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Tilly and The Buttons Frankie Baseball T-Shirt pattern review.

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I’m quite sure that this isn’t the first Frankie baseball t-shirt that you’ve seen, and it probably won’t be the last. There was huge excitement in the sewing world when Tilly Walnes released ‘Stretch!’ in February, it is Tilly’s second book (her first is called ‘Love At First Stitch’), and this time she is writing about sewing with knit fabrics.

I was of course desperate to own it, and was completely blown away when the publishers Quadrille Craft sent me a copy as a prize in a competition they were running a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to get started on it and as I happened to be travelling to London a couple of days after receiving it, I quickly decided what would be the first project that I wanted to make from the book and made a note of the fabric I needed so that I could purchase a little something from the Goldhawk road whilst I was down there.

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So I knew that I wanted to make the Frankie first, and picked up this wonderfully soft cotton jersey. The ‘white’ is kind of an off white pinkish toned white which works really well with the dark cornflower blue. It’s a little bit similar to the colours worn by the model in the book except for that version has a pink neckband – which is totally awesome and I would probably add in another colour for the neckband next time too.

The fit is described as relaxed – which is neither too tight or too loose, so I opted to make a straight size 5. It’s relaxed and comfortable, but you could totally cut a size or two smaller if you prefer a more fitted style. I chose to make the 3/4 length sleeves and love them. Hopefully the weather will start to warm up now and this will be the sleeve length that I will get the most wear out in the coming months.

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The instructions and information provided by the book are second to none. If you are familiar with Tilly and the Buttons patterns already, you will know that they are extremely well written and easy to follow and this book is the same – and then some. It is packed full of tips and tricks regarding sewing with knit fabrics and addresses any concerns that you might have.

The Frankie is a great pattern to get started with, I love the raglan sleeves and how quick and easy they are to sew into place. The neckband is possible the only slightly fiddly part, but using the ‘quartering technique’ which I always do with stretch neckbands ensures an even stretch – although I felt that I really had to stretch my neckband quite a lot – nevertheless it went in great and lays lovely and flat which is the result that you are looking for. Changing your needle to a twin needle can be a bit of a chore, but I love the result that it gives, so finished my neckband, sleeves and hem with the double needle.

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I cannot tell you how much I look forward to making EVERY other item that is in the book. There are 5 other patterns included, not to mention several variations and hacks to make them exactly how you like, and am currently working my way through reading it, as it is crammed full of information I know I will find useful.

Congratulations to Tilly for such an inspiring read, I thoroughly enjoyed this make, and as it uses so little fabric, it could definitely become a stashbuster pattern for those leftover pieces of fabric that you are not sure what to do with.

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Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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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