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!

Steph’s Peasant dress

Steph shares with us her peasant dress project and why it's so important to her...

Over the last few years I have developed more of an affinity for trousers or leggings than dresses, largely due to my changing body shape, but the need for abdominal surgery very soon has made me realise i need more dresses in my life…

 

 

After years of pain and hideous symptoms I was recently diagnosed with Endometriosis of the womb and bowel, and at the end of July I will be having major surgery to remove my womb, ovaries and a small portion of my bowel. This means a lot of resting, recovering, and – much to my horror – no jeans or leggings for several weeks as they’ll rub on my scars and stitches. 

Now don’t get me wrong – i love dresses. Just not on me. I’m short and dumpy, and incredibly conscious of my legs and stomach, and there are only a few styles of dress that really suit me. A dress shopping trip left me feeling anxious, frumpy and deeply uncomfortable, so I knew the only way to solve this was with something me-made.

As I was glancing through Samantha Claridge Studio’s incredible array of fabrics (which is very much a regular pastime, even when I dont have a project in mind!) a beautiful pale blue viscose with a pink and white floral print caught my eye and I knew that it would be absolutely perfect for something light and floaty. I have always loved peasant dresses and tops, and they fit the bill for what I’d need post-surgery: empire line, nice and loose, and should be cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

Peasant dresses are actually fairly simple to make without a premade pattern, and i have seen many really lovely ones that are actually just made from 4 rectangles (2 large ones for the back and front, and 2 smaller ones for the sleeves). The magic ingredient to this dress is in fact basic elastic.

I used just plain white narrow elastic in the neckline and under the bust to draw in all the excess fabric and create a nice silhouette. I also added a bit of elastic in the sleeves to make them a little puffier at the top. The end result was the first dress I have actually loved and felt utterly comfortable wearing in YEARS. The fabric is so soft and feminine, and the big floaty sleeves give the dress that little bit extra drama. I loved it so much I even wore it to a friends wedding and I was very proud when people asked me where i got such a beautiful dress that i was able to say ‘I made it myself’.

Whilst this dress started out as a need for a post-surgery outfit, I think it will become a wardrobe staple of mine for quite some time to come. Who knows – maybe this might just be the start of a new love for wearing dresses. 

It’s a wrap!

Romy shares her gorgeous jersey dress project...

 
 
 
 
Hello again! I can’t believe we’re already at the Beginning of August! It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was trying to pick my project for May!  
 
 

 

 

 

As soon as I saw this fabric on Instagram, I knew I had to have some…

I loved the striking print with the beautiful flowers and bees (very on trend at the moment, it seems!) and thought it would work well with a pattern I recently decided I had to have, the Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing (pictured on the left). This is one of those patterns that I’ve been seeing around blogs and Instagram for ages but haven’t really fancied making until recently. I thought that it wouldn’t suit my shape, but after seeing lots of examples on lots of body types, I realised that it’s a great one for curvy bodies as the waist tie enables you to decide how loose or fitted you want it.

So the fabric arrived and I definitely was not disappointed. It is stunning. And once again I forgot to get any pictures of the lovely parcel before it went in the wash and was then cut out. The fabric washed really nicely with no fading, and the print is nice and big so the details really stand out. I didn’t attempt to pattern match and as long as you don’t have a lot of seams or panels I don’t think you need to worry about it. The Kielo is great because it gives you a big expanse of fabric to show off large prints.
 
When cutting out I did check where the pieces were on the fabric to make I didn’t have any unfortunate print placement (I’ve made the mistake of beheading animals on fabric before now!) and am pleased with how it came out. The fabric is a lovely, medium weight jersey – not too drapey or too stiff, though it did make for a more structured Kielo than if you used a very draped jersey, but I liked how it turned out.
Sewing the fabric was a breeze. I used my overlocker for most of it, only using my sewing machine to twin needle the neck and hems. I didn’t interface the waist ties as the pattern calls for as it’s a thicker jersey, and I think it turned out ok, though you would definitely want to use interfacing on a lighter fabric. I did use the flexible seam tape to stabilise the neck and stop it stretching, although once you’ve ironed it on it has no stretch at all, so bear that in mind if you want that area on your garment to still have a bit of give. I had intended to cut the neck narrower than the pattern as I have quite narrow shoulders, but I forgot. It is a bit too wide and tends to gape so I might see if I can add a bra strap holder to keep the neckband sitting where I want it to. Next time I might try adding a neckband too to stop any gaping.
 
 

I decided to make the sleeved version of the Kielo which comes as a free add-on, as I wanted a more formal look. The pattern and tutorial on their website is pretty easy to follow, though next time I might try to use another top pattern that I know fits me well, just so I can avoid the wide neck problem again. I also shortened the dress as I thought this fabric might be too heavy for a maxi. I made a bit of a hash of shortening it so the hem is a bit wonky, but if you just cut straight across at the length you want that should work fine, I just overcomplicated things!

I was in love with my dress as soon as I tried it on, and wore it two days later to a job interview, which tells you how much I liked it! Sorry I don’t have more pictures; my phone helpfully deleted half the ones I took during an update so this is all I have, but you can see how gorgeous the fabric is which is the most important thing.
 
So that’s my second project finished, and onto the next! I’m hoping to try another pattern that’s new in my stash so watch this space!

Jersey Jumpsuit of dreams!

Rachel's jersey jumpsuit

 
For this project I chose this amazing organic cotton jersey in navy and orange from the Samantha Claridge Studio shop, as soon as I saw this fabric I knew immediately it would make an amazing jumpsuit. 
Through the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge I bagged myself a cheeky little discount off the Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit and decided these two were perfect together.
 
 
This jumpsuit has 2 versions, I decided to make the v neck version with the tie straps across the back. It has an elastic waist and hip pockets and a lovely wide leg which make these super comfy and flattering.  The bodice is fully lined and as I’m tall, I needed to lengthen both the bodice and the trousers, this is a normal adjustment for me with most patterns, this meant eeking out the pattern out of my 2.5m of fabric was a bit of a challenge but I got there! 
This beautiful fabric is incredibly soft and easy to handle and would be ideal for an adventurous beginner who wants to venture into the world of stretch fabrics. 
 
 
 

This is only the second Closet Case Pattern I have made and the instructions were super easy to follow, there is an interesting technique to create the lining for this bodice which I haven’t come across before but it works so well and gives you a bodice that feels so well constructed and supportive. I love how it looks, but think it would look great paired with a belt swell if you want to look a little more glam.

I am absolutely delighted with the result and can’t wait for more sunny days to be here so I can wear it!

Savannah Shirt

@chatterstitch shares her favourite shirt...

 
 
Hi There!
It’s Carol here, aka @Chatterstitch and I really need to tell you, all about my latest make for the Samantha Claridge Design Team!

Why? do I hear you say? Because, I absolutely love it. I requested some of this fabulous Lilac tram stripe cotton to make a Wardrobe By Me, Savannah shirt. The styling of this is so great, very classic and simple but also feminine. It’s a collarless button-down shirt with long sleeves and button cuffs.

I am really enjoying working with natural fibres at the moment especially in this lovely warm weather we are experiencing, well I suppose it is July!

So, this lovely white cotton with its strong lilac stripes was just perfect!

When my fabric first arrived, I machine washed at 40 and then line dried. It washed and pressed like a dream, just as expected from a quality cotton. 

 

What really attracted me to this fabric was the lovely tram stripe and the possibilities it gave me to play around with the stripe direction. The yolk on the savannah pattern is cut on the fold but I really wanted to have the stripes form chevrons at the centre back of the yolk, so I added an extra 1.5cm seam allowance to each centre back seam and cut the yolk as two separate halves. I used my quilting ruler to cut the first half at an angle of 45 degrees and then laid that half over the fabric so I could match the pattern for the other half of the yolk. I think it worked really well but that actually created a different challenge! 

The neck band is cut on the bias, to allow the stretch and curve around the neck, this allows the neckband to lie nice and flat. But, I realised if I cut the neckband as one continuous strip, from the front the diagonal stripe would appear to run in opposite directions, so I decided to also cut the neck band in two sections and then have those chevrons running opposite to the yolk! Yes, I know I just can’t resist the challenge!

I do think however this is one of the main reasons why I have to make my own clothes, I hate seeing people wearing stripes which don’t match or clothes which don’t fit!

I’ve really wanted to try out making my own buttons for such a long time and when I got the opportunity to make some to match my shirt, I just had to try them out. I chose the 11mm plastic ones which come as a six pack.

 

They are so easy to use, you cut a little disk of fabric slightly larger than the front then run a line of gathering stitches around the perimeter. Then pull up the gathers and knot the ends. Once its secure just pop on the little disc which holds it all in place. Et Voila!! 

 

I will definitely use these again and they come in 5 different sizes from 11mm to 38 mm in the nylon (which I used) and also metal ones which come in the same sizes. I’m not exactly sure why you would choose the metal ones over the nylon but on the website the metal ones are recommended for medium weight fabrics, so perhaps with a heavier fabric the metal ones are a bit stronger.

I really like this fabric and I love my new shirt; however, I think the fabric would also make a fabulous top or a shirt dress and there are some great ones around right now!

What would you make?

That’s all from me for now thanks for reading my little post and until next time keep chatting and stitching!

@chatterstitch

Summer Time Separates

@missmaker shows us her summer wardrobe staples!

 
 
You may recognise this georgeous fabric from my previous project, this soft drapy cotton viscose from www.samanthaclaridgestudio.com was too beautiful! I just couldn’t tuck it away as a coat lining so I used a small amount for the yoke of the Jade jacket lining and saved the rest for a rather more summery project…

My basic idea was to cut a half circle skirt so the grain of the skirt would run across the bias and drape beautifully with lots of movement. I wanted a full length skirt so measure from my waist to floor then added 4cm to play with. My hip measurement divided by Pi (3.14 – back to school days!) gave me the diameter circle I would need, and as I wanted a half circle I used that as the radius for the waistline instead. To make the very most of the fabric I had to then spread this half circle to give me a slightly flatter curve

I also had some fantastic pale grey cuffing with a coral, pink and white stripe (also available at Sew Crafty) which I though would work perfectly as a comfy waistband, I joined the back seam and sewed the cuffing to the top, marking quarters and stretching the cuffng between to give me a stretchy waistband that still sat beautifully flat with subtle gathers when topstitched with a small zigzag.

A small rolled hem was all that was then needed to complete the skirt, so quick and easy I can see a couple more of these being whizzed up before summer is out!

Then is was on to the top half. I have a New Look pattern (6095) that I have made about 10 different variations of so far.

The fit is fab and actually works perfectly without the zip in the back so I’ve taken to cutting the back as one piece for relaxed fit versions.

I wanted two separate items that came together beautifully as one when needed to, s, once I had the basic shape together I popped it on my dress form with the skirt and thought about the proprtions of the neckline and how bind and finish it.

I opted for a sleaveless look with simple fold over binding, a laced front created using a rectangular facing turned to the outside, topstitched and used button holes with a long rouleux threaded through them (I still might change this to a cord made with emroidery thread matched to the coral stripe of the cuffing but that’s for another day)

TOP TIP: The binding on this top used one of my go to techniques for a lightweight finish. Cut a strip of binding about 5cm wide from the fabric you are using, not on the bias as this is too stretchy but at about 25 degrees. Fold the whole thing in half and press. Place the binding on the wrong side and line up your three raw edges (two for the binding one from the neck or arm hole you are binding). Stitch round the whole thing (folding your ends neatly where they join) Trim the raw edges down to about 0.5cm, fold the entire binding to the outside. Top stitch into place.  Supr neat, super light and super strong for this kind of drapey fabric.

And there we go! Time for a try on. I have just got to decide which combo is my favourite now!!!

70s vibes!

Rachel's fabulous 70's inspired dress

For my second make for the sew crafty blog I was immediately drawn to this stunning 70’s chiffon over in the Sew Crafty Shop, having not worked with chiffon much in my sewing journey, I knew this fabric would need careful handling but also which pattern would show off this amazing print to its fullest, Vogue V9253. I have made a version of this pattern before but don’t let the extremely low cut front neckline put you off, its very easy to alter it to make you feel less exposed!

This pattern was released by Vogue a couple of years ago and is one of their easy makes, the pattern consists of a front and back bodice with grown on sleeves and a front and back skirt,  the caftan design with waist ties can be made knee or maxi length and features pleats in the front bodice and skirt, an invisible back zipper and ties which are stitched into the back seam and tie at the front, it comes in sizes XS though to XL and I cut the size S, I lengthened the bodice by an inch but apart from that made no other adjustments to the base pattern. Due to the design of the pattern pieces, this pattern is very fabric hungry and I needed almost 4m of fabric to create this dress.

For this version I omitted the stitched in ties and created a separate belt that was detachable. I also partially lined the bodice with some ivory lining fabric from my stash, and created a short underskirt as chiffon by its very design tends to be fairly sheer. I chose to sew a narrow hem which gave me the opportunity to practice this sewing technique and finishes the dress off perfectly.

 

This chiffon is fairly sturdy to work with but to make it even easier to handle, I sprayed it with spray starch first, this is a great tip for working with floaty fabrics and washes out easily.

With some left over fabric I created an additional headband to complete the 70’s vibe and I absolutely love the result, it’s totally ‘Margot’ from the good life and perfect for swishing in and swanning around the garden with a glass of something.

 

As always, thanks to the Sew Crafty Team for gifting this fabric to me.