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New Look 6808 – FINALLY!

Yaaaaaaaaay I’ve finally finished a new look 6808 top after buying the pattern nearly a year ago.

Why so long you might ask? Well it took me this long to fit it properly.

I made four attempts. FOUR! Yeesh.

I worked out I’m a 8 around the neck, a 10 at the arm holes and bust, a 12 at the waist and a 14 at the hips.

Now I have the perfect fit though. I even added a centre back seam to help the fit.

I used a purply-black poly micro-fibre fabric that I’d used as lining for my fake cambie.

And some pink poly scraps I had for the collar and the sleeve lining.

I’ve never encountered a pattern with lined sleeves before.

Little odd but love the effect I was able to create here.

I drafted the collar myself. I used the neck facings to work out the general size of the collar I needed and a french curve on the front collar pieces. I wish I’d curved them slightly closer together.

There’s a small gap at the front that I don’t mind too much but wish I’d spotted earlier.

I put the collar together using instructions in my Reader’s Digest Sewing Guide.

It’s really well illustrated and has little tips for each different type of collar you want to create / attach.

I didn’t want my collar to have a centre back seam so I had to make sure the collar fit perfectly given my odd extra bit of construction.

The hem isn’t wonky at the back, that’s just where the top slipped on the hanger.

In other news I also got a gift in the post! The pattern I won from Dotty Doodle.

And look how cutely she wrapped it up for me.

NL6808 Review:

Positives:

It’s a super wearable straightforward to sew top that can be made dressy or casual as required.

There are good variations to create the perfect top you need with long sleeves, collar variations.

And it’s like a blank canvas for embellishment!

Nuff said right?

Negatives:

For me it was determining the sizing. I am a freaky body type though. Crazily small shoulders and neckline, small bust, bigger waist, even bigger hips. And it took me a while to grade the pattern correctly. What made it more difficult for me is that all the sizes aren’t on a single pattern pieces. They cover only a few, e.g. 8, 10, 12 with another for 14, 16, 18. Great for anyone who wants to grade between those sizes. Not so great for me.

Oh well.

Would I make it again? And what would I do differently?

YES!! Hell yes I’m making this again. Now I’ve mastered the fit I’m going to be all over this pattern. I’m going to make one with buttons down the back. Another with the long sleeves. Another in view c with the side collar/bow. Another with a pleated panel on the front. Another…. oh I’ll shut up because you get the jist!

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Happy New Year!

I’ve written this blog post about five times now.

I’m both scared and excited to think about what 2013 will bring and my brain is racing at a mile a minute.

Unavoidable changes are heading my way and I’m trying to figure out how to roll with them.

I’m not going to start waffling on about all of that because it’s been a long day and this is still a sewing blog right?!

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Regardless of any drama the new year has brought, I’ve also done a smidgen of sewing!

2013-01-09 21.02.35I eased myself back in slowly. I put an elastic waist in a B5653 strappy floral top UFO that’s been lingering around since Summer.

This Butterick top is sort of a refashion and a muslin.

I salvaged the fabric from an old Topshop dress and wanted to try out the strappy view of the top before investing other fabric in it.

I’m already plotting many more versions of this is.

And I  think it’d look lovely extended into a sundress. Yes yes I know we’re expecting snow this weekend.

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Then I hemmed the striped NL 6808 I started before xmas.

Tweet peeps are sure to be sick of seeing this top. I’ve posted pics of it in every stage of construction.

Check out the bitching stripe matching on it though! On the sides and on the sleeves (this damn near killed me).

I also added an exposed zip to the back.

Yessssssss (smug).

Roisin suggested a tutorial post which I’m eager to supply.

I will not be showing you the insides of this bad boy but will instead draft up something neater for show and tell.

I wore this one today and wasn’t most impressed with how I looked but think that’s just because I’m full of cold at the minute and in my mind I look I have bats nesting in my hair and the pallor of a jaundiced gremlin.

And on that delightful note I shall leave you for now.

I will return shortly with organised thoughts rather than the deranged stream of consciousness I’ve been trying to fight back…

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Careless cutting – NL 6808 take 2

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Oh yes I was smug. I had “conquered” New Look 6808.

I was dancing around the living room in my finished top and thought hell yeah I’m gonna make another!!

I decided to up the fun factor. Thick blue plaid with 3/4 sleeves so it’d be super warm and snuggly!

I whizzed through it. And I lined up my plaid pretty well I thought… bust darts excluded obviously. More delicious smugness.

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I was even deliberating adding an exposed metal zipper for extra cool factor. Oh yes I’m that cool ladies…

Then it came to the sleeves:
Attempt 1 – went mental and forgot the direction of my plaid. Ended up with them in a blatantly different direction to the rest of top.

Attempt 2 – correct plaid direction.  Waaaay too much ease.

Attempt 3 – used tips from Casey and Green Apples on reducing ease from sleeves. Reduced too much and couldn’t lift arms/get top off again/thought it wanted me dead.

Attempt 4 – cap sleeves a la version 1. Tried to remove less ease than previous attempt. Still removed too much. Again the top tried to choke me to death but with less vigour this time.

Attempt 5- oh wait I’m out of plaid!! So I resigned myself to having a sleeveless top. Rather than buy more just to mess around with sleeves.

So I started snipping the frayed edges down to apply bias tape (of course they were frayed after all this sewing and unpicking) and had some kind of deranged spasm!

I snipped right into the top! Right in there, nice and big and unrepairable. Oh and did I mention I’m out of plaid!?

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Pffftt…. crapzola.

So my top just earned itself a nice place in the bin. At least now I can move on to something else.

Hello Polka Dot Truffle party dress! I’ve left you alone for too long.

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McCall’s 7547 dungarees

Happy heatwave everyone! This glorious arrival of the sun has boosted my spirits like you wouldn’t believe. Work is unbelievably manic, the wedding admin is piling up and I haven’t been sleeping well at all. What’s keeping me going is that bolt of vitamin D, a daily zma tablet and some therapeutic sewing when I can… plus oreo cookies. Something else that’s pretty cool is we’ve set up a craft club at the office, where every Wednesday we take our various crafts into the boardroom and chat and work away creatively as a group. Each magazine produced by the company is run by a crafter so we all look for opportunities to work on projects and share our knowledge with other people. I’ve played with macrame, failed at crochet and knitted most of a snuggly blanket. I generally do embroidery on my lunchtime and then help with other people’s dressmaking queries but with the big boardroom table doubling as a cutting table I was able to prep most of this project in a week of lunches.

almond rock m7547 dungarees mccalls

Now the one thing I never thought I’d make is dungarees. I got pretty tempted last year by a skinny jeans version in H&M but when I tried them on in the shops they gave me ginormous love handles due to the cut of the waist and I got scared again. Then we decided to run M7547 as one of the free patterns on Love Sewing 53 I thought I better suck it up and give them a go. I was convinced by the fact that I am forever in love with my high-waisted jeans and this pattern features a high-waist style. I’m only 5ft 4 and I think the high waist makes me look waaay taller than that. I could hear you thinking – Wow Amy looks as tall as Rachel Pinheiro – but it’s all a trick of the eye!

almond rock m7547 dungarees mccalls

These McCall’s dungarees are super quick to make because there’s no fly front zipper which are great to make but not as speedy as a good old lapped side zipper. You do need to do a bit of topstitching but if you do this in the same colour thread you don’t have to swap over your machine and can stay on track. The directions don’t include how to finish your seams so thinking ahead and jumping onto your overlocker is necessary which does take you out of the flow. As is normal for me, I pinned everything I possibly could then did a mass sewing session, then repeated this until they were done.

almond rock m7547 dungarees mccalls

I made a straight size 12 of the skinny jean version but could do with a smidge more length in the upper body and a smidge less width and length in the legs. The shoulder straps are very short if you ask me and it would be best to extend them a good inch then cut off any excess once you’ve tried the assembled dungarees on. I omitted the pockets due to lack of denim too.

almond rock m7547 dungarees abakhan mccalls

My brace kit was from Minerva Crafts (salvaged from a disastrous dungaree dress that never got blogged) and I have a thousand jeans buttons in my sewing room so found some that matched. This dark indigo denim was actually from the Abakhan remnant’s bin and has a slight flaw which I placed at the ankle level on the back so it was even less noticeable. It has great stretch recovery and has held it’s colour during several washes but it could be a bit less stretchy and it attracts fluff LIKE CRAZY! So infuriating. You can’t see the fluff in the main photos but check out the close up back shot; It’s there mocking me.

almond rock m7547 dungarees mccalls

Kerry said I had a Rosie the Riveter vibe going on which is mega fun! We played it up on set haha. Her floral sateen version is amazing, go check out the review (I think she’s posting it today or tomorrow!). I used a frilly sleeved version of New Look 6808 to balance out my top and wore my red loafers. The lack of pockets sort of makes my crotch area look HUGE which is endlessly cringeworthy in photos but you forget when you’re wearing them… until I try and put my phone in the back pocket! Ho ho I made you look at my crotch, you filthy scoundrel!!

almond rock dungarees m7547 mccalls abakhan

I’m definitely going to use this pattern to make a pair of skinny jeans as I really enjoyed making my last pair of jeans but got fatigue by the end and these felt much quicker. I also have a copy of the new Megan Nielsen Ash jeans which look great so will also make those later this year. First though I need to find some great quality denim! Katie is a wonderful source of inspiration in this respect but please send me details of high quality stretch denim suitable for jeans!! I saw some lovely stuff on Fabric Godmother and Guthrie & Ghani but would love to hear your thoughts. Hit me up with suggestions in the comments!

almond rock ash jeans megan nielsen

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Bits and Bobbins

Gosh it’s been ages since I last posted.
I get this horrible feeling when I don’t post during a week. Let’s remedy that!

I’ve been sewing like a maniac lately and have a big queue of things to show you in the next few weeks. I’ll start by sharing a few things today.

First up are a couple of work tops that are modest and smart but still a bit fun and go with jeans. It’s the “I’m so cute, don’t you want to let me standardise your product and put it in a media neutral content management system” look. Snappy eh?

almond rock new look 6148 squirrel rabbit crepe

So here we have a yoke-less new look 6148 in ex-Dorothy Perkins crepe with awesome squirrel and rabbit print. I picked this up from Goldhawk Road a couple of summers ago and as soon as I was on the train home regretted only buy 1m.

And my firm favourite, new look 6808 in red and cream polyester. I’m not falling into the trap of calling it tribal, ohhhhhh no. This fabric was one of my bargain Birmingham Rag Market purchases that I recently shared on Instagram.

almond rock new look 6808 tribal polyester

I thought I try the 6808 sleeves on the 6148 as well and wahey they fit all right! Maybe even a bit better than they fit the pattern they came with!?

Moving along… a few weeks ago my friends had the fright of their lives. Their baby who hadn’t quite finished cooking, arrived 8 weeks early weighing in at a teeny 2 lbs. After some love and attention she’s been beefed up enough to be at home with her family.

As a baby gift I made the Dylan Onsie pattern (babygrow to all us Brits) from Spit Up and Stilettos – it was free for some time but appears to now be priced. I also snaffled the Drew leggings pattern while they were free and they also seem pretty cool too for an easy baby gift.

almond rock dylan onesie babygrow spit up and stilettos metallic gold hot pink jersey

The pattern includes “preemie” size for teeny babies just like Baby Amber. I used some garish but fun hot pink and metallic gold jersey from Birmingham rag market with some jersey bias tape and a bit of velcro from Samuel Taylors, and whipped it up on my overlocker. It’s definitely opinion dividing but I knew if anyone would get a kick out of this, it would be Tom and Helen, and I love that Amber is disco-ready.

Finally I made a little tool and pencil case ready for my pattern drafting class! What a geek, I know. This is the “Develop” Pattern Drafting and Garment Design evening course that I’m doing through Leeds Art College just like my Textile printing course.

The notes advise bringing basic sewing supplies, plus basic pencil kit so I had to make the pouch quite big. It’s about A5 sized.

almond rock vintage sewing pattern tshirt transfer paper zipper pouch

I printed a black and white image from a vintage sewing pattern onto tshirt transfer paper. I used some cotton canvas for the pouch and an invisible zipper. Here’s a good tutorial for pouches with regular zips. Easy for anyone to do, whether they’re a newbie or an old pro.

Isn’t she working that dress? She’s giving me Liz Taylor vibes.

Now that I’ve broken the silence, look forward to a few more posts from me soon!

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