Drapey Datura Blouse

I feel like I should tell you up front that this is probably going to be quite a negative post. It feels like I buggered up pretty much every part of this top.

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Mistake number one, my biggest mistake, was not staystitching. Not entirely sure what possessed me to think I could get away without staystitching when I was using the drapiest fabric known to man.

It’s really lovely feeling fabric but it was a nightmare to work with. It called itself viscose challis but it was different to other fabric I have that have called themselves that so I’m not sure which one is telling the truth. This one seems to have a visible diagonal weave that’s quite pretty but doesn’t photograph. As you might be able to tell from these photos it was a pain to press, all I seemed to be be doing was pressing creases into it.

 

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

I did a really poor job with the collar but the fabric didn’t take well to my unpicking it so it has had to stay poor. I think it probably would have benefited from interfacing but it wasn’t in the instructions so I didn’t. Though now I am second guessing myself about whether it was in the instructions or not.

datura-blouse-collar

I think I said in my post about my first Datura that I was going to try sewing the shoulders a different way this time, which I did. I tried to do it this way. It makes more sense with photos so you might want to have a look at that link but I’ll try to explain. Basically you sew the lining to the shell at the neckline and armholes on your front and back pieces. Then you turn only your front the right way out and slip it inside the back. You line up the shoulders and then sew them in the round.

Which was really bloody difficult. For a start it’s a very little space to try to fit a sewing machine foot. There are loads of seam allowances to try to keep in place and a collar to take into account. So my shoulder seams are a bit of a shambles. I also forgot that I’d understitched so it mattered which way round the back was. Sooo, my understitching is on the outside and I’m now calling it topstitching.

datura-side-view

But the biggest problem came when I’d stitched the main body parts to the outer yoke, sewn the side seams and then went to stitch the inner yoke down. The inner yoke was too small. At this point I considered having a cry and throwing it across the room but ended up just attempting to ease it. I think I’ve mentioned before how bad I am at easing. What could possibly go wrong?

A puckered horrid mess, that’s what. And the weird bubble above my bust that you can see in the photo above. And similar on the back as you can see below. It’s also clinging to my back fat ever so attractively.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse-back

I used the little pearly buttons that I didn’t use for my first version and I think they look really pretty with the grey.

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″ (These might not be entirely accurate anymore as I haven’t checked them in a while and I think I may be a smidge bigger now)

Size made: 40

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 1m of 145cm wide grey viscose challis and about 0.5m of 145cm wide black viscose challis. Both from Abakhan but no longer in stock.

Another version?

Yes probably but not for a while, I’m a bit traumatised by this one.

Any changes next time? 

I’m not entirely sure because so many bits of this stretched out I don’t think this is a fair reflection of the size. I like the way it fits across the shoulders but the under yoke is too tight across the chest, which is causing the yoke to bubble. So I have no idea what changes I’d need to make or if I should just go back to the size bigger.

Tips or advice

If you’re using a really drapey fabric like I did then staystitch everything. Even bits you wouldn’t normally.

Final thoughts

I hate this top. I’ve only worn it for pictures and a video because it’s uncomfortable and the fact that it refuses to be ironed annoys me. I need to unpick the yoke lining and do something with it but I don’t know what that something should be. I’ve got my overlocker back now so I was thinking about just finishing the seams and raw edge of the yoke lining and letting it hang loose. I don’t know though. I’ll probably do nothing and let it sit neglected in my wardrobe instead. Oh well, you win some and you lose some and you learn something from every make, even the failures.

A mid year look at my sewing goals

Evening guys. I haven’t got a finished garment post for you tonight sorry as I haven’t got round to taking any photos this week. But as we’re half way through the year now – HOW?! – I thought I’d take a look at the goals I set myself back in January and see how I’m doing with them. That way if I’m failing dismally I can reassess them, think about why and change them if needed. Rather than just ignoring them entirely until Top 5 time like I did last year.

Okay, let’s go!

1. Make trousers

I’ve made one whole pair and two halves! Woot! I bought the new Sew Over It online trouser making course when it was released and have made the Carrie trousers that come with it. (They are second on my list to be blogged.) And today has been spent working on my toile of the Ultimate Trousers, which are currently the most ugly trousers to ever walk the face of the earth. Bad fit + khaki fabric  = *shudder* So that’s one of my halves, the other one is my Ginger jeans, which I still haven’t finished. But I’m hoping that lessons I learn from the ultimate trousers will inspire me to go back to the Gingers.

2. Make time for sewing

Ish. I haven’t really done this one in the same way I had intended. I had planned to make a particular day a week my sewing night but that hasn’t happened. I have been sewing more though so I must be making more time for it.

3. Stop buying fabric

I’m failing pretty dismally one this one. I set myself the plucked from the air figure of only buying 10m this year and I’ve already bought 25m. So I’m thinking of altering this goal slightly to make it a stashbusting goal instead of a fabric diet goal. I’ve started a spreadsheet where I log the fabric I buy and the fabric I use, with the goal to use more fabric than I buy. I need a figure really don’t I? Shall we stick with 10m? Yep, I’ll go with that. So the new goal is to reduce the stash by 10m.

4. Hackity hack

I’ve done a couple of sort of hacks but nothing too impressive yet. I’ve made a Southport dress tank top and I’ve toiled a (very basic) hack of the Seamwork Mesa dress but it’s destined to be Autumn/Winter clothing so it’s on hold for the moment. I’ve got a New Look 6217-Southport dress lovechild planned but I want to check the fit changes I’ve made to New Look 6217 before I can start on that.

5. Join in more

I’ve definitely been trying to work on this one, I’ve been taking part in online challenges like #MIYMarch and Me Made May, both of which were fab ways to meet new online sewing people.

I’ve also booked my place on the Foldline Sewing Weekender in August, which I’m simultaneously excited and terrified about. I’m going to make an admission that’s going to make me look really dumb now but I didn’t know where Cambridge was. For some reason I thought it was near Oxford. Because of the rivalry I suppose. So I booked my place thinking it was great that it was closer to me than London. Doh! It’s loads further. So now I’m really worried about the logistics as well as it taking me out of my comfort zone with the whole social awkwardness thing. But I’m sure it will all work out and it’ll be fab to meet other sewing people in real life.

Question bombardment time! Did you make any sewing goals for this year? How are they going? Are you going to the Sewing Weekender?

Southport tank hack

One of my goals this year is to stretch my creative muscles a bit and have a go at some pattern hacks. This one isn’t a particularly complex one but baby steps.

I’ve had this cotton lawn in my stash for about 18 months and I was originally planning to make a Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank with it but when I got the pattern out to make a start I had a change of mind. The straps seemed really long so I was worried about how it would fit but I didn’t want to make a toile.

That’s when I remembered that I’d seen Kelli of True Bias hack her Southport dress into a tank top. I like the way my Southport dress fits so I thought I would do the same.

southport tank

I didn’t follow Kelli’s tutorial as I didn’t want to cut into my pattern. Instead I just laid the bodice pieces on my fabric, cut around the neckline and side seams then moved the pattern down about 8″ and cut out the hem. Then used a ruler to follow the side seam down to meet the hem. So basically the same thing just without altering the pattern.

I also put the centre front line on the fold to omit the button band as I just wanted a plain tank top.

southport-tank-back-and-side

I have the same problem with this top as I do with my Scout tee of the lines from my bust to my hips. I was going to try making the dart bigger (and have already fiddled with the pattern) but since looking at these photos I’ve noticed that the dart is a little low on me. So now I’m wondering if that’s the real problem.

southport-tank-darts

There’s not really a lot else to say about this top. It’s a really simple top but it’s a great staple. I’ve worn it a couple of times since I made it and I’ve got two more planned. One in a black polyester that called itself peach crepe and in some grey floral cotton lawn.

southport-tank-close-up

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress hacked into a top

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hip 40″

Size made: US 6

Alterations: Same fit changes as in my first version and then hacked into a top by lengthening the bodice and omitting the button band.

Fabric used: 1m of 150cm wide navy and cream geometric cotton lawn from Abakhan

Another version? Yes definitely.

Any changes next time? I’ve already started adjusting my pattern to make the darts a little bit bigger and I think I added a smidge more flare at the hip. But now I’m wondering if I should try raising the darts first.

Final thoughts

I really like this top even though the fit needs a bit of work. It’s a great Summer staple.

true bias southport tank dancing
Derp

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Thanks to a self imposed Twitter ban mine has been a lot better than last week. I’d hoped to get lots of sewing done but it doesn’t seem to have happened. I did manage to finish off my Sew Over it Carrie trousers and assemble the PDF of the Ultimate Trousers, which are next up on my sewing table. How about you?

Floral Grainline Scout tee

Hi guys, this post is a little later than I’d hoped to get it up – I’d been getting into the routine of posting on Sundays – but I didn’t get photos until quite late on Sunday night and I haven’t really been in the right frame of mind to write. I expect people are sick of hearing about the EU referendum but the result has really upset me. The manfriend was away for his brother’s stag do at the weekend and I spent almost the whole weekend falling into an internet clickhole, constantly on Twitter and reading every article posted. I barely moved from the sofa, didn’t cook myself proper food and generally felt sad and scared. As you can imagine it was really not good for my mental health.

penny big bang hermit

But the shining light that is sewing managed to help on Sunday afternoon. I pulled myself off Twitter, put Archer series 7 on Netflix and started work on my Carrie trousers. Then the manfriend got home from Manchester, bought us a Chinese takeaway and I put water to my body to make myself presentable to take these photos of my new Grainline Scout tee.

grainline scout tee

This was a lovely quick and simple make. I’ve sewn it once before but it was much nicer this time as I wasn’t panic sewing. The first time I made it I clearly didn’t read the pattern instructions properly as I sewed it with 5/8″ seam allowances when they’re actually 1/2″ except for the neckband and sleeves, which are 1/4″. I have just realised that I’ve made it twice, not once, as I made my mum one for Christmas. I’m so not firing on all cylinders at the moment.

scout tee collage

There’s not a lot to say and none of my photos are particularly varied sorry. I made a size 10 for my first version and it was a little loose around the shoulders so I cut an 8 grading out to a 10 for the hips this time, for floatiness. It’s still fairly loose and the shoulder seam sits off my shoulder a little bit so I wonder if I need to try a 6 there but I’m not sure if I could do a size 6 sleeve. I do quite I like the loose fit though so I don’t know if I will.

Scout tee Close up

I’ve had 3 metres of this fabric has been in my stash for about a year and a half and I only used just over a metre for this version so I have almost 2m to make something else with. Not sure what yet, I’ve toyed with a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse, a Seamwork mag Addison blouse and attempting to hack some sort of trapeze dress.

I don’t know if pull lines and drag lines are different things or if the lines I have are either of them but I have lines from my bust to my hip. From fiddling about with how it hangs I think making a tiny dart might help. So before my next version I’m going to try adding one and then rotating it out. I’ve attempted a very crude attempt at a diagram of my plan below. Then smooth out the side seams and hem. I may leave the fullness at the hip or I may then take it off the side seams. I’ll see how much it adds before I decide because I’m only making a tiny dart.

darts

I used French seams throughout and did my own thing with the construction as I wanted to try out sewing the sleeves flat, like you do with knit dresses. I think I prefer it as they seemed to go much better than when I’ve done set in sleeves before. I also used French seams on them even though they don’t have the right seam allowance for it, which didn’t seem to cause any problems.

scout tee

The details

Pattern: Grainline Scout tee

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hip 40″

Size made: US 8 at shoulder and bust grading out to a 10 at the hips

Alterations: None other than the grading.

Fabric used: 1 and a metres of 150cm wide viscose from Abakhan

Another version? Yep, I need at least 6 more Scouts.

Any changes next time? 

Possibly some shoulder narrowing shenanigans or perhaps try sizing down across the shoulder and neckline. I’d like the get the shoulder to end where my actual shoulder does because that seems to give more of a cute cap sleeve on other people’s versions I’ve seen.

Non-clueless versions

Final thoughts

I love this t’shirt and have worn it loads since finishing it. I’m wearing it now in fact. I really must make some more. Oh, if you’d like to see it in motion, it’s in my latest video.

I’m going to finish by going back to the whole EU referendum thing sorry. To any European readers I’d just like to let you know that the result of this referendum in no way reflects my feelings and I feel very ashamed of my country. I truly believe that we are stronger together and the only way to tackle our global problems is by working together. It has saddened me to see the small percentage of racists in the country now thinking that their awful views are in any way okay.

But on a positive note, this happened in my sort of home town (where I live but not where I’m from). It made me cry when I saw the tweet.

Sea Sirens Simplicity 1418 Skirt

Simplicity 1418 skirt with petticoat

Why yes, yes that is a skirt covered in sexy ass mermaids.

It seems to be becoming a theme of mine to combine Alexander Henry Fabrics with Simplicity 1418. First my hunks Christmas dress and now this skirt. I got the idea to make a Simplicity 1418 skirt from Kath of Bernie and I after seeing this version of hers, which I love. It’s so colourful and pretty. (That’s her old blog, her new one is here.)

Simplicity 1418 skirt with petticoat montage

I really love Simplicity 1418. I love the off the shoulder bodice and I love the pleats on the skirt and the way it flares. It also has side zip, which is great when you’re using a big pattern like this as it means you don’t have to pattern match on the back seam and you just get to easily showcase the print.

I made the skirt to wear on a night out and in typical me fashion was still finishing it off right at the last minute because I handstitched the hem. I did have visions of me stitching it on the train but luckily that didn’t happen. I just went out with rubbish hair instead.

simplicity-1418-skirt-montage

It’s a pretty simple pattern so there’s not a lot to say about it really. I bound the seams as my overlocker is on the fritz, it’s actually in hospital at the moment. Luckily, I found a man in my home town who does sewing machine repairs as the man in my work town is horrible and rude so I didn’t want to give him any business. I went in to his shop once looking for needles and instead of helping me he quizzed me on where I bought my sewing machine, sneered at me for buying it online and made out that the needles I wanted (twin ballpoint) don’t exist. So I bought them on eBay.

bound-seams

Choosing the pattern placement for the waistband was quite fun. I think I have three sets of boobs on it. I also topstitched it with metallic thread because I thought that seemed mermaidy. It didn’t come out as shimmery as I was hoping though.

topstitching

This skirt seems to have become my favourite thing to wear when me and the Manfriend go do nice things. I wore it when we went to the Swansea Gin Festival back in April and when we went to watch Taskmaster being filmed in May – the series has just started on Dave and we were in the front row for the last episode of the series if you want to try to spot us. We were just behind Doc Brown, I look like me but I’m wearing my glasses and Manfriend has a giant beard, but then half the men there did so that’s probably not much help.

alexander-henry-fabric-skirt

The details

Pattern: The skirt part of Simplicity 1418 with a self drafted contoured waistband

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″

Size made: 14 but sewn with 10mm/3/8″ seam allowance instead

Alterations: I took 2″ off the length before hemming. Really should have shortened the pattern before cutting out. I will before using it again.

Fabric used: 1.6m of 110cm wide Alexander Henry Fabrics Sea Sirens cotton in blue from Frumble Fabrics

Another version? Possibly as I really enjoy wearing this skirt, I love the shape of it. I’ll definitely make the dress again. It’s my favourite “dressy” dress pattern.

Any changes next time? I might make it a smidge snugger.

Final thoughts

I really love this skirt. I think the pattern and fabric are a good pairing. It was nice to sew with such a well behaved fabric. More Alexander Henry Fabric skirts! But maybe I should try to find one that I can get away with wearing to work, I think this one has slightly too many boobs on it.

If you’d like to see the skirt in motion it’s in my latest video about Me Made May, it’s about 5 and a half minutes in if you want to skip the rest.

jumping
My terrible attempt at trying to get a jumping photo

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Mine has been fairly quiet, just a bit of housework, a visit to my mum and a tiny bit of sewing but that didn’t go well so I’m a bit of a sulk over that. Next up on the cutting table are a pair of Sew Over It Carrie trousers from the new online course. How about you, what’s on your sewing table?

Deer and Doe Datura Blouse

I was trying to blog my backlog of makes in order but I’m bumping my Datura blouse up the list because I want your opinions on my next version. But first, let’s talk about this one.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse

Despite only owning three of their patterns I think Deer and Doe are my favourite pattern company in terms of their style. If I could win a competition where the prize was all the patterns of one company of my choice, Deer and Doe would be it. Top of my current lust list is the Fumeterre skirt (check out Camille and Lynne’s fab versions). Followed closely by the Chardon skirt after Jo’s post last Sunday.

datura-blouse-leaning

Anyway, my Datura blouse. My very first Advanced pattern! Go me. Though of course I did version B, with the collar and not the cut out version so I don’t know that I can actually claim to be advanced. My version of the pattern has been in my stash for nearly a year so it has the old instructions, which were a bit brief and I did struggle at times. Luckily I found this tutorial series, which was super useful.

Deer and Doe datura blouse

The hardest part was sewing the shoulders and I definitely used that photo tutorial for that. Because the top has a lined yoke you sew the shell to the lining at the armholes and neckline on both front and back yokes. Then you put the front inside the back and do some shoulder seam magic. I would try to explain but I don’t think I’ll do a very good job so you’d best look at the tutorial.

I have seen a Seamwork magazine tutorial where they do a very similar thing but slightly differently and for my next version I think I’ll try it that way as it seems much more simple.

Datura blouse collar and close up

The moustache and bowler hat fabric I’ve used was a gift from a sewing friend at work because I gave her some sewing stuff. She saw it and thought of me in a fabric shop because I enjoy wearing a fake moustache from time to time (Manfriend even bought me a pack of “Emergency Moustaches” as a stocking filler one Christmas). It’s quite a crisp cotton, which isn’t the recommended fabric for this pattern but I wanted to use it anyway. The yoke and collar are made with a cotton poplin I had in my stash.

Datura blouse side view

It is a little bit too crispy and I think the top is slightly too big too, which means if I put a cardigan on it can stand away from my body slightly but I still like it. I’m going to try a size down for my next version and it’s going to be in a drapier fabric.

Datura blouse back

 

I still haven’t actually sewn any buttons on as I couldn’t choose what ones to use. I was torn between these two and I have two of the polka dot ones safety pinned on at the moment. I’ll probably go with those ones and use the little pearly ones for my next version.

Button choices

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 40″

Size made: 42

Alterations: None

Fabric used: A metre of the moustaches and just shy of a meter of the black.

Another version? Yep, another colour blocked version in black and grey viscose but I’m not sure which colour to put where. Which do you like best? I’m leaning towards the one on the right.

Next datura colour options

Any changes next time? I’m going to try the next size down.

Have any of you tried the Datura blouse since Deer and Doe have expanded their instructions? Are they better now?

Me Made May 16

So it’s over. My very first Me Made May! Despite my very modest pledge of just 3 items a week I’m still proud of myself as I managed it. I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s photos on Instagram and finding new sewing people to follow. I’m going to miss it a bit.

I’ll show you my round-up of photos and then I’ll talk a bit about what I think I’ve learned.

Week 1

Me Made May 16 - Week 1
Coco dress // New Look 6217 // Sea Siren Skirt

Week 2

Me Made May - Week 2
Dixe DIY Ballet dress // New Look 6217 again // Sewaholic Gabriola skirt

Week 3

Me Made May Week 3
New Look 6217 // Dinosaur Ballet dress // Green Grainline Scout

Week 4

Me Made May 16 Week 4
New Look 6217 again // Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress

Last few days

mmmay16-week5
Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress // Sea Sirens Skirt

This is cheating a bit as I wore all of these on the same day, because I was taking photos of them. I started off in the Datura, was only briefly in the Ballet dress and then ended up in the skirt. Although not for too long because my mum was making me climb around her shed so I pinched some of her shorts. Shorts I really like and plan to keep.

My Me Made May Thoughts

Well firstly I think you can very definitely see I have a colour palette. There’s nothing there that isn’t green, blue or monochrome. I don’t know whether that’s a problem or just something that’s me. I have got some slightly more colourful makes in the works but they’re not a huge step away. I like what I like.

I also learned that I need more tops. I ended up repeating both of my New Look 6217 tees so more of them or something similar would be good to have. I’ve got a couple of tops cut out and waiting to be sewn up already so I’m working on that and I’m planning a second Datura blouse.

I kept a list of all of the non me made things I wore during May as well to see what else I might need to make. The two things that jump out at me from my list are cardigans and trousers. I’ve been wearing the green skinny jean type things you can see in a couple of the photos above a lot lately. My Ginger jeans have sat in the corner since I had my fitting related strop and I will have to get back to them at some point. Once I’ve figured out the fit I’d love to make some colourful pairs.

All of my favourite cardigans are that lightweight knitted fabric that I think is called sweater knit but I’ve never seen it for sale. I do have knitting patterns for cardigans (and the yarn to knit a couple) but really that sort of cardigan isn’t the type of RTW one I choose. So I’m thinking I need to sew some cardigans. I was wondering about McCalls 6708 because it has different necklines and lengths (I like a v neck mainly). But I am open to suggestions if anyone knows of any great cardigan patterns.

So that’s tops, trousers, cardies and knit dresses (because I’d always like more) going on to the To Be Sewn list. How about you, what gaps did you identify? do you miss Me Made May or are you glad the selfies are over?

Monochrome Dixie DIY ballet dress

I’ve got another Dixie DIY Ballet dress to show you today. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last either so I’m sorry if you’re bored of them. I’ve mixed it up slightly and put a gathered skirt on it so it’s at least a tiny bit different to my last two.

ballet-dress

If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen a sneak peak of this as I finished it way back at the beginning of March but hadn’t got round to taking photos yet. I have three makes built up that needed photographs so on Sunday I bundled them all up, took my camera and tripod to my mum’s house to take advantage of the better light in her garden. I was hoping for a Max cameo but he showed no interest whatsoever. He seems to only care about photobombing when another human is taking the photos. Attention seeking little bugger.

Anyway, back to the dress. The making of this dress was a bit of a catalogue of errors, so I wasn’t that keen on it when I finished it but after looking at these photos I like it a lot more now. Has that ever happened to you? One of the benefits of blogging I suppose.

Dixie DIY Ballet dress with belt

One of the reasons I was on the fence about it is that I had hoped to do a better job of pattern placement when I was cutting it out. I should have cut it out on a single layer because the fabric shifted slightly and my stripes went a bit skew-whiff at the waist seam. Hence the belt.

Dixie DIY ballet dress seam

I’d thought it was really glaringly obvious but it’s not too bad. Still a bit disappointing but not the end of the world. The other thing that bugged me is the big chevron on the bodice not being centred. I just don’t think I was thinking properly when I was cutting out. The large scale of the print made pattern matching with the small amount of fabric I had a challenge so the skirt isn’t matched at all. I’m quite pleased with my sleeves though. I had planned to do long sleeves but I didn’t have enough fabric.

Dixie DIY ballet dress back
No idea what I’m doing with my body here

The skirt is just a gathered rectangle because I thought that seemed the best option with stripy fabric. And I wanted to have a go at gathering with elastic. I used the Colette Moneta dress sewalong to know how. That went a bit iffy too, I think I had the tension wrong. Any tips on gathering with elastic for my next go?

I’m really pleased with my neckband, I thought carefully about what bit of the pattern I wanted on it and I think I chose well. I like the way the little triangles look.

Dixie DIY ballet dress close up of neckline

There’s not a lot more to say, apart from the details. The Dixie DIY Ballet dress is one of my very favourite patterns. It’s my most made and my closest to a TNT (Tried and True, or Tried and Tested) pattern.

The details

Pattern: Dixie DIY Ballet dress

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″

Size made: I started with a small for the shoulder and graded out to a medium but then when I sewed it the waist was too loose so I took it in a bit so it’s probably a small all over now.

Alterations: Nothing but the grading

Fabric used: 2m of 60″ wide viscose jersey. It came from eBay but on checking the old listing to check it was viscose I noticed that the print on it is different to the one in the photo so I won’t link to the seller because that’s not good. I still like it and I didn’t even notice so I can hardly get uppity about it but still.

This is the fabric in the photo:

print

Another version? Undoubtedly.

Any changes next time? I will go with a small all over and maybe shorten the bodice a touch but I think I am nearly spot on with the fit of this now.

Dixie DIY Ballet dress is geometric viscose jersey

And that’s it. I will be back soon with my Me Made May round up post. I haven’t bothered with weekly posts as I’ve only been wearing 3 Me Mades a week so it didn’t seem worth it.

Oh I have another new video up on my YouTube channel where I talk about my Summer sewing plans if you fancy a look. There’s a lot of lovely floral and geometric viscose and cotton.

I will leave you with a photo of Max waiting for bubbles to eat. Hope you’re all having a great day. I’m off work and it’s sunny so I’m about to go lounge in the garden with Pratchett.

Bubble eating dog

Favourites – Autumn/Winter 15/16

Back again so soon just to let you know that I have a new video on my YouTube Channel. It’s a favourites video covering the months since my last one way back when. It got a bit long, even with me cutting out my non-sewing ones that I’d tacked on the end. Sorry. If you don’t want to watch it I’ve written a bit about what’s in it underneath.

Pattern

I have a selfish favourite and and unselfish favourite. My favourite selfish pattern over the Autumn and Winter has to be the Dixie DIY Ballet dress. It’s a quick, easy sew that meets my style perfectly. I love it.

My unselfish pattern is one that I’ve only made once but I just really enjoyed the process of sewing it. It’s the Paxson sweater from Colette Seamwork magazine. I like that you can sew it all on the overlocker and I like the finishes of the cuff and hem bands.

Thing I’ve made

Definitely my dinosaur print Ballet dress because, well, dinosaurs. Not a lot else to say. Dinosaurs PJs you can wear to work!

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Tool

The best sewing investment I’ve made for a while is my stitch in the ditch foot. It’s been so great for neat edge stitching and top stitching. Mine looks like this:

janome-stitch-in-the-ditch-quilting-foot-9mm-cat-d-202087003

And you line the black blade up with the edge of the fabric and move the needle position over how ever far you want to stitch and away you go. It’s great for understitching too. Just put the blade in the seam and move the needle position over slightly. I don’t think I’ve actually used mine for stitching in the ditch yet but I’m sure it’s great for that too.

Technique

When I did my Christmas crafting marathon a lot of the patterns I used were PDFs so I had a lot of putting together to do. I’d seen a few people online say that it was so much easier using a glue stick than sellotape so I gave it a go and my god, I’m glad I did. It really is so much easier than using tape, you can wiggle things to reposition them and somehow it feels quicker even though it’s the same process just a different sticking method.

Fabric

Mermaaaaids!

alexander henry sea sirens fabric

I had new fabric to show so I added a fabric category. This is Alexander Henry Fabrics Sea Sirens in blue. I love it! It’s now a skirt that I also love and still need to get some decent photos of so I can blog about it.

Non-sewing

Invisibilia PodcastThese didn’t make it into the video because it was creeping up to being 15 minutes long but when I filmed it I talked about a podcast and an audiobook I liked. The Podcast is Invisibilia, which I found out about from Jo of Stuff Jo has Made. There is only one series so far, but series two is due next month and I’m very excited about it. It is about invisible forces that affect human behaviour. So there are episodes on fear, our thoughts, computers, expectations and more. It’s so good. I listened to a lot of the episodes while I was walking my mum’s dog and a couple of them made me cry and one made me dance in the woods.

Youre Never Weird on the Internet almostThe Audiobook is You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. I mainly knew Felicia Day from playing Holly in A Town Called Eureka and not her internet stuff but I liked the title and the blurb so I used one of my Audible credits and I am so glad I did. It’s hands down one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. I’m a big fan of books read by the author (I’ve also enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s books and Modern Love by Aziz Ansari) because I think it just makes them more fun than reading them yourself. Felicia Day sort of acts the book rather than just reading it. If you’re a fan of the internet and nerdy things at all I think you’ll really enjoy her book.

I also waffled on about Parks and Rec but having bombarded you with Parks and Rec gifs the other day I won’t go on about that again. (I totally could though.)

And I think that’s it, minus the waffle and bizarre facial expressions. If you like the waffle and bizarre facial expressions you can subscribe to my channel here.

Another New Look 6217 Tee

Have you ever had one of those patterns where you love your first version so rush off and make a second one (err.. 8 months later…) only for something to just feel a bit off about it?

Well that’s the story of this New Look 6217 tee I have to show you today.

New Look 6217 tee

I made a few alterations to the fit for this version so I was expecting this to now be my perfect t’shirt but I accidentally made a few things worse.

The neckline on this pattern is really wide, which is something to watch if you make it. I used the smallest size at the neck and shoulders for my last one and it was still bra-showingly wide so I brought it in a smidge (about 1/4″) for this version.

I also moved the shoulder seam forward, which is something I’ve started doing recently as I have terrible posture. My head sits quite far forward so if I did a normal forward shoulder adjustment, where you leave the neck part of the seam where it is and pivot the shoulder seam forward, the seam still wouldn’t line up with my ear like it’s supposed to. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But anyway, I moved the whole shoulder seam forward by 1/2″.

And now the t’shirt garottes me. I even put it on the other way round while I was taking these photos to check I hadn’t put it on backwards.

New Look 6217 tee
Backwards – annoyingly I much prefer the print placement on this side

The shoulder seam seems to be sitting in the right place so I don’t know if it’s just the neckline. I think I will just lower the neckline slightly on my next version rather than move the shoulder back again. See how that works first of all.

I omitted the back seam entirely on this version, which makes it really difficult to tell which is the back. The back is slightly longer, which is the easiest way to tell if I’m putting it on the right way round. (I was checking which way I’d pressed the seams at first…)

New Look 6217 back

I lengthened this version by 2 inches and I bias bound the hem again. I much prefer this length for having it untucked. I took some photos of it tucked in too even though I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it that way. I haven’t really got any skirts or trousers it’d work with (this pencil skirt is far too tight and I never wear it anymore).

New Look 6217 tucked in
It was too windy so I came inside

The sleeves on my first version were too tight because of me shortening it above the bust so I added an inch onto bottom of the armhole for this version. And they are still too tight. Which had me baffled until I remembered that I’d chopped about an inch, maybe more off the end of the sleeve because the sleeve sort of tapered (I think because of my grading between sizes badly) so it made the hole bigger. So I’ll need to fiddle with them before my next version too.

new-look-k6217

I think that’s everything I have to say about it. Even though it’s flawed I’ll still wear it. I wore it to work on Monday and felt comfortable in it all day. Just realised Monday was only yesterday, I’m having trouble with the old brain-thinking today.

New look 6217 side view

The details

Pattern: New Look 6217

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″

Size made: 10 at the neckline and shoulders, grading out to a 14 for the rest.

Alterations: Shortened by an inch above the bust and brought the neckhole in by about 1/4 inch. I also moved the whole shoulder seam forward by about 1/2″ and lengthened the hem by 2″

Fabric used: 1m of 150cm wide viscose from Abakhan

Another version? Yep, even though this version isn’t quite right I’m sure I’ll still wear it lots and I really do love this pattern.

Any changes next time? I’m thinking about making a floatier version with a high low hem to copy a top I saw someone wearing a while ago but I’ll make some more fitting changes too. Just the things I mentioned in the post, lowering the front neckline, maybe widen the neck again and fiddle with the sleeves.

So that’s my slightly disappointing second New Look 6217, hopefully third time lucky will hold true for my next go. Though I have quite a few other things in the queue to make first. I’ve got two knit dresses cut out and the fabric for a Deer and Doe Datura blouse washed and waiting. What’s on your sewing table?