The Tunic of Doom !

I have been taking some pattern cutting classes in order to improve my sewing skills and after 4 weeks of block making, drafting, toile-ing and pattern making I was finally given the go-ahead to make up a garment from my pattern.

Now for some reason which I still can’t work out, a pattern manipulation class led to my pattern doing away with darts which have been manipulated and incorporated into curved seams and a panelled garment (I don’t own any garments made this way and now I know why…)

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This is the back side piece as an example.

I have never had much of a bust and was very surprised to find such curved seams appear from my measurements, where did the curves come from ? I’ve never had any !

Both my first and second choice stash fabrics were too small to fit all the pattern pieces so I settled for a piece of cotton which I must have had for 10 years solely based on its length being sufficient. It was a gift and has been in my stash for at least 10 years because I don’t really like it that much for garment use and in fact have used it as a tablecloth.

Have you ever sewn with a fabric you don’t really like ? It puts a downer on proceedings right from the start.

There were obviously no instructions for assembling the garment as all I had were the pattern pieces so I was relying entirely on acquired knowledge for the construction process. I started by attaching the side front panels to the centre front piece which was similar to easing in a set in sleeve but MUCH more difficult. Where did all the fabric come from ? The pattern pieces had originally been one piece of paper so how come the side panels seemed to have so much more fabric along the curve than the centre front ? Eventually I got the two together then had to recreate for the back but why are there curved panels on the back ? I don’t have angel wings or anything…..

I ws getting grumpier and grumpier by the minute but consoled myself with the knowledge that this would fit me really well because it was made to my measurements and the toiles had been corrected to my shape except that this has turned out to be the absolutely worst fitting garment I think I have ever made….EVER !  I really didn’t enjoy making it and it has got its revenge by being awkward and turning out really horrible.

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Trust me you don’t want to see it on. The bust is in the wrong place, it’s all baggy in the middle and generally bleurgh….

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I made a nice facing for it….IMG_6810

My invisible zip is nice and invisible…..

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It’s got side splits at the hip….but I can’t tell you how much I hate and resent this garment, let alone the disappointment that it doesn’t fit better.

I will be taking it back to class next Monday to see what I have done wrong but I am not altering it and I am certainly never wearing it. Me and this tunic top are through…

The Tunic of Doom !

Schnittchen Catrin no2

I have made a Catrin before for daughter no3 and she liked it so much she asked for another one.

Now on the pattern envelope the picture of the finished garment looks like this

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A very baggy oversized sweatshirt with a loose hem.

When I made this before in a size 38, which was correct according to measurements the bottom band was so tight no3 couldn’t even get the garment on and I had to remove the band and make a new one one size up. Its still a tight fit at the hip and nowhere near as loose as this picture.

With this in mind I again cut a size 38 but with a hem band for size 44.

The fabric request was for something tropical but eventually a cactus print from stoff and stil was chosen.

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The oversized width of the body comes from side panels which are incorporated into the sleeve seam, you can just see them here

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Now I don’t know about you but on the pattern envelope I can only conclude that the model is very tiny and is wearing the largest possible version of this garment because even with the  very enlarged hem band it is STILL not as loose as the one pictured. Although no3 is smaller than I am and this will be baggier on her it’s still not going to look quite like the picture. You have been warned…..

PS You would never know I have got a son who is a professional photographer, he certainly didn’t get his talent from his father ‘scuse the drainpipe……….maybe one day he’ll come home and take my photos for me !

Schnittchen Catrin no2

Stoff & Stil 22054 Hoody

Having made sweatshirts for daughters 1 and 3 I offered to make one for no2. Now no2, unlike her sisters likes ‘designer’ clothing and is always rather dismissive of my handmade efforts but conceded that she would like a sweatshirt as long is it had a higher neckline that the Linden and Catrin I had made for no1 and no3.

I had already purchased and oatmeal coloured speckled fleece from Guthri and Ghani for this project and then spotted this pattern on the Stoff and Stil website. £3.75 ! That seemed very reasonable for a paper pattern so I ordered it and this is what came in the post

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Inside the envelope are three A4 pages with written instructions in various languages and NO PICTURES ! Yikes ! Also in the envelope are these…..

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pre-cut pattern pieces for the size I had ordered in a kind of interfacing fabric, softer than swedish tracing paper but a similar weight. The pattern pieces have holes and notches in them but no other identification so you have to match them up with the pieces shown on the cutting diagram just by shape which for this particular garment is quite easy. It saved so much time having the pattern pieces ready to go.

I had help with the cutting out….

It turns out you need two fabrics for this garment as the hood is lined (or possibly 3 if you use ribbing for the welt and cuffs), fortunately I had some of this cute jersey in my stash which looks quite good with the oatmeal sweatshirting. (I think this came from Plush Addict)

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You make the hood first

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…and then on instruction 7 it says you should overlock all the seams…..except by this point the hood is a sealed unit and you can’t ! I also worked out that the phrase ‘make a stitching’ means ‘topstitch’. I made the hood ties from rouleau strips of the hood lining fabric. I used the sweatshirt fabric for the cuffs and welt rather than ribbing as I didn’t have any the right colour.

AND… I ended up with a really nice sweatshirt

 

All I can say is if no2 doesn’t like it, I’m having it ! She’s a bit smaller than me so it should be more oversize on her.

Stoff & Stil 22054 Hoody

£6.00 outfit (£4.00 wrap skirt £2.00 top)

This is my week 3 weekly make for MeMadeMay 2017. Aside from wearing me made garments every day in May I am also making a weekly garment, this week there are two.

The first is from this Butterick pattern.IMG_6635

I don’t recall where this pattern came from (it smells very musty…), I can only conclude it was purchased for a school DT project, or given to me in a bundle of old patterns from a friend. Anyway it was uncut and free.

I decided to make it up in a cotton that I bought at the knitting and stitching show earlier in the year. I think this cotton is GORGEOUS, I love the texture, I love the colours and I got the roll end of 2.3m for £2.00 a metre and the last bit thrown in for free so £4.00 total. It a medium weight, slightly looser weave than a poplin and with a slight seersucker texture.

The basic skirt is a straight skirt with a false wrap over panel across the front with a rouleau tie and a split up one side. The front is flat and the back is elasticated. It looks simple but was actually more complicated than I thought. There is a lot of edging, around the wrap over, the waistband, the hems and its all done at different times in the construction. I also had to keep an eye on the fabric as the front and backs are remarkably similar but there IS a difference. I made view B the long plain skirt.

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My £2.00 top is made from the Linden sweatshirt pattern (which I have already used 3 times) with a metre of fabric I bought from Fabricland last year with a view to making some pants from it. Unfortunately it didn’t have enough stretch for those so it has been languishing in the cupboard ever since. The fabric is a 2 way stretch cotton jersey with little ‘bubbles’ in stripes in the fabric like a 1960’s swimming costume.

I have tried to match up the stripes evenly on both sides and made the neck binding from a strip of the ‘bubbles’.

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Progress from the sewing classes I have been taking is I have now got a calico from my 4th iteration of my bodice block and it still doesn’t fit…….look at that neckline ! But the bust is now under control….(its much better on)IMG_6636

Roll on Monday !

 

 

£6.00 outfit (£4.00 wrap skirt £2.00 top)

Little Red Skirt

This is the second of my promised weekly makes for MeMadeMay2017. The fabric is a medium weight cotton supposedly Liberty which was a gift from one of my daughters for Christmas.

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I was given a 2m piece of this and originally wanted to make a pair of summer trousers BUT the fabric is only 90cm wide so must be quite old and not enough for trousers. I therefore decided to make a little skirt but make it with extra care due to the provenance of the fabric.

I used the Tweed A line mini skirt hack of the Lace pencil skirt pattern in the GBSB ‘Fashion with Fabric’ book, mainly because those are both lined skirts and I wanted to line this make. I used a plain red lightweight cotton muslin for the lining. I cut a size 14  but although the pattern measured ok I ended up taking about 6cm off the hips altogether.

I followed the instructions up to the zip insertion, but as I had an ordinary zip as opposed to an invisible zip I had to make it up from there which caused a bit of head scratching but I am really pleased with the result.

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I also faced the waistband, under stitched the facing and attached it at the side seams and dart seams. I have just finished the facing with overlock stitching.

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The hem is finished with satin bias tape.

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The skirt fits nicely but I have given up trying to take photos of myself wearing my makes, I’m totally incompetent.

I have also labelled the skirt with my own label, a packet of which has just arrived from Wunderlabel

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In other sewing excitement I have taken the advice of The Material Lady and have found a relatively local sewing teacher, the rather wonderful Gail Ames. Whilst I have enjoyed sewing for years I know NOTHING !! I’ve really enjoyed the first few sessions and looking forward to many more……

Little Red Skirt

Merchant and Mills Ellis Dress

Apart from the Merchant and Mills official picture on pinterest I can’t find any information or reviews on this pattern, nothing on WordPress, nothing on pinterest, nothing on Instagram, maybe I’m not doing the right searches…or has no-one made this pattern up ? I am about to start making this for the first of my weekly makes for MMMay 2017 and am a bit worried about this dearth of information…..

The fabric I have chosen is a mini seersucker from Stof and Still in red and orage

Anyway, cutting out….I have cut a 14 for the top but have had to narrow the width of the skirt due to the width of the fabric, but as the skirt is so full I didn’t think it would matter. I also chose to make the Ellis dress with the Hattie pockets as illustrated on the pattern sleeve.

The first bit to make is a rouleau loop for the back button IMG_6501           IMG_6502

Followed by the facing for the top

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Then it’s onto the darts for the front. I LOVE this detail, four neck darts and two sort of french darts.

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Then I sort of got carried away and before I knew it the dress was finished ! the only problem I came up against was the pocket placement. On the pattern pieces there are four points marked for the Hattie pocket (which was the one I used as I think the inseam pockets for the Ellis make the dress look too plain) which makes you think the pocket is designed to sit within those four markings on the front skirt piece but on the pattern instruction the pocket is clearly shown as going across the seam between front and back skirt pieces. I finally worked out that two of the pattern markings are for the front and the other two are for the back but it is not clear which ones are which so I just approximated the position from the pattern instructions

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I really love all those front darts !

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Back view.

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Rouleau loop and covered button.

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The finished dress. Now, where did the sun go….?

Merchant and Mills Ellis Dress