Thursday, 8 February 2018

2017 catch-up - part 2

So this is my first blog post of the new(!) year and the second instalment of completed projects for 2017.  I mentioned at some point last year that I would like to blog more as I still really enjoy reading other peoples blogs. The blogging doesn't seem to have happened so much - but, as you will see I have done a lot of sewing and I felt I would rather sit and sew, rather than sit and write about sewing.

First up are some self drafted linen trousers.  I have been taking a patterncutting class for some time and was very excited to get to making trousers. I made one pair form my block that were ok, but still not great so last spring I decided to revisit my block and make some more, better fitting trousers.  I ended up making 4 muslin/toiles for these and whilst they are much better than the other ones, they are still not quite right - the waistband is far too high at the front so to make it comfortable I have on occasion folded the band over at the front.  I need to take it off and lower it by about 2cms

My Eldest bought some cheap trousers on the internet from some where like Boohoo (brown pair). When they arrived they looked nice, but she had the problem of them being too big on the waist even with an elastic waistband.  I managed to adjust them to fit better which involved adding a couple of darts in the back and shortening the elastic. The elastic was interesting as it was sewn into the trousers as if it were a facing.  Eldest decided that she really liked the style and asked me if I could copy it - which I managed to do (blue pair) and I used up some poly crepe from my stash.

One of my girls bought a playsuit from somewhere like New Look a while ago and whilst it doesn't get a huge amount of wear, Eldest decided that she really liked the style of the top and could I copy that too please? I traced off the pattern as well as I could  and made a muslin from an old jersey skirt  to check the fit.  It was proclaimed perfect,  so I then cut into the fabric she had chosen. The fabric was one of abut 5 or 6 knit fabrics that I won as a raffle prize at the Dressmakers Ball in May! I tried the top on having thought that the fabric colours wouldn't suit me but I think I might make something for me out of it too!

Around the same time as making the top above, I signed up to pattern test a skirt for Sinclair Patterns. It was the Amaya Asymmetrical Pencil Skirt.  I made it in a mystery textured knit that I picked up at a fabric swap a couple of years ago. I made it up exactly as the instructions said, then ended up shaving some width off at the hips, as my hip curve was not as defined as the pattern.  I believe that the final pattern had some of this width taken off, as other testers had done the same thing.  I wasn't sure that I liked it on me when I first finished it, but it actually got quite a lot of wear over the summer.

A while ago my Mum had been going through stuff at her house and had found a couple of patterns that I used when I was a teenager.  One of them was the dress pattern that I used for my textile GCSE in 1986.  It was Butterick 6603 which now qualifies as vintage. It still looks a nice dress, so I thought I would try it again - it actually reminds me of the True Bias Southport dress.  I made the flared skirt version for my GCSE so thought I would try the slimmer version this time.  I made the same size as before (!), managed to cut the front out wrong but saved it by adding a button placket, and covered my own buttons. It felt like a never ending project at the time but I think it worked out OK in the end.

After a rather unsuccessful shopping trip early last summer I made a Pauline Alice Rosari skirt for my middle daughter. She had had the problem of trying skirts and trousers on, only to find if she could get them over her hips then they were massively too big on the waist.  Rather demoralised by this I offered to make her a skirt - the Rosari was almost identical to one she had grown out of  and I was - surprise surprise - able to make it fit her properly! The denim is a rather stiff, very black denim so at one point I was experimenting with distressing scraps with sand paper and bleach! None of my experiments met with approval though.

Over the last year or so interesting sleeves seem to have a moment in the spotlight.  I was pondering various patterns with flouncy sleeves and realised that a peasant shirt that I have made before, had the type of sleeve I had been thinking of trying (New Look 6179).  I shortened the main bit of the sleeve so that the flouncy bit finished at my wrist and I made metres and metres of bias binding for the neckline. I have tons of binding left over! A very successful light summer top that actually went rather well with the self drafted trousers (above) and the Amaya Asymmetric skirt (also above)

This next make is one of my rare fails.  The pattern, McCalls 7094 came free with one of the sewing magazine that are now available on the high street.  I liked the look of the shirt and had what I thought would be the perfect fabric.  However, the pattern came up massively too big for me.  I felt that the collar and placket instructions were particularly fiddly. I took some width out of the sides and stitched down the pleats at the shoulder, which both made the top better to wear.  I wore it a couple times but didn't really like it on. I packed it away with my summer stuff so when it warms up I will give it another chance, but I may see if my mum is interested in having it as she had admired the pattern envelope.

I am going to cut it short here as otherwise this will be super long. I have several more makes to share, so look out for part 3! Oh, and I also have an exciting post for tomorrow!


  1. What a bounty of interesting makes! I'm looking forward to reading about your surprise tomorrow!

  2. I'm not very good at writing posts, but much better at reading them, maybe because I can do that, lazing on the sofa in the evening! Trousers are so tricky to get to fit as you want - I really MUST give them yet another try this year. I started off making trousers in my teens and I seem to remember they fitted then, and I haven't changed shape THAT much! Speaking of which, well done on still fitting into the same size dress, it looks great Gill x

  3. You’ve been pretty busy! Kudos on drafting your own trousers.