Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The lady/floral Jersey top.

This is a Minerva Crafts Blogger network post.

What a fabulous top this is. I was intrigued by this McCalls pattern for jersey tops which cross over at the back. I wondered  how the crossover would hang, but I was delighted with the fit and the way that it all stays in place during wear.
The pattern is very easy to sew too, it will take you only a couple of hours!
want to know more and order the fabric - which I have to say is amazing, then hop over to Minerva crafts right now on this link.THE LADY FLORAL JERSEY TOP
The fabric and pattern are all available to order on the link.

It would make me really happy if you would look at my full post on Minerva crafts web site and leave me a comment

Thank you

Angela x

#sewing #sewingbee #dressmaking #sewingblog #jersey #stretchfabric #MCBN 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


This is how,to make a shift dress in 1960s vintage style. This post talks about transferring pattern markings onto your fabric. 

60s style dresses are always in style, and no wonder, they are so easy to wear, look great and suit most ages and sizes. This is a jaycotts.co.uk  "How do I do that" post

I have made this dress twice before, but I have a piece of slub silk  which I have kept cutting into to make ties and so on, and now there is only just enough left to make myself a simple shift dress!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


A Jaycotts.co.uk "How do I do that?" Post

At this time of year there are dozens of T-shirts in the shops, all looking the same, all at various prices from the very cheap to quite ridiculous prices.
I am guilty of buying new ones most years, but wait, why should I keep spending money just to look the same as everybody else? Why should I put up with the store dictating to me what the neckline should be like, what length the sleeves should be, how long in the body it should be? And thats only the start of it, try buying a nicely patterned one..... You see the problem?

Many people ask me about sewing with stretch fabrics, and are daunted by it. But don't be, with a few simple rules you can be sewing your own "designer" tops quicker than you can go to the shops to buy one.
Your first attempt at sewing stretch fabrics might not turn out exactly as you would like, which is why I recommend you making a Toile or test garment first. For this find some cheap jersey fabric or an extra large men's t-shirt to practice on.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Having fun sewing Melissa's Bolero Jacket from Zierstoft Simply Sew Patterns

The Melissa Bolero Jacket from Zierstoff Simply Sew was a most enjoyable garment to sew. Even better it is a great fashion garment suitable to be worn by all ages.

Meet a brand new pattern company who design the most beautiful patterns for women and children. Zierstoff.com is based in Munich. Ilka and Joanna are two beautiful young mothers who have only recently began their journey to show people just how easy and fun sewing can be. Not only are their PDF patterns attractive and easy to follow they come with an extensive range of support from video tutorials to downloadable pattern instructions.
Zierstoff - simply sew is the brand new English branch of the very sucessful German company Zierstoff.
Do look at their video on You Tube and see just how lovely Ilka and Joanna are in person.
Zierstoff -simply sew on you tube

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Eliza M Pussy Galore Top - Using a Walking Foot to sew Chiffon

I really like the new pattern companies which are appearing and I especially like Eliza M patterns. They have a vintage look but fit today's sizes without the fuss of using and altering a true vintage pattern. This blouse pattern is especially pretty but is very easy to sew - made easier by the clear precise instructions.

For this garment I wanted to use some Chiffon which I bought from Abakhan Fabrics
Chiffon poses some sewing challenges so if you are new to sewing I would recommend choosing a fine cotton lawn instead.

The fabric is very sheer and can  also fray easily so care has to be taken with it. When cutting out use plenty of pins which you have placed inside of the seam allowance to avoid making homes. If it is difficult to tell the right and wrong sides apart it is useful to mark the wrong side of each piece with a small mark,or a piece of masking tape, again inside the seam allowance.

Monday, 1 February 2016

How I made my Purple Trouser Suit. A Minerva Craft Blogger Network post

Purple Haze

How I made my purple stretch trouser suit. A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post. Pattern by McCalls

 Adaptable, wearable, comfortable and very easy to make. A beginners project with no buttonholes to worry about.

I seem to live in trousers and jackets and wanted a smart trouser suit for travelling in. The fabric I chose for this suit is a stretch Bengaline/Rayon which has spandex I  the mix so that it stretches. This fabric is a medium weight and has no drape in it so it is best suited to garments such as this trouser suit.

Monday, 30 November 2015

HOW I MADE MY FAUX FUR HAT AND JACKET.A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post

Coat pattern by Simplicity. hat pattern by Burda

I have been looking at these coats in the shops and noticed how expensive they are, so when I saw this fabulous faux fur fabric on MinervaCrafts.com I knew I had to make one my own coat.
Here is the list of items you need to make one of your own
  • Faux fur fabric.2m made both hat and jacket in size 12 /14  I used the long pile fur in Grey. It comes in other colours and in a short pile version.  PLAIN LONG PILE FUR
  • Anti static dress lining in Navy Blue,    Lining
  • Prym fur coat hook and eye fasteners in Grey Fur coat Fasteners
  • A very small piece of interfacing for the collar Interfacing
  • Simplicity 2150 pattern Jacket pattern
  • BURDA 7175 for the hat HAT PATTERN
  • I am fond of COATS sewing thread, you will need both Grey and Navy  COATS THREAD

Faux fur  ChiChi or headband from Jewellery Bank  see the web site for more information Winter white faux fur ChiChi

You will need to gather together your sewing machine with a new needle for heavyweight fabrics, an iron and ironing board, a pressing cloth and one more essential item - your vacuum cleaner! 
You will also need a few very long pins,  tailors chalk and sharp scissors

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How I made my Polka Dot dress and Jacket for Minerva Crafts Blogger Network

My beautiful spotty, dotty dress and jacket. A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post using McCalls and Butterick patterns

I love polka dots, and I love the combination of Navy blue and white.luckily MinervaCrafts.com sent me  a large piece of Navy and white polka dot print stretch cotton fabric, so I was overjoyed.  It is a beautiful fabric, quite heavy and with a bit of stretch too. View it on MinervaCrafts.com web site click here,  Navy and white polka dot cotton

I was not quite sure what to do with it and my  first thought was to make a long dress, but when I calculated how much fabric I would need there was a large piece left over but not enough for anything useful.The fabric is very heavy and hangs well so I decided to make a short dress and a jacket.  Jackets and me go together. I love making them and I love wearing them. I go out a lot in the evening and so I wear them a lot. I prefer them to a cardigan in fact. I have a favourite jacket pattern which I have altered and adapted so many times I cannot remember what the original one looked like! I love this pattern though, it fits me well, it is easy to alter, it always looks different, so why change? Anyway, more about the jacket later. Let's get on with the dress.

Before we start to make the dress though I wanted to show you the dress and jacket together. I honestly thought that the two garments worn together would be far too much, but in fact they make an incredible outfit and I love it. I envisaged wearing the jacket separately, and I will, but they do look good together don't you think?

Monday, 31 August 2015

How I made my Butterick 4386 in Orange Linen with machine embroidery

I bought this butterick pattern some while ago and thought that it would look fantastic made up in a variety of fabrics. I have some pale grey silk dupion which will be lovely for parties later in the year but I wanted to make it up first of all in this orange Linen.

The fabric needed pressing and shrinking with a steam iron through a linen pressing cloth, i folded it in half matching the selvedges and proceeded to lay my pattern pieces out in my correct size.
I say this each and every time, please take your measurements and compare them to the pattern envelope, cutting out the pieces according to your measurements which could be two or three sizes different to your commercial dress size.

I decided on the version with small cap sleeves, knee length skirt and crossover front. This will be worn on summer holidays in hot climates so linen will be cool and the cap sleeves will protect my shoulders from the sun

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How to make a satin Burda shift dress, and altering a pattern

This post shows you how I altered the pattern to make this stunning satin dress
Now that we have made the test garment, worn it, lived in it, loved it, it is time to make the real garment in a more expensive fabric.
I wore my tester for a few days, I love it! I tried sitting in it, it does not pull anywhere and is comfortable when sitting down. I bent down in it, the length is just right.
So, I am happy with the style and the fit. I made some minor adjustments to the paper pattern, you must see my previous post for more details on how to do that, but please read through it again. It seems a pain, but I do this frequently with new patterns, it saves a lot of heartache. I can then more or less whizz through the actual garment, although you do need to check the fit from time to time.

I cut out the front and back both in the main fabric and also in a black satin lining.
The main fabric is a beautiful heavy green satin.

I wanted to include short sleeves. The pattern includes a short sleeved coat but the dress is sleeveless.

I compared the front and back coat to those of the dress and realised that by making just a couple of tiny adjustments to the sleeve it would fit the dress perfectly.
Although I prefer side zips, this dress called for a back zip. I also prefer concealed zips, but because of the parkinson's they can proove hard for me to pull up. Instead therefore I chose a centered back zipper. If you are not familiar with how to put one in do let me know and I will demonstrate.

We are getting ahead of ourselves though!
Make up the body of the dress as in the test dress, stitching the fronts to the front top, the backs to the back top as before. This time stitch the shoulder seams.
At this stage I overlock every seam. And I do mean every seam, including the back seam top to bottom as it is easier to do this first before the zipper goes in. I even neaten all the seams which will be enclosed within linings.

Apart from the back seam I overlock the other seam edges together.so, before you touch the back seam overlock both centre backs without cutting away any of the seam allowance.

When I looked at the fabric I liked the look of the inside which has a satin finish just like the right side.
I therefore cut the fabric out so that the stripes on the inside would all match up. You might be thinking that I am bonkers for going to so much trouble, but I insist that my garments are just as nice on the inside as the are on the outside.  I know only I will see it, but it really does matter to me.  
You can put the zipper in now. To do this stitch the back seam to where the zipper will end. Then baste the rest of the seam and press open.
Right side down and with a zipper foot attach the zip,

This is the zipper going in.

This is the inside,(above ) dont you agree that it looks nice with the pattern matching on the inside. As an added bonus a lining to the skirt is not necessary.
I cut out top facings in black satin. Stitch the shoulder and side seams and press. Right sides together stitch around the neckline. Trim and clip the seam so that it will turn out properly

When it is turned out, ie the facing turned to the inside, hand tack around the neckline, tack around the sleeves by machine within the seam allowance.

Don't you agree that the inside is starting to look good too?

Now for the sleeves. All I needed to do was to increase the seam allowance on the sleeve seam! Easy!
When you have done that, run a row of long machine stitches within the seam allowance and use them to ease the sleeve into the opening. Careful not to get any pleats or gathers! It should be smooth.
After machining the sleeve in place, overlock the seam.
There we will leave it for this evening.
Next time I need to finish stitching the bodice facing in place,and do the bottom and sleeve hems etc.

Hello again,
We need to finish off the lining first of all.simply turn up the seam allowance and slip stitch it to the dress at the seam line.do not let your stitches show on the right side.
Slip stitch the sides to the zipper tape and add a hook and eye.
Neaten the hem and sleeve hems by overlocking then turn up to the required length. Either hand sew the hems in place invisibly or use machine stitching whichever is your preference.
A final check for loose threads, a final press, and voila, all done!
This dress was made much easier and quicker because I took time to make and wear the test muslin first and to make alterations to the paper pattern before cutting the new dress out.

I hope that you enjoy this blog, do let me know, your feedback is appreciated