Monday, 18 July 2016

True Bias Mini Colfax butterfly dress


I love the Colfax dress by True Bias, but I had in mind someone small who I thought would really like a mini version. 

I have not sewn very much for Little Miss for a while as she is at an age where she is very specific about clothes, and I think visualising what something will actually look like when finished is hard when you are only in the second year of school!  Making this for her took a bit of persuading, but finally last weekend, I got a resounding "yes, I love it!"

In terms of sizing, the pattern was spot on.  I made an age 7 and it is perfect - a bit of room for growth, but cool and comfortable for playing.

Both fabrics that I used were from my stash.  The butterfly print cotton poplin was sitting waiting for something like this and I paired it with a vibrant cerise pink cotton for the neckline facing, binding and hem band.

I love the order of construction of this pattern. The way that you bind the neckline and sew the facing down is really nice when you turn it to the right side and it all comes out neatly.  The notch is a bit fiddly, but worth it.

The only change that I made was to omit the pockets.  I  thought about making them in the butterfly fabric, as I thought pink pockets as well would be a bit of pink too far.  Little Miss is happy with a pocketless dress, so that is all good.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sewing tulle for Ella

Recently I was asked by a friend if I could make a tulle petticoat for her daughter's prom dress.  The dress in question is a lovely navy knee length dress with a lace bodice and softly flared skirt in satin with a soft tulle outer shell.  Something very like these:


My brief was to make the skirt fuller.  It is softly gathered at the waist and slightly 'A' line which meant sewing a petticoat which added fullness without losing the original shape of the dress.

I made a toile first for the upper part and then made a petticoat based on measurements with a satin upper half and pleated tulle layers to fit the length of the dress.

To make the upper section, I cut two rectangles of navy anti-static satin lining fabric, 10 cm wider than hip measurements and about 30 cm long, to give good coverage.

For the tulle, I used alternating layers of navy and black to give a good depth of colour.  
I cut multiple lengths, 30cm long,  joining whole widths to make a tube.  

Have you ever sewn tulle? It does what it wants to do, not what you tell it, so some firm pinning and tacking was absolutely necessary to keep it in place!

Two layers, pleated as one onto the bottom of the waist section, twice.  That's four layers in total, and keeping them separate meant getting the desired fullness.  Pleating was neater than gathering in this case.

I finished the raw edge with satin bias binding to prevent an itchy raw edge and used soft elastic in the waist channel.  Here is the finished result:

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Recreating a pattern - what do you think?


I wore this skirt and top for Me Made May - made with a Simplicity Jiffy 1364 top and the skirt part of Butterick 6016.

I love the idea of  dress which incorporates the matching skirt and top ensemble as one piece. In particular, this Rachel Comey pattern - Vogue 1501 - really caught my eye.

I am toying with recreating this from patterns that I already have, but made more to suit my shape.

I am not sure if the front skirt pleats would really flatter, so these could be left out.  I have some contenders for top patterns in stock which could work well for the top half, with a bit of adjustment to make the "tucked in at the front" look.  After a bit of research, I learned that the top half is only secured to the skirt at the front.  This doesn't sound too tricky.

The Simplicty 1364 pattern that I used for my matching set could be a possibility, with some small alterations.  Alternatively I have a self-drafted shell top pattern  - similar to the top of New Look 6217, which has potential. 

For the skirt, I am considering BHL Charlotte in a not-too snug fit.  That deep, high waistband could be well suited to where the pleats of the top half meet the skirt and the skirt darts could be made more of a feature.   This is a skirt pattern that I know suits me and I have made a couple of times before.   Alternatively, the skirt of New Look 6217 is a distinct possibility with the side split for detail.  

I'm going to put these together and see what I come up with.  I am also determined to use fabric already in my stash!

Have you tried recreating a pattern from what you already have in stock?

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Rounding up my Me Made May favourites

I've been missing Me Made May - suddenly IG, where I posted my daily photos this time seems to be much quieter!   So I thought that I'd do a reflection of my favourite me-made makes and sewing thoughts for the next few projects. 

My first is a self drafted top - I made my pattern by tracing a well-fitting RTW shell top and made this particular one in white bird print check georgette from the lovely Anglian Fashion Fabrics.

Second, my underwater print Seamwork Aurora top made strictly for the gym.  After a quick toile, I FBA'd and really like the fit of this as an alternative to my other tried and trusted me-made tops made with a New Look pattern.  There will definitely be more of these!

Thirdly, my black and white polka dot Colette Moneta dress.  Made with my usual "pleats instead of gathers" waist seam, this has been a great transitional garment.  The weight of the jersey is a little bit too heavy for summer so I shall look forward to wearing this again later in the year.  I have since made another, lighter spotted Moneta for summer, which I will share soon.   That's my 7th to date - now I have Monetas for all seasons!

My trusty black and white linen dress, made quite some time ago using New Look 6592, still going strong. Another transitional garment which I try not to wear in summer time, I like to leave it for autumn/winter/spring and jazz it up with bright contrasting tights.

BHL Anna dress in floral viscose.  I love this and it always gets lots of compliments.  Would I make another - not sure, it had some really strange fitting issues which I conquered but I think one good one is enough.

My matching skirt and top using Simplicity Jiffy 1364 and Butterick 6016 skirt.  I really loved wearing this and have worn it since in better weather without cardigan.  

What to sew next?  

Bye for now...

Friday, 1 April 2016

Me Made May 2016 - my pledge


I, Caroline, of and carolinetsewing, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one item of me-made clothing each day for the duration of May 2016'.

I love Me Made May!  I can't wait to see all the fantastic me made outfits from the sewing community. See you there!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Wanted for winter: comfortable, colourful knit dresses.


This is the "drapey knit dress" pattern from The GBSB Fashion with Fabric book.  

I have had this pattern in my  'to sew' list for a while.   I love the version in the book and this is my favourite shade of blue.  I decided to replicate it completely, apart from the pockets, which I didn't include.   Based on finished measurements, I traced and made a size M which turned out just fine.  

Can you see the resemblance?
I bought the cobalt blue ponte roma jersey on ebay and it is was a dream to sew with.  I overlocked everything apart from the hems and neckline, which I used a lightning stitch to finish as I do not have twin needling skills my machine doesn't do twin needling.  It has washed and worn really well with no bobbling.  My only (very small) complaint with this, as other bloggers have mentioned, is the slight bulkiness around the neckline facing after creating the front fold.  

I liked it so much, I made another, from some slightly lighter weight jersey that I bought from Fabrics for Sale online last year.  I had intended to make another Moneta with this fabric, but I am glad I made the drapey dress instead.  This one turned out slightly shorter than the blue one but I like it just the same.

This is my fourth garment so far from this book and I'm not done yet!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New sewing Year!

Top 5 of 2015

Hello and a very Happy 2016 to you!

I'm loving reading other people's top 5's.   I have enjoyed looking through my hand sewn wardrobe, photos and blog posts to make my own lists.  I'll start with a few of my favourites:

The Hits...

5.  Cherry print trousers - made with New Look 6130.

4.  All the Moneta dresses - for summer and winter - here's the navy polka dot one.

3.  A jumpsuit - as yet unblogged, The combination of Sew Over It Betty bodice with the super-long By Hand London Holly jumpsuit trousers.  Really love this one!

2.  Give me a dress to sew any day, but I really loved sewing Roman blinds for our new home!  I would not hesitate to make more in the future, although currently I have run out of windows!

1.  Simplicity 4044 trousers -  red and white stripes  and a Seamwork Sydney top (I know that's two things, but I loved the sheer comfort of this summer outfit!) I also made a navy crepe pair of these trousers for winter while we 'camped' waiting to move to our new home.

And the misses...

5.  A red Simplicity 1366 top.  I made some other really good ones of these, but this one was completely destroyed after one wash -  bad fabric I think.

4.  A feather print dress disaster.

3.  My upcycled Dahlia dress.  I wore it a couple of times but it has long since gone!

2.  My vintage pledge flop - fitted fine but I hated the dress and knew that I'd never wear it.  I feel bad about not completing my pledge but I simply didn't have time for another.  I have loved seeing other people's makes both on blogs and Instagram.  Please forgive me!  Better luck next year I hope!

1.  A gold lace top - made with all good intentions.  The neckline was impossible and the lace fought with the bias binding.  To top it all, it made me feel like I was wearing a pair of old curtains!  Best forgotten about I think...

My sewing ideas for 2016...

5.  To fulfil a vintage pledge!

4.  I have some black quilted fabric which I am looking forward to using.

3.  I really must make a Bombshell swimsuit this year.

2.  A patterned jacket.  I'm going to put this near the top of my wish list!

1.  I'd love to make a coat.  I have sewn tons of jackets, but never a coat, for no particular reason.  Perhaps this is the year to make one.

So there we are!  I have spent a few hours tracing patterns this holiday and have a few projects all ready to go in my new sewing space.

I'd better get sewing!