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My Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Smock Dress

Ok, this is special. It’s quite unusual for me to purchase a pattern full price – I almost always wait for sales to come around as far as patterns are concerned, but when The Indigo came along, I just couldn’t wait.

It’s right up my street – a breezy smock dress or top, with a choice of sleeves, exposed frill seams if you like, and that dreamy floaty gently gathered skirt – I could not resist it. I kept the sleeves simple so that I could wear it underneath jackets and cardigans with no bulk, and added a ruffle on the skirt hem – but more about that later!

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My fabric choice was this pretty green and orange floral print Javanaise viscose from Abakhan online. I can’t seem to find this exact fabric anymore, but have linked the search for similar fabrics as there are plenty more in other gorgeous Autumn colours. I must admit it’s a fairly lightweight floaty fabric (which is what I wanted), but it does mean that it’s a little slippery to work with. This is definitely a fabric that I needed to hang to let the hem drop, despite it not being cut on the bias – as there was certainly a risk when cutting out that the fabric wasn’t lying perfectly straight! I hung this dress twice – once before I added the hem ruffle, and also after adding the hem ruffle before the final hemming.

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I knew that I would need to shorten the sleeves to ensure that they were a lovely bracelet length, but completely forgot to adjust the pattern before cutting out. As a result I needed to take off 7cm from the finished sleeve before finishing with a small hem.

The gently curved waistline shaping is pretty and flattering. I have chosen to gather my skirt and attach it to the bodice in the regular way, but I’m sure you’ve seen all the lovely versions that are popping up all over the internet at the moment with the pretty exposed frill seam. Such a cute feature and definitely a version that I will try in the future.

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This Summer I have been loving wearing my midi length ruffle skirts and so I wanted to incorporate a nice wide ruffle at the hem of this dress. I also really like the design of ‘that Zara dress’ and think this is not a bad dupe for it. At the time of writing this Sister Mintaka has some glorious spotty black and white viscose if you want to go full-on copy!

The ruffle on the bottom of the dress was easy. No maths required in this case! I tried the dress on (I made the dress length exactly as it came), and decided how deep I wanted the frill/how long I wanted the dress to be. In my case I wanted an extra 6″, so simply cut two x 6″ strips the entire width of the fabric that I had left over after cutting. After some gentle gathering and joining them to form a loop, one strip would sit at the front of the skirt and one at the back with the side seams of the frill matching up with the side seams of the dress. The fulness of this gather happens to be just right for me,  but you could definitely work out your perfect gather percentage if you want to be more mathematically correct!

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Just when you thought this dress couldn’t get any better – it has pockets!

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To be honest, these sit a little low for me, so I will probably position them a couple of inches higher up for my next one.

The dress bodice has a simple round neck, with bust darts, and what again makes this design so brilliant is that there are no fastenings – on and off over the head – hooray!

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These photos were taken on a blustery October day, what better way could I have shown you how floaty this gorgeous dress is …

 

All in all, it’s the perfect smock dress that I was after. Easy and comfortable to wear, and perfect in a variety of fabrics for any season. Ten out of ten!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Acrylic Pastel Pink Acrylic Button Necklace and Pastel Mint Green Acrylic Cotton Reel Brooch available from my shop.

Denim jacket is Calvin Klein from TK Maxx years ago.

Red trainers from Primark (current).

 

 

 

 

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My EPP Hexie Fully lined Zipper Pouch

I may have mentioned before that one of my resolutions for this year was to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. I want to improve my hand sewing skills, use up more fabric scraps, and also learn a new craft.

The fact that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a portable craft and you can do it anywhere makes it extra appealing. To do some research, I headed on over to good old youTube. I know that Nikki from The Stitch Sisters loves a bit of patchwork, and I remembered that some time ago she released a video showing the basics of EPP. It’s really helpful, and it is this that helped me get started.

After sewing several hexagons together, I wanted to use them to make something. I wasn’t ready to sew something as large as a quilt at this stage (at any rate, I didn’t have that much fabric), so decided to have a look on the internet for a free zipper bag pattern. It needed to be lined to hide the wrong side of the patchwork. There are loads of patterns and tutorials as you can imagine, but I eventually decided on this Fully Lined Front Zippered Pouch  tutorial which I found on the Projects By Jane blog. I liked how the zip was inserted part way down the front of the bag rather than along the top edge.

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Love the pretty floral lining

If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend that you head on over to the Projects By Jane blog linked above, she has all sorts to look through including bag patterns, tutorials and applique advice.

The tutorial was good and easy to follow with lots of pictures to help you along. I admit that using slightly bulky patchwork was probably not the best choice of fabrics, as it was hard to push out those corners into neat sharp points despite trimming my seam allowances and corners, but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me! This pattern does come with instructions to add a strap, but I didn’t want this.

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View from the back

My reason for sewing a bag is that I am saving up for a fancy sewing machine. There’s actually nothing wrong with my current Janome ( the Janome DC3050 ), but, you know, I can’t help lusting after all the lovely Janome Atelier machines that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE!!  There is no way that I will ever be able to afford one of these machines if I don’t start saving, so here it is – my official saving fund for my fancy new Atelier.

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Just for fun, and to use up more scraps, I have made a fun quilted luggage tag using this tutorial on youTube (of course) by The Crafty Gemini.  I probably won’t leave this tag on the bag in the long run, but as I still had some scraps left over in this fabric I thought it would be fun to make something that matched. Once again if you’re in the market for some crafty inspiration then Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini has hundreds of youTube tutorials.

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The only alteration that I made to the tag was the addition of an eyelet to run the ribbon through. The original tutorial shows you how to sew in an elastic loop to hang your tag with.

I have definitely become a little addicted to EPP, and my next project is  this little quilt sampler which I thought might be a good way to try out EPP using some different shapes.

Eventually when I feel confident enough with the basics, I plan to make a big project like a quilt or picnic blanket using this Tales of Cloth heart pattern.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Boho Button Bag

Whoops – better late than never – I actually made this bag several months ago and then completely forgot to blog about it. Which is a shame because its such a great bag, I think you need to know about it! I wore it to the first day of the Sewing Weekender last Saturday and had lots of questions about it, so here you go!

The pattern/online class is The Boho Button Bag from The Stitch Sisters.

It’s a slouchy cross body shoulder bag which is fully lined and features a magnetic snap fastening. It’s an online class and after purchase, the pattern templates are downloadable and you receive several video tutorials which walk you through the whole sewing process step-by-step regardless of your sewing ability. This is a great way of sewing for those who prefer a visual method of instruction.

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I absolutely love that fabric that I chose to make this bag. You will need a medium to heavy weight fabric for this project and I went for this sassy animal print velboa fabric from Minerva. This has a good structure which is perfect for holding the shape of the bag. Also, you only need half a metre! I have never sewn with this type of fabric before, it has texture and a low nap, but it didn’t give me any problems. I don’t remember using a special needle, but did need to take my time in certain areas.

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You will also need a fusible fleece, which I fortunately had left over from a previous project, and some lining fabric. For the lining it was important for me to have a light coloured fabric so that it would be easy for me to find things inside the bag. I just used a cheap plain poly cotton which is a beige/peach colour and this worked out just great.

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Inside the bag I just added the open pocket as suggested. This one has a line of fancy decorative stitching along the top edge (which is quite difficult to see here), but I might make a zipper pocket next time – you can certainly customize your bag inside to how you like it. A little KAM snap might be a nice fastening to add to the pocket inside also .. or you could add a cord/ribbon to keep your keys safe?

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The pleats on the bag which give it it’s pretty ‘pinched in’ shape can be folded in whatever direction you like, so you can have a play around with that before sewing to  help you decide which way you like them best.

The magnetic fastening is secure and really easy to fit. I think I used this antique gold 18mm Clover bag fastening. I also like how easy it is to get the strap  to the right length for you before sewing. All these things are superbly explained in the videos.

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I really enjoyed making this bag. It’s not the first Stitch Sisters online course that I have made, you might remember that I blogged about The Pleated Zipper Pouch a few months back which is another great little project from Nikki and Rachel. It might be worth a little look at the Stitch Sisters website if you are not familiar, because not only do they have online classes to make things, there are also classes available to help you with certain sewing techniques or equipment.

Sometimes it’s good to have a break from garment making, but to try something a little different. Bag making is a fun way of using your dressmaking skills – but without any of the problems such as fit issues that can often occur when sewing clothing. This is also potentially a project that you could use scraps of leftover fabrics for.

I like the idea of sewing this up in a denim with some pretty embroidery, or perhaps a PU pleather might be fun. So many ideas ..

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

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The Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory

I love a good bandwagon, and although I am a little late to this party – at least I turned up!

The Zadie Jumpsuit  is a pattern that I picked up a few months ago from The Fold Line. I’m pretty sure that most of you will be familiar with it, as it has been everywhere recently, but let’s run through the design ..

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It’s a very relaxed fitting jumpsuit which fastens by wrapping those ties around your body and doesn’t need any zips or buttons. Large slant pockets look great and are practical, and the flattering wrap design allows you to tie it as loose or tight as you like. I made the sleeveless version, but you can add sleeves if you like and the length of the leg is up to you!

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This pattern has quite a bit of ease built into it. On the ‘body measurement’ chart, I come up as a size 12, but noticed that the ‘finished garment measurements’ were really quite a bit bigger. I have read other reviews mention that they made one or two sizes smaller than the chart suggested, so I made a quick toile in a size 12 to see for myself what it would look like. It was really big, so after assessing the fit, I opted to size down 2 sizes and made the size 8. This feels so much better. I also noticed on my toile that the crotch length was too low, so shortened the rise by 1″ on this version.

This is the first Paper Theory pattern that I have sewn. I enjoyed the instructions and drawings, and found the pattern very easy to follow. I did, however, make a couple of small changes. One thing that I did was to stabilise the neck edge as soon as I had cut it out by ironing on this wonderful iron on bias tape from Sewessential. This magic tape does the same job as stay stitching, but I think is less tedious ( I hate stay stitching – it’s SO boring). The pattern calls for you to stay stitch the neckline after you have already sewn quite a few other seams, and I felt that due to the weight of the fabric, mine might have already stretched out by this stage with that much handling, so to be safe I secured that neckline edge with tape as soon as I had cut it out.

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The pockets are massive and I love them!

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Ooh I should mention that I’m not sure exactly what the fabric is. It was a £5 per metre bargain from the Birmingham Rag Market, and is a kind of linen blend I think.

The jumpsuit has small darts at the front and rear on both the bodice and the trousers. At first, when joining the bodice to the trousers, I didn’t think my pleats were lining up, but take care to line up your side seams and the centre front pattern marking and you will find that they match up perfectly.

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The wrap ties are nice and long – perfect for giving you a good shape at your waist. I like how one of the ties feeds through a slit in the side seam, this ensures a secure close fit to your boody.

Just a small point, but it might be worth mentioning…  on step 3C in the pattern instructions it tells you to sew the side seams, press them open, and then neaten them (with the overlocker or otherwise). I found that it was much less fiddly to neaten my edges before sewing the seams, then I could press my seams open with the raw edges already finished.

The bias trim around the edge of the neckline gives this jumpsuit a really neat and lovely finish I think. I used my trusty bias tape gadget to turn my strips into folded tape, but this isn’t necessary and you can easily make your own bias tape without.

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The trick when applying the tape is to pin it like crazy!  Especially around the curved lengths ( I used wonder clips in these areas).  Any wibbles and wobbles might be noticeable, so stitch into place slowly and carefully.

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For modesty, I added a tiny press stud to where the wrap crosses over just to keep it in place where I wanted it.

It’s incredibly comfortable to wear, and I feel that the 1″ rise shortening adjustment was right for me. It probably wouldn’t have hurt to have shortened the length of the bodice by a little too, however, I love it and feel it fits me quite nicely. Something for me to consider next time perhaps.

Of course, at 5’2″, I know I will always need to adjust the length of the legs. According to the ‘fitting notes’ in the instructions this is done by shortening the length at the hem (no shorten/lengthen markings), so this is what I did. To achieve this cropped length, I needed to turn up the length by 5.5″

I thoroughly enjoyed making up this pattern, and have already purchased a gorgeous chocolate brown linen ready for my next pair.

It’s a thumbs up from me. Stylish, comfortable and a lovely project to sew. There will be more!

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Clare Pant from Stylearc

This time I have something a little different to share – I made trousers!

Being part of the Sewisfaction blogger team, I am lucky enough to regularly have access to their beautiful range of stunning fabrics, and am able to take my pick of something fabulous to make and share.

This time I opted for the most perfect Robert Kaufmann chambray in this completely wonderful grey/blue shade. It’s comfortable to wear, simple to sew with and the neutral colour is just so easy to wear with t-shirts and trainers or with a dressier top and shoes if you like.

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The pattern that I chose is The Clare Pant from Stylearc. It ticks all the boxes that I was looking for in a wide leg cropped trouser pattern and as this is a blog post that I have written for Sewisfaction, the full review including lots more photos can be found over on their blog here.

Huge thanks to Sheona at Sewisfaction for her generosity in sending me this fabric to work with, and I hope that you love them as much as I do!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Day Dress from The Avid Seamstress

It’s been two or three years since I sewed my first Day Dress, and just recently when I was trying to decide on what dress I wanted to make to attend the Sewisfaction Big Summer Stitch Up sewing event, I came across this pattern, and thought it was about time that I gave it another go.

I have made several of The Avid Seamstress sewing patterns before, and they are an absolute joy. The instructions are always so beautifully written, any sewing terms are clearly explained and the whole process of sewing one of these patterns is such a great experience.

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I made view C – but I love the look of view B (with the buttons) too.

Because the bodice is quite fitted on this dress, I went for a stretch cotton twill, as I wanted it to fit snugly, but still be wonderfully comfortable at the same time. This Ellie Stretch Twill from Sewisfaction was perfect. I just cannot resist a pretty floral fabric. It looks like it is out of stock now, but if you follow my link, there is the opportunity to join a waitlist to be notified if it comes back into stock. Because of the stretch, I also sized down one size, and this worked out great.

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The cotton reel brooch is available in my shop x

When I tried on my original version, to check the fit, I noticed that the back neckline was gaping a little bit on me – something that I often find – I corrected this with a 1″ adjustment which I marked on the pattern piece before cutting out. I’m not sure what the technical name for this adjustment is (I’m calling it ‘a gaping back neck adjustment’), but basically it means cutting a straight line from the middle of the neckline on the back bodice piece, almost all the way down to the waistline, then cutting along that line and bringing it in and overlapping it at he neckline by the required amount (in my case 1″), and taping it in place. This really works for me. Don’t forget that you will need to cut a new back neckline facing piece now as the original one obviously won’t fit any more. I simply traced my own piece by placing some pattern tracing paper over the newly adjusted back bodice neckline.

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Of course pockets are a wonderful part of this dress, and I chose to make them using some silky lining fabric that I had in my stash, just to keep any bulk at bay.

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The back of the dress is fastened/unfastened with an invisible zip. Everything lined up wonderfully, and I really like the gentle gathers in the skirt – not too many, not too few! I must admit I gathered the skirt in the usual way, rather than use elastic as per the instructions, and this worked equally well.

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The length of the skirt is spot on for me. It just hits the knee, and this is as per the pattern with the hem overlocked and using just the teeniest tiniest hem I possibly could. You might want to think about your skirt length though if you are much taller or shorter than me – I am 5’2″.

I am over the moon with how the dress has turned out. It fits me much better than my original version that I made all that time ago, partly because of that gaping back neck adjustment and partly because I sized down. My love for The Day Dress has returned BIG TIME, I don’t think it will be too long before I make another – I love the look of the version with the buttons down the front.

The finishing touch is this cute new label which I purchased from Pink Coat Club recently. A perfect addition to any handmade garment if you are a kitty Mum like me.

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Today’s blog pics were taken in Leicester Botanical Gardens. Such a pretty tucked away treasure, and certainly somewhere we will return to again.

Take care, and I’ll be back again soon,

Kathy x

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Simplicity 8816 Cross Back Apron

Since the launch of my acrylic jewellery business, a great deal of my working day is spent at my craft bench making acrylic necklaces and brooches. I will be the first to hold my hand up and admit that I can be clumsy at times and pretty soon I realised that an apron was going to be a necessity.

In the previous few weeks I had seen a lot of cross back aprons and this was the sort of style that I wanted. (Although having said that I’m not ruling out the addition of a frilly retro number another time).

I really loved The Maria Apron by Maven Patterns, especially when the lovely Sarah blogged about it here. But in the end I could not resist the big old wrap around pockets that Simplicity 8816 had to offer.

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There are a few different options with this pattern, and I went for View A, (the orange version in the top right of the image above), which is the mid thigh length cross back version – although it’s almost knee length on me – I’m 5’2″.

I’m really happy with my choice of fabric. Some of you will probably recognise it – it’s the beige Lenda fabric from Ikea. At £5 per metre, and nice and wide, I think I only needed about 1 metre to make the medium size. Also – who doesn’t love cutting their own fabric! The fabric is a sturdy, medium weight, and ideal for protecting my clothes from a battering of glue and paint!

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It’s such a quick and easy pattern to make, perfect for a beginner. The pattern pieces that you need are simply the apron front, the pocket, the front band and the strap. Easy.

The instructions call for the addition of bias binding to finish the armhole edges of the apron. I have tons of home made bias which I cannot resist making if I have leftover fabric (especially ditsy floral fabrics), so I was over the moon to have the opportunity to use up some of it. I may have got a little carried away with it, as I also decided to use it to finish the side and bottom edges of the apron too…and the top of the pocket!

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I particularly like the pockets – they wrap all the way around the entire width of the apron, divided by three rows of vertical stitching, giving you a whopping FOUR massive pockets. Oh joy! Add a bit of bias to the top and your pocket dreams are right there!!

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There’s a little bit of topstitching on this one, which is a part of sewing that I really enjoy. Hence I had a great old time with this detail on the front band, straps and pockets.

 

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Shameless plug – but the button brooch is available from my shop x

The cross straps at the back give me just the right amount of coverage – I felt other styles of cross back aprons covered too much of the back which I didn’t need and felt might make me too warm when I was working. So this was just right. Putting it on initially was funny as I was putting my arms through the wrong bits – if you have ever put on a cross-back item of clothing you will know what I mean – but I’m used to it now.

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So this is definitely a good investment in my handmade wardrobe. I have been wearing it for the last few weeks and I wouldn’t be without it now.

Although I am using it for crafting purposes, it would be equally as suitable in the kitchen as an alternative to the butchers style apron don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be fun to colour block it? Imagine using different fabric for the pockets, band and straps!

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Tiered Skirt from issue 65 of Love Sewing Magazine

The style of this skirt pattern is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. I had a tiered skirt like this about 15 years ago and I can remember wearing it ALL THE TIME after the birth of my second son, as it was elasticated like this and it was one of the few items in my wardrobe with accommodated my changing body shape at this time. I wore and washed it so much that in the end I had to let it go as the fabric had just dreadfully faded over time.

Fast forward a few years and I am delighted to see a revival in tiered skirts and dresses, and when I noticed this free download in issue 65 of Love Sewing Magazine I couldn’t  wait to make it.

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Issue 65

It’s an incredibly simple pattern to cut out and sew. There is just one pattern piece to download which is the skirt yoke. The rest of the pattern (the tiers) are formed by adding slightly gathered rectangles, each rectangle getting longer as you go down the length of the skirt. The measurements of the tiers (along with the sewing instructions) are written in the magazine issue.

All that you need to finish off your skirt is a length of elastic, and you are good to go!

Yesterday we went strawberry picking and I decided to use this opportunity to show you some pics of the finished skirt.

 

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The pattern in the magazine shows the finished skirt as having the yoke plus 4 tiers. As I am 5’2″,  I only needed to cut 3 tiers and found this to be the perfect midi length for me. You can definitely play around with the number of tiers that you cut to make it as long or as short as you want.

Fabric suggestions are tana lawn or lightweight cotton fabrics and I chose to sew it using a super pretty floral viscose from The Frugal Fabric Shop.

This fabric was sent to me as a gift from Kate from The Frugal Fabric Shop when we had a little product swap recently. It’s cool and swishy and just perfect for this skirt don’t you think?

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Due to the ditsy floral print of the fabric it’s hard to capture the beauty of the tiers on this skirt. Hopefully the image below from the magazine shows you what the actual design of the skirt is a little more clearly. I think making this up in a solid colour next time might be a good idea.

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This pattern was designed by Fiona Hesford from Sewgirl, and I loved just how quickly it came together and how comfortable it is to wear.

I cut it out in the morning and sewed it up in the afternoon. It’s very rare that I wear my new ‘me-mades’ straight away, as I always like to photograph them for my blog first, but with this skirt we had a sunny day last Saturday, and I wore it straight away on my morning walk!

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Thank you to Fiona for sharing such a great pattern with us via Love Sewing magazine. Hand on heart I am making this one again .. and probably again …

Issue 65 of Love Sewing magazine has been one of my fave’s –  I also made another free skirt download pattern from this issue – a ruffle skirt – and you can take a look at the blog that I wrote on that pattern here.

Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ skirt pattern or can you recommend any other tiered skirts or dresses?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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Swedish Tracing Paper – my product review of Patterntrace.

As someone who traces out EVERY pattern that they use, I am always interested in learning about different products and techniques that will make my life easier when doing so.

 

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Patterntrace  who asked if I might be interested in testing out some of their Swedish Tracing Paper  in return for  writing an honest blog post with my thoughts. I absolutely jumped at the chance of course, and after testing it out for the last few weeks, using it on 4 or 5 sewing projects so far, I think I am ready to share my thoughts with you.

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Your Patterntrace tracing paper comes to you on a 10 metre roll – long enough to last you for several projects. This roll is lovely and wide at 1 metre, so it easily fitted all my pattern pieces on nicely. I was interested to see what it felt like, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it feels and looks a little like very lightweight interfacing (but more see-through). It’s made from plant fibres therefore giving it a greater level of strength than paper, and this also means that it is compostable too. It will tear – but you need to try quite hard to make it do so – and this is such a bonus, as paper pattern pieces can take quite a beating what with pinning, cutting, marking and folding.

Before using it to trace out my patterns, I find that it is best to give the original pattern pieces a good press. Skip this step and you will find that wrinkles in your pattern will distort your tracing lines and give you an inaccurate traced pattern piece.

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I was absolutely thrilled when I lay the tracing paper over the pattern. Look how easy it is to see what you are tracing!

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When tracing my patterns, I usually just grab the nearest biro for transferring my markings. But during sewing I am also likely to use other tools for marking. Below you can see how easy the Swedish tracing paper is to use with

  • pencil
  • Frixion pen
  • Chaco chalk liner pen
  • Regular biro
  • Water erasable fabric pen
  • tailor’s chalk

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What is also really clever is that because it is fibrous, you can also sew it together therefore using it to make 3d shapes, toiles or accurately help with fitting issues. Just machine sew through it as you would with any fabric!

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Something else that I really liked was that when you unroll it to use it, it lays lovely and flat on the table. You can imagine that a regular roll of paper would not behave itself like this and just curl up. Just a small thing, but so helpful!

I always keep my leftover scraps/offcuts of tracing paper too, do you? Often they can be used again on other projects for small tracings like neck facings, cuffs or pockets, or they can be taped together to be used for slightly larger pieces. Just to let you know that it tapes together really well without any slipping and holds it perfectly. So don’t throw the small leftover pieces away, you can use it all!

I was also keen to see how little space it would take up when it was folded for storage – and also how it would look when it was then opened out again. Would it crease? Could the creases be ironed out? The good news is that it folds up nice and flat ( rather like the tissue paper that you find in the big 4 pattern envelopes), and it will iron out on a cool iron setting so that it is super easy to use again. To put this to the test I cut a rough square of Patterntrace tracing paper, screwed it up as tightly as I could, and then flattened it out by hand and ironed it. As you can see from the pics below – the final pic after ironing is almost as good as new!

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This is the ‘before’

 

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This is hand flattened after screwing it up as tightly as I could.

 

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After ironing – almost as good as new!

 

After I finished with this particular pattern, I folded it all up, gently ironed it flat and it fitted into the pattern envelope (with the original pattern and instructions) easily. What a bonus!

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I shudder to show you the chaos that is my current pattern tracing storage situation, but brace yourselves, that is exactly what I am going to do! Below is the how I store my current pattern tracings. There’s lots of them, I know. Told you I traced everything! So these tracings are using 90gsm tracing paper. It’s much thicker and stiffer, and whilst it’s fine to trace through, it does tear easily, it’s bulky to store as you can see, and you cannot really fold it. This is definitely a situation that could be avoided if I were using Swedish tracing paper.

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Don’t judge me..

 

If you think that this might be something that you would like to try, I am delighted to share with you a 10% discount code. The code is  sewdainty  and you are able to use this for anything on the Patterntrace  website (not just tracing paper), and just so as you know, there is free postage on orders over £10 within the UK too!

There are all sorts of sewing goodies on their website, ranging from sewing workbooks and notepads, to fun clothing labels and pin badges. Do take a look, and if you’re not quite ready to splash out on a full roll of the tracing paper and would like to try it out first, why not add a generously sized sample to your order (at only 50p) and you can see what it’s like for yourself.

Thank you so much to Patterntrace for sending me this roll to test out. It’s safe to say that I am very impressed by it and can certainly see what all the fuss is about. It’s been a real pleasure to use and although I have used it on several projects already, I have so much left on the roll it will last me for quite a while yet!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet

I’m pretty sure that you have seen these overalls popping up all over the place since their release about a month ago.

The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet are the cutest relaxed fitting dungarees you have ever seen. They feature a classic v-shaped back and button strap fastenings and have an optional size zip. Patch pockets on the front, back and bib are yours to choose from and there is an option for full/cropped length or a Summery shorts version.

The size range is incredible on this too . Sizes 0-30 are accommodated in with this pattern – how awesome is that? I cut a size 10 at the bib grading out to a 12 at the hips.

This is actually the first time that I have sewn a Helen’s Closet pattern and going on what I had already heard regarding her patterns, I knew that it would be an enjoyable process.

 

As expected, her instructions are clearly written and helpful. Helen describes this as an intermediate pattern and I would agree with that.

My fabric choice is the Ikea Lenda fabric – not the best fabric in the world, but at £5 per metre, it was perfect for trying out this pattern. I think if I made it again I would go for a slightly more lightweight fabric as I feel this looks a little too crisp for the look that I was going for.

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Before I cut out the fabric, I adjusted the length. This pattern is drafted for a 5’6″ body, and as I am only 5’2″, I needed to remove 2″ from the length (that is the 4″ difference divided by 2). This worked out perfectly in terms of leg length, but I think I might need to shorten the crotch length next time I make them as it is a little baggy there.

I loved the wording and illustrations in the instructions – especially the little tips giving explanations regarding why some of the techniques were being used.

I left out interfacing my straps as I felt they had enough structure anyway, and they were fine without.

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The scissors necklace is available for purchase from my website.

The waist at the front and back is nipped in with small darts. This is such a great feature as whilst they are still loose, you have a certain amount of shaping there which is very useful I think – especially when your waist to hip measurement difference is quite big like mine.

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A 5″ invisible zipper is also an option although not always necessary. I could have just about slipped these over my hips without it, but decided to add a zip just to make things easier. I didn’t have an invisible zip of that length, so just used a regular zip here instead.

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The patch pockets on the front and back are cute and whilst I used them on the back of the overalls, I wasn’t sure that I wanted them on the front. I decided that I would insert in-seam pockets instead. After inserting the zip (which I didn’t think that I would want initially), I realised that the in-seam pockets wouldn’t now fit on that side now, but still kept it on the other side. I mean, a girl needs pockets. Not sure if this feels a bit odd just having it on one side, so may try the patch pockets on the front next time if I still need to use the zip.

For the pocket bag I used the same floral fabric that I used for the front and back facings.

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I like the shape of the bib pocket. It has a upward triangular shape to the top edge and I enjoyed the placement of it and all the top stitching details. Top stitching is part of sewing that I really enjoy and this pattern has plenty of it! I particularly like the stitching details on the back strap too.

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I think if I’m honest when I sewed the back of the bodice to the facing with the straps enclosed inside, I didn’t make the best job of it. I think I got a little confused with the two different seam allowances (3/8″ and 5/8″) for this step and may have gone a little wobbly. Luckily this seemed to look alright from the right side, but my facing on the inside has a little ripple in it. Nobody will see this and you’re not going to tell anybody are you? Ha!

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The length of the straps are trimmed when you have finished the garment, and I needed to cut approx 4″ from each strap.

I didn’t finish the legs of the overalls apart from overlocking them, as I know that I will always wear them turned up a couple of times.

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough if you are considering this style of make in the future. It’s cute, fun to sew, and super comfortable to wear. What’s not to love!

 

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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