Black Lives Matter

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Sewing Goodies

I'm back from 2 and a half week's holiday, a leisurely multi stop trip down to Cornwall and back seeing lots of different friends and family en route.

Along the way I picked up fabric (from a friend and a family member), patterns (from a friend), Burda Magazine (WHSmiths) and some craft books (Oxfam bookshop), and then came home to a new Prima magazine (with pattern), so lots of sewing inspiration.

We had great weather whilst we were away and its still sunny now we are home again.
I think it is finally time to switch the clothes over and have the summer things out.

I'm not quite sure what to sew next. I have an ongoing SWAP/Capsule Wardrobe2 UFOs and some outstanding WIPGO challenges
Or I could make something with my new fabric and patterns.....

The fabrics are mostly quilting cottons, though there are a few lengths which would be enough for a garment.
There is one piece of rayon viscose which is 3 scarf prints. I'll need to decide the best way to showcase the print.

And another which is a striped jersey with sellotape marks - have to see if they come off in the wash.

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Itch to Stitch Mountain View Hiking Pants


These are my newest hiking trousers. I used the Itch to Stitch Mountain View Jeans with a few alterations.

Used lightweight stretch woven fabric bought on holiday in Madeira. 

Put the two back leg pieces together as one.

Left off lots of the extra topstitching. 

Added two extra side seam pockets which close with invisible zips.

Added 6 belt loops.

Monday, 1 May 2023

More Monsal Lounge Pants

I made two pairs of the Monsal Lounge Pants, from the Wendy Ward Book, A Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knits. 
One pair is black, the other dark grey marl.

Although it's easy enough for me to buy RTW joggers they don't fit me well, so I'm working through sewing my own so the old ones can be donated recycled.

Wednesday, 26 April 2023

The Workout (Tessellate) tee

This is my take on the free 'Workout Tee' I downloaded from Love Sewing many years ago. I've recently stuck it together and made it up.

This is the front with a slightly scooped front neckline.

This is the back which has the small triangle on the other side.

So that when sewn up they make a lovely point at the side.

Slight downsides, the pattern takes 36 pages to print out and the instructions are in Love Sewing Magazine issue 23 not in the download as is the sizing.


This was later developed further by Melissa Fehr to be her Tessellate tee pattern which has extras like a hood and thumb loops and is £8.49 


I've made my own cut about tees in the past, so I managed OK without the instructions.

Here's what I did

1. Stick together the pdf pages and cut out the pattern pieces. I went with a size L (more on that later).

2. Cut the upper front, upper back, neckband and two mirror image sleeves out of the the print fabric making sure to keep the right side of the fabric up and the pattern pieces right side up. Everything is cut single layer, with the sleeve piece flipped over for the second sleeve.

3. Cut the side font and side back out of the pink fabric single layer making sure to keep the right side of the fabric up and the pattern pieces right side up.

4. Cut the lower font and lower back out of the black fabric single layer making sure to keep the right side of the fabric up and the pattern pieces right side up.

Note: all the pattern pieces are different, so I was very careful with right sides.

5. I laid the front pieces out together, stitched the black to the pink and then those two to the print. I did the same with the back pieces and then pressed. 

6. With some twill tape to secure the shoulder seam I stitched and overlocked the shoulders. I then made up and inserted the neckband following the notches provided.

NOTE: I chose to do all the internal seams stitched and overlocked in ivory.

7. I measured the sleeves and realised they would be too long as drafted so did a 5cm hem instead of the recommended 2cm. I hemmed on the coverhem machine in ivory.

8. I inserted the sleeves flat and sewed up the side seams, carefully lining up the panel seams. I then tried the top on and found the shoulders were too wide and the sleeves still slightly too long. I removed the sleeves, trimmed down the armhole and sleeve cap a bit and reinserted.

9. I rethreaded the coverhem in black and stitched the main hem on the black fabric. I increased the recommended hem from 2cm to 3cm.

10. I gave the top a press and did some photos.

Monday, 24 April 2023

Pink Vera Knit Top

This is the FREE Vera Knit Top from Forget-Me-Not Patterns.

I used a mystery pink knit from stash. As this didn't have a lot of stretch and I don't like my tee shirts to have negative ease (ie to rely on the elastane/lycra to stretch to fit) I sized up but used a 1cm seam allowance instead of 6mm. However it is quite loose in the body so I might not do that in future.

I love the gathered sleeves into the long cuffs and the neat V neckline. It also has a slight high-low hem line which is flattering.

Saturday, 22 April 2023

Tropical Pink Top

 TNT New Look 6735 top with 3/4 sleeves and a scoop neckline

The fabric was an online purchase in November last year (Fabrics for All ) as part of the closing down sale.

The photo below was from their site, it seems brighter in person :-)

Tropical Digital Print Jersey - Ivory and Pink Multi

Although Fabrics For All have closed now, this fabric is on the Minerva site with a more realistic colour balance.

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

The 6 yard wardrobe

 In the book Sewing A Travel Wardrobe by Kate Matthews from 1999 she writes 

The Six- Yard Wardrobe

Designer Joyce Cusick has a busy life that includes lots of travel both for pleasure and business. She also loves to keep an eye out for special fabrics wherever she goes. She developed a 'six-yard wardrobe' approach to travel sewing after several trips to the local fabric store for more of the same material. She started with enough of the royal blue linen blend shown on these pages to make the skirt and slacks. She liked working with the fabric so much that she went back twice for more, to make the jacket and then the dress. The garments have become a well-travelled all-weather wardrobe and she reports she's worn them in various combinations at least three hundred times.

Joyce realised that if she consistently bought 6 yards of solid colour fabric, she would always have enough to sew a complete basic wardrobe that includes jacket, slacks, skirt, top and sometimes a dress.

Knowing this ahead of time makes it easy and fun to shop for fabric. She doesn't have to know precisely how much to buy of a good find at the fabric store or street market, but she's always sure that there will be enough to make up a well-coordinated grouping of versatile garments.

Today, all of her travel clothes are created from six-yard wardrobes, plus a few print accent garments and an assortment of accessories.

Spring Garden 

Joyce must be a smallish size, and likes sleeveless knee length dresses as there's no way I could get all of those garments out of 5.5 metres in my size and style preferences. I think I must've worked this out after buying a few 6m lengths, but then thought that was still useful for capsule wardrobes, and particularly for the ideas I had at the time for sewing interesting trouser suits for work.

Dress Up Any Season

Cross-Season Wardrobe

Tuesday, 11 April 2023

Teal front zipped trousers


These are teal trousers with a front fly zip, back waist elastic, side pockets and a wider lower leg.

The pattern is from Burda 03/2011 #141. I made a size 48.

I left out the front darts, altered the back crotch

This is the same pattern as Navy Burda Trousers and the same fabric as Teal buttoned shirt

Monday, 3 April 2023

Felix Sweatshirt from Wendy Ward

This is my first version of the Felix sweatshirt from Wendy Ward's Book "Sewing Basics for Every Body"

I made a Size 4 which is very roomy.

I did a 2inch / 5cm cover hem on the sleeves and body.

I'll wear it with a pair of joggers made from the same fabric. This will be at home loungewear/PJs.

These use the Monsal Lounge Pants pattern again, from the Wendy Ward Book, A Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knits. 

Friday, 31 March 2023

Teal buttoned front shirt


Here's my latest teal project, a classic shirt. The pattern is from Prima Magazine November 2013.

The shirt is as per the pattern with two exceptions. Firstly I altered the back yoke piece to accommodate my high round back and secondly I replaced the continuous plackets on the sleeves with my first ever tower plackets.

The pattern has two views, a shirt or a tunic. I made the shirt.

The fabric is a mystery fabric from deep stash. Unfortunately it had a high polyester content (or is totally polyester) so frayed a lot and was difficult to get crisp pressing. I'm pleased with the pattern and would definitely make it again in future.
The buttons were also from stash, really nice to find enough of the same button for a whole shirt :-)

This is the "shirt with a tower placket" goal from my WIPGO board.

Saturday, 25 March 2023

Beading detail on tunic

 I decided to add 4 rows of topstitching and a little beaded detail to the neckline of tunic top.

This meets my March WIPGO challenge of "Item with beaded detail"

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Teal Sew Over It Anderson Blouse

This is my version of the Sew Over It Anderson Blouse.

I am on the fence about this one, it isn't very flattering to my figure, probably in part as the fabric I used was just a bit too heavy in weight for the style.

I had just enough fabric left from the last two blouses to squeeze out an Anderson.

I did make a few changes, I did my normal high round back alteration, but it now seems a bit too high at the back. I narrowed the shoulder slightly and replaced the back neck bias strip with a shaped facing. I also overlapped the fronts a little more.

I did interface the front facing, though that's not in the instructions. I also added a clear snap to prevent the front falling open and elastic in the hem instead of a ribbon.

As I had some scraps leftover I made a narrow belt/tie which I could use with any of the three blouses made from this fabric. I tried using it to add some waist definition, but it fights rather with the hem elastic.

Here's what it looked like before I added the elastic to the hem.

I may take the elastic out and just use the belt.

What do you think?

Updated to show that I removed the elastic and redid the hem. Here are the belted and unbelted pictures.

I think this is a style best worn tucked in or belted.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Teal Bias cut top Butterick 3131

 The same fabric, only this time cut on the bias for this cowl neck top. Another long OOP pattern Butterick 3131.

I made a size 18. I found setting the sleeves in and sewing the bias hem both quite tricky.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Teal Tunic OOP New Look 6677

 I have had New Look 6677 for many years but only just got round to making it up.

My measurements put me between an 20 and 22, So I started with a size 20.
I made a full bicep alteration on the sleeve and a high round back alteration on back.
When I made up the body and tried it on it was clearly too wide. I unpicked the side seams and darts, recut the pattern and front/back to a size 18, re stitched the new darts and side seams and tried it on again. Much better. I then inserted the sleeves and hemmed.

It is a nice neat fit which does look like the line drawing.

This is the first piece in my SWAP 2023 which is inspired by this fabric