Monthly Archives: June 2018

Fabric Buying Ban

Oops! What part of a fabric buying ban did I not understand?

Having recently spent my budget on a gift for my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary, there was supposed to be a fabric buying ban in force until the Festival of Quilts in August.

Somehow I seem to have misunderstood.

I purchased some pretty cottons in Franklins, Salisbury on Monday last week and then this week I visited Fabricland for some more that I simply had to have! 

The Red with White polka dots is to be made up into a shirtdress – pattern tba.

The Blue spotted teapots print is to be my version of a Betty by Sew Over It with short/cap sleeves

The Beige floral will be my TNT bodice with a full gathered skirt (inspired by a dress seen in a shop window in Salisbury).

The Lilac floral has been made into a Teddy Designer Tunic by Style Arc – details already posted.

The Turquoise fern print could possibly be a Vogue 8577.

The Brown background floral will possibly be another Teddy Tunic – getting ready for the Autumn already!

Not shown in the picture is a length of Classic Blue denim that I ‘needed’ to make the Pippi Pinafore Dress by Jennifer Lauren.

All fabrics have now been laundered and are ready to ‘sew&go’ so watch this space for some new garments!

Teddy Designer Tunic by Style Arc – version 3

Yes, I know – I love this pattern. The tunic is so very comfortable to wear in hot weather.

I abandoned my fabric buying ban and purchased (along with some other lengths!) 2 metres of quilting cotton that was on sale at £6.95/metre in Franklins, Salisbury. I chose a beautiful Spring/Summer print in Lilac called McKenzie by Dana for the Free Spirit collection.

By the end of the afternoon the fabric had overlocked raw ends and been laundered ready to ‘Sew&Go’. After washing, the fabric had not shrunk and I still had 2 metres. This was plenty for laying and cutting out the tunic pattern which has been adapted by removing the excess at the side seams both front and back plus re-drafting the hemline facing to suit.

The collar and neckline are not my favourite parts of this pattern to construct but once that is done it is full steam ahead.

I am in love with this print and the completed tunic top – it is definitely going to be worn a lot!

Quilting Progress on the Drunken Caribbean Birds Quilt

Those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis will have noticed that there has been no posting for 6 days! Fear not – I have been sewing just that the project on which I am working is very much a WIP (work in progress). I have finally bitten the bullet and started the quilting of my Drunken Caribbean Birds quilt.

I last discussed this project on 26th May and since then I have made a couple of garments but now I have taken over the dining room, extended the dining table to its full size and got down to some ruler and free-motion quilting.

This is my first venture into ruler work and I have to say that I am loving it! I spread the quilt all over the table, roll up one side to slide under the arm of the sewing machine and get stitching. OK it is not perfect but I am getting there and really enjoying the process. This is a real lesson in slow sewing.

So far I have quilted about a dozen of the bird blocks and filled in the ’empty’ spaces with ovals. I am using a Westalee ruler plus a ‘french curve’ template which has different-sized oval cut outs that are ideal for the filler motifs.

I am trying to work on the quilt for about an hour at a time before taking a break. That way I hope to avoid too much strain on my shoulders, try as I might, I cannot stop myself from tensing up as I wrestle the quilt and rulers whilst stitching.

Taking a break also gives me the opportunity to refresh – and cut out other projects! So the next post will probably be a garment.

Stitching, cutting, stitching, cutting ……..

 

Teddy Designer Tunic by Style Arc – 2nd Version

I liked the Teddy Designer Tunic top by Style Arc so much that I decided to make another!

For those of you that have not seen the previous iteration, the pattern is by Style Arc and the description is as follows:-

This uniquely crafted design comes in two lengths – top or tunic. The gorgeous collar sits high on the neck. The stitched facings and swing back with a high-low hemline give this style a luxe look. Make the top to give your look an instant update or make the tunic for a more effortless silhouette.” The fabric suggestions are linen, silk, crepe.”

I made the first ‘wearable toile’ in a quilting cotton that had been in my stash for at least 1 year. The quilting cotton worked so well that I re-visited the stash and came up with a bare 2 yards of a charming floral print ‘Reflections’ by Ro Gregg for Paintbrush that I had purchased from New Threads in their 2016 sale.

This photograph has come out much more pink in colour than real life!

I particularly like this print that has a distinct ‘vintage’ feel to it. Again the fabric had been laundered and was ready to ‘sew&go’. However, the pattern envelope states that fabric requirement is 2.4 yards of 58 in wide whereas I had a bare 2 yards of 42 in wide. No matter how I laid out the pattern pieces there was no way of cutting the entire tunic from this fabric alone. I quick rummage through fabrics and I found a ½ yard of a complimentary print cotton that I won in the Tombola at the Rookwood Retreat Day. Result! I used the contrast fabric to cut the sleeve cuffs (on the bias) plus the collar and neckline facings.

I cut and stitched the standard size 20. The understitching of the collar will show as I always wear the collar folded down. To make a feature of that I made a second row of stitching ¼ inch away.

As this fabric has good structure and has some ‘weight’ to it, I ignored the pattern instructions in respect of where to interface. I have only used fusible interfacing on the collar and neckline facings. The sleeve cuffs and hem facings are uninterfaced.

Unfortunately, on this make I did not manage the junction of front point of the collar, centre seam and facings quite so well.

In order to prevent ‘gaposis’ and restrict the depth of the front opening I have carefully overlapped the collar at the base point and top stitched for approximately 3 ins. I also re-visited the previous Teddy Tunic and repeated this feature.

Conclusion: This is indeed a very stylish make. When made in cotton fabric it is very comfortable to wear providing plenty of ease and comfort during the warm weather.

Since completing Teddy no. 2 I have re-drafted the side seams of the pattern (and hem facings) to reduce the fullness so that for make no 3 it will have a much slimmer silhouette. I may also re-draft the shoulder/armscye so that I can make set-in sleeves as demonstrated by another seamstress featured on the pattern review website.

Ruby Wedding Anniversary Dress – 2nd part

After some careful consideration I decided that the short self-lined sleeves would be the best way forward to completing the dress.

With the vagaries of the British Summer weather and because I don’t always want to have to wear a cardigan, short sleeves are ideal for wearing in the UK.

Construction notes:

TNT bodice, used the full 5/8 ths inch seam allowance on the side seams. Raised the waistline by ½ inch at centre front. Self-lined sleeves. Light fusible interfacing used on the neckline facings. Understitching completed using a 3-step zig-zag stitch. Lapped zip in centre back seam, set 3 inches down from neckline. Hand picked final seam of the zip insertion. Extended back neck facing with printed ‘Carousel’ label. Full circle skirt using ‘Betty’ pattern by Sew Over It. Side seam pockets stitched into waist seam to prevent ‘flapping’ about. All seams neatened by overlocking. Machined narrow hem on skirt.

I am particularly pleased with the way that the pattern has matched on the centre back seam although this is purely accidental.

The dress has turned out very well, I am delighted with it and definitely plan to make another in this style. Depending on the occasion, I may even get to wear the dress with my Red can-can petticoat!