Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Adventures of B5882 (Part 1)

A wee interweb search of B5882 will quickly reveal the challenges that this pattern has provided - but who doesn't like a challenge right!  However, I didn't realise this until after I had committed to making two of them for daughter #1.

B5882 B5882

As always I started with a muslin anyway, so no biggie, I would just work out all the fit issues at that stage and then enjoy the construction.


I started by cutting out a size 12, but reduced seam allowances down to 3/8" rather than the recommend 5/8".  It all went together pretty well, except for where the cup hit the top of the side front. The pattern says "turn down upper end of bra along fold line, as shown, baste."  The picture below mimics what the pattern illustration shows - but how bloody weird is that!


So I pretty much ignored that part of the instructions - although in truth I only used the instructions as a general guide rather than following them step by step.  So rather than turning the bra/cup under I extended the side front up to the top of the bra/cup - as you can see in the photo below, the red line was the original stitch line.


Actually the lifting of the side front to meet the top of the bra/cup side gives a much better look, and snugs up under the arm for a better fit as well.


I had to make a bunch of adjustments to the front pieces to get better portions and have the princess seams hit the apex, as they should.

Please note that I always work with the stitching line rather than the cutting line of a pattern - for all these adjustments I've identified the stitch line by working from the cut line. So the blue dotted line is the cutting line of the original pattern (size 12) and the pencil/pink pen indicate the stitching line that I will be sewing along (sorry if this is a bit confusing - it all made perfect sense at the time!)

Let's start with the centre front ...

  • The stitch line for the top and bottom are 5/8" in from the cut line.
  • Only came in 1/4" from the cut line at the bottom and curved it up to the existing cut line at the top - meaning that I had to add a full 5/8" to the top. This resulted in moving the princess seam out towards the armhole, to be more in line with the apex.
Next the side front ...
  • Added the 1/2" to the top side of the bra/cup, from the previous stitch line.
  • Reworked the side seam by adjusting where the stitch line would be from the original cut line - at the top of the side seam I allowed for a 5/8" seam allowance and at the bottom is moved the stitch line in by 7/8".
  • Reworked the princess seam to also have a 3/8" seam allowance at the apex end and a 5/8" seam allowance at the bottom.
The side back also needed quite a bit of adjusting at the side seam ...

  • reworked the side seam so the stitch line would be in 5/8" from the cut line at the top and 7/8" at the bottom.  
  • The back princess seam stitch line would also be 5/8" in from the cut line.
  • The bottom would be same as the front with 5/8" seam allowance and 3/8" at top.
The centre back pattern piece also had to have the seam allowances adjusted.


  • The princess seam stitch line would come in 5/8" form the cut line
  • The centre back would only come in 3/8" from the cut line
Once all the stitch lines for each piece were identified I was away!

After the adjustments the back was a much better fit and the straps that would be attached at the princess seam mark pretty much fell in line with bra straps. Yay!

All adjustments done and muslin fitting nicely it was time to start with the real fabric :-)  I started with the red and white version first.  The outer shell fabric was a cotton voile that required an interfacing as well as the lining.  The interlining and the lining would be the same fabric - a cotton lycra in an off-white.  This is the same fabric that we'd planned to the be contrast colour for the second dress.

I pinned each pattern piece to the interlining and traced off the STITCH LINE, and the grainline plus all notches.  All these trace marks would end up on the inside, hidden by the lining, so it didn't matter that I did this with red tracing paper.


I cut the outer shell fabric in a single layer, as the outer layer and the interfacing would all be hand basted together.



With the construction - the basted line on each pattern piece is where the two pieces will be sewn together. For me this provides a much more accurate fit in the end and is well worth all the additional work.  As you can see the seam allowances are big and random, they really no longer matter.

Well I think that's enough reading for one post - I'll continue on in my next with the construction, where it will start to look like a dress :-)  Hopefully this is helpful if you are considering making this dress.

More soon -->

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Finally Wearable - French Jacket #2

I didn't realise how long it has taken me to finish this and get pictures.... back in December 2014 I shared my progress with my second French Jacket here. It was 99% finished back in December, but it look me forever to put the buttons and the chain onto it.




Sunday, 27 September 2015

Refining the Granville

Third time lucky ... well so the saying goes anyway.


This is my third Granville Shirt. The first was HERE and the second HERE.  But even though this was the third I felt that there were still further adjustments I needed to make to refine the fit.

For this version I left all the previous adjustments in place, you can get that list here, and then made the following tweaks
  • Added 1/4" to front side seams
  • Added 1/4" to the side back side seam - both these adjustments were so I could get more room around the body.
  • Added 1/4" to each side of the sleeve under arm seam, tapered to existing wrist edge - again giving me more room around my arm.
  • Added 1/2" to the length above the waist.
  • this time I added 1" to the original pattern length of the sleeve.
Although minor, the fits feels better and I'm much happier with the length of the shirt.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Knit Shift Dress

I've never really thought about where I fit into the style spectrum, I just make and wear what appeals. Oh yes, I've done the whole "what's in fashion now" thing, then look back at old photos and wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time?!

Now that I've done 2.5 years of ready to wear fasting I look at my wardrobe and realise that the shift dress, or variations of it, is a 'thing' for me. This probably explains why I've made two knit shift dresses in a month.

Mesa Dress

This is Mesa, one of the patterns issued with the June 2015 edition of Seamwork. It is described as "The flirty knit shift that's as stylish as it is comfortable", and I agreed 100%. Apparently it should only take 1 hour to make. It took me longer than that but that probably because I decided to line it.

I picked up 1.5 metres of this medium weight jersey double knit from Fabric Barn specifically for this dress.  The pattern suggested light to medium weight knit fabrics with at least a 25% 4-way stretch. Personally, I think that a light weight jersey would show all the 'lumps and bumps' underneath - No Thanks!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Channelling my inner Olivia Pope!

I'm not gonna lie, I was completely inspired by a winter white coat worn by Olivia Pope, while I was engrossed in a Scandal watching marathon!  Would it fit in my wardrobe and would I have anything to wear with it - who cared, I was making it anyway :-)

Winter White Trench

The coat itself has been a bit of a marathon make.  I already had the Robson Coat by Sewaholic Patterns in my stash. My first attempt at this pattern had been a complete disaster, for a couple of reasons but anyway if I was going to make this one work I needed to get a muslin sewn up and work out the fit issues. So that happened in February 2015.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Going for Casual

This is my most recent make, because blogging about things in the order I make them just isn't the done thing!

Sophie cardigan

Sophie is the new pattern release by Muse Patterns.  Sophie is a cute, sporty cardigan - a fitted style, which curves gently in at the waist and flares out again over your hips. Raglan sleeves add a casual touch and also give great opportunities for mixing fabric, which is exactly what I did.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

#NISM2015 I'm going, what about you?

This is gonna be fun! A weekend to just sew some new clothes and hang-out with other cool people doing the same. There are loads of other things planned, all revolving around sewing of course!

It's time to get out from behind our computers/mobile devices and come face to face with all our social media friends as well as new ones. If you don't want to come alone, that is understandable, but all you have to do is convince a friend to come to - easy!  I'll be there, so there will be at least one person you cyber know.  I'm sure you also know the organisers as well, The Curious Kiwi and Flossie FT.

All the details can be found HERE, while you're there sign-up and come join us on 1-2 August in Rotorua.

 See you at NISM2015 :-)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ponte Morris Blazer

The Grainline Studio Morris Blazer is the ideal casual smart clothing item that fits perfectly into my wardrobe. The appeal of this pattern is that it is intended for a knit fabric (or a stretch woven). I imagine that it would wear like a cardigan in a knit.

I downloaded the PDF pattern from the Grainline Studio website, dug out some black ponte from the stash and set to.

Ponte Morris Blazer

I traced off a size 10 and made just one alteration.  I'm not really a 3/4 length sleeve kinda girl, so I lengthen the arms by 6 1/2", allowing for a 1" hem.  I did away with the sleeve facing because I thought the ponte would behave better with a turned up hem.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Granville Shirt Muslin

Shirts haven't really been a thing that I've been busting a boiler to make - not something I have in my wardrobe either. Maybe because I haven't really found one that fits comfortably. When the Sewaholic Granville shirt was released I was instantly drawn to the shape that it gave the body ... and the best thing about sewing is that there's the opportunity to tweak the fit if it's not working.

Rather than make a true muslin, I picked up 2.4m of cotton voile for $14.00 to make a wearable muslin.  To begin a took some measurements of the pattern, checking that the darts weren't too high, that the body length wasn't going to be short.  I did length the arms by 2".  I cut a size 8 and narrowed to a size 6 at the hip on the side seam.

Granville wearable muslin

I'm happily sewing along, following the instructions and feeling pretty pleased with myself and how fantastic the seam allowances looked on the inside with a french seam finish.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Belcarra Tunic

When I purchased the Belcarra from Sewaholic I knew that it would be such a versatile pattern that I could manipulate to get multiple looks. This is my third look from this pattern.

Belcarra Tunic

This time a tunic!  I walked into The Fabric Store on 12 September 2014 and immediately fell in love with this border print.  I was there for another quite specific purpose, that alludes me just as this moment - coz every trip to the fabric store is for a specific purpose right!!!

It wasn't cheap at $36 for 1 length which was 1m x .95cm, but it was crepe de chine and felt soooo nice. After wrestling for some time with my inner voice I gave in a bought a metre. The border print is filled with pretty dresses in pretty colours ....

Belcarra Tunic

It's been sitting in the cupboard for a wee while because I couldn't decide what to match it with, until a few weeks ago, when I was back at The Fabric Store, I found some black crepe de chine on special for $10p/m.


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