The Acton Dress: part 1 – pattern testing

Hurrah, The Acton Dress has arrived!

I am sure you know by now that I share a studio with Emily of In the Folds, the designer of the Acton.  It has been in the works for some time and I have seen the evolution of this pattern from it’s humble beginnings to the glorious dress you see today.

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Emily & I at the Acton photoshoot last month

Back in April, Emily asked me if I would like to test this for her, of course I agreed.  I wanted to test view B which is the wrap skirt option. I knew that with my mum-tum this option would be the perfect cover up. It would remove the need to wear my ‘suck ’em up’ pants!  (Before you say it, I know my stomach is not enormous, but it’s my main bugbear and I feel a bit self conscious about it!)

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I started out testing a straight size B but I soon realised that this size would be too big in the bodice. My issue isn’t the boob size, it’s the depth.  I am very short in the body, which means my boobs don’t actually sit where most sit, they are essentially higher.  So for my first proper toile I made up a straight size A, not sure why I decided to go down an entire size!

There was a ‘new to me’ element in this pattern. I have never sewn princess panels before, how is this possible?  I think it’s because I often associate them with vintage style frocks, but with the racer back and the thin straps I think the design is more contemporary. I was surprised how easy the princess panels were to place together and this is where my tailors ham came in very useful!

The wrap skirt is very unusual. From a construction perspective I had no idea how this would ever fit together.  There is a moment when you are attaching the skirt to the bodice at the side seams and thinking ‘have I done something wrong here?’ and ‘this will never work!’  It does work!*  I have to say I have never come across anything like it before.  A little bit of sewing magic happens right before your very eyes.

*(the instructions are now fuller in this area, more details have been added).

You can see from the photos below what I mean.  The skirt is essentially a giant square.

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Flashing my giant square!
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The fabric was gifted to me by my lovely friend Jen.  A good choice as it is lightweight and has a really nice drape which works well with this design.
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Yes, my tum sticks out more than my boobs!
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I love the wrap feature & the bodice, it makes me feel confident to wear a dress that shows a bit of skin!
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Notice to pulling around the boob area

This was a good toile but after wearing it I could see there were a few issues with the fit.  It’s just a bit too tight. I had initially reduced the seam allowance on the side seams and at the zip to give me some breathing space but still it was not quite right.

There is some ‘back fat’ splurge going on (not shown for obvious reasons).  You can also see in the picture above that there is some pulling under the arm pit towards the boob, indicating it’s too small. I wanted the wrap to meet in the middle too and it doesn’t quite get there. Finally, I cut the hem too short, I was a little overzealous with the scissors.

But this really would have been a wearable toile if I hadn’t burnt a dirty great hole in the back of it when giving it a final press.  Tears were shed.

I enjoyed the pattern testing process and I have big love for this dress.  It’s a great dress to try out new skills, especially with the unique construction.  It made me determined to sort out my fit issues as I had a bigger plan up my sleeve.

…to be continued…

 

 

 

 

The denim clinic: mending my favourite jeans

I can’t throw these jeans away.  They aren’t particularly ‘cool’ but they are comfy and they fit me and I like them, so they are staying.

The problem with these jeans is that they are very light weight denim and so are wearing out at a very fast pace.  The only solution is to keep fixing.

They started out with a single knee patch, then a second knee patch and now I am onto fixing more knee thinning.

BEFORE:

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PREP:

I patching it up, to strengthen the area.  I used some grey and white striped cotton fabric, a scrap I found in my box.  It’s a thin cotton and because I wasn’t at the studio and machine-less, I just used iron-on glue to secure the piece. I left the edges raw.  Just because.

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AFTER:

I used the white lines in the stripe to guide the straight lines of sashiko stitching.  I thought I would experiment with the crosses.  I think it paid off.  The white rows were an afterthought, aiming to pull it all together.  You can see there is one row of straight stitching.  Clearly I missed that row, oh well, happy accident!

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Can you spot the straight stitch row?
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Close up

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If you are wanting some visible mending on your favourite jeans,  just drop me a line.  I am happy to help.

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Get your dots on… join the ‘Sew Dots Challenge’

I recently decided to take part in the ‘Sew Dots Challenge’ created by Rosie Martin of DIY Couture. It’s a simple challenge, to sew something dotty in October, share a picture of it and donate some money to RNIB.

The RNIB (the Royal National Institute of Blind People) is a UK charity that supports people with sight loss with a huge range of services. These services include emotional support and campaigning for public environments that respect the needs of blind and partially sighted people. RNIB run a campaign every October called Wear Dots Raise Lots to highlight the impact of Braille and to raise money for their services.

Rosie works on a project called Online Today, which helps people with sight loss to use digital technology.  All of these services mean that blind and partially sighted people are not excluded from everyday communication.

A worthy cause and a fun challenge, so I signed up.  To find out more, I watched this little vBlog made by Rosie.  It’s cool, take the time to watch.

Onto my project;  For us sewing peeps, Rosie has been filling her Instagram feed with dot sewing inspiration which has been thrilling to see.  Everything from oversized dot mini skirts to mini dotted dungarees to monochrome dotty raincoats.

My thoughts when starting this project was to use fabric and a pattern that I already owned and donate any money I would have spent.  Dots are pretty thin on the ground in my stash and I can’t say I have sewn all that many pieces in ‘straight-up’ polka dots.  These are the only projects I could find that are close to the brief. I think 2 out of the 3 aren’t standard polka dot patterns. The first was made from a polka dot tablecloth, the second was a random raindrop spot and the third more mesh than dotty.

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So time for some experiments. I decided to produce my own dotty fabric.

I found the perfect base fabric, a piece of white linen that was gifted to my by Margie (the gift that keeps on giving!)  I always feel that linen is a ‘grown up’ fabric and that I was never mature enough to pull it off.  Well today is the day I am doing linen, but of course with my own special touch. I started by hand painting some small dots and then cutting into some freezer paper to produce some larger dots.

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I really liked the smaller random black dots so I abandoned the grey.  I liked the grey but they were quite patchy and I thought together they would be too much for me.

Now to choose a pattern. I settled on a Peplum top from Peppermint Magazine, designed by In the Folds.  A new pattern to me, but a free pattern.  Yes you heard me, a free pattern, just downloaded from the Peppermint Magazine website.  The top had been made in a light grey linen so I knew my white linen would work a treat.

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Image: Peppermint Magazine

My biggest issue was the peplum.  Lets just say, I am not a fan of a peplum.  Anything that cuts me right at my ‘problem area’ is just not for me.  So I just extended the top and eliminated the peplum.

The pattern has a lovely design feature on the shoulders which isn’t easy to see in this photo, but the diagram shows it in more detail.

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Image: Peppermint Magazine

I decided to paint the shoulder panels and then create a pocket to further achieve some dot loveliness.  It turned out pretty well.  What do you think?

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The touch of yellow just gave it some extra zing which I really liked.
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A slightly wobbly pocket, don’t look too closely.
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I like that you can still see the dots from the back

It was an easy sew.  The instructions are very detailed.  I was dreading adding the binding to the ‘V’ but the ingenious pattern piece really helped to make my ‘V’ sharp.  I am also pleased with the pocket.  It was my second attempt at sewing it in place but I finally managed to make it as symmetrical as I could.   It’s a bit wobbly so don’t look too closely!

It’s just the right amount of dottiness for me.  I much prefer a random dot so this mini dalmation pattern worked a treat.  Now all we need is a warm sunny day.

Come on people… get your dots on! x

Oops, I did it again…

I just couldn’t help myself. I have only gone and made another Frankie dress!

After the success of my fishy dress and the fact that I haven’t taken it off since the sun came out, I thought I would give it another bash.

There were a couple of tweeks I wanted to make with the fit.  I originally cut my fishy dress to a extra small on the top grading to a small.  This time round, I thought maybe a straight small would be better as the shoulders seams were a little short.  I also decided to add an additional centimetre for some extra room.  This is how I added that extra width.

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I drew a diagonal line from the shoulder seam to the arm hole, cut long the line and opened it up by a centimetre.  It just gave me the extra room I needed.  The final adjustment was to length.  I had reduced the length on my fishy dress, mainly due to fabric shortage so this time I cut the specified short length as per the pattern.  You will notice that I also chose the elbow length sleeve option instead of the short sleeves.

The fabric I used for this make is really special.  I bought it from Faberwood in the UK. It’s quite a bold himmeli pattern and large in scale.

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I had originally spotted it on Wendy Ward’s instagram page and went straight online and bought a couple of metres.  As I was heading back to the UK in August, it was waiting for me when I arrived at my parent’s place.  It was a long wait, but well worth it.  It’s an amazing quality knit.  This is what I like about Faberwood, it’s a well curated and quality driven fabric store.  AND bonus to me, I actually got to meet Fiona who owns Faberwood while I was back in the UK.

So here it is.

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The morning light has sent this a bit blue, the image above is a closer representation of colour.

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Here is the shoulder seam in more detail

I am pleased that I sorted out the fit, it feels less restricted on the shoulders than my fishy dress. I am also pleased I didn’t cock it up as this fabric is so lovely (and no longer available) that I think tears would have been shed if I had made a mistake. I am now waiting with bated breath to see what Wendy and Fiona make with their pieces.

 

A fishy tale

About a year ago I was gifted some amazing fabric from sewing pal Anna, better known as Blogless Anna.  She parcelled me up 2 metres of this glorious fishy fabric and sent it interstate.

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It’s nothing if not very generous, especially as we had never met at this point.  Are sewing pals really this lovely?  Well, as the years have gone by and I have met more and more of the sewing crew, the answer is YES!  I feel lucky to be part of such a community.

Anna’s makes are a thing of beauty, A Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee and a Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tee.  I would have happily sewn up the Aeolian, it’s a raglan sleeve and the right shape for me but then Tessuti hit us with the Frankie dress in August and I was sold!

I loved the Frankie at first sight.  It is the perfect seasonal dress for the Sydney climate.  It has an option for a top, short or long length dress.  It has 4 sleeve lengths too.  It also starts in a small size and it is made for people who like to hide that tum!  It has volume in the right place without making you look pregnant.  That’s a very special thing.

I loved this dress made but the Tessuti girls, this candy striped, short dress with the elbow length sleeves is rockin’.

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Image from Tessuti Fabric website

I am a toile convert, I don’t make anything unless it’s been toiled first. I found some revolting yellow knit in my stash (even the bravest of brave wouldn’t be seen dead in it) and toiled away.  I graded an extra small for the top to a small around the waist and hips.  I probably should have just cut a straight small, if truth be told, as I think that would have been perfect.

It’s a very quick and easy sew. The fishy fabric is a very good quality stretch, it has some weight.  I was rather worried about how the back facing would sit as you have to stitch it in place after inserting jelly tape and under stitching.  I was worried I was overworking the fabric and it would stretch but no, it sits really well and I am happy with the final result.

I did the majority of it on the overlocker and even managed a neat and rather successful double row of hem stitching using my twin needle.  My machine is rather hit and miss when sewing these usually.

I think this would be a great pattern for a sewer who hasn’t much experience in stretch.  It’s a good starting point.  It also includes a couple of interesting techniques that could be used in future makes.

I know I will be living in this come summer.  It’s a perfect beach cover up as well as a great everyday dress.  I see many more of these in my life.  I am already cutting my next version as we speak.

So here it is and as my Mum would say, “we’ll see you coming in that!”

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It was ‘crackin’ the flags’ today, so couldn’t resist an outing to the beach with the kids

Not a bad day to turn 43!

 

 

 

 

 

Mending, thou shalt not be boring!

I picked up a pair of jeans recently.  They were new jeans with fake ageing.  I have to say I am generally not a fan of such techniques, but they fit really well and I was in need of a quick fix.  This doesn’t exactly fits with my ideals, but hey ho.

I knew that the knees would go pretty quickly as the ageing made them pretty weak and so a hole quickly emerged.  Of course, cool people leave such holes, but I just can’t.  I see creative possibilities and I just can’t leave them.

I have been wanting to try some more complex Sashiko for a while and these jeans presented an opportunity to experiment.

A few months ago I visited the Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney, not exactly my bag, but worth a trip to meet Jane MacDonald, the owner of Bebe Bold, a local Sashiko supplier and teacher.  It was crazy busy but she chatted to us for a while and helped me choose some thread and impart some of her vast knowledge.  I bought some lovely pieces, three Olympus threads, long Sashiko needles and some Kogin fabric.  Jane also gave me instructions for a pin cushion, the Hitomezashi Hydrangea pattern.

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NB: Kogin fabric has little dots printed on the fabric, it helps to make the stitching process a little easier.  When you wash the fabric, the dots disappear.

I have been dying to try it for a while but it looked frightening complicated so I have been sitting on it.  Time to bite the bullet.

Here’s what I did;

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WRONG SIDE: I started by repairing the hole.  I used the selvedge of the Kogin fabric (no waste here!) and used some iron on glue to press it in place. 
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RIGHT SIDE: Hole reinforced and ready for patching
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I cut a piece of Kogin fabric to cover the hole and pinned in place
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Then it was a case of following the instructions, starting with 2 rows of crosses in blue and orange thread.
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The final stage was weaving the white thread between the crosses

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I am not the neatest hand sewer, even with the dots to help me out.  But it’s quite lovely all the same.

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Boring mending?  Definitely not. Enjoyable mending?  Most definitely.

I loved sitting down with the kids, I rarely do it.  They watched ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ while I stitched away.

Cosmic x

Rockin’ the rayon!

I was asked by Maaike of MaaiDesign to join her blog tour to showcase the new range of See You at Six  fabrics.  Joy of joy, I just can’t resist such requests!

I joined her first blog tour back in March, way before we ever met. Although, recently I had the pleasure when Maaike popped into our little studio to say hello. The conversation was something along the lines of “Oh my! you’re so TALL!” (me to Maaike) and “Oh my! you’re so SMALL!” (Maaike to me).  It’s funny how you don’t get a sense of perspective on instagram and on blogs.  Subsequently, I made her sit on the low stool in the studio.

So I had a choice to make, some lovely fabrics in soft drapey rayon.  These were my top 4. Decision making is not really my forte, it took a while.

There are some beautiful colours and patterns in this collection; pastels, mint green, pale pinks and some lovely florals but I was drawn to the darker colours. After much ‘umming’ and ‘ahhhing’, I decided on the black and white drops. The randomness of the pattern is appealing to me.  I like polka dots but don’t often wear them but this had a more contemporary edge to the design.

Rayon isn’t a fabric I use very often, mainly because I wear more boxy shapes which require structured fabrics.  But I was excited by this challenge and really, it’s so lovely to touch!  Now to find a pattern.

I had spotted this dress on my Pinterest page which was just what I was looking for. I had a starting point.  I put it out to the ‘oracles of sewing’ (Sydney IG crew) for suggestions. Vintage patterns seemed to hold the answer.  As you know I am a big supporter of the independent pattern designer, this is usually the direction I travel, but I decided to strike out and raid my vintage pattern collection.  My vintage pattern collection, I might add, is vast!

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Ely Kishimoto’s  Spring Summer 2012 collection – Toy Town Eden

After a lengthy search I found it.  A blouse (I love that word!) McCalls 8528 from 1983.  The size was pretty good as it’s quite a ‘blousey’ blouse, all I had to do was hack it into a dress.  I chose view D as I wanted the mandarin collar and the short sleeves with the cuffs.  It also had the required kimono sleeves and the front gathering on the shoulders.

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Ok, so let me just say that I am not a fan of gathering.  The gathering may look minimal on the front but the back was a little more frightening.  It seemed to have a lot of volume.  I decided to trace it off and make a toile.

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illustration of pattern back

When adding the length to this blouse I literally draw it out as straight as I could, a slight A-line in shape but not too much. The toile was successful, although I prefer a little more room around my hips and so added a little extra to the back seam instead of the side seams.  This gave me the room I needed.  The top part fitted perfectly.  It’s always a little frightening making a toile from calico, the gathering looked vast and rather comical.  But I am glad I did or I would have been unhappy with the fit around my hips.

The first challenge was cutting the rayon.  Luckily I have an expert on hand to help me.  Emily (In the Folds) suggested I use her pattern cutting paper beneath the rayon. Firstly, I pinned the rayon together at the selvedges, then pinned it to the paper (using the guides on the paper as markers).  I then went nuts with the pins and then added my pattern pieces.  Here is a picture of some pieces so you get the idea.  The result is crisp, perfectly cut pieces. It’s a pattern piece sandwich!

After that part, it was a fairly easy sew.  I am surprised as I always image rayon to be a slipper sucker.  It wasn’t, it was easy.  I interfacing the front plackets and collar, put a  60/8 needle into my machine and away I went.

The biggest bugbear I had was with the yoke. Based on the instructions, this was the finishing on the inside.  I just couldn’t live with that.  I am not a perfectionist by a long stretch, but I think it would have bugged me forever so I decided to face it.  I hand stitched it in place.  I think it’s a much better result.

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Yoke – before facing
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Yoke – after facing and with hand stitched collar

The final steps were the buttons and buttonholes.  I actually tried to pretend it wasn’t happening for about a week before I worked up the courage to tackle them. I have done many in the past but I have never been happy with the results.

My machine has a buttonhole attachment so I did about 10 samples on the fabric. I even got my instruction book out and went through each step methodically.  I just needed to get the balance right on either side of the hole (who knew this was a thing)? The results were fine but it does make me realise a superior machine may have reaped superior results, food for thought!

The button colour was another choice I was stuck on.  I pinned a few options to the dress to get an idea. When Emily suggested I used all of them I went with it.  The result is far superior for it.  What do you think?

So here is the final result.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

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Luckily the gathering at the back wasn’t as intense as I had imagined!
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Its very hard to shoot the detail in the shoulder but you can just see the gathering here
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I am totally loving the buttons!

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Lucky ducks! MaaiDesign is offering a 10% discount on the See You At Six collection from 12th – 30th September 2016.  Just use the code: seeyouatsix.  

For more inspiration check out these blogging chicks,  ROCKIN’ THE RAYON!

12th of September: Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack

13th of September: Kate from Sewing With Kate

14th of September: Nicola from Create.nic

15th of September: Anna from Blogless Anna

16th of September: Caroline from Usefulbox

17th of September: Suz from Sewpony

18th of September: Allison from The Tall Mama

19th of September: Toni from Make It Perfect

20th of September: Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things

21st of September: Natalie from Sew Outnumbered

22nd of September: Jenya from While She Was Sleeping

23rd of September: Maaike from MaaiDesign

The Refashioners 2016: Jeans


It’s that time of year again, where Portia of Makery opens up The Refashioners 2016 to the community.  I am part of said ‘community’ (as is everyone else BTW) so I am taking part.  This is the brief this year.

The theme is Jeans only: (Not denim jackets, skirts, shirts etc) Because the specific challenge with this is the scarcity of fabric and all the hardware and heavy seaming you’ll need to work around. The majority of your finished project must have come from the source garment (ie your jeans). Other than that anything goes. Use additional fabric and haberdashery to your hearts content, as long as you turn them from something you don’t wear, into something you do wear…or use,  ok?! 🙂

If you don’t know about this challenge then I suggest you hop over and have a read.  To kick start this challenge, Portia enlists a bunch of uber talented sewers to give it ‘there all.’ You will see a wide variety of designs, a cool and eclectic mix, from wiggle dresses and kimonos to tops and jackets. There are some brilliant pieces, but my favourite has to be Joost’s project, err yes, Joost is a man.  Quite a brilliant and talented man at that.  He had me at ‘hello’.

So, to cut up a pair of jeans is a big thing.  From an environmental perspective they are a huge consumer of water (among other things).  Something we must be really mindful of, especially those of us here in Australia. My thinking was, if I can’t wear them then surely someone else can!  So I set out to find ‘unwearable’ jeans.

My first thought was to talk to my mother-in-law, Chris.  She works for a charity shop in the UK.  I asked her if they had a scrap bin of ‘unwearables’.  She told me to come and hunt. Luckily, I was in the UK recently so we met up and searched.  I came away empty handed.  There was nothing in the scrap bin.

So then I checked online, surely there was something in Australia.  Nope, another blank. If I want scrap pieces of jeans I have to spend a fortune on postage from the US. I had no choice, time poor as always,  I bite the bullet and found the most unattractive pair of jeans I could find in my local charity store. I put it down to saving someone from a fashion crime.  It was the best I could do.

I decided to use only 1 pair of jeans and pre-loved pieces.  I was gifted the pre-loved pieces by Emily.  She gave me one jean leg offcut in light blue stonewash with a random square of fabric missing and two denim pockets from a early Rushcutter dress sample.

The final decision of what to make was easy.  Make something that I would wear A LOT.  Jeans are an everyday item.  It had to be very wearable, something that I COULD wear as much as jeans.  So there you have it, one word: SWEATSHIRT.

A sweatshirt is not normally made from heavy woven cotton but I did spy some inspiration on my Pinterest page and my idea came together from there.

The sleeves are always the main issue when refashioning.  You need so much more fabric than you think, so I had to be savvy.  I decided to hack up a previous pattern into bite size pieces. I used the pattern from my previous make, A synthetic dream.  It’s a raglan sleeve dress hacked into a top from Japanese pattern book, Stylish Party Dresses.  It’s a simple pattern which is what I needed.  It’s also slimmer than the inspiration above, I needed to reduce the volume.  If you panel it out, you will be able to make more use of the strange shapes of fabric that you have.

My thinking was to deconstruct the sleeve by adding an underarm piece and a shoulder panel.  Then, add side panels to the front and back. I had seen this fabulous Dries Van Noten dress which had given me the idea.  Obviously my version is way less complex.

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The centre panel of the sleeves are made from the original jeans.  You can see I removed the back pocket, I just have the shadow left. I incorporated the side seam with the lovely bar tack. This sits about elbow level. The side panels are from the Rushcutter pockets sliced together.  The sleeves are identical.

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I overlocked all the seams, pressed them like crazy and then top stitched them all down.  The piece sits much flatter for it.

My main concern was getting the front/back side panel and the sleeve panels to sit at perfect right angles.  Every seam matched except one. I couldn’t leave it, it just had to be right so I fixed it up and now it matches.  You can see the before and after shots above.

The front and back centre panels are cut by opening up the inner leg seam and flattening it out.  I didn’t insert that centre front seam, that’s the original side seam of the jeans.

Final step was adding the neckband, cuffs and waistband.  I used some heavy duty ribbing from Neotrims on Ebay. It was a ribbing I had originally bought to make a jacket many moons ago.  It had been cut, so I had to do a patch-up job to make it fit the sweatshirt.  The ribbing gives it a touch of 70’s ‘American High School’, which I am not unhappy about!

So here it is in it’s full glory.

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So glad I kept the original jeans side seam, it looks great down the centre front & back.
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You can see the panelling quite clearly here.
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I think the heavy duty ribbing is a winner!

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You can see the shoulder panel here.  It’s a good way of getting this piece cut out of an awkward shape.
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I really love the sleeves.  I like the upside down bar tack and the pocket shadowing on the elbow.  I think it’s a great detail.

 

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The colour blocking here is such an unexpected feature
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I had to patch up the neckband as I was short on ribbing, it turned out rather well I think.  I top stitched this piece down just at this back section .

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Successful refashion?  I think so, yes!

Did it meet my expectations?  Yes, it exceeded them infact.

Will I wear it? HELL YEAH!!

A synthetic dream!

Last week I was in the UK.  A flying visit for my friend’s wedding.  An amazing wedding with lots of old school friends, some of which I haven’t seen since I was yawning my way through A-level geography.

I always like to make myself a little something for my trips (apart from the obvious wedding attire that is!) so I decided on a top. I wanted something I could wear with jeans and that wouldn’t crease.  I had the perfect fabric!

I had recently stumbled into Tessuti and raided the remnants table. I came out with a marvellous 1m piece of monochrome nylon mesh.  Lets just say creasing would not be an issue.  It’s a synthetic dream!

Surprisingly enough I reached for my Japanese pattern book collection, choosing the Stylish Party Dresses book.

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I decided to hack this dress pattern, the raglan sleeve dress, into a top. Of course, I wanted to add a little interest and make the shoulder panels again.  I know, I know, I do this all the time, but I just love it!!

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Black crepe dress from an earlier blog post – more details here

I made a minor tweak to the pattern by lowering the neckline a little, this meant I could dispense with the closure at the back. I cropped the top quite short.  It’s shorter than I would normally wear but I think it works well with this style.

The shoulder panels are made from the reverse of the fabric.

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It was a quick sew and a surprisingly easy fabric to work with.  It does have lots of ‘bounce’ so pressing wasn’t all that effective and I didn’t persevere as I was scared it might melt.

I did spend a little extra time in the finishing.  I hand stitched the binding on the inside so there are no visible hems, cuffs or neckline stitching. It worked a treat.

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I have worn it A LOT, it was perfect for the UK climate too as we had surprisingly good weather. It also took me back to the joys of 80’s synthetic clothing.  Thank god there wasn’t a naked flame in sight!

Make Sew Gather – weekend retreat!

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching at the Make, Sew, Gather weekend retreat in October.  It’s an event run by my lovely friend and fellow sewing teacher, Caz from Useful Box.

I am sure it will be no surprise to anyone that I will be teaching stretch!  Having made so many sweatshirts in the past I am no stranger to an overlocker and not scared of a piece of stretchy fabric.

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Although as the summer roles in, I think the Brightside Shrug is the perfect choice for this class.  It is such a quick and easy sew for beginners.  Did you see the version my 11 year old student made?  Super cool.

Check out the retreat website for more information, I am one of many teachers attending.  So if you want to learn how to make lingerie, try fabric painting, understand Japanese sewing patterns, make a tote bag or make a pattern block, check out the details.

Make. Sew & Gather Flyer-2