Saturday, 11 June 2016

I Spy a Floral Print!

Pattern Review: New Look 6301

I am addicted to floral prints! I would say a good 85% of my stash is made up of floral print fabrics. Following on from my last two garments (blogged here and here) I decided to stick with the current  floral theme and sewed up this New Look mock wrap dress

My sewing group are currently running a Summer garment sew-a-long and I thought that a this floral fabric would fit the bill. I did sew it knowing that Autumn/Winter time this will be paired with a cardigan, tights and boots so I am really classing it as a transitional item :-)

I cut a size 14 for this dress. For the top of front bodice pieces (i.e. the cleavage) I cut the size 18 lines as I knew that I would want a little extra coverage. This worked perfectly and means it is work appropriate without a camisole underneath - win! 

I changed the construction process slightly for the bodice. I attached the front to the back at the shoulders first so that I could fit and remove some excess (1") from the top of the centre back. My only other alterations were to remove 5" from the length of the skirt and I omitted the waist elastic. These last two alterations are simply personal preference and nothing to do with the fit. 

The fabric is a matte jersey purchased from a Daslton Market during a fabric shop with my sewing group at the end of November. I am pretty sure that I paid £2 per metre for this fabric (and definitely no more than £3!) 

There are some nice details in this pattern and I feel it is well thought out. I like the armhole and neckline bands to prevent gaping. I am a fan of the stay tape on the shoulders too. I know that the waist elastic is also there so that the dress holds its shape. When I make this again - which I definitely will! - I will lengthen the waist ties. For me they are a tiny bit short for my liking.

I used double stitched seams, overlocked stitched the waist seam and I left the skirt hem raw. This is a first for me (and if I am honest still feels a bit weird) but I actually like the way it looks. It means that nothing interrupts the soft drape of the jersey which is great. If I find it too upsetting then it will be no problem to hem it.

You can view my pattern review here.

Stay tuned for more floral prints (I might have a floral skirt currently on the sewing table...)
Anyone else's fabric having a theme at the moment? 

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Palazzo Pants

Pattern Review: Palazzo Pants Tutorial by Pinkchocolatebreak

Hello! Well my sewing mojo is well and truly back as here I am with another pattern review. This time with a DIY Palazzo Pants tutorial. 

I have a pair of super comfortable RTW pajamas that are like this and they are so great to lounge around the house with (in fact I rarely wear them to bed!) that I have been on the lookout for a Palazzo Pants tutorial. The tutorial says that they take 20 minutes. I am a slow seamstress so it took me 1.5 hours at a very leisurely pace from start to finish. 

There are a number of tutorials online but the one that I went with is by Pinkchocolatebreak. You need an existing pair of pajamas or pants to do this. I used a pair of slim legged tracksuit bottoms rather than pajamas and it worked out fine. I ended up having to take an inch in at the waist but other than that I had no other alterations. I didn't do any finishing on my seams as I was testing this tutorial but next time I would finish them with my overlock stitch. As I didn't want my pants any shorter I just turned up the bottoms and zig-zagged them. 

I do like the option to make the waistband the size that you want and as these pants are made from a stretch jersey the fit is pretty good and hugs you at the right places. Its worth mentioning that Pinkchocolatebreak has a number of fun tutorials but I think that nearly all of them are made from stretch fabrics so that there is less fitting involved. 

The fabric is a print jersey that I purchased from Simply Fabrics in Brixton for £3 per metre. The fabrics sewed up fine. I don't think that it is amazing quality and I suspect that the fabric may fade a little over time. However for these house pants it works really well and they are super comfortable. I am wearing them right now as I write this review!

You can see my Pattern Review here.

This is great no-pattern instant gratification and I sure that I will make these again!
Anyone else been sewing some speedy DIY tutorials? 

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Blouse Sewing

Pattern Review: New Look 6303

I have a lovely RTW blouse similar to this in my wardrobe, so when I saw New Look 6303 on sale I had to buy it. 

When I had a look at the pattern pieces I instantly knew that it would be wise to do a toile or wearable muslin. I picked up this chiffon in Dalston Market for either £2 or £3 per metre. It was a bargain and I was initially going to give it to my mum for Christmas. However when I purchased this pattern I felt that the fabric would really suit this top (sorry mum!). I underlined the chiffon with some black stretch fabric from Simply Fabrics for £1 per metre. 

So let's talk about the fit. I cut a size 12 and added 1" to the front and back length. I still find this top a bit short on me and will add at least another 1" when I make it again. My RTW top is also shorter than I would like so it's not too surprising. For the record I am almost 5 ft 8" so taller than the average UK woman. I french seamed everything for a neater finish on the inside. I had to re-cut the armholes as this made it a bit snug. 

When I make this again I am going to lower the neckline as I find it too high on me. Another note for a future make is that I would include a swayback adjustment. You can see on the photo below how the fabric pools in the back area. Finally, I read some reviews of this pattern and went with the suggestion to hem the back before attaching it to the front. 

This pattern is not a difficult sew. It has minimal pieces so doesn't take too long at all. The most challenging thing for me was handling the chiffon. Whenever I sew chiffon I am sure it takes me three times as long to do anything. However, I always feel that the extra effort is so worth it as I love the way chiffon falls and drapes. 

As far as a wearable toile goes I am pretty chuffed with this. I know that I will enjoy having it in my wardrobe and I already have plans for further versions! 

You can see my Pattern Review here.

I have some quick satisfying sews coming up so watch this space! 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Little Black Dress

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1609

Last Autumn my mum and I ventured to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace for the first time. I didn't come away with any fabric but I did leave with a free pattern - Simplicity 1609

As black is difficult to photograph and capture pattern details I have included a copy of the line drawings (courtesy of I was initially very cautious about sewing this type of pattern as A-line shift dresses can end up looking tent like on me. However as this was a free pattern I decided I had nothing to lose and gave it a go. 

I sewed this up in a size 14 and treated it as a wearable muslin. The pattern is unlined and I didn't bother with the facings for two reasons. Firstly I altered the neckline; I cut this as a V shaped neckline as I felt that the original design was too high on me. Secondly I was too lazy to cut a new facing pattern piece for a wearable muslin. Instead I finished the neckline and armholes with bias binding. The only other minor alterations I made were to omit the zipper (with my fabric choice it wasn't needed), remove 1" from the top centre back and to shorten the hemline by 3". 

The fabric is a ponte knit purchased from Simply Fabrics in Brixton priced at £3 per metre. Using a knit fabric for this dress did mean that I didn't have to fuss about the fit and construction. If made in a woven I would have to insert a zipper and I am 100% sure I would need to grade out a size on the hips. My last comment is that the pattern has you cut the front out as two pieces with a centre front seam. I felt that this was totally necessary and cut the front piece out on the fold. 

I actually have quite a soft spot for this dress. It is by far one of the least interesting items I have ever sewn in my life but I really like the shaping in the back and being a ponte knit it is so comfortable. Granted it is a bit tent shaped, but with a belt it ends up being quite flattering. This is in frequent rotation in my work wardrobe, often paired with my animal print cover up. In fact I already have some fabric earmarked for another version of this dress.

You can view my Pattern Review here. 

I have another project to blog and another on the sewing table. It's so great to have my sewing mojo back!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 16 May 2016

First Summer Dress of the Season

Pattern Review: New Look 6263

I don't seem to be doing very well on the blogging front as here is a dress that I finished at the beginning of April. This is a wearable muslin for New Look 6263. 

This pattern came into my life during a fabric/pattern swap with my sewing group. To be honest it isn't one that I would usually choose, but one of my good friends made it and it looked great and I also knew that it would be a nice dress to show off the drape and print of a fabric.

I cut a size 14 straight out of the envelope. For some reason I found sewing the collar a bit fiddly although there is nothing in the construction details that make it challenging. This dress is very tent like in shape so I only ever wear it belted. Therefore, if I were to make this again I would almost certainly make a swayback adjustment (you can see the excess fabric in the back). As this was a wearable muslin I didn't line it, but I did french seam the insides for a neater finish.

The fabric is  a polyester print picked up from a new fabric shop on Holloway Road for £4 per metre. I can't remember what they are called, but over the last year two or so fabric shops have popped up there so worth checking out if you are ever in the area. 

All in all this was a quick project and although I don't feel 100% about the fit I always receive lots of compliments when I wear it. I am in no hurry to make this again, but I am glad that it is in my wardrobe. It works well with tights and boots which makes it a nice little transitional item.

You can see my Pattern Review here,

How is everyone's Summer sewing coming along?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Jumper Dress Geometric Style

Pattern Review: McCalls 7194

I have finally blogged! So I have to admit I finished this dress back in January but haven't gotten round to posting it.

I decided to make McCalls 7194 as my sewing mojo had been low and I fancied some instant gratification. I cut a 14 all over and lengthened it to make it a dress. The only other alteration I made was to take off some of the length of the shoulders as the seam sat quite low on me.

The fabric was purchased from Textile Centre in Walthamstow priced at £2.75 per yard. I really wasn't sure about the fabric and I think that it is still growing on me. The fabric is a super comfortable sweater knit though so that makes up for it. 

This pattern is really easy as it doesn't include any notions, closures or darts. It all came together very quickly. I would definitely make this again and maybe try going down a size for a snug fit. I am sucker for cowl neck dresses as I really like the way they frame the face. 

I made myself hem this dress so I could pack it for my holiday to Budapest. It kept me lovely and warm and was so comfy! This pattern is fab quick make and a design that lets the fabric take the centre stage. 

I have another simple dress on my dummy that is waiting to be hemmed before I start on my spring and summer sewing!

You can view the Pattern Review online here.

Anyone else lost their mojo for 2016!?

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Cross Stitch Crazy

Pattern Review: Framecraft Handbag Mirror

My sewing mojo is still firmly in the gutter so I thought that this severely belated post about an instant gratification cross stitch project might make me feel better.

This was a lovely birthday present from some friends. It is a pocket mirror that comes with the patterns for every letter of the alphabet. You can currently purchase this online here. 

This was easy to complete and I did most of it on the train home to Bristol for Christmas. 

It was a great in between project as I started on my next large cross stitch project: Maia Fan Fair
This will take me an age but I am really enjoying it so far. This is what the finished project will hopefully look like!

Wish me luck! And also pray that my sewing mojo returns swiftly.

Happy Stitching