• Tops, blouses and shirts

    Spotty vintage New Look 6976

    Hello kittens! Hope you’re all hanging in there. Lots of DIY has been happening over here these last few weeks but not so much sewing. Now thankfully that’s changing and I have three sewing projects to start! Plus a few makes like this which I haven’t had chance to share. Let’s take a look at the first one.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    Here is my version of 1990s New Look pattern 6976. Okay, fair warning… it’s time to call the 90s “vintage”… because the definition is over 30 years is vintage, even though the 90s feel like a blink ago. Plus if you ask me this top has the perfect mix or 90s style and 60s flair. Trends always come back around.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    Here’s the twist; this is actually my toile! I made view C and cut a size 10 bodice, grading out to a 16 at the waist and hip. It turned out too boxy so I slimmed the sides back down and realised I needed to increase the length. I had some left over fabric so added a hem band for this version and increased the length on my pattern pieces ready for when I make my next one. Finally I decided the increase the shoulder strap width because they weren’t quite sleeves and not really straps. Thankfully I had even more scraps to cut new sleeves/straps out.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    When I compared the before and after pictures I was pretty happy! Can you tell from my face? Oh and if you notice the short hair, it’s because I made this top in May 2020, a flipping lifetime ago when lockdown was still fairly tolerable and a vaccine was just a daydream. The blue peachskin is perfectly opaque and drapes beautifully. Plus it’s a flirty style that actually had interesting construction.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    The ruching at the shoulders and back are formed by bias tape facing channels that contain stretched elastic. The front has the same bias tape channels but two thin pieces of rouleau are secured at the outer ends and fed through to the centre point where they’re tied tightly to create ruching and finish in a bow. A cute little fabric facing creates the centre front keyhole.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    The elastic isn’t really holding it in place, but is more for show/creating the ruching. I’m pleased with how the toile turned out but it still rides up a little under the arms so will sort that on the next version also. The back is very wide and a possibly a bit unflattering. Of course you can’t see your own back (unless you’re super bendy), but I’d like to implement a solution to fix the awkward shape.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    This pretty blue peachskin was leftovers from a Love Sewing garment from Dec 2019 and you know what… the fabric is still available! I love it when that happens. Buy yourself some from My Sewing Box. It took some fun pattern jenga to get the pieces cut out but it meant no scraps were wasted. For a stress-free sewing experience with peachskin, you just need a fresh sharp needle and remember to turn your iron down.

    almond rock New Look 6976 NL6976 90s 60s vintage top

    Now I’m ready for Spring weather, whenever it returns!

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Tropical Simple Sew sweatshirt

    Happy New Year everyone!! It’s an brand new decade and I’m both nervous and excited for 2020, a classic cocktail of emotions. With only a few days left in my Love Sewing role, I’m getting ready to say goodbye. There is lots to sort in my sewing room too. There’s new work clothes, pattern testing, fun collaborations and probably another destash sale on the horizon!

    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    Enough on that for now. Let’s talk jumpers (aka ‘sweaters’ or ‘sweatshirts’, for my international friends). I’ve made a few sweatshirts and never blogged them but somehow this one is breaking that spell. It’s a bold colourful print which is keeping me very warm!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    The Simple Sew sweatshirt is an oldie but a goodie with raglan sleeves and ribbed cuffs, neck and hem bands. I made view B and originally added the hem band but it felt a little bulky and long in this fabric so took it back off and hemmed the jumper shorter. This is the size 10 graded to a 12 at the hips. The structure of the fabric means I should have graded the sleeve hems out a little more to be able to push them up my arms… oh well.
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    A jumper like this can be totally constructed on your overlocker but there are a few small places it can help to sew… 1) cuff and neckband side seams: to avoid bulk and because you never even see the seam edge. 2) underarm points: If you’re a stickler for a neatly intersecting seam sew the sides up on your machine first to avoid the fabric creeping. 3) Hem: If you skip the hem band like me, you’ll have to hem on a machine, unless you have a coverstitch you lucky thing!!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    This loopback palm leaf knit was a gift from wowfabrics.co.uk – look for J173 ABSTRACT FLORAL JUNGLE PRINT. From 2m I have so much leftover it’s crazy! It’s definitely heavier than sweatshirting; a bit closer to scuba and has a lovely fleece backing adhered to it. My overlocker blade hated it so I trimmed all my seams before overlocking them. The ribbing is from Abakhan and I got the co-ordinating teal sweatshirting too. In fact I’ve already made another winter jumper with it!!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    I liked the fabric so much I’ve decided to join the Wow Fabrics blogger team and have created three of my own fabric designs to test out the print quality of their custom fabric printing service! A satin, bubbled crepe and cotton jersey. More details on that soon!

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  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Strawberry stripes McCall’s 7322

    Theres something magical about pink and red together. It shouldn’t work but it totally does. And there’s something magical about this jersey. It’s another fabric that we got for a work project (out next week) and I ended up buying my own, obsessed with it!! Its such good quality, it had to be done. I wore the top to the office on a particularly bloated and tired day and someone told me I looked great. That made me like the magical top even more. Funny how easy swayed I am!

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern

    The jersey is thick enough to sit smoothly on the body but light enough to still feel like a t-shirt, it’s also holding colour perfectly after a few washes and showing no signs of wear. It’s from Bloomsbury Square linked here and is nearly sold out. There’s a similar fabric here at Cornish Haberdashery and also here at Bobbins and Buttons! I’m pretty chuffed with my stripe matching and overlocking/top-stitching. As you can see below I always try and land my twin needle stitches just on the edge of the folded under seam allowance so it looks like a cover-stitched finish… until the day I can afford one. I also added to heat transfer patches to the chest I got from China because the colours match perfectly!

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern

    Back to the top! This is my fourth version of M7322 but first blogged. Sorry about that. But all four are striped and all matched at the side seams, sleeve seams and magically on some of the armhole. You can achieve armhole matching too if you use this pattern and an evenly stripe fabric. The armhole and sleeve are the perfect gradient/curve to ease the stripes together. Intrigued? Read on

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern

    On many patterns the sleeve head is aggressively shaped, curving at an incline that doesn’t match the gentle curve of the armhole. Does that make sense? But not this one.

    First…. Use a stripe layout, matching the underarm points of the front and back bodice and sleeves with the same part of the stripe. Sew your bodices together and your sleeve seams, matching your stripes. You’ll ned to pin every stripe together if you want a flawless match. Now everything should start to come together ready to make the sleeves…

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern

    Turn both your sleeves and bodice WS out and mark the seam allowance at the armhole in air-erasable or water-soluble marker. You should be able to match the first few visible stripes on the front bodice above the sleeve seam as you see above.

    In all your stripe matching here is a quick note, you’re not aligning the stripes RST, just matching points at the seam line if that makes sense. The stripes won’t always match in the seam allowance area. The goal is to cross perfectly at the seam line. Pin both horizontally and vertically then quickly tack stitch this area of the armhole by hand if you want guaranteed success.

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern saltaire

    Here’s a peek of the top out on a day trip to Salt’s Mill in Saltaire. This amazing historic town was custom built by the mill owner so his workers had somewhere to live. The area is now grade listed and the mill is the home to a David Hockney gallery and amazing cafe plus lots more. As well as the mill we like walking by the canal, stopping at the barge that sells ice cream and visiting the park! It’s a great day out. Ahhh how much I already miss summer!! Watch this space for a cheeky kitten top…

    almond rock stripe matching ponte jersey stretch knit tshirt top mccalls 7322 sewing pattern

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Simple Sew Poppy top

    I’m writing this on Sunday, currently freaking out about my half made ballgown for The Dressmaker’s Ball. I have the pattern ready finally but as I came to cut out my fabric I realised I don’t have enough underlining fabric! How silly of me. So I had to get more yesterday and sew before next week (as I’m away from then until the ball). GULP. I’m going to make it work and Tim Gunn would be proud of me, I’m sure.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    My brain is utterly frazzled by work at the minute as we have been running so many special issues and there are garments flying around everywhere and I don’t have a free weekend until late April. The glamorous world of publishing.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    I really want to sit quietly and write a blog post so have forced myself to do it! This is thePoppy top from Simple Sew patterns. I got the printed version free from the cupboard at work but it was also a digital download from issue 48 of Love Sewing.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    With gently fluted sleeves and neckline pleats instead of darts it’s a pretty nice top that could be made for everyday wear or a special night out.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    I made the size 8 and let out the hips out to a 10 but it isn’t close fitting so didn’t need too much extra room. I should have made the 10 at the upper body I think as its a tiny bit tight.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    It’s a super quick make though and the pleats are fun to make. There’s a decent size facing underneath which supports the neckline pleats well. And a cute keyhole back letting you pick a pretty button from your huge stash to use… or is that just me?

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    The fabric was from the 1st Sewing Weekender goodie bag! It’s aStoff & Stil viscose with little bird/boomerang shapes. Everyone got the same 1.5m piece so it’s been cool to see their makes over the years. I generally prefer brighter colours so I don’t wear this often unless it’s with a bright cardigan. Although it wasn’t my style I couldn’t seem to part with it. Glad I finally used it eh? I call the next photo “My fabric stash is THIIIIS big”.

    Almond rock simple sew poppy top stoff and stil viscose

    Now it’s time to count down the days until I see my girl Marie and hang out with loads of lovely ladies at the ball!!

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Watercolour Sutton blouse

    Hello everyone! Things are returning back to normal and I’m pleased I’ve had time to write blog posts here and there. I’ve got to write up about my honeymoon wardrobe but maybe that will be a fun activity when the inevitable crap weather arrives. It’s already gone pretty chilly so I’m trying to plan winter garments (something I’m rubbish at). I also made sure to sign myself up to the 2019 Dressmaker’s Ball! It was such a blast last time, I had to get in on the fun again! Will I see you there?

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    So what am I sharing today? I made another version of the Sutton blouse by True Bias. Again, without the centre front seam and self made bias binding for that lovely inside finish.

    I think this will be my last but I’m still happy with how this great little scrap buster turned out. The shoulder yoke means you can get the pattern out of short length of 60″ wide fabric, because the front and back bodices are much shorter. I wore this top a lot on honeymoon as it was breezy but still pretty, but it’s important (for me) to wear a camsiole underneath where possible as one lean over and you can see everything down the front. Ooh la la!

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    Polyester like this watercolour print, can be prone to snag so I always use a sharp needle around size 70. Static cling will always be a risk, but that  camsiole top underneath will help with that too. French seams are great for the yoke seams but those pesky side splits and drop hem mean overlocking and pressing open your seams is needed. That lower hem is great bum coverage though!

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    I love the colours in this 100% polyester print; teal, brick and blush. It’s from Croft Mill and is slightly sheer but with a good handle and weight. It didn’t shrink in the wash and I took care not to put a hot iron near it, using a pressing cloth where needed. Staystitching that neckline is a must by the way, as it’s quite open and would surely stretch out just by looking at it wrong if you didn’t haha.

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    If I look a little delirious in these photos, they were taken at the end of a crazily long shoot day with what felt like a thousand props to pack away at the end of the day. Some days all I want to do after photoshoots is get in the bath, then get my jammies on and then go straight to sleep. I think I need to build up my stamina!