Designer Label -v- Design A Label : My garment sewing comes of age!

Hello sewing buddies!

I’m sure you’ll agree, Labels can be contentious things; from the ones we assign ourselves and the ones society places on us to the ones we’re told we should aspire to buy. I can be labelled ‘Mother’, ‘Wife’, ‘Middle-Aged’; as a ‘Sewist’ and ‘Maker’; an ‘Introvert’ and ‘Bookworm’ for example but can these labels, singularly or together, give you the whole picture of who I am? Of course not. (As far as labels go, I like ‘Human’ best ;-)) And, as someone who sews my own clothes, I’m rarely swayed by Designer clothing labels either.

That all said, admittedly, there is one Label I have been desiring for years; my own self-designed woven label to sew into my handmade garments!

And now I have them and I couldn’t be happier! Friends, I also have a 15% discount code for you too, should you want to whisper in Santa’s ear! …

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The Weight is Over : Crafting Sewing Pattern Weights & an iPad Holder!

Hello again!

Do you have a sewing process you actively dislike? For me, it’s cutting out. Or rather, its the thought of the cutting out process that puts my teeth on edge; imagining it as a laborious obstacle to be gotten through before I can get on with the, y’know, actual sewing. My aim then was to speed up the process and make it more appealing in any way I can; crafting my own pattern weights, something I’ve aimed to do for a long time, seemed a good place to start.

So the question was, how many pattern weights can I get out of one metre of fabric?

Well, quite a lot as it happens.

Which all had to be cut out. Oh the irony! 

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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.

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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

All Sewn Up : Jan-Feb … a bit of a ‘Life Lately’

Hello sewing friends, thanks for dropping by. I could do with a chat!

Although fully intending to, I haven’t written one of these ‘All Sewn Up’ diary style blog posts in a while. My life has been subject to some…flux…lately and I found myself unable to find the words with which to contextualise my sewing, so I dropped them for a while whilst I tried to process what was going on… Read More

Sewing with knits

The Jenna Cardigan by Muse – a workhorse of a pattern!

Sewing with knits

Hurray I’ve finally sewn up a Jenna Cardi! Although a relatively simple pattern, it wasn’t without issues; mainly around fit. Let’s just start by saying that Muse state this pattern is designed for an hourglass figure (hurray!), a height of 5.10″ (boo!) and a B cup (ah hum). I’m 5.3″ and a D cup…

I managed to resolve some of the issues – which were more than my standard adjustments –  at the paper stage, but I’m not done finessing yet. I’m considering this a wearable toile. I actually made it as part of this month’s Minerva Craft Blogger Network using their plain cotton jersey in the navy colourway – head on over to my post THERE for the full low down.

(If you’re looking for a simple tutorial on how to fit plastic snaps on your Jenna, I have one HERE).

Now, I do love this pattern, don’t get me wrong. I got the Jenna Cardigan Pattern Bundle (the basic pattern plus sleeve and neckline expansion packs) as it offers so much scope to mix ‘n’ match to create a whole array of different cardi’s. It’s because of its potential that I’m determined to nail the fit 100% – to make the pattern work for me as much as I worked for it, haha – because I see this being a pattern I reach for again and again…

…So now I’m set to research doing a ‘proper’ Full Bust Adjustment with knits (i.e without incorporating a dart) rather than the ‘cheat’ I utilised here (but, hey, whatever works, right?!) Expect to see me posting on that shortly! If you’ve any tips you want to share in the meantime, then please do!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Sewsarahsmith

 

 

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