Simpicity 2906: How I did….

IMG_2849I saw this ‘Cath Kidston esque’ fabric in Trago Mills a few weeks ago and then went back to get it. I have no idea who it’s actually by. Its very summery though. The pattern was another simplicity sale one, as I needed a plain slightly flarey skirt pattern.

It is a fairly straight forward pattern.

Firstly you sew up the side seams, bottom to top on the right side and up to the stitching mark on the left side, as this is where you will insert the (lapped) zip.

Next you insert the zipper. A 7 inch normal (so not invisible) zipper.

First pin and sew the right hand side of the zipper as normal.

As you can see I’m using my zipper foot to get a close stitch.

Next, pin the left side of the zipper with a folded over lap to create the ‘lap’ of the lapped zipper. I had never created a lapped zip before, this is how the directions in the pattern said to do it, so this is how I did it ๐Ÿ™‚

Now onto the waistband. This requires webbing, again something I have never used (had to ask in the haberdashers what it was ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

The instructions in the pattern said to pin and stitch the top edge of the webbing onto the top edge of the waist.

Then, flip it over to the wrong side, thus creating a nice encased edge to the waistband. Pin and stitch.

Now, I’m only 5ft 1 inch, so most things are too long on me. When I cut this pattern out it seemed like it was going to be a midi skirt. It was, but with the width it did not look good, so I wanted it to be knee length, meaning I had to adjust the length (ahem, cut the excess off haha) IMG_3206

Penultimately was the hemming. I am not great at this on curved edges but we got there.

Lastly was the buttonhole and button. I had one of the lovely pink buttons left over from the sailor dress – it happened to be perfect for this skirt so it got used. I think it looks lovely.

Finished! I really liked this pattern, it was very easy. I would highly recommend it if you want to practise your zips, as it was easy to put a zip in as its a straight seam and you can just do an exposed zipper (or invisible) rather than a lapped one ๐Ÿ™‚ It didn’t take me long at all to make ๐Ÿ™‚ very recommended for beginners.


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 isย another of my favourite things: binding. Asย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

ย Finished ๐Ÿ™‚

And the mother modelling it:

Simple but effective I think you’ll agree? I’ll definitely be making one for myself I think ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve booked myself a few parties – one facebook, and one at a local cafรฉ ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ IMG_1632

The next day we set up our new paddling pool ๐Ÿ™‚ The kids went mad for it ๐Ÿ™‚ Havin 4 kids we need a fairly large one now haha

Been enjoying my paper cutting lately too

Unfortunately though Iย ran out of blades and my replacements didn’t arrive until today ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Simplicity 1318: How I did…

In a word: horrendously. I don’t know why. I think it was a combination of things. I was a bit apprehensive about using such fine material. I also had several ill children, therefore very mithery children, making it hard to concentrate. I was also having a bad few days with regards to my mood – I don’t know, why, perhaps because I’ve been a wee bit under the weather. IMG_0574

This pattern is simple, and effective. However I managed to mess it up royally in virtually everyway imaginable. As I said I was apprehensive before sewing it as I’ve never sewn with such fine material before. I used a 70/10 needle, and this was ideal, about the only right decision I made haha.

When cutting out I found that the material was much more see-through than I thought, the stripes are completely see-through. IMG_1158IMG_0660

I was unable to find lightweight iron on interfacing, so I had to make do with sew on interfacing. I have never used this before, so I just sewed it onto the fabric with a minute gap at the edge.

The pieces that require interfacing are the collar and front edging pieces.

Once this was done, I went to begin sewing. I decided then that the fabric was too transparent for its use, so it needed a lining. I used one of my charity shop bedding sheets, cut it up into the pattern pieces I needed. I then stayed in interfacing mode and sewed each piece of lining onto each fabric piece. Arrrggghhhhh! What can I say? I’m an idiot! I of course was on auto-pilot and didn’t realise until I’d sewn both the back seam and the shoulder seams what I’d done wrong and how dreadful it looked.

The only thing I could think to rectify it slightly was to use bias tape (thankyou dottie angel for introducing me to that finishing technique!). I didn’t have any of the right colour in my notions at home. The hubby was promptly dispatched to the local haberdashery once he had finished work. I attached the bias tape over the back and shoulder seams. Of course the stitching shows through to the right side of the fabric – but I do actually quite like this look (thankfully!)

The Next bit to attach is the sleeves. This is fairly easy as you just match up the centre seams of the shoulders with the centre mark of sleeves, its a straight line and I decided to use bias tape to finish the seams. IMG_1183

Next, is to sew up the sleeve and side seams, very easy, straight lines. That must be the mistakes over with? Its an easy pattern – so how can any more mistakes be made. Well, here is the biggest one: I had attached the fronts on the wrong sides….

Spoiler: its not supposed to go up at the sides like that! doh! and because I’d decided to use the bias tape to finish the seams, they were well and truly finished meaning if I unpicked this flimsy material then it would be wrecked. Unexpected gap at the side it is then! I must admit I don’t hate the gap.

Next is the collar – this you stitch the back neck piece to the two side pieces, on both the interfaced pieces and the non interfaced pieces. Because I’d attached the front pieces the wrong way, this threw up more problems, namely that the front collar pieces weren’t long enough. I trimmed the front pieces a bit, but even then I needed to add extra bits onto the long collar pieces.

I trimmed the width to ensure they matched. The next is to stitch the interfaced piece around the neck of the jacket.

Right sides to right sides. You then stitch the non interfaced pieces onto these, again right sides together. IMG_1211

I then trimmed it down at the bottom to ensure that it lined up with the bottom of the jacket. You then turn this collar piece right side out, so the non interfaced piece becomes the facing to the collar. This then made the next issue I had become apparent. The collar. I have no idea what is wrong with it, why it looks like that. I’m going to have to ask my more experienced friends I think – it is a mess though and I don’t know how to rectify it.

I have mentioned previously that I like to topstitch when I can as I like the extra finish it adds, and I also hoped it might sort out the collar a wee bit, it didn’t.

The next step is to turn in the edge of the collar and slip stitch along the seam. I have lamented my lack of ability when it comes to hand sewing previously. I actually don’t mind the stitching showing often, hence why I’ll often use a contrasting thread. So I machine stitched the bottom edge of the collar, this predictably made the collar worse.

Next, I hemmed it, which, the gap at the sides that shouldn’t be there made that process even more interesting haha.

Finally, onto the last step – phew! Attaching the sleeve cuffs. I lined these also and you sew the seam right sides together.

Next you attach them to the main sleeve body, once again right sides together, then hem.

I am so upset with how badly I made this, the mistakes I made, as he pattern is a great pattern and had I made it well it would have turned out great. The next time I can I’m going to buy some less transparent material and I’m going to make this well, learning from my mistakes. with concentration, and I cant wait to put it to rights as it should make up really well (still unsure on what to do with the collar though haha). I’m so cross with myself.

On a more positive note I did manage to produce a garment that is wearable and I’m happy to wear it, I just have to keep the collar flipped down haha.

Life over the last week…


Firstly, I haven’t been particularly industrious this week, especially on the sewing front. This is due to a number of factors but mainly because we’ve all been struck down by this horrid cough and cold that seems to be doing the rounds, so each child has had at least one day off this week. IMG_1165

No 3 has been the worst affected due to his asthma so hubby and I have been up several nights with him.

Due to some of the kiddiwinks being off school I was unable to go to my paper cutting class on Friday. I have been practising at home however!

One of the things I enjoy about paper cutting is that you work at cutting out from the smallest piece to the biggest piece. This means it requires you to be ‘in the moment’ and concentrating on figuring out the right order. This makes it a great mindfulness activity and I would recommend anyone who suffers from anxiety to give it a try! You also can see each picture getting more clear as you go on. EZFZ1909

I stuck some of the smaller pieces onto card – glueing them onto coloured paper first – that didn’t go to well – I don’t think glueing is my forte haha. IMG_1065

I am so enjoying paper cutting and am finding it such a good mindfulness activity that I have bought some equipment, not a massive investment as its quite a cheap hobby!

The eldest wanted to try papercutting also, so I allowed him under constant supervision, with my heart in my throat – but sometimes children need to experience threat to know how to handle it. He is 10 years also, I wouldn’t allow any of the others to do it, but he’s old enough to learn from it.

He seemed to enjoy it.

I also updated my Jamicure – and got some more free samples as I’m hoping to become a consultant at some point in the next few weeks for Jamberry.

I have also been beavering away making knitted squares for creative space cornwall’s (who I go to knit and natter and the craft classes with) yarn bombing project (of a tree) in July.

I framed the picture that number 3 drew me – I’m hoping to persuade the other 3 to draw me one each in their own style, which I’ll also frame.

And finally I have done a bit of sewing this week. I covered two of the projectsย  in How I did … blog posts already. The third, the kimono did not go well…. I will detail why in the blog post about it, but it was entirely my fault, and not because it was too hard either!

Heres to hoping we and you all feel much better next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Simplicity 8019: How I did…

I got myself some Michael Miller cool spools fabric in a sale a while ago, in the knowledge that I wanted to make myself a skirt out of it, but I just needed the time and the right pattern. The pattern had to require less than 2 metres of fabric as that was all I had ordered. I saw this on Jaycotts website in the simplicity sale and knew it was the one. I do love retro and especially the 1970s.

I am only 5 feet 1 inch, so I decided to make view A knowing that this would probably sit on my knee. When cutting out my patterns I tend to cut all the sizes out, then fold and trace the right markings on the fabric later. This was no different, however, as it goes up to size 24 I figured I’d not need to go up to that size, so I cut out up to a size 20. Good job I did! When I measured myself I needed a size 20. In shop sizes I am a small 14, and in sewing patterns I usually measure to a 16. So I would say this pattern measures up a wee bit small, so just be aware of that. I cut out all views on the length also which was fun when folding to cut! haha

This pattern calls for interfacing to be used on both the waist and as reinforcement on the front skirt opening where the buttons go. Don’t do as I did and not read the instructions on the pattern pieces properly and cut the front interfacing piece out of fabric! doh!

Shhhh, I’ll tell you a secret: the only time I iron is when I’m sewing. The benefit of having a hubby in the forces is that he loves ironing so I take full advantage of that ๐Ÿ™‚

The next part of this pattern is to fold over the front of the skirt opening over the interfacing, encasing the raw edges. You are then to baste at the top. I decided to sew both across the top and downwards, down the whole length of the interfacing:

As you can see the stitching shows through to the front side, but I like this look as I think it adds definition to the front.

The next stage is to sew all the skirt panel pieces, constructing the main body of the skirt. IMG_1092

Next is the waistband. I started to pin mine and found it was randomly too small for the skirt body – I have no idea why – perhaps it was fairies? haha. That was another piece to cut out of fabric and interfacing.

Once this is done you attach the waistband to the skirt, right sides together: IMG_1095

Next, in order to get the raw edges all enclosed in the waistband easily, you fold it in half back on itself, right sides together. You then sew the ends in line with the front opening.

Trim the waistband at the ends quite close to the stitch line.

Turn the waistband right side out, making sure to poke out the corners. Then you finish the waistband on the inside.

I do love a bit of topstitching, so I decided to finish off the main skirt with some topstitching and of course I hemmed the bottom.

The next job was to sew the button holes. 6 in total. On my old machine it was a 4 step manual button hole. I have a 1 step automatic button hole on this machine. I am definitely torn as to which is better. On the whole the automatic button hole is quicker, easier and much more accurate. The problem is if something goes wrong as its sewing the button hole you can’t really rectify it as its a programmed pattern of stitches. This means you have to unpick the whole button hole you’ve sewed and start again. On some fabrics this can mean you wreck the fabric. With a manual button hole you just select that step of the process. As I said, torn haha. But, as I said, I now have an automatic button hole, and I took some pictures of it in action:

I have always struggled with handsewing, even sewing on buttons. I don’t know if its down to my dyspraxia or a lack of experience, but I struggle and find it takes me long time with very little reward. Even so, sometimes its a necessary evil, so my 6 buttons are attached via hand! yay!

I enjoyed making this pattern, and would say it is an easy pattern, quick to make for those with a bit more experience. For those beginners then it has lots of techniques to learn on, but in an easy way. Oh and the fit is fantastic (even if it is 2 sizes bigger than my usual) I love it and think it will get a wear (I mean show off haha) at knit and natter tomorrow :). Glad I picked this pattern for this fabric ๐Ÿ™‚


Dottie Angel Frock: How I did…



I finally finished my dottie angel frock and tunic. Life has been a bit manic of late! This post is about how I did. But briefly: not very well. It was not the patterns fault, it is my skills set which is not up to scratch. However, once it was done, it was a lovely fit. I am very pleased with it and cannot wait to wear it :).

As my skill set is sadly lacking I had to make quite a few ‘bodge-jobs’. So, here we go:

The making of the pockets is pretty straight forward and sewing them on also:

The problem for me came when I was using the binding to ‘face’ the neck and arm holes. The binding has to be pinned on and then folded over, but I rushed on ahead as I was so excited so on the first neck I did it completely wrongly, I just turned over the fabric a little bit and sewed the binding straight onto the wrong side:


This then meant the neck line not sitting flatly, so I sniped in the middle and this helped it lie flat a bit better. On the arm holes and the tunic version I made I changed it around a bit: on the neck I sewed the binding onto the right side:


and then flipped it round to the wrong side and stitched the binding down around the edge of the neck hole:


However, this is what happened:

After unpicking it 3 times I decided on a creative solution:

And this actually looks good and makes my chest look bigger ๐Ÿ™‚

For the armholes I tried another technique: I sewed both sides of the binding on the right side:

Next, I flipped it over to the wrong side and stitched it securely, I also employed this method with the bottom hem:

The other element I struggled with was the pleats that are required where the waist ties attach to the front bodice. \I have never done pleats before – I am going to have to research how to do them correctly and have a wee practise before I make this pattern again. The solution I came up with I actually really liked haha. If you look at my finished versions there are patches on either side where the waist ties are – this is to cover and secure the pleats, these are not suppose to be there! I made them in a contrasting fabric and there is one on the inside either side also and I actually like the look this has leant to the dress. I will however, practise and research so I can do it correctly next time. The pleats are an essential part of this pattern as it is these that give the finished garment such a nice fit and shape.

A final note on what I think of this pattern. I cannot comment on the actual instructions, pattern making etc as I really struggled simply due to the fact my skills are not quite up to this pattern. I can however comment on the finished made garment, I love it, I love the fit and the way it looks, and consequently the way it makes me feel. I will be wearing it tomorrow I think – I would recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚ This is my tunic version: