Cheap as chips Sewaholic Pendrell

Hello everyone. It’s a new year, hooray! It’s also the year I get married. Double hooray!! Project Wedding Dress is about to commence. I have £370 in my budget, I’ve ordered most of my fabrics, notions and extra bits and pieces. It’s time to get serious! First up is sewing my corselette. I’m winging it using a number of online tutorials and books on the subject. Wish me luck please. And let’s see if I can come in on budget! If you have any good links to bridal or occasion sewing, corselette or corset sewing or generally couture techniques please link them. I’ve got a good collection of books and found a few blog posts but am very eager to hear more. It isn’t possible to overwhelm me people.

PLEASE INNUNDATE ME. I’m going to collate everything I’ve found into a super online document so no future DIY bride will struggle to find resources.

Ahem, in other news I have a fun top to share. I hope you like it.

almond rock sewaholic pendrell polyester crepe birmingham rag market

So I’m in love. There I said it. I’m in love with this top. It makes me feel so wonderful everytime I wear it. The colours are just so epic. They’re the perfect shade and saturation to stand out from across the room. That’s obviously helped by the scale of the print and yes, those frilly little ruffles. It goes perfectly with my ochre cardigan and blue jeans.

almond rock sewaholic pendrell polyester crepe birmingham rag market

This is the Sewaholic Pendrell top which I can’t remember buying but must have because I have the PDF. (There’s a lot of PDFs like that on my computer). It’s got princess seams which mean a great fit and the option to add different styles of frills (or you can leave them off if you prefer). It’s easy to overlock the entire inside for a neat finish and it’s a SUPER QUICK sew.

I made view B with ruffles set into the princess seams and regular cap sleeves. You gather everything up to match the notches and then set the frill into the seams and encase the sleeve with bias tape. The length was a little crazy on me and even after chopping off 5cm I still might lose a little more. At 5ft5 I like to be able to see some hint of hips when I wear a top to establish my proportions. You can see my “human butternut squash” body type here in full glory. Why did Triny and Suzannah never include that one in their tv show!? I used bias tape made from excess fabric to finish the edges and it throws on over my head without a keyhole loop. A tiny needle made sure there were no pulls in my fabric.

almond rock sewaholic pendrell polyester crepe birmingham rag market

This polyester fabric was astoundingly cheap; If I remember rightly it was £1 per metre. I bought it on a shopping trip to Birmingham from one of the stalls outside the rag market and I’m happy to report Marie and Roisin bought some too. You can see more of Marie’s gorgeous kimono here.

There’s only one problem with this top and it’s my own fault. The ruffle on my left shoulder has one wonky area of gathering that makes the ruffle stand up. And no amount of pressing will keep it down! On the above picture it’s even peeking out from behind my hair for cripes sake. With the raw edges overlocked inside, I haven’t had the motivation since I made this to unpick and adjust the way the gather falls and don’t know if I ever will. It’s a problem, but one I’m happy to live with.

Now it’s time I shut up and do the I LOVE MY TOP DANCE! (Yep I’m that big of a nerd and it’s been captured on photo.) Bye for now.

 

Looking for more inspiration? See Fiona’s gorgeous sleeveless version here. And Shannon made a version in jersey! Here’s Sil’s version with step by step pics incase you’re curious how the ruffle comes together.

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Not a dress, Liberty silk New Look 6035 cami

Hello everyone! I’m sharing something slightly different today. I often wonder if you’re all sick of seeing my dresses. Sometimes I even wonder if I like what I’m sewing.

Do you ever get that feeling? Where you finish a garment and you’re not sure why you actually made it… like it was all just to use the fabric up and you didn’t really learn anything or love the finished make? I’m having a bit of a wardrobe crisis as I’ve got so much fabric waiting to be sewn up that doesn’t seem to fit with the clothes I want to wear lately, but I can’t seem to get rid of it. To distract myself I’m seeing what I can use from my disgustingly huge stash to help me practice for my wedding dress.

Liberty london silk satin cami new look 6035

This simple looking top was actually a really good challenge PWD – Pre-wedding dress. I wanted to ease myself back into using silk and had been hoarding this piece of Liberty silk satin for years. I used one of those amazing Liberty tokens that has the building embossed on it. Very hard to give up in all honesty.

Liberty london silk satin cami new look 6035

The print is called Alice Alina C. It’s a photographic winter garden print exposed in a dark room using photo sensitive paper so the leaves and buds have a ghostly feel. The yellow heart shapes in the print are especially gorgeous.

LIberty london silk satin cami new look 6035

The top is part of a bumper pattern pack from New Look. I originally picked this up to make the jacket (another thing that isn’t a dress to look forward to) but decided to try the top first instead. There are no darts, just neckline gathering as easing for the bust and you can add hem vents if desired.

Liberty London silk satin new look cami

I used French seams throughout, a super fine needle and cut out with my rotary cutter. I didn’t need tissue paper or gelatine or any other stabiliser which was reassuring. When making the bias I tried my best to have as few joins as possible to avoid those unsightly seam lines showing. This is super skinny 12mm bias which was then folded in half to make 6mm trim. I basted the bias in place before topstitching so I wouldn’t go totally insane.

LIberty london silk satin cami new look 6035

Aren’t the little yellow leaves adorable? The colour is quite dark for me but feels very luxurious. Focussing so intently on not warping the seams, keeping the fabric on grain and not slipping around as I topstitched the bias was a really nice exercise in calm careful sewing. I’m using duchesse satin as one layer of my wedding dress so I’m definitely going to sew some more slippery silks before it’s time to start just to keep my skills in check. I think I’ll also make another top in polyester or crepe to tuck into skirts. And really, it would make a great pj top too. It’s an all round staple throw on item!

LIberty london silk satin cami new look 6035

If you have any tips that might help me with my current wardrobe predicament please let me know. Part of the issue is knowing that when I start my wedding dress and potentially the bridesmaid dresses I won’t have much time to sew other things so it puts more pressure on each garment I do choose to make. To-do lists never seem to work but I did start look at each piece of fabric I have, to work out what garment it may become one day. This was an exercise to justify it staying in my stash… I got through one box. EEEK HELP ME!!

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Threadcount blouse

Hello everyone!

I’ve been on a great run of therapeutic sewing lately! Getting my head down, pushing out the world and focusing on the task at hand. I had a super productive Christmas break and made a whopping four garments in three days. Three dresses and a blouse. I sewed them all at the same time if that makes sense. Like my own production line. Getting my head down and drowning out the world by sewing is a real stress-buster for me. It’s like I tap into the part of me that’s a freaky zen robot eagle and just focus on executing each step neatly and efficiently.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

This pattern came free with Sew Now magazine. Love Sewing’s little sister. There are a few mix and match variations but I chose the button placket with the short sleeves and I opted the length of view B without the dip hem (I just levelled everything off). Happily I lay my block on top of the pattern pieces and they matched the size 8 I only had to move the bust a smidgen and grade out the side seams to a size 14 from the waist to hip.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

I laugh when I look at this fabric because I would never had bought it normally. The team at Remnant Kings talked me into it after I attended an event at the Glasgow store. It feels lovely (like a looser than normal lawn weave but not like gauze or anything) and the print is sweet… it’s just that shade of blue that I would have sworn doesn’t suit me. Maybe it doesn’t but who cares. Find it here.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

The pearl buttons are pure plastic so I’m waiting for the washing machine to scuff them up. Amazingly after a day of wearing the top there aren’t many creases! Magic. I only wish I had enough fabric for the longer sleeves.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

I French seamed the whole garment including the armholes and I used the burrito method for the yoke – pic below of rolled up front sandwiched between the inner and outer yoke ready to sew over the shoulder seam.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

My trusty topstitching foot made easy work of the placket. I had a bit of trouble with the buttonholes because my fabric was a bit damp still after pressing. Once I let everything dry properly and finished unpicking for the third time I was able to stop worrying about them. But then like an idiot I sewed the buttons on in slightly the wrong place so the placket doesn’t sit neatly closed!! Gah!

Obligatory back shot time…

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

Nice little pleats right?

I’m so happy with this make I already started another, but this time I hacked the front to have a full placket. I added hot pink stitching so need to get hot pink buttons now right? Next job on my list.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

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Elsie Overshirt

Hello campers!

I’m loving blogging again. So here’s something else from my huge backlog of finished garments. The pattern is the Elsie woven overshirt from Style Arc patterns.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

How Style Arc works is that you get a single sized pattern delivered in the post or you can choose a multi-size pdf pattern from their Etsy store plus there are multi-sized paper patterns on Amazon.co.uk now.

The paper patterns have the instructions printed on the same sheet as the pattern pieces so you have to make sure you don’t throw them out accidentally! And only the key directions have illustrations. Sizes range from 4 to 30 and prices are in Australian dollars.

My favourite part is that every hardcopy pattern order comes with a Free bonus pattern. Such a good idea!

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

I ordered Elsie, plus the Posh Top. The free pattern was the Fern Top which wasn’t quite my style so I passed it on to Katie who made this wicked version. Let’s just say that Posh didn’t work out well so you won’t be seeing that one.

Elsie is described as a square shaped shirt with reverse revere, patch pockets and roll up sleeves. There are safari tabs and buttoned cuffs on the sleeves as well. It says to make the blouse is crepe, viscose, silk etc. I chose a random printed viscose from Barry’s in Birmingham and paired this with some white shell shank buttons from my stash.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

The viscose wrinkles so badly!! But the top sews up really quickly. The revere is sewn in three separate pieces, attached to the front edges, then flipped out and top-stitched in place.

The safari tabs are a good touch too. I’ve always wanted a shirt with them but turns out they tickle when the sleeves are unrolled and the tab is loose on the inside.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

I’m not massively in love with the high-low hem trend but this one actually pleases me a bit. It’s not too dramatic, I like the split seam and it helps cover my rear a little.

So I better just got to say it. I picked the wrong size. This is size 10 but I really don’t have the shoulders for it. This was sewn as the straight size (no alterations) but now I know the fit I’ll do a small shoulder adjustment and maybe a small bust adjustment too. It’s fine wearing a top underneath. I’ll probably do that even after shrinking the sizing.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

 I’m still pretty happy with it and have made plans to make a silk version using some gorgeous blue silk with soft pink print that a family friend kindly gifted me.

So there we have it! Can’t wait to snap some more pics and put more garments on the blog. I’m remembering more about why I started my blog and needing a creative outlet from my work. Now my work is very creative and so driven towards a whole community of sewists, it’s nice to come back to my own little space to be a little selfish, just to share my own sewing.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

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Sophia Tee Hack

Hello everyone! Sorry for my absence. It’s been excruciating because I’ve got about 15 things ready to blog but don’t have any pictures!! I’m going to attempt taking some myself this weekend while Jimi is away, but the last time that happened I forgot to smile heehee.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

So to solve this problem I found some pics of my jeans that show off my Sophia tee.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

For those of you who haven’t seen Love Sewing issue 19, we included a paper pattern for a long pleated waist skirt and simple dartless top. Separates are pretty on trend and a nice alternative to a dress. Plus both pieces make excellent staples. I can’t wait to make a knee length version of the skirt and many more Sophia tees.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

The mag explains how to hack the top into tee length. Essentially you just extend the front and back around 5 or 6 inches along the fold line and side seam and the draw the new hem at a right angle to the centre front and back.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

I used a zigzag polyester from the Abakhan remnant bin. God I love that place. I think it was £2. It’s surprisingly not that sheer, but I generally wear a little tank top underneath to avoid any hint of static.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

The length is probably 2 or 3cm too short for my liking but I wanted to try and make a top that sat above the bottom of my Jean pockets. It’s exactly that but turns out I do prefer the added length.

So there you go! I’ll be making loooooads of these because they are insanely quick to make. And I want to swap out the facings for coordinating bias binding.

If you want to pick up issue 19, head out to shops quick as it goes offsale on November 5th! Though it will still be available to buy online.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

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