Tag Archives: sewing

Raspberry Ripple Bear (UFO)

After a mini shopping spree at Hobbycraft, I found myself with some dotty cuddle fat quarters. I thought they would make a lovely soft squishy bear, using the “Happy” pattern from Emma Bear’s.

I was originally going to use the pink and yellow for this bear, but the yellow looked a little harsh so I plumped for cream instead. It gives the bear a raspberry ripple look, and that was the fastest I’ve ever named a bear!

So far I have his head stitched (although he still needs ears), and his legs finished. The paw pads are faux suede just to add a different texture to the sleek dotty fabric.

Strawberry Dragon (UFO)

You’d think that with a blog called Dragon’s Flame Designs, I would have sewn several dragons already. But while I’ve sewn lots of bears, I’ve never tackled a dragon…. until now! I’m reliably informed that K likes dragons, so Yoki Dragon looked like the perfect early Christmas present for him.

I thought the original size might be a little fiddly to sew, so I scaled the pattern to 150% before printing. I’m using some red clothing fleece rather than minky, as I think it’ll stand up to rougher play.

So far I have the head sewn, and you can just about see the dragon shape starting to emerge.

Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2017

I’ve been working on my dress for the Simplicity Sewing Challenge, using a couple of really sleek satin fabrics from Minerva Crafts.

I measured out the bodice, stitched all the seams, then realised the waistline was about an inch lower than it’s meant to be (argh!). So I have to unpick the zip (which didn’t go in quite right in the first place anyway), to let me redo the horizontal bands and hopefully get everything lining up properly.

So, I’ve come to realise that there’s no way I will get it finished before the closing date. If I hadn’t needed to unpick the zip, I might have managed it, but unpicking stitches on a satin fabric has to be done more carefully than on a polycotton, so it’s going to take a while.

I’m determined to get it finished though – even if it will be too late to enter into the competition.

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!

Shirt Inspiration – a Simplicity Sewing Challenge

I’ve made clothing for myself before, but the only wearable things I’ve ever made my dad (that fitted successfully) was a fleece hat. I think it’s about time I made hime something different, don’t you?

So I entered the menswear category of the Simplicity Challenge as an incentive to get something made.

At the moment I have taken the measurements (I didn’t want to rely on what dad said he measured!), and I’ve picked out some polycotton to make a “wearable muslin”.

I did get in a complete mess with sewing the facing – a combination of partially-written instructions, and a distraction while sewing, meant that I didn’t quite get it lying accurately. However, other than adding in the buttonholes and buttons and the final hems, this should be a shirt Dad can wear.

It does look a bit…. boring though. Plain polycotton might have been dad’s choice, but it isn’t going to look all that startling. So I had a rummage through dad’s wardrobe to see the kind of shirt design he prefers, and there’s a lot of checked fabric in there! I’ve got some gingham fabric and he’s picked out some buttons ready for the final version.

Wish me luck!

Blanc Tee

Rummaging through my bag of UFOs, I came across the pieces for this Blank Slate Patterns Blanc Tee. I’d purchased the fabric over a year ago, cut out the pattern, then didn’t have the confidence to figure out if the sizing was accurate, or if I’d need to grade the seam allowance at the waist.

I decided it was about time I finished it, and stitched the seams exactly as the pattern said. Blanc is quite a loose fitting top, and that style coupled with the really stretchy nature of the fabric, meant it really looked oversized in the shoulders and chest.

Putting it on inside out, I pinned out a new armhole and sideseam, which gives it a much better shape.

Oops – I hadn’t realised the fabric was quite so creased…. I think this proves I need to make use of the iron a bit more!

The neckline is wider than I’d normally wear, and my decision to simply turn and hem the neck has left the neckline a little saggy. I think next time I make a Blanc Tee, I’ll use some bias binding on the inside just to give the neckline some structure.

Overall, it’s a great fit and a complete bargain – the fabric was from the remnants pile in my local shop for £4 🙂

 

Shoreline Boatneck – another hack in progress

Even before I finished my first Shoreline Boatneck, I was already planning my next one. I needed a jacket to wear on the allotment if it looked like it might rain (typical British summers and all that), and my previous hacked Shoreline Boatneck looked like it would be just the right style.

I found some navy Rip-Stop and floral polycotton at Minerva Crafts, which look like they should be ideal for the jacket I want to make. So far I have most of the pieces cut out, but I’m still working on getting the hood to fit – the hood pattern comes from a different top, so the neckline is a totally different length, which is taking a bit of fiddling to get it to line up properly.

 

 

Shoreline Boatneck hack

I will admit that I have never hacked a pattern before – literally every item of clothing I’ve made so far, has been done according to the pattern. However, the Blank Slate Patterns Shoreline Boatneck caught my eye, and was screaming to be hacked into something slightly different.

The pattern itself comes with a ‘hack pack’ with suggestions like a button back, or making it into a dress. But the idea of buttons down the back has never really appealed to me – I wanted to add them to the front. However, my sewing machine didn’t really like me sewing 7 buttons on the front of my previous shirt so I wanted to find a way around that. Really, I needed to stitch the buttonholes first, so if I messed it up, I wasn’t ruining an entire top.

Luckily I found a tutorial for a hidden button placket at Craftsy, which with a few tweaks was able to be used on my Shoreline top. Ironically, those buttonholes are the neatest I’ve sewn so far, but it definitely looks nicer having them hidden from view.

The fabric is a double duvet cover set from Shaws Direct – I actually only used the two pillowcases for this top, so that leaves me with about 4m of fabric I can use for a couple of dresses.

I started the buttons just above the bust level, although I think I could’ve done with adding in another on the neckline just to help keep the shape. But as it is, I can use a small clip as a decorative feature if I want to. The only other change I made was to add a seam allowance to the back, and cut those pieces separately – the pillowcases didn’t quite work out to be the right size to cut the back on the fold!

So there you have it; my first Shoreline Boatneck, and my first pattern hack – you wouldn’t really know that was made from two pillowcases, would you?

Wallet Knockoff Attempt (WIP)

A true WIP (Work in Progress) today, rather than another UFO (Unfinished Object). I was given this wallet a few years ago, but the material has started to break up and it’s not looking all that startling now. So given that I like the style of this particular wallet, I wanted to try and make my own ‘knockoff’ version of it. Only trouble is, I’ve never attempted anything like that before, so where on earth do you start?

Dragon's Flame Designs - Knockoff wallet attempt

The original wallet

I began unpicking the topstitching, gradually making my way through the various layers, taking photos as I went so I know where each piece was attached. When the wallet was made, they cheated and glued down the seam on the inside before topstitching it, which was an experience to try unpicking the stitches from!

So far I have almost all the pieces unpicked and my next aim will be to trace around them to make a paper pattern. Given how complex it looks, I’ll probably then make a rough version in some cheap polycotton to ensure I’m happy with how it all should go together. And then with a bit of luck I can make the ‘proper’ wallet!

Wish me luck!

New Look 6483 – take 2

I came across this really nifty fabric in my local fabric shop, but the original top I had in mind just didn’t look right on me. So I decided it was time I tackled New Look 6483 again – you may remember the original version I made back in June.

This particular fabric was a little thin and I really didn’t want to risk it being see-through, so I made a lining from a plain white polycotton. I simply tacked the plain polycotton to the wrong side of the owl fabric then treated it as one piece of fabric.

Dragon's Flame Designs - New Look 6483

When it came to the hem, I wanted the polycotton lining to be hemmed as one, rather than having a separate lining hem. I folded up the hem on the owl fabric and the polycotton lining, then caught the lining hem on the inside as I was sewing.

Dragon's Flame Designs - New Look 6483

I’m pleasantly surprised how well this top came out – I don’t normally wear sleeveless tops, but the armholes look almost perfect with no alterations needed. I kept the neckline as the pattern stated, which gave a nicer curve than I achieved last time. Admittedly adding a lining made the hemming a lot more challenging, but I don’t think it would’ve been wearable without a lining, given the thin nature of the fabric.