Sewing for self.

Before I disappeared for 10 days holiday I got into some selfish sewing. I sewed up a blouse from some very easy to use 100% quilters cotton which printed in Japan. I was very pleased with it as it was firm and so very easy to use. I had spotted it at one of Doughtys road shows recently. See the link below.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/

Why should patch workers and quilters have all the fun stuff I say? I have been noticing more and more in my part of the world, England, that the fabric shops that there are, cater usually for patch workers and quilters rather than dressmakers. I do both types of sewing so that I don’t get stuck in a rut and I have always got something on the go. I do use the internet as a resource, but you cannot beat an actual feel and rummage in a “proper” shop environment don’t you agree?

Now rant over I will show you this blouse! I used McCall’s 6035 from 2010 I have just seen! I do not know if it is still in print, you may have to research if you fancy having a shot at it. There are easy fitting princess seams and sleeves with a small dart at the elbow. There are 4 different views, I chose the 3/4 sleeve version gathered into a cuff.

Envelope M6035

I do hope you find a copy if you feel inspired, I often reuse my patterns over and over and do not realise how old they are! Especially if there are several different versions like this one. At the time of writing there were some available on Amazon and Etsy. Good luck.

McCall’s 7357

It has been an age since I have last been able to get down to some proper dressmaking, my first true craft love.  Below is the post I did for Pattern Review,

click here    McCall’s 7357

if you would like to see more!

 

 

 

Pattern Description: Loose fitting pullover tops have neckband, self lined yokes, applied tab, side front and side back seams, three piece sleeves shaped hemline and narrow hem

Pattern Sizing: 6-22  I cut size 12 UK

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes I made view C

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but there was a lot of hand sewing and the neck band was awkward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The seaming gives the top a nice flowing shape and the sleeves hang well. I also like the lined yoke, it makes the top neat and tidy inside.

Fabric Used: A slippery synthetic I bought a few years ago now, and I cannot remember what it was. But it freyed quite badly so overlocking before I fiddled with the neckline was a must.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t alter the pattern, except to reduce the front opening by 3 inches. I did not see the point in a bigger neck opening, and I didn’t embellish the front as suggested. Neither did I sew the neck band as directed. As my fabric was so temperamental I fused the interfacing onto the fabric before I cut it out, thus I was able to stop it stretching out of shape
I interfaced both the band and the band lining to keep the whole thing stable, on my second attempt. I used a very sheer fusible interfacing, but it was enough to make the fabric easy to cut so it lay along the neck edge cleanly. I over locked the edge of the neck band lining to keep down the bulk, and stitched in the ditch on the machine. I hate hand stitching, though I did hand stitch the sleeve finishes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will keep the pattern and sew another in the future, probably in a pretty thin cotton. I recommend it too, but plan your sewing before you start.

Conclusion: A pattern that you can adapt, dress up or down.

Burda 6633

Its been an age since I have got around to any selfish sewing, but I did make this little number this week, and I am quite pleased with the result.  I bought the lovely fabric a couple of months ago with nothing in mind really, but then saw this tunic pattern which I thought would suit. My local shop was “Backstitch” just outside Cambridge UK .                See website

I haven’t used Burda patterns very often and my first boo boo was to not cut the front out on the fold. School girl error I know!  Am used to arrows and there are none on Burda!  Luckily I had enough fabric as I always over estimate how much I need. From then on plain sailing, although the neck and front bands are sewn in a very odd way, but it worked.

I do recommend you use light and floaty fabric for this, as otherwise it would be sticky outy and look like maternity!

This is a new pattern from Burda,  Burda 6633  here in UK anyhow, and is average sewing skill rating.  There is a longer version with a collar included too, which I may try.  I like the shaped hem and sleeve length especially, though I do have to wear a t shirt underneath as it does gape at the front, ooh er.   Should have tried it on, not just relied on Vera my dress form!

Sewing Machine Central

I have bitten the bullet and decided to have 2 + 1  machines  serviced!  Not one of them has seen the inside of the sewing machine shop since they were bought, and they are all still sewing, or sort of!  I let them go tomorrow and they are promised back in a week, what will I do till then? Use my others I suppose!

 

Singer Hand Machine

Singer Hand Machine

This little and heavy Singer was the machine I first learned  to sew on and it belonged to my mother.  It was made in Glasgow in 1941, and my mother said it went down the underground with her across London during the air raids!  I remember I was always having problems with the tension regulator, but myself and my sister produced many “creations” on it despite it only having  basic straight stitch or lock stitch.

My grand-daughter (8) now wants to try it so hence the Singers’ trip to the service dept.

Second up a bit more sophisticated

Elna Lotus SP

Elna Lotus SP

This machine does in fact belong to a friend of mine, and it in turn  belonged to her mother!   But she likes to take it to workshops as it is relatively smaller and lighter, and does what is required for patchwork and quilting, my friends greatest love.  This Elna has not been serviced either and buzzes along quite satisfactorily!

Last, this Bernina 2000DE overlock or serger.  I saved up for this in the 90’s and am still so happy using it.  It made the world of difference to my dressmaking, the finished garment looking so much neater  and professional looking.

Bernina 2000DE

Bernina 2000DE

I have oversewn so many miles on this and it tackles any fabric shoved at it.  But I think it may be getting noisier, so its off for a bit of TLC.

I don’t know if I am the only sewer who gets attached to their machine?  I guess it’s a bit like car ownership, you remember those happy journeys with your foot on the pedal and a full stash of fabric!

I wonder what is the oldest machine out there which is still sewing without ever having been looked after?

 

McCalls 6658 My Monday Make!

McCall's M6658

McCall’s M6658

I seem to be having a few pink moments lately, glad its not blue ones!  Am chuffed with my Monday make, just 4 pieces to cut and 5 seams plus hems, what could be easier.  Fleece is so forgiving, I cut the sleeves out separately and forgot to turn over the second, so I had 2 right sleeves, oops!  But I managed to fudge it as my sewing   mentor used to say!

Anyhow this top is right on cue as its rained all day and I waited in for a ” consignment” as I was promised, but of course zilch! So this success cheered me up and will warm me up tomorrow!

Happy sewing everyone

Lindy

Vogue 7055 Sandra Betzina Dress Pattern

V 7055 Dress V 7055 Neck V 7055 sideV 7055 Pattern CoverI am going to meet up with my sisters soon, in London, and I am getting so excited as we don’t often get the chance to get together with our other halves too!  Felt a new frock was called for and just because it will be October and probably freezing cold, I wanted something bright!  Well frocks in the shops (oh that rhymes!) are so dull in colour, or for the young things so I went scurrying through my wadges of dress patterns and found this vintage little number.  I made my first version in the naughties for work and now I am free I have this version!  

Sandra says to use a moderate stretch knit for this “easy” category dress.  But as ever, I can never find the exact requirements.  So I ordered this lovely VERY stretchy jersey knit from Croft Fabrics UK who have some lovely dress materials to order on line. I recommend them!

Anyhow I decided to self line the front top and use stay tape around the neck edge and along the shoulder seam.  This will prevent the whole affair sagging down to my ankles, and give more substance to the dress.  It also gets around the very stretchiness of the jersey.  At least that is the thought.  The instructions also advise to just turn over the neck edge to finish, I don’t think this looks as nice or “finished” as using self fabric to bias bind the neck edge and then top stitch through. Just me perhaps, but if you have time its worth the extra effort.

I also used a stretchy interfacing on the placket to prevent it sticking out from the line of the dress.  I am so pleased with the result and it is so easy to wear!  No zip to worry about and minimal crease, so I can just throw it in my case and not worry!

I must add, though, that without the overlocker and  coverstitch sewing machines, the whole thing would have been much more complicated.  As it was, the sleeves are inserted flat and there are only 3 pattern pieces, even the front and back are cut out in a single layer so no trying to get the fold of the fabric exactly on line.

Now whats the next thing in my dressmaking list of makes, I have loads of fabric burning holes in me!

New Look 3886

New Look 3886SUGs  It’s been such a miserable day today I thought I would finish this supposedly easy to make summer top and cheer myself up dreaming of wearing it somewhere nice and warm.  Well it worked, I feel very pleased with myself for not chucking it in after great problems with gathered seams and rubbish hemming with snarled up stitches on the sewing machine.

With camisole top Top FrontEvery time I get seduced by wonderful fabrics; this silk was from India and such a gorgeous colour, and I regret it later.  But I reckon it worked out OK.

In the end I made the hem using the cover lock and used the over lock to neaten the seams.  Getting it to sew without tension problems was a bit of a mare though! A couple of seams had to be ripped out and redone, but it was worth it!

Lucky old me had a camisole top which looks great underneath and I found the bow in my button stash, so I can feel virtuous too now! The silk top must have cost £5 to make, the pattern has been used several times and the silk was so inexpensive in India.

Burda 2561

Burda 2561

Burda 2561

DSC00799 DSC00801 DSC00802Finished making this blouse and found it quite straightforward once you got over the woolly instruction sheet! 

Anyhow I am no good at selfies and I have no willing photographer to take action shots of me modelling this creation, so you will have to make do with valet Vera who does an amazing stand in job! No wrinkles or sags  and bags anywhere!

It has now been worn and washed, and the lovely cotton is very comfortable.  Only prob was I put a home printed label in the side seam, and they don’t wash!  Will have to think of something else.  Any ideas anyone?

If interested I post on

http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?myreviews

This is a great place to get help ideas and motivation if you are into dressmaking.  I recommend a visit, hours go by without you noticing so beware!

There is some sort of problem with using  the button on this site to link with  Pattern Review unfortunately.

Happy sewing every one!

Stripe T Shirt dress

I have been sewing clothes since 12, first on a hand powered Singer with a choice of lock stitch and reverse, and oh boy what production went on with it.  I remember with great pride the bakers boy hat created during The Beatles first years of fame. Unfortunately I have no picture of this milliners perfection but I do have one of this my latest effort!

It took three machines and two hours to complete and I wonder which gave me the most joy to make, probably the hat .  Anyhow in case you would like to create your own version of this, it is a McCalls 6612 pattern. Very easy , not even a zip to trouble you. The lovely heavy weight fabric I bought online from http://www.dittofabrics.co.uk I recommend the site.

Stripe Jersey for the beach

Stripe Jersey for the beach

Monday stripes

image My Monday make! Definitely into striped fabric at the mo. Hoping to uncover the over and cover lock machines and sew up this fab fabric today if not tomorrow, you know how it is!  Cotton Lycra Jersey lovely and soft yet substantial, no awkward creases when made up!  Hope you like it as much as I do. Bought it on line from Ditto Fabrics, they have some lovely stuff!