It's been a while since I've sewn anything at all really but particularly for myself. I got pregnant with baby no. 1 in July '18 and didn't want to make maternity wear, partly because I didn't know how big I was going to become and also because I had such horrible nausea and pelvc pain that I didn't really feel like doing anything at all for the whole nine months! After the baby was born I didn't want to make anything until I was back to normal size because I didn't want to cut a pattern to a size I would have to replace later. Then I became pregnant again in July '19...
So it's been nearly two years! I thought that I would start simple with the Hepburn Top from Charm Patterns. I haven't used any of Gertie's patterns before but they do look amazing on instagram. I plan to make a suit out of the Stanwick skirt and Princess coat when I've lost a few more inches.
A pretty simple pattern to follow and it does fit as expected. Very easy to sew up and has lots of variations. I chose a harder one: the pussey bow.
Although when you have as small a bust as I do and you are making a striped top, it's probably worth moving/getting rit of the dart (it's stretch fabric so you'll still fit) so that the stripes line up.
I ignored the advice about how to make the stripes look funky and chevrony because I wanted horizontal stripes so I took out the centre seam as that was one more seam to line up stripes down that I didn't need. In hindsight, that seam would have really helped in lining up the pussey bow.
For a very simple pattern, the cross over at the back collar is very fiddly. I think a beginner would struggle. I found it quite tricky and am not entirely happy with the result: I've got about 2mm of white visible that shows I didn't line up the stripes properly. Stretch is a cruel fabric for something that you might want to unpick (you can't!). The front is also a little messy; even with the top stitching to hold it down, the inside facing is visible at the pussey bow knot because the knot becomes too heavy. Next time, I will put in a large facing at the collar so that it looks neat. It's possible that this wouldn't be a problem with a slightly heavier weight fabric.
Overall, it's a very pretty and versitile pattern and I'm looking forward to trying some of the other styles. I'd recommend the beginner doesn't start with a pussey bow or one that crosses over on the back collar. The instructions are well-written and there are good diagrams. Also, there are lots of styles to inspire you on Instagram.
I always find stretch fabric a bit tricky to stitch with: it can gather under the sewing machine foot bery easily. To release this, you can lift the foot regularly during sewing a seam but make sure that the needle is in the fabric! I sewed it with a narrow and short zig zag stitch. (B, 1.5mm) and then finished the seams with a zig zag (E) and hemmed with yet another zig zag (D 1.5mm).
I sewed a size 10 US but once I've lost a bit more baby weight, I expect I'll want a size 8. I'm normally a Vogue pattern 14. It needed 1.4 m so I bought 2 m of lightweight knit in nautical stripe.
I'm very pleased with how the stripes line up. Remember to line them up a SA away from the edge, not at the edge.
I'm pleased with the result! I like the stripes: it looks very fun and summery. And I have some fabric left over so I'll be making some outfits for the girls. We'll look so cute at all the summer barbeques that I won't be attending because of lockdown.
I've been making face coverings as part of Big Community Sew. I used the Tilly and The Buttons pattern on: https://www.bigcommunitysew.co.uk/
I made 4 for the household and 13 for the neighbourhood. I left them on the gate and they were all gone in a day so hopefully they were useful!
You can make 2 out of a fat quarter and some elastic or ribbon.
I made a hepburn top from some lovely nautical stiped fabric and had some left over so am making outfits for the girls. This was made with the very last section of the scraps. I had about 30cm x60cm and some long thin strips left so I decided to make a pussey bow tunic to match the pussey bow top. I didn't draft this as a pattern and just kind of winged it. So I made the shoulder seam by folding the rectangle in half and then cutting out the head hole! I used a t-shirt to get the approximate size. It seems to have worked.
1) Fold the rectangle in half and mark where the arm holes are.
2) Hem the arm holes.
3) Sew the side seams
4) Hem the bottom
5) Cut the neck hole.
6) Pin the pussey bow strips lightly to the neckline to see how long then need to be.
7) Fold the bow in half, right sides together, and sew the bow sections. Turn right side out.
8) Attach the neck sections of the bow to the neckline.
9) Top stitch around neckline.
I used a narrow zig zag for the seams and top stitching (B 1.5mm), a wide zig zag to hem (D 1.5mm) and an overlock style stitch to finish the side seams (E).
And the full stripey look paired with some leggings!
Today is just the sort of sunny day when every gal needs a pair of Pokemon shorts to slouch in!
I've loved Pokemon since I was a child and wanted to be a Pokemon trainer when I grew up. I drafted the hoodie pattern a while ago, it was the first fully-drafted top I made for myself but I had some spare fabric left over so what to do but make some shorts too!
Hat and pin the tail on the Pikachu left over from my hen do...
I used the Stella jogging trousers pattern from Tilly and the Buttons Stretch! book, shortened the shorts and replaced the waist band with ribbing instead of fleece. I also added about 1 cm to the width of the shorts.
One thing to say about the pattern is it is snug. I like a loose tracksuit trouser if it is made of fleece, otherwise it's a bit of a bulky legging. The model in the picture must have quite skinny thighs or be wearing a size or so larger than the suggested fit. This isn't too much of a problem with shorts but you may want to edit them if making full length trousers. They are also designed for short legged people, based on where the knee was supposed to come to, a 5ft10 person would have to add about 4" to the trousers so the ribbing reached the ankle.
Overall though it did fit: the waist and the hip measurements were good and the shorts fit pretty well.
I wonder if Pokemon Go! still works? Off the find some long grass....
I am very lucky to be going to a ball next month because, like the Fairy Godmother, I love an excuse to make a ball gown and have been enjoying rustling around the house in it.
I had a look through a Google image search for 'ball gown' and decided that I wanted to use some sort of chiffon. To eBay! I found the most gorgeous chiffon that was nearly clear and had roses printed on it with some 3D roses sewn on. It was either going to be simply amazing or ghastlily tacky. I had to have it!
At first I was set on a floor length maxi dress with empire line, although in the end, it was lucky that I didn't choose that as the fabric came in precut 1m lengths, which was terribly annoying and means I have more seams than I would like. But after thinking more carefully, I settled on a 50s style gown. The skirt is full circle with fake silk dupion underneath a layer of the lovely chiffon. There is a silk(ish) bodice that makes the dress look strapless and then just a chiffon layer over the shoulders and collar. I though about adding sleeves but decided against it in the end.
I draughted the circle skirt, but needed slightly different patterns for the chiffon than the silk as I could cut the silk on the fold in two halve but had to do quarters for the chiffon, meaning there is an annoying centre front seam (GAHHHHHH!).
To make the bodice, I adapted the Famous Frocks Grace Kelly Dress, lengthening the bodice by 1" to bring it closer to the waist and also adding a few mm as I have just been on an all inclusive holiday and am slightly larger than I normally am. This will also allow more movement for dancing.
I couldn't decide whether to go for pale green or pale pink for the silk, either would have worked, but in the end I went for full princess pink. The theme for the ball is 'fairy tale' so I don't think it's OTT.
The chiffon was quite difficult to sew, not just because it was slippery but also because I used plastic invisible thread, which looks beautiful but is very friction-full. Even at a very low thread tension, it puts a lots of pressure on the needle, bending it out of shape. I went through 4 needles this project! But the results are worth it.
I finished it off with an incredibly full net petticoat that I purchased, rather than made because it's just not time economical to mess around gathering all that net!
I'm pretty pleased with the finished result!
You rip what you sew!