I have been trying to do a bit more pattern drafting. Often I just get carried away with the idea that it is far more convenient to just cut into an already drafted pattern and take it from there. However, I have spent quite a lot of money towards books, classes and tools on pattern drafting so I must make more of an effort.
I decided I wanted to make a drop shoulder tee-shirt which was inspired by this Boden top.
As it happens I had an easy fit tee-shirt sloper from when I used Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.
I drafted the sloper about 2 years ago so I decided to play around with that.
I started off with the basic tee-shirt sloper and I went on to follow the instructions for dropping the shoulder. The instructions don’t give you any further info regarding the sleeve pattern piece so I used my own logic by gently drawing an opposing curve with roughly the same amount taken off. Eventually, I stumbled upon a great post<link here> which explains in great detail the technicalities of the dropped shoulder.
I decided that at this point it would be a good idea to make a toile as I hadn’t made one yet. I used some jersey fabric that had been in my stash since 2014 – I bought it on EBAY during a late night browsing session (I have since managed to break that bad habit). I think it’s a viscose jersey which is very comfortable to wear. I also quite like the Argyl print :-).
For the neckband I measured around the neckline once I had finished and deducted 30% of the measurement – added my seam allowances and voila – a neckband that snaps perfectly against my body.
My next step with this draft will be to create the yoke pattern pieces and to drop the shoulder a bit further. The next iteration will be colour blocked to see if the proportions work well.
This was a quick refreshing project as I was not having to think about the instructions or whether I may have missed out something – if I can hang on to that feeling it would help me focus on doing more drafting. Do you prefer drafting your own or find it easier to use patterns?
I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.
My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.
Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.
This past winter I caught a bit of the Coco bug. It’s an easy super quick make – I totally blame SewChet for her beautiful stag print Coco <link here> which reminded me of the versatility of this pattern :-).
I have had this quilted ponte for a long while now (bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market) and its one I had set aside on the “sew or donate within 1 month” pile. Luckily it got sewn. The thing with this fabric is that it’s a workhorse – I have made my girls sweater dresses <link here> and they got washed loads over the 15 months my girls wore them. Despite all the laundering the fabric didn’t bobble or pil horribly so I knew that this will be a good workhorse dress.
To add to the sixties vibe I was getting off the fabric I interfaced the collar band so it would stand tall and proud in a contrasting black ponte.
I have much love for this dress and its been worn loads this past winter.
I joined Instagram (IG) with a very sceptical mind. I kept my eye out for the catch. Having tried Facebook very briefly when it first came out and disliked it intensely, Twitter as well which I didn’t and still don’t get – I was of the opinion that social media just wasn’t for me. But slowly my favourite bloggers were also going onto IG and touting how amazing this platform is.
As a general rule I like to think of myself as open-minded enough to try out new things and experiences (at least once). Trying to live by what I preach – if my kids had a penny for every time I said to them “But you haven’t tried it!” they’d be millionaires by now. So I went ahead and joined IG in Nov 2015. I had no idea what a hashtag was or how things worked on there. Since then my affair with IG has been on/off with the on being more prevalent. There are times when I do get annoyed at the proliferation of an overly promoted new pattern or event but its all part of the experience (it’s a minor irritation at best). But it is quite a helpful place for info on patterns, sewing or just about anything really. And I think this is where the IG and the sewing community meets to create a confluence of energy, creativity, inspiration………its a wonderful place.
For example, have your eye on a fabric that you MUST have but can’t find it in your regular haunts? Not to worry IG buddies are the best at telling you where to get it. Want to buy something from the US but postage is prohibitive; IG buddies tend to offer to pick it up for you and send slow cheaper mail (you pay P&P of course). Got a pattern you are not sure about? IG is always full of opinion. Cant decide which buttons to use; IG can help. Have a RTW inspiration garment you want to sew but dont know if there is a similar sewing pattern; Ig to the rescue. Missing pattern piece; IG to the rescue. I could go on and on. But sometimes you don’t even know that you need rescuing before IG comes to the rescue. Which brings me to Vogue 1314….
As part of a sewing challenge I was doing last year the prompt was “On my table” and I posted this…..
Immediately my IG buddies warned me about the sizing problem with it – It runs large they said. Thanks, said I……… I had already cut it out. They are right I said, after basting it to check fit. The ruching was drooping which looked unpleasant.
I cut away about 5/8″ from each side seam and basted to check fit – I liked what I saw without the ruching so I left it at that. I dithered over whether to add the sleeves or not and my OH weighed in with ‘no sleeves’ which is what I did. Lets pin this here for now and look at some pictures.
Fabric is a John Kaldor ity jersey that I bought ages ago from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market. I have loved this fabric for so long and was too sacred to cut into it but I am trying. Readers I am really trying to use my precious fabric. Now this is beautiful lightweight jersey with a slight sheen to it. It also has the characteristic of showing up every simple cellulite dimple, muscle clench and panty lines. So I had to line it with power mesh and wow – what a difference that makes. I went from Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian…(maybe not that much of a difference. But I think you get what I mean). The mesh gives it a nice smooth lining and feels really nice on. It also meant that I have clean finish armholes. The neckline is finished with a band. I hemmed it with a twin needle which stretched it out, so I cut it off and left it unhemmed since this doesn’t unravel. The hem definitely needs stabilisation before hemming.
Sorry for the long rambling post but the story behind this dress was so integral to how it turned out that I wanted to share it. I associate this dress with the awesomeness of IG – it’s not perfect at all but there are a lot of great aspects to IG communities with much less of the negatives that come with other things like Twitter and Facebook (IMHO).
Verdict: I like this dress a lot (truth be told it makes me feel like I have a big booty which in turn makes me feel guilty that I like the feeling of having a big booty which I think makes me very unfeminist —argh TMI).
Right. So yes I like this dress and will make another one in the next size down with the ruching at the sides. The relative simplicity of the design lends itself well to loud prints and I do love a loud print. It has the potential of becoming a TNT.
And…back to social media… Do you like it for your sewing? Do you prefer other social media platforms? or better yet share a sewing story where social media helped out. G on, we’d love to hear it. 🙂
Since making a dogs dinner of my twins’ birthday dresses <link here>, I vowed to make it up to them (&myself) so when Easter presented the opportunity of making them something special I jumped on it.
Using the same pattern as before and some long-term stashers I produced these dresses and leggings for them. The faced the hems with the same fabric as the leggings to make them matching sets. My girls love them and wear them constantly. These dresses have gotten so many compliments.
I am so glad I finally used up that Lillestoff fabric which I bought in early May 2014!!!!!! Its only been waiting 3 years :-). Heres to using up more precious stashers.
To add to my growing colleterie of Monetas (it has been officially designated that a group or collection of Moneta dresses is refered to by the term colleterrie).
At last count I now have made 7 Moneta dresses. And readers, I have plans for more:-). So yes this is a pattern that keeps on giving for me.
Enough waxing lyicals – I made them for the #monetaparty which was this really huge event on Instagram. It was fun seeing all the different Monetas that our incredibly creative community made. It always amazes me how only one pattern can literally be made by 1000 seamstress and not a single one is the same! Continue reading →
My greatest sewing pleasure is sewing for my little people – but sewing for the twinks is my joy. I love choosing contrasting fabrics to make them garments that are the same but different. I have a soft spot for Simplicity 1473 as it was one of the first garments I made for my son. The top I made then in 2014 is still around and my twins wear it now <link here>. Here is the pattern cover. Continue reading →
I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.
I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.
Pattern Description: Misses’ Knit Side-Panel Dresses with Yokes
McCalls M7430 is a fitted pullover knit dress with side panels (no side seams). It has a front and back yoke with neckline variations.The neck variation is a bound, round neckline or a turtleneck. The hem variation is a shaped hem or a straight hem. The dress may be made sleeveless, three-quarter sleeve or long sleeve.
Pattern sizing combinations are A5(6-14) and E5(14-22). I cut out a size 10 based on finished garment measurements and I thought it was not too far off the mark ease-wise.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made view D, using a black contrast stretch pleather with a pink and black cloque fabric. And it looked like what I was expecting based on the pattern cover.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I read through the instructions before embarking on this project and they were huge easy to follow diagrams accompanying the written instructions making this beginner friendly. This is a relatively simple dress to make anyway. It scores more points on the beginner friendly scale as there is a YouTUbe sew along by Anita Design . You can’t do much better that! If you don’t like reading instructions it’s worth checking that out.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like patterns with interesting seam lines. This has princess seams at the front combined with a front yoke as well which gives plenty of colour blocking options. There are endless possibilities.
I bought the main fabric during SewUpNorth in November last year. It is a bold black & cerise jacquard blister ponte (cloque). I have since found out that composition is viscose, polyester & spandex (which explains why it’s so comfortable). It has a beautifully-soft handle and a firm stretch with good recovery across the width and length of the fabric. This is the same fabric I used for my Lady Skater Dress <link here>.
What really drew me to the fabric was the easy flamboyance of the vibrant rococo-style pattern. In terms of fabric care: I machine washed at 30°C and tumble dried as normal.
For the contrast, I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from Leeds Market. The stretch pleather was bought to make leggings but I am glad I didn’t make leggings with it. I didn’t want stretch pleather on my neck so I used what little black ponte I had for the upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the black ponte for the side panels.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I took in the princess seams at the waist line to reduce a swayback issue. Swayback is a standard alteration for me but I skipped it on this because I had princess seams down my back to work with. Though for future makes I will do the adjustment on my paper pattern.
There is a little more ease across the upper back than there should be for a fitted dress- it was also slightly roomy for me around the bust area where I took in about 1” in total.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am making this again for sure. Its easy to both make and wear. Comfortable and practical. I would definitely reccommend it.
Here’s a tip. The back of the dress is almost identical to the front so much so that when sewing it up its easy to mix up the pattern pieces unless if you make sure to mark them – I didnt and honestly will never not mark them again!
And another thing; my biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head lines to line up with the yoke. My initial preference would have been to make this in a stripey main fabric. However, I realised that I had a bit of trouble with a solid colour – imagine trying to line up stripes! It is possible but its something to bear in mind when cutting out especially if one is fussy about perfect pattern matching.
It’s a good basic wardrobe staple. I may make a more summery one at some point with a shorter length, normal collar and no sleeves . this dress was on the shorter side – its fine for me but if you like more covereage there, pay attention to the finished garment length measurements before cutting so you can add length. I recommend McCalls M7430 if you are looking for a dress that is well-fitting and easy-to-make. Alternatively, shorten it to make turtleneck top.
Final point about the dress: if made in one solid color, the detail of the princess seam and yoke seam is lost which would be a shame. So if you make this I highly recommend using contrasting fabrics. I also I love the slimming effect of the contrasting side panels (especially when black is used like I did for mine) – but any dark colour will have a similar effect.
Many thanks for stopping by my little corners of the interwebs. Until next time, happy sewing!
Continuing with the theme of sewing for others, I am happy to share one of my favourite kids makes from last year.
My second little person was a sheep in the Christmas play. I felt the costume he was given to wear by the school was sub-par and inconsistent with his tremendous talent!!! So I took it upon myself to make him a sheep costume. After my zeal and indignation had fizzled out – I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make something that would also get a lot of wear even after the play.
With 48 hours to spare I got this jersey fabric from Fabworks Mill Shop (not available online) which has the most amazing soft texture! It was incredibly pricey for me at 12£/meter (I bought 3/4 of a meter) but I quickly rationalised as follows:
He is number 2, therefore, numbers 3, 4 and 5 will wear this as well and if you calculate the cost then in makes it worth while.
I was with hubs who is my biggest enabler. ” Just buy it and love and let’s go” is always his response (I can’t complain).
I washed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried without noticeable loss of texture or length.
I lined the hoodie with a blue jersey fabric as blue is said little person’s favourite colour too. It sewed up in under 2 hours and he was able to wear it for his production. He loves it and wears it almost everyday. The only issue was that little persons 3, 4 and 5 also wanted their own sheep hoodies too! Baaaa!
Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be back soon with another non-Hila project :-).
I made some more dresses for my little people’s birthday outfits. This is the pattern that I used.
I made one change which was to have a straight skirt rather than a gathered skirt. Much as I’d love to say this was intentional – it was down to poor time management on my part. I wanted to make the dresses with a tulle underskirt as well as the gathered skirt so they could have swirly twirly dresses. I arrogantly thought I could whip them up in a couple of hours, however, by the time we got to the eve of their birthday we’d had 60% of the little people ill and I could feel that I was catching it too. Energy was low and I realised I had to make the dresses (because they had been promised) but I altered them to make in the quickest way possible.
I am not proud of myself for this, but I do promise that this year I will do better. The girls loved their dresses though (which made me feel even worse ironically). They turned 3 and had a brilliant day with loads of gifts and games and cake. I cant believe that its been 3 years already!
I bought the jersey from Jacks Fabrics at Leeds Market. Its a lightweight poly jersey at £3 per meter. It pills like mad though so its not something I will use to make day to day clothes. I have about 2 meters left which will make some PJs for the kids. I dont mind pilling on PJs as much.
Here is a picture from their birthday wearing the dresses.