Monthly Archives: July 2016

Shock horror – it actually fits!

I had fully expected this floppy sun hat to also be a flop, but much to my utter amazement, it actually came out better than that!


It’s a pattern previously recommended by Love Sewing magazine, but the link they have to it no longer works 🙁

Luckily for me, my head measurements are identical to the person who wrote the pattern, so there’s no maths involved. I bought a metre of purple polycotton and some heavy iron-on interfacing (the previous hat pattern used sew-in interfacing which I found was too easy to rip as I turned the brim out). So far so good; the hat only cost me about £5 in supplies, but now comes the hard part – the sewing!

The lining is sewn more like an interlining for this hat – the seams are visible on the inside. That was great practise for faux overlocking, as the standard zigzag foot results in a tunnelling effect when I use it on the fabric edges.

Attaching the brim was an interesting process, as I had to add in a few pleats to make it fit…. but that was actually part of the pattern, so I didn’t feel I had made a mistake there.


I chose to add a bias binding trim over the faux overlocked seam edges where the main hat piece meets the brim – it’s not something you should be able to see, but it should stop the seams irritating my forehead!


Overall, I think I’m actually quite pleased with this hat – I could do with adding another layer of interfacing on the brim if I make another, as the brim is a little too floppy for my liking. However, it fits (yay!!), so I’m happy with this one 🙂


Father’s Day Hat…. that also didn’t fit!

I was struggling for something to get my Dad for Father’s Day last month – I’d asked him if there was anything he was particularly wanting, and was told “surprise me”…. not all that helpful!

I knew he’d been unable to find a decent summer hat in the shops, and I’d spotted a pattern on Melly Sews, which I thought would work perfectly. To start with, I made a pattern for a hat that would fit a teddy bear, and that came out pretty well:


(it does fit the bear it was intended for, but this bear is more photogenic…. it just has a larger head!)

I made a pattern from newspaper, bought the outer and lining fabric, and started pinning it together. After sewing the crown to the main front of the hat, I asked Dad to try it on…. and of course it was too small. However, it did fit me! So as I couldn’t make the hat any larger without starting from scratch, I decided to stick with the hat and make it for myself instead. I was almost ready to attach the brim when another relative asked to see it, and suggested that the main part of the hat was too tall. Cutting that down by a couple of inches, I pinned the brim to the hat and it still fitted me.

Buoyed on by my apparent success, I then machine stitched the brim to the hat, and guess what? Yeah, you guessed it – the hat’s now too small (ironically, it’s not tall enough over my ears now). I tried hard to stick to a really narrow seam allowance and it was pretty even all the way around. All I can think is that the original measuring is out a bit and maybe also the cutting.

I will try another hat for Dad before the end of the summer, but I think I will try a polycotton version first, rather than just diving in with the decent fabric next time!

Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2016

Back in May, I signed up for the Simplicity Sewing Challenge – I chose two categories to enter: Best Dressmaker, and Best Blogger Feature. Part of the challenge is to put your own style into the pattern, so I’ve been trying to figure out just how I’m going to do that.

It took a while for the patterns to arrive, but they came in the post at the beginning of the month, so I’ve started on a muslin version of the dress. Cutting out the pieces was interesting, given that I’ve never made a dress with princess seams before, and my ability to sew an accurate opposing curve tends to be lacking! But I’m definitely up for the challenge for that.

Dragons Flame Designs - Simplicity Sewing Challenge

Tracing off the dress panels using dressmaking carbon paper

The blogger category allowed you to pick a pattern from the other categories, so I chose the skirt. Originally I was planning on making the button-up version, but I decided that the zipped one might be a style I would get more wear from. I do have an idea of how I can make that slightly different to the pattern, but it’ll be interesting to see if I can actually achieve what I have in mind!

So far so good – I’ve got the pieces cut out for the dress, and have started working on the skirt for a bit of variety. All I need to do now, is get a zip in the right length, so I can work on that part.


Pattern Fitting Trouble

I don’t know about you, but trying to make an item of clothing that actually fits is something I’ve been struggling with. Either the pattern company is adding some strange amounts of ease, or the pattern has hardly any ease at all!

So, I decided to have a go at making a bodice sloper to try and figure out my own sizing a bit better. So far I have the paper pattern drawn out – it looks a bit small, but the instructions said to stick with it, so that’s what I’m going to do! I doubt the armholes will look right, given that I don’t (yet) have a French Curve ruler to use, but I’m hoping that the fit will be reasonably accurate to my shape.

Several weeks later, and I have a bodice sloper that kind of fits! The back seems a different length to the front for some odd reason, and there’s quite a generous amount of ease – I’m not sure if that was intentional from the pattern instructions or if my measuring was off in a few places!

For this sloper to actually be of some practical use, I now need to figure out how to make alterations to a pattern using my sloper as a template. The website guide I was using, showed how to spot where some alterations could be made, but didn’t actually explain how to actually alter the patterns, so I’ll have to hunt around for some instructions on that!