Happy New Year everyone! There’s a new vlog up on our channel, grab a cuppa and check it out.
Merry Christmas fellow Sewing Addicts, its Samantha from Sew By The Seaside with my latest make for the Sewisfaction Blogger team!
For my latest post I have made this gorgeous The Avid Seamstress Day Dress using Crepe in Royal Blue from Sewisfaction – the crepe comes in a variety of colours in the shop and is a dream to work with!
I have had this pattern in my stash for a while now, I picked it up when I visited the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel back in September. The Avid Seamstress had a stand at the show, it was filled with their gorgeous patterns, beautifully made samples and the wonderful founder Lisa was on hand to chat about her designs. Lisa is wonderfully passionate about her designs and this comes across, not just when chatting to her, but in the design of the products themselves. Each pattern pack includes detailed instruction booklets with images to help you along. Many of the patterns also have online tutorials and step by step guides in case you need an extra hand.
It was the sample of The Day Dress on the stand that had me sold (the same dress that features on the Cover of the packaging), the silhouette is flattering for all shapes, perfect for day or night, can be made in a variety of fabrics and IT HAS POCKETS!
There are many fabrics in the Sewisfaction shop that would be perfect for this make, but as soon as I saw the vibrant blue of this crepe I knew it needed to be a dress in my wardrobe. The pattern itself has three different options; Option A has a seam at centre front, Option B has buttons at centre front and Option C is no seam at centre front… I opted for option C, but love when a pattern gives you variety! The skirt is gathered but again you could choose different pleats or less gather to suit you and your style.
The dress has an invisible zip fastening and isn’t lined (it could easily be done) but does have facing around the neckline for a lovely smooth stitch free finish. The sleeves with the pattern are short but you could add a ¾ sleeve for something different. The dress can be whipped up in one sewing session or like I did, it’s perfect to pick up in small sewing bursts when you get a chance…. Just what you need for this busy time of year!
I am so pleased with this make and have already cut out my next Day Dress, this one though has been completed in perfect timing for the Festive Season! It can be dressed down with tights and boots or pop on a pair of heels and you are party ready… any excuse to get dressed up!
Can you believe it’s been three months since my last make for the team, since my last post I had the chance to spend a day visiting the Sewisfaction shop to meet some of my fellow bloggers and the lovely Sheona & Suzy for a day of sewing. If you’re in or around Wokingham or get the chance to visit you really should… go with an empty bag and your purse! It’s impossible to come away empty handed!
Hi all, it’s Kathy here again , and it’s my turn to show you what I have been up to this month.
When it comes to fabric choice, I am normally drawn towards a printed design, but for this make I have been inspired by a couple of my fellow Sewisfaction bloggers and have gone for a solid colour. How classic is this Marl Blue fabric? It’s buttery soft and super comfortable to wear.
My pattern choice is The Jade dress, which was the free pattern in Simply Sewing magazine last month (issue 35). As you can see it is a simple knit dress with princess seam detailing, a pleated skirt (front and back), and two sleeve and skirt lengths to choose from.
I chose to make View B which has the shorter length skirt, but I chose to add the long sleeves from View A as I thought it might be lovely to wear on its own without the need for a cardigan.
The quality of this fabric is second to none. No fraying, no curling, it has been a pleasure to sew with and it is so warm to wear. I’m really happy that I went for long sleeves, as I do feel the cold and this will keep me nice and cosy.
The dress was enjoyable to make as very good written instructions are accompanied by beautiful step-by-step photographs. It is straightforward to sew – the only part that you have to work out for yourself is the length of the neck binding. The instructions ask you to measure the neckline and cut your neck binding 10% shorter. Initially I wondered if this would still be too long, but then remembered that the neck binding was cut along the grain (not on the bias), so wouldn’t have as much stretch as I was normally used to when applying neck bands. It went together nicely after all, and was the perfect length. Phew!
Another feature which is quite neat is that when you attach the bodice to the skirt piece, you sew in a line of clear elastic. This is quite fiddly, but is clever in that it doesn’t gather the waist but allows a little stretch so that you can easily pop the dress on and off without the need for a zip. I will confess that my pleats perhaps don’t line up with my princess seams as much as I would have loved on this occasion, but what with pinning and elastic insertion at the same time there was a little bit of slipping, despite using my walking foot, but hey ho! you can’t win them all and I can live with it!
If you didn’t grab this pattern when the magazine was current, all is not lost. I feel that it is very similar to the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress – in fact the Aldaia dress has even more variations!
Sewisfaction has a super range of Ponte fabrics which are perfect for the Jade dress and the Aldaia, you could keep it simple and opt for a solid colour or go for a print – how cute could that be!
I also think this fabric would be a superb choice for the Nina Lee Southbank Sweater and also a Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, both of which I have on my sewing wish list.
Thank you to Sheona for the generous supplies that she has provided for this make, I know it will keep me warm and snuggly throughout the Festive period and well into the New Year.
Take care, keep warm and happy sewing,
Hi everyone, its Lesley again!
Has anyone else been watching all the lovely Tilly and the Button’s Cleo pinafore makes on social media? I think they look truly fabulous but I’ve never been tempted to make one myself because I just know it wouldn’t suit me. I need fitted dresses around my middle otherwise I just look even chunkier than normal. Every so often I go off piste and attempt a looser style and it just looks ridiculous and doesn’t get worn which is such a waste.
And yet I really want a pinafore dress.
Thankfully I found the Freja dress sewing pattern. It was a pattern developed by Simply Sewing magazine a couple of months ago. It’s an A-line skirt with a bib front and cross over back straps. There aren’t dungaree clasps at the top as it fastens by buttons at the back. However if you truly wanted the dungaree dress look you could easily adapt this pattern to add buckles at the front. Personally, I like the clean lines of this pattern though.
I did a mock up with a truly retro 1970’s bedsheet (one day will I be stoned for destroying such antiquities??). It showed that the front bib was gaping quite a lot at the sides and needed a bit of reworking. I did some fancy fiddling with the dart in a sort of full bust adjustment. It was a bit of a learning experience and I’m not sure I repeat it easily.
For fabric I selected the 10oz Indigo Stretch Denim. It’s the kind of weight of denim that would be ace for jeans (jeans are on my challenge list for 2018) or a Grainline Moss skirt or a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt. The indigo is a really nice deep colour and seems to hold its colour really well. Obviously I prewashed it, but I was worried that it might continue to leach colours since it’s such a deep blue. On previous adventures with denim I’ve sometimes ended up with a dirty hue to my fingers when I worked. Amazingly this denim holds its colour really well and I’ve been able to chuck it in the washing machine as normal which is ace.
The joy of denim is it doesn’t move much when cutting and sewing. The pain of denim is the fraying. So before I started I overlocked all the edges of my pieces in contrasting red. As another contrast I used an aqua blue topstitch thread. The top stitching is optional but really makes this look professional in my view.
All in all this pattern, with this fabric, was a joy to make. It took me roughly 3 hours of sewing time and that was probably just a bit slow because I only have 1 machine which means a lot of rethreading the machine to do the topstitching.
And here is the finished product! I really really love it. It’s a lovely versatile dress for me on my days off when I’m hanging out with my kids. And did I mention the pockets? They’re huge and deep and perfect for all my bits and bobs. I lined my pockets with the same fabric as the bib lining. The pattern doesn’t ask for it but I think it gives it a cleaner, more professional look. The pockets are so perfect in fact that when I travelled to Rome wearing my dress the pockets the perfect size for my passport and boarding pass. I did try to get a nice photo of me wearing my dress in Rome but had to give that up for lost after buying 2 umbrellas in 5 days and drying my shoes out with a hairdryer (turns out Rome in November is a tad bit wet).
So for all you ladies who like the pinafore look but really prefer and more fitted silhouette I would highly recommend this. A denim pinafore is quickly going to become my signature look on days off from work.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!).
What variations can you imagine with this pattern?
Anyway, that’s all for now!
Lots of love and happy sewing,
Maddie aka Thimble Bee
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.
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,
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…
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!
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?!
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.
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!
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…
A slight contrast to my last ‘tropical’ make for the Sewisfaction Blogger Team, I am back with a cosy autumnal make this time around!
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.
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).
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?!
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!!
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
Papercut Bowline Sweater
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!
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 used our 4oz Soft Washed Denim in Blue. Available here.