Monthly Archives: July 2017

Sewing Plans for August 2017

I have already started on the planned makes for August. The first thing on the list is a tunic/shirt using some fabric that was given to me as a birthday gift from my friends at the Friday morning patchwork and quilting house group. The fabric is an unusual bird print on a Sage Green background.

There was a generous 2 metres of fabric which was sufficient to cut out a long version of my latest designed KITTY tunic shirt.

I have given up on my resolution to NOT buy fabric in July and have succumbed to a few purchases.

The first was a metre of Sewing Themed fabric 80% Cotton and 20% Polyester.  140 cms wide at a price of £10.99 from eBay.

I plan to make an apron which I will wear when sewing and hopefully keep all those bits of fluff from sticking to my clothes!

Secondly I was inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour’s June Look Book where she has made a capsule collection centred on a dress in the most amazing printed cotton lawn. I simply had to have it!


This particular fabric is not cheap but I did buy 3 metres from Sherwoods Fabrics. The fabric arrived very quickly, beautifully wrapped and with a bonus pack of sweets! I have ordered some plain Black cotton lawn as the printed fabric is very lightweight and almost transparent so the dress will need to be lined.

Whilst ordering the Black cotton lawn I also added some polyester crepe de chine to my basket. Two metres of each in Baby Pink and Black which I will use to make some underwear.

Browsing the rest of the fabrics on offer at Sherwoods I bought some pretty Pink floral print jersey at £4.99 per metre which I plan to make into a wrap cardigan.

So, in addition to making up the fabrics that I have ordered, also on my ‘to do’ list are:-

Navy & white stripe ponte for a short sleeve shift dress

Multi-colour viscose jersey for a Moneta dress

Dark print viscose jersey for Kwiksew 3915 for a friend.

I will certainly be busy in August!

Sprat & Winkle Quilters Group Raffle Quilt

At the Summer Social meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters we completed the final draw for the block raffle.

An explanation: Each member was given a pack containing full instructions for a particular 12½ inch block together with a fair-sized piece of ‘accent’ fabric. To complete the block construction the members added fabric from their own stash. For each completed block a ticket was placed in the raffle. There were 39 completed blocks which meant that four lucky ladies won nine blocks each plus a fifth member won three blocks. It was entirely up to the individual what they made using their blocks. I was one of the lucky winners.

Virtually the next day I laid out the blocks and decided that I would use a contrast sashing in Dark Lavender (fabric from my stash) plus cornerstones in some of the scraps of the accent fabric that came with my winning selection.

original block placement

Once I had settled on the arrangement of blocks I cut sashing 2½ inches wide with cornerstones also 2½ inches square. I joined each section in rows of three blocks and finally joined the rows together to form the entire quilt top. I used some 2oz polyester wadding from my stash plus some pretty Sage Green print from Lewis & Irene (also loitering in my stash!) for the backing.

I quilted the ‘sandwich’ together with 5-point stars in the centre of each block plus some outline quilting of the block design, it was only then that I noticed a ‘not-deliberate’ mistake – oops!

Oops – spot the error!

Having completed all the quilting I declined to unpick the work, the error will remain with a note to self to be more attentive when stitching blocks together.

I needed to decide on the binding so hot-footed it to New Threads Quilt Shop at Weyhill Fairground, Andover. I was fortunate that I found the bolt of the accent fabric was still available and purchased ½ metre which would be combined with some more of the backing fabric to make a co-ordinated binding.

Sometime ago, the flange method for quilt binding was demonstrated at our meetings and after a quick review on Missouri Star Quilt you tube, I made the binding by using the backing fabric as the flange and the accent fabric for the binding.

close up of the flange binding

This technique is very quick and easy. It also means that no hand-sewing was involved in the making of this quilt, other than a little hem stitching for the labels on the reverse! My kind of patchwork and quilting!

Label of original block makers

My personal label

The finished size of the quilt is approximately 44 inches square so a good size lap-quilt or table topper for our dining table.

The completed quilt

I have enjoyed making this quilt – now it is back to dressmaking as I have some pretty fabric gifted for my birthday that is calling to be made up into a Kitty blouse.

KITTY Shirtdress – a new style of bodice

Those of you who have been following my blog will know how much I like the Kwik Sew bolero jacket no. K3736 so I thought I would try to transfer that collar style to a dress.

Original Kwik Sew K3736 pattern

Pattern drafting: I retrieved my basic bodice block which I then copied onto pattern paper (purchased from Morplan). With some ‘finessing’ I then traced off the style line of the collar from K3736 onto the front bodice for a shirtdress. I used my standard short/cap sleeve pattern and slightly adapted the back bodice so that the shoulders would line up with the revised front bodice. I measured the width of each bodice and ensured that the waistline of that old favourite, the skirt from Betty by Sew Over It would also fit this new button-front bodice.

Materials: I used approximately 3¼ yards of 60 inch wide Blue & White check print poplin that I bought sometime earlier this year from Franklins in Salisbury. The collar and front facing were interfaced with medium-weight fusible Vilene ®. There are 4 plain Blue fish-eye  buttons for the front fastening that came from my button stash.

Construction: I stitched the bust and body darts in front and back bodice pieces. Applied a back neckline facing with my maker’s label prior to stay stitching the neckline of the back bodice. I stay stitched the neckline and shoulder line of the collar on the front bodice. Applied fusible interfcacing to collar/facing pieces. Repeated the stay stitching for the collar/front facing pieces. Attached the collar before stitching the side seams and inserting the fully-self-lined short sleeves. All major seams were pressed and overlocked before proceeding to the next step. Checked the fit and marked up the buttonholes. Stitched the buttonholes and then attached buttons to correspond. Stitched the side seams of the skirt and overlocked the hemline. Attached the skirt to the bodice with straight stitch and then overlocked all seam allowances together. Pressed the skirt up towards the bodice. Machine-stitched a ½inch hem.

Gave the dress a final press and dressed ‘Dolores’ (the mannequin) ready for photography!


Final analysis: The dress has a distinctive ‘vintage’ feel, especially as the fabric recalls my old primary school dresses (tho’ they had White collar and cuffs on the sleeves).  I am very pleased with the fit of this bodice and will definitely be making again. Next step is to make a co-ordinating belt. Since completing the dress I have ‘tweaked’ the pattern slightly by extending the shoulders and re-drawing the armsyces front and back. This style of bodice and collar is very versatile as it lends itself to a variety of enhancements; top stitching, embroidery, addition of braid, ric-rac trim or lace, addition of patch pocket(s). In another version the skirt could be made as a full gathered dirndl instead of the circle. For the future I intend to extend the length of the bodice so that I can make a blouse version with a shaped hem to wear over trousers. Watch this space.

Getting Ahead with a Sun Hat by Lorenna Buck

At a recent meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters one of the members did a ‘Show and Tell’ of a sun hat that she had made to take on a school outing. That evening Izzy sent me a link to obtain the free pattern for this LORENNA BUCK Sun hat which I have made up in Navy linen-look with a Navy pin spot lining.

The Navy linen-look came from Franklins of Salisbury and the spot lining was a remnant in my stash.

This is a very simple make and is designed to fit a 22 inch circumference head comfortably. On me it is a little too generous so if I make it again I will adjust the seam allowances slightly in order to reduce the size. I will also make the brim a little shallower. However, for the present this hat is ideal for working (lazing in a sun lounger!) in the garden.

In respect of construction the only change I made was to use two layers of heavyweight fusible Vilene® rather than pellon craft 808 for the brim. I also stitched a continuous spiral of top-stitching around the brim for approximately 2½ inches instead of the single row suggested in the instructions.

Having modelled the hat for my husband he prefers what was intended to be the lining.

As all the seams are top-stitched in co-ordinating thread there is very little to show which is the right way out and therefore the sun hat is now reversible. Two hats for the price of one!

A Quick Trip thru’ the Jungle – The Paoletty Hack

Having spent rather a long time on the Appliqued Denim jacket I felt in need of a quick fix. A jersey project would answer and by combining the bodice of Paola with the skirt of Betty I ended up with Paoletty!

The fabric is a Viscose Jersey print from Minerva Crafts bought back in June. On receipt it was laundered and set aside in the “roundtuit” pile.

To hack the patterns I re-printed the Paola turtle neck top. I cut across the sleeves to make them just shy of my elbows. For the bodice seam I measured down 1¼ inches from the waistline and cut across. For a scoop neckline, I cut the shape freehand for the front and then measured the new shoulder width. I copied that width to the back bodice and cut another freehand scoop for the back neckline. For the skirt I measured and noted the width of each bodice piece. I added approximately 2 inches to the width of each skirt pattern piece of the Betty dress so that they would match up.

Construction: I first stitched the shoulder seams using a stabiliser in the form of a piece of selvedge of the leaf print jersey fabric. For the neckband I cut a piece 2 inches wide by the width of the fabric, folded in half wrong sides together and gently pressed the fold. Starting at the centre back with right sides together I pinned the neckband to the neckline, gently stretching the neckband as I pinned. When I got back to the starting point I stitched a ½ inch joining seam. Using a regular straight stitch I machine basted the neckband to the neckline before using the 4-thread overlocker to complete. When overlocking the neckband I ensure that I watch the distance from the fold to the left edge of the machine foot and this means that the depth of the neckband remains consistent.

Next I set in the sleeves using the flat method and an overlocked seam.

Prior to attaching the skirt panels to the bodice, I measured each bodice piece and cut a length of ½ inch wide clear elastic to match. The elastic was stitched to the top of each skirt panel using the twin needle. Each skirt panel was attached to its corresponding bodice using an overlocked seam. The seam was pressed towards the bodice.

Nearly finished… The side seams were overlocked from hem of the skirt, up the bodice and along the underarm of each sleeve.

I pressed up ½ inch hem on each sleeve and all around the skirt before stitching with a wide set twin needle, stitch length 4.

Time to construct the dress was approximately 2 hours – a quick fix trip thru’ the jungle!

Appliqued Denim Jacket – Subtle it is not!

Be warned! This post is text and picture heavy.

Kwik Sew 3736 is fast becoming one of my favourite patterns. I have long been hankering for a distinctive denim jacket and the current trend for boho-style embroidered garments has prompted me to get stitching. Using some of the vintage Jan Constantine appliqued cushions as inspiration I spent a pleasant morning sketching and then cutting patterns for the flowers, bow and butterflies that would adorn the back of the jacket.


Sketched ideas

templates for motifs

Using some bold-coloured felts bought in a pack from The Range I then auditioned a variety of styles and placement of motifs.


I drew out a large heart shape for the back of the jacket and ‘toyed’ with various designs to fill it (so I could make a statement as I left a room!). I finally settled on a favourite and proceeded with constructing the jacket.

First step was to cut out the main pattern pieces and where they were to be embroidered, I used a fusible interfacing to add stability to the denim which had a slight stretch in its composition. I transferred the heart outline first and stitched this with a Red thread using a decorative stitch on my Brother 4000D sewing/embroidery machine.

Next I placed the various motifs and chalked in the design lines for the ‘stems’ of the flowers. A couple of stitching sessions later saw the back design completed, but like a Chinese meal – I still wanted more! I decided to add a motif to each lapel and at the hem of each sleeve – this is probably overkill but there again, just because I am old does not mean that I cannot enjoy a flight of fancy now and again.


sleeve hems



Having completed the applique I then made up the outer jacket. Now was time to find some fabric to use for the lining…. I checked out my stash and in the first box came across a length of this fabulous colourful cotton printed of a variety of fruit in bright colours. It co-ordinated so well with the colours of the applique that it was obviously the right choice for the lining.

colourful lining fabric

Although the Kwik Sew pattern does not include a lining for the sleeves, I drafted my own pattern when making the previous versions and was pleased to find that I had sufficient of the printed cotton to make the entire lining in this fabric. Again, although not included in the Kwik Sew pattern, I added a pleat at the centre back which was basted top and bottom but provides extra ease for movement across the shoulders.

Once the lining was completed but before stitching to the outer jacket, I had a final fitting. I decided to use some thin shoulder pads – just to lift the shoulder line and give a more structured silhouette. The lining and outer were sewn together around the outside leaving a gap for turning at the centre back hemline. A good press and lots of clipping and layering of seam allowances meant that once the jacket was turned right side out, the next pressing produced a good finish.


Lining front and back

Finishing: I used a prick stitch to join the seam allowances along the collar and lining seam to the underside of the collar. I used an ‘anchor’ stitch for the sleeve heads to the shoulder pads and also at the underarm points. The ‘turning gap’ at the centre back hemline was slip stitched closed. The sleeve lining hems were slip-stitched to the sleeve facings.


This jacket was the first thing I made having recovered from 10 days of illness, it has cheered me up so much that I think it should be called ‘The Tiramisu Jacket’!

Black linen-look Bolero Jacket – KWIK SEW K3736


Here is the finished ensemble and I am so pleased with the results. Having previously made KWIK SEW K3736 in a Violet-coloured fabric as a wearable toile/muslin, I now knew exactly what changes I wanted to make.

The completed ensemble

Construction notes.

Materials used: 1.75 yards x 60 inch wide Black linen-look fabric outer shell, 1.75 yards x 42 inch wide Lilac satin for lining, crisp calico for interfacing collar, front facings and sleeve hem facings, scrap cotton floral print for piping between facing and lining.

Again I cut the Xlarge size which is to fit a 43-45 inch bust. This time I reduced the shoulder width by 1 inch and added ½ inch to the bust point on the princess seam. As regards length, I added 1 inch to the back bodice and re-drew the curve on the two front bodice pieces to give more ‘coverage’ as I felt that the original design lines were that little bit too short.

The final version of the jacket just hits the waistline seam of the dress at the back and provides just the right amount of coverage at the front. The lapels are a great opportunity for the placement of a brooch (of which I have many!). The ¾ length sleeves have a wide facing which was interfaced and this time I omitted the vent.


Apart from wearing the jacket with this dress, I can foresee that I will get a lot of wear from this garment in the Autumn and Winter to.