Ahem . Hello, it’s me again. Like the veritable bus – nothing for absolutely ages then three come at once. So how did I manage to be the first blogger in the fantastic themed appeal this year for the Eve Appeal charity? I think I felt I should not allow myself a long deadline, plus I wanted to make myself something wintry & that would not be helpful writing about it in the summer.
Last year the blogger tour raised lots of money for The Eve Appeal through pattern sales and awareness of women’s cancers in the sewing community.
Last year’s appeal was all around vintage sewing patterns , this year it is ‘The Cocktail Hour’ running from approx. March-November. McCalls have chosen a selection of their favourite Vogue Patterns suited to sipping cocktails. The idea, like last year, is that they are asking sewists all over the country to make one of the patterns, which will raise money (through the sale of each pattern) and awareness for the Eve Appeal charity
There is a festival of patterns – check them out here.
Now arguably I have gone off piste. When you look at the adorable patterns that I could have chosen you may have picked out a classic dress for me, indeed that would have been me in my comfort zone. And there are a few dresses I considered. However, this time I was driven by something different – what about some dressy trousers? Well, the pattern that enabled me to make some dress trews was Vogue V1415 – two cuts of trousers and two tops. It was the cowl necked top that drew my attention – and folks, it can be made out of a knit.
So my vision was to make a pair of black dressy trousers with the cowl neck top. Maybe play around with it to suit my form if need be.
The online store I immediately thought of for unusual evening fabrics was Croft Mill and it didn’t disappoint. I hunted down some tame gold lame – what does that term conjure up for you? I remember using the term ‘gold lame’ to encompass everything I wouldn’t be seen dead in as I would never have dressed up to go out, let alone in something shiny! But hey ho, times change! I occasionally have the option to dress up & wowser, I have my own gold lame! I catch myself brewing a bit of Shirley Bassey (on a good day), or failing that, Spandau Ballet ….(please tell me you know what I’m talking about…)
I love the dress trousers – they are also made from Croft Mill fabric –black chino fabric with 3% lycra– I wanted black with a tad stretch (to enable them to fit when my body moves between sizes). The slight sheen on the chino fabric is nice, but to elevate it to posh, I sewed some velvet ribbon along the side seams, like men’s formal trousers (or guardsmen’s trousers if you like).
This involved moving the zip to the back and making sure to sew the side seams first & attaching the ribbon before sewing up the rest of the trousers. I needed to sew two lengths of ribbon either side of the side seam so that I could include a little side split at the ankle. Incidentally, I did baste the trousers to make sure the fit was OK before sewing on the ribbon (unpicking the basting to leave just the side seams sewn to make a flat stretch of trouser to attach the ribbon.)
Now, V1415 has cigarette trousers as one of its variants, but since I know the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers always fit me, I compared the two patterns and based my trousers on the tried & tested Ultimates.
Now the gold lame…..what do you think? I was all prepared to customise it as I wasn’t sure if the asymmetric hem or tunic style would suit me so I played around with it once the sleeves and the cowl were installed. I took some pics to show what I was thinking. I also cut the length longer than the pattern so that should I cut it across horizontally, it already hit hip length.
Take One- the slightly longer than the pattern version:
Take Two: With a gathered side
Take Three: As if it was cut horizontally at the hip
In the end I think I made it up much as the pattern designed, but what do you think? I have not ruled out later changes….
Top tip – with this gold lame you really don’t want to be pinning it in places where the pin holes will show, so to play around with hem lines I used sellotape inside to fix the hem temporarily so that I could get an idea of what I wanted.
This ensemble is a quick make- & bear in mind that the world of cocktail dress sewing is usually a long path, sewing V1415 is a swifter option! I overlocked much of the top (the lame is a jersey don’t you know). And as it is a loose fit, the hems (sleeves, hem & cowl hem) are sewed with a regular straight stitch on the sewing machine.
The pattern has the odd flat felled seam which is a nice touch (eg at the back of the cowl). Altogether a designer feel (& it is a designer pattern from Tom & Linda Platt).
Hey guess what? Vogue McCalls will provide a copy of this pattern as a giveaway for one lucky reader – just register your interest in a comment before midnight GMT Saturday 18th March 2017 & I will pick a random winner.
And as it is cocktail hour there is a special cocktail (which I failed dismally to make- mine is a poor fake hiding behind Star Wars straws. I may have reached the early sewing deadline, but getting the provisions for the cocktail in time did not get fulfilled in the badger burrow, but the recipe is:
- 2x sugar cubes
- 6 x fresh raspberries
- 2 x lime wedges
- 2 shots of vodka
- crushed ice
- Ginger beer
- ‘Slim Jim’ glass
Place the sugar at the bottom of the glass then add the raspberries and the squeezed lime wedges.
Mash the ingredients together, crushing them to puree the raspberries, before adding the vodka. Add the ice to 3/4 full, stir to distribute the fruit & top up with ginger beer.
Garnish with a lime wedge to the side of the glass & a freesh raspberry. Add two [Star Wars] straws and enjoy! Chin chin!
So there is a big campaign around this and you can join in- why not host your own cocktail party?
Want to know who else is taking part in this ace campaign? I have no idea who is making what….keep tuned for some amazing creations from some of our favourite sewing bloggers:
2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
3. Portia Lawrie
4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line9
5. Wendy Gardiner
6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
7. Lucy Regan
8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
9. Nina Chang
10. Jen Sanders
11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
13. Kerry Patterson
14. Gabby Young
15. Abigail Norton
16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
18. Elle Harris
19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
20. Amy Thomas
21. Jane Marland
22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
24. Elena Rosa Brown
25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
26. Janene Spencer