Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Keyhole blouse

Melissa of Fehr Trade sent me a care package that included Love Sewing magazine. The issue I received had this Keyhole blouse by simple sew patterns so here's my review using fabric provided by White Tree Fabrics UK
The keyhole design feature of this blouse is very Danyrs (Game of Thrones) with a bit more coverage without the dragons and more contemporary. I know. I watch too much TV. Of course I chose a metallic pleat plain fabric for this project. 
The 3 sleeve lengths makes this pattern adaptable to any season and look soft enough to wear for any occasion. I chose to make the 3/4 sleeves.
So...I found some info about sewing prepleated fabric reference on a Threads forum. Hence I chose to use fold over elastic in a similar for the neckline as an easy finish. I didn't want to distort the fabric as I sewed it. 

When I tested this fabric on the overlocker, the needle broke so I decided to french seam this fabric.

I used a microtex needle size 60 for this fabric and it sewed really well. 

The pattern
I chose View B because the fabric is pre-crinkled and for my height, that provides plenty of detailing. View B is also the quickest version to make so if you're time-poor, choose view B.

Notions - matching thread is all you need #simple.


I checked the measurements on the pattern and mocked up a 10-12-12 shape width and took 3cm from the length. 
I folded this length out at the hips so the hem remained curved.
I moved the shoulders forward by 2cm and that was all the adjustments I made #simple. 

Construction - this blouse is fast to sew.
1. Snip the seam allowance of the keyhole neckline, almost to the fold line marking, but stop 3mm short. Fold the edges of the keyhole under twice and sew. Press and top-stitch it in place. 
At this point, I did a row of stay stitching along the neckline but I used a long stitch in case I needed to slightly gather the crinkles back into place.
2. On the back bodice neckline, fold the pleat marking inwards to meet the centre back, sew and press into place.
3. Stitch across the top of the pleat to secure it.
Again I sewed a row of stay stitching for the same reason. Remember, the neckline seam allowance is 1cm.

4. With right sides together, stitch front and back bodices at the shoulder seams. 
I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
5. At this point I decided to sew on fold over elastic that matched the fabric colour on the neckline. Why? I felt this fabric needed a stable neckline finish that didn't make the neckline bag over time. I also find it's easier to sew a neckline when the fabrics lay flat so I tend to do this before sewing on the sleeves.

I sewed the fold over elastic to the wrong side first and then sewed it to the right side.
6. On the sleeve, sew a line of gathering stitches at the sleeve head. The sleeve seam allowances are 1cm.
Sew the sleeve hem using 1.5cm hem allowance.
7. Pin sleeve to armhole curve, right sides together, matching the notches for the front and back sleeve. When you get to the sleeve head, make sure the gathering ease is below the sleeve head but above the notches. That's where you'll need the sleeve ease.
8. Stitch the blouse side seams together. I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
9. Use a fine hemming tape to help set up the hem for this fabric. 
Again, the hem tape held seal the first turn of hem without loosing the pleating. So the second hem turn kept the fabric crinkles in place.
Voila! A fast blouse to make and it's very wearable.
front view
This loose style top is very wearable and the fabric gives it day or night wearing options.
back view
I've worn this blouse a few times on the weekend and it feels lovely and look RTW. Having said that this fabric washes easily and the micropleats remain strongly in place.
This is going to be an easy blouse to make again and wear a lot.

If you want this pattern, contact Love Sewing magazine to order it on back issue.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Starting to feel Spring

One Saturday morning the Cloth Shop Ivanhoe had a photo of a poppy fabric in a blue and red colourway. This is the same fabric that Kate Middleton has worn.
I decided to go for my usual Saturday morning ride but while I was training I just couldn't get that fabric image out of my mind. As soon as we got home and got myself organised for the day, I gave the Cloth Shop Ivanhoe a call.
Now if that's not being dedicated to fabric, I don't know what is. Kim was a lot of fun to talk to. When I occasionally visit Melbourne, I try to visit their store because they have a high end range of fabrics and they usually have fabrics I can't find locally.

Again I used New Look 6067 because I'd already adjusted this dress for my current shape and decided this version would be fully lined.
I've used a cotton poplin so the dress lining is firm even though this fabric is a stretch woven. 
Above is an inside view of the front pleating and darts before being lined.

My aim for fully lining this dress was to keep the dress structure firm but not tight.
This photo shows how I placed the print on the skirt. The 3 inverted pleats at the front waist don't detract from the print.
I had a thing for piping and this WIP picture shows you the sleeves with red piping. The red is not exactly the same as the poppies but it works.
I follow the advice I've read in Threads magazine to keep stitching closer to the piping to keep the piping from looking twisted. This piping was premade from Minerva Crafts UK.
Long story short: I wore this dress out for a Friday night out and felt great. It's Spring right!

PS: I did buy the blue poppy colourway fabric so I hope to have that made up in the coming weeks, using a different pattern New Look 6000 ;)

Enjoy your week.

Thursday, 6 October 2016


Lacewear was the best title for this month's Minerva Crafts post as I've used pink light stretch knit lining and lace for Burda 7186 lingerie pattern.
These pieces are functional and pretty. 
Slips make me feel more comfortable when I wear these under knit dresses. There's less 'cling'.

This cami set is a replacement for my summer sleepwear. Gone are the daggy shorts and worn out tee.

Minerva Crafts has a big range of these knit linings so when I put my order in, Vicki kindly matched the lace to this pink for me. The main lace criteria was a 10 cm wide lace. This lace is slightly wider, so I was really happy with Vicki's choice.

Uhm...I forgot to order the strap notions so I dived into my bra stash for these. I know Minerva Crafts stock these bra notions so I need to remember to read my patterns better to check what notions I need. They do have premade bra straps.

Pattern adjustments

These were minimal. I made the slip first and chose size 12.
As I had recently made a basic slip, I checked the patterns to the finished slip and shortened it by 18cm.
I made the cami set next so I chose size 14 for a loose fit. Not too loose but enough that I wouldn't feel restricted. 

I added 2cm to the length of the centre back seam for my 'caboose'.

Added swimwear elastic

On the slip, I added swimwear elastic across the top back panel for a firmer fit.

For the cami set, I added swimwear elastic across the top of the front and back panel. I'm still thinking about added elastic across the bottom of these top panels too.

Sewing lace

While the average person wouldn't think about sewing lace, I kept taking photos of the sewing process because I sometimes think sewing lace is difficult.  
The photo above show the preparation of the front bodice.
Sewing the darts and finishing off the armhole was simply straight stitching.
Once I had sewn on the lace, this slip was starting to really look good.
Here's a close up of the finished slip bodice.
Here's a close up of the finished lace hem.
The result was sensational to me.

Knit lining

While this knit has minimal stretch but it still has some stretch. I used a stretch 90/14 machine needle to sew this fabric and mainly used a straight stitch.
I used a fine zigzag stitch to sew on the lace. Above is the a closer look at trimming back the base fabric to show the lace.
Strap construction
Burda suggests you construct the two parts of the straps separately, so I did for the slip. 
Below shows how I've moved the needle to the right to sew up the straps.
By the time I started working on the cami, I cut out one piece of fabric instead of two.
It's so much easier sewing up a long 'strap' and then cutting it to size.

Here's a closer photo.
I can safely say this pattern was worth getting to make these basic lingerie sets.
Sewing these basics didn't take too much time and I can tell you this pattern will be used again.

While I forgot to order the bra strap notions, I actually got the lace order right.

Thanks for this lovely lacewear Minerva Crafts.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Trench coat wrapped

Sewing coats and jackets are my fav. It was a simple choice to make Simple Sew’s Trench Coat this month to welcome our warmer weather.
I love strong colours so I zeroed into the strongest Liberty colour-way print (MILLINERB) from White Tree Fabrics UK as the basis of this trench.
Granted, this lawn wouldn't be a coat choice fabric. It’s true to say an Australian Spring can be quite hot so I only needed a light layer and this fabric works.
Oh. The print doesn’t readily show creasing and that’s the other reason I chose this fabric. 

I really should have read the suitable fabrics list, but now this coat is finished, I'm glad I didn't (Breathable waterproof fabrics, heavyweight cotton, suiting, tweed, taffeta, denim,boiled wool).
Coats are an over layer and they often get thrown around – with respect of course. 
With that in mind, the two aspects I kept in mind was to ensure the:
  • inside finishes would show and
  • need for interfacing and reinforced seams were a must.
Nice inside finishes = binding the facings and pockets
Reinforces seaming = fake machine felled seams
Interfacing for the facings, pocket opening and the belt.
Remember, if you don’t want to do this type of work, this coat is simple to sew by using a medium-weight fabric with overlocked seams.

Sewing planning:
There’s only 24 hours in a day and with work and family commitments this trench coat was sewn. In the wee hours of the morning before work I sewed up the initial pieces of the coat.
I kept the front coat pleating for when there were no family interruption. MrV was at the gym for the night so I had more time to work out the pleating.

Because the fabric is cotton, I ironed the front pleats from the waist to the hem. The skirt of this coat now sits better on me and is more balanced for my height.

The coat facings are interfaced.
The pocket openings are also interfaced because I use coat pockets a lot, so I felt it worth the effort to reinforce them.
I used bias binding to finish the pocket seams, facings and the waist join.

As the coat came together I kept thinking this trench coat could be a fab wrap dress. Is that crazy? The front bodice has bust darts and all you'd need are a couple of snaps at the waistline and 'bam', there's your wrap dress.

1. Mark and sew in bust darts in front bodice pieces.
2. Sew in a know and thread at end of dart, do not back stitch. Press dart downwards.
3. Right sides together, join back bodice pieces together. Press seam open. I used fake machine felled seams to reinforce this fabric.
4. Join and sew front and back bodice together at the shoulders. Press seams open or finish using fake machine felled finish. Join and sew front and back side seams. Press seams open and finish them.
5. Join back skirt pieces together and sew at the centre back seam.
6. Press open. I finished this seam with fake machine felled finish.
7. Take two pocket pieces and with right sides together sew them where the pocket markings should be. I finished the pocket seams with fake machine felling.

My pattern didn't have the pocket markings on the back skirt pattern so I traced off this marking from the front skirt pocket markings. Claire knows about this issue and the pocket markings will be on the next print run of this pattern.
8. Moving onto the from skirt pieces and mark in your pleats along the skirt waist. Hand tack or pin them in place. Claire recommends hand tacking and pressing them in. 
My fabric was a cotton so I was able to simply use pins and the iron. The fabric is great to work with.
8a. On the right side of the fabric, machine stitch the pleats in place and press them.
I pressed my pleats from the waist to the hem.

9. Take two pocket pieces and with right sides together sew them where the pocket markings are. Make sure these pockets align with the bottom pocket piece.
I finished the pocket seams with fake machine felling.
10. Pin your front skirt in place on top of the back skirt with right sides together. Match up the opening of the pockets.
11. Stitch from the top of waist to the start of the pocket opening. Back stitch and cut thread. Start stitching again from the bottom of the pocket opening all the way down to the hem. Press the seam open. Now stitch all the way around the curve of the pocket. You can overlock or zigzag stitch the pocket curves. I used bias binding for a neater look. 

12. Your coat skirt will look like a wrap skirt.

13. With right sides together, join and sew the skirt and bodice together, aligning the side seams. Press open. I finished the seams with bias binding.

14. With right sides together, join back neck facing to front facing. Press seams open. I finished the seams with bias binding.

15. With right sides together, pin the facing onto the coat and stitch it in place all the way around from one hem to the other. The seam allowance here is 1cm.
Press seams open. Snip around the neckline curves. Then turn facing inside the coat and press flat.

16. With right sides together, attach and sew under-sleeve to top-sleeve. Press sleeve seam open. I finished the seams with fake machine felling. Attach remaining side of the under-sleeve to the remaining side of the top-sleeve. I did a french seam here. Turn up the sleeve hem, press and stitch in place.

17. Fit sleeve head into armhole right sides together and ease sleeve in to fit. The seam allowance here is 1cm. Stitch in place. Press.
 I finished the seams with bias binding.
18. Right sides together, join belt pieces together. Start sewing from one side and sew all the way around, leaving a turning opening along one side. Turn through to right sides, press and the slip-stitch the opening closed. I machine finished this opening.
Fold the edges of the belt loops flat, top stitch the edges down carefully and then machine stitch the first side onto your coat right side together where marked on the pattern.

19. Turn up the hem all the way around, press flat and stitch in place.
While I like fitted styles, this wrap trench has a great shape to it.
Cheers and thanks Claire and White Tree Fabrics Uk for this coat.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

You might also be interested in...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Minerva Crafts UK