space of its own, but I may may never have such an awesome space again.

sewing room

I used to have the loft room as my den, but then I recognised the truth – use the best room for the thing you do the most.  I mean, sewing in a conservatory that looks out on to my garden.  I can watch the birds feeding, the squirrels visiting, the weather in all its glory.  Have you ever experienced a thunder storm inside a glass house?  It’s incredible!  Even hearing the most normal of rainstorms is a primeval experience rather than a cause of depression.

sewing room

The LIGHT from all the glass makes me feel rejuvenated.  It’s such a healing place- both the light & also the activity that goes on there!

sewing room

So the set up in my sewing room allows me to have my sewing machine and overlocker always ready to go.  The Coverstitch machine is almost ready- it used to be over the other side of the ironing board & was just that little too inaccessible  & fifty percent of the time the lazy badger in me found it too much of a hassle…but that was also something to do with the long time we got to value each other – but that’s another story.

sewing room

Check out this sewing machine tidy, made by Emmie, as a Secret Santa gift.  I don’t know what i did before I had this – it’s so useful for keeping all my smaller sewing tools handy & tidy.

My ironing board is perfectly located to the side of my sewing machine- I can swivel my chair to press.  I use the sleeve board a lot, and all my essentials are hung up either on hooks or in cups to the right.  Most of the organisation is from IKEA as well.

badger

The desk is the absolute business for sewing.  t’s from IKEA, but no idea if it is still sold.  (I can’t find it)  It has a glass top with space underneath to put instructions underneath without getting in the way of my sewing.  It rests on trestles with deep shelving- great for books but I am using them for boxes & baskets to keep my projects in as well as my spools of thread.

sewing room

I do share it with Merlin & have had to come to terms with his rotation over ironing board, swivel chair & even the desk as his rest space.  He seems particularly fond of the ironing board when he is wet …..

sewing room

Down the other end of the conservatory I have my dresser filled with sewing books & magazines, and then one of those comfy Poang chairs from IKEA.  I do more than just sew in this heavenly space. :-)

sewing room

There are a couple of downsides.  Far be it for me to ignore those.  First of all it can actually get too hot to sew.  And too bright.  Full sunshine & I have to squint & have had headaches.  So that is why i have a sunhat to hand.  i put it on to avoid heat stroke.  And then the heat means that countless plants bought for the conservatory frazzle.  That’s why I have cacti.  And an artificial plant!  And finally.  The dead.  It becomes a cruel dying place for flies, wasps, bees, mayflies & butterflies.  I try to help them escape, but they do have a tendency to fly high.  And I am short.  But it makes me happy when I can grab a sieve from the kitchen as a makeshift butterfly net & assist a bid for freedom…

sewing room

That’s my old iron that I thought I could keep for ironing interfacing & avoiding messing with my new iron’s soleplate.  But actually what I tend to do is fuse interfacing with the press cloth in between.   There are also GU pots there with buttons…

So anyway, I have been & shall be in that crazy selling house / moving house/ looking for a new house place & will also be back to marathon training again next week.  (The last one for a while!  the end of October 2015 will draw this craziness to a close).  So I can’t predict what the next few months hold in the excitement, but I am already pooped after a full on weekend doing DIY, deep cleaning & all those things associated with selling.  Sewing time will naturally have to reduce, I will of course have sewing to reward myself for keeping the chores under control & my moving plan on target!

Feature

The Buchanan dressing gown – very posh- my own slice of luxury

I mentioned before how Amy at Sylkotwist was the influence behind me buying the Buchanan dressing gown pattern by Gather.

Buchanan

Luxury is…a pot of tea on a Saturday morning in the garden *in a flouncy gown*

I had been mooning around wishing I had a better summer dressing gown, one that works for the majority of summer when the morning sun isn’t blazing through the windows & provides enough gentle warmth by wrapping itself around you when you need it, & floating, billowing out behind you when you don’t. Something that is not the fleecy winter dressing gown, but a bit more than my above-the-knee kimono which is pretty good for heatwaves.

Buchanan2

Fabric though eluded me. I had a certain aesthetic in mind in terms of quality (plenty of drape essential for ‘flouncing’) but of a pattern that harked back to vintage dressing rooms. It didn’t have to be ‘vintage’ but I knew the kind of colour combination I wanted & the scale of floral. The grey floral I bought from Croftmill is lovely, but is too sheer – it is a chiffon. (Wait until you see what I made out of it instead!)

Buchanan3

And then I found myself in the Clapham shop belonging to Sew Over It. Of course there would be something suitable here. The website shows such a fine array of rayon/ viscose that I knew I would be taking my future Buchanan home with me. I almost chose this one. But the fabric I took home is not online by the look of it. You’ll have to go into the shop! A beautiful navy floral. I needed to get a contrast for the collar, cuffs, belt & pocket top & matched a plain navy poly lining in my local fabric shop – being able to make sure it had the quality I was looking for to work well with the floral viscose.

Buchanan16

 

So I cut it up pretty quickly after purchase as this is something I had an immediate need for. I added 30 cm to the length as this pattern usually hovers around the knee perhaps?

Buchanan1

This is my first Gather pattern, and I liked the envelope for starters – it is robust & has a gusset so that your pattern pieces, never the same once you have to refold them, easily fit back in.

Hanging loop

Hanging loop

I had a feeling it would be nice to make it up & wasn’t wrong.

Lovely instructions But it was the order of the construction that I liked. You start by getting all the ‘bits ‘ ready- sewing the belt & hanging loops, prepping the pocket, sewing the cuffs onto the sleeves.

 

And then you make the gown, with everything ready waiting for you.

Buchanan9

French seams

– I varied slightly by using French seams throughout as the fabric is fray-heavy- both types.

I loved the way the belt loops are caught in the side seams.

Buchanan11

Finishing the hem of the front contrast

I also finished the hem of the front contrast collar as you would the front facing of a shirt rather than turn it up as part of the hem.

Buchanan12

Securing the facings (front & cuffs) can be done with the machine & some nice top stitching but because my thread was not a brilliant match I hand sewed them all – it took 2.5 hours, but a great thing to keep my hands busy whilst sitting in front of a film.

The only thing I would change- is the pocket placement- my fault- the pattern comes with options for both patch pockets and side seam pockets.  Well I chose patch pockets, because of the contrast top, but only wanted one.  And even though I thought I’d got it on the right front, it turned out that it’s the left!

Buchanan15

I love the luxury of wearing this gown though….the satin contrast feels amazing next to my neck, and the gown itself is so light & yes, it can billow (not that there was a breeze when the photos were taken).

Buchanan13

And that bow!  How can you not look at a scrumptious satin bow & not think “posh”?

And I always store away ideas for sewing gifts & making up a Buchanan dressing gown for someone special is now also on my list.

Sun beams

Derby dress by Christine Haynes

feature

My seaweed told me there might be some sunshine heading our way, all the motivation I needed to make up the Derby sundress by Christine Haynes, bought recently from SewBox.

 

derby dress

 

And what’s more it ties in rather nicely with the Sundress Sew-a-long hosted by the effervescent Heather B for the months of July to August.  Now there’s a Flickr group to celebrate our makes, but since Flickr joined forces with Yahoo, it’s become one extra login too far & I never ever remember my Yahoo details, and have given up on Flickr.  So I shall be hashtagging a teeny bit in Twitter and Instagram instead.  (#sundresssew15 )
Handmade By Heather B

So back to the story of THIS sundress…..I had earmarked some fabric, an end of roll that I bought from the Fabric Godmother, during one of her big sales-( there is a sale going on at the moment – remnants ripe for the picking– as long as they haven’t sold out, the reductions are pretty impressive. )  Back to the Derby though.

Remember I was inspired by Florence’s so much so that I kept the memory alive using my less than perfect hippocampus, which shows the impression it must have made on me.    It is an a-line shift, quite baggy really, made out of six panels providing princess seams.  The spaghetti straps are part of a neat neckline finish, that also incorporates a facing.  I think it works well.  There are different embellishments available- a peter pan collar, a deep hem ruffle- but I liked the idea of the upper ruffle & the fact that it would be made out of a busy print suggested that it would not be too frou frou for me.  (Much like Flossie’s)

Despite this being a relatively easy make, I made a few basic errors.  The notches are less identifiable than I am used to – they are a bit smaller & stick out, not in from the pattern edges- you need to look out for them & you’ll be OK.  I was a little less vigilant & ended up sewing the wrong seams of panels together more than once!  Tssk!

derby

But saying that, it still came together nice & quickly, a lovely weekend project, dreaming of being able to wear it in *summer weather* was making me feel all excited, although nothing is predictable when it comes to the weather….

derby (3)

I made the effort to remove one of the needles on my overlocker to do a lovely rolled hem on the edge of the frill, rather than turn a narrow hem.  Oh I know, it is not a lot of effort, taking one of the needles out, it’s all in the head sometimes.  And so worth it – what a lovely frilled edge.

Looking at the pattern’s image I am not sure I got the belt I was expecting- mine is narrow, perhaps half the width it should be!  Not sure what happened there!

derby (6)

The only other adjustment I made was to the upper side seams – the armhole at the front gaped a little, so I took a small triangle adjustment out of the front only, keeping the back seam the same.  It’s taken away the little gape.

Hmm, not so sure the strap placement is right?!!

Hmm, not so sure the strap placement is right?!!

If you come to make this yourself I would be aware of the length.  I used the hem allowance given – 2cm perhaps? and it is just a tad shorter than I was expecting.  Not really a problem for me as it is all about the sundress- but I am 5’3″ so it could come up quite a bit shorter if you are taller than me.

I have been able to wear it twice already since I made it (hurrah!!!!! for sunny weather) & it really does fulfill my requirements of a sundress: cool (mustn’t be too close fitting- plenty of air circulation), strappy & pretty with a tan 😉  But you will not catch me ever wearing it a la tent….the belt stays!

Frogess

And meet Froggess- virtual sister of Heather’s constant companion, Froggie.  She is super cute & has some amazing expressions & abilities.  My neighbours have  made over 100 so far to raise money for charity.  Last weekend I gave them a couple of bags of scraps large enough for them to make another thousand (hahahha, maybe not that many, but they will be busy & it certainly gave me a good reason to get rid of some favorite remnants).

Now it’s Friday, & I took a day off work for sun!  The weather report was just too good to pass by an opportunity for some sunbathing- in my retro lime green bikini.  And until I hit the lawn, whilst I could be wearing the Derby sundress, the tomato shorts are on!  (In fact, I’m wearing the same outfit, Signe halter top as well.  )

Barrie Boy Cut Briefs !

Just a quick one and a chance to see my underneathies!

I love trying out new underwear patterns and sometimes making smalls is just the job for a satisfying journey into practicality with a little experimentation thrown in.

Barrie

Why experimentation? Well despite increasing the success rate (ie wearable) of my hand made pants, I still feel unable to predict the success of each fresh pair I cut out to sew. Maybe that is because I tend to use fabrics in my stash and dig out ‘any old’ stretch elastic I have in my strecth elastic stash. The result has created some baggy saggies that feel a bit mismatched, and also some brighty tighties that are just plain uncomfortable but only a waste of the hour I spent making them.

The back

The back

My favorite pants pattern up until Barrie has been the Rosy Lady shorts by Cloth Habit. They are free! And the success rate is highest for me with this pattern & I understand the odds better matching elastic & fabric with this style. But then along came Barrie Boy Cut briefs, from Kitschy Koo.

Barrie briefs

Barries are shorts too, designed to hug underneath those buns, & not cut across cellulite thus resulting in a far less likely incidence of the dreaded VPL. The pattern has two options for rise, but I have made low rise. What’s really different about Barrie is that they do not use any form of elastic but are constructed using fabric bands – much as binding off a neckline. Therefore if you are a little nervous of applying stretch elastic or FoE (Fold Over Elastic) these are the pants for you – entry level pants. ?Trainer pants? Er, that might give the wrong impression, but they are easy to make!  I made mine all on my overlocker.

barrie briefs 2015 collection

These are all the pairs of Barrie briefs I have made since originally being asked to test them months ago now. And they are amazingly comfortable. I think you could use stretch elastic instead of the bands if you wanted to – in fact I will try that one day, but for now, I have just been enjoying whipping up a portfolio of these – not quite one for every day of the week, but nearly!

And you don’t have to make them so vibrant, but there was something very inspiring about this pattern &  in the company of other testers who also use Amanda’s most awesome fabrics (I mean superhero cat pants anyone??)  that made me want to deploy some of my favorite tshirt scraps into undies!