Tag Archives: clothing

Shark Rivage Raglan

While I was looking for some cotton to make a dress (which incidentally, I haven’t even cut the pattern pieces for yet!), this shark jersey caught my eye. It’s not a pattern I would usually wear, but there was something about it which looked like it would make a great t-shirt, so I bought just over a metre in the hope that would be enough.

I wasn’t too sure on the fit of the Blanc to make another just yet, so I used the Rivage Raglan pattern.

I’m still not sure on the high-low style hem…. I think maybe I need to make the hem a bit longer at the front, and possibly even level it out to make it a straight hem.

I do love the pattern on the fabric though! I stuck with a zigzag stitch rather than a straight stretch stitch, as my machine finds it easier to feed through with a zigzag. It worked really well though, and the white thread gives a slight contrast to break up the pale blue.


Pattern: Rivage Raglan by Blank Slate Patterns
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

Knot your Average – take two

After my previous  Knot Your Average Top* by 5 out of 4 Patterns, I decided to try making one without the contrast colour and also in a slightly different size to see if it ended up as a better fit.

I got on better sewing the knot this time, although there are still a couple of points where I had to hand stitch the seam line, as I still didn’t get the sewing machine needle quite close enough to the knot itself!

I will admit I forgot to change the sizing on the back, although the front is now a S all the way through. Maybe in a slightly less ‘clingy’ fabric it wouldn’t feel quite so slim-fit still.

I stuck to the pattern instructions with the hems this time and the front panel obviously went in a lot better, as there are no awkward lines coming down from the knot! Maybe next time I will remember to alter the sizing at the waist and hips, so it has a more relaxed feel.

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Pattern: Knot Your Average Top* by 5 out of 4 Patterns
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

Ascent – a Late Christmas Present

Last Christmas, I was stuck for something to get for a relative, and made them a little “IOU” for a fleece top. I came across the purple fleece and realised it could work brilliantly with the 5 out of 4 Ascent Fleece pattern*.

I’ve never attempted to add a zip into fleece before, so this was going to be an experience! The first part to tackle was the facing for the top zip right on the front. This is the most visible zip, and of course is the one I struggled the most with.
My sewing machine really didn’t approve of the jersey I’d picked for the lining being on the base against the feed dogs, and nothing seemed to feed through evenly at all. I decided against unpicking it, and figured that the facing could be a decorative feature at that point.

The pockets were much easier to sew the zips into:

I used the same jersey as the pocket lining, but the relative I made it for has since commented that the pockets feel “funny” inside, and she’d rather have the pockets warm and furry…. so I’ll take that as a hint, and make her a second one so she has a choice!

I shortened the pattern to allow for her height, but when she tried the fleece on she commented that it was a bit too short, especially considering the 1″ hem I was going to sew. So I added in a band to the base of the fleece, which also saved the need to get a precise hem pinned and stitched!

From a distance, you wouldn’t really know that top zip was a total nightmare, would you?

Pattern: Ascent Fleece* by 5 out of 4 patterns*
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics
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Knot your Average

I wear t-shirts pretty much all the time, but they’re not something I’ve made an incredible amount of before. But there was something about the Knot Your Average Top* by 5 out of 4 Patterns which caught my eye. They recently ran a sew-along for the Knot top, with extra videos and instructions for each step, so I decided to give it a go.

I cut the fabric to fit my measurements…. which was a bit of a mistake. This pattern is more of a slim fit than the style I normally wear, so I think next time I would grade out to a S or maybe between a S and M below the waist.

I wasn’t too sure about the colour scheme to start with and originally intended on adding in a hem band to the base just to tie it all together. Unfortunately I had already cut out a second Knot top from that fabric, and only had enough left to band the sleeves! I think the sleeve band works better than a hem band was going to.

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Pattern: Knot Your Average Top* by 5 out of 4 Patterns
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

The Halifax Crossover

You know when you go into a fabric shop to look for a specific type of fabric, then spot the perfect fabric for something entirely different? That’s exactly why I ended up with two metres of this thin but snuggly sweatshirt fabric! I knew it was going to make either a hooded Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade* or a Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade*, but I stashed it away in the cupboard last year as I hadn’t even attempted the Halifax at that point.

Then I spotted a notice for a Halifax sew-a-long for the last week in January, and knew it was the perfect opportunity to use that fabric. Because it is so stretchy (for some reason it stretches most across the length of the fabric rather than across the width), I decided to size down for this one. I did want to try out the crossover hood hack just to make it a little different, and also to avoid having the facing and slit at the front neck.

The hood has my neatest ever top-stitching, but when I followed the instructions and tacked it to the body, the hood didn’t even meet at the front, let alone cross! After a few “what have I done wrong?!” messages, I had a very helpful response which pointed out that the neckline can stretch out of shape quite easily; to sort it, I needed to pin the back centre neck, then cross the front by about 1/2″ and pin, then stretch the hood slightly to make it fit around the rest.

Thankfully that did the trick, and some top stitching worked to hold the seam allowance down towards the body. I used the same technique with the shoulder and sleeve seams, which will hopefully make them a little stronger too.

Using a regular straight stitch, I tacked the sleeve and side seams at 1/4″ first, just to check the fit. That seemed fine, so I left the tacking stitches in (to give the seam more strength), and used the straight stretch stitch to sew the seam at 3/8″.

It wasn’t possible to top stitch all the way down the sleeve and side seams, so I zig-zagged the seam allowance on that just to keep it tidy.

Because I didn’t use a contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and hood lining this time, I felt it needed something to liven it up a little, so I added in a funky blue and white patterned cord. The cord is a little long still, but that is a simple fix to resolve that.

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Pattern: Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade*
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics


Halifax Funnel Neck

After my success with the Halifax Hoodie, I thought I would use up some oddments of sweatshirt fabric on another Halifax*.

I had just enough of the spotty and red fabric left over to make view D this time, but I kept the thumbhole cuff idea as that will save me needing to wear gloves!

I don’t normally wear funnel necks, so this was going to be a total experiment and a learning curve on how to fold the funnel to make it work properly. After reading the instructions through a couple of times, I folded the fabric the right way, and even inserting the eyelets went smoother than before!

If I want to be really picky, I could actually have made the funnel neck a little higher, so it would be cover my nose on a chilly day! But for a first attempt at a funnel neck, it’s come out surprisingly well.

If I’d thought things out a little better on the colour blocking, I would’ve used grey for the cuffs, probably grey for the pocket with the red on the edge, and maybe even red for the funnel. But that might have looked a bit too crazy!


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Pattern: Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade*
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics
Trim: Sew n Sew


Halifax Hoodie

Ever since I made a hoodie from a Craftsy course last year, I’ve wanted to make a hoodie with more of a traditional sweatshirt style. Searching through various websites, I eventually came across the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade* which looked perfect for the style I was after.

As this was my second ever hoodie that I’d made for myself, I decided to keep things relatively easy, and make style A – a regular-styled hoodie with a split neck. I did make things a little more complicated by choosing to line the hood, and add in the thumbhole cuffs from the Lane Raglan Top* too.

There were a few points where I started arguing with my sewing machine, especially at the point where the neck band is meant to cover the raw edges of the hood and the main body. But a couple of hand stitches helped just to hold the band in place.

I do need more practise (or maybe better instructions!) at adding in eyelets for the drawstring cord. The back of one of the eyelets came off as I was sewing the drawstring channel, and I’m not convinced it’ll stay in position when the top gets washed. At least with the drawstring in place, the eyelet won’t fall off completely – it’ll get caught on the drawstring itself, so I shouldn’t be able to lose it!

I lined the hood with some grey swan jersey fabric and used the same fabric for the binding on the edge of the kangaroo pocket. The drawstring tape is a little brighter than I’d expected, but it picks out the orange bills of the swans.

The instructions for the Halifax are really easy to follow, and it resulted in such a great hoodie, I’m already planning my next Halifax top.


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Pattern: Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade*
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics


Sleek Satin Sewing Success!

I wasn’t entirely convinced that I would get this dress finished in time, but after a lot (and I mean a lot) of unpicking and resewing, I finally have a finished dress!

I went with the idea of using two different fabrics to show off the different pieces of the bodice, and chose a combination of two animal print satin fabrics from Minerva Crafts. The fabric was so sleek and had such a great feel, I also made a small shawl to go with it. I quite liked the semi-frayed look of the selvedge edge so I kept that on the shawl edge.

Originally I had aimed for the yoke and waistband to be in the leopard print, with the rest of the bodice in the tiger print, with the opposite on the lining. However, after a few mistakes, I ended up swapping the lining and main pieces, which thankfully went much better.

I would use satin fabric again, but only for a top – I don’t think my sewing skills are quite up to the task of tackling another dress in such a temperamental fabric just yet. I would try making another dress from this pattern though…. but out of polycotton or cotton instead.

But this has challenged me to make a dress I probably wouldn’t have attempted, out of a fabric I usually would avoid…. and I’ve got a dress out of it, so I’m happy!


Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2017

Fabrics used: Tiger Print Satin, Leopard Print Satin


Simplicity Sewing Challenge – Dressmaking Inspiration

“Your take on a Simplicity Make”

….it sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But just how can you show your individuality in a dress?

I had considered using some unusual fabric – maybe combining two colours, to separate the bodice, waistband and skirt.

Or maybe I should move the zip to the side and have a plain back.

Different still, would be losing the zip completely, and putting a front buttoned opening to make the dress into a shirt dress, although the thought of those buttons has me breaking out in a cold sweat!

I even considered taking a leaf out of a previous year’s winner’s book, and making the dress into top and skirt separates.

In the end, I decided to try adding elbow-length sleeves. I dug out some fabric oddments and made a rough version of the bodice, using version C with straps. I drafted a rough sleeve using another pattern I had as a template, and stitched them in.

Realisation 1 was that a boatneck style neckline with straps was never going to work – the straps slid off my shoulders almost instantly, pulling the sleeves with them.

I thought then maybe I needed to go for a smaller size, so I cut a size 10 from another selection of oddments, but realisation 2 was that a size ten made the armsyce way too snug so that it felt like I was about to bust the seam stitches each time I moved,

So it’s back to the original idea of a size 12, and I have just enough oddments left over to make another mockup version to check the fit before I cut into my ‘proper’ fabric.

Wish me luck – I think I’ll need it!