Patrones Top

I have had a busy weekend finishing off the details of my newly decorated lounge (re-hanging pictures etc). Whilst that was needed I really wanted to do some sewing.

I traced the patterns I wanted to use during last week so was all ready to cut out and sew three garments. I cut 2 out last night (supposedly watching TV but I missed more than I saw) so I was ready to sew today. I started with a top from Patrones 302 (number 32 from the plus size section). Whilst I am a 46 in trousers/skirts I always have to make a FBA in any tops/dresses I make so given the unstructured shape of this top I was happy just to try the size 50.

I had been given this polyester crepe fabric by a friend and thought it would look good in this unstructured style. It was very easy to sew and I know that it is very easy care so should be a useful addition to my wardrobe.

I really like the sleeve detail so I will definitely be making this top again. The seam gaps for putting the rouleaux belt through are possibly a bit too low for me so I will re-mark the gap to a higher position (making the gathering look a little more ’empire line’).

The belt was a very long rouleaux which looked as though it might be a pain to turn through but I used a turner that looks like a large needle with a lump on the end and had no trouble at all. I always make my loops with a ‘funnel’ to the top and two seams stitched close together which help to make the tube more stable.

It looks just fine on Bessie and when I have someone around to take photographs I will get some on me.I have a pair of ‘Classic Jeans’ from another Patrones issue cut out to start tomorrow so I hope to have more to show you soon.

My mum said….

Bessie wears the trench

Bessie wears the trench

….you should always finish one job before starting another. A message so deeply ingrained I have been unable to start anything fabulous from Patrones magazine until I finished the trenchcoat. I have finally finished the trenchcoat and can at last move the Jacket a month ticker on one space!(About time since we are now in month 4) I will also be counting this as part of my SWAP as it featured several very rusty techniques.

It’s a long time since I sewed bound pockets and I used the ‘Threads’ low bulk flap method (shown in News from the Trenches). There was also a load of topstitching which isn’t difficult but required more concentration that I often afford my own garments. 

I can’t remember a project that has caused as much angst for a long time. I really started off badly when I didn’t check that I had all the ‘bits’ I needed to complete the whole job – something I have learned from and will not do again. 

Proving I have pockets

I like the finished garment but I think I will like it more when it gets more of a worn look. Needless to say the last few days (and the forecast for the near future) have been beautiful spring sunshine. No need for a showerproof coat.

Better get started on something seasonal.

The back.

One of my clients thought the lining looked as though it had goldfish on it – hadn’t thought so until she said!

Goldfish on the lining? (Flasher pose!)

More News from the Trenches

After a week of catching up on everyone elses work I have spent the weekend doing more of my trenchcoat. I have now finished the pockets, front and back flaps,collar and stand, belt loops and have made the belt and straps ready to have the eyelets put in by Harlequin. Photos below.

It now feels almost finished, although there is still a fair bit to do. I wont do any more until the belt/straps are back and I get the buttons which are now ordered. I managed to get buckles from a friend who is a harness maker. I will have to remember her as a source for the future – Thanks Madge!


I am getting to the point where I really want to make something else now but I have to be disciplined and finish this first. Boo hoo.

May I introduce Bessie?


Click to enlarge

I am very proud of my new ‘Lady Valet’ dressform – ‘Bessie’- who will no doubt be of great help in assisting me in achieving correct fit and is also very patient (and not at all bashful) about being dressed and photographed in order to show you what I have been making.

This self drafted sleeveless blouse is the first of the garments for my SWAP 2011 challenge.Whilst not a difficult (or exciting) project it will help get things underway – I was spending too much time planning and not enough time doing.The fabric is a polyester crepe which was given to me by my good friend Pamela at Material Matters which was easy to sew and I know from experience is very easy care. I used french seams throughout – not a difficult process but one I am rarely asked to use by clients so I felt a little rusty. Glad to say they have no ‘whiskers’ showing on the right side of the garment. You can see by the next picture why it had to be a sleeveless blouse. I love being able to use all the fabric!

Just bits!


P.S. Still struggling with the tickers. Have got them prepared but cant get them onto blog.Any ideas out there?

First Post

Hi! Anyone who is out there reading this will have to be a little tolerant of my lack of computer skills. I have started this blog to share my dressmaking output with whomever is interested! I have been sewing for as long as I can remember and am a City and Guilds qualified dressmaker. However, I LOVE buying fabric.Can’t help it. I have loads. Stash city.

To help remind me that I can sew for myself I have joined Stitchers Guilds SWAP2011 challenge. And the Jacket a Month 2011. That should see a reduction in stock – provided I dont buy more. If I ever work out how to get one of those nice ‘ticker’ things you can even chart my progress. I have already finished one garment and will photograph that soon and fry my brain trying to upload it here.

Wish me luck!