Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Summer top

I'm really pleased with myself on this one, I managed to cut out and make this top in one day (which for me is generally unheard of)! I even found time to make a few alterations to the pattern in the meantime!

The pattern I got from a magazine I read, Prima, they print a pattern once a month and I've got some really nice patterns which have made some lovely projects.

I used the pink fabric bought in the John Lewis sale the other week to make the sleeveless top.

I generally end up being a 16 with their sizing, plus it's a pull over top and I thought it would need some space to get into. Cutting out was very easy and quick, the layout in the pattern worked really well and was really clear.

I pinned the pieces together to begin with to check for the fit. It seemed to fit OK, so I decided to stick with that size.

The yoke section at the top is attached first, this is about the most difficult part of the pattern, as the outside of the yoke is attached to the curve of the neck of the main top pieces. It was particularly more difficult gathering up the middle of the front piece.

The finished neck worked well with the gathers...

Once I'd finished the top, I tried it on again... What a shock, it made me look about 6 months pregnant!! Thinking about the shape it probably would have done, but I didn't really expect it that big.

I ended up adding darts to the front and back. I did these properly, measuing and making sure they matched exactly. I think this must have taken the longest!

However, I now have a top ready in time for another holiday!! I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and should look good with trousers. Here's the finished item, I'll try to get some proper photos later.

If I make this again, I may make a smaller size and slightly longer. I think I'd still put in the darts, as certainly for me I need a more shaped top, but I'd definitely make it again, as it's so easy to make and uses little fabric. I still have some left to make a skirt!!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

New Look 6557 - again

Well it's been a while since my last post, my excuse is a change of job and working hours and therefore not the same times to get my creative juices flowing.

This is the fabric I bought a few weeks ago (Red spotty fabric) I decided then that I wanted to make this pattern again, only I decided I'd make view D (I made view B last time).

This time, the cutting out was so much quicker, maybe because I knew the pattern or perhaps I was just a bit more with it! The pattern certainly went together a lot more quickly. I decided to topstitch the top of the bodice with red cotton. I've also used this on the back for the zip.

The confusing part of the pattern is attaching the back facing. This needs to be done with the front bodice part underneath it somehow. The hardest part is trying not to catch the main front of the bodice in the stitching. I really wish I'd made a toile, because I needed to take the side seams in after I'd stitched them. [The problem is, I'm lazy and want to get something made quickly! Then I end up unpicking and playing around with the finished article.]

The side seams went together well though. The pattern doesn't suggest zig-zagging the seams to reinforce them, but I tend to do this.

I cheated with the zip. The pattern asks for a lapped zip, but I decided that it would be easier to put in a centred zip so I could also take in some of the fabric at the waist a bit more. As you can see, I've taken in quite a bit at the waist, this is quite big otherwise. The zip is OK, not exactly straight, I'm hoping that because I can't see it, no one else can.

I'm quite pleased with the finished dress, but it's quite big around the bust and all there is to hold it up is the halterneck! The ease on the pattern is only about an inch, but it's way more than that once it's made up. I'll just have to make sure I don't lose any weight around the bust (Mr N will be happy with that!) I've only got a small hem this time, but possibly it may have been better with a larger hem to make the fabric hang better. It could possibly do with a thin muslin lining, but it's perfect for the summer, and I can't see myself wearing it in the winter!!

I wonder if I've time to make anything else before I go away again??

Friday, 1 July 2011

My unfinished object (UFO)

I don't tend to be someone that leaves things hanging around, I like to get them finished, but this has been defeating me for years and I mean years!

Way back in the mists of time, my gran used to do loads and loads of patchwork and what I call clever patchwork, cathedral window, etc. Grandad used to make proper aluminium shapes for her. For some reason hexagons caught my eye and he made me a hexagon so I could do some patchwork. This hexagon, must now be at least 30 years old and it's still doing well.

About twenty years ago, I managed to make a cushion from some of the hexagons I made. Each piece of fabric has a tale to tell and I know exactly where it came from and what it was used for. Some of the fabrics are now getting a bit faded, but I'm not parting with it. All the hexagons were sewn together by hand, but the rest I finished off using the machine.

Having finished this, I still had scraps of fabric, and some hexagons left over. The plan was to make a quilt with the others. I bought loads of fat squares from craft shops to augment the material stash (at the time I didn't have lots of material left over from sewing like I do now!) I think I lost count of how many I made and kept filling up a bag full! Time to sort them out. I don't think I actually looked at them for about ten years! They're now all sorted into the same pattern and stored in separate bags.

As you can see there is quite a mix. Some are from fat squares, so I have lots of hexagons, others not so many. I've spent about two hours this afternoon trying to think of ways to lay them out. My first idea is to group them with three patterns in each, one of the centre and two patterns to go around the edge.

I did a test layout on the bed - it seemed the best place to lay them out. I'm not completely convinced.

There are some empty gaps, but I think I could actually do with some more plain hexagons to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. I MUST finish it at some point, but my sticking point has been trying to decide how I will lay them out. There's such a mass of colour too. I know I shall have to sew them all by hand, so I think it'll be a few years hence before you see a finished quilt on here!