Hope you’re having a great week. Lots of happy vibes over in my sewing room at the moment as I’m making progress with my bridesmaid dresses, I finished my bicycle embroidery and also a lovely reader of the blog sent me some beautiful vintage sewing patterns.
Turns out she wasn’t going to use them so I’m happy to give them a loving home. I’m not sure when I’ll ever make the slippers but I honestly love all the instructions and illustrations in each pattern. It’s so irresistible to see how things were done in the past
As you might know I’m woefully behind on photographing makes and have around 35 to share on the blog that haven’t been shot yet. I’m happy to report that I snuck into the studio last week and managed to take some pictures.
When I saw THIS SCUBA on the Minerva Crafts website I audibly gasped. I am of course addicted to florals but the colours in this print had been smitten. Although I don’t currently participate in the Minerva Blogger Network, Vicki was kind enough to still send me some of the fabric to make a skater dress.
I used my new favourite tshirt pattern M6886 which I stole from issue 44 of Love Sewing and added a waist seam. The neckline is the perfect amount of scoop without being too revealing I then added the skirt from the Simple Sew Lena Wrap dress. I love the flare on the skirt and decided to keep the hem band even though it’s not as obvious in this fabric. But as you can see I left off the waistband.
I actually constructed this entirely on my overlocker (the old one not the new one) which meant it was finished in around an hour. The only machine work was the hems which I overlocked, turned under and topstitched, including the neckline.
With the base fabric being white and the print being a little sparse it is a little see through in places if you’re wearing white lingerie, so I either wear nude or a slip to add opacity.
I’m so excited to pull this dress out of my wardrobe to wear with my chartreuse cardigan and red shoes. And you can’t beat the effect you can achieve when you make a full skirt out of scuba, it has a lovely sway when you walk. I end up swishing up and down the street
If you’re scared of trying scuba here are some tips. It cuts easily but if you don’t fancy the hand workout with your scissors, try a smaller rotary cutter for any intricate cutting sections.
Remember to prewash scuba as you should with any other fabric and wash it like normal but avoid hot heats and overwashing as you’ll get a bobbly garment and damage the stretch content.
With that in mind be sure to iron scuba on a low setting, this fabric will mark or even melt if iron too hot.
Last but not least use a stretch or ballpoint needle to prevent snagging and slipping.
It’s painfully obvious that my blog productivity and especially my time to read blogs has taken a nose dive but I’m pleased I’m clinging on and still posting. I imagine you’re all struggling too and I’m really grateful if you’ve clicked through and kept reading this long! So high fives all round?
Happy weekend! I’m currently in my sewing room whipping up a quick coat. Aka no tailoring, minimal hand stitching, maybe even no buttons… but welt pockets might make an appearance. Let’s wait and see.
In other news I wanted to push my sewing with a garment that’s pretty different for me. I reviewed the Butterick 5926 jersey blazer pattern that comes free with Love Sewing 49 (out Thurs 25th Jan in the UK). You can also read my thoughts inside the issue but here are the essentials.
Every time I reach for my jeans I agonise what to pair them with. I feel like I’m constantly chasing the ideal outfit that makes me look effortlessly put together; modest and tasteful but comfortable and easy. Generally I opt for a bright blouse and cardigan but it felt like time for a change.
I don’t think I’ve worn a blazer for at least 10 years as I’m petite with slightly squeaky voice and always live in fear of resembling a schoolgirl. The thought of a casual knit blazer was appealing but I wanted to make sure it felt feminine. This pattern calls for stable knits like Ponte Roma but didn’t mention scuba, which seemed like a great fit in my mind. This gorgeous geometric pink was £4 per metre at The Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate and I used 1.5m to make this jacket.
I chose to make view B, the hip-length version with shorter bracelet length sleeves that I rolled up for a relaxed feel and omitted the button fastenings. The blazer comes together really easily but you’re asked to reinforce a lot of areas of the collar and facings with stay stitching before clipping close to but not through the stitching line (always a tense part of the process for me). Shortening your stitch length can help here and a universal needle helped me avoid any skipped stitches.
The recommended hem finish, with stitching that finish along the front edges wasn’t to my taste so I decided to top-stitch everywhere, varying the distance from the edge as I worked my way around. With this approach I had to be careful that the collar still rolled neatly to the outside where the front facing turns out and used a few pins to get the turn point just right.
I also used my trusty blind hem machine foot with an adjusted needle position to attach the pockets which were very bulky to sew in place. I should be on commission for the amount of times I mention that foot! It was also the last outing for my singer overlocker before it committed suicide by firing the blade into the moving parts! Not pretty.
This is a versatile pattern that looks great in a big, bold prints as well as plain colours and feels as comfy as a cardigan. I really think notched collars are very flattering as they frame your face but more importantly they’re pretty fun to sew! Like I say the issue is out Thursday and actually comes with a second pattern, McCall’s 7357 and both are double stuffed with all the sizes inside e.g. 6-22. Winner winner quorn chicken dinner!!
My blog posting might be erratic lately but I’m enjoying sharing all my backlog of makes. Feels like I’m airing them out on the washing line.
So today I’ve got proof that I jumped on the scuba-wagon. I have no idea what a scuba-wagon might look like but now I’m thinking of scuba dragons so that’s fun.
I picked up this gorgeous rose embossed scuba on a Walthamstow trip with Katie. (She bought this lush marbled print scuba). It was £6 a metre which I thought was reasonable given its prettiness and weight. Plus it was nice and wide so I got 1.5 metres.
So in classic form this is the dixie diy dress bodice. I opted for long sleeves like my horse dress and a circle skirt like my Jungle January dress.
Here’s a pro tip… If you want to topstitch embossed scuba with a twin need;e you’re probably going to have to leave perfectionism at the door. No matter how slowly you go, both needles wants to bobble off course into one of the grooves of the pattern. The scary bit is if the two needles want to go separate directions!
I think it looks okay though so I’m not worrying about it. The rose design makes me swoon and the scuba gives the dress a more formal structure which I really like.
It is REALLY warm inside here though,
Maybe it’s time for some science? Are you sitting at home thinking what the flip is the difference between scuba and neoprene?
- Scuba is a type of double knit made from polyester and spandex, with a very fine gauge thread, and smooth texture. It’s what you’ll have seen clothes in magazines and the high street made of, and it’s extremely likely that if you’ve bought “neoprene” from the fabric shop you’ve actually bought scuba.
- Neoprene is a synthetic rubber and fabric hybrid which is more durable, more flexible and a better insulator, hence being primarily used for wetsuits. Essentially it’s a thin knit fabric sealed onto spongy foamed neoprene.
I feel happy to say this confidently because I have friends in the adventure sports industry who have discussed this with me as we’ve talked about their kits and the variations of “quality” neoprene.
But if you have heard differently please let us know.