Friday, 25 September 2015

McCalls 6788 Re-Fashion

I'm sure we all have makes that look great when done, but just don't feel right or practical when we wear them? McCalls 6788 previously blogged HERE, turned out to be one of those for me.

So this....

Is now this

From day one, I couldn't get on with the length of this dress so I chopped off 4". But that didn't work either and I still never wore it. It just wasn't happening for me. So during an end of season clear out last week, as a last resort, I decided to do away with the bodice and make it into a skirt.

It's simple and plain but Yes! This works. I like it. And hopefully I am going to get so much more wear out of it.

I simply just cut it off at the waist seam and twin needled an elasticated waist.

I don't have a huge amount of skirts, but I wear jersey knit ones for work and they are so comfortable. So I've realised recently that skirts like this are something that's missing from my own wardrobe. For me, this is a practical and comfortable style,  and teamed with black opaque tights and boots, I'm away....!

So with this alteration now complete, I'm now free to get on with some proper sewing for autumn :)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Friday, 18 September 2015

Lilith and Eve ~ Drapey Blouse

Based in Philadelphia USA, Sarah and Nicole introduce this d├ębut pattern from Lilith and Eve.
Quote from their website... "Lilith & Eve is all about versatility of design. Each garment can be worn two very different ways to match our two very different ladies' styles." 

This is the Lilith and Eve Drapey Blouse and I chose the style of Eve; the long sleeve version

I found this pattern to be absolutely great and not so great if that makes sense?! First off, the design is awesome. Obviously that's why I bought it! I'm still not convinced that unfitted clothes are all that on me but hey ho, as I always say if I  want to make something, I'll make it! I just loved the shaped yokes and check out that back drape....!

I don't remember how I stumbled across this pattern, but when I did, it was only available as a PDF. There was a link to be notified when the paper pattern became available, so I opted in. Then one day, back in August, there it was! Ready to purchase in paper. Woop! I had fabric eagerly awaiting for it's arrival, but August is as good as a no-sew month for me and as I already had my previous make cut out, this had to wait a little longer. I never jump the queue with sewing. If it's cut, it's made next. That's the law! The Dawn Law. I am a completer finisher. If I start it, I finish it before moving on.

Anyways, moving on indeed... back to the blouse in question and the not so greats. First thing I noticed with this pattern is that the yoke isn't interfaced. An over- sight perhaps? But I think not, as there was also no interfacing for the cuffs yet there were directions to interface the front facing. No matter, I interfaced mine.
I also found the steps for attaching the yoke lining to be totally confusing?!! The pattern instructions say that there is a tutorial on the Lilith and Eve website explaining this method more clearly. There isn't. At least not yet anyway...

**UPDATE** I had a lovely email today (27/9/15) to say that this tutorial is now up and running. It is. And it's good! You can find it HERE

Oh! And there is a tonne of ease in the sleeve head. I steam pressed and I pressed to try and smooth out all thE excess but I'm still not happy with them. I would reduce the ease if I made this again. 

That said, I do love this pattern! This is cut true to the measurements on the envelope. I cut Size 4 (my measurements size) and this fits absolutely perfectly. Even the lower blouse part which is a loose fit, has just the right amount of fullness in it without it being too baggy. At first I didn't think there was enough gathers on the front bodice. They are barely there. Believe me, The Big 4 have more ease in their patterns than this has gathers!! But you know what, when this is on, those gathers are just enough. Subtle.

One other alteration I made was to narrow the sleeves and cuff. I don't like my cuffs swinging around my wrists so I reduced the lower sleeve by 2" and tapered it from just above the elbow. Obviously I reduced the cuff width accordingly by the same amount.
Btw, does anyone know the correct finished length for sleeves? I find if they finish at my wrists, they are then too short when I move or bend my arms! So I have them a tad longer. 

There are some helpful tips in the pattern instructions for those that need it. Using Ban Roll for the hem was one of them but I couldn't for the life of me find any available in the UK and the link on the website didn't work either. So with that and the tutorial not available I'm thinking that the website is still a work in progress..?
Anyhows, back to the hem. I was going to buy the Ban roll just to try and test the method, but as this was not to be, I did a baby hem using this Tutorial by Devon Iott. My fabric is light and drapey and this method was perfect.

For the buttons, I covered my own so that the yoke buttons had the lower bodice fabric and the lower bodice had the contrast cream buttons from the yoke fabric.
I bought hemline self cover buttons (11mm) and these were easier to do than I thought! There is a template on the back of the packaging to draw around so you know exactly what size the fabric needs to be for your button size. Mine were 11mm buttons and it just so happened that the template size for these is exactly the same as a 1 pence piece. So I used one of these to draw around.

You then cut out the fabric, gather all around the edge and pull up the gathers tightly around the button

Attach the back gripper and you're done!

To Read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Burda 6847 ~ Casual Contrast Jacket

Throughout August I have barely seen the inside of my Sewing Room. It's the same every year. But as summer draws to a close and the nights slowly begin to draw in, I am already dreaming of Autumn. It could be 20 degrees outside (although we haven't seen many days that high this year) and I can be found gazing longingly at my jumpers and boots and wondering if a hot chocolate would be entirely inappropriate?! 

And it's the same with sewing. Come August, already I am planning autumnal makes in my head. I love Autumn! This is "my" season. So I was rather excited to finally get stuck into my first make of the season, Burda 6847. I made View A

I make no secret that I am not a huge fan of Burda patterns, but they do have some fabulous and unusual designs that sometimes I just cannot resist.

Years ago, I purchased this Bench jacket that I wore to it's death.

So, with this Month's MAGAM theme "Average August" (make something average/essential) this was my cue to finally replace this much loved and worn, practical jacket and Burda 6847 fit the bill perfectly. 

This time, I decided on Navy Blue. The fabric is a brushed back sweatshirting with a faint horizontal pinstripe about every inch. It's difficult to see unless you look close.

You can literally just abut make it out on this photo 

 The fabric is available HERE from Croft Mill and just to add a bit of contrast, I lined the hood in a cream Ponte Roma left over from a previous dress project, and also purchased a contrast cream double ended zip

One addition I did make to this jacket was to add in seam pockets at the sides. I mean, let's face it, what use is a jacket without pockets..?!!

I also made this shorter. Quite a lot shorter! On the pattern it appears that View A is already the length I made it, yet I cut 5" off this. 

So as Autumn has already arrived nice and early in our little corner of England, as soon as this was finished, it was literally hot off the sewing machine and out the door on the same day.

And here I am wearing it on one of it's first Autumn Amble's out..
Yes, the scenery is somewhat distracting is it not..? So here's a final couple more, un-distracting shots..!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Simplicity 2369 ~ Mother and Daughter

When I was a little girl, I was extremely lucky to have the nicest, prettiest of dresses that no one else had. Every little girl loves dresses and I was no exception. But the best thing of all was having a dress just like Mum! Mum would make herself a dress, and very often I would get one too with the left-overs. If I were a Mum I would do exactly the same. But I'm not. So the next best thing is to repeat history (in reverse) and me make a dress for Mum and make one for myself too in the same fabric!

Here is Mum's surprise Birthday present!

And here is my version (blogged HERE a couple of weeks ago)

For mum's I used Simplicity 2369 View A

It's a mock-wrap, gathered onto a tie on the left front. 

This is the right front

It's an easy make, especially with those raglan sleeves. So no sleeves to set in and there's no zip either! The sleeves though are extremely long! I didn't have Mum around for fitting but on her measurements, these would have come right down to her elbows and beyond! So I shortened them. There is also no interfacing on the bodice front neckline so I added some, just to stabilise it.
It's been a good while since I made this for Mum but I think they were the only 2 issues. This made up really quickly and it fits Mum a treat!

As with my own version of this dress, I made most of it with my super walking foot, and overlocker for the skirt seams.

Even now, I still feel proud to have a dress just like Mum. And hopefully one day we will even get to wear them together!

(I will add pattern review link asap)

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :) x

Sunday, 2 August 2015

McCalls 7116 ~ Summer Comfort

So it's August. Meaning we only officially have one month left of a summer we haven't really had yet. Not that I am a huge fan of hot weather, but I like us to have at least some, to appreciate the cool, fresh weather of Autumn when it arrives. But anyways, for now at least, we have sunshine! Not overly warm sunshine but it's comfortable. And look.... I can see the sea again from my sewing room window!!

So with Autumn just around the corner, I thought I'd have a stab at one more summer dress, as this will probably be my last summer make for this year.

Let me introduce McCalls 7116 

It's a style that is very me. Gathered sleeves, gathered bodice, but fitted below the bust, and over the waist and hips, as better shown here by the pattern drawing.
This is View D
I love the detail in this dress. Especially the inverted pleat and little button detail on the sleeves

This one is a close up of the button detail and pleat. The daisy buttons are so cute! I found them HERE at Minerva Crafts

And the wrapover front bodice is cut so well that there is no gaping at all. I made no fit adjustments for any of this dress and everything about it is perfect!
I loved the attached bodice facing on the pattern and that the back neck edge was finished with a bias facing (cut in the same fabric). This is by far the best and neatest finish faux wrap bodice method I have done to date and will apply this method for future projects.

This dress is also a very practical style for me to wear. I used a printed cotton jersey from Croft Mill although sadly it's no longer available. It's only of tee shirt weight but should we get any hot weather(!), this will keep me nice and cool without being exposed to the sun. And being jersey, I was able to make this up without needing to insert the zip! I tacked everything together first to make sure I could get it over my head and Bingo! So with no fit adjustment and no zip, this made up in no time at all. (well it would have done had I made it on one swoop!) I think it's actually taken me about a month off and on. I don't get much sewing time in summer

I used my walking foot for all of this apart from the side seams where I used the overlocker. That walking foot was a darn good investment!

Absolutely love this little dress. A great make, a great wear, and I can't recommend the pattern enough.

To read my Sewing Pattern Review Click Here

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x