Tag Archives: dressmaking

Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan

So my first finished garment of 2019 hits it right out of the park!

My perfect daytime ‘uniform’. Cute top, jeans, boots and a cardigan. I live in looks like this for everyday life!

Not only am I thrilled with the garment itself, but its made from stash fabric and a stash pattern, albeit the updated version.

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DIY Dressform Pattern – feedback from the designer

As you know if you’ve been following my most recent posts, I contacted the designer of the DIY dressform pattern I used for Maud with some feedback regarding some niggles I found with the pattern.

This morning I received a reply from a member of the team over at Bootstrap .

Thank you so much for all your feedback, it really is extremely valuable.

Some these concerns have been brought to our attention and we just don’t have the time and team power to address them quite yet. 

We currently have an intensive push to work on our latest project, including our newest Tailornova technology, so that’s where all our time and attention is going. We are still a small start up, so we will be able to refine our dress form pattern in a few months when we have more time. 

I will forward your email to our IT team and pattern maker who can make all the corrections. 

So there you go. Hopefully the tweaks will be made in the not too distant future. But in the meantime, the pattern is perfectly workable to make a good fitted cover for your dressform.


DIY Dressform Cover – The Reveal

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for….Maud’s new custom cover is fitted and stuffed.

This has been such an adventure. Both because this was the sewing of something completely alien to me, which stretched (pun intended) my sewing skill set, but also in terms of body confidence and acceptance. I think I need to ponder on that a bit more and revisit it in a separate post.

But for today I’m going to talk about the final stage – stuffing Maud’s cover to look like me.

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DIY Dressform Cover – Part Two

If you’re of a nervous disposition I suggest you go and find photos of kittens and cake on Instagram, and come back when I’ve finished this series. Closeup photos of my embonpoint* to follow!

Ok…I got to try on the Maud cover just before Dave and Summer headed out for karate last night, and my first thought was that the fit was really, really wrong. I know that I’m 52 and gravity it working its magic, but the bust line on this was way out!

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DIY Dressform Cover – Part One

Hello! I do hope you’re all keeping warm. Unless you’re in Australia, then keeping cool! As I’m typing this there is snow drifting past the window and actually starting to stick. The small peeps will be beside themselves.

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New Year sewing

We made it to Boxing Day before we started falling, like Christmas tree needles, with the flu.  Dave and I tag-teamed it, and, thankfully, Nana and Grandad whisked children away once they’d recovered.  We’re all on the mend now and trying to keep Dylan healthy before his biggest dance competition to date on Friday!

I haven’t knitted for over a week so it was lovely to do a few rows on Dave’s blue cardigan last night.  Mindless stockinette is perfect for when you’re off colour.  And a clear sign you’re on the mend!

But…lying in bed, scrolling blogs and instagram full of reviews and resolutions got me thinking about where I want to go with my sewing over the next year. (more…)


Stash stories – not stashing!

A couple of weeks ago I scored a complimentary ticket from the kindly folks at Linton Tweeds (swoon) to attend the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate.  I cannot tell you how much I was looking forward to a day off of mummy duties; petting yarn and getting elbow deep in the fabrics at Linton and Rosenbergs. (more…)


Weekend

Whilst I’ve been missing from this little corner of the blogosphere, I’ve been off doing ‘real life’ stuff.  Most of it has just been the minutiae of everyday life, coupled with a real drive to slow things down (not entirely successfully, but we’re making a start).

However, you may have seen on Insta that Dave and I managed to bunk off parenting for a couple of nights and zip up the motorway to the Southern Lake District for a bit of time just being Mr and Mrs.

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Newlook 6217 – my first TNT

This post is so overdue it’s ridiculous.  And it’s all been hanging on photographs!  Yesterday Summer agreed to take a couple of quick snaps as I was wearing my favourite of these tops, so here we go, at last.

I’ve already covered the fitting changes I made to this pattern here and, I’ll be honest, I’m still wearing that top on a regular basis, despite it’s imperfections.  It fits better than pretty much anything I’ve bought from a shop and is great to throw on when I’m running around the house with a pair of jeans doing chores.

I have, however, since then made 4 other versions, with varying degrees of success.  The success or failure of the finished garment has been purely down to fabric choice.

First up my favourite. This is a lovely sheer, lightweight cotton that has almost a cheesecloth texture to it.  The print is delicious, and it’s cool and lovely to wear as we head into warmer weather, but also a great layering piece with a cardigan for us women-of-a-certain-age!

The fabric is from deep stash and was gifted to me by my friend Christian, who is a seamstress with impeccable taste!  I’m glad I’ve finally got this one in my wardrobe and its in heavy rotation.

Second favourite is another fabric from deep stash, which I purchased yonks ago from Abakhan.  it’s a printed cotton jersey, and it’s my favourite for when I just need something comfy for dog walking or housework.  Love this top and it proves that this pattern is great for knits as well as wovens.

The first of the unsuccessful tops is this one.

The fabric is from the wonderful Stone Fabrics in Devon.  I bought this on holiday a couple of years ago, so again it’s good to get it out of the stash.  I’ve checked their site and the don’t seem to have any of it left.  Which is a shame because the fabric is beautiful, and the print is lovely.

Unfortunately I look like an extra from the Walking Dead in it.  It’s a really bad colour on me.

And finally is this lovely blue print.

Which is all the colours that look amazing on me.  But the fabric (a bargain bin purchase from Abakhan for very little money) is awful.  And clingy.  And just plan old nasty.

So I can happily say I’ve now got my first TNT pattern.  It’s such a useful little top I’m sure to make more.  However, on the sewing table at the moment is a Harris Tweed waistcoat for Dave, and the Imogen top in its second iteration with an FBA.  As the kids are back at school next week, I’m hoping to get some sewing done on both of them.


Sew Me Something Imogen Top – wearable toile

The Sew Me Something Imogen Top has been on my sewing list for what seems like forever.  And as I’ve a few lengths of pretty prints in my stash that are perfect for this top, I decided to make a quick toile to see what it looks like and fits like.

Fit is still a massive challenge to me, but for this top I decided to compare the measurements to a RTW blouse that gets heavy rotation.  Although the fit on the RTW blouse isn’t perfect, it’s still good enough, and it’s one of my favourite wears.

Taking some measurements from the RTW blouse, I decided to cut a straight size 20 and added 4″ to the length.  I’ve made no other adjustments to the pattern.

As you can see, it’s come up a bit long.  I will go back at some point and chop probably a couple of inches off the length.  That’s an easy enough fix and due to me being overly cautious – you can always shorten but it’s tough to add length once you’ve cut.

The bust is the problem area.  You can see drag lines pointing clearly to the bust, indicating that although, theoretically, this top fits around the circumference, it does need a full bust adjustment (FBA) to make it hang nicely.

I like the gathered neckline and elasticated cuff.

All in all, I really like this top.  It’s an easy wear and, although it’s been very shoddily sewn, as it was intended only to be a toile, it’s had several outings and a compliment every time it’s worn.

Construction wise, it’s simple enough, apart from the placket.  I couldn’t get my head around the instructions, but that could just be user error.  I’ll let you know the next time I make it.

For the next iteration, I’ll go do an FBA and the shorter length, and see what I end up with.  If it’s half as wearable as this toile version, then I’ll be a happy sewist!

Project notes

Pattern: Sew Me Something Imogen
Pattern cost: £16.00 (£9.00)
Fabric:    Blue print poly
Purchased at: Birmingham Market
Fabric Cost: £3.00 ish.  Not very much at all.
Photographs by Miss S. Jones iPhone 8