Sunday, 14 January 2018

Clara Pinafore Dress

This is the first of my christmas holidays makes, and was inspired by a dress worn by Clara in Doctor Who in an episode called "The Name Of The Doctor".  Here's my version which I'm wearing with a Tilly And The Buttons Agnes top:

and here is Clara's original.

It's a bit difficult to see in that photo because she has her arms folded, but I really like how the front sides stop just above the bust, then go at a right angle into the armhole.  I considered doing this, but didn't fancy the idea of having to negotiate that corner, and it would have been really obvious if I made a mess of it.  Clara's dress also seems to have welt pockets, but welt pockets and I will never be friends, so I ditched them too.  Also, I made my dress a bit longer!

My fabric is some polyviscose tartan from Oh Sew Crafty, and I used my same self-drafted pattern that I used for my cord pinafore dress.  This time, I didn't add a separate top to the pocket, and instead made the lower front side in one piece.  As this piece is cut on the bias, I stablised the inside with a strip of interfacing.

I'm very pleased with how I matched the tartan above the top of the pocket.
All the seams are top-stitched down on either side.  On the cord dress, I've found it tricky to get the seams to lay flat on the skirt.  This has helped a bit, and I might go back and do it on the cord dress.

This dress isn't lined, because I didn't think it was necessary, and the neckline and armholes are faced with bias tape.  Also, because the front and back side pieces are cut on the bias, I stay stitched around all the edges to stop them stretching.

My favourite bit is the exposed zip, which came from ebay.  I'm delighted with how it turned out, and used this great tutorial from Papercut Patterns.  This was a million times easier that the zip I did on the needle cord dress; the difference is that the stitches are visible on this one.  The centre back edges are interfaced where the zip goes, and I basted the zip in before sewing.  It worked first time, and no unpicking - result!

I found this New Look pattern, 6299, which I think is very similar.  The neckline is a bit higher, but it would be easy to lower it a bit, and I love the collar in Views A and B.

New Look 6299
I love how this dress turned out, and my unashamed current obsession with Doctor Who continues.  Didn't really love the Christmas special though, except for the end when the new Doctor showed up!  

Have a great week,


Saturday, 6 January 2018

Butterick B6285 - I made an outfit!

This outfit was finished just before Christmas, and nobody is more surprised about this make than me.  There I was, going about my business with the knit fabrics, when I clocked this gorgeous wrap top made by Abi from The Crafty Pin-Up.

It's from Butterick B6285, and I had to order the pattern immediately.  Turns out I loved the skirt too, so ended up making both.

The skirt fabric is Greek Key Suiting at £2.99 from The Textile Centre.  It was easy to make, and the instructions are great.  The seam allowances are pretty big though, which is something to look out for if you're like me, and only glance at the instructions!  Thankfully I read through them before starting.  The only mods I made were to shorten it by 4", and machine the inside of the waistband down by stitching in the ditch where the waistband meets the skirt.

Because of the width of the skirt front, the pattern pieces are cut on the cross grain.  I absolutely love the double pleats, they makes for a lovely, swishy, skirt.  


I made the top exactly as it is on the pattern, and used some jersey viscose from Ebay.  It's a bit short though.  Turns out Tasha from By Gum, By Golly had the same problem, and has already worked out how to lengthen the top and posted about it here. Then, for good measure, wrote this post about turning it into a surplice top. She's a genius, and I will definately be trying these out.  Serves me right for not googling it before sewing it!

This hasn't stopped me wearing my top though, and I wore the whole outfit on Christmas Day.  I also think it will be nice over a dress instead of a cardigan.

I was off for two weeks' at Christmas, which was brilliant, and spent much of the time sewing, so have some more makes to share.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2018 Make Nine

I've been doing a lot of sewing over the holidays, but that's for a few other posts.  Today I want to talk about 2018 Make Nine.  I haven't tried this before, but love the idea trying to keep focused on my sewing plans.  So, everything I have planned has been a match of stashed pattern to stashed fabric, and there are quite a few things that I've wanted to make for a while.  

Here's the break-down:

Like just about every other sewist, I adored this coat on sight, and I already had the perfect fabric in my stash.  It's this dark red wool/viscose from Montreux Fabrics.  The lining is either going to be this cat fabric from The Textile Centre, or this black and red flowery fabric.

Sadly, this pattern has now been discontinued, which is a shame as I think it's lovely.  I made it before here, and that coat has definitely seen better days, so clearly I need another one!  I'm going to make it with this black fabric and grey lining that both came from The Spinning Wheel in Belfast.  I want to change the sleeves to two piece sleeves, and remove the fullness from the sleeve head.
Both fabrics are pretty tricky to photograph.  The main fabric on the left is much nicer in real life, and the lining will be nicer when I iron it!

Yep, this is coat number three!  It's a Vogue version of a Chanel jacket, and I didn't realise I needed one until I saw a gorgeous one on television last year.  I'm going to go with View B (bottom right), and I'll be using the Craftsy Iconic Tweed Jacket class to make it.  My fabric is some black and white Boucle from ebay, and some red and silver faux silk lining from Sew N Sew in Belfast.

The lining is red on one side, and silver on the other.  I'm going to use the red side.
After all those coats, the next three are all going to be stretch fabrics makes, as I'm still all over my newly aquired overlocking skills. 

4.  Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress

I've already made a version of this, but the fabric was rubbish.  So I'm going to try it again in this heavy jersey from The Textile Centre, this will probably be my first make.  


5. Vogue V8379 Dress

I'm going with View B - long sleeves and collar, and am going to use this fantastic gold keys fabric from The Textile Centre.


6.  New Look 6301

I have to thank reader Elaine Willis for putting me onto this pattern, and I'm going to follow her example on the bodice front as mentioned in the comments on this post.  A bit of googling found this amazing version by Mimi G, so I'm going to try the sleeveless version with the full skirt, but maxi length using this black and white jersey, again from the good old Textile Centre.


7.  Charm Patterns Rita Blouse dress hack

I've already made this top, which hasn't made it to the blog yet as I want to re-do the zip, but I have been thinking about a hack to a dress - maybe with long sleeves with a gathered cuff.  The fabric will be this black viscose with white anchors which came from ebay.

This purse is something a bit different to my normal makes, and I've wanted to make it for ages.  Sian from Kittenish Behaviour will soon be doing a sewalong, and I have plenty of fabric scraps to work with.

9.  1940s style dress

No photos for this one, as it's going to be self-drafted.  I do have a Pinterest board full of inspiration though, and plenty of lovely viscose fabrics to choose from.


Hopefully that should keep me out of mischief for a while!  I've enjoyed seeing all the other 2018 Make Nines plans, and good luck if you're taking part, I'll look forward to seeing everybody's makes.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Kwik Sew K3489 - View B

The knit fabric sewing continues with Kwik Sew K3489, which was a free pattern with Sew Now magazine earlier in the year.  I'd been wanting to make this dress for a while, but the tiny 6mm (1/4") seam allowance put me off.  Also, I had a bit of an irrational fear of my overlocker, so there was that too!



But in November I went to a class to learn how to use my overlocker, and now it's not the boss of me!  The teacher was the lovely Christine from Colour And Cloth, and if you're in Belfast and would like to learn to sew, then I suggest you have a look at the classes on her website!


There are two versions on the pattern - view A has long sleeves, a collar and short waist ties, and view B has short sleeves, no collar and long waist ties.  I made view B because I only had 2 metres of fabric.
Kwik Sew K3489
The bodice is shaped with darts, and on the pattern the wrap front curves at the hem.  I didn't really love this, so straightened it out to a more squared edge.  I made a size Small, and the only other mods I made were to shorten the bodice by 1", and shorten the skirt by 6".

The neckline has a facing, and I used Vilene G785 interfacing for this.  I don't love this facing, and wish I hadn't bothered with it.  It refused to lay flat, even with understitching, and I ended up sewing it down with a twin needle.

I've been doing a lot of reading on sewing jersey wrap dresses, and the general consensus is not to use a facing, and I saw some examples of using clear elastic to stablise the neckline, so I might try that on the next dress. 

The pattern instructions call for stabilising the waist seam with 1/4" elastic, which I did.  It's sewn in after the bodice and skirt are sewn together, which was a bit tricky with the small seam allowance.  I know waist seams can also be stabilised with clear elastic, and if anybody has any tips on how to do this and the neckline, please let me know.  Thanks!

I really like this pattern and how the dress turned out, but the tiny seam allowance isn't the easiest to sew.  I seem to be all about the jersey wrap dresses at the minute, and have also made the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress, but don't love the fabric (I thought I did, but I was wrong).  The style of the dress is lovely though, and I will make another one. 

This Kwik Sew pattern is similar to Vogue V8379, which has a much friendlier 15mm (5/8") seam allowance, so I shall reserve judgement until I've tried it.

Have a great weekend,


Friday, 8 December 2017

Valentine And Stitch Dune Top/Dress

Spoiler: I LOVE this dress!  The pattern is called Dune, and it's by Valentine and Stitch.  I spotted this when Sarah from Sew Sarah Smith made this gorgeous version.

The pattern is a top and also a maxi dress, and it has two neckline options.  It also has neck and armbands to finish the neckline and armhole.  These can either be sewn to the right side, folded to the inside and stitched; or sewn to the wrong side, folded to the outside and stitched.

I made the higher neckline on both my versions. Firstly I tried it out as the top in some random scrap of jersey fabric I found at the bottom of my jersey fabric box.  Me, being me, didn't stick to the pattern completely, and made two changes.  

The first was to the neckband.  I had planned to sew it to the outside, then fold to the inside, but my fabric was a bit thick and it was going to look bulky.  So I pressed it up, and top stitched the seam allowance down with a twin needle.

The second thing was to leave off the armbands due to the bulkiness issue.  So I overlocked the edge, turned it over, and twin needled it.

Then I dug out this greay and black jersey fabric for the dress version.  This fabric was from Minerva Crafts a few years ago, and it's lovely.  I also made a couple of changes.  The armhole is quite low on the top, so I raised it by 2 inches on the dress, which you can see in the photos below. 

The neckband and armholes are the same as on the top because, again, this fabric is quite thick.

This dress  was so easy to make, it took less than 2 hours to cut and sew one evening, but that didn't include the hem because I had to go to sleep!  It's quite fabric hungry though, and I used most of the 3 metres of fabric that I had.  There is also a free sleeve block, but I haven't tried it out yet, and there is a great tutorial on the Valentine And Stitch website on how to determine the length for the maxi version.  Naturally, I didn't use it!  I just cut my size, then trimmed a bit off the bottom.  I'll do it right the next time though!

I am loving swishing about in this dress, and it definitely is secret pyjamas!

Have a great weekend,