Back to the Beginning

Every week I spend a pleasant Thursday morning at a sewing club where we work alongside other sewers getting on with our own projects whilst putting the world to rights. This week I had two projects on the go at home, but neither were at the point of being able to pack into a bag to take to group.

Instead I decided to use the time to make a lined make up bag.

This was one of the first things I made when I returned to sewing 5(ish) years ago and attended a workshop at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley, Leicestershire. I’ve made several in the intervening years, but haven’t given one a go for a while (you know how it is when everyone you know has received one for either a birthday or Christmas!)

I’m pleased to say that although I still have the original instructions, I didn’t need them at all. Also I was able to use a zip that’s been in my stash forever and some left over vegetable fabric from a recently made Anna dress.

Now, who can I give it to..

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Liking a Lutterloh

Today I whisked up a quick dress thanks to the Lutterloh pattern system I bought about 18 months ago.

The Lutterloh pack

For those yet to come across this system, it’s a little book of tiny patterns that you transpose to pattern paper using only your bust and hip measurements. I’ve made a couple things from it now and the fit has been surprising good.

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This was a dress I’ve made before so I already had the muslin/pattern pieces I needed, with any post production changes marked up ready.

My previous make using Liberty fabric from Standfast and Barracks

 I used a leftover fabric from my stash so within a very short time I was good to go. The only change I made from last time was too leave the zip out altogether as I rarely use it on my existing dress. This could well become my go-to pattern.

The finished dress

Day Dress

2015-06-07 17.51.11On Sunday I made a whole dress in one day!

This is exciting news for me as I usually do an hour here and an hour there, but after a long time away from the machine I resolved to stay at it until I was done.

Having said that, I’ve bent the truth a little – I did cut out and prepare the paper pattern during the week. And Butterick B5815 is quite a simple pattern to put together.

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However, I still managed to make a rookie error. Getting ahead of myself in the ‘I can do it’ stakes, I fitted the paper pattern to my body form and made several changes to the fitting around the torso and shoulders. It was only when I read the instructions during the construction phase that I realised they are lapped shoulders and I hadn’t fitted the tissue that way! D’oh!

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Not to panic, I got out the trusted body form and refitted the fashion fabric, making adjustments where necessary. The result is that the laps are not as big as they should be, but they are still visible and have been remarked upon when I have worn the garment since.

I got the fabric from a stall at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC a couple of months ago and felt that is suited a simple shift dress, even though it’s not something I usually wear. Having worn it this week I can feel the temptation to make a whole collection in different fabrics. It was so comfortable and I’ve worn it bare legged with sandals as well as with leggins and boots (interesting weather we’re having in the UK). Plus, once I’ve got the pattern right, it’s such a simple make.

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Beaten by the flat cap

This is my second attempt at making a flat cap and, to be honest, I wouldn’t care if I never saw a flat cap again. 

It all started with trying to make a muslin. I was attempting to size up both my OH and son. 

The resulting muslin looked something like this: 



Fed up with measuring I decided to go ahead and make the finished product for my son. I made a muslin in the correct size and was good to go. 

The first problem I had was transferring in pattern onto my fashion fabric. I usually use carbon paper and a pattern wheel, but the carbon just didn’t want to show on my tweed. Next, the tweed had a bit of stretch in it so I made the effort to stay stitch around all the edges. 

The construction itself wasn’t too bad but turned out uneven which led to shaving a bit here and tucking a bit there and so on. After a full afternoon of that my so had to leave to go back to university and I finally admitted defeat. 



Sitting on the table, it looks passable, but it is not yet a wearable garment. I’m going to give up on if for today and go and read my new Sewing Bee book, but I don’t think this is the end of my battle with the flat cap

Sew Simple!

It took just one afternoon to make the Simple Sew Lottie skirt from the free pattern that came with Love Sewing magazine.
The instructions were easy to follow and the process pretty simple. I was even brave enough to stitch some seams immediately on the over locker!
This is a pattern I’ll be using again.

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New year, New Stuff

Happy New Year everyone.
Towards the end of last year I got a bit remiss on the blogging front. I have a few makes that I’m hoping to get around to blogging about as the weeks progress, however I have already started on some new projects and it is difficult to look backwards.
Last weekend my nephew called round and asked me to make him a case for his new phone. He said he wanted something with a little bit of padding and a zip around three sides. He duly sent me the measurements and so I was good to go.
I’d never made anything like this, but used the experience of making zipped make up bags as my starting point. Like the make up bags, I sewed the main fabric, interfacing and lining to the zip in one step, working on each side separately. The corners were quite tricky and needed to be worked on to ensure all the fabric was secure. Once the zip was on I could see the case taking shape and I just had to work out how to invert the pattern to join the lining and main fabric in a way that I could turn it the right way round again.
Not sure how but I did it. I’m pleased with the result and I hope my nephew likes it.

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More Cartonnage

This time I tried my hand at the clutch bag, making an accessory for my new couture dress. I’ve lined it with some plain blue off cuts from a fabric that I’m using to make a shirt for my husband. I also picked up a pair of lovely shoes in a sale the other day. I will look stunning when we go out for dinner on Sunday!

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