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Thursday, 1 September 2016

HOW TO MAKE A STUNNING SATIN DRESS A Minerva Craft Blogger Network post

THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL EVENING DRESS. PERFECT FOR PARTIES
A Butterick pattern

You may be surprised to learn that the beautiful dress below, which I have just made for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network is exactly the same pattern as the one I made previously in Orange Linen. For this version I lengthened the skirt and sleeves and made a tie belt to tie in a bow at the front.



Patterns are expensive and when I have found one I like I feel that I need to get full value out of it by using it again as often as possible.



 I vary the design a lot as you can see from the pictures, and I would be surprised if you realised at first that these two very different dresses are from the same pattern! Both are lovely in their own way.




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

- MAKE A SIMPLICITY SHIFT DRESS in slub silk

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!



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

How To make a man's casual Chambray shirt.

This is a Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post. To read the full instructions hop over to MinervaCrafts.com on the link here Chambray Shirt. Minerva Crafts Blogger Network
Do look at the blogger networks posts, they are full of fantastic makes from the crafters on the blogger network





As you know I enjoy making shirts. In this post I took a plain  Dark Indigo chambray and made it into something special with the addition of some contrast facings and some hand made piping.
Along the way I am sharing some hints and tips with you so it is well worth visiting the full post on MinervaCrafts.com
I hope that the post gives you the confidence to try making a man's shirt and to make it just that little bit different.

Dont forget to view the full post, here's the link again. Man's chambray shirt

Happy sewing

Angela x

#sewing #sewingbee #GBSB #men #shirt #MCBN #MinervaCrafts.com #sewingblogger

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

SEWING WITH STRETCH FABRICS

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.

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?



Wednesday, 7 October 2015

How do I set up my dressmakers dummy or manequin?


How to set up a dressmakers dummy 


Many of us have a dressmakers or tailors dummy but do we know how to use it correctly? Think about it, if it is to be effective in producing well fitted clothes then it has to mirror the owners figure exactly. Do you agree?




So, how do we do this?

Firstly set your dummy up on its stand. Turn all the dials  to the same setting , zero, because we are going to start again.
You need a tape measure, some tape, a bra which fits you perfectly (you can change this as often as you like to suit the garment you are making ) and a close fitting vest top in a thin stretchy fabric.or a pretty cover like the one I am using.
Measure your waist and turn the dials until they correspond exactly to the measurement you have just taken.
Measure your bust, around the fullest point, and turn the dials to this measurement.  Do this with the hips.
Some manequins have more scope for adjustment so follow their instructions.

Put the bra on the dummy, you should do this because  your cup size determines the fit too. Put some stuffing inside it if necessary to fill it out gently.
Now, this sou ds boring but you will have to measure the bust, waist and hips again and adjust them to correspond with your own figure in underwear.





For more accurate sizing pin  a piece of tape or ribbon round your own waist, it has to be snug but not too tight. Measure from the nape of your neck down to this ribbon. Measure on the dummy from the same position down to the waist. Pin a piece of ribbon around the waist on the dummy check the measurement again. Secure in place. You will need this line when making pattern adjustments to the waist and when making skirts and trousers. You can keep these on top of your manequin cover if you like, they are useful for fitting purposes.
You need also to put lines of tape down the centre front and back and also down the sides from the centre of the armhole.again, these are fitting lines.

The beauty of dressing your dummy in this way is that you can insert padding to various areas as and when required, for example if if your waist expands, pad the manequins waist out to correspond, you can also  do this for the hips and bust.
Another convenient fact is that if you want to wear a specific style of bra with your new outfit you can put it on the dummy and fit your garment around it. Pad the bra out as necessary too.
Just remember that this is a fitting tool and correctly fitted clothes make you look and feel slimmer, so please be honest!
Take as many of your measurements as you can, you might need help with some, and transfer them to your  other you. 

In order to check that the manequin is the right size put a dress on it that you know fits you well and take a long critical look at it. Make any further adjustments as necessary.

It honestly is worth all the effort in getting this right. Imagine the benefits! Every garment you make will be perfect for YOU, who cares about standard shop bought dresses which fit ok here and there, this is perfection ladies!

Dummies or manequins are not cheap I admit, and you must get an adjustable one , be warned - display Dummies like those seen in shops are not the same thing at all.




Dress forms are available from Jaycotts.co.uk  Dress form  there are different types too, even one for men!  Take a look. They really are worth saving for if you are serious about dressmaking.




The pretty covers like mine are also from Jaycotts, do contact them about them. Available in different sizes and colours, see them on the link below


 They really make a difference to how they look and I don't know about you but I like to use pretty things when sewing, it makes the experience even more magical.


Thank you very much for reading this, do you have a manequin?  Does she have a name?

Angela