Well I’m on the second…

Imogen top. But this time I’ve lengthened the bodice by 8cm and the sleeves by 11cm, and it now it is perfect for me. PERFECT!

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Yep I used the same fabric as I really love it. It washes well and doesn’t crease too much whilst wearing. And it just feels lovely to wear. I still had some problems with the front placket and the whole construction of it, unfortunately the instructions are just a little bit too vague and if I was a beginner (which this top is recommended for) well I would probably have given up! I got there in the end and just hope I manage to work it out when I make the next one, as I will be making at least another one…

I still enjoyed the making process though for this top. Maybe its about doing something different and challenging myself. Might have to give that more of a try next year, but I can see this pattern in so many various ways. Think it would make a fabulous dress , or long tunic over jeans. I already have a short sleeved black crepe dress version in my head, watch this space.

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I wore it to my Dad’s 80th Birthday lunch and had a few compliments on it, and not one person asked if I made it. Which makes me think it looked that good it couldn’t possibly have been made by me!

Shock, horror, I bought me a new pattern…

Yep, thought it about time I had a go at something different. Think I’ve made enough Trapeze tops for now!

I fell in love with the Imogen top from sew me something, as it had a neckline I liked. However The neckline turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

The pattern says its suitable for beginners, however I beg to differ. I do have sewing experience now, but I feel if I’d tried this as a beginner I would have packed up my sewing machine and just stopped. I feel the instructions could do with being a little more detailed and more pictures wouldn’t go amiss either. So despite the experience I do have I still managed to bugger it up! I was able to rectify it though.

Totally forgot to take pictures of the buggered up version, as I was thinking it was a right off and was feeling very despondent, I really liked the fabric and was unhappy about the waste. And then I checked in my scrap pile and found I had enough scrap left over to give the buggered up bit another go.

Basically I put the collar on upside down, simple mistake to make, I was looking at it like a facing as thats what I’m used to. I unpicked the upside down collar and started again. Of course I had to compensate for some fabric that had already been cut off, but it worked out fine.

I also had a little problem right at the start with the placket not fitting right. There’s a little V like cut out in the neckline and I believe when I cut the fabric out I must’ve somehow made the bottom of the V a bit wider than it should have been (if that makes sense?) And once I’d attached both the plackets they didn’t overlap like they should. I was almost ready to give up at the first hurdle.

And then because I thought I’d ruined it already I thought why not cut it down the middle through the centre of the V and put back together with a small centre seam? Why not indeed! So thats what I did, and it worked. So I carried on. Which partly made me more determined to sort out the upside down collar situation.

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I was able to get a UK size 12  out of 1.5m of fabric.

Below is the placket situation before I sorted it out. As you can see the placket pieces do not in anyway shape or form meet or overlap.

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Ta daa! Here it is, and I love it.

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Despite all my problems with it, I thoroughly enjoyed making this top. I learned several new things, not least how to insert elastic to make the sleeve cuff. It also had a different technique for sleeve insertion.

More pics

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See what I mean about the lovely fabric. Its a cotton denim coloured chambray with little stars on it. It wasn’t expensive, I just really really liked it. And didn’t want it to have been a waste.

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It has a lovely curved hem, and here you can see the elasticated cuffs too.

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In the picture below you can see little more clearly the slight mess of the plackets and that the collar still isn’t quite perfect. I had to zigzag the seam at the base of the placket neck opening as the seam wasn’t quite big enough for me to finish it off properly on the edges, so that looks a bit messy, but I can live with it. Also the placket isn’t sitting quite right, but again I can live with it. I also made the row of stitching that anchors the bottom of the collar to the bodice a little too high from the neck seam. I think it looks Ok and again I can live with it.

The top is perfectly wearable and after giving it a good press the neck sits pretty nicely.

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Anyone care to venture a guess on how many of these I will make? I can tell you now it will be more than one…

 

 

Black and white textured…

So its been a while, I’m sorry. I have neglected you my little blog. I’m here now to make amends.

Whilst browsing Fabric godmother a little while ago I came upon this unusual looking fabric

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And promptly ordered 3metres of it. Its a roma jersey jacquard. Its quite textured and feels almost woolly, but its not. And unlike most jersey fabrics it does need to have the edges finished as it has a backing and I think the potential to fray. Besides that it was lovely to work with and I enjoyed making yet another trapeze top with it.

I used just over a metre for this top leaving me enough to hopefully make a dress out of it too. Would have had to use way more than a metre if I’d made a long sleeve version.

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The above picture shows that the sleeve pattern piece is hanging off the end of the fabric.

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Didn’t take long to make and I’m very happy with it. The fabric feels lovely to wear and I think would look good in a sweatshirt type top. I must have a go at making one, one day.

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My Husband seems to quite like it too which is nice.

Most worn so far this year…

Are my jersey makes.

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I really really love the dress, I wear it with jeans and without and have worn it lots!

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So I think I can conclude from this that I’m most comfortable in jersey. I try to look stylish but top of my agenda nowadays is comfort. Gone are the days of wearing clothes that I had to continually adjust and fidget with. Its comfort all the way now and I don’t care. Well I sort of do obviously as I still want to try and look nice.

I’ve also used this bag a lot. I love it!

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I have been looking in my wardrobe and am trying to sort it out and take out the stuff I haven’t worn much and being honest with myself and admitting they don’t really work, such as…

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I should never have shortened the length or the sleeves, it was fine as it was, now I don’t like it anymore and feel uncomfortable in it.

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The fit on this went a little wrong and isn’t as comfortable as it should be, so thats been taken out. As have most of the cotton Mathilde blouses. Gone right off them. I still love the dress versions though.

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I love the fabric on the above top, but it has become tight across the bust I feel and once again is not comfortable. Shame as I really do love the fabric. There a re many more and I won’t bore you with them all.

So I’m learning what suits me and what fabrics I like best and will hopefully start to make better decisions regarding what I’m wearing, but don’t hold your breath.

Have you learned what suits you more since starting to make your own clothes?

Two, in one weekend…

So I made two jersey striped Trapeze tops in one weekend! Yes I did. So am I ready for the Great British Sewing Bee? I don’t think so! How the hell they make anything more complicated than what I made in that weekend is beyond me. I timed myself from start to finish and I made it in one go, so no stopping, on the Sunday, which means from ironing, cutting out the fabric and making it. And it took me 3hrs 15 mins. And thats a simple top that I’ve made many times over. So how the Sewing Bees make the likes of the Chinese style top in the international episode in 3 hours or so completely bogles my mind! Hats off to them I say.

I loved the first striped jersey Trapeze top I made so much I really wanted to make another. However the fabric on that one pills like mad, I’ll still wear it but it does’t look its best now. However the next lot of jersey fabric I bought from The fabricgodmother.co.uk was a little different, I’d already made the stripey Trapeze dress, and I got the feeling it wouldn’t pill as bad, if at all.

So now I have three stripey jersey Trapeze tops and they are lovely and so comfortable to wear. And just wash, hang up, dry and go. Perfect!

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So what you see there is two very similar stripe tops, the one on the right is the first one and although you can’t tell in the picture its very bobbly. The one on the left is the new one and its a much smoother feeling fabric. I’m hope it won’t pill like the first one. Also the stripes are slightly thinner on the one on the left.

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Here I am wearing the one I made on the Sunday. Stripe matching was once again terrible but I don’t care anymore. Almost looks like its supposed to be like that!

So for a very quick and gratifying make I can’t recommend a jersey Trapeze enough.

 

Crepe Trapeze top…

Loving this crepe fabric, drapes so beautifully. Here it is in a simple black Trapeze top.

Bit of a bugger to work with as it frays like buggery.

The neck facing was a bit of a nightmare too actually. It kept wanting to roll back outside which was a pain in the arse. I gave it some thought and decided to top stitch round the neck and see if that helped.

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It did help but created its own problem. The fabric sort of gathered towards the left shoulder. Seems to look Ok and people don’t appear to notice unless I point it out (which I do). Definitely looks better worn than it does on Gertie.

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And here’s me wearing it for lunch with friends.

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To shorten or not to shorten…

That is the question? I decided to shorten this stripy top the other week, as I just felt it needed it. I felt something was not quite right with it as it was. Below is the before pic.

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And now the after

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I think I prefer it. Goes with two different styles of jeans now. I don’t know though there’s still something I’m not quite sure about with this top.

I pondered yesterday on whether to shorten the sleeves, so took this pic. Below is the pic with the sleeves turned up.

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I immediately thought I loved it, but sensibly took some photos before doing anything about it. And having compared them I think I’ll leave the sleeves longer, for now anyway.

Have you ever made anything that you keep revising? Have you regretted any revisions? I know I have.

Back to basics…

I’ve gone back to my old tried and tested rectangle top. I have learnt so much since making my first top, that although this is a very basic shape and very easy to make, there has been a lot of thought that has gone into the making of this top.

The fabric is a viscose/crepe type, and its thicker than I imagine it is every time. I always think of it as being quite flimsy and delicate, and its really not. Handles really nicely. I bought this one a year ago but have been too scared to use it. I tried about 8 months ago but when I pinned the pattern to the fabric the fabric just moved all over the place. So I gave up and put it back in my fabric pile.

I wasn’t too sure how to use this fabric for a couple of reasons, one being that it was going to be tricky to pin a pattern to and cut it out, and the other being that the stripes didn’t run horizontally from selvedge to selvedge, but ran vertically. I did not want a stripe top with vertical stripes. So the fabric has sat there for best part of a year.

Now that I’ve started my little love affair with stripes I was ready to tackle this fabric again. I really can’t remember how much I bought but I do know it was 150cm wide, I think I only bought a metre but it might have been a metre and a half, and it wasn’t at all expensive. £4 a metre to be exact. I decided to fold it with the raw edge running down ,if that makes sense? So that the stripes would run horizontally. As the fabric has no stretch in it whatsoever this has worked out quite well.

It was much easier to cut out not having an actual pattern to cut round.

It took me a little while to remember exactly how I made these rectangle tops but I got there in the end. I decided to make this one a little wider than the ones I’ve made in the past, as I felt the fabric would probably drape quite nicely.

I aslo incorporated the selvedge into being part of the top and have used as a bit of design feature, I’m really happy with how it looks and think it works very well. And I have once again left the bottom edge un-hemmed and just zigzagged it.

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I had to be really careful with stripe matching at the sides. As this is such a large stripe I think it would have looked so bad if they had been mismatched. It took some time and effort but it paid off.

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So lovely not having a centre back seam to worry about.

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I love how it drapes.

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See what I mean about the selvedge. I particularly love that it ends with the navy colour. What do you think?

 

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This might not be everyones cup of tea, but I’m so happy with it and I love it. In my opinion its a very stylish tunic that will be perfect for evenings out or nice lunches with friends.

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So comfortable  and easy to wear, whats not to love?

I also love that I can make this style of top in just a few hours.

 

 

Definitely a theme here…

Stripes, yep, stripes are definitely my new favourite thing. And look at this gorgeous fabric. I bought it about 9 months ago, along with the stripy fabric from the last top I made. Both came from fabric godmother.co.uk.

Its the same Trapeze top pattern, and once again it was a fairly quick make as no seams to finish. This is why I love jersey. I thought it might be more of a problem than the last one as the fabric is a finer jersey and I thought it might misbehave a bit, but it didn’t. So I’m very happy about that.

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Can’t complain too much about the stripe matching. Always more luck than judgement.

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This side not quite as good.

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Back gone a little off half way up! Don’t know quite what is up with that.

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Quite like how the sleeve stripes line up with the body stripes.

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Lovely.

I’m sorry the modelling pics are so dark, but it was dark when I took them.

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I again just zig zagged the hem to finish.

Another lovely comfortable stripy to wear, me happy :0) This one is a very dark navy and a sort of off white/cream.

Merchant & Mills sleeveless Trapeze…

What a F*****g nightmare! I do not exaggerate , I really don’t. Making this was, how shall I put it? Traumatic! I am not one to over dramatise but this really was one of the most mind boggling things I’ve ever made.

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It all started off innocently enough. All was going to plan. Cut out the fabric, put the front and back together.  Constructed the facing, attached it to the neck. Was thinking, I might have this finished today. And then BAM! I hit a major brick wall. The armholes OMG the armholes, more to the point the armholes facing. WTF!

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I started off OK, I pulled the facing outside and turned it over so right sides were facing each other. Started to pin in place pulling the inside out as I went, got to about half way up the armhole when it all started getting messy. And it was at this point that I decided that the good people of Merchant & Mills had lost their minds and missed out an entire section of instructions. It didn’t seem to matter what I did I could not get my garment to look like their illustration.

I can tell you now people, the air was pretty blue around me at this point, I was frustrated beyond belief. The Husband hearing my moans of despair came up to see what was wrong and when I explained, he had a look and tired to help. He couldn’t figure it out either. We were both convinced something was missing.

So I had to put it aside for a couple of days and wait till I could get to Rye and go see M&M in person. Which I did on the Monday. They were very helpful and assured me that they hadn’t missed anything out and that it was very common for people to get confused at this point. So that made me feel a bit better. Anyway the lovely lady pinned one half of the armhole for me and I watched intently as she did so. She said it really feels wrong and twisted whilst you’re doing it but it all works out in the end.

I couldn’t do anything till the next day. So finally I sat down to have another go. I stitched the side that was already pinned. And that takes some working out too. How best to place this deformed piece of cloth under the sewing machine? Once I figured out the best way for me to do it I started sewing. And let me tell you it still was not simple. I finished that half (oh and by the way I tacked it before sewing proper, just in case) and took a bash at pinning the other half. Trying to remember how she did it. Mine looked almost like hers. I tacked that side and then turned the facing to the inside. Hmmm, not quite right, nearly but not quite. It gets a bit messy at the shoulder seam. So I unpicked and had another go. Still not right. So I decide to have a go at the other armhole.

I will try and explain how its done.

What you do is, start by puling the bottom of the facing to the outside of  the garment and matching the seams so right side is facing right side, and then pin, then keep pulling the facing to the outside keeping the edges together and pin as you go. You do one half at a time. Now as you get to about half way up the arm hole things start to get very messy but persevere, keeping hold of the edge of the armhole facing and the armhole you just keep pinning and the garment gets more and more twisted, as you approach the shoulder seam you almost turn it inside out, but just at the shoulder keep pinning until you meet the seam. Now attempt to stitch, once you’ve done one half you do the next half in the same way. working up from the side seam to the shoulder seam. Apparently once done you turn it back through to the inside and voila a perfect armhole facing. At least thats how it should happen. Good luck!

There will  now follow some pictures in the hope that you get the gist of how horrible it is.

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You can’t really tell whats going on here, and I can’t really explain it.

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The bit sticking up is the shoulder seam.

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Thats a bit more shoulder seam. Clear as mud eh?

Once again The shoulder seam beat me. I just couldn’t get it to lay flat, looked horrible. In the end I unpicked about 3inches of the top of the shoulder and top stitched it down, very close to the edge.

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I think it works quite well and stopped me from completely giving up. I shan’t wear it when I go shopping in M&M as they might disapprove of my method.

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I’ve put the above picture in just to show what a difference a really good press makes to a finished garment. I am truly amazed that the armhole ended up looking so good. And it was all down to the magic of the iron. Above picture is pre-ironing, and below is after ironing.

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Ta dah!

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Looks all lovely and innocent now, but it truly was a monster!

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This is the inside of the garment. Look how well I’ve pattern matched it, right where nobody will ever see it…

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One of the main reasons I made the sleeveless version was to have something that would go under my scuba cardi/jacket thing. The sleeves are quite snug on it so sleeveless is best for it really. And it does fit under it beautifully.

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You can’t see it, but its there. Fitting very comfortably.

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Have to say I’m not overly keen on the sleeveless look on me. My arms are not very toned anymore and look a bit stubby I feel, but needs must and I’m going to wear it. It was a challenge I have to say and I nearly gave up. So glad I didn’t. And even though I didn’t end up doing it exactly as I was supposed to, it still works and looks good. I partly blame the fabric, it frayed terribly and was quite difficult to manipulate. So there!

I have to add and this is quite important, might be obvious but I didn’t work it out I was told. Do not attempt to do the armhole facings with the garment on a dressmakers dummy. Can’t be done, end of!

Will I make another, yes, but a dress next time. And I’ll try and find more appropriate fabric.