Posted on Leave a comment

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.

thumbnail_F12D672C-8BCC-4CA6-B9AC-054ACE255E3D
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.

 

thumbnail_739580CA-3DC1-4BB3-8E1D-3244C493629D

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?

thumbnail_BBEFB306-DF24-40AD-9ED8-D0042B046797

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.

thumbnail_50846465-FE64-4C41-8FDB-4D337251853B

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!

sewgirl skirt

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

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Summer Skirt – a ruffle skirt from Wardrobe By Me

I’m sure that we all know that Love Sewing magazine is always packed full of good stuff. Not only do you have at least one printed pattern included, but there are always several great downloads and instructions for other lovely patterns.

Issue 65 which was out a couple of months ago was no exception. In addition to the two free patterns that were included with this issue, there were a couple of other great pattern downloads inside that I was really interested in. Both are skirt patterns, and the one that I have chosen to make first is this faux wrap ruffle Summer Skirt from Wardrobe by Me, an independent pattern company with a Scandanavian feel.

IMG_3404

These ruffle skirts are EVERYWHERE at the moment and I absolutely love them. I did have a concern that the length may swamp me – I’m 5’2″, but whether or not it does – I’m loving it and wearing it regardless! Whilst we are on the subject of height – I took three inches out of the length of the skirt.

I must admit I did come across a few hurdles in making this pattern, and there were certainly a few moments where I was scratching my head. I’ll explain.

This pattern has 8 pieces. It is a printable download from Love Sewing Magazine. The instructions are found within the magazine. It is such a beautiful pattern and if you have issue 65 and you will find it on page 49.

The first thing that I noticed was that the ‘layplan’ or cutting layout shows it for only 7 pieces. Initially I worried that in order to cut out the 8th piece not shownon the plan, (one of the ruffle pieces), I would need to buy more fabric – until I noticed that the ruffle piece shown on the layout is only cut on a single piece and doesn’t need to be placed on the double layers of fabric as shown. This way the other ruffle piece (that wasn’t shown in the drawing) can be cut out of the other single layer of fabric – doh! Obvious really but just had me puzzled for a while.

The ruffle pieces are incredibly long (they are joined together at the centre back), so this is a bit of a mammoth gathering task – not my favourite sewing job at the best of times! I must look into a gathering foot for the machine sometime..

With all the confusion in the cutting out of the ruffle, somehow I managed to cut them out ‘backwards’. What I mean is that the wrap on my skirt is now from left to right rather than from right to left. Small detail and I don’t suppose it really matters – unless there’s some wrap code that I don’t know about – don’t tell me if there is!! Ha!!

IMG_3458

I think I must have been having some kind of bad day when I made this pattern as I also struggled with the waistband. The elastic in the waistband is inserted just in the back and stitched in place. This ensures a nice snug fit and a flat waistband at the front of the skirt which is lovely. I had it in my head that it was elasticated all the way around and couldn’t work out why the elastic length that they instruct you to cut was so short. What is wrong with me!

IMG_3682
The back – I forgot to raise my t-shirt so that you can see the elasticated back waistband – whoops!

I must admit I wasn’t a fan of how the waistband was attached either, again after quite some time making sure that the placement of it was correct. I really struggled with this one – despite the notches, it took me a couple of goes to get it right. I have seen a gorgeous version from Wendy over on Instagram where she has adapted the waistband a little and I think I might do this next time too. Isn’t her animal print fabulous!

The fabric that I used to make this is an adorable ditsy print floral fabric (a viscose I think)? that I bought from The Sewing Cafe when I was in Hinckley last week. It looks brown, but is in fact a very dark sage green colour, so pretty. The drape on it is stunning and it has just the right amount of swishyness for this pattern!

IMG_3419

These pattern review pics were taken at stunning Calke Abbey today. I usually take my pics inside but it seems such a shame to do so when the weather is so beautiful, and as myself and my husband have recently become National Trust members I thought we would combine a trip to this stunning property with taking some pics of my latest make.

IMG_3641

So despite all my struggles on this one, probably mostly my fault, I am absolutely in love with the outcome! It is exactly what I wanted and I really enjoyed wearing it today. More will definitely be made as I especially would love a red floral version – so nice for holidays!

IMG_3647

Another pattern download from the same magazine is a tiered skirt and I hope to make this one up soon too. I’ll let you know when I do.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

Posted on 7 Comments

A Gingham Burda 6401 with added embroidery.

Pic 1

Happy August everyone, and the beginning of the month means that it’s time to share with you my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

As always my full review can be found using the link above, and this month I have been using this pretty 1″ check gingham which is available in 15 colours and is only £3.99 per metre!

For a bit of fun I decided to add some machine embroidery to the cuffs and the hem. I am always meaning to use the neglected embroidery stitches on my machine, but keep forgetting, so it was good to give them a go, and I am pleased that i did.

Pic 7

Thanks for dropping by, and I’ll see you over at Minerva for my thoughts on this dress.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 5 Comments

My Striped Peak T-shirt Dress

IMG_7075

Wendy Ward recently released her third book – A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics. I was really impressed with all of the reviews that I had read, and was overjoyed to win myself a copy as a competition prize ran by the lovely guys at Girl Charlee UK.

The book contains the pattern pieces to make 20 versions of six basic patterns. There are three pages of pattern sheets, and you need to trace off the specific pattern pieces you require as the colour coded patterns overlap and are printed on both sides of the sheets. On page 23 of the book there is a helpful guide to using the paper patterns including a check list to make sure that you know all the pieces that you need for your chosen project.

thumbnail_08F3D527-D82E-4E5C-9259-B7CD20180715

The moment I saw the book, I was really interested in the blue and white striped t-shirt dress that is shown on the cover. One of my favourite Summer dresses is a very old blue and white striped ‘ready to wear’ t-shirt dress which has an elasticated waist just like this. It is now sadly too big for me since I have lost a little weight since I bought it, and anyhow I have worn it so often it is pretty much worn out. This cover dress was always going to be my first make from this book, and I really wanted to get one sewn up so that I could enjoy it this as soon as possible.

51C2eWZA9hL._SX370_BO1,204,203,200_

The Peak T-shirt is a basic crew neck t-shirt, and you lengthen it to make it into a dress. To do this, Wendy tells you that you need to extend the t-shirt pattern body pieces by 40cm. No problems with this. You effectively then have a long t-shirt which you will gather at the waist with elastic.

The old RTW dress that I mentioned earlier had a bright yellow waistband, this is one of the things I loved about it most. The dress that I was making from this book doesn’t have a separate waistband piece, but I decided that I could introduce a contrasting piece of plain jersey on the neck band piece instead. I might add a coloured waistband piece in a future make, as this would be quite simple and a way to re-create my beloved dress exactly!

I really would have liked to have used a plain primary colour, but didn’t have any scraps of this in my stash – what I did have was a tiny piece of leftover plain grey interlock jersey from Fabworks Online. I had used this back in April, to make up some baby sleepsuits (which I don’t think I ever blogged about) but if you head on over to my Instagram you will find them back in April.

IMG_7104

I wasn’t sure that this was going to work, as the striped fabric and the grey fabric felt like that they weren’t the same weight, but having decided that even if it meant unpicking it if it didn’t work, it would be worth a try. Surprisingly, the neckband went in lovely, and lays nice and flat. I was so pleased, and love the little pop of colour that it gives to the garment. By the way, the striped fabric is just some cheap t-shirt weight jersey bought from Leicester market for £1 per metre! Although a smidge lightweight for this project , it’s a surprisingly nice quality and has a lovely slub texture to it which you might be able to make out in some of the images.

IMG_7109

I chose the short sleeves, as this is a Summer dress, but there is the option to use long sleeves and you can add a cuff to these too if you like.

Attaching the elastic, gave me all sorts of headaches! For some reason I always seem to struggle when attaching regular elastic to garments in this manner. It should be so easy – simply measure the elastic to fit your waist, join the ends to make a loop and add it to the skirt, using a zig zag stitch stretching the elastic as you go using 4 measured points on the elastic matching up to four points on the dress. I have no problems when doing this with clear elastic, but for some reason when using regular elastic (this pattern calls for 1cm wide regular elastic), it just doesn’t seem to form a neat gather when I release the stretched elastic after stitching. It kind of stays stretched in some areas? Anyhow, I unpicked the first effort, and the second time it was much better, but still not perfect. Rather than unpicking it again, and risk damaging the dress, I will settle for this, but might use my favourite clear elastic next time. By the way, this is just a technique I need to perfect, not a fault with the pattern at all!

IMG_7114

Another tip which I really should have used would be to use a walking foot (if you have one) when sewing knits – especially those with stripes.  For some unknown reason, I didn’t use mine, and despite using an obscene amount of pins when sewing the side seams, the stripes have slipped a little when sewing up and unfortunately are not quite perfectly matched. There was no way I was going to do any more unpicking on this dress so I am going to ignore this little detail and hope no-one notices… ssshhhhh!

IMG_7084

So, lessons have been learned, and I basically need to slow down and take my time to avoid unnecessary mistakes. I will be making LOTS more of these dresses, they are just lovely. The basic t-shirt pattern is also something I will give a go.

There are plenty of other great projects in the book, I really like the look of the Monsal lounge pants too – the perfect tapered leg cuffed jersey trousers. Who doesn’t love a bit of lounge wear? Look forward to whipping a pair of these up during the Autumn.

I am also over the moon that, in my quest to sew nine patterns from independent sewing pattern designers that I have never used before as part of my #2018makenine sewing challenge to myself, this is now the 8th garment that I have completed! Whoopeee!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

IMG_7070

 

 

Posted on 5 Comments

My latest Sewisfaction Blogger Team post – The Fringe Dress from Chalk & Notch.

I’m just dropping by today to mention that my latest blog post for the Sewisfaction Blogger Team is now up on the Sewisfaction wesbite

pic1

Although I won’t go into too much detail here, I  would like to mention the pretty fabric which was kindly sent to me -what a fabulous colour and so perfect for Summer!

It is the first time that I have sewn anything by Chalk and Notch, and I really enjoyed making this dress. If you are familiar with this pattern you may notice that I chose to change the hemline to a regular horizontal hem rather than keep it as a shaped hem.

This year my #2018makenine pledge is to try to sew nine items using patterns from independent pattern companies that I have not used before, and this is my fourth make for this challenge.

pic2

Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll see you over at Sewisfaction!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 2 Comments

My McCalls M7406 Wrap Dress – my latest #MCBN make and my #sewtogetherforsummer entry

The beginning of the month means that it is time to share with you the link to my latest Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make. This month it is this McCalls M7406 wrap dress.

pic 2

This is the first time that I have made a wrap dress, what took me so long? Its pretty, feminine and flattering, and I love the long belt and flutter sleeves on this dress.

pic 3

The pretty floral crepe is set against a black background and this fabric is currently on sale at £6.99 per metre. Also, again at the time of writing this, the McCalls pattern is half price too – at £4.62! I’m not sure how long either of these items will stay at that price!

I’ll let you head on over to the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network to read the full review, if you would like more details.

I am also going to offer this as my #sewtogetherforsummer entry, which is a friendly sewing challenge to make a wrap dress,  hosted by SarahMonika and Suzy. So do visit these lovely ladies over on Instagram for all the details!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 2 Comments

My #alittlelawnparty entry – a Simplicity 2586 pattern review.

IGfeed_large

You know me – I love a good Instagram sewing challenge.

This challenge has been organised by Mel from  Handmade by Ditsy-Tulip  and Atia from The Bright Blooms . If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that, as an ambassador for this challenge, I have mentioned it a few times on my stories. But if you need more details then do head on over to Mel and Atia’s website where it is all explained.

To summarise, it is a friendly sewing challenge to celebrate the arrival of Spring. In a nutshell the idea is to have a bit of fun sewing a Spring themed garment and share your make on Instagram using the hashtag #alittlelawnparty . I think originally the idea was to make a garment using cotton lawn, but as this is not always easy to get hold of at a reasonable price in certain parts, so you may use any fabric of your choice as long as you are using it to make an outfit that is ‘Spring-like’.

IMG_5532

At first I thought deciding what to make would be really easy. For someone who absolutely loves floral fabrics and has a ton of dress patterns this should have been a breeze for me, but whilst I knew the fabric that I wanted to use, I struggled deciding which sewing pattern to pair with it. I also think that because the challenge runs over a two month period, I sat back a little and kind of left things a little later that I should have! Not to worry though, if you are still working on your project the closing date is not until the 15th of May 2018 so there is still plenty of time to get your entry in!

After posting a picture of what I thought was the perfect pattern for this challenge on my Instagram account, I swiftly changed my mind after I received several messages to say that the particular pattern that I was planning to use required a great deal of adjustments and changes. By this stage, I really hadn’t got the time to spend on a dress which required so much work and alterations, so the happy outcome was that I chose another pattern that I have had in my stash for absolutely ages- Simplicity 2586.

2586

I don’t know very much about this pattern, except that it does not seem to be available in the U.K. It is possibly an old out of stock pattern? – correct me if I’m wrong – and I think I bought mine from an Etsy seller a long time after ago (as they do seem to be available in the U.S) but watch our for hefty postal charges as most of these patterns seem to be from U.S sellers.

I am crazy about the blue belted version of the dress as shown on the front of the pattern envelope, and thought that this could make a pretty Spring dress. I had bought this adorable crepe from Sew Me Sunshine fairly recently and decided that this combination was the dress I wanted! It’s a blush pink crepe with the classic crinkled texture and is scattered with light blue flowers. So so beautiful. I have linked the fabric for you and at the time of writing this it is still in stock at £3.50 per half metre.

IMG_5543

The dress has turned out really well, although the next time I make it I will make a couple of little changes. Whilst I LOVE the crepe and chose it as I wanted a really drapey fabric, it is quite slippery to work with (as you would expect with crepe) and in certain areas like the narrow neckband it was a little fiddly. I may have said some naughty words whilst sewing this part. On the subject of the neckline, I felt this came out quite low and wide. Still very wearable but I think I will adjust it a little next time. Finally the sleeves. They are slightly wide, but I can live with that. The sleeve cuffs though – they are massive! I would definitely need to make these much smaller for future makes as they are huge! This will teach me for not making a toile up. ( I always make toiles of patterns that I haven’t made before – I can’t imagine why I didn’t this time)!  Tut Tut!

IMG_5574

That being said, the dress is beautiful I think, and it is super cute. It has pockets for a start. Gotta love them.  I also really like the ruffles around the bottom of the hem and the fabric belt,  and with some small adjustments this could very well end up being a favourite pattern of mine. Easy to slip on and off over the head, I like that there are no zips, buttons or elastic on this dress. Nice and straightforward as far as construction is concerned. I do love Simplicity patterns.

IMG_5562

A huge thank you to Mel and Atia for organising such a fun challenge. Do head on over to their websites linked earlier on in this post for all the details. There are some great prizes to be won at the end of the challenge too, which is always a bonus! We are very lucky in the sewing community to have such generous businesses that always provide such wonderful gifts for these sewing challenges.

IMG_5513

More Spring inspiration can be found by searching the hashtag #alittlelawnparty over on Instagram. I for one am ready and waiting for warmer weather to arrive so that I can actually wear my dress!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 4 Comments

My #sewmystyle2018 April entry – the Marigold trousers from Tilly and the Buttons.

So this blog post contains something completely different from me -trousers!

The #sewmystyle2018 challenge is run by Jessica and it encourages you to make 12 garments in 12 months. Of course you don’t have to make all of them – I personally am dipping in and out of this challenge only choosing the items that I feel will wear often. This months make is the Marigold jumpsuit and trousers pattern from Tilly and the Buttons.

sr_614276_large

 

 

I quite liked the idea of making the jumpsuit, but finally settled on making the trousers because:

  1. I never make trousers, so why not do something about this and these do look super cute and comfy for Summer.
  2. I can’t be doing with the whole stripping off to visit the toilet situation that you get with a jumpsuit!

I wondered if getting the fit of the trousers right would be tricky, so made up a toile first and was really glad that I did as I found that the crotch sat really low on me and I needed to raise this by 2″ to ensure a better fit. There is a great piece on how to fit your Marigold trousers on the Tilly website here.

Don’t forget that if you are raising your crotch height like me (using the adjustment lines on the pattern) that you need to shorten your pocket pieces by the same amount.

I did wonder if I should shorten the length of the legs too but I like the way they settle around my ankles so left them as they were.

 

IMG_5274

The trousers have a peg shaped leg tapering in to the ankles, and I am pleasantly surprised with how much I like how they have turned out. They have a gathered waist all the way around and are also shaped with small pleats and darts at the waist front and back. I think I quite like them! I am a huge fan of Tilly patterns and this did not disappoint.

IMG_5266

The fabric that I chose to make up this version in is a black geometric print viscose from Minerva Crafts. It was a very reasonable £4.99 per metre and I think it is perfect for these Marigolds.

I did have my concerns that the elasticated waist all the way around would look unflattering on my shape, but I don’t feel this to be the case. I also really like the deep pockets. Essential.

IMG_5296

So all in all I am really chuffed with them. I think you may have to choose your fabric wisely so as not to look like you have stepped out in your pyjamas, but I really love this black and white geometric print – they remind me on the time that I used to work for Monsoon/Accessorize and I wore these type of trousers alot during the Summer as my work uniform.

Do head on over to Instagram and check out the hashtag #sewmystyle2018 and #sewmystyle for more Marigold inspiration this month.

IMG_5270

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 2 Comments

The DR308 Cami Slip Dress by Kommatia Patterns

IMG_9384

Today I am so happy to share with you another pattern testing project that I have been working on with Kommatia Patterns. Today is launch day, and you can find the pattern available to purchase in PDF format here.. It is available in sizes XS – XL.

il_570xN.1309052965_ltdx

It’s the DR308 – Cami Slip Dress and it is a knee length Summer dress with a cocoon silhouette. It calls for a silky draping fabric such as crepe, challis or silk, and it also has adjustable straps which need bra rings and sliders.

The pattern is rated as an intermediate project, and this may be because the recommended fabrics are slippery and can be tricky to handle. A slim, sharp Microtex needle is suggested to help sew this type of fabric. My fabric choice is a viscose challis from Stuart’s Fabrics on Leicester Market, it’s really pretty and has a Liberty feel to it I think!

I have sewn Kommatia patterns before and find their instructions to be thorough and easy to understand. This is a quick pattern to sew and only needs 1.25m or 1.5yds of fabric. Kommatia are a Canadian company so instructions are in English and French. The step by step written instructions are also backed up by drawings of each stage which I found really helpful.

The back of the dress is where it’s all happening! Slim shoulder straps are adjusted by using bra rings and sliders. This is the first time I have used these and love them! Apart from being entirely practical in that you can achieve the perfect strap length, I think they give such a professional finish to the dress. The narrow width of the straps are a little fiddly to turn ‘right side out’, but I have a ‘loop turner’ which definitely made this job quicker. If you don’t own a loop turner Kommatia have helpful written instructions to guide you through this stage using a needle and thread!

IMG_9367

The back of the dress also has a horizontal strap running across the top of a v-back which is practical and pretty. It also has a slit at the centre back hem for ease of movement. Cute.

IMG_9355

IMG_9359

The dress that I am showing you is my final pattern testing version. Although there have been a couple of ‘tweaks’ made to the pattern since I made this, I feel they are so small that you can still get a great idea of what the pattern is from this version. I will definitely be making another, so of course will share with you when I do.

I should mention that it comes together really quickly, an easy dress to make in a day.

I look forward to more pattern testing with Kommatia in the future, and when I do – you will be sure to hear about it!

You might also wish to take a look over at my fellow pattern testers Instagram accounts. They are SaschaAdeline and Christine.

If you would like to read about my last Kommatia pattern testing project which is a super  v-neck jersey top, you can click here.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

kommatia3

Posted on 4 Comments

Christine Haynes Emery Dress with Pleated Skirt Pattern Review

em1

I am having fun writing blog posts for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and this months make is a pretty Christine Haynes Emery dress made with a skirt alteration from gathers to pleats.

I used a fabulous Seashore cotton poplin and if you would like to read the full review you can head on over here , where you will of course find the links to all the supplies that I used for this project.

Thank you Minerva Crafts !

Happy sewing and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

em2