time to line up a new project

It’s time to bid farewell to simplicity 1282, as it’s finally done. It’s taken longer than I would normally expect after having a busy time at work and with other events. I got to do lots of top stitching with this skirt around the waistband. It’s just a shame no one else will get to see all the work as close up as I have!

I normally line skirts but as this intended more for summer wear I didn’t add one. Which has been an opportunity to add some nice decorative touches I don’t normally use a turned over seam finish but it looks very pretty and is worth the effort. Given how badly this fabric frayed ignoring seam finishing was not an option….

I have used yet more of my bias binding (I love the two rolls of unpressed bias I bought so much, they were amazing value!) to finish off the hem and it has become my go to in order to create a more structured hem if it is looking a bit floppy.

So, on to Vogue 2401. Given the check pattern on the silk fabric I have chosen a toile seems to be a very sensible plan (I know, pinch me, I don’t normally invest in them) so I am hoping I won’t have to make too many amendments. I will report back soon – happily I have a whole weekend to enjoy and I intend to make the most of it.


the last stitch (in the ditch)

So, my skirt from Simplicity 1282 is nearly finished. The below photo is before I put the zip in (which is now sorted) and I just need to add the facing. As this won’t be lined, it is nice and quick compared to some other projects!

Happily this pattern hasn’t required too many modifications fit wise. I’ve used a longer length due to my height, slightly narrowed the upper hip area, but left the waistband alone (my usual size 16).

Having lost a waistband pattern piece at some point I decided to use the facing for the front as the outer side, but used the split piece for the back. I quite like this as I really don’t need additional bulky round the tummy area from multiple seams. Although the denim isn’t really thick I have top stitched the waistband seams to ensure everything lies nice and flat, plus I think it looks pretty.

I’ve also used bias binding (in a nice contrasting red) to finish the hem line as I have noticed when A-line skirts with heavier fabric it can do with a bit of support structure wise otherwise it can struggle to kick out in the right shape.



check (out) the new fabric

20170325_191527.jpgI’ve been on holiday, busy at work, and am slowly progressing through making a denim skirt. But of course there is always time to shop for new fabric. I couldn’t pass up on this lovely silk, as it was only £5 a meter. It’s going to become Vogue 2401.

Normally, although I love these vintage patterns, I don’t go for this type of thing as they fare fabric hogs, and if you really want to use nice fabric it would cost a small fortune. However, due to this lovely fabric I can justify making it.

I hope to post more soon about my skirt. It’s not going to be lined so should be a bit quicker to make!

sailing through easier waters

After my never seeming to end last project (I imagine everyone was ready to see some posts about something different than the suit I was working on) I was very pleased to start a quick and easy project.

I’ve always liked the little sailor outfits for children, so this fit the bill nicely. The dress is fully lined, and I have used a viscose blend fabric as an overlay to create a lace type effect. I used a white cotton as the under layer for the sleeves and collar. It’s worked well, and the overall colour now looks more cream. I think white for a small baby is a dirt magnet!

I’ve used french seams and under stitched everything. Nothing special to report about the pattern, other than that some of the notches don’t line up. I also always like to have a full lining (this one only lined the bodice). I am not convinced by the instruction to cut 4 of your fashion fabric for the bodice. Surely a softer fabric to line it with is better for a young child?

So, this is Mccalls M6913. View C with the sleeves form view B.


seeing green – for new projects

Finally, after what seems like an inordinate amount of time and focus, I can look forward to starting a new project. Yes, that means my jacket is finished! I decided to follow through with the existing green theme, which meant green bias binding around all the edges and a green facing. All matched with a green (in another shade) lining.


Getting the fit right has been an utter pain. I won’t be making this jacket again, as I am convinced there are easier patterns out there to make than this one. A real shame, as the skirt went together pretty well. Still, the result is a satisfying one. So, here we are, verdict anyone? I probably won’t wear this together much as it is a bit formal, but they make very nice separates.


bound to get to the finish line – eventually

It’s been a busy time since Christmas. Having a new job takes up a lot of brain power and energy. Plus having an uncooperative project with regards fit does demotivate you a bit. After a concerted effort to push through, I finally feel like my tapestry jacket is going to get finished.

I’ve added a full facing, which included drafting my own neckline facing. I’m also going to use bias binding to finish all the raw edges. Neater, less bulky, allows me to eek out a bit more length as it is on the short side and also adds a decorative touch.

I am looking forwards to being able to start a new project! I’m not making this jacket again. After taking it in at the side seams further to improve the fit I have lost count as to how many inches I have had to remove. Anyway, here’s an in progress look at the bias binding being applied.

pinning down the time

I have been working on my outstanding projects in fits and starts. It’s now mid January and I have finally been able to cross some things off the list. The previously mentioned travel bag and skirt have now been finished. I have also made a pin sharpening pin cushion for my sister.

The latter is made by taking fine steel wire wool, wrapping it in wadding and then using a silk shell for the outside layer. Add a button in the middle and voila, done! a very nice quick project.

The skirt, after under stitching, then more top stitching (at the waist, as the lining was still rolling) has now become a well behaved piece of clothing. I will warn you though, if you work with tapestry if will ravel very badly.

Not very exciting, but also done, is the travel bag lining. Which was a bit tricky to add as it kept getting stuck in the zipper teeth until I top stitched that as well. If you are ever working with really thick fabric and lots of layers I recommend getting a jean needle. I kept breaking my size 16 needles until I did this, as all the seams needed top stitching as you can’t really press them well given the amount of interfacing I had added and curves.


Moving on, I hope to get the matching jacket finished soon. I am going to be adding bound button holes shortly so I can double check the final fit. I’m going to extend the facing around the neckline after a pattern review member who had made the jacket recommended doing this. I also need to finish the back slit on that colour blocked dress so I can cross that off the list too. Given the current temperatures here it will be a while before I can wear it though!

it’s in the bag

Since the last time I posted there have been a few distractions. A weekend away, Christmas, and a new job! the last has taken up a lot of my energy, time and attention. Still, I have not been entirely idle. I have been attempting to tackle The Stash. Not entirely with success as some new fabric has since been purchased. But this is a big piece of fabric, in both length and thickness. So it’s nice to see it finally being used.

I bought this some time ago with the plan to make a coat. Until some more experienced sewers pointed out matching all the lovely zig zags would be nigh on impossible. So in to the stash it went. Until my recent high waisted Butterick skirt success. When it occurred to me that it could also be used with more bulky fabric if I was careful.

Whilst I was at it, why not make the matching jacket? why I maybe shouldn’t have made the jacket is because the fit was nowhere near as good. Nearly 10 inches worth of ease at the waist. With a tapestry type fabric this was never going to be a flattering look. After a fair bit of modifying (dropped waist down by 2 sizes), taking in the darts at the back, splitting the front waist dart in two to create better shaping and interfacing both skirt and jacket fabric I am approaching a more positive end product. I’ve also had to alter the arm scythe and sleeve head a bit as well using my sloper as a guide.

There may be a bit more fitting left to do in the jacket but it’s getting there. But I still had fabric left over. What to do? I opted for a travel bag for a friend. Burda 7119 was duly purchased. I like the design but don’t think much of the instructions, as there wasn’t any guidance on adding structure. I interfaced everything and added an extra layer of cardboard thickness interfacing for the back, front and bottom. The photos as you can see are “in progress” but give you an idea how the projects are shaping up.

I still need to add the lining and finish top stitching the seams (to help ensure a neat finish). The straps look a bit better after I added bias binding. The instructions were again really poor, advising to stitch at the edge of the cut fabric where of course it will fray!

Finally, wishing everyone a happy new year. WordPress has advised I have been writing this blog for 5 years. Where has the time gone?

sew little progress

October has not been a productive sewing month. That might have something to do with the fact I have had two holidays, been ill, applied for a new job and had lots of social stuff. Apart from one little baby dress (will try and get a photo of that later) I feel like my poor sewing machine has been thoroughly neglected.

If we were at a couples counselling session it would start with, we need to talk, I haven’t see you in ages. Are you seeing someone else? I have taken myself to task and got the simpler of my two projects finished. Which in some ways makes no sense as it is a summer skirt which I can’t even wear at the moment as I would freeze as soon as I stepped out of the door. But sometimes fabric just begs to be made up, and this one got its claws in to me well and truly.

Butterick 6332’s skirt is finally done, and I have also inserted a lining which the original pattern didn’t have. When my housemate returns from holiday I will get her to take a photo of me wearing it. My attempts at self portrait taking at night time have been a dismal failure due to the poor lighting at my home so I’m not going to subject you to the results.

So, here is my dress dummy modelling the results. I’m quite pleased with how the multiple waist darts spread the pattern distortion to a minimum. The cotton/silk lining feels lovely and I am glad I used a firm interfacing as its created nice shaping for them and facing. It didnt require much in way of alterations apart from the usual lengthening, and I took a smudge out of the upper hip area to better contour my shape as I am not an hour glass, more a pear.

I will try and crack on with the corduroy dress and then can look forwards to my next project!

an eas(e)y project?

So, the 48 piece dress rumbles on. Courtesy of some help from a friend with regards fit (it is pretty hard to stick pins in your upper side seams when wearing an item with good results) I took both the bodice and skirt side seams in. I cannot believe how much ease this dress has! I’ve taken 2 inches off the skirt in total, and over 2 1/2 inches off the bodice circumference.

It now, finally, has some more shaping but still allows me to walk comfortably. This means, drumroll please, I can actually add the remainder of the lining and sort out the hemming. Then it will actually be finished. I will be steering clear of such a multi pieced pattern for at least a little bit.

Speaking of which, the next project has already been started. Oh yes, such a surprise to those who know me well to see I already have moved on before even finishing what I am working on already! Butterick 6332 came in to my possession after discovering this adorable fabric. Now, don’t you just love the print? I don’t often gush, but I on the spot decided this fabric was somehow going home and being made in to something.  That something is a high waisted skirt, a style I have never worn before.

It’s going pretty well, after slicing off a small amount of the curve on the upper hips (my curve is more at the back then the side) I have got a pretty decent fit. I am going to add a lining from a lovely silk/cotton blend. So here it is…..


There was only one minor problem with this skirt. It resulted in leftover fabric. Being far too cute to abandon I immediately devised a rescue plan. Which meant it is now a pair of newborn trousers (free pattern from Made by Rae):



I didn’t pay attention when cutting out the fabric at the direction of the print. But as its slightly mixed up hopefully its not too noticeable. More photos of afore mentioned projects coming up soon…..