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!

 

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. 

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!