Tilly and The Buttons Bettine Dress and Agnes Top

As the weather is looking a tad more promising of late, I’m conscious my Summer wardrobe needs a few additions. I’ve been after a summer dress for a while, something non-fussy, cool to wear but stylish. Enter the Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons. It’s a gorgeous scoop neck dress with pockets, and easy to wear and make with no closures to worry about.

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Fabric-wise I’d just bought the most amazing viscose from The Textile Centre on eBay and at only £3.99 a metre, it’s a bargain.

The pattern was easy to follow and the handy colourful booklet made it enjoyable to work through. The neckline came out beautifully and as a hater of facings flapping about, I love that this one is anchored with topstitching all the way round – I’m gonna do all my facings like this from now on.

Tilly’s patterns have their own sizing chart and I plumped for the size 4 after looking at the finished garment sizing I figured I’d have enough ease. I was a tad concerned when the bodice wouldn’t fit my mannequin, but all worked out well in the end. It fits me really well, although I’ll sew a size up next time as I prefer a slightly looser fit, especially for summer.

I didn’t make any major adjustments, just the usual addition of an inch to the bodice and I also added an inch to the skirt section too as I’d seen many Bettines looking a bit short online. As a result I only turned up a 1cm hem too. I didn’t sew up the cuffs on the sleeves, I just added the cuff as it came, which added some welcome length to the overall look.

I’ve reviewed this on You Tube too where you can see it a bit better.

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Now for the Agnes top, also from Tilly and the Buttons.

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I’d bought some gorgeous Viscose Jersey from Tia Knight Fabrics and it’s the nicest I’ve seen, so I didn’t want to mess up this make!

I opted to make the gathered sleeve version with a plain neckline. I hose to sew the neck band with the stripes running vertically as in the pic below from TATB.

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I also chose to cut the sleeve with the stripes running vertical too – for no other reason than I would have less stripe matching, ha ha always thinking!

Size-wise I made a size 7 as I didn’t want to take any chances of the fit being too small. I needn’t have as the jersey was very forgiving and a size 5 would have sufficed, so after taking in the sides it all worked out in the end.

The sleeves were easy to sew as they are sewn flat rather than in the round, so for a beginner this would be a great first make if you are thinking about sewing jersey. Just use a new ballpoint needle on your sewing machine and take the plunge!

More info on this is also in this week’s vlog on You Tube

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Thanks for popping in, see you soon,

Cheryl.

Sew Over It Chloe Coat Online Class and Pattern Review

After gaining some confidence and making the Iconic French Jacket last year, I’ve been ready to take my sewing to the next level. I was delighted when Sew Over It released their Chloe Coat as an online class with the aim of being ‘an introduction to coats’. Truth be told, I was hoping for just the PDF pattern as the class was £40, but having taken the plunge and buying it with a little discount at launch, I can see why it’s an online class as it really helps to see each stage made.

With the online class, you do get a PDF pattern, a monster of one! It’s 84 pages in total, but it does include separate pattern pieces for the lining and interfacing too, so it’s not all coat. The actual coat is a very chic and simple outline, with no fiddly collar to attach, so once you’re all prepped withe the copious A4 pages, then it’s plain sailing from then on.

The pattern also comes in copy shop sizes so if you can get it printed out then do!

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The fabric I chose was actually a furnishing fabric from Dunelm (in the UK). I loved its pastel colours and thought it would make a good Spring/Summer version. I chose a satin crepe for the lining.

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Lisa explains each stage really well and it’s great to be able to pause and re-watch bits. If I had any criticism, it would be that a few more close -ups would help, especially for beginners, but overall, it’s a fab class and it was so satisfying to finish and hang up my new coat.

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More detail on this pattern is on my You Tube channel where I review this pattern and class in two parts. I’m also making a winter version of this in a gorgeous camel coloured melton wool.

Thanks for dropping by, hope to see you soon.

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Sew Over It Susie Blouse Review

Hi everyone, hope you’re having a lovely day in this warmer weather here in the UK.

This week I’ve reviewed the Sew Over It Susie Blouse, which is also live on my You Tube Channel. I’ve reviewed this post here on my blog before, but it’s nice to see it come to life on video.

This is a PDF pattern from Sew Over It and is a brilliant wardrobe-builder. I love this type of top, it skims across the body, is not clingy at all and is easy to wear – you can just throw it on over jeans and you’re good to go.

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I’ve now made 2 versions, one from viscose and the other from satin. Click here to see them in action.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week.

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Craftsy Iconic Tweed Jacket and Colette Sorbetto Review

As you may have read in my previous post here I made a Chanel-style jacket last year. This week I talk about this in more detail on my You Tube channel.

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Plus, this week I have made the all new Colette Sorbetto top. It’s a great pattern with two lengths to choose from and you can make it with sleeves or without. I made mine from a very sheer light crepe bought from Abakhan. This pdf pattern is completely free too, so great if you want to experiment.

It’s an easy pattern, suitable for a beginner, although try to choose a fabric which you can control easily – light crepes are a bit of a faff when it comes to necklines and hems, but all do-able if you have time and patience.

Next week on my channel I’ll talk about my versions of the Sew Over It Susie Blouse. I love this pattern, it’s very me, simple and easy to wear. Hope to see you next week.

Thank you for reading, really appreciate it.

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Sew Over It Kimono Jacket and March Sewing Plans

Last week, Sew Over It released their brand new pattern to PDF Club members, the “Kimono Jacket” (now available to all). SOI have that knack of releasing the pattern that I really need, and this was no exception. The Kimono Jacket is the perfect layering piece, perfect for Spring and cool summer nights.

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I had some Liberty Tana lawn in my stash, which is a beautiful drapey cotton, although this pattern works really well for all fabrics with a good bit of drape.

The pattern itself is a PDF, 32 pager, but super fast to sew. In fact, the taping of the pattern took longer than the sewing! Really easy to make up, with no challenges. I made the medium which was listed as a 12-14, but it is quite large in a cotton fabric. A chiffon or satin would add less bulk.

Really happy with how it turned out, and I know it’ll be a staple over the coming months. Another great pattern Sew Over IT, looking forward to more.

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(Shoes are from www.clarks.co.uk, high waisted skinny jeggings are from M&S)

So, what’s next?

For my next sewing project I’ll be downloading the brand new release of the Colette Patterns Sorbetto top, which is their free PDF pattern. It promises a better fit and a longer length option which I’ll be making in a sheer bright pink crepe from Abakhan.

Next up will be not one, but TWO Chloe Coats from Sew Over It! I’ll be making a Spring/Summer version in a surprisingly good curtain fabric from Dunelm of all places. Plus, I’ll be making up the coat in a gorgeous camel melton wool  from Fabric World ready for Autumn. Why not take advantage of an already-prepared PDF pattern eh?

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Phew, that’s a while lotta sewing, but it’s all explained on my new You Tube Channel here.

Thanks for stopping by, ta ta for now.

Cheryl.

 

The Stitchy Bee You Tube Channel

Having enjoyed watching many sewing blogs recently, I have created my own.

I wanted to make a channel that shows the kinds of reviews I like to watch, so here it is! This week I talk about my Top 3 Beginner Sewing Patterns. When I first started making clothes 3 years ago, I would have found videos on this really helpful, so here’s hoping you will too.

Coming up over the next few weeks, I’ll be making a Spring coat, a kimono jacket, skinny trousers and showing you my favourite fabrics.

If you like watching sewing channels, I’d love it if you subscribe – it’ll save me thinking I’m just talking to my dog, ha ha.

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Thanks for reading, have a lovely day.

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Bird Print Pussy Bow Blouse

I’ve fancied making this blouse for ages now, so when I found an amazing bird print crepe on eBay, I had no excuse.

The pattern is from Sew Over It – ok, I’m a big fan of their patterns and size-wise they always get it spot on for me.

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I download the PDF pattern which is 32 pages long. I learned not to try to print, stick and sew all at once, it’s too much, so I tend to do one steep each day – handy doing the taping together with a good box set and a cuppa.

The pattern and instructions are pretty easy. I lengthened my sleeves by 2 inches as I’m very tall and have long arms. Also, as the crepe I bought had a bit of stretch to it, I omitted the need for a button on the cuff by simply adding plain cuffs – which worked a treat. The potentially tricky part is adding the bow to the neck. I made view 2 with the v neck. I was a bit disappointed that the back of the neck band has to be hand stitched in place on one side – note to self, must find an alternative technique. But it worked out well and I managed not to have too many visible stitches – not easy on a crepe.

Go careful too when hemming the curve if your fabric is slippery. Helps to use a tailor’s clapper when sewing with this type of fabric.

Really happy how this turned out, had some lovely compliments already. It’s the perfect top and a great length. I’ll definitely be making a few more.

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Molly Top – Sew Over It #soicitybreak

As soon as I saw Lisa Comfort’s release of the Sew Over It Citybreak ebook, I had to have it. It’s a capsule wardrobe of simple key pieces which would suit a long weekend trip away. Perfect for every day wear too. The whole book was just £20 and the introductory discount made it great value for 5 patterns and instructions.

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The Molly top on the front cover really caught my eye as I’m an eternal breton top devotee, and I knew it would be one of those pieces that I’d wear and wear. I loved the neck band cut with the stripes vertically, a really nice detail.

I ordered the sailor stripe viscose jersey (before it sold out) also from Sew Over It which has a lovely drape to it and is very comfortable to wear. Not the cheapest jersey at £6 per half metre, but it is a lovely quality.

In contrast to my last project this make was super fast. In fact it took me longer to print and assemble the pdf pattern than it did to sew.

The instructions are quite brief, and for beginners this may not be enough, especially when so much attention needs paying to pattern matching stripes which isn’t mentioned. I spotted that just folding the striped jersey before laying out the patterns would not give a consistent match for the stripes at the edges, so I created whole pattern pieces and cut the fabric in one layer to make sure each side was exact. I used a long ruler to match the notches and used these as a guide to match the stripes on each side.

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I love how the stripes meet at the shoulders into a perfect point – I must have been lucky as it worked first time around for me having spent time lining up the stripes.

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The neck band could have been another potential place to struggle with, but it all worked out nicely and mine wasn’t too loose or too tight. The band was topstitched underneath as per the instructions using a small zig zag stitch along with the hems.

A really fast make (about an hour once the pattern was assembled and cut) and I’m so pleased with it I’ve ordered more fabric to make more. It’s a perfect length too, just covering the hips, great with skinny jeans.

Until next time.

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Chanel Style Jacket – Vogue 7975

I’ve been quiet blog-wise of late and for good reason. I took on the challenge of sewing myself a Chanel inspired jacket. Chanel reckon it takes 90 hours to make one couture jacket…yep, I can see why, I lost count, but I think mine did too.

The jacket itself is a short jacket with 3/4 length sleeves or longer. I chose the 3/4 ones as I liked how the sleeves come exactly to the bottom of the jacket. I sewed view B but without the fraying.

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There are lots of couture techniques in this jacket, all new to me, and good confidence-builders in getting more comfortable with different techniques. There’s a LOT of hand sewing in this jacket – after machine-quilting, all the lining is hand stitched to the jacket edges, the inside armscye seams are hand stitched, all the ribbon trim (4 metres!!), the braid (4m) and the chain weight is stitched by hand too. There’s no rushing this project, you just have to embrace the process – and get a good TV box set on!

I made the jacket following the Craftsy.com class “The Iconic Tweed Jacket”, it was helpful to have some visual hand-holding for such a monster garment.

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The class is expertly tutored by the lovely Lorna Knight, and her gentle Scottish accent guides you through each step wonderfully. It was refreshing not to have to puzzle over sketchy pattern instructions and just watch and learn. The class came with Vogue pattern V7975 which was posted from the U.S so this took a week or two to arrive giving me plenty of time to order the bits and bobs I needed.

I watched the entire class (mostly!) from beginning to end before I began and I’m glad I did, it really does help being able to go over each step again if you aren’t sure first time around. There’s one part which advises you to interface the back of the pockets, so make sure you do this early on as I missed this and it was too late to add after I had added the lining.

As per the class instructions I made a toile (or muslin) from calico fabric first to check the fit. Luckily for me, the size I cut fit first time around, so I didn’t need to make any adjustments on the toile. Although, I had issues with the shoulders being too wide on the finished garment so I had to cut 1.5cm away from each shoulder to make the sleeve sit properly (it kind of hung low before). I’ve seen this feedback from others too, so double check yours if you make this as it’s not that obvious at muslin stage.

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The fabric I had in my stash was a loosely woven tweedy type of fabric, much lighter than a winter tweed. It’s very prone to fraying so minimal handling is key. The lining is a dusky pink satin dupion fabric which I’d actually bought ages ago to make into shower caps – so glad I didn’t! I’ve had both fabrics for so long I can’t remember where I got them, but they would have both been reasonably priced as I rarely spend more than £6 per metre – I used 2 metres of each.

A lot of time is spent pattern matching when using this type of fabric, something I hadn’t done before but enjoyed the process once Lorna had explained a few tips and tricks. It’s really important to cut accurately and follow the grain line on this project. Every stage is pattern matched, from the front to the sides to making sure the sleeve matches too. Tricky but not impossible.

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My favourite part was quilting the lining. The lining is actually sewn to the outer fabric, so finding a good thread match is key. I chose a sandy colour to blend in with the main outer fashion fabric. You could have a different bobbin thread colour to match your lining, but mine looked ok without having to do this.

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Here’s the actual inside of the jacket..I’m chuffed at how neat it turned out..could almost be reversible.

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Overall I’m delighted how it turned out. I learned a lot and feel much more confident to tackle other projects. Lorna was brilliant to watch and I really recommend this online class to expand your sewing skills.

Au revoir for now.

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Boy’s Wash Bag

Remember those curtains we used to have in the 80’s? You know, the nylonny funny texture ones? Well I came across a single Superman panel at an antique fair a couple of years ago. I think it cost me about £8. A bargain for the amount of material.

I was never sure quite what I’d make from such a loud print, until I had a need to sew one of the boys a wash bag for a school residential trip. I knew I wouldn’t find a wash bag for a lad in the shops, and my floral Cath Kidston one wouldn’t do, so I made one. It’s a simple make, just two panels of outer fabric, two pieces of shower curtain the same size as the outers and a channel plus ties. It’s been really handy item and I made it big enough to accommodate both boy’s toothbrushes, shampoos, wet flannels etc on holidays.

As the boys will both be away at summer camp and in separate dorms, I had to make another. Here’s a great tutorial which reminded me how it’s sewn together..I ignored the quilting instructions, it was more about how the channel is applied and also how the inner is sewn without raw edges.

It’s quite massive for a wash bag, but I do like all the potential leaky bottles etc to be safely tucked away in their luggage. Let’s see if they both manage to bring them back without losing them!

Happy Friday.

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