Sew Over It Penny dress

sew over it penny dress

It was love at first sight when I first glimpsed the Sew Over It Penny dress in my inbox. She was the PDF club pattern in June and I snapped her up straight away. I even printed and assembled the pattern the very same day, which is not like me at all. Progress stalled while I waited for fabric to arrive and then I decided to use completely different fabric anyway. This fabric is quite different to what I normally go for but I really like it.

I got the manfriend to take these photos for me in the park behind the Town Hall 5 minutes from our house and I’m really pleased with them. I also tried to get some little videos to use on my YouTube channel and then some people walked past with their dog and I felt like a right dick. How fashion bloggers and YouTubers do it I don’t know.

Anyway, the dress! I’m a bit in love with it. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times I’m on a zip embargo so I’ve been trying to hunt down pretty and comfy zipless dresses, the Penny dress definitely sits nicely in that gap. I got lots of compliments when I wore it to work and I got to, “thanks, I made it!” to someone who didn’t know I sew, which is always fun.

penny dress

My version is accidentally a bit skimpy so don’t rush in and add length. It’s a midi skirt as drafted, which I don’t like on me. I just feel a bit swamped in fabric as I’m only 5’2″ so I shortened it before cutting it out. I was originally going to cut the length of the size 8 but then I measured it and thought that would still be a bit long so I took 2″ off. Then I tried it on once I’d made it and thought it was still slightly too long so I took about 2-3″ off when I levelled the hem and then regretted it. It’s hardly indecent but I think I’d like an extra inch or so.

I managed to get it out of much less fabric than the fabric requirements say (3.2m for my size) by ignoring the layplan and putting the pattern pieces around the skirt and cutting some pieces on a single layer. I got everything except the back bodice out of the same section of fabric as the skirt.

sew over it penny dress

The details

Pattern: Sew Over It Penny dress

PDF or Printed: PDF

How many pages: 40

A0 file included? Yes, 2 pages

Measurements: Bust: 39″ – Waist: 32″ – Hips: 41.5″

Size made: I chose to make a 12 – even though my measurements put me as a 14 – based on the finished measurements. The bust is the only important one in this dress and the 12 has the finished measurement of 41.5″ giving me 2.5″ of ease, which is plenty for my preferred fit.

Alterations: 

I shortened the skirt a lot, probably about 6″ in the end, which was a bit too much.

Fabric used: About 2.25m of 140cm wide viscose from Oh Sew Crafty

soi penny dress

Another version?

Yes definitely, I’ve already cut it out and started sewing it.

Any changes next time?

I’ve cut it the same length but I won’t shorten it as much, if at all, when I level the hem. I lengthened the centre front a little bit (3/4″), tapering to nothing at the side seams. The bodice waist seam is completely straight and I find that shaped ones work better on me.

Any tips or advice

Whenever I sew a collar I always trim the undercollar down a smidge (1/8″ at most) as it helps the seam roll to the underside of the collar.

There is an error on the skirt pattern piece, it tells you to cut out two on the fold, when you on only need to cut out one. This has been corrected.

There was a notch missing when I sewed Penny so I found point 12 in the instructions a tad confusing but the notch has been added now. To be honest though, I think the instructions could be a bit confusing even with the notch because they don’t make it that clear that the facing is also the button placket. You’re told to “Very neatly, understitch the facing to the seam allowance, 2-3mm away from the seam. Then, to create the button placket, fold the facing to the inside of the bodice at the centre front notch. Press in place.”  I wouldn’t call it understitching when it is going to show on the outside and I think a fold line on the pattern piece would be really helpful. I haven’t re-downloaded the pattern yet though so I don’t know if they’ve added a line or just a notch.

I also found it helpful to change the order of the steps. The instructions have you sew the bodice side seams quite early on and you stitch the back facing down as one of the last steps. I did all of the collar steps, then stitched the back facing down, then sewed the side seams last before moving onto the skirt. I have seen someone on Instagram suggest doing the buttonholes before putting the skirt on too. But I didn’t bother with buttonholes and just sewed the placket shut.

sew over it london penny dress

Non-clueless versions:

I haven’t seen a version I don’t like though, check out the Instagram hashtag #soipennydress for loads more beauties.

Final Thoughts

I’m really pleased with my Penny dress and I think it’s a lovely pattern but I think you’d want to have a couple of projects under your belt before tackling it.

True Bias Southport(ish) Dress and Seamwork Wembley Cardigan

Morning lovelies, hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was nice and relaxed. Just pootling around the house, getting some laundry done and a bit of reading. We also watched series 8 of Archer, which was fantastic but too short. Anyone else an Archer fan? I really enjoyed the Dreamland thing and would quite like them to do the same for the next season but in a 70s or 80s style. Anyway, you’re here for the sewing, not for my views on a cartoon. I’ve got a two for the price of one post for you today with a dress and cardigan combo.

Southport dress

This is the first of two new Southport dresses I made for my holiday. I say Southport dresses but I took all of the interesting Southport bits off them. I cut the bodice on the fold to omit the button placket, swapped the drawstring for an elasticated waist and the skirt is slashed, spread and cut on the fold.

True Bias Southport dress

These photos were taken on the morning of our last day before we got turfed out of the villa. I wore it to travel home in because it was great for the warm, Cyprus leg but just needed a pair of leggings and a cardigan for the chilly plane part. I wore it again when we had our five day summer last week and it was perfect, it’s so cool and floaty.

The fabric is a lightweight viscose from Adam Ross Fabrics but I bought it on eBay, not directly. They marked it as B grade and I’d say that’s fair. It’s perfectly usable but a bit lightweight and easily pulled off grain. I would still buy it again.

Southport dress

It was a nice quick and simple sew, though I used French seams, which does make it a bit slower. I also ended up having to level the hem twice as my dressform – who I had been calling Doris but I feel like I may have stolen that name from someone so I’m going to rename her Susan – had gone a bit wonky and I didn’t notice. So it’s perhaps a smidge shorter than intended. I finally got round to padding out Susan’s bum so my hems are much more level on me now, which is nice.

The neckline is a wee bit gapey but I tweaked my next version and I think I’ve solved that now. It was already cut out so I just cut a bit off the front shoulder on the neckline side, tapering to nothing on the shoulder side and it seemed to work well so I’ll update my pattern piece to match.

True Bias Southport dress

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress

PDF or Printed: PDF

How many pages: 51

A0 file included? No, only US copyshop

Measurements: Bust 39″ – Waist 32″ – Hips 41.5″ – Height 5’2″

Size made: 6

Alterations:

The same fit alterations I made to the bodice for my first version.

In terms of style alterations:

  • I cut the bodice on the fold to omit the button band,
  • Made an elastic channel out of the waist seam instead of the drawstring channel, and
  • used a slit-less slashed and spread version of the skirt.

Fabric used: 2m of viscose from Adam Ross Fabrics

Another version? Yep – I made another maxi version straight after this one.

Any changes next time?

After cutting this one out I remembered I wanted to do a swayback adjustment so I did a makeshift one of those by wiggling my pattern piece when I was cutting out my next version. I tweaked the front shoulder seam to fix some neckline weirdness.

Final Thoughts

I’m really happy with this dress. It’s a perfect, floaty and cool dress for warmer weather.


And on to the cardigan.

Seamwork Wembley cardigan

I bought this jersey a really long time ago with a view to making a t’shirt, thinking the burnout pattern would make it a bit more interesting than a plain white tee. But as you can see it’s rather sheer and there’s no way I could have made a t’shirt out of it without showing the world everything I’ve got. So it sat in my stash for ages until I thought of turning it into a little cardigan for chucking over dresses in the summer.

Wembley cardigan
Terrible photo but it was the only vaguely decent one of the cardigan open

I’m really not sure if I like it but I can’t put my finger on what it is that I don’t like. I have been wearing it and it was good for those really hot days we had as it’s so thin. My issue might be that it’s cut sort of like a waterfall style cardigan but having the bands on to finish the raw edges means that it doesn’t really drape like a waterfall cardigan. I prefer it tied at the front to just hanging loose.

Seamwork magazine wembley cardigan

The details

Pattern: Seamwork Wembley cardigan

PDF or Printed: PDF

How many pages: 25

A0 file included? Possibly. It wasn’t when I downloaded it but they do offer them now so they might have gone back and added A0 versions to the older patterns too. I just made my own A0 version by printing the US copyshop version to a PDF and selecting A0 as the paper size under page setup.

Measurements: Bust 39″ – Waist 32″ – Hips 41.5″ – Height 5’2″

Size made: M but I tapered the sleeves to a S

Alterations: Nothing but the sleeve grading

Fabric used: Just over a metre of burnout jersey from Minerva Crafts

Another version?

Really not sure, maybe I should make one in a different sort of fabric to see if that’s the problem. Or not waste my time and just work on a cropped Helen’s Closet Blackwood as I know I definitely like that.

Any changes next time? 

In terms of fit it seems fine. I do constantly push the sleeves up to 3/4 though so I probably might as well make a 3/4 length sleeve version instead.

Final Thoughts

I feel a bit meh about this one. It’ll probably make a useful addition to my summer wardrobe but I’m not going to rush to make more.

Pineapple Grainline Scout tee

Morning lovelies! Hope you’re all having a splendid weekend. It’s mega sunny here in the UK, so I’ve been trying to eek out every second of outside time I can. I’m typing this on my decking while the Manfriend cooks us bacon on the barbecue and it’s already warm (10ish).

I’ve got another of my photographed on holiday makes to show you today. It’s a Grainline Scout tee, which I’ve made twice before so there’s not really much to say. Especially as it’s just a simple woven t-shirt.

I narrowed the shoulder by 1/2″ for this version and they’re still quite wide on me. The t’shirt has gone a bit lopsided in the photo below but you can see that the right (as you look at it) shoulder is still hanging way down from where my actual shoulder ends. The left side seams about right though so I think I only need a little adjustment. But then again I don’t want to overfit. This feels perfectly fine to wear.

I did the dart adjustment that I said I would do in my post about my last Scout (basically take a dart and rotate it out) and it has helped the lines from bust to hip a bit but hasn’t gotten ridden of them entirely. I’m happy enough though.

The fabric I used is a viscose voile, which I hadn’t come across before. It’s very light and drapey but wasn’t as hard to work with as I expected. It’s very cool to wear in warm weather. It was great for being a bit covered up but not sweltering.

There were orange and lemon trees growing just in front of our villa so I couldn’t resist a taking some photos pretending to pick one. I look very pleased with myself.

I used French seams throughout as it’s my preferred finishing method with viscose – just because I think they look nicest and I don’t really trust the overlocker on something so lightweight. Though I do use it on some of the beefier viscose fabrics. I need to watch how aggressively I trim my seams though as some of my French seamed tops seem to be fraying a bit now.

That’s about all I can think of to say about this tee and the sun is edging closer to the decking so I probably won’t be able to see the laptop soon. Here are the deets:

The details

Pattern: Grainline Scout tee

PDF or Printed: PDF

How many pages: 18

A0 file included? No, only US copyshop file

Measurements: Bust 38.5″ – Waist 31.5″ – High hip 40″ / Low hip 41″

Size made: The same as my last one, a US 8 at the shoulders and bust grading out to a 10 at the hips (current measurements could possibly do with a little more room at the bust) 

Alterations: 

1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment and took a tiny bust dart and rotated it out.

Fabric used: Just a bit less than 1m of 139cm wide viscose voile from the Textile Centre (the navy is long sold out as I bought it last year but they still have some in peach)

Another version? Undoubtedly

Any changes next time? The shoulders are still too wide on me but instead of narrowing them again I might fiddle with narrowing the whole upper chest area. I think I might lengthen it slightly too.

Final Thoughts

I’m really happy with this t’shirt and it’ll make a great addition to my wardbrobe.

Have a lovely sunny day peeps.

Sew Over It Doris Dress

Ooh, what could this be? A finished garment post? Stay very still or we’ll scare it away. This is probably going to be quite a vague and photo heavy post as I made this Sew Over It Doris dress in August last year so some of the details are a little hazy. It’s actually the project that I took to the Sewing Weekender and I wore the finished dress out for dinner on my friend’s 30th birthday so it has lots of nice memories attached to it.

Sew over it doris dress
And holiday ones

I made Version 1, the longer version with the tie back, but I shortened the skirt pieces by 2″ – at the hem when I was tracing the pattern, not at the lengthen/shorten line. It hits just above/on my knee and that’s spot on for the length I wanted. I made a toile of the bodice and it had fit fairly well but I made a small forward shoulder/head adjustment* and took a wedge out of the neckline.

*I don’t know what the adjustment’s actually called but I remove some length from the front shoulder and add it onto the back. In a proper forward shoulder adjustment I think you pivot the shoulder side of the seam and leave the neck bit where it is but because my head sits forward, I move the whole seam. I hope that makes sense.

The length of the bodice was fine on my toile but is a little too short on my finished dress and I think it may be because I lined the bodice with cotton voile instead of using the facings – not a fan of facings. Cotton is so much more stable than viscose I think that the toile had probably stretched out but the lining stops the final dress doing the same. The lining didn’t really work anyway so next time I’ll just use the facings. Or maybe try a half lining/all in one facing kinda thing.

I’ve only actually worn the dress twice because I saw it as a dressy dress so had only worn it on my friend’s birthday night out and out to dinner on holiday – when I took these photos. Because I wore it with flat shoes on holiday and it didn’t look stupid (don’t tell me if you think it does look stupid) I’ve now decided that I can wear it to work. I may even lift my zip embargo and make more for wearing to work as well. Maybe a black and white polka dot one with red buttons.

I made a bit of a boo-boo by not leaving the dress to hang and levelling the hem. As you can probably see in these photos, it’s a little wonky as the panels have dropped a little bit at the edges. As is my usual way I’d left it until the last minute and was still finishing off the dress the day we were going out (handsewing the hem on the train and at my desk in my lunch break).

Check that flare

I love all the colours in this fabric (and it’s still available on Minerva Crafts if you do too) though I probably should have paid a little more attention to print placement as I’ve got a few clusters of mainly pink flowers and I was disappointed with the two blue flowers at the neckline. I thought it looked like I had tried and failed to pattern match but when I said that in the YouTube video where I showed the dress people commented that it looked like a deliberate little posy so I’m happy with that.

Mushy photo klaxon

The details

Pattern: Sew Over It Doris dress

PDF or Printed: I used the printed version but it does come in PDF too.

Measurements: They were quite a bit smaller when I made the dress but at the time of the photos they are: Bust 38.5″ – Waist 31.5″ – High hip 40″ / Low hip 41″ (*whisper* maybe even bigger, it’s been a while since I checked them…)

Size made: 12, though my current measurements are much closer to the 14 and it still just about fits.

Alterations: Forward head/shoulder adjustment and took a smidge out of the front neckline. Shortened the longer length by 2″ at the hem not the lengthen/shorten line.

Fabric used: 3m of 140cm wide floral viscose from Minerva Crafts

Another version? Yes

Any changes next time?

I think I need to make a hollow chest adjustment as there’s a little bit of gape between the dress and my chest. I’ll lengthen the front a bit too I think.

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I love this dress. I’m a big fan of a kimono sleeve and I adore the shape of the skirt. I’m becoming more of a Sew Over It fangirl with every one of their patterns I sew to be honest. Anyone else a fangirl for certain pattern companies? It’s Sew Over It and Helen’s Closet for me and sort of Deer and Doe, though I haven’t sewn all of their patterns I’ve been compelled to buy.

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?

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.

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.