Saturday, 30 May 2015

My summer stitching plans

So I have a few things lined up to sew for summer. My aim is to use some of my existing stash of materials and patterns that I have accumulated.

First up is New Look 6262, which I made previously here.

This time I am making view D, with the boat neck and without sleeves.  My muslin of the bodice is complete and I have now cut out my pieces, just need to get sewing!

I'm using this gorgeous cotton that I got from a local market. Perfect for summer!

Next up, I'm planning on making a summer skirt using New Look 6873. I've had this pattern in my stash since last summer, and I'd originally planned to make the trousers. I'm planning on making view C.

I'm going to use this material that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show in March.  I think it will make a sweet summery skirt. 

I also plan to make another dress, this time Butterick B4443. Again I like the boat neck version.

This is a different style for me to make as it has princess seams and this is something I've not made before. All the other dresses and tops I've made have had bust darts.

I think this material will make a lovely summer dress.

Finally I'm going to make another Simplicity 1693.

 I love this top as it's simple to make and is a great wardrobe basic.

I will make the Peter Pan collar again  in this fabric and probably make it sleeveless. I prefer sleeveless tops for summer.

Hopefully now I've got my plans down on the blog, I will crack on with it. I've been doing more knitting that sewing in the last few weeks, and am missing my sewing machine.

What have you got planned to stitch next?

Catherine x

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Washi Dress

What a lovely sunny day and as promised, here is my latest make, the Washi dress by Made by Rae.

Washi Dress, Made by Rae
Can you see Oscar?
I coerced my daughter into taking the photos. As you can see,my cat was keen to get into the photos.

Washi Dress, Made by Rae

I made this using some cotton that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, that I posted about here. The fabric came from Simply Fabrics and was very reasonably priced, about £5 a metre if I remember rightly.

The Washi dress is a simple make, and perfect for beginner dressmakers.

Washi dress by Made by Rae
I fell in love with it after seeing it on pinterest. It features a cut-out scoop neckline, although I decided to omit this as I felt it might be a bit low cut for everyday life.  It features a pleated front and a shirred back. It also has built in pockets.  It can be made with or without sleeves and also can be adapted as a tunic or maxi dress. It's a fairly expensive pattern to download at $16 dollars (roughly £10) but I figured this would be a dress that I could make again and again.

 There is also a Washi dress expansion pack which can be purchased if you want to add further looks.

Washi dress expansion pack by Made by Rae

I also found that there is a free tutorial and pattern piece for long sleeves that can be downloaded here, so there are lots of options for this dress.

Washi Dress, Made by Rae

Based on my high bust measurement, I decided to make a size M. In the instructions, Rae recommends making a muslin of the bodice. I did this for the first time ever using an old pillow case and was very glad as it was clear I needed a full bust adjustment (FBA).  I followed the tutorial that can be found on Simplicity's website for increasing the size of a dart.  I did a one inch FBA. I also lowered the bust dart by adding an inch below the armhole.

Front bodice, Washi Dress, Made by Rae

Remember any changes you make to the bodice pattern piece, you have to also make the back pattern piece!
Back bodice, Washi Dress, Made by Rae

This lengthened the bodice and on making my second pillow case muslin, I decided I had a good fit and could cut in to my material!

Washi Dress, Made by Rae

The dress was fairly easy to construct and the instructions are very detailed and clear. They are also fully illustrated with either drawings or photos. The darts are french darts which I'd not come across before. The other unusual thing is that the seam allowances are either 1/4 inch at the armhole and neckline or 1/2 inch at the side and shoulder seams instead of the usual 5/8 inches.

The skirt is pleated and then sewn to the front bodice.

Pleats, Washi Dress, Made by Rae

The back bodice is then shirred. I hand winded the shirring elastic bobbin and then sewed in straight rows using the normal thread in the needle, pulling the material straight as I sewed across after the first row.  Rae gives a lot of information about how to shirr with elastic thread and if it's the first time you've done it like me, you will find this very useful.

Shirring, Washi Dress, Made by Rae

The dress is faced at the neckline and then once the sleeves are attached,  bias binding is applied at the armholes. I decided to stitch mine on the outside as my hand-sewing is not great, I made my own bias binding using the same fabric and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I had to give it a real blast of steam to get a few wrinkles out though.

Bodice, Washi Dress, Made by Rae

Finally I machine hemmed the dress. I didn't change the length of the dress as I liked it as it was.

Washi Dress, Made by Rae

I'm sure I will make dress again! I might leave out the pockets as I think the skirt would sit better without them. There is a tiny back neckline gape that I could fix but it's really not that noticeable.

I also think I need to invest in a tailor's ham for pressing those bust darts.

Have you made the Washi dress yet and do you love it too?

Catherine x

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Exciting news...My New Look 6022 dress is featured on the Minerva crafts blog!

Well I got a lovely surprise pop up on Twitter today. A few months earlier, I'd posted about my second version of New Look 6022 and Minerva crafts contacted me to ask if they could feature it in a future blog post..

I first wrote about New Look 6022 here ...

and then here.

Anyway I had more or less forgotten about this when I saw this tweet.

Pop by the Minerva crafts blog and have a look!

On other sewing news, I have a new dress that I have just finished, the Washi dress by Made by Rae which hopefully I will get to blog about this weekend if I can get some photos taken!

I'm probably the last person in the world to have made this dress. Although it was a simple make, I learnt some news skills along the way - full bust adjustment, lowering bust darts, shirring... plenty to write about.

I've also cut out another New Look 6262 which I first made here.

This time to be made in a gorgeous strawberry print, perfect for summer.  I will be making view B with or without the sleeves, as I've yet to decide. I will also be trying to tackle the weird gaping back neck thing that I have going on with every dress that I make, using this method I found on the By Hand London blog.

Catherine x