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Muslin of burda 7136 – FBA

8 Oct

Seeing as the fabric for my next, and very special, project hadn’t arrived in time for the weekend, I decided to work on a full bust adjustment. I made a short sleeve version of Burda 7136 (size 14) a few months ago, in a really fun print. While I love it, the fit wasn’t perfect and I had to take in the back quite a bit. I figured that if I made size 10 and did a full bust adjustment it might just fit perfectly.

And so I have spent the weekend making muslins and testing my theory out. First I made a mock up of size 10 out of this garish fabric I won in a bundle of fabric.  It’s been sitting unused for 2 years now, and while I intended to give it away to someone that might actually like it, it works perfectly for a muslin of the shirt (minus sleeves of course).  And lucky I did! Size 10 worked perfectly for the upper bust and across the back yoke. But was too tight across my belly and hips. So I decided to do the full bust adjustment on a  merged 10/12.

There are tons of tutorials online for full bust adjustment but I’ve found most of them are aimed at bodices for high waited dresses (which means there is a much shorter side seam to correct). In the end I found this tutorial of Melly Sews to be most helpful. I figured I would add 1.5″ per side and it was initially quite fun drawing and cutting, moving and taping my pieces around. But once that was all done, I still struggled to redraw the side seams. But in the end I think I got a really nice curve.

So I sewed up my second muslin. Perfect fit  on upper and full bust but the bust dart wasn’t quite in the right place – a wee bit too low and too long (leading to pointy nipples). So I re-positioned it up 1/2″ and reduced its length by 1″. Instead of redoing the whole front pieces, I just unpicked part of the side seams and redid the darts. And no, still not in the right place.

At this point I retraced the original pattern piece and started again, but this time with the dart re-positioned in the correct place. And the result, my third muslin, appeared to be just right! Phew. One weekend down and three muslin and four attempted full bust adjustments  later and at last I have my pattern pieces all ready to cut out my nice fabric (and not this atrocious stuff).


Great British Sewing Bee – Live!

24 Sep

Yesterday I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live and it was so inspirational. My mind is bustling with ideas, plans, things I want to learn and of course the new (better fitting) wardrobe I will have at the end!

IMG_20170923_172907_497To start with in the morning I went to a workshop with Jane on ‘weaving  bit of couture magic into your sewing’. I learned some useful tricks such as sewing (and cutting)  extra fine fabrics, such as silk Georgette with tissue paper and how to tailor tack. But most exciting was a technique for hemming linings – which uses lace. Its much less time consuming and looks so pretty.

There was also a few exhibitions including Liberty in Fashion and the ‘Best of the Sewing Bee Gallery’.

And of course I bought some fabric. That might be the understatement of the year. I bought A LOT of fabric.

I won’t say too much about them now but let’s just say I found the crack cocaine of fabric. Cashmire/Silk anyone? Many of these will become blouses or dresses for winter, and I have a few patterns in mind –  I cant wait to get to work. Also I feel pretty guilt free as I left a pile of fabrics and patterns at the swap meet on the Fold Line’s stall!




Choosing the right denim for my ginger jeans

22 Sep

I made myself three pairs of Ginger Jeans which fit perfectly (vs 1, 2&3), but my fourth pair were ridiculously too small; which left me puzzled. Aside from the obvious possibility that I’d gone up a size (which as far as I was aware I hadn’t), it had the same amount of elastine as previous versions (3%). But while other versions were 97% cotton, the last pair had some polyester too…

But here’s something I hadn’t thought about – different denim can have a remarkably different stretch even though the composition is the same. It wasn’t until I was on Ditto’s website pursuing the denim that I noticed this. For example three denims I was looking at were all  a 87%/3% composition – but the stretch they listed varied from 8% – 18%! Though if I’d only paid a bit more attention to Closet Case’s sew-along I would have realized this. But not all websites list the approximate stretch  and in the shop I’m not great at working this out for myself. Luckily, Ditto had more than enough denims which I was desperate for.

I started off by ordering seven samples, which allowed me to narrow it down to three:  a dark navy , a dark charcoal (approx 18% stretch) and a darkest of blue . Unfortunately I forgot to note down the approximate stretch of two of the fabrics which is seriously annoying but I’m pretty sure were around 10%.

My fabric arrived in the post the next day (Ditto’s amazingly quick in posting orders)  but since I got them I’ve procrastinated, not being able to decide which size to choose.  All four previous times, I’ve made size 8. But after the last pair I resolved to go up at least one size. However on the sew along section on sourcing denim it notes that you may want to adjust your size if you’re using something with more or less stretch. In the end I’ve decided to try size 10 cause I really want to feel comfortable and good in them. Fingers crossed and stay tuned to find out if this was the right decision.

Sewing slump

23 Aug


2017-08-23I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump. My new job has been consuming all my time, energy and brain power and a number of my July sewing projects truly suffered as a result. I decided the the first step was to clean my shit up, I mean who can find motivation in a messy disorganised corner, where you spend half your sewing time looking for the bloody scissors? In the picture above (on the left) you can see the chaos – and it includes one UFO and a sewing fail (both of which will be blogged about one day). So a week or so ago I set about cleaning and organizing (results on the right).

I decided that I really needed to focus  and given that my sewing time has taken a massive hit, I needed to prioritize. So my next few projects are:

  • One last Biscayne blouse before summer is over (its almost done) – its a beautiful ochre Italian crepe.
  • The Lakeside pajamas made from fabric I had printed using my 13 year old niece’s painting (summer may be over by the time these are done, but I will be ready for next year).
  • Ginger jeans! My last pair while beautifully sewn just didn’t have enough stretch to be a comfortable fit so I’ve ordered myself a few beautiful denims from Ditto fabric to make myself a new pair of bother version A and B.

Once I’ve got through these, I’ll reassess but for the time being, I’m gonna take my sewing slowly and carefully.


MMM17 The End

31 May


It’s been a great month and it really pushed me back into wearing me-made clothes, which I’d gotten out of the habit of wearing while unemployed.  A few things made repeated appearances: my Ginger Jeans (in all their versions), Bonnie tops, Linden Sweatshirts, and soo many Rosy Lady Shorts. My leisure & sportswear is still predominately RTW but until it wears out, there is no real need for me to make anything.  I am however looking forward to the day I go for a morning run in me-made, or lounge around on a rainy Sunday in me-made sweats.

The last three days of May, I got in a few more me-made items:


Day 29. Me-made does DIY! I was so pleased with my new 2nd hand hedge trimmer i immediately set to work, wearing my Colette clover trousers (which a year after i made them, i shortened to above the knee shorts).

Day 29 bonus. Out for an evening walk in my amazing puffin Linden Sweater  plus my clover pants/shorts  from earlier today.

Day 30. Got my Burda 7136 blouse on – love this fun print and bright red buttons!

Day 30 bonus. Went out for a little haberdashery shopping at RayStich in my new Luzerne Trench coat!

Day 31. You’d think for the last day of me-made-May I’d do better than just my rosy lady shorts. But no, I’ve yet to change out of my clothes from this mornings run, so these little beauts are the only me-made I’ll have on today.

Day 31 bonus. Every day is me-made for Poppy cause she’s got a reversible dog bandana on her collar!


MMM17 Week 4

28 May


I just got back from my holiday this evening, so week 4 of me-made-May features much of the same summer clothes as last week (e.g my plaid vogue 8184, Bonnie top and my maritime shorts). Every single morning I wore my Buchanan silk dressing gown from gather and every evening as it cooled down, I would put on my bright green Linden sweater.

One thing I noted this week however was my lack of tank tops. I have absolutely no me-made tank tops and very few RTW ones. I think mainly because we rarely have enough heat/sunshine in London to bother making them. But my RTW ones are getting quite old and worn out and soon will be retired to the rag drawer. So I think I need to make myself a few jersey tank tops. I know I should just draft something myself, but do you have any patterns you’d recommend?

Three makes that didn’t previously feature include:

Day 21. The ruby dress from Made By Rae is perfect in the heat. The main fabric is chambray with a lovely eyelet for the yoke – both from  Higgs and Higgs.
At home I’d wear it with a belt, but on holiday I’m loving the loose fit. Plus its got huge, useful POCKETS!

Day 24. Another version of vogue 8184. This time in a linen/cotton blend i bought years ago from ditto fabrics. Alas i forgot to cut the skirt front on the fold so there’s a seam up the centre front that shouldn’t be there.

Day 25. After a grueling day of adventures in the mountains we had a night out. I wore my simplicity 2363 dress again, and the man is in one of his short sleeved McCall’s M6044 shirts.

Only three days left of May – me oh my – where did it go?

MMM17 Week 3

21 May

Well me-made-may is this week has been wonderful. Mainly because I’m on holiday and have gotten to wear more me made dresses in a week than I normally do all summer in London (well almost). A few years ago I managed to reign in my making of summer dresses, because I don’t really need them. But being here, all warm and sunny, I am overwhelmed with ideas for new dresses – which of course are totally incompatible with London living.


Day 15: I might not have been wearing me made on Monday but I certainly was enjoying packing a suitcase full of it.

Day 16:  I finished my  new Luzerne Trench Coat from Deer and Doe – its a beauty. And felt so well dressed taking Poppy for her morning walk.

Day 17:  I left a cold and wet London early in the morning wearing my newest bonnie top. But  by mid day it was  at the back of the wardrobe as holidaying in the sun commenced.

Day 18: Vogue 8184 perfect for sunny beach days and incidentally the first dress I ever blogged about!

Day 19:  My silk buchanan dressing grown from gather feels like it was made for these hot sunny mornings, lounging on the terrace. I’ve worn it every morning this week!

Day 19 bonus: Spent an evening out, sipping cocktails, eating paella and looking out over the ocean in my very old New look 6774.

Day 20: I can’t get enough of my sundresses. Simplicity 2363 is one of my favourite patterns as i love the bodice and fit. This version i made years ago, after eyeing up the fabric in Ray Stitch  for weeks, but back then pattern matching didnt even occur to me.

Day 21:  I love this rainbow colored zebra print. I knew as soon as i saw the fabric i wanted to make a pair of shorts out of it. And i think it works wonderfully on the maritime shorts pattern from Grainline Studio. I wore these up a mountain today!



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