Blogger Book Tour : Wendy Ward’s ‘Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics’ Book Review and Makes

Hi!

I was delighted to be asked to join the Book Tour, following some of my favourite sewing bloggers, for Wendy Ward’s new tome ‘A Beginners Guide to Sewing Knitted Fabrics’. This was originally scheduled to happen earlier in the year but was delayed whilst the book went to reprint, as the original run sold out within two days!

I made two garments from the book by way of a review… Read More

Sewtogetherforsummer

My #sewtogetherforsummer Wrap Dress: the Appleton by Cashmerette

Sewtogetherforsummer

Hi!

So I’ve sewn the first of my #sewtogetherforsummer wrap dresses; the Appleton by Cashmerette. I’m kicking myself for not trying this pattern sooner as it’s such a simple and quick sew yet is brilliantly drafted to ensure a really great fit.

I’ve sewn a few wrap dresses in my time (see McCalls 7119 here and here,  New Look 6301 and McCalls 6884 for example). I think one of the key reasons for wanting to make this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer challenge about the wrap dress stems from the fact that I’ve really struggled to find a traditional wrap dress pattern that does a passable job of fitting and flattering my bust line straight out of the envelope.

I can safely say that search is over.

Appleton Wrap Dress.jpg

To get the right fit, the Appleton requires a light to medium weight jersey with 50% crossways stretch. I fell upon this viscose and spandex blend fabric from Sew Essential; it’s on the lighter side of medium, has lovely drape and movement and handles beautifully. It’s black, with a grey and mushroom coloured floral motif – teeny but not too ditzy – that I thought would transition well day-to-evening depending on what footwear I was wearing! (I also love that you can purchase the fabric in increments of 1/2 a metre!)

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Sew Essential also stock a paper copy of the pattern too, in case you don’t fancy tracing out the PDF!

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The Appleton is your classic wrap dress with a low cut V wrap neckline; built-in waist ties and sleeve length options. It comes with different cup sizes – Yey! I cut a size 12 and the C/D cup. There is no seperate bodice piece; it’s simply front, back, bands and sleeve.

The amount of negative ease built into this dress at the bust means a lot of redrafting issues become moot; for example a 40” bust size has a finished measurement under 33” – the stretch in the fabric aiding the fit, together with the neck/front band and built in waist ties you’re ensured a snap finish at the bust…it really is secure!

In fact the only thing I did was to take a little out of the length and cut the sleeve so it fit just above my elbow.

Appleton Sewtogetherforsummer Wrap Dress.jpg

Dissolvable wash away wonder tape

 

You can get quite a different look with the dress depending on where you wrap the ties, at Empire height or at your natural waist. My only gripe really is I find that the hole to feed the ties through sits a tad high on me so that the ties start to wrap most naturally under the chest. Next time I’d contemplate moving the hole down a smidge. Oh and I like to use dissolvable double sided Wonder Tape to hold those seams nicely in place when it comes to finishing that hole at the side seam where the tie threads through!

 

There’s not much else I can say; it really is that easy to put together!

So that’s the traditional wrap dress made … I now find myself obsessing about the By Hand London ‘Orsola’ which wraps at the back and can be made in a woven. If you’re quick, we’ve still got a discount running on that pattern, plus others!

And did you see the dresses my #sewtogetherforsummer co-hosts have made? It was Monika’s ‘Orsola’ that got me craving the pattern…

And Suzy has made a gorgeous Sew Over It ‘Eve’ Dress…

I’ll be back very soon with our Burda and Big Four Wrap Dress Pattern Picks to inspire you; you can also read Helen of Helen’s Closet pick of the best Indie wrap dress patterns here.

Until next time, happpy Sewing!

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Sewcialise with me on Instagram here xx

Sew Sarah smith

The Paro Cardigan by Itch to Stitch : Not my Finest Hour!

Mmmm, probably the less said the better, huh?!

Well it had to happen didn’t it. I’ve had a pretty good run with my sewing lately so Sod’s Law dictates I was due a Fail. This, my friends, is it; the Itch to Stitch ‘Paro Cardigan’.

In fairness, a lot of it probably is my fault. I blithely cut into to my fabric, which was stretchier than recommended, without making all of the adjustments I knew were probably necessary. I did size down to account for the extra stretch in the fabric but, looking at the finished measurements I knew I should probably grade and size down further in the waist and hip and I didn’t. I did go ‘as far’ as reducing the sleeve length but I also didn’t take anything out of the length of the bodice. Why? Well, I’m going to blame my momentary lapse in common sense on the onset of flu and the fact that I totally underestimated how much unflattering bulk those pleats would add.

Sew Sarah smith
It kind of looks Ok on Dummy doesn’t it?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it’s enormous. I feel like a Matronly Battleaxe from another era in it; the kind I imagine gossiping over the garden fence whilst brandishing a rolling pin. It’s such a shame really as the fabric I used is truly lovely, a really soft drapey knitted poly blend which I’ve used before.

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Anyhoo, you can read the full sorry saga over on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, especially if you want to avoid the pitfalls I made (there’s a decent cardigan in the Paro I’m sure!) or, y’know, if you just fancy a giggle!

Until next time

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Pattern Testing the Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet

Leggings sewing patternHi all! You’ll have, in all likelihood, seen that Helen of Helen’s Closet has just released the brand new Avery leggings pattern? (And yes, these are the leggings I hinted at in my #2018MakeNine plans post!) They have a smoothing doubled waistband, a gusset for mobility and no side seam meaning this pattern would make a great base layer, yoga pants or your everyday leggings. I love pattern testing for Helen (see my Suki Kimono here); her ethos and work methodology rocks – she really does want to produce Patterns for everyday essentials drafted so they’re accessible for all both in terms of sizing and sewing skill set. Plus the other sewists in her pattern testing team are fabulous…I’m guaranteed to learn something from their collective wisdom and feedback in the testing process. So, yes! Spoiler alert : Read More

Hey June Kensington dress

The Kensington Dress by Hey June Patterns – the perfect girls dress!?

Hey June Kensington dress

Hi!

Proving that a sewing project doesn’t have to be complicated to tick all the boxes; the Kensington Dress by Hey June Patterns is as close to a perfect ‘everyday’ girls dress as you can get. Covering an age range of 18 mths to 10 years with optional neck placket or as a simple pullover and with two sleeve variations, this pattern will work year round. For years. It also comes as a tee.

Kensington Dress by Hey June patterns

You can find the pattern HERE.

I made the long sleeve version so as to carry my Pixie Princess through the winter months. The sleeve tabs are actually her favourite feature of the dress:

Hey June Kensington Dress Sewing Pattern review
The long sleeve button tab

I made it in an absolutely gorgeous hearts and stars jersey fabric from Minerva Crafts in the pink marl colourway and it’s beautifully soft and cooperative. Head over to the Minerva Craft Blogger Network to read my post all about it HERE including the links to the fabric and notions I used. It basically reads as ‘me V supermarket buying’…

Kensington Dress by Hey June sewing pattern review
How’s cute is too cute!?

This was my first make in my new ‘bijou’ sewing room setup … it was a joy from start to finish. And a big thank you to Becca of redwsews for introducing me to the Kensington dress! It was also my intro to Hey June Patterns – and I’ve just ordered the supplies to make a version of their Halifax Hoodie for myself which I’m really excited about – it’s going to be navy and … gold!

Until next time,

Sewsarahsmith

 

 

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