Friday, 13 April 2018

Charm Patterns - Rita Blouse Dress Hack: 2018 Make Nine

This is my fifth 2018 Make Nine item (and it's April - just saying); number four is for the next post, but this is so fabulous, I had to share it first!


As mentioned in my last post, I am very taken with the Charm Patterns Rita Blouse, and had grand plans to hack it into a dress.  Below are just a few of my inspiration dresses:
1. Collectif    2. Coco Fennell  3. Coco Fennell

In fairness, I love just about every dress on both the Collectif and Coco Fennell websites, and they feature heavily on my Pinterest sewing boards - anyway...

This was honestly so easy to hack.  I made two changes:

1.  Cut the bodice pieces off at the waist, and added a seam allowance.

Gertie has very helpfully marked the waist on all of the bodice pieces, so it really was just a case of marking a seam allowance 15mm below.

2.  Lengthened the sleeves by 10".

This was really easy too.  All I did was re-trace the original sleeve, then add 10" to the underarm seam.  Here's what it looks like, the original sleeve hem is the horizontal line.

I also added 5 cm to the length of the bodice, as I thought my top versions were a little bit short.  To determine how much to add, I measured from the underbust seam (where a bra underwire sits) to my waist at the centre front, then added the length in above the waist mark.  



The skirt is my self-drafted A-line skirt.  The neckline and sleeves are hemmed with bias tape, which I made from the same fabric as the dress.  


Talking of fabric, this is some black vicose with little anchors that I found on ebay, and I'm pretty pleased with how I managed to line all the little anchors up!

I am thrilled with how this dress turned out, it's kind of 70s and exactly how it looked in my head - what's not to love?!

Have a great weekend,


Friday, 6 April 2018

Charm Patterns - Rita Blouse

I wanted this pattern as soon as I saw it, because it is the peasant blouse pattern of my dreams!  I have already made two of these blouses, and will be making more.  The first one was made last year after I made my first Sew Over It Eve Dress, and I realised I had enough fabric for the top. 

The pattern has four different cup sizes, which is brilliant.  I made a size 6, C cup with no mods and love how it turned out, but felt that I could go up a size in the cup and also add some length. 

For my second version I used the D Cup bodice piece, as I felt I wanted a few more gathers in the front, and I'm happier with it.  But I didn't add any length simply because I didn't have enough fabric!  


The green and white fabric is Feather Print Javanese Viscose which I got from Abakhan Fabrics, and other fabric is also a viscose which was from from Oh Sew Crafty, and is called "Beautiful Peacock Plumage Tail Feathers" - it was the left overs from my second Eve dress.  As this one is a directional print, I had to get creative with a seam on the centre back piece - I think I got away with it in the busy print!

The pattern instructions are fantastic, and really easy to follow.  The zip is inserted upside down, and I struggled a bit to get the first top over my bust with the end of the zip stopping at the mark on the pattern.  So I replaced the zip, and moved it further up towards the underarm and the problem was solved.

The innards were french seamed on both tops, and I used bias tape for finishing the neckline and sleeves - the instructions want you to press and turn under the neck/sleeve edge.  After having trouble with turning under on this dress, it's bias tape all the way for me (see the above photo), and these little Hemline Bodkin thingies make light work of inserting the elastic, although I used less elastic on the neckline than noted on the instructions.

I love these tops, and will make more.  I also wanted to try and hack it into a dress for my Make Nine challenge, and (spoiler!) it was finished it yesterday and it's amazing!  But it deserves a post of its own.

Have a great weekend,


Saturday, 24 March 2018

Sew Over It Eve Dress - number two

I love my first Eve Dress so much, I had to make a second!  Again, I made version 2 and only shortened the sleeves and skirt from the size 10.

There's nothing more to say about the construction, so let's admire this gorgeous fabric!  It's a viscose from Oh Sew Crafty, and is called "Beautiful Peacock Plumage Tail Feathers".  (Click on that link at your own peril, and don't blame me if you spend a fortune, I managed to buy some stuff when I was finding the page...).


And I managed to squeeze a Charm Patterns Rita Blouse from the left-overs of this and my first Eve, but that's for another post.

This is the, um... let's not count the number wrap dresses that I've made over the last few months, and I think I've finally got them out of my head for a while at least!  But, my goodness, they are just so easy to wear.  And it looks like Spring has at long last arrived in Belfast at least for this week - but the forecast is rubbish for Easter!


Have a great week,


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Grainline Studio - Moss Skirt

Towards the end of January, I woke up one Thursday morning with the need for a denim skirt.  So obviously I had to make one!  

This top is a Tilly And The Buttons Agnes Top
After a bit of googling, I settled on the Grainline Studios Moss Skirt, which just about everybody has already made.  My fabric is some medium weight stretch denim from The Spinning Wheel in Belfast, and I used some left-over fabric from this dress for the pocket lining.

Pocket Lining
The instructions for the fly zip are great, and the only thing I did differently was to sew the fly shield with the folded edge out as in the photo below.  The instructions have that bit as the overlocked edge.  I also top-stitched everything within an inch of it's life.


Now, lots of folks have mentioned having to lengthen this skirt, as it is very short.  But I confidently took to Instagram to declare that I wouldn't need to because I'm small - how wrong was I?!  I started out making View A (the one without the hem band); the finished length for my size is 18", but mine was 17.5" and that was without the 3/4" hem.


A bit more googling taught me that sizing is a bit of an issue, and it does come up a bit small.  I made a size 4, and it fits at the waist, but I would like it a bit more roomy at the hips.  The fit is fine, it isn't too tight, so I think this is just personal preference.  The stretch fabric helps, but if I make this again in a non-stretch fabric, I would go up a size.

So I decided to add the hem band, as I had enough fabric.  I didn't make the double layer as on the pattern, and just added it to the bottom of the skirt, then hemmed it.  To make my skirt 19" long, I shortened the hem band to 2" plus a 1/2" hem.

I love how this skirt turned out; it can be worn in the winter with black tights, and will be grand for the summer too.  Also, I had an audience when I was taking my photos.  This little cat was supervising from the top of the shed.  One of my neighbour's told me that he lives up the street, and he is an Egyptian Mau.  He's very friendly, and calls into the garden quite a bit, I don't know his name though.


Anyway, this skirt has got me thinking about more denim skirts now, and I found the Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt pattern when I was looking for something else.  This was one of the first patterns I ever bought but I've never made it, and I also found some lovely versions on the interwebs, so am thinking of making it in chambray.

I also have Megan Nielsen's Tania Culottes pattern, and had great plans to make the knee length version in black crepe to wear instead of a half circle skirt - then I realised that I couldn't wear a net petticoat under it!  Now I'm thinking of the shorter version in chambray too.  Looks like I've fallen down a denim skirt rabbithole...

Have a great week!


Friday, 2 March 2018

Vogue 8379 - View B: 2018 Make Nine (and a Sew Over It Cowl Neck Top)

This is my third Make Nine make, and it's Vogue 8379.  I made View B with the collar and long sleeves.

This amazing fabric is from The Textile Centre, is called "Elizabethan Crossed Keys Textured Poly Jersey"  and is £2.99 per metre.

The bodice is shaped with pleats at the waist, and I used the facings on the neckline as it was necessary with the collar.

I managed to accidentially sew the gap for the waist tie on the wrong side seam, which has turned out to be pretty annoying, which is why my dress wraps to the other side from the pattern drawing.  

I made several mods - the bodice was shortened by 1",  the skirt shortened to 20", and the sleeves arbitrarily shortened by I can't remember how much, but it totally worked!!

It's lovely fabric to work with, but the seams were a bit "bouncy" (if that makes sense), and didn't really want to press flat.  It was especially noticable in the waist ties, which were rather tube-like - so I top-stitched everything within an inch of it's life!   I really wish I'd taken some photos before I did these, because the difference was unbelievable.


There was a bit of a drama with the waist seam though.  I thought I'd be really smart and overlock the bodice to the skirt, but add some clear elastic at the same time to stablise the seam.  As you can see below, it didn't work too well!  So I sewed the rest of the seam and then sewed some 1/4" onto the seam allowance afterwards.  Luckily this is the inside of the wrap front, so it can't be seen from the front!


I love how this dress turned out, I think it's very 1970s, which I love.  My only issue with it is that the waist ties are a bit short, and if I make it again, I would lengthen the ties by 6 inches.


Then it turned out that I had enough fabric left over to make a Sew Over It Cowl Neck top, which took about an hour and a half from cutting to finish!

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress: 2018 Make Nine

This is the second Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress that I've made, but the first one was scrapped due to rubbish fabric.  I do love a Sew Over It pattern, as I don't have to shorten the bodice.

There are two different skirt and sleeve lengths on the envelope illustration, but not on the actual pattern.  This confused me a bit, but a bit of googling proved a few people had found this.  Also the bodice and skirt are all one piece, so there isn't a waist seam.

Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress

My fabric is a mid-weight poly jersey from The Textile Centre for £3.99 per metre.  I had 2 metres, which was plenty for a size 10.  I did shorten the sleeves considerably though.

I also didn't use the facings, as this fabric is a bit thicker, and also I didn't get on well with the facing on this dress.  Instead, I used clear elastic, which I attached to the inside edge of the neckline on my overlocker, then turned the edge over, and stitched with a twin needle.

I used this great youtube tutorial by Maria Denmark.  I had a few goes on some scraps first, and found that stretching out the elastic first caused the fabric to gather a bit, so I didn't stretch the elastic before sewing it to my dress.

My only issue with this dress is that the front is a bit low, and I had to sew a snap fastener to the front it to keep it closed.  Although, having looked at other peoples' versions, it seems to be the way the dress is.  I think I might need to make a full bust adjustment in order to raise the top of the wrap, but have no idea how to do this on a jersey pattern with no waist seam.  If anybody knows how, or has done it themselves, please let me know.  Thanks!

Alternatively, I think I could add a bit to the shoulder seam towards the neck so I could then raise the wrap neckline.  Anyway, I have been wearing this with a slip underneath, so it's grand, and it is also my second make from my Make Nine.


Have a great week,