Monthly Archives: March 2022

Springtime Moira dress #11

Now that we are past the Spring Equinox I have been checking out my ‘Spring’ wardrobe. I want to continue with the Golden Daffodils and Spring Green theme and so hooked out the last of this Yellow Palm leaf print viscose that I bought from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn.

For a while I prevaricated over which style to make but finally decided on yet another ‘Moira’ dress. This style is easy to make, even with a lining, and is so very comfortable to wear. The added bonus is that it will coordinate well with my latest Sorrento jacket.

All the usual construction except that this time I added my TNT favourite short sleeve with the gathered sleeve head. The facings of the sleeve hem are supported with lightweight interfacing and after the under-stitching, were hand stitched in place to prevent them flopping down.

All seams of the dress and lining were overlocked to prevent fraying and prolong the life of the dress. The narrow hem was overlocked and then turned twice before top stitching in place.

I do love this pattern but now that I have made 11 versions, perhaps I should move on and try a different pattern. We will have to wait and see.

Project #18 completed Tuesday 22nd March 2022

Newlyn Blouse #4

In keeping with the colour scheme that would use the terracotta thread packed for my Sewcial Retreat, I cut out yet another Newlyn Blouse with short puff sleeves from this beautiful cotton lawn that I purchased from Minerva.

I was not able to complete the blouse construction whilst at the Sewcial Retreat but as soon as possible on my return I was back in the Sewing Room beavering away to get this done.

This time using the ‘Newlyn’ pattern I cut my favourite short puffed-sleeve-head sleeves. As the fabric is a cotton lawn I knew that it would have a slightly different look as a finished garment to those made with viscose.

As I did not want toadd bulk by making French seams, all seams were overlocked. I added the back darts and slightly wider ties. Now that Ihave lost a little weight (puppy fat around my middle!) I was able to add some body darts to the front bodice which also helps to improve the silhouette.

The sleeve hem facing was hand stitched in place to avoid it flopping down. Hem on the facing and Shirt tail shaped hem on the bodice were overlocked and then turned and top stitched.

Five faux bone 4-hole buttons from my stash (I originally bought over 100 of these buttons from Abakhan, Mostyn, North Wales) and buttonholes down the front worked on my Brother 4000D machine.

Conclusion: A lovely straightforward sew. I love this pattern. Another time I may incorporate a shortened version into a dress with a 4-gore circular skirt. So watch this space.

Project #17 completed 17th March 2022

Sorrento Jacket #2

Having already made a toile using ‘landfill’ fabric I was now ready to make another Sorrento jacket and this time it would be lined. Alterations to the pattern based on findings of the toile version: reduce length of the bodice by 1 inch. Reduce length of sleeves by 1½ inches.

Taking a note of Sian of Kittenish Behaviour’s vlog where she made her Sorrento jacket 2 sizes smaller than the measurements chart suggest, I have downsized from the original 22. I cut as size 20 at shoulders grading back to a 22 at the waistline. I shall wait and see how this works out before I ‘gung ho!’ and downsize to an 18/20 with a new length of floral printed suiting.

Also following Sian’s vlog I drafted a pattern for the lining by combining the various panels, overlapping at the seams to remove the seam allowances of 1 cm. For the main part this was fairly straightforward although I did find some difficulty with the shaping that is included in the panels.

I cut out the jacket from just 1.5 metres of Gold/Mustard stretch denim that I bought from Hot Pink Habberdashery. The lining was cut from this fabulous cotton lawn print purchased some time ago from Minerva.

In anticipation of the Sewcial Retreat organised by Purple Stitches, I prepared as much of the straight sewing of the various panels, pockets, pocket flaps,waistband tabs and the lining as possible including the continuous lap placket in the sleeves.

I wound several bobbins in the Terracotta thread and ensured that I had sufficient top stitching thread for all that was going to be required.

As I have made the jacket before I familiar with the various processes and continued with the construction with confidence. This pattern has been excellently drafted. All the notches match up and it is a joy to sew.

Rather than use metal ‘jeans’ buttons, this time I decided to use some ‘Bone’ coloured buttons from my stash. Also where appropriate, I used the keyhole buttonhole style e.g. the pocket flaps, the waistband tabs and cuffs of the sleeves. On checking the illustrations I noted that the buttonholes on the front bodice should be horizontal but due to the width of the front bands and as I don’t intend to do up the jacket, I worked the buttonholes vertically.

I estimate that the construction of this jacket takes me about 12 hours of concentrated sewing. Although at times I became a little overwhelmed with the project, vowing that I will not make another, by the end of the afternoon I had a completed Sorrento jacket of which I am very proud.

Project #16 completed 12th March 2022

p.s. I have now ordered some fantastic bold printed suiting to make a version for the Winter!

Libby Blouse #7

Using 2 metres of a beautiful Lewis & Irene cotton print purchased last year from Franklins I embarked on yet another version of the Libby blouse by Sew Over It.

The fabric is ‘Under the Oak Tree’ and was originally intended as a blouse/shirt to be worn in the Autumn.

Time has moved but as I was looking for fabrics in this colour palette to use when attending the Sewcial Retreat organised by Viv of Purple Stitches, this fitted the bill.

I cut the pattern as per the adjustments made previously that include adding to the side seams, extending the cap of the grown-on sleeves and adding 4 inches to the length of the shaped hemline of version 2.

The Lewis & Irene quilting cotton fabric stitched like a dream as it is such a stable weave, but once again, I approached the sewing of the collar with its partial collar stand with some trepidation. It took some time to get it just right but I am pleased with the end result.

To ensure that I never forget exactly which print I have used, I cut the information printed on the selvedge and stitched this, together with my makers label, to the inside of the back yoke facing.

My JUKI overlocker is back from its service and replacement of blades so I was able to use this to finish the seam allowances. The hem was first neatened with the overlocker before being turned twice and top-stitched in place.

Five coconut shell buttons for closure at the front and this Autumnal print blouse is complete.

Project #15 completed 11th March 2022

A Trio of Jubilee Union Jack Cushions

Lizzie, our illustrious chairman at Sprat & Winkle proposed that we have a project to celebrate and reflect the Queen’s 70th Jubilee. She suggested a cushion featuring our country’s flag – the Union Jack and that it be made using Foundation Paper Piecing.

Now this is a construction method that I have tried just once before and vowed never to repeat but after seeing a few versions of the cushion made up and having a copy of the detailed instructions, decided to ‘go for it!’

I used fabric purchased from the Sale rack at New Threads Quilt Shop and set aside an afternoon to make a cushion cover. The first rectangle took quite a long time and I did not particular enjoy the process. The second rectangle construction was quicker and by the third and final rectangle, I was loving the process!

I added a 2 inch border to the panel and some pre-made Red satin piping before completing the back in plain White fabric with a zip closure. I used a 50cms x 30cms feather-filled cushion pad and was absolutely delighted with the final project.

The following day I had another free afternoon so decided to make a second cushion cover, this time to send to my sister who currently lives in North Wales. I used the same fabrics but this time the backing is in the Red print fabric. I also used a new method to add a ‘flange’ to the perimeter of the cushion cover and was delighted with the ‘new to me’ method of finishing.

Now, for the third version I used different fabrics. I had found a small leopard print cotton poplin on eBay, available in Red and Blue colourways. Perfect. I repeated the method of binding the cover with a flange as this is my new ‘go to’ finish for cushion covers . When I took the cushion to the next meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters, this version of the Union Jack cover was the most popular.

Now on the hunt for other complimentary prints to use as I am ‘hooked’ on FPP! I have found some ‘Oriental’ theme prints and wonder how will they convert to this iconic British design?

Project #12 Completed 3rd March 2022

Alphabet Blouse

Hot on the heels of the recently purchased dungarees, I wanted to make a blouse that would assist in channeling my ‘Childrens TV presenter’ vibe.

I found this jolly quilting cotton (ABC Menagerie Abi Hall for moda) on ‘SALE’ at New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, my local bricks and mortar fabric store. I purchased 2 metres at £6/metre intending to make the Gilbert by Helen’s Closet patterns…… I changed my mind – as I would not be able to purchase more of this print and just in case it did not work out, decided to make my TNT blouse with short sleeves instead. However, when I laid out the pattern pieces I was delighted to find that there was sufficient to make a long-sleeved blouse with shirt-tail hem so this would be a very versatile garment to be worn throughout the year.

I expanded the width of the sleeves to make them extra ‘pouffy’ and added the recently drafted deep double button cuff.

I don’t like to make French seams on quilting cottons as that is more substantial and makes those French seams a little too bulky. Now that the recently serviced Juki overlocker is back in the sewing room, all seams were overlocked for neatness.

Construction was straightforward as I have made this blouse ‘millions’ of times before! When it came to choosing buttons, I could not make up my mind between some pretty plain Yellow or plain Green. Then a ‘light bulb moment’ I selected some Green buttons with spots or stripes that I had bought in bulk from eBay sometime ago and have been lurking in my stash.

Whilst I am pleased with the completed blouse, in hindsight I think that the ‘pouffy’ sleeves are a little too much. This quilting cotton has a firm structure so is not as drapey as my usual viscose.

I will continue to wear the blouse but it may coordinate better with my Green Drill ‘Jane’ pinafore dress, details posted 9th January 2022.

Project #12B Completed 3rd March 2022