Simplicity 1133: How I did…

The parents are visiting this week, and whilst they are here I thought I would take advantage of the excuse and sew Mum a dress. I have had some ikea fabric that I wanted to use for an adult – but I hadn’t bought enough for me. My mum is very slight so she doesn’t need much fabric haha. I also had bought this retro reproduction of a 1960s pattern in a sale a wee while ago, and was really wanting to make it. IMG_2031

This was a fantastically easy project to do whilst I am still recovering as its only one piece – yep, one pattern piece!

How simple? Once you have cut out this so very complicated piece (haha) you can begin sewing πŸ™‚

Firstly you prepare the neck shoulder pieces, by folding down and creating a hem

Next, the pattern asks you to cut out a little bit of fabric the size of the buttonhole, to stabilise it. I decided to do a piece the whole of the back shoulder flap as the fabric is quite thin.

Once this is done it’s buttonhole time!

Now, I don’t know if you watched the great british sewing bee this week, but on it they were playing ‘sewing top trumps’. One of the contestants asserted that in this game piping would trump darts. I have to strongly disagree, I would have to say that for me darts definitely trump piping in terms of difficulty! I think it’s because I actually have to measure out etc haha.

On this pattern there are just two darts on each side of the bodice. I drew them out under the pattern paper using my trusty air erasable marker.

Then, match up the bottom of the darts, pinching together and pin up to the top – they taper off at the top into a very pointy triangle.

Then, sew down the pin line – simple right? I just have a mind block I guess haha

Next isΒ another of my favourite things: binding. AsΒ I was only using what I had in my home haberdashery I only had thin binding to complete the tunic. This is not as enjoyable as thicker binding (10mm ish as versus 20mm ish).

First step is to pin the binding around the edge on the WRONG side, I decided to mitre the corners of the neck shoulders. You also need to stretch the binding as best you can around curves.

Next, fold over the binding to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Pin and stitch.

I will cover binding more in depth in a late post if you’d like? I really do enjoy it πŸ™‚

Lastly, and one of my most hated bits, the hand sewing on of the buttons. IMG_2057

Β Finished πŸ™‚

And the mother modelling it:

Simple but effective I think you’ll agree? I’ll definitely be making one for myself I think πŸ™‚

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A burst ear drum and half term.

Well, its half term this week, so the kids are off school. Hubby has gone away with work for the week also, so the parents are down for the week. On Sunday night I suddenly began suffering from horrendous ear pain – which culminated in me crying and screaming for about 10 minutes until suddenly my ear drum burst with blood and pus everywhere (lovely). So I’m on these babies for a week as it was caused by an severe ear infection. Cannot hear a thing in my right ear, hope that improves! IMG_2004

In other news my Jamberry consultants kit arrived:

I’m pretty pleased πŸ™‚

I’ve booked myself a few parties – one facebook, and one at a local cafΓ© πŸ™‚

If anyone has stood still lately I’ve been jamberrying them haha

The eldest, youngest and my latest Jamicures, and the youngest being 3 and insisting on doing it himself haha πŸ™‚

We have also been out and about whilst the weather was good. Prior to my exploding ear drum moment we went to the beach at Cawsand (one of our favourite beaches)

I, of course, took my knitting πŸ™‚ IMG_1632

The next day we set up our new paddling pool πŸ™‚ The kids went mad for it πŸ™‚ Havin 4 kids we need a fairly large one now haha

Been enjoying my paper cutting lately too

Unfortunately though IΒ ran out of blades and my replacements didn’t arrive until today 😦 IMG_2039

So I can resume what I was doing! yay!

I have also made a quick dress for my mum, its called a Jiffy dress, a reproduction of a 1960s simplicity dress pattern. IMG_2031

I really liked this simple pattern, it was very satisfying – I will go more in depth in my ‘how I did’ post πŸ™‚

No think cushions

Sometimes I think you just need to do a no think, easy sewing project. Kind of like an palette cleanser. Something to just enjoy, and not have to think to much about. Envelope pillows are one of those projects. I have had plans to make some for quite a while now, just not had time. IMG_1311

The material I planned for the cushion covers.

I wanted to make a couple for us to cover a couple of duck down cushions I bought a while ago. IMG_1334

I love this material – I got it at Ikea near my parents back at Easter. I added some pretty floral piping too πŸ™‚

I also wanted to make a couple of cushions for the older two as I don’t tend to sew as much for the eldest especially. I made him a cushion from some funky material I again got from Ikea, with some nice blue piping πŸ™‚

The one I’m most proud of is the one I made for the girly. I got given loads of second hand material a few months ago when one of my craft clubs shut down. In there was an old ikea curtain which I loved but couldn’t be used as a curtain, so I decided to upcycle it. I used the middle bit as the front with some extra applique added, and the top and bottom as the back flaps on the envelope cushions. I also added some cute piping πŸ™‚

Really like this one πŸ™‚

One first was that I managed to bed a needle without snapping it πŸ™‚ IMG_1317

It was a 90/14 as well haha πŸ™‚ making these definitely cleansed my palette πŸ™‚ sometimes its good to enjoy some simple things πŸ™‚

McCalls M7116 – How I did….

I got last months issue of Love Sewing magazine, and free with it was McCalls M7116, which I have been planning to make since, along with a few others: IMG_0605

The McCalls one is the dress, which I decided to make with some Ikea fabric I got the last time I was north in Warrington, in the Easter holidays: IMG_0576

This pattern asks for the top part to be cut out on the grain and the skirt part on the bias.IMG_0657

I decided to make the top out of the spotty fabric and the skirt out of the floral (not dis-similar from Cath Kidston fabric) fabric.

One of my worst jobs is transferring the pattern markings to the fabric. When I first started I was taught the ‘proper’ way of tacking (big, loose stitches) along the markings and then unpicking so a slight line of holes was left… yeah, I only did that once! haha. My current way is to draw the pattern markings on in air erasable fabric marker under the pattern piece. I say current because I’m always on the look out for easier ways to do things haha. IMG_0687

The back neck facing was cut on the bias, and this meant it was a lot easier to fit to the back of the bodice. IMG_0688

One of my favourite features of this garment was the sleeve detail. They have a pleat in them, and are gathered along the top, to both help ease them into the arm hole as they are set in sleeves and to give a bit more volume to them. The next is the buttons, and the pattern notions request ball buttons. I am guessing these are buttons that look like balls haha. These are well worth getting as they give the sleeves a real vintage look, and really complete them. IMG_0697

Before sewing the bodice to the skirt I would recommend trying it on, just to get an idea how far over the two front pieces need to overlap: IMG_0694

Also make sure you know which piece of the skirt is the front and which is the back – as the front waistband is higher than the back: IMG_0701

When sewing the skirt to the bodice, once again make sure you know where you need the two front pieces to cross. The pattern does call for gathers in the front bodice pieces, but you may need to may them a little longer.

The most tricky bit is, as in a lot of garments, the zip. The pattern calls for a 12 inch zip, but I found this a little short (I made a size 16). If I did it again in this size I would probably get a 14 inch zip. It is an exposed zipper and because it is at the side it is not too difficult to sew. IMG_0705

I must say I did enjoy making this pattern! It was just the right level for me and the end result I love and have had lots of compliments on it – I will be making it again.