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Beatrix top

10 May

As soon as I saw the Sky print from Monaluna’s Wanderlust collection I had to have it. I also knew that it would need a simple pattern to best show off the fabric. So I was quite pleased to stumble across the Beatrix top from made by rae which  was available as a paper pattern from the Village Haberdashery – bonus! It did however require tracing as the pieces were printed on both sides of the paper. But the shop sent me some great tracing paper for free and I have become a total convert.

The first thing I love about this pattern has different bodice pieces for A/B cups or C/D cups. After carefully considering the sizing chart and finished measurements for the blouse I ended up making size small with the C/D cup bodice. FYI my measurements are at the top end of the small sizing. And I was so pleased when I based the back together – the fit is perfect!

Due to the placement of the print’s repetition and the exact length I had, I wasn’t able to match the colors at the side. But I quite like how it looks. And I love how the print joins at the shoulders (totally unintentionally).

The instructions were brilliant and quite straightforward. I made the process more lengthy by using French seams to finish the insides, including in the armhole (which was tricky given the gathers).  The instructions has a few little tips which I really apprecaited such as stitching in the dip along the shoulder seams, to tack the facing down.  I am chuffed with how it turned out and the fit is just lovely.

Spring fun

20 Mar

Seeing as Spring is in the air, it seemed like the perfect time to make myself something whimsical. And I had the perfect fabric all lined up. My sister bought this cotton print for me after she found me mooning over it in Saeed’s fabric store. I knew exactly what I wanted out of it – a sleeveless button up shirt with collar and bright red buttons. And that is what I set out to make.

I’ve used Burda 7136. It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn anything other than Indie patterns (so I’m feeling spoiled with hand-holding instructions). And it has probably years since I’ve sewn a Burda pattern.  It is a straightforward enough top and luckily I had my sewing wits about me as there are a few things that really niggled me in the instructions. Such as instructing you to baste a seam but never, in subsequent instructions, telling you go back and stitch to seams….

The pattern is described as ‘semi-fitted’. To start off with I spent ages trying to find the measurement chart to work out which size I wanted. In the end I used one online only to discover the the measurement chart is on the tissue pattern. Based on the measurements I cut out size 14 – which corresponds to a 36″ bust. Half way through I based the side seams together to get a sense of the fit. And while the front  and yoke fit quite nicely, the back seemed much too big.  After a bit of thinking I decided to increase the size of the darts – ultimately adding a 1/4″ extra to the darts seemed to take it in the right amount. This created a nice fit across the back.  I am really pleased with the fit across bust and waist, but after using self made bias tape to finish the arm holes (instead of using sleeves) the upper bust leaves a little more room that desirable. I mean I’m happy with my top and all, but next time I’m debating whether I should reduce the upper bust/shoulders a size  as it gapes a bit.


18 Aug

To celebrate the Monthly Stitch’s third birthday I decided to make three lovely summer tops. The first up is the  Sorbetto top. I really love the simplicity of it and I think it’s both professional yet refreshing. For summer I’ve made myself a  new one which I think will fit in both the ‘work’ and ‘play’ wardrobe. The body and bust is size 4 and the neck and upper armholes size 2. I also extended the length by a few inches. And rearrange the darts. I  think I have ‘slopey’ boobs  (if there is a correct term for this please feel free to tell me!) so the apex of Colette patterns are often much too high for me.

I’ve made it with a bright and sunny  lovely silk/cotton blend I bought at the Walthamstow market last year. I’ve been sitting on this fabric waiting for the right top and so happy to put it to good use. I used store bought bias binding for the neck and armholes  which is a surprisingly perfect color match. I’m very pleased with the final look but as I forgot to stay stitch the neckline, the neck line and shoulders perhaps sit a little further out than planned.

I’ll be posting my others over the next two days.

Wacky apron – in photos

13 Oct

It only took me flying around the world to visit my ma, to finally get photos of the wacky apron I made her for her birthday in April. She loves the print and I’m pretty pleased with how it looks on her! Next time though I’d put the neck tie at an angle to keep the front bib from gaping and make the bib a little bigger.

It’s much easier to photograph an apron with a body inside it!



Week 3 #MMM

21 Jun

Third week down of Me-Made-Made and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself this week. I spent four days away for work and managed to wear at least one #MMM item each day (in fact on some days I wore even more!). This despite the fact that the level of meetings required I look particularly smart (and I wanted to blend in so wasn’t wearing anything printed). As most of the photos were taken on my terrible camera phone and the quality is horrific I shalln’t be posting any large shots. I did however fall short and haven’t worn anything #MMM today. But I learned a few lessons or reinforced my thinking from the previous weeks. Lesson learned: I need more comfortable, slouchy clothes and I need more plain (external meeting quality) garments.

Monday: An old favorite, McCall’s M6124 out of a great flannel!

Tuesday: Perfectly comfortable for traveling, my Colette Clover capris.

Wednesday: First day of fancy pants meeting and I wore my new Colette Sorbetto top which I made forweek two of IPM2015!

Thursday: On Thursday I actually wore my Simplicity 2363 (made into a top) with my new BHL Victoria blazer (which actually got worn most days!) but by the time I got round to taking the photo I had put on a warmer top for going out that evening.

Friday: Travel ready again, in M6078!

Saturday: Ready to gallivant around Walthamstow’s fabric shops, in my Vogue V8597.

Sunday: Zippo, I’m still in my PJs.


Wacky apron – Happy Birthday Ma

27 Apr

While I was in Japan I stumbled across this very very wacky print.  I  thought it was pretty wild and would make an amazing apron (and potholders too). And I immediately thought of my mom – it’s her birthday. Over the years she’s made me quite a few aprons and more potholders than I know what to do with. A girl can ever have too many can she?  (Yes in fact she can, this girl requires no more, please no more). But I’ve never made my mom an apron (and as I’ve made it she’ll have to use it!).

Before we get to the nitty-gritty I wanted to show you the fabric so you can really and truly see just how wacky it is.

I didn’t have a pattern and was roughly working off an old apron that my grandma made my mom (and is now mine) maybe  35 years ago. I was good and didn’t just start cutting willy-nilly. I planned. It looked something like this (no laughing this drawing thing is a new pursuit):

I spent quite a bit of time deciding where to cut out exactly to maximize the use of the print. The essential core of the  print is the four animals which covers approximately 18″ by 11″ and then is repeated.  After a quick iron, I immediately decided that I’d use the selvedge for the neck strap. The purple makes a nice contrast  and its kinda quirky to include the writing.


Once all my pieces were cut my first step was to hem the sides of the ‘skirt’. Is that the right term? Hem? Either way you know what I mean. It seamed easier to do that before gathering it. Because this is for my mom and she’d know the difference, I took great pains to ensure my stitching was oh so straight. I’m pretty proud of these.

Then I put some gathering stitches along the top of the ‘skirt’. Although my piece is 30″ wide (1/2″ seam allowance included) I wanted to gather it to 20″.  I ‘sandwiched’ the skirt between the waist band exterior and interior, so no stitching is visible.  Seam graded then pressed and presto!


IMG_9883Next I turned to the top of the apron. I made the neck strap, by folding my piece of fabric in half length wise and sewing a seam along it. Once turned right side out and pressed, this allowed me to have a half green/half purple strap. Then I sandwiched the neck strap in between the front of the apron bib and the back, sewing up along one side, across the top and down the other side, stopping about 1/2″ from the bottom.

I went to join the bib to the bottom and realised my design flaw. In an attempt to hide most of my seams, I’d forgotten about the top seam of the yoke band.

This was the point when I should have paused, had a cup of tea and maybe put my project away for the day. And then come back and unsticked the skirt from the waist band. Instead I forged, brashly ahead. Visibly attaching the bib to the yoke. It was down hill from there. Having not stopped and taken the time to undo one seam, I continued to make ever so slight, just off, mistakes. Joining the ties to the body wasn’t quite right and they pucker a little. The hem, despite all my careful measurements is totally off balance!  Mostly these things are just frustrating because I was so happy with the earlier work.

Then I put it to the side and pouted. I didn’t post it though and week later came back to it and untouched the hem, and all the seams joining the bib to the yoke, the yoke to the skirt, the ties to the yoke etc. I then ironed it all out and started again. This time I sandwiched the bib and and ties into the top and sides of the yoke and sewed. The I redid the gathering stitch on the skirt and attached it to the front piece of the yoke, before hand stitching the yoke lining (so no stitching was visible). Ie I went and made it good.

And good it is I have to say! Here’s the final deal (hopefully my ma will grace us with some photos soon):

Although I made the apron at the beginning of the month, I waited until today to post about it.

Happy Birthday moma.




Fashion Tape Measure

27 Dec

I got this fantastic Fashion Tape Measure from a friend for Christmas depicting the fashions for each decade from 1700-1990. How cute is this?

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