Hi sewing buddies, I’m back with yet another Sew Over It ‘Whitley Top’. The reason? It’s all about perfecting fit!

If you read my previous post on this pattern, you will remember that I was pretty pleased with how the pattern fit straight ‘out of the envelope’, loving how it can be seen as something of a ‘block’, i.e. a basic shape that lends itself well to pattern redrafting and hacking. The Whitley Top is designed for non-stretch wovens and with this latest version, I wanted it semi-fitted; that meant I had to get the fit absolutely right. I re-took my measurements and went back to the drawing board!

So what alterations did I make? I adjusted for a full bust, full bicep, forward shoulders, a forward neck and a round back. Did that list just make you shudder at the thought? If so, let me reassure you – these are all super simple to do but make a huge difference to the finished garment. I had a habit, mostly unconscious, of irritably hiking tops back into the correct position; they wanted to rotate backwards. Realising what I was doing and figuring out what was causing it, has felt something close to an epiphany – it’s amazing just how much better a garment feels once it ‘sits’ properly on your frame!

Shall we take a quick look at the why’s and how’s of each of the fit alterations I made?

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Regular readers will know (because I keep blathering on about it!) that I received a new sewing machine for my birthday this year to replace my much used, much loved starter machine. One of the (many) reasons I opted for the Pfaff Quilt Ambition 630 is the amount of arm room the machine has…but this meant the sewing machine mats I quilted a few years back no longer fit. Time for new ones! This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while because the mats I originally made for both my sewing machine and my serger didn’t match the cover I made for my Brother 1034D. And that just messed with my head to be honest!

Why sew a machine mat?

Two main reasons really; it makes it much easier to slide your machines out of the way when you need extra elbow room. It also reduces noise vibration when the machine is in use – particularly useful with the overlocker! I also really like them as a handy place to stick pins whilst I work .. and, as if we need another excuse, (sorry, I mean reason), they also look good, protect your table surfaces and are a potential stash buster if you’ve got some small pieces of gorgeous leftover fabric being unloved!

As you might imagine, these are incredibly simple to make, however I thought I’d share a quick tutorial – with step-by-step photos – on how I made mine with a mitred bias finish, as well as the method and formula I use to sew up a matching cushion cover from just one piece of fabric, in case you’re doing these as a starter project! Let’s start with the supplies I used …

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Hello hello hello!

Today I’m sharing my ‘hot-off-the-sewing-machine’ FibreMood Lexi; a colour-blocked sweater dress from Issue 11 (out now); I was sent a preview copy of the pattern by the mag so I could sew one up to showcase to time with the publications’ release. Let me say from the off though, this dress very nearly didn’t make it…

FibreMood Lexi – pattern available HERE
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