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A Seamwork Astoria and a self-drafted midi skirt

I’m as guilty as the next person for grabbing a great pattern and then not getting around to sewing it for AGES! The same applies to fabric I guess, and whilst I don’t have a huge fabric stash, some of it has been there for a while!

 

The Seamwork Astoria Top  has been in my PDF drawer for what must be a couple of years now, and at last I can finally see what all the love is about.

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It’s a simple cropped round necked top, and is just lovely. Fabric suggestions for this top are medium weight knits and I went for this blush ponte that I bought from Sewisfaction last time I was down in Wokingham. The textured finish on the fabric gives it a scuba vibe, and the dusky blush colour is super pretty (and also matches my favourite shade of lipstick at the moment which, of course, makes me very happy).

For those remotely interested (because I always like to know these things), my fave lipstick combo is NYX soft matte lip cream in 14 (Zurich) and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk dabbed on top. You’re welcome.

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I cut a straight size medium and this was just right for me. When I sewed in the neckband, it turned out a little too long and saggy. So out came the unpicker and I shortened it by 2″.  If I’m being picky, it could probably have done with a little more shaved off- but I was too lazy to unpick the neckband again!

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All the usual tools etc were used – a walking foot, a ball point machine needle and ball twin needle for finishing the neckband and sleeves. I also used the twin needle on the waistband – I get carried away when the twin needle comes out! The sleeves are a little long. Not sure why I cut this length when I always prefer 3/4 sleeves, but hey ho! it’s alright isn’t it?

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I totally love it. As someone who wears a lot of skirts and dresses,  I know it will fit well in my wardrobe especially at this time of the year when it can still be a little chilly. I am making more of an effort to sew using plain/solid colours and this pattern is perfect for this as it will pair nicely with my crazy printed skirts and dresses. More of these will definitely be sewn!

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Not gonna lie – I do love a good Instagram challenge, and three gorgeous sewists over on Instagram have started a fun challenge each month this year with the general tag of #sewingpatternsandprints . This months friendly theme is animals and can be searched by looking for the tag #sewinganimalapril .Do head on over and check out the lovely three organisers who are TamlynSamantha, and Kealy, for more information!

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I chose to make a self-drafted midi skirt using this gorgeous animal print stretch cotton sateen that I bought from the lovely Sarah at Like Sew Amazing when I was down in Bristol a few months ago for her shop launch.

It’s a straightforward sew – just gathered rectangles really! I didn’t want the gather to be too full as the fabric already has some structure, so instead of going for double the width, I probably went for about 1.5 times the width in terms of how much gather I wanted. I added a 2″ waistband which I measured nice and snugly – (I’ve been caught with stretch fabrics on the waistband feeling too loose before), and this one is sooo comfortable.

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It simply has to have pockets doesn’t it. No arguments there. My trusty pocket piece that I always have close to hand in case I need to add it was called upon, and add an 8 or 9″ invisible zip from my stash and presto! One quick and easy skirt!

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I went for a midi length, which is not my usual length, as I wasn’t sure if I could carry it off at only 5’2″. But I really like it and certainly intend to make more cute gathered skirts this length in the future!

So all in all, two quick and easy makes which I can mix and match with existing items in my wardrobe. Win Win!

Thanks for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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My Colette Patterns Sorbetto Top

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After admiring this pattern for some time now, I finally made my first (and second)! Sorbetto.

A few months ago, Colette Patterns released an updated Sorbetto pattern. I understand that the original Sorbetto launched in 2011, with the intention of being a basic top to introduce fundamental sewing skills to all. Although I didn’t make the old pattern I was excited to try this new and improved Sorbetto. The size range is quite impressive, it ranges from a size 0 – size 26.

Before I go any further I need to mention that this pattern is a free download!! Yep you heard it right!

This Spring time Colette Patterns ran a friendly competition on good old Instagram to sew up their new Sorbetto top and tag it ( #colettesorbetto ) for the chance to win some sewing goodies. Although I was super busy at the time and unfortunately unable to have a go at this one, I was totally inspired by all the entries, particularly this stunning top by the wonderful Carmen Sews. No surprise that she came joint first in the competition! If you haven’t stumbled across Carmen yet and would like some pretty sewing inspiration you can also check out her Instagram right here.

My fabric choice is a super sweet pale blue and white gingham check from The Crafty Sew and So in Leicester. Unfortunately the photos make it look a little washed out, the close up shots below capture the true beauty of it a little better.

I jumped right in and made up a straight size 8. Normally ( in fact almost always) I will make up a toile before cutting into precious fabric. For some reason on this occasion I didn’t do this, and sadly the results are a top that is rather too large and ill fitting.

Sad times.

Although the design is for a relaxed fit top, my version is much too roomy, the bust darts are too low and whilst the neckline, shoulders and sleeves feel fine, the bust downwards is much too large.

 

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Lesson very much learned. Back to making up toiles before making new patterns.

However it’s such a pretty style I was not deterred, and when considering what to take with me to make on my recent #sewingweekender I opted to cut out and take another Sorbetto top – this time in a much smaller size 4. Success! The fit is much much better for me, dart slightly higher, and still comfortable across the shoulders and sleeves.

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Much better!

I almost forgot to mention that there are 3 versions to choose from. Both times I went for version 3 because of the cute cap sleeves. However you could choose a sleeveless version (version 1), or another sleeveless version which has a longer length and a slight high-low hem (version 2).  I love the pleat which runs down the centre front of all three versions.

I would recommend this as a great beginner pattern. It’s quick and easy to make and  I only needed 1 yard/metre of fabric (as my fabric was 60″ wide).

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I know that I will make this pattern again, probably next year now, as the weather feels like it is turning cooler. I would be very tempted to use a pretty floral crepe or something with a little more drape I think. It’s a lovely pattern though when you get your sizing right, and very generous of Colette Patterns to provide it free of charge. Thank you.

As always, I welcome your comments, have you made the Sorbetto and what did you think?

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

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My Colette Patterns Peony Dress for The Minerva Crafts Blogger Network #MCBN

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It’s time for another post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and this time I am talking about the Colette Patterns Peony Dress.

Sewing with this super cotton chambray has been really enjoyable. It’s perfect for the Peony dress, so do head on over to the Minerva Craft Blogger Network, using the link above,  if you want to read all about it and see lots more pics!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Colette Patterns Moneta #monetaparty dress

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I was so excited in January when I first read about the #monetaparty challenge. I had owned this pattern for a while and it was certainly very high up on my ‘things to make’ list, but this gave me the nudge that I needed to start planning a very special dress. The party is hosted by Colette Patterns with the fabulous trio of talented sewing bloggers who are Elle from Sew Positivity , Rachel from Rach against the Sewing Machine and Abigail from Sew Abigail I know the girls have been working on this for months and must have put in so much hard work for this to be the success that it is.

Initially I wanted to make the dress using some fabric already in my stash to get an idea of its construction before I started on my competition entry. I knew it was going to be a lovely dress to make as I had read so many positive reviews on it and I wasn’t disappointed. I made this trial dress up using some scuba fabric that I already owned – I wrote a blog on this Moneta dress here .  Although the scuba  was slightly heavier than a regular jersey ( and this meant I had to shorten the length of the finished dress by quite a bit), I was thrilled with the result and it will definitely be a dress I will wear all the time!

Back to the #monetaparty dress. I cannot tell you how long I have spent on the internet researching the perfect jersey for this dress. Literally hours… It had to be right. Eventually I found the PERFECT party jersey. It is an adorable nude jersey with a black lace design. Oh my goodness I could have cried. There’s more.. the black lace design is flocked with glitter. Yes flocking and glitter. I need to sit down.

 

It was really hard to show you the glittery gorgeousness of the fabric in the still photos so hopefully this video will give you a better idea!

Fabric pre-washed and glitter still intact thankfully, I set about making up the dress. Although I had made it before I was nervous to cut into such a pretty fabric, you sewists will know exactly what I mean. No need to have worried of course, it came together beautifully. This pattern is perfect for a beginner, lots of help, advice and information online. It sews up quickly – especially if you have an overlocker, but this is not essential, you can use your regular sewing machine with no problems if you prefer. I love gathering the waist using the elasticated shirring technique and will use this method for sure in the future for gathers. It also has pockets. Say no more.

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Shirring the waist with elastic ensures neat and even gathers every time!
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Love the low back neckline. The neckline edge is simply turned over and stitched using a twin needle, simple – no need for facing or bias on this design.

 

The  pattern was true to size, and needed no alterations at all.

I am a massive jersey fan now, so easy to work with – no fraying has got to be a winner. It’s so comfortable to wear and doesn’t need ironing. Happy days.

 

As I publish this post the entries for the #monetaparty are still being added and I am thoroughly enjoying seeing so many versions of such a pretty dress. The sewing community is such a talented and friendly group to be part of and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful challenge. I must confess to being a little bit in love with this pattern, hope you don’t mind it taking over my blog this month!

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Thanks also to Mr Sew Dainty, dragged out during #stormdoris to take pictures, and then on at least two other occasions until I was happy with the photos. Oh dear.

Do let me know your thoughts on the Moneta dress. Are you taking part in the party? Good luck!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x