Monthly Archives: May 2018

Re-fashioning a Basic Tee Shirt

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that I do not enjoy alterations. As far as I am concerned, Re-fashioning also comes under that banner. However, in a moment of weakness I fell for and purchased several guipure lace appliques from eBay with a view to using them when making new tops, tunics and dresses.

Before I use any of the appliques on a garment, I decided to try one out on a very basic (and old) tee shirt. I chose a plain Pink tee and a plain White applique in a simple ‘daisy’ design. The trim has been pinned to the tee shirt for several weeks and today was the day! I threaded up the needle and bobbin on the machine with White thread, set the zig-zag stitch and ‘went for it!’

The stitching took some time to complete. I was glad to be using the knee lift on my machine as it left both hands free at all times to manipulate the fabric and trim whilst I stitched.

The original neckband was removed along with the excess fabric from the outer edge of the trim. This left a stretched back neckline. What to do? I turned under a scant ¼ inch and stitched in place. Still baggy. I threaded a hand sewing needle with double thread and ran a neat row of gathering stitches along the back edge and drew up the neckline to a neater finish. I am pleased with the result and just hope that my hand stitching is robust enough to control the fullness of the back neckline.

Final analysis: If I use any of the other appliques on new dressmaking projects I will have to devise a method for neat finishing of the back necklines. Other than that the use of these trims certainly adds a beautiful decorative finish to plain garments.

Fraser Colour-blocked top by Sewaholic Patterns

As I said in a previous post, I particularly liked the contrast print versions of tops displayed in the Joules store on board ship.

  

The Fraser Sweatshirt top by Sewaholic patterns is new for me, bought especially for the contrast section of yoke and sleeve tops so that I could make my own version of a Joules top.

  

I had already purchased some White with Navy stripe Ponte Roma from an eBay seller – 2 metres for £16.48 plus some pretty floral print Ponte Roma from CheapestFabricsUK another eBay seller, 1 metre for £5.95. So total cost £22.43 which does not compare very favourably with the cost of a ready-made.

  

However, with my fabrics I shall be able to make at least two tops so that brings the cost down by half.

I compared the pattern measurements and finished sizes to my own personal dimensions and cut the size 20 plus an additional ½ inch at side seams. I reduced the sleeve length by 4 inches (I must have extremely short arms!) to give a 7/8th sleeve length. I lengthened the body of the garment by 3 inches as I did not intend to add the hem band. Cutting tops longer is always a good idea – they can be always be shortened if necessary.

Construction was fairly straightforward though it would have been easier if I had not had stripes that needed matching. I think I have achieved a fair result. For continuity, I drafted a back yoke to be cut from the contrast print in addition to the front and sleeve contrasts.

At fitting I discovered that the side seams needed to be taken in by a good 2 inches at each side grading out to the original stitching at the hips and hemline. The sleeves were cut as size 20 at the cap and underarm, grading out to a size 12 at the hem. I took in about 1 inch from the sleeve seams.   The sleeve and body lengths were fine. The over-sizing is probably due to the fact that this top is drafted as a sweatshirt and is therefore more loose-fitting than usual, I should have taken more notice of the amount of ease allowed on the pattern, plus the amount of stretch in my fabric.

The neckband was troublesome. Initially I cut the length according to the pattern piece but this was too long and resulted in a baggy neckband. I cut it off and re-did the neckband. This time I managed to get two little tucks in the garment – right on the front – so again the neckband was removed. Third time lucky! The neckline is now somewhat lower than the original but in fact I prefer this so have adjusted the pattern accordingly.

Hems on the sleeves and body were stitched with a twin needle. As I was on a roll, I then top stitched, again with the twin needle, all along the joining seam of the contrast panels, yokes and shoulder caps.

  

I am very pleased with the resultant garment and will definitely make more tops in this style. Perhaps next time I will make a high low hem as in the Joules top. Not only will I be using these two fabrics but also I will be digging into my stash bucket for remnants.

 

 

 

Wedding Guest Outfit – back up dress

Bearing in mind the vagaries of the Great British weather – I thought it advisable to have a second dress available, to wear in case the temperature drops. Scuba fabric tends to be warm so I decided to use the 3 metres of attractive floral print that I bought from Fabric Styles at a total cost of £19.50.

As the previous iteration of the Lady Skater dress made in Snake print Ponte Roma worked so well I decided to use that pattern again.

          

However, a different fabric with different qualities, produced a very different result. At fitting I discovered that the bodice was much too long in front, the shoulders still too wide and the entire bodice too big overall. I made some adjustments and now the dress fits just fine. I used my TNT method for adding the neckband and again added double thickness 1 inch wide cuffs to the ¾ length sleeves.

I am undecided on how to treat the hem of the circle skirt. Being a Scuba I could just leave it but that is a little ‘bohemian’ for my taste. I shall probably twin needle hem stitch when I have finished the Fraser top that I am currently working on.

I am also rather ambivalent about the finished dress, I don’t feel 100% comfortable with the design/fabric print combination. But hey, it is a new dress and I am sure that it will ‘grow’ on me. In the meantime it does look good on the mannequin, paired with the Cerise linen jacket.