Category Archives: sewing

Sewing with stretch: Attempt 2

I’ve seen a lot of posts this past week from sewing bloggers reviewing their 2013 makes, highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly and sharing their new year resolutions with the world. This is easy for me. This year I haven’t made enough for such a list, which leaves me with one resolution: Sew more!

After my Christmas dress success I want to use this same pattern and my last few days off work making a couple of dresses to introduce to my January wardrobe. I’ve started with a very stretchy fabric I bought at New Fabric Shop in Walthamstow… I think this would be called an Interlock knit?

Bought for a mere ¬£1 a meter I should have bought a lot more. This fabric came folded in half and on a bolt. Try as I might I can’t get the marks of the edges out of the fabric:

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I cut open the fabric on the worst edge to open flat, but I haven’t got enough to miss out the second line altogether. I’m hoping with this type of fabric pattern it won’t be too noticeable?! I’ve also realised I don’t have enough for full sleeves so I’ll be adapting the look to include short ones instead. And one other challenge so far… How to work with these rolling edges?!

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The New Look 6070

I love this pattern. I really enjoyed making it and it’s a dress that I love wearing! I had a bit of a problem with the fit but after some pinching, pinning and cutting we got there in the end. I think I might just make it again.

PicMonkey Collagedress

Apologies for the headless pictures. These are taken after a long day at work ūüôā

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What happens when you don’t make a muslin…

Well whaddya know… the dress doesn’t fit! That is what you get for not making a muslin. In one way I’m lucky though, it’s on the big side so it is a matter of taking the dress in, but I have my usual dilemma of deciding where to take it in from.

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Putting it on after basting the zip, it was clear that although the bottom half fit, waist upwards has too much give.¬†I haven’t sewn it all up yet, it’s currently still sleeveless and I haven’t added the neck facing, so before I make any changes I will baste these as they’ll change the fit of the dress.

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¬†I think it fits better once a few cms of fabric are pinched in on each side.¬†If I hadn’t already sewn in my waistband I would ¬†take the extra material from the pleats and the back darts or the side seams. But the waistband is sewn, ¬†seams layered and I have even gone so far to¬†“stitch in the ditch” (I hate doing this by the way – does anyone else?) and I really don’t want to undo it.¬†So I will attempt to take this material from the centre back…. wish me luck!

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A rediscovered project: Simpliciy 2360

The Little Room of Sewing is back in action! The fishing gear has been removed (sorry Tom, you’re not having my sewing room) and my machines have been dusted down. Just looking at my fabric stash got me excited about the possibilities of what I could be making.

Starting off easy. I don’t know about you but I have a bundle of half finished projects. Or projects that I didn’t like when they were finished. ¬†The Project Runway Simpliciy 2360 pattern, one of my first ever makes, has been picked from the pile to become the work dress it was destined to be!

I remember I took a long time with sewing this dress, and I gave up because I sewed the sleeves on the wrong way! But I dug it out the pile to try it on and see if it fitted, and I don’t think its too bad if I do say so myself.

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 There are a few things that need fixing on the dress.

1. The frilly sleeves are sewn on the wrong way! When re sew them, I might take them in by 2cm so they are less frill. What do people think? I’m undecided.

2. I have a gap on either side seam where bodice meets skirt. I don’t know why, I must have wanted to make some change here. Ah well, I’m just going to sew them back up!

3. Its a little tight around the neck line and bust. I was considering changing the neckline to try and solve this but I think I might just open up the back a little (cut a v shape in the fabric and  sew a button to do at the top?). If anyone has seen a blog post/tutorial on how to add this type of adjustment to a pattern I would love to hear.

And then I think I will have a perfect work dress!

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Summer make #2: The real thing

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Ta-da! The finished-ish dress.

My last post introduced the toile of my Cynthia Rowley pattern. I told you how I had to make the bodice a bit bigger so I could breathe? Well I just added 0.5cm to each side seam which was an easy adjustment because I just had to remember to sew a 1cm seam allowance and not 1.5 as per usual for the bodice, lining and interlining. I had to repeat it to myself A LOT to remember, but success! I did it and it fits a lot better.
This version also has the Sewaholic Cambie skirt rather than the original gathered skirt and I like it a lot. I decided to leave the pockets out of this version. I also lined the skirt so this fabric doesn’t become static and stick to my legs but this has happened in the bottom picture (more pressing needed?!)
Overall I’m pleased, but I’ve come across that problem again. The zip looks all kinds of crinkled?? Sew Busy Lizzy left me a comment on a previous make suggesting using strips of silk organza to interface the seam.¬†Anyone done this before? How do I do it? Sew Busy Lizzy, are you there?! I need some guidance. I wonder if this problem might be caused by me sewing the zip one to seam allowance and then sewing it properly with the zipper foot… Would that cause a crinkle? It must be something I’m doing because this is turning into a regular occurrence, and it’s putting me off wearing these outside.
I also need to sew the straps down, add a hook and eye to the top and work on the bodice -it looks baggy here but it needs to be pulled down a bit (the lining is fine, just the main fabric )
Anyway, my next make is not including a zip. I’m trying a shirred summer dress. Two rectangles, ¬†two straps and shirring elastic. What could go wrong? I’ll let you know…

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Summer make #2: Cynthia Rowley 2250

I’m onto the summer makes because my holiday is coming up very soon. Exciting! And I want to make some dresses to show off the tan once I finally get one. You might remember my blue flowery Sewaholic Cambie? That’s still waiting to get out of the wardrobe.

This week I decided to have a go at the Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2250. It’s been in my pattern stash for a while now and it’s time to give it a go! I’m going to went for view D, minus the wing things at the back.

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I wanted to make a toile of this pattern because it looks complicated and I don’t want to go messing up my fabric, and because I wanted to test the fit. On my Cambie I cut out a 12 pattern, and had plenty of room to move and lots of alterations to make, so I was brave and went for a size 10 in this pattern. I chose a method I haven’t used before, and instead of cutting out my size from the pattern (and risk wishing I could stick the next size back on) or tracing out all the pieces (there are a LOT of pieces in this pattern) for those that I could, I cut out the largest size and folded the pieces down to a size 10. And it worked well. For the more complex pieces I did trace them, and I do prefer doing that because the pieces are a lot sturdier. But in this case I wanted to get on with it and tracing all of them was too time consuming for me!

I’m glad I made up the toile. All those darts confused me! Although the pattern instructions are very thorough, I did end up with a bit of unpicking on my hands. But live and learn.

It was also a little snug. Not too bad, but letting out the side seams 0.5 cm each side meant I could breath when sitting down. Which is always a bonus.

But the skirt… well the skirt just wasn’t very me. I don’t think gathered skirts suit me very much and this dress was no exception. My hips and bum really don’t need to be made to look any bigger, so for the real deal I’ve decided to switch this skirt with the Cambie skirt, and take out the pockets. It feels a bit naughty changing the pattern, but that’s what it’s all about, right? Mix and match to make something that you actually want?

So now to start on the real thing…

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Hello blogging world! It fees like such a long time since I’ve posted anything, or even read anything sewing related. ¬†But I’m back!¬†And I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

First off,¬†vjstracener¬†voted the little blog of sewing for a¬†Liebster Award. What a nice surprise! Thanks vistracener ,this made my day ūüôā I’ll have a think about my answers to your questions and pass the award love on.

I haven’t been sewing so much lately but I did turn this fabulous fabric from NY….

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…into 6 of these cute cushion covers for a friend’s Mum. She’d bought the fabric on a recent shopping trip in the States and wanted to make it into cushions.

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“A square cushion cover? That shouldn’t be too hard” was my initial thought. But the tricky bit was sewing a zip into those tiny seam allowances that were SO SMALL! To make the most of the images I wanted to keep the gold border so had to cut just outside it on each edge. Giving me about 5mm! I’ve never put in a zip on such a narrow seam but thankfully they turned out ok.

Because of the border issues I could only make 6 (taking the two images from each edge) and now we’re left with the middle section, where the fabric has been cut right up to the gold edge. Dora wants some more cushions made with the rest of it and has left me to decide how they’re done. Any suggestions how to make the most of the rest of this fabric? I’m thinking of cutting out round the gold borders and fusing the image onto some other fabric, with a bit of applique to stitch them down…. what do you think?

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