Monthly Archives: March 2016

Purple Pucci-esque Print Pinafore – New Look 6340

Taschen_Pucci printpucci print 1pucci print 2

Don Emilio Pucci, Marchese di Barsento (20 November 1914 – 29 November 1992) was a Florentine Italian fashion designer and politician. He and his eponymous company are synonymous with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colours. His designs came to wide attention in 1947, and I seem to remember a “revival” in the 1960’s which is where I came in.

6340 pattern envelope

As the fabric was quite lightweight I added a lining of fine cotton. This is attached to the outer fabric at the neckline and armholes only and otherwise is quite separate. I drafted an all-in-one facing for the neckline and armholes as this is what I prefer for sleeveless garments. I also dropped the bust dart by 1 inch. As I was making up the dress, at first fitting I discovered that I could put the dress on without the short vent with button and loop closure at the rear neckline so this was closed up. At this stage I also added the tie belts to the side seams together with in-seam pockets. The neckline and hem on the outer garment are finished with my favourite twin needle stitching. The lining hem is overlocked and I will be adding some lace trim to finish that. I have cut out and prepared the patch pockets but in the light of the “busyness” of the print have not attached them to the dress.

new look 6340 sleeveless front  6340 back viewwith tie belt 6340 with cardigan

The colours in the print design are ideal to co-ordinate with both my Lands End cardigan (pictured above) and Edinburgh Woollen Mill polo neck sweater.

Red Ponte Jersey Top – See & Sew B6272

pattern envelope

After the brief interruption to my sewing “to do” list (making the bag to Simplicity 2396) I had some fabric left over from making a waterfall fronted waistcoat for a friend’s birthday – what could I make with this remnant? I sifted through my stack of recently purchased patterns and came across See & Sew B6272. This pattern offers 2 loose-fitting knit tops and a pair of straight-legged trousers. The tunic top view A looked a possibility so I checked the measurements of the pattern against my personal “dimensions” and decided that as this project was loose-fitting and to be sewn with a fairly “relaxed” knit, a size 18 should be fine. As I know that I have not been blessed with long arms, I reduced the length of the sleeves by 4 inches and the overall length of the tunic, also by 4 inches. As the lower back pattern piece is placed on the bias, the reduction in length meant that I had just sufficient to make the tunic from my remnant of fabric.

The construction was straightforward and within a very short space of timeI had a new tunic top. I stitched all the seams with the 3-thread overlocker plus a short straight stitch on the sewing machine. The shoulder seams were stabilised with a piece of selvedge fabric. The neckline and sleeve hems were finished with my favourite twin needle. I will be making the top again but will reduce the overall sleeve length by just 2 inches rather than 4. Other than that no further alterations are required.

6272 red ponte jersey top front view    6272 red ponte jersey top reverse

Now where did I store the rest of my stash of jersey fabrics?

A Rapid Turnaround Bag – Simplicity 2396

pattern envelope

On Thursday I was chatting to Meg when she enquired if I would be able to make up a bag to demonstrate some of the beautiful linen/cotton blend fabrics that are available at New Threads. The bag would need to be completed and ready to take to the NEC, Birmingham in time for the show the following week. As I did not have any particular sewing projects waiting with bated breath to be made, I agreed to “slot in” a bag. Later in the morning I drove up to New Threads (one day I shall be fit enough to walk there and back!) and collected the fabric, thread and a button. I was all set to stitch.


            Outer Fabric                           Lining Fabric

I had the pattern in my stash but had never got around to stitching up any of the bags. Now was my chance to test drive the pattern. I chose view A and selected the appropriate pattern pieces from the envelope. The machine was threaded and a bobbin wound, with fusible interfacing and wadding to hand, off I went.

The bag construction was simple and straightforward. There were no surprises and the bag went together quickly and well. Padded out with bubble wrap, I photographed the completed bag and sent copies by e-mail to Meg later in the afternoon. The bag was delivered on Friday after I had attended the Sprat & Winkle House Group and has been much admired since.



Siam Print Carousel Tote Bag (no. 7)

Although I have not posted much on the blog in the past few days, that does not mean that I have not been sewing. I just have not got a round to working on the internet. 

I have been refining the Carousel Tote bag and preparing to teach a workshop at New Threads, Weyhill Fairground in April. The preparation has been time-consuming as this time around I needed to make a demonstration bag which would be photographed at every stage and those photos then inserted into the text of a workbook which will accompany the session.

To make the “statement” bag, I ordered 1 metre of “Siam”, an oriental-style cotton print in shades of Light Brown from Fabricland with accents in Cerise Pink and Turquoise. I knew that I had a long length of Beige polka dot cotton in my stash and I would use this for the complimentary lining.

The picture on the Fabricland website was a true reflection of the print and as soon as the fabric arrived I was itching to get on with the project.

The construction of the bag was fairly straightforward. I used a magnetic snap closure on the flap which is decorated with shisha mirrors and piped in a Dark Red satin piping. I used some narrow brass loops for the strap connections and then made some narrow handles which were exactly the right dimensions to slip through the loops.


The photography and writing of the instructions took a total of one week by working in blocks of about an hour per day. Lots of proof reading and then finally printing and binding the copies. One for my friend in Chiswick, another for Meg at New Threads and a spare for any ladies that cannot make the workshop but would still like to make the bag.

Next job is preparation for the Wraparound Skirt workshop, but before then I have the overlocker threaded up with Red thread so will “run up” a Top to pattern See & Sew B6272 in Red Ponte Jersey.