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Maddie’s CocoWawa Chesnut Top

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

If you remember my last post I commented on how Sewisfaction just has THE most amazing prints, but for this post I decided to break out of my regular sewing pattern and get some fabric of a plain colour. When I was scrolling through the site I noticed the selection of ponte roma that Sewisfaction have in their lovely shop, and this beautiful colour caught my eye and I knew I had to have some the Beatrice Ponte Roma in Turquoise.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

The next big decision was what pattern would be great for this fabric and really let it shine? I spent ages thinking of what pattern to use, I was originally intending to use the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress and hack it into something a bit different, but then I saw the Chestnut sweater and top by CocoWawa Crafts and I knew that it was meant to be.

So after the prewash (which I always hate doing, why can’t everything come prewashed?), I started cutting out my Chestnut top. Now, I’m really not the most accurate cutter when it comes to dressmaking – I count this as one of my many faults – but with this fabric it was a dream. My rotary cutter cut through it like it was butter and before I knew it all my cutting out was done.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

 

 

Another reason I was especially excited for this project was that this would be the first time I’d be using knit fabric on my brand new overlocker. And guys, this top came together literally in under 2 hours! I was absolutely astounded at the handle of the ponte as it is solid enough to hold its shape by itself, but has just the right amount of stretch when needed, i.e. when getting those sleeve heads in.

Wait for it though, I haven’t even gotten to the best bit of this ponte yet. It is so, so, so extremely soft, and it is also just thick enough to keep you warm during those winter months. I have a bit of this fabric left so I think some cosy PJ shorts may be coming my way!

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

So here is my finished sweater, what do you think?

I am so glad I pushed myself to get some plain coloured fabric as this will look so good with so many things in my wardrobe and will keep me super warm this winter, plus the little bow just gives it that something special and turns a very simple top into something a bit quirky.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

But in case you still haven’t picked up that I’m absolutely in love with this fabric, then use this picture to get a sense of how I feel!

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

As a side note, I think the Chestnut top and sweater pattern would be an amazing pattern to use for the One Pattern, One Week challenge that Sheona is hosting this year. If you haven’t heard of this challenge yet, it essentially requires you to wear one pattern (but not one item of clothing) for an entire week. So it really gets you to think about the possibilities of those dressmaking patterns we all hoard. I can see this pattern making a staple jumper and then a couple more tops with each one being slightly different (or not – totally up to you!).

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

What variations can you imagine with this pattern?

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Lots of love and happy sewing,

Maddie aka Thimble Bee

xx

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Suzie’s Tova Top

Hello again everyone, it’s Suzie here to share my second blogger make for Sewisfaction.
Today I am sharing a Wiksten Tova made out of the beautiful Midnight Monet Cotton Lawn. I would guess that a lot of you may not have heard of the Tova before, if you are relatively new to the online sewing community. It was probably released around about 2010 and was very popular with the fledgling sewing blogger scene back then, but, has since faded into the background a bit now that there are so many more new sewing patterns on the market. A shame really, because it is such a lovely tunic pattern, with enough interesting details to flex your creative muscles.
I have made this top once before, in a medium weight wool blend. It comes out of hibernation every Autumn and is a true staple in my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I always knew that I needed to make another one, ideally in a lighter weight fabric and with a few tweaks. So that is exactly what I have done! You may have noticed that my version is a little bit different from the line drawings above.
​No Mandarin collar and the addition of long sleeves. As much as I like the neckline of the Tova, I always felt that the Mandarin/Grandad collar never really sat quite right. Add to that the fact that I like slightly lower necklines, and you can see why I decided to change it up a bit this time around. I used a French Curve to scoop out the front of the bib and added three buttons to the placket, which are actually just decorative (with the placket sewn down) because I can easily fit this over my head. The neckline was then finished with bias binding.
​I also opted to lengthen the sleeves. I love the slightly voluminous three-quarter sleeves of the original Tova, but they are not made for pairing with a cardigan, and I LIVE in cardigans (it’s all about the layers in Northern Ireland!) so I knew they had to go this time. I ended up taking the sleeves from the Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blousebecause it includes a little opening slit, button and rouleau loop at the cuff which would mean I would be able to roll up the sleeves if I wanted to. I have to admit this is actually the first time I’ve sewn a sleeve with these details and it took me a little bit longer than I thought. Those rouleau loops are tricky little things. They turned out OK, but I will attempt to make them even smaller next time!
​The final alteration I made was to curve the hem. I just find a curved hem more flattering than having the bottom of your top cut straight across the hips (my widest area!). And because I curved the hem, I used bias binding the finish the edge, as it is the easiest way of getting a lovely smooth curve.

​This lovely smooth lawn was a dream to work with. So easy to press and manipulate where needed. I’ve been working with viscose, crepe and jersey so much lately, it was so refreshing to work with a fabric that just behaves and does what it’s told! And how beautiful is that print? So perfect for layering up in Autumn. But because I’ve ensured I can roll my sleeves up, I know I will be wearing this well into the Spring when the weather starts to warm up again.​
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Kathy makes the Chloe Dress

Hi everyone, it’s Kathy here again, and for this blog post I am really excited to share with you a recent PDF dress pattern discovery from the German company Pattydoo. For this dress I knew that I wanted to use one of the pretty scuba fabrics which Sewisfaction are stocking and when I travelled down to Wokingham last week to meet up at the shop with Sheona and some of the other lovely girls from the Sewisfaction Blogger Team I could not resist this stunning Camelia Embers scuba. There were other fabric purchases made on the day, but no doubt you will hear about them from me another time!

The scuba is super soft and has a gentle stretch with good recovery, so I thought it would be great for this dress. Dramatic large flowers are set against a pretty soft blue/grey background which makes it feminine and very wearable. It’s lovely and wide too – 145cm – so for this dress I only needed 1.5 metres of fabric. I wanted a medium weight fabric in order to really show off the stunning inverted pleats on the skirt of the dress which give it such a great tulip shape.

Back to the pattern. It’s the Chloe dress from Pattydoo. There are pro’s and con’s with this one. Firstly, and you might want to be sitting down when I tell you, this PDF cost me 2.99 Euros. Yep 3 little Euros which works out at about £2.68 according to google! The down side to this, for me at least, is that it is a German pattern company, and therefore it is entirely worded in German. I do not speak German unfortunately! Eventually with a great deal of help from Google Translate, I was able to gain a little understanding on what was written!

It’s a knit dress pattern and as mentioned has a gorgeous tulip skirt detail, formed by the creation of 2 inverted pleats. It has side slanting pockets, the choice of short or long sleeves, a neckband or neck facing option and the choice to make it into a skirt only. Pretty good value I think!

Thinking about it, with all those options, this could be a really good example of a pattern that would work really well with the #OWOP17 challenge. If you haven’t heard about this friendly sewing challenge which is taking place at the end of November, you will find a blog post all about it here on the Sewisfaction Blog as Sheona is hosting this year’s event.

The PDF printed out perfectly (at home), and was easy to assemble. No problems with the scale or sizing of my pattern pieces. The pattern includes good instructions regarding sizing, body measurements, fabric requirements, sizing alterations advice and cutting layout. The actual sewing instructions however, are to be found on the Pattydoo YouTube channel. You need to search ‘sweatkleid chloe’ and you can follow along. Although it is spoken in German, this visual presentation is really easy to understand and actually a great way to demonstrate sewing instructions. The video shows how to make the childs version of the dress, and for the adult version there are separate written instructions within your PDF to show you how to sew the additional darts, neckband options and gathering at the back waist seam.

It might be worth mentioning that I used ball point needles throughout this project and also used ball point pins too. I used a combination of both my regular sewing machine and overlocker, and was pleased at just how quickly it came together.

The back of the dress is shaped by the addition of a piece of elastic which is stretched along the waist seam. I’m not altogether sure I’m that keen on the look of this and may replace this feature with darts/pleats for future makes.

The length of the dress is only just knee length on me ( I’m 5’2”),  despite adding 2cm to the length of the skirt for this make. Next time I will add a little more on the skirt length I think. The hem along with the sleeves are finished with a twin needle, which always gives a lovely finish to any knit project.

I really am in love with this dress. I finished it on Saturday, my husband took my photos, and I wore it out on the Sunday to a family get-together! It’s a bold claim but I really do think this is my most favourite dress pattern. I have been looking for a sewing pattern for a knit dress with a tulip skirt for so long and this is perfect. I think the long sleeved version in a French Terry or sweatshirting fabric, with a contrasting neck band would be super cute for Winter too. Expect to see many more of these dresses from me in the future!

Take care and happy sewing everyone, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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It’s a wrap – Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

Another old post from the SewSheSho blog! This is a review of the Cashmerette Appleton dress, this is the first one I made and I’ve worn it on numerous nights out! Over to past me to tell you more….!

Bonjour mes amis…We’ve been back from our new year trip to France for two weeks now and it already feels like a distant memory! It was a lovely break, and I was lucky enough to have some time to sew out there. I carted my sewing machine, overlocker, sewing box, 3 bags of fabric and an array of patterns on a ferry sailing and a 4.5 hour drive across rural France because I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to make, and I didn’t want to be limited on choice….I actually only made one dress and a top! Still, it was worth it and I did cut out another five garments which has saved me a lot of time this end! Now onto the dress I made on New Years Eve…

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

I’ve always been a fan of the classic wrap dress. Worn with a camisole for work or a shorter version sans cami is great for going out, and I’ve found the nipped in waist and low neckline flattering for my figure.

The tricky thing is, the right fit is often so hard to find. I’ve had the Sew Over It wrap dress pattern for ages and had even traced it out but knew from the pattern pieces I would need to do an FBA to cover my DD chest. The motivation needed to do an FBA on a one-piece dress pattern has never been high enough, so it’s languished in my pattern stash for ages, even though I’ve seen some lovely versions on the blogosphere and Instagram.
When Jenny announced she was launching Cashmerette Patterns with the Appleton dress, I’ll admit whilst being really pleased there was a new curvy indie pattern company in the market, I didn’t actually rush out to buy it. At first I thought the neck band could look a teeny, little bit frumpy – I’m  really sorry, I’m just being honest! After a month or two seeing lots of versions popping up on all different shapes and sizes, I decided that actually pattern looked pretty damn good on everyone so bit the bullet and ordered a copy.

The pattern is printed on tissue paper (slightly thicker than the big 4) and each of the three cup size variations; C/D, E/F, G/H, have their own pattern piece, sized from 14 – 28. This is absolutely brilliant for those of us that don’t trace patterns, as you can cut the pattern directly and if the cup is too small, just cut the next cup size up (as long as you’re sure which dress size you’ll fall within)! I’m a DD and wasn’t sure whether to go with the C/D or E/F but Jenny advises if you fall between cup sizes to go with the one that fits with most of your measurements so I chose C/D. It’s probably best not to drink too much Cointreau Fizz when cutting out pattern pieces, as I didn’t initially notice it is the same front piece for both sides, which you flip over and cut slightly narrower for the side that wraps on top. I was merrily cutting away before realising that you need to leave the extra width for the underneath wrap piece. Luckily it was easily rescued with a bit of sellotape!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

As there’s no FBA required, again another massive plus point, it didn’t take long at all to cut out all of my fabric.  I used this black and silver stretch jersey which is heavy enough to almost be a ponte. It was bought from Goldhawk Road last summer and I hadn’t been sure what to do with it. It cost £4 pm and I got the end of the roll so about 2m for £6! It has silver sparkly animal print on it and has a really good recovery. Thinking that this would be a wearable toile as the fabric was so cheap, I’m so pleased it turned out so well – don’t you love it when that happens?!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

Jenny’s instructions are really clear, and the instruction booklet is laid out nicely, with useful pictures. Everything is very easy to follow and I found the dress came together very quickly. You sew the shoulder seams, then the neckband and ties, which attach to the front and back pieces. The neckband is drafted to be slightly smaller than the front pieces and you need to stretch it a little as you sew. This means the neckband is nice and tight to your chest and magically avoids gaping…Genius if you ask me, and yes I was definitely wrong about it being frumpy! I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams as Jenny suggests and shortened the hem slightly. The trickiest bit is when you join the neckband to the waist ties, but as soon as I’d done it the wrong way the mistake was obvious and it made complete sense on the second attempt. If you do struggle at this point, I’ve just checked and there is a very handy video as part of the sew-along here.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

 

Some of the tester versions mentioned that the hip had a little too much curve and there were a few “saddlebag” issues. I can confirm this has definitely been resolved with the final version as the fit is great throughout. There is a bit of pulling on the front bust piece in this pictures, and at the bottom of the front wrap and it is there in real life although nowhere near as noticeable. I wondered if I should go up a cup size, but having made this dress again out of a fabric with less recovery, I’m pretty sure it’s because this one is too keen to return to its original shape – a little bit too much snap!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Review

The dress holds up to walking around without any wardrobe malfunctions or knicker flashing, and I’ve tested that outside and walking round the office! I’m going to shorten it ever so slightly more as this fabric isn’t really work appropriate but it’s a little too long for me to feel comfortable wearing it on a night out.

This is the first dress pattern I’ve ever made that fits straight out of the envelope and it’s going to the top of my Much Loved list, in fact I’ve already made another version that I’ll share with you soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Samantha’s Papercut Kyoto

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

A slight contrast to my last ‘tropical’ make for the Sewisfaction Blogger Team, I am back with a cosy autumnal make this time around!

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

I had dreamt of a balmy Indian summer, but instead you just gave us rain… thank you UK weather! But let’s looks on the bright side & all the things this time of year does offer; endless hot chocolate (sorry thighs), cosy nights in, tights & not shaving my legs (sorry hubby!) and of course layers of soft and cosy clothes.

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

Which is of course why, for this project, I chose one of the gorgeous Beatrice Ponte Romas from Sewisfaction. It’s so soft, luxurious and perfect for so many projects (I’ve made a list of a few ideas below if you would like some inspiration).

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

The pattern I used is the Papercut Patterns ‘Kyoto’ sweatshirt, which also has a Tee option. This was my first time using a Papercut Pattern and I went for the PDF download from their website which cost £10, I printed it and put together at home (but do check out Netprinter online for A0 print at a great price if you hate the faff of putting patterns together).

The pattern itself is very straightforward and so long as you’ve inserted a jersey neckband before you will have no issues. Even if you haven’t, this Ponte is so lovely to work with you’ll have no issues! Following the finished garment size chart I cut a large (due to my hips!), however I did have to take the sweater in at the waist once I’d finished as it was HUGE! So my advice to you is ‘it comes up big!’, unless of course you want a lovely big cosy sweater to fit your cat/dog/child in with you… everyone does that don’t they?!

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

All in all, my sizing issue aside, I LOVE this pattern and I see myself making lots more for the winter months. Along with some of the Tee version in the summer or even to layer up under Cardigans and sweaters! Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but frills are very on trend at moment, they’re everywhere!!

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

Project Rundown:

Fabric: Beatrice Ponte Roma in Red (1.6m)

Thread: Gutermann Sew all thread in 365

Pattern: Papercut Patterns Kyoto

Make Time: An afternoon

Skill Level: Beginner

A few more patterns that the Beatrice Ponte Roma is perfect for;

SOI Molly Dress

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

Grainline Linden Sweater 

Papercut Bowline Sweater

Tilly and the buttons Coco

Sew Over it Heather Dress

Jennifer Lauren Erin Sweater

…I could go on, there’s so many options! I can’t wait to see what you make with it!

Papercut Kyoto Review Sewisfaction

Happy sewing!

Samantha

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A Beatrix Made by Amanda!

Hi Everyone,

Well it’s my turn again to post for the blogger team and boy that’s come around quickly!

I didn’t have much trouble in deciding what to choose as my project this time around as I have been absolutely obsessed with denim of late, as you have probably noticed if you have been checking out my YouTube channel.  Over the past couple of months I have made dungarees, jeans, dresses, skirts and tops all out of denim and I love it.  So when I saw that Sewisfaction were stocking the lovely Beatrix Top pattern by Made By Rae I thought it would be perfect paired with their 4oz Washed Denim in blue which also comes in an indigo colourway.  I have used a washed denim of this weight previously but I have to admit the quality of the Sewisfaction version is much better.  As the name suggests the fabric is a lightweight cotton which is really soft and easy to wear.

I have previously tried to sew the Beatrix top in a viscose but it was a long time ago.  I am sure the pattern has been updated since I last tried as I remember the pattern calling for flat felled seams throughout.  Whilst this gave a beautiful finish it was so time consuming I gave up mid-way through.

In the latest version of the pattern there are various options for finishing your seams which are included in an appendix to the pattern so you can choose which suits you best.  I opted to just sew my seams with a regular straight stitch on my machine and then finish everything with my overlocker.  I chose to do it this way so I could check the fit before I overlocked.

This pattern has extremely clear instructions and I think even an adventurous beginner could give it a whirl as the instructions are so detailed with illustrations for each step.  You can tell that Rae has put an awful lot of time and effort into the instructions to ensure that everything is crystal clear.

The pattern comes with two styles one being a shirttail version and the other a banded version.  I chose to go with the shirttail option as I was using a solid fabric and thought the banded version would be wasted on a solid fabric although I toyed with adding bands to the sleeves for a bit of interest.  There is also an option to add a contrasting placket and there is a tutorial for this on the Made By Rae website and of course it comes with short sleeves or ¾ length.

The pattern also comes with two cup sizes I went with the XS with the A/B cup bodice as my measurements are 34” bust, 25” waist and 35” hip.  As you can see from the images the fit around the bust and the upper bust is really good and I would definitely advise checking which cup size is recommended as I am usually a D cup but went with the A/B cup as per the finished measurement chart.  The shoulders are perfect but I have quite narrow shoulders so if you are broader in that area you might want to measure the pattern to check it will fit.

This top went together really easily and I didn’t have any trouble with any of the steps.  As the construction is pretty straightforward I didn’t really need to check the instructions save to check the steps for the plackets.  The sleeves have hardly any easing and they went in first time with no puckers and no unpicking which was a bonus!!!  If you are an experienced sewer there is also a summary of the steps at the back of the pattern so you can just use this instead of wading through the lengthy and detailed instructions.

As you can probably see I totally cheated and didn’t add any buttonholes as I was able to get the top on without using the buttons and I haven’t quite mastered buttonholes on my new sewing machine so I need a bit more practice!

I also added self covered buttons which I think adds a lovely touch and I always have loads of these in my stash in case I don’t have a button to match my make as they are so simple.  I also have a Prym covered buttonhole thingy which makes them even easier.

I love this top from the washed denim as it is so versatile and will go with lots of garments in my wardrobe.  During my denim journey I have discovered that denim is versatile in so many ways as it lends itself to practically any woven garment as long as pick the correct weight/stretch and it can be worn throughout the seasons particularly if it is in a regular denim colourway as it goes well with the darker tones of autumn/winter but also the brighter ones of spring/summer.  Give me all the denims!

I really love how this top has turned out even though it is slightly out of my comfort zone as I generally lean more towards a more fitted silhouette.  The fit is really great and I didn’t make any adjustments.  The top is comfortable, light and airy and it was also a relatively quick make taking me an evening to sew and another half an hour in the morning to make and sew on the buttons.

Great pattern and fabulous fabric!

Amanda xxxx

 

Amanda used our 4oz Soft Washed Denim in Blue. Available here.

 

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A dress fit for Frocktails!

A dress fit for Edinburgh frocktails

Hello everyone, it’s Lesley here today and I’m chuffed to be able to share my first make as part of the Blogger Team here at Sewisfaction.

Entirely driven by jealousy of all the brilliant meetups that have been happening elsewhere in the UK I invited a bunch of Scotland-based sewists to a meet up. After some cracking banter on Instagram we came up with #Edinburghfrocktails – an opportunity to meet other sewists, drink cocktails and admire each other’s handmade creations.

A dress fit for Edinburgh frocktails

What was a bit of light hearted banter soon snowballed into a far larger event than had anticipated with people planning on coming from Aberdeen, Glasgow, the Scottish borders and even the Highlands.

Anyway, for such a lovely event I needed something special to wear. However, a combination of illness, holidays and work deadlines meant I had a grand total of 2 evenings to make myself a frock. Madness I hear you say? Well yes except for the truly cracking pattern that is the Wiggle Dress from Eliza M!

Sewing Pattern – Eliza M Wiggle Dress

The pattern came free with a magazine some years ago (and in fact I got it in a pattern swap) and maddingly doesn’t appear to be available with any stockists right now. It’s a relatively simple pattern consisting of 1 piece for the front and 2 pieces for the back plus facings. This also makes it, for such a long shift dress, economical for fabric.

Tallulah Stretch Cotton

Speaking of fabric – here is the star of the show. It’s the Tallulah stretch cotton which is currently £6 per half metre on the website. It’s got a bit of a satin sheen to the fabric and due to the spandex content barely needs ironing – bonus! With a tropical print on a black background I reckon this fabric is perfect for both summer and winter. I certainly plan on pairing it with black tights and boots in winter to cheer up those dark months.

Construction of the dress

Back to the dress then. There are double point darts and straight darts on this pattern which meet at the bust point. Therefore careful marking of the fabric was necessary (thankfully it has a white back which makes marking the fabric really easy) to make sure these were accurately sewn. Following that the construction of the dress is incredibly easy.

Facings

There are facings to this dress. Now in recent years I have by-and-large ditched all facings. I hate the way they flap about and even if you secure them at the seams and understitch they have a tendency to roll outwards and look messy. Mostly I now use bias binding for necklines and armholes of unlined dresses. However the Wiggle dress has more substantial facings that makes them less likely to roll. Also I was concerned that I was using stretch fabric so bias binding might reduce the amount of wiggling I could do in my wiggle dress. Thankfully the gamble has paid off and the facings stay put and make the neckline look professional on this dress.

Fitting

I didn’t have time to do a toile for this dress but did a bit of paper fitting to ensure my usual issues were taken care of (narrow shoulders, big boobs, square waist, big hips – I sound delightful don’t I??). Going by the measurements I was between an 18 and a 16 though I couldn’t find any info on ease anywhere to judge whether this was accurate. Turns out once I started fitting I was more like a 12 up top and a 14 on bottom – hurrah! We all like a quick diet don’t we? Despite this the fitting was relatively quick and simple – I merely had to take in the side seams as the bust point didn’t need shifting. Lengthwise the dress sits rather perfectly just below the knee for me – I’m 5’5” so taller ladies may need to adjust.

 

A dress fit for Edinburgh frocktails

 

Final Result

All in all, I think this is a rather marvellous dress. The fabric was perfect for our Edinburgh Frocktails event. It looked sophisticated but due to its stretch allowed me to eat, drink and dance/wiggle the night away with abandon. I got lots of lovely compliments from my fellow sewists and as a complete bonus was asked by a stranger where I bought it from – always the highest accolade for any home sewist!

A dress fit for Edinburgh frocktails

As an aside we hosted a raffle on our Frocktails night in aid of Marie Curie. My co-host Emma Ciarrocca lost her mother to cancer 3 months ago. She spent the last 10 days in a Marie Curie hospice and received truly excellent care. With that in mind we decided to hold a raffle in aid of Marie Curie to give something back. It costs £500 a day for these hospices to give that kind of care.

A dress fit for Edinburgh frocktails

We approached a number of companies looking for a small donation for the raffle including the lovely Sheona of Sewisfaction (who gave us a £30 voucher). I have to say we were totally blown away by the generosity of the sewing community. Initially I’d been hoping for little things like a keyring, or a seam ripper so to get prizes of such value was truly lovely. I think it demonstrates the personal values many of the sewing companies abide by is similar to the rest of us.

We raised a stonking £365 that night thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and attendees of Edinburgh Frocktails.

 

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By Hand London Sarah Shirt – By Thimble Bee!

Hi there fellow sewers!

I am Maddie, but also known to the sewing world as Thimble Bee.

I don’t know about you but when I think of Sewisfaction I think prints and this seriously makes me happy. In fact, it should probably make me less happy as my wardrobe is starting to be a print party with a serious lack solids that I can match all my lovely items with. But regardless of this, I still chose a print for this blog post as I’m just my own worst enemy, but who cares as long as its pretty, right?

I chose this Lightening Lily Lawn, and seriously guys, on the website it looked pretty, but in real life… WOW. It was so pretty and as soon as I opened the parcel I knew I had made the right decision to add this print to my ever-growing handmade wardrobe.

So the next question was what pattern to make, and for me the decision was easy, a By Hand London Sarah Shirt but I was going to lengthen it into a dress so I could pair it with sandals in the summer, and tights and jumpers in the winter. The inspiration for this hack was from the lovely Elisalex herself she did a tutorial on this that can be found here (https://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london/simple-sarah-or-the-lazy-sewists-guide-to-shirtmaking). Elisalex opted out of the collar and chose to finish with bias binding, but I chose to keep it as I thought it would be cute poking out from a jumper during the winter. Anyway, I got to work and was soon very pleased with the results.

 

 

This is the finished result and even though there are a few minor mistakes I am so happy with the final look. The fabric was so beautiful to handle, it cut and sewed together like an absolute dream. And to top all of this joyousness off, I think I might be able to squeeze another top out of the scraps, which is always a bonus.

 

 

I just love the swing feel of this dress, I can already tell that it’s going to get a lot of use!

Now, I have to hold my hands up here, I completely skipped out doing buttonholes, all I did was make the plackets and then hold the two layers together and literally sew the button on, obviously I made sure that I had enough room to get my head through at the top, but other than that, no buttonholes here! This decision was influenced by Elisalex as she skips them out too, but the decision was mainly made because my sewing machine is very old and basic and just simply cannot handle the buttonhole (trust me, I’ve tried).

 

Just look at that lack of buttonholes.
and look at my first ever successful collar (and my total lack of pattern matching).
Now, once again, I also broke the rules when it came to the collar (rules are made to be broken, right?) and I completely decided against interfacing it, this is because over time I want the dress to become super relaxed and an everyday item in my wardrobe.
Anyway, that’s all from me. I cannot emphasise enough how amazing this fabric is (get yourself some, you won’t regret it).
Until next time, much love and happy sewing!
Thimble Bee
xx
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Kathy’s Flatter Me Frock!

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

Hi everyone, it’s Kathy here and my first blog post as part of the Sewisfaction Blogger Team is going to be the Flatter Me Frock from Australian independent pattern company Sew to Grow.

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

When choosing a pattern for this blog post, and the fabric to work with, I had an idea that I wanted to make a dress that I could wear on a forthcoming trip to Australia. I have a very big birthday coming up towards the end of August, and as I am a twin I naturally want to share that day with him. Problem is – he lives the other side of the world in Queensland, Australia, where he emigrated to six years ago. After saving up since he left, this year seemed a perfect opportunity to travel over to see him and I knew that for my Sewisfaction project I wanted to choose a dress with Australian significance that I could take with me and wear on my trip.

I thought my fabric choice would be difficult. The fabric choice at Sewisfaction is beautiful, however I was drawn towards this Butterfly Rainforest Cotton Linen and I quickly decided this was the one. How perfect for a trip to the tropics!

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the adorable Sewisfaction packaging ..

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

Fabric at Sewisfaction is sold by the half metre, which allows you to purchase exactly what you need. Brilliant! There is also a ‘swatch’ service which allows you to order a sample of fabric for you to examine at home.

This is the first time I have sewn anything by Sew to Grow, so I was careful to run up a quick toile before I started. I’m glad that I did as it gave me the opportunity to make any adjustments when I made it for real! As usual, I had to shorten the skirt length, in this case by 14cm!  (I’m 5’2”). I also sized down to a small, as the medium I had made felt too roomy.

It is worth mentioning that the pattern on this fabric is directional, so take this into consideration when cutting out – we don’t want any upside down butterflies now do we?

There are some sweet touches in the construction of this pattern. The side seams of the bodice call for French seams. This is adorable as I like my garments to look pretty on the inside as well as the outside. The neckline does not have a facing and is finished by using bias tape which I think makes for a super neat finish.

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

I did ‘scratch my head’ a little when it came to sleeve placement as the pattern markings were unclear as to which was the front and back of each sleeve. After a quick email off to Sew To Grow, I was  assured that there is no left or right sleeve, so it didn’t matter which was which. These cute cap sleeves are quite flared and I might sew them a little tighter next time I make it.

The main feature of the dress is the contrasting bias trim around the edge of the wrap skirt. It’s so cute, I love it!  The skirt is gathered before attaching it to the bodice and then elastic thread is used in addition. This is the first time that I have used elastic thread, and I think I may need a little more practise with this..

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

Of course the bias extends all the way around the back too!

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

Also, pockets – my favourite! These are nice and deep, and whilst I have made them with the same fabric as the main dress, you could use a contrasting fabric to make a feature of these.

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

One final little feature of the dress is a sweet little inverted pleat at the centre back neckline. I was concerned that this might give me a round back/shoulders, but it really doesn’t and is a cute little addition.

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

I am so pleased with how the dress turned out. It’s really cute and ‘right up my street’. I can definitely see more Flatter Me dresses in my sewing future, and there is no shortage of suitable fabrics here at Sewisfaction!

Flatter Me Frock Sew to Grow by Sew Dainty Sewisfaction Review

I am really flattered to be a part of the Sewisfaction Blogger Team, and have enjoyed the first three posts from Amanda, Samantha and Suzie. Stay tuned for more inspiring posts to come from Lesley and Maddie. Can’t wait!

Thank you for reading, I look forward to meeting you here again soon, and happy sewing!

Kathy x

 

 

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Suzie reviews the Akinori Dress

Hello everyone, it’s Suzie here today and I am super excited to be able to share my first make as part of the Blogger Team here at Sewisfaction!

 

For my first project I ended up taking a bit of a risk and sewing up a pattern I had actually never sewn before…and I didn’t make a toile first either! I was a bit nervous that I might be making a huge mistake, but thankfully I’m really happy with the end result.
I had spotted a couple of versions of the Akinori wrap dress, from the new-to-me Belgian pattern company Wardrobe By Me, around the Internet recently and instantly fell in love with the unusual and Japanese-inspired pleating and faux-wrap of the bodice and decided it would be a perfect pairing for one of the lovely drapy viscoses’ from the Sewisfaction shop. I settled on Juliette because I loved the deep blue background and the slightly Oriental style of the flowers.
​The Akinori pattern is a downloadable PDF (and actually comes in two sizings; US 2-16 as well as 14-24) and although it does offer an A0 copy shop printing option, I decided to just cut and stick as I was short on time. As much as a loath cutting and sticking together PDF patterns, I was actually pleasantly surprised with how well the pages lined up (they normally NEVER line up for me!!). The PDF is layered, which means that you can select your size and then only print that, making cutting out easier. I didn’t realised that in time though, so printed out all the sizes. It wasn’t really an issue, apart from the fact that there didn’t seem to be anywhere, either on the pattern print-out or instructions, telling which line I needed to cut for my size!
Based on my measurements I cut a size 12, without making any adjustments. It’s good to note that the seam allowance on this pattern is only 1/2″, rather than the more standard 5/8″.
The viscose fabric is so super soft and drapy, but because of that, it really needs to be treated with care during all stages of construction. It’d a good idea to cut your pattern pieces out with a rotary cutter and cutting mat, and if you are very new to sewing with drapy fabric then you could try starching it to give it a bit more structure. I have to admit, I didn’t follow any of that good advice and it definitely made the process a lot harder! On the plus side, it presses beautifully and stays pressed it a most satisfying way (only a seamstress would understand that! lol). Do use a good, sharp needle and lots of pins.
The instructions with this pattern are very sparse. It is definitely not geared towards a beginner as many steps are not even mentioned, such as understitching the facing, as they must just assume that you would know to do that. You may also need to think about what order to finish your seam edges before starting because, again, they don’t tell you this and sometimes its better to finish an edge before the seam is actually sewn, other times you can do it after. Not all steps have diagrams either. However, they do include diagrams for the more difficult and unusual steps. I did not really find these useful!! The centre panel of the bodice has it’s own facing which conceals all the raw edges of the belt and bodice pleats, which is very neat when done. But it is very confusing to figure out how to do it. It took quite a bit of head scratching before I worked it out, but you certainly get quite the sense of achievement when you get it! The pattern of the fabric I used actually hides some of the detail of the centre panel (so I’m sorry there isn’t a clearer picture to share with you), which can be a good thing if your sewing ends up a little wonky! But bare that in mind if you would like to show-case the panel. Perhaps use a plain fabric, or even a contrasting fabric?
Apart from the centre panel, the rest of the construction is fairly straight forward. The only other thing that I found awkward was dealing with the belt ties. These are long. Really long. Oh, and they don’t provide you with a pattern for them, just a pattern for the end (a point), which you then need to draw and attach a very long rectangle to. I can understand why they do this, and I am glad I didn’t need to print pages and pages for a simple rectangle! Anyway, because the belt pieces are so long they would often get in the way during construction and would also have a tendency to pull the fabric down with their weight if they fell off the table. So you need to keep remembering to make sure they are first of all, out of your way, and secondly, safely resting on the table or ironing board while you work. I haven’t washed my dress yet, but I imagine they will also end up in a big knot when I take the dress out of the washing machine! You can also make this dress without the ties, and I’ve taken a couple of photos for you to see roughly what it would look like. I actually think this would make a really nice, slightly more relaxed, dress and I’m tempted to try this out. Perhaps in a size down though, just to take away a little of the width. But you can see from the photo, that the centre panel pulls the dress in slightly under the bust, even with the belt undone, which is quite flattering. The dress does not have any fastenings though, so you wouldn’t be able to reduce the size too much, or you would end up having to include a zip or buttons in order to get in it!
​I decided to add pockets to the dress because I love a dress with pockets and it’s an easy addition to make. I just used a slightly altered version of the Emery Dress pockets and attached them before sewing the front to the back of the dress. Definitely worth it.

Overall, I am really happy with how the dress turned out. I love the kimono style sleeves and the deep v neckline. I wasn’t sure about the tulip shaped skirt on me, but I actually think it looks fine, and suits the style of the dress. As I mentioned before, this fabric presses really well, which means the many pleats in the dress sit beautifully and the drape is just perfect. And oh my goodness, it is so so comfy to wear – I could actually imagine p.j.’s in this fabric, it’s so soft. So now I’m day dreaming about my next Akinori, maybe without the belt ties and in the gorgeous Summer Meadow Crepe De Chine?