New Look 6096 and Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

It’s another bumper two for the price of one post today after another longish gap. Sorry, I’m rubbish. Life and work are really hectic at the moment so I haven’t been finding the time and energy to blog or even sew much to be honest. I’m having a bit of a knitting phase at the moment instead. I’m about half way through the body of this jumper but without stripes.

Today’s post is about sewing though. I took these photos over a month ago now, I went for a dog walk with my mum and we stopped for photos whenever we thought the backdrop looked autumnal and pretty.

New Look 6096

First we have New Look 6096. I’ve made this as a maxi dress before for myself and as a short version for my Nan. My maxi dress gets worn a lot in the spring and summer so I’ve wanted a shorter version for a while but I finally got round to it (umm, in August).

nl6096-dress

I didn’t really change anything from the first time I made it for myself and it’s a straight size 10 but shortened slightly (perhaps a little too much). I mostly used French seams except for a couple that I overlocked.

new-look-6096-collage

There’s not a lot to say about the dress as it’s pretty simple so this is probably going to be a more photos than text kinda post. Especially as I’m full of cold so my brain is a bit fuzzy and I’m not so hot with the words.

new-look-6096-dress

new-look-6096

The details

Pattern: New Look 6096 View A

Measurements: I haven’t checked these in a while so they may not be entirely accurate as I’ve been digging into the office treats with abandon but last time I checked they were: Bust – 38″ Waist 30.5″ Hips 39″

Size made: 10

Alterations: I took quite a bit off the length but I couldn’t tell you how much sorry, probably at least 4″ though.

Fabric used: 2m of 150cm wide viscose (but only just, there’s a bit of selvedge in the skirt seam)

Another version?

Probably yep, unless I’m forever distracted by the new and the shiny.

Any changes next time?

I might try to narrow the neckline and bring the shoulders in a bit, they sit quite wide at the moment.

Final Thoughts

It’s a comfy dress and I like it even though it makes me look a little bit pregnant.

Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

I’ve had a Seamwork subscription for aaages and I made the Manfriend a Paxson sweater last Christmas but this is the first of their patterns I’ve got round to making for myself. It’s a bit of a funny one because I’ve worn it loads since I made it but I’m still not sure how much I actually like it.

olso-cardigan

seamwork-cardigan

oslo-cardigan-closed

I love the colour of the fabric I used. It’s a polyester sweater knit kinda thing and it’s soft and lovely. It dries really quickly too which is good during winter when it’s difficult to get washing dry.

Being a Seamwork pattern, it was a nice speedy sew, almost entirely sewn on the overlocker. I did have to go over a couple of bits again though where I’d cut my notches a bit too big so I had teeny holes – I need to be more careful with notches.

seamwork-oslo-cardigan

seamwork-oslo

olso-cardigan-back

The details

Pattern: Seamwork magazine Oslo cardigan

Measurements: Bust – 38″ Waist 30.5″ Hips 39″

Size made: Small for shoulders, armhole, sleeves, and collar grading out to a Medium from the bust down.

Alterations: I shortened the cuffs by about 3″

Fabric used: Just shy of 2 metres of 150cm wide “wool type knit” from the Textile Centre.

Another version?

Yes I think so, unless I find a different cardigan I like more.

Any changes next time? 

Yes, I’m going to size down I think.

Any tips or advice

There is an error in the instructions for the cuffs (at least there is in my version, I don’t know if it’s since been corrected). It says to match the short edges of the cuffs and stitch but it is the long edge you need to stitch. That one had me second guessing myself for a while. Especially as I had shortened the cuffs so the long and short sides weren’t that different.

They say to go for the size up if you’re in between sizes but I think I’d probably say the opposite. My measurements put me at the upper end of the medium and I could quite happily wear the small. But then I suppose that depends on the look you’re after, I like big and cosy but don’t want to feel swamped in fabric.

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I reach for my Oslo all the time so I must like it, I think it’s just slightly baggier than all the cardigans I’ve ever bought myself so it feels not quite right. Looking at the RTW cardi I have on right now I think it might be the fit of the sleeves that bother me as most of my shop bought cardigans are definitely slimmer fitting on the arms.

Have you ever finished something and not been sure if you actually like it or am I being a weirdo?

Sewaholic Cambie Dress

I’ve got a bumper two in one post for you today so apologies if it gets a bit long. The manfriend’s brother got married last month so I wanted a pretty dress to wear to the wedding. It was a gay wedding so I hoped to be able to make a dress made out of this incredible rainbow and unicorn fabric:

rainbow and unicorn fabric

But unfortunately it was a classy and respectable wedding so it was vetoed and I went for some less extravagant floral stretch cotton sateen instead. I still really need to own a dress made out of that unicorn fabric though.

I used the Sewaholic Cambie dress pattern but with a circle skirt and here is the dress in action in the stunning gardens of their wedding venue. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for somewhere to get married in Shropshire, The Hundred House Hotel is beautiful.)

sewaholic-cambie-dress-at-wedding

But before I tell you about the dress I have a top version to share. I worked hard on the fit of this dress. First making a rough toile and then a wearable toile peplum top.

cambie peplum top

My first toile had fit fairly well except for a lot of extra length in the front strap/sleeve bit and a gapey neckline, front and back. So I shortened the strap by 1″ and set to work on my pattern for the gape. The back was easy enough – I just cut a line front where it gaped to the back armhole and overlapped to get rid of the gape. But the front was a bit of a headscratcher and I ended up butchering my front bodice pattern piece so much that I had to retrace it. It was then that I noticed that my toile seemed to have stretched out of shape quite badly, with the sides being much longer than they should have been. The darts were also slightly too wide for me.

That gave me the idea of cutting 3/8″ off the centre front and adding it onto the side seam instead. So I gave that a go and I also stabilised the front neckline with twill tape to prevent it stretching out again. I used this tutorial from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing.

cambie-top-back-and-side

My adjustments worked pretty well but the back neckline was still a bit gapey and there was a little bit of fabric pooling at my lower back. So I increased the neckline overlap and did a slightly overzealous swayback adjustment. Then cracked on with my dress.

sewaholic-cambie-dress-with-circle-skirt

Which I am super super happy with. I used the free Veronika skirt pattern from Megan Nielsen for the skirt part because the last time I tried to draft a circle skirt it went horribly wrong so I didn’t want to risk it. And fortunately the size 8 of the Cambie dress and the size M of the Veronika skirt had the same finished measurement of 30¼”. Of course that wasn’t leaving me with any ease whatsoever but I figured that the stretch in the fabric would cover that or I could use smaller seam allowances if I needed to. Luckily I was right and it fit great, without even needing to fiddle with the seam allowances. Hurrah for stretch cotton! It even coped with the amount of food and booze I threw at it.

sewaholic-cambie-dress

In terms of construction the dress is the same as the top. I again moved the zip to the side and stabilised the neckline with twill tape. I also did a horsehair braid hem to give the skirt a bit of weight and floof without having to wear a petticoat. It was not fun to handstitch.

cambie-dress-back-and-side

There’s not a lot else to say about it really so I’ll just bombard you with a few more photos and then leave you with the details.

cambie-dress

sewaholic-cambie

cambie-at-wedding

The details

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie dress with a Megan Nielsen Veronika skirt

Measurements: Bust 37.5″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ — Height 5’2″

Size made: 8 (dress) and M (skirt)

Alterations:

  • Moved the zip to the side
  • I shortened the sleeve pieces by 1″
  • Took 3/8″ off the centre front and added it onto the side
  • Overlapped the back neckline by about 3/4″ to remove some gape
  • A swayback adjustment (not sure by how much as I think I eyeballed it)

Fabric used: Just over 2m of 150cm wide stretch cotton sateen.

Another version?

Yes, I’m a little obsessed with this pattern now.

Any changes next time?

I want to use a non stretch cotton next time so I’ll probably have to use teeny tiny seam allowances or add a bit of extra room when I cut out. The darts possibly need shortening a smidge too. And I think I may also bring the centre of the sweetheart neckline down slightly as I lost some of the shape by cutting a bit off the centre. I’ll probably put a pleated skirt on it next time too. So just a few changes…

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I love this dress. The fabric is gorgeous, it fits well and is perfect for twirling in.

spinning-cambie

New Look 6217 / Southport Dress Lovechild

Well that little blogging roll ground to a screeching halt didn’t it?

Sorry about that. I have actually got five finished garments to show you, I’ve just been really rubbish at photographing them. I went to my mum’s for a bumper photography session last sunday but completely forgot three things. Perhaps I should get one of the pop up tents they used on the Sew Over It City Break photo shoot and do a location shoot somewhere prettier for the rest of them!

new-look-6217-dress-hack

Anyway, today I’ve got a pattern hack to show you. Back in the middle of September it suddenly got really warm again for a couple of days so I frantically sewed a last minute maxi dress. It’s the lovechild of a New Look 6217 tee and a True Bias Southport dress, which I have been calling a Newport dress because it amuses me.

newport-dress-collage

To make it I put the Southport dress bodice under some tracing paper and traced off the centre front line (but extended up), waist seam and a smidge of the side seam and I marked where the shoulder was. Then I put the New Look 6217 under and lined up the shoulder and sort of the side seam (I overlapped the centre front a bit to make the neckline opening smaller and the top a slightly slimmer fit than a 6217), then traced off the neckline, sleeve bits and side seam blending into the traced Southport side seam. Hopefully that makes sense.

southport dress new look 6217 hack

Oh and I also added a bit more flare to the skirt. I was going to do it properly slash and spread the skirt in a few places but as I was trying to get the dress finished quickly I just pivoted the skirt pieces out when I was cutting out. I cut the front on the fold to omit the slit. I totally forgot that I still need to shorten the skirt and ended up taking an inch off the hem. It’s still a bit long but it’ll do.

true-bias-southport-hack-collage
I know I look derpy but I liked the photo anyway

I also didn’t do a drawstring like on the Southport dress and made an elastic channel out of the waist seam instead. The seams are overlocked instead of French seamed this time to save time.

The fabric is some viscose that I bought from Regency Rags on eBay about a year ago after seeing Marie from A Stitching Odyssey post a picture of it. I think I’ve got just shy of a metre left and some big scraps so I expect I might make a top out of what’s left.

true-bias-southport-hack-max
Best Max cameo I could get

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress and New Look 6217

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ — Height 5’2″

Size made: Size 6 Southport skirt with the New Look 6217 hacked to fit

Alterations: I’ve tweaked the fit of New Look 6217 a little bit every time I’ve made it so it’s hard to remember where I’m at with changes. I’ve done all sorts of shoulder shenanigans basically. You can see the details in previous posts about the top plus a small swayback adjustment. For the Southport skirt part it’s just been shortened a lot – about 4″ – and pivoted to add some more fullness to the hem.

Fabric used: Around 2.25m of 150cm wide though there was probably a more economical way from cutting as I ended up with some big scraps.

Another version? 

Yes. I want to make a shorter version.

Any changes next time?

The shoulders slip back a lot so I need to do something but I don’t know what. I’ve been looking into it and things I’ve read say that the back armhole needs more room. Does that seem right?

Non-clueless versions

Kerry from Kestrel Makes used the same fabric to make a very similar dress with a vintage pattern. She has also made two New Look 6217 dresses.

Final Thoughts

I’m really happy with this dress. It’s really comfy and floaty, perfect for that sort of inbetween weather in spring or late summer (and apparently early autumn too these days). It’d be a nice one for holiday evening outfits too. I’m definitely going to make a shorter one to team with tights and a cardi now or bare legs in warmer weather.

Anyway, that’s it from me. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend and I’ll try not to leave it another 8 weeks before blogging again.

Sew Over It Carrie Trousers

Sew Over It is another one of those pattern companies, like Deer and Doe where I really like their patterns but don’t have that many. I didn’t have any until recently when Doris was released and I fell head over heels and snapped her up. Then not long after they released their their new online course: The Ultimate Guide to Sewing and Fitting Trousers and I found the introductory discount too hard to resist and bought that too.

You get two trouser patterns with the course: the Carrie trousers and Ultimate trousers. And here is my first (and only so far) pair of Carrie trousers.

sew over it carrie trousers
I don’t know what I’m doing here but I liked it

These trousers are way out of my typical style comfort zone but this type of trouser seems to be popular at the moment and I liked it on other people so I wanted to try it. I liked the fact that they have a flat waistband at the front and elasticated at the back (and sides) as I’d just stolen a pair of shorts from my mum that had a flat front and elasticated back and I really like them.

sew over it carrie trousers montage

The fabric I used is some super cheap viscose I got from eBay. The listing called the fabric navy and grey but the flowers very definitely look cream to me. I didn’t pay enough attention to the layplan when I was cutting out and was about 3″ short of fabric. Always pay attention to the layplan kids! I had to order another metre to finish them.

carrie trousers back and side

I wasn’t really that keen on the trousers on me once I’d finished them. They’re super comfortable and I like wearing them but I felt weird in the baggy leg. I’d pretty much resigned them to lounge wear – I normally just slob about in my PJs so it was quite nice to be comfy but actually dressed – but I think they have shrunk slightly in the wash (even though I prewashed my fabric) and now I like them much better.

carrie trousers heels

I think they look good with these shoes. It’s such a shame that they are the most evil foot eating shoes known to man.

In terms of construction I followed along with the online course and mainly did what I was told except I french seamed everything because my overlocker was still in hospital. And I just like French seams.

sew over it carrie trousers heels

The details

Pattern: Sew Over It Carrie Trousers from the Sewing and Fitting Trousers online course.

The pattern isn’t available separately but I just found this Simplicity one (1887), which is very similar but with a wider leg.

Measurements: We’ll say 30.5″ waist and 40″ hips, which I suspect is a lie and you could add a bit on but I haven’t measured myself in a little while and have been eating a lot of sweets. Height is still 5’2″

Size made: 12

Alterations: Shortened by 2″ at the lengthen/shorten line.

Fabric used: Thanks to my cutting mishap 3m of navy and cream floral viscose from eBay.

Another version? 

Probably but I don’t know how soon. We’re rapidly running out of summer and I still have a vast to be sewn list so I probably shouldn’t be adding a summery trouser to it.

Any changes next time?

I did think I’d probably cut the size 10 leg next time for a slightly closer fit though but then this pair shrunk and confused me. I’d hate to do it and then have another shrinking pair, which end up not fitting. Though this pair was made out of really cheap viscose so I suppose it was to be expected.

Non-clueless versions: 

Final Thoughts

I’ve definitely warmed to my Carrie trousers and they’ve got me wanting to try more trousers that shape. I’d always quite fancied the Sew Over It Cigarette Pants class but it takes place in the evening over three weeks so that rules it out. If it was a weekend I could make a trip of it but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if they release it as a pattern. Or if you know of a similar pattern I’d love any suggestions.

Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

As soon as I saw Helen start posting samples of the different versions of her Winslow Culottes I knew I wanted them. I even nearly signed up to pattern test them, which isn’t something I normally do as I don’t sew quick enough and I don’t know that I’d be that good at giving useful feedback. It was view D, the maxi version that stole my heart though.

winslow culottes

It was a lovely evening last night so I grabbed the manfriend and my camera and we went for a blog photo taking stroll. I’ve professed my love for maxi skirts and dresses every time I sew one and what appealed to me so much about the Winslow culottes is that you get the look of a skirt (in my case maxi) but the comfort of trousers. Be gone evil Summer inner thigh chub rub!

winslow culottes show legs

The culottes sit on your natural waist with a straight waistband, have two box pleats front and back and side seam pockets. I left the pockets off because I don’t like them so this was a super quick sew, even for a slowcoach like me.

It’s a PDF pattern and a maxi pattern usually takes a lot of paper and assembling but something I really liked about this pattern is that Helen gives you instructions for what pages to print for different views. Because they have a straight leg you can print view B and then just draw straight down on your fabric for how long you want your culottes. I still managed to make mine too long and had to cut 4″ off before hemming.

I think it’s because the crotch hangs slightly too low on me. It’s not noticeable to anyone but me and I don’t think you want the crotch seam all up in your business in a style like this but I will shorten the depth before my next version. I should have thought about it beforehand as I am petite.

winslow culottes back

The fabric I used was a bargain from The Textile Centre at £3.99/metre. It’s viscose but slightly heavier weight than most of the viscose I’ve used before, which I think worked well for this pattern. They’re still nicely swishy but I feel safe from my knickers showing through.

Here’s a close-up of the print, it’s teeny mint green and white hearts. I’m also pretty pleased with my invisible zip insertion.

Close up

I bought 3 metres of it and I think I have enough left for a top. Speaking of tops, the one I’m wearing in these photos is also a Me Made, which was fresh off the sewing machine before we went out. It’s a wearable toile of an off the shoulder Grainline Scout tee hack. I really like it but it’s not quite right and I’ll need to tweak it a bit before using my proper fabric. This fabric might look familiar as it was leftover from my By Hand London Flora.

helen's closet winslow culottes

All I did was cut off the top of the sleeve and bodice pieces just above the notches then added 7/8″ seam allowance to allow for pressing under 1/4″ and then 5/8″ to make a channel for my 1/2″ elastic. Hope that makes sense. I can attempt to make a tutorial as I make my proper version if anyone would like me to?

I don’t think I really have that much more to say but I had a surprising amount of photos I liked from this photo shoot so I’m going to carry on bombarding you with them sorry.

winslow-culottes-sitting

I wore these to work the day I finished them (I sewed the hem that morning) and I got a lot of compliments. One work friend got really enthusiastic thinking up different length and fabric combinations so I told her that she really should start sewing. I definitely want to try the knee length myself but as I have lots of summer sewing already planned they might have to be an autumnal pair in a heavier fabric.

winslow-culottes-looking-at-boats

Oh I there was something else I wanted to say. Can anyone recommend some good quality fusible interfacing I can buy online please? The stuff I have is a bit pants and doesn’t adhere very well.

The details

Pattern: Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ (though waist is the only one that matters for this pattern) Height 5’2″

Size made: 12

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 2.25m of 140cm wide viscose from The Textile Centre

Another version?

Oh yes, definitely. I really want to try a shorter version but I’d love more long ones too. So many things to sew, so little time!

Any changes next time?

I’ll shorten the crotch depth by about 2″. I may also contour the waistband slightly as I don’t like the way straight waistbands sit on me. I did think about attempting to put front pockets on them too. Probably using the Sew Over It Carrie trousers as a guide. Not that I ever use pockets for anything other than my hands.

Non-clueless versions:

Helen’s round-up of tester versions has all of the pairs I was going to link to here so you should check that out to see more versions.

Final Thoughts

I love these culottes/palazzo pants. They’re comfortable but I still feel sort of elegant and put together in them.

Winslow culottes

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Yesterday I recklessly agreed to make my mum a dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks. So I’m off to her house in a little bit to take her measurements and look at fabric online. I’m a bit anxious about it as the pattern we’re thinking about is quite fitted. Though I suppose fitting someone else is easier than fitting yourself.

Do you have any tips for me?

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?