Category Archives: Dressmaking

Simplicity 2446 Feature

My polka dot blazer, Simplicity 2446

My first version of Simplicity 2446, an amazing fit pattern, to create my attempt at Boden- the polka dot blazer.  I made this a while ago now, and have only just got around to blogging about it….this jacket has turned into such useful Spring outerwear and as the summer fades it’ll again be something that I grab for on the way out of the door, with jeans mainly, and maybe one of those cotton scarves….

Simplicity 2446
This is quite a long piece. Should I have split it? I’m not sure. Didn’t realise how much I’d have to write until I came to review it afterwards…so get a cuppa and put your feet up. Or just skim or not. As suits!
So time to tell the story of my ‘wearable muslin’ or the test jacket I made but hoped would be good enough to wear. This is the pilot before I make Tweedy out of my purple houndstooth Harris Tweed.  ( This is on my sewing plans for the Autumn )

Simplicity 2446

I looked for some cheap as chips cotton with a bit of weight, prepared to use calico until I saw that this cotton, with polka dots was almost as cheap. How can that be possible? Still, having seen Carolyn’s beautiful polka dot blazer using the same pattern, simplicity 2446 , an amazing fit pattern, the idea was hatched to make me a Boden style jacket.

Simplicity 2446
I did even cut up some sheeting to make a very rough toile before cutting into the polka dot. (Makes a change doesn’t it?!) At sheet stage, there did not appear to be any glaring fit issues. And I know that toiles should be made out of similar type and weight fabric, but I wanted to get an idea that I was cutting the right size. The amazing fit patterns all have 1″ seam allowances included in key fit zones to allow plentiful letting out & additional shaping, so I felt this was not too risky a strategy. It also allowed me to practice constructing the details before laying into my posh tweed.
My plan evolved to optimise time with my Mum in Cornwall, bringing basted jacket with me so that I could benefit from sewing guru’s fitting skills to help me customise my jacket pattern. In the 5 days that I had there as my holiday I managed to squeeze in a few short ( for me ) sessions so that I could take away the completed polka dot shell with me, knowing that we had worked through the fit and it *seemed ok*.
It is strange that an amazing fit pattern with all of the extras to help achieve a custom fit- wide seam allowances, sections in the instruction on common fit alterations- was not actually needed as I think this fits me just about out of the packet. I made a size 10 at bust graded to a size 14 at the hips. This is usual for my body shape. I also wanted to make the longer length as this seemed more like the classic blazer….and suitable for my heirloom Tweed jacket.  I did not want it too snug as I wanted to be able to wear some layers with it too.
So let’s talk about the jacket then?

One thing I rarely do, but always do for something like this, is transfer all the markings with tailor tacks. Ok some of them fall out by the time I get to the sewing, but the rate of loss is better than if I just used pins.

There are some lovely details for an almost tailored finish. As with the other amazing fit pattern I’ve made ( chinos using simplicity 1696) there are extra ‘amazing tips’ presented in the pattern instructions if you want to get a bit closer to some of the nice finishing details. For example, applying fusible interfacing at hem edges and also across the upper back and upper bodice – certainly at hem edges this provides a nice bit of extra structure.

Adding the piping

Adding the piping

Also having seen Carolyn’s awesome pop of even more colour with the addition of some contrast piping between facing and lining, that too was an amazing tip I took on. Check out the cute play of colour with my shiny green bias. I did not add piping cord per se, just used the satin bias ( left over from my abundant supply purchased for my tartan circle skirt).

img_0204

On the subject of the lining, do you like? It’s GOLD and has little polka dots and ‘w’s all over it. Oh ok, apparently they are ‘m’s as this lining was a Max Mara end of line that I bought from Ditto fabrics when I was in Brighton last April. I’d hunted Ditto out, determined to visit and what a treat. Set in the fabulous North Laine area I found heaps of inspiration and shopping temptation. And then there is Ditto. yay !. I did purchase some other fabric, but was drawn to this lining (yes it’s still on sale!) by someone’s little boy whose hand had glided over its silky goldness, saying ‘look Mummy, it’s so shiny’. Ok, got me, I listen in on conversations between children and parents, but if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have also been drawn to this most beautifully perfect lining. Dots and ‘w’s?! At the time I’d not bought lining for my blue polka dot jacket. I just knew when I saw this egg yolk satin that the wait was over. When I cut it out, I allowed an extra 2″ ease in the centre back and created a little pleat at the centre back to allow for ease. I didn’t want any feeling of splitting lining when wearing it!
More jacket details?

Check out the pockets. They are welt pockets ? Oh no they’re not.

The princess seaming, as well as creating a sleek shape, ( different cup sizes on this amazing fit pattern) allows side pockets in the front seam under the pocket flaps.

Simplicity 2446

It’s a really nice finish, but wearing it, I’m still expecting proper welt pockets under my flap. To achieve this in my Tweed jacket would involve starting with a different pattern I think- one without princess seams otherwise there’s just too much going on with a welt pocket, under a flap, crossing through a vertical seam.   But having thought about it some more I am less sure, and might try to keep the princess seaming and just add welt pockets….do you think that would work?

Even more lovely details? The sleeve packets are pretty awesome. They are almost non faux. They almost operate as sleeve plackets. They are lined and everything. I made buttonholes in them, but didn’t bother slicing the buttonholes as why, if the buttons are just going to sit on top of them? Can I show you something I really enjoyed sewing?

Simplicity 2446
The sleeve hem. It’s cut with the edges shaped to provide a perfect mitre. Oh pure joy.
I’d read that there might be some easing difficulties when it came to work on the collar and getting round those corners, but for some reason I did not come across any excessive swear moments. None actually. And I really liked the way that the upper collar attaches to the neck and blends into a lovely upper shoulder dart that hides under the collar….

Collar/ (under collar ) detail

Collar/ (under collar ) detail with shoulder dart

The lining is bagged and the pattern tells you how to do it. All machined except for one small bit of closing. The interesting thing is that instead of just one hole to use for turning the jacket in and out of, there are three- you leave turning holes in each sleeve and at the hem. It was less tricky to sew each sleeve hem through its own hole this way. Good trick I think. You can still machine the lining holes shut with care.  I’ve since used this approach with other lined jackets I’ve made.

Secret to a nice finish where the facing meets the lining is this staggered hem edge

Secret to a nice finish where the facing meets the lining is this staggered hem edge

What else am I chuffed with? Well I actually like the finish at the inside hem. That’s worked out well. Even my usual weak point, where the lining hem meets the facing. Looks neat enough to me. Next time I just need to make sure that my bias piping is turned the right way when sewing the facing’s hem – I’ve just coaxed it to sit the right way here with a couple of well meaning hand stitches.

Simplicity 2446
It took me a while to complete the jacket – last thing to add were the buttons, and I didn’t have them. I’d snaffled some options for the sleeve cuffs ( you need 6 of these) but didn’t have anything that could be used for the front, and therefore was reluctant to make buttonholes. So I wore this jacket, buttonless and buttonhole-less on my shopping trip….(complete with tailor tacks marking position of buttonholes for when I did come to make them. I don’t think the wispy bits of thread on the front showed that much….) & chose buttons whilst wearing it 😉
So I’ve now worn this jacket a few times. There is plenty of ease in the shoulder and upper back area. It is comfy. And I like wearing jackets and jeans. It kind of elevates the humble ( but much loved) Ginger jeans…. And now I’ve written it up, I’m looking forward to rekindling the experience for Tweedy.  A few other things to make first!

By the way, I’ve heard that there is a 10% off at Fabric Godmother this weekend running till Monday

august 10% discount

and 15% off fabric at Weaver Dee using code 15% OFF *All fabrics! Use code: HOLIDAYTREAT !  Half price Simplicity New Look patterns ends soon too.  If you feel like some fabric shopping this weekend. Hope you have a glorious bank holiday/ weekend folks…

daisy tunic ethel pants

Style Arc Daisy Tunic and Ethel Pants

So hello again everyone, how are you all?  I’m gathering a few thoughts today about an outfit I made especially for travelling.  This was also my first foray into Style Arc patterns – the Style Arc Daisy Designer Tunic and Ethel Designer Pants.  (Did the word ‘Designer’ in the name sway me?  Not really but it did generate a little confidence when I came to wear them!)

daisy tunic ethel pant

So when I saw this pattern duo I thought it would be great for travelling- you know when you have to be cool but need to cover up (modesty reasons perhaps) or even to wear in an evening that chills once the sun goes down.  Or something that is a great interface between a cool start & potential heat later.  Not my usual style I think you’ll agree.  However, this is what’s great about sewing – make new things to suit the occasion.  I bought these patterns , via Amazon’s Style Arc store of all places, during a Style Arc sale, however Style Arc runs monthly promotions where two patterns are often paired in a promotion (with a choice of free pattern) and it’s always interesting to see what they put together.

DAISY-TUNIC

OK, the patterns- the Style Arc Daisy Designer Tunic is long (like tunics are) with 3/4 length sleeves, a scoop neck and pockets if you want.  It has an interesting detail at the hem with a double folded hem (like two folds) and with fab angles at its side seams due to it being longer here.  I don’t know how to describe it!   Style Arc calls it a ‘double angled hemline’ there.  Succinct.

daisy tunic

I made it with some gorgeous fine Indian cotton from Ditto fabrics in Brighton – sadly no longer in stock.  It has burnt out ovals with embroidery.  Perfect for this tunic.

daisy tunic ethel pant

So the sewing was interesting.  Style Arc patterns do not have such detailed instructions as some other patterns, and rely more on diagrams.  I did have the odd head scratching moment trying to work out how the hem & the facing (to create the double hem) was sewn.  But I got it right first time.  Everything else was straight forward.

I have to say I love this tunic – I get complimented on it everytime I wear it.  It is cool and flowy.  and it looks great with the Ethel Designer pants….

ETHEL-PANTS

These are baggy, low crotched elasticated waist trousers.  But the Ethel pants are just a bit more sophisticated than pull on PJs.  The leg shaping has been carefully designed to give a cool ‘balloon’ shape, coming in at the ankle.  The elastic waist is managed with some small pleats as well, making it just that little bit more sophisticated (or ‘edgy’ as described on the website).  And they have pockets.  Yay.

ethel pant

They came together very easily.  It has to be said.  Well they would, wouldn’t they?  A very simple pattern, the secret is in the shaping.  And I wasn’t expecting them to be so baggy around the crotch & having such a baggy bum.

ethel pants (2)

Such a departure from my usual style but as long as I remembered they are deliberately ‘low crotch baggies’ – Indian style- I was OK .  Hot heat pants for sweltering climates when shorts are off limits.  I made them in a very light chambray from my local fabric shop (Sewing Studio, Bath).  I can’t wait to see what they would be like in an even lighter viscose.

ethel pant

I have worn the trousers with other tops as the Daisy tunic wasn’t ready for my Croatia holiday and I experimented with vests (showing off that baggy bum- gasp!) and my baggy boyfriend shirt, but I think it’s wearing them together with the Daisy tunic that I love the most.

daisy tunic ethel pant (3)

Photos have been shot on location (whoop whoop) in Prague and in Croatia.

 

 

The Day dress

The Day Dress by the Avid Seamstress

Why hello everyone!  Hot off my first day’s wear I give you the Day Dress by the Avid Seamstress The Day Dress

made from some of the most gorgeous glazed cotton from The Fabric Godmother when I visited one of the legendary Open Days back in April. (The fabric, let me say now is sadly sold out).

So I had seen the Day Dress pattern and not really registered until I saw Josie’s version in a floral  & then my tickle was fancied.  The Day Dress is essentially a classic dirndl – fitted bodice with gathered skirt.  But then I saw Josie’s floral linen viscose version   …. how might this differ from Simplicity 2444, that classic ? I was extremely fortunate that Lisa, the Avid Seamstress herself, was there at the Fabric Godmother’s Open Day to tell me about her pattern range and she gave me this copy to review on my blog – so you know therefore that I did not have to pay for this pattern, but have roadtested it for you 🙂

The Day Dress

The objective of the Avid Seamstress patterns it seems is to provide the gold star treatment for some classic styles that are aimed at those classic style-wearers amongst us!  Aimed at confident beginners wanting to improve with full support online.  The patterns are not cheap at £17, however they ooze quality- it does not feel as if anything has been scrimped on from the sturdy gusseted envelope (that one’s for you Frances! 😉 ) with string closure to the thick cardstock instruction booklet.  the paper pattern is of tissue paper but strong yet crinkly.  There are separate cards to explain sewing terms & measurements ( presumably to save you flipping backwards & forwards through pages of your booklet or grabbing loose bits of paper), making it easier to keep to hand to refer to.

The pattern as I said is a classic dress with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt.  There are three options for the bodice – buttons, centre front seam or plain bodice, no seam (the version I made).  It has an invisible zip and side seam skirt pockets.

s

The fabric I bought was of such pedigree that I felt beholden to make a bodice toile, of which I was grateful since I had to make my usual adjustments: a wedge out of upper CB, a small wedge out of the back shoulder seam (remembering to compensate at the underarmand a slight swayback adjustment too.  Having done this, everything sat beautifully, even with the resonably high neckline which always gives scope to show off a bad fit.

The Day dress

So I followed the instructions and was delighted to discover some novel approaches, despite this appearing to be a classic style.  Yes it has neck facings, it has pockets inserted in the usual way…

I freestyled here, sewing the outer facing right sides together to the interfacing before fixing, then turning and then ornong the interfacing to the facing ...

I freestyled here, sewing the outer facing right sides together to the interfacing before fixing, then turning and then ornong the interfacing to the facing …

but what I enjoyed was sewing a dress like this with sleeves inserted flat before sewing the side seams in one (like I would always sew a knit t-shirt).

The day dress

Even before this was another delightful method to achieve the most perfect gathers – ever– in – the -history- of sewing.  No double tramlines of gathering stitches,nay, not even a triple line of gathering stitches.  These perfect gathers are also achieved by using a method usually applied to knits (knickers anyone?)  In one word – elastic.  The length of your elastic is given for the size you are making,  then you apply it like you would to pants – attach each end, stretch to fit, then sew it, whilst stretched (but with a straight stitch) to your skirt edge.  I have to say it’s a sewing swoon.

The Day dress

Today was my first wear – a bit later than planned as I had taken it on my recent long weekend to beautiful Norway.

The day dress

Yes, I had thought that it being summer, a dress might be a nice addition to my luggage.  Sadly Norway is unseasonably *rather wet & cold* at the moment & as a result I lived in jeans, Ultimate trousers, socks & my kagoule.  I had not packed tights (for shame) so the dress had  a relaxing trip.  And there I was hoping to have some on location Scandi photos, but you’ll have to make do with my garden instead.  And some on location shots of what I did wear ..

It was a flying visit to Bergen and Stavanger, and there was a fjord trip, some sight seeing and plenty of good eating…and the clue for the visit is shown in the pic below …

NorwayBack to the dress …I wore it, as I said, today to work.  This is how it looks after a day of sitting around.  It is unscathed!  There is the perfect amount of ease – so comfy.  The waist sits slightly higher than my natural waistline & allows any beer bulges to become non-existent.  What a perfect dress just for that reason alone!  I can see this being a real favorite, wearing with a cardi & tights when the chill begins to fall.  I have to say the fit is now superb after my usual tweaks & it is likely to become my go-to everyday dress.   I’m not sure I’d try it with the other bodice variations as I like this classic style.  But who knows?

Remember I was given this pattern to review by The Avid Seamstress but all views are my own.

 

Yes, hello, and the new Rosie dress by Sew Over It, has been on my travels

No, I haven’t dropped off the planet…..completely.  Blogging I’m afraid has taken a bit of a pause as life’s just been too fab and busy. I’ve had some holidays which are bound to be revealed once I get my blog back on, I have also been working in a new job which has also been brilliant but takes my online stuffing out of me, and then I’m in my new cottage and it’s summer guys and I have the most tempting garden to just ‘be’ in….. So if anyone missed me, nothing sinister, and I hope you enjoy my curb appeal as much as I do- it fills me with delight each time I get home to be faced with Barbie blues and pinks….and my new bell….

Ok, now. Chance to show off the new pattern release by Sew Over It – the Rosie dress.  And I have a spare copy to giveaway if you bear with me.   It’s a sundress with option to make the skirt separately. The bodice has princess seams and a choice of straps and collar, and as with all Sew Over It patterns brings on a beautifully vintage vibe. The skirt is a beautifully full skirt with carefully placed gathered panels.  I was able to get my hooks in early because I was a pattern tester.

The sewing is as always guided clearly by well written instructions. But what a style eh?  And the fabric is a kind of viscose mix that actually wears really well as it doesn’t take the iron crisply ( and therefore doesn’t crease terribly).  It hangs beautifully and th pattern is just what summer means to me, I mean when in England can you wear white? It’s a rare occurrence and nothing looks better with white in my humble opinion, than a splash of turquoise.  And yellow.  Phewee.  I managed to find a piece of blue linen in my stash that matched for the collar perfectly. Now the fabric also came from Sew Over It and was provided for the testing, but sorry, it’s no longer in stock.

What I also really love about Sew Over It is that you can shop by garment for fabric , so here are the fabrics recommended for the Rosie dress.  So if I was to choose something similar in how it sends me into summer frenzies it could be this parakeet fabric or this linen with Spring blooms  


I have to say that I have had mass compliments every time I wear it.  And I like that the wider straps are aimed to cover bra straps ( I didn’t quite get mine lined up correctly but will get some help to adjust)

I’m not going to write too much as I am trying a new approach of fewer words to see if it helps me get my blogging back, so in summary this is a perfect sundress, and is modelled in Croatia on the island of Cres in the town’s picturesque harbour, populated by a huge range of wonderful restaurants.  I discovered that I do like squid as long as it is grilled ( not fried) and that red wine from the wine bar was on tap and was chilled.

Sigh….look at that sky! I have one more Croatia modelled make to show before I then embark on a unique outfit taken on location in Prague.  And this weekend I just might be gathering some more new makes in a very different location….

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer. I am sorry I have been totally rubbish at replying to comments, I’m almost tempted to switch them off but can’t for this one because hey, guess what, I have a copy of the Rosie dress pattern to send on to a lucky someone in a giveaway!! Just leave a comment below before 0800 GMT on Saturday August 13th and I’ll enter you into a random draw ! Or buy your copy here. Good luck folks !

the makery

Sewing Guide to Bath- the Makery

I’m slowly pulling together my Sewing Guide to Bath – my favorite things to do in this fabulous city if like me, you love to sew & love to be inspired to sew.  This is another instalment in my mini series currently includes the Sewing Studio, and the Guildhall Haberdashery, Sew and Sew.    Once I’m there I’ll collate it all into an easy to read blog post.  Next up is one of my favorite inspirational places, the Makery, a multi layered den of creativity.   Found within the lanes in front of the Guidlhall /Abbey in Union Passage, look for its bright yellow door!

Set in the heart of Bath in one of the old Georgian terraces  this is a hotbed of crafty dreams coming to life.  Here it is on the map.

It’s the kind of place with an atmosphere of wholesome crafting, and I can’t stop going all Enid Blyton writing words like ‘oodles of fun’ and ‘inspiration’ and, well, ‘making’ .

Make Aways

As a crafty emporium there are plentiful sewing goodies all picked carefully to delight: quality crafting cotton fabrics, kits ( the Makery’s own Make Aways as pitched on Dragons Den and made a huge success without Dragon interference or support!) ( eg lampshades, knickers, coin purses)

You can make all this with the kits!

You can make all this with the kits!

And guess what?  I saw a couple of the Makeaway kits when I was recently in Ljubljana, Slovenia- they have got legs!

Sewing goodies

And haberdashery – kit your sewing room out with hand picked favourites.

buttonssewing stores

 

And hitting the sewing world by storm last year, a display of espadrille supplies.

Espadrille kits

The Makery however is not just a retailer but a place to learn and it has a full programme of workshops for the beginner or the improver over a wide range of crafts. Sewing, crochet and lampshades are course regulars, but there are always new ideas being added such as fabric printing, chabby chic your furniture, upholstery and even mastering techniques such as inserting zips and buttonholes. They also host hen parties and courses for young people. I bet if you wanted to organise something for your friends you don’t have to be getting married to justify a Makery workshop just for you!  I have done  a few of the Makery courses – tie making, knicker making and also freehand machine embroidery.  All totally addictive & a massive way to indulge in sewing fun.  It all takes place here …

The makery

Through this unassuming frontage ( with staircase hinting heavily at what’s to be found inside) there lies a crafting tardis. The Makery emporium is found in the first floor but think of an old terraced house, with its interesting rooms and staircases over three floors and mezzanines. Each room has been accessorised and styled to create inspirational workspaces, decorated with vintage sewing machines, repurposed furniture  and sewing equipment and handmade touches that make you smile and want to get started making your own all at the same time.  I could not resist taking photos – so many ideas for decorating your home or even your sewing/ craft room.  Let me share them with you now …

the craft roomcrafty touchescraft roomsewing roomcrafty

vintage sewing machines

I bought the Makery book when it was launched 18 months or so ago and I recognised a few of the projects bringing some fun to the decor. Like the flying ducks….casually decorating one of the walls in a hallway

flying ducks

Oh and of course it’s the kind of place where you meet enthusiastic fellow creatives- both customers, workshop participants and the lovely lovely people who work there. And even Gorgeous Kate Smith, the owner who I cannot get enough of!!
The Makery has also a prescence in John Lewis, London, running workshops there too.  Perfect for those who love to make & love to be inspired.

the makery

All views are genuine and my own. I have not been paid to write this but just love it here!

new look 6100

New Look 6100 shorts- on location

Hello again!  Here are some shorts I made for going to Croatia.  New Look 6100.  And you know what that means?  I managed to get some gorgeous sickeningly beautiful location shots- same day as my swimsuit wearing at Orlec on the Croation Island of Cres.  (see previous post for my travel notes on Cres) Sorry…. blue sky & turquoise sea alert….seems such a long way from our current rain & semi autumnal week we have been having.

Orlec Croatia

So I have made New Look 6100 twice before – both versions.  They are a lovely style – a yoke waist, side zip & front pockets.  Two styles – a straight cut pair with a cuff – view A and the slightly flared version (almost culottes!) – view B.  I loved my pink pair the most, version A – the most -straight cut shorts with a cuff.  However (cough) I have added a few pounds since making these (it will drop off again once I am back training for September’s half marathon) – but wanting to avoid any kind of wedgie & discomfort in the heat- & knowing shorts are a pretty quick make – I squeezed a pair in before I went, adding a slither to most of the seams.

New Look 6100

I had some of this gorgeous polka dot chambray in my stash (remember shorts don’t take a huge amount of fabric!  Good stash busters) as I knew it would be a good mixer colour for various tops I’d be taking.  This time I did not have a well matching invisible zip so I used a regular zip & lapped it.  Looks fine don’t you think (sorry photo looks a little like I had the shakes of urgency- I think I took the pics just before packing!!).

New Look 6100

I love the hem cuff – it adds a little more character to the shorts & also gently holds the shape nicely.  I always edge stitch around the whole top folded edge just to make sure it stays in place.

New Look 6100

These are my dream shorts.  It is official.  I just love wearing shorts.  But you really have to have the weather to accompany them – I am not that desperate that I can be spotted accessorising them with goosebumps & socks.

New Look 6100No I like to wear them with a strappy top – bathe me in that sunshine!

New Look 6100And roomy enough to avoid any risk of a warm weather wedgie.

Hope you’re having a great week – are you dreaming of shorts-wearing, are you making shorts for your holidays?  Or are you lucky enough to be wearing them?

Me?  I’m still in my PJs as I have a few days off & I am going to do a hill training session shortly…..

And the winner with their dream outfit is…

Hello everyone!! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Wendy Ward’s Beginners Guide to Dressmaking by sharing their dream outfit using the patterns from the book. 


Wendy and I were so inspired by all of the thought that went into your outfits,go have a look at the comments full of heavenly combos on Wendy’s blog here and also there are a couple on my original post here.  It was a really tough decision and loved the way there was heaps of personality in your outfits too.  But we both agreed that Fraggle was our winner who dreamed up something we thought was the essence of what the book is about- stylish practical everyday clothes that are great basics to dress up and down.  

Ohh, definitely the zipped jacket in a black / charcoal faux suede (I just love the feel) with a bright jewel lining – maybe emerald, ruby, amethyst or a deep sapphire blue, and the shift dress – nothing beats a beautiful shift dress in a good wool crepe or maybe a crisp cotton – not sure what colour or pattern, but I may just venture outside my comfort zone and use something with a big loud floral print. I could wear it with the jacket for nights out, or without the jacket for work meetings in the summer months.

That said, the trousers and t-shirt would be incredibly comfortable for wearing whilst working at home – those trousers look so snuggly.

Well done Fraggle, the book will be in the post to you before the weekend. 

Bye for now! Back tomorrow with something new…. Have a good one 😊 

Maison Fleur swimming costume

Maison Fleur Halterneck Swimming costume- on location

OK this is a mash up of a blog post with some sewing chat (the awesome Maison Fleur Halterneck swimsuit) as well as a little view of my holiday photos (I’m taking you to the Croatian island of Cres).  I’m still catching up with everything, so apologies for not having replied to some comments earlier in the week yet.  First onto the sewing chat.

Have you been keeping an eye on the Indie Pattern Month (June) and the great pattern bundles that are being put together to promote Indie Designers, offer you some great value and also to give money to charity.   Not just pattern bundles there are also sewing contests, interviews with designers, and an annual pattern swap. Check it out here https://themonthlystitch.wordpress.com/indie-pattern-month-2016/

I have been checking out the Getaway Capsule bundle – there are two options – the basic bundle, and the extended bundle.

2016_06_IPM_Pattern Bundle 02_Getaway

The basic bundle

Contains three patterns – the Amber trousers by Paprika Patterns, the Warabi tunic by Waffle Patterns, and the Jacket Express by Islander Sewing Systems.  This is available like this for a limited time only – up to the 6th July 2016- details below.

Regular price for all three patterns is $36 USD. When purchased as a bundle, the three patterns cost only $21 USD, which means you save over 40%. (Insert an ‘ooooh’ emoji)

The extended bundle

Contains six patterns – the three from the basic bundle, and three additional ones.

Patterns included are:

  • Warabi tunic by Waffle Patterns
  • Amber trousers by Paprika Patterns
  • Jacket Express by Islander Sewing Systems
  • Ute dress by Schnittchen
  • Southport dress by True Bias
  • Halter neck swimsuit by Maison Fleur

Regular price for all six patterns is $67 USD. When purchased as a bundle, the six patterns cost only $33 USD – a saving of over 50%

Insert another ‘oooh’ emoji )

2016_06_Badge

And what’s more, sales go towards the designers and the nominated charity – more info at the end of this post about the charity and how to buy…

So the getaway Indie Pattern Sewing Bundle came at just the right time for me to make something to take with me to pack for my own little getaway. What a brilliant mix of patterns, I absolutely love patterns in this bundle, already have the Islander jacket (Just wish I’d got round to making it …!)

maison fleur swimming costume

I’d love to make all of them, but only had enough time to pick one before my hols and was sorely tempted by the Ute dress…but it was the Maison Fleur halterneck swimming costume that seemed the best option. I chose the one piece which has cute side gathers & the option to make it low back or high back. I chose to make the low back version which also has an optional supporting back band (which I most definitely needed).

I used some swimming costume lycra & lining I had in my stash- the cutest red & polka dots.

maison fleur swimming costume

You don’t need to line all of it, but I like to. (Although I realised this adds to drying time- a consideration next time).  And be prepared with plenty of elastic – it’s used all round the edges to finish them & also provide some tension.  Optional success story- the way that you can add elastic to the rouleaux makes it sturdy & uniform to look at as well.

IMG_5965

The instructions give guidance on how to sew the elastic- it’s a two step process, sewing the elastic to the wrong side edge, then folding over & finishing with another line of zig zag (I used three step zig zag).

 

I ended up using a tougher ballpoint needle than I started with as there are quite a few layers with elastic to sew through.

maison fleur swimming costume

So, sewing up was satisfying – working with something that’s relatively small & feels more complex than it actually is. It’s also nice working with the slinky swimwear fabric & its lining – feels like a quality sew.

The big surprise for me was trying it on – the fit is awesome – especially the bottom half – you can ruche the legs up (or down) as much as you prefer, but the way the cut hugs your buns is pretty perfect – it seems to hug right underneath without cutting across the flabby bits, I will definitely be making the bikini up in it as well!

It looks like the leg elastic flipped out on the right

It looks like the leg elastic flipped out on the right

I even swam in it & everything remained where I wanted it – in & out of the water afterwards!

maison fleur swimming costume

So whilst the instructions are pretty good, there are a few minor bits that I think could be improved- but if you have sewn swimwear before you’ll be laughing.

The pattern is a pdf & you can select to print only the size you want (or as many as you want) which is really great- avoiding all those confusing extra lines– saying that, to print off costume (with its two backs ) & the bikini version still produced about 60 pages of printing…how can something so small need so much paper…but that’s my only whinge.   I am sure if I was smarter I could have looked out which pages I needed just for the costume. But I was not that smart this time!

Attach the lining to the costume pieces before sewing seams

Attach the lining to the costume pieces before sewing seams

It was also a little unclear how to treat the lining if you are going for a full lining – here’s my answer – you need to attach the lining to all of the costume pieces as if you are underlining (ie stitch lining to fabric wrong sides together all around the edges close to the edge and with a longish straight stitch on your machine – then the lining is integrated & sewn as one with the costume pieces.

Maison Fleur swimming costume

And want a bit of info about the pics?  Can I tell you about this very special place we visited?  There will be more pics to come when more new outfits are revealed.  This is the Croatian part of our holiday where we travelled to the island of Cres.  It is apparently Croatia’s largest island & is so unbelievably beautiful.  It can be reached by numerous ferries but there is just one car ferry & we had hired a car & so arrived on the island at Porozina with a 45 minute or so drive along a sheep inhabited road to get to our accommodation in the town of Cres.  (More on the town in a later post).

 

We used Trip Advisor to get some ideas (I had absolutely no time beforehand to do any research ) – & whilst there are so many secret coves – some only reachable by sea, we saw this one at Orlec which was just a 15 minute drive from Cres.  We parked in the village and therefore had a 45 minute walk down the lane to the cove.  There is a carpark nearer the beach but we wanted to enjoy the scenery.  It was the hottest day we had in our week.

Orlec

The track down to the beach from the carpark was super windy & rubbly – a little steep in places & I have to say that my heart fluttered & breath escaped when I first glimpsed the emerald- to turquoise water under the protection of the craggy rocks.  It is here that the griffon vultures soar & we were so lucky to see a couple (or was it the same one returning) checking out the cove with graceful sweeps.  It took shelter high up in a shady spot & we saw it later heading off across the sea….so lucky.

Orlec

The water was crystal clear & totally warm enough for me to swim in – I have so many mental scars from bone chattering swimming in UK waters that I am a bit of a chicken now.  However this was serene.  And then I dragged myself out with the exception of my legs so that the sea gently swished over them as I sunned myself.  Pure heaven.  This beach has no shelter from the sun though so people there had either brought shades or were constructing them between the rocks. We were mad dogs & English men- of course….but were only there a couple of hours before a sweaty hike back to the village (it really was uphill all the way!) to then explore the island further.  It is beautiful.  Keep tuned for more instalments if you are interested.

Back to the Sew Indie pattern bundles – your questions answered ….

Where does the money go?

The money is split evenly between the designers involved, The Monthly Stitch, and a charity chosen by the designers. For the Getaway Capsule, the charity is Little Sprouts (website: http://littlesproutsnz.org/  ) Little Sprouts are a great charity run completely by volunteers. They provide care packages for families with new babies or small children who need support – people living in poverty, refugees, people fleeing domestic violence, etc. They give the families everything they need for their child – clothing, nappies, safety gear, even cots and buggies when needed, making an immediate difference in the life of the child.

The Monthly Stitch will be using their share of the bundle sale price to move the Monthly Stitch website to a self-hosted platform. This will mean lots more storage space for people to upload photos of their sewing projects, and it will also mean we can implement other community functions, such as forums.

 

Bundle sale dates

The Getaway Capsule bundles are on sale for two weeks only – the sale will be begin at 00:00 UTC on 23 June, and it finishes at 00:00 UTC on 6 July. Both bundles will be found here during the sale dates: https://themonthlystitch.com/

There will be sneak peeks of the patterns that will be included over on The Monthly Stitch Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/themonthlystitch/

 

Aviator shirt

The Ultimate Boyfriend Shirt – Burdastyle Aviator shirt 03/2012 #113B

Here I am, back from my hols- I have LOADS of new makes photographed on location so I cant wait to share those with you.  But as this is my first week back & I am kind of not at all sorted it’s lucky that I have my latest Minerva Blogging Network make to signpost you to- the Ultimate Boyfriend shirt – using Burdastyle Aviator Shirt 03/2012 #113B

Aviator shirt

This is the next instalment to how I achieved THE look (maybe) from the Burdastyle Aviator lookbook I hinted at last time. No, Hint suggests that it was subtle, this was not subtle. I blatantly wanted to emulate the style showcased in this particular lookbook. This one here. So I bought the skirt & the shirt. It is called the Aviator shirt. Take my Breath Away?

Worn with my pop up skirt this shirt is full of fab details.  Head on over to the Minerva Blogging network to find out more…..

Welt pockets!

Welt pockets!

And don’t forget there are just a couple of days until the competition ends to win Wendy Ward’s Beginners Guide to Dressmaking with the capsule wardrobe of patterns supplied that I adore.   Check out the book review and then head on to Wendy’s blog to leave your perfect combo that will make your dream outfit using the patterns from her book….you have until midnight GMT Saturday 25th June ….

I’ll be back soon with a barrage of sewing projects … I have a veritable Glastonbury festival traffic jam of them ….

New Look 6351

Boucle casual jacket- New Look 6351

New Look 6351 is a pattern that I have been interested to make for a while now and is one of the patterns I chose as my prize of the year’s supply of sewing patterns.  It was the jacket that I liked the most, it seemed a little like Grainline’s Morris blazer, but not quite so sharp.  It has a centre back seam, princess seams in the front & a casual flippy collar.  Of course I also liked the styling – linen trousers (but not with heels for me!) & the striped t-shirt.

New Look 6351

I am wearing jackets + jeans a lot at my new job & wanted to make yet another jacket up.  (I say ‘yet another’ because I have finished my polka dot Simplicity 2446 as well, and this is leapfrogging it in terms of blogging…) I wanted to choose some jacket fabric from WeaverDee (remember 10% off your order when you use the code ‘SCRUFFY’)  as I had been kindly offered to test some of their fabric out- I am familiar with their super extensive range of haberdashery & sewing patterns but haven’t ventured forth into choosing fabric from Weaver Dee and there is also quite a lot to choose from.  And at reasonable prices.  So, it was a jacket that I wanted to make.  I ordered a couple of samples and plumped for this purple tweedy boucle.  With matching lining.

New Look 6351

I had been slowed down in my choice when I read the fabric suggestions for New Look 6351 – it’s designed for stretch knits.  ***Post publishing edit**** I misread the envelope – it’s just the top that’s designed for knits. This is a jacket for woven fabrics****** That could have scuppered my plans, but I decided to make a toile (sleeveless) & to compare jacket pieces with a similar type (Channel style) jacket designed for wovens.  No I did not want to make a tweedy boucle Channel style jacket – that was too obvious!

New Look 6351

This jacket pattern is also unlined so I had to manage that too, but not a problem seeing as I had recently finished my polka dot jacket & was more in the swing of linings.  I cut the same pieces in lining, but with an extra 2cm down the centre back.  I also made life difficult for myself slightly by adding a combined back neck facing to the back lining.

I thought it would give a nicer finish to the neckline with none of the lining peeping out.

New Look 6351

It’s a really nice jacket pattern -the collar is joined on as part of the centre front piece.  I used a reasonably stiff interfacing, but it would have still been nice with a softer one I think.  It must be dead easy to make up in a knit!  But even in a woven plus lining it was a breeze compared to my Simplicity 2446 – so few steps in comparison – less details of course.

Plenty of ease

Plenty of ease

So in this particular woven it came together really well.  The toile did not indicate that there would be mass problems with fit – & all I had to do was to take extra out of the side front’s princess seam- once the jacket was constructed.  There was too much at the side front.

Adjustments to the side front

Adjustments to the side front

Apart from that, it was a joy & is rather cute.  Despite it being a woven made into a pattern for a moderate stretch knit, there is plenty of ease & I have worn it & worked in it.

New Look 6351

It’s a very wearable jacket and everything you need to make it is available at WeaverDee.

I was lucky enough for the fabric & thread to have been provided for me by WeaverDee but all views are my own.

What do you think?  Would you make it up in a jersey next?  Would you venture to try it in a woven too?

I’m actually on holiday this week, so sorry no quick replies from me & no other posts this week.  Remember the giveaway if you haven’t already entered it!