Bethioua – The one with the ‘feature sleeve’

So,The Monthly Stitch is gearing up for IPM, Indie pattern month, and they have put a list of Indie pattern makers on their site. As I have never heard of a lot of them I have spent far too much time in the last couple of weeks happily nosing through their sites.

Last week I came across this Bethioua top from Elle Puls. I have been looking for a design for a sweatshirt like this for AGES so I downloaded it in English and just HAD to make it straight away. The only problem being I didn’t really have any suitable fabric in my stash and it was a Sunday and there are no fabric shops near me that are open on Sunday (No fabric shops near me at all in fact !!) But aha ! I DID have a suitable fabric a 1.1m remnant….the pattern requires 1.4m if being made in a single fabric.

I folded the fabric this way and that, I jiggled the pattern pieces about, but no, definitely not enough fabric until OH suggested MAKING enough fabric. So that is what I did. I decided that I could in fact make one of the sleeves from three different offcuts from the main cutting.

So I sat down at the sewing table and just ran through the list of pattern pieces and…..what’s that….? Cuffs ? a neckband ? I went back to the pdf…no cuffs, no neckband included in the pattern pieces. I had hardly any fabric left due to the shenanigans with the sleeve ! Going back to the beginning of the instructions there is a table, like a table of measurements (which is why I had totally overlooked them) with the dimensions for making the cuffs and neckband pieces but they don’t appear as pattern pieces on the pdf nor is there any mention of them there either which is extremely confusing. Anyway I gathered my remaining scrapettes of fabric and managed to make a 3 piece neckband and some very narrow cuffs. All pieces present although not necessarily correct.

I realised that I would never be able to disguise the piecing of the sleeve so decided to make a feature of it in the spirt of Wabi Sabi .To make my 3 piece sleeve I overlocked two pieces together and the sewed the resulting seam flat.



I have no idea whether this is a legitimate technique but I think it looks ok. The rest of the garment was really easy to sew and I had it finished in just over an hour. It fits nicely and I love the dropped hem at the back.

That sleeve looks like a deliberate design feature doesn’t it ? No one will ever know….I will definitely be making this again using the different coloured sleeves as suggested by the pattern drawing, but next time I will be careful to select my fabrics in advance, in the correct lengths, and I will remember that although the cuffs and neckband don’t appear on the pdf pattern they still need to be accounted for.

I love my new sweatshirt !

Bethioua – The one with the ‘feature sleeve’

A week of NQTs

Not Quite Theres . You know, those things that just don’t turn out quite how you expected or are a bit unsatisfactory in some way ?

It all started with the Barrie boy leg pants from Kitschy coo I made two pairs in a lovely  grey and white jersey from a newly found relatively local sewing shop. I was very pleased with the fit and finish of them and they are really comfy so I decided to make more. I bought some floral jersey that I loved from Ditto Fabrics while I was in Brighton for the marathon weekend and made up another pair to exactly the same pattern but this pair don’t fit,


well they do but with nowhere near as much coverage as the grey and white ones. I can only put this down to the floral jersey being more of a two way stretch while the grey and white is four way. I think they will be relegated to nightwear which is a shame because I really like the colours. Disappointing, but lesson learned for future Barries.

I have got several pieces of fabrics left over from projects which I am trying to use up. I have been using an old Colette Patterns Sorbetto top pdf which doesn’t use much fabric but makes a nice top. One that I have made recently is this striped linen version which I edged with red bias tape


but the more I looked at it the more I disliked the red tape. After several days of eyeing it balefully I decided there was no option but to remove the bias trimming and replace it with reversed white so you can’t see the binding at all. I feel much happier about it now. (and I have since pressed it properly so the neckline lies flat)

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The final NQT item is a pair of culottes that I had intended to make for the Monthly Stitch May Inspiration challenge. My inspirational item was this Celestial Beauty dress  which I picked in a fit of marathon enthusiasm having watched Brighton and been fascinated by UK astronaut Tim Peake doing his marathon in space.

I don’t want to go into space myself so decided to try and source some fabric with a spirit of adventure but a bit nearer to home and came up with this which I got from ebay

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I especially like the way the circle theme echoed the Celestial Beauty dress and decided to make an ‘adventure garment’ that I could cycle in. I decided to make the Frill Culottes from Happy Homemade :Sew chic book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. Now I have made some items from this book before so knew what to expect but was a bit flummoxed by the fact that the four pattern pieces required had NO markings on at all so when it said ‘sew the front yokes together at centre seam’ and there was no indication as to which seam might be the centre seam there was a bit of head scratching. I think I worked it out in the end but really didn’t like the frill element around the yoke when it was done. I unpicked it and just did a gather instead which I prefer. However I don’t really like the finished garment.


I can’t put my finger on it but something isn’t quite right. Maybe a fixed waistband would help ? On the bright side they are great for modestly riding a bike in !


A week of NQTs

Marilla Walker Evan skirt

I have an old (20+years) and much loved long denim skirt that needs replacing so I was delighted to discover the Marilla Walker Evan skirt pattern that seemed remarkably similar in style to my ancient friend.

I decided to make it in a different colour and chose a Rust linen blend from Truro Fabrics.

I downloaded and traced off the pattern and started to sew. As with the Marilla Walker Roberts pattern that I had made previously I found the instructions really clear and easy to follow. There is A LOT of topstitching on this garment and I was especially pleased with the way it worked out on the back yoke.


Something completely new to me was a fly front zip but here again the clear instructions worked well. There was also a tip to use a lighter fabric for the fly linings so I used some very small scraps from a previous project to make these. (Not sure what happened to the colour resolution here . The fabric is definitely rust rather than cherry coloured.)                                                                                  IMG_3876

I am really pleased with the way this skirt has turned out, it is remarkably similar to the garment I was trying to emulate and it even fits better !

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Marilla Walker Evan skirt