Monday, 17 August 2015

Simplicity 1586; an amazing fit

I love this dress.  Although it may come up as rather ordinary in the photos I feel really good in it.  It fits really well and I think it is a great work dress.  The pattern is fairly easy to put together.  The neck is faced and I didn't bother to line this one.

The pattern is simplicity 1586, an Amazing Fit pattern.  Because I am a C cup most patterns need a fba to fit.  The Amazing fit patterns are the lazy option as they come with a choice of B, C, D cups.

I cut a size 14 C cup , grading to a 12 at the waist and hips and the fit at the front was pretty much spot on.  I also really liked that the back had a choice of narrow, average or wide fit.  I have pretty narrow shoulders and so picked the narrow back.  There is still a little excess at the top and when I make this again I will take 5/8" from the top of the centre back.

To cope with my narrow shoulders I added 5/8 inch to the neck edge and took 5/8" from the top of the arm hole.

The sleeves are unusual, they have 3 darts which make the shape boxy.  I wasn't sure whether I liked these or not, but they have drown on me.

The fabric is fabulous.  It's stretch crepe; really comfortable and easy to sew.  A nice weight and I particularly love the teal colour.

The princess seams were great to put together and fitted well.  The back has a little vent for extra style and comfort.    This is really part of my autumn sewing.  I have a whole wardrobe planned based on a grey, black, teal, taupe and mustard colour scheme.

In my two week holiday I had a lovely trip to Manchester Art Gallery with my sewing friend Gary.

There was a fantastic exhibition, not big but really interesting on 50s Cotton Couture.  I loved so many of the dresses, and all made from cotton.

I would certainly recommend it for those of you who like vintage clothes.  Well that was summer, back to work now and almost ready for the start of the Autumn term!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Liberty Bruyere

A favourite pattern ..... check! ..... lovely liberty fabric ......check! ..... a week's holiday ...... check! and a new sewing friend ......

(Yes I treated myself to a Pfaff Ambition machine).  What's not to love? I had a lovely week making a shirt I really like.  This is my second Bruyere and I love the fit on me.  I hardly had to make any changes, just a little from the shoulder width (which makes about 1" in total).  The rest seems made for me. I cut a 42 at the bust grading to a 40 at the waist (I'm about 38" bust C cup and 28" waist and 37" hip).  I'm also high waisted (about 1" above average) and didn't make any adjustments, so the waist would be higher on most people. 

The two pleats on the front and the back give fullness but keep things flat in all the right places.

The fabric is Liberty Suzanna Tana Lawn.  I don't seem to be able to find this colourway anywhere now and I do love it.  I bought it from my favourite fabric shop Unique Image in Ulverston.  If you are a UK buyer, buying full-price Liberty and you want to support a small independent shop you can order your Liberty from Unique Image.  I used some matching Liberty plain grey.

The thing I am most proud of is the pattern matching at the yoke, yes this is two separate pieces of fabric (I made it bigger just so you can see!).  Sorry if I sound as if I'm bragging, but I'm just so proud of this.

I frenchseamed the insides (except for the sleeves) and so the insides are really pretty.

I've had Dan and his puppy Monty staying for almost a week  .... lovely.  I do miss him.

We watched films, walked all the dogs and there may have been cream teas in the sun.

Most of the time Monty was pretty bonkers (he's only 5th months), but there were some moments of peace (time for a haircut for Rosie I think).

The winner of the pattern giveaway is Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress.  I been enjoying Shannon's blog since she started and she has made some fabulous clothes.  I'll look forward to seeing her versions of some of the patterns!  Are you having a sewing holiday?  Back to my Ginger jeans and to cutting out another Linton Chanel jacket.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Butterick 5982: the summer dance dress and giveaway

This is my second version of Butterick 5982 (and I'm afraid I prefer the first!)


I wanted to make a new dress for our local village annual summer dance and it certainly has swirly potential.

I think my doubts are partially about my choice of fabric.  I do love the fabric, which has been in my stash for more than a year, but I'm not sure it's the right choice as it feels a bit too sweet for a woman of my mature years.  Also it is possibly a little heavy for the gathered skirt.

The poppy fabric is probably better suited.

The other problem is it is definitely too big at the waist.  I was obsessed that I should get the pattern matching right on the back and I was really pleased with the matching at the zip!


 Unfortunately it got worse the further down the back you go - not sure why.  The pattern matching was what stopped me getting a good fit.  I usually take in the zip to fit my bodice and if I'd done this the very carefully cut back wouldn't have matched at all.  I'd already sewed and neatened all the sides, so there was nowhere that I could easily take the waist in, oh well you live and learn.

The dress shaping is quite unusual.  It isn't the usual princess seam as it doesn't dissect the bust, having a dart as well.  The reason I picked this pattern is because it has a choice of cup sizes and as a C cup I'm too lazy to do the fba I need on most patterns.
I like the skirt because it has flat panels over the stomach, then an inverted pleat before gathering at the sides. This is definitely more flattering than gathering round the whole skirt.
And just to prove it did get worn! 

The winner of the Great British Sewing Bee book is Jeanette from the Lazy Seamstress.  My next giveaway if open to any reader anywhere in the world. The prize is 4 vintage repro patterns.


If you would like to enter then leave a comment (and please state you want to join in).  I will draw the winner on August 1st. Welcome to any new followers.  I'm enjoying a week off work and some sunshine here in Cumbria, so lots of sewing going on!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Five month Dior-style jacket and the 5 hour Jaile scarf-collar top plus giveaway

I started this jacket way back in Feburary and have been plugging away steadily at my sewing class since then, hence why I am posting something which is very unseasonable at the moment.  This is my second version of Gertie's New Look jacket from her Book for Better Sewing

I love the fit and the shape of this jacket.  It really extenuates the waist.  Here it is worn with a fuller skirt (again from Gertie's book).

I am probably more likely to wear it for work with a slimmer skirt (yes, a very sensible look because I have a rather sensible job!).  Here it is with my adapted Mabel skirt

You can probably see the detail better here.  There is a big shawl collar, which is only at the front, there is no collar at the back at all which is rather unusual.  You can see the waist shaping here.  This is achieved by darting and an under-peplum.

The fabric is melton wool from the Cloth House.  I wouldn't use it again because it is just too firm and so difficult to work with plus at the moment it feels stiff to wear, on the other hand it has taken the shaping really well. I will definitely make this jacket again (and possibly in black) but perhaps use a good quality wool crepe.

The back view.  You can see there is actually quite a bit of fabric in the back, it isn't a close fit, but this does make it more comfortable to wear.

Here is a photo of the guts.  I used fusible heavy interfacing.

You can see the inner-peplum here.  Lots of darts to give extra structure.

I made bound button holes, they are rather too thick, so I will work on that in future.

I lined the jacket with satin.

I'm wearing the jacket with my new blouse.  This is Jalie 2921 scarf-collar top.  I love this pattern.  I made it previously in a thicker jersey, but this is gorgeous silk jersey and I absolutely love it.  It feels great to wear and was reasonably easy to cut and sew with care.  Now this is where I am jealous of you guys in the USA.  I couldn't find silk jersey anywhere in the UK under £100, and so I'm afraid I bought it from Mood.  It wasn't cheap but worth the cost and you could probably squeeze this top out of a generous metre.  What was even dearer are the shipping costs and then you have to add the £19 inport duty!  It's a good job I like it.  I also bought 1 1/2 metres of black.  I would love more of the colours but it's just too extravagant to repeat!  So lucky you in the USA.    The fabric has just the right stretch and feels really luxurious.

As I said I love this pattern.  It took me just under 5 hours to make and that included all the seams being French seamed (including the sleeve insertion).  I think the collar is very clever (the first time it took me a while to work out).  You roll up the back and front pieces into the collar.

You then sew the collar together, with the rest of the blouse inside, and pull it all out through a 1" gap!  I know amazing and it gives the inside such a clean look.

Inside of collar.
I'm going to make another one from the black silk jersey.  If I want to try an actual bow I will need to make the tie longer as it is a bit bunched at the moment.

On a non-sewing front Dan, Gemma and I went to see Elton John who was appearing in Kendal!  Direct from Las Vegas to Kendal.  It was a great show, though being outside pretty cold.

One of the more unusual opportunities I have at work is to see lots of lovely wild animals and this little family of ducklings won the award for cuteness this week.

Image result for great british sewing bee book 2015Finally, I'm incredibly pleased to have more than 100 followers on Bloglovin, thanks so much and to celebrate I'm having 3 give-aways over the next 3 posts.  The first is a copy of the new Great British Sewing Bee book, because of postage I'm afraid I'm only offering this one to UK followers (but the next 2 pattern packages will be for everyone).  So if you would like to win this just leave a comment below (it's a long story how I ended up with more than one copy myself).  I'll close this draw on Monday 6th July.