A successful Frankendress

This dress came after much contemplation about which pattern I could use for a heavily patterned jersey.

I didn’t want a pattern with too many darts or princess seams and I was struggling to find the right pattern in my stash but I also wasn’t sure enough of what I wanted to look for a new one. So I decided to take my old faithful New Look 6483 one hour top pattern,  which I use all the time.  I cut view C,  which has an high neck and sleeves,  which I made slightly longer. I measured an inch below the waist line marked on the patterned and cut along that.

Next I took New Look 6723 which I have made previously here and used the skirt pieces for the bottom half of the dress. With it being a jersey I knew I wasn’t going to insert a zip so I cut both pieces on the fold, being careful to try and keep the pattern vertical throughout.

The Plan

I made the top half up as usual but tried my hand at my first jersey neckline, which I am rather pleased with.

I then used Suzie,  my dressmaker dummy,  to play around with fitting the skirt. The original pattern uses gathers but I thought that would go against the pattern of the fabric, so I pinned some pleats either side of the centre line at the front and the back,  slept on it and then went for it. It was so great to have the dressmaking dummy to do this on.

I think it gives it shape without spoiling the pattern. I tried to keep the line of the ‘Trellis’ going throughout and have managed it quite well I feel. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of stretch so it was quite easy to work with.

I think this dress really shows how I have improved because the last frankendress I did was pretty unsuccessful and not very well pattern matched at all. I think I’m finally getting a feel for how fabrics should look when sewn. Hooray!

I have had this hung for a few months, waiting for spring and so last weekend I cracked it out for the Sewing for Pleasure show which I won tickets too! I’ve blogged about my haul here if you want to see some lovely fabrics!

I teamed it with tights (it’s not that much like spring yet) my tan waist belt and Brogues and a black cardi. I loved the show and I think it’s the perfect back drop for my dress!

My Sister’s Top

Read the title as you will folks! The observant amongst you will notice that the girl in the picture isn’t me… though she does look rather like me… it is, of course, my sister. So I have myself a new model, which is the stipulation if I make anyone anything!

I wanted something I had made for her birthday, even though I had some gorgeous hand-made earrings I bought up in Northumberland. So I decided to put another New Look 6483 one hour top together. Which I’ve made previously here and here, amongst others. I wanted to change it up a little so I’ve hacked it a bit.

I took the back piece and added a couple of inches to the fold edge and cut 2 back pieces. I then put the t-shirt together as normal, using a green contrast bias binding. I then edged the 2 back pieces in the binding as I wanted to create an open back, which you see a lot in the shops at the minute.

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Rather than just sew the top of the back pieces together I made button holes and put 3 buttons to hold it together, I used green buttons here too. I think it’s so cute and Rach loves it too and was a brilliant blog model. A simple hack, which I definitely recommend, especially is you have broad shoulders and/or chest like me and my sister!

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Sew Saturday Haul

Although I am relatively new to the blogosphere, I already know that I’m not really going to be a ‘share the haul’ kinda girl… however, yesterday was Sew Saturday, which is an exception, so check out my goodies!

I really wanted to support local so I went to All Fabrics near me in Stalybridge. It was a pretty understated affair but gave me chance to browse and chat more to the owner and the lady who runs the dress making courses, something I plan to do in the New year.

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I had to wear something that I had made so I wore this unblogged top, I made this using my good old-fashioned New Look 6483, which is my favourite top pattern. This was one of my first makes and is made with this really funky stretch fabric and mock leather sleeves! This was purely because I wanted to try sewing with different materials but it’s so comfy and I wear it a lot.

Anyway, on with my shopping! I got this beautiful mermaid print from the amazing Magic range by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. All Fabrics had just had delivery of the range when I first went in and I’ve been obsessing about it ever since. There’s so much choice but the mermaids are going to make a adorable outfit for my niece.

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There was also 10% of the Downton Abbey range, which is just fab by the way, whether you like the show or not. Again, there’s lots to choose from, I recommend taking a look. There’s no picture of this one though because it’s being used as a pressie for Christmas and my lovely, supportive family usually read my posts!

I also bought some wine coloured fabric, which I’m going to use to make the trouser version of The Sunday Set. Can’t wait!

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I got a blue linen mix too, which is for another pressie.

I also got a free back catalogue magazine and this goodie bag! Exciting times! As my husband had a footy day yesterday that means a sewing day for me, so my machine awaits!

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Who doesn’t love a goodie bag?

Mum’s Birthday Pressie

I have recently made this top for my Mum, for her birthday. (New Look K 6483) The pattern claims to take one hour* with an asterisk, the small print being that this should be sewing time. However, it took me more like two and a half* 1.because I’m so novice, 2.because I wanted my binding to be the neatest in the world and 3.because I inserted and unpacked an entire sleeve! Major sulk at this point.

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Though possibly not the most seasonally appropriate (I was going to put sleeves in but it seemed the bunch round the neck- a common problem for me- so I left them out) I still think it’s really sweet and will really suit my Mum.

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This is my first venture in to making a clothing gift for someone, my lovely Mum being the perfect candidate. It means that you put so much more in to it but this is something I’m trying to do with all my makes anyway. It was tricky though because she couldn’t try it on along the way and I just had to hope it would fit. I got so jealous of the way it turned out though that I made myself this top following the same pattern. Then because it’s so easy, I made this cute chiffon top, ready for Dublin too!

I did this super cute contrast binding, which I love.

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I feel like this is a genuine proud moment for my little label!

I also used the binding on the side slits, another first, so I’m glad they turned out so neat.

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Although the pattern didn’t call for it I also added a little zip for another feature and just in case it was needed.

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She loved it and said she could see all the work that has gone in to it. I’m really pleased my first hand-made clothing gift was so well received!

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A quick T-shirt… Getting my Chiff-on!

Happy Friday everyone! Today is Dublin day for me! Hooray! I promised it was going to be a me-made trip so I’ll update you all when I get back.

With this in mind I was after a top for with jeans for the trip. I had a flick through my pattern collection, which is still quite small (but growing) and couldn’t find anything, so I returned to my old faithful New Look K6483 1 hour pattern, which is fast becoming my go to pattern for t-shirts, as it fits so well without alterations and is super quick. I used it previously for this t-shirt. I promise I have ordered some different top patterns to try, so watch this space.

I had some blue chiffon fabric with a white pattern so I cut it out with the intention of this being a slightly smarter t-shirt.

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I used the front piece which allows for a lower neckline and then extended the sleeves slightly, just to change the pattern up a bit.

I used a blue ready-made bias binding on the neckline and on the edges of the sleeves. I tried to use a narrow hem (and failed again!) on the arm edges so I changed my mind and used the same binding.

When I came to turn the binding inwards, I thought it looked quite attractive poking out of the edge so I top stitched it and left it as a bit of a feature. I don’t know whether this is a technique that I should’ve realised I was doing or whether I’ve just made it up!! I like it either way. The neckline I turned as normal.

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After giving up on quite a few sleeve inserts recently I’m pleased that these worked.

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See… I’m pleased!

I used the overlock stitch on my New/Old machine to overlock the side seams and finished it by turning the hem up twice. Easy!

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Obviously I knew as I was sewing this that the top would be see-through, although it’s not as bad as I expected, I will probably still wear a navy or white vest under it. I don’t see the harm when so many tops call for that at the minute anyway.

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In the pictures I’m wearing a black vest underneath it and my black work trousers but I intend to wear this with jeans.

I forced the hubby to take some pictures before I pranced off to Ireland; we’d just set up out Game of Thrones monopoly game (we are so rock and roll) so this is me with my glass of wine ready to win! The wine helps!

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Hers a sneak peek at the little luggage tags I’ve made as a little gift for my mum and sister (or as a bribe to get them to take lots of pictures of me in my makes!) This were made using scraps from a cute make which I’ll share soon. Aren’t they cute?!

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So, off I go on my weekend away, I’ll share some pictures of my makes in action on my return. I’m also in the middle of making some pretty cool dresses that I’ll share soon! But for now, Guinness is calling me, so happy weekend everyone!

Boring Black T… I think not

After making a New Look K 6483 top for my Mum (blog to come post birthday), I was a little jealous as it went so well. So I decided to make my own. I had some black four way stretch fabric which I got in a bundle from Abakhan. I wanted to try and sew with stretch and thought this would be ideal (it’s like fabric you’d wear for gym wear only thicker) but I thought it would look smart. I already know the pattern comes together great and fits pretty much from the pattern so I was away.

So, here it is- my boring black T-shirt.

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Now, you may have guessed by now that it is not as boring as I am making out. After arguing with myself (quite aggressively I might add) about my need to add details because I am making it, wondering why I can’t be happy to throw together a plain top; I toyed with the idea of adding a ruffle at the neckline, or a contrast colour for the back, before settling on this chunky, visible zip.

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I am happy with this decision, I think it adds detail without being OTT. It looks modern and it a great wardrobe staple, don’t you think?

And because I struggled to leave it there… look.

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I had a stretch orange/red in the same bundle which I used to hem my t-shirt, just to placate my need for detail! I love little inside details like this.

I expect to be getting lots of wear out of it. It goes really well with this skirt.

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Happy with my somewhat detailed t-shirt!

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