Friday, 31 May 2013

That was quick!

My extra special pattern, sent all the way from France has arrived and I only ordered it 3 days ago!

It's starting to look like a dress!

I had a rather productive night last night. I managed to re-sew the sleeve, attach the bodice lining and do the pleats on the skirt & skirt lining.

The pleats were a bit of a nightmare. I must have pinned and re-pinned several times. It was not obvious (to me) from the instructions how to do them. In the end, I ended up looking on Google images at other peoples interpretations! I still might change them, I'm not 100% on them.
Pleats, tailor's tacks and baste
Bodice and lining - looks rough!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Arrrggghhh sleeves!

I didn't spend long on my dress today. Getting the sewing kit out late doesn't bode well for an evening! So I decided to pt the sleeves on and no more.

It didn't really work out as planned. The first sleeve I messed up 3 times, which means un-picking the same section 3 times. It's still wrong. As you can see from the picture below, one sleeve has two nipped bits of fabric and the other has turned out OK (or will look more so once it has been pressed!).
Sleeves are not easy!!!
Right sleeve looking a little rubbish!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bank holiday project

I should have been finishing the T- shirt I started 2 weeks ago, but I've lost interest! It doesn't look very nice as T-shirt, looks more like part of a cosy pajama set.

So instead of finishing this, I started a dress for our girls night out on Saturday night. I'm using New Look pattern 6824, the same pattern that I'm using for my college project. However, this time I'm doing the flared skirt rather than the fitted and I've taken 10 cm off the bottom. The bodice has princess seams and I've picked the higher neckline design as I don't want to look too tarty with the short skirt. It's also going to have capped sleeves.

I've decided to try a bright red poly-cotton fabric that a bought from Amazon and I'm lining it with regular anti static lining. I wasn't sure if this would work as it look more like tablecloth fabric! But I have made up the bodice and tried it on, it looks petty cute.

I also bought some long pins with heart shaped heads and I love them! I don't need to use as many, but they are easier to remove. (note to self: buy some more!)
Putting in some tailor's tacks
Tacked princess seams 

Super cute long pins with heart- shaped heads.
Soooo easy to remove whilst sewing 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Thinking about the collar

I've been thinking about the collar for the dress I'm making at college. The pattern I was going for was New Look 6824, using combination B,C,G:

However, looking at the pattern of the material that I have picked, I don't think it will look very nice with the collar.

I had a bit of a play with Paint and came up with a mock up of what it might look like:

With (dodgy cut-and-paste) collar
Without collar
I just can't see it complementing the outfit. I'm going to have to cut out the piece and try it for real, but I don't think I will be going for it in the end.

I've been busy tonight...

I made time tonight to get some more of my college project done. I started off constructing the bodice. This is kind of tricky, with the added ease, to ensure I didn't nip the fabric, so I tacked it with some yellow cotton first.

I stitched all of the rest of the bodice together and then made a start on the skirt. I whizzed through the rear darts and then pinned the front pleats before tacking in place. You will see I've tacked the top and the bottom of the pleat to ensure it doesn't move out of shape whilst I'm constructing the dress.

Front skirt pleats
Rear skirt slit seam
The back slit of the skirt was a bit fiddly, I put in the slit seams first and then sewed from the top notch all the way round. Having a foot with a guide attached really helped with the fine seam on the slit.
I've placed the bodice on top of the skirt to see how it will look together, mostly because I'm impatient and I would like to see how the pattern looks together!

Bodice placed over skirt

Monday, 20 May 2013


So I found a free knicker pattern on the internet, thought it would be an easy project to make seeing as I spent the weekend away in a landrover and came back tired and a little sore.
It took 3 hours and a little swearing, but I got there in the end. Most of the knicker was easy to put together. I didn't follow the pattern, I just used the template and a bit of guess work. The hardest part was the elastic. There was a lot of time trying to un-jam the material out of the machine. Maybe I would have been better off trying to use the darn option for some of it and pushing it through myself.
The elastic needs to be a bit smaller than the waist section and you need to stretch it through, making sure that you don't stretch the fabric too.
If you look closely, some of the stitching is really awful. I should have un picked quite a bit, but I probably won't wear them as they are too close to the waist, they will only catch on my belly button bar!
All in all a cheap project and a good try at French seams, so I learnt a lot.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

College tonight

It's Thursday so it must be college night! There's only a few weeks left and I'm still not on to the actual fabric! The lining is near enough there, I've fitted it and there's a few adjustments I need to do to the pattern.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I'm wearing it!

I decided to wear my new top today. It's hard to take a photo of yourself with a phone!
I'm very proud of the results, especially the sleeves. However, one of the button holes is a little too big and the button has popped out a couple of times already today, I'll have to fix that!

Starting another T- Shirt

I've started another. Same pattern as the previous shirt with buttons, but this time I'm going to stick to the pattern.
Here goes...

Monday, 13 May 2013

T-Shirt project (Butterick B5215)

I found this cute little T-Shirt pattern from Butterick. Unfortunately the fabric that I ordered to make it with still has not arrived, so I decided to make it out of some fabric I already had in. One problem though - it's not stretchy.

This meant that I had to think a little out of the box. If I make it as per the pattern there's no way I'll get my head through and there's no way I'll get my arms in. So I decided to get a little creative. If I cut the back and gave it buttons that would solve the head problem. To begin with I tried the arms as per the pattern, but they really were a little snug, so I cut them and gave them a little shape.

For the back I had to make it a little wider in order to make room for a nice thick seam allowance to put the buttons in. All I did there was put the back piece 2 inches from the fold and cut down the fold.

Button holes - this was a bit of a challenge for me. I must have spent an hour in total trying to get them to work! I have a 4 step button hole option on my machine and I followed as per the instructions in my machine's manual, but every time I got past the first step the machine just got stuck sewing in the same spot, creating a massive knot in the fabric. So a little reading online, some tests with masking tape and fuseable interface and ta-da I got it! I went with the fuseable interface as the masking tape wouldn't break away neatly from the stitching.

So here's the finished product:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My First

I've had a bash at a few patterns! These are the first items that I have made. 

I made this skirt from a New Look sew new easy pattern, 6004. It was supposed to be quick and simple, but I spent many hours on it, and that was just figuring out the pattern. But I got there in the end!

Then I tried another New look pattern (A6053) to make this skirt. It took a bit more than the 2 hours that it quoted but I'm new to this! I learnt alot from this pattern. You can't see in the picture but it has a zip, lining and darts. This was a very good second project and I learnt alot from it! The outer shell of the skirt was made from a really beautiful and delicate material. Unfortunately it's a little too delicate for a skirt, but as I've made the skirt a little on the big side I'm going to give french seams a go to see if this works any better.

I then thought it would be a good idea to have a bash at a bag:

I got this pattern free from a website called 'Sew Spoiled'. This was reasonably easy to make and I learnt a lot about interfacing! I put interfacing on the lining to give it a bit more structure, this looked great until I had to turn the lining round and pull the bag through it. This crumpled the lining and has left it with a less than satisfactory finish. I plan on fixing this, because apart from that the bag looks really good.