SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

  1. Fitted shirt in shocking pink.
  2. Embroidered fitted top
  3. Knitted red and white jumper
  4. White tie back top
  5. A ‘rogue’ dress

For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.

Fitted Shirt

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Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.

I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant  fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its  a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.

I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.

Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.

Yellow Maxi Skirtyellow20maxi20skirt

For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.

I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even  more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!!  The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂

Pictures…..

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SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt

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So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….undecided

Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Linen & Lace Simplicity 8215 Top

Hello everyone,

I had missed sewing with linen over the colder months so when I saw this pattern I decided to have a go with some linen that has been in my stash a long time. The lace used for the contrast was something I picked up from Bombay Stores in Bradford. It was quite costly at over £20/meter but I bought a half meter during their 20% off sale. The colour matched the linen perfectly so I knew I would use it for a yoke or something similar. Continue reading

Echino Mod Mini aka Another self drafted skirt….

Hi everyone!

Allow me to present another self drafted skirt that I started on in 2015! I have a habit of starting a blog post for a project that has been cut out – that way I sort of have an idea of how long the project took to complete. Well this one has  been sitting at the bottom of my 32 drafts queue for a really long time :-). Still better late than never m’kay. The pattern is the same as this A Line skirt here but without the pockets and a tad bit shorter. Continue reading

BurdaStyle Magazine 10/2014 #105 Cowl Neck Dress Pattern Review

Hello,

Let me preface this by saying that this is possibly my most favourite dress ever! Don’t believe me? Check out this IG video….

Continue reading

Selfless Sewing: McCalls M6044 for my brother….but modelled by OH…

Hello everyone,

Here is a shirt I actually sewed in January 2016 for my little brother who lives in Switzerland. He spent Christmas with us and I offered to make him a shirt using McCalls M6044.

I took him fabric shopping – on a tangent -I honestly do not understand why he didn’t LOVE fabric shopping – we walked into B&M Fabrics and literally 2 seconds later he just pointed at a fabric and he was like “that one” (literally 2 seconds in the shop!!!!). “Have a look around and see what else is there – there are loads of lovely fabrics.” I said with a big enthusiastic smile across my face. Continue reading

Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studio Pt 4

Hello chums,

I must apologise in advance for the deluge of daily posts – I want to catch up with my blogging – only a few more posts to go before I am up to 2017. Please bear with me. And on that note………..

It’s no secret that I am huge fan of the Alder shirtdress having made 3 versions to date

First one was a cotton lawn palm trees & flamingos Alder

The second one was John Kaldor cotton lawn,

The third one was a Nani Iro double gauze.

I finally got around to making the fourth one using the same fabric as my Laurel shift dress. Continue reading

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

 

 

 

Self Drafted Men’s Tee shirt

Hello chums,

One of the perks of enrolling on the pattern drafting class was that I had access to loads of drafting paper and a large spacious studio to work in. Once I finished my project I still had a few weeks left on the course and so I used that time to start drafting a T-shirt block for my OH.

Using Winifred Aldrich, I drafted an easy fitting t-shirt. It is a very quick draft – I think menswear might be easier to draft for than women’s because men don’t have as many curves? This is based on this one easy draft :-).

Personally I thought the neckline on the draft was too high and narrow  for something that is supposed to come over your head. But I didn’t remedy it immediately so I could see if my instinct was correct. Upon making the t shirt I was chuffed to see that I was correct – the neckline was far too high and narrow so I lowered it by 3/4″ at front and widened by 1/2″ at shoulder.

There was lot of ease on this t-shirt. OH complained that it was too much and so in a dramatic role reversal – I was pinning out the excess while he had to pose in front of a mirror and say when :-). He was eventually happy when I had taken out about 1.75″ (one and three-quarter inches) from the sides.

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The fabric is a really great quality cotton jersey that I bought from B&M Fabrics. Its nice and slightly thick with good stretch recovery. I used 1m which cost me £14/m – worth every penny for my loudest cheerleader.

OH had choice of neckband in either same fabric of contrast black cuffing – I think he made the right choice. I finished the neckband and hems using a twin needle. A lot of effort went into making him this t-shirt. Now that we have a block for him I expect that there will be a few more t-shirts in the future – he even mentioned screen printing his own graphics…….

He is very pleased with it and he wears every time its clean and available. One of my loosely defined goals this year is to sew more stuff for him – because- he is worth it 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing everyone.

Peace and love,

Hila

Simplicity 1317 in Red Stretch Velvet

Hello chums,

Here is a top I made last year near the festive season. The fabric was left over from my twins Xmas dresses here.  It’s an underrated pattern called Simplicity 1317 which has raglan sleeves.

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Simplicity 1317

 

My first one still gets worn loads especially on weekends. I had to lengthen the arms by 10cms as they were too short before. I think this sort of style has a lot of mileage. I am glad I bought it during my early pattern buying sessions.

The fabric is of a lightweight drapey variety. Sewn up on the overlocker it leaves an awful of lint behind but it more than makes up for it by being a super quick make. It has good stretch recovery and I would buy this fabric again if I came across it. I think I’d like a sheath dress in this fabric….with a low plunging neckline….Tangentially, I think this pattern could easily lengthen into a dress.

The cuffs and the hem band were cut on a different grain – insufficient fabric – but I think I mostly got away with it. The neckband was the only casualty.  Which makes me think about grain and its importance with stretch fabrics – perhaps there is more wriggle room than with wovens…I digress.

Sizing wise I actually felt that this was true to size. I cut the size Small based on my bust measurement and I am amazed that there was not the usual excess ease I associate with BIG 4 patterns.

Pictures

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Simplicity 1317

 

Some more pictures from one of the Xmas dos that had a Santa’s Grotto for the kids…

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Taking over Santa’s throne…
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I think he was checking his IG 🙂
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Mini Santa
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Eye of the tiger
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Panda baby…
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Pretty butterfly

****I am not supposed to have favourites but the butterfly is just perfect!******

I feel resplendent in this top and sure enough it was worn to a couple of Christmas events where I was trying to pull off festive nonchalant chic as way of covering up my ever bulging tum ( all that festive feasting was intent on revealing itself!). Currently, crunches and planks are now de rigueur until that festive tum is banished!

Off to my yoga mat…..you know resolutions and all that…..la di da…..

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila