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Azure Blue Ponte South Shore Romper

Hello! My name is Aimee – the Sewing Scientist. Today I want to show you this amazing Lady McElroy Ponte Roma Fabric in azure blue. I initially wanted to make a maxi dress with this gorgeous ponte fabric. After I received this fabric, I already had another idea. I had seen hundreds of posts on social media of the Ellie & Mac South Shore Romper.

I’ve never been compelled to make a romper. The idea of undressing to use the restroom turned me off. But I was in love with how every woman looked amazing in their south shore romper. Since my measurements make me a pear shape and due to a medical condition my belly tends to protrude a bit. I often can look pregnant and try to avoid any styles that might accentuate the issue. Before I cut into this gorgeous azure blue ponte I made a toile (muslin) of the south shore romper with a cheap knit from my stash. I tried it on, loved it on me and even got my husband’s approval. But, I wasn’t quite convinced and put my toile to the real test and wore it to work. I received so many compliments. Now, I was finally brave enough to make the south shore romper in my “good” fabric.

First off let me tell you a bit about this fabric. The Azure Blue color is just amazing! It’s a gorgeous blue shade that borders on a purple tone. This fabric is a nice heavy weight. It would be perfect for pants, dresses, or jackets for fall & winter. It is a poly/rayon/spandex blend and I did experience some shrinkage when I washed in length and width. The width is 58” and I think I lost about 3” in width after washing and drying. I lost about the same in the length. This is a ponte knit and it has great 4 way stretch. Most nice ponte knits I come across only have 2 way stretch. That makes this ponte much more versatile than most.

I did make a few changes to the south shore romper. I am short! I am 5’ tall to be exact. I had to remove 2” from the length of the bodice so that it would end at my natural waist. I then measured my crotch from my natural waist in front to my natural waist in the back. I found that I needed to add 1” to the front and back rises to ensure I had enough room to prevent the crotch seam to ride up uncomfortably. I also shortened the legs by 2”. As you can see – I could use about another inch removed from the leg length. I am wearing 2.5” heels in these photos and the legs sweep the ground.

Since I did initially want to make a maxi dress, I decided to make the legs fuller to create a more dress like appearance. To do this, I added 4” to the width of each leg piece. I also decided that I really needed an elasticized waistband on my romper. I added ¼” elastic to the waist of my toile and didn’t feel like it was quite enough. With the extra volume in the legs I knew with all the gathers that I would really need bigger elastic. I added a 1.5” wide strip of the ponte to my bodice as a waistband and added 1.5” wide elastic as well. I serged these on together with my knife turned off. After I gathered the legs, I used my sewing machine to baste them onto the waistband I created sewing through both the ponte and the elastic. I went over it twice trying to make sure that the gathers were sewn down nice and flat. I then serged over the seam allowance with my knife off.

I am so thrilled with my south shore romper. I really feel like any woman can look amazing in it. Just be mindful of your measurements and make any adjustments necessary. Always make a toile! Check the fit for any additional adjustments. Then grab some amazing fabric and be ready to look amazing. I can’t wait to make another south shore romper. The Lady McElroy ponte comes in a few other colors and I might have to try another.

Thank you for reading my post. Please follow me on InstagramFacebook, and my Blog to see more of my makes. Thank you!

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The Luxury!

Hello again stitchers!

I have been deep in research for several weeks trying to plan an outfit for a wedding in October. I haven’t been sure what style I wanted, so searching for patterns and fabrics has been a challenge, I have pretty much been waiting for inspiration to strike. My ideas solidified however when I spied this red and navy print Cotton Sateen Fabric by Lady McElroy. The luxury! The quality! The colour!

I had to do a double take when I first saw this fabric, it is truly stunning and just very much ME!

I had never sewn with Lady McElroy fabrics before but I am thoroughly converted. It is a medium weight cotton sateen with 3% spandex and is 58 inches wide. I find it difficult to describe. It feels weighty and dense but not bulky or stiff, like it has been woven quite tightly. Either way you can really feel the quality in how it handles.

When I saw it I immediately decided to make No. 8 Svaneke by How To Do Fashion, a Danish pattern company run by Nana (who is the queen of vintage fashion, check out her Instagram page for serious inspiration). The pattern consists of a four gore gathered skirt and two top options, a cropped t-shirt shaped top with grown on sleeves and a peplum button-down shirt. There are also several hacks on the website.

I opted for one of these hacks, which was for a six gore skirt with pleats. I figured the fabric would be just structured enough to get that beautiful A-line shape. I also decided to go for the cropped top rather than the shirt. I’m still not entirely sure if it is quite my style but firstly, I didn’t quite have enough fabric for the shirt and secondly, I thought the tiny print would obscure the pattern lines I loved so much in the shirt. I’m glad I did, the uninterrupted bodice really shows off the print.

I did however change the design. I initially made the top according to the pattern but the boxy style hid my waist when paired with the skirt and made my silhouette square and generally bigger. I let down the hem and added 20cm long darts to the back to reduce the fullness there. I also took an extra 1cm from the side seams and added very small pleats to the front, similar to those in the shirt version. The result was a much neater and more flattering fit and the zip at the back meant I could still pull the top on and off with ease.

Side note… I’m super proud of that zip insertion!

It is worth noting that the top in its’ original form was gorgeous when worn with high waist jeans. I intend to make a second version with a sateen remnant I have from another project.

For the skirt on the other hand I followed the hack instructions, which involved cutting two extra panels for the skirt and arranging the sewn panels in box pleats before sewing to the waistband. Now I will admit I struggled here. The instructions were sparse, using mostly pictures to guide you through the steps, which is perfectly fine…unless you’re me. I must have arranged and rearranged my pleats for a whole evening and couldn’t make the fabric line up with the waistband! Eventually I turned to other online tutorials to explain how to make basic box pleat skirts. I foolishly didn’t save the video to reference it here, but thank you a thousand times to the creator!

In the end, after a bit of measuring and letting the folds of my pleats overlap a little, I finally managed it! I tried it on to victoriously twirl around the house while making a cup of tea and… it didn’t fit. I had cut the wrong size waistband. Let this be a lesson to me. No more late night fabric cutting sessions!

I unpicked, sewed a panel to the waistband to make the correct length and lo and behold, the pleats fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Even with all that effort this was reasonably quick sew, mostly due to the fact that this fabric was a delight to sew, to look at and to wear!

What would you have made with this fabric? I could see a Tilly and the Buttons Etta wiggle dress or Bibi pencil skirt in this fabric. The density means it wouldn’t show any lumps and bumps and the stretch means you can get a flirty figure hugging fit.

Happy stitching!

Oonagh @oonagh.casey

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Traditional Nigerian Menswear: The Senator

For this month, I thought I would challenge myself and venture into the world of menswear. More specifically, Nigerian menswear. My husband and I are both first generation Nigerian-Americans and if you know anything about the Nigerian community you will know that we like to throw a lot of events. Nigerians love to dress up especially in our traditional attire so it’s imperative that I add some new traditional pieces for my husband and I.

There are various types of traditional garments that Nigerian men wear but one commonly seen worn by all ages is the senator. After doing some research I discovered the senator style earned its name from a former Nigerian Senator Ayim Pius Ayim who was first (or one of the first) spotted with this style of dress. The senator consists of a top and trousers. The top is typically longer than the normal length of a men’s dress shirt (past the hips and sometimes down to the knees) and with sleeves that can either be long with shirt cuffs or short around the bicep. The trousers are designed to be regular suit pants. Suiting fabrics are a standard to make senators although ankara (African textile) and other lightweight fabrics can be used. 

I like to think that senators are the Nigerian version of a suit for men because there are quite a few features that are similar between the senator and a suit from the fabric, the minimalistic design, pants and structure. Not to mention, a lot of Nigerian politicians (and many politicians in West Africa) wear senators for special and important occasions that one would commonly where a suit. I’ve always wanted to make my husband one so I was excited for this project despite my nerves. When I saw this Lady McElroy Soft Touch Suiting Fabric in conker brown, I thought it would be a great neutral color that my husband could wear often whether as a set or separates with other pieces in his closet. It’s color and weight is great for fall as it can warm you up a bit when worn.

For the top, I created a bodice sloper for my husband and used that to cut out the front and back pieces on the fold for the top. I added seam allowance to the neckline of the sloper. I had to learn the hard way that if I didn’t add that neckline seam allowance, the neckline would be too low once the facings were sewn. When it comes to senator tops, the neckline needs to be snug around the base of the neck, otherwise it can make the top look a bit feminine for the neckline to be any further from the neck. I also created a faux back yoke that I traced off of the back bodice piece as this is another known feature of a senator. I sandwiched some bias tape in between the yoke piece and the back piece.

Senators normally have plackets down the center front as an opening to get the head into the top but a new modern feature I’ve seen in the past years is to add an invisible zipper on the shoulder so I did just that. I feel that the invisible zipper on the shoulder simplifies the front of the top, furthering its minimalism which I like. Chest pockets are also common in senators so I opted for a welt (a patch pocket is another option). This was my first time making a welt pocket so it is not as crisp as I would have liked but I am pleased with my first try. I added black bias tape to the bottom of my welt as a design element to pair well with the back. I also created a pocket square that I boarded with black bias tape to add a little more pop to the top when it’s inserted into the welt pocket. Lastly, I added a side vent on the side seams of the top which allows ease of movement at the hips and sewed a 1 inch hem on the bottom. I made this top to be slim fit as this is how my husband likes to where his clothes and a more modern way to wear senators.

For the trousers, I used Burda 6933 pants pattern. I’ve had this pattern for a while but this was my first time making men’s trousers and using a Burda pattern. So I have to be honest on this part and mention that I panicked before attempting these pants. My husband actual said I should just make pants for myself out of it if that was more comfortable for me and I agreed so I began cutting out pieces for that. Then after basting the pants together and trying them on I didn’t feel like it suited me and then I felt like I was chickening out on my original idea to make a top and bottom senator outfit so I took the pants apart and salvaged it to make my husband’s trousers. 

My men’s pants pattern went up to a size 44 but after measuring my husband I needed to grade up three sizes to a size 50. I actually could have graded to a 48 because the finished pants ran a little loose on him. I searched YouTube to find a tutorial on how to grade up patterns and found this video that was super helpful. Thankfully my graded out front piece could fit on two of the pant legs that would have been pants for me and I had just enough untouched fabric to cut out my graded out back piece. The directions for the pattern were okay but the instructions on how to create the back welt pockets were a bit confusing. I would highly suggest taking some scraps and testing it out first before attempting this on your fashion fabric. I made a mistake of not reading the instructions a few times and my pockets were jacked up but I later saved them after some troubleshooting.

I took the waist in at the side seams and the darts about 2 inches altogether and tapered the legs an inch. Did a blind hem on the pants legs, gave both the top and the trousers a press, and this senator outfit was complete. 

This entire outfit came out so well and my confidence in menswear is through the roof. I am very happy that I didn’t chicken out of making the pants after all because the two pieces look good when worn together and I really needed this experience. My husband loves it and said he would wear these pants to work and honestly that has been a goal of mine. I wanted to learn to sew so that I could not only make myself cool pieces but some nice work pieces for my husband that he would be proud to wear. Before I go, I would like to share a few things I hope to improve on in my future senator or menswear makes:

·     Take time to perfect the sloper. I made one but being in a rush to create this look, I didn’t tweak it in areas that would have improved the fit.

·     Reduce the sleeve cap. For the sleeves I used the McCalls M6044 sleeve pattern to save time but I need to create a sleeve that better fits my sloper. There was definitely a little excess in the sleeve cap.

·     Add a hem facing. The hem was my least favorite part because I feel like a hem facing would have been a much better finish rather than a regular hem. Plus I could use a different color that could nicely peak through when worn.

This was quite a lengthy post but I thank you all for reading up to this point. This outfit took longer than I had anticipated but I am relieved to see it done and look pretty nice too.

You can keep with me and all my latest makes over on Instagram at @createandpray. If you were inspired by this look, tag me so that I can show you all the love. Until next time loves, happy sewing!

Love, 

Christine

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Favorite Pajama's

Amanda from Deriving Mommyhood here, with my most recent sew. Today I’m going to go back in time about 16 years….to my favorite pajama pants on earth. They were a gift from a friend and were just the softest, lightest weight woven fabric…I wore them to death. They were in shreds when I finally said goodbye, and in all honesty, I mourned them a bit….but mourn no more, I have finally replaced them.

Let’s start with this fabric. It's 100% Cotton Lawn from Lady McElroy, and it’s absolutely stunning. The colors are gorgeous, with blush, lilac, chartreuse, some aqua in the background, dots of rust, navy…in a nice spatter print that reminds me a bit of Monet. But they are the perfect lightweight replacement. They are ever so slightly sheer, but I am not worried about that in bed. That sheerness is perfect for this use, but a lightweight blouse would be stunning also.

I used the Lanai Loungers from New Horizons Designs, the woven pant version in low rise. Plus a pocket, because everything should have pockets. I used some navy cording for the drawstring as well.

The Lanai Loungers released with the Maui Tank and Cami, so I of course had to make a matching cami to go with my new dreaming pants. I chose this Luxury Super Soft Jersey Knit Fabric in navy, also from Lady McElroy. I expected from the description that it would be a drapey, silky type of viscose but it ended up being so much more substantial. It is almost a heavyweight fabric, honestly. I had to use thicker needles to sew multiple layers (and not sure I ever adjusted the coverstitch properly for the binding) but I love the feel of it. I think it would do great as a body con dress or leggings or similar as it really has a lovely heft to it. I did the built in shelf bra as well from it that comes with the tank (and a nursing hack) and it will become a staple layering piece I’m sure.

I was originally planning to do the cover up that released with this lounge collection as well, but because it was a little heavier than I expected it to be I thought that it would be more suited to a layering piece for fall. I pictured throwing it on over my new cami and loungers while I drink my morning coffee, so I went with a favorite, the Tanacross Cardi. (By the way, the cover up that was released is free with a code in their facebook group, so worth checking out anyway: Kauai Cover Up) I kept this one simple….no trim, a wooden button, knee length. It sewed up so beautifully in this jersey so I do think they were meant to be. It has a lovely drape for the cowl portion, but it is thicker than a lot of French terry I have so will be worn a lot when the weather gets cool. I feel like I’m wrapped in a cozy blanket.

I went ahead and added inseam pockets to the cardi as well, because once again, pockets are just essential for life.

I’m not going to lie, I did consider using the yardage leftover from my tank to make my husband some loungewear….he would have loved a pair of joggers out of this, and his look of envy when he saw my new cardi and how comfortable I looked in it confirmed that he would have loved them….but I am sticking by my choice. Sewing yourself loungewear is the ultimate selfish move, right? He did carry it around for awhile like Linus and his blankie and comment on how soft it was. Next time.

Hope you enjoy and get some selfish sews in soon.

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The Colette Laurel

Hi everyone, I’m back here on the blog to show you my most recent make - the Colette Laurel dress and I am excited to share all the details with you.

I have had the Colette Laurel dress pattern in my stash for a few years now and have been meaning to make it up for so long. However, for some reason I kept putting it off....maybe because I knew I'd have to make a few alterations to get the fit right and I wasn’t wrong! This hasn’t been an easy sew for me, even though this pattern is aimed at beginner sewers. However, even though I have experienced fit issues with this dress, I would still recommend it to others to try out as it is a basic pattern with a few techniques like inserting set-in sleeves, an invisible zip and attaching bias binding to the neckline.

The pattern comes with a few variations – Version 1 is a lined dress (where you can use sheer or lace fabrics). Version 2 includes patch pockets. Version 3 features classic 1960s style gathered cuffs and version 4 is an easy pullover blouse with no closures. I always knew I wanted to make the dress with the gathered cuffs as I really like the prettiness this adds and I'd seen a few made up on other people and really liked this look.

I chose to use this gorgeous Cotton Poplin Fabric as I like the cute pattern on it and it’s very different to what I usually wear. I had also found this type of fabric very easy to sew with in the past and it is also cool to wear – which is perfect for the hotter weather we’re experiencing in the UK right now.

So I decided to make a toile first as I wasn’t sure what size to make. The finished garment measurements show that there is a lot of ease built into this pattern and as I am a classic pear shape I knew I would find the waist area quite roomy - this is quite common for a shift dress pattern on my body shape. I decided to air on the side of caution and cut the size which would fit my hips, but unfortunately this was the wrong choice to make as the rest of the dress ended up being far too large and in actual fact there was still a lot of excess fabric around the hip area. At this point the dress was sleeveless so I decided to just take the side seams in until I got the desired shape I wanted which took quite a few attempts and I ended up taking it in by quite a bit. As I’d traced the pattern pieces off, I then transferred my changes to these pieces before cutting it out of my official fabric. I also lay the altered pattern pieces on top of the original pattern to see what size I'd roughly changed it to. On doing this I could see that I had virtually reduced it by 2 sizes from the armholes to the hips, but the waist by over 4 sizes (I had changed the shape of the dress quite a lot).

The dress has standard bust darts, an invisible zip, a bias bound neckline and fish eye darts in the back. I really liked the fish eye darts as this gives a closer fit across the back and helps if you have a swayback as you don’t get the pooling of fabric at the base of your back.

Inserting the invisible zip and attaching the bias binding to the neckline all went very smoothly, as did the sleeve insertion. Colette patterns have you sew 3 lines of gathering stitches to the head of the sleeve which gives a more even gather and prevents puckering and as this was only the 2nd time I'd ever sewn a set in sleeve, they went in without problem. The gathered cuffs are double sided as you sew two rectangles of fabric together first. You then gather them in the same way as the sleeve head and attach to the bottom of the sleeves. I really like the fact they are double sided as you hide all raw edges and it gives the ruffle a bit of weight.

As the fabric I’ve chosen is quite busy and the waist is still a little loose on me, I like to wear this dress with a belt. It breaks the pattern of the fabric up and creates a little more definition around my waist. I have worn both a ready to wear belt and also the belt I made for my Colette Peony dress which is the Tilly and the Buttons belt from her book Love at First Stitch.

After all the alterations I've made I am now very happy with how the dress has turned out and have enjoyed wearing it recently. I have received lots of compliments about both the dress and the fabric. I think now I'll see if I can get my toile version to fit me too.

Thanks for reading,

Karen @sew.little.time

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Sirocco Jumpsuit

This summer all I can see on social media are Jumpsuits! I will admit I have never been a fan of the jumpsuit - to me it’s essentially a onesie and is a nightmare for bathroom visits. But the more they popped up on my screen the more they caught my eye. They look amazing, so many different patterns, fabrics and bodies and they all looked so good. Could it be this could work for me? I was definitely sceptical, I’m short, dumpy , curvy in the right and wrong places and feel like most days I’m as wide as I am tall (5’1”) so I wasn’t overly confident. The Deer and Doe Sirocco stood out for me as it was a jersey pattern and from everything I had seen was a flattering make. A knit pattern is always a winner in my book as I’m not the most confident with fitting and knits always make that process a lot simpler. So here goes, I decided to go for it.
The pattern called for a medium weight knit with 60% stretch so I opted for this grey and cream textured medium weight Knit Fabric. Yes, it does look black and white in the photos but is more of an off white with that washed out black look.  
The texture has a slightly quilted look and if I’m honest I wasn’t totally sure it would work with this pattern but it’s actually really light and drapes beautifully.
On the underside it's a really thin black layer - that I hasten to mention as I managed to burn a section when I had my iron set to cotton! Rookie mistake but not a fail.
The fabric has about 40-50 % stretch but actually works really well with this pattern and certainly has good recovery.
I was a good girl for the first time ever (!) and pre washed the fabric before starting at 40 degrees and didn’t notice any shrinkage. I didn’t tumble dry as I tend not to with me made clothes.
The pattern itself is really well put together, the instructions are easy to follow and most of the construction I was able to do on the overlocker. The neckband went on really easily and with a decent amount of pressing I didn’t feel the need to top stitch it down. I had most of it put together in a day and finished the sleeves and hemming the next. So a great little weekend project. I liked that the waistband is in two parts and attached to the front and back separately. It’s only put together when the entire side seams are sewn. The only downside for me was that the crotch is really low. I haven’t made trousers previously so I wasn’t sure of fit changes I would need so now I know that I need to shorten it by at least a couple of inches. I don’t think this has taken away from the jumpsuit though. I decided that I would crop the legs and give it a more relaxed look and I can honestly say it really is secret pyjamas. The pockets are nice and deep but don’t add extra bulk. Obviously the bathroom visits are still annoying but there is enough room to easily get in and out of it.
I have surprised myself by how much I like it and have worn it quite a few times since it was finished. I think my version is definitely a day outfit, lunch with the girls or shopping but oh my it is so comfortable.
Has my scepticism changed when it comes to jumpsuits....I actually think it might have.
Thanks for reading,
Nicola @miss_nicj
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Double Gauze Cropped Top

I’ve always been a fan of natural fabrics, but since having a baby, I’ve grown even more fond of Double Gauze Fabrics. It’s light, airy, soft and breathable – what dreamy qualities! Such qualities can’t stay a secret forever -- double gauze is gaining popularity in recent years, and more and more designers are bringing out their own collections of this beautiful fabric.

I was so excited to get my sticky fingers on this stunning Double Gauze by Rico Designs. I knew instantly what to make – a relaxed fit, boxy, cropped top is in order, and what better pattern to use than the Butterick B6182 by Lisette?

I had a head start making this top, as this is my second time using this pattern. I made the dress version in an eyelet linen in an off white colour when I was pregnant, thanks to its roomy fit. It worked well; in fact, my bump fitted in that dress almost all the way till full term. My husband did joke that it looked like a hospital gown, so it was a real shame that I was not wearing it when I went into labour.

I never got round to blogging about that dress, but it has come in handy in helping me determine the length of the top this time. I wanted it to be cropped, but had read reviews that the top version comes up extra short. After a bit of measuring and pinning, I decided to add 2 inches to the cut lines for the top. For your reference, I’m only 5 foot 3, and I think the finished length is just right.

I made self fabric bias binding for the neckline, as none of the tapes that I have in my stash were right for this. Some clashed, and others were not narrow or soft enough. This was probably the trickiest part of this project, as the double layers were not always pulling through the bias tape maker together. If I were to make them again, I would probably cut the tape a little wider than usual, to help with this. It was perfectly manageable, though, with a little extra care.

One of my favourite features of this pattern is the interesting dart placement at the bodice front. I'd go as far as saying that it is unique! I love it even more that all the lines neatly line up together :D

... and here, at the sleeve bands. This was a little harder because I did French seams all around. French seams really are my preferred method of seam finishes for lightweight fabrics that fray easily, and double gauze definitely fits nicely on that list. Never done French seams before? Here’s my favourite tutorial on this great technique.

You probably know by now my obsessions with garments that look great both inside and out!

Here’s a sneaky peek of the inside of this garment. Must resist the urge to wear it inside out!

Finally, let me leave you with a close up picture of the fabric. It is even more stunning in real life – the leaves are a metallic silver. And look at the intricate double layers. 

Thanks for reading. Until next time, Alice from Queen of Darts

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A Hacked Hemlock Tee

In this post I'm going back to basics.
I love making and wearing dresses and I always have my head turned by so many pretty makes but, as the seasons change, separates feature in my wardrobe so much more and I always think to myself 'I really need some more basic tops'.
So when I saw this soft blush pink Viscose Jersey Fabric I thought it would be perfect for the Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee. It also comes in a grey colourway. When I saw the fabric online I was tempted by the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top, but once I saw the drape that the fabric has I knew it would work beautifully in a less structured top. This viscose jersey has at least 50% stretch so it will work really well. This jersey has a marled heathered appearance and the reverse side of the fabric is super soft.
The Hemlock Tee is free when you sign up to Grainline Studio's newsletter. It's a one size pattern so you might want to take a look at the finished garment measurements to see whether you'd want to reduce the width or length. As ever, Grainline Studio's instructions are really easy to follow and have great diagrams but you can also have a look at the photo tutorial if you need a bit more help. There are also only eight steps in the instructions! This pattern is a good 'first knit' project and great for mixing and matching - it would be great for experimenting with colour blocking too. 
I made a few amendments to the original pattern. I lowered the neckline by 1cm and I lengthened the neckline by 0.5cm to account for this.
I also reduced the width of the top by 4 inches and reduced the length by 2 inches. I also added a cuff by drafting a pattern piece slightly smaller than the width of the sleeve.
Before sewing step one, using a narrow zigzag, I sewed some ribbon to the shoulders to give them some stability as I didn't want the dropped shoulders to risk stretching out over time. 
When I overlock the shoulder seams together I use a continuous thread across the neck gap  so that it stops the neckline from stretching out when I'm moving the fabric around or trying the garment on for fit.
I basted the neckband to double check that it wouldn't be too tight before I overlocked it together, and then, because I didn't want the neckband to be too wide I used my overlocker foot as a guide for the final width. This gave me a much slimmer neckband.
Once I'd tried on the top for size, I thought it looked odd with cuffs and no waistband, so I cut a waistband the same width as the cuff pieces and not quite as wide as the top. 
Before attaching the waistband I further reduced the length of the top by 5cm inches to account for the waistband that I was now going to add.
And then I was done! A hacked hemlock top with cuffs and a waistband. I love the fit of it - boxy tops can sometimes be a bit shapeless on me, but the width of this is just right for my proportions and the drape of this viscose jersey is just right for the pattern.  I like how this finishes just below my high hip too - I think this is a flattering length for me.
Thank you again for the beautiful fabric Minerva!
Until next time...
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Pink Floral Isla Dress

Hiya! It’s me again…… The Welsh One… with some gorgeously pretty florals. It’s all about the pink this time. Pink is one of my favourite colours, it’s me all over, I just love the way the colour makes me feel.. a colour can make you feel a certain way right? Anyway, it makes me feel girly, pretty, like a lady, and takes me back to my younger days when everything I had at home with mam was pink – from my bedroom carpet, to my fluffy door lights I had hung up over my window… I think it makes me feel happy, content and safe.

So this Cotton Fabric jumped out at me and I knew I had to make a dress with it. A pretty, girly one that made me feel how pink makes me feel! 

I went for the Sew Over It Ilsa dress. With its pretty frills, and panelled skirt, I knew it was going to be the perfect dress for this fabric.

There are quite a few pieces to this pattern, as the bodice has a yoke, plus the frills, and also with the skirt being panelled. It was quite scary seeing all the pieces cut out and I was afraid that I would sew it all together the wrong way and attach the wrong panels to each other, but it went together really smoothly. I really enjoyed seeing it all come together.

The bodice has a yoke and optional frills which add that extra bit of girly detail to the dress. I love the frills, but only opted for the front frills on the bodice. I had so much fun creating the frills and attaching them, I’m sure I squeaked at one point with delight! 

The Isla dress has options for a full sleeve with a cuff, but I went for a short sleeve because I think a full sleeve would have been a bit too much with the fabric being so busy.

I had to go for some buttons that fitted with the pink floral theme so got some of the flower shaped buttons which I love. I think they work really well and I adore how they look on the bodice. I should have gone for 4 buttons instead of 3 though just to avoid that little bit of gaping that sometimes does appear.

The panelled skirt was an absolute doddle and went together really well. I was a bit nervous about putting these pieces together but I ensured I marked all the notches and took my time which paid off in the end. The skirt has a really flattering fluted shape which does indeed swish – the swishier the fabric, the more swish you get! 

Attaching both the skirt and bodice was super easy – I thought I was doing something wrong for it to go together so easily – I thought it was too good to be true! I inserted the zipper and hemmed the skirt, and that was it, ready to go!

Now – the sizing is a little bit off, for me anyway. I did find it came up a little tight on the sleeves and bodice. I managed to get in it to wear it. If I was to be standing around and not move all day, I could wear it with no problems. I need to move and wiggle, and be free so this is not a dress for me to wear day to day, it’s a dress to stand and look pretty in – which is fine…. For some occasions haha! 

I would definitely recommend sizing up with the Isla – you can always make a dress a tad smaller, making it bigger is almost impossible!

Until next time…..

Tee x

@The_Craftee_Welsh_One

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Wardrobe Staples Don’t Have to be Boring

It’s me again, and I am still in the process of building a wardrobe that is full of fun, color, textures and styles that fit and flatter me. I would never be one to say that so and so should never wear X item. However, I do have things that I personally would not wear. Either because I feel they overwhelm me as I am so short or they do not flatter my shape. For example I will most likely never wear boxy, shapeless garments; I end up looking very short and squat. Not a look I want to go for. I need garments that flatter my curves, not cover them up. 

So, I decided to make a skirt this time around. It is a garment that I do not have many of (I have one other). I wanted a skirt that was feminine, fun and easy to wear, that would highlight my shape instead of covering it. I chose the Megan Nielsen Wattle Skirt and paired it with this amazing Washed Linen Viscose Fabric in fuchsia. It is almost as if these two were destined for one another. I love the little bit of weight the fabric gives the skirt. I actually tested this pattern last year and used a mystery poly something-or-another I had in my stash. It worked fairly well but this linen viscose is much better. One, it’s so much cooler. Two, the movement in the skirt in this linen viscose is amazing. Three, easy to wear and wash. All things that tick my boxes and make me excited about a project. 

I chose view D, which is bias cut above the knee with the tie. This is the same view I sewed when I tested the pattern originally. I love the shape of it and how it looks. Plus, the pockets are GINORMOUS! I was nervous the first time I sewed it because of it being bias cut, but I followed the instructions and had zero problems. This time as the linen isn’t as tightly woven as the fabric I used prior, I made sure to stay stitch the waistlines on all four pieces. It worked perfectly and I had no issues at all with it stretching out of shape or anything of that sort. This is actually a fairly quick make, maybe 2-3 hours? That is with hand hemming the bias tape hem I added too! I thoroughly enjoyed the process, although you could just as easily machine hem it. 

The linen viscose shrank a bit in the wash as you would expect, just keep that in mind when ordering how much you need. It also retained its color really well. I have had linen in the past where the color nearly washes out all together, but not this one. Laundered well, pressed beautifully like linen does and sewed so lovely, a great texture too. The big difference I noted was how much softer this linen is, I mean it’s strokable! That is down to the 45% viscose in it, so soft to touch and against skin it is smooth and cool. If you live in a warm and/or humid climate, I highly recommend this fabric for that reason alone. But even if you live somewhere less hellish than Texas, you would still appreciate this fabric for so many garments. 

Try introducing color and textures into your wardrobe. Exploring these and styles makes sewing so much more fun and enjoyable. It becomes less about filling your closet and more about enjoying what you fill your closet with!

Sew, Laugh, Repeat!

~Viv

@_stitchesandseams_

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