Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Girls fur vest and jersey dress

This amazing fur backed vinyl arrived recently and it was crying out to be made into a vest. Vests can be hard to wear for us grown up girls but for the little lady in your life, of which I have two, it's perfect. This fabric would be perfect for a coat for a grown up, and I may still attempt that. 
Being double sided there's no need to line the vest. I chose to stitch my seams down flat and open, giving a neat finish on the inside and a nice stitching detail on the outside. You could also easily make this reversible. 
I had a vest pattern to use but you don't necessarily need one, just cut the shape off a top.
After stitching the shoulders and side seams together and stitching them down I added the ribbon ties for the front, then the crochet trim round the neckline and the trim at the hem. I finished it off with the flower motifs and a bow at the hem. Too easy!

To go underneath I used a simple jersey dress pattern with a long sleeve in this gorgeous feather print viscose knit. You can buy it here
This is a really simple pattern. It's basically a long sleeve t'shirt, slimmed down a little and extended to a dress length. 
Sew one shoulder seam together (use your overlocker if you have one or a zigzag stitch if not)
Using a stretch frill trim fold down neck edge and zigzag the neckline down with the frill trim poking out, stretching the trim slightly as you go.
Stitch up other shoulder seam.
Sew each sleeve head in.
Hem each wrist in the same fashion as the neck using your frilled elastic.
Sew sleeve and side seams in one motion.
Hem with crochet lace trim.

These two pieces took me an hour to complete from start to finish, perfect easy project with a great end result.

I'm always happy to share my patterns. If you'd like a copy, just let me know!

Happy sewing. Julia xx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Guest post pattern review New look 6243

It’s only a few weeks shy of Winter but my sewing table is in complete denial of this. I will definitely need to kick the Winter sewing into gear, but for now let’s just sneak in another Summery dress. I spied this pattern - New Look 6243 recently and thought it was perfect for the gorgeous material I had picked up at Pitt Trading. Every time I look at this material I think of a Disney movie, like Bambi or Snow White – it’s just so super cute. The material has great drape so the half-circle style skirt bottom would go perfectly with this fabric. I bought a black lace for the yoke pick up the black in the material too.
This was my first make after a 3 week sewing hiatus due to my trip to Vietnam. Whilst 3 weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time, for me it was probably the longest stretch of non-sewing time I’ve had since my last holiday in May last year. Thankfully sewing is a bit like riding a bike and I got straight back into it and the stars aligned for this one. I cut out a size 12 but I actually ended up having to take it is quite substantially at the sides of the bodice so a 10 would have worked better. I find I always fluctuate between size 10 and 12 so I just don’t know which way to go so I erred on the side of caution. But I suggest you needn’t bother doing that if you try this one. The fabric has a bit of stretch in it too so I wanted to make it quite fitted on the bodice.

The pattern instructions for this pattern were really good and it came together nicely. I made little alterations except for adding one inch to the length of the dress and I used pre made satin bias binding rather than making my own from the dress material. If you are going to use a lace for the yoke, and a stretchy one at that, I suggest doing a straight stitch along the edges of the pieces before construction to ensure they keep their shape. I also over-locked all the edges too, to further reduce any of the yoke stretching out of place. It also makes it easier for fitting that it doesn’t stretch as you have to fit before putting in the bias binding which gives it the strength.

I didn’t bother putting any interfacing into the waistband as I didn’t want to lose the drape-ness of the dress or stiffen up the waistband too much. The pattern also suggests a hook and eye for the closure at the top of the back but I’m quite fond of snap closures so I put one of those in instead. I think they are easier to manage when trying to dress yourself rather than hook and eyes! I finished off the narrow hem with a blind stitch. Is it weird that I really enjoy hemming? Something about sitting in front of the tele with needle and thread that’s quite cathartic…or maybe it’s just the fact that I know when the hemming is done there’s nothing else left to do! 

Thank you once again to Rebecca Prentis of bobbinandbaste for another great review

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Winter Coats.... a little obsessed,

We have the largest range of beautiful quality wool and cashmere coating we have ever had this winter. 
A beautiful coat is expensive to buy, but we all need one, well, several actually.
I try to add one to my collection each winter. If you buy or make a good quality one in a timeless style it should last a good ten years, that's a good investment in my book.

There's black, navy, camel, grey, charcoal, mocha and textured Chanel style coating to choose from.
Shop here

I'm loving burda style at the moment. Their patterns and styling is so on trend, it's been a while since a pattern company has got it so right in my opinion. 
I've got several of their coat patterns on my wish list for this winter.

I love this simple open collar less coat. It could be made up in a coating fabric or a brocade for evening.
You can buy it here

I'm going to add a Caramel coat to my wardrobe this winter, how about you?

Happy sewing, Julia x