Tuesday, 28 June 2011


As you all well know, I am somewhat obsessed with any kind of sewing paraphernalia.
This week has been stressful and although I splurged a tiny bit on Saturday most of my fabrics were remnants or came from swapping. Virtuous no?
I thought I had been good and sold some stuff on ebay too. Until two emails popped up in my inbox. The new Sewaholic pattern? Called the Lonsdale dress, The sale at Clothkits?!?! This was bad I tell you. Especially as the Ebay stuff was planned to treat myself to just one Pendrell Blouse pattern for which I already had the fabric.
My friends I ended up buying all 3 Sewaholic patterns ( an offer plus free shipping! They practically typed my card no. in for me!) I was unsure about making the Crecent skirt but I had bought Amy Butler's Amarinth fabric and thought about using it for one.

Plus Clothkits had Liberty fabrics designed by Grayson Perry... GRAYSON PERRY!!!!! It was also named Eileen like my paternal grandmother and was awesome. So that ended up in my shopping basket too!
You can't deny the awesomeness of this fabric!
So my friends I am yet again looking for a Fabric buyers rehab, I am even deciding that from Monday, for the rest of the summer (until University starts again in September) For every three pieces of fabric I use I am allowed just one to replace it.
I may even get Piemaker to make me a spreadsheet to make sure I don't cheat...
Do you all have this problem?

I have a flickr group called I love my fabric. Join in and we can conquer this together!

Sewalong Palooza The Final Post...

I had a thought about those sleeves. The technique is identical on the ruffles for the tunic as it is for putting the sleeves in.
Except you gather all around and hem the raw edge! No more tutorial needed!
I have some photos here just in case you need some visual.
The gathers pinned to the bottom of the sleeve. (On the inside of course)
The finished seams just before hemming.
After hemming.
So here endeth the lesson my friends... I have had a blast and I hope everyone has enjoyed the sewalong!
I posted on Sew Weekly that we should do the big reveal on Thursday to mark the end of Me Made June. So please hold off on showing us your creations on Flickr until then!
This week is a busy one for me so I may need a few days to drop off the edge of the blogging world to recover. We are moving house officially on Thursday!!! In the meantime I will be planning yet more projects and grappling with my UFO's

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sewalong Palooza Post 4...

OK your almost there!
Today were all about sleeves. This used to be one of my bete noire's when I was learning but once you use the right technique they are actually pretty fun!
So last thing we did was sew our side seams of the blouse to the top and finish them,
Now we need to sew down the sleeve seam and finish it off.

Make sure your notches are the same side on each piece. and by that I mean that your double notches should be on the same side and your singles on the same side. Lay your sleeves out this way so that you can see if you've done it right. (I used to get this wrong ALL the time!)

Next. Look at the armhole and find the three markings spaced evenly around the top. Put your machine onto a longer stitch (Mine was almost on 4) and run two stitches parallel to eachother either side of the markings. Make sure you don't backstitch and leave long threads at the end. Then the fun bit! Gather these bits up.

Now its time to put the sleeve into the armhole. Turn your sleeve through so you can't see your stitching.
Then slide it into the armhole so your raw edges are on the inside of the garment. I find it easier to think of it like when you open a jacket, not sure why.

Then pin the top marking to the shoulder seam of your blouse, and the bottom seam to the blouse bottom seam. Then pin under the gathering to the armhole on both sides. The underarm shouldn't be gathered it should fit fine.
Match your notches and stop pinning when you get to the gather.
This is called easing. Gather your sleeve until you can pin it to your armhole without your armhole having any puckers. The idea is to gather so the fullness will go into the armhole.
Heres a side view so you can see the bottom is straight. Once thats done sew the armhole and sleeve together. You should have something like this.
Once you do, and its all secure, pull out the stitches of gathering you made. (If you don't backstitch they come out easily. But don't worry if you did just grab your unpicker!)
I think thats probably enough for today.
For all those ladies doing the short sleeves. Just finish that seam off, add your sleeve bands, hem up and your done!
For the ladies doing the tunic. You have one more post for the ruffle on the bottom of the sleeve.
If you opted out of that. Just hem off your sleeve and bottom hem and you are done!!!!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Me-Made Meetup!

(Just a few of us! Thanks to Suzie for the photo)

Ok so this is an interval in sewalong posts. Yesterday I met some lovely friends old an new, for the me made meetup in Brighton.
We had a fantastic time and did a bit of light fabric retail therapy followed by a fabric swap.
I'm happy to say the fabric I took to swap went to a new home where it was wanted, and the fabric I received in return was fabulous!
Heres my purchases for the first part of the day. All were from Ditto.
This is a firm cotton twill? Its a bit softer but not silky enough to be a sateen. This is going to be a burda Marie Skirt I think.
Some polkadot Jersey. I always love the remnant table and almost never buy their jersey unless its on the table.
The red bamboo jersey was also a remnant. Its normally a tenner a metre so I was pleased to pick this up!
The next lot is a Paul Smith shirting with little S' on!
Now onto the swap stuff. This is a lovely cotton sateen style fabric.
This is a slightly silky jersey, perhaps a slub?
Then there is a cotton jersey in yummy ice cream colours!
Finally I got a floral with a slight needlecord feel and stretch.
You would think that would have been more than enough right? But the day before some lovely quilting cottons came that I ordered from the U.S. about a month ago!
Jeanine Morrison's Atlas in Butter,
The next is Dena Tea garden in Oolong! (love the tea reference and the pink is amazing.)
The final one is a Joel Dewberry Deer in Barnwood. Delicious right? Looks like a 1930s feedsack print.
Now to plan all the lovely clothes to make!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Sewalong Palooza Post 3...

OK So its neckline time.
This is probably the most time consuming part of the whole thing. I faffed with mine for ages and its still a teeny bit wonky... Shh don't tell anyone!
I decided to get creative on this one and I tried out some of the decorative stitches on my machine. I'm pleased with the result but if your going to do contrasting thread like me, note that it shows every tiny mistake.

Now before we go into the fascinating foray of the contrast bands. We must stay stitch the neckline. All this is, is a stitch running the length of the neckline. This just stops the it warping whilst were doing other things.
Now thats done, remember those pesky markings I hate doing so much? We need to find the one we marked in the middle of the bodice and match your center front band to it. Pin in place and make sure its straight. (Ahem not like moi.) This is where this is stitched with the raw edge folded under.
Heres mine looking worse than it does in real life. As I said I used a decorative stitch and I'm quite pleased with it.
Next up is the neckline band. I didn't get photos of me putting mine in (Doh) so heres the instructions, sew the shoulder seams then pin so the right sides of the contrast and shell are together. Then once thats stitched, flip it over. You can do a skinny hem if you want to but the stitching shows so you can turn and stitch as you sew it to the top.
Once thats done it should look something like this. Both edges clean as you caught the raw edge in the neckline when you flipped it over!
Once you've done that you can stitch the side seams together and its starting to look more like a top!
Next post we'll be dealing with putting in sleeves and your almost done!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Sewalong Palooza Post 2...

Today were dealing with interfacing, pattern markings, and darts.
First up is the interfacing. This is used for giving your fabric a bit of extra support and were using it on our contrast pieces.
I tend to use the Iron on variety but you can get sew in too.
Just cut your contrast pieces in interfacing the same way you did with your fabric.

Then if you have the Iron on version then... Iron away on the wrong side of the fabric.
Voila! nice neat interfaced contrast pattern pieces.
Pop these to the side and lay out your Shell pieces (The main fabric)
Now we get to the pattern markings. These are various confusing arrows and dots all over paper patterns. This was one thing I quickly learnt as a beginner. Copy EVERY dot and marking on the pattern. This may seem pointless and irritating at the start but trust me your future self will thank you.
You can use tailors chalk, or even a different colour thread to mark these. But I like to use a Frixion pen. This is a rollerball pen that disappears when heat is applied! How kool is that?
You have to be careful when your ironing but it is much easier to see your markings and you can be much more precise.
So these dots are on lots of pieces to help you match them up. Particularly on the sleeves.
Mark the size that you have cut for yourself and make sure they are nice and visible.
Next thing were going to check today is that when you cut out you marked the notches. These are little arrows in groups of one or two. If there is two make sure you cut out with two arrows showing. This will save headaches later believe me!
Now to the darts! There are only two darts on the front of the top/dress and you should have marked a triangular shape on either side. My pen is dark and won't photograph well so I've put pins where my dart marks are on my fabric.
So now we pinch in to make the dart.
Once its pinned one end should come to a point. (This is the side nearest the middle) This then needs stitching in place. At the point you need your needle to nearly come off the fabric.
Heres how mine looked once stitched.
Repeat with the second dart and then your all done for today!
Hope everyone is up to speed I would love to see some in progress photos on the flickr group!
Next post we'll be attaching the button stand and starting to sew it all together!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sewalong Palooza Post 1

Morning lovely sewalongers! Today is the big day! This is post numero uno for the Lisette top.
Today were going to be cutting our fabrics!
If you haven't visited the Flickr group already here is the fabrics I'm using for the Tunic version C. This is a plain plum coloured cotton and the contrast is some minty coloured cotton with white polka dots.
This is a great project to use up scraps! The minty one was suposed to be a simplicity dress in the early days that has long since been living in a bin somewhere. It was rubbish! But this was in the scrap box and is perfect for the contrast pieces.

Now to all those who are beginners, some of you worried that you wouldn't be able to do this pattern. You totally can. View E consists of 6 pieces and View C not many more so be brave and we'll guide you through it!

Ok on to the cutting! I am making View C at the moment which is the longer tunic with the frilly long sleeves. I'm not actually crazy about the frills, If your not either, leave them off!
So when you open up your envelope and have cut the size you require, look at the Cutting Layouts and they will tell you what number each pattern piece is.
The contrast pieces are written in a separate box underneath the shell fabric layout. Here I've separated the shell pieces and put them with my fabric so I don't forget which pieces I cut for the shell and which I cut for the contrast.

*If you want to make any adjustments. Make sure you do them before this step. For ease and for the beginners, I am not making any adjustments to this pattern as it fit me pretty well out of the packet. It is always good to check your measurements against the pattern pieces though just in case!
Now your ready to cut out!
Lay your pattern pieces onto your fabric. Use the fold where you see the two attached arrows on an edge.
Make sure you refer to your cutting layout to show you where each piece goes.
I haven't got a cutting table at the moment so I do all of my cutting on a board on the floor.
I pin pieces individually or as many as will fit on the board at a time and cut in blocks.
This is fine as long as you make sure you follow the layout and check your fabric is the correct length the pattern requires. I also use my pattern weights. Mine are just washers wrapped in fabric. But before I had them I used low flat tins like the ones Tuna comes in,
Repeat the cutting process with your contrast pieces and don't forget those arrows!
Thats your job done today! Tomorrow we will tackle interfacing and pattern markings!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sewalong... Preparation time!

OK So we have 2 days until the start of the Lisette Sewalong. I am super exited that its time to prepare your fabrics.
Whatever your using remember to pre-wash! Then Iron out the fabric. I am using poly cotton so I have pre-washed on 40 as I would do a normal wash. When I did my previous post about Pre-washing. people gave some fab advice. The one I now use is putting an old towel in so that if the colour bleeds its absorbed.

The pattern is simple and requires only 7 pieces! Depending on what version you are doing of course. All versions allow for contrasting fabrics if you want them. It is optional though.

On my first version I chose not to. But on my Version C I will most definately have contrast!
Hopefully I will be making Version C and Version E. So I can help out those who want a tunic style with long sleeves and others who just want the blouse version with short sleeves.
I think both will be equally as useful in my wardrobe.
Version C

Version E
Here is my fabric I will be using for Version C
Dark purple cotton and mint and white spot for the contrasts. This is a great way to use up scraps!
Hope everyones ready!!!