Early 2017 Springwatch

Hello,

This past weekend presented itself with some lovely weather so I was out on Sunday in the garden – cleaning the greenhouse, sowing seeds, etc. The etc includes taking in the beautiful spring sights.

I don’t know about you but I love the morning after a light shower. The flowers have the droplets clinging on to their delicate petals and its a lovely thing to see. I took these pictures using OH’s phone and I was rather impressed.2017-03-12 09.47.472017-03-12 09.48.082017-03-12 09.48.51-22017-03-12 09.49.132017-03-12 09.50.012017-03-12 09.51.292017-03-12 09.53.242017-03-12 09.53.402017-03-12 09.54.102017-03-12 09.54.282017-03-12 09.55.102017-03-12 09.55.592017-03-12 09.56.152017-03-12 09.44.202017-03-12 09.44.432017-03-12 09.45.032017-03-12 09.45.072017-03-12 09.45.16

Meanwhile at the allotment the garlic and overwintering onions are doing well. I just sowed the seeds for this year. The potatoes are chitting along. This year we are only going to plant one variety of potatoes : Maris Piper.

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Leek bed
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I think it was the birds that did this to our purple sprouting brcocolli

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The onions sets and garlic.

Spring is coming.

McCalls M7430 Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.m7430_a

I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.

 

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McCalls M7430

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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

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.

Fabric Used

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.  

Conclusion:

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!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

The Lilian Dress by Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am super excited to share this post with you as part of a blog tour for the newly released Lilian Top from Pattern Review. When Deepika reached out and asked me to participate, I needed to see the pattern first and honestly I was hooked. Cap sleeves and a yoke are some of my favourite features so I was like “yes count me in. Plus I also loved the story behind the design. Here is an except from the designer Deepika:

Ever since I read about Lillian Weber, the amazing woman who sewed 1000 dresses to donate to Dresses for Africa, I’ve been yearning to do something to support this great cause. Dresses for Africa is an organization which not only clothes little girls in Africa, they do lots of other projects there, like building wells and community centers to improve lives of people in villages in Africa. And that is why I am dedicating this pattern to Lillian, hence the name. 20% of all sales from this pattern will be donated to Dresses for Africa. So when you buy this pattern, you too are joining me in this cause.

I read about Lillian Weber and I was so moved by her story that even though I was given this pattern for free I decided to make a donation to Little Dresses for Africa. Even if you are not interested in the pattern please read up on Lillian Weber – its not often I come across such a such a positive and inspirational message.

Ok. So the Lillian pattern comes as a dress and top. It is described as a knit top or an a-line dress with a V-Neck Yoke and cap sleeves. I selected  the dress because I wanted something I could wear with tights and boots. I loved this pattern so much I made two dresses, one after the other. The beauty of this pattern that it sews up real quick.

The PDF went together beautifully. At only 16 pages, its ready to cut very quickly. The directions are quite concise and even beginners would feel confident to tackle it. There is even a Youtube tutorial on the trickiest part – the neck binding. The instructions have been very well thought out keeping this a very simple and quick to make pattern. I cant stress how quickly this sews up.

For my first one I knew I wanted colour blocking.  I used my colour wheel to select what are called split complimentary colours – choosing burnt orange as my main colour then the split complimentary colours are the 2 either side of its compliment – deep blue and apple green. I chose blue for the yoke because of the striking contrast with the orange.

For my second one I used some grey ponte and lace bonded ponte that has been in my stash for far too long. Actually all these fabrics had been stashers for far too long (stasher is a noun I use for fabrics that has been in the stash for over 6 months). So yay for stash busting :-).

I drafted the poofy long sleeve lengthening the cap sleeve to the desired length – in my case it had to fit the half meter length of bonded lace  ponte. Once I had the length , I then cut and spread at 5 evenly spaced lines inserting about 4″ in total.

Constructionwise ,I stabilised my shoulder seam with fusible bias tape. I have found that this is the next best thing to twill tape for shoulder stabilisation on knits. I have used clear elastic and after a dozen washes and driers it begins to get slack.fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-635fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-625fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-622fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-621fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-669fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-668fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-667fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-617fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-616fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-651fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-645fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-655fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-555fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-538fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-579lilian-topfran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-572fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-590fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-595fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-594fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-521fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-524fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-528fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-558

I can easily see myself making loads more of these especially since I have seen some fantastic versions by the other seamsters on the blog tour – the possibilities are endless. There are plans to make a couple of summery ones – am thinking of lengthening to maxi and sleeveless..it has a seventies vibe to it no?

Thank you for stopping by, tell me which you like better the grey lace on or the colour blocked one? Oh and here it is in (wobbly) action..

A Blog Tour

Want some inspiration? These talented seamsters posted about Lillians on their blogs this week, so be sure to check them out.

Oct. 24th Jstarr4250 (Julie)

Oct. 25th Sue Parrott – Blog – http://sue-parrott.blogspot.com/

Oct. 26th GoodbyeValntino (Sarah) – Blog – http://www.goodbyevalentino.com/

Oct. 27th ecs81 (Eryn) – Blog – http://www.stylesewme.com/

Oct. 28th creatingitgap (Margo) – Blog – http://creatinginthegap.ca

Oct. 29th beanchor (Bianca) – Blog – http://thanksimadethem.blogspot.com/

 Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila