Tag Archive | simple sew blogging network

That Juliette top and MOAR overlocker love!

I made the Juliette top for the Simple Sew blog, and Gabby wanted it sooner rather than later, so I got it finished in super-quick time, and photographed, so that we could post it. But I had a plan for a bit of improvement, that I couldn’t do in time for my Friday after work photo session last week, so technically these photos don’t show a fully completed make. SorryNotSorry.

I was working with a black peachskin fabric, that I’d bought when I went up to Walthamstow last November. It’s a lovely solid weight and it drapes beautifully. It’s got a soft silky sheen to it, and it could easily be mistaken for actual silk, except that it only cost me £3 per metre. It was an ideal choice for this sort of pattern.

The pattern itself, from Simple Sew Patterns, is a piece of cake to sew. It would be an ideal Beginner’s starter project. There are no fastenings to worry about, so apart from the facing it’s just shoulder seams and side seams. The most technical aspect of the sewing was inserting the facing. The most frustrating aspect was turning the waist ties, though!

It’s hard to photograph black! Especially in the setting sun.

That’s a better angle! And it shows off the soft sheen of the fabric.

The rear view with bow

I did a tiny bit of pattern adjustment, to add an FBA. I did it the long way around, but it’s a very easy  pattern to enlarge. I also added a bit of extra length, because I don’t like tops that come untucked easily.  I’ve got the waist ties tied in the back in the photos above. The ties are long enough to wrap around the back and then tie in the front, but I’ve got enough going on in the front! The pattern can just as easily be made without the waist ties, if you haven’t got enough fabric.

I untied the ties, here, to show the natural swing of the body.

The post-photographic improvement was made possible by the aquisition in the week after these photos were taken of some black overlocker thread because…

Dun, dun, DUN!!!

I’ve got myself an overlocker!!!!


Brand shiny new!

Lidl were having one of their occasional overlocker sales (they happen every year or so), and I got this beauty on the Sunday after the photos, for the princely sum of £119 . Brilliant value! I had to order some black thread online and as soon as it arrived I Had A Go. I confess, I’m a bit daunted by it, but I’m determined to get really familiar with it, and make full use of it. I’ve cheated massively for now, by just tying the black threads to the white ones that were already set up, and I haven’t yet attempted to thread it all by myself. But I’m booked onto a Get to Know Your Overlocker course in June, so I just need to be able to keep tying on new colours as & when needed until then, and hope that none of the threads break!

So instead of zigzagging my seams to neaten, I was waiting to be able to overlock them beautifully. So I’ve now done a bit of unpicking of stitching, so that I could neaten up the facing edge, and the seams and hems. I’m in the course of rehemming, but that won’t take long.

The Juliette top has been a smashing stashbuster and wardrobe builder. It’s getting me through two of my #UseNine fabrics, because I’ve already cut out a navy version, so it’s contributing nicely to my Stashwatch pledge.

And now for the obligatory silly shot – I think I was trying to show off the sleeves, but got my self-timing slightly off!

I’ve gone all Titanic!

So that Not-Entirely Skater Dress…

My first post for the Simple Sew Blog went live a couple of days ago, which was a real thrill! I’m still quite giddy!

This is my version of the Simple Sew Skater Dress 

See? I didn’t get it quite the same

The post was mostly concerned with pattern grading. I wasn’t wholly successful with that, mostly because I didn’t give myself enough time to fine-tune the amendments to get to the sort of finish that I wanted, and still work to the deadline I’d been given.  My bad. But I’ve learned from this first experience of blogging for someone else, and I know now what sort of timing I need to allocate to future projects. Also I need to recruit a tame photographer. Until such time as I can, though, I’ve invested in a selfie stick and one of those bendy grippy tripods for future photographic use.

So the dress… I don’t feel like it’s a proper skater dress, as it’s not as close-fitting in the torso as it was originally designed to be, and it’s longer than most of the RTW skater dresses I’ve seen. That longer silhouette takes it from being a flirty little number to being more dressy and retro. I feel like I should be wearing white kid gloves as an accessory! I have Plans to make a couple of other versions of this dress, which may be more skaterish. Or maybe they’ll take on their own identity like this one.

The pattern itself is ridiculously easy to put together.

  1. Sew the darts first
  2. Attach the bodice pieces at the shoulders
  3. Put the neckline facings (duly interfaced) together and attach to the bodice neckline
  4. Insert the sleeves in the flat
  5. Attach the skirt pieces to the bodice
  6. Sew lovely long side seams from the sleeve cuffs down to the skirt hems.
  7. Sew the back seam and insert an invisible zip (or a visible one, if you prefer, I guess, I’m not the zip police)
  8. Hem the sleeves and skirt
  9. Job’s a good ‘un.
  10. No really, that’s it.

So if you are a more standard size, than I am, and don’t need to faff around with pattern grading, this would be a super-quick make.

The fabric, I totally fell in love with. It’s a stretch sateen, in a fabulously vivid green floral (and I think we all know where I stand on big floral prints). The photographs really don’t do the gloriousness of it full justice. It’s from White Tree fabrics, and it was given to me specifically for the Simple Sew Blog, but I really want to make more frocks with the alternative colourways, it’s such a delightful fabric. It’s easy to sew with. It’s comfortable to wear, because of the stretch. It’s a cute print. What’s not to love?

I’ll confess, I was slightly disappointed with this dress initially, but that was because I had an idea in my head which it didn’t quite match up to. Ideas in the head are always a dangerous thing! As the original head idea gradually fades and I have the reality before me, I’m getting to love it a whole lot more. Some of the fixes I had to do quickly have turned into really nice design features – I’m thinking of the waist darts, which I had to extend into the skirt when the whole thing was too baggy. I think they look pretty good now.


Look at me, all matchy matchy!

So I’m going to remind myself, the next time I make something that I’m not immediately taken by, that sometimes I need some time to let go of the head idea and embrace the reality.

I still need to get used to the more open back!


A little bit draughty!

A bit of news

The more observant, ummm, observer may have noticed there’s something new on this blogsite, a new widget or two over there to the right.

I’m only one of the new intake of Simple Sew Bloggers!!!
Simple Sew patterns

I’m beyond thrilled to have been invited, and I have to confess,  a bit nervous. There are some seriously awesome people in this network, whose work I admire enormously and I know I’m going to have to up my game to feel worthy!

I hope there won’t be any doubt as to the honesty of my opinions. For the record, I will be receiving patterns from Simple Sew and fabric from White Tree Fabrics in order to make garments for the blog. (I say “will be”, I already have). The main post on those makes will be on the Simple Sew Blog site, rather than here.  I’m due to add my first blog post in mid September, so I’ve got a little while before you’ll see me there. The hardest thing is going to be keeping my makes under wraps until they are up on the blog. Actually, scratch that – the hardest thing is going to be working to an actual deadline!