I sew ..

And draft patterns. This blog will log some of the processes.

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Vogue 1408

I made a few things for others whilst away. One was Vogue1408. I have no photo of this, but in case you’re thinking of working it here’s how it went for me. Sizing – I made a 12 which is, by the measurement chart, one and a half bust sizes down from me and the daughter who was the lucky recipient. It fitted without alteration, both of us, though if I’d been feeling picky I’d have added a small FBA for a better fit.

There’s a lot of pieces and seams, but its not difficult to assemble – just be sure you keep accurate on the seam allowances . I used a heavy medium stretch jersey in a single black (no happy colour combo found). The skirt as drafted is very short – measure it before you start. I lengthened by about five inches .

I put a zip in, but could get into the dress with it closed. I didn’t line it, but there are lining pieces if you want to (hooray!). The skirt is full, the shape hourglassy.  A reasonably quick and easy pattern if stitching concave to convex curves doesn’t cause you a headache. A vague plan to make myself one with sleeves is hatching.

Another gifty make does have a photo. This is from a self drafted pattern, in floral cotton.



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Congratulations Carmen!

I’ve been away on RL issues again, and guess what one of my fellow sewists in this corner of France has done in the interim?  Well done Carmen!

She’s walked away with the best amateur couturier in France trophy from the Sewing Bee à la France, Cousu Main. The winning dress was chic and original. I just watched the nail biting finale here


Such a brilliant idea for a dress – I want one!

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Teeing Off

Anyone remember a couple of years ago I designed and drafted some fitted Tee shirts?
T Shirt cI’m using this navy striped one for the  Pattern Review Contest as a base to make four different looks. The contest called for using a TNT.  This is the pattern .


It has the side seams moved to the front and back, giving the pattern that twisted look.

There are cap sleeves drafted on, and the bust darts are angled from a half yoke seam from one shoulder. Many commercial T-shirt patterns don’t have bust shaping, and rely on the fabric stretch to do the work.

Making up is a breeze. One angled dart is sewn first, then the half yoke seam that extends into a second dart, side seams, hems, and neck binding.

First adaptation is a  Tee top in black stretch lace and black jersey.  I extended the half yoke seam  to make an asymmetric yoke in the lace front and back, and finished the shoulder of one side with a tie instead of a cap sleeve.


Second adaptation is in a natural white jersey with a raised knitted pattern, and plain black jersey  for shaped sections to emphasise the displaced side seams. It gets a new neckline, faced to the right side in black with a decorative shaped facing. I moved the darts to shoulder drapes in this one.


Third adaptation in  brown jersey , the original top extended to dress length. I used the darts as folds  and redrew the neckline to use a purchased beaded collar. I’m using a purchased belt with this.


Fourth adaptation took on a seventies vibe with a bit of flower power appliqué, and a flounce wrapping round the edge of the cap sleeve and extending down the displaced side seams. I used a pink viscose jersey, appliqué in black cotton jersey. pnkt


When I designed the original pattern I worked it in a standard 12 before drafting it from my personal block. I still have the 12 draft. Would anyone like to do a test run of this?

12 finished garment measures 35 inches at bust, assuming moderate stretch in the fabric.

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More of the Stashy Things

In the spirit of full disclosure, more of the Pattern Stash Comp insanity coming up.

Small bits of fabric stuff this time

Ist row

babe dress in red cotton trimmed with green silk from ancient pattern (well 60s ish)

babe hat in printed jersey long time readers may recognise, made from pattern from the French mag ‘Fait Main’

Even older pattern causing nostalgia attack of momentous proportions (doll’s clothes)

2nd Row

Another trip down memory lane – 50s dolly pattern

Beanie hat from My Image magazine pattern

Knickers from Burda magazine pattern

3rd Row

Beret in faux suede from Butterick 6308

Babe dress in blue crinkly satin from a Burda Magazine

Dolly dress in cotton from aforementioned nostalgia trip

4th Row

Babe dress in yellow cotton with flower pocket and mauve trim from Patrones magazine pattern.

Dolly jacket from 50s memorabilia

Babe jacket from Patrones Magazine

5th Row

Knickers again! This time a short shorts pattern from Idées Couture Magazine, made in scrap of jersey left over from a dress.

Dinky little baby mittens from Burda magazine

Hat from Vogue 8405

What can I say? I  kept seeing those scraps we all save so religiously as pattern fodder. Luckily, no pattern for scrunchies has yet found its way into my repertoire. The scraps from the scrap makes would not have been safe.


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Pattern Stash

Last month I sewed 46 patterns from my stash, entering Sewing Pattern Review’s Pattern Stash Contest. Beanchor sewed a truly amazing 51, which you can see here.

Here is the Pattern Review gallery. There were some lovely contributions, and what can I say, all together, a heck of lot of sewing went on.

I was asked how I sewed so much  and don’t really have an answer. I have manic sewing episodes, this was just a slightly longer one.  I made no plans to take part, it just happened after I made this hat.

Vogue 8405DSC_1444

This dress came nextdress1Made from the truly dire vintage Vogue 8707.

Then I started rifling through stashed patterns and old magazines, and imagining styles made up in stashed fabric. A few skirts got made.


From left to right first row

1. a dead simple skirt from an old Burda magazine pattern, made in a jersey fabric which has horizontal flounces of grey knitted in to a black background. Waistband black jersey done yoga pants style.

2. printed cotton skirt lightly gathered onto a shaped yoke, old Patrones magazine

3. Straight skirt with side pockets from a pattern passed down to me

Second row

1. A line skirt in fine black and white stripe cotton

2. Skirt from a Burda magazine pattern, 18 small tucks at the front. Yes, I am crazy.

3. Skirt in a printed voile with a shirred top set onto a yoke (why shirring not gathering? Ask Patrones)

Third row

1. Gored skirt constructed from ancient Burda mag. pattern, in a printed crepe, set on a black waistband.

2. Bias cut flared  skirt in a printed chiffon with woven satin stripes

3. Bias cut flared skirt from freebie Marfy pattern (well free with pricey catalogue that is)

Fourth row

1. A line skirt in wild print on cotton.

2. Black poly basic straight skirt with side slits.

3. Velvet skirt with overlapped shaped side slits faced back.

More next post ha ha.




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Waking Up

I put this blog to sleep for a few months during some Real Life roller coasters and a couple of those creepy events which sometimes land on ladies who blog. Sorry to buzz off without explanation and suspend so many helpful and encouraging comments from readers while pulling down the shutters. I’m back now with a different nom de plume and avatar, and will be blathering on about the same sewing and pattern making obsession. Cheers and Happy Stitching.

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Coat Tales

acThe swing coat, made before Christmas, in a navy wool and burgundy lining from Crescent Trading, trimmed with navy velvet from a shop on Balham High Street. Pattern is own draft.bcCollar can be worn open.ccOr buttoned up.

dcLarge buttons from The Button Queen.

ecPockets have velvet trim.

fcNice lining with a twill weave, facing trimmed with the velvet.

gcBack has inverted pleat.

Next, method madness and bound buttonholes.

Which way do you do them?

I’ve usually used this one, also shown in this Threads article, and in many other good tutorials on the web. Or, sometimes this one, also shown here.

But then there’s this one, which feels a bit like cheating.

Here’s a nice variation. And this one is on my to do list, as is this, and who wouldn’t want to try this ?

Have you a favourite method, or a quirky one to add to the list? Do you enjoy making bound buttonholes, or approach them with trepidation?

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