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!

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!