Simplicity k2444 adaptations.

You know I love this pattern, the fit and the pleats I love to cinch in my waist and though there are no photos of me yet wearing the dress, as the occassion has not yet arisen for it’s first outing, I keep trying it on and having a little ‘oooo I made that’. There is now a skirt, dress and dah dah! a peplum top!

Looks so pretty on, fitting in at the waist.

Looks so pretty on, fitting in at the waist.

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

I was planning on using up the leftovers of the brown with pink dot material I used for the dress, but wasn’t sure how I’d make the peplum and whether there would be enough material – heads up there isn’t – so decided on having a practice go with some leftover pink bed sheeting material from a teepee I made for my cousins kids, and oh my ….check out the outcome!

The peplum top!

The peplum top!

I ended up lining the pink as it was quite see through with some white lining, and it is a little on the snug side…it’s so difficult to measure things on yourself, getting pins stuck in me and how do you pin where the seam or zip will meet around your back! Anyway love it and it looks fab with a camel jersey pencil skirt (another easy peasy home made skirt kinda following a tutorial from cotton and curls blogspot) .

So happy with this pattern and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I think it will be used a lot in the future x

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Who’s afraid of the big bad buttonholes? Not me!!!!

 

Tilly's Picnic Blanket Skirt, well..... mine.

Tilly’s Picnic Blanket Skirt, well….. mine.

 

When I started sewing I thought ooooo this is great having totally individual clothing! But I’ve got a feeling the knew found fame of sewing because of the Great British Sewing Bee (I think I mention it every blog post recently) may have changed that….. and I’ve made The Picnic Blanket Skirt from Tilly and The Buttons blog……at least it’s all different materials.
Well I loved the skirt and it all seemed simple enough, but I’d never made button holes before and turns out they are easy peasy! As long as the measuring out of the buttonholes is in the right place and there is an instruction book with the sewing machine which gives a step by step guide…..and luckily I had both!

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Tilly’s instructions were really good for measuring out the buttonholes, I did have to wing it a bit with where to then put the buttons. First attempt at the top button to get the placket to lie neatly over the top of each other was pretty rubbish, but when I clocked on the button will pull straight to the furthest point of the buttonhole I just went down all the buttonholes with the plackets lying on top of each other and marked a dot at the point I wanted the button on the placket underneath.
I’m glad I plucked up the courage….it always scares me making holes in my clothes not knowing how it’s going to turn out! Turns out it’s all good!

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Using up scraps! ….Or a headband tutorial!!!

Sitting around on Sunday afternoon in front of NCIS repeats, intermittent with the odd bit of tidying up and having a sew!

I’ve had a really relaxing day …. there’s been nothing that really needed doing today, or I chose to ignore the more hardcore stuff which needs doing, like dusting the blinds…… so it was yoga, baking lemon drizzle cake (which is nearly half way down now – oops!) and then faffing about. Part of the faffing about involved cutting an a-line skirt for my Mum and then playing with the scraps and this piece of material is proving to be quite lucrative!

The top flower patterned material.

The top flower patterned material.

This material costs all of around 50p, as it’s so light, bought from Abakhan, Liverpool. So far I have made the circle skirt from the Great British Sewing Bee book – that’s another story altogether – and on seeing the skirt my Mum requested I made her one as she loved the material, there wasn’t enough for another circle skirt, so she gave me one of her patterns for a skirt, which I would class ‘vintage’ (he he cheeky – sorry Mum).

With all these cut offs laying about I started messing about and making a few flowers and then had the bright idea to make a headband, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but had never just sat down to faff….I love the word ‘faff’.

Figured I’d take a few photos and make it a scraps tutorial……

This is made with bits of left overs so there are no exact measurements, which makes it accessible to everyone as everyones heads are different sizes. I used different coloured cottons so they could be seen, I would suggest using matching thread.

1, Make the flower. The longer and wider the material the bigger the flower will be, mine was about 12.5″ long and 2″ wide. Fold the material lengthways and turn under the end.

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Stitch about every inch along.

Stitch about every inch along.

Fold every inch ish and stitch through the folded material. Do this to the end of the material and stitch along the edges to join the flower into a circle.

Take a square of material to make the curl in the centre. Fold the square into a triangle and roll tightly from the corner where the two edges meet towards the folded edge. Then stitch this togetheracross the back of the swirl to hold it together. stitch it to the flower, again through the back so the stitches can’t be seen.

Roll the square.

Roll the square.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

 

2, Make the Headband. Cut 2 pieces (or keep as one and fold in half). The material can be as wide or narrow as you like, if you want a wide headband remember if it is too wide it may stick up off the top of your head, and remember some of your scrap will need to be a seam. The material does not need to reach completely around your head as you will be putting elastic in. Put interfacing on one side of the material, just so the headband will hold it’s shape when it’s on your head.

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

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Put the right sides together, pin and stitch along the long sides to make a tube (don’t stitch the ends).

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the headband the right way out and press.

Turn the ends in.

3, Insert the elastic. Unfortunately I do not have a magic equation to figure out what length of elastic to use. Put the headband around your head and put your elastic inbetween the gap, overlap it a bit on the turned over edges and have a mess with stretching the elastic, when you have an idea, pin it in place and try pulling the headband over your head (without sticking pins in yourself – I kept getting my hair tangled in the pin heads – ouch!). It looks like my elastic was made to measure – a flook I assure you!

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Put the elastic into the turned in ends with enough of an overlap to make sure the stitches hold. Zig zag stitch so it holds in place.

4, Put the flower on. Put your headband on, pose in the mirror and pin the flower on wherever you like and then stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches are hidden.

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Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can't be seen.

Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can’t be seen.

5, If you want to…… I wasn’t bothered about covering the elastic as I would only wear headbands with my hair down, but if you want to- cut a piece of material to cover the folded width and the length to cover the elastic, when it is stretched, and along the headband to cover the stitches. This will then need to be hand stitched by turning all seams inwards and will scrunch slightly when the headband is relaxed.

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I hop

Pretty flower on my head!

Pretty flower on my head!

e this is useful …… I would love some feedback on how I do tutorials, I fear they may be abit long winded…..

But I enjoyed making this headband and am going to go faff about with some more flowers and headbands!!!!

Happy Sewing x

Over optimism for the weekend!

Complete at last!!!

Complete at last!!!

I had sooooo many ideas for last weekend….that I was somewhat over optimistic and didn’t get anywhere near as much done! But it was very fruitful and I managed to complete the Simplicity K2444 dress in the brown with pink spot material and I love it! It’s gorgeous and such a lovely fit…..which I did have to do a few adjustments to and again I learnt something from this, which made me even more excited about the outcome of the dress.

I’m a slightly smaller size on top so usually would do one size smaller on the top (like I did with the shift dress Mccall’s 6699) but as the skirt turned out quite big when I did the purple one I did the whole dress one size down from that skirt. When I sewed the top to the bottom the waist was tiny. So I unpicked the back top from the bottom and let some of the material out of the pleats and this worked a treat! I also had the issue of only having a 16″ zip in pink, and in my naivety thought ‘ah that’ll be fine’ – couldn’t even get the dress on over my head! So…..off I went to the closest craft shop and luckily (cos it doesn’t happen very often with the limited zip range this particular shop has) they had a 22″ pink concealed zip.

This was the first time I have fitted sleeves into anything particularly structed and was surprised at how easy it was. I was a bit nervous at first…. I think I got to this point and put The Hobbit on to avoid starting the task. Nearly 3 hours later I bit the bullet and got on with the job and was very pleased with the outcome. I will try and get a picture of me wearing it at some point.

I think this is a lovely pattern and will definitely use it again. It would be gorgeous done in a heavier material or raw silk and worn for a wedding!!! Do I know anyone getting married?????? I plan to use the top to make a peplum top at some point…… it’s such a versatile pattern I think it will be used well over the years!!!

Here’s Some I Made earlier!

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

Skirt taken from Simplicity K2444 pattern

Refashion from a maxi dress.

Refashion from a maxi dress.

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Love my blue spotty dress.

IMG_1687 IMG_1698 IMG_1700Thanks to my sister-in-law for taking the pics!

I’m definitely not much of a model, but here are some of the items I have made recently…..I’ll give a quick ish rundown!

The purple (ish) skirt at the top I took from the Simplicity K2444 pattern free from Sew Mag. I didn’t have enough material to make the dress so adapted the pattern to make the skirt and added a waistband. Love it with my boots, jumper and fur snood, plus thick tights….it was snowing when this was first made! Think it will look fab with flip-flops too tho!

The maxi skirt is a refashion from a maxi dress which was too tight around the top! Now this material obviously is clingy and shows all lumps and bumps….which made the top even worse! So I think I would generally put my top over the waistband, as  you can see, there is a quite visible line where my vest is. All I did to refashion this is cut it in a straight line an inch above where I wanted it to be seen then made a waistband from a piece of black elastic and stretched the band as I sewed the material on. The elastic can also be rolled over to hide the black and as the skirt is so long it doesn’t really effect the length. I have a plan for the top I chopped off too….

The spotty dress I’ve shown before ….love it with my red shoes!!! You may have noticed I’m wearing tights and the same pumps throughout as I was just quickly getting changed….not much of a photoshoot, was fitting it in before making lunch and had my son running round the garden jumping in photos… he he he!!!

The next photo is from my drapey cardi tutorial. I have a few of these in varied colours now, but this one gets the most wear and has beeen machine washed a few times and is still standing, which I’m very happy about! Love the material, and it hides all lumps and bumps! The top was the first top I made. I drew a pattern from my most worn top (if I’m going out and can’t decide what to wear safety top) bought some pink binding to contrast (why make binding when it can be bought on the roll….unless you have one of those fabby binding making contraptions!!!!). I also have a little rectangle on elastic skirt in this material which needs some warmer weather…….. I love the flowers, colour and overall pattern!

The voile top was a bitof an experiment which……turned out alright actually- though Im not 100% on the material! I cut a rectangle by folding the material into four and where the corners folded I cut a quarter circle (like making a circle skirt) for the neck hole! This turned out very big in the shape of a rectangle, so to make the neck smaller I put pleats over the shoulders which made a nice drapey effect and then sewed the sides with french seams…. then kept adjusting the sides until they tapered in enough to fit properly! If it had been longer when I first cut it I may have kept it the rectangle shape (very batwing) but decided against! I may experiment with this and put a tutorial on as the neck and shoulder are a lovely shape!!!

And finally the pink t-shirt, again I made a pattern froma tshirt I love the shape of, very simple no darts and cut it out! This was a good practice for sleeves! And silly me did one inside out……shhhhhh don’t tell anyone! there is so little difference in the reverse of the material though even I didn’t notice for ages!

Now this is a selection of clothing I’ve made and can’t wait to share more, though I am going to go and practice my modelling poses first! I don’t have my photo taken very often……it’s unnerving!

Cute Little Booties

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I managed to finish the pair of booties off (from the Sublime pattern book) and hat while nursing my painful mouth after wisdom tooth removal. It was actually a saving grace to have my knitting with me as I was counting the minutes until I oculd take my next paracetamol and it really helped take my mind off it!

I have always struggled stitching seams in my knitting and did have to undo the hat and restitch the seam…..I can never get them to line up properly and they can look a bit funny! But managed it enough eventually!
I think they are so cute and wish I could knit when I had my little boy! I plan on making more for the little babies soon to turn up!!!

One Complete Dress.

Here’s the finished dress McCall’s M6699. i’m quite proud of it and will definitely be wearing it…..when the weather warms up!!

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I did learn alot from this project…. my first dress, first lining and darts…..

1, Press, press, press seams before stitching.

2, Make sure all seams are pointing in the right direction when putting the pieces together.

3, Don’t be afraid to unpick and do it again!

4, Definitely don’t use anything other than a marker specific to materials which comes off (I made the silly mistake of using a pen to make dots on the darts and then when I moved the darts the dots could be seen…..doh! hopefully they will come off when i wash it, but it’s only me that can see them really!)

5, Keep trying on and measuring! Reduces the chance of needing to unpick!

6, and many more!!!!! (sang in a fun happy birthday tune…….)

When it got to the point of the zip not working and the pointy boobs from dodgy darts I wsa ready to throw in the towel and just have a skirt…..but I pulled myself together, gave myself the night off and attacked again in the morning with a positive point of view…….and I’m so glad I did!

I really enjoyed making this dress and even more enjoyed putting it on and feeling that huge sense of satisfaction of making something to wear myself!!! Hurrah!!! There will be many more!

Great British Print Off!

First project this weekend!

First project this weekend!


I’m very excited to be printing off the patterns from the Great British Sewing Bee book and as my son is with his Dad this weekend I have a weekend of uninterrupted, except from a bit of cleaning, sewing! Now precedence is on the Simplicity pattern from Sew Mag (already cut out and raring to go), which I already adapted a skirt from…. and it’s about time as it’s been about 4 weeks since I got the brown with pink polka spot material! Can’t wait! I have finished my first dress complete from pattern, with recovered zip and no pointy bust darts and will post it with pics on my return home!
Now I have to sneakily print off ALOT of pages on my parents printer (as I don’t have one) and am recovering from having a wisdom tooth removed, at their house (oh how painful….it actually feels like they have broke my jaw-not my parents, the doc!).

Zipastrophe!!!!

Absolutely annoyed!!!!!!!!
First time I am so close to completing a pattern and the zip busts! I don’t know if it was just a rubbish zip or if the concealed zipper foot may have scrambled it ……. help!!! Any ideas?
I was mostly annoyed as I had been trying the dress on before putting the zip in and needed to do abit of adjusting on the bust darts – these are the first bust darts I have ever done and was looking a little Madonna with the cone bra, obviously less swirly! They are a bit bubbly and pointy (how they can be both at the same time I am unsure)  it would have been very fitting for a Marilyn Monroe outfit, but not for a sundress for Caroline.

Help folks! Bubbly darts and wonky zipper!!!!! Any ideas???

Busted Zipper!!!

Busted Zipper!!!

Back in the knit.

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I did alot of knitting before Christmas as I ran a stall at a few craftfairs through December. It made my wrists ache…..I have pretty dodgy wrists and arthritic pain according to the doc! So gave the knitting a rest after Crimbo – which has been great as I have discovered the love of dressmaking (which doesn’t hurt so much!).
Yet there was a £30 moneyback for my fave wool shop (what do they call it those refund slips…?) burning a hole in my purse and have frequently thought I’d better hurry and use it before I lose it!
So yesterday I headed to the best wool shop ‘Black Sheep’ and if you’ve ever ventured there you will know it is a haven for knitters…..Piles and piles of wool in multicolours, sizes, all reduced and there’s now a cafe too! I went with a few ideas for what I would like to do, the thing with ‘Black Sheep’ is the offers are so good, if oyu go with a pattern and an exact type of wool you want you may be sad it’s not priced as well as other wools, because my oh my are there some bargains. Due to my dodgy wrists I didn’t want a big project (once I start I find it really difficult to stop until I have finished, which is one of the reasons I love sewing, projects are finished so much quicker) so as there are a few babies on the way in the not too distant future (not mine) I got a Sublime babies cardi, hats and booties and red and purple baby dk wool, which are on the go for my brother and sister-in-laws imminent arrival. (One bootie down and my wrist is aching already!).
I did also buy 3 balls of the most gorgeous coral coloured baby double knit wool, which I plan on using for myself……dont know what for….. will have a rummage through my patterns once the baby boom has subsided!

What to make?

What to make?