Monday, 22 January 2018

Sew Over It bonanza

I've had a quite productive sewing time since Christmas and it starts with a bit of a splurge on Sew Over It patterns.

First, and my favourite,  the Sew Over It Joan dress.  This is a pattern for wovens, but I though it would be more comfortable in knit and this is in some lovely wool jersey from my stash (from Fabrics Galore Nov 2016 - great fabric).

I had to make a lot of changes.  Cutting a size 12 didn't work and I had to make all the side seams and back 7/8" to get the fit.  I also took 1/2" from the shoulder width and moved the darts in by 1" (they also need lowering by 3/8").  I normally need to take the wait up by 1", but didn't for this dress and as you can see it is sitting a bit above my natural waist, so that might be an issue for those with a longer body.

Construction was quite easy.  I didn't need the zip.  The kickpleat wouldn't work as per the pattern as there were too many layers of thick fabric, so I just made a 6" slit and then topstitched.  I accidentally sewed the neck on the wrong side and so had to take 4" of one side, but I think this looks good.  The only problem I have had is that the neckband is slipstiched in place and on a stretch fabric, this does pop.  I love this dress and have already got lots of wear, it is lovely and cosy.  I will definitely make another.

Next the Sew Over It Cowl dress.  This is a pretty easy pattern.  Only 4 pieces and with a belt it is quite stylish.  The cowl is just a wider unfaced bit with a narrow hem that flops, and I'm not sure if it feels finished enough for me.

Nothing much more to say.  I love this fabric which came from Stoff and Still, but was again from my stash.  I would use the fabric again (the colour is a sort of marled dusky rose), but probably won't make the pattern again as I prefer a more significant cowl.

Finally the Vintage shirt dress made from Liberty Cord (bought for £4.50 a metre).  I'm still deciding on this one.  Perfectly wearable, but I think possibly my style has changed and I definitely prefer the Joan dress on me (60s rather than 50s, who would have thought). 

I cut a 12 grading to a 10 at the waist, and even with another 2/5" off at the side seams it is still a bit roomy.  I would cut a 10 grading to 8 another time.  I took 1/2" from the shoulders and because I don't like gathered sleeves I changed the sleeve cap to a smoothly fitted one, and this seemed to work.

It was fairly straight forward to make.  Though as I don't want to fasten right up, you can see the lapels are sticking out a bit, so more pressing needed.  The bodice fits quite well at the bust.  It's quite nice and I know lots love this pattern, I can see why ... and lovely for a swish!

So I've made a good start to 2018.  I don't really make resolutions and don't want to have too many enforced plans, however, I am going to take part in selected Sew My Style challenges.  I also want to try some new techniques;  a Sophie swimsuit, a bra and finally get trousers beaten!  I have been trying to make progress with my too large stash, however, what I have realized is that generally it is full of summer-type fabrics, so that means I don't feel too guilty about buying winter fabrics .... any excuse! 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Vogue 1532: The Vogue Cocktail hour

Well this seems like a suitable dress to post on a Christmas-time blog.    This is a rather belated sew for the Vogue Cocktail hour (#sipandsew).

Vogue 1532 doesn't seem to have been a popular choice, but I do like it.    The dress itself is a fairly traditional, close-fitting dress, and then there is a dolman sleeved pullover top to add a bit of pizazz!


I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes I choose a pattern as much because it contains a challenge I want to try, in this case boning, rather than just a pattern I love.  I also thought if I was making a cocktail dress, I would go all out and pick a posh one.  The dress is made of stretch duchess satin and the top from a sort of dotty net fabric  (from Abakhan).

I cut a size 14, but this ended up much too big in the stretch duchess and I had to take in several inches.   It could still be a little tighter to look really good, but instead it more comfortable to wear.

The pattern has very thin straps that would not cover a bra, and so I made much wider straps.  Getting the fitting right was one of the trickier challenges.

I love the sleeves, and the net edged with the satin cuff.  Also if you don't like fully exposing your arms, this pattern is ideal, a bit of coverage but still glam!

The cuff is held together with little rouleux loops (very fiddly) and these gorgeous vintage buttons.

I made a pretty good job of the dress.    The only mistake I made was to use cheap bias binding for the neck, never again, it makes the neck stand up a little.  In hindsight I should have made my own (probably from the lining material).  The inside looks great .... yes the picture below is the inside. The lining is a poly-satin.  You can see where the boning is.  There are 8 channels of boning.
I used covered plastic boning, (also from Akahban) and sewed these to the lining, so that they didn't show on the dress.  You can see below one channel on the princess seam and one on the side seam.  To minimize any seams showing through the dress I finished them with pinking shears rather than any overlocking which showed through slightly.


This is an interesting pattern and a good one to make.  It is an intermediate/advanced and probably not for the beginner, though depending on your choice of fabric, not too difficult.  I've never really had a little black dress before, just need a chance to wear it!

If you read this on the 25th, I hope you are having a wonderful day.   Otherwise I will be early in wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2018 and look forward to sharing lots of sewing with you.

Friday, 1 December 2017

#OWOP17 Day 7 M6886

So I have had no difficulty wearing M6886 for the week, and here on the final day is my 5th version, finished on Wednesday evening.

I think this is a really great pattern, and from other's versions I think it suits most body-types.  I have chosen to make a fairly loose version suitable for work.  So I cut a size 14 (I'm a 37.5" bust 28 waist and 37 hip).  You could make a sexy version by making it a bit tighter, or choose a glamorous fabric.  I think it needs a firmish fabric though.

I raised the waist by 1" and added 1.5" to the length (I'm 5'4")  I narrowed the shoulders by 6/8".  I didn't turn over the neckline as advised but fitted a neck and.  I've just made a small swayback adjustment for the next time (and there will be more), you can see below there is a little too much fabric at the back.  In order to accommodate shorter jacket sleeves I made this one 3/4 length.

The dress goes together really easily and is a great project for beginners to knits.    I know a plain black ponte dress is a bit boring, but I have to be smart at work and it will be perfect with a number of my jackets, infact I'm considering wearing the outfit below for a very important work interview I have coming up.

Well that's the last for One week one pattern, and the most posts I have made in a week!  Hope it wasn't too boring.  Did you take part?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

#OWOP17 Day 4 M6886

Day 4 and this is probably my favourite version.  (Apologies for the photos taken after work when it was dark!  ... and my eyes closed whenever the flash went off).

A simple striped ponte, lots of stripe matching slowed it down, but a very straightforward make.

I'm currently making my fifth version, not quite enough to do 7 different days so I won't bore you tomorrow, when on instagram I'll just show one of the current dresses with a jacket.

Monday, 27 November 2017

OWOP17 Day 3; McCalls 6886

My third version!  This time in a grey herringbone ponte.

It looks better in real life ... and actually its a really good dress for work with a grey jacket.  You can see I didn't quite get the neckband right, because I used too broad a band and it won't lie quite flat, but still wearable and I've already worn it quite a lot.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

OWOP17: day 2 McCalls 6886

Managed to figure the instagram out!  If you do want to follow me on instagram here is the link.  So here is day 2 for my one week one pattern entry #OWOP17, and this time it's scuba.

This is the first, and the last time, I will use Scuba, it's just not for me.  I don't like this version and this will be the only day I wear it!  Not the pattern fault, just the fabric, which feels spongy and thick.  I don't like not being able to press or hem it, look at the unsatisfactory seams, and the unfinished neckline.  But in the spirit of the week, I wanted to show you how M6886 looks in a variety of necklines and fabrics.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

#OWOp17 One week one pattern

I am so technologically inept, that I can't find how to post my photo on my instagram!  So I will drop brief details every day this week if I can find the time.  My pattern is the fantastic M6886, a really easy pattern to make and very versatile.  Here it is in a spotty, slightly shiny ponte and I have created a cowl neck with just an oblong of fabric.  Very cosy and just thing to wear at a great day at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.  I'll do full details at the end of the week.