Monthly Archives: March 2017

Paola no 4 Blue Ditsy Floral Print

I have a commission to make a nightdress in cotton jersey. As I was not quite sure how much fabric to buy and this ditsy floral print in Fabricland was only about £3.50/m, I opted for 3.5 metres to be sure,I would much rather have too much fabric than too little!

Searching through my patterns I found the one I was looking for which is McCalls 2827, a vintage pattern from 1986. I checked dimensions and cut out the nightdress – more about this garment in another post.

Once I had cut out the nightdress I found that I had sufficient fabric left to make yet another Paola top. Great, this print design will go well with Blue denim jeans or skirt.

Stitching was very straightforward. Now with this being my 4th Paola I have adapted and refined the construction method. Here is the step-by-step:-

  1. Apply clear elastic to front shoulder seam allowance.
  2. Stitch the front and back together at the shoulders.
  3. Stitch the seam in the collar, fold in half and apply to the neckline of the Paola.
  4. Overlock and twin-needle stitch the hem of the sleeves.
  5. Set one sleeve and stitch the side and sleeve seam.
  6. Overlock the bodice front and back hem.
  7. Twin-needle stitch the hem of the bodice.
  8. Set the remaining sleeve, stitch the side and sleeve seam.

I still have some other jersey fabrics which can be made up into Paolas but meantime I will continue with the nightdress project.


I should receive a medal for speed as this time the Paola took just 45 minutes from start of cutting out to completion.

However this version made using a Leopard print Ponte Roma bought from eBay (£5.95/m) has thrown up a couple of issues. Firstly, there is not as much stretch in this fabric as there was in my other makes and secondly, this fabric has a very ‘synthetic’ feel to it. Had I seen this fabric ‘live’ rather than on the internet, I am not sure that I would have bought it.

As stated above, this Paola was sewn very quickly. I had made just one further alteration to the pattern and that was to reduce the depth of the collar by 1 inch as there is a lot to fold over and my neck is not that long!

There were no problems with stitching, the completed garment has a professional look and initially I was pleased with the make. But, I had not allowed for the reduced stretch and therefore although the body fits fine, the arms are quite tight – especially on the biceps. Not a problem that I usually encounter. I don’t know if it was due to the fabric but this time the sleeves are also a little longer than I like. Having checked with the paper pattern I have reduced their length by another 1 inch.

In future I shall be more circumspect when buying fabrics on the internet and also take a little more care when to check their ‘stretchability’ before merrily stitching even more Paolas.



A little while ago, Pat attended the toile making class at New Threads Quilt Shop and since then together we have been adjusting the master pattern to make other garments. Pat has completed a shift dress, a shell top and a skirt. In anticipation of her forthcoming holiday cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, Pat wanted a selection of garments to wear on the formal evenings. As time was short, I offered to make up a Gold sequinned fabric into a shell top on her behalf. Fabricland in Salisbury, the shop where Pat had purchased the fabric had also sold her some complimentary-coloured lining fabric. I explained that as the sequins next to the skin would be quite irritating, it would be best to line the top completely using the ‘bagging-out’ method.

Using half of Pat’s completed shift dress toile, I drafted a paper pattern to cut and sew both the Gold sequinned fabric and the lining. Now the floor in the sewing room was liberally sprinkled with ‘sparkly gold dust’! I made up the shell top complete then sewed the lining but left a length of one of the side seams unstitched before placing right sides together and stitching all around the neckline. I turned right sides out and understitched the facing/lining.

Now for the ‘baggingout’ method. With the top still right sides together I stitched the sleeve hems and sleeve lining hems together and then the hems on bodice front and back, also right sides together. I tried to turn the top right sides out through the opening in the lining side seam. It did not work. Obviously I had sewn too many seams in the wrong order. I unpicked the sleeve hems and the bodice front and back hems.

Starting again I had the wrong sides together but with the top inside out, by putting my hand inside through the side seam opening I pulled the hem of a sleeve with the sleeve lining and pinned. I then checked to make sure that I could turn the garment right sides out again. I machined the pinned edge then repeated with the remaining sleeve hem and used the same method for the hem on the bodice front and back. At last the top was completely sewn with the exception of the opening in the lining side seam.

I gave the garment a thorough press and hung on a hanger awaiting Pat’s visit to check the fit.

The top looked very glitzy and glamorous and Pat was happy to take it away to hand stitch the opening closed. I may even purchase some of this fabric to make a top for myself, hopefully to take on my next cruise holiday!

Paola – Two tops in Three Hours

A new venture for me, a turtle (or polo) neck tee. Inspired by Amanda from ISEWALOT and Rosie from SEWN I downloaded the pdf pattern for the Paola from Named Clothing which from the address looks to be based in Finland. Dressmaking is truly an international hobby!

Firstly, I have to admit to being rather ”gungho!” as I have printed and used a fair few pdf patterns of late and when the Paola was printed I was initially stumped as it does not print in exactly the same way as those from SEWOVERIT and TILLYANDTHEBUTTONS. It did not help that half way through the printing process I did not notice the paper tray was empty and therefore I had only 12 sheets printed instead of the required 20! So back to the laptop and printer to get the remainder of the pattern.

I checked out reviews from others including which is my go to website for checking out what others think of a particular pattern. Unfortunately there were no reviews on the site for the Paola, possibly it is too new a pattern to have reviews posted just yet. So just down to me to check the pattern measurements and decide which size to cut. I chose a 20 across the shoulders and upper chest then graded up for the bust, waist and hips. The sleeves were shortened by 1 inch.

For the first tee I used “By the Pond” (£3.99/m) listed as t-shirting fabric on the Fabricland website. The choice of this was a straight ‘lift’ from Rosie’s vlog where she discusses the best types of jersey fabric. The fabric is quite fine, definitely t-shirt weight. I used some clear elastic(as per the instructions) to stabilise the shoulder seam and after that it was pedal to the metal on the overlocker and within 1 hour the top was completed. I used my standard jersey twin needle for the hems on the sleeves and body. I am delighted with the top, the pattern, the fabric and the fit. So I went straight on and made another!


The second Paola is made from a winter-weight jersey “Paisley Hollow” again from Fabricland (£4.59/m). The only adjustment made to the pattern was to extend the body front and back pieces by 2 inches. Another hour and another completed top. Yay!!