Wednesday 29 March 2017

Sew Over It Molly Top

This here is the Molly Top, one of the patterns included in the My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break eBook by Sew Over It.

I've only just got round to sewing anything from it and the Molly pattern was the perfect place to start. 

There are lots of gorgeous, inspirational photos of the pattern in the eBook, which was great for styling ideas. I decided to cut my neckband on the cross grain (as seen above) to make the stripes contrast. The pattern is drafted with short kimono sleeves with additional long sleeve cuffs to add some interest. I really like this feature, especially when sewn with stripes, but with spring nodding its head at me, I decided to leave off the long sleeves for my first attempt.

I cut a straight size 10 and brought the waist in slightly for a bit more shaping. This works well with the top, but I won't make this change for the dress version as I'll need the extra room around the middle. I also shortened the pattern by an inch and could probably do with shortening it a bit more for any future versions. It's quite long on me, which is great for wearing loose with jeans, but a bit too bulky if I want to wear it tucked into anything.

Could probably go a bit shorter... 
Because of the kimono sleeves, this top was soooo easy to sew. Just attach the front and back pieces at the shoulders and side seams, add the neckband and hem and boom, you're done. It would probably take a little bit longer to add the sleeve cuffs, but not much longer as they're hardly difficult. I didn't actually follow the instructions, just skimmed them to check there wasn't anything untoward, then whipped the top up on my overlocker. And don't worry if you don't have an overlocker, the instructions are geared towards sewing it on a regular machine with a narrow zigzag stitch. 

Recommended fabrics are lightweight cotton or viscose jerseys for the top version, or heavier weight ponte knits for the dress. I used a red and white small striped jersey from Fabrics Galore which is a cotton/elastane mix and is probably weighty enough for the dress version too. Patterns with kimono sleeves are notorious fabric eaters, but because I didn't add sleeves and the fabric was wide, the 1.5 metres I'd bought was plenty. The quality of the fabric is just so lovely - it washes well and has great recovery - I'll definitely be buying more in different colourways.

The finished top has been worn a lot, it's so simple and comfortable to throw on and I love the contrast neckband. To be honest, I doubt whether I'll make any of the other four patterns included in the eBook (find them here) as they're either not to my taste, or too similar to patterns I already own. I'm delighted to have found this little gem though - look out for a dress version with sleeves later in the year!

A copy of the My Capsule Wardrobe eBook was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Another Heather Dress

It was only a matter of time before I caved in and made another Heather dress.

My navy version has been a runaway success this winter, so much so that I needed to dilute it to stop it being worn to death. This second version was made using a luxury ponte knit in aqua, sent to me to try out by The Sewcial Studio. It's not quite as weighty as the ponte I used for my first version, which made me think it would be better suited to a short sleeved spring version. I was right, it's a lovely quality jersey and the perfect weight for a spring dress. Personally I wouldn't want to use anything lighter than a ponte for this pattern as the princess seams and pockets require a bit of structure.

I sewed the same size as last time (size 10, grading to size 12 at the bust), with a couple of additional changes:
  • Shortened the neckband. It wasn't quite snug enough on my first Heather dress and it does bag a bit, which is annoying.
  • Shaved the top curve off the sleeve heads. For some reason the sleeves jut out at the shoulder on me, a bit like a low key Krystle Carrington. I didn't change them on my first version but it was far more noticeable this time round (probably because of the lighter coloured fabric), so out came the scissors.
  • Added another 1.5cms to the front side seams at the bust for a better fit.

That's it, nothing major, and like last time, it was a quick, easy sew. Everything on the inside was sewn on my overlocker and the hems were finished with a twin needle. I think I've been lucky with the fit on this pattern - it's comfortable but still figure skimming on me. I like the short sleeves for the warmer weather too. I'm wearing the dress with tights in these photos to spare you the sight of my blue/white winter pallor, but as soon as the false tan kicks in I'll be baring my legs and wearing it with clogs!  x

Fabric was given to me free of charge by The Sewcial Studio for review. All views my own.

Friday 17 March 2017

Knitting & Stitching Show 2017

First up, I'd like to say an enormous THANK YOU to everybody who commented or sent me messages of support following my last post. I appreciated each and every one of them and they really did make me feel better. I'm not quite sewing and blogging on full steam yet, but I've been back at the sewing machine (and the computer), so it's a start. In the meantime, what better way to cheer yourself up and forget about the stresses of everyday life than to visit a stitching show?! 

A few weeks ago I hot footed it over to Olympia with sewing pal Winnie to the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show. This year, I did what I always forget to do and booked myself into a workshop - Altering Patterns for a Fuller Bust - rock and roll! Whilst I was immersed in full bust adjustments (details below), Winnie somehow managed to make a leather clutch bag in an hour! After our workshop delights, the rest of the day was spent visiting stands and stuffing our faces with cake. Sadly there were too many cheap market stalls selling tat or blatantly non-crafty items for my liking. I counted no fewer than three separate stands for the Cats Protection League??? What's that all about?! Despite this we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and still managed to walk around for hours until our feet nearly dropped off. Here's a mini round up based on the abysmal number of random photos I remembered to take....

For my workshop, tutor Clare Tyler showed us everything we needed to know about adjusting patterns for busty types. This included moving darts and adjusting patterns for a no dart bodice, side dart bodice and princess seamed bodice. I'd done most of the alterations before, but it was still really interesting and the 1.5 hours positively flew by. After demonstrating each step we were let loose with paper and sellotape.

Chatting with Lauren from Guthrie Ghani. Lauren was wearing a Tilly and the Buttons Zadie dress in the most beautiful textured jersey fabric (Winnie bought some).

Vintage lovelies from Simply Vintage Designs

Liberty fabric heaven at Sewbox. I was on the lookout for some smaller pieces for my quilt and found a perfect little pack for £5. I've already managed to squeeze out 20 patchwork squares from the pieces, bargain!

This year I bought just three pieces of fabric, all destined for simple garments. 

From the top:
Teal striped T-shirt jersey from Girl Charlee

Small striped jersey from Fabrics Galore. I'd never paid much attention to their jerseys before, but having examined them up close, I have to say the quality is amazing. This will become a short sleeved Molly Top from Sew Over It.

Lovely, bright blue denim (much brighter in real life than the photo) from Guthrie Ghani. I'll probably make some kind of seventies-style skirt with it. 

The combination of fabric purchases, meeting sewing pals (old and new) and spending the day with Winnie was the perfect tonic for my frazzled nerves - I'm glad I visited! Next up, some actual sewing... x


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