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My Butterick B6380 ‘patterns by Gertie’ Tea Dress pattern review and photo shoot with Love Sewing Magazine.

 

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Ok, today’s blog post is a little different. I’m going to give you my pattern review of Butterick B6380, which is the free pattern in this month’s Love Sewing magazine. This time however, I am also sharing with you my pics from the photo shoot that I had with Love Sewing, as I was thrilled to be asked to write a review on the pattern as a feature in the magazine. Somebody pinch me.

So although I have made many Butterick patterns before, this is the first time that I have made a ‘patterns by Gertie’ design and I was super excited to try it. I love the vintage style of the dress and have admired many of Gertie’s makes that I have seen made up by other sewists.

B6380_aThe great thing about the pattern that you receive in Love Sewing magazine is that it covers the whole size range (6-22) in one pattern. You can see that it is a vintage inspired tea dress with a close fitted bodice, and a shaped panel at the waistline with gathers above front and back. It has a sweetheart neckline which is cleverly formed by two small tabs, and has more delicate gathers at the shoulders. It fastens with a zip down the centre back seam.

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I had so much fun selecting the fabric for this dress. I wanted a floral fabric ( you know me – no surprises there)! but didn’t want a full-on vintage design, so chose this wonderful crepe from Fabric Godmother.  It has grey flowers on a sage green background and as soon as I saw it I fell in love. I’m hoping it gives the dress design a modern twist, I think it works really well. The fabric has a beautiful drape and was very well behaved and easy to sew with!

After making a toile, I realised that I wanted to make some adjustments. In terms of sizing, I found that I needed to make the bodice in a size 12 and grade out to a size 14 at the waist. This was very simple to do.

I also wanted to take out some of the volume in the puff sleeves – they had a little too much height for me so I gently shaped the sleeve head to make a softer curve. Again this was nice and simple and now the sleeve head shape and gathers are just how I like them!

I also decided to pop in an invisible zip. The pattern calls for a lapped regular zip, but my preference is for an invisible fastening and this was no problem to swap over to.

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Finally I felt that the neckline was a little too low for me. So simply raised it by extending the seam at the centre front by 3cm. I took the opportunity to use this extra seam length to add three little self covered buttons as a decorative nod to the vintage style of the dress.

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The dress is fully lined by the way, and this involves basically sewing another dress using lining fabric. If this is something that you haven’t done before – don’t be put off, as the Butterick instructions are extremely simple to follow. It’s not a quick dress to make, but your time and patience will be rewarded. The style of this dress is so feminine and the fact that it is fully lined makes it feel super special to wear.

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I’m going to take this opportunity now to share with you my day at the Love Sewing photo shoot. Quite simply I was spoilt rotten, pampered and fussed over from start to finish!

I took the train up to the studios in Stockport and was warmly welcomed by Amy,   the editor of Love Sewing magazine. I had met Amy briefly a couple of times before, and knew that I would enjoy spending the day chatting with her and getting to know her better. She is perfectly adorable, and could not have made me feel more relaxed.

This is the first time I have ever had my make-up applied by a professional make-up artist and it was fabulous! Quite frankly I could have taken Nina home with me. To top it all she styled my hair, and basically pampered me throughout. What a sweetie.

Accessories and shoes were all lined up to choose from, talk about ‘kid in a sweet shop’!

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The stunning photographs were taken by Renata. Her studio set is wonderful, and I could have squealed when I saw the famous Love Sewing white panelled back drop.

Renata quickly relaxed me and took me through lots of suggestions to get a great variety of shots. I must admit I had felt quite anxious about this, as having my photo taken is the thing that I enjoy the very least about this whole sewing malarkey. However, it was so much fun and the whole team worked together to produce these fantastic photos and a day that I will treasure.

Although I could witter on about this experience all day, I will end with my personal highlight. The page 3 shot with Amy. As a regular reader of Love Sewing, I enjoy the personal feel that Amy gives the magazine and always enjoy seeing the picture of the reader reviewer with Amy on page 3. Total fan-girl moment. I could cry.

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I cannot thank everybody mentioned here for making this whole experience so special. It was unforgettable.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Issue 51

 

 

 

 

 

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A Floral Simplicity New Look 6449

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I was very fortunate recently to have been sent a couple of sewing patterns from Simplicity New Look and am sharing with you today my thoughts on the first one.

One of the things that swayed me to choose this pattern was the fact that there are options to make knit or woven dresses, and 4 different dress styles too – with mix and match possibilities.

Whilst I love the woven shirt dress with the tie belt ( and will definitely be making one of these too), my eye was drawn to version A, which is the knit dress with short sleeves and patch pocket. I really liked the floral fabric that they had used in their image, and knew that I had a similar fabric in my stash. It’s a knit fabric that I picked up last year at a sewing meetup (#sewbrum), from the rag market in Birmingham. For this reason, I don’t have the exact fabric content details, but it has the perfect amount of stretch needed when I tested it against the handy stretch guide on the pattern envelope.

I think that the bold pink, blue and green floral detail on the black background is super cute, and these colours make it very wearable with thick black tights whilst the weather is still chilly.

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I have lost count of the amount of Simplicity New Look patterns that I have sewn up over the years, so it was no surprise to me how straightforward the pattern instructions were. It is rated as an ‘easy’ sewing pattern and I would agree. For those unfamiliar, the pattern pieces are printed on lightweight tissue paper, and the simple step by step written instructions are accompanied by black and white drawings.

The version that I decided to make has a little patch pocket on the chest and I chose to pattern match this as best as I could. It worked pretty well I think,  as I think it is almost impossible to spot from a distance (in the image above), although I do think that pattern matching is not essential, and you could totally make a feature of the pocket by ignoring all the pattern matching rules!

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Another feature of this dress is the deep cuff band, which is rolled back to finish the short sleeve. I think this gives it a more casual feel and makes a change from the usual sleeve finish which is simply turned under and stitched into place. To make sure they wouldn’t roll undone, I decided to stitch a couple of bar tacks on each cuff. To do this I dropped the feed dogs on my machine and set the stitch to a wide zig zag. This gives a neat and secure bar tack stitch which I sewed on the underarm and top of each sleeve.

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The neck band on the dress fitted perfectly, and required no adjustment. It lays nice and flat and I finished it with a row of twin needle stitching. I also used the twin needle to give the hem of the dress a lovely neat finish.

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I had a great time making this dress. Quick to cut out, simple to assemble and the result is a dress that will take me through Spring and beyond. I plan to make a t-shirt dress with it this summer as I think it would be cute made from a striped jersey.

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Thank you again to Simplicity New Look for sending the pattern to me, I am pleased with the outcome and look forward to making more versions for a long time to come.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Secret Valentine Exchange swap 2108.

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Time has really run away from me just lately and I have just realised that I did not blog about my Secret Valentine Swap experience last month.

So, for those who are unfamiliar, this is a friendly crafting swap, organised by the amazing Sanae and Ute and I understand that this is the fifth year of it taking place.

The idea is that you secretly make a handmade gift for your assigned partner, to be sent out in time for Valentines Day. You will also receive a handmade gift from another partner. Such a lovely idea.

I chose to sew my items, but any craft that you are into is acceptable. Some knit, some paint, some crochet, some wood turn and others have made jewellery, to name but a few.  I imagine pretty much every craft has been covered by this exchange.

In order to help you make something for somebody who is essentially a stranger, you answer a couple of short questions regarding your taste and style, and this information will be passed to your partner. You will also be given their social media information so that you can take a little peek to see if this helps you make up your mind on what to make for them. I think the idea is to use bits and pieces that you already have where possible, to try to keep your costs down. Ooh and it is an International event so you may receive or have to send your item abroad.

This is the second year that I have taken part and I loved it so much last year that I couldn’t wait to take part again this time.

They lady who I made for lives in the U.K. I will not link her here, as I have not asked for her permission, but I had a little peek over at her Instagram to see if this would give me any clues as to what she might find useful. I must admit, nothing jumped out at me, so to play it safe I decided to make her a fabric basket, as I have made a couple of these for myself before and I think they are super cute as well as very useful. I knew that her colour preferences were blue ( which is lucky as anybody who knows me will know that I wear lots of blue – therefore meaning I have lots of spare blue fabric), and I made a large quilted basket.

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This was pretty quick to make, and I felt like I could do more. So I also decided to make a smaller bag, made up with small patchwork pieces to add to gift her too. Again it is a bag that I have made before and I use it to keep my Clover Wonder Clips in. The bag came together really nicely and I also bought some Wonder Clips for her in case she might like to keep some in her bag too!

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Finally I raided my felt stash, and cut several different shades of blue felt into circles to stitch together to make some felt bunting.

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I was excited to package it up and send it off to London in time for Valentines Day.

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So the gift that I received bowled me over!  Again I won’t mention her as I haven’t her permission, but I received the most beautiful Seamwork Almada robe from my lovely partner.

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I cannot tell you how beautiful it is. My clever partner has chosen something that I will treasure and truly love wearing. The fabric is super soft and the colours are right up my street. I cannot believe that somebody would make something so lovely for me, and am truly moved by such kindness.

If you are active on Instagram, you might want to take a look at the hashtag #2018sve and check out all the wonderful items that were given and made during this wonderful exchange. I believe that there were 576 participants worldwide this year which is incredible!

I think this is a great way to share your love of craft, with like-minded individuals. Thank you so much to Sanae and Ute for organising such a huge event. It really is fabulous. It is also a great way to make new friends. I now have two new sewing friends (alongside the two new sewing friends that I made with last years swap).

Belated Happy Valentines/Galentines day to you all. Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Fun Floral Piper Top from Christine Haynes Patterns.

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Happy March! The beginning of the month means that it is time to direct you to the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network if you would like to read my thoughts on this fun floral Piper Top from Christine Haynes Patterns.

It’s another quick, easy to sew jersey top, this time with a funnel neck, and without giving too much away – I really like it.

The real star of the show here though is the stunning Art Gallery Fabrics cotton jersey that I used for this project. It’s beautiful isn’t it? Stunning colours and design, and super soft and easy to work with.

Thanks again go to Minerva Crafts for providing such a knock-out fabric for this make, as always I couldn’t be happier.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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