Hello my lovely Sewing Friends,

I admit I’ve found it a bit hard to put metaphorical pen to paper recently but I really wanted to show you my two versions of the Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Co. I’ve seen so many stunning versions of this whilst scrolling through my Instagram feed that I eventually succumbed! I also knew it would be an easy, quick sew and it seems that’s pretty much all I’m capable of engaging with at present. Plus, I really wanted to try sewing up a knit garment on my new sewing machine as I’d only road-tested it with wovens thus far. It was a no-brainer really.

Lady McElroy ‘Feather Haven’ print in Cotton Jersey – see HERE

The top, as I say, is incredibly simple. The pattern is one bodice piece – it’s the same for both front and back – sleeve and the neckband pieces. The Adrienne is designed to have billowy statement sleeves that are gathered at the shoulder and hemmed with elastic. The length is apparently drafted to be slightly cropped – the instructions say the hem should just hit below your bellybutton. I’m 5.3″ and found that I didn’t need to lengthen the pattern to do away with the cropped look. The bodice is designed with negative ease so it fits bodycon style emphasing the contrast to the sleeve.

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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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