Tinny Dress

The prettiest of summer dresses!

 
 
 
One of my daughter’s favourite thing to wear, particularly during summer time is, undoubtedly, twirling dress. Who can blame her, really? So girly, pretty and fun.

The last twirling dress I made her, she complained it was too hot. Having the bodice lined and bearing in mind that it would mostly be used during summer holiday in Portugal, the fabric couldn’t be too heavy. The Sevenberry Yarn Dyed cotton worked perfectly. It has a good weight and as you can see twirls beautifully but it is not too heavy and of course, being cotton, it is breathable.

 

 

For the collar and sash I used the white dobby cotton lawn. Not only makes a lovely contrast, in colour and texture, but also being a cotton lawn is lighter weight and for that reason perfect for the collar. The sash is not part of the pattern and I did not attach it to the dress as she might prefer not to wear it, depending on the occasion.

 

 

The pattern I used for the dress is one that I’ve used before to make classic dresses for my girls, the Tinny Dress by StraightGrain. This pattern offers a variety of options but to fulfil M’s request I made circle skirt option, with slim peter pan collar, regular bodice and sleeveless

 

 

Regarding the size, I made a size 8 for height with size 6 for width. I believe it worked perfectly as it is not too tight at the chest and waist area but it is not to baggy either

 

 

In conclusion, the fabric worked beautifully for this project, it has a lovely pink colour not too bright, good weight and feels nice against the skin (this is an important aspect for my daughter). I can say for sure that I have a very happy girl.

Thank you Samantha Claridge Studio for the supplies and you for reading.
 
Happy sewing,
Maria x

 

Leopard print obsession!

Lucy Hannah's Leopard print pinafore...

Anyone who knows me knows I’m *slightly* obsessed with leopard print. I wear something leopard print every day and have done for the best part of ten years. I have so many leopard print clothes and shoes that I’m often head to toe in the print, but I love it! So much so, that it creeps into my job – I’m a wedding photographer and even my website is covered in leopard print. So of course when I saw this leopard print needlecord on the Samantha Claridge Studio website I HAD TO HAVE IT!

 

 

Needlecord isn’t something I’d really worked with before, I think stuck in my head was that 70s heavy, chunky corduroy which I was never a fan of. But Needlecord is thankfully its lighter, more subtle relative. It’s one of those fabrics that has a lovely velvety texture and I could sit and stroke it all day. It’s got a nice weight to it, but it isn’t too heavy and I think it makes a great fabric for a more transitional wardrobe. I love to wear the majority of my clothes all year round so I prefer things that are lightweight so I can wear them by themselves in the sun, and layer them in the winter – this is definitely a great fabric for that.

The first pattern that sprung to mind when I saw the fabric was the Utu Pinafore by Named Clothing, and I didn’t even bother to think of alternatives because…leopard print and a pinafore – what more could you want?! The Utu pinafore is a pattern that I’ve made before, it was my first make out of the Breaking The Patten book, I made it using a lightweight denim and it gets so much wear in my wardrobe I knew I’d wear another one just as much. I’m not the biggest fan of skirts and dresses too high above my knee without tights, and as I wanted to be able to wear the dress all year round I lengthened it by a couple of inches. I also raised the neckline just a little bit so I could wear it by itself – I’m thinking its a great dress for date nights on cooler summer evenings.

 

The first time I made the Utu pinafore I skipped the buttons and opted for a zip down the front which gave a lovely asymmetric effect. This time I wanted to add buttons but still wanted to have an asymmetric feel so opted to only add the functional buttons. I wanted to make the most of the fabric so I decided to try the Hemline Self Cover Buttons. I went with the 22mm ones which come in a set of 5 so the perfect amount for one row of buttons. I’d never used self cover buttons before but I liked that these didn’t need a special tool or anything and they looked quite simple so I thought I’d give them a go. At the back of the packet is a template you can cut your fabric around so you’re using the perfect amount and you literally just have to clip the two sides together. I struggled a bit at first to clip the shank and the back button together but once I figured it out it was really simple and quick – by the time I covered my fifth button I was a pro! I love the matching buttons and how you get an almost invisible button effect.

 

 

 

I used 2 meters of the needlecord for the pinafore, so at £4.50 per 1/2 meter, it’s a really affordable project. The pattern does call for lining the pinafore but I didn’t line the first one I made, so I didn’t line this one either. I just added a facing to the front pieces so the button holes had a bit more stability. If you did want to line the pinafore the Sew Crafty shop has a great selection of lining fabrics.

 

 

 

The leopard print needlecord was a really nice fabric to work with. I love those projects where you know your sewing machine will breeze through it and you can just enjoy the make instead of it being bit of a stressful process. A bold print on a dress isn’t always for everyone, but you can grab some lovely plain needlecord in the Sew crafty shop too! I think this corn colour needlecord is my favourite of the plains, but theres about six lovely colours to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited to wear this dress, and I’m kind of now really fancying the idea of leopard print needle cord jeans so I might have to get my hands on some more of it!

Summer holiday make!

Lisa's perfect holiday top!

 
 
Hi again
It’s time for a new blog post, and as I write this one I’m currently 40,000ft flying over Miami!  I’ve got to admit this is a good distraction as I’m not the happiest flyer!! Grab yourself a cuppa and have a nosey what I’ve been up to and my thoughts on the fabric and pattern.

 When I got the email to choose my fabric for July for the #scdesignteam project, again I had difficulty choosing from all of the fabulous fabrics that Sammy stocks on the website.  Much dithering and I eventually decided to go for one of the white lace fabrics with a plan to make a top aware that I didn’t have much time before I left for our holiday to complete a more intricate make.  I decided to do the #cufftop pattern (by The Assembly Line) which seems to be quite popular on my Instagram feed at the minute. I admit that when it first surfaced I wasn’t overly taken with it. In fact I didn’t like it at all. But the more that have appeared the more its “grown” on me.  

White jupiter lace

When the fabric arrived I got it straight into the pre wash and it washed and dried lovely in no time.  It’s a very crisp white with good detailing. I’ve been anchoring after a white shirt for a while and this was going to be ideal.

 

White Jupiter Lave £4.50 per half mtr

I motored on full steam ahead without thoroughly reading the instructions in typical Lisa stylee!  Well what I hadn’t realised was that there was an option to miss out the centre seam on the front and back which, had I read them, I would definitely have done for this top as I feel that the lace is enough to speak volumes on its own without the need for added detailing.  Anyway too late as it was cut out and ready to sew together so seams it was! It’s quite a quick an easy make so didn’t take long at all. It was important though with this fabric to get the lace straight as it has vertical lines running through it.  

As you can see from the photos you can only just see the join in the front and the topstitching as it gets lost in the pattern which is another reason I would have cut it on the fold rather than having central seams.  The sleeves have 2” wide elastic encased at the hem, which Sammy sent with my order and I have to say it’s a lovely quality elastic. Not hard and stiff like some elastics out there.

I shortened the length by about 4” and I think its quite a nice length especially if the bottom half you are wearing it with is relatively high waisted too.  I plan on wearing mine lots whilst on holiday as it’ll be perfect with #MNflintshorts or my spotty #MNflintpants. I was slightly worried about how see through the lace would be and whether I would feel too exposed but I think because it isn’t the same lace all over it doesn’t seem as revealing as I first thought it might.  I do however plan on making a nice bralette to wear under it too so will see which I like best.

 

 

 

 

Overall I’m super happy with how this top turned out and think this lace works perfectly with it.  Whilst I was choosing this lace I noticed another, the Daisy Lace so maybe I might need to make another 😉

Hope you enjoy reading and maybe it might give you a nudge to visit Samantha Claridge Studio and have a peek for yourselves to see what gorgeous fabrics are available.
Happy summer
Lisa
@sewlastminutelisa

This fabric was gifted to me as part of my #scdesignteam project however all opinions are honest and my own.

Bees!

Carol's jersey raglan tee!

 

 

I just knew this would BEE terrific!

 

 

 

 

When I saw these two complimentary fabrics on Sammy’s website, I knew I just had to have them in my life! 

Then I spent a little time thinking in what way I could show them off to their best advantage.

I knew I wanted to use both colour ways and rather than colour block I decided to make a raglan with contrast sleeves!

I have owned the “Patterns for pirates” slim fit raglan for a few years. In fact, it was the first pattern I ever made in jersey. So, I knew it would make up beautifully in the bee’s fabric.

 

I pre-washed at 30 ° C as usual and line dried. The fabric washed and pressed beautifully.

I pressed it on the cottons setting and my iron at this temperature did not adversely affect the bee print on the face side.

Now, I think that’s testimony to the quality of the fabric, as with so many surface printed fabrics you have to avoid ironing the pattern like the plague (I’ve melted a few)

 

The first thing I did before making my first cut was to mark on my pattern piece where I didn’t want a bee to be! No Boob-bees allowed!

You can see here where I’ve marked the position on my front pattern piece!



Then as I wanted to try to line up the sleeve with the front and back, I drew in the diagonals.

 

These I used to mark where the first sleeve would meet, then I laid the first cut sleeve over the fabric to cut the second.



As mentioned on the website the print doesn’t go all the way to the selvedge but the fabric is lovely and wide so that was no problem at all.

 

 

 

I decided to give my raglan cuffs and used the wrong side of the fabric for those as I thought the plain cuffs would add a simple touch.

I really love my new raglan, its super soft and warm without being thick or bulky. I think it will get lots of wear as we commence the autumn and then under a cardi in the winter it will be a super layering piece.

 

If I had not chosen to make my raglan, I think the fabric would have made a super toaster or Linden top. Or even a Blackwood or Kinder cardigan, what will you make?

 

I hope you like all the garden pictures I thought the bees should be photographed in their natural habitat!

 

Till next time keep chatting and stitching!

Carol 

aka @chatterstitch https://chatterstitch.wordpress.com/

 

The Sallie Jumpsuit

Alexa shares her summer jumpsuit

 
I’ve been meaning to make a new Sallie jumpsuit for months. Ideally I would have joined in with #sewtogetherforsummer but just never got my ducks in a row. Then Samantha got these gorgeous new organic jerseys in and it tipped me over into action.

This is my third Sallie, I wear my first one, which is years old, all the time. The second one had poor recovery and bagged out at the knees so badly that I ended up having to recycle it. This one has its own characteristics because of the fabric. As sewists we are always learning about fabric and how it can change the garment.

This cotton is fairly stable and sews up like a dream. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to chop a good few cm off the bottom, I’ve just had to re-hem my first version as it was too long and I’ve actually walked a hole in the hem. The print of this fabric is gorgeous and I love this jumpsuit, however, being less stretchy than I’m used to, it clings a lot more, not one to wear when going out for a big meal!

I try and be as sustainable as I can in my sewing and fabric choices, avoiding new where I can and reusing and recycling as much as possible. So it was really lovely to have the option to try out an organic cotton jersey, it’s nice to think that this garment has had slightly less impact on the planet than others as it hasn’t had quite as many chemicals involved.

I had some scraps left over from making my jumpsuit and so decided I was going to make some matching knickers. I used the Megan Neilsen acacia pattern which is becoming one of my go to patterns at this point. I realised I didn’t have any matching foldover elastic in my stash so Samantha kindly sent me some from the wide collection that they have. So now the insides can match the out!

Thanks to Samantha Claridge studios for the fabric and supplies which were gifted to me, all opinions are my own.  

Seed jumpsuit

Maria shares her girls jumpsuit project..

 

Summer is definitely here and jumpsuits are a big trend. Despite not having made one for myself yet, I adore seeing my girls wearing them as they are comfortable, practical and of course, look great.

 

 

 

To make F’s jumpsuit I’ve used the Seed Pattern by Sewpony, that comes with several options. We opted for the shorts jumpsuit with front ruffles and omitted the pockets. I made a size 9, based on her height and probably should have made one or two sizes down at the chest but, based on past years, she will probably have a growth spurt during summer and I want (need, really!) her clothes to last at least one season.

The fabric is Cotton Chambray Denim Light and I must say it is lovely. Perfect weight for a summer jumpsuit as it is not too heavy neither too light. It would work wonderfully for a long sleeve blouse for myself to wear in autumn…

One of my favourite things in sewing, is the opportunity to make a garment truly mine (or in this case for my daughter) by adding details. Sew Crafty has a lovely selection of trims and some even come in one of those cute wood pegs. So, I used the Narrow Cotton Lace Frill in colour lime to add some detail and a pop of colour. I really like how it turned out and how it adds some interest.

The only change I made to the pattern was in the construction, when adding the ruffles. Following the instructions, I should have added the ruffle on top of the front piece but instead, I have cut the front pattern piece in two, through the line where the ruffle was meant to go and added a seam allowance to both pieces. I then pined the ruffle to one side, basted in place and only after I’ve sewed it to the other part. The only reason I did this was because I prefer how it looks. Nonetheless, it doesn’t change much to how it looks.

The fabric, matching thread, elastic and trim used in this project were provided by Samantha Claridge Studio but the opinion is my own and I can tell you that I am genuinely pleased with all the supplies. The jumpsuit turned out really cute and comfortable. Both my daughter and I like it a lot and most importantly, I am sure it will get a lot of wear.

Thank you Samantha Claridge Studio for the supplies and you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Hi-Lo top

Alison's fabulous summer cover up!

 
For my second project for the Samantha Claridge Studio blog (previously Sew Crafty Design Team) I thought I’d go for a garment this time and chose the Pattern Emporium Make it Happen Hi-lo top. I won this pattern back in March when it was released and I’ve been itching to make it ever since, but it’s not particularly UK winter appropriate (PE is an Australian brand)! But I figured that if I wait for a sunny day I could be waiting a long time! Turns out we’ve had a few good ones lately!

First off, I would absolutely recommend this company. I love this pattern and most Pattern Emporium patterns I’ve seen have multiple options which is great as it gives you so much variety for different styles. This top comes in three different lengths, two different back versions, 3 sleeve options, two neckline heights and two front lengths… phew! I went for the high neck, one piece back, maxi length with dolman sleeves and regular front length. This required 2.5 metres of woven fabric so I chose the blush leopard stretch cotton because, well, I couldn’t resist an animal print!

The pattern consists of two pieces with an additional sleeve overlay and a piece for making the neck binding. Simple!
 
The fabric washed and ironed well. Being cotton it cut like butter! It’s not a heavy cotton and it has a decent drape to it. It’s also got a sight sateen-like sheen to it which makes it feel lovely but I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘stretch’ fabric as it’s only got 3% elastane and this doesn’t really give it any stretch just a little bit of give.
 

The instructions are brilliant and the top came together really quickly, in only a couple of hours, and most of that was spent at the ironing board doing the bound neckline and turning up the miles of hemline! But the fabric was beautiful to sew and did what it was told when ironed! I would have liked to finish the insides with french seams but the seam allowance was only 1cm so I just zig zagged the exposed seams to neaten them up. My only negative comment about that pattern was that there was a fair amount of fabric waste because of the way the main pieces were cut on the fold, but I’ve obviously saved the remnants and can probably piece together something for my daughter at a later date.

Please excuse the windy day photos! I love the finished look, it feels a bit ‘extra’ with it being so long and flowy – I’ve even had a few comments in the school playground! And the fabric helps! I’m really looking forward to wearing it when we get some warmer weather but in the mean time I might make a couple more!

Jenny’s updated underwear!

Jenny's new undies!

I did a bit of spring cleaning recently and had a bit of a clear out of my underwear drawer. You know those ones you keep because they’re mega comfy but actually really ugly? The ones you’ll ‘diet back in to’? The ones you bought because they were really pretty but somehow give you 4 bum cheeks where they cut in? I threw them all out. As it turns out, that didn’t leave me with many cute pairs of knickers so for my next SC Design Team make I decided to make myself so new ones!

My go-to pattern for knickers is the Acacia pattern from Megan Neilsen. This pattern is a freebie if you sign up for her newsletter, but if you would prefer not to subscribe you can purchase the pattern for £7.50. The pattern is for a low rise bikini cut knicker and gives instructions for 3 different elastic application techniques. It’s also a quick and easy sew. I cut a size Large based on measurements but I’ve altered my pattern slightly for a little less coverage on my butt to be a slightly more flattering shape for my body.

I wanted to make a few pairs of undies so I ordered half a metre of 6 different fabrics! I ordered a red spotted stretch mesh and matching jersey, a neon orange and turquoise floral stretch lace and neon jersey and a white stretch lace, as well as coordinating fold over elastic.

The spotted red mesh is really lovely, great stretch and good recovery too. The jersey is a good weight with enough stretch for undies, but I think would be really nice for t-shirts too. I chose a pinky red colour fold over elastic, and while it’s not quite a perfect match, it compliments the cherry red of the mesh nicely!

The orange and turquoise stretch lace was nice to sew with – the grey and turquoise floral design helps tone down some of the ‘orange-ness’ of the neon and I think could actually be really wearable as a layered pencil skirt or even a dress over a slip. I chose a grey fold over elastic for this pair as I wanted again to help tone down the bright neon of the jersey. The jersey is very vivid but it’s great quality. Neon orange isn’t typically a colour I can wear as I’m quite fair but I think you can get away with most wild prints and colours in undies and pyjamas!

The white stretch lace is so pretty, but doesn’t have quite as much stretch and recovery as the other ones I chose. As I’d chosen to use fold over elastic, I think the recovery issue won’t be a problem as the elastic will keep them where they’re supposed to be! The green and purple design is so pretty, and because this is a bit more of a delicate look I used the lace for the front and the back as well as the outer layer of the gusset. I used a scrap of white cotton jersey for the gusset lining as it’s always best to have natural fibres in delicate areas.

I used a zigzag stitch to attach the fold over elastic, going slowly to make sure I didn’t miss any raw edges, as even though none of these fabrics fray I wanted the raw edges to be neatly enclosed in the elastic. I pre-washed all 6 fabrics and didn’t notice any shrinkage but would recommend that you use a colour catcher for pre-washing the red jersey as it gave up a little bit of colour. 

As this pattern uses very little fabric it’s a great scrap buster – I’ve got plenty of fabric left over to make at least 6 more pairs in various combinations. A little bit of a good fabric can go a long way!

Summer Lingerie

Sally makes some Evie La Luve lingerie...

Can you believe that we are already half way through the year?! Scary or what!

This month’s make is some pretty summer lingerie. Don’t know about you guys but I can’t sleep in the buff I still need something on me… I’m one of them that need the duvet on me but have half my body out of it in the summer and I don’t wanna scar my children for life! Hahaha!

I have the fabulous patterns from Evie La Luve of the Crop Top and Honey Panties which I thought would be ideal… plenty of coverage yet pretty!

 

 

 

 

So after reading through the Samantha Claridge Studio site, where they have some lovely scuba, lace and lingerie findings, I finally settled on the Flora Scuba, Coral Lace. To give the crop top an edgy vibe I went for the Sport Plush Back Elastic which is just lush so soft yet sturdy!

On making both these patterns you do need plenty of Fold Over Elastic so I order 5m and that was just enough to cover them both so if you read the instructions and it states what amount you need always go for an extra metre to be on the safe side.

Also with me adding some Lace to the sides of the Crop Top I needed thread to match so I ended up with an array of threads to make sure I had the right colour match on which part I was constructing the lingerie.

So as you all know, my health hasn’t been on top form and weight has come on quite quickly but thankfully Evielaluve patterns accommodate to size 45” bust and 48” hips on the panties. I graded out a size bigger for the hips as unfortunately they were just out of the sizing bracket but the Top I cut out a size 2XL. So thankfully I had my Sew Crafty Planner at the ready to keep all my notes handy.

I’ve not made a Crop Top before, so I aired on the side of caution and made a toile beforehand, which I am very glad I did as the front needed an extra bit of boob coverage, the top itself to be lengthen by a couple of inches also as my 34FF girls was wanting to escape underneath the top and the straps needed shorting by an inch.

With them adjustments made onto the pattern pieces, I went out to cutting them out of the lovely scuba and lace along with the panties too. I added a layer of Power Mesh to the Top too for a bit more support.

So when constructing the Crop Top I cut out a piece of lace just big enough of the opening and sewn in place and the placed the layer of power mesh and basted in place using a 05.cm Seam Allowance.

 

 

 

 

Construction came together really quick and once you know how to fold over elastic to finish the edges you can soon sew these two in no time.

Also my Man Mog Raylan was at my side whilst sewing and keeping an eye that I didn’t make a mistake.

These are a right pretty pair… if I do say so myself and as Lisa (fellow DT member) mentioned they look like they were bought from Calvin Klein! 

So here are the finished pair, sorry folks I’m not putting myself on the internet just in a crop top and panties for no one hahaha!

Summer dresses should BEE bold!

Marsha makes a statement with her summer dress!

The British summer is now finally upon us, and it’s time to wear those lovely summer dresses we’ve been making while we dream about the sun.

I love to stand out, it’s one thing that draws me to making my own clothes. It means I can be as loud as I wish and choose fabrics that represent me. 

When planning my blog post this month, I wanted a fun make that would help brighten the mood while we waited for the sun. I had seen this amazing Glow Lily Organic cotton jersey in black while looking for last month’s fabric and I just knew I would be making something with it in the future as its very me. I am obsessed with bees, but since the great British sewing bee, who isn’t in love with bees in the sewing world

I have been planning a Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress in jersey fabric for a while. I made the Bettine in woven fabric a while ago and it’s a great go to basic beginners’ pattern but I never see that as a draw back. I sew a pattern because I love the style and not if it’s at my sewing level. I find with every make, even on the easier patterns, you will learn something new. Either with techniques or with fitting issues or down to learning about a fabric. 

Bettine is a woven dress pattern for those that aren’t familiar with the pattern. Its relaxed style with the elastic waist casing, means it transfers to jersey fabric really well. I did my research before starting and read Tilly’s tips on turning Bettine into a jersey dress.

The only change in the pattern is the facings. I worked with jersey and instead of facing the bodice neckline, you make a neckband. Tilly’s blog gave the measurements for the neckband for each size but I already knew how to make my own if needed. When making a neckband you measure the length of the neck opening, you cut a 2 inch wide strip and use 75% of the neck opening as your length. This then gives you enough stretch to make your neckband fit nicely. When picking your fabric keep in mind the stretch and recovery, if your main fabric doesn’t have a 30 / 40% stretch and excellent recovery you will need to pick a contrasting fabric.

I followed the Bettine pattern, apart from the neckband. Tilly suggests you use the “Agnes” top pattern instructions for how to attach the neckband. I have made the Agnes before but I have used alternative methods from other patterns that I am more comfortable with so went with that method instead. I used 3/8” seam allowance for the band instead of 5/8” as I like my neckband a little wider. When stretching the band to fit the neckline, I mark the band with clips at the centre front and back and then again in-between those. This helps with stretching the band evenly. Then I mark the centre, front and back on the bodice with clips. I then find the middle point between those two markings. The easiest way to do this, is by bringing the centre and back markings together then the two outside ends are your in-between markings. Note that these markings will not be the shoulder seam. You have four even marks to match up with the neckband when stretching the neckband to fit. It’s a method that works really well for me and I find my neckbands turn out perfect using this method. 

I used my walking foot for the very first time on jersey fabric with this make. I had it set up from a previous project, and thought it would be a great time to give it a go. I top stitched my neckband with a twin needle and the walking foot and I must say this is my best neckband I have ever done. The only changes to the pattern I made were that I sized down from a size 4 in the bodice half to a 3 in the skirt pattern. I did this by tapering in at the hips. I made my woven Bettine in this sizing a while ago and thought I would see how the jersey would work. As it’s more relaxed, I feel that on my next jersey Bettine I could just make a plain size 3 as the bodice is a little roomy.



 

I had fun working out the placement of the bees because I didn’t want them to be the centre focus point due to their large scale. The floral pattern is what I wanted to use as my centre focus which I feel then allows the bees to blend in. I am very pleased with the overall outcome of this dress. I am already planning another but this fabric what can I say, I want it navy now. I also have my eyes on the other bee prints. I can see a burgundy bee Bettine with tights and boots working well in the winter. The drape on this fabric is lovely and it’s so soft to wear. It’s bold, bright and fun but that’s what summer is about.

I have my parents over from Australia at the moment, so I am off to go enjoy the sunshine with them while it lasts and hide my sewing room from my mum making sure my fabric stash doesn’t go walking into her suitcase.

Until next time, “Bee” bold and have fun with your fabric!