Zoe dress and top make by Simple Sew Patterns

This month, my make from the  Simple Sew Patterns company is the Zoe top and dress.

I chose to make the dress option.  I decided to make it in heavyweight fabric as I wanted
a winter/ spring dress

In my stash, I had this black and white 2-meter fabric which is reversible. I bought the fabric in a market in Le Touquet, Northen France and always had a dress in mind for it and the Zoe dress, seemed like the best option for it.

 

Here she is all cut out. (see below) I cut the facing and arm cuffs and pocket, on the white side and the main body on the black side.

 

 

Arm cuffs cut in contrast fabric

 

pocket cut in contrast fabric

I then joined the two neck facings together at their edges

Collar facing cut in contrast fabric

I am 5ft 2 so I took 9.5 inches of the hem!

 

As this is really upholstery fabric and therefore thick, I decided to use pinking shears on the raw edges to reduced the bulk in the seams

I decided not to cut the front of the dress as 2 panels as the pattern is bold, it would have been hard to pattern match., especially as I only had 2 meters of this fabric. On the back I did cut 2 panels and because I had limited fabric I couldn’t pattern match. Next time I make it I would cut the back as one panel too.

 

I inserting the neck facking, I used wonderclips and pins to ease the facing in.

All ready for top stitching

 

I added the sleeve cuff, once I had sewn the sides up as I wanted to check the neckline wasn’t too wide, which it wasn’t. I would suggest that you follow the instructions that is a much better way of getting a match on the cuff seams.

joining the arm cuffs after I had sewn up the sides did make it a bit trickier but I wanted to make sure the  fit of the neck was ok.

Phew I managed to line it up ok!! Stick to the instrutions kids it’s easier!!

and here she is with and without pockets…cant decide yet what I prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cara Jumpsuit Hack

For my next make for Simple Sew Patterns is the Cara jump suit. I choose to make the wide leg version which is View A.

I chose a beautiful black crepe from the amazing Sew Essential. It is a prestige medium weight 148cm wide. You can buy it here 

As with all simple sew patterns they are so easy to cut out and the crepe was really lovely to cut. One of my favorite things to do in the process of making a garment is cutting out the fabric…I find it very satisfying for some reason!

First I cut out the bodice and the ties and waistband, see photo above.

Then I joined the two shoulder seams.

 

and pinned the ties to the shoulders, which I made by sewing along the long side, right side together and then turned them the right way around. Apologies for the terrible photography, photographing black in a room without any natural light is a nightmare…

Then I sewed the side seams up

Then I made the belt channel. I found this a bit tricky as I hadn’t done this before but once I realized that you are making a ‘tunnel’ for the tie to go through it made sense.

Here it is below with the channels attached

As I am 5ft 2, I shortened the bodice by an inch, to suit my size.

I decided to remove the back ‘cowl drape’ as and I did this by removing a v shape section, which then left a seam down the back. See photo below.

I liked the look of the satin bias binding with the crepe so added that around both arm holes.

Adding satin bias binding to the cara jumpsuit top

In the end, I removed the channel and added it to the trousers to make a waistband, so that the jumpsuit would become seperates.

I was happy with it being a jumpsuit but decided it would more versatile having them as separates.

Here is another view of the back without the drape

With the top finished I sewed up the side seams and around the crotch, see below. I then used the channel to make the drawstring waistband.

Here is the back view… I ran out of tailors chalk so improvised by using pins to make a B for the back!

Here is one of the ways that you could use the pattern, with very little modification to make a waistband. In the end, I used elastic, rather than a drawstring (looks rather strange here like neon glow stick!) I threaded a cord through to see how it looked before I decided how I was going to finish it.

making the waistband of the cara trousers

So far so good! Here is the jumpsuit hacked into a top and flairs.

Together …

And separate with black jeans

 

In summary, I found this to be a very versatile pattern. You have the choice to make 2 different styles of jumpsuits, with either wide or straight leg, and the option to make it into separates. You could even make the top and bottoms off different fabric and designs.

china plate, dinner date

I fell in love with this stretch cotton brocade from sewing and craft superstore  

It reminds me of china plates my Grandma used to collect, always in these colours. I used

I don’t often make clothes from vintage patterns, but I do have a soft spot for duster coats and 1960s fashion, so this Simplicity 1284 was ideal.

I found it really easy to both cut and sew, even with the slight stretch.

I love a duster coat as it an alternative to cardigans and it means that the warmer months are on their way.

I even found matching sunglasses…already for a summer dinner date.

 

 

Juliette Oh Juliette..Top from Simple Sew

My latest make from Simple Sew Patterns is their Juliette tie back top.

Its a very simple and quick make, there are identical back and front panels, no bust darts and just neck facing and ties…Simples. you could make it in an afternoon.

The swan fabric I use is from Fabric land here is the link to the fabric that is available in red and blue. Its a polyester crepe de chine with a really good drape, but isn’t see through. https://www.fabricland.co.uk/product/polyester-crepe-de-chine-royal-swans/

I forgot to take a photo of the pattern laying out on the fabric so will dive right in with how I made the neck facing.

Neck facing for the Juliette blouse

Really simple you join the two c shape facings together to make an oval and stitch each end.

Then sew up the shoulders and the sides, leaving a gap for the ties to poke through.

I then pinned the facing to the neckline, right sides together.

Heres another photo of it

Pinning the interfacing to the neck line

I decided to top stitch the neck line to help the facing to stay in place better. Here it is below, before I pressed it.

Juliette blouse by Simple Sew Patterns

The tie backs were simple to make. Again put right sides together, stitch along one side and one end and turn. Using this fabric made it really easy to turn!

juliette blouse from Simple Sew Patterns

I then, turned the blouse inside out and threaded the tie through the gap I had left, making sure it was in the inside (right side) of the garment. And then I sewed across it.

I heed the sleeves and hem and Juliette was done!!

Here she is on Flossie, I will post some photos of me wearing it soon.

What a cutie Juliette is.

Making the Raglan Dress for the Dressmakers Ball

My latest make for  https://www.simplesewpatterns.com is the Raglan Dress. This dress was themed for the DressMakers Ball in Leicester, which I couldn’t go to but I know I will get loads of wear out of this dress, especially at Christmas!

This dress can be made in jersey or woven and I chose woven, as I decide I wanted to make a statement with the sleeves. I have this amazing fabric in my stash from http://www.craftysewer.com Its silk, cut into small pieces and stitched in rows on to the base fabric. I love it but was sturuggling to find the right pattern for it but this one was perfect. Here the link to it on Simple Sew Patterns Website https://www.simplesewpatterns.com/products/the-raglan-dress

I bought the black crepe from https://www.fabricsgalore.co.uk

I love the zero waste challenge when cutting out so had a few goes at positioning the pattern peices

cutting out the batwing dress aiming for zero waste

Next up was to mark the darts, first I pinned, then used chalk pen to drawn them on the fabric before I tacked them.

 

Drawing the darts, they do look a lot wonkier than they actually were in this photo!

Here I have tacked the darts – sorry for the poor photo, black is really hard to photograph!!

tacking the darts

Bust and front of dress darts tacked.

Cutting the sleeves out was a slow process as the silk chiffon was not that easy to work with as it was really mobile. I found it easier when I used my weights and silk pins (longer and thinner than normal ones)

I then pinned the sleeves together…and I can’t wait to see what it looks like so ….

Had to pin it on my dummy Flossie to have a sneak peek, does anyone else do that?

Only stitched at the shoulders

seeing what the sleeves look like
seeing what the sleeves look like part 2

 

raglan dress from simple sew patterns

So back off Flossie and now time to cut the facing for the neck. I used a light weight interfacing and joined the 2 parts to make a circle.

cutting the facing for the neck

Next I pinned the sides from hem to cuff and pinned the facing around the neck (leave the facing off if you are using jersey material)

pinning up the sides

Back on to Flossie and I am really happy with how its looking…in need of a good press now

sides stitched up and sleeve in

I left the fabric to drop over night before I pinned the hem.

allowing hem to drop

Here she is, rather hard to photograph, so used my selfie stick for the first time!

Raglan Dress with statement sleeves made by @urbanseamstress

I took out the darts on the front and back as the fabric hung better that way  and I think it needs to be taken in a bit, but am really happy with it.

The Nicole Dress by Simple Sew Patterns

Sew, my second make as a blogger for Simple Sew is the Nicole Dress.

I liked the denim look that Simple Sew had made it in but as I have just finished making a blue denim dress I wanted to try a different look, and I had plans for a pattern hack.

 

simple sew Nicole Pattern

I love a dress with pockets, maybe its because I am a photographer I need some where to put bits!

 

 So I had a rummage through my fabric stash to see what I could make it in as I am on a mission to sew my stash this year. I have way to much fabric, not to be called a fabric collector now and although its great insulation for my home, I feel I need to free my pretties and get making beautiful things with them. I am going to write a post about my mission towards zero waste fashion at a later date – watch this blog for details.

 

 

 

These pretties were the finalists

My fabric choices for the Nicole dress by Simple Sew

But in the end I choose a pink stretch denim that my friend Rebecca of http://www.livingabstracts.com (check out her brilliant Instagram Course) gave me and the red floral cotton from http://www.fabricland.co.uk for the facing and pocket contrast.

As the fabric had a stretch to it I decided to make it a pull on dress, with big pockets – ideal for long haul flights as I have a couple coming up this year. Also I decided to make it a maxi dress which I am rather fond of for traveling when you are going from a cool climate to a hot one.

laying out the pattern for the Nicole dress

Here you can see how I decided to extend the length, and my cute new fabric donut weights from http://www.ohsewquaint.co.uk

 

I liked the fact that the pattern had some shaping to it even though it was a relaxed fit.

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to minimise waste – I often cutout 2 different patterns from the same fabric. Loving my donut weights.

Cutting facing for the Nicole Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting interfacing

Time to make up the facing, by stitching the front to the back. I used a light weight interfacing as the facing was a light weight cotton.

I then joined it at the shoulder seams

I clipped the edges of the curves around the next before I turned it over

Making the darts: I put a pin through from the bust point to the other side of the fabric and then marked it with a pin.

Normally I would have put a tacking stitch in but this worked as a quick fix.

I started stitching the dart from the armhole and ended it by tying it off at the end.

I tried different designs for the pockets

And here she is Nicole in all her glory

I love this dress and would recommend the pattern, its quick to make and versatile. This version in stretch denim is perfect for the spring. I am going to make a mini one is cotton for later in the summer…watch this space.

Tiny little My Little Pony for My Little One

my Little One loves her My Little Ponies, so when I saw this fabric at the Knitting and stitching show I knew she would love it. Only problem was I was on a self inflicted fabric ban as I am trying to sew my fabric stash. I decided to buy only half a metre and see if I could find a childs dress pattern that only need this amount of fabric.

luckily I did find one from http://www.simplicitynewlook.com/simplicity-patterns new season. I made a design decision to replace the frill with pompoms and just managed to cut the whole dress from the half metre. The only bit I have over is going to make pockets so I do feel very happy I met my Zero waste fashion brief this time.

The dress is nearly finished just needs some straps  to finish it off. I did end up making it bigger than My Little One normally wears as I couldn’t face wasting the fabric…photo to follow

 

Jackie O Jacket from Simple Sew

This is my first make for the lovely people at Simple Sew patterns and I chose the fab Jackie O Jacket. Click here to have a look or buy the pattern Jackie O Jacket Pattern I initially chose it as I had bought some amazing 2 sided printed linen from Japan via Ebay and really liked the idea of using it for this pattern as the jacket is unlined and I thought it would be fun for it to have a different inside pattern.

2 sided linen fabric from Japan

I loved the fact that the pattern was printed on ‘normal’ paper not tissue, as I cut the largest size of the pattern, then trace off the size I am going to use and somehow no matter how careful I am the tissue ones never last as long.

The Instructions and diagrams were clear, which was a relief as some companies pattern instructions are not and rely on you having a lot of existing knowledge and experience of garment making.

I overlocked the facing to give it a neat edge
Ta da! here it is on, a light weight jacket ideal for spring and summer. Good alternative to a cardigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked it so much I decided to make another one, this time I wanted to make a more formal more so pattern hacked it to make it longer. The fabric was from the utterly wonderful ABAKHAN I chose a boiled wool in charcoal, however i realised that it was going to need to be lined as the wool was brilliant for the jacket but a bit itchy for me to wear if I wasn’t wearing any sleeves under it.

Gorgeous wool in charcoal from Abakhan (see link above)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the lining I chose a lovely silky bird print from one of my favourite local fabric stores Fabrics Galore The print design reminded me of Ted Baker prints and I wanted the lining to have a bit of a colour pop about it, and this fabric was just right.

Cutting lining for the jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I extended the length of the body by 4.5 inches and the sleeves by 2 inches as you can see below

Pattern hack, adding length to the Jackie O jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A slight aside here, but I have a bit of thing about Zero Waste. So when I cut out a garment, I try I see how close I can get to either zero waste or what I could also cut from the remaining left over fabric. This time I decided to cut a matching jacket for my Little One who is 4yrs old. You can see her bodice ‘block’ in this photo (its the blue/green shape). I am happy to say I did manage to have enough fabric over to cut her a jacket. When I have made it up I will post some photos of it.

aiming for zero waste, by cutting out other garments with the left over fabric

To make the lining, I tired the bagging out method, without the facing. I wouldn’t recommend this and when I make the Jacket again I would cut the lining by tracing off the body, less the facing, then stitching the 2 together. This way I would get a more professional look, but I thought my way was going to look good and be quick, I was wrong on both counts!

I finished it with a fine black trim around the sleeves, neck, bodice front and hem line.

I am really happy with this version and will be making another Jackie O Jacket in the future.